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
An Interview with Sami Al-Deeb on the Geneva Accords
JEAN-PAUL BARROIS
Translated from the French for CounterPunch by Norman Madarasz (nmphdiol2@yahoo.ca) Question: Can you tell us a little about yourself? I am a Christian of Palestinian origin and a Swiss citizen. I have lived in...
The Same Old Racket in Iraq
TARIQ ALI
Iraq remains a country of unbearable suffering, the sort that only soldiers and administrators acting on behalf of states and governments are capable of inflicting on their fellow humans. It is the first country where we can begin to study the impact of a 21st-cen...
Does Dylan Still Matter? an Interview with Mike Marqusee
DAVE ZIRIN
Mike Marqusee is the author of a number of groundbreaking books on politics and popular culture, including Anyone But England; War Minus the Shooting; and Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the 60s. Marqusee is also a political activist, until recentl...
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...
Dr. Atkins Versus the Planet
MARTY BENDER And STAN COX
"Lose That Extra Weight … While Eating the Foods You Love!" For decades, such headlines were fixtures of supermarket checkout lanes, to be taken no more seriously than claims of alien abduction. But times have changed. High-protein, low-carb...
Another Two Worlds Are Possible?
BENJAMIN DANGL
At this year’s Ibero-American Presidential Summit and parallel Alternative Social Forum, two opposing forces in Latin America’s fierce polemic over the direction of its own social and economic progress were well defined. The twenty one presidents of La...
Marriage and the Drill, "The Secret Lives of Dentists"
SUSAN DAVIS
"The Secret Lives of Dentists," is a story of infidelity, the pain just slightly anesthetized with very funny observations about couples, the push and pull of their strange longings, and the effects on them of small children. Directed by Alan Rudolph, it...
Relative Humanity, the Essential Obstacle to a Just Peace in Palestine
OMAR BARGHOUTI
‘[A] Conquest may be fraught with evil or with good for mankind, according to the comparative worth of the conquering and conquered peoples.’ Theodore Roosevelt Good riddance! The two-state solution for the Pale...
How to Fight a 4th Generation War
WILLIAM S. LIND
For almost two years, a small seminar has been meeting at my house to work on the question of how to fight Fourth Generation war. It is made up mostly of Marines, lieutenant through lieutenant colonel, with one Army officer, one National Guard tanker captain and o...
EPA’s Presents for Big Polluters
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Industrialized communities neglect the very objects for which it is worth while to acquire riches. . . . Richard Tawney, The Acquisitive Society [1920] The Environmental Protection Agency has been as busy as Santa’s el...
Capture of Saddam Won’t Stop the Guerrilla War
ROBERT FISK The Independent
“Peace” and “reconciliation” were the patois of Downing Street and the White House yesterday. But all those hopes of a collapse of resistance are doomed. Saddam was neither the spiritual nor the political guide to the insurgency that is now claimin...
Halliburton, Timber and Howard Dean
JOSH FRANK
The Pentagon has finally weighed in; Halliburton may have overcharged the US government $61 million dollars in gasoline from Iraq. At this point it’s not a matter of whether or not Halliburton gouged our wallets, it’s a matter of "how much" t...
On Marriage in "Recorded History", an Open Letter to Gov. Mitt Romney
GARY LEUPP
Dear Governor Romney, On November 18 the Massachusetts high court ruled that discrimination against gay couples in matters relating to marriage violated the Commonwealth’s constitution. You immediately rejected that decision, declaring: "I agree ...
Prettty Damn Evil, an Interview with Ed Herman
ADAM ENGEL
Edward Herman is Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, an economist and media analyst, with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media. He is the author of numerous books...
Capture of Saddam Won’t Stop the Guerrilla War
ROBERT FISK The Independent
“Peace” and “reconciliation” were the patois of Downing Street and the White House yesterday. But all those hopes of a collapse of resistance are doomed. Saddam was neither the spiritual nor the political guide to the insurgency that is now claimin...
Child Abuse as Public Policy
RON JACOBS
My youngest brother called me this past Tuesday with the news that his wife had just delivered their first child the night before. Like most parents everywhere, they were tired and joyful. So, after a bit of catching up on each other’s lives since the last t...
a Review of Denys Arcand’s "The Barbarian Invasions"
NORMAN MADARASZ
Denys Arcand’s The Barbarian Invasions is a satirical drama, told in the comic style most familiar to Woody Allen’s greatest works. Its time is our time: troubled waters. It’s also a rare phenomenon, an international success produced in a minuscu...
