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 January 2004
Israeli Refusniks Sentenced to Jail
NEVE GORDON
On January 4th, an Israeli Military Court sentenced five refusenicks, Noam Bahat, Hagai Matar, Adam Maor, Shimri Tsameret and Matan Kaminer to one year in jail for refusing to enlist. The judges declared that the five conscientious objectors deserved to be...
The Fallout from NAFTA
YVES ENGLER
As Mexican President Fox plays host to President Bush next week, one wonders if the two leaders have any honest, frank discussions. If they did, here is how a conversation about the 10th anniversary of NAFTA might go: "So George, did you know that when...
This War is Unwinnable
DEB REICH
Israelis cannot prevail over Palestinians any more than Palestinians can prevail over Israelis. Isn’t this obvious by now? There is not going to be a winner here until everyone is dead, and that would be a hollow victory indeed. But take heart: There is a re...
Dean Hits the Demagoguery Pedal…Hard
LENNI BRENNER
The old saying is that Jesus doesn’t vote in American elections, but that’s wrong. He’s a registered Democrat. True, he’s too modest to run for President, but he just endorsed his favorite disciple, Howard Dean. Or maybe its the other way a...
Disabled Vets Fire Back at Rumsfeld
DAVID VEST
The organization known as Disabled American Veterans has been helping U.S. combat casualties figure out what benefits they have coming to them and how to apply for them since 1920. Lately the Bush administration has been going out of its way to make the DAV’...
Inside the DA’s Office
MARK SCARAMELLA
Unfortunately, there aren’t many insider accounts of closed institutions. Writer Ted Conover wrote about being a prison guard in "Newjack." Lawrence Wright wrote about being a reporter for a Saudi Arabian newspaper in the New Yorker. Ernie ...
Orange Jumpsuits for the Bush Clan?
MIKE WHITNEY
"Fishmongers sell fish; warmongers sell war" Sir Rodric Braithwaite A long-awaited 61 page study was released by the Carnegie Endowment yesterday and it strongly criticized President Bush for "systematically ...
Summon Bush Sr. to the Stand
KURT NIMMO
Is it possible French lawyer Jacques Verges will be allowed to defend Saddam Hussein? Verges told AFP on December 19 that if called to defend Saddam, he’d march a slew of US and European witnesses to the stand. At the top of the list are Reagan and Bu...
The 10th Anniversary of the Zapatista Uprising
RAMON RYAN
Oventic, Chiapas. On the eve of the 10th Anniversary of the Zapatista Uprising, Jan 1 1994, the indigenous rebels had an unexpected surprise for the thousands of supporters who gathered here in Chiapas to pay homage–they did nothing. No specta...
How Hospitals are Gouging and Even Arresting the Uninsured
THE STAFF OF DEMOCRACY NOW!
What do the Emir of Kuwait and the working poor of the United States have in common? Not much, except when it comes to paying for health care in the United States. They all pay the highest price: up to 500% more than the hospital receives from insured patients....
The Bush Administration’s Ongoing Intelligence Problem
GREG WEIHER
The Bush Administration, unabashed mouthpiece of the world’s loudest democracy, has mandated that foreign flights coming to the United States carry armed air marshals to prevent their being commandeered by terrorists. In the same vein, it has been instrument...
Word of the Year for 2003
BEN TRIPP
One of the delights of the English language, other than the fact that our term ‘jet plane’ is shorter than the German word ‘Düsenflugzeug’, is that there is a word for everything. It’s not having a word for everything that has le...
Planet Chomsky in the Times
MICHAEL LEON
The limits of column inches can constrain reasoned, subtle argumentation that refutes one’s favorite author from being housed in the op-ed columns and book review sections of a daily newspaper. But this week’s New York Times demonstrate again th...
Dean and His Democratic Detractors
DAVE LINDORFF
As one who has been extremely cynical and suspicious about the candidacy of Howard Dean for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, I have to confess that the more I hear the other candidates criticize him, and the more I hear him respond to their va...
Pat, George and the Supreme Creator
BOB BOLDT
I heard that God has told Pat Robertson George W. Bush will be elected President in 2004. (See footnote #1.) This certainly blows Al Gore’s endorsement of Howard Dean out of the water. I am sorry to have missed the 700 Club show that aired on Friday ...
Anthropological Notes on Occupation
DAVID PRICE
There are two political itches that most of us feel compelled to scratch from time to time. These are the desires to make political predictions and to compare present political developments with the past. While predictions and comparisons are both irresistible, ...
