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A Moral Fabulist
A couple of weeks ago Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate and self-appointed moral conscience for Holocaust survivors, praised the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes to make way for yet more illegal settlements in Jerusalem. His chilling statement ran in an ad placed inHa’aretz. Here are Wiesel’s appalling words: Though Wiesel offers himself as a paragon... Read More
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The Bombing of Pearl Harbor: What FDR Knew
Each Pearl Harbor day offers a fresh opportunity for those who correctly believe 
that Franklin Roosevelt knew of an impending attack by the Japanese and welcomed it as
 a way of snookering the isolationists and getting America into the war. And year by year the evidence continues to mount. The Naval 
Institute’s website featured a... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
I’d say the chances of George Zimmerman spending time behind bars for killing Trayvon Martin are about the same as Sergeant Robert Bales doing time for killing those 16 Afghan villagers the night of March 11. Zero. Like most things that happen in America these days, the Trayvon Martin case is turning into yet another... Read More
Only 25 Per Cent of All Americans Go to College and Only 16 Per Cent of These Actually Try to Learn Anything. Welcome a Nation of Helots.
"In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a first-class education," President Obama famously declared in his 2010 State of the Union Address, just as millions of high schoolers across the nation were embarking on the annual ritual of picking their preferred colleges and preparing the grand tour of the prospects, with parents... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
If you want a sense of what could well lie in store for Syria, go no further than Anthony Shadid’s report from Libya in the New York Times for February 9. Shadid, a good reporter, describes a dismembered country, rent by banditry: One martial enterprise of some of these Misuratan militias is to attack a... Read More
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CounterPunch Diary
The last time we met Michael Bérubé on this site was back in 2007, and he was up to his neck in a rubbish dump, where I’d placed him, in the company of other promoters of the 2003 war on Iraq: where, I asked, are those parlor warriors now? Had any of them reconsidered their... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Consider the present dilemma of Texas governor Rick Perry, whose trajectory as the potential Republican presidential nominee now threatens to emulate the fate of the Challenger spaceshuttle in 1986. What went wrong? The necessary political attributes appeared to be in place to please the Tea Party’s foot soldiers whose season of maximum political effectiveness is... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
We’re homing in on the tenth anniversary of the destruction of the Wall Street Trade Towers and the attack on the Pentagon. One in seven Americans and one in four among those aged 16-24, (so a recent poll commissioned by the BBC tells us) believe that there was a vast conspiracy in which the U.S.... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
What’s a riot without looting? We want it, they’ve got it! You’d think from the press that looting was alien to British tradition, imported by immigrants more recent than the Normans. Not so. Gavin Mortimer, author of The Blitz, had an amusing piece in the First Post about the conduct of Britons at the time... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Nothing more easily elicits roars of assent across a good slice of the political spectrum than the hoarse alarums that wave after wave of brown-skinned illegals continually flood across the border, plunging neighborhoods and whole cities into an inferno of crime, over-whelming cops and prosecutors, clogging the justice system, cramming the prisons. Lou Dobbs is... Read More
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What the Doctors Saw
John McCain’s charges of sexism against Barack Obama must ring mighty hollow to those who know him best, and we dare say his second wife Cindy would have an acerbic comment or two of her own if freed from all constraints. The social culture of the Naval Academy at Annapolis shaped McCain. His own recollections... Read More
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Orlando Figes and The Whisperers
Orlando Figes' The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia is in its most literal sense an act of collective memory, and the only quibble I have with the author's tremendous achievement is that homage to those he rightly calls "the heroes" of his book comes not at the beginning but at the end in "Afterword... Read More
CounterPunch Diary
Zyklon B came to El Paso in the 1920s. In 1929, for example, a U.S. Public Health Service officer, J.R. Hurley, ordered $25 worth of the material--hydrocyanic acid in pellet form--as a fumigating agent for use at the El Paso delousing station, where Mexicans crossed the border from Juárez. Zyklon, developed by DEGESCH (the German... Read More
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Sources and Authorities
We should never be more vigilant than at the moment a new dogma is being installed. The claque endorsing what is now dignified as "the mainstream theory" of global warming stretches all the way from radical greens through Al Gore to George W. Bush, who signed on at the end of May. The left has... Read More
A Federal Witchhunt
One of the first big show trials here in the post-9/11 homeland was of a Muslim professor from Florida, now 49, Sami al-Arian. Pro-Israel hawks had resented this computer professor at the University of South Florida long before Atta and the hijackers flew their planes into the Trade towers, because they saw al-Arian, a Palestinian... Read More
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The Age of Irrationality
Where was the American left in the campaign that ended in recapture of both houses of Congress by the Democrats on November 7, 2006? Was it in the streets, fomenting opposition to the war in Iraq? Not at all. The antiwar movement has been inert for months. When I was asked to give the keynote... Read More
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CounterPunch Diary
For the past few weeks a sometimes comic debate has simmering in the American press, focused on the question of whether there is an Israeli lobby, and if so, just how powerful is it? I would have thought that to ask whether there's an Israeli lobby here is a bit like asking whether there's a... Read More
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Did Oprah Pick Another Fibber?
