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 2014
Egypt’s Rigged Vote
JEFF MACKLER
Egypt’s Supreme Electoral Committee hailed the two-day, Jan. 14-15 vote on the military’s proposed new constitution. They were not embarrassed to report that the vote was 98 percent in favor, with some 39 percent of the electorate participating. This was as compared t...
The Shriveling State of the Union
BEN MANSKI
The Republicans are right when they they point to America’s 25+ million jobless and ask whether the President is serious in proposing job training as his primary remedy. The Democrats are right when they respond that the Republicans have proposed no real jobs alternativ...
The U.S. Assassination Program in Colombia
DANIEL KOVALIK
On December 21, 2013, The Washington Post published a story entitled, “Covert action Colombia,” about the intimate and critical role of the CIA and the NSA in helping to assassinate “at least two dozen” leaders of the Colombian FARC guerillas from “the ea...
Distorting Poverty to Promote Capitalism
GARRY LEECH
While attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week to discuss global development and poverty, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates claimed that foreign aid from wealthy nations and philanthropy were successfully alleviating global poverty and inequality. Ac...
Does Racism Help or Hurt White America?
TANYA GOLASH-BOZA
In a recent interview, David Leonard argued that white people do not suffer fr...
The Un-Development of the US Economy
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
A few days ago, I explained how economists and policymakers destroyed our economy for the sake of short-term corporate profits from jobs offshoring and financial de...
The Siege of Adra
PATRICK COCKBURN
Adra, Syria. “They came through the main sewer at 4.30am and caught us by surprise,” says a Syrian soldier, who gave his name as Abu Ali, describing the rebel capture of part of the industrial town of Adra, just north of Damascus. “They chose a cold da...
Down and Out in Thailand
ANDRE VLTCHEK
They really do, do it! And they are hard at work. Sukumvit Road, the main commercial artery of the capital, is totally blocked. ‘Protesters’ are camped in the middle of it, basically taking it over, their tents, shops and eateries are spread all over the paveme...
Ukraine and the Rebirth of Fascism
ERIC DRAITSER
The violence on the streets of Ukraine is far more than an expression of popular anger against a government. Instead, it is merely the latest example of the rise of the most insidious form of fascism that Europe has seen since the fall of the Third Reich. Recent mo...
Reclaiming the Commons in Appalachia
GRANT MINCY
Humans are social beings. We organize ourselves into groups, build relationships, enjoy creative labor and seek fellowship. From childhood to adulthood, who we are greatly depends on our relationships with those closest to us. We are also heavily influenced by the social,...
Fear of the Old
DEAN BAKER
One of the recurring canards in Washington policy debates is that the United States has an aging population that is going to bankrupt our children and grandchildren. According to this tale, an increasingly small number of workers will have to support an ever-growing...
Pete Seeger Before Pete Seeger
CLANCY SIGAL
There are all sorts of ways to celebrate the life of Pete Seeger, but the one I prefer is a deliberately forgotten and suppressed album, “Songs for John Doe”. Much of his life Pete was hounded by rightwing blacklisters, but the John Doe songs were kept under lo...
Some Personal Recollections of Pete Seeger
DAVID ROVICS
On Monday night I looked at my phone, before going to bed, and checked the BBC headlines, as I often do. That’s when I learned that the great Pete Seeger had died at the age of 94. I slept anyway, but not very well, with my thoughts racing all night. I have j...
The NRA’s Call for Jihad
CHARLES R. LARSON
It’s not very difficult to connect the NRA’s screeds against gun control in the United States with incidents of genocide in the world (Rwanda, Congo, Serbia, even the Nigerian/Biafran War in the late 1960s) or even as a call for jihad against those who would attempt t...
The NSA, CIA, and the Promise of Industrial Espionage
DAVID PRICE
In a weekend interview with German ARD public television network, Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. government uses its broad electronic surveillance capabilities to engage in industrial espionage. Snowden told ARD TV that, “I will say is there is no question that t...
