Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
ANATOMY OF TORTURE — Historian Christopher Dietrich on the 100-year-long history of American torture; Jeffrey St. Clair on the implications of giving impunity to the┬áCIA’s torturers; Chris Floyd on how the US has exported torture to its client states around the world. David Macaray on the Paradoxes of Police Unions; Louis Proyect on Slave Rebellions in the Open Seas; Paul Krassner on the Perils of Political Cartooning; Martha Rosenberg on the dangers of Livestock Shot-up with Antibiotics; and Lee Ballinger on Elvis, Race and the Poor South. Plus: Mike Whitney on Greece and the Eurozone and JoAnn Wypijewski on Media Lies that Killed.
Archives from October 2001
Sex Not Bombs
Dr. Susan Block
It’s been a month since America was attacked, and though most of the ashes have gone to dust, for the most part, the terror has not. If anything, it has increased and multiplied into a complex network of fears, phobias, anxieties, questions. Who did this to ...
War Without Frontiers
Steve Perry
We’re promised a new kind of war, but the first blows struck at Afghanistan last week had a decidedly familiar ring. The spectacle was wholly reminiscent of the Gulf War in its air strikes, levied without American casualties and accompanied by carefully chos...
The Battle for Mazar-i-Sharif Gets Nasty
Patrick Cockburn
Fighting raged around Mazar-i-Sharif when the Afghan opposition advanced on the strategic northern city for the first time, aided by American bombers pounding Taliban frontline positions. If the city falls, then the Taliban position to the north of the country, whe...
US Planes Pound Taliban Troops
Patrick Cockburn
The son of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the leader of the Taliban, has been killed by an American air strike. An Afghan doctor said yesterday that he had struggled in vain to save the life of the boy, aged 10, after the child was injured during the first night of strikes ...
New Anti-Terrorism Law Poses Old Risks
Peter Swire
The Uniting and Strengthening America Act of 2001, expected to be signed by President Bush this week, will give our government important new surveillance powers to fight terrorism. Unfortunately, the USA Act does not make sure that these expanded powers won...
War American Style
John Pilger
The Anglo-American attack on Afghanistan crosses new boundaries. It means that America’s economic wars are now backed by the perpetual threat of military attack on any country, without legal pretence. It is also the first to endanger populations at home. The...
The Battle of Mazar-i-Sharif
Patrick Cockburn In Panjshir Valley The Independent
The military forces of Afghanistan’s opposition Northern Alliance have advanced close to the key strategic city of Mazar-i-Sharif, an opposition official said yesterday. An offensive led by General Rashid Dostum, an Uzbek warlord who once ruled the city, had ...
Criminal Bombing
Carl Estabrook
The Bush administration has answered the crimes of September 11 with crimes of its own, potentially greater in scale. Launching a war on Afghanistan and killing poor people whom we do not know, because people we do know have been killed, is not only cowardly and v...
Northern Alliance Attacks US War Plan
Patrick Cockburn In Jabal Saraj The Independent
Opposition forces in Afghanistan criticised the US air strikes for not bombing the Taliban frontline where most of the ruling movement’s soldiers are now dug in after leaving the cities. The complaint came amid reports that opposition fighters have suffered a...
A Non-Western Voice on the War
Irina Malenko
“Non-Westerners of the world, unite!” Since the 11th of September events in America the media are full of condemnation and condolences. What I had hoped them to be full of, was the simple question: “Why?” Because without asking this questio...
US Bombs Northern Alliance
Patrick Cockburn In Bagram The Independent
The first American air raids on the Taliban front line north of Kabul missed their targets and dropped bombs close to the positions of their anti-Taliban allies at Bagram airport. “The bombs were not on target,” said Elyas, a diminutive soldier fighting...
The Roots of Conflict
Umberto Eco
All the religious wars that have caused blood to be shed for centuries arise from passionate feelings and facile counter-positions, such as Us and Them, good and bad, white and black. If western culture is shown to be rich it is because, even before the Enlightenm...
US Planes Pound Taliban Troops
Patrick Cockburn In Panjshir Valley The Independent
Taliban troop concentrations in northern Afghanistan became a target of American air strikes for the first time yesterday in what appeared to signal a shift in strategy towards the Northern Alliance. Washington and London continued to insist the Alliance would not ...
The Phoney War Will Get Real Very Soon
Patrick Cockburn In Panjshir Valley The Independent
American warplanes pounded Kabul, the Afghan capital, and a military base in the eastern city of Jalalabad yesterday as the air war against the Taliban and Osama bin Laden entered its second week. But the soldiers who mill about in the villages behind the oppositio...
