Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘war in the age of trump’

“After IS” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the London Review of Books

Thursday, January 28th, 2021
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“The damage Trump has done to America will be hard to undo” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Friday, January 22nd, 2021

“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 to 232 votes in the electoral college and there was absolutely no fraud,’ responds the Almighty. The Trump supporters look at him suspiciously for a moment before one turns to the other and whispers: ‘I can see that the conspiracy goes even higher than we thought.'”

Read the full article here.

“With Biden in the White House, do you foresee any major US policy changes?” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn interviewed for the New Left Review

Friday, January 15th, 2021

“Let us look at what we are changing from before we look at what we are changing to. This is difficult to do because Trump’s policies, assuming them to be coherent strategies, were chaotic in both conception and implementation. Trump did not start any new wars in West Asia, though he did green-light the Turkish invasion of northern Syria in 2019. He withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran in 2018, but relied on economic sanctions, not military action, to exert pressure on Iran. In the three countries where America was already engaged in military action – Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria – surprisingly little has changed. Keep in mind that his foreign policy was heavily diluted by the more interventionist policies of the Pentagon and the US foreign-policy establishment in Washington. They successfully blocked or slowed down Trump’s attempted withdrawals from what he termed the ‘endless wars’ in West Asia. It is not clear, however, that they have a realistic alternative approach.

Biden will be subject to the same institutional pressures as Trump was and is unlikely to resist them. He may be less sympathetic to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia and Netanyahu in Israel, but I doubt if the relationship between the US and either country will change very much. The next Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, approved the Iraq invasion of 2003, the regime change in Libya in 2011, and wanted a more aggressive policy in Syria under Obama. It does not sound as if he has learned much from the failure of past US actions in West Asia. This is not just a matter of personalities: the US establishment is genuinely divided about the merits and demerits of foreign intervention. It is also constrained by the fact that there is no public appetite in America for more foreign wars. For all his rhetorical bombast, Trump was careful not to get Americans killed in West Asia, and it would be damaging for Biden and the Democrats if they fail to do the same.”

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“There is more to fake news than Trump’s lies. Real journalists are needed more than ever” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Monday, January 4th, 2021

Reporting on the pandemic shows that radio and TV provide too little information and the internet too much. Our grandparents knew more about the world around them than we do, says Patrick Cockburn.

Read the article here.

“State sponsored assassinations in foreign countries are becoming the new norm” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Friday, December 11th, 2020

Governments are carrying out ‘targeted killings’ abroad as demonstrations of strength but they discredit and delegitimatise those responsible, writes Cockburn.

Read the article here.

“Trump’s worst crime must not be forgotten—ensuring the ethnic cleansing of Kurdish allies in Syria” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Friday, December 4th, 2020

Eyewitness testimony lays bare the atrocities committed in territory occupied by Turkey

Read the article here.

“America and Britain are the big losers on the world stage as they fail to control Covid” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
The pandemic is accelerating the shift of power to nation states and an Asia-centred world, writes Patrick Cockburn.

Read the article here.

“Trump’s cult of personality will be badly damaged by defeat—even if his toxic politics march on.” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Monday, November 9th, 2020

The Democrats’ loathing for Trump blinded them to his political skills, which almost kept him in the White House

Read the article here.

“Even if defeated, Trumpism will not vanish” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Friday, November 6th, 2020

The toxic Trump era is unfortunately not an aberration and is all too well rooted in American history

Read the article here.

“Wars and pandemics produce the same sort of lethal government bungling” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Friday, October 16th, 2020

New restrictions will not stop the epidemic because most people do not comply with the old ones

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“The Assange extradition case is an unprecedented attack on press freedom—so why’s the media largely ignoring it?” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author and IN DEFENSE OF JULIAN ASSANGE contributor Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Assange and WikiLeaks did everything journalists should do by finding out important information about US government misdeeds and handing it over to the public

Read the article here.

“The next Gaza Strip? Daily battle of survival for those left in Idlib” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Idlib is one of the last remaining opposition strongholds in Syria

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“Coronavirus, corruption, ISIS and politics — Iraq battered by perfect storm of crises” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Friday, September 25th, 2020
Covid-19 is only one of multiple threats to life and livelihoods that confront Iraqis, writes Patrick Cockburn.

Read the article here.

