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 March 2008
The Coming Uncertain War on Iran
RAMZY BAROUD
When Admiral William J "Fox" Fallon was chosen to replace General John Abizaid as chief of US Central Command (CENTCOM) in March 2007, many analysts didn’t shy from reaching a seemingly clear-cut conclusion: the Bush administration was preparing fo...
Art on Trial
MICHAEL DICKINSON
In Kafka’s novel ‘The Trial‘, after months of trial postponement, Joseph ...
Can You Afford to Feed Your Family?
NICOLE COLSON
"These are tough times. The economy shed more than 80,000 jobs in two months. Prices are up at the gas pump and in the supermarket. Housing values are down. Hard-working Americans are concerned." It might not seem obvious, but these words from Geo...
Ben Heine, Master of the Art of Resistance
KATHLYN STONE
Brussels, Belgium artist-activist Ben Heine makes powerful criticism through cartoons and illustrations. His work protesting imperialism and other human rights violations has an international following. The prolific and timely drawings range from dark and tough to...
The Hidden Casualities of America’s "War on Crime"
MARLENE MARTIN
The number of people behind bars in the "land of the free" is grown as large as the combined populations of Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. That’s the shocking fact in a Pew Center on the States report sh...
From DC: Viva the Monroe Doctrine!
SAUL LANDAU
Very few celebrate the anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Most of the world recognizes Bush’s compulsion to mass violence as an act of pre-medieval arrogance and ignorance. Like Vietnam and Korea before it, the Iraq and Afghanistan experiences have sapp...
Money for Nothing
KENNETH COUESBOUC
The harder they come, the harder they fall one and all. – Jimmy Cliff. There are currently two contradictory forecasts for the times to come, deflation and inflation. Are rising commodity prices mere specu...
Merkel in the Knesset
ANIS HAMADEH
If the German chancellor really cared for Israel’s security as she claimed, she would not have been able to hold a speech like the one she presented on March 18 in front of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. Israel is one of the most insecure countries in ...
McCain’s Al Qaeda Scare
JACOB HORNBERGER
During his recent trip to Iraq, Republican presidential candidate John McCain proclaimed, "Well, it’s common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming bac...
Will the Feds Underwrite the Stock Market?
MADIS SENNER
On Sunday night March 16, 2008 the Federal Reserve made a major advance for financial liberalization and deregulation when it opened up the Fed window to investment banks. For the first time securities underwriters could now borrow at the same advantageous rate as...
The Costs of Freedom
MONICA BENDERMAN
Five years of this war, and no end in sight. I received an email from a friend in Iraq. She was asking me to sign a petition and distribute it as widely as possible. Young Iraqi refugee girls were being forced into prostitution in Syria. She was workin...
Human Rights Takes a Beating in Colombia
ADAM ISACSON
This is not the first time that Colombian human rights defenders have received a wave of e-mail threats from people claiming to be re-armed paramilitaries. This time, however, the threats that several individuals and organizations received late last week have come...
Al Nakba of 1948
KHALIL NAKHLEH
I am not really certain when we started labeling what happened to our people and our country, following the establishment of the state of Israel, as "Al- Nakba". But this is not really the important point. What is important, from my perspective as a Pale...
Run Your Car on Coal? Maybe Not
PETER MONTAGUE
As the price of oil rises, coal company executives smell a huge opportunity: they are planning to ramp up a new global industry to turn coal into liquid fuels (diesel, kerosene and jet fuel), plus basic feedstocks for the chemical industry to make plastics, fertil...
The Triple Failing of the Big Private Banks
DAMIEN MILLET And ERIC TOUSSAINT
Since August 2007, US and European banks have constantly made headline news concerning the deep crisis they are going through and its knock-on effect on the neoliberal economic system as a whole. Asset depreciation for these banks currently stands at over 200 bill...
Winding Up Bear
MIKE WHITNEY
One picture tells the whole story. It’s a photo of five grim looking men in gray suits staring ahead blankly like they were in the dock with Saddam awaiting sentencing. Every one of them looks downcast and dejected; shoulders rounded and jaws set. This is wh...
What Do We Owe Iraq?
JOHN ROSS
Lurching down Valencia Street in San Francisco last week, I all but stumbled over a homeless young man squatting against the wall of the now moribund New College. Begging his pardon, I could not help but note that he was leafing through a dog-eared volume scavenge...
