Friday, 1 September 2017

Democracy Does (not) Solve Everything - Always

Robert Fisk is a journalist based in Beirut covering all things Middle East.

By definition, he has spent far too much time in war zones, post war zones and assessing pre-conflict politics. He has also witnessed actions and events that no one should have to see, and he has done so over and over.

An Englishman, based in Beirut for 41 years, few if any can claim greater expertise about this region.  

I attended a lecture and subsequent interview with him yesterday and it was as interesting as it was challenging.

Robert Fisk is firmly of the view that balance in journalism, is not responsible journalism and provided multiple examples to support his view.

In simple terms, his argument is the journalist should report the facts and add commentary from the point of view that is the opposite of evil.

There were very many areas of interest ranging from the lack of commitment by Governments to determine where funding and supplies are coming from for the likes of ISIS., through to the United States obsession with inflicting democracy under the guise of being the solution to troubled countries.

It was the commentary about democracy that I found most enlightening and he specifically referenced the uprising in Egypt. While America was obsessed with imposing a democratically elected leadership upon Egypt, the people had no such desire.

Robert Fisk suggested that Egyptians simply wanted dignity and freedom, that’s all. Further, he said that is all anyone wants. It is simple and it is basic and cited numerous examples where the imposition of democracy had not delivered freedom and dignity.

The presentation by, and discussion with Robert Fisk was indeed fascinating and educating and it was a privilege to be in the auditorium.

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