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 'Syria'
America’s Syrian Riddle
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Recent remarks by Carla Del Ponte, a Swiss investigator of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry, have changed the nature of debate on the use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war. Momentum had been building up for months against Bashar al-Assad’s government, ...
Syria Endgame Approaching Fast
SHAMUS COOKE
The tempo of events in Syria has accelerated in recent weeks. The government forces have scored ...
Israel, Syria and the Bloody Absurd
BINOY KAMPMARK
In one of St. Augustine’s observations (and there were many on the subject), the absence of morality among states would simply make them aggrandized bandits legitimised by rules of plunder.  The Syrian conflict, with bloodied players both internal and external, is demo...
How Not to End the War in Syria
YIFAT SUSSKIND
As the war engulfing Syria worsens, the Obama Administration must prioritize the needs of civilians and resist the growing pressure for military intervention. Diplomacy and increased humanitarian aid are what’s needed now to alleviate suffering and build peace. S...
Syria: Why We Must Restrain the Impulse to “Do Something”
SHELDON RICHMAN
If after the debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya (dare I say Vietnam?) some people still want the U.S. government to intervene — ...
The Roadmap to the Destruction of Syria
PEPE ESCOBAR
Just when the red line charade was reaching fever pitch – but still buried in the sand – and he had to choose between the US “exercising restraint” or “directly involving itself” in the Syrian war, (see ...
The Vulnerabilities of the Syrian People
ANNA HAQ
Vulnerability and despair seem to be the governing tone of Syrians whether those trapped inside or stranded at the border. As they woke up on Sunday, May 5 to the Israeli attacks on Damascus, their anguish becomes palpable. “We seem under attack from the inside a...
Obama, Syria and the Arrogance of Imperialism
RON JACOBS
Imperialists are not just arrogant, they are stupid.  Pretending that they might get a different result than previous US administrations have obtained before, the Obama administration is planning to send lethal arms to Syrian rebels.  According to the Washington Post...
The Onion Website Joins the U.S. Anti-Syria Club
SHAMUS COOKE
The Onion is the most famous fake news website in the world, adored by millions who visit the site regularly for a cheap laugh as well as sharp political satire. But even fake news has certain responsibilities. Recently The Onion began publishing articles that fra...
Syria: an Armenian Story
REEM HADDAD
She had lost a lot of weight and her eyes had a haunted look about them. She had lost her house and everything in it. In that she was like many Syrians, who had suffered the same fate. Her house was in Jobar ( on...
The Usual Suspects v. Syria
THOMAS L. KNAPP
The French, British and Israeli governments have all accused Syria’s regime of using chemical weapons in its ongoing struggle with foreign-backed rebels. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is urging Assad to allow UN inspectors into the country to verify or disprove t...
Syria and Sarin Gas: a Familiar Ring
ROBERT FISK
Is there any way of escaping the theatre of chemical weapons? First, Israeli “military intelligence” says that Bashar al-Assad’s forces have used/have probably used/might have used/could use chemical weapons. Then Chuck Hagel, the US Defence Secretary, p...
Obama and U.S. Military Divided Over Syria
SHAMUS COOKE
Has Syria crossed the “red line” that warrants a U.S. military invasion? Has it not? The political establishment in the United States seems at odds over itself. Obama’s government cannot speak with one voice on the issue, and the U.S. media is likewise ...
Obama’s Syrian Horror
SAUL LANDAU
President Obama has fueled Syria’s civil war flames and lied to Congress about his “modest” role in that conflict. Between 2002 and 2007, I visited Syria four times. I drove through the fertile valleys that parallel the Mediterranean coast, and to the Golan Heights...
Thirty Years After the Bombing at the US Embassy in Lebanon
FRANKLIN LAMB
This observer has no idea if the American Ambassador here in Beirut, Maury Connolly or Secretary of State Kerrey has ever listened to Marlene Dietrich’s classic October 1965 performance of Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” still stunning,  deeply mo...
The Children of Syria
MATHEW NASHED
“Please help me” said Fatima. “Just help me.” Fatima is seven years old. While playing outside in Damascus, the splinter of a grenade hit her in the spinal cord. It paralyzed her from the waist down. Dr Muhannad, a psychologist and Syrian refugee, ta...
