Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
THE WHITE TERRORISTS — Yvette Carnell writes a scathing history of Lynching in America; Ajamu Baraka on Netanyahu the Rejectionist; Patrick Smith on Reinventing the Foreign Correspondent; Peter Lee on the escalating cyberwar between the US and China; Jeffrey St. Clair on the Real Israeli Defense Force: the US Congress. Plus: Mike Whitney: Getting Cured in Vietnam; JoAnn Wypijewski on Gramsci, Chick Webb and the Art of Living Well; Chris Floyd: Learning About the Rapture from Michele Bachmann and Lee Ballinger: Driving Nat King Cole.
Archives from December 2003
The Occupation is Damned
ROBERT FISK
The Independent Cigarette sellers don’t have names. They said he was called Fouad but even the shopkeeper whose nephew drove the wounded, screaming man to the hospital didn’t know his family name. There was just a pile of crushed Marlboro bo...
Bogus Terror Threats and Bush’s Police State
KURT NIMMO
Bomb Las Vegas, America’s gambling Mecca and glittery playground built on desert sands by mobsters such as Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lanksy, and Frank Costello? Only al-Qaeda, we are assured, would contemplate such a depraved act — and it stands to re...
This Isn’t an Independent Investigation
RAY McGOVERN
It seems it is all too easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit. How else to explain the reaction of the normally astute Senator Charles Schumer to the news that Attorney General Ashcroft has finally done what the New York Times lauds as "the right thing.&...
War, Race and Elections
STAN GOFF
Two hot little controversies are brewing among progressive and anti-war Americans. One is the question of how much energy we–if there is a "we"–put into the 2004 elections, and in what way. The other is the question of whether t...
A Great Year Ebbed, Another Ahead: So, Count Our Blessings
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Count our blessings, an act the eternally pessimistic American left usually shuns, on the grounds it might indicate we’ve made some headway in progress towards the good, the true and the beautiful. First let’s look back. 2003 was a pretty good ...
Mad Cows and "Downer" George
MIKE WHITNEY
The outbreak of Mad Cow Disease on a farm in Washington State poses a challenge to the Bush Administration and the way it typically conducts business. On the one hand they have approached the dilemma in an entirely predictable manner, treating it as though it was ...
Christmas in Lebanon
ANNIE C. HIGGINS
Safuriya, Lebanon Just outside of Tripoli in northern Lebanon is Nahr al-Barid Refugee Camp. This was the first refugee camp established for Palestinians in Lebanon, and is still home to these people of great patience and hope, living in exile for fifty-fiv...
Time Runs Out for the Everglades
ALAN FARAGO
This has been a terrible year for the environment. In Florida, the fundamental balance has vanished that we hoped would protect the Everglades from the water demands of agriculture and Florida’s exploding population. A 2003 review shows why those who ...
Inside Big Meat
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
(The following is an excerpt from JEFFREY ST. CLAIR’s new book, Been Brown So Long It Lo...
From GloFish to Frankenfish
DAN BACHER
The GloFish, a zebra fish genetically engineered to glow in the dark in aquariums, was approved for sale to the public by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on December 9. However, you won’t be able to purchase them in California when they become a...
Criticism of Israel is Not Anti-Semitism
MICHAEL NEUMANN
Jewish and non-Jewish commentators alike have deplored a recent upsurge in anti-Semitism. In Europe, journalist Andrew Sullivan says, "Not since the 1930s has such blithe hatred of Jews gained this much respectability in world opinion." Yet, Jews ...
Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?
WILLIE NELSON
Willie wrote this song on Christmas, 2003, and will perform it for the first time at the Kucinich for President fundraising concert in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 3, 2004. There’s so many things going on in the world Babies dying Mothers crying How much oi...
Media Omissions in Colombia’s War
PHILLIP CRYAN
Villagarzon, Colombia. Colombian military efforts against drug production and illegal armed actors have focused on the southern border province of Putumayo since 2000, when the U.S. began disbursing a multibillion dollar mostly military aid package known as...
The Politics of Fear and Blood
DAVE LINDORFF
The broad outlines of the Bush re-election campaign strategy have begun to appear, and they present an ugly picture. From now until next November, we can expect to have a series of dramatically named military actions in Iraq–and occasionally in Afghan...
Israel’s Conscientious Objectors
URI AVNERY
Some years ago, when the jury for the annual Israel Prize announced its award to Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz, I decided to invite him to give a lecture to the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, the group that established the first contacts with the P...
Catellus Development, the Next Octopus?
