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 November 2009
The Disastrous Presidency of Mahmoud Abbas
RANNIE AMIRI
After five long years, and at great expense to a state hoped-to-be-called Palestine, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has finally realized that subservience to the United States and Israel pays little in dividends. Indeed, what he has done to the cause o...
The Purpose is Pork
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Logically, it is a bad investment for a nation to spend enormous sums on an inefficient, non-versatile, rapidly-aging, fragile or defective technology or system that is intended to fill a military need, or operate as an economic aid, or serve as a reliable part of th...
When the Cirque Meets the Beatles
DAVID YEARSLEY
All Together Now, a documentary that is meant to chronicle the creation of the Cirque du Soleil show “Love” based on Beatles songs and still running in Las Vegas, stumbled into Ithaca last week for its premier, about a year after its initial release. ...
NATO’s Chimerical Enemy in Afghanistan
DAVID MODEL
Karl Eikenberry, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, has called for postponing a decision to send more American troops to Afghanistan until the Karzai government proves its worthiness by eliminating corruption at the highest echelons of the government.  U.S. general...
Tourists of the Honduran Counter-Revolution
BELEN FERNANDEZ
Tugucigalpa. A Time magazine article of 24 October entitled “Honduran Tourism: Selling Against a Coup” explains that the post-coup decrease in foreign visitors to Honduras has led the de facto regime of Roberto Micheletti to promote internal touris...
The Afghan War Question
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
Marmaris, Turkey. In the opening lines of the oldest treatise on the conduct of war, Sun Tzu said that the question of war is vital to the state, and therefore, it is imperative to study it. This timeless advice has been been ignored repeatedly by the United ...
A National Peacemaker’s Day
ALLAN J. LICHTMAN
It isn’t enough to talk about peace, one must believe it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it, one must work for it. - Eleanor Roosevelt It is right and proper that our nation sets aside days to honor the ...
Night Vision
AFSHIN RATTANSI
I arrived in Damascus a few hours after the Syrian government helped to end the career of the discredited acting leader of the Palestinian National Authority. Mahmood Abbas had made one of his characteristic misjudgements and sought a deferral of a UN debate on the G...
After Fort Hood
NADIA HIJAB
"Islam is a religion that lives by the sword and it should die by the sword." The person making this declaration was not some wild-eyed neocon or Christian fundamentalist, but an old friend of mine, a thoughtful, widely-read American who tapped not just the...
President Peacenik’s War
DAVE LINDORFF
Word leaked out last weekend that our Nobel Peacenik President is close to announcing plans to escalate the US troop level in the Afghanistan War by 50%, we appear to be about to have perhaps the ultimate of ironies—a president announcing a big step-up in Ameri...
Headline of the Year
JAYNE LYN STAHL
Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, but thanks to their recent headline, the Associated Press may be the first news organization to take first prize for headline of the year. About an hour ago, while munching some leftover chicken, a stunning headline streaked ac...
Maniacal Deregulation
ROBERT WEISSMAN
Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the repeal of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and related legislation. It is an anniversary worth noting for what it teaches us about forestalling financial crises, the consequences of maniacal deregulation, and the o...
Failing the People on Health Care
RALPH NADER
The House of Representatives debate on the health insurance "reform" is over with the Democrats failing the people and the Republicans disgracing themselves as having left their minds back in the third grade (with apologies to third graders). House D...
America’s Dismal Future
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
It did not take the Israel Lobby long to make mincemeat out of the Obama administration’s “no new settlements” position.  Israeli prime minister Netanyahu is bragging about Israel’s latest victory over the US government as Israel continue...
Unbecoming War and Terrorism
MICHAEL ORTIZ HILL
Czeslaw Milosz at ninety — decade by decade keeping faith with poetry through the bloodiest of times, fought the Nazis who killed a tenth of his countrymen; knew the scent of the crematorium, the grip of Stalin, exile, the collapse of the Soviet empire. Time. h...
Oklahoma City, Columbine, Virginia Tech and Fort Hood
SHEPHERD BLISS
Oklahoma City (1995–168 killed), Columbine High (1999–12 killed), Virginia Tech University (2007–32 killed), and now Ft. Hood (13 killed). What do these memorable places have in common? They are each sites where Americans killed Americans in ...
Honduran Regime Reneges on Political Deal
STEPHEN J. LAWRENCE
Despite a political agreement anounced two weeks ago to restore ousted Honduran president Manual Zelaya to power, the military-backed regime of Robert Micheletti apparently has no intention of letting the deposed leader return to office, infomed sources say. &nb...
