Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Radical writer Alexander Cockburn dead R.I.P ( 6/6/41 -21/7/12

Alexander Cockburn, the acerbic left-wing journalist and author who though born in Scotland thrived in the political and cultural battlegrounds of the United States, died on Saturday in Bad Salzhausen, Germany, where he had been recieving medical treatment, his family have said. He was 71, the cause was cancer said Jeffrey St Clair, a friend and colleague. Mr St Clair announced Mr Cockbrurns death on CounterPunch, the web site that the two men edited. Mr Cockburn had keept his illness a secret, Mr St Clair added, and continued writing until the end of his life. "His body was deteriorating, but his prose remainesd as sharp, lucid and deadly as ever," Mr St Clair wrote on the site. that Mr Cockburn had, at various times regular columns in ideologically disparate publications like the Nation and The Wall Street Journal and became known as an unapologetic leftist, condemning what he saw as the outrages of the right but also castigating the American liberal establishment when he thought it was to timid.

Born in Scotland, he grew up in Ireland, he began writing in about the U.S in 1973, he became a U.S citizen in 2009. He was vocally critical of Israels policies and treatment of Palestine. This led to accusations of ant-semticism by many, a claim he always denied, believing it was used as a method of intimidation for his criticism of Israel, so carried on speaking the truth as he saw fit. He was also highly critical of U.S foreign policy, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He remained a leftist on most issues, standing up for free speech and social justice, and the misuses of corporate power.He did however remain a skeptic about global warming and is also remembered now for his bitter falling out with his former friend, the late Christopher Hitchens.He had been secretely battling cancer for the last two years.
The world has been robbed of one of its most radical and uncompromising voices.

Jeffrey St Clair
writing in Counterpunch
about his friend Alexander Cockburn

"Alex lived a huge life and je lived it his way. He hated compromise in politics and he didn't tolerate it in his own life. Alex was my pal, my mentor, my comrade. "e joked, gossiped, argued and worked together nearly every day for the last twenty years. He leaves a huge void in our lives. But he taught at least two generations how to think, how to look at the world, how to live a life of resistance. So, the struggle continues, and we're goin to remain engaged. He wouldn't have it any other way."

" They keep telling us that in war, truth is the first casualty which is nonsence since it implies that in times of peace, truth stays out of the sick bay or the graveyard." - Alexander Cockburn

" The first law of Journalism is to confirm existing prejudice rather than contradict it." - Alexander Cockburn

Alexander Cockburn interviewd by Tao Ruspoli  Parts 1 & 2

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