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 October 2005
"None of Us Have the Right to Avert Our Gaze"
RALPH NADER
Rev. William Sloane Coffin has been a leader against the war in Vietnam, an advocate for civil rights and an opponent of nuclear weapons. Coffin was an Army officer in World War II, acting as liaison to the French and Russian armies. Upon graduating from Yale Univ...
Multicultural Columbus
SCOTT RICHARD LYONS
A week has now passed since America observed its latest round of Columbus Day activities­­e.g., the usual Italian American-led parades and Native American-led protests­­and in that regard things were no different in my town, Syracuse, New York...
Saddam on Trial
PATRICK COCKBURN
in Baghdad Even as he stands trial in Baghdad today after almost two years in prison, Saddam Hussein’s name still carries a charge of fear for Iraqis. "The problem was to get judges who were not afraid to prosecute Saddam despite intimidation...
The Wrong Operative in Charge?
CHET RICHARDS
"Guerrilla warfare isn’t about holding terrain," as the late Colonel David Hackworth summed up Vietnam. "It’s about making us bleed until we give up and leave." The latest casualty figures from Iraq put the insurgency on a trend to ...
Bush and Avian Flu
STEPHEN SOLDZ
No one knows if or when an avian flu pandemic will hit the world. But we do know that this is a serious possibility, and that the consequences could be catastrophic: tens to hundreds of millions dead worldwide; millions dead in the US; economic damage that could l...
A Divided Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
in Baghdad Saddam Hussein, once the absolute ruler of Iraq, goes on trial for his life in a courtroom in Baghdad tomorrow. The main charge against him is that he ordered the murder of 143 men from the village of Dujail after an attempt to assassination him in ...
A New New Orleans
RALPH NADER
New Orleans, the largest city devastated by two Hurricanes, lies in ruins. The reconstruction plans are forming and the usual commercial interests are in the forefront to receive large subsidies, federal overpayments and special immunities from having to meet labo...
A Tale of Two Cities: From DC to Toledo
KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR
This past weekend thousands of African-Americans made their way to Washington D.C. for the Millions More Movement (MMM) march. The event billed as a "movement not a march" against racism and the prison industrial complex, to only name a few of its demand...
Still Radical After All These Years
THOMAS P. HEALY
Goshen, Indiana. A screening of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Weather Underground" opened a national student conference Oct. 6-9 sponsored by the Peace and Justice Studies Association in collaboration with the Plowshares Group. &...
Merle Haggard: "Let’s Get Out of Iraq"
CHET FLIPPO
The other day, a friend sent me a long e-mail string from a chatroom about back-and-forth arguments over whether or not Merle Haggard is the all-time if greatest country artist. Almost in baseball terms, people were contemplating who is the MVP in country music hi...
Judy Miller Goes Down in Flames…er…Plames
DAVE LINDORFF
I cannot remember having as entertaining a time reading the New York Times as I did this past Sunday reading the page one story on Judith Miller and her self-imposed jail time. Really, the three reporters assigned to report on her release from jail, where ...
Reflections on the Antiwar Movement
VIRGINIA RODINO
The first time I saw him, I was unimpressed. Being a total ignoramus of the veteran,s movement, I had never heard of David Cline before. My very impressive political colleague Stan Goff, whom I had just met in person only an hour before at the Veterans For ...
The Sorrows of Haiti
STEPHEN LENDMAN
On February 28, 2004, in the middle of the night, the U.S. again invaded Haiti. It abducted and forcibly removed democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide by its staged coup d’etat and flew him against his will to the Central African Republic. ...
The Catholic Church and the US Flag
RON JACOBS
Earlier this month, Stephen Kobasa, who was an English teacher at Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport, CT., was dismissed for refusing to fly a US flag in his classroom. Actually, it’s not that he refused–he did offer a compromise whereby his hom...
Spinoza and the the Black Limos
PETER LINEBAUGH
The black limos on 17th street and the gray suits touching one another’s back, ever so lightly, "Oh no, you first," across the entry portico in to the World Bank. The mind can imagine nothing, nor can it recollect anything that is past, exce...
Judith Miller, the Fourth Estate and the Warfare State
NORMAN SOLOMON
More than any other New York Times reporter, Judith Miller took the lead with stories claiming that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Now, a few years later, she’s facing heightened scrutiny in the aftermath of a pair of articles that appeared in the Tim...