War on America:
Molly Secours
It’s getting more and more difficult these days for Americans to differentiate between reality and fantasy. It’s no surprise really. In the midst of successful shows like “Survivor” and “Big Brother”, the events of September 11t...
Letters to Editors
Carl Estabrook
What follows are a series of letters I sent to my local, remarkably rightwing, paper in Champaign/Urbana. [01.09.29] One of the worst lies offered by pundits and professors since the atrocities of September 11 is the insistence that any attempt to un...
War is only a secondary concern in a village that keeps being invaded
Patrick Cockburn
It is a strange battlefield. The front line cuts across the green Shomali plain, one of the most fertile parts of Afghanistan, its fields fed by the rivers flowing out of the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains. Here, amid the close-packed mud-brick villages, hom...
Clash of Civilizations? Think Again
Marwan Bishara
As the war begins in Afghanistan, you can expect straight talk from Republicans. And they are telling you: Islam is not America’s enemy. While targeting Taliban regime with missiles, the Bush administration is showering the principal Islamic powers surroundi...
They Should Be Tried in Court
Imran Khan
Everyone heaved a sigh of relief when there was restraint shown by the US and George Bush acknowledged that this is a “different type of war”. And then the US embarked on a conventional war by bombing Afghanistan. By doing so it may have played...
Can War Save the Economy?
Alexander Cockburn
No, the new war on terror isn’t going to be of much use in combating the present plunge in America’s economic well being. Well before the Twin Towers fell to earth the country was entering a fierce decline, and it is assuredly going to get worse. The f...
War in a Passive Voice
Vijay Prashad
The bombing has begun. Kabul is being bombed. So say the television anchors and the newspapers – all in passive voice, all with an air of inevitability. I can hear whispers from my neighbors: finally, it is here, and I hope it goes away soon. We don&#...
Former US Ambassador to Iraq Calls US War Plan “Dumb”
CNN CROSSFIRE
America Strikes Back: Should the U.S. Target Iraq? Aired October 8, 2001 – 19:30 ET Guests, the former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Edward Peck, and retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Maginnis. BILL PRESS: AmbassadorWe know Osama bin Laden...
Earth Is Our Homeland
Tom Turnipseed
Continuous television news hypes the “War on Terrorism” like it’s a big ball game we can win if we can only destroy enough of “the enemy” and their “targets” as we unleash our sophisticated, hi-tech, destroy-and-kill milit...
Alliance Calls for Bombing of Taliban Troops
Patrick Cockburn In The Panjshir Valley The Independent
In the front line at Bagram airport north of Kabul, General Babajan, a veteran opposition commander, is laying plans for the capture of the Taliban positions overlooking the runway as soon as they have been softened up by US bombers. General Babajan, a confident, ...
Return to Normal, You Say?
John Troyer
While I was thinking about a column topic for today, a friend of mine suggested I write about something, anything other than the events related to Sept. 11. People are tired of hearing about it, she said; write something funny. My friend’s comments re...
The Empire Strikes Back
Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair
As he gave an official debut to the bombing of Afghanistan (entirely illegal under international law and the UN charter) with high explosive and food packages (a day’s worth of food for 37,000 was dropped on a land of 20 million people, some 7 million of who...
Alternatives to War
Tariq Ali
Over the past decade or so, every war fought by the West (in the Gulf, the Balkans and now South Asia) has been accompanied by a well-orchestrated propaganda campaign. Politics is conducted and presented in the style of intelligence agencies: disinformation, exagg...
The Dumbest Weapon of War
Simon Jenkins The Times Of London
The faces of Britain’s rulers on Monday night said it all. They had lost the argument. Sitting in Parliament they looked haggard and wretched. Tony Blair thumped on yet again about Osama bin Laden being a fiend and a monster. Everyone chanted that bombing should be ...
The Pakistan Maelstrom
Tariq Ali
For the last three weeks Pakistan’s military rulers have been trying to convince the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden and avoid the catastrophe being prepared. They failed. Since Osama is the son-in-law of Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, t...
Northern Alliance Says Attacks Seriously Weakened the Taliban
Patrick Cockburn In The Panjshir Valley The Independent
The anti-aircraft guns and radar systems of the Taliban were largely destroyed during the first night of the US and British air assault, according to spies working for the Afghan opposition forces. Osama bin Laden’s headquarters were completely destroyed in t...
The Real Enemy is Ignorance
Moji Agha
Hostile actions against the Taliban’s “sacred” terror are unfolding. I dedicate these words of reflection to true patriotism, to true peace. I pray to sacredness that all hostile actions on our tiny globe bring about conditions that preven...
