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 September 2010
Rolling the Dice on Immigration Reform
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
In a last-ditch effort to prevent comprehensive immigration reform from disappearing from the national policy agenda, two veteran Democratic Senators said last week they would introduce legislation to grant green cards to illegal aliens, despite strong opposition to an &l...
Banning Methane Mining
ROBERT JERESKI
In late 2009, environmental justice activists in New York State began to build a very large grassroots movement and an impressive coalition of over 70 groups calling for a ban on a particularly destructive method of methane mining called horizontal hydrofracking or &lsquo...
Autumn of the Driveler
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Some world leaders mature as they head into the sunset: Jimmy Carter often makes more sense in his eighties than he did as president nearly four decades ago. Others spare the world their midnight thoughts, not always voluntarily. Ronald Reagan succumbed to Alzheimers; Ari...
Tea Party Panic
DAVID ROSEN
Tea Party advocates and rightwing media pundits were gleeful in the aftermath of this week’s primary election results. They were buoyed by their candidates’ strong showings throughout the country against the Republican establishment, particularly in Delaware a...
The Confessions of Roger Noriega
SAUL LANDAU And NELSON P. VALDÉS
In May, Roger Noriega, former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs (2003-2005), acknowledged he conspired with James Cason, chief of the United States Interest Section in Cuba (2002-2005), to violate a declared U.S. government policy of promoting in...
Beware the Jabberwockies
ALAN J. SINGER
In Through the Looking-Glass (written in 1871), Lewis Carroll warned readers to beware the Jabberwocky with jaws that bite and claws that catch. There was no such thing as the Jabberwocky at that time. The beast appears in what is essentially a nonsense poem. However Lewi...
They Died for Iran
SHELDON RICHMAN
More than 4,400 Americans have died during the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Nearly 32,000 Americans have been wounded. And despite what President Obama says, it’s not over yet. What did those men and women sacrifice for? Some war critics say it was in vain, but ...
Street Politics on 9/11
BILLY WHARTON
Street politics arrived on September 11th this year. Every year since 2001, the focus of the day had been placed on the ceremonial commemoration of those killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center. This year, dueling demonstrations for and against the construction of...
On the Trail of "Blood Diamonds"
DAVID TRESILIAN
The Hague. When British fashion model Naomi Campbell testified to the Special Court for Sierra Leone recently in the Dutch city of The Hague, she drew renewed international media attention to this sometimes forgotten UN tribunal. Perhap...
You Are What You Think
CHARLES R. LARSON
The cover description of Markos (the “Daily Kos”) Moulitsas’ book American Taliban...
The Farce That Keeps on Giving in Afghanistan
JOHN GRANT
"The Obama administration is debating whether to make Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, a more central player in efforts to root out corruption in his own government, including giving him more oversight of graft investigations and notifying him before any ...
Burning and Building
RICHARD PHELPS
Should a building that isn’t a mosque be built on a site that isn’t all that near to where the Twin Towers once stood? Should a pastor of a church that no-one had ever heard of until recently be allowed to burn some books that he himself can’t read, but ...
The Cartoonist and the Pastor
SHAHID MAHMOOD
"We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the constitution says, but everyone made equal . . . A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind." ...
An Aesthetic Desert
ABDEL-MONEIM SAID
The disappearance of the Van Gogh painting — often referred to erroneously as Poppy Flower — from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum is not the first theft of its kind. Two years ago, in September 2008, two paintings by Hamed Nada were stolen from the Cairo Opera House...
Regarding US Muslims
RAMZY BAROUD
Laurie Goodstein’s article, ‘American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?’ was intended as a sympathetic reading of the concerns of US Muslim communities facing increasing levels of hostility and fear. While generally insightful and sensibly written, the a...
Why Some White Progressives Make Me Sick
ISHMAEL REED
Ralph Ellison wrote his novel, “Invisible Man,” in an elliptical style because HUAC was breathing down the necks of black writers. Langston Hughes, appearing before the committee, had to renounce his left leaning pro-Soviet poetry. But st...
Unexpected Encounters With Greatness
DAVID YEARSLEY
Being present at a musical performance of unexpected greatness is even more memorable than having high expectations met.  When I heard Rostropovich with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa in 1985 playing the Dvorak Cello Concerto (...
