This tombstone of a book will make Robert Fisk an even greater star. Only a few of us will wonder whether he should have written it at all. It is deeply moving in places, maddening in others – just like the man himself.
I first met Fisk soon after Saddam Hussein started his ‘Whirlwind War’ against Iran in September 1980, a war that was to last eight years and kill between 700,000 and a million people. The late Charles Douglas-Home of The Times called me into his office to ask where Fisk ought to go next. I said ‘Baghdad’ and Fisk fell down in a mock faint to show he had yet to recover from his previous exertions.