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When Barack Obama was inaugurated on January 20th, 2009, he inherited two of the longest-running military occupations of the modern era. The U.S. now has more than 175,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, countries whose populations are largely hostile to the presence of foreign soldiers on their soil. How did we get into this mess – and is there a way out? And what about the voices of ordinary Afghans and Iraqis - viewpoints we so seldom hear in the American mainstream media? What do they have to say about the role of the West in the Middle East?
Who better to answer these questions than esteemed British journalist and writer ;;Robert Fisk? For more than three decades, Fisk has traveled throughout the Middle East as a correspondent, covering 11 major wars in the region, and winning the British International Journalist of the Year award an impressive seven times. As a long-time resident of Beirut, Fisk is fluent in Arabic and has most recently covered the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Israel's conflicts with Lebanon and the Palestinians. He is also the author of the new book, The Age of the Warrior.
Robert Fisk has said that the primary role of journalists is to challenge authority – especially those who would take us to war. The address airing as part of this special, recorded in Berkeley, California in November 2008, certainly raises a challenge to that authority, as Fisk explains how the West's attitudes toward the Arab world have culminated in the current foreign policy fiascoes we face in the region.
Watch Fisk's 2005 speech "The Great War for Civilization" online
Read recent commentary by Robert Fisk at the Independent
More Link TV Specials
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