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I don't read the Nation regularly, but from what I gather Cockburn is the incarnation of every right-winger's fantasy of a blame-America-first left-winger. He and Alterman also have a running feud, I believe. Markos Zuniga, contrary to brooksian histrionics, is fairly conservative as Democrats go. His upcoming book is entitled, I think, "Libertarian Democrats."

As for 'strong' vs 'weak', Clinton said it a while ago: strong and wrong sells. After 9/11, the majority of Americans wanted to hit somebody back, to feel like we had done something. I think a real leader could have explained to people that a "war on terror" is fought mostly through behind the scenes intelligence and international police work. It's not visually or viscerally satisfying, but it works. But Bush could never explain this, because he doesn't understand it. He doesn't appeal to the lowest common denominator, he is the lowest common denominator. So we got Shock and Awe, and 90(+)% of military personnel in Iraq believing we're they're because of Saddam's role in 9/11. And now, we need someone to explain that we're looking for the least bad solution to the mess Bush created. Not exactly inspiring campaign rhetoric. That's why I'm afraid, as bad as things are, it still has to get worse before it gets better.


I don't always agree with Cockburn, but I've been reading him since his stint in the 1970s and 1980s with "The Village Voice" when it was worth reading, and he's one of the bravest voices and most original thinkers around. He's also one of the wittiest writers on the planet, and when he and James Wolcott did columns in tandem for the Voice, I'd buy it at marked up prices every week in San Francisco just to be sure to read the two of them.

As for Mr. Zuniga and his Kossacks, let's just say I'm feeling very ambivalent about them these days.

The Heretik

War indeed is peace, today more than most.

Kevin Wolf

Count me along with sfmike as a Cockburn fan. He is indeed witty, an unrepentant leftist, and cheerfully skeptical of many "left" or "progressive" positions. He's a good man to have on our side because he takes nothing for granted and worships no sacred cows.

Case in point, this recent column about bloggers - which may be another reason for Kos's comment.

You don't have to agree with Cockburn but it pays to read him.

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