The Syrian Chess Match
CONN HALLINAN
In some ways the Syrian civil war resembles a proxy chess match between supporters of the Bashar al-Assad regime— Iran, Iraq, Russia and China—and its opponents— Turkey, the oil monarchies, the U.S., Britain and France. But the current conflict only resembles chess ...
The “Sumptuous Summit”
REEM HADDAD
Well sumptuous because Qatar has hosted it and had spent lavish sums of money on it. It had taken the Arab Summit and made it Qatari- a terminology more apt would have been the’’ Qatari Summit’’. Using and abusing its money Qatar manipulated, coerced (with the hel...
How Obama Chose War Over Peace in Syria
SHAMUS COOKE
With Syria on the brink of national genocide, outside nations have only two options: help reverse the catastrophe or plunge this torn nation deeper into the abyss. Countries can either work towards a peaceful political solution or they can continue to pour money, guns, a...
Syria Teeters on Obama’s “Red Line”
NILE BOWIE
The pages of history tell us that beautiful civilizations emerged and prospered in the ancient cities of Damascus and Aleppo, some of the oldest continually inhabited cities on earth. The harrowing circus of brutality that is the Syrian conflict, now in its third year, wi...
A Draft-Dodging, Zionist Friendly, Rghtwing Texan Islamist to lead Syria?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus. For the past year, a plan C or D, depending on how one numbers the failed US-Israel projects in Syria was badly needed for those presuming to topple the Assad government. And this week, according  to Congressional staffers, both Tel Aviv ...
Killing is Winning
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Ten years ago today the Bush regime invaded Iraq.  It is known that the justification for the invasion was a packet of lies orchestrated by the neoconservative Bush regime in order to deceive the United Nations and the American people. The US Secretary of State at...
Sayyeda Zeinab: the 7th Century Heroine of Karbala
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus. It is well known in this region that powerful foreign and domestic forces in nearly every country, but particularly Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, are increasingly acting, for purely political purposes, to ignite a bloody internecine conflict within ...
Syria, The Death of a Country?
REEM HADDAD
Damascus An eye catching title. Undoubtedly! The title on the front cover of The Economist magazine dated February 23rd-March 1st 2013. And this is where it stops! The content of the article is surprisingly meager and has nothing to of...
A Day in the Life of a Syrian Writer
CHARLES R. LARSON
Close in its structure to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich ...
Don’t Drone Us, Dudes
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus. Students everywhere are special people and this observer has discovered that Syrian students are among the very best. Meeting and interviewing students again this past week, before and following, a frank and enlightening discussion with Dr...
The Sunni Rise Again
PATRICK COCKBURN
“Iraq or Maliki! Iraq or Maliki!” shout Sunni Arab demonstrators as they block roads in western Iraq in protest against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and discrimination against their community. Demonstrations by Sunni, in their tens of thousands, began w...
Obama Wades Deeper Into Syria’s Morass
SHAMUS COOKE
The recent announcement that the United States would increase its “non-lethal” military aid to Syria’s rebels shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  Some speculated that Obama — having been repeatedly proved wrong about the Syria government’s...
John Kerry the Interventionist
BEN SCHREINER
Though President Obama last year ...
The Oft-Predicted Fickle Syrian ‘Tipping Point’ Has Tipped
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus This observer lost count more than a year ago of the sheer number of predictions by analysts and lobbyists that the “tipping point” signaling the Assad government’s collapse was a sure thing and would happen any time now. “It’s just a ma...
The Tail Instructs the Dog
FRANKLIN LAMB
On 2/26/2013 Iran is expected to meet with other world powers in Almaty, Kazakhstan to discuss its nuclear program. Discussions that the occupiers of Palestine fervently hope will not be successful. It is toward this end that their key demand this week to the US Congress,...
Facing Syria From an Israeli Bunker
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Golan Heights It is late afternoon and I am standing on top of an active, although temporarily abandoned, I...
