The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Show by  
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Topics Filter?
2020 Election Afghanistan Al Qaeda American Media American Military Arab Spring Bahrain Boris Johnson Brexit Britain Coronavirus Disease Donald Trump Economics Egypt Erdogan EU Foreign Policy Gaza Greece History Ideology Immigration Iran Iraq Iraq War ISIS Islam Israel Israel/Palestine Jeremy Corbyn Joe Biden Kurds Libya Middle East Mohammed Bin Salman Northern Ireland Pakistan Russia Saudi Arabia Science Shias And Sunnis Syria Terrorism Tony Blair Turkey Yemen 2016 Election 2018 Election 9/11 Abi Bakar Baghdadi Ahmed Chalabi Al Nusra Front Alt Right Arab Christianity Artifacts Assassinations Banking System Benghazi Benjamin Netanyahu Berlin Wall Birmingham Blacks Bowe Bergdahl Catalonia Censorship Charlie Hebdo China CIA Cockburn Family Confederacy Corruption Culture/Society David Cameron David Petraeus Democratic Party Donald Rumsfeld Drone War Drones Drought Drugs Economic Sanctions Europe European Union Eurozone Fake News France Free Speech Freedom Of Speech Gaddafi Georgia Germany Government Spending Haiti Hamas Health Care Hillary Clinton Human Rights Hurricane India Internet Iran Nuclear Agreement Iran Sanctions Ireland Islamism Israel Lobby Jamal Khashoggi Japan Julian Assange Kashmir KGL-9268 Lebanon Mali Marijuana Media Mental Health Mental Illness Mossad Muqtada Al-Sadr Muslim Ban Muslims Narendra Modi Nationalism Neocons Neoliberalism New Cold War Nigeria North Korea Nouri Al-Maliki Oil Industry Orlando Shooting Osama Bin Laden Oxfam Palestinians Panama Papers Paris Attacks Political Correctness Poverty Press Prince Andrew Qassem Soleimani Qatar Race/Ethnicity Racism Recep Tayyip Erdogan Republican Party Robert Mugabe Roger Casement Scotland Slavery South Korea Soviet Union Sudan Syrian Civil War Syriza Taliban Theresa May Torture Tunisia Twitter Ukraine Uyghurs Vaccines Venezuela Vikings Vote Fraud Wahhabis War Crimes War Of 1812 War On Terror Wikileaks Winston Churchill World War I World War II Yasser Arafat Yazidis Zimbabwe
Nothing found
 BlogviewPatrick Cockburn Archive

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
“Do you remember the tomorrow that never came?” asked a sad piece of street graffiti in Cairo, referring to the fate of the Arab Spring that once promised to overthrow the brutal autocracies that rule the Middle East. That tomorrow moved even further into the future this week when a coup displaced the last surviving... Read More
Boris Johnson turns out to have privately yearned to adopt the same approach as Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro who publicly favoured allowing Covid-19 to rip through his nation. “Stop all this fussing and whining,” Bolsonaro told Brazilians, some 543,000 of whom have died in the epidemic. “How long are you going to go on crying?”... Read More
Over the last week, I have been watching the Taliban sweep across the map of northern Afghanistan, capturing places that I first visited in 2001 at the beginning of the US-backed war. Taliban fighters have seized the main bridge to Tajikistan on the Amu Darya, a river that I crossed on an unwieldy raft a... Read More
Matt Hancock’s bungling effort to conceal his affair with Gina Coladangelo may give hope to some that all government attempts to keep information from the public will be equally futile. Unfortunately, the government has launched a carefully targeted multi-front offensive to hide its activities more effectively. Among measures being considered or already under way are... Read More
“A ruthless little b******,” was President Richard Nixon’s verdict on Donald Rumsfeld as recorded by the Watergate tapes – and everything in his career, supremely successful until the Iraq war, confirmed that Nixon had read him correctly. Rumsfeld relished such tributes to his toughness, but he was above all else a skilful bureaucratic warrior in... Read More
The G7 meeting focused attention on many challenges facing the world, but it did not address the most dangerous threat of them all, which is the transformation of the Republican Party in the US into a fascist movement. When Donald Trump was in the White House there was much debate about whether or not he... Read More
Israel and Hamas have ended their 11-day “war”, but even before the shooting stopped it had transformed the political landscape. The Israel/Palestinian confrontation has shifted away from focusing solely on Gaza to multiple fronts – Jerusalem, the West Bank, Israel itself– and an upsurge in any one of them could start a new round of... Read More
When I first visited Israel in 1976 after spending three years in Northern Ireland working on my second degree, I was struck by the similarities between the situations in the two countries. It is therefore entirely appropriate that on the same day that the Israeli-Palestinian crisis was exploding this week, an inquest in Belfast was... Read More