The Map is not the Territory
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
(An excerpt from Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature.)...
Counterinsurgency and Insurgency from Vietnam to Iraq
FRAN SHOR
The desperation that now pervades the US military occupation of Iraq is palpable on the ground, even as the mystifying rhetoric by those in command, both civilian and military, persists. In a recent perceptive eye-witness account of the occupation, Lucian Truscott...
The Inhuman Stain
CHRIS FLOYD
There is a horrible scandal eating away the heart of the American body politic. Among the many corrupted currents loosed upon the nation by the Bush Regime, this scandal is perhaps the worst, for it abets all the others and breeds new pestilence, new perversions a...
The Parable of Samarra
JOHN CHUCKMAN
Front-page stories announced the greatest battle since the end of combat in Iraq with fifty-four insurgents killed and not an American soldier lost. We were given breathtaking details about two separate, coordinated attacks, the firing of rocket-propelled grenades...
A Soldier’s Declaration
SIEGFRIED SASSOON
I am making this statement as an act of willful defiance of military authority, because I believe that the war is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. I believe...
War Profiteering from Vietnam to Iraq
JAMES M. CARTER
While campaigning for President in 2000, George W. Bush made clear his position on nation building saying, "I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation building" adding that, if elected, he would "absolutely not&qu...
US Hypocrisy on War Crimes
PETER PHILLIPS
During the first week of December 03, US corporate media reported that American forensic teams are working to document some 41 mass graves in Iraq to support future war crime tribunals in that country. Broadly covered in the media, as well, was the conviction of G...
Preempitve Manhunting, the CIA’s New Assassination Program
DOUGLAS VALENTINE
The major media outlets have ignored the CIA’s on-going strategy of mass assassinations as one of the main weapons in Bush’s burgeoning global war of terror. This is why it came as something of a shock to highbrows and media elites when Seymour Hersh, ...
Al Gore’s Judas Kiss
DAVID LINDORFF
Pity Howard Dean. Just when it looked like he was getting somewhere, with the polls showing him moving decisively ahead in New Hampshire and Iowa, and starting to climb out of the cellar in South Carolina, in steps Al Gore with his endorsement. The J...
The War According to Newt Gingrich
KURT NIMMO
Yes, things are going haywire in Iraq — but we can fix the problem, or so says one of the top slot neocons, Newt Gingrich. See, according to Newt, the problem is Bush didn’t install an Iraqi dictator immediately after the invasion. Instead he s...
On Killing Children
JEFF GUNTZEL
Dear Bryan, We have never met. Still, I hope you do not mind that I have dispensed with your formal title. Yesterday the United States Military announced to the world that, last week, it had killed six more children in the eastern Afghan province of ...
Workers Rights are Human Rights
PAT YOUNGBLOOD And ROBERT JENSEN
Fifty-five years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set forth basic standards for what many hoped would be a new world emerging from the devastation of World War II and the horrors of colonialism. Among the rights articulated in that document is, "...
Ashcroft Threatens to Subpoena Journalist Notes in Stewart Case
CounterPunch Wire
On Nov. 22, the US government filed fresh charges against New York civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart and two alleged co-conspirators–postal worker Ahmed Sattar and translator Mohammed Yousry. The new indictment comes after a federal judge in July dismissed c...
Pentagon Punishes Iraqi Civilians Israeli Style
ABU SPINOZA
Dexter Filkins reports in a New York Times [December 7, 2003] article, titled, "Tough...
Craig Beneville’s Quiet Thunder
MICHAEL DONNELLY
Nature lost a warrior. Earth First! lost a hero. I lost a friend. We all gained perspective. Last week, Craig Beneville accidentally fell to his death from high up in the forest canopy. He was using his climbing skills to create habitat. Of late, Cra...
The California Bullet Train, Then and Now
RICHARD TRAINOR
A high-speed train project and a new Bay Bridge might not appear to have much in common except for the fact that both are multi-billion dollar transportation projects that have yet to be built. But like the Bay Bridge, which many...