Pete Seeger: a Troubadour for Peace and Justice
PETER STONE BROWN
Pete Seeger was my first hero.  I cannot remember a time when I did not know who he was.  I first listened to him on my parent’s 78s of the Almanac Singers singing “Talking Union” and “I Don’t Want Your Millions Mister,” and then on a Folkways record of work...
The New Wave of Financial Instability
MIKE WHITNEY
Global stocks were hammered on Friday for a second straight day on news of a slowdown in China and turbulence in emerging markets. The Dow Jones Industrials suffered its worse drubbing in more than two years, tumbling 318 points on Friday to end a 490 point two-day rout. ...
Obama and Co. Discover Inequality
JACK RASMUS
Today, January 28, 2014, President Obama will address the nation in his State of the Union (SOTU) speech to Congress.  A major theme of the address will be the growing income inequality in the US. His speech represents an echo of similar themes and talks that have...
Obama’s Empty Gesture
JASON HIRTHLER
Sometimes you get the feeling that President Obama is just mailing it in. That he has wearied of his stewardship of the American empire and has little energy left to vigorously maintain the pretense of Democratic virtues that he was originally paid to espouse. Such was th...
Unforgettable Cuba
FAWZIA AFZAL-KHAN
Its been a year—at this time, January of 2013, my comrade and colleague in Women’s and Gender Studies at another east-coast university and I, were enjoying the Caribbean sights and sounds of Havana, Cuba. She is originally from India and I from Pakistan, both of a gen...
So Long Pete Seeger
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Toshi and Pete Seeger defy description except through the sheer joy and honor it was to know them, however briefly. Their list of accomplishments will fill many printed pages, which all pale next to the simple core beauty of the lives they led....
Holder the Hypocrite
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Attorney General Eric Holder said last week that prosecutors would be willing to talk to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on the condition that Snowden be willing to plead guilty to criminal charges. Holder doesn’...
Genocide in Myanmar?
SUFYAN bin UZAYR
Few days back, I read about yet another vicious attack on Myanmar’s helpless and persecuted Rohingya minority. This time, the venue was Du Chee Ya Tan village in the Rakhine state, which lies pretty close to Bangladesh. Just in case you are thinking that the rioters sha...
Pete Seeger, 1919-2014
NORMAN POLLACK
Pete, your death closes a chapter, perhaps the whole Book, on America’s democratic past, a past that was itself clouded with antiradicalism from sea to sea, yet still retained a measure of social caring and resistance to the forces of war, racism, and corporate power. Y...
The Ethics of the World Bank
NICK ALEXANDROV
The World Bank’s Office of the Compliance Adviser/Ombudsman (CAO) determined on January 10 that the Bank’s private-sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), violated “its own ethical standards” when it “lent millions of dollars to a Hondur...
Poor West Virginia?  Think Again
MIKE ROSELLE
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. — Psalm 23.4 The chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia has once again put Appalachia on the map. This is what it usua...
Return to Damascus
PATRICK COCKBURN
Damascus. I was just thinking that Damascus was a lot quieter than six months ago – at that time the sound of government artillery pounding the rebel-held districts resounded daily across the capital – when there was the crash of a mortar bomb explodin...
Asylum Seekers, Refugees and “the Loss of Israel”
NICOLA PERUGINI and NEVE GORDON
Jerusalem. On January 22, protests in solidarity with African asylum seekers were held in front of...
How Economists and Policymakers Murdered Our Economy
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The economy has been debilitated by the offshoring of middle class jobs for the benefit of corporate profits and by the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing in order to support a few oversized banks that the government protects from market discipline.  Not o...
Chronicling the Egyptian Counter-Revolution
MUSA al-GHARBI
To be clear, the Egyptian military does not aspire towards total control of the state, with all of the responsibilities entailed thereby—what they want, what they have always wanted, is to be beyond accountability to the civilian population, to have their budget immune ...
