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 November 2012
Truth and Trauma in Gaza
KATHY KELLY
Gaza City. Dr. T., a medical doctor, is a Palestinian living in Gaza City.  He is still reeling from days of aerial bombardment. When I asked about the children in his community he told me his church would soon be making Christmas preparations to lift the...
Refusing to Acquiesce in Gaza
JOSHUA BROLLIER
Gaza City. The past few days have been harrowing, yet still deeply inspiring in Gaza as people in the strip must carry on with their lives after the Israeli army’s deadly 8 day offensive operation “Pillar of Cloud” which ...
Free Trade and Economic Imperialism
ROB URIE
The modern dilemma is to understand just how unreasonable the reasoning classes are in both thought and action. Political ‘progressives’ were behind efforts to obliterate Native American cultures through forced assimilation and acculturation for the purported ‘benef...
Showdown in Egypt
ESAM AL-AMIN
Ever since the fall of former dictator Hosni Mubarak on that fateful day in February 2011, Egyptian society and its political factions have been sharply divided. On one side is the Islamic parties led by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) but also includes the more conservative ...
An Interview with Cornel West on Occupy, Obama and Marx
SHOZAB RAZA and PARMBIR GILL
This interview with Dr. Cornel West was conducted following the Oxford Union Debate on November 22nd 2012. SR: Why are you here speaking in favour of the Occupy Wall Street movement?  CW: The Occupy movement being the ma...
Pillars or Pandoras?
MIRIYAM AOURAGH
West Bank. The news is dominated by celebrations for a UN observer state. But it has only been a week since Gaza’s nightmare. The tiny densely populated city that really did experience ‘Pillar of Clouds’ as the Bible ...
The UN and Palestine
URI AVNERY
It was a day of joy. Joy for the Palestinian people. Joy for all those who hope for peace between Israel and the Arab world. And, in a modest way, for me personally. The General Assembly of the United Nations, the highest world forum, has voted...
Palestine, the UN and Australian Labor
RICK KUHN
One week Australia’s Labor Party Prime Minister Julia Gillard cheers on Israel’s murderous assault on Gaza, the next the parliamentary Labor Party caucus rolls her over recognition of Palestine by the United Nations General Assembly. In the United Nations, Labo...
Monetizing Japan
MIKE WHITNEY
“If possible, I’d like to see the Bank of Japan purchase all of the construction bonds that we need to issue to cover the cost.” Shinzo Abe, President of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Japan’s next prime minister has a plan for en...
Reining in Obama and His Drones
RALPH NADER
Barack Obama, former president of the Harvard Law Review and a constitutional law lecturer, should go back and review his coursework. He seems to have declined to comport his presidency to the rule of law. Let’s focus here on his major expansion of drone warfare ...
Genocide in Silence
DANIEL KOVALIK
The most catastrophic human rights disaster since World War II has been unfolding in the Democratic Republic of The Congo (“DRC” or “Congo”) since the mid-1990’s.   While the numbers of the victims are hard to know for certain, there are credible reports of a...
When Plutocrats Blame the Poor
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
London. In Charles Dickens ‘Hard Times’, there is a scene where one of the main...
Is the US Really Ending the War in Afghanistan?
DAVE LINDORFF
  It is amazing to watch politicians trying to weasel their way around their promises. President Obama is providing us with a good illustration of the art. During the latest presidential campaign and in the final televised debates, both Obama and ...
A Historic Victory for Palestine-Another Rejection of Occupation
FRANKLIN LAMB
Beirut The United Nations General Assembly vote of 11/29/12, which some in Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian refugee camps are calling a “birth certificate for our country” is the latest of more than 400 UN resolutions on the Question of Pale...
Wal-Mart’s Downward Wage Spiral
JOHN LOGAN
The retail giant’s low wages and poor working conditions drive down standards throughout a sector that is increasingly important to the entire US economy. On Black Friday, workers and their community allies protested for “consistent hours, better pay, and simpl...
Nuke Power’s Collapse Gets Ever More Dangerous
HARVEY WASSERMAN
In the wake of this fall’s election, the disintegration of America’s decrepit atomic reactor fleet is fast approaching critical mass. Unless our No Nukes movement can get the worst of them shut soon, Barack Obama may be very lucky to get through his second ter...
Paternalism and Ass-Covering in Spielberg’s “Lincoln”
LOUIS PROYECT
Which film about the abolition of slavery was intended to burnish the reputation of a contemporary President? If you answered that it was Spielberg’s lavishly praised “Lincoln”, you were right. When asked in a November 15th NPR interview whether he saw pa...