“To Isolate or to Intervene?” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn interviewed on Parallax Views

Friday, September 11th, 2020

“For anyone interested in the Middle East… Essential reading.” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP reviewed by the Times

Monday, August 24th, 2020
Soaked in blood, sectarian strife & fanaticism, mired in Great Power hypocrisy & betrayal, this may not be everyone’s idea of feelgood lockdown literature but for anyone interested in the Middle East it is essential reading.

Read the full review (with subscription) here.

“An accessible, often engrossing, introduction to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP reviewed by Peace News

Monday, August 24th, 2020
There is much of interest to peace activists in the book. For example, those who wonder if Western air strikes were the only option for dealing with ISIS will be interested to read that NATO member Turkey allowed around 40,000 ISIS fighters to cross its border into ISIS territory.

Cockburn is also keen to highlight the skewed, propagandistic nature of much mainstream news reporting of the wars, noting ‘copious media coverage of civilian casualties caused by Syrian and Russian airstrikes’ in Aleppo and Ghouta (both in Syria).

Read the full review here.

“Must-read… An insightful account of how the aggressive policies promoted by President Trump are destabilising the [Middle East].” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP reviewed by Morning Star

Monday, August 24th, 2020
The latest book from veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn presents a detailed analysis of key events in the Middle East since Trump’s election.The major themes are the ever-deepening confrontation between the US and Iran, the defeat of Isis in Iraq and Syria and the incredibly complex relationship between the different Kurdish factions and the US.

Cockburn’s rare quality as a journalist is his insistence on engaging in actual journalism by doing the hard work of uncovering evidence and trying to make sense of contrasting narratives, as opposed to simply picking up on the Tweets and press releases of a few “reliable” (pro-Western) sources, as is the way of so many.

Read the full review here.

“A well-placed critique of both an inept presidency and an uncritical media.” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP reviewed by Kirkus Reviews

Monday, August 24th, 2020
The award-winning British journalist analyzes and criticizes Donald Trump’s handling of wars in the Middle East and Asia.

Independent Middle East correspondent Cockburn opens as he closes, with an account of the assassination of Iranian military strategist and supposed terrorist Qasem Soleimani, which was followed by a declaration that the Islamic State had been defeated and by the abandonment of America’s Kurdish allies in Syria. The author considers Soleimani less a threat than the administration believed, though his killing provided a convenient martyr around whom Iran could plant a flag. There’s a schizophrenia at play here; writes Cockburn, “the US has always been keen to hide the degree to which it has been Iran’s de facto partner, as well as its rival, ever since Saddam Hussein…invaded Kuwait in 1990.” Many of Trump’s moves seem calculated to improve Iran’s standing in the region: “It does not take very much to destabilize Iraq and the signs are that Trump does not care if he does.” IS seems to be flourishing, mounting attacks on peace demonstrators in Turkey, blowing up a Moscow-bound airliner, attacking a mosque in Egypt, and detonating a suicide bomb beside a Pakistani polling place—“not to mention,” adds Cockburn, “the eight killed in the UK in 2017 after a van drove into pedestrians on London Bridge.” Cockburn gives Trump some credit for attempting to project American power less with military strength than with “commercial and economic” blandishments. He further reserves some of his critical asperity for journalists who are too willing to accept party lines, though he allows that a reporter in the field lacks the clout of the suits back home: “Usually, it is…the home office or media herd instinct that decides the story of the day.” Even so, his own reporting on the ground, interwoven into his narrative, proves the power of a well-informed and serious pen.

A well-placed critique of both an inept presidency and an uncritical media.

Read the review here.

“A nuanced, deeply informed account of recent events in the Middle East.” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP reviewed by Publishers Weekly

Monday, August 24th, 2020
Cockburn (The Age of Jihad), a foreign correspondent for the Independent, delivers a nuanced, deeply informed account of recent events in the Middle East. Chronicling the period from the 2016–2017 Battle of Mosul to the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in January 2020, Cockburn details tensions between Iran and the U.S., fallout from Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and the “rise and fall of de facto Kurdish states in Iraq and Syria,” among other inflection points. Though careful to note that the forces reshaping the Middle East are larger than any one U.S. president, Cockburn faults the Trump administration for changing policies on a whim, believing in “self-serving conspiracy theories,” and being “peculiarly ill-equipped” to deal with the complexities of the region. He also notes parallels between Trump and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, including “manic sensitivity to criticism,” and takes the White House to task for failing to stop “the ethnic cleansing of Kurds by Turkey” after U.S. troops withdrew from northeastern Syria. Balancing on-the-ground reporting with big-picture analysis, Cockburn writes with deep empathy for the people whose lives have been reshaped by these events. Readers with a deep interest in the Middle East will appreciate this incisive look behind the headlines.

