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 December 2003
Saddam and the Gloating Bush
CAROL NORRIS
The image of a bedraggled, prodded, defeated Saddam has been endlessly paraded on TV since his capture for all to see and cheer. It’s wonderful for many of the Iraqi people that such a ruthless tyrant might finally be held accountable for his years of brutal...
Lessons from the Israeli School on How to Win Friends in the Islamic World
GREG WEIHER
OK, now it’s official. The United States is taking lessons from Israel on appropriate ways to deal with the Arab and Islamic world. This is clear in Seymour Hersh’s story on Israeli-trained American death squads in the latest New Yorker, and Ch...
How to Kill Saddam
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The last time I saw pictures of a man in need of a haircut being displayed as a trophy of the American Empire it was Che Guevara, stretched out dead on a table in a morgue in Valle Grande in the eastern Bolivian mountains. In those edgier days, in late 1967, the B...
The Relevance of Art in Times of Crisis
BEN TRIPP
Being an artist and writer, I end up hanging around with some fairly bohemian types. Recently I was drinking wine late into the night with a couple of petite lesbian schoolteachers, a Parisian dominatrix, and the Japanese actress who owns the Hokkaido nightclub &#...
On Digging a Hole and Crawling In It
DAVID VEST
American troops found a guy who looked a lot like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn hiding in a spider hole in Iraq. The word "grotesque" means "out of a cave." "Good riddance," said an oddly prescient G. W. Bush, employing the sam...
The Desaparedicos of George W. Bush
BRUCE JACKSON
Immediately after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, United States officials began large-scale detentions of foreign Arabic nationals and Muslims. Many, if not most, of the detentions were on the flimsiest of...
Dr. Lee and Captain Yee
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Shoot first and inquire afterwards and if you make mistakes, I will protect you. Hermann Goering, Instructions to Prussian police Rhyming last names is not all the two men have in common. Each man, though innocent of the ini...
Rhythm and Race
MICHAEL NEUMANN
I have before me one of those thumbnail accounts of the birth of rock–the most recent among many dozens, it doesn’t matter which. It says what they always say: that rock was born when white kids ripped off–and sanitized–the raw sexual energ...
The Prisoner Rights Movement and Latino Prisoners in New York State
RON JACOBS
A Review of Gender, Ethnicity and the State: Latina and Latino Prison Politics, by Juanita Diaz-Cotto, Albany; SUNY Press; 1996 Gender, Ethnicity and the State opens with a summary of the months of prisoner rebellions in Long Island prisons in 1970. These r...
A Sealed Laboratory of Repression
JULIANA FREDMAN
It seems like the end of the world. It all stops here, up against the wall. When Jenin camp was destroyed there was, for what it was worth, and international outcry. True, Israel blocked the official U.N inquiry, the mined layers of rubble remained for 5 mo...
Bush Gets Serious About Killing Iraqis
KURT NIMMO
When Robert Dreyfuss of the American Prospect asked an unspecified Bush neocon "strategist" how best to deal with the resistance in Iraq, the response he received was chilling, "It’s time for ‘no more Mr. Nice Guy.’ All those peopl...
An Interview with Ernest Crichlow
ADAM ENGEL
Ernest Crichlow was born June 19, 1914, in Brooklyn, New York. He has been associated with many other artist, during his long, distinguished career including Charles Alston, Romare Beardon, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, and Charles White. He has taught and ex...
Slow Train to the Plane
JOHN L. HESS
As the New York Times told it, the new train to the plane looks like a two billion-dollar fiasco. A door bumped the Mayor on a trial run; once in business, the train broke down, the few travelers got in late, and found they had to change trains anyway, shlepping l...
Bush Tries Farce as Cuba Policy
SAUL LANDAU
The United States appears to be destined by Providence to plague Latin America with misery in the name of liberty. Simon Bolivar "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce." Karl Marx, The 18th Brumaire o...
Empire and Resistance, an Interview with Tariq Ali
RAFAEL HERNANDEZ
1. What are the new features of current imperialism, as opposed to the one described by Hilferding, Kautsky, Lenin, Luxembourg? Is it a policentric phenomenon, a new "allotment of the world," a "government of monopolies," a "last and highe...
Senator Max Baucus, Thanks
JOSH FRANK
"I’m questioning my own equation is my own equation relevant somehow? The flags are waving, the news is breaking see the man who can’t pick out his own tie If I’d been taught from the beginning would my fears now be winning?...
Has the Grand Strategy of Radical Arabs Really Worked?