Surveillance Reaffirmed
NORMAN POLLACK
The scene: January 17, Obama is speaking at the Department of Justice, a solid bank of American flags behind him. In the front row sit Comey, Brennan, Clapper, and Johnson, his cheering section, the High Command of US Intelligence and insurance policy for certified patrio...
Manipulating the Seeds of Life
KARL GROSSMAN
Just out is a brilliant book, highly important and beautifully written, by Scott Chaskey, a Long Island, N.Y. farmer (for 25 years he has run the Peconic Land Trust’s Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett), poet and crusader for local, organic, sustainable agriculture.  ...
Economic Justice is the Solution
KEVIN ZEESE and MARGARET FLOWERS
A paradigm shift is taking place. It is coming from the awareness that all of our crises are connected to an economy rigged for the wealthiest. The symptoms of big finance capitalism create the poverty, low wages, economic insecurity and environmental destruction so a han...
Fictitious Withdrawals
BINOY KAMPMARK
The United States was blessed among nations. On the north, she had a weak neighbour; on the south, another weak neighbour; on the east, fish; and on the west, fish. –Jules Jusserand, French Ambassador to the US, 1910 Nothing happens at the supp...
The Syrian Team in Geneva
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus. As a new workweek begins here is Damascus many citizens across a fairly broad spectrum appear to be backing, and even exhibiting a kind of pride for their diplomatic team at the Geneva II conference. It might appear flippant for this observer to ...
A Prosperous China Versus An Imperial US
JOHN V. WALSH
China has stated its goals quite unambiguously. “A moderately prosperous society by 2020” is the first goal and “a strong socialist nation by 2049” as the second. But this may be simplified: China’s leadership wants its people to have a standard of living equal ...
The People’s Porn
CLANCY SIGAL
I am not hard wired for pornography, but I don’t feel superior to it either.  Sometimes after browsing the best seller lists, I try experimenting, like kids do with weed.   And then wait breathlessly for the sensual high which rarely – excuse the expression – com...
The Federal Reserve Inflates Another Bubble, But Not for You
PETE DOLACK
If you haven’t experienced the “recovery” from the Great Recession the corporate media keeps insisting is here, that’s because “quantitative easing” is a new way to say “trickle-down.” In this latest version, the Federal Reserve has pumped trillions of dol...
The Fukushima Secrecy Syndrome
RALPH NADER
Last month, the ruling Japanese coalition parties quickly rammed through Parliament a state secrets law. We Americans better take notice. Under its provisions the government alone decides what are state secrets and any civil servants who divulge any “secrets” c...
Did the Elites Have Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Killed?
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR and ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The most compelling argument against the existence of a vast conspiracy orchestrating the assassinations of Jack and Bobby Kennedy is that the brothers were never threats to ruling power. The Kennedys were card-carrying members of the global elites, ran in their circles, ...
The Blood-Stained Shores of Taiji
JOSHUA FRANK
The shores and ocean waters were stained a blood red as the annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan commenced.  As of late-January, over 250 dolphins were netted this month, including a very rare albino calf. Another three dozen were killed for their meat, and the killi...
Technology and Economic Imperialism
ROB URIE
The oft called ‘knowledge’ economy brought into being in the ‘developed’ West in the 1990s is composed of several industries that are broadly related but also quite specific unto themselves– artificial intelligence, telecommunications, finance, information t...
The Poor Are Dying to Make the Rich Richer
ANDRE VLTCHEK
And here we go again! It is January 2014, but somehow it all feels like last year, or the year before last… or ten years ago. Jakarta is under water; people are trying to save all they can, but their houses are being ruined… some men, women and children are dying… T...
Cracks in the Alliance?
JONATHAN COOK
Things have come to a strange state of affairs when Washington regards Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, as the voice of moderation in the Israeli cabinet. While Lieberman has called the soon-to-be-unveiled US peace plan the best deal Israel...