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This week on One on One, meet veteran war correspondent, and Middle East commentator, Robert Fisk.

War and military service has been in his family for generations. His father's service in the trenches of World War One profoundly shaped the life of the young Robert Fisk, as did stories of his grandfather sailing the high seas on the famous Cutty Sark - and his Royal Navy great-grandfather. Fisk went to war in a different way ... using words as his powerful weapon.

There are few Western journalists who know the Arab world as well as he does and even fewer who speak out with such cutting words. His books and newspaper columns have attracted admiration - and made him some enemies.

His early years on British newspapers exposed him to the tough environments of Northern Ireland, and Portugal after the 1974 revolution.

It was a 29-year-old Fisk who went to Beirut as a correspondent for The Times - only to have his bureau bombed to rubble within a day of arriving.

The award-winning journalist and best-selling author has since spent two decades with The Independent newspaper, and covered nearly a dozen major wars.

Fisk's landmark interviews include three with Osama Bin Laden - making him one of the few Western reporters to have met America's most wanted man.

In September 1982, Robert Fisk was one of the first journalists to visit the scene of the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camp massacres - leaving him with a haunting memory of that horror. His experience in such extreme conditions and conflict has made him something of a firebrand - insisting that journalists are there to challenge authority - and to set aside objectivity to get to the truth.

But, in recent years, even though he has become arguably the most decorated foreign journalist, Fisk has found himself lamenting the lack of real influence he has had in changing circumstances - particularly in the Middle East - saying that "there are no more sweet stories".

This episode of One on One aired from Friday, November 07, 2008

Source: Al Jazeera