The dreadful news came this week of the death of Chuck Larson, longtime contributor and book reviewer for CounterPunch, after a prolonged struggle with prostate cancer. I got to know Chuck in 1978. He was a professor in the literature department at American University, where I studied literature and history. I had read Chuck’s writing More The post Reading
Geopolitics is the linking of political power to geographic space. Perhaps Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard remains one of its best abstract representations. It’s not only the USA that has geopolitical goals; many other countries, like the UK, France, Russia and Germany, also developed distinct geopolitical ideas. In nineteenth century Germany,
One could not accuse US Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming of having a sense of irony. For some time, she has felt her party to be the hostage of a ghoulish monster who refuses to be slayed.  And she fears her party has fallen out of love for the rule of law. In being ousted More The post Liz Cheney, Dick Cheney and the Rule of Law appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
In the Middle Eastern wars that the US has been waging for the past 30 years, few soldiers or pilots have become prisoners of war. The best known is Bowe Bergdahl, a 23-year old Army private who was captured by the Taliban in 2009 and held until a prisoner exchange arranged five years later by More The post Fifty Years Later: The Forgotten Story of Dissenting POWs
It’s no great surprise that most German media, reporting on the Israel-Palestine war, was one-sided, bigoted and misleading! There were samples of fairer treatment at first, showing the demolition of Palestinian homes, the shutdown of a meeting place for young people, the far-rightist gangs marching in East Jerusalem chanting “Death to Arabs,” the invasion
Given the more than 60 Democratic and Republican votes lined up, the Senate is poised to move forward with a new bill that would change the way the military handles sexual assault and other felony crimes by service members. Sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Joni Ernst (R-IA), the new law would assign decision-making on More The post Pandemic of Sexual
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to go “beyond the restoration of calm to start a serious dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict.” Noble idea, but don’t expect anything of the sort. Both sides claimed victory, and both sides are far more likely to pick up where they More The post After the Ceasefire: Peace
The three major military powers (the United States, Russia, and China) systematically and consistently engage in inflation of the threats they face.  Each side tends to see the worst motivation and the greatest capabilities in assessing its adversaries in order to justify its own actions.  This problem was endemic throughout the Cold War, particularly
The case of Alex Saab raises dangerous precedents in terms of extraterritorial judicial abuse, violation of diplomatic status, and even the use of torture to extract false confessions. This is according to Montréal-based international human rights lawyer John Philpot. He spoke on May 19 at a webinar sponsored by the Alliance for Global Justice and More The
As Senator, Vice President, and now President, your self-promoted/displayed empathy has a problem. You can’t seem to connect the Israeli military powerhouse’s occupation to the oppression and destruction of innocent Palestinian civilians, illegal seizure of Palestinian land/water, and daily violations of U.S. and international law. Israel’s military
June 13 will be the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the secret Pentagon Papers, a vast collection of internal U.S. decision-making documents on the Vietnam War. The Papers provoked questions about how the war could have been waged through six presidencies in a row: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon,
On May 23, a fighter jet intercepted Ryanair Flight 4978 as it was about to exit Belarus’s airspace en route from Athens, Greece to Vilnius, Lithuania. Citing a supposed bomb threat (apparently contrived by regime agents on board the plane), Belarus air traffic control ordered the Boeing 737 to turn around and land in Minsk. More The post The US and EU vs.
