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 2013
Partitioning the “Two-State Solution”
JOHN V. WHITBECK
Words matter. They shape perceptions and understanding, both of past and present events and of future possibilities, and, thereby, can shape future events. The UN General Assembly’s vote of November 29 overwhelmingly recognizing Palestine’s ...
What Will This Become?
MISSY BEATTIE
On January 13, residents of Newtown, Connecticut gathered to discuss the fate of Sandy Hook Elementary where 20 first graders and six staff were slaughtered December 14, 2012 by a 20-year-old using a military-style rifle. Should the school be demolished? Ren...
The Ravens, Baltimore and the Resilience Hype
IAN THISTLE
“If you love the Colts, why don’t you treat me right?!” - Baltimore Colts owner Robert Irsay “If the Colts had to sneak out of town at night, it degrades a great tradition of a city and football.” - Baltimore May...
Torture is Trivial
ROBERT JENSEN
The great American torture debate has been rekindled by the nationwide release of “Zero Dark Thirty,” the hot new movie about the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden. But all the fussing over whether or not the movie condones, glorifies, and/or m...
The Algerian Kidnappers and the Case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
YVONNE RIDLEY
The only thing that surprised me when I heard that the Algerian kidnappers had called for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui was that it hadn’t happened sooner. Don’t get me wrong, as a former hostage myself, there is no way I condone the actions of what has unfo...
Institutionalized Forever
CHARLES R. LARSON
If you think of Will Self’s demanding novel, Umbrella, as one fell swoop, you get a sense...
Morricone Rides Again
DAVID YEARSLEY
From Monument Valley to the endless Montana plains and from the banks of the Mississippi to the peaks of the Rockies, the wide-screen open spaces of the movie Western confront us with the fact that there is no orchestra in sight.  Mel Brooks sent up the disjunction betwe...
Three by Corseri
POETS' BASEMENT
Unfinished by GARY CORSERI   I dreamt I saw Guevara on the mountains. Beautiful and strong, he laughed amongst comrades. A serpent of bullets crawled over his shoulde...
First There Was a Mountain
MIKE ROSELLE
The first time I went to West Virginia my life changed forever. I was invited down by Judy Bonds and Bo Webb to take a tour of the “coalfields”. Conditions there went swiftly from John Denver’s Almost Heaven, to John Prine’s Mulenberg County in les...
How Central Banking Works
MIKE WHITNEY
“Back in 2009, our hot housing market acted as a life preserver in a sea of economic uncertainty. Now it feels more like a cinder block tied around our necks.” — Chris Sorensen, “The Great Canadian Real Estate Crash of 2013″...
The Uses of Paul Farmer
ANSEL HERZ
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. – Martin Luther King Jr. Port-au-Prince. Dr. Paul Farmer stood alone in a corner of Hotel Karibe conference room, wat...
What is Wrong With America?
DAVE LINDORFF
What is wrong with America? Big question. Simple answer. We Americans have completely lost any sense of why a country, a society, and a government exist. Politicians, lobbyists and corporate media talking heads, and far too many ordinary people...
Mali’s Secret Infrastructure
SASHA ROSS
The armed Islamists who fled to Mali after the fall of Qaddafi’s government are significant, but they do not represent a complete rationale for French intervention. The Tuareg rose up in revolt partly due to Islamist influence, but also through nationalist impulse due t...
Obama’s EPA Shuts Down Damning Fracking Study
STEVE HORN
The Associated Press has a ...
The Bombing of Kirkuk
PATRICK COCKBURN
A suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded 170 in an attack in northern Iraq today, in a sign that the shift of al-Qa’ida militants to Syria is not leading to a reduction in their activities in Iraq. Shoppers and police helped drag injured survivors from ruined build...
The Fantasies of David Brooks
JOHN W. FARLEY
David Brooks, conservative pundit at the New York Times, reviewed a new book (The World Until Yesterday...
Can Occupy and Labor Coalesce?
PETER RUGH
On a cold December morning, before sunrise in New York’s Chinatown, about ...
