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 August 2005
Papal Double Standards
RACHARD ITANI
In the course of the second ever visit by a Catholic pontiff to a Jewish Synagogue, Pope Benedict, in Cologne, Germany, called for "trust and mutual respect between Christians and Jews". Earlier that day, during a meeting with leaders of Germany’s ...
Containing the Anti-War Movement
STAN GOFF
I feel compelled once again to be a skunk at the party, but it’s a role I’m growing into. Cindy Sheehan’s squatter’s camp has re-energized the antiwar movement, but just as it has done so, it has also re-energized the herd dogs of the Democ...
Hugo Chavez and the Men Who Claim to Speak for Jesus
RON JACOBS
You know, when I was growing up as a Catholic, I was given many differing views of Jesus Christ. Virtually all of them were speculative, of course, and as I grew older, I became aware that most of them were based on the teacher’s particular political and cul...
The Militarization of Our Children
ELISA SALASIN
As Labor Day draws near and children head back to school, much important attention is being focused on recruitment tactics (sanctioned by No Child Left Behind) in our country’s public secondary schools and colleges. However, this hounding and seduction is no...
Why Pat Robertson Isn’t Treated as a Terrorist
JOHN CHUCKMAN
America’s fundamentalist carnival includes many fascinating acts. Pay your money, and you can watch preachers weeping and screaming, dismissing whole segments of humanity as evil, threatening murder, shaking down congregations for extra donations to named-af...
Hitchens Backs Down
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Just to remind you, before you read his letter to CounterPunch, here’s what I wrote about Christopher Hitchens in my CounterPunch Diary last weekend. You can tell in five-minutes channel surfing how Cindy Sheehan frightens the pro-war cro...
Fascism in America
STEW ALBERT
Is America going fascist? Or has the cursed event already happened? It depends on your definition of fascism. What usually occurs in a fascist scenario? * Labor unions are weak and the right to strike is denied by law. In Bush’s America, ...
Violent Echoes of Kent State
KAREN KILROY
The title of this article is what the notice read on the morning of May 4, 1970 ­ it sat largely unread in the mail boxes of Kent State University students. Later that day, four students were murdered when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a hillside fill...
Prosecuting Bush in Canada for Torture
CounterPunch Wire
On November 30 2004 Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War (LAW), filed an Informational Brief in the Provincial Court of B.C. charging George W. Bush as President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces with torture. ...
Bush’s Lips Move, But He Says Nothing
JASON LEOPOLD
Every year, right around the anniversary of 9/11 the Bush administration spins the public about the reasons 1,864 American soldiers have died fighting for a lie in Iraq. And every year, it’s just as crucial that the media tell the public the truth about the ...
Our Reckless Chemical Dependence
JULIA OLMSTEAD
Telling people to wash their faces with DDT would be like the insult "go jump off a cliff." We all know the chemical is extremely hazardous both to humans and wildlife. But it is said that 50 years ago, in the agronomy department of my university, some f...
The Politics of Death
DIANE CHRISTIAN
"History, we don’t know. We’ll all be dead." George W. Bush to Bob Woodward, on how history will judge his Iraq war Death is different things in different focuses-a natural end, a punishment for sin, a ...
Pat Robertson is a Clown, But Rumseld and Rice Have Said Much the Same Thing
CHHANDASI PANDYA
Another firestorm in the American media, another opportunity to narrow the parameters of debate. Over the last week it has been impossible to escape mainstream and (to a certain extent) alternative media coverage of popular evangelical leader Pat Robertson’s...
Why Pat Robertson is Not a Christian
Rev. GRAYLAN SCOTT HAGLER
Pat Robertson suggested this past Monday that the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, be assassinated by operatives of the United States government. Though his comments are newsworthy because of his following in the 700 Club and his political stature and role in ...
Pedaling Away from Principle
DAVE ZIRIN
"…you could, like me, be unfortunate enough to stumble on a silent war. The trouble is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out...
Will the News Media Help Bush Again?
NORMAN SOLOMON
For a long time, the last refuge of scoundrels was "patriotism." Now it’s "the war on terror." President Bush and many of his vocal supporters aren’t content to wrap themselves in the flag. It’s not sufficient to postur...
Pat Robertson is a Clown, But Rumseld and Rice Have Said Much the Same Thing
CHHANDASI PANDYA
Another firestorm in the American media, another opportunity to narrow the parameters of debate. Over the last week it has been impossible to escape mainstream and (to a certain extent) alternative media coverage of popular evangelical leader Pat Robertson’s...
