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Archives from 2014
The Inhuman Death Penalty Must End
ADNAN OKTAR
The fact that the death penalty is still enforced in a world in which there is increasing access to freedoms – such an important part of life – and in which a democratic perspective is now dominant, is one of the most terrible marks of shame facing mankind. No...
Nothing Changes as Much as the Past
URI AVNERY
WHEN I was 15 years old and a member of the Irgun underground (by today’s criteria, an honest-to-goodness terrorist organization), we sang “(In the past) we had the heroes / Bar Kochba and the Maccabees / Now we have the new ones / The national youth…”...
The Poor Person’s Defense of Riots
DELIO VASQUEZ
Since the Ferguson decision, we have been flooded with stories about how the overwhelmingly peaceful nation-wide protests against police brutality have been occasionally ruined by looting and property destruction caused by “fringe” elements. In conservative media, the...
A Report From the Frontlines in the War Against Fracking
PAUL A. PASSAVANT
A mixture of emotions is running through the Finger Lakes region of New York in the wake of Governor Cuomo’s announcement on Wednesday, December 17 to ban hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the state. Residents are relieved to be protected from the health risks an...
Preying on Mexican Populism
MATEO PIMENTEL
“The violence is not a new thing,” says Jose-Pablo Buerba about Mexico’s civil unrest and protest in recent weeks. An international political economist from Mexico City, Buerba works with heads of state around the world on matters economic. He is a native of Mexico...
The Empire is Crumbling, That is Why it Needs War
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Last night, in Beijing, I sat in a historic Szechuan restaurant with a friend who happens to be a Chinese diplomat. We exchanged some stories, ordered food, and then, suddenly, my throat felt dry and my eyes got misty. I bowed and thanked her for the heartfelt offe...
Another Torture Report and Still No Prosecutions
JOHN LaFORGE
It’s common knowledge that torture never produces good information. No one needed the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Cheney torture program to learn that lesson. The revulsion and outrage caused by torture is so universal that the community of nations has a...
The Contrition of Warlords
GEOFFREY MacDONALD
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture raises a dilemma for the world’s superpower: how will America regain its moral leadership? If all the evils that are done under dictatorship are done under the world’s great flagship of democracy, how is the worl...
Has the IMF Been Reformed?
PATRICK BOND
In a Washington Post op-ed last week, ‘...
Why Obama Won’t Reach a Deal With Iran
GARETH PORTER
Everyone following the negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program and the lifting of economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic agrees that the Obama administration would like to have an agreement with Iran.  It would be in line with the real interests of the United S...
From Panama to Ferguson
JANVIEVE WILLIAMS COMRIE
“I was eleven years old when the invasion happened. It did not matter that there were Christmas lights blinking all over the country, or that in many houses the sunkissed clothing lines filled the air with the fragrant aroma of lavender.   What mattered is...
Across Colombia by Train, with Garcia Marquez
ROBERT OISÍN LLEWELYN
He was already a veteran of two civil wars, a war-hero grown sick of fighting who arranged to be abroad for all of Colombia’s Thousand Days War (1899-1902). In 1901 he told the Pan American conference in Mexico: In times past it was the ...
Cuba Will Not Renounce Its Ideas
RAUL CASTRO
We have all lived through intense and exciting moments in the last few days. In this very month of December we successfully held the Fifth CARICOM-Cuba Summit. Last Sunday we held the Thirteenth Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America and, ...
The Year of Piketty
PETER A. COCLANIS
Just a few years ago the notorious “G word” — globalization — was constantly on the minds and lips of the chattering classes. But globalization, so yesterday, has increasingly been replaced by the “I word” — inequality — which now flows mellifluously from...
A Small Island Trying to Block Obama’s “Asian Pivot”
CHRISTINE AHN
On December 10 — International Human Rights Day — Takeshi Onaga began his term as the new governor of Okinawa. Last month, the citizens of Okinawa delivered a landslide victory to Onaga, who ran on a platform opposing the construction of a new U.S. Marine Corps...
Pomo Agonistes and Dada Anti-Science
JOHN HALLE
The pushback to my CounterPunch piece “The Two Cultures: Can the Left Bridge the Gap?” reminded me of what is often said about Dada- that each generation discovers it for its...
Inside the Occupation of Haiti
DADY CHERY
The peaceful territory of Haiti, which has the ...