The Kurds: Surprise Victors of the Iraq War (For Now)
PATRICK COCKBURN
The Kurds of Iraq are the big winners in the 10 years since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. They have also been lucky. Up to a few weeks before the invasion in 2003, the US was intending to invade northern Iraq from Turkey, along with 40,000 Turkish troops. The Kur...
Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden Come Clean on Iran?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Tehran Azadeh, a graduate law student from Tehran University, on the sidelines of Iran’s Third Annual Hollywood is...
Israel Enters Syria
BEN SCHREINER
With its air strikes against targets inside Syria last week, Israel announced its formal entry into the Syrian crisis.  The Israeli targeting of Iran has thus entered the Syrian theater. According to ...
How Israel is Fueling the Syrian Fire
NICOLA NASSER
The timing of the Israeli air raid early on January 30 on a Syrian target, that has yet to be identified, coincided with a hard to refute indications that the “regime change” in Syria by force, both by foreign military intervention and by internal armed rebellion, has...
Syria’s First Line of Defense: Dial 133
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus. There are more than 9000 of them. Predominately young but of all ages. Volunteers everyone. Often risking their lives just to come for a twelve hour work-shift, as many as seven days a week at the Syrian Arab Republic Red Crescent Society (SARCS)...
The Suffering in Syria
JAMES ABOUREZK
The violent uprising in Syria has produced some predictable and sorry results.  Aside from the numbers of people dying prematurely as a result of the fighting, there are tens of thousands of Syrian civilians, consisting mostly women and children, both inside and outside ...
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...
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 ...
US-led Sanctions Contribute to the Destruction of Syria’s Millenary History
FRANKLIN LAMB
What a difference a week can make. The heaviest snow in Syria in a quarter-century, some claimed, last week’s storm closed for a time even the main highway from Damascus to Beirut. But that was then and now its spring in Damascus, or so it feels to those of us us...
Saudi Arabia v. Qatar on Syria
PETER LEE
With all the reams of reporting on Syria, I am surprised that relatively little is written, in English anyway, about the divergence of aims between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Qatar backs the Muslim Brotherhood and, it appears, would not object to a brokered deal to en...
The US / Qatar Alliance
NICOLA NASSER
In his inaugural address on January 21, U.S. President Barak Obama made the historic announcement that “a decade of war is ending” and declared his country’s determination to “show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully,” bu...
Are the Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation Targeting Syrians?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus One powerful image from Damascus that has become seared into this observers mind these days is when I walk by a Western Union office. Most of them remain open despite the brutal US-led sanctions which in their pervasive effects target almost entirel...
The War Against the Shia
PATRICK COCKBURN
It is a ferocious war waged by assassination, massacre, imprisonment and persecution that has killed tens of thousands of people. But non-Muslims – and many Muslims – scarcely notice this escalating conflict that pits Shia minority against Sunni majority. ...
Blowback at the Holy Triumvirate
WILLIAM BLUM
“France no longer recognizes its children,” lamented Guillaume Roquette in an editorial in the Figaro weekly magazine in Paris. “How can the country of Victor Hugo, secularism and family reunions produce jihadists capable of attacking a kosher...
“Mr. Obama, Tear Down These sanctions!”
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus This observer has learned from time in this region that if one wants to learn what is happening on the ground politically and socially it is fine to speak with government officials, journalists, long tenured academicians, NGO’s, and people on th...
Assad at the Opera House
FRANKLIN LAMB
Damascus. Easy walking distance from this observer’s hotel near the city center, the Damascus Opera House, the site of yesterday’s Presidential  address, was inaugurated in May of 2004 by the President and his wife, 
completing a project of his la...
Notes From Damascus
FRANKLIN LAMB
Yarmouk Camp, Damascus Perhaps the next time this observer responds to a request from a graduate student somewhere who writes to him seeking help with research for a Masters or Doctoral thesis on the subject of Palestinian refugees In Lebanon and Syria and...
Syrian Contradictions
PATRICK COCKBURN
“Shame on you!” boomed the voice of a Syrian intellectual in my phone half an hour after I had returned from Damascus to Beirut. He was so incoherent in his rage that it was difficult to know his precise objections, but my sin seemed to be that I had been in D...