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 2005
The Injured Party
COUNTERPUNCH STAFF
On January 11, 2005, some of the detainees from Abu-Ghraib prison who have been unknown but for the digital photos the world has seen gave their account of events in Iraq from the autumn of 2003. The following is excerpted testimony from a videotaped deposition of...
Bush Report on Drug Imports
PETER ROST
Some recent headlines: "HHS reports drug imports likely won’t save money." "Net saving on drug import not worth action." "Legalizing drug imports not worth it." "Bush panel sees scant savings in ...
Not One Bad News Bearer in Bush’s Inner Circle
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "Condi" Rice personified the Bush administration’s delusion-based "war against terror." Whenever a senator’s question penetrated to the harsh reality, C...
Flags, Cops and F-16s
MIKE WHITNEY
The Bush inauguration is designed to shock the American public into noticing the fundamental changes within the government. Like Guantanamo, it is intended to be more symbolic than substantive. The event is a means of acclimating people to the seismic shift in the...
The Democrats and Iran
JOSHUA FRANK
By now you have probably heard about the Bush Administration’s secret plan to attack Iran and how US Special Forces units have been operating in the country for some time. Seymour Hersh, the maverick journalist for The New Yorker, broke the story earlier thi...
The Nuremberg Principles Today
NANCY ODEN
At the Nuremberg, Germany trials of Nazis following World War II, the world listened with revulsion as Nazi troops reported committing atrocities because, they said, they were "just following orders." As a result of the Nuremberg Trials, a group o...
Will Bush Quit Iraq?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
"Any appearance of a permanent occupation of Iraq by the US] will both undermine domestic support here in the United States and play directly into the hands of those in the Middle East who — however wrongly — suspect us of imperial design." S...
Social Security Privatization and Disability
MARTA RUSSELL
The Social Security privatization debate has omitted the fate in store for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as a part of the program’s family of benefits. Social Security not only provides Old-Age protection, it consists of often overlooked Surviv...
Marines Stretching Movement
MIKE FERNER
No, this is not a military-oriented guide to keeping fit. Yet it has made some people uncomfortable if not downright sore. It’s about the peace movement and how a U.S. Marine company using downtown Toledo for "urban warfare" training provide...
A Catalogue of British Abuses in Iraq
TONY PATERSON
The Independent "Shocking and appalling" photographs of British troops allegedly torturing and sexually humiliating Iraqi civilians were revealed yesterday. The images were produced at a court martial of three British soldiers accused of acts ...
BS and CBS
DOUG GIEBEL
Is anything more satisfying for media watchers and conservatives than to pounce on the journalist who has sinned by publishing supposedly-erroneous information? For years, right wing ministers of hysteria have been out to nail C.B.S. anchor Dan Rather, whom they r...
Bush’s Strategy to Privatize Social Security
DAVE LINDORFF
You wouldn’t know it from reading or watching the mainstream media, but the campaign to destroy Social Security is been begun. President Bush, in his second inauguration speech Thursday, will lay out what he is calling a "reform" of the sys...
Syria Back in the Crosshairs?
RON JACOBS
Rumors of future air and/or ground attacks on supposed insurgent bases inside Syria; Rumsfeld’s denials that US Special Forces death squads are already operating in Syria; and US attempts to get use of a Turkish air base to attack Iraq from. All of these new...
Did Bush Steal the White House, Again?
LANCE SELFA
People who saw Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 will recall the scene of Congressional Black Caucus members requesting a single member of the Senate to support their calls for investigations into the stolen election in Florida that put Bush in the White House...
Abu Ghraib Result of Bush / Gonzales Decision to Ignore Geneva Conventions
JENNIFER VAN BERGEN
Those who do battle with monsters must take care that they do not thereby become a monster. Always remember that when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back on you. Freidrich Nietzsche * A preliminary draft of a soon-...
Before You Begin Your Career as a Teacher
ELISA SALASIN
Dear Ms. Bush, I’ve read recently that you will soon be teaching in an urban, Washington, D.C. elementary school. As you begin your career there are a few things that I would like you to consider. I’m sure that you are entering the profe...
Will the US Tolerate a Venezuelan-Chinese Oil Pact?