Friday, May 28 is National Beef Burger Day. We’re supposed to use the hashtag #BeefBurgerBrag and tag @BeefItsWhatsForDinner on Facebook when adding our burger photos to this marketing frenzy. “Americans love burgers and there’s no substitute for a real beef burger sizzling on the grill,” says the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Looks like Epicurious
The interview was infamous, made his name and was bound to enrage.  It also received a viewing audience of 23 million people who heard a saucy tale of adultery, plots in the palace, and stories of physical and mental illness.  But the tarring and feathering of Martin Bashir for his 1995 Panorama programme featuring Princess More The post Burned by the Diana Cult:
Well, the telecom media rollercoaster is once again rolling.  On May 17th, AT&T announced that it was spinning off its WarnerMedia subsidiary that includes HBO and Warner Bros. for $5 billion and merging it with Discovery.  This followed the May 3rd announcement that Verizon was selling off its media holdings, AOL and Yahoo, for $43 More The post What’s
When Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister for the second time in March 2009, it was not long after Israel had conducted three weeks of sustained air attacks on the enclave of Gaza. More than 1,100 Palestinians died in that campaign. About a dozen Israelis also perished, four from friendly fire, the rest from rockets coming More The post Netanyahu Soldiers
An excellent overview of wildfire issues was published in the Revelator.  I encourage folks to review it. I especially appreciate the linkage of recent large fires to drought and warming temperatures. That is what is driving these fires across the West, and it is good to see the Revelator making this a central theme. Westwide, More The post Nuance in Wildfire
During the past six decades anthropologist Laura Nader (University of California, Berkeley) has shaped anthropological analysis in important ways relating to how the discipline understands power relations. Her new book, Letters to and from an Anthropologist is a curated collection of her personal correspondence, featuring exchanges with public figures,
During the Israeli bombardment of Beirut in August 1982, President Ronald Reagan phoned Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to express his “shock” and “outrage” at Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire on the Lebanese capital, demanding that they be stopped immediately. He said that Israeli actions were causing “needless destruction and bloodshed”
President Biden has a problem. He wishes to escape from the Middle East quagmire and focus American foreign policy on the perceived China threat. However, in the wake of the recent Israeli-Palestinian carnage, there is no escape. He must do something. But what? Doing the same thing yet again while hoping for a different result More The post A Biden Speech to Transform
So just what is the Biden administration’s policy towards Israel? Why did Biden take so long to respond to the violence as it spiraled out of control in Jerusalem and Gaza? Why do Biden’s repeated “Israel has the right of self-defense” litanies so closely match the positions of his predecessor, despite the wide disparity between More The post So What Exactly
At the end of 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic was continuing to ravage the populations of many nations, Israel stood out as a success story, administering more doses of vaccines to its modest-sized 9-million-strong population than any other country after China, the U.S., and the UK. Today, more than 60 percent of Israelis are vaccinated, More The post It’s
Alessandra Korap Munduruku is a Munduruku Indigenous woman leader from Indigenous Reserve Praia do Índio in the Brazilian Amazon. She is a member of Pariri, a local Munduruku association, as well as the Munduruku Wakoborûn Women’s Association. In 2020, Alessandra won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for her work defending the culture, livelihoods
Imagine what would happen if the US media discovered that a candidate in the mid-term elections was under investigation by the FBI for receiving money from a foreign government. Then, suppose it was one that’s hostile to the US, perhaps Syria or Iran, and that the same government was also covertly funding election coverage in, More The post NPR Should Ask Where
It starts off as an exercise of anticipation.  First comes the softening drinks and teasing morsels which find their mark.  The audience at this promotions gig is well heeled, of an age where they have money to burn, but nowhere to burn it.  They have not travelled on a luxurious prison of bliss for eighteen More The post Coronavirus Travels and Cruising with Viking
We’ve been farming this plot of land for going on half a century. The fields lay between the ledges and the glacial erratics, and we’re only the most recent tillers since “Robert Cole, Yeoman” established a homestead here in 1769. The farm buildings Cole erected were obliterated in a great fire that burned much of More The post Ruralist’s Lament: It’s Alive!
