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Archives from May 2008
Let Us Now Praise Famous Suicides
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
Suicide has gotten a bad rap.  In our culture of endless imbecile optimism, the culture of self-help and medicated despair, we have lost respect for the suicide.  For my part, I have on a few bad nights thought of suicide but never seriously; m...
The Empire and the Fleet
PATRICK IRELAN
The empire is sailing south to inspect the colonies. No one in the north knows what may have happened down there. Agents from the empire have not reported on their efforts to remove Santa Cruz from Bolivia and Zulia from the Bolivarian Republic of Venezu...
Guantánamo Trial Delayed
ANDY WORTHINGTON
For most of 2008, the media’s interest in Guantánamo has focused not on the majority of the 273 prisoners who are still held there without charge or trial and largely unknown to the outside world, but on the 13 who have been plucked from the...
A Trip Inside Google
RALPH NADER
An invitation to visit Google’s headquarters and meet some of the people who made this ten year old giant that is giving Microsoft the nervies has to start with wonder. The “campus” keeps spreading with the growth of Google into more...
With Friends Like These …
URI AVNERY
Lately we are flooded with friends. The Great of the Earth, past and present, come here to flatter us, to fawn on us, to grovel at our feet. "God, save me from my friends, my enemies I can deal with myself!" says an old prayer. They d...
Cuba Will Live
SAUL LANDAU
At a May 2 dinner in Miami hundreds of Cuban exiles, the vast majority of them in the Viagra generation, feted Luis Posada Carriles. This homage to the man suspected of masterminding the bombing of a Cuban commercial airliner that blew up over Barbados i...
Mosul on Lockdown
PATRICK COCKBURN
Mosul. Mosul looks like a city of the dead. American and Iraqi troops have launched an attack aimed at crushing the last bastion of al Qaida in Iraq and in doing so have turned the country’s northern capital into a ghost town. S...
I Get a Horse
ROBERT DAY
"The schoolteacher who writes about us says he’s going to get a horse to ride to town," says Mencken. "What for?" asks Ed Earl. "Groceries. Brown’s Hardware. Potted flowers like he puts out in spring....
The Metamorphosis of the Conservative Movement
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
UC Berkeley tenured law professor John Yoo epitomizes the failure of the conservative movement in America. Known as “the torture professor,” Yoo penned the Department of Justice (sic) memos that gave a blank check to sadistic Americans to tor...
The Warriors Who Turned to Peace
JOHN MOHAWK
Before the formation of the confederacy now called the Iroquois or, more traditionally, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, there were no states. In the prehistoric Northeast woodlands, inter?necine warfare and blood feuds were going on everywhere. The people...
The Central Problem Pakistan Needs to Tackle
B.R. GOWANI
Ayesha Siddiqa, author of “Military Inc.,” termed the Pakistani elections held in February of this year as the third fair and free election. (The 1970 and the 1988 elections are the other two.) The new, but temporary, Prime Minister, Yousuf R...
If Not Now, When?
Dr. TRUDY BOND
Dr. Stephen Behnke Director of Ethics American Psychological Association Dear Dr. Behnke: In your letter as Ethics Director for the American Psychological Association dated May 15, 2008 to the ACLU, you wrote: "APA will ...
When Free Speech Doesn’t Come for Free
REMI KANAZI
Free speech is not without consequence. In the United States, for example, criticism of Israel is tantamount to heresy. Former US President Jimmy Carter felt a societal backlash last year after the release of his book, ...
Brotherly Love in Philly’s Badlands
BRIAN McKENNA
On May 5th a Fox29 helicopter news video crew came upon a graphic display of Philadelphia police brutality. More than 12 white Philadelphia policemen were filmed dragging three African American men from their car where they brutally kicked, punched and s...
Whose War?
CINDY SHEEHAN
"I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell." ...
Fear at the Pump
DAVE LINDORFF
Americans are in a panic over rising gas and heating oil prices, and with reason. For months, the price of a barrel of crude oil has been rising steadily, hitting a record $127 yesterday. Analysts keep getting trotted out on TV and in print, attributing the d...