SETH DELONG
Although Venezuela has long been one of the U.S.’s top four foreign suppliers of crude, relations between the two countries have grown quite acrimonious since the Bush administration’s tacit support of the failed coup against populist president Hugo Ch...
It’s a No Brainer; Send Graner
DOUGLAS LUMMIS
A rap for our time. ("rap" as in, "take the . . . ") Lyric: Fairly Traditional Music: Probably Unnecessary I You need a man To take command Of these dune coons? Who knows the ropes, Who’ll teach th...
Abu Ghraib Result of Bush / Gonzales Decision to Ignore Geneva Conventions
JENNIFER VAN BERGEN
Those who do battle with monsters must take care that they do not thereby become a monster. Always remember that when you gave into the abyss, the abyss gazes back on you. Freidrich Nietzsche * A preliminary draft of a soon...
Mystery Meat
PAUL D. JOHNSON
The U.S. economy manages to follow the law and label every electronic gadget and stitch of clothing with where it comes from. Manufacturers likewise have no trouble putting a required nutrition list on food packages. But telling where food originates is called too...
How Americans Were Seduced by War
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Americans have been betrayed. Sooner or later Americans will realize that they have been led to defeat in a pointless war by political leaders who they inattentively trusted. They have been misinformed by a sycophantic corporate media too mindful of advert...
Hotel Room Journalism
ROBERT FISK
The Independent Baghdad. "Hotel journalism" is the only phrase for it. More and more Western reporters in Baghdad are reporting from their hotels rather than the streets of Iraq’s towns and cities. Some are accompanied everywhere by hire...
A Message from the Iraqi Resistance
GARY LEUPP
On January 13 Reuters and the cable news networks are making a news story of a very interesting short video from Iraq, addressed to "people of the world." I’d encountered this on line, via an ...
The Slaughter of Iraqi Civilians by US Military
DAVE LINDORFF
A horrifying chart and map on the opinion page of Sunday’s New York Times graphically displays the carnage caused by the ongoing U.S. war in Iraq. Over a 14-day period during the first two weeks of the new year, Brookings Institution senior research assistan...
Misconceptions About King’s Methods for Change
HEATHER GRAY
As the 2005 Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is celebrated, the popular "I Have a Dream" speech delivered by him in 1963 in Washington DC will be featured as if it was one of his primary messages. Yet, King was about far more than dreaming. His mission wa...
Martin Luther King and the Christian Left
GREG MOSES
All religions, said Simone de Beauvoir, have "embarrassing flexibility on a basis of rigid concepts." Practitioners and believers who swear to core principles find themselves fighting each other from opposite extremes of the political spectrum. At...
Bush’s Choice for Energy Czar is One of Texas’s Worst Polluters
JASON LEOPOLD
In the bizarro world that President Bush lives in, it pays-literally-to be a miserable failure, a criminal and a corporate con man. Those are just some of the characteristics of the dastardly men and women who were tapped recently to fill the vacancies in BushR...
My First Encounter with Leonard Peltier
HARVEY ARDEN
[Editors' Note: the following excerpt from HARVEY ARDEN's book Have You Thought of Leonard Peltier Lately? describes A...
La Conchita and the Indomitable 82-Year Old
JOHN CALLENDER
The son came home some days ago with news that an hour or so earlier a mud slide had buried some twenty homes in La Conchita, the tiny beach community about five miles down the road from the somewhat larger beach community of Carpinteria ("Carp" to local...
A Visit to the Hearst Castle
SAUL LANDAU
After spending $40 for two 75 minute guided walks through some of the 165 rooms and guest houses of La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Mountain), I learned what Gore Vidal already knew about tasteless millionaires: "The more money an American accumulates, the...
A Constitutional Right to Travel to Cuba
TOM CRUMPACKER
Our government has been telling us that the reason it is prohibiting us from traveling to Cuba is to deny Cubans hard currency so that they will change the way they have organized their society. If so, it’s the first time in our history we’ve been forc...
Incite Civil War in Iraq
MIKE WHITNEY
The Bush Administration is intentionally steering Iraq towards civil war. The elections are merely the catalyst for igniting, what could be, a massive social upheaval. This explains the bizarre insistence on voting when security is nearly nonexistent and where a m...
A Touch of Evil
DOUG SODERSTROM
Historically, neoconservatives (the more religious ones generally referred to as "fundamentalists") have seemed to pride themselves on an ability to face the cold-hard, rather cruel, facts of life, a willingness to accept the more unsavory aspects of our...
