Saturday, December 19, 2015
Veteran Brit Journo, Robert Fisk, Sings Praises of Young Justin
The Independent's Robert Fisk is one of Britain's all time great journos (a summary from Wiki is at the bottom of the page) and he seems to think as highly of Justin Trudeau as he describes disparagingly the guy Trudeau ousted.
Let us now praise famous men... Justin Trudeau comes to mind. “Canada is back,” the country’s new Prime Minister told the climate conference in Paris – and closed the door on the bigoted, aggressive Canada which his Conservative predecessor had been trying to create.
It’s nice to write a story that’s an “upper” rather than a “downer” – which most Middle East reports must be. I was in Canada during the election, when former Prime Minister Stephen Harper ran a campaign of such cruel mendacity against his own country’s Muslim minority that I began to wonder if Canada had lost its moral standing in the world.
Hands up, I asked a large and wealthy group of Canadian businessmen in Banff, those of you who have had to apologise abroad for the behaviour of Stephen Harper. A miserable three raised their hands. “Some weren’t exactly telling the truth,” a conference organiser privately responded. I knew that. From being a magnanimous, peacekeeping power which believed in the UN, human rights and a multicultural future, Canada was becoming a country obsessed with security, state intrusion, fear (of Muslims, of course) and conglomerate power. Harper was an economist. Trudeau used to be a schoolteacher.
...Just as in America, whoever followed George W Bush had to be better, so Trudeau is Jesus to Harper’s Old Testament darkness. He’ll screw up at times, just like Obama has. But on election night, he told Canadians that “we know in our bones that Canada was built by people from all corners of the world who worship every faith... A Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.” Strong stuff when we’re supposed to be living in the age of “terror”.
Robert Fisk (born 12 July 1946) is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent. He has been Middle East correspondent of The Independent for more than twenty years, primarily based in Beirut. Fisk holds more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent and has been voted British International Journalist of the Year award seven times. He has published a number of books and reported on several wars and armed conflicts.
An Arabic speaker, he is one of a few Western journalists to have interviewed Osama bin Laden, which he did on three occasions between 1993 and 1997.