Alexander Cockburn Quotes

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  • A childish soul not inoculated with compulsory prayer is a soul open to any religious infection.

    Religious   Prayer   Soul  
    Alexander Cockburn (1988). “Corruptions of Empire: Life Studies & the Reagan Era”, p.15, Verso
  • In its attempt to crush the Black Panthers, the FBI engineered frequent arrests on the flimsiest of pretexts.

    Crush   Black   Panthers  
  • They keep telling us that in war truth is the first casualty, which is nonsense since it implies that in times of peace truth stays out of the sick bay or the graveyard.

    War   Sick   Firsts  
  • Cockburn's personal history links him to the politics of the Communist Party, and there are still moments in his writing - debating the number of people estimated to have perished in Stalin's gulags, claiming that 'the Brezhnev years were a Golden Age for the Soviet working class', when aspects of his father's convictions can be glimpsed.

    Father   Party   Writing  
  • The art of politics is to separate actions from consequences

  • No foundation that I am aware of has hired ex-journalists to promote a thoroughgoing inquiry.

    Alexander Cockburn (1988). “Corruptions of Empire: Life Studies & the Reagan Era”, p.182, Verso
  • A "just war" is hospitable to every self-deception on the part of those waging it, none more than the certainty of virtue, under whose shelter every abomination can be committed with a clear conscience.

    War   Self   Deception  
    New Statesman and Society (Magazine), February 8, 1991.
  • The First Law of Journalism: to confirm existing prejudice, rather than contradict it.

    Law   Cynical   Prejudice  
    More Magazine, 1974.
  • Are you more likely to tolerate drivel than you were four years ago? I think the answer is yes. Four years of Reagan has deadenedthe senses against a barrage of uninterrupted nonsense.

  • There's a whole journalistic-industrial complex dedicated to keeping newsprint, TV screens and radio waves clean of destabilizing scoops damaging to corporations or the state.

  • No one believes for a moment the embargo will prompt the Iraqi people to rise against Saddam Hussein.

    "New millennium, old crime: those sanctions against Iraq" by Alexander Cockburn, January 12, 2000.
  • The travel writer seeks the world we have lost - the lost valleys of the imagination.

    Alexander Cockburn (1988). “Corruptions of Empire: Life Studies & the Reagan Era”, p.95, Verso
  • Be careful about Burma. Most people cannot remember whether it was Siam and has become Thailand, or whether it is now part of Malaysia and should be called Sri Lanka.

    Alexander Cockburn (1988). “Corruptions of Empire: Life Studies & the Reagan Era”, p.189, Verso
  • So much for the crusade against drugs . . . all America is actually doing is consolidating its position as the biggest dealer in addictive and lethal substances on the planet, waging war on all rivals, whether they take the form of the Thai domestic tobacco industry or the Colombian cocaine cartels.

    War   America   Drug  
  • Nothing but mountains filled with barbarous ethnics with views as medieval as their muskets, and unspeakably cruel too.

    "Press Clips". The Village Voice, January 21, 1980.
  • Can it be that a generation of school children is growing up heedless of the simple truth that the Pentagon's centrla role for many years has been to buy weapons that don't work, against threats that don't exist?

  • Nothing can inspire religious duty or animation but religion.

  • Republicans know well that a change of rhetorical pace is necessary. But efforts by their leaders to damp down the bellicosity of newly elected Tea Party types is running into the fact that the Tea Partiers have only the high volume setting on their amplifiers, just like Palin. They're like a couple having a fight at a funeral; politely sotto voce, then suddenly bursting out fortissimo with their plaints and accusations.

    Running   Couple   Party  
  • Despair is the central part of the psychopathology. For the handmaiden of gossip is treachery.

    Alexander Cockburn (1988). “Corruptions of Empire: Life Studies & the Reagan Era”, p.185, Verso
  • Pose a political threat to Business As Usual, and sooner or later, mostly sooner, someone will try to kill you.

  • There is never finality in the display terminal's screen, but an irresponsible whimsicality, as words, sentences, and paragraphs are negated at the touch of a key. The significance of the past, as expressed in the manuscript by a deleted word or an inserted correction, is annulled in idle gusts of electronic massacre.

    Past   Keys   Massacres  
  • There is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of CO2 is making any measurable contribution to the world's present warming trend.

    Zero   World   Trends  
    "Is Global Warming a Sin?" by Alexander Cockburn, April 28, 2007.
  • No chord in populism reverberates more strongly than the notion that the robust common sense of an unstained outsider is the best medicine for an ailing polity. Caligula doubtless got big cheers from the plebs when he installed his horse as proconsul.

    Horse   Cheer   Medicine  
    "Obama's Speech; McCain's Palinomy" by Alexander Cockburn, August 30, 2008.
  • Regulation of sexual behavior is the preferred route to wider social control.

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Alexander Cockburn quotes about:

Alexander Cockburn

  • Born: June 6, 1941
  • Died: July 21, 2012
  • Occupation: Journalist