In the Wake of the Doha Truce
KARIM MAKDISI
Beirut. After the rout of pro-US March 14 militias at the hands of the Hizbullah-led opposition forces in Beirut and Shouf mountains last week, a Qatari-led Arab League delegation sent to Beirut on 14 May succeeded in brokering a truc...
The Demise of Mexico’s PRD
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. Mexico’s most prominent left party, the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), now the nation’s second political force born 19 years ago in a blaze of gunfire that took the lives of more than 500 sympathizers, commited...
Refugees are the Key
SAM BAHOUR
“[When David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel's independence it] was the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David: a homeland for the chosen people Eretz Yisrael.” “You have welcomed immigrants from the fo...
My Last Flight
PAUL QUINNETT
The commercial airlines may not be trying to kill me, but I need convincing. You see, I’m a 68-year-old grandpa with high blood pressure and zero patience. One more flight delay could kill me. As impractical as it seems, I would just like to get wh...
Puritans in Seattle
DAVID YEARSLEY
Last weekend on the digital pages of CounterPunch your humble Musical Patriot waded into the tepid waters of Burt Bacharach criticism, unaware that the beach behind him was as thickly peopled as the Côte d’Azur in sweltering August.  I never suspecte...
Inside the Fractured Landscape of Male Adolescence
KIM NICOLINI
Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park certainly isn’t the first movie that has used a dead body or act of violence as a narrative device to depict coming of age and the violence of adolescence crossing the line to adulthood (think River’s Edge and Stand By Me). What makes th...
Riot Squads, Privatization and the National Front
RON JACOBS
In 1984, the Thatcher regime and the British National Coal Board annulled an agreement reached after the 1974 British miners’ strike.  The Board told the British public that they intended to close 20 coal mines and privatize the previously nationalized ind...
The Double-Talk Express Derails
ROBERT FANTINA
Arizona Senator and apparent Republican presidential nominee John McCain has been riding his so-called ‘Straight Talk Express’ for some time now, carting his frail, aging carcass about the countryside as he smilingly promises Americans four m...
Only Ireland Can Vote on EU’s Future
HARRY BROWNE
Dublin. How Europe’s political elite must curse the memory of Raymond Crotty. It was as a result of a legal case taken by the veteran economist and activist that the Irish Supreme Court decided in 1987 new Europe...
Testosterone is Not to Blame
TIM WISE
Hillary Clinton is finished, and contrary to the insistence of many of her supporters, sexism has had virtually nothing to do with it. Gloria Steinem was wrong in her now infamous New York Times op-ed a few months back. Clinton’s problem was not...
Pharmaceutical Payola
ROBERT WEISSMAN
Last week, a Congressional committee properly raked Big Pharma over the coals for misleading advertising of pharmaceuticals. A hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight subcommittee focused on advertising campaigns for three...
The Power to Name
LARAY POLK
“Fortunately for Bush, who was later elected a United States senator, his name never surfaced in the news when his Union Banking shares were seized by the U.S. government. The only media reference related to the seizure was a brief 1944 item in the ...
Betrayals, Backsliding and Boycotts
ANDY WORTHINGTON
Anyone who has kept half an eye on the proceedings at the Military Commissions in Guantánamo — the unique system of trials for “terror suspects” that was conceived in the wake of the 9/11 attacks by Vice President Dick Cheney and...
The View from the Crusaders’ Castle
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Krak des Chevaliers, Syria Thirty years ago, when the state of Israel had traveled only half its present journey through time since 1948, I interviewed General Matti Peled in New York. As an army general Peled had been a notably tough...
The Groom May Kiss the Groom
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
Weddings bells are ringing! The bride may kiss the bride, the groom may kiss the groom, and everybody can get hitched! I’d like to propose a toast to all the happy couples and to the wise and powerful California Supreme Court which just ruled that same-sex part...
John Cusack’s War
JEREMY SCAHILL
Back in 1989, in his smash hit “Say Anything,” John Cusack famouslystood with a boom box above his head outside the home of the woman heloved blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” With his latest films on the Iraq war,Cusack is st...
Booked Up
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
  Ain’t My America. By Bill Kauffman. Metr...
Poverty Wages
KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR
For Marxists , antiracism is central to any political project aimed at transforming U.S. society. This perspective is premised on three things. The first is that racism is morally repugnant and destroys and devastates those who are victimized by it. Second, if social...
