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 June 2009
Iran, Obama and McCain
ROBERT FANTINA
As Iran roils with dissent following the apparent reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the world, or at least certain segments of it, apparently wait for U.S. President Barack Obama to condemn the election, criticize the lack of Iranian news coverage of the a...
Rossellini and the Art of Ambiguity
BEN SONNENBERG
A new and magnificent addition to the Criterion Collection, Roberto Rossellini’s Il Generale...
Sacrificed on the Altar of Neoliberalism
JOHN ROSS
Words are powerless to describe the unspeakable horror that engulfed the working class "Y" colony in the northern Mexican desert city of Hermosillo June 5th when a grubby industrial warehouse that had been rented out as a day care center burst into flames t...
Price of Rice, Price of Power in India
P. SAINATH
Now that we have a Indian cabinet whose assets total close to Rs. 5 billion  (US $1 = 48 rupees) on their own declaration, with Ministers worth over Rs. 75 million each on average, it will be worth watching how they rise to the challenge of identifying with the ...
Are the Iranian Protests Another US Orchestrated "Color Revolution?"
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
A number of commentators have expressed their idealistic belief in the purity of Mousavi, Montazeri, and the westernized youth of Terhan. The CIA destabilization plan, announced two years ago (see below) has somehow not contaminated unfolding events. The claim...
I Become an American
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
We’ll come momentarily to Obama’s discovery that it’s not all fun being president, but first a bulletin on regime-change for co-editor Cockburn. Though the U.S. Constitution  seemingly blocks my path at this time, I have taken the first necessa...
The Electoral Façade
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
It is worth reflecting on one central question regarding Iran: why does the recent election enjoy so much attention in the U.S.?  My research on Iran suggests that Americans’ attention to Iran revolves around two issues.  More superficially, much of t...
Bush Jumps Over Maine, Carter Lands in Gaza
RANNIE AMIRI
“And you know, because I was president it sends a message all around. Go out and get something doing. Just ’cause … old guys can still have fun and still do stuff.” – Former President George H.W. Bush in an interview ...
This Moment’s Bill of Rights
DAVID Ker THOMSON
Freedom from prison, which is the idea (and the practice) that some can murder a little and be put away, while others can murder a lot and be praised and given leadership roles. Freedom from leadership, especially from democracy and its twin, oligarchy, the b...
Protectionism: We’ve Been Here Before
SERGE HALIMI
What makes some countries adopt protectionism? And in what circumstances do they prefer free trade, even during a recession and indeed in periods of deflation? The answer doesn’t depend on the judgment of the experts, even when they are almost unanimous in thei...
From Smash the Church to Going to the Chapel
TOMMI AVICOLLI MECCA
The struggle for queer rights hasn’t been a smooth ride—but as a 19-year-old Italian American in South Philly running around in halter top and platform shoes in 1970, I wouldn’t have expected it to be!  None of us who participated in gay...
Big Nuke’s Radioactive Hoax in Impoverished Ohio
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Job-starved southern Ohioans are being promised a shiny new nuclear plant. But the announcement has come with a cruel reminder, and the scent of a desperate hoax. Using the gargantuan corpse of the shuttered Portsmouth-Piketon uranium enrichment plant as his ...
Obama’s Bix Fix
CARL GINSBURG
The administration’s financial fix-it plan was laid out this week and it was, underwhelming, to say the least. The New York Times dubbed it, "back to business as usual.." not a phrase commonly seen in the paper of record which, by the way, essentially...
What the Left Should be Learning From Iran
AL GIORDANO
It is impressive to some and immensely frustrating to some others that so much of the international left has lined up against the purportedly left-of-center but authoritarian Iranian regime during the historic post-electoral struggle that is underway. English-...
Firebrand: Rod Coronado’s Flame War
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
He was the firestarter, shooter of flaming arrows. He traveled the night-path, unseen, leaving ashes and wreckage in his wake. He was the escape artist, the man of few traces, the Yaqui warrior, who communed with animistic spirits. He was the sinker of ships, liberat...
Canadian Ambassador Honored in Illegal Park
JONATHAN COOK
in Canada Park. Canada’s chief diplomat in Israel has been honoured at an Israeli public park — built on occupied Palestinian land in violation of international law — as one of the donors who helped establish the park on the ruins of three P...
Iranians in the Streets
REZA FIYOUZAT
More than a hundred years ago now, Iranians were as loudly as now present in the streets demanding constitutional governance, freedom from random harassment by the state and a legitimate representational system. In 1906, as a result of that national surge, de...