Why Aaron Sorkin is No Ring Lardner, Jr.
FRED GARDNER
Two big stories had just broken: “Senate Exposes CIA Torture” and “Sony Chiefs’ Racist Emails Revealed.” Immediately —and in concert— the National Security Apparatus denied the torture charge and Sony staged a boffo misdirection pl...
Poison Pills in the National Defense Authorization Act
GEORGE WUERTHNER
“The middle of the road is where the white line is – and that’s the worst place to drive.” — Robert Frost The recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA H.R. 3979): signed into law by President Obama...
How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Sells Out American Women
MARTHA BURK
President Barack Obama has insisted up and down that he’s willing to work with the Republicans who are taking over the Senate. He proved it during his recent visit to Beijing, where he urged world leaders to come to agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP...
Afghan Refugees and the Displacement of Blame
SHANZAE ASIF and JUNAID S. AHMAD
As Pakistan continues to mourn and grieve over the horrific attack last week in the city of Peshawar, there has naturally been a strong desire on the public’s part to figure out how to eliminate the disease of murderous radicalism. However, the ubiquitous calls for reve...
Merrily They Go A-Rampaging
MICHAEL McDAETH
There are only a few tigers and polar bears left in the world. These miracles of nature are now tax-deductible charitable donations. They are being counted down on tv their numbers only growing on sympathy lists, the outcome inevitable, the tale of a gaping wound and a ba...
Escape from Guantanamo Bay
JOEL SCHLOSBERG
Last Saturday, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp released four of its 136 uncharged detainees from custody. Six years late, Barack Obama is inching closer towards keeping his promise: “I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through ...
The Sense of Disconnection is Unreal
RON JACOBS
The sense of disconnect is unreal and formidable. The US military is slowly moving back into Iraq and is threatening Russia. Joining the military are any number of CIA agents, mercenaries and unnamed operatives whose purpose is to kill whatever force might be the enemy of...
The Greatest Threat to Cultural Heritage in Syria
FRANKLIN LAMB
Kalat al-Numan citadel, Idlib province Syria  Can the worst patrimonial disaster since World War II be stopped? During the 45 months of the Syrian crisis, war damage inflicted from all sides has created massive damage to our shared global cultural ...
The Impoverished Imagination of Seth Rogen
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. Horace Walpole, Letter to the Countess of Upper Osory It’s too bad that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg didn’t create a funny and historically accurat...
Good Cop, Bad Cop
MISSY BEATTIE
After the Sony hack, Barack Obama said: We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about. Throughout h...
War Correspondent Segues into Environmental Beat
MARK HAND
When reporter Dahr Jamail was covering the U.S.-led war in Iraq, he faced immediate threats to his life. He was shot at. Car bombs exploded near where he was reporting. Many journalists didn’t survive their assignments in Iraq’s war zones. Jamail was o...
Federal Appeals Court Backs Protections for Central Valley Salmon
DAN BACHER
On December 22, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled that a 2009 “biological opinion” that protects the habitat of endangered salmon in the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers from increased water exports to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and Southern Califor...
Dominant State, Submissive Populace
DANIEL PRYOR
Spanking. Consensual physical or verbal abuse. Physical restraint. Female ejaculation. Strangulation. Facesitting. #ThingsBannedInUKPorn No, it’s not an anarchist’s Christmas wishlist. The above is a selection of the #ThingsBannedInUKPorn this month. There are ...
The Top 10 Books on Corporate Crime in 2014
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
These books give a clear snapshot of corporate crime in America today. If you want to know the truth about corporate power in the USA in the year 2014 — from corruption of our democracy to compromising our prosecutors, these books are must reading. They are (...
Reading Trotsky While Watching Kurosawa
LOUIS PROYECT
A couple of weeks ago an Australian friend and fellow Marxist raised some interesting questions about film: I have just moved to the capital city of the state and attended my first ...
How to Rewrite Your Early Years
CHARLES R. LARSON
It’s not difficult to understand why Nguyen Nhat Anh’s Ticket to Childhood has become...
John Muir is Dead; Long Live John Muir!
TOM BUTLER and EILEEN CRIST
John Muir, a man whose love for nature seemed almost to transcend Earthly limits, was not immortal. One hundred years ago, on Christmas eve 1914, Muir’s spirit set off into the pathless wild. The great naturalist’s obituary in the New York Times was effusive,...
