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 May 2013
There’s a Fever in the Valley
SAUL LANDAU
Climate change seems to have exacerbated the stupidity of U.S. daily life, or maybe we’ve long suffered from the consequences of the capitalist mode of production, plus the negative spin offs from the massive U.S. war machine. Both systems feed off nature, which c...
Corporate Corruption And The Special Interest State
DAVID ROSEN
“I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists in Washington that their days of setting the agenda are over.” Guess who said these memorable words? In November 2007, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama uttered this now all-but-forgotten campaign promis...
Dirty Secrets in the Kitchen
MARC PERRENOUD
Most of the many television cookery programmes in the past decade, such as the UK’s MasterChef, the US’s Top Chef and Australia’s The Chopping Block have used the talent show (X Factor,Fame Academy or The Apprentice) format...
The Fallacy of Geo-Engineering
RYAN EUSTACE
It’s all over the news. As carbon dioxide levels surpass the milestone of four hundred parts per million, people continue to lament humanity’s seeming inability to reduce emissions. Others continue to deny that climate change exists, or that, if it does exist, it is n...
Stockholm Smolders
S.C. HAHN
Stockholm. Stockholm has been the scene of riots this week, to much of the world’s surprise, with the unrest flaring up in immigrant-dominated neighborhoods on the city’s periphery. The Stockholm media reports cars burning in at least fifteen s...
Hezbollah and the Syrian Pit
FRANKLIN LAMB
Homs Province, Syria. During a tour of some of the neighborhoods in Homs, Syria’s third largest city after Aleppo and Damascus, with a pre-conflict population of approximately 800,000 (nearly half  Homs residents have fled over the past two years) loca...
The Cost of Freedom
NILANTHA ILANGAMUWA
Change cannot be achieved by forcing others to accept the world that you have conceptualized as per your will, desire and imagination, but it happens through the attitu...
Five Lessons for the Left
MURRAY DOBBIN
The NDP’s stunning loss (going from a 17% lead to a 5% deficit) in B.C. is being deconstructed, dissected, analyzed and mourned over not only here but across the country. Every pundit and political junkie, including me, thought the NDP would win, even after their le...
Obama and the Yes-You-Can Terrorists
BARRY LANDO
Paris. President Obama’s speech, announcing his intent to reign in America’s global war on terror is playing out with a certain grisly irony here in England, a country reeling from the latest terrorist act. The ...
Collateral Consequences Weighed for Corporations, Not for Individuals
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
In case you had any doubt that federal prosecutors favor corporations over individuals, check out Mythili Raman’s testimony before a House hearing this week. Raman is the acting chief of the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice. ...
Why the Senate’s “Border Security Triggers” May Leave Millions in Limbo
GEOFFREY BOYCE
On May 21st the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded debate on the “Gang of 8” immigration reform proposal, passing the amended proposal onto the full Senate for consideration. A significant component of the bill is a set of “border security triggers” t...
Under Empire, All Life is Imperiled
JAVIER SETHNESS CASTRO
“After the catastrophes that have happened, and in view of the catastrophes to come, it would be cynical to say that a plan for a better world is manifested in history and unites it.” – Theodor ...
Religious Barbarians
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
It was humanity at its best.  Showing compassion for the quick and the dead.  The quick made news in Tbilisi, Georgia.  The dead made news in Worcester, Massachusetts. May 17, 2013, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, a mob of more than 10,...
Benghazi: Imperialist Outpost
NORMAN POLLACK
I am not naïve.  Embassies have been centers of intrigue, propaganda disseminators, bases for political intervention in a nation’s internal affairs, intermediaries for the promotion of markets and investments, etc., practices not confined to those representing the US,...
Congressman Quotes Jesus in Bid to Gut Food Stamps
RICHARD SCHIFFMAN
GOP Congressman Stephen Fincher is on a mission from God. He wants to drastically cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as food stamps, for 47 million of our poorest citizens. He supports a rider on the farm bill that would effectively elimina...
Was the Latvian Bailout a Fraud?
JOHN CHRISTMAS
Over 56,000 people have viewed a Youtube video titled “Latvian Financial Crisis.”  It is one of the most popular videos ever about Latvia.  The video explains the implications of a document that was published on dissident website ...