RICHARD TRAINOR
Thirty-seven years before writer Frank Norris created the fictional Octopus in his 1901 novel, the U.S. Congress gave birth to its real-life counterpart by granting the Southern-Pacific Railway company a checkerboard pattern of right-of-way land parcels lining eit...
The Washington Post in the Dock?
MARK HAND
One of the best things I read in 2003 was Matt Taibbi’s piece in the New York Press in which he spanked the Washington press corps for its vulgar behavior at the press conference farce held by Bush Jr. during the early days of the American invasion of Iraq....
Mad Cows and the Market
SETH SANDRONSKY
The recent news of mad cow disease in the U.S. was first reported in the nation’s mass media as a business story. Such coverage led with the countries that had refused imports of American beef. Stories also detailed how these import restrictions ...
Iraq Through the American Looking Glass
ROBERT FISK The Independent
Something very unpleasant is being let loose in Iraq. Just this week, a company commander in the US 1st Infantry Division in the north of the country admitted that, in order to elicit information about the guerrillas who are killing American troops, it was necessary to &#...
The Bad Guys We Once Thought Good
SCOTT BURCHILL
Central Intelligence Agency, Langley Virginia Office of Villains Department of Wayward Clients and Unsavoury Friends Status Report: December 2003 To: George J. Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence Below is the updated report you asked us...
Iraq at the End of the Year
SAUL LANDAU
MEDIA: Yippee, "we got `em!" The Dow will soar! Forget the anxious two years since George W. Bush assumed his throne! That’s history! REALITY: The dismissal of history does not help anyone understand the present or plan for th...
Crumblecake and Fish
ADAM ENGEL
Christmas. Crumblecake and Fish. At least that’s what I thought they said, though on the table was roast beef, chocolate cake and various pastries, none of them crumbly. No crumblecake. No fish. RelativeShe and RelativeHe had watched a show about Crum...
The Unpardonable Lenny Bruce
NORMAN SOLOMON
No doubt Lenny Bruce would have laughed with at least a tinge of bitterness if — like millions of Americans — he picked up a newspaper the day before Christmas 2003 and read that he’d been "pardoned" by the governor of New York for an o...
an Interview with David Meggysey
DAVE ZIRIN
David Meggyesy was an All-American linebacker at Syracuse University before playing for the National Football League’s St. Louis (now Arizona) Cardinals from 1963-1969. He was active in the movements for civil rights and opposition to the war in Viet Na...
Bush Doings
GARY LEUPP
Our English language is a first-class language, the language of Shakespeare and the King James Bible. It’s wonderfully diverse, produced by a mix of peoples originally speaking Celtic, Germanic, or Romance languages. So it’s richer in synonyms than som...
Cratched Does California
RON JACOBS
It must have been around 10 in the morning of Christmas 1981 and the beans and rice from last night’s meal had long since stopped filling our stomachs. Z and I had been on Telegraph since 8:00 or so feeling like Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man. You kno...
A Better World
KATHY KELLY
When I was in high school, I participated in a public speaking contest and was asked to present a humorous reading. I chose a passage from the book,–The Joyous Season_ in which a young boy describes how his father dreads the Christmas season with the attenda...
a Review of Lord of the Rings
SUSAN DAVIS
There was no way I was going to get out of seeing "The Return of the King," the final installment of Peter Jackson’s "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. In fact, it was more or less a forced viewing, word-of-mouth and community pressure to know ...
Act Now to Save the Constitution
BRIAN J. FOLEY
Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security announced that the risk of another terrorist attack is "high." Nuclear power plants, skyscrapers, chemical plants, oil refineries, dams, bridges, seaports, airliners, trains, buses and bridges could ...
a Journey into Rupert Murdoch’s Soul
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
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 facetiousne...
Bush’s Iraq Project is Right on Course
CHRIS FLOYD
One of the constant refrains we hear from the malcontents carping about George W. Bush’s triumphant crusade in Iraq is the charge–the canard–that the president and his crack team of advisers "had no plan" for the post-war period, that ...
Another Colorful Season
HAMMOND GUTHRIE
and STEW ALBERT Orange is the color for the holiday alert, just before Red, the color of dread, but continue living normally this hopeful season– though the days are potentially terrified Colorful Orange is the codeful background f...
Rafah Counts the Dead
KRISTEN ESS
Christmas Eve Day, 2003 Rafah to Bethlehem, Occupied Palestine Israeli occupation forces left the center of Rafah, although as is normal the Israelis remain at the border they have created. The Wall the Israelis are building with armoured machines is oversh...
Jinglebells, Hold the Schlock
SUSAN DAVIS
This year, Christmas moviegoers have a choice. We can go for the unrelieved cheer of "Love Actually" or we can pick the unrelieved bad taste disguised as cynicism of "Bad Santa." Which would you rather? "Love Actually" slings t...