During the first Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union injustice and human rights increasingly became a central issue. This ought to have been a positive development, but it was devalued by partisan use and the issue turned into an instrument of propaganda. The essence of such propaganda is not lies or even... Read More
There are six staging posts on the road to a kleptocracy – Britain is further down it than you might imagine
I used to meet businessmen in the Middle East who were in a state of high anxiety about their chances of winning a government contract. They were naturally reluctant to spell out the details, but they hinted that their chief worry was whether or not the official they had bribed to get them a contract... Read More
The government is back to its well-tried Inspector Clouseau mode with a public inquiry intended to discredit accusations of institutional racism that has done the exact opposite. This bit of self-inflicted foot-shooting came soon after half-baked efforts to suppress a protest on Clapham Common that guaranteed it worldwide publicity. The twin debacles have significant features... Read More
Asked what he would do if the British army invaded Germany, Bismarck said that he would tell the police to arrest them. In the wake of the latest British defence review, cutting the size of the conventional armed forces, many contemporary world leaders may respond with similar derision to any future threat of British military... Read More
Great dollops of hypocrisy invariably accompany expressions of concern by outside powers for the wellbeing of the Syrian people. But even by these low standards, a new record for self-serving dishonesty is being set by the Caesar Civilian Protection Act, the new US law imposing the harshest sanctions in the world on Syria and bringing... Read More
As Britain enters a post-pandemic era, its struggle with Covid-19 reveals a country that is a complicated mix of strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, Britain has developed, manufactured and distributed effective vaccines quicker than any other nation. On the other, it has constructed the biggest gravy train in British history, one that pays... Read More
Most nationalist movements wait until they have achieved independence before having a civil war over who runs the country. But Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond have jumped the gun by opening hostilities while Scottish self-determination is still well over the horizon. Could it remain an unattainable goal thanks to the open warfare between the past... Read More
A former Isis fighter once complained to me that western volunteers who travelled to the so-called Islamic State in northeastern Syria were a burden because they did not speak Arabic, had no military experience, knew little about Islam and had often come because they were bored or unhappy at home. He said that their main... Read More
The invasion of the Capitol on 6 January now stands alongside 9/11 as an act of war against American democracy. Unsurprisingly, news coverage of the incursion has come to resemble war propaganda. All facts, true or false, are pointed in the same direction with the aim of demonising the enemy and anybody who minimises its... Read More
Ten years ago, people across the Middle East and North Africa rose up in protest against their rulers, demanding freedom and democracy. Despotic rulers were toppled or feared that power was being torn from their grasp in countries across the region, as millions of demonstrators surged through the streets, chanting that “the people demand the... Read More
Get your retaliation in first,” is a cynical old saying in Northern Irish politics that means you hit your opponent whenever you can without waiting for a provocation. It neatly captures the violent traditions of the province and explains why the political temperature there is always close to boiling over. Imagine then the pleasure of... Read More
Predictions of the break-up of the UK may be reaching a crescendo, but they are scarcely new. In 1707, Jonathan Swift wrote a poem deriding the Act of Union between England and Scotland, which had just been passed, for seeking to combine two incompatible peoples in one state: “As if a man in making posies/... Read More
I was always worried when I had to enter the Green Zone in Baghdad at a time when its entrances were under frequent attack by suicide bombers driving vehicles filled with explosives. Being blown up by al-Qaeda in Iraq was not the only danger. The soldiers guarding the outer checkpoints of the zone were understandably... Read More
Two fervent Donald Trump supporters die and go to heaven. Soon after their arrival they meet God. “Please can you tell us,” they ask him, “did President Trump really win the presidential election or did he lose it because of fraud?” “I can definitively tell you that Joe Biden won the presidency fairly by 306... Read More
