Jesse Bacon's Reviews > Pity the Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon

Pity the Nation by Robert Fisk
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's review
Aug 19, 09

bookshelves: palestineneedsherfreedom
Read in August, 2009

This took me forever to read, partly because it is over 600 pages, and partly because of the density of the emotional and the historical details. It is basically an elegy for Robert Fisk's time reporting from Lebanon, which runs 20 years and spans the civil wars and Israeli and Syrian invasions. It is telling how many of Israel's policies from the Occupation got a tryout here, from white phosphorus weaponry, to the use of collaborators, to referring to all resistance as terrorism. Fisk does not spare the various Arab actors from criticism either, reviving some faint hope in the much maligned concept of journalistic objectivity. Sad how few lessons have been learned. Fisk himself repeatedly laments his own lack of prescience while giving himself the occasional boast for a scoops (seemingly well-deserved.) The book begins with an interview with an Israeli holocaust survivor and ends with the election of Ariel Sharon, leaving an air of endless suffering in the air, as the heroic reporters find themselves reporting the same stories endlessly, calling into question their effectiveness. I do believe there is hope, if we could learn the lessons from this book and other such accounts, even if we have not yet done so.

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