When in trouble, head for Auschwitz, preferably in the company of Elie Wiesel. It's as foolproof a character reference as is available today, at least within the Judeo-Christian sphere of moral influence. One can easily see why Oprah Winfrey and her advisers saw an Auschwitz excursion in the company of Wiesel as a sure-fire antidote... Read More
Pages from the Liberals' War
"It's hard not to feel that by dying in his cell, Slobodan Milosevic finally succeeded in his determined effort to cheat justice." Thus the opening sentence of a New York Times editorial, Tuesday March 14. The editorial cited without comment Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor of the United Nations tribunal, who told an Italian... Read More
He Pointed the Way Out; They Chopped Off His Hand
Here we have one of the most widely derided presidents in the history of the United States and a war abhorred by a majority of all Americans and the Democrats have near zero traction as a credible party of opposition. The sequence of events after Representative Jack Murtha's speech on Capitol Hill on November 17... Read More
Guardian Fabricates Chomsky Quotes in Bid to Smear World's Number One Intellectual
After Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines issued their poll last month of the top intellectuals in the world I broached to Noam Chomsky the notion that CounterPunch might compile an alternative list. The plan was to dismiss FP/Prospect readers' pick of mostly lumpen non-thinkers in favor of real intellectuals like Levi-Strauss, or Baudrillard, or Laura... Read More
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CounterPunch Diary
You can tell in five-minutes channel surfing how Cindy Sheehan frightens the pro-war crowd. One bereaved mom from Vacaville, camped outside Bush's home in Crawford, reproaching the vacationing President for sending her son to a pointless death in Iraq has got the hellhounds of the right barking in venomous unison. Christopher Hitchens attacked Cindy Sheehan,... Read More
Travels with Sainath, Being an Indian Diary, of Third of Three Parts
April 4 Sainath tells me he’s had difficulty sleeping since he covered the suicides in Andhra Pradesh from the late 90s on. All told, he’s visited 300 families in which a suicide has occurred. How did it all begin? From the early 90s forward, zero investment and a collapse of credit ravaged Indian agriculture. The... Read More
When Tedium is Totalizing
Years ago, when the nightly program was mandatory viewing in every liberal home from Montauk to Santa Monica, I wrote a parody of the McNeil-Lehrer Show, as it was then called before McNeil hailed down his colors and moved on. The piece ran in Harpers, and though it was prompted a good deal of laughter,... Read More
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
"Why Is He Losing?" was the title I initially gave a column I wrote for The Nation a couple of weeks ago before the election. My editor there, Roane Carey, worried that this was maybe too pessimistic, amid supposed portents of a sudden swell for Kerry. So we called the column You Can't Blame Nader... Read More
Claud Cockburn at 100
Monday, April 12, 2004, brings us the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Claud Cockburn, father of other Cockburns--the brothers Alexander, Andrew and Patrick--familiar to readers of the CounterPunch website and newsletter. Claud was the greatest radical journalist of his age, an inspiring influence not only on CounterPunch, but on many other seditious journalistic enterprises,... Read More
"I Am Thy Father's Ghost" A Journey into Rupert Murdoch's Soul
It has been astounding that a world-scale monster such as Rupert Murdoch has thus far fared well at the hands of his various profilists and biographers. Criticisms of him have either been too broad-brush to be useful, or too tempered with Waugh-derived facetiousness about press barons. Murdoch is far too fearsome an affront to any... Read More
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One From the Vault
The most successful saga in postwar popular culture got off to a conscientious start after breakfast on a tropical morning in Jamaica early in 1952. Ian Fleming, forty-three years old and ten weeks away from his first and last marriage, knocked out about 2,000 words on his Imperial portable claiming (falsely) that he was just... Read More
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I got an invitation to speak a couple of months ago from an outfit called antiwar.com, which is run by a young fellow called Justin Raimundo. "Antiwar.com is having its second annual national conference March 24 & 25, and we'd like you to be the luncheon speaker," Raimundo wrote. "The conference will be held at... Read More
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