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 July 2004
All Blame and No Responsibility
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
The late great Claud Cockburn once said words to the effect that he never believed anything until he read an official denial of it, and in few periods in history can there have been more justification for his observation than at present. Governments and their acce...
Colin Powell and My Grandmother
SAM BAHOUR
Where Israel is concerned, U.S. foreign policy never ceases to amaze. When Palestinian in-fighting took place in Gaza last week, Secretary of State Colin Powell had the following to say about the United States’ position: "Just have to watch it unfold.&q...
Behind the UNITE HERE Union Merger
LEE SUSTAR
At one level, the UNITE HERE convention was much different than similar union gatherings. Union staffers talked bluntly about terrible contracts negotiated by the corrupt old guard in HERE locals. At the HERE special convention to approve the merger, President Joh...
Surreal Political Theater
JENNIFER VAN BERGEN And TOM STEPHENS
In July 2004, only about a month after millions of the American People began flocking to movie theaters to see Michael Moore’s incendiary exposé of the Bush administration, "Fahrenheit 9/11," officials appointed by this administration floate...
The Frowning Face of Compassionate Conservatism
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Compassionate conservatism has many faces and most of them have frowns. They frown at everything from the environment to the poor. During the 2000 campaign Mr. Bush proclaimed the environment one of his very best friends. He promised to fund the Land and Wa...
A World of Pain
FRED GARDNER
On that great day when all the single-issue groups assemble to pursue their mutual interests, cannabis users will find they have a lot in common with their fellow citizens who use synthetic opioids to cope with chronic pain. Patients in both groups have had to rel...
The Disturbing Words of John Edwards
JOHN CHUCKMAN
I heard several lines from John Edwards’ convention speech on the radio before I clicked it off. Anymore and I would have vomited. As it was, I experienced a horrible flashback to being a twelve-year old at the Midwest Baptists’ Camp Sycamore, s...
He’s the (Any) One
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Can someone win the presidency entirely on the basis of a negative asset? I wouldn’t have thought so, but here’s John Kerry, just about 90 days shy of election day, promoting himself as a man of presidential caliber entirely on the basis that he’...
Was Iraq a Mutual Charade?
HAROLD A. GOULD
A recent article by a Washington Post staff writer (Dana Priest, July 12th) provides vivid evidence to support what most astute observers and analysts of the causes for the Iraq War always knew down deep in their hearts to be true. That the invasion was essentiall...
Forest Battles Escalate in Oregon
JOSHUA FRANK
Ancient public forests out West are under attack as usual this year. Thankfully, courageous activists in Oregon’s Siskiyou National Forest are attempting to fend off the worst of the pillage. On July 16 the US Forest Service placed 1900 acres of publi...
The Lost Art of Hitchhiking
RON JACOBS
Hitchhiking used to be my carrier of choice. It was cheap and no more dangerous than any other form of transport. Then something changed. Americans grew more isolated from each other and hitchhikers became synonymous with criminals, even though they were more like...
The Shame of the DNC
DAVID LINDORFF
The free speech cage at the site of the Boston Democratic Convention should be left standing permanently as a monument in this city that is awash in symbols of the founding of the nation. It should be left where it is to remind future generations–and maybe p...
Five Questions with Noam Chomsky
MERLIN CHOWKWANYUN
MIT Professor Noam Chomsky is one of the world’s most perceptive social critics. I had the opportunity recently to ask him some questions concerning a range of subject matter. Professor Chomsky’s latest book is ...
The Invisible Hand at the Voting Booth
DIANE FARSETTA
According to many observers, this year’s Indonesian elections can be summed up by the informal slogan of Bill Clinton’s 1996 U.S. presidential campaign: It’s the economy, stupid! It’s easy to understand why economic issues might weig...
Victims without Oppressors; Massacres without Crimes
DAVID NALLY
"In the whole world no poor devil is lynched, no wretch is tortured, in whom I am not degraded and murdered." Aimé Césaire. Genocide is defined in a 1948 UN Convention as acts committed with intent to...
An Interview with a Palestinian-American Rapper
M. JUNAID ALAM
I recently got a chance to discuss the political and personal with the radical Palestinian-American activist and rap artist Will Youmans, who dons the moniker ‘Iron Sheik’ in his clever and powerful music aimed against Israeli oppression of the Palesti...