Alternative Power
ROBERT WEISSMAN
As part of a national day of action, hundreds of people marched in downtown Washington, D.C. this morning to protest five years of the Iraq war and occupation. They blocked traffic and sought to highlight the Washington institutions that have enabled the long-runn...
Memo to Sex Workers
JILL NAGLE
You can write the story without the names. Prominent White Male gets caught with Extramarital Female-bonus points if she’s profiting from the transaction. Prominent White Male steps down in disgrace, muttering and apologizing all the while. Extramarital Fema...
Apostasy Now!
STELLA DALLAS And JENNIFER MATSUI
In his trenchent dissection of Christopher Hitchens’ conversion from Trotskyite leftist to neoconservative apologist for American imperialism, Norman Finkelstein notes that political apostasy always seems to turn in one direction–to the right, which ha...
Paying the Piper
DAVE LINDORFF
It’s appropriate that on this week of the fifth anniversary of the criminal US invasion of Iraq, we are also seeing several other things: the death toll of American troops in that doomed adventure is rising past 4000, the economy is sliding into a recession ...
Pakistan on Fire
WAJAHAT ALI
Violence and unpredictably court Pakistan like a loyal and persistent stalker–or spurned lover. Over the past year, nearly a thousand Pakistanis have died as a direct result of suicide bombings, roadside blasts and conflicts with militants and extremists ope...
Obama and the Psychic Auto-Shrink-Wrapping Called Race in America
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
A truly good man is not aware of his goodness, And is therefore good. A foolish man tries to be be good, And is therefore not good. A truly good man does nothing, Yet leaves nothing undone. A foolish man is always doing,...
Obama’s Race Speech
DAN La BOTZ
Barack Obama’s speech on race, the greatest speech by a major American political figure in decades, elevates the discussion of race in America to a new level. What makes this speech so powerful is not only what he said, but also what it requires us to ask an...
Heads Monsanto Wins, Tails We Lose
ROBERT WEISSMAN
There have been few experiments as reckless, overhyped and with as little potential upside as the rapid rollout of genetically modified crops. Last month, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a pro-biotech nonp...
Who’ll Stop the Rain?
RON JACOBS
Pretty much everyone but the dead know that the US occupation of Iraq is now entering its sixth year. When one looks for comparable circumstances in recent history, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land of course comes to mind, but so does the US war on Vietn...
War Demands Its Due
ANDREW WIMMER
Anniversaries are a time for storytelling. Each year we are afforded an opportunity to expurgate, embellish, tweak. It is a kind of spring-cleaning for our collective psyche. Some bits of the narrative get swept away, allowing others to come into clearer focus. It...
It’s a Welfare State … If You’re Rich
WALTER BRASCH
Listen to conservative talk show pundits and blowhards. Listen to any of the political candidates who proudly amend their names with the phrase "conservative Republican." One theme resonates in all of the heavy wind-keep the government out of our private...
The Kool-Aid That Kills
JOSHUA FRANK
It could have been the defining moment of the campaign season. But last weekend’s Iraq Winter Solider Hearings were not only ignored by the corporate press, they were also snubbed by the mainstream candidates including alleged antiwar Democrat, Barack Obama....
Confronting America’s Racial Disparities
CYNTHIA McKINNEY
Much has been made around the edges of this campaign about the issue of race. Sadly, nothing has been made of the public policy exigencies that arise because of the urgent racial disparities that continue to exist in our country. Just last week, the United Nations...
In Defense of Reverend Wright
SHERWOOD ROSS
The language used by Reverend Jeremiah Wright to denounce his country is certainly "inflammatory" and has brought him wide vilification. Yet, the words of this otherwise gentle man of peace are nowhere as damnable as the actions of the man of war in the ...
Iraqi Women Resist the Occupation
YIFAT SUSSKIND
Since the US bombing of Afghanistan in 2001, the Bush Administration has resurrected the hackneyed colonial notion that its military intervention is intended to save Muslim women from their oppressive societies. As Laura Bush said, "The fight against terroris...
A War of Lies
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. It has been a war of lies from the start. All governments lie in wartime but American and British propaganda in Iraq over the past five years has been more untruthful than in any conflict since the First World War. The outcome has been an of...