The Torture Industry
RAHEEL HAYAT
“If we can run a rendition, a kidnapping, a detention program, a torture program, keep it secret for years, and then when it is revealed, hold no one to account, what does this mean for the future direction of our society?” — Edward Snowden....
Death to “Happy Holidays!”
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
“Happy Holidays”:  Can we please deep-six this trite “non-denominational” greeting, designed to alert the world that those uttering the salutation “Happy Holidays” are sensitive people aware that the recipients of the greeting might no...
The Cuba Opening
WAYNE S. SMITH
Last Tuesday night, I was in Havana, giving a talk calling for relations between the United States and Cuba – pushing for the United States to take Cuba off the terrorist list, to ease travel restrictions, and free the remaining Cuban Five, among other changes. To my su...
The Economic Myths of Santa Claus
K.J. NOH
It’s on full blast now, Christmas jingles, holiday “cheer”, and the endless exhortations to consume.  And here comes Santa. Why is this myth so powerful?  Why does it capture imagination so deeply?  Why do generations perpetuate this massive fr...
Austerity Japanese-Style
JACK RASMUS
This past week Japan re-elected its prime minister, Shinzo Abe, for an additional four years despite his previous policies having precipitated a deep recession in Japan that began this past April 2014—Japan’s 4th recession since 2008. The central ele...
‘Gagged’ by the Government
ALFREDO LOPEZ
For the past three months, I and other leaders of the organization May First/People Link have been under a federal subpoena to provide information we don’t have. During that time, we have also been forbidden by a federal court “gag order” to tell anyone ...
One Jew’s Christmas
WALTER M. BRASCH
I am a Jew. I don’t mind receiving Christmas cards or being wished a “Merry Christmas” from friends, clerks, or even in junk mail trying to sell me something no sane person should ever buy. My wife and I even send Christmas cards, with messages of peace and j...
Our Christmas Schizophrenia
WINSLOW MYERS
On Christmas Eve 1914, German and British soldiers crept out of their trenches, played soccer together, exchanged gifts of food, and joined in singing carols. Alarmed, commanders on both sides warned of the crime of “fraternizing with the enemy” and the war ground on ...
Palestinians Recall Another Wall that Fell
RAOUF J. HALABY
December 1989, 25 years ago: ARKADELPHIA – As I watched the television coverage of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall [on November 9, 1989] and noted the joyous looks on the children’s faces, I celebrated with the East Germans. As a Palestinian child, I, too, ...
An Anarchist Christmas
GRANT MINCY
Peace on Earth and goodwill toward all — in a world of conflict, ’tis the season of peace. Sadly, this holiday season the United Nations released a study indicating that 2014 is among the worst years on record for the world’s children. Chronicled in the repor...
Jesus, a Muslim Prophet?
SUFYAN BIN UZAYR
Every year in December, Christians all around the world celebrate Christmas, marking the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, when it comes to venerating Christ, most Christians tend to go out-of-the-way and claim ownership of Christ. In Christianity, Jesus is viewed as the So...
How Facebook Killed the Internet
DAVID ROVICS
Facebook killed the internet, and I’m pretty sure that the vast majority of people didn’t even notice. I can see the look on many of your faces, and hear the thoughts.  Someone’s complaining about Facebook again.  Yes, I know it’s a mas...
Misleading the World on Iran’s “Bomb”
JONATHAN POWER
The negotiations over Iran’s supposed nuclear bomb-building abilities seem to be stuck in a rut. Given the detailed undertakings by Iran incorporated in the interim agreement made last year it should have only been a hop, skip and a jump to forge a final agreement. ...
Anti-Police Organizing in the Wake of Ismaaiyl Brinsley’s Death
MICHELLE MATISONS
Remember how the 9/11 attack led people to cancel or pull back from anti-globalization protests?  It appears a similar dynamic could be at work as a shocking event challenges and divides a growing and effective movement making serious headway.  Like anti-globalization p...
Weaponizing Psychology
GEOFF GRAY
With the publication of the James Risen’s book “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War...
Fighting ‘Islamic State’ is Not the Israeli Priority
NICOLA NASSER
Defying a consensus that it is a priority by the world community comprising international rivals like the United States, Europe, Russia and China and regional rivals like Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, Israel, like Turkey, does not eye the U.S. – led...