When It Comes to Misogyny, Facebook Learned from the US Government
NATHAN GOODMAN
Lately, feminist activists are organizing against a litany of misogynist Facebook pages that glorify violence against women or treat it as a joke, pages with names like “Raping Your Girlfriend” and “Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus.”  The activists’ primary tact...
Starving? The UN Wants You to Eat Insects
ADITY SHARMA
It seems that passing ineffectual resolutions isn’t the United Nation’s only forte. The recent suggestion by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to harvest and consume insects like bees, grasshoppers, ants and beetles, completely omits an undeniable human pro...
Turkey Lurches Towards Prohibition
MICHAEL DICKINSON
“Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?” asks Sir Toby Belch of the puritanical teetotal steward, Malvolio, in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’. It seems that if you are virtuous puritanical teetotal Turkish Prime M...
“Hello, Missy, Fuck You”
MISSY BEATTIE
When I wrote that first opinion piece after my nephew Chase was killed in Iraq, I naively believed my words could make a difference, would prevent others from hearing the sentence of death, “We regret to inform you.” Jeez, I’ve written more than 600 articles....
Fighting Goliath
MONICA BOND
Forty years ago, during the Nixon administration of the early 1970s, Congress passed several truly visionary environmental laws.  The strength of these laws, including the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act, along with ...
Swerve, David Bowie and Musicianship
K WEBSTER
The philosopher Epicurus speculated that, despite the overwhelming regularity of nature, atoms traveling in a straight line, in a moment of sheer unpredictability, might deviate from their course – or swerve. From this he gathered that we possess free will. &...
Conflict Resolution in Syria
RICHARD E. RUBENSTEIN
During a tour of some of the neighborhoods in Homs, Syria’s third largest city after Aleppo and Damascus, with a pre-conflict population of approximately 800,000 (nearly half Homs residents have fled over the past two years) located maybe about 22 miles NE of the curre...
Crime Fiction and Capitalist Reality
RON JACOBS
The novel is generally acknowledged to be a bourgeois form of literature. It wasn’t until there were enough literate people with time for leisurely reading that this entertainment came along.  The crime novel reflects the bourgeois obsession with order and usually ...
Sparking Off Each Other is Building Mass Resistance
KEVIN ZEESE and MARGARET FLOWERS
This was a week that exemplified the historic moment in which we live.  We will look back at these times and see the seeds of a national revolt against concentrated wealth that puts profits ahead of people and the planet. Not only were there a wide array of resistance ac...
Hugo’s “Les Miserables” Revisited
JOHN WIGHT
Modern literature suffers from the lack of an epic novel that encompasses and defines the times in which we live, containing as a result that elusive but necessary quality of timelessness necessary to accord it the status of the cl...
Argentinean Nightmare
CHARLES R. LARSON
Patricio Pron’s publishers refer to My Father’s Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain as an auto...
In Search of Bach’s Brain
DAVID YEARSLEY
This week I had the pleasure of visiting the editorial offices of the Last Newspaper in America, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, having not been there for a few years. Amongst the cluttered paraphernalia of old-fashioned newspapering and with the magnificent golden hills ...
McCormack and Larrea
POETS' BASEMENT
We All Die of Our Nightmares in the End. ( R ) by BRENDAN McCORMACK The trains are darkly packed in the station, Hundreds of carriages Brooding next to each other Upon tracks leading nowhere. We are underground....
Colombia’s Peasants and Workers Under Fire
JAMES JORDAN
There has been an alarming escalation of repression against rural populations in Colombia.  Much of this is focused against the National Unified Federation of Agricultural Workers Unions, or Fensuagro–the country’s largest labor organization representing rura...
The Consequences of Gun-at-the-Head Diplomacy
MIKE WHITNEY
“The US kill rate in the 1950-53 Korean War equaled more than one 9-11 every day… for the whole 1,100 day war…The US may have killed 20% of the population of Korea, said General Curtis Lemay, who was involved in the US air war on Korea. If so...
The ‘Terror’ Act of Woolwich
BINOY KAMPMARK
It is an object study.  Two men in a car, which is driven into another man.  The attacked individual is then hacked to death by a meat cleaver or kitchen implement in broad daylight.  There may be several instruments used.  There are religious chants – or at least t...
Weiner Redux
DAVID ROSEN
Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is back.  Having given up his House seat following being exposed in a 2011 sexting scandal, Weiner bowed out of politics for the last two years. On May 22nd, Weiner threw his proverbial hat into the New York Ci...
