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 February 2014
Omar and the Checkpoint
RAMZY BAROUD
Omar is a 7-year-old boy from Gaza. His family managed to obtain the necessary permits that allowed him to cross the Erez checkpoint to Jerusalem, through the West Bank, in order to undergo surgery. He was accompanied by his father. On the way back, the boy and his father...
What if Americans Demanded the Ouster of This Government?
DAVE LINDORFF
Ukraine’s new rulers, in one of their first acts, have disbanded that country’s riot police. Now without getting into the complex politics of the ongoing struggles in that country, or into the question of the covert role of the US in backing the protests that b...
Fukushima Dangerously Contaminated the USS Reagan
HARVEY WASSERMAN
A stunning new report indicates the U.S. Navy knew that sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took ...
Who Tried to Kill Aida Abella?
STEPHEN MATHER
On Sunday in Colombia gunmen attempted to murder the presidential candidate for the Patriotic Union (UP) party. Aida Abella’s car was sprayed with bullets while she was out campaigning for the June presidential elections. The UP is promoting the peace talks in Cuba ...
The Neo-Nazis of Ukraine
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Reality on the ground in Ukraine contradicts the incompetent and immoral Obama regime’s portrait of Ukrainian democracy on the march. To the extent that government exists in post-coup Ukraine, it is laws dictated by gun and threat wielding thugs of the neo-Nazi, ...
Working Class Tories
BINOY KAMPMARK
“Parliament is too middle class and doesn’t have the diversity that it needs to have.” – Ed Miliband, The House Magazine, Jan 31, 2014 ...
Hegemonic Glory of US Foreign Policy
NORMAN POLLACK
This was an interesting week. America seeks the rearrangement of European relations through Obama’s intervention-from-afar in Ukraine, one further notch in revivifying the Cold War in spirit and action; Hagel announces a Pentagon budget, paraded as the reduction of forc...
Greek Austerity
JEFFREY SOMMERS and YANIS VAROUFAKIS
Britain’s iconic Tory Prime Minister Winston Churchill once intoned, “The United States always does the right thing [long pause] ….after exhausting all other options.” It seems this past truth still resonates today. The US and Europe passed through the grea...
Algeria’s Renewed Despair
DAVID PORTER
The official announcement on February 22nd that Abdelaziz Bouteflika will now run for a fourth term as Algerian president in the April 17th election has sent one more shock wave through the society. While no one is surprised when an authoritarian leader seeks to prolong h...
Israel’s Bubble of Denial
JONATHAN COOK
The 24-hour visit by German chancellor Angela Merkel to Israel this week came as relations between the two countries hit rock bottom. According to a report in Der Spiegel magazine last week, Merkel and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been drawn into shoutin...
Was the Ukraine Coup America’s Main Event at the Sochi Olympics?
PETER LEE
In my previous essay on events in Ukraine, I speculated that the US and EU orchestrated the climax of the Ukraine crisis to occur while Vlad was preoccupied with presi...
Did Somebody Say Fascism?
JOSHUA SPERBER
Yale historian Timothy Snyder recently warned concerned...
The Curious Case of the Baroness of Winterbourne and Iraq
HAIFA ZANGANA
PM David Cameron has recently appointed Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne as his Trade Envoy to Iraq. The Baroness described Iraqi economy as “vibrant and booming “, urging the UK to make “the best of the enormous opportunities Iraq offers us”. The pre invas...
A Taxonomy of Racism from Alvarado to Zimmerman
RICHARD RING
Last week our delegation from School of the Americas Watch made a visit to the Casa de la Memoria, or House of Memory, a new museum here in Guatemala City. What first caught my eye was a poster of early Spanish classifications of racial castes. It is the museum’s an...
Return of the Cold War in Ukraine?
SHELDON RICHMAN
President Obama insists he doe...
How Does Yasiin Bey’s Mathematics Add Up Now
CHRIS STEELE
Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) released his album “Black on Both Sides...
The Crisis in Ukraine
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In 2004 Hungary joined the EU, expecting streets of gold.  Instead, four years later in 2008 Hungary became indebted to the IMF.  The rock video by the Hungarian group, ...