The Case of Netanyahu and the Curious Incident
URI AVNERY
"You must be celebrating,” the interviewer from a popular radio station told me after Netanyahu’s speech. “After all, he is accepting the plan which you proposed 42 years ago!” (Actually it was 60 years ago, but who is counting?) T...
Am I on Crack When It Comes to Flight 447?
JAMES RIDGEWAY
That’s what one of my readers wants to know. He made this comment in response to my coverage of the Air France 447 disaster, which questions whether the growing use of composite materials in aircraft construction might have played a role in this and other recen...
Obama and the Antiwar Democrats
NORMAN SOLOMON
Days ago, a warning shot from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue landed with a thud on Capitol Hill, near some recent arrivals in the House. The political salvo was carefully aimed and expertly fired. But in the long run it could boomerang. As a close vote neared on a ...
Obama’s Financial Sector Reform Plan
ROBERT WEISSMAN
There are major gaps and shortcomings in the Obama administration’s financial regulatory proposals, formally released today, and the proposals alone leave the financial sector vulnerable to future crisis. Still, it’s nice to be able to say that the propos...
U.S. Cuba Policy
ROBERT SANDELS And NELSON P. VALDES
Eighteen years ago, the Soviet Union fell apart.  Nine years ago, the  People’s Republic of China became a member of the World Trade Organization  (WTO) with President Bill Clinton’s blessing.  However, new realities dawn  slowly ...
The Iranian Elections and the Faith-Based Media
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
The press is up in arms about Iran’s election and the Khamenei regime’s alleged perversion of the democratic process.  I employ the word “alleged” here, in contrast to the dogmatic certainty expressed by American journalists, because char...
These Are Obama’s Wars Now
JOSHUA FRANK
It’s time to toss those Obama t-shirts in the trash. On Monday the Democrat controlled House voted 226-202 to approve a rushed $106 billion dollar war spending bill, guaranteeing more carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan (and lately Pakistan) until September ...
Reformists are Islamists, Too
ALI JAWAD
The ‘Green Revolution’ is underway. Iranians have put aside their greatest fears, and now carry the destiny of the nation in their own hands. We are in 1979 all over again; only that now, it is the ‘mullahs’ who have become the fleeing Shah. T...
Criminalizing Dissent
DAVE LINDORFF
President Barack Obama, referring to the violent attacks on protesters against the controversial election results in Iran’s just-completed presidential election, this week lectured Iran’s government, saying, “Peaceful dissent should never be subject...
Obama’s Gift to Pakistan
LIAQUAT ALI KHAN
A civil war is brewing in Pakistan. Thanks to President Barack Obama, who is shifting the American war from Iraq to “the real enemies” operating from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Cash-strapped Pakistan could not defy Obama persuasion and decided to wage a wa...
Gordon Brown’s War Inquiry
BINOY KAMPMARK
Any inquiry into politically calamitous causes is bound to be better received if done transparently.  The circumstances behind the Iraq War, from lead-up, commencement and execution, has been anything but transparent.  Behind a very thin veil, crimes in int...
Hall of Shame
DAVID SWANSON
The congressional elections of 2006 and 2008 were almost universally understood as shaped by public desire to end the war in Iraq. Last month, when a war supplemental spending bill (another $97 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) was expected to easily pass in ...
Torture: an American Legacy
CARL BOGGS
As Bush-era episodes of torture have became almost daily hand ringing fare for establishment politicians and the media, calls for national soul-searching and reform arrive with a predictable litany of myths and illusions.  Mainstream scrutiny peaked with the Apr...
Torture, Psychology and Sen. Daniel Inouye
Dr. BRYANT WELCH
A seventeen-year-old boy is locked in an interrogation cell in Guantanamo. He breaks down crying and says he wants his family. The interrogator senses the boy is psychologically vulnerable and consults with a psychologist. The psychologist has evaluated the boy prior...
The Pentagon Spigot is Wide Open
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
On Jan. 27, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned Congress, "The spigot of defense funding opened by 9/11 is closing." Right after Gates’ defense budget was released on May 7, the Pentagon’s comptroller, Robert Hale, confirmed to the press:...
Beating and Torturing Children
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. The rights of Palestinian children are routinely violated by Israel’s security forces, according to a new report that says beatings and torture are common. In addition, hundreds of Palestinian minors are prosecuted by Israel each year without a...