The coastal town of Margate in east Kent is the place where the fast-spreading variant of Covid-19 first mutated before it swept through the rest of Britain. Scientists identified Kent last month as the county where the mutant virus developed, but a source with knowledge of research into its origins tells me that the earliest... Read More
Republican rats deserting the good ship “Trump” make an enjoyable spectacle as they hypocritically pretend that it was only the invasion of the Capitol by a mob that finally revealed to them the failings of Donald Trump. Longer-term opponents of Trump are cock-a-hoop that they can credibly denounce him for egging on a "deadly insurrection"... Read More
The 10-year campaign by the US government to criminalise reporting critical of its actions has failed in rather peculiar circumstances, with the unexpected decision by the court in London to reject the US demand for Julian Assange's extradition. Judge Vanessa Baraitser gave as the reason for her decision Assange’s mental health and possible suicide risk,... Read More
The view from the top of the Western Heights, the great fortified hill overlooking Dover, has the advantage of taking in many of the key features shaping life in Britain in the age of Brexit and Covid-19. The most important of these is the proximity of the French coast, glittering on the horizon 22 miles... Read More
Fear is at a high point in Britain at the moment and with very good reason. There is much to be frightened of as it turns out that Covid-19 has been quicker to learn from experience than bumbling Boris Johnson and his third-eleven team during a calamitous year in which they have zig-zagged between panic... Read More
The departure of Britain from the European Union should be the moment when the country would at last be free to determine its own future and start to transform itself for the better. The damaging rupture with the world’s largest trading bloc – and the political traumas within the UK – can only be justified... Read More
On 1 July 1916, the British Army attacked the German front line on the Somme in an ill-planned and over-ambitious offensive. Advancing soldiers were slaughtered by machine guns and artillery fire as they tried to struggle through unbroken barbed wire. The battle was to go on for 141 days, but on the first day alone... Read More
I met pleased and gloomy people in the first half of last year when I travelled around the UK writing about the potential impact of Brexit. But by far the happiest of those I interviewed were veteran Irish republicans in Belfast, mostly present or past members of Sinn Fein, who had devoted their lives to... Read More
I was in Israel on 4 November 1995 when a student named Yigal Amir assassinated the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin as he left a peace rally in Tel Aviv. A video shows Amir loitering by an exit to the square for 40 minutes before Rabin appears, when his killer takes out a pistol and... Read More
It was the worst crime of Donald Trump’s years in the White House. In October 2019 he ordered US troops to stand aside, greenlighting Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria that led to the murder, rape and expulsion of its Kurdish inhabitants Eighteen months earlier, Trump did nothing as the Turkish army occupied the Kurdish enclave... Read More
Lockdowns are unnecessary if the use of masks is practiced by 95 per cent of the population, says Dr Hans Kluge, the World Health Organisation’s European chief. This is good to know, though it is a pity that the WHO did not make the point more forcefully in March as the pandemic was exploding across... Read More
Robert Fisk and I often used to discuss the merits and demerits of responding in print to personal attacks on us filled with provable falsehoods. The temptation to refute such falsehood is hard to resist, but we recognised that therein lies a trap because even the most persuasive refutation of a gross lie necessitates repeating... Read More
President Trump may be losing the election, but he is not the aberration in the history of America – one of the Creator’s least funny jokes – as much of the world would like to believe. At least 70 million Americans voted to put him back in the White House, despite witnessing his constant lying,... Read More
By claiming victory in the presidential election while it is still in the balance, President Trump is following what could be called “the Turkish playbook” in his determination to stay in the White House. This approach is a rerun of the strategy employed by several populist national leaders across the world in recent years to... Read More
I first met Robert in Belfast in 1972 at the height of the Troubles when he was the correspondent for The Times and I was writing a PhD on Irish history at Queen’s University. I was also taking my first tentative steps as a journalist, while he was swiftly establishing a reputation as a meticulous... Read More
