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 August 2003
Who Will Save Abu Mazen?
URI AVNERY
Abu-Mazen will fall before the end of October–this conviction is gaining ground in leading Palestinian circles. This forecast is based on the belief that Abu-Mazen will not get anything, neither from the Americans nor from Sharon. No release for most ...
On Terrorism, Methodism, Saudi "Wahhabism" and the Censored 9-11 Report
GARY LEUPP
Two scandals unfold simultaneously: the larger, centering on administration lies concerning the threat posed by Iraq, and concerning Baghdad’s supposed connections to al-Qaeda; the smaller (which might be a tempest in a teapot) on alleged connections between...
Iraq War Emboldens Bush Space Plans
BRUCE GAGNON
Military victory in the Iraq war has emboldened the Pentagon in their claims that space technology gives the U.S. total advantage in time of war. According to Peter Teets, undersecretary of the Air Force and director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Am...
Bush and King Henry
SAUL LANDAU
President Bush has a well-deserved reputation among the high brows as uncultured. While he may not have the intellect to distinguish between Shakespeare and Ogden Nash, he has certainly immersed himself in the culture of power–in the narrowest sense. ...
Schwarenegger, Hollywood and the Rigtheous Right
WALTER BRASCH
The talk show squawkers call them the "Hollyweirds." Makes no difference if they’re writers, actors, directors, producers, or grips and gaffers. Makes no difference if they’re poets, artists, sculptors, dancers, cartoonists, musicians, or sin...
Empire of the Settlements
ROB ESHELMAN
The ten-agorot coin has a map on it. Take a close look though and the map is not of Israel contained within its 1967 boarders. It is a map of a nation extending from the Nile River in the east to the Euphrates River in the west. This is "Eretz Yisrael" w...
What the US Says Goes
JOHN CHUCKMAN
I’ve read that severe autism involves receiving a storm of sensory perceptions, literally assaulting a mind unable to properly sort them out. It is a terrifying experience, driving sufferers to avoid human contact. That description of autism resemble...
Marc Racicot, Bush’s Main Man
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
When the Florida recount fiasco was in full-throttle, the Bush team called in one of its top fixers to deal with the media and help put the finishing touches on the brusque strategy that helped seal the election. That man was Marc Racicot, the former governor of M...
The Parade of the Body Bags
PAUL De ROOIJ
The body count used to be an integral part of warfare–that meant counting the bodies of the enemy. RAF fighter pilots would adorn their airplanes with kill signs, Israeli soldiers put notches on their guns for each Palestinian killed, and the American milita...
Terrorism and Civil Society as Instruments of US Policy in Cuba
PHILIP AGEE
Condemnation of Cuba was immediate, strong and practically global last month for the imprisonment of 75 political dissidents and for the summary execution of 3 ferry hijackers. Prominent among the critics were past friends of Cuba of recognized international statu...
Mean, Mean Howard Dean
JOSH FRANK
Media pundits have been rattling their cages over Howard Dean’s so-called progressive agenda, but how wrong they’ve been. Dean’s back seat criticism of the Bush Administration’s case for war should enlighten us to the fact that this ex-Verm...
California’s Glorious Recall
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
I gave a talk about current politics at Diesel, a fine Oakland independent bookstore, late last week. No one in the leftish crowd seemed notably put out when I declared myself dubious of the proposition, espoused by many in the store, that the only element of myst...
Edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair
DAVE LINDORFF
Leave it to FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to take a good idea and turn it to crap. If there is one thing missing in America these days, it’s a sense of community. I remember a few years ago my kindergarten-aged son missed his bus to s...
Bush, Bribery and Berlusconi
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
"The unexpected always happens." Common saying It’s one of those months in which the pundit doesn’t know which way to turn. So much to observe, so little space in which to report. Consider t...
Life is an ID Card for a 16-Year-Old in Palestine
DAOUD KUTTAB
For most teenagers, the world over, the age of sixteen is supposed to be a happy one. However, reaching 16 for Palestinians, especially those living in East Jerusalem, is not much fun. This is the age that they are supposed to start carrying the dreaded identifica...
Defend the Vieques 12!
ROBERTO BARRETO
The federal government is trying to take its revenge on the movement that drove the U.S. Navy off its base on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Twelve anti-Navy activists are facing serious felony charges–including conspiracy and destruction of federal pro...