The figures are bad, any way you slice them. 50 journalists killed last year, the toll since 1990 stands at more than 2,600 dead. Hundreds more than the number of U.S. soldiers killed in the whole Afghanistan débacle. Not even in Europe are reporters safe. Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered by a car bomb in More The post Killing the Messengers appeared first on
Dylan at 80: A Sonnet of Appreciation Been around almost as long the war with Russia, a child of Odessa blues, who spat at Ellsberg,* like Dad did the Tsar, went hunting Woody’s career, filled his shoes, got himself condemned by the left and right — became the Wandering Jew, harp and guitar, on a More The post Dylan at 80: A Sonnet of Appreciation appeared first
Talk about Palestine, and inevitably you will come up against the persistent fallacy of its “self-defeating” tendency to embrace “violence”. This uninformed and implicitly racist assessment of Palestine’s history, its people, and their struggle, is just as often proffered by those claiming some degree of sympathy for their plight, as it is enshrined into
On June 18, 2019, then-candidate Joe Biden appeared on the campaign trail at a posh fundraiser on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. He remarked to about a hundred prospective wealthy donors that if elected, “nothing will fundamentally change.” In the context of the quote, Biden was referencing their pocketbooks and stock portfolios under his leadership. As […]
Crowned with bird dung, a 7.2-meter-tall bronze Columbus towers over Barcelona atop a 40-meter Corinthian column, symbolically pointing to both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The statue was constructed for the 1888 World’s Fair. Just ten years before Spain lost its colonies in Cuba and Puerto Rico following the Spanish-American War, it was
With an impeccable sense of timing, a 40-year-old documentary is felicitously being re-released and is far more relevant – and urgent – now than when it first aired on German TV and PBS in 1981, as an actor became US president. Writer/director/producer Wieland Schulz-Keil’s New Deal for Artists is a refreshing reminder of when state […] To read this article,
In this emergency podcast, Eric welcomes back author, journalist, and CounterPunch contributor Ramzy Baroud to discuss the latest Israeli aggression against the Palestinians, the political and social significance of the Palestinian uprising and solidarity movements around the world, and the global significance of what's happened. Ramzy details Israeli
I am writing to you about Gaza, a place that I have studied and written about for the last 35 years, a place that I consider another home, filled with the kindest and most generous people you will ever meet—have you ever been there? But I am writing not only as a scholar of the region but as a Jew and one whose parents survived Auschwitz. More The post A Letter to Biden
To describe what's happening in Gaza as a "war" requires a suspension of belief in the concept of proportionality. The battle of Borodino was part of a "war." These defenseless attacks on civilian homes and buildings are an escalation of Israel's normal house clearing, using drones and cruise missiles instead of bulldozers. More The post Roaming Charges:
No one can ignore the events in Palestine. No one disputes the horror of it all. Images of the Israeli bombing of Gaza and the human toll exacted against the Palestinians who live in Gaza have saturated social media and have increasingly drawn attention to the violence by the Israeli state and Zionist settlers against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian
In its deadly attacks in densely populated Gaza, the Israeli Defense Force is employing a technique they call “roof knocking.” First drones fire small missiles without warheads on a residential building, intended only to shake the building before armed missiles destroy it minutes later. The IDF calls these “warning shots” and they are often preceded More
Like the mythical Phoenix, Chernobyl rises from the ashes. A recent… “Surge in fission reactions in an inaccessible chamber within the complex” is alarming scientists that monitor the ruins of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. (Source: Nuclear Reactions at Chernobyl are Spiking in an Inaccessible Chamber, NewScientist, May 11, 2021). It is
Here we go again. Listener democracy at the Pacifica radio network is in deep jeopardy again because the same people who violently shut down WBAI in 2019 and forced an expensive referendum that was soundly defeated in 2020 have forced a second bylaws referendum. Having lost last year’s referendum by a 2-to-1 margin — losing More The post The Fight for Independent,
In his first major foreign policy address on February 4, President Joe Biden announced that he was “ending all support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.” Biden’s announcement sounded too good to be true. A Saudi Arabian-led coalition has been at war with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels since 2015. More The post
The wrongheaded but ubiquitous notion that the Republican Amerikaner Trump base is the (um, white) “working-class” drawn to “populism” has been disproven in study after study showing that the Trumpenvolk are relatively affluent, not proletarian and poor, and driven by an ugly, mutually reinforcing mixture of racism, sexism, nativism, fundamentalism,
With its latest attack on Gaza—on the families it drove from their homes in what is now Israeli territory—Israel is surpassing itself in viciousness. As of today, Israel has killed 212 Gazans, including at least 61 children and 36 women. It is “obliterate[ing] multiple generations of families” in the middle of the night—at least 21 More The post Apartheid Does
Usually I talk about sex, but Israel’s most recent, gut-wrenching horrors wreaked upon Palestinian people have propelled me, like a virtual kick from behind, to step out of my *comfort zone* and say that I am deeply embarrassed as a Jew. Yes, as a Jew. No, I’m not an Israeli, certainly not a Zionist, and More The post Shemah Yisrael appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
The idea of competition between nations that elected officials invoke to explain why trade agreements must be passed, certain industries must be supported, the largest military-industrial complex in world history must be sustained, and the living standards of working people can’t be raised, points to the imperialist nature of capitalism. Capitalist
Colombia is afire with a National Strike mounted by working people young people, and the excluded. They are protesting neoliberal reforms that diminish lives and hopes. Tax-reform proposals from President Iván Duque’s rightwing government triggered large demonstrations that began on April 28 and are continuing. Brutal repression has inflamed the rebellion.