Iraq Constitution Passes, Amid Fragmented Sunnis
PATRICK COCKBURN In Baghdad And KIM SENGUPTA In Basra The Independent
Iraqi voters have almost certainly approved a new constitution that reduces the authority of central government and gives strong powers to Kurdish and Shia regions. Early counting of votes cast in the referendum on Saturday suggests that the Sunni community ...
Miller’s Confession
MIKE WHITNEY
If you plan to read Judy Miller’s long and circuitous apology in the New York Times Sunday edition, bring your hip-waders. The obfuscating manure is knee-deep and bound to stymie even the most curious reader. Miller’s a slippery customer, but a ...
Torture and Misery in the Name of Freedom
HAROLD PINTER
The following remarks were adapted during Mr. Pinter’s acceptance speech on winning the Wilfred Owen Award earlier this year. The great poet Wilfred Owen articulated the tragedy, the horror–and indeed the pity–of war in a way no oth...
Exposing Grave Moral Distortions
NEVE GORDON
It is not everyday that a professor hires a prestigious law firm to threaten the University of California Press, yet for months Alan Dershowitz, Harvard’s Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, tried to stop UC Press from publishing Norman Finkelstein’s ...
Some Notes on Current Reporting About Judith Miller
SAM HUSSEINI
Thursday’s Washington Post piece by Howard Kurtz</a>...
Down with Formalism! Up with Values!
DAVID VEST
As I pulled up at the Moravita Crossing on the Yugoslav-Romanian border in late summer of 1979, a chubby customs guard in a mustard-colored uniform sat in a folding chair eating seeds from a gigantic sunflower. He looked remarkably like Ernest Borgnine, with the s...
Cannabinoids Arrive in Realm of Established Fact
FRED GARDNER
Just as the marketing of Prozac by Eli Lilly familiarized the public with "clinical depression" and "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors" (SSRIs), so the marketing of Rimonabant as a weight-loss drug by Sanofi Aventis will educate millions ...
Lynndie England’s Burden
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Legal justice is the art of the good and the fair. Latin Saying She’s unsophisticated and certainly doesn’t read the newspapers so she’ll not have noticed. Were it otherwise she’d be as puzzled as her...
POW Abuse by the US
MICKEY Z.
As news of a prisoner hunger strike finally begins to trickle out from Guantanamo, rest assured any wrongdoing will be pinned on a few bad apples. However, even a cursory glance at U.S. treatment of enemies captured during military interventions will demonstrate t...
From Chaos to Conscience to Peace
MONICA BENDERMAN
On July 27, 2005, Sgt. Kevin Benderman was found guilty of Missing Movement and sentenced to 15 months confinement, loss of pay and dishonorable discharge. In actuality, Sgt. Benderman’s crime was daring to tell the truth, and daring to challenge the very ph...
Iraq on the Eve of the Referendum
PATRICK COCKBURN
in Baghdad The streets of Baghdad were eerily empty as police and soldiers tightened their grip in the final hours before people vote on the new constitution. Iraqis are deeply divided. "The new constitution cuts my country up into pieces," s...
Epistle II: the Reawakening
BEN TRIPP
I have for some years now harbored a secret love for Janeane Garofalo. It’s just one of those things, as Cole Porter so aptly said. When, some years into my schoolboy infatuation, she started broadcasting on ‘Air America’, the left-wing radio syn...
A Former Panther’s Georgia Campaign
ELIZABETH SCHULTE
Elaine Brown, a former leader of the Black Panthers during the 1970s, is running for mayor of Brunswick, Ga., on the Green Party ticket. More than half of the residents of Brunswick, with a population of 16,000, are Black. Yet if Brown wins, she will be the...
Ayatollahs of the Apocalypse
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
These are triumphant hours for Pat Robertson. His standing as America’s senior ayatollah is becoming firmer as Billy Graham and even Jerry Falwell yield the prime-time pulpit to the smooth-tongued maestro of the Christian Coalition. A decade ago CNN ...
The Trouble with Harriet
JOSHUA FRANK
Who would have thought that Harriet Miers, President Bush’s choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, would be such a divisive figure? The conservative establishment hates her and the Democrats could car...
Will Delphi Bust the UAW?
LEE SUSTAR
The bankruptcy of auto parts manufacturer Delphi marks the biggest attack on the United Auto Workers (UAW) in decades–and sets the stage for an even more serious onslaught on the union from Big Three automakers. Delphi, formerly the parts division of ...
The Fight Against Fake News
DIANE FARSETTA
Like much news that’s damaging to the Bush administration, the report came out on a Friday. Since then, it’s gotten little media attention — just 41 mentions in U.S. newspapers and wire stories, according to a news database search on Octob...