Suffering for Superficiality
MICHAEL McDAETH
Poor creatures. Brittle-boned leather-skinned skeletons. Ignorant. Retarded. Miserable. Mad porcelain dolls. Committed to hours of painful unnecessary surgery for vanity and their glass-eyed keepers. They look like vampires indeed they are vampires. Sucking from the publi...
Militarizing Latin America
CONN HALLINAN
This past December marked the 190th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine, the 1823 policy declaration by President James Monroe that essentially made Latin America the exclusive reserve of the United States. And if anyone has any doubts about what lay at the heart of that D...
Retail Rebellion
BRIAN TIERNEY
In 1962, Arkansas businessman Sam Walton opened the first Walmart discount store, setting in motion the rapid ascendance of a corporate giant that would redefine markets around the world. With its focus on competitive prices and vast distribution networks that revolutio...
Stop the Poverty, Start the Healing
ROSEANNE DEMORO
The pervasive poverty engulfing this nation comes as no surprise to America’s nurses.   They see the country’s declining condition in their patients–  an assault on the basic state of health of America’s population, with appalling effects.  Nurses are soun...
France’s Tragic Path in Mali
BARRY LANDO
Paris. With hundreds of French troops in Mali, and hundreds more headed that way, the U.S. among other countries, has also pledged some limited support: intelligence, communication, logistics, unarmed drones. But Washington obviously would like to keep a l...
Sri Lanka: a Brainless Head
NILANTHA ILANGAMUWA
“Nothing’s ever gone too far. Anything can be reversed; these are human decisions.” – Noam Chomsky (An interview with the Al Jazeera- Jan 12 ) Colombo, Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa does what h...
Depardieu, Putin and the Tax Man
BINOY KAMPMARK
What will a man do to avoid tax?  Become Russian for one, or the cultural ambassador for Montenegro, the prelude to obtaining another means of escaping the homeland’s rapacious tax regime. France’s Gérard Depardieu, having failed to teleport himself via a spaceship ...
Kafka in the Air
JOSEPH GROSSO
As Barack Obama embarks on his second term media discourse predicatively overflows with talk of how he could avoid the final term doldrums. And this of course all will lead toward talk of an alleged legacy from years from now. In that vain, and in a most pressing way, per...
Obama in Africa
STEVE BREYMAN
Critics of President Obama’s 2011 aerial intervention in Libya may recall one of that conflict’s most striking features: the administration’s failure to invoke the 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR). The War Powers Resolution is that tasteless congressional fruit of t...
America in the Crosshairs
NORMAN POLLACK
It would be tempting to blame the NRA for the impasse over the control of gun violence.  Obstructionist  surely,  it possesses political muscle in Congressional circles similar to that of Norquist’s No-tax-increase pledge, as though “gun rights” shares equal plac...
Dismissing Mad Cow as a “Random Mutation”
MARTHA ROSENBERG
After the discovery of a mad cow in its herds, Brazil is experiencing what the US went through in the early 2000’s when three mad cows were found in its food supply: rapid, across the board boycotts of its exports. Japan, China, South Africa, South Korea and Saudi A...
The Power of Idle No More
MURRAY DOBBIN
The remarkable Idle No More movement is the biggest and most important national outpouring of grass roots aboriginal anger ever seen in Canada. Not since the late 1960s when Indians (as they then referred to themselves) and Metis confronted governments with demands for j...
Aaron Swartz and the Assault on Open Information
CHRIS GEOVANIS
Advocates of open access argue that information should be free, especially when public dollars and public consent, however torturously that consent is extracted, lie at the root of the creation of that information. Yet we live in an age of mounting ...
Vietnam and US Policy
RON JACOBS
On January 15, 1973 Richard Nixon announced a halt to offensive operations by US forces in Vietnam. Twelve days later a peace agreement was signed in Paris between the United States, northern Vietnam, the US client regime in Saigon, and the Provisional Revolutionary Gover...
Inside the Latest Climate Report
MANUEL GARCIA, JR.
A Federal Advisory Committee called the “National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee” or NCADAC, was established under the Department of Commerce in December 2010 and is supported through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (...
