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 October 2013
How We Lost in Iraq
ALEXANDER REID ROSS
In a recent article entitled, “How We Won in Iraq,” David Petraeus laments the impending failure of the US’s long-term strategy in the region. Of course, for Petraeus, this failure does not come as a result of the Counterinsurgency (COIN) formulas that he innovated ...
Halloween R US
NELSON P. VALDÉS and SAUL LANDAU
All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life… – Karl Marx, the Manifesto of the communist Party “The...
Drones: the Moral Challenge of Our Time
KATE ALLEN
Technological advances can make an almost imperceptible slip from the sci-fi to the blasé, often with surprisingly little fanfare. In our retina-scanning, embryo-cloning, 3D-screening modern day, it’s hard to recall a world where Bluetooth seemed like witchcraft....
Aung San Suu Kyi: Complicity With Tyranny?
GUY HORTON
One morning in January this year I stood near the front line between the Kachin Independence and Burma armies. The former was defending some of the last remnants of its territory. The latter was inflicting a massive attack consisting of tens of thousands of troops, suppor...
Israel on the Lookout
RAMZY BAROUD
Throughout the years, Lebanon’s demographics have experienced periodic influx. But particularly in the last two years, the demographic shift has been so overwhelming due to the flood of Syrian refugees in desperate need for shelter. The situation is highly charged, if n...
Rebranding NSA Spying
PETER LEE
Back in August, I e-mailed a Guy Who Knows Stuff: In order to fudge the legal limitations on collection of strictly intra-US phone calls by US persons, could the US gov ask ATT (which, I expect, has a pretty close working relationship with Bell Canada) ...
David Cameron’s War Against Workers
DAVID CRONIN
David Cameron probably rues the day he declared that lobbying was “the next big scandal waiting to happen”. Uttered in 2010 when he was still leader of the opposition, Cameron’s words have proven to be prescient. Last year ...
Israel’s Mistreatment of Palestinian Children
DR. CESAR CHELALA
A UNICEF report issued last March, “Children in Israeli Military Detention,” was sharply critical of Israel’s treatment of detained Palestinian children and youths. According to that report, 700 Palestinian children aged 12-17, most of them boys, are arrested and ha...
Drying Up Ideological Wellsprings of Arab / Israeli Conflict
NICOLA NASSER
Gradually, awareness that de-Zionization of the US and European foreign policy as well as the internal policies of the State of Israel has become a prerequisite for peace in the Middle East is steadily taking roots in Israeli and world public opinion and consciousness....
Five Lessons From the Battles Against GMOs
RONNIE CUMMINS
Twenty years after the controversial introduction of unlabeled and untested genetically engineered foods and crops, opposition to GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and Monsanto has created one of the largest netroots-grassroots movements in the U.S. There are a...
Pornographic Halloween
HELEN REDMOND
Porn and raunch culture is so ubiquitous in American society that it has become normalized. From pole dancing and stripper workout classes to thong underwear to wearing t-shirts that sport the Playboy Bunny, what’s not to like? Recently, a man sitting next to me on a pa...
Conservatives Make Their Proposals for Healthcare Coverage
CHARLES R. LARSON
Ted Cruze:  one packet of twelve aspirin, three Band-Aids, and four yards of clothesline. Michelle Bachmann:  King James Bible and mandatory Sunday school attendance. Paul Ryan:  $30.00 in food stamps per month for a family of ...
Remembering Michael Mandel
STEPHEN LENDMAN
On October 27, Michael Mandel died peacefully at home. He passed from cardiac amyloidosis. It’s a rare heart disease. It causes arrhythmias, heart blockage disturbances and death. He di...
The War in Iraq: an Assessment
W.T. WHITNEY
Argentinean political commentator Juan Gelman thinks the Iraq war has “entered ...
Nicaragua Calling
FRANK HILAIRE
The Tica bus departed Tapachula, Mexico, at 7 am—right on time. Along with the other 11 passengers, I’d cleared the unguarded security checkpoint to find my seat aboard the 48 passenger bus.  Without fanfare then, the driver teased the behemoth from its be...
