War is primarily not about victory or defeat but about death and the infliction of death. It represents the total failure of the human spirit.
Preface (page XIX)
I don't like the definition 'war correspondent'. It is history, not journalism, that has condemned the Middle East to war. I think 'war correspondent' smells a bit, reeks of false romanticism: it has too much of the whiff of Victorian reporters who would view battles from hilltops in the company of ladies, immune to suffering, only occasionally glancing towards the distant pop-pop of cannon fire.Robert Fisk
In just one year in Bosnia, thirty of my colleagues died. There is a little Somme waiting for all innocent journalists.Robert Fisk
I suppose, in the end, we journalists try - or should try - to be the first impartial witnesses of history. If we have any reason for our existence, the least must be our ability to report history as it happens so that no one can say: 'we didn't know - no one told us.'Robert Fisk
And history`s fingers never relax their grip, never leave us unmolested, can touch us even when we would never imagine their presence.Robert Fisk
So here’s a question from one who believed, only a week ago, that Baghdad might just collapse, that we might wake up one morning to find the Baathist militia and the Iraqi army gone and the Americans walking down Saadun Street with their rifles over their shoulders. If the Iraqis can still hold out against such overwhelming force in Umm Qasr for four days, if they can keep fighting in Basra and Nassariyeh the latter a city which briefly rose in successful revolt against Saddam in 1991 why should Saddam’s forces not keep fighting in Baghdad?Robert Fisk