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Renowned British Journalist Robert Fisk Is Severely Beaten By Angry Afghans, Narrowly Escapes - and He Blames the West

StoryDecember 11, 2001
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Renowned British journalist Robert Fisk was severely beaten by a crowd of people in an Afghan village just two daysago, and barely escaped with his life.

He wrote just after the incident:

“Some of the Afghans in the little village had been there for years, others had arrived ­ desperate and angry andmourning their slaughtered loved ones ­ over the past two weeks… what happened to us was symbolic of the hatred andfury and hypocrisy of this filthy war, a growing band of destitute Afghan men, young and old, who saw foreigners -enemies–in their midst and tried to destroy at least one of them.

“Many of these Afghans, so we were to learn, were outraged by what they had seen on television of the Mazar-i-Sharifmassacres, of the prisoners killed with their hands tied behind their backs. A villager later told one of our driversthat they had seen the videotape of CIA officers "Mike" and "Dave" threatening death to a kneeling prisoner at Mazar.

“They were uneducated–I doubt if many could read ­ but you don’t have to have a schooling to respond to the deathof loved ones under a B-52’s bombs. At one point a screaming teenager had turned to my driver and asked, in allsincerity: 'Is that Mr Bush?' Fisk continued,

"I thought I should write about what happened to us in this fearful, silly, bloody, tiny incident. I feared otherversions would produce a different narrative, of how a British journalist was 'beaten up by a mob of Afghanrefugees.'"

We were able to reach him on the telephone yesterday to tell his story. I began by asking him how he was feeling.

Guest:

  • Robert Fisk, journalist with the London Independent in Quetta.

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