A New Wave of Barbarism
BEN SCHREINER
The French military intervention into Mali on Friday — France’s second in as many years into a former African colony — was reportedly “...
Bolivia Corrupt
CHELLIS GLENDINNING
Cochabamba. I had already spent more hours attempting — with zero success, I might add — to be awarded the 2013 roseta/decal the police require on your windshield than I had the year before: six hours, to be exact – and yet my tim...
If Our Schools Are So Bad, Why Are They Teaching This Stuff?
DAVID MACARAY
By now, thankfully, most people have come to the realization that the so-called “reform movement,” nominally dedicated to improving America’s public schools, is as bogus, misleading, and greed-driven as those tricked-out, bundled-up, sub-prime mortgages that almost ...
For Syria’s President al-Assad, It is Only “Sad” Not “Sod”
M. KAMIAR
Some years ago, one of my students at Jacksonville University asked me “if I ever receive any reply to my emails that I sent out to important people?” I was bragging about sending emails to Mr. Kevin Klose, then president of National Public Radio, and Senator Bill Nel...
Alexander Cockburn Memorial
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Alexander Cockburn Memorial ...
World War in Asia?
LINH DINH
With the Asia Pivot, the US wants to encircle China, and supplies old and new allies with missiles aimed at its main rival. An amped up arms race means cash flow for the world’s biggest death dealer. If all these Asian nations buy as many American fighter planes as ...
How 20 Tents Rocked Israel
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. When the Palestinian leadership won their upgrade to non-member observer status at the United Nations in November, plenty of sceptics on both sides of the divide questioned what practical benefits would accrue to the Palestinians. The doubters ha...
The War Against the Shia
PATRICK COCKBURN
It is a ferocious war waged by assassination, massacre, imprisonment and persecution that has killed tens of thousands of people. But non-Muslims – and many Muslims – scarcely notice this escalating conflict that pits Shia minority against Sunni majority. ...
At Least One Half the Earth
Vijay Prashad
Main ek Darwaza thi Mujhe jitna peeta gaya Main utna khulti gayi. I was like a door. As I was beaten, I kept opening more. — Anamika, Darwaza. Delhi. ...
Respect Squandered?
MICHAEL NEUMANN
Yves Engler’s The Ugly Canadian:  Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy is partly a f...
Exit Geithner
DEAN BAKER
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s departure from the Obama Administration invites comparisons with Klemens von Metternich. Metternich was the foreign minister of the Austrian Empire who engineered the restoration of the old order and the suppression of democracy...
Unraveling the Fraying Edges of Zero Tolerance
RACHEL HERZING
In summer 2011, following the uprisings in Britain and the proposal by Prime Minister, David Cameron that former New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner and former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief, William Bratton be brought on to run the Metropolitan pol...
The Human Right to Settle?
NICOLA PERUGINI
In a recent article in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronot, columnist Rafael Castro ...
The Dangers and Degradations of Daily Prison Life
DANNY GLOVER and SAUL LANDAU
We wait with a Latina woman and two of her kids until the prison guard at the entrance desk calls our number. We pass through the X-ray machine and get our wrists stamped. Then we sit and stare at a religious display in the show case – church-state separation?— where ...
The Assault on Richard Dare
RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE
Richard Dare, who from all reports is a solid citizen and quite talented, was made president of the New Jersey Symphony on January 2, 2013, and ten days later resigned in what appears to be public disgrace. (New York Times, 1-12-13) The press discovered that in 1996 he wa...
The Wilmington 10 Pardon
LAMONT LILLY
On Dec. 31, outgoing North Carolina governor, Beverly Perdue, pardoned The Wilmington 10 – Rev. Benjamin Chavis, Connie Tindall, Marvin Patrick, Wayne Moore, Reginald Epps, Jerry Jacobs, James McKoy, Willie Earl Vereen, William Wright, Jr. and Ann Shepard – who had se...
High Noon in America
JOHN GRANT
Since gun control is such a hot topic, the elite think tank the Project For a New American Decade (PNAD) has come up with a modest proposal to add to the national conversation. We think it’s worth a try. First, we do the obvious, most sensible things: we establis...