The Future of the Internet
MARK WEISBROT
The mass media remains, in the 21st century, one of the most powerful forces blocking social and economic progress. It is because of the mass media that tens of millions of Americans are convinced that budget deficits are more important than the lives ruined by unemployme...
The Swelling Backlog
MIKE WHITNEY
Home ownership has become an albatross. Prices are falling, demand is weak, foreclosures are soaring, and inventory is backed up to the moon. If there’s an upside, it’s a mystery to me. Many of the people who bought homes in the last 6 to...
Kill Them
LINH DINH
Michael Enright, a 21-year-old college student, slashed a NYC cab driver in the face and neck because this man was Muslim. Enright is being held in a psychiatric ward. If he is mad, then the United States is also insane. Enright’s assault merely mirrors what we, as ...
American Graffiti
MISSY BEATTIE
Had my runner’s high become a hallucination? Turning quickly, I almost twisted my ankle, but I had to get a better look at the black and white image taped to the inside of the car’s back windshield, the car parked in the lot of my neighbo...
Serbia Surrenders Kosovo to the EU
DIANA JOHNSTONE
On September 10, at the UN General Assembly, Serbia abruptly surrendered its claim to the breakaway province of Kosovo to the European Union.  Serbian leaders described this surrender as a “compromise”. But for Serbia, it was all give and no take. ...
The Food Crisis is Not About a Food Shortage
JIM GOODMAN
The food crisis of 2008 never really ended, it was ignored and forgotten. The rich and powerful are well fed; they had no food crisis, no shortage, so in the West, it was little more than a short lived sound bite, tragic but forgettable. To the poor in the developing worl...
Pollution Knows No Borders
MARCO ANTONIO MARTÍNEZ GARCÍA
Mexico, Canada and the United States have serious problems with the emission of diverse pollutants. The three member countries of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of North America, a body created as part of NAFTA’s environment...
The Charter School Con
MARGARET KIMBERLEY
Rich people have always had the ability to bend electoral politics to their collective will. They determine who has the opportunity to run for office and sadly, more often than not, they determine who will win. This subversion of democracy is now on full display in races ...
The Saudi Arms Deal
RANNIE AMIRI
It would be the single largest foreign arms deal in United States history. Pending congressional approval, the Obama administration plans to sell $60 billion in advanced aircraft and sophisticated weaponry to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Add $30 bil...
France’s Great Pension Swindle
PHILIPPE MARLIÈRE
The recent financial crisis has again demonstrated the inherent instability of capitalism. It could be argued that the current pensions reform concocted by the Fillon government is showing the inherent instability of Sarkozyism. On 7 September, 3 million people took to th...
Plan Colombia for Mexico
LAURA CARLSEN
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated Wednesday that Mexico and Central America were facing an “insurgency” that requires the equivalent of a Plan Colombia in the region. Her comments immediately raised the ire of the Mexican government and sparked fears o...
Plan Colombia for Mexico
LAURA CARLSEN
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated Wednesday that Mexico and Central America were facing an “insurgency” that requires the equivalent of a Plan Colombia in the region. Her comments immediately raised the ire of the Mexican government and sparked fears o...
What IEDs Can Do
CLANCY SIGAL
The IRA tried to kill me on three separate occasions. Nothing personal, just that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Provos’ deadly "mainland campaign" against Brits took the form of planting IEDs, improvised homemade bombs, in central Lon...
Remembering Ben Sonnenberg
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
There was a memorial for Ben Sonnenberg last night. Ben died on June 26 at the age of 73 – and a substantial crowd of the people who  knew and loved him were invited by his widow, Dorothy Gallagher, to muster at  the Century Club, on West 43rd street ...
The Great Muslim Scare
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
In the year 1951 the American working class intellectual Eric Hoffer described those he called the True Believers. These are people who are alienated from their present conditions and suffer feelings of insecurity and uncertainty about the way their lives and communities ...
Pakistan Flood Survivors Now Face Threat of Malaria
PATRICK COCKBURN
Charsadda. Wali Khan shifts his eyes nervously from side to side as he points to the tumbled walls which are all that remain of his mud-brick house. The 45-year-old laborer is frightened that his neighbors in the battered town of Charsa...