The Democrats and Cindy Sheehan
JOSHUA FRANK
Cindy Sheehan is exactly what we needed. Following the 2004 elections the antiwar movement was left in shambles, unable to recover from the malfunctions of the Democratic Party. MoveOn.org had capitulated its antiwar position by supporting John pro-war Kerry. Unit...
"Shoot to Kill"
MIKE WHITNEY
Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27 year old Brazilian electrician, was apprehended by Scotland Yard’s special Firearms Unit on July 22 in the London subway, and shot 7 times in the head at point-blank range. He becomes the first victim of Britain’s new &quo...
Bush’s Bloody Option
NORMAN SOLOMON
The Bush administration may ratchet up the Iraq war. That might seem unlikely, even farfetched. After all, the president is facing an upsurge of domestic opposition to the war. Under such circumstances, why would he escalate it? A big ongoing factor ...
The Listening Post at Camp Casey Two
GREG MOSES
If by socialism you mean the kind of world that officer’s kids enjoy, then I’m pretty much for it. It’s the kind of world I grew up in. Free health care, pretty good job security, cheap movies (that I could afford to attend every night in a row),...
Gaza Stripped
SONIA NETTNIN
Although Israeli Forces withdrew settlers from Gaza the military occupation of Palestinians continues. Despite U.S. mainstream media reports that the 38-year-occupation of Palestinians within Gaza has "ended," the Israeli military still controls water, t...
The Left’s Challenge in Germany
JEFF BALE
A new left-wing political party in Germany is continuing to gain broad support as September federal elections approach–and is coming under increasing attack. The Left Party (LP) has shaken up Germany’s usual electoral process with its calls for ...
The US is in Iraq to Stablize It
KEVIN ZEESE
Just as President Bush claimed in the build-up to war that the U.S. was threatened by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and Saddam’s connection to Osama bin Laden and 9/11 terrorists ­ we are now being told a new falsehood ­ U.S. troops are in...
Secret Talkers
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Tell the president that the way to solve his problem is to find that one man who would turn out to be . . . possessed of high competence, great physical vigor, and a passion for anonymity. Tom Jones, private secretary to Prime Minister Stanley ...
Friday at Camp Casey
GREG MOSES
Not having Cindy Sheehan in Crawford Friday turned out okay. Her absence didn’t stop the media from crowding around a noon prayer vigil. And nobody I talked to was planning to cut short their stay on account of her absence. In fact, as usual, folks were sort...
Suicide Bombers
JAMES PETRAS
One of the least discussed but most important aspect of the ‘suicide bombers’ (SB) attacks is the Anglo-American (AA) systematic and profound degradation of that which the Islamic religion holds most sacred: its code of ethics, its mode of spiritual pr...
What Jean Charles de Menezes Didn’t Know
Dr. TERESA WHITEHURST
"Even in midsummer, he wears an overcoat and four jumpers if forced to leave the house. At dinner parties, he usually keeps a fur coat on. Nevertheless, people who greet him are surprised to find how cold his hands are." ...
Moses on Top of Old Smokey
BEN TRIPP
It is always a shock to discover that the universe as you know it is a tissue of lies. When I was a beardless youth, my Mom told me Jorma Kaukonen never smoked pot, so I shouldn’t, either. How I reeled when informed some years later that not only did the nim...
Failing Nature
JOSHUA FRANK
George W. Bush’s environmental record can be summed up in one simple word: devastating. Not only has President Bush gutted numerous environmental laws — including the Clean Air and Water Acts — he has also set a new precedent by disregardi...
Can Cindy Sheehan End the War?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
You can tell in five-minutes channel surfing how Cindy Sheehan frightens the pro-war crowd. One bereaved mom from Vacaville, camped outside Bush’s home in Crawford, reproaching the vacationing President for sending her son to a pointless death in Iraq has go...
There is Such a Thing as "Too Late"
RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA analyst President Bush still refuses to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the Rosa Parks of Crawford, Texas, but there is some good news. While Crawford’s Camp Casey (named after Cindy’s son killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004) continues to be short ...
How the Federalist Society and Young College Republicans Operate
FRANKIE LAKE
There is a good reason why the White House is trying so hard to dissociate John Roberts from his Federalist Society affiliation. The Federalist Society has its roots in the College Republicans and derives its membership from them. While I can’t discuss the e...
