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 CIA’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 January 2010
Dissent as Democracy
WAJAHAT ALI
A great titan of the progressive movement passed away this week. Howard Zinn died of a heart attack in California at the age of 87. The indefatigable Zinn maintained a prolific activist and academic jab fueled by his political and social activism nurtured dur...
He Fades Away
DAVID ROVICS
Today is my daughter Leila’s fourth birthday, and while this occasion brings my thoughts back to the day she was born, the past 24 hours have otherwise been full of fairly devastating news. If the left can admit to having icons, then two of them have just die...
SOTU Whoppers
DAVE LINDORFF
President Obama gives a good speech. He’s smooth, unruffled by audience response, good at a timely ad-lib remark, and knows how to win over a tough crowd–all skills that were in evidence at last night’s State of the Union address. But he’s also goo...
The New Pentagon Budget
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
The new budget now being trotted out for the Pentagon is a tired old document, bereft of the many significant changes needed to revive our decaying defenses. Worse, the Pentagon’s masters and its peanut galleries in Congress, the press, and think tanks opine delusio...
Dead Together, But Read Together?
WINDY COOLER
I have a few personal comments to make from afar on propinquity, solidarity and the deaths of two people: Howard Zinn and J.D Salinger. One of the things I like about Zinn was the very warm way in which he seemingly related with his partner. He always talked about ...
Changing History
WILLIAM LOREN KATZ
In less than a year the battle for truth has lost three of its most innovative and stalwart voices, historians John Hope Franklin, Ivan Van Sertima and Howard Zinn. Each challenged aspects of the cheerfully bigoted narrative that has passed for history in schools, college...
Sending in the Marines
JUDITH SCHERR
The French Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet accused the U.S. of “occupying” Haiti rather than helping in the wake of the devastating January 12, 7.0 earthquake. Doctors Without Borders and officials from the Caribbean community expressed similar frustrations, as US...
The Oldest Game in Washington
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
You can see how seriously Obama is taking the hot populist temper of the American people and their eagerness to strangle every banker in the entrails of every insurance executive.  In an altogether welcome departure from past presidential form in State of the Union addre...
Stoic Soul
LORENZO WOLFF
Some people can put on a great show without moving at all. Roy Orbison could stand behind those sunglasses like a wax museum sculpture and command the attention of thousands.  Miles Davis didn’t even have to face forward when he was performing. But the king of stoicism...
Turning Sun Tzu on His Head
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
In the opening line of Book 1 of Sun Tzu’s classic, The Art of War (circa 400 BC), the first ...
The Ordeal of Cameron Douglas
ANTHONY PAPA
Who benefits from Cameron Douglas getting at least 10 years in prison? No one does. But the government is hell bent on punishing him for the crime of being an addict. Cameron – the son of Academy Award winner Michael Douglas – took a guilty plea this we...
Ecuador’s Neo-Liberal Model
ROGER BURBACH
Quito, Ecuador. Beginning his fourth year as president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa confronts a major challenge from some of the very social actors that propelled him into office. In an address to the country in early January, Correa expressed his ire with a “co...
Why the Stimulus Falls Short
JOSHUA FRANK
Doug Henwood is the editor and publisher of Left Business Observer and is a contributing editor of The Nation. Henw...
Memories of Maharaj
P. SAINATH
The call came through about 2 a.m. Maharaj knew the work habits of his friends. “Do you think you can come to the U.S. and do a few talks on the 50th year of Indian Independence? There are a lot of nonsensical celebrations coming up around it here. And a generation ...
Defending the G-Spot
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
I’m not surprised when politicians, religious leaders, military chiefs, mafia bosses, corporate CEOs or media pundits make ignorant, misleading statements with great and somber certainty.  But when people who call themselves “scientists” spout toxic stupidities wit...
The New Politics of Post-Katrina New Orleans
JORDAN FLAHERTY
On New Year’s Eve in 2004, nine months before Hurricane Katrina hit, bouncers in the Bourbon Street club Razzoo’s killed a Black college student named Levon Jones. The outrage led to near-daily protests outside the club, threats of a Black tourist boycott of the city ...
Human Rights and Haiti
KERRY KENNEDY And MONIKA KAIRA VARMA
Overwhelmed by sadness, empathy and disbelief, the world’s eyes and hearts are focused on the rescue and relief efforts resulting from the earthquake in Haiti. However, many who have worked inHaiti fear that a preventable and long term disaster lies on the horizon if in...