The War to End Nothing
BINOY KAMPMARK
Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian, that extensive rag that said it all said it again when it came to Australia’s imminent withdrawal from Afghanistan.  “Our Afghan war ends not with victory, nor defeat.”  This was the surprise occasion of Prime Minister Ton...
Parallel Disintegrations
PATRICK COCKBURN
The civil war in Syria is reigniting the ...
The Politics of Pain
JONATHAN CARP
One of the first things I learned in my health care career is that pain is an inherently subjective experience. Different people experience different levels of pain in different situations, and everyone has their own idiosyncratic problem areas — one can’t bear dental...
Kiss My Rich, Happy Black Ass!
CECIL BROWN
Dear Mr. Book Editor: Thanks for your note that you were going to give my book, Pryor Lives! “ a look.” As you know, it was last February during Black History Month that I wrote you. Each year it is the same. We, African Americans, have ...
Doughboys and Dumb Things Humans Have Done
DAVID SWANSON
This November 11th at 11 a.m. will mark 95 years since World War I ended.  Next July 28th will mark 100 years since it started.  The world war, the great war, the war for no good reason, the war of poison gas, the war to end all wars, the war of mass stupidity, the ...
The Kafkaesque World of Data Mining
GILBERT MERCIER
In the surreal world we live in, reality has become stranger than fiction. The information super highway could have produced a completely transparent world, yet the elusive corporate and governmental nexus of Big Brothers has surrounded itself with layers of opacity, secr...
Obama’s Betrayal of Honduras
MARK WEISBROT
Do the people of Honduras have the right to elect their own president and congress?  That depends on whom you talk to.  In 2009, the country’s left-of-center President Mel Zelaya was overthrown in a military coup that was heavily supported (andaccording to Zela...
Lou Reed
KIM NICOLINI
  ...
The Hillary Threat
JAMES MADDEN
Berkeley, California In my previous three articles to this site, I have challenged CounterPunchers to consider abandoning the United States, to become vegetarians, and to doubt the effectiveness of traditional protest methods. Now I am writing to convince yo...
How Human Rights Watch Covers for Companies in Colombia
DANIEL KOVALIK
On the CounterPunch masthead are these words proudly written, “Tells the Facts, Names the Names.” It’s because CounterPunch lives up to these words that I happily write for it and proudly donate to it. Human Right...
Happy Black Tuesday!
MIKE WHITNEY
Historians often point to October 29th, 1929, as the beginning of the Great Depression, but it really wasn’t. Black Tuesday, as it is known today, was merely the capitulation-phase of a stock market collapse that had begun more than a month earlier. Equities prices ...
The Risk of Snowden Fatigue
BINOY KAMPMARK
Oh, the fury of the states at the peeping toms of Uncle Sam, the lusty search for data, material and subject matter.  The latest Edward Snowden spectacular has seen the Spanish government haul the US ambassador before its offices to deal with “doubts” arising from hi...
The Republic of Denial
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
To inform people is hard slugging.  Everything is lined up against the public being informed, or the policymakers for that matter. News is contaminated by its service to special interests and hidden agendas. Many scientists or their employers are dependent on federal mon...
Now is the Time to Film at Fukushima
HARVEY WASSERMAN
We are in desperate need of documentary filmmakers at Fukushima. The Japanese government is about to pass ...
Why Greenspan Owes America an Apology
DEAN BAKER
Alan Greenspan will go down in history as the person most responsible for the enormous economic damage caused by the housing bubble and the subsequent collapse of the market. The United States is still down almost 9m jobs from its trend path. We are losing close to $1tn a...
The Corporate State of Surveillance
RALPH NADER
America was founded on the ideals of personal liberty, freedom and democracy. Unfortunately, mass spying, surveillance and the unending collection of personal data threaten to undermine civil liberties and our privacy rights. What started as a necessary means of reconnais...
The Politics of Britain’s Badger “Cull”
LESLEY DOCKSEY
Digging ever deeper into the facts about the badger culls, the more I come across evidence showing they are being carried out on the basis of false figures, manipulated evidence and a lot of, to quote Hillary Clinton, “mistelling of the truth”. The more I discover, th...