Patient Front Groups Loot Medicare Dollars for Big Pharma
MARTHA ROSENBERG
The Obama administration is finally addressing the expensive, dangerous and usually unnecessary psychiatric drugs that are footed by taxpayers in federal entitlement programs. It has proposed that insurers may limit Medicare coverage of certain classes of drugs that inclu...
The US Played Hardball Against Ukraine…and the EU
PETER LEE
When the EU mediated a deal between the opposition and the government, I thought Yanukovich had dodged the bullet. Not quite. In parsing the circumstances of Yanukovich’s downfall, it is interesting to look for the machinations of Victoria Nuland, the Stat...
Playing Real-Life Monopoly
ALFREDO LOPEZ
It might seem like a game of Monopoly played by real monopolies and, with a tired groan, one might be tempted to dismiss it as part of an ugly but irreversible trend. But ...
The Perversities of Big Money
JESSE JACKSON
Eighteen American multinationals — companies such as Nike, Microsoft and Apple — have used tax havens abroad to avoid what Citizens for Tax Justice estimates as $92 billion in federal taxes. This is money that could be used to provide universal pre-school for America...
Business Models and Preventing Asylum
BINOY KAMPMARK
It need not have happened under the watch of Tony Abbott’s government. For politicians obsessed with preventing deaths at sea in order to display a false sense of humanitarianism, it was cruelly fitting that it should happen in a prison on land. The law knows jokers and...
America’s Deep State
ROBERT HUNZIKER
Bill Moyers of Moyers & Company, on Feb. 21, 2014, interviewed Mike Lofgren, a former GOP congressional staff member, who, during the interview, confirmed what many Americans already suspect: America has become a corporate state, or to use Lofgren’s words, a “Deep...
The Greatest Defeat Since ….
NOEL IGNATIEV
By now everybody who pays attention to this sort of thing is aware that the United Auto Workers Union lost an election at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee in which it sought to become the bargaining agent for the workers there. The result is being lamented a...
Giving Up Religion for Lent
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 5, is the 40-day period when Christians fast and pray and do penance in preparation for Easter.  It is commonly perceived as a time of giving up what they normally enjoy eating, drinking, inhaling and/or doing—with a worthy ch...
Inequality on Campus
LAWRENCE WITTNER
As the United States begins to grapple with the issue of growing economic inequality, it should not ignore the widening income gap on American college campuses. Some of the nation’s poorest people work at higher educational institutions, and many of them are memb...
Wall Street Boys Gone Wild
DEAN BAKER
Many people already had low opinions of the Wall Street elite. I’m referring to the investment-banker types who get incredibly rich through financial manipulations, government bailouts and implicit government guarantees provided for too-big-to-fail banks. Bu...
Why We Oppose the Oakland Spy Center
OAKLAND PRIVACY WORKING GROUP
On March 4, 2014, the Oakland City Council will decide to award a contract that, if approved, will impact your civil rights. The Domain Awareness Center (“DAC”) is a full-time mass surveillance project encompassing the city and Port of Oakland and initially funded by ...
The NDP Needs Big Ideas to Win
MURRAY DOBBIN
Budget days should be days when Canadians are encouraged to imagine the possibilities for one of the richest countries in the world. Not the possibilities of the shopping mall or the offerings of Netflix, but the possibilities of building – or rebuilding – community. ...
Kim Kardashian and Global Warming
CLANCY SIGAL
“Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people.” — Leviticus 19:16 “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” — Oscar ...
Russia After Sochi
MICHAEL HUDSON and JEFFREY SOMMERS
The Sochi Olympics were the great success Russia hoped for. The opening ceremonies proved a radiant display drawing on Russia’s most compelling cultural assets.  This artful look back to Russia’s past greatness proved both a reminder and challenge to its own people t...
Zionism in the Age of the Dictators
LENNI BRENNER
I’m American, but my first book, Zionism in the Age of the Dictators (now finally back in print)...
Ukraine’s Sickness
ERIC DRAITSER
The situation in Ukraine is evolving by the hour. Right wing ultranationalists and their “liberal” collaborators have taken control of the Rada (Ukrainian parliament) and deposed the democratically elected, though utterly corrupt and incompetent, President Yanukovich....