HAROLD GOULD
For two generations the world has witnessed a mounting confrontation between so-called Western modernism and what in recent years has been termed the "Arab street." The latter refers to the state of disgruntlement and social malaise that allegedly afflic...
the Neocons’ Dream Memo
GARY LEUPP
(1) The Capture of Saddam, in Perspective So the big news Sunday morning was that they got Saddam. This is not terribly surprising. They’ve been searching for eight months and they do, of course, occupy the country. I’m neither happy nor sa...
Afghanistan’s Highway to Nowhere
MIKE WHITNEY
Every major newspaper in the country reported this week in glowing terms on the completion of the road between Kabul to Kandahar. It is being lauded by the media as Afghanistan’s "Highway to the Future". It should be called the Highway to Re-electi...
Occupation Fails to Capture Iraqis’ Loyalty
ZOLTAN GROSSMAN
Julius Caesar knew how to announce the capture an enemy leader. In 52 BC, his Roman soldiers defeated the tribes of Gaul, and captured the Gallic leader Vercingetorix. The "barbarian" chief was paraded through Rome in chains, and executed after six years...
Shooting Samarra’s Schoolboys in the Back
ROBERT FISK
Schoolboy Issam Naim Hamid is the latest of America’s famous "insurgents". In Samarra–for which read Fantasyville–he was shot in the back as he tried to protect himself with his parents in his home in the Al-Jeheriya district of the anc...
Courts Rebuke Bush for Trampling the Constitution
ELAINE CASSEL
Thursday, December 18, brought some good news for those among us who thought the judicial branch of government was asleep. An independent judiciary is alive and well in two federal circuits–the Second Circuit (New York) and the Ninth Circuit (California). Bo...
Ebola is Good for You
KARYN STRICKLER
Within one week of contracting the devastating virus known as Ebola-Zaire, the relentless attack of the disease liquefies all the victim’s organs and tissue except bone and skeletal muscle. It’s also known as African hemorrhagic fever because at the en...
A Landmark Victory for Medical Pot
ANN HARRISON
Medical marijuana patients won a landmark legal victory December 16th when the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal government has no constitutional authority to prosecute two California women for possessing and growing marijuana for their pe...
Catfish Blues
JOHN L. HESS
I’m haunted by an interview Molly Ivins had with a young woman in Mississippi. She’d been skinning catfish, 12 a minute, all day long. And behind her stood a man with a stopwatch, checking to see if she was keeping up, and whether he might speed up the...
Duryodhana Dies
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
The basic plot of the epic, the Mahabharata, is known to every Indian child. The theme is of greed, ambition, revenge, chicanery — on and off the battlefield, and a final faceoff between good and bad on the sacred land river plains of Northern India, home to...
Hail Jim Hickey, "Irish Hero" of the Colonial Occupation of Iraq
HARRY BROWNE
You think the Americans don’t know what they’re doing in Iraq? They know all too well. Check out, for example, Captain Christopher Cirino of the 82nd Airborne, who told an English journalist in Fallujah a few weeks ago: "The men we are bein...
Captured in Abasement
HAMMOND GUTHRIE
In keeping with internal bovine lore Saddam will be contained and stymied, denying weapons of DNA disinformation might be used to extract the honey –What is your name? (Buzzz) –Ah-yee!! –Where do you come from? (Buzzz) –Ah-yeee!!...
Saddam’s Last Act
ANDREW COCKBURN
An odious leader, discredited even before capture, is gradually restored to health and strength while awaiting trial for war crimes. Finally in court, he conducts a vigorous defense and thus retrieves some dignity before his inevitable conviction and condemnation....
Is Saddam’s Arrest a Pyhrric Victory?
MARJORIE COHN
The "capture" of Saddam Hussein is being hailed as a great victory for President Bush. After all, who needs to worry about the missing weapons of mass destruction or the lack of ties between Hussein and the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks, now that ...
Saddam’s Cold Comforts
ROBERT FISK The Independent
Al-Dwar, Iraq. There was a kind of satisfaction, lying inside Saddam’s last hole in the earth. Seven months ago, I sat on his red velvet presidential throne in the greatest of all his marble palaces. And so there I was yesterday, lowering myself into the damp...
"Don’t Think About the Children"
GIDEON LEVY Ha'aretz
Why was Asma Abu al-Haija arrested? Why did she have to spend nine months in prison, sleeping on the floor of her cell? Why was a woman arrested, not interrogated, not accused of anything and then released nine very difficult months later, without any explanation? Just be...
Matt Gonzalez and Me
JOHN HALLE
My first contact with Matt Gonzalez came when I received congratulations in the form of a hand written note from him when I won my first election in July of 2001. I’m embarrassed to say that even though I should have I didn’t reply so that when I met h...