Hell and Hope in Haiti
BILL QUIGLEY
Port au Prince. Smoke and flames rose from the sidewalk. A white man took pictures. Slowing down, my breath left me.  The fire was a corpse.  Leg bones sticking out of the flames. Port au Prince police headquarters is gone, already bulldozed. A nearby coll...
Showdown in the Malheur Marshes
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Six hundred miles north of Tonopah, Nevada, in the high desert of central Oregon, lies Harney County, another site of intense confrontation between federal officials and the militant property rights movement. Here federal Fish and Wildlife Service agents sought to fence o...
A Man for All Seasons
DAVID MACARAY
What sustains you as a union president—what causes you to rejoice even when things look bleak—is knowing that you’re on the right side of a worthwhile cause and are making a contribution to the lives of working people who depend on you.  That knowledge makes all th...
Theaters of Death
MIKITA BROTTMAN
In August 2006, in a movie theater in Owings Mills, just outside Baltimore, a man stood up in the middle of X-Men: The Last Stand, turned and opened fire into the audience, killing a 62-year-old husband and father in the back row. It’s true that Baltimore—where I was ...
Chávez and Earthquakes
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
Hugo Chávez has said a lot of wacky things over the years, but it may be that I erred in a recent column when I reported that the Venezuelan president had declared the U.S. guilty of causing the earthquake in Haiti through use of a secret weapon.  The story surfaced in ...
A Memory of Howard Zinn
DANIEL ELLSBERG
I just learned that my friend Howard Zinn died. Earlier this morning, I was being interviewed by the Boston Phoenix, in connection with the release in Boston in February of a documentary in which he is featured prominently. The interviewer asked me who my own heroes were,...
Police Perform Halftime Show at Zelaya Airport Farewell
BELEN FERNANDEZ
The most common calculation heard yesterday at Tegucigalpa’s Toncontin Airport was that the crowd that had gathered to see off outgoing Honduran President Mel Zelaya was larger than the crowd that had gathered at the same airport on July 5, 2009, when the forcibly expat...
Negotiating an Afghan Agreement?
BRIAN M. DOWNING
Reports out of Pakistan and now London suggest that Afghanistan, NATO, and the Taliban will seek a negotiated settlement. Reliable confirmation, however, has not been forthcoming. If meaningful talks begin, it will be welcome news. If they do not, they should be. Both sid...
The Last Cargo Cult
CHARLES R. LARSON
As you enter the theater, the usher hands you a bill.  Money.  Real money.  I got $5.00; my wife, a $1.00 bill.  When we sat down, she said, “I only got a dollar.”  She noticed that another person had twenty dollars.  Didn’t make her feel too great.  Exactly....
Fancy Footwork
DAVID YEARSLEY
The feet are indispensable to so many human activities that their almost complete lack of involvement in music making in the Western classical tradition is astonishing. Since human beings first began moving their bodies to musical sound, the feet have been crucial to expr...
The Political Capital is Gone, Now What About Political Will?
JIM GOODMAN
It’s not surprising that people are fed up with politics. When money determines who gets elected, when campaign promises are as easily tossed out as garbage and when most elected officials knowingly support policy that puts the special interests ahead of the ...
The Annotated Obama
JOE BAGEANT
Jocotepec, Mexico. I’ve managed to sit still through a few state of the union speeches, through the remarks of Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, one Bush (the pappy, I never could gut out one of The Dub’s ) and a Clinton. Brother Clinton finished m...
The Night They Drove Old EFCA Down
STEVE EARLY
Scott Brown’s defeat of Martha Coakley in the race to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat has been greeted as a “game changer” for Barack Obama and his political backers. This GOP victory has deprived Democrats of their “filibuster-proof” super-majority in the Sena...
Haitians are Helping Haitians
BILL QUIGLEY
Hundreds of thousands of people are living and sleeping on the ground in Port au Prince.  Many have no homes, their homes destroyed by the earthquake.  I am sleeping on the ground as well – surrounded by nurses, doctors and humanitarian workers who sl...
Apartheid at the Israeli High Court
URI WEISS
In 1992 the Knesset enacted Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. This basic law speaks clearly about human dignity. It states explicitly: “All persons are entitled to protection of their life, body and dignity”. And let it be emphasized: all persons, not just...
Taxing the Rich Wins in Oregon
SHAMUS COOKE
Victory! Thousands of Oregon workers fought valiantly over the past weeks to ensure that corporations and the rich will see their taxes raised, so that social services, health care, and education could be saved. Massive phone banking operations, door-to-door canvas...