The Real Drug Culture
MICHAEL DONNELLY
Usually it goes right in the recycling. But, this letter from AARP got my attention. It announced a workshop titled, "Reduce Your Prescription Drug Costs in Three Easy Steps." AARP reports the astonishing fact that in 2002, over 75% of Americans a...
The Pathology of George Bush
FIDEL CASTRO
On this 51st anniversary of the attack on the Moncada fortress on July 26, 1953 I shall address a sinister character that keeps threatening, insulting and slandering us. This is not a whim or an agreeable option; it is a necessity and a duty. On June 21, at...
Murder Not So Foul?
DAVE LINDORFF
With the Democrats having nominated an admitted war criminal for president, and with our president and commander-in-chief having perpetrated, encouraged and overseen war crimes of historic scale, perhaps it’s no surprise that down on the ground, the little c...
Kerry Doesn’t Want Anti-War Activists
SONALI KOLHATKAR And JAMES INGALLS
In the first minute of his July 29 Democratic National Convention (DNC) acceptance speech, John Kerry told us that the Democratic party has "one simple purpose: to make America stronger at home and respected in the world." The Republicans have set the st...
Why They Resist
MAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE
The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. It is in the nature of thin...
Walt Whitman on C-SPAN, Fox News and Wolf Blitzer’s Voice
BRUCE JACKSON
I’ve been watching the Democratic Convention on C-SPAN, a channel that has no commentators, no analysts, no commercials, no crawls. If applause goes on for ten minutes, C-SPAN shows ten minutes of applause. If there is a hole in the program because someone s...
JFK Rolls Over in His Grave
SAUL LANDAU
In a July 16 speech in Tampa, George W. Bush leveled his human rights gun–mouth–at Cuba for promoting sex tourism. "The regime in Havana, already one of the worst violators of human rights in the world, is adding to its crimes. The dictator welcom...
What Kerry Must Do to Win (But Probably Won’t)
ALLAN J. LICHTMAN And VLADIMIR KEILIS-BOROK
Politics as usual will not suffice for John Kerry in his speech to the Democratic Convention. Kerry can hope to shorten the long odds he faces against President Bush only with a bold, imaginative approach to winning the election. This challenging conclusion...
Cashing in on Failure
WILLIAM S. LIND
When bureaucracies fail, one of their favorite ways to deflect demands for reform is to offer reorganization instead. That appears to be what has happened in the report of the 9/11 commission and Washington’s response to that report. Worse, the reorganizatio...
US Document Reveals Scale of Conflict
ROBERT FISK
The Independent Iraq, we are told by Mr Blair, is safer. It is not. US military reports clearly show much of the violence in Iraq is not revealed to journalists, and thus goes largely unreported. This account of the insurgency across Iraq over three days last ...
What Michael Moore Left Out
FRANK BARDACKE
I can’t claim to have read everything, and I couldn’t bear to punch it in and hit search, but when I finally saw Fahrenheit 9/11, one enormous omission jumped out that no one I know of has commented on, and which might be worth a few paragraphs of a Co...
Kerry’s Latin America Plan
TOM BARRY
Can we look forward to a "New Community of the Americas," as candidate John Kerry has promised, in a Kerry-Edwards administration? Unlikely. Will U.S.-Latin American relations improve under a Democrat administration? Very likely, giv...
Hawking the CounterCulture
RON JACOBS
I haven’t seen more than ten minutes of the Democratic National Convention coverage yet, preferring to spend my evenings watching the Red Sox knock the baseball around, but I have read enough news to know that a picture of John Lennon hangs in the Fleet Cent...
Baghdad is Swamped in the Smell of the Dead
ROBERT FISK
The Independent The smell of the dead pours into the street through the air-conditioning ducts. Hot, sweet, overwhelming. Inside the Baghdad morgue, there are so many corpses that the fridges are overflowing. The dead are on the floor. Dozens of them. Outside,...
The Politics of Anti-Semitism
Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair
...
Vets Demand End to Occupation
MIKE FERNER
Boston. As military veterans wrangle over whom to support for president, one veterans’ organization has fired a shot across the bow of whoever will occupy the White House next year. Over 400 Veterans for Peace (VFP) members gathered last weeke...
Imperial Crusades: Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia
Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair
...
John Kerry’s Misperception of Palestine
KEVIN MINK
When John Kerry addressed the national conference of the Anti-Defamation League in May, he joked of how he’d acquired his singular perspective on the Middle East. He had once looped-the-loop in an Israeli trainer, he said, and the view-from Sinai to Jordan a...
