Alexander Cockburn, one of the best and most courageous writers of our time, has passed away after a two year fight with cancer. I was a huge fan of his writings from the Kosovo/Serbian war onwards. He saw through and skewered the Clinton/Albright BS on that disgraceful, unprovoked NATO aggression as well as anybody. I met him at an FFF conference in 2008. He was a superb speaker, with a rare combination of wit, grace, and insight. Shooting the bull with him after his talk, I realized that he was as jovial in person as he was in print.
It always riled me that the mainstream American media lionized his fellow Brit, Christopher Hitchens – who ditched his principles and became a bloodlusting warmonger – and often ignored Cockburn, who never flinched after 9/11. I had hoped that as time passed, Cockburn would reap more of the laurels he richly deserved. Unfortunately, any literary justice for Cockburn will arrive posthumously.
Along with his excellent co-editor Jeffrey St. Clair, Alex ran the zesty, world-class hell-raising website, Counterpunch. That was one of the few websites that welcomed my hardline views as the war on terror mushroomed and ravaged Americans’ rights and liberties. I especially appreciated that Counterpunch did not balk at humorous riffs that made other editors I dealt with cringe, if not moan.
In his writings, Alex fought doggedly to make the world a fairer and more peaceful place. That is a legacy that will inspire other writers and activists long after his passing.
Jeffrey has a nice tribute to Alex here.