Patrick Cockburn


Patrick Cockburn discusses recent moves by the administration to try to stay in Iraq and why their presence will remain a politically divisive issue – there if not here, the very small number of members of al Qaeda in Yemen, why NATO, not the Libyan rebels, will fill the power vacuum created when Gadhafi is eventually ousted, skirmishes in Libya where the media outnumber the fighters (on both sides), the bin Laden/al Qaeda strategy of provoking the U.S. to invade and occupy the Middle East to overextend and bring down the empire, the modest demands of Bahraini Shia for a constitutional monarchy which was met by a brutal government response, Obama’s farcical “mediation” in Bahrain, and why, unfortunately, “repression works,” meaning the Arab Spring faces huge challenges.

MP3 here. (40:13)

Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, has been visiting Iraq since 1978. He was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting in recognition of his writing on Iraq. He is the author of, his memoir, The Broken Boy (Jonathan Cape, 2005), and with Andrew Cockburn, Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession (Verso, The Occupation: War, Resistance and Daily Life in Iraq (Verso, 2006) and Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia revival and the Struggle for Iraq.

6 thoughts on “Patrick Cockburn”

  1. All of a sudden, Cockburn finds complications in Iraq politics that he never mentioned before.

    Do like his point about terrorism never succeeds without the cooperation of the govt target.

    What he misses is that the USG used terrorism as an excuse to accelerate programs of suppression they had in mind for a long time.

  2. I seriously doubt that there's a group called "al Qaeda in Yemen."

    This is just more propaganda for mass consumption.

    1. You are right. There has never been such a thing. Everybody who knows Yemen, knows that this was Yemen strongmen, along with the Saudis that invented the brand, so they can keep Uncle Sam "engaged", that is, keep themselves in power by hitting the opposing politicians, familes, towns and regions. Also, many people wonder about the three Al-Qaedas: Al-Qaeda in Arabian Penninsula, Al-Qadeda in Mezopotamia and Al-Qaeda in Maghreb. Al-Qaeda does not have a naming convention department. Al-Qaeda i Afgahanistan, based on our own estimates consists of 40-80 people, and this is probably wrong by a factor of four. And nobody ever linked them to any hostility in Afghanistan for years. In Yemen, Iraq and North Africa, they would have never called themselves that way. First, people living in Arabia do not call themselves "peninsula", nor do they ever think of it that way. Mezopotamia is a biblical name, hardly used nowdays except in Western academia. And Maghreb? Please. That was custom tailored to justify "antiterrorism" military assistance to dictators there, the deposed Tunisian one being one of the beneficiaries.

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