can’t see the forest

Robert Fisk on the Aftermath of Gemayel Assassination

Posted in foreign policy, Lebanon, middle east, News, News and politics by Curtis on 11/24/06

Found by way of Candide’s Notebooks, this 23 November commentary on the Gemayel assassination in Lebanon by the great Robert Fisk of The Independent:

In the house of mourning, an old Lebanese home of cut stone, they did not show Pierre Gemayel’s body. They had sealed the lid – so terribly damaged was his face by the bullets which killed him – as if the nightmares of Lebanon might thus be kept away in the darkness of the grave.

But the Maronites and Greek Orthodox, the Druze and – yes – the Muslims who came to pay their condolences to Gemayel’s wife, Patricia, and his broken father, Amin, wept copiously beside the flag-draped casket. They understood the horrors that could unfold in the coming days and their dignity was a refusal to accept that possibility. . .

. . . Living in Lebanon, you learn these semantic tricks through a kind of looking glass. Nothing here ever happens by accident. But whatever does happen is never quite like what you first think it to be. So the Lebanese at Bikfaya understood yesterday as they gathered and talked of unity. For if only the Lebanese stopped putting their faith in foreigners – the Americans, the Israelis, the British, the Iranians, the French, the United Nations – and trusted each other instead, they would banish the nightmares of civil war sealed inside Pierre Gemayel’s coffin.

Fisk, in my opinion by far the most astute and courageous foreign correspondent today covering the Middle East, has resided in Beirut for 25 years. He is repeatedly derided, particularly in the American press, for his “incorrigible bias” against the cynically detached colonialist policies of Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom in that region.


One Response

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  1. Gracie said, on 11/30/06 at 1:20 pm

    I share your opinion of Fisk and appreciate this article especially.

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