Some states were more reluctant than others to recognize the reality of covid. Florida has been in the vanguard of this indisposed cohort, which includes South Dakota, Texas and other red states. Florida governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a law prohibiting vaccine passports, invoking, as he did so, the good common sense of Floridians – More The post They’re
The Buffalo and the Revolutionary Straddling the fence may be the best way to avoid an unwinnable conflict. Once, many years ago, I became trapped between a buffalo and an alligator. It happened in Payne’s Prairie Preserve near Micanopy, Florida, while running along the eight-mile Cones Dike Trail. At about the three-mile marker, I saw More The post Five Fables
The United States has blocked a United Nations Security Council statement on the continuing violence. According to The Times of Israel, “the draft statement urged Israel to prevent the looming evictions of Palestinian families in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, and called for ‘restraint’ and respect for ‘the historic status quo at the
Israel’s missile attack on media offices in Gaza City last weekend was successful. A gratifying response came quickly from the head of The Associated Press, which had a bureau in the building for 15 years: “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.” For people who care about truth, More The post Why Israel Blows
Thanks to its very name — renewable energy — we can picture a time in the not-too-distant future when our need for non-renewable fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal will vanish. Indeed, the Biden administration has announced a breakthrough target of 2035 for fully eliminating U.S. reliance on those non-renewable fuels for the generation More The post Lithium,
When a publicist sent me a press release and screener for Nicholas Jarecki’s “Crisis”, I looked forward to covering a film by a director who I acclaimed as making one of the best films of 2012: “9. Arbitrage – Don’t tell Oliver Stone that I said so, but this is much better than his “Wall More The post How America Got Hooked on Opiods appeared first on CounterPunch.org.
In April, the Indian government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft, allowing its local partner CropData to leverage a master database of farmers. The MoU seems to be part of the AgriStack policy initiative, which involves the roll out of ‘disruptive’ technologies and digital databases in the agricultural sector. Based on press reports
The natural world is in a state of crisis, and we are to blame. We are in the midst of the Sixth Extinction, the biggest loss of species in the history of humankind. So many species are facing total annihilation. Nearly one-third of freshwater species are facing extinction. So are 40 percent of amphibians; 84 More The post The Crisis of the Natural World appeared
When most people think about air pollution, they may imagine power plant smokestacks or car tailpipes. But an alarming new study forces us to think about deadly air pollution from another source: factory farms. New research finds that air pollution from agriculture causes more than 17,000 deaths every year. That’s even more than the deaths More The post Factory
Over the weekend, the people of Chile voted in a historic election to select the members of a body tasked with drafting a new Constitution to replace the one written in 1980 under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The final tally dealt a severe blow to the followers of General Pinochet, many of whom make More The post A Victory for Democracy in Chile appeared
Picture: you father’s died and your mother’s just married his brother. Your father’s ghost appears, tells you that his brother murdered him, and commands you to murder your uncle back. But you don’t. No, you make this all about you. You claim agency and your right to decide to do it. Of course, you can’t More The post Fat Ham: To Be Or Not To Be Tragic appeared first
“The president reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attack,” The Guardian has informed us, as conflict flares once more in the Middle East. But, oh the humanity! Good guy Joe also “encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians.” Bombs and missiles are one thing,
Most of the news stories I see about Israel and Palestine focus on recent events. For example, in the latest violence, 213 Palestinians in Gaza are dead (including 61 children) plus another 16 in the West Bank — compared to about 10 Israelis (including two children). President Biden has “expressed support for a cease-fire” but More The post The Bigger Picture
Each Spring our country funds its priorities for the coming year. This annual process gives us the opportunity for renewal as we address our critical needs. This year, for the second year in a row, the process is disrupted by the continuation of a global pandemic that has resulted in the loss of more than More The post Who has the President’s Ear? appeared first
As Israel plumets the Palestinians living in Gaza observers of the mainstream media in the United States of America and indeed the US government, might be prone to think that Israel is merely match tit-for-tat the Palestinians acts of violence or even that Israel is defending itself. Nothing could be further from the truth. The More The post There is No Equivalence
