Patrick Cockburn

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Person.png Patrick Cockburn   Amazon IMDB Twitter WikiquoteRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(journalist, author)
Patrick Cockburn.jpg
Born5 March 1950
Alma materTrinity College (Oxford), Queen's University Belfast
Member ofThe Unz Review

Patrick Cockburn is an award-winning journalist with The Independent newspaper who specialises in analysis of Iraq, Syria and wars in the Middle East.[1] Cockburn also writes for CounterPunch and the London Review of Books.[2]


Embedded journalism

Patrick Cockburn is critical of embedded journalism, writing in The Independent in 2010

"...There is a more subtle disadvantage to 'embedding': it leads reporters to see the Iraqi and Afghan conflicts primarily in military terms, while the most important developments are political or, if they are military, may have little to do with foreign forces."

He later added

"...Halfway through the Iraq war, one bureau chief lamented to me, saying: 'The only fairly safe place for me to send young reporters, who haven't been to Iraq before, is on 'embeds', but then they drink up everything the army tells them and report it as fact.' The best reporting in any single publication during the height of the sectarian slaughter in Iraq in 2006–07 was in the New York Times, which got round this dilemma by simply hiring experienced and highly regarded correspondents from other newspapers."[3]

Age of endless war

On the relationship between the Covid-19 pandemic and wars, Cockburn wrote in a blog for Verso in 2020

"None of the wars I covered then have ever really ended. What has happened, however, is that they have largely ended up receding, if not disappearing, from the news agenda. I suspect that, if a successful vaccine for Covid-19 isn’t found and used globally, something of the same sort could happen with the coronavirus pandemic as well."[4]


  • Republished (2015), The Rise of Islamic State: Isis and the New Sunni Revolution Verso Books, ISBN 978-1-78478-040-1
  • (2016), Chaos and Caliphate: Jihadis and the West in the struggle for the Middle East, OR Books, ISBN 978-1682190289
  • (2016), The Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle East, Verso Books, ISBN 978-1784784492
  • (2020), War in the Age of Trump: The Defeat of Isis, the Fall of the Kurds, the Conflict with Iran, Verso Books, ISBN 978-1839760402


Documents by Patrick Cockburn

TitleDocument typePublication dateSubject(s)Description
Document:The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save BrexitArticle19 March 2019The Troubles
Bloody Sunday (1972)
Theresa May
Boris Johnson
Democratic Unionist Party
Good Friday Agreement
Irish question
What we are seeing is the two most divisive issues in modern British history coming together in a toxic blend: these are Brexit and the Irish question.
Document:The CIA plot to kidnap or kill Julian Assange in London is a story that is being mistakenly ignoredArticle1 October 2021CIA
Julian Assange
Mike Pompeo
Jamal Khashoggi
Cancel culture
Julian Assange and Jamal Khashoggi were targeted because they fulfilled the primary duty of journalists – telling the public what governments want to keep secret
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