“Alex lived a huge life and he lived it his way. He hated compromise in politics and he didn’t tolerate it in his own life.”
I will miss his insight.
yea, he hated compromise in his politics alright…
alex cockburn > "We all have to go one day, but pray God let it not be over Afghanistan. An unspeakable country filled with unspeakable people, sheepshaggers and smugglers… [I]f ever a country deserved rape it's Afghanistan. Nothing but mountains filled with barbarous ethnics with views as medieval as their muskets, and unspeakably cruel too… "
^the above is a quote from cockburn in 1980. its not the only horrifying thing you can find either. just search around. please note that he actually said afghanistan deserves to be raped. so he did not give a shit about afghanistan, in fact thought bad things should happen to it, and used some really offensive imagery to display his feelings.
alex cockburn was a reactionary firebrand. he just had a tendency to verbally assault U.S. policy, and everyone wants to hear stuff like that. but when you listen carefully to where his positions emerge from, supporting him or the memory of him is a lot harder. there are many more morally agreeable and theoretically defensible critics and critiques of u.s. policy.
I have misgivings about Cockburn too as a former reader of "The Nation" and occasional reader of "Counterpunch." The comments about Afghanistan sound to me like he was, essentially, rationalizing the Soviet invasion. If that was his goal, then he obviously showed himself to be pro-Soviet rather than anti-imperialist. From my fairly limited knowledge of Cockburn's views, I have concerns that he was pretty much a Leninist. Sure, he said some nice things about libertarians/anarchists in his day. But even Lenin talked about the state "withering away." Right before he centralized the soviets and started killing libertarians and anarchists, of course.
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