Autocracy in the US and 5th Century Rome
DOUGLAS C. SMYTH
Why do people worry that Harriet Miers is too close to the President? Don’t they watch the miniseries on Rome on HBO? In the fifth century, Emperor Honorius appointed whoever purchased the office of Procurator (roughly equivalent to a Supreme Court Justice)....
Poverty in New York City
MOSHE ADLER
One of the poignant questions that hurricane Katrina raises is this: How could so many people be so poor for so long without anybody noticing? Poverty is just as invisible in New York City. The last five years of the 1990s were widely touted as years of a spectacu...
Luis Posada and Bush’s Drinking
SAUL LANDAU
How did a judge’s decision not to deport the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela connect to the report that George W. Bush has again hit the bottle? The answer begins in the fact the Bush never entered a recovery program for his alcohol and ...
USAID and Haiti
SASHA KRAMER
On the ground United States foreign assistance projects often mean desperately needed food and employment for the poor, impossible to resist, difficult to critique. But from the vantage point of US foreign policy objectives a very different picture emerges and lon...
Bird Flu: the Nightmare Scenario
NICOLE COLSON
The outbreak of a bird flu pandemic could kill tens of millions–maybe hundreds of millions–of people around the world. But rather than come up with a sane plan to help contain the spread of avian influenza, the Bush administration is viewing the threat...
Survival and Existence in El Alto
RAÚL ZIBECHI
Translated by Nick Henry Chaos in motion. Street vendors, traders, merchants and stallholders, scouts and agents grind out their insistent songs. Traffic churns along the black, sticky mud that overflows sidewalks and streets. Car horns mixed with Andean mu...
A Somber Ramadan in Syria
FARRAH HASSEN
In early October, one billion plus Muslims around the world began abstaining from food, drink, tobacco and intercourse from dawn until sunset to observe Ramadan, Islam’s holiest month. I experienced the uplifting spirit of Ramadan in Syria last year. I recal...
Hugo Chávez and the Politics of Race
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
As the war of words heats up between the Bush White House and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, the firebrand South American leader has boldly sought to forge ties with poor communities of color in the United States. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Ch&aac...
The Student Struggle in Italy
KATRINA YEAW
The protests that have rocked Italian universities over the past week show no sign of ending. In fact, the movement against reforms proposed by the Minister of Education, Letizia Moratti, to change the Italian educational system and admissions process, blocked the...
The Black Panthers Revisited
RON JACOBS
If a single date can be assigned to an historical event that developed over the course of a decade, then October 15, 1966 would be the date given as the day that the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was formed by two young men in Oakland, California. Bobby Sea...
A Tribute to August Wilson
DAVE ZIRIN
Sometimes an artist dies who has burrowed so deeply into our consciousness, we feel more than a tangible sense of loss; we feel pain. I felt this way when Miles Davis died. I felt this way when Sarah Vaughn died. I felt this way when comedian Bill Hicks died. And ...
Why Cindy Sheehan Matters
JEFF BIRKENSTEIN
"I mean [the Iraq war] is bad and I want it over, but . . . I mean you just have to ignore [the protestors]." -as explained to me by a woman, in town to support Bush’s second inauguration, over Subway sandwiches in the food...
The Constitution or President Bush?
BRENDAN SMITH And JEREMY BRECHER
If Hariet Miers’ appointment to the Supreme Court is confirmed, she will take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States "against all enemies, foreign and domestic." But if it comes to a conflict between the Constitution an...
Miller, Libby and the June Notes
GARY LEUPP
On May 6, 2003, just days after President Bush had triumphantly declared the Iraq invasion based on lies "Mission Accomplished," Nicholas Kristof published an article in the New York Times revealing that a key lie—the now-infamous allegation that S...
Mr. Bush Goes to Tikrit (Sort Of)
JEREMY SCAHILL
Just when you think that President Bush couldn’t out-Saddam Saddam any more, he goes and does something that proves you wrong. If any Iraqis caught the hilarious videoconference today between Bush at the White House and troops from the 42nd Infantry Division...
America’s Endangered Forests
MATTHEW KOEHLER
Today, the National Forest Protection Alliance – a network of 135 organizations from around the country – released its third biennial report listing twelve of the country’s most endangered national forests. It could easily be argued that e...
The Curious Case of Russ Feingold
ANIS MEMON
The recent Senate confirmation hearings on John Roberts once again, and with perhaps more urgency, brought attention to Russ Feingold’s iconoclastic voting record. Feingold had previously voted to approve John Ashcroft as Attorney General in 2001. At that ti...