Patrick Cockburn

Patrick Cockburn is currently Middle East correspondent for the Independent and worked previously for the Financial Times. He has written three books on Iraq’s recent history, including The Occupation and Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession (with Andrew Cockburn) as well as a memoir, The Broken Boy and, with his son, a book on schizophrenia, Henry’s Demons, which was shortlisted for a Costa Award. He won the Martha Gellhorn Prize in 2005, the James Cameron Prize in 2006, and the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2009. Winner of the Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year Award 2014.


  • #ParisAttacks: A reading list

    On Friday 13th November, 129 people lost their lives in a series of attacks in Paris reportedly carried out by Islamic State. They join the dead of Beirut, Suruç, Syria, Iraq and countless other war-torn regions as innocent victims of a conflict that knows no civilians.  

    The urgency with which we have to pull ourselves back from the brink is signalled not only by the brutality of the reactions, but by the fact that they are by now entirely predictable: airstrikes abroad, destructive of life but strategically pointless; attacks on muslim populations in the west, dubbed 'revenge' by a racist media.

    All is fuel on the fire. More than ever, we need to understand the situation in all its complexities.

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  • Patrick Cockburn: No security can stop Isis – the bombers will always get through

    Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent:

    The “Islamic State”, as Isis styles itself, will be pleased with the outcome of its attacks in Paris. It has shown that it can retaliate with its usual savagery against a country that is bombing its territory and is a power to be feared at a time when it is under serious military pressure. The actions of just eight Isis suicide bombers and gunmen are dominating the international news agenda for days on end.

    There is not a lot that can be done about this. People are understandably eager to know the likelihood of their being machine-gunned the next time they sit in a restaurant or attend a concert in Paris or London. 

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  • Immigration Reading List: Against Racism, Against Borders—Refugees and Migrants Welcome!

    The delayed and despicable reactions of politicians from the foot-dragging David Cameron to the racist, "radical right" Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán to the current refugee crisis have resulted in a global upsurge of activism, with tens of thousands signed up to rally in central London and across Europe this Saturday as part of #EuropeSaysWelcome: European Day of Action for Refugees. The continent’s conscience has been moved as people all over the world upturn the racist, exclusionary narratives of politicians and the liberal and right-wing press with acts of compassion, generosity and everyday solidarity.

    We have put together a reading list intended to better our understanding of the underlying causes of the crisis, including: racism, political inertia and capitalist war.  

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