The People Must Demand Peace
KEVIN ZEESE
Tom Hayden is an anti-war activist who most recently was the lead author of "The Peoples Petition for Iraqi Peace." He was a leader of the student, civil rights and anti-war movements in the Sixties, and the environmental and anti-nuclear movements in th...
Will Celebrity Addicted America Miss the Point?
MIKE FERNER
"Some people are trying to paint her as one crazy woman against the war, and she’s not. A lot of people feel like her and want to know what the noble cause is," Karen Meredith, referring to Cindy Sheehan. ...
The President’s Dilemma
Col. DAN SMITH (Ret.)
"Suppose they gave a war and nobody came?" is the title of a 1970 anti-Vietnam War movie whose overuse nearly rendered it trite before that war ended. As a result, when Iraq war opponents invoke it today, the quest...
Gaza’s Economy
BENJAMIN GRANBY
Ramallah. All eyes are on Gaza. ...
Terrorism Then and Now
SAUL LANDAU
Official Washington has changed its criteria for evaluating terrorism. In October 1976, before suspected terrorists had Arab names and received indeterminate sentences without charges, lawyers or trials at the Guantanamo Gulag, Luis Posada and Orlando Bosch plante...
Rebellion in the Ranks
MARTIN SMITH
The rebellion within the U.S. armed forces that contributed to the U.S. defeat in Vietnam has been largely erased from public memory. It has been replaced with the "spat-on myth"–that the antiwar movement was preoccupied with spitting on ret...
Moral Values and the CIA
TOM CRUMPACKER
In exit polls at last Novembers election, CNN asked voters what concerned them most, the war, the economy or moral values. To its apparent surprise the voters chose moral values, which CNN interpreted to mean gay marriage, abortion and some other of the other cult...
Merck Gets Whacked
FRED GARDNER
It took a Texas jury only a day and a half to sock it to Merck on behalf of Carol Ernst, a widow whose 53-year-old Vioxx-taking husband died of a heart attack in 2001. Texas has a protect-the-corporations cap, so the $253 million award will be reduced to $26 milli...
The Drunken Politician Leaps Upon the Street Where Mothers Weep
RON JACOBS
The courageous witness of Cindy Sheehan and the nation’s response to it has not only moved the antiwar movement to a new level, it has widened it as well. Her speeches and encampment remind one of the Greek plays about war and conscience: Antigone and The Bi...
Getting Swept
WILLIAM S. LIND
The past couple weeks have been a hard time here in my home town of Cleveland, Ohio. Third Battalion, 25th Marines, a reserve unit headquartered just ten minutes from my house, lost 20 guys in two days in Iraq. It was a kick in the stomach for the whole city. ...
Thomas Friedman’s Blacklist; Tony Blair’s Censorious Proscriptions
JOHN PILGER
If those who seek to understand what drives people to commit terrorist acts are vilified as "just one notch less despicable" themselves, we can say goodbye to freedom of speech. By JOHN PILGER Thomas Friedman is a famous columnist on the New York...
The Rosa Parks of the Anti-War Movement
VIJAY PRASHAD
On April 4, 2004, a barrage of grenades and small arms fire from Iraqi insurgent groups killed U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan in Sadr City. Two months later, his family went to see President George W. Bush. Mr. Bush walked into the room and said, "Who we&...
After the Withdrawal
NEVE GORDON
Now that the withdrawal from Gaza is underway, and the settlers have failed to transform the personal trauma of the those who are relocated from their homes into a national trauma, it is high time to ask whether or not the dismantlement of Jewish settlements and r...
The Myth of a "Free and Democratic" Iraq
GARY LEUPP
Was it wrong to experience a kind of satisfaction—I don’t want to call it perverse but maybe wicked in a good way—when I read that the constitutional delegation appointed by Iraq’s "transitional assembly" had failed to meet the Au...
Something’s Happened
DAVE LINDORFF
It’s not just Cindy Sheehan. Something has happened in the country in the last few weeks. Suddenly the deaths of Americans in Iraq are being recognized and talked about. You could tell here in Philadelphia when the local TV news programs...
Judge Roberts and the Death Penalty
ELAINE CASSEL
We have rightly heard a great deal of commentary on an important question: What would the confirmation of Judge John Roberts – who would take retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s Supreme Court seat – mean for the right of privacy, and for...
Cutting Up Mochie
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Come now to a Parable of Swine. Not so many years ago in North Carolina, the pig barons sensed opportunity for their ‘right to work’ state. In the traditional hog belt of the mid-west, unions and laws against some forms of agribusiness still pro...