I believe that all people share a common cause for basic freedoms. Yet whenever I speak out about the conflict between Israel and Palestine, I’m cautioned to “be careful” — that I’ll only be able to have a fruitful dialogue by recognizing grievances on “both sides.” Well, I recognize a few things. I recognize that More The post Palestinian Lives Matter appeared
Recently California Governor Newsom came out with a proposed fire budget of over a billon dollars. Unfortunately, like so many politicians, his budget emphasizes “active forest management” which includes thinning and prescribe fire to reduce the presumed “excess fuels” on public lands. One can forgive Governor Newsom for his budget emphasis as he is likely
“Wilderness and the Value of Doing Nothing (by Dana Johnson, at CounterPunch, 14 May 2021) sounds a lot like how inconvenience is a luxury for the rich. Most rich guy things to have, or to do, are intrinsically inconvenient; the question is how much of the burden is carried by staff and how much is carried More The post Petri Dish Gluttony Need Not Be appeared first
This simple mission statement was announced at the beginning of each ACT UP meeting. People in trouble, many of them sick and some soon dying, had no time to lose in creating a radical health care movement. The desperation, daring, and diversity of talent in ACT UP meetings were an experience many later compared to More The post How People in Trouble Created a Radical
I am a transwoman of no color. I am an agoraphobic welfare queen. I am a genderqueer millennial who has been diagnosed with virtually every mental illness in the DSM. I am intersectional but my existence is not a box checking exercise, though I have been diagnosed with Obsessive Box Checking Disorder. I used to More The post Down with Woke Imperialism! appeared
At the beginning of this year, I wrote an article for Counterpunch arguing that UFO sightings were a new kind of quasi-religion based on the cultural peculiarities of modern post-war America: technologism, managerism, a decline in traditional religions, cold war “after-glow”, and last but not least a pervasive sense of loss of control over
Investing public dollars in private ventures is not risk-free. Consider the case of the NBA Sacramento Kings. The city of Sacramento borrowed $273 million to build the Golden 1 Center, where the Kings play. That deal required the city to take out a loan six years ago. Revenues from city parking service the borrowing, principal More The post NBA Kings Financial
Colombia witnessed a series of mass protests at the end of April following a call for a national strike in the city of Cali. Still ongoing, the protests have many causes: an apparent “tax reform” that was going to transfer even more wealth to the 1 percent in Colombia; the failure of the most recent More The post Is Colombia’s Military Displacing Peasants to Protect
Propaganda may very well have been invented by the Catholic Church in the year 1622. Yet it was transported into modernity by a man known as Poison Ivy and, more importantly, by Edward Bernays, who once said, The significant revolution of modern times is not industrial or economic or political but the revolution which is taking place More The post Anti-Global
In much of what remains of the left in places like the US and the UK people busily form Circular Firing Squads for the purposes of eliminating microaggressions and any vestigial traces of antisemitism that might be found under old rocks. Meanwhile in the Middle East, the US client state that rules over Islam’s holiest More The post The Third Intifada: a
Is President Biden afflicted with the political equivalent of a split personality?  His first several months in office suggest just that possibility.  On the home front, the president’s inclination is clearly to Go Big.  When it comes to America’s role in the world, however, Biden largely hews to pre-Trumpian precedent.  So far at least, the More The post
“Both sides need to de-escalate.” “No one benefits from this. ” You’ll hear a lot of statements like that from pundits, elected officials, government spokespeople, and mainstream media anytime there’s violence in Israel-Palestine. In the last few days, Israeli war planes, armed drones, and artillery mounted on tanks have killed more than 119 Palestinians
The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t exited yet. But it’s ebbing. With our greed pandemic, on the other hand, no such luck. Avarice is still spreading at levels seldom ever seen. This past week, for instance, we learned that small armies of lawyers are routinely charging over $1,000 an hour for handling claims in the ongoing massive More The post Can We Get a Vaccine
Maya Lin’s Ghost Forest is a temporary public art installation in New York City’s Madison Square Park. On a stretch of green, ten blocks south of the Empire State Building, it consists of a group of 49 dead Atlantic white cedars (of the 50 intended to be displayed, one didn’t make it over in suitable More The post Maya Lin’s Insufficiently Haunting Ghost Forest
From the outset, some clarification regarding the language used to depict the ongoing violence in occupied Palestine, and also throughout Israel. This is not a ‘conflict’. Neither is it a ‘dispute’ nor ‘sectarian violence’ nor even a war in the traditional sense.    It is not a conflict, because Israel is an occupying power and the Palestinian people are an