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 by Tag 'Iraq'
How the World Forgot About Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
It is 10 years since the start of the war in Iraq which led to the toppling of Saddam Hussein. The diplomatic map of the world has been redrawn as a consequence. Inquiry after inquiry has studied the legality of the conflict. Political reputations have...
Former Insiders Criticize Iran Policy as U.S. Hegemony
GARETH PORTER
“Going to Tehran” arguably represents the most important work on the subject of U.S.-Ir...
Iraq on the Brink
RAMZY BAROUD
Soon after the joint US-British bombing campaign ‘Operation Desert Fox’ devastated parts of Iraq in Dec 1998, I was complaining to a friend in the lobby of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. I was disappointed with the fact that our busy schedule in Iraq – mostl...
Why the War on Terror Endures
STEVE BREYMAN
Believe the War on Terror has been an unmitigated disaster? Find it difficult to wrap your head around the Long War’s long list of horrors? Think the Obama administration and Congress’s willingness to wage the War indefinitely is murderous myopia? Think again: the War...
Saddam and the US Failed Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. The civil war in Syria is destabilising Iraq as it changes the balance of power between the country’s communities. The Sunni minority in Iraq, which two years ago appeared defeated, has long been embittered and angry at discrimination ...
How Colin Powell Showed That Torture Works
SAM HUSSEINI
Ten years ago, Colin Powell made the case for invading Iraq before the United Nations Security Council. Many aspects of his case were clearly dubious ...
Baghdad Today
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. Torrential rain caused floods all over Baghdad last week. It was not a pleasant sight: as the city’s ageing sewage system failed to cope, streets filled with murky grey water that smelled and looked as if it was heavily polluted with r...
Colin Powell: Useful Idiot or Co-Conspirator?
RAY McGOVERN
Ten years ago, Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations in a speech which routed what was left of American resistance to the Bush/Cheney push for invading Iraq. The next day, the Washington Post’s editorial pages spoke for the conventional wisdom, fi...
When Will We Realize That It Is Murder?
TOM MCNAMARA
Saint-Cyr, Coëtquidan, France. In his essay “A Hanging,” George Orwell recounts, in great de...
Fallujah Revisited
HAIFA ZANGANA
It took the British government five weeks to take note of the mass demonstrations in Iraq.  These started last week of 2012 and are comparable in size, energy, and peaceful nature to the protests that toppled other Arab regimes, albeit expanding mainly in the capitals of...
Saudi Arabia v. Qatar, Redux
PETER LEE
My article on the competing strategies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar received a considerable amount of thoughtful comment and pushback by e-mail and on the Web, more than I’m accustomed to ...
The Bombing of Kirkuk
PATRICK COCKBURN
A suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded 170 in an attack in northern Iraq today, in a sign that the shift of al-Qa’ida militants to Syria is not leading to a reduction in their activities in Iraq. Shoppers and police helped drag injured survivors from ruined build...
Refugees in Their Own Land
RAOUF J. HALABY
In Early November a colleague requested that I compose a few thoughts for our church’s Advent 2012 booklet. I selected the Luke 2: 1-7 text for reasons personal, professional, and textual. What follows (with additional poi...
Obama’s War on Syria and its Implications
SHAMUS COOKE
The Obama administration has already declared war on Syria, even if it isn’t “official” yet. Consider the facts, all of them acts of war: The U.S. now recognizes a group of Syrian exiles to be the official government of Syria; the U.S. is providing dire...
Why Remember Iraq?
PHILIP GIRALDI
Most Americans would prefer to forget that we are approaching the first anniversary of the expulsion of U.S. military forces from Iraq. The Republican Party, which rallied behind George W. Bush to invade the country and occupy it, has suffered from a short memory re...
Petraeus Fell for the Wrong Reason
SHELDON RICHMAN
David Petraeus has fallen — but not as he should have. Before being disgraced by an extramarital affair, the retired four-star general and ex-CIA director should have been shamed out of public life for his horrendous military record in Iraq and Afghanistan. Are w...
The Celebrity General
MICHAEL BRENNER
There is one celebrity with the makings of a national hero, someone who has the qualities that might carry him right into the White House.  It is David Petraeus.  He is almost universally credited with the brilliant achievement of saving American honor and gaining an...
