Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives from April 2003
The Rape of History
GARY LEUPP
"This is what the Americans wanted. They wanted Iraq to lose its history." Donny George, Director for Research, Iraqi Ministry of Antiquities (quoted by Associated Press, April 16) It doesn’t speak well of me...
America’s In-Bedded Journalism
WILLIAM MacDOUGALL
As expected, the sacking of Baghdad by victorious coalition forces–that is America, Great Britain and a handful of Australian and Danish troops–has moved pro-war commentators to lyrical flights of fancy not witnessed since, say, the liberation of Afgha...
Roadmap to Resistance
PABLO MUKHERJEE
I have just come back from a two week trip to India, having stopped over at Dubai both on the way out and back. While still a comfortable distance from Iraq, the Gulf Emirates and even India felt much closer to the full horror of the Anglo-American invasion. Satel...
Oil War
DAN BROOK
Prior to formally ordering the invasion of Iraq, Bush warned the Iraqis: "Do not destroy the oil wells". The war on Iraq was, reportedly, originally named Operation Iraqi Liberation, instead of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Someone realized, however, that the...
Iraq After the War
HAROLD A. GOULD
As the military phase of the campaign against Saddam Hussain’s Iraq approaches its denouement, the experts are now turning their attention to what comes next. The steps by which this next phase has at last become inevitable have proved to be far less sanguin...
Patriot Gore
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Once the rockets are up Who cares where they come down? That’s not my department Says Wernher Van Braun. "Wernher van Braun" by Tom Lehrer This time around it was going to be different. This time ...
Only Losers Get Tried for War Crimes
MICKEY Z
Three days before Operation Iraqi Freedom (sic) was launched, the New York Times reported that the Bush administration had "identified nine senior Iraqi officials, including Saddam Hussein and his two sons, who would be tried for war crimes or crimes aga...
Zalmay Khalilzad
ISSAM NASHASHIBI
In addition to "weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria," Israel should "focus on removing Saddam Hussain from power in Iraq-an important Israeli objective in its own right." These recommendations were contained in a 1996 ...
Embedded Photographer
MICHEL GUERRIN For Le Monde
Translated for CounterPunch by NORMAN MADARASZ Laurent Van der Stockt, a photographer working for the Gamma agency and under contract for the New York Times Magazine, followed the advance of the 3/4 Marines (3rd battalion, 4th regiment) for three weeks, up to th...
"They Died Trying to Become Students"
JORGE MARISCAL
With the U.S. assault on Iraq moving from the invasion to the occupation phase and the saber rattling continuing to echo out of Pentagon, it is time to reflect on where the Latino community in the United States finds itself within the larger context of the Ne...
A Letter to the President of Israel’s Supreme Court
MATANIA BEN-ARTZI
Supreme Court President, Aharon Barak, My son, Jonathan (Yoni) Ben-Artzi, is a pacifist. He refused to enlist for military service and asked for an alternative civil service. As a student of Physics and Mathematics, he believed he could best serve the ...
A Chill Wind is Blowing Through this Country
TIM ROBBINS
Transcript of the speech given by actor TIM ROBBINS to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 2003 I had originally been asked here to talk about the war and our current political situation, but I have instead c...
Operation Syrian Freedom?
URI AVNERY
No victory justifies an evil war. Quite the opposite. It just adds to the evil. With the entry of American forces into Baghdad, opposition to the war in the US and Britain is dwindling. In other countries, too, doubts are starting to nibble away at the anti...
Post-War Iraq
Col. DAN SMITH US Air Force (retired)
The frustration of the American officer on the streets of Baghdad was almost palpable in the CNN report: “They’ve got 25 questions. I’ve got 5 answers.” That was Tuesday, April 8, the same date President Bush, during a joint press conference...
The Bloody History of Halliburton
JASON LEOPOLD
Kellogg Brown & Root, the company chosen last month by the Pentagon to extinguish oil well fires in Iraq, has a long history of supporting the same terrorist regimes vilified by the Bush administration and on at least one occasion defrauded the United States g...
India’s Devious Middle Path Through the Iraq War
NINAN KOSHY
India’s political leaders’ responses to the U.S.-led war in Iraq are notable for what they say about the country’s willingness to sacrifice traditional concerns regarding nonalignment and international law for the opportunity to raise its profile...
Mourning Iraq
CAROL NORRIS
Please don’t talk to me of "precision bombing" and "liberation." Don’t talk of "minimal loss of life" and cheering Iraqis. Don’t come with your "I told you so." and your "See, the war wasn’t that...
