Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave┬áMacaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
Archives from December 2001
Civilian Casualties: Theirs and Ours
William Blum
The question is now upon us. Who killed more innocent, defenseless people? The terrorists in the United States on September 11 with their crashing airplanes? Or the American government in Afghanistan the past ten weeks with their AGM-86D cruise missiles, th...
Killing Other People’s Children
Lawrence McGuire
The deep craters and pieces of shrapnel indicate that America’s weapon of choice in Kabul was the Mark 82 500lb bomb, which is designed to be guided to its target by the pilot, a nearby observation plane or a spotter on the ground. But there was...
Who Opposes the War?
C.G. Estabrook
When we look back at the great state crimes of the last century — German militarism, Soviet authoritarianism, American imperialism — we comfort ourselves by descrying in each case dissident movements that bore the stifled conscience of humanity. But in...
Arabs Viewed as Dangerous By Definition?
Amira Howeidy Al-Ahram
It is no longer surprising, nor is it ironic. In the US, many observers, rights activists and civil liberties groups are failing even to wonder at the glaring paradoxes of America ‘s readiness to shatter away its once established ...
Afghan Refugees: 1983-2001
Judith Mann
These photographs of Afghan refugees were taken in the Katchagiri Refugee Camp, Peshawar, Pakistan in 1983. Eighteen years later, the two million Afghans left in dusty, sprawling camps in Pakistan after the Soviet war, are joined by new refugees fleeing the...
Bush the Unilateralist
John Isaacs
In time for the Christmas holidays, President Bush has presented a lump of coal to the American people: the first withdrawal from a major arms control agreement since World War II. President Bush is doing his best impression of Scrooge, telling the rest of...
Naguib Mahfouz and the Cruelty of Memory
Edward Said
Before he won the Nobel Prize in 1988, Naguib Mahfouz was known outside the Arab world to students of Arab or Middle Eastern studies largely as the author of picturesque stories about lower-middle-class Cairo life. In 1980 I tried to interest a New York publisher,...
Zinni’s Doomed Mideast Mission
Sam Bahour And Michael Dahan
U.S. envoy to the Middle East, retired marine general Anthony Zinni’s announcement of his decision to end his cease-fire mission following his meeting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon adds yet another blunder to the numerous failed attempts throughout his...
Zinni’s Doomed Mideast Mission
Sam Bahour And Michael Dahan
U.S. envoy to the Middle East, retired marine general Anthony Zinni’s announcement of his decision to end his cease-fire mission following his meeting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon adds yet another blunder to the numerous failed attempts throughout his...
The Execution of Osama bin Laden
Dana Cook
Osama Bin Laden is finally captured alive and is brought to America for justice. He is found guilty by a military tribunal and the sentence is death, by hanging. There are cameras in the “courtroom” and CNN’s audience ratings triple that of the O...
Osama Gump?
Yusuf Agha
After days of anticipation, television viewers the world over witnessed the grand premiere of the mystery tape in which, according to British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, “bin Laden confirms his guilt” and consequently “totally vindicates the ac...
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Don Atapattu
Professor Norman Finkelstein is one of a dying breed of American mavericks that relentlessly defies any attempt at easy categorization. He is the son of Holocaust survivors but an unremitting critic of Holocaust reparation claims; a Jew but is a life-long anti Zio...
Ashcroft’s Jihad
Laura W. Murphy
In a blatant attempt to stifle growing criticism of recent government policy, Attorney General Ashcroft delivered testimony last week equating legitimate political dissent with something unpatriotic and un-American. We urge the Attorney General to learn from the h...
Afghanistan and Zaire
Dr. A. Tajudeen
Human beings can get used to anything: pain or pleasure. And in this day and age of globalized media culture fed by saturation coverage and repetitive drudgery our attention span has become even shorter. It is not just interest that dwindles but even our understan...
Prohibit Prohibition
Michael Williams
Throughout the 20th century, the United States government has waged a war against a freedom of choice, disguised as protection of the collective good. Through this seemingly altruistic goal, the US government successfully created powers beyond that which the Unite...
The Nonsense Mantras of Our Times
Ilija Trojanow And Ranjit Hoskote
What’s the world like? A flock of sheep. One falls into the ditch, the rest jump in. Kabir (Sakhi: 240, The Bijak of Kabir, trans. Linda Hess and Shukdev Singh) On TV screens across the globe, for more than two months now, the sheep have been...
Hitchens and Walker, the Betray Brothers?
Jack McCarthy
When an unshaven, unkempt, hung-over Christopher Hitchens stumbled in front of the TV cameras to issue his Orwellian, convoluted excuse for betraying the confidence of his “friend” and “Jewish cousin.” Sidney Blumenthal, to the congressiona...
Race and Visibility:
M. Shahid Alam
When I crossed the border into United States in 1988, after living in Canada for two years, I had the curious feeling that my wife, my son and I, still brown-skinned and dark-haired, had somehow become invisible. We walked the streets of Hamilton, a small u...
University of Wisconsin Will Not Aid in Interviews
Joshua Orton
Citing a lack of specific criminal information, UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley announced in a written statement Thursday that UW Police will not assist the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the questioning of international students. “University offic...
Cleansing the National Soul
Philip A. Farruggio
Our nation just memorialized the 60th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. It was the spark that lit the explosion called “the good war”. Conspicuously absent from most history books are some startling facts: American investments in Nazi Germany at the ...
Iraqi Sanction’s Gruesome Toll
Andy Kershaw
I thought I had a strong stomach–toughened by the minefields and foul frontline hospitals of Angola, by the handiwork of the death squads in Haiti and by the wholesale butchery of Rwanda. But I nearly lost my breakfast last week at the Basrah Maternity and C...
My Beating is a Symbol of this Filthy War
Robert Fisk In Kila Abdullah After Afghan Border Ordeal The Independent
They started by shaking hands. We said “Salaam aleikum” — peace be upon you — then the first pebbles flew past my face. A small boy tried to grab my bag. Then another. Then someone punched me in the back. Then young men broke my glasses, began smas...
Death Penalty and Race
Robert Dunham
For years, study after study has established a disturbing link between race and the death penalty. The concerns about racial discrimination in the administration of the death penalty persist in virtually every jurisdiction in which death remains a legal fo...
The CIA Wanted Me Killed
Jo Dillon The Independent
Yvonne Ridley, the British journalist captured by the Taliban, this week makes the extraordinary claim that Western intelligence agencies tried to get her killed to bolster public support for the air strikes on Afghanistan. In her new book, In The Hands of the Tali...
Framing Chomsky
John Touchie
A recent criticism of Noam Chomsky by Jeffrey Isaac in the American Prospect offers up an use...