Christian Zionism
LILA RAJIVA
This article is excerpted from LILA RA...
Unspooking Frank Carlucci
SUZAN MAZUR
I remember getting stuck more than once in winter blizzards at Bear Creek ­ the northeast Pennsylvania boyhood home of Carlyle Group’s Frank Carlucci. Route 115 cuts through the woods there before winding down the mountain to where I grew up in the 1960s...
The Allowable-Quantity Expert
FRED GARDNER
You can sing the praises of many courageous doctors, growers, lawyers, dispensary operators and patients’ advocates, but who has done more to implement California’s medical marijuana law than Chris Conrad in his role as an expert witness? Where the rub...
America’s New Civilizing Mission
M. SHAHID ALAM
"Islam has long vanished from the stage of history, and has re-treated into oriental ease and repose." G.W.F. Hegel In a world that is dominated by violence emanating from organs of the state, including incidental...
The Counter-Inaugural Ball
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK
It’s almost time for Thanatos, the ancient Greek God of Death, to ascend the throne of America. This is, of course, a throne His Immortal Ass is already sitting on. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an occasion to throw the most expensive American P...
Zapatista Literary Life
JOHN ROSS
OVENTIC CHIAPAS. "Flor y Canto" (literarily ‘flower and song’), the literary and musical expression of the indigenous peoples of Meso-America, is close to the heart of the Zapatista rebellion. No rebel celebration is complete without ...
Jack Johnson’s Real Opponent
FREDERICK B. HUDSON
On July 5, 1910, a group of white laborers set fire to a Negro tenement in New York City. While they watched it burn, they blocked the doors and windows to prevent the residents from escaping. The cause for this senseless hatred was the son of former slaves from G...
Afghanistan’s Drug Bonanza
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
"[Afghanistan must] be a country that doesn’t export drugs. I don’t know if you know this or not, but the Taliban government and al Qaeda – the evil ones – use heroin trafficking in order to fund their murder. And one of o...
The Kidnapping of a Revolutionary
JAMES PETRAS
A major political row is raging in the mass media of Colombia and Venezuela, left-wing websites and elsewhere over the kidnapping of FARC leader Rodrigo Granda. Each day brings more pronouncements and revelations from ministers, military and police officials, as w...
The Other Armstrong Williams Scandal
BOB BURTON
Conservative pundit Armstrong Williams has been under fire recently following revelations that he was paid $240,000 to promote the Bush administration’s "No Child Left Behind" law. However, it isn’t the first time that his media interests hav...
Flying Carpet Airlines
ROBERT FISK
The Independent I tried out the new Beirut-Baghdad air service this week. It’s a sleek little 20-seater with two propellers, a Lebanese-Canadian pilot and a name to take you aback. It’s called "Flying Carpet Airlines". As Commander Queeg ...
Unfit for Military Service
RON JACOBS
When I left high school in 1973, most of my friends were glad that the likelihood of being drafted was almost nil. Sure, the law was still on the books, but the draft itself had, for all practical purposes, been terminated earlier that year. There were a variety o...
Robert Zoellick: a Bush Family Man
TOM BARRY
To what degree do neoconservatives and militarists control U.S. foreign policy? And how much influence do the less ideological figures like former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice have over President Bush? Those were questions continually debated ...
Under the Influence
TRACY McLELLAN
Under the Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs, edited by Preston...
The Legacy of Jack Johnson
DAVE ZIRIN
Jack Johnson, the first Black, heavyweight-boxing champion of the United States, was described recently by Sports Illustrated as having "Muhammad Ali’s charisma, Mike Tyson’s power and Don King’s cunning. He resides today somewhere between l...
Calling John Rendon
SHELDON RAMPTON
John Rendon is CEO of the Rendon Group, a secretive public relations firm that often provides behind-the-scenes advice to the U.S. military. Over the years, we’ve received dozens of phone calls from journalists who have sought interviews with Ren...
The Christians I Know
JOSÉ M. TIRADO
For the 3 years I have lived in Iceland now, I have had an ongoing debate with my friend J. in Illinois about our differing lives. In addition to politics, food and culture, we have regularly compared the remarkably different dominant strands of Christianity as pr...