Coffee and State Authority in Colombia
JOSH FRANK
The global coffee industry has endured colossal changes over the past fifty years. Production of beans has shifted from country to country. Profiteering from the product has increased almost exponentially through huge sales at retail outlets such as St...
MoveOn Shouldn’t Apologize for Those Ads
DAVE LINDORFF
You can tell that the Republican Party is more worried than it lets on about the upcoming November election. Today’s shrill attack on the MoveOn.org organization, which the Republican National Committee is accusing–incorrectly and dishonestly̵...
The Politics of the Iranian Earthquake
RANNIE AMIRI
After all the retrospectives, analyses, and photo essays of 2003 had been completed, the single greatest human tragedy of the year occurred in Bam, Iran, on December 26. An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck southeastern Iran, resulting in t...
Frum’s New Neo-Con Manifesto
JOHN CHUCKMAN
The title is not part of my usual vocabulary, but sometimes an expression fits so perfectly that it becomes irresistible. And so it is for the authors of a neo-con "manifesto" on foreign policy. The Gomer Pyle of American Presidents recently was pre...
A Record to Dissent From
JOHN L. HESS
The New York Times was wringing its hands the other day about using any reporter who learned enough about anything to write a book about it. Having written four books in my years at the Times, I found that discussion bizarre. Anyway, here’s the Ti...
A Cheesehead’s Musings on the Sunday NYT
THACHER SCHMID
Milwaukee, WI. America is a big, gorgeous country. Thank the heavens, also diverse. If the fate of all Americans is intertwined in some way, it’s also a good bet that the world looks different from Wisconsin than from New York. Now, this ...
Leave Iraq? Hell No, We Won’t Go!
DOUG GIEBEL
Well, if you’re going to war, obviously troops are going to a theater and to a country and in the immediate aftermath of such a conflict, there would have to be a need for some presence until such time as you can put in place a better syste...
Drugs in Uniform
RON JACOBS
In the late 1970s, I used to visit with a Lebanese fellow who lived next door to my friends in Anaheim, California. This man had been a member of the rightwing Phalangist militia and had escaped the guns of other Lebanese militias with the help of the Israelis. ...
On the 45th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution
FIDEL CASTRO
Many of us who had the privilege of witnessing that exciting day are still alive; many others are deceased. On January 1, 1959 the overwhelming majority of those here tonight were less than 10 years old or had not been born or there were still many years to go bef...
The Dialectic of the Kristol Family
JORDY CUMMINGS
"The worst possible political arrangement" Irving Kristol on Capitalism How did you spend your Christmas Holidays? I spent mine becoming a Straussian. No, I didn’t get a coveted gig at the American Enterprise...
Basic Facts Good People Should Know
GARY LEUPP
The surprise announcement on January 2 is that North Korea has invited a delegation of U.S. nuclear experts to visit its main nuclear complex at Yongbyon. Perhaps the North Koreans want to show the world that they have what they’ve been saying they have̵...
Mad Human Disease
FRAN SHOR
Meanwhile back at the corporate cattle ranch, rumors of mad cow disease are circulating among the cattle. One group of four seem to be ruminating upon serious matters. Let’s listen while they chew the cud. Daisy: Did you hear that poor Melvin went dow...
How Now Mad Cow!
AL KREBS
The Agribusiness Examiner Legend has it that on October 8, 1871 Catherine O’Leary’s cow kicked over a kerosene lantern and what followed was the Great Chicago Fire of that year. Likewise, another firestorm involving a cow was recently unleashed imm...
Rebuild Baghdad; Rebuild Ourselves
KATHY KELLY
Oral traditions eventually recorded in the Book of Exodus narrate the tales of the ancient Israelites’ escape from bondage in Egypt. A cruel Pharaoh was ruthless in his murderous demands. Already crushed by the work of building monuments to their oppressor, ...
On Wallerstein’s The Decline of American Power
STEVEN SHERMAN
The Decline of American Power may strike some readers as odd. Only two chapters deal directly with the question of the strength of American power, and neither of those produces many facts about its ostensible decline. Other chapters address such topics as the dura...
Failing to Respond to 9/11
WILLIAM A. COOK
Writers and pundits exercise a hallowed tradition in January, they ruminate on the past year’s exploits and offer resolutions for the coming year. As we consider the horrific failures done in our name by this administration this past year and contemplate the...
Responses to 9/11 and the American Aftermath
WALTER A. DAVIS
The power of an historical Event-an Event such as the Nazi death camps, Hiroshima, or the destruction of the World Trade Center-lies in its ability (1) to expose the bankruptcy of our most cherished beliefs and ideological guarantees while (2)forcing us to think i...