Pundits and polls are at one in predicting a victory for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the presidential election, portraying the vote as a non-military rerun of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, when the north defeated the south in what is regarded as a turning point in the civil war. The violence will... Read More
Debate rages on every television screen and newspaper front page about the fairness or unfairness of lockdowns and semi-lockdowns. The finger of blame for the failure to stop the spread of coronavirus is increasingly pointed at the chief of NHS Test and Trace, Baroness Harding, and at the health minister, Lord Bethell, serial blunderers referred... Read More
I was in Baghdad in 1998 during US airstrikes, watching missiles explode in great flashes of light as they hit their targets. There was some ineffectual anti-aircraft fire, the only result of which was pieces of shrapnel falling from the sky and making it dangerous to step outside the building we were in. To my... Read More
The battle against Covid-19 is often compared to real war. The analogy encourages a “we are all in it together” solidarity and suggests that it is unpatriotic to criticise or oppose government decisions. Yet the comparison should not be entirely dismissed as self-serving bluster by political leaders because a war and a pandemic have many... Read More
“Many relatives of mine were living in camps near the border with Turkey,” says Huda Husein, a 25-year-old teacher living in the rebel-held enclave of Idlib in northwest Syria. “But last month they returned home [to the cities and villages] because they prefer dying under an airstrike to dying in the camps.” A cousin told... Read More
The silence of journalists in Britain and the US over the extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is making them complicit in the criminalisation of newsgathering by the American government. In an Old Bailey courtroom in London over the past four weeks, lawyers for the US government have sought the extradition of Assange to... Read More
I was six years old in 1956 when my parents decided to return to Ireland from London, though a polio epidemic was in full swing in Cork city thirty miles from where we lived. They thought we would be safe in our house deep in the countryside and were encouraged by the fact that there... Read More
Amid the patriotic bombast about Making America Great Again at the Republican Convention nominating President Trump for a second term on 24 August, nobody noticed that it began on the anniversary of one of the most humiliating defeats in American history. It was on this day more than two centuries earlier in 1814 that a... Read More
Twenty years ago, a novelist went to see his publisher to discuss his proposal to write a dystopian novel set in Britain in 2020 when newspaper columnists have taken power and are running the country. These opinion-makers, sometimes called the Commentariat, had for years been expressing outrage at the failings of the government and everyone... Read More
Desperate refugees crammed into cockle-shell boats landing on the shingle beaches of the south Kent coast are easily portrayed as invaders. Anti-immigrant demonstrators were exploiting such fears last weekend as they blockaded the main highway into Dover Port in order “to protect Britain’s borders”. Meanwhile, the home secretary, Priti Patel, blames the French for not... Read More
A sheriff in Texas was once trailing badly in his re-election campaign. He met with his political friends to discuss how he might regain the lead. After examining different options, he himself came up with a suggestion on how to damage his opponent. “Why don’t we say that he commits bestial acts with pigs?” he... Read More
The Republican convention was a nauseating performance even by the cess-pit standards of the Trump administration. In its cult-like obeisance to the supreme leader it reminds me of meetings of the Iraqi Baath Party that periodically endorsed Saddam Hussein as the national saviour. The only speeches acceptable in both cases were dollops of fawning praise.... Read More
“I cannot tell my true name,” says Ramiz Halawani, a 37-year-old teacher in Damascus. “You know how bad and violent our security intelligence are. They have spies everywhere. So, I am using another name.” Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Independent, Mr Halawani said he contracted Covid-19 earlier this month, as the epidemic swept... Read More
Patrick Cockburn
About Patrick Cockburn

Patrick Cockburn is the Middle East correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent. He was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting. His book on his years covering the war in Iraq, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq (Verso) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for non-fiction.


Personal Classics
Full Story of the Taliban's Amazing Jailbreak
"They Can't Even Protect Themselves, So What Can They Do For Me?"
"All Hell is Breaking Loose with Muqtada" Warlord: the Rise of Muqtada al-Sadr