Looting Antiquity
JOANNE MARINER
While Baghdad burned, Donald Rumsfeld fiddled. Questioned about the orgy of looting and pillaging taking place under the gaze of U.S. forces, Rumsfeld criticized the media for exaggerating the extent of the damage. "The images you are seeing on te...
Nero in Baghdad
MICHAEL SELLS
I am having trouble believing this, partly because it has been almost completely ignored in the U.S. press (with the exception below). But that which I do not wish to believe appears to be true: days after the destruction of Iraq’s Museum of Antiquities, the...
A Personal View of Iraq
BILJANA VANKOVSKA
There is an agreement over the Iraqi war. It seems as if everybody prefers virtual to real reality: it applies equally to military experts, politicians and even the public! It is said that truth is the first victim of every war, but I am wondering why it has ...
Contract with Iraq
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
They put US troops round the Oil Ministry and the headquarters of the Secret Police, but stood aside as the mobs looted Baghdad’s Archaeological Museum and torched the National Library. It sounds like something right out of Newt Gingrich’s Contract wit...
Tony Black Feather
BRENDA NORRELL
Stronghold, South Dakota United Nations Representative Tony Black Feather, Lakota, said if the world wants to understand the invasion and occupation of Iraq, ask an Indian. "Our territory was liberated by the Americans when gold was discovered ...
They Call Themselves Economists?
ANTHONY GANCARSKI
Historically, this could be as significant as any one of the twenty-three separate liberations of Umm Qasr. The London FINANCIAL TIMES reports that the Group of Seven industrialized countries, the IMF, and the World Bank came together in Washington this past weeke...
Another Sign of the "End Times" for American Journalism
WAYNE MADSEN
It is a sad state of affairs when a movie actor must tell a group of assembled journalists that they missed the mark on covering a huge voting scandal in Florida’s 2000 presidential election. Speaking at the National Press Club on April 15, ...
My Lai Revisited
JOE ALLEN
March 16 marked the 35th anniversary of one of most gruesome acts committed by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War–the My Lai massacre. That day in 1968, the Army’s Charlie Company murdered 347 unarmed men, women and children in the Vietnamese village...
End of History; More in a Moment
WALLACE GAGNE
Look up. Up in the sky. It’s a Kurd. It’s a Hussein. It’s weapons of mass destruction. Sorry. Another false positive. Another bungle. Only Vigoro. Liquid Plumber. Saddam’s moustache wax. A-1 Steak Sauce. Here’s Paul. Here’...
This is What Privatization Looks Like
STANLEY HELLER
The National Museum of Iraq is empty. 7,000 years of Babylonian, Sumerian and Assyrian artifacts stolen. Nothing at all is left. The museum possessed tablets with Hammurabi’s Code–one of mankind’s earliest codes of law. Over a hundred thousa...
Ends, Means and the Present Tense in Iraq
DIANE CHRISTIAN
"The war in Iraq is really about peace" President Bush said on April 11, 2003. He and his regime confidently assert that the ends of peace and liberation justify the means of war and destruction. It’s an old trick question in ethics to ask i...
The Army of Occupation
ROBERT FISK
It’s going wrong, faster than anyone could have imagined. The army of "liberation" has already turned into the army of occupation. The Shias are threatening to fight the Americans, to create their own war of "liberation". At n...
Iran and a Free Press
REZA LADJEVARDIAN
With the war in neighboring Iraq almost over, Iran’s conservative mullahs would desire nothing more than to see America stuck in the quagmire of establishing a democratic regime in Iraq. Keeping America preoccupied with juggling a number of hot potatoes...
The Road to Unilateral Pre-emption
STEPHEN GREEN
When Messrs. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld and their aides decided to make Arik Sharon’s foreign, security and military policy America’s foreign, security and military policy, they may not have foreseen where this would take us. In the months after the eve...
The Destruction of Iraq
KURT NIMMO
It’s now obvious what the Bushites have in mind for Iraq. Iraq is in the process of self-destruction, pushed over the edge by Bush and the neocons. They believe chaos is a form of freedom, a reaction to decades of Saddam’s dictatorial rule. But ...
The Road to World War IV
HUSSEIN IBISH
Neoconservative hawks have said time and again that they’d like the U.S. government to use the war in Iraq as the starting point in a campaign completely to reshape the Middle East. In that light, recent comments from President Bush and Defense Secretar...