This Christmas, the World is Too Much With Us
ELAINE CASSEL
Never before have I felt that this day is so unlike Christmas Eve. Sharing that thought with a friend today, he asked why. I gave the reasons I had heard many proclaim: we had one less weekend to shop, Christmas falls on a Thursday, and we are all too busy with de...
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
But first a word about Libya. Muammar Qaddafi has announced he is abandoning his quest for nuclear potency. Too bad. I think every country should have at least one nuclear device. It evens things up and would do more for world peace than a thousand pompous session...
Iraq’s Oil, First Come, First Serve
JOSH FRANK
United States relations with Russia may be spicing up for the holiday season. On Monday December 22, Russian officials offered to forgive $8 billion dollar’s of Iraq’s debt if the country reinstituted the oil contracts Russia had during Saddam’s ...
The Mad Cowboy’s Prediction Comes True
Cpt. PAUL WATSON
Back in 1998, a few Texas cattlemen, led by billionaire Paul Engler, owner of Cactus Feeders, Inc., filed suit against Howard Lyman, Oprah Winfrey, and Harpo Productions. The lawsuit alleged Howard Lyman and Oprah Winfrey had violated a Texas law which forbids som...
Marley’s List for Santa in Wartime
WILLIAM S. LIND
Back in my tadpole days, sometime in the Pleistocene, my fellows at Roehm Junior High (Frederick, not Ernst) enjoyed hanging the name of "Scrooge" around my neck. Whether or not they did so in response to my "Bah! Humbug" attitude toward Christ...
The Semantics of Empire
M. SHAHID ALAM
  "Saddam Hussein is a man who is willing to gas his own people " George Bush, March 22, 2002 "As he (George Bush) said, any person that would gas his own people is a threat to the world." Scott McClellan...
Nuance and Innuendo in the War on Iraq
ROBERT LOPEZ
The caption on MSNBC for December 20, 2003, reads "US troops go on offensive," next to a picture of armed men raiding a "student dormitory" in Fajullah. The accompanying article mentions, with a little bit of regret, that a case of mistaken ide...
Sharon’s Speech, the Decoded Version
URI AVNERY
He read out the written text of his speech, word for word, without raising his eyes from the page. It was vital for him to stick to the exact wording, since it was an encoded text. It is impossible to decipher it without breaking the code. And it is impossi...
Duck and Cover-Up
BRIAN J. FOLEY
I’m too young to remember when the fear of nuclear war pervaded our schools. But I’ve seen the 1950s films of first-graders hiding beneath their little desks. I once saw a poster in a novelty shop that gave detailed instructions about what to do in an ...
Here They Come Again
MICHAEL DONNELLY
History lesson time — again. Anyone wondering how the hapless Big Greens would respond to their latest defeat, the passage of the Wyden/Feinstein Stealthy Timber Act (HFI), need look no further than the foundation-sponsored agenda of the Headwaters 13...
Sharon’s Ultimatum
WILL YOUMANS
Ariel Sharon’s speech at Herzilya encapsulated what could the single most apt phrase to summarize Israel’s historical policies towards the land’s previous inhabitants, the Palestinians. He announced, "If there is no progress toward peace in ...
What Would Lincoln Do?
PATRICK GAVIN
Abraham Lincoln must be getting quite a chuckle out of recent events. The National Park Service, in response to conservatives pumped from their success canceling "The Reagans," is revising a video that has been shown at the Lincoln Memorial since ...
Bush’s Faith-Based National Parks
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
The view from the south rim of the Grand Canyon, smogged up as it is these days, still retains the power to prompt even the most secular of visitors into transcendentalist reveries as they cast theirs eyes toward Shiva’s Temple and Wotan’s Throne. Now ...
The Two Troublemakers
KATHY KELLY
Saturday evening, in Amman, we met with Fadi Elayyan and Jihad Tahboub, two Palestinian young men who were imprisoned for two months, without charge, by US Occupying forces who seized them, in Baghdad, on April 10, 2003 They are trying to help four of their...
How to Try Saddam
MARJORIE COHN
Will Hussein Hussein really "face the justice he denied to millions," as promised by George W. Bush the morning after Hussein’s arrest? Although President Bush has said Hussein will receive a public trial with Iraqi participation, he refuses to ide...
Holiday Spirit at the UN
MICKEY Z.
While this is allegedly the time of year when humans allegedly show more kindness, you can always count on god’s country and the Holy Land to keep things in cynical perspective. Over the past 25 years, the United States and Israel have a UN voting record in ...