Saturday, 5 May 2012

Hallo everyone -

I write that in the full knowledge that 'everyone' so far is only a handful of people!  However, Adam's ability to find the blog and comment on it is encouraging, even if I do not agree with his views.

I want today to put up links to some websites I find useful, interesting and stimulating.  Most of these will be political.

The first of these is Counterpunch - - edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Clair, one of the best, sharpest and often funniest leftwing websites emanating from America.  I have long been an admirer of Cockburn's.  His book Corruptions of Empire, invoked as an example on this  blog, came out in 1988, and was the first book of journalistic reflections I ever bought.  It remains a source of information, hilarity, and splendid prose.  Alexander, of course, comes from an extraordinarily talented family of writers.  His father, Claud, was a brilliant Scottish radical journalist in the 1930s, a writer for the Daily Worker, and a founder of The Week.  He was a columnist on the Irish Times after he moved with his family to Ardmore Co. Waterford, and it was there that he later noted at one point that 'Wherever there is a stink in international affairs, you'll find that Henry Kissinger has recently visited'.  His sons, Alex, Patrick and Andrew, are all important journalists.  Patrick is one of the most distinguished Anglophone Middle East correspondents, and one of the bravest, staying on in Baghdad right through the 2003 invasion and its chaotic and murderous aftermath, and writing books on the occupation and on Muqtada al-Sadr.  Patrick and Andrew co-authored a very fine study of Saddam Hussein ('An American Obsession', it's subtitled) well before the Bush administration decided to make Iraq safe for democracy.

Alexander writes with equal verve and wit about subjects as various as American politics, PG Wodehouse, cookery, sex and the Israel lobby.  The roster of contributors he has assembled for Counterpunch is very impressive, including Noam Chomsky, Alain Gresh, Uri Avnery, Robert Fisk, Ralph Nader, Kathleen and Bill Christison, Mike Davis, Perry Anderson, Fidel Castro, among many others.  Irish contributors include Harry Browne and Mairead Maguire.  The website is updated daily, and St Clair and Cockburn also issue a hardcopy newsletter version.

For material specifically on the Middle East and on Israel/Palestine specifically, I admire Electronic Intifada - see The Electronic Intifada - Electronic Intifada was set up in 2001 by Ali Abunimah.  Abunimah has written for various Western papers including the New York Times, the LA Times and the Guardian.  He's also the author of a book advocating the 'one-state solution' to the Israel/Palestine conflict.  EI includes blogs, material on media coverage of the conflict,on development and human rights, activism and is open to contributions.   EI is a necessary corrective to the bland, ostrich-like and putatively 'objective' coverage of Israel/Palestine mostly available in Ireland.


No comments:

Post a Comment