Livable Labor
JOHN GRONBECK-TEDESCO
Austin, Texas is the latest U.S. city to pass a groundbreaking measure that, if upheld, would require companies looking for tax incentives in Travis County to pay its employees $11/hour. This is particularly big news for the area’s large construction sector that has...
The Inevitable Constitution
OMAR KASSEM
Egypt will begin to acquire democratic institutions, first a Shura (or Senate), then a Parliament (after new elections), after a Constitution will inevitably be passed with article 2 stating that the source of all law will be ‘the principles of Islamic Sharī‘a’. Th...
The Accidental Terrorist
PETRA BARTOSIEWICZ
“People’s movements of resistance against deprivation, against unemployment, against the loss of natural resources, all of that is termed ‘terrorism.’” — Edward Said Following a decade on the run, suspected eco-sa...
Have Conservatives Really Seen the Light on Mass Incarceration?
JAMES KILGORE
I lived in South Africa from 1991 until 2002, during the difficult transition from apartheid to democracy. An interesting part of this history was that by 1994, apartheid had become so discredited that it was difficult to find a single white person who admitted to ever su...
Austerity — the Battle Cry of the 1%
MARK VORPAHL
Whether we are left with the Fiscal Cliff or a Grand Bargain, workers in the U.S. face massive cuts to programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment insurance, Food Stamp assistance and other needed social safety nets. This is an example of “aus...
A Different War in Gaza
RAMZY BAROUD
In life, some phenomena cannot be explained by ordinary logic or technical language, let alone official discourses. How did Gaza manage to fight back with such ferocity and undying vigor in quelling the latest Israeli war despite years of a bloody siege and one-sided war ...
As Bangladesh Burns
DAVID MACARAY
One very important reason why more than 100 workers (mainly women) died November 25 in the fire that engulfed Tarzeen Fashions, a textile plant outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, is because management chose not to spend the necessary money to prevent such a tragedy from occurring...
We Used to Make the Rich Poorer and the Poor Richer
DAVID SWANSON
Many of us have heard the current period referred to as a second gilded age.  Or we’ve seen the current inequality in wealth in the United States compared to that of 1929.  But we have not all given sufficient thought to what ended the first gilded age, what creat...
Despite the United States, Palestine Finally Returns Home
CESAR CHELALA
After an overwhelming vote in her favor (138-9 with 41 abstentions), Palestine has finally returned home.  Sixty-five years after the United Nations General Assembly voted for the partition of Palestine into two states (one Jewish and one Arab), Palestine was granted a n...
To Empire, With Love
PAUL CARLINE
It’s said there are few safer bets in Hollywood than a Bond film.The latest offering in the extremely lucrative Bond franchise – “Skyfall” – has already broken box-office records, taking some $87.8 million in its first weekend in the...
Morsi Runs the Gauntlet
WAEL ISKANDAR
There’s a scene at the end of Braveheart when William Wallace was being tortured to death. At the height of torture the executioner paused and tried to convince Wallace to pledge allegiance to the king so that he may die a quick death. He said, “It can all en...
The Fate of Keynesian Faith in Joseph’s Countercyclical Moral
DOUGLAS GROTE
Into the fifth year of the Great Recession our nation’s scarcity of jobs continues to condemn tens of millions of us to suffer a hard life of involuntary unemployment, underemployment, and insufficient wages. One would hope that any future political agreements made to m...
A View from Livadia Palace
ISRAEL SHAMIR and AD HEmMING
I drove up to white and sumptuous Livadia Palace with some difficulty. The palace, once a royal summer residence built and frequented by the last Russian Tsar, stands on a rather steep slope amidst a spacious park that descends to the Black Sea far below, and the road is ...
Yes We Cannabis
HELEN REDMOND
The cracks in the American cannabis control system just got wider with the states of Washington and Colorado passing referendums legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults. It is nothing short of historic in a country that arrests over 850,000 people every ye...
How 7 Historic Figures Overcame Depression Without Doctors
BRUCE E. LEVINE
While Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway received extensive medical treatment for depression but tragically committed suicide, other famously depressed people—including Abraham Lincoln, William James, Georgia O’Keeffe, Sigmund Freud, William Tecumseh Sherman, Franz Kaf...
Latinos and the 2012 Elections
ALVARO HUERTA
President Barack Obama owes Latinos big-time for his 2012 re-election victory. According to the polling group Latino Decisions, Obama received an overwhelming 75 percent of the Latino vote. Representing 10 percent of the electorate, Latinos played a pivotal role in Obama...