Iranian Irrationality? Maybe Not
JEFF NYGAARD
The current hysteria about Iranian nuclear weapons has meaning, but the meaning is almost completely obscured by official propaganda.  The best first step in the effort to sort through the propaganda is to consider which countries already have nuclear weapons.&n...
A Small "d" Depression
MIKE WHITNEY
The Fed’s extraordinary intervention into the financial markets makes another Lehman-type meltdown extremely unlikely. But while the financial system has been stabilized with a government blank check and rivers of liquidity, the real economy continues to langui...
The Crafting of a Loophole
ANDREW COCKBURN
Those who respect the law and love sausage should watch neither being made. –Mark Twain.       AMENDMENT TO THE PETERSON SUBSTITUTE FOR H.R. 3795 (a) OFFERED BY MR. PETERSON OF M...
"This is Jenna Bush Reporting … "
WALTER BRASCH
NBC news correspondent Jenna Bush Hager had a news exclusive. And, like news exclusives in the Era of Infotainment TV, this one was broadcast by the entertainment division. Specifically, Jenna Bush interviewed her mother, Laura Bush, on 38th episode of "The Jay ...
Blood on Their Hands
EAMONN McCANN
In the UK Remembrance Day is also called as Poppy Day, inaugurated to mark the end of the World War 1 in 1918. November is the month when people remember the millions of lives lost in the battle of right against wrong." S...
The End of the Little Red Cars
JAMES RIDGEWAY
In this week’s 20th anniversary celebrations of the “fall” of the Berlin Wall, two images predominate: First, Ronald Reagan stands before the Brandenburg Gate, intoning “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Next, throngs of jubilant Berl...
Where’s the Jobs Stimulus?
Rev. JESSE JACKSON
Unemployment has soared above 10 percent, but that figure doesn’t count those forced to work part-time, those who have given up in despair, young people who were never able to get hired. There are now 25 million people unemployed. For African Americans, ...
The Legacy of Albert Parsons
JOSEPH GROSSO
Probably the most tedious aspect of American political discourse is the lengths that it goes to emphasize the very idea of it being American. For instance, how many times during this season’s healthcare “debate” having talking heads expressed not on...
The Truth About the House Health Care Bill
ROSE ANN DeMORO
Of all the torrent of words that followed House passage of its version of healthcare reform legislation in early November, perhaps the most misleading were those comparing it to enactment of Social Security and Medicare. Sadly no. Social Security and Medicare ...
Heroism in a Vanishing Landscape
ELLEN CANTAROW
"Disputed” is a word often used about East Jerusalem and homes in Sheikh Jarrah. Would the international community have considered the homes of American blacks attacked by the Ku Klux Kla as “disputed”? Or those of Jews ejected by Brown Shirts ...
The Dalai Lama Sticks His Thumb in the Dragon’s Eye
PETER LEE
The Chinese themselves have said that the biggest irritant to Sino-Indian relations is the unresolved border dispute. To them, it’s more of an issue than economic competition, India’s growing integration into the U.S. South Asian security regime, or India...
How to Raise $140 Billion a Year From Wall Street Banks
DEAN BAKER
The deficit hawk crew, famous for missing the $8 trillion housing bubble that wrecked the economy, is now on the warpath pressing the case for a big new national sales tax. They claim that the country badly needs additional revenue to address projected budget shortfa...
How Israel Won the Settlement Battle…Again
RAMZY BAROUD
When British Foreign Secretary David Miliband uttered a few words regarding the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, many wanted to believe that London was taking a sharp stance against Israel’s continued violations of international ...
Blaming the Workers
DAVE LINDORFF
As the strike by transit workers in Philadelphia entered its fifth day, it is clear why unions have such a tough time in the United States, where fewer than one in eight workers is covered by a union contract. Although the average pay of transit workers is jus...
Running Past PTSD (Or My Susto Profundo)
ROBERTO RODRIGUEZ
November 7 marks 30 years since I won my first police brutality trial in East L.A. in 1979. After all these years, I have now come to understand the meaning of resilience. Equally important, I now have come to understand something that always eluded me; the knowledge...
The Self-Dismembering F-35
WINSLOW WHEELER
The Defense Authorization bill just signed into law by President Obama pretends a bright future for the Pentagon’s Joint Strike Fighter. The program is fully funded, and Congress even added separate authority for the alternate GE engine, advice sure to be taken...