Obama’s Secret Wars
PATRICK COCKBURN
Drones or their equivalent have long attracted political and military leaders dreaming of the surgical removal of their enemies. In 1812, the governor of Moscow, Count Rostopchin, devised a plan to get a hot-air balloon to hover over the French lines at Borodino and drop ...
Living Differently in Iraq
CATHY BREEN
Najaf, Iraq For the past three days I have been trying to get news of the situation in our houses on the lower East side of Manhattan, where the flooding from hurricane Sandy was especially heavy.  I pictured the worst.  As a good portion of Maryhouse is...
How McGovern Tamed the Anti-War Movement
SARAH BLASKEY and PHIL GASPER
Was George McGovern a political saint—a man of such total moral purity that he transcended the day-to-day realities of money and power that usually dominate American politics? That’s certainly the impression one might get from reading the tributes that appeared...
United States Imperialism Unleashed
BEN SCHREINER
With signs of a global economic downturn mounting, US aggression across the Middle East and North Africa ratchets up.  And once again, US imperialism stands poised to swing open the gates of Hell. The choice presently confronting humanity, then, is one between imp...
Obomney vs. Romobama
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
Few creatures in American political discourse today are as simpleton and grotesque as the Obama liberal when trying to distinguish his candidate from the rest of the prostitutes seeking office.  Behold, for example, the fellow author on the raft next to me, somewhere rec...
Reigniting the Antiwar Movement
DAVID ABELES, ET AL.
Rumors of war become more frequent.  Tel Aviv pushes harder and harder for an attack on Iran while Iranian defense officials seem resigned to the fact of an eventual war on their nation.  Sanctions against the Iranian people are tightening.  Many regular citizens of th...
Mercenary Opportunities
BARRY LANDO
It’s estimated that, for defense and national security, the U.S. spends about ...
The Humiliation of Can-Do American Boys
WILLIAM BLUM
In Afghanistan, the US military has tried training sessions, embedded cultural advisers, recommended reading lists, and even a video game designed to school American troops in local custom. But 11 years into the war, NATO troops and Afghan soldiers are still beset by a da...
The Iraq Phoenix
MICHAEL BRENNER
Sins of omission can be every bit as serious as sins of commission. The country’s failure to have a reckoning with the tragedy of Iraq is the outstanding case in point. President Barack Obama bears the main responsibility for that; many others have made their contributi...
Romney and the Royals
PATRICK COCKBURN
It is always gratifying to find a politician or celebrity behaving in the same way as malign caricatures of themselves. In Dickens’s Hard Times the stereotypical capitalist is Mr Bounderby, a banker who denounces his workers for expecting “to be set up i...
So, Really, Why Do They Hate Us?
PAUL ATWOOD
Recent attacks on American embassies and consulates in numerous Muslim countries are claimed to be irrational and undue reactions to a film portraying the Muslim prophet Mohammed in a degraded manner. The film is intentionally sacrilegious and incendiary toward Islamic be...
The Uprising in Syria
TARIQ ALI
Angered by the non-stop, one-sided propaganda on CNN and BBC World, usually a prelude to NATO bombing campaigns (including the six-month onslaught on Libya, the casualties of which are still hidden from the public) or direct occupations, I was asked to explain my views on...
We Are at War
JOHNNY BARBER
“We are at War. Somebody is Going to Pay.” — George W. Bush, Sept 11th, 2001. Kabul. Eleven years later, we are still at war. Bullets, mortars and drones are still extracting payment. Thousands, t...
Who Will Rule Syrian Kurdistan?
GIORGIO CAFIERO
Last month, as the Free Syrian Army took over areas of the Syrian-T...
Inside the CIA Dossier on Iraq
VIJAY PRASHAD
Last week, Bishop Desmond Tutu was to sit beside former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair at the cringingly named Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tutu, one of the main moral voices in the anti-Apartheid struggle, decided to withdraw. He could ...
Russia in the Middle East
ERIC WALBERG
The world is living through a veritable slow-motion earthquake. If things go according to plan, the US obsession with Afghanistan and Iraq will soon be one of those ugly historical disfigurements that — at least for most Americans — will disappear into th...