Read the review here.

“Iran-Iraq War: How a forgotten conflict still shapes Middle East politics to this day” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Thursday, August 20th, 2020
Revulsion at atrocities committed is not the only reason for seeming worldwide amnesia about the eight-year conflict, Patrick Cockburn writes.

Read the article here.

“We have to fight for the truth in wars and pandemics” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for AlterNet

Friday, August 7th, 2020
The struggle against Covid-19 has often been compared to fighting a war. Much of this rhetoric is bombast, but the similarities between the struggle against the virus and against human enemies are real enough. War reporting and pandemic reporting likewise have much in common because, in both cases, journalists are dealing with and describing matters of life and death. Public interest is fueled by deep fears, often more intense during an epidemic because the whole population is at risk. In a war, aside from military occupation and area bombing, terror is at its height among those closest to the battlefield.

The nature of the dangers stemming from military violence and the outbreak of a deadly disease may appear very different. But looked at from the point of view of a government, they both pose an existential threat because failure in either crisis may provoke some version of regime change. People seldom forgive governments that get them involved in losing wars or that fail to cope adequately with a natural disaster like the coronavirus. The powers-that-be know that they must fight for their political lives, perhaps even their physical existence, claiming any success as their own and doing their best to escape blame for what has gone wrong.

Read the article here.

“Trump is running against Biden—and the virus” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020
The US president again faces a lacklustre Democratic candidate but his real opponent is Covid-19, writes Patrick Cockburn.

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“Churchill’s secret chemical war” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Monday, July 27th, 2020
Had the German invasion of Britain gone ahead in 1940 – with Churchill deploying mustard gas – the Second World War would have taken a very different turn, writes Patrick Cockburn.

Read the full article here.

WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn interviewed for Interzine

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Patrick Cockburn is an acclaimed journalist specializing in conflicts in the Middle East. He has published numerous books on Iraq and Syria, having worked as a Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times from 1979 before starting with The Independent in 1990. He has received multiple prizes for his work, including the Martha Gellhorn Prize in 2005, the James Cameron Prize in 2006, the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2009, Foreign Commentator of the Year at the 2013 Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards, Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year at the 2014 British Journalism Awards, and Foreign Reporter of the Year at the 2014 Press Awards.

Cockburn has just published a new book entitled War In the Age of Trump. He recently sat down with Monia Al-Haidary to discuss the US intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his observations on the role of history and journalism in these long-running conflicts.

Read the interview here.

WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn interviewed on ABC Radio National Late Night Live

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Listen to the interview here.

WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn interviewed on Radio War Nerd (subscribers only)

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Listen to the interview here.

“The UK and US are starting a new Cold War with Russia and China—so what are these governments trying to hide?” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Monday, July 20th, 2020
It is just possible to forget amid the threats and counter-threats—and the intention is certainly that we should forget—that the world is failing to contain a pandemic that has killed half a million people, writes Patrick Cockburn.

Read the article here.

“The Impact of the Assassination of General Qasem Soleimani” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn interviewed on Forthright Radio

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020
Listen to the interview here.

“The blundering British political class has shown the same incompetence in both fighting wars and coronavirus” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for the Independent

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
The murder of three people in Reading would have been less likely if Britain and its allies had not helped reduce Libya to murderous anarchy, writes Patrick Cockburn.

Read the article here.

“Seeing Boris Johnson seeking to cope with the pandemic has become more and more like watching Peter Sellers play Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther films” — WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP author Patrick Cockburn writes for CounterPunch

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

The BoJo Follies

The ‘Five O’Clock Follies’ was the name given during the Vietnam War to US military press briefings that were infamous for announcing non-existent victories and wildly exaggerated numbers for enemy casualties.

British government briefings about the Covid-19 epidemic have taken a shorter period to gain the same dubious reputation for making over-optimistic claims. Supposedly crucial advances in the battle with coronavirus are greeted with fanfare only for these successes to evaporate mysteriously or be downplayed as marginal a few weeks later.

Read the full article here.