I Heard the News Today, Oy Vey
RANDY SHIELDS
Historian Gabriel Kolko has written about the trend of the “democratization of arms” throughout the world and, personally, I can’t wait for it to happen. During Israel’s January 2009 “Cast Lead” massacre of Gaza, I thought that Hamas might have some of the sam...
An Open Letter to the Spirit of a Rebellious Leader
ADAM CHIMIENTI
[Note: Thomas Sankara, president of Burkina Faso from 1983-87, was assassinated on October 15, 1987. This letter was written on the 25th anniversary of his death and modified slightly after.] Dear President Sankara, It was 25 years ago this autumn t...
It’s An Anti-Imperialist Struggle, Not a Clash of Civilizations
RON JACOBS
In the machinations of Empire, religious and ethnic differences are often used to justify wars and repression. Historical examples abound. Animosity between nations’ ruling elites are framed in religious terms to rile up the populace and convince them the antagonism...
In the Kingdom of Double Crosses
MISSY BEATTIE
Went south. I-95’d and I-85’d to help sister Laura arrange the furniture in the Chapel Hill house Erma had not seen yet.  Traveled north with one of my children, then back on the road again with him to North Carolina. Regardless of location, I keyboard a path ...
Give Us Our Money Back!
MURRAY DOBBIN
There is a class of people and corporations in this country whose illicit financial practices have an enormous negative impact on the country and its citizens. Yet the law and order regime of Stephen Harper barely plays lip service to the issue of tax evasion through ta...
Israel’s Youthful Warriors
CHARLES R. LARSON
The title of Shani Boianjiu’s vexing “novel,” The People of Forever Are Not Afraid, ...
That Bond Sound
DAVID YEARSLEY
While the greatest musical dynasties ruled over vast empires of the imagination, their geographic domains were small. The Couperins held the organist post at the church of St. Gervais in Paris for nearly two hundred years from middle of the 17th century to well...
Williams and Nieves
POETS' BASEMENT
Ubuntu by HEATHCOTE WILLIAMS   An anthropologist tells a story Of how he proposed a game To the children of an African village; The game was played like this:   He placed a...
Gaza: What Would Lincoln Do?
ROBIN D. G. KELLEY
Most American media have praised President Obama’s handling of the Gaza crisis. It is certainly a relief that Operation Pillar of Defense produced about one-tenth the casualties of Operation Cast Lead four years earlier, though it is small comfort to the 168 Palestinian...
Israel’s War on Palestinian Children
VIJAY PRASHAD
On 18 November, the Israeli armed forces bombed a house and killed the al-Dalou family, all ten members that were present and two neighbors. When the dust and fires settled, it became clear that amongst the dead were five children and five women. Among them was Mohammed J...
The Humiliation of Bradley Manning
RAY MCGOVERN
It is a bitter irony that Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, whose conscience compelled him to leak evidence about the U.S. military brass ignoring evidence of torture in Iraq, was himself the victim of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment while other military officers privatel...
I Exist on the Political Map of Egypt
MASSOUN SUKHARIEH
Down with the regime of the Muslim Brotherhood Down with the Brotherhood Supreme Guide Do not be afraid, Morsi is going to leave. Erhal, Erhal [leave, leave] People want to bring down the regime. Moatassimim moatasmeen ha...
What Really Happened in Gaza
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
The official storyline is that Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense on 14 November, 2012 because, in President Barack Obama’s words, it had “every right to defend itself.” In this instance, Israel was allegedly defending itself against the 800 projecti...
Genocidal Yearnings
LAWRENCE DAVIDSON
By the middle of the 19th century the multi-ethnic empire was on its way out as the dominant political paradigm in Europe.  Replacing it was the nation-state, a political form which allowed the concentration of ethnic groups within their own political borders.  This in ...
Mad Scientists and Geo-Engineering
BINOY KAMPMARK
We are doomed as a parasitic, rapacious species, and with that air of certain demise, anything is possible.  That, at least, seems to be behind the desperate push for a human effort to reverse, alter and adjust the environment in order to halt the previous effects of alt...
The New Tyros of the Eurozone
DEAN BAKER
The eurozone crisis countries still have not developed a workable strategy for countering the policies being imposed by the troika — the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF and the European Union. Their main problem is not profligate government spending, as fans of dat...
Climate Change Mental Inertia
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Dave Lindorff wrote  of his “speculation about an American conspiracy of inaction…to reduce either this country’s annual production o...