How Fox News is Helping to Nationalize the GI Sanctuary Movement
GENE MARX
You just never know how your day is gonna go; like last Monday, at o-dark-thirty, cruising down the interstate, straight into the belly of the beast. And that was just the start. It all started with a weekend call from Fox News, asking if I’d take the l...
The Lebanese Elections
KARIM MAKDISI
Lebanon’s June 7 national election was a box office success. It had it all: shady politicians, foreign intrigue, bribes, beautiful women, meddling religious figures, sectarian agitation, recently exposed spy rings, fundamentalists collaborating with capitalists...
Undermining Mexico
JOHN ROSS
For a great many Mexican nationalists, the United States has traditionally been Public Enemy Numero Uno. Uncle Sam is often depicted as a sort of demon vampire sucking the lifeblood from this distant neighbor’s veins and gobbling up a hundred Mexicans for lunch...
Guarding the Revolution
AFSHIN RATTANSI
The BBC is as good a reverse barometer as most western media outlets when it comes to international news. Its outlets duly characterized a brief, U.S.-orchestrated coup against Hugo Chavez as a return to democracy in Venezuela. After the Labour party rem...
Are You Ready for War with a Demonized Iran?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
How much attention do elections in Japan, India, Argentina, or any other country, get from the U.S. media?  How many Americans and American journalists even know who is in political office in other countries besides England, France, and Germany?  Who can na...
How I Nearly Won the War
MARC LEVY
There must be some kind of way out of here Said the joker to the thief…    — Bob Dylan Christmas 1970: a hot meal in a muddy fox hole, a Red Cross gift of WD 40. Excellent for cleaning my M16. ...
Finding a Stubborn Hope to Live in a Dead Culture
ROBERT JENSEN
For many years I said that we live in a “dying culture,” but I have abandoned that phrase. The dominant culture in the United States — hyper-nationalist ethnocentrism and a predatory corporate capitalism shaped by patriarchy and white s...
An Exit Strategy That Keeps Wars Going
DAVID SWANSON
If George Orwell could see this he’d probably curse himself for not having thought of it. We are apparently about to see wars perpetuated by an exit strategy. How is this possible? Well, the way Congress actually ends wars, the "exit st...
Democracy in Iran
BRIAN M. DOWNING
Iran has a perplexing form of government. There are elections – contested ones with candid debate, as this year’s campaign showed – which allow the public to register its views. On the other hand, candidates can be excluded from the ballot and the p...
Charles Manson and Me
DAVID MACARAY
In 1980 I came up with the innovative (or, if you like, semi-crackpot) idea of doing a series of “oblique interviews” with celebrities.  These would consist of lively Q&A sessions with well-known personalities on topics that fell tot...
A Plague of Snakes
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. Snakes are attacking people and cattle in southern Iraq as the Euphrates and Tigris rivers dry up and the reptiles lose their natural habitat among the reed beds. "People are terrified and are leaving their homes," says Jabar Mustafa,...
Israel’s Angels in America
MERLE LEFKOFF
When I was a very little kid growing up in New York City just after World War II, my mother took me to the Imperial Theater in the heart of Broadway on W. 45th Street to watch a new musical comedy, “Annie Get Your Gun.” Held spellbound by Buffalo Bill int...
A Plague of Snakes
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. Snakes are attacking people and cattle in southern Iraq as the Euphrates and Tigris rivers dry up and the reptiles lose their natural habitat among the reed beds. "People are terrified and are leaving their homes," says Jabar Mustafa,...
Iranian Youth Make History
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
Glued to my computer screen, I watch young Iranians making a theater of defiance through their peaceful protests in the streets of Tehran and other big cities in my country. They are making history. My soul is tormented by the images of young men and women enduring t...
A Whole New Ballgame in Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. There are few American patrols on the streets of Baghdad and soon there will be none. In just over two weeks time on June 30, US military forces will withdraw from Iraqi cities. The occupation which began six years ago is ending. On every side there a...
How Obama is Blowing the Chance for Real Health Care Reform
DAVE LINDORFF
If you want to fix the disaster that is called the American healthcare system, the first thing to do is to clearly point out what its major failings are, and there are two of these. The first is cost.  America is the most expensive or one of the most expe...
Start Your Engines, Drug Reps!
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Adelphi, MD Even as a US District Court prepares 6,000 Seroquel lawsuits for trial, Eli Lilly pays $1.42 billion for illegal Zyrexa marketing and 30 states sue over heisted Medicaid funds for atypical antipsychotics, an FDA advisory panel has recommended appro...