Winter Soldiers and Summer Patriots
UNITED For PEACE And JUSTICE
Dear Senator Kerry, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" This is a question you asked the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971, testifying against the Vietnam War. If you are elected President of t...
Rotten For Some, Just Right for Other
IMRAAN SIDDIQI
I was watching The Learning Channel the other day, when I had a moment of clarity of sorts. They were showing the bizarre eating habits of different cultures, in particular an Icelandic tradition to honor the Vikings. Many people over there like to partake of a ce...
Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature
Jeffrey St. Clair
Award-winning investigative journalist Jeffrey St. Clair presents a shocking look at the war on the home front: the battle against the Earth. From the ancient forests of Oregon to the toxic wasteland of Cancer Alley, St. Cla...
How 9/11 Report Soft-Pedaled Root Causes
RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA analyst The 567-page final report released Thursday by the 9/11 Commission provides a wealth of data–indeed, so much detail that it is all too easy to miss the forest for the trees. Comments by the ubiquitous commissioners last weekend yield t...
Part Four: Candidate Kerry
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
I’ve tried shouting "Kerry-Edwards" on the step out to my garden. The cat yawned and the flowers drooped. Democrats know this in their hearts. Twit them about Kerry’s dreariness, reminiscent of thin cold chowder or Weeping Ed Muskie and one g...
We Would Vote for Hugo Chavez
TARIQ ALI, PERRY ANDERSON, WALDEN BELLO, Et Al
IF WE WERE VENEZUELAN, ON AUGUST 15TH, 2004, WE WOULD VOTE FOR HUGO CHAVEZ We, the signers of this manifesto, wish to express our solidarity with the struggle that, alongside President Hugo Chavez, the majority of the Venezuelan people are waging in defense...
Dodging the Issue of Palestine-Israel; Blinkered on Causes of Terrorism
BILL And KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
Former CIA analysts Chapter 12 of the 9/11 Commission’s report, titled "What to Do? A Global Strategy," is the philosophical heart of the entire report. It is certainly the most important chapter for those who believe that nothing the U.S. can ...
Wake Up! Globalization’s Coming
DAVE LINDORFF
Get to work, Americans! Globalization is coming home to roost, and you’re going to be getting very, very busy, with no rest in your dotage. That’s the message from United Airlines and Old Europe this past week. First Old Europe, where wor...
Reflections on Nicaragua
LOUIS PROYECT
Twenty five years ago, the FSLN seized power in Nicaragua. Although it is difficult to see this abjectly miserable country in these terms today, back then it fueled the hopes of radicals worldwide that a new upsurge in world revolution was imminent. Along with Gre...
Inside Al Jazeera
MIKE WHITNEY
There’s a chilling scene in Jahane Noujaim’s new documentary Control Room where an American F-16 is seen slowly turning in the sky over Baghdad. The plane arcs lazily in the blue sky and then quickly noses downward, following a straight line towards th...
The DOE Shuts Down the Labs
STEFAN WRAY
While the Department of Energy (DOE) shuts down nuclear labs, and a Senator introduces a bill to end the University of California’s management of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a plan is emerging for Texas and New Mexico universities to take over the be...
Part 3: Why the Dems Deserve Nader
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Always partial to monopolies, the Democrats think they should hold the exclusive concession on any electoral challenge to Bush and the Republicans. The Nader campaign prompts them to hysterical tirades. Republicans are more relaxed. Ross Perot and his Reform Party...
Part 2: Boston Awaits a Dead Party
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
At convention time, in years gone by, pundits would decry with patronizing chuckles the supposed proclivity of the Democratic Party to "tear itself apart". Auto-rupture is actually a good thing. As Hegel once said, "a political party only truly exis...
How Chechnya Inspired the Iraqi Kidnappers
ROBERT FISK
The Independent The pictures are grainy, the voices sometimes unclear. But when Kim Sun-il shrieks "Don’t kill me" over and over again, his fear is palpable. As the heads of Iraq’s kidnap victims are sawn off, Koranic recitations–us...
Arresting the Curious
MITCHEL COHEN
Boston, July 25, 4 pm Half-an-h...
An Interview with Tom Morello and Serj Tankian
RICHARD MORENO
On a sweltering hot summer’s day in Southern California, the Axis of Justice non-profit political organization initiated its very first activist meeting Sunday afternoon on the 25th of July at North Hollywood Park. Despite the blistering heat, a group of rou...