Bolivia’s Cynical Utopia
JOHN SEVERINO
Many people have sung the praises of the progressive government that came to power in Bolivia in 2006. Under the leadership of Evo Morales, unionist and former coca grower who led the relatively new MAS party to a sweeping victory, the Bolivian government has instituted a...
Washington Does Not Like Snarky
JOHN GRANT
To: Jofi Joseph, Washington DC Dear Mr Joseph: I read of your firing as a low-level national security adviser in the White House thanks to your “snarky” tweeting about various Obama administration officials above you in the pecking order. I unders...
Watershed Moment for Canada’s NDP
YVES ENGLER
This past week may come to be seen as a watershed moment in the NDP’s capitulation to neoliberal capitalism. Canada’s nominally social democratic party effectively supported a major corporate ‘trade’ accord all the while opposing an International M...
Is American Yoga Racist?
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
It was late summer, and the young white middle-class women that run the Power of Om Yoga Studio in idyllic Santa Barbara, CA were bored.  Suddenly, they struck upon a novel idea.  Let’s invite our friends and neighbors to dress up like “Black people.”  And not ju...
NSA Does the Grand Tour
MICHAEL BRENNER
NSA returned to center stage last week thanks to revelations that it has tapped the phones of European leaders.  The resulting ruckus raises three questions: why? how far will the targeting governments go in demanding redress? how will Washington respond? In considering ...
A Poet in the Great Bear Rainforest
LORNA CROZIER
The big grizzly is perched on the other side of the river bank, so near he can hear the rain on my jacket. He raises his blunt head and courses the air. Stares at me and sniffs. Above the stench of rotting salmon, my smell has been drawn into a grizzly’s nostrils...
Libya is Liberated! But Please Don’t Visit!!
PATRICK COCKBURN
It is revealing to read Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advisories addressed to British citizens about security, or the lack of it, in countries where the Government otherwise plays down the dangers. I used to enjoy reading scary FCO advisories about Iraq eig...
Killing Andy Lopez
SHEPHERD BLISS
Another child has been killed. Andy Lopez was playing with a toy on Oct. 22 near his home in a Latino community in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, Northern California. A sheriff’s deputy pulled the trigger and hit the 13-year-old seven times, fearing that his toy assault rif...
Hi-Tech Fun and Games with the NSA
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Voutenay sur Cure, France. The reports that the US National Security Agency is spying on foes and friends with happy abandon should not come as a surprise. The news channel France 24 described the affair as “Old Revelations; New Outrage,” which sums it...
Bank Regulation, Drone Warfare, Cracks in the Alliance
NORMAN POLLACK
The Obama administration isn’t inexperienced, it is criminal.  This accounts for its failures, all glaringly visible in just the past week, which POTUS himself will not admit as failures but weasel out of through posturing or otherwise invoke specious arguments.  Much...
Miracles in Minneapolis and Seattle?
WILLIAM KAUFMAN
To vote or not to vote? To run or not to run? Those are the questions —whether it is nobler (and more effective) for the left to (a) venture into an antiquated, gerrymandered, bought-off, computer-rigged American electoral maze, where progressive third parties get lost ...
A Tale of Two Media Conferences, 43 Years Apart
PAUL KRASSNER
“In the time when new media was the big idea that was the big idea” –lyric from U2 song,”Kite” In June 1970, a charter flight was on its way from San Francisco to the Alternative Media Conference at Goddard College in P...
Politics, Money and the New Media
DOUG DOWD
DOLLAROCRACY: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America by John ...
Beyond Russell Brand’s Revolutionary Change
ELLIOT SPERBER
Russell Brand’s recent calls for revolutionary change (in his BBC i...
Keystone XL: The Art of NGO Discourse
CORY MORNINGSTAR
Keystone XL Investigative Report Series | THE ART OF NGO DISCOURSE | Part I  | ...
Lou Reed: a Flash in the Dark
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Sometimes, a person has to disintegrate for their own good, and — assuming survival — rebuild themselves out of the wreckage of the old life. I did this during the late 1980s, and so far that reworked me has remained a reasonably reliable and prosaic vehicle for my su...