Imperial Reconstruction and Its Discontents
PETER VAN BUREN
Some images remain like scars on my memory. One of the last things I saw in Iraq, where I spent a year with the Department of State helping squander some of the $44 billion American taxpayers put up to “reconstruct” that country, were horses living semi-wild among the...
Killing Iran’s Children
DAVE LINDORFF
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright should be a happy camper: Another campaign of sanctions and embargoes by the US is about to start killing children, this time in Iran. Albright, as President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, when interviewed on CBS...
Tales of an Empire Gone Mad
WILLIAM BLUM
Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s … Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s … Libya 2011 … Syria 2012 … In military conflicts in each of these countries the United States and al Qaeda (or one of its associates) have been on the same side. ...
The Problem With Intervening in Syria
PHYLLIS BENNIS
The brave, non-violent Syrian challenge to a brutal dictatorship emerged as part of the Arab risings across the region. But that short Syrian spring of 2011 has long since morphed into an escalation of militarization and death. The International Committee of the Red Cross...
Extending the Empire to New Frontiers
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Recent wars from Libya to Afghanistan and Pakistan in a region of vast natural wealth and strategic importance highlight a phenomenon as old as humanity. Iraq and Libya had oil, but their leaders were longtime foes of the United States, now the world’s lone hegemon. Sad...
In Remembrance of Things Lost
RAMZI KYSIA
As we slog through the scorching summer of 2012, I’ve been thinking about our drone attacks...
The Longest War
KATHY KELLY
In April of 2003, I returned from Iraq after having lived there during the U.S. Shock and Awe bombing and the initial weeks of the invasion.  Before the bombing I had traveled to Iraq about two dozen times and had helped organize 70 trips to Iraq, aiming to cast light on...
Syria Through the Looking Glass
RON JACOBS
When wading into the ever muddied waters of the West’s never ending war against the people and states of the Middle East, it is useful to have some kind of mechanism if one is trying to find a bit of clarity.   The mechanism I prefer is that of history.  While not in...
The Evils of Humanitarian Wars
JONATHAN COOK
In a traditional cowboy movie, we know what to do: we look for the guy wearing the white hat to be sure who to cheer, and for the one wearing the black hat to know who deserves to die, preferably gruesomely, before the credits roll. If Hollywood learnt early to play on th...
The Unseen Wound
JERRY LEMBCKE
The headline was alarming: “Almost half of New Vets seek Disability.” According to the May 28 Associated Press story, 45% of the 1.6 million veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeking some kind of compensation for war injuries, more than dou...
The Sweet Stink of Charity
AFSHIN RATTANSI
If we can forget, for a moment, the hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis who have been killed, and the suicide-a-day in 2012 for U.S. servicemen and women, let’s turn to one NATO ally – the UK. This week, in the unlikely setting of a London room, off Pic...
Body Counts
M. REZA PIRBHAI
In the early days of the ‘War on Terror,’ US General Tommy Franks declared, “We don’t do body counts.”  He was referring, of course, to the dead of Afghanistan. That the names of 9/11 victims have been appropriately written in stone, only makes it doubly striki...
Counting the Costs of War
ERIC POMEROY
Nothing is more firmly burned into my mind than the images from hours upon hours spent counseling soldiers and listening to servicemen and servicewomen tell story after devastating story of their experiences over in the desert and how their lives are forever changed in co...
America as Self-Declared Victim
MICHAEL BRENNER
America today lives with a cultivated sense of victimhood.  That is the legacy of 9/11. It fills us with anxieties.  It warps our self-image.  It distorts our foreign relations. It is self-perpetuating. Yet we need it. Too many benefit – politically or materially ...
Syria After the Massacre
PATRICK COCKBURN
Damascus Parts of Syria are convulsed by civil war, while in other areas life continues almost as normal. At the same moment as more than 30 children had their throats cut and dozens of civilians were killed by shelling in Houla in central Syria on Friday,...
American Empire and the Future
PAUL L. ATWOOD
The Great Recession is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and, like the aftermath of Katrina, or the BP calamity, or the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, is a man-made disaster. Many signs point to worse ...
The Why of Terrorism
RAY McGOVERN
John Brennan, President Obama’s chief adviser on counter-terrorism, has again put on public display two unfortunate facts: (1) that the White House has no clue as to how to counter terrorism; and (2) (in Brennan’s words) “the unfortunate fact that to save many innoc...