The Greensboro Sit-In and Obama
CECIL BROWN
Teresa Prout, a city editor for the News-Record,  a small newspaper in Greensboro, N. C., was kicking around ideas with her colleagues about how to publicize the opening of the Civil Rights Museum to commemorate the Greensboro sit-in of 1960, February 1. ”Let’...
Logging for Electricity?
THOMAS M. POWER
In the trauma associated with the closing of the Missoula paper mill, business and political leaders have been frantically searching for a way to put that industrial mill site back into production, replacing at least some of the lost jobs. One possibility that many have s...
Securing Disaster in Haiti
PETER HALLWARD
Nine days after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, it’s now clear that the initial phase of the U.S.-led relief operation has conformed to the three fundamental tendencies that have shaped the more general course of the island’s ...
Obama Put Politics First on Afghanistan
RAY McGOVERN
Nothing highlights President Obama’s abject surrender to Gen. David Petraeus on the “way forward” in Afghanistan than two cables U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry sent to Washington on Nov. 6 and 9, 2009, the texts of which were released Tuesday by the New York Times....
Muslims Helping Haiti
WAJAHAT ALI
Haiti is experiencing unimaginable suffering from its devastating earthquake, with more than 150,000 dead and one to three million individuals displaced. Individuals, groups and governments from around the world have stepped in to do what they can. United by their religio...
The Late, Great Howard Zinn
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Howard Zinn was above all a gentleman of unflagging grace, humility and compassion. No American historian has left a more lasting positive legacy on our understanding of the true nature of our county, mainly because his books reflect a soul possessed of limitless d...
Struggling for Dignity and Survival in Haiti
TONYA GOLASH-BOZA
I left the Dominican Republic on Monday, January 25, 2010 with a team of five people from Fondation Avenir to meet wit...
In Liberty County Jail
DAVE LINDORFF
In the ironically named Liberty County Jail since December 11 sits Army Specialist and Iraq War veteran Marc Hall, a rap musician who had the audacity to write ...
Obama’s War for Oil in Colombia
DANIEL KOVALIK
This past summer, President Obama announced that he had signed an agreement with Colombia to grant the U.S. military access to 7 military bases in Colombia. As the UK’s Guardian newspaper announced at the time, “[t]he proposed 10-year lease will give the ...
The Hanging of the Henchman
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraq executed by hanging on September 24 Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam Hussein’s chief enforcer and supervisor of mass killings, also known as "Chemical Ali" for using chemical weapons to kill tens of thousands of people. He was the cruellest and...
Gordon Ramsay in India
BINOY KAMPMARK
Chefs who have an absolute sense of self are closed beings.  They have found the cosmic truth to the workings of the kitchen, and no one will convince them otherwise.  To be confronted with something as extraordinary, diverse, if not more so, than what they...
Et Tu, ACLU?
BOB FITRAKIS And HARVEY WASSERMAN
The Supreme Court’s atrocious Citizens United green light for unlimited corporate campaign spending had a willing accomplice—the American Civil Liberties Union. Why? As long-time supporters, we are horrified by the ACLU’s betrayal of...
Hugo and the Shockwave
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
When it comes to making perceptive statements of fact, Hugo Chávez doesn’t have a very good track record.  As of late the Venezuelan leader seems to have become mentally unhinged, remarking that former Ugandan dictator and genocidal murderer Idi Amin was a “patriot....
Holocaust Day Invited Raises Storm in Israel
JONATHAN COOK
An Arab member of the Israeli parliament has sparked controversy among Jews and Arabs in Israel over his decision to join an official Israeli delegation commemorating International Holocaust Day today at a Nazi death camp in Poland. Mohammed Barakeh will be the onl...
We Won’t Get Tarped Again!
DEAN BAKER
The Senate’s decision on approving Ben Bernanke for a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve Board is coming down to the wire and the Wall Street crew is once again pulling out all the stops. To get the 60 votes they need for Senate approval they are reaching into ...
The Two-Headed Monster
URI AVNERY
THE BUSINESS is registered in the name of Binyamin Netanyahu. But the reality is different. Netanyahu has never been more than a slick patent medicine salesman. That is a type that appears frequently in American Westerns and sells an elixir that is good for everyth...
Plan of Death in Haiti
VIJAY PRASHAD
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again, Live and take comfort. Thou hast left behind Powers that will work for thee: air, earth, and skies; There’s not a breathing of the common wind That will forget thee; thou hast great al...