A Flood of Refugees
Patrick Cockburn In The Panjshir Valley The Independent
Northern Afghanistan is now on the verge of all-out conflict, prompting people across the country to prepare to flee their homes and increasing the likelihood of an overwhelming humanitarian crisis. The reason for the mass flight is less the American and British ai...
Marginalization and Terror
Zha
Am I angry when 50- and 60-year-old congressional legislators say in television interviews say that the anti-war protests of 20-something university students are invalid because those students lack the perspective of living through the Vietnam war? Yes I am...
This War is Illegal
Michael Mandel
A well-kept secret about the U.S.-U.K. attack on Afghanistan is that it is clearly illegal. It violates international law and the express words of the United Nations Charter. Despite repeated reference to the right of self-defence under Article 51, the Char...
Colin Powell on Afghanistan and ClausewitzBrenner
Lenni Brenner
Below are references to Afghanistan in Colin Powell’s (with Joseph Persico), autobiography, ...
First Strike
Steve Perry
Sunday’s first round of attacks against Afghanistan was followed by the obligatory wave of backslapping and press spin. Officials from the U.S. and U.K. proclaimed major blows to the Taliban’s offensive and defensive capabilities and insisted the air r...
West Is As West Does
Hani Shukrallah
“[A] war has been declared upon Western societies. It is mistaken to view the events of 11 September solely as a war on America. It was an act of war in America, on the West,” writes Anne McElvoy in the Independent. The statement/theme, or variations ...
What Is To Be Done?
Steve Perry
Don’t let the heady poll numbers in support of Bush and his war mandate fool you. There are plenty of Americans who nurture a healthy suspicion regarding the motives of U.S. foreign policy and the wisdom of waging endless war on untold fronts, a suspicion br...
Flashes and Plumes of Fire
Patrick Cockburn
From a hilltop 40 miles north of Kabul, across a clear night sky illuminated by a half a silver moon, I saw flashes on the skyline last night as the Allied air strikes began. Under a canopy of stars, plumes of fire were visible across the flat, heavily populated Sh...
The Northern Alliance’s Airport
Patrick Cockburn
Deep inside Afghan territory, the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance is secretly building an airbase at breakneck speed, which the US-led coalition will then use to funnel massive amounts of military supplies to the one force that is already taking the war to Osama bin Laden&...
Questions and Answers About War in Afghanistan
Tariq Ali
1. How can one analyse the evolution of Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion and the victory of the Taliban? The PDPA (—the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan—-Afghan Communist Party) which had a strong base in the army and air force carri...
Hitchens’ Slurs
John Pilger Http://www.johnpilger.com
The Guardian in London has apologized to playwright Harold Pinter and myself for smears by Christopher Hitchens, the Washington-based commentator. Hitchens wrote in the Guardian on September 26 that Pinter and I supported “that renowned Muslim-hater Slobodan ...
US War Aims
Vijay Prashad
The US State Department-Pentagon has a bad record on war aims. During the lead-up to the Gulf War, the Bush administration, Part 1, argued that the US was needed to liberate Kuwait. The invasion of a state of 2.2 million people, in which only 28% earned the right ...
Taliban Cluster Bombs
Patrick Cockburn In Panjshir Valley The Independent
In what may be the opening shots of the war in Afghanistan, a silver-coloured Taliban jet screeched through the sky and released two cluster bombs. Just missing some mud-brick houses, they exploded in a field, spraying hundreds of steel balls in all directions. The...
Osama Uncensored!
David Vest
Osama bin Laden, in an interview with the Pakistani paper Ummat, claims that the United States has deliberately concealed the true enormity of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. “According to my information,” says bin Laden...
Blair’s Case Against Osama bin Laden
Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair
October 4 , 2001 This is the full text of the document, entitled Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, released by the office of Briti...
Chatting With Chomsky
Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair
The following is a transcript of Noam Chomsky’s October 2 appearance in the MSNBC chatroom hosted by Will Femia. Will Femia: Ok....
Dylan and 9/11
David Vest
Let’s say you woke up on Sept. 11 and saw the World Trade Towers collapse on television. Later that morning, numbed and confused, you tried to get back to normal life so you went out and bought Love and Theft, the new Bob Dylan album. You didn’t feel ...
Where the Grapes of Wrath Are Stored
Dave Marsh
The government’s choice of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” to close the National Prayer Service, the first Friday after the WTC attack, shocked me. I was more shocked when it closed the peace-mongers’ mass we attended that Sunday. ...
A Suspect’s Perspective
Babak Nahid
As the Bush Administration promises to provide Americans with a sense of security as well as an overt and covert series of military spectaculars in answer to this week’s appalling terrorist attacks, we should expect our post-Manhattan world to become a polic...