More Exposés, Less Action
RALPH NADER
There must be reasons why people are weary of the flood of excellent documentary films, books and articles showing us what the corporate state – that is, the fusion of big business and government to constantly serve the former against the peoples’ interest – is doin...
The Tornado and Other Man-Made Disasters
KEN KLIPPENSTEIN
The ancient Greeks attributed weather to the god Zeus; today we can safely attribute it to industrial capitalism and its voracious consumption of fossil fuels. The carnage left by a tornado in Oklahoma yesterday is just the latest in our economic system’s daunting body ...
US Political Impotence in the Middle East
RAMZY BAROUD
In an article published May 15, 2013, American historical social scientist Immanuel Wallerstein wrote, “Nothing illustrates more the limitations of Western power than the internal controversy its elites are having in public about what the United States in particular and...
Drones = Assassinations = War Crimes
NORMAN POLLACK
Journalist Scott Shane, with an assist from Mark Mazzetti, reports in the New York Times (May 22) on the decline in armed drone strikes. Perhaps, for all the wrong reasons, drone warfare is now under review–i.e., in the words of one national-security expert, these s...
Muslims and the War on Terror
FAISAL KUTTY
A tipoff from a prominent Toronto imam more than a year ago appears to be at the heart of arrests at the end of April in the alleged VIA Rail terror plot in Canada. In fact, counterterrorism police began their press briefing by ...
Goal Reached: Time to Restart the Economy
KEVIN ZEESE and MARGARET FLOWERS
Finally – it’s over.  The goal of Simpson and Bowles has been met, the deficit is shrinking rapidly. And the intellectual underpinning for deficit reduction, based on the ...
Umbrellas and Drones
ROBERT FANTINA
To observe the Republicans, one would think that the U.S. military was involved in nothing more controversial than a Marine holding an umbrella for President Barack Obama while he gave a speech in the rain.  Sarah Palin, one of the many darlings of the rightwing, has sta...
Bill Maher’s Union-Bashing
DAVID MACARAY
What person smokes a ton of marijuana, loves animals but doesn’t like kids, digs girls and sex but never wants to get married, rejoices in using dirty words, hates fat people, likes the beach, and enjoys shocking us with wisecracks about religion and hillbillies?  It...
How Lebanon’s Palestinians Are Being Pulled Into Syrian War
FRANKLIN LAMB
Homs Palestinian Refugee Camp, Syria Historically, Palestinian refugees, wherever they have sought temporary sanctuary following the ethic cleansing of their country by the 19th Century Zionist colonial enterprise, and pending their Return to P...
American Advice for Indian Growth
VIJAY PRASHAD
Where does one even begin? On May 21, the US Ambassador to India, Nancy Powell, addressed the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kolkata. She told the eager crowd of businessmen that “if India is to grow again, support for policies that are necessary for ...
The Last of the Semites
JOSEPH MASSAD
Jewish opponents of Zionism understood the movement since its early age as one that shared the precepts of anti-Semitism in its diagnosis of what gentile Europeans called the “Jewish Question”. What galled anti-Zionist Jews the most, however, ...
Climate Policies Must Break Free From Big Oil
DAVID CRONIN
It seems an odd time for environment policy wonks to throw a party. The level of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere is higher than it has been in three million years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US. That sober...
In Search of Peace With Justice in Colombia
W.T. WHITNEY
Asked recently by a Mexican interviewer to justify U.S. involvement in Venezuelan affairs, President Barack Obama suggested Venezuela should be heading “toward democracy, toward freedom. You’re seeing it here in Mexico [and] ...
A Dream Foreclosed
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
How different are the big Wall Street banks circa 2008 from the loan sharks of the 1970s? Not very. Laura Gottesdiener has written a remarkable book that hits hard against the big Wall Street banks. It’s called –...
All-Out Civil War in Iraq?
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraq is edging closer to all-out sectarian war between Sunni and Shia Muslims as a series of car bombings and shootings killed at least 90 people and left many others injured. Casualty figures are returning to a level not seen since the civil war of 2006-7. M...
Nuclear War Careers Don’t Get Any Respect
JOHN LaFORGE
Some of the Air Force’s self-styled nuclear “missileers” — sitting at launch controls in Minot, North Dakota — recently earned a “D” on their intercontinental ballistic missile firing (ICBM) skills. More than 10 percent of the Minot Air Force Base’s 91st ...