The Reign of John Ashcroft
ELAINE CASSEL
For more than a year now I have been following John Ashcroft’s war on defense attorneys. He fired the first shot across the bow at Lynne Stewart, the New York City attorney who was court-appointed to represent Sheikh Abdel Rahman. Two weeks ago, a federal ju...
I Can’t Recall a More Exciting Election
SEAN CARTER
As a political humorist (i.e., someone too lazy to pursue gainful employment), I’ve been longing for political turmoil. It didn’t have to be anything earthshaking, like Camryn Manheim doing high-impact aerobics; just something that could compete with t...
At Least 20,000 Civilians Injured in Iraq War
Hamit Dardagan, John Sloboda And Kay Williams Iraq Body Count Project
Iraq Body Count Project Extraction of media-reported civilian injuries from the Iraq Body Count database and archive of war reports provides evidence of at least 20,000 civilian injuries on top of the maximum reported 7798 deaths. 8,000 of these injuries were in th...
Is the US a "Terrorist Magnet?"
M. SHAHID ALAM
Is it possible that a single metaphor, one that has dropped from the lips of a serving American general, can offer some forbidden insights into the dynamics of America’s relations with the Islamic world? On July 28, 2003, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sa...
Neo-Liberal Nicaragua
TONI SOLO
When US-backed candidate Violeta Chamorro won the most observed election ever in Nicaragua in 1990, she promised Nicaraguans that US government aid would quickly put the country back on its feet. After a decade of war, exhausted Nicaraguans took Chamorro at her wo...
An Open Letter to Nicholas Kristof on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
HUGH SANSOM
You are one of the few journalists I have seen note the anniversary of the atomic bombings. (Only marginally less attention than on the 50th anniversary.) But are you seriously suggesting in your column ...
History and the Tragedy of American Diplomacy
MICHAEL EGAN
How quickly we forget history’s lessons. For a country that puts so much stock in its history and heritage, it seems ironic that Americans so rarely tend to heed history what history might tell them. Put aside for a moment the illegality of the ongoing confl...
It’s Not Easy Confronting King Coal
STEVEN HIGGS
Joshua Martin speaks about civil disobedience and going to jail with the insight of one who’s been there and done that. So does Charity Ryerson. Ditto Jeremy John. They have been there. They have done that. And they say they’ve only just begun. ...
No Fly Lists
ELAINE CASSEL
You have heard about the Transportation Security Administration’s "no-fly" list? That is the black list of persons who are supposed threats to airline safety. If you name is like anyone the government has ever had on a terrorist-watch list, yo...
The Ghosts of Uday and Qusay
ROBERT FISK
The Americans have stripped the Iraqi flags from the graves of Uday and Qusay Hussein. The red, white and black banners were laid on the mounds of clay above their bodies at their funeral on Saturday, alongside the grave of Mustafa Hussein, Qusay’s 14-y...
Gulf War II Syndrome?
STAN GOFF
To understand the official military response to the mysterious "pneumonia" breaking out among American troops in Iraq, we have to understand that troops are equipment. To the unremitting vexation of Donald Rumsfeld and his "network-centr...
Will the Death Penalty Ever Die?
ELAINE CASSEL
In The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment, Boalt Hall Professor of Law Franklin ...
Bush’s War on the National Forests
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea nor the trees. The revelation of St. John the Divine Once again the Bush administration has demonstrated creativity in dealing with problems caused by the environment. Trees are one problem and r...
Terrorism and Political Trials
FORREST HYLTON
(The following article was originally written in Spanish for Pulso, a Bolivian newsweekly.) The background is as follows: in El Alto, an Aymara city of 700,000 on the upper edge of La Paz, at 6:30 AM on the morning of April 10, members of the Body of Speci...
VICTORY, Ashcroft’s Latest Stinkbomb
ELAINE CASSEL
John Ashcroft is out of control. The August 6 New York Daily News scooped the story that answers the question, "What happened to Patriot II?" Remember that disgusting piece of legislation that Ashcroft said was merely a "draft" of revisions of ...
The Prisoner of Ramallah
URI AVNERY
Every television viewer recognizes the bridge between the last two buildings left standing among the ruins of the Mukata’ah (compound) in Ramallah. During one of my last visits, a Palestinian officer pointed to a simple table and chair near one of the...
It’s Incremental Watson
HAMMOND GUTHRIE
Words can be created aforethought as if they had always been present, yet neo-words such as "Incrementalist" seem to erase the past. For example Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, is about to use these weapons immediate...
Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki
DAVID KRIEGER
At 1:45 a.m. on August 6, 1945, a US B-29 bomber, named Enola Gay, took off from Tinian Island in the Mariana Islands. It carried the world’s second atomic bomb, the first having been detonated three weeks earlier at a US test site in Alamogordo, New Mexico....
Conscience Takes a Holiday
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
While the airwaves jangle gleefully with the killings of Saddam’s sons and grandson, life in Iraq continues to spiral downward. This is not out of Al-Jazeera or Abu Dhabi TV, but from that sober organ, the New York Times. The July 15 issue of the Time...
What’s the Score?
MICHAEL KIMAID
I’m as American as they come. I maintain my lawn with an obsessive-compulsive fervor and I can drive the ball off the tee damn close to 300 yards when I get my whole ass into it. Heck, I’ve even got a Ph.D. in American History. Yet I’m not "...
Orientalism
EDWARD SAID
Nine years ago I wrote an afterword for Orientalism which, in trying to clarify what I...
What Was Behind the Pentagon’s Betting Parlor?
DAVID MORSE
What was behind the Pentagon’s screwball scheme to establish an online futures market for acts of terrorism? The $8 million betting parlor was scuttled only three days before its scheduled debut on August 1. Was it just a one-time fluke? If so, i...
A Trilogy of Dysfunction
HANAN ASHRAWI
Whenever hard line Israelis and their American apologists decide to discredit and discount Palestinian suffering while exonerating the abuses and oppressive measures of the Israeli occupation, the first charge levied against Palestinian spokespersons is that of &q...
My Darn Good Resumé
GEORGE W. BUSH The White House, USA
* I attacked and took over two countries. * I spent the U.S. surplus and bankrupted the Treasury. * I shattered the record for biggest annual deficit in history. * I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month pe...
Wolfowitz Lets Slip
JASON LEOPOLD
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, one of the main architects for the war in Iraq, admitted for the first time that Iraq had nothing to do with the September 11 terrorist attacks, contradicting public statements made by senior White House and Pentagon off...
"We Cook Estimates to Go"
RAY McGOVERN Former CIA Analyst
I could scarcely believe my ears listening to Vice President Dick Cheney on July 24 defending the decision to go to war in Iraq. In light of what is now known, it was hard for me at first to tell whether he was applauding or blaming the intelligence adduced to su...
Hiroshima Excerpts
ADAM LEBOWITZ
Mayor of Hiroshima Akiba Tadatoshi’s words at the 6 August ceremony were, as the Japan Times reported, a cutting philippic against current US foreign policy: "The world without nuclear weapons and beyond war that our hibakusha (surv...
Fear Mongering About Social Security
DAVID LINDORFF
Here’s an interesting question: Why does the corporate media keep parroting rightwing pols and "experts" when they prattle on about a crisis in Social Security? Take Business Week, which in its current issue runs an interview with new Bush O...
How the New York Times Pimps for Bush White House
BRUCE JACKSON
"Weapons of Mass Confusion," a long article by the New York Times’s chief war correspondent, Michael R. Gordon, prominently posted in the ...
Tracking You Through the Mail
JAMES PLUMMER
Next week, a special commission created by President Bush will present him with a final report on "...
George F. Will Descent into Self-Parody
MARK ZEPEZAUER
It appears that George F. Will has finally become a parody of himself. The ethically challenged millionaire pundit has got his bow tie in a bunch in a navel-gazing column which frets that conservatism may have been "rendered incoherent." This, he whines,...
The Rules of Engagement
MICKEY Z.
As July turned into August, the thoughts of repressed white men turn to…marriage? In Israel (a.k.a. the Holy Land), the Knesset hurriedly passed a law preventing Palestinians who marry Israelis from obtaining Israeli citizenship or residency. (FYI: An...
Another Peace Organizer Detained by Airport Cops
BRUCE GAGNON
On July 28 I was returning home after two days of speaking in Louisville, Kentucky. While in the Louisville airport, after having just received my boarding pass, I got a call on my cell phone from a reporter with the Columbus Post-Dispatch (Ohio) who wanted my com...
Taking Out the CIA’s Trash
KURT NIMMO
A few years ago, a friend visiting the United States from Switzerland remarked upon what she viewed as one of the more conspicuous American personality quirks: Americans often seem to possess absolutely no curiosity when it comes to history — not their own o...