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Archives from 2011
Goodbye to 2011, Year of the Rabbit, Welcome 2012, Year of the Dragon
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
January 5 Torture is now solidly installed in America’s repressive arsenal, not in the shadows where it has always lurked, but up front and central, vigorously applauded by prominent politicians.  Rituals of coercion and humiliation seep through...
The Sunni-Shia Wars
PATRICK COCKBURN
In three of the Arab countries east of Egypt – Syria, Bahrain and Yemen – protesters have challenged their governments over the past year but failed to overthrow them. The reasons for those failures are very different though they have important points in common. In ea...
How Israel Empowers Islamist Movements
URI AVNERY
If Islamist movements come to power all over the region, they should express their debt of gratitude to their bete noire, Israel. Without the active or passive help of successive Israeli governments, they may not have been able to realize their dreams....
What Equality?
ANDREW LEVINE
2011 was not a good year for the public image of ruling classes around the world; even Time Magazine named their nemesis, “the protester,” person of the year.  But the pillars of the ancien régime still feel secure.  Why shouldn’t they?  They o...
Marching Towards the Past in Guatemala
ANNIE BIRD
In Guatemala, former military officers and their supporters have filed legal charges against human rights activists, journalists, and surviving victims of State repression, even as a former general, Otto Perez Molina – himself implicated in Guatemala’s genocid...
Saddam Hussein and Capital’s Moral Defeat
RICHARD MARSDEN
Consider the scene in Firdos Square, Baghdad, April 9, 2003: A statue of Saddam Hussein is toppled by US Marines, among a throng of rejoicing Iraqis. The event is immediately construed by Western media as a symbol of the fall of his regime and a happy ending to the war. P...
Bahrain by the Numbers
RANNIE AMIRI
Population of Bahrain: 1.2 million Number of citizens: 535,000 Percent of citizens who are Shia Muslim: 70 Percent of those in government: 13 Number of senior positions they fill in the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Cab...
Cross-Border Incident
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
“Pakistan Rejects US Findings on Deadly Air Strike” was a typical headline on December 23,  following the Pentagon’s “Department of Defense Statement Regarding Investigation Results into Pakistan Cross-Border Incident.” The “incident” involved hours ...
Ron Paul and the Killing Machine
MIKE WHITNEY
Ron Paul is the only antiwar candidate who has a (microscopic) chance of winning in 2012. He’s also the only candidate who will make an effort to restore the Bill of Rights and reverse Congress’s decision to allow the president to “indefinitely” im...
The Lies of War
JACK RANDOM
“You are part of an unbroken line of heroes spanning two centuries — from the colonists who overthrew an empire, to your grandparents and parents who faced down fascism and communism, to you — men and women who fought for the same principles in Fallujah ...
Complicating “White Privilege”
PAUL C. GORSKI
In my favorite photograph of my Grandma Wilma, taken during her early teens, she stands outside her Kitzmiller, Maryland, house. The house’s exterior, cracking and worn, hints at the working poor life she and her family are living in Appalachia. Evidence, too, is her at...
The New Space Race
BINOY KAMPMARK
It was central to old occidental fantasies of the east that Cathay stood tall and strong as a majestic force, an intangible entity that mystified and terrified with its technological prowess and despotic enchantments.  In a sense, the language of mystery and terror has n...
Will 2012 Bring Tribal War to Libya?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Tripoli The weather in Tripoli this New Year’s weekend is unseasonably bone chilling with heavy rains flooding the streets reminding this observer more of dreary London this time of year than the southern Maghreb coast of the Mediterranean. My modest fam...
Slouching Towards 2012
LINH DINH
For the last two days, Yahoo! has featured an article, “N. Korea alters photo of Kim Jong Il funeral.” Juxtaposing two images, it shows that half a dozen inconsequential figures have been photoshopped out. It is fitting that Yahoo!, a leader in frivolity, is burdening...