The Rising Tide
ALAN FARAGO
Florida is a good lens through which to view the dilemma of delay and inadequate response by government to the challenges of global warming. There has been plenty of talk about reforming energy conservation in order to limited carbon dioxide emissions. The inconsiste...
Clinton Dances With Netanyahu
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
Most Arab and world media expressed astonishment when the US secretary of state Hilary Clinton described the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s willingness to “restraint the policy of settlements” as “unprecedented”.  Perh...
Leave Afghanistan to the Afghans
PATRICK COCKBURN
The US is poised to send tens of thousands more soldiers to the country. The nature of the conflict is changing. What should be a war in which the Afghan government fights the Taliban has become one which is being fought primarily by the American and British armies. ...
The Kafka Economy
DAVE LINDORFF
Ordinary, average, struggling Americans might be scratching their heads over the news today, as the Labor Department reports that unemployment is up by four-tenths of a percent for the month to a record 10.2%, fully three-tenths of a percent higher than economists ha...
Final Thoughts on the Kovel Affair
JOHN HALLE
In June of 2007, the left website CounterPunch published a short piece of mine addressing the decision of Depaul University to deny tenure to Prof. Norman Finkelstein. Among the forty-odd emails I received in response was one from Bar...
Can Lieberman Save Single Payer?
JOHN A. MURPHY
"Cowardice asks the question ‘is it safe’? Expediency asks the question ‘is it politic’? Vanity asks the question ‘is it popular’? But conscience asks the question ‘is it right’? And there comes a time ...
War Funding, 2010
JEFF LEYS
This past Wednesday, Admiral Mullen (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) announced that the Pentagon will seek additional war funds for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in 2010.  While he did not give a firm dollar amount, the New York Times reported that defens...
Fox Finds a New Black Boogeyman
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
Relax Rev Jeremiah Wright. The Fox News cable channel crew has discovered a new all-purpose black boogey-man to rile latent racial animosity in America: Mumia Abu-Jamal, the internationally acclaimed death row journalist. Abu-Jamal is now a regular refe...
The Philadelphia Transit Strike
DAVID MACARAY
Despite signs that agreement on a new contract was imminent, talks between the Transport Workers Union Local 234 and the city of Philadelphia’s SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) broke off Saturday night when the union asked for clarific...
Health Care: Winning a Battle, Losing the War
JAMES RIDGEWAY
On the House floor Saturday night, Nancy Pelosi managed to muster enough votes to pass a health reform bill, in what’s being widely celebrated as a great victory for the Democrats. (Pelosi herself has even compared it with the passage of the Social Security Act...
To be Young and Unemployed Forever
CARL GINSBURG
A visit to a Bronx public high school last week is a disturbing reminder of the penal quality of life for young Americans on the lower end of the economic spectrum, lower end being close to a majority, or more, a number certainly on the upswing given pervasive unempl...
The Tea Party System
STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN
In the first Boston tea party, the colonists dumped the British tea into Boston Harbor because of taxation without representation. The tea-baggers, today, are making a fracas because they want corporation representation without taxation. Michelle Bach...
Inside the American University of Iraq
MARK GRUETER
The cover of the brochure for the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani (AUI-S) features a picture of an enormous, very modern-looking building that does not exist. The actual AUI-S building, though nice enough, is much more modest. And that’s m...
Business as Usual in India
CHARLES R. LARSON
Between the Assassinations refers to the time between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s death on the last day of 1984, when she was killed by her own bodyguards, and her son Rajiv Gandhi’s similar death, by assassination, in May of 1991—ye...
Don’t Touch the Banks!
DEAN BAKER
Those who like banks that are too big to fail will love the latest financial reform proposal in the House. The bill put forward by House Finance Committee Chairman Barney Frank does little to change the current structure of the financial system. The too big t...
Egypt’s Next Unelected President?
RANNIE AMIRI
It is always amusing to see how authoritarian regimes endow themselves with the trappings of democracy – a party, parliament, “elections” – as if they somehow confer legitimacy to otherwise undemocratic governance. In Egypt, the 28-year rule o...
Cabinet of Warlords
GARETH PORTER
The Barack Obama administration is talking tough to Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the need for decisive action on corruption and governance reform, but its main objective is to prevent particularly corrupt and incompetent warlords from getting plum...