Virtual Saddam Takes Aim
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
When the war in Iraq first began, many expected it to last no more than two or three days. The cheerleaders of U.S. military might immediately declared that Saddam Hussein’s regime had crumbled. The only question left was how many hours it would take co...
On the Road Again
STEW ALBERT
Iraq’s Shiites burning ancient books and four thousand year old Assyrian pottery cracked to shards. Civilization starts and ends here. Time is burning to a cinder and forgotten. McDonald’s was always here so were Televangelists and GAP sw...
Support Our Euphemism
CARL ESTABROOK
Americans who support the invasion of Iraq are offering three reasons for their acquiescence to the Bush administration’s imperial plans. First is the dire threat of Iraq’s "weapons of mass destruction" — which slid back and fort...
the Corporate War on Iraq
DAVID VEST
Since Iraqi oil "belongs to the Iraqi people," as the Bush administration has repeatedly assured the world, why doesn’t American oil belong to the American people? Pamela Vest (yes, we’re related; she’s my sister-in-law) would like...
Franklin Graham, Spiritual Carpetbagger
MAS'OOD CAJEE
Franklin Graham is a spiritual Carpetbagger and war profiteer who trades in souls. Those are near-fightin1 words for a Southern boy from Boone, North Carolina who delivered the invocation at President Bush’s 2001 Inauguration. Like the Yankee Carpetba...
Misadventures of the NeoCons
ALI ABUNIMAH And HUSSEIN IBISH
As the war in Iraq moves toward its conclusion, neoconservatives in and around the Bush administration are beginning to aggressively push a chilling agenda for a generalized war against much of the Arab and Islamic worlds. This program to deliberately unle...
Final Thoughts from Palestine
KATHLEEN And BILL CHRISTISON Former CIA Political Analysts
As we left East Jerusalem for Amman last week, on our way back home, we were struck by the cynicism of what appeared to be a concerted effort by the Israeli press and others in the media to justify, retrospectively, Israel’s siege and destruction of Jenin a year ago...
Judge Delays Ruling on Mistrial in Medical Pot Case
ANN HARRISON
For the second week in a row, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer has delayed ruling on whether convicted medical marijuana grower Ed Rosenthal is entitled to mistrial. Rosenthal’s defense team contends that Rosenthal’s right to an impartial...
Oh Freedom
STEW ALBERT
Iraqi looters could not tear down Saddam’s statue. So many years of subservience had degraded their biceps. American technology did the task and the Iraqis were liberated and stealing sofas and CD’s. Tom Jefferson’...
The Sacking of Baghdad
ROBERT FISK
Baghdad. So yesterday was the burning of books. First came the looters, then the arsonists. It was the final chapter in the sacking of Baghdad. The National Library and Archives ? a priceless treasure of Ottoman historical documents, including the old royal...
Let the Stealing Begin
WALLACE GAGNE
They’re dancing in the streets. They’re pulling down statues. Stripping hospitals. They’re looting. Everything’s great. Everything’s been stolen. Nothing works. It’s a whole new ballpark. It’s Tommy Franks....
Render Unto Cesar
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
I first came across the name Cesar Chavez in Peter Matthiessen’s book, Sal Si Pued...
Ethnic Violence, Poverty and Misery in Northern Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
Northern, Iraq. A machine-gun chattered just outside the gate of the biggest hospital in Mosul just as Dr Ayad Ramadani, the hospital director, was saying he blamed the Kurds for the orgy of looting and violence which had engulfed Iraq’s northern capi...
Stop Them Before They Kill Again
RON JACOBS
It wasn’t but three or four hours after the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down by the US Marines (and a few dozen Iraqi extras) in the center of Baghdad before the maddest man on the Potomac, Donald Rumsfeld, issued a warning to the nation of Syria. In...
The Toppling of the Saddam Statue
JOHN BROWN
"They got it down!" George W. Bush, as he caught television coverage of a toppled statue of Saddam Hussein. [Washington Post, April 9] For supporters of our adventure in Iraq, the culmination of military victory o...
This is Only the Beginning
URI AVNERY
A depressing thought: the Iraq war proves that in the year 2003 AD, the world has not essentially changed since 2003 BC. A military power can attack a weak nation, conquer its territory and plunder its resources. There is no world law, no world moral order. Might ...
Bush and Rummy’s Drunken Drive-by
RON JACOBS
I’m a bit depressed. CNN is showing another bunch of Iraqis who seem to be cheering the arrival of the invading troops in their neighborhood. Of course, this bastion of the free press did not show the dead and wounded that came before the occupiers’ en...