One Man’s Arabia

From The New York Times:Cover274_1

The Conquest of the Middle East.
By Robert Fisk.
At least in part, “The Great War for Civilisation” is a stimulating and absorbing book, by a man who speaks Arabic, who has known the region better than most and has met the leading players, from bin Laden to Ahmad Chalabi (who offered to introduce him to Oliver North). It is a formidable production; and as Dr. Johnson said of “Paradise Lost,” no man ever wished it longer.

He doesn’t let us forget that he loathes Saddam Hussein, and is contemptuous of Yasir Arafat even as he sarcastically mentions his own anti-Israeli reputation. Then he goes on to write about “Israel’s policy of state murder” and “the American journalists who report in so craven a fashion from the Middle East.” This newspaper and its writers are regularly pummeled, notably “Tom Friedman, an old friend but an increasingly messianic columnist.” Friedman can look after himself, but if I were Fisk I would not lightly use the word “messianic” about anyone.

More here.