Selective Sympathy
DAVE LINDORFF
The officer rested his arm holding the stock of the assault rifle on the top of a log pile, and aimed directly between the target’s eyes. She was looking directly at him, unblinking, from 30 feet away, and exhibited no fear. “I hate doing this,” he muttered, before ...
Collateral Damage
BOB SOMMER
Mural art tends toward bluntness. Its images are large, its imagery thick with meaning. The nature of the medium—walls!—lends itself best to simplicity, directness. The audience for walls is, after all, everyone passing by. Walls with murals ask us to stop and look an...
The Repression Strengthened Us!
CHELLIS GLENDINNING
One wrong move, forgetting to take your hat off, the interruption of a phone ringing notwithstanding — after a spell, a trip to the bank to pay the light bill — alongside men carrying machine guns — does get to feel normal. Such a transit...
Jamaica’s Elections
NORMAN GIRVAN
The Portia Simpson-Miller led People’s National Party (PNP) is back in office in Jamaica, having won the December29 parliamentary election by the impressive margin of 41 seats to 22. Early reports are that nearly one-half of the eligible electors did not vote; and that ...
Indian Lolly Cow
FARZANA VERSEY
“The place became full of a watchful intentness now; for when other things sank brooding to sleep the heath appeared slowly to awake and listen. Every night its Titanic form seemed to await something; but it had waited thus, un...
Dream Big
MISSY BEATTIE
I resolve to run.  I will not be forming an exploratory committee, because when I say, “run,” I mean speeding along, catch me if you can, as I leap a crack that might break my mother’s back, in my New Balancers that skim pavement and dirt. My son suggested w...
Brother, Can You Spare a Tofutti Cutie?
RANDY SHIELDS
Along with eating healthier and getting more exercise, here are some of my New Year’s resolutions: 1) Stop being apocalyptic. Stop expecting America to experience a crisis that “wakes” people up and changes everything. The American capitalist...
2012, Year of the Aspens?
KATHLEEN PEINE
It is with a morbid curiosity that we face the upcoming New Year. Not because of a cartoonish version of prophecy. No, it’s a visceral knowing that many wrong and untenable creations are still alive and they...
Pakistan: Fifty Years Later
CHARLES R. LARSON
Like yours truly, Leslie Noyes Mass was a Peace Corps Volunteer fifty years ago, recently returned to the country of her assignment: Pakistan.  But unlike what I observed during my recent ...
The 10 Best Albums of 2011
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Miles Davis Quintet, Live in Europe ’67 (Columbia)  Long-awaite...
Carter, Moser, Annsfire
POETS' BASEMENT
War by JARED CARTER In Goya’s Disasters of War, print after print of huddled women, already raped, beaten, defeated, struggling to bring a cup of water to another – hillsides draped with bodie...
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A Green New Deal?
STEVEN HIGGS
Seven weeks before Jill Stein declared her candidacy for president, the Lexington, Mass., physician outlined her priorities in a plan she called the “Green New Deal” – jobs, climate change, universal health care and peace. When she announced her bid fo...
Arise, Students of California
RALPH NADER
Students of California, arise, you have nothing to lose but a crushing debt! The corporate state of California, ever ready to seize its ideological and commercial hour during a recession, has a chokehold on California’s public universities. With its tax-coddl...
Lesser Evilism, 2012
MICHAEL KAUFMAN
At this time of year it is not uncommon to become wistful and look back at the time that has passed, but oddly enough, I find myself becoming nostalgic for the time of the last Bush administration. I remember it as a time when people still expressed opposition to a regime...
The Return of Waterboarding?
ROBERT PALLITTO
During the recent Republican presidential primary debates, three candid...
Failure to Reflate
MIKE WHITNEY
For the second time in three years, the banking system has collapsed, which means that the banks are no longer able to fund themselves through the normal means, the wholesale markets. This same thing happened in July 2007 when two Bear Stearns hedge funds defaulted and tr...
The Rise of the Tea Party
KEVIN YOUNG
US press coverage has usually cast the Tea Party as an authentic expression of popular anger against Washington insiders. Anthony DiMaggio’s new book, ...
