I read on comrade Laleh Khalili's Facebook that Alex Cockburn has died. I started reading him early after I came to the US in 1983. He started at the Village Voice and then moved to the Nation. I used to subscribe to the Nation (when it was not a mere propaganda sheet for the Democratic Party) and would rush to read him and Hitchens (at the time--I am being honest). I felt that they were brave in tackling Israel unlike most American leftists. I then attended a panel in the 1980s when both were featured. I was quite eager to see them in action. I immediately thought that Cockburn is the serious one and felt that Hitchens was a poseur and a non-serious shabbih (show-off). Cockburn was a forceful speaker but in a non-dramatic tone. I later shared a panel with him in San Francisco. I felt he was a bit aloof but always respected him and his courage. I also liked the work of Counterpunch. In 2006, during the Israeli war on Lebanon, Counterpunch published what it said was an interview with Hasan Nasrallah by two Turkish journalists. I read the first part and quickly decided that this was a hoax. I immediately posted on my blog an alert that this interview was a hoax and that these are not the words of Nasrallah. Cockburn was furious at me and wrote an angry response. I then made it clear that I won't go after Cockburn or Counterpunch because I regard them as comrades. I also noted that some on the left need to lighten up. Courage against Israel was rare when I came to the US in 1983, and now it is more rare. The courage of Cockburn is much appreciated.