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 January 2004
Robert McNamara 10, Errol Morris 0
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
My dear friend and late Nation colleague Andrew Kopkind liked to tell how, skiing in Aspen at the height of the Vietnam War, he came round a bend and saw another skier, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, alone near the edge of a precipice. This was d...
Signs of Hope in Guatemala
SIMON HELWEG-LARSEN
Public optimism is usually best held at bay during the early period of a new presidency, as sweet words and empty promises flow quickly to assure and distract the constituency. In the seven days that Oscar Berger has held the Guatemalan presidency, however, h...
State of the Conservative Union
LAURA FLANDERS
The verdict on the 2004 State of the Union seems to be that President George W. Bush, in vigorously defending the policies of his administration, was appealing directly to his base of conservative American voters. But take a look at that conservative base the...
Dead Rover, Dead Rover
DAVE LINDORFF
The most wilfully ignorant and unscientifically minded man to hold the office of President in recent memory and his conniving handlers must be grinding their teeth at the thought that they now have to count on the work of engineers and scientists to r...
The Birdwatcher Menace
SUSAN DAVIS
On the heels of the almanac uproar comes the binoculars uproar, as reported by a friend in Buffalo, New York: "… Yesterday we went for a walk through the new park they’re working on near the Peace Bridge. It wa...
How a Theology of "Free Markets" Destroyed the Party and Brought Calamity the the Nation
RICHARD W. BEHAN
The G.O.P. was once a respectable political party, giving voice to cautious citizens who saw much to protect in the affairs of the nation. The Democratic Party offered a forum for less sanguine citizens to disagree and seek reform, and in the healthy conflict betw...
Water: Public Good or Private Gain?
ARTHUR VERSLUIS
Why is it that Republicans, who once may have been more or less traditional conservatives, now have become the antithesis of traditional conservatism on nearly every issue? Consider water. Michigan, my home state, is blessed with a high water table and is surround...
The Stalin Moment of America’s Nomenklatura
WERTHER
For those Americans planning to inflict the president’s State of the Union Speech [SOTUS] upon their eyes, ears, and cerebra, some historical information and international comparison are in order. Article II, Section 3 of our deceased Constitution prescribes...
From Correction to Retribution
JUSTIN E.H. SMITH
Michel Foucault’s account of the emergence of the modern penal system, Discipline and Pun...
Humility or More Hyperbole?
RAY McGOVERN
Iraqi chickens are coming to roost as President Bush’s advisors attempt to draft a State of the Union Message without the embarrassing flaws of their last try. With last year’s hyperbole — replete with the knee-slapper about Baghdad’s seeki...
A New Strategy to Reverse Labor’s Decline?
LEE SUSTAR
With the AFL-CIO in decline, a group of major labor leaders join together to propose a dramatic reorganization of the unions. Their argument: Without drastic change, organized labor faces a crisis. So they move ahead to set an example. Word goes out that the top A...
Anti-Semitism vs. Anti-Zionism
URI AVNERY
A Hungarian Joke: During the June 1967 war, a Hungarian meets his friend. "Why do you look so happy?" he asks. "I heard that the Israelis shot down six Soviet-made MiGs today," his friend replies. The next day, the friend looks even more...
Media Collusion in Colombia’s War
PHILLIP CRYAN
After a prominent member of Colombia’s largest guerrilla group was captured January 2 in Ecuador, most Colombian and international news outlets were so giddy at the news that they gave their fact checkers vacations. For days after the arrest–which lock...
Vietnam and Iraq
SAUL LANDAU
American leaders don’t easily learn lessons from the past. Before choosing war in Iraq, the Bush leadership might profitably have consulted former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara 1995 memoir, In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam or seen Fog...
The Use and Abuse of Martin Luther King Jr. by Israel’s Apologists
FADI KIBLAWI And WILL YOUMANS
In formal logic, Argumentum Ad Verecundiam refers to arguing a point with an appeal to authority. This type is categorized as a logical fallacy. Citing one seemingly authoritative source is simply not conclusive evidence, even if the authority is seen as an expert...
Food Poisoning as Background Noise
RICHARD MANNING
A friend of mine was uncharacteristically cheery during the holidays, an anomaly he finally explained: "I made a bunch of money shorting Wendy’s." He’s a day trader. Translated, his explanation means he cashed in by betting the panic f...
How to Destroy Democracy
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The name of the celebrated crackdown on Iraqi guerrillas and civilians by US occupation forces is Operation Iron Hammer. One wonders what boneheads conceived it, because it has been a disaster that is destroying the final attempts by some intelligent Americans to ...
The Clash of Absurdities
JOE QUANDT
She hesitates at the doorway of the cafe, suddenly conscious of the thing’s weight. Trained to appear casual, she sits down at a table in the center of the room. The waiter takes her order; she is hardly aware of speaking to him. She tries not to look at the...
Population International on Violent Conflict
JOSHUA MULDAVIN And JOSEPH NEVINS
In his alarmist, best-selling book, The Population Bomb (originally published in 1968), Paul Erlich predicted global disaster on account of overpopulation and mounting consumption. Increasing violent conflict would be one of the deadly results. The likelihood of w...
A Review of Revolution in the Air
RON JACOBS
I can remember the moment as if it were yesterday. I was at a 1973 Impeach Nixon rally in NYC when some rather loud young people marched into the park where the rally was being held. I took a leaflet proffered by one of the folks in the group and looked for their ...
The Collaboration of Robert S. McNamara and Errol Morris on Fog of War
BRUCE JACKSON
"I can’t help but admire Robert McNamara," Errol Morris said recently. "Whether it’s futile, misguided, self-serving, here is a man who devoted himself to trying to mitigate or prevent war, a man who was involved in creating the limited ...
Wrong Treatment in the Wrong Place
MARJORIE COHN
Anyone who has traveled to Cuba or listened to mariachis sing in myriad Latin restaurants is familiar with the lovely song, Guantanamera–the little girl from Guantanamo. Based on a poem by Jose Marti, the father of Cuban independence, the song is narrated by...
Frum & Perle: Apologists for Pre-emption
RICHARD FORNO
Those unfamiliar with foreign policy and national security studies may interpret "An End To Evil" for what it claims to be: namely, a "manual for victory" [against all of America's enemies.] Those familiar with foreign policy, current and histo...
Arnold and Bush’s Numbers Don’t Add Up
CAROL NORRIS
Arnold Schwarzenegger, recently announcing his state budget proposal, has his hands where they shouldn’t be yet again–non-consensually groping the coffers of programs that assist many of our most vulnerable. But, enough of that. Schwarzenegger h...
Rupert Murdoch and My Sister
RICHARD EDMONDSON
How powerful and controlling is the propaganda that rains upon the American people? Do even the words of a loved one make a difference when they conflict with a perceived reality that has been constructed by Fox News and the rest of the big media? I recent...