From Pinkville to Iraq
ED RUGGERO
Forty years ago this March 16, American soldiers conducted a helicopter assault against a string of tiny villages alongside the South China Sea. The target area was a haven and staging ground for Viet Cong guerillas who’d been killing Americans with booby tr...
Five Years of War in Iraq
JEFF TAYLOR
This Thursday, March 20, marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Ashley Mefford, a student journalist at Eastern Illinois University, has asked for my thoughts on the impact of the war. What have been some of the impacts since the Iraq inv...
The Hell-Disaster of Iraq
ROBERT FISK
Five years on, and still we have not learnt. With each anniversary, the steps crumble beneath our feet, the stones ever more cracked, the sand ever finer. Five years of catastrophe in Iraq and I think of Churchill, who in the end called Palestine a "hell-disa...
Obama Takes the Race Bait
CHRISTOPHER FONS
Barack Obama made a fine speech yesterday but to paraphrase Bill Clinton on racial matters, he made it because of a "mugging" and he shouldn’t have had to have made it. The entire incident is a text book case of how the political class operates tod...
The Military "Leveraging" of Cultural Knowledge
DAVID PRICE
Wikileaks just released the December 2004 "Army Stryker Brigade Initial Impressions Report on Operations in Mosul, Iraq." This document was produced by the Center for Army Lessons Learned at Ft. Leavenworth, and provides an internal view on the Army̵...
The Economic Crisis, Labor and the Left
DAN LaBOTZ
The world appears to be on the verge of an economic crisis and, if it turns out to be as serious as some think, one that could rival or exceed the great panics of the late nineteenth century and the decade long Great Depression. The crisis began with unscrupulous ...
The Collapse of American Power
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In his famous book, The Collapse of British Power (1972), Correlli Barnett reports that in ...
One of the Most Disastrous Wars Ever Fought
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. The war in Iraq has been one of the most disastrous wars ever fought by Britain. It has been small but we achieved nothing. It will stand with Crimea and the Boer War as conflicts which could have been avoided and were demonstrations of incompetenc...
Monsters
JAMES T. PHILLIPS
I voted for William Clinton in 1992. I did not regard voting for the future president as a stupid act. I didn’t care about how many women Clinton used and abused. I wanted only to help get rid of the evil force then residing in the White House. It was a reac...
Obama in New Orleans
PETER ZINN
Barack Obama supporters are, among other things, a punctual group. They’ve been dismissed as being too young and certainly too idealistic, some would say not unlike the senator himself, but on a recent Thursday morning in an uptown neighborhood of New Orlean...
Where are We Going?
MONICA BENDERMAN
Can you hear me; this one voice of dissent speaking out for freedom, the freedom to be who I am–in peace? Would you listen; as I gave my thoughts on where we have arrived together–knowing that I am not walking in your shoes, but my own–and...
The Killing in Bethlehem
URI AVNERY
WHAT HAPPENED this week is so infuriating, so impertinent, that it stands out even in our familiar landscape of governmental irresponsibility. On the near horizon, a de facto suspension of hostilities was taking shape. The Egyptians had made great efforts t...
Beware an Attack on Iran
MARJORIE COHN
Is the Bush administration ramping up for an attack on Iran? The signs seem to point in that direction. On March 11, Navy Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East, retired early because of differences with Washington on Iran policy. And...
Of National Lies and Racial America
TIM WISE
For most white folks, indignation just doesn’t wear well. Once affected or conjured up, it reminds one of a pudgy man, wearing a tie that may well have fit him when he was fifty pounds lighter, but which now cuts off somewhere above his navel and makes him l...
Afghanistan: A River Running Backward
CONN HALLINAN
When historians look back on the war in Afghanistan, they may well point to last December’s battle for Musa Qala, a scruffy town in the country’s northern Helmand Province, as a turning point. In a war of shadows, remote ambushes, and anonymous roadsid...
Could Wal-Mart Revive the Labor Movement?
DAVID MACARAY
"I may have lots of faults, but being wrong ain’t one of them." –Jimmy Hoffa Referring to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. as a "successful business" is like calling the Pacific Ocean a "large body ...
Saint Patrick’s Day in Fortress America
SHAUN HARKIN
"’Where Liberty is, there is my country.’ So said the enthusiastic 18th century revolutionist. But if he lived nowadays he would have a long search for his country -where Liberty is. The only liberty we know now, outside o...