The Democrats and Saddam
JOSH FRANK
Howard Dean, like most Democrats, has plenty of faults. From his ugly death penalty posture to his Israel fetish, Dean is surely far from ideal. But the governor’s latest comments regarding the US capture of the bearded Saddam have been right on the mark....
Saddam in Irons
RAHUL MAHAJAN And ROBERT JENSEN
Saddam Hussein’s capture and the hope he will be held accountable for crimes against the people of Iraq and neighboring states is welcome news, no matter what one’s position on the U.S. invasion of Iraq. But this doesn’t vindicate the U.S....
America’s Best Political Newsletter
TARIQ ALI
My first reaction to the capture of Saddam Hussein was both anger and disgust. Anger with the old dictator who could not even die honourably. He preferred to be captured by his old friends than to go down fighting, the one decent thing he could have done for his c...
Getting Saddam, 15 Years Too Late
ROBERT FISK
Was this really the man with whom I shook hands almost a quarter of a century ago? I’ve spent 24 hours looking again and again at those videotapes. The more I look, the more Saddam turns into a wild animal. An American interviewed by the Associated Press sai...
The Saddam Dilemma
DAVID LINDORFF
The capture of Saddam Hussein poses some interesting dilemmas, not just for the Bush administration, but for Democratic presidential candidates, the Democratic congressional delegation, and for ordinary Iraqis. For Bush, the dilemma will be how to deal with...
The Strange Case of Katharine Gun
NORMAN SOLOMON
Few Americans have heard of Katharine Gun, a former British intelligence employee facing charges that she violated the Official Secrets Act. So far, the American press has ignored her. But the case raises profound questions about democracy and the public’s r...
The Capture of Saddam
PATRICK COCKBURN
For Saddam Hussein his capture is the moment of supreme humiliation. He has always portrayed himself as the Arab hero who would fight to the last bullet and die surrounded by the bodies of his enemies. Instead he has fallen alive into the hands of US troops after ...
Jessica Lynch, Plural
STAN GOFF
In her book Race Against Empire, Penny M. Von Eschen showed how during the Cold War Black anti-colonialism was smashed through the judicious use of reward as a carrot to compliant Black leaders who dropped their critique of colonialism, and McCarthyite intimidatio...
Saddam, Oil and Empire
LARRY EVEREST
(An excerpt from LARRY EVEREST’s new book Oil, Power and Empire.) World oil markets have become increasingly tight and volatile, and this has become a major potential problem. Several trends are responsible: global supplies have not been growing as f...
Hiding the Dead Babies
DAVE LINDORFF
The Bush Administration has become notorious for hiding information–even ceasing to collect it. Now that policy of obsessive secrecy is being applied to the so-called war on terror. The latest effort to bury bad news comes from the puppet Iraqi "...
The Pervasive Fear of Talking About the Israeli Connection
BILL And KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
It is wide open now. Israelis are training Americans at Fort Bragg on their well tested techniques for carrying out targeted–and of course extrajudicial–assassinations. Americans in Iraq are copying this and all the other wretchedly cruel, unjust (and ...
The Saga of Iran’s Alleged WMD
SASAN FAYAZMANESH
In an article that I wrote for CounterPunch in early July 2003, I discussed the events leading to the June 19 report on Iran’s nuclear activities prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The report, as ...
Breastfeeding Compromised
KRISTIN VAN TASSEL
The benefits of breastfeeding are widely acknowledged, but few people see this as relevant to anyone but the parents of babies. In fact, there are advantages directly related to larger concerns, particularly food and the environment. Human breast milk is one of ou...
Joy to the World
STEW ALBERT
Saddam is caught store bought joy for Christmas Saddam In Action Figures gussied up in giant chains and celebrating Iraqis go chanting God Is Great Thank you Americans Death To Americans God damn you — get out...
The Trial of Saddam
ABU SPINOZA
The capture of Saddam Hussein has already brought about a great deal of gloating. But it is critically important to recall that this wicked tyrant of Iraq was a valued friend of the current occupiers of Iraq, particularly when he served his purpose and carried out...
On Getting Stabbed
BEN TRIPP
Getting stabbed is like eating a live hog-nosed bat: it’s nasty, gruesome, and not worth doing twice. First thing, your clothes get ruined (I mean by stabbing, although I’m sure the bat would make a mess). Not just the garment transfixed by the offendi...
They Died for Halliburton
DAVID VEST
The mask came off this week. George "No More Beating Around The" Bush came right out and admitted it, on camera no less. American soldiers have died in Iraq, and are still dying, said the Commander-in-Chief, so that Halliburton, Bechtel and other corpora...