Unleashing the Gas Princess
BINOY KAMPMARK
Sweet promises… which seem tantamount to blank checks, have the potential to drive one of Europe’s poorest countries into civil war. Der Spiegel, Feb 20, 2014 Revolutions can be bloody affairs. In what seemed initially...
A Cruel and Shameless Ideology
RALPH NADER
Like ravenous beasts of prey attacking a weakened antelope, the forces of subsidized capital and their mercenaries sunk their fangs into the United Auto Workers (UAW) and its organizing drive at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The UAW narrowly lost – 7...
The Murky Politics of the $15 Minimum Wage
SHAMUS COOKE
Seattle now resembles a mini-Venezuela. It’s not a perfect comparison, but like the average Venezuelan the people of Seattle are experiencing an explosion of political consciousness. Recently I took the three-hour drive from Portland, and although Seattle is only a co...
Race and the Jordan Davis Murder
BETHANIA PALMA MARKUS
“It is very hard to see how this could not be murder. The fact that the jury could not even manage to find him guilty of manslaughter speaks volumes,” wrote civil rights attorney and activist Michelle Alexander on her Facebook page after a Florida jury failed to c...
The Brown Revolution in Ukraine
ISRAEL SHAMIR
I am a great fan of Kiev, an affable city of pleasing bourgeois character, with its plentiful small restaurants, clean tree-lined streets, and bonhomie of its beer gardens. A hundred years ago Kiev was predominantly a Russian resort, and some central areas have retained t...
The Long War in Syria
PATRICK COCKBURN
The political winds in the Middle East are changing but they still bring crisis and war. The two most important developments so far this year are the failure of the Geneva II peace talks and Saudi Arabia’s replacement of its intelligence chief, Prince Bandar b...
Sen. Corker Outs Himself as a Lying Dirt Bag on Unions
KEVIN CARSON
Know how southern Republican politicians who support “right to work” laws claim they’re not against unions as such — just against closed shop contracts that force workers to join a union as a condition of employment? They’re liars. The negative outcome of the re...
How to Jumpstart Your Union
ANN ROBERTSON and BILL LEUMER
HOW TO JUMP-START YOUR UNION, just released by Labor Notes, is an invaluable book for any union activist. It detail...
In Search of Spock in Ukraine
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
On the 100th Anniversary of World War 1, the Western powers are again sleepwalking into destructive conflict. Hegemonic ambition has Washington interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine, but developments seem to be moving beyond Washington’s control. Regime ...
Of Drugs and Demons
DAVID MACARAY
Take these two divergent scenarios. In Scenario A, we have an Hispanic or African-American needle addict, who lives in a cheap flophouse in Los Angeles, and has been addicted to drugs most of his adult life. For brevity sake, we shall call him “Juan.” If a carload of ...
Still Broken Five Years Later
MIKE WHITNEY
“The repo market wasn’t just a part of the meltdown. It was the meltdown.” — David Weidner, Wall Street Journal, May 29, 2013. Ask your average guy-on-the-street ‘what caused the financial crisis&#...
Venezuela Beyond the Protests
EVA GOLINGER
For those of you unfamiliar with Venezuelan issues, don’t let the title of this article fool you. The revolution referred to is not what most media outlets are showing taking place today in Caracas, with protestors calling for the ouster of Venezuelan President Nicolas ...
Soon, the Battle for Venezuela
ANDRE VLTCHEK
They are already sewing your funeral gown, Venezuela. They are now ready to welcome you back to that world of the lobotomized, destroyed nations that are fully submissive to Western political and economic interests – Indonesia, Philippines, Paraguay, Uganda, Kenya, Qata...
Whatever Happened to Democracy in America?
ANDREW LEVINE
What is the state of the union? The empire, though led by bumblers, is still functioning, thanks mainly to a military that continues to hang on, along with the merchants of death it supports. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know too that our intelligence agenci...
Support Non-violence and Democratic Institutions in Venezuela
DANNY GLOVER
“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars”… Martin Luther King, Jr. As a Citizen-Artist, I have always assumed a responsibility to take publi...