Gore, Dean and the Greens
JOSH FRANK
Now that he is free of Washington, Al Gore feels invigorated. Not that if he had been elected, America would have acted monumentally different than George W. Bush since 2000; but surely it is comforting for us to think so. Nonetheless, by the time your eyes scour ...
Where is East Timor Today?
CHRIS WHITE
8:30 am EST, December 7, 2003. Not 8 hours into this day and google retrieved over 100 American news articles that have been published commemorating the day that will forever live in infamy. 62 years ago today, 2,400 Americans lost their lives in Pearl Harb...
Remembering John Lennon
RON JACOBS
It’s easy to remember the date: December 8, 1980. I was sitting at a friend’s house in Berkeley listening to music and talking. Another fellow was in the house kitchen talking with his parents who lived in North Carolina. Somewhere in the house a telev...
The FTAA, a Broken Consensus
LAURA CARLSEN
In the end, the ministerial meeting to negotiate a Free Trade Area of the Americas in Miami was not a bust like the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle 1999, nor a walkout like the WTO meeting in Cancun 2003. But the heavily diluted agreement announced in ...
The Revised Inspiration for War
WILLIAM BLUM
After failing to convince the world about any of his many reasons for starting a war, George W., on November 6, devoted almost all of a speech to the new improved reason — we invaded to install democracy, something that he had touched upon before, but heR...
When Christians Kill
TESS HARPER
"Our troops" (preferred term. Avoid "military" or "bombs", as those words can get people upset) seem to have, regrettably, killed nine children inside a home in another inevitable accident in Afghanistan. This is going to present us w...
Ignatieff, Apostle of He-manitarianism
MICHAEL NEUMANN
Michael Ignatieff shares a few things with Thomas Friedman, Fareed Zakaria, Tony Blair, George Bush, and many others. One is an extraordinary ability to reconcile warm concern with insufferable smugness. Another is a plan. America is going to kick some terrorist b...
Nuclear Terror and Psychic Numbing
CAROL WOLMAN, MD
Nuclear terror has ruled our lives since 1945. As the types, numbers, delivery methods, and owners of nuclear weapons have proliferated, the terror has deepened. The terror is deeply buried, because it is so painful. For two or three generations now, we have been ...
My Next Step
THOM RUTLEDGE
I have been a psychotherapist for 20 years, and in that capacity it is my job to keep my social and political views out of the consultation room. I am here to guide my clients in directions of their own choosing, not win them over to my way of thinking. I am here ...
Bolivia at a Crossroads
NEWTON GARVER
In a previous essay, "Bolivia in Turmoil", written during the week of demonstrations and marches that led to the resignation of President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada on Friday October 17, I argued that the one sure result ...
The UN
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Nikita Khrushchev wrote in his incomparable memoirs that Soviet admirals, like admirals everywhere, loved battleships, because they could get piped aboard in great style amid the respectful hurrahs of their crews. It’s the same with the UN, now more than eve...
How Bush Can Still Win
BEN TRIPP
My two most cherished conspiracy theories are: 1. Bush knows the exact location of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, and he’s waiting until late October of 2004 to make the busts, thus ensuring he’ll win on a tsunami of popular approval as th...
Game Playing By Free Trade Rules
TONI SOLO
"I eat propaganda, With a side dish of promises. Guess who am I? That’s me, the Indonesian worker!" That’s what over 200 Indonesian factory workers sang as they demonstrated in front of the Indonesian Labor Ministry in Janu...
Salvador Dali, Fascist
VICENTE NAVARRO
The year 2004, the centenary of Dali’s birth, has been proclaimed "the year of Dali" in many countries. Led by the Spanish establishment, with the King at the helm, there has been an international mobilization in the artistic community to pay homag...
When NGOs Attack
JACOB LEVICH
Nongovernmental organizations–the notionally independent, reputedly humanitarian groups known as NGOs–are now being openly integrated into Washington’s overall strategy for consolidating global supremacy. Events surrounding last month̵...
On Purchasing Syrian Beer
GARY LEUPP
Congress has decided to impose sanctions on Syria, thereby cooperating with the Bush administration’s program f...
The Hollow Charter of the UN
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The Charter of the United Nations is considered an old-fashioned and inconvenient document by the Bush people in Washington. Nevertheless it is the nearest thing to an owners’ manual the world possesses because it is We the Peoples of the World, and not the ...