Hall of Hoaxes
ADAM ENGEL
Took a brief but necessary vacation to visit the world famous City Museum Complex. The plaque outside The Hall of Hoaxes read, "Everything the City promised you, but never delivered. Everything the Nation promised you, but never delivered." ...
Poet Carl Rakosi Turns 100
STANDARD SCHAEFER
On December 12th, 2003 the Beyond Baroque Literary Center in Venice, California hosted a one-hundredth birthday celebration for poet Carl Rakosi, one of the founding members of the Objectivist School of American poetry. Rakosi was born on November 6, 1903 in Berli...
The Geneva Bubble
ILAN PAPPE
Even though we live in an age of intensive and intrusive media coverage, TV viewers in Israel were lucky to catch a glimpse of the meetings that produced the Geneva Accord. The clip we watched in November showed a group of well- known Israeli writers and peaceniks...
The Padilla Case
MIKE WHITNEY
The presumption of innocence is foundational to any democratic form of government. Without that presumption, the state is free to exert whatever control it arbitrarily chooses in the incarceration or punishment of its citizens. This effectively destroys the firewa...
Never Mind the WMDs, Just Look at History
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
In his Christmas message to British occupation troops in Iraq, Tony Blair, Britain’s leader of the governing Labour Party assured them that there was "massive evidence of a huge system of clandestine laboratories" in Iraq. Blair again made a...
Military Might Does Not Insure Stability
JACK SHANAHAN Vice Admiral, US Navy (Ret.)
Recent polls show that an increasing majority of Americans are growing weary of absorbing the lion’s share of responsibility for running the world. They sense that the current administration’s use of military force as the pr...
Newark, Jews and the Boy on the White Horse
BRUCE JACKSON
Leslie A. Fiedler died on January 29 of the year that ends in the middle of this week. Leslie was one of the few literary scholars whose work ordinary people read and found useful. You saw and still see his Love and Death in the American Novel on the bookshelves o...
Learning from Che Guevara
MITCHEL COHEN
Che Guevara was not overly concerned about elections as a means for transforming a capitalist or authoritarian state. But he was extremely concerned about finances, and how to fund the revolution. There is a piece in the film, "Ernesto Che Guevara: The Bolivi...
Chicken Tikka, Anyone?
ROBERT FISK
Mystification. why would a bomber blow himself up to destroy a restaurant? There’s no doubt that the man who killed eight diners in Nabil’s onWednesday was a suicide attacker. One of the waiters, a balding, angry man, showed me what was lef...
Mad Cow and Main Street USA
SETH SANDRONSKY
Mad cow disease in America discovered during the recent holiday season may well sway "consumer confidence" near and far. Yet this disaster-in-progress is about far more than confident consumers. Take folks in America. I will refer to these pe...
Code Orange, Code Orange!
WILLIAM BLUM
Page one headlines in The Washington Post, Los Angles Times and New York Times of December 20 about Libya "vowing to give up its banned weapons!" … Bush and Blair — in a "choreographed sequence" as the Post called it — hailing...
Ashcroft Goes After the Left
KURT NIMMO
In an apparently ludicrous turn of events, the FBI warned local law enforcement across the country to be on the lookout for the latest al-Qaeda manual — the Farmer’s Almanac. "The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people car...
His Satanic Majesty’s Royal Knight
RON JACOBS
I saw the Rolling Stones for the first time in the autumn of 1970 in Frankfurt am Main. The show was incredible, but what I remember most vividly today is the scene outside of the place that they played-the Festhalle. As soon as concertgoers exited the streetcar, ...
Hypocrisy on Taiwan
DAVE LINDORFF
When it comes to rampant hypocrisy, it doesn’t get much worse than the Bush Administration’s recent sell-out of the people of Taiwan. At the same time that the Bush Administration is claiming to be a champion of democracy and democratization in Iraq an...
Jesus vs. the Beast of the Apocalypse
GLEN MARTIN
Recently, I have been reading the gospels of Jesus Christ once again (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). The teachings of Jesus about how to live our lives are astonishing. Essentially, Jesus says that all our worldly values must be turned upside down, for God’s...
Deregulating Themselves to Extinction?
DAVE LINDORFF
Things may be looking grim for progressives these days, given the Republican grip on the media, the American public’s seemingly willful obsession with crime and celebrity news, the few really competitive seats in the already Republican-dominated Senate and H...
It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This, But…
STAN COX
[The following is from the transcript of 250 Years of American History, a ten-hour documentary series broadcast in July, 2026 by Exile TV, a satellite channel run by U.S. citizens based in Mexico City]: . . . For almost twelve years, 24 hours a day, fighte...