What IEDs Can Do
CLANCY SIGAL
The IRA tried to kill me on three separate occasions. Nothing personal, just that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Provos’ deadly "mainland campaign" against Brits took the form of planting IEDs, improvised homemade bombs, in central Lon...
Blowback in Kandahar
GARETH PORTER
During a round of media interviews last month, Gen. David Petraeus released totals for the alleged results of nearly 3,000 "night raids" by Special Operations Forces (SOF) units over the 90 days from May through July: 365 "insurgent leaders" killed or ...
In Chile, Two Kinds of Terrorism
JOHN SEVERINO
Santiago. At a September 14th symposium on the Chilean anti-terrorism law, the lawyer Julio Cortes pointed out that the frequent use of the law despite the absence of any real terrorism in Chile illuminates its fundamentally political, ...
No Bull
BETSY ROSS
"I am not Spanish,” proclaims Ferran, our local business associate. “I am Catalan.” At first, my husband and I are puzzled by 32-year-old Ferran’s nationalist fervor. We know, of course, of Basque separatism and the ETA, known for their bombs ...
Doomsday for Lehman
MIKE WHITNEY
Fear gripped Wall Street on the morning of September 15, 2008, as investment giant Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following weeks of stock market losses and the steady downgrading of its assets. Traders hoped that the century-old ...
Escaping Tolerance
MICHAEL WINSHIP
Gentlemen, start your defibrillators. To baby boomers like me it’s gives the heart a bit of jolt to realize that 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the presidential campaign between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. I visited the John F. Ke...
Egypt Going Nuclear
MOHAMED ABDEL-BAKY
After decades of delay Egypt will begin building its first nuclear power plant by the end of this year. The decision was taken by President Hosni Mubarak who issued a presidential decree on 25 August confirming that Al-Dabaa, east of Mars...
Castro’s "Confession"
NELSON P. VALDÉS
"I asked him [Fidel Castro]  if he believed the Cuban model was still  something worth exporting." — Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic Blog,  September  8, 2010 ...
Iran: War Talk, Peace Talk
SAIF SHAHIN
It is difficult to avoid bumping into Jeffrey Goldberg these days. The Atlantic commentator’s prediction that there is a good chance Israel will strike Iran by next July to destroy its alleged nuclear weapons program has got everyone talking, and writing, and then t...
If Only Glenn Beck Were a Cyborg
DAVID CORREIA
While the media and blogosphere spent their August obsessively reporting and debating Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally in Washington, D.C., a more important gathering with far greater political implications took place two weeks earlier yet went total...
The Dutchman and Pastor Jones
RON JACOBS
While watching various factions in the United States battle it out over the meaning of the placement of an Islamic center in Manhattan and politicians milk the issue for their own benefit, I am reminded of an incident that took place in the Netherlands earlier in the deca...
Obama’s Latest Apologetics
ALAN NASSER
In Cleveland, Ohio last Wednesday and a White House press conference two days later president Obama opted full throttle for Richard Nixon’s Big Lie strategy: when you preside over a worsening disaster look your constituency straight in the eye and tell them that bla...
The Anti-Masturbation Candidate
CHARLES R. LARSON
Where do Conservatives find these candidates? That is the troubling question that we wake up to the morning after the final state primaries. Christine O’Donnell—newly anointed as the GOP candidate for the senate in Delaware this fall—actually makes Sara...
When Corporations Own Congress
SHAMUS COOKE
With the November elections quickly approaching, the majority of Americans will be thinking one thing: "Who cares?” This apathy isn’t due to ignorance, as some accuse. Rather, working people’s disinterest in the two...
How Right You Are, Prime Minister!
P. SAINATH
Disgusted with millions of tons of foodgrain rotting in the open yards (the godowns not being large enough to house them), The Supreme Court of India  said the grain should be distributed to the poor rather than allowing to rot and g...
Obama the Neoconservative
SHELDON RICHMAN
President Barack Obama was far from candid when he announced the end of combat operations in Iraq last month, but he did nothing to hide the fact that he is a neoconservative when it comes to the American empire. That was not lost on leading neoconservatives, who ...
Three Sides of the Qu’ran Burning Triangle
ESAM AL-AMIN
Ever since the 1989 “Satanic Verses” by Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie, the Muslim public, inflamed by some of their religious leaders, has been easily incited if not directly manipulated. The oversensitivity card has been drearily overplayed and is...