The Ordeal of Cameron Douglas
ANTHONY PAPA
Cameron Douglas, the son of Academy Award winner Michael Douglas who is serving a five-year sentence for drug dealing, was just sentenced to an additional four and a half years in prison. Judge Richard Berman, who has to be one of the most clueless justices in the federal...
This Land is Your Land …Or is It?
LORI SPENCER
Having spent the better part of two months as an embedded reporter with Occupy OKC’s camp in Kerr Park (aka Poet’s Park) I have often praised both the city and police department. Oklahoma City’s occupation has so far managed to avoid the mass arrests and...
Drill, Baby, Drill … Strike That!
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Christmas in the Radiation Zone
CHRIS WILLIAMS
It’s the first thing you notice.  Electric orange, ripe and luscious hoshigaki hang from every bough.  As we drive through the country and over the glittering, snow-specked mountain range from Fukushima city to Soma on the northeast coast of Japan, we pass ma...
The $600 Billion Ripoff
MIKE WHITNEY
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is either a liar or a fool.  Either way, he should be canned immediately before he dumps more money into an EU banking system sinkhole. What’s all the fuss about? Here’s a clip from Bloomberg that explains...
Exit America
VIJAY PRASHAD
ON December 16, the United States armed forces handed over Camp Adder to the Iraqi government. It was the last base to be officially handed over, as the troops boarded their trucks for the convoy ride to Kuwait. “We have turned the last page of the occupation,” Hussei...
A Very Peaceful Russian Revolt
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
The calls by the “moderate left” for passively following behind the liberals are supposedly based on the need to “work among the people”, to go where the masses are. But how, and with whom, are the forces of the left to set out after these ardently pursued masses?...
Why America Can’t Afford Its Military
Col. DOUGLAS MACGREGOR
Through the last year the defense industries and their supporters in Congress worked overtime to ensure the federal government kept the armed forces in a perpetual procurement cycle. Inside the Pentagon, t...
The New German Colossus
WALDEN BELLO
Germany towers over Europe like a colossus. Its economy is the biggest in the European Union, accounting for 20 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product. While most of Europe’s economies are stagnating, Germany’s will have grown by some 2.9 percent in 2011. It boa...
A Thirst That Won’t be Quenched
KEN HANNAFORD-RICARDI
Kabul. It’s early evening near Pole Sorkh (po-lay sork) Square in western Kabul.  Although it’s barely 6:00, winter’s cold bare feet have already started their walk across our apartment. Ali, Abdulai, Roz Mohammend, and Faiz have joined Maya and me ...
J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami
IRA GLUNTS
On a dreary, rainy evening in late November my friend Pat Carmeli and I were driving to Syracuse to hear Jeremy Ben-Ami speak.  I smiled when Pat turned to me and said, “I’m going to ask him a question about human rights and the Palestinians.”  I responded enthusi...
The Whole World is Watching
KEVIN CARSON
In 1649 at St. George’s Hill in England, as recounted in the revolutionary anthem “The World Turned Upside Down,” a band of landless peasants who called themselves the Diggers tore down enclosures, built themselves cottages, and began spading up land to ...
Hope, Solidarity and Acupuncture
MARK T. HARRIS
Treating illness involves getting to the root of a health condition. Or, ideally at least, it should. In the real world much medical practice is geared toward ameliorating symptoms, without necessarily curing the underlying condition. Certainly the modern pharmaceutical i...
Nixon in Love
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Why the Establishment is Terrified of Ron Paul
DAVE LINDORFF
It’s fascinating to watch the long knives coming out for Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, now that according to some mainstream polls he has become the front-running candidate in the Jan. 3 GOP caucus race in Iowa, and perhaps also in the first primary campaign in New Ha...
Triad of Business, Cops & Politicians Attack Occupy
CARL FINAMORE
A political campaign by San Francisco’s well-heeled “property owners” was launched to influence police and politicians to aggressively demobilize Occupy SF and to dismantle their encampments. And, there are documents to prove it. Things did not start out this...