Involuntary Drugging of Detainees
STEPHEN SOLDZ
In Soviet Russia, psychiatrists sometimes collaborated with the repressive regime by locking up dissidents in mental hospitals and injecting them with powerful psychotropic drugs, "antipsychotics" designed to treat schizophrenia. The Soviet psy...
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Pharmacy
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Health insurance companies are constantly looking for new ways to make money. Two of the major impediments to their quest are sick people and the drugs they need.   Clever, as a good corporation should be, they have figured out how to overcome ...
Paramilitary Police Attack Al-Nakba March
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. It has been a week of adulation from world leaders, ostentatious displays of military prowess, and street parties. Heads of state have rubbed shoulders with celebrities to pay homage to the Jewish state on its 60th birthday,...
The Price of Protecting Racist Cops
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
What is the price of protecting racism in a police department? For the City of Philadelphia, a federal jury recently set the price tag for protecting racist police at $10-million dollars. This record setting jury award for a civil rights lawsui...
Lies of Aggression
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
On May 15, the White House Moron, in a war-planning visit to Israel, justified the naked aggression he and Olmert are planning against Iran as the only alternative to “the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by histo...
Olympic Torch China
JAMES L. SECOR
Shaoxing. On Saturday, 17 May, the Olympic torch will pass through Shaoxing. What is more important is that it will pass through Shaoxing wenli xueyuan (Shaoxing College of Arts & Science). This is the only university so honored b...
Did Hezbollah Thwart a Bush/Olmert Attack on Beirut?
FRANKLIN LAMB
This week Israel’s Military Intelligence Chief, Major General Amos Yadlin complained to the Israeli daily Haaretz that "Hezbollah proved that it was the strongest power in Lebanon… stronger than the Lebanese and it had wanted to take the...
What West Virginia Means
DAVE LINDORFF
Before the West Virginia primary vote on Tuesday, it was a foregone conclusion that Hillary Clinton would sweep the state, perhaps by over 70 percent. In the event, she came close to that, with 68 percent of the vote. Now that the vote has happened, Clin...
We Should Not Celebrate Dispossession
EVE SPANGLER
This month, Israel is celebrating its 60th anniversary. American Jews will be invited to join in those celebrations. But, in refusing to recognize that its national existence rests on the expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland, I...
Big Brother Close Up
STAN COX
I’d never had to show my driver’s license to speak at a conference before, but not being the type to seek out trouble — especially at this conference — I obediently handed the card over to the woman at the registration desk. ...
Go to Work, Go to Jail
RON JACOBS
Recently, more than 100 workers in Pascagoula, Mississippi walked off the job at a Mississippi shipyard last week to protest conditions similar to slavery.  The workers were protesting the conditions they have been living and working in since being ...
Living for the Children of Palestine
GREG MOSES
On the way to the St. James Episcopal Church of Austin Texas, the bus is happy to drop you into knee-high grasses and wildflowers along East Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, treating you to an unexpected nature walk.  Yellow, white, purple, and br...
Indian Jailbirds
BINOY KAMPMARK
A year on and Dr. Binayak Sen is still being detained in a Chhattisgarh prison. Sen is a public health specialist and national Vice President of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties.  In April this year, he was conferred the Jonathan Mann Aw...
Rethinking Israel After 60 Years
JEFF HALPER
Israeli Independence Day 2008, marking the sixtieth anniversary of the rise of the Jewish State, should be cause for sober reflection and reevaluation as well as celebration. Indeed, we Israeli Jews have much to celebrate. But something, it appears, is a...
Why Mexican Justice is a Euphemism
JOHN ROSS
Even in the best of times, Mexican justice is a euphemism – and these are not the best of times.  With 90% of all crimes unprosecuted or unreported, conviction rates are below 10% and too often those who are convicted are innocent victims them...
Meat Wars with South Korea
MARTHA ROSENBERG
"We Don’t Like The FDA," chant ten thousand demonstrators in candlelight vigils, some dressed as cows. "Mad Cow, You Eat It!" "Send Mad Cow To The Presidential Office!" A scene from the National Ma...