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 2005
Busharon
GEORGE BISHARAT
A word is missing from our current political lexicon. We need a term that describes the creature that is emerging out of the pool of resources being formed by the U.S. and Israel–especially under the twin administrations of George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon. I...
Thank You, Richard Pryor
SETH SANDRONSKY
As a high school student, I began listening to the brilliant comedian Richard Pryor. His recent passing reminds me of how he shaped my political consciousness. With wisdom and wit, Pryor spoke to individual and social relations in the U.S. His special focus...
My Husband is at the Gates of Gitmo
JESSICA STEWART
Twenty-five U.S. citizens, calling themselves Witness Against Torture, are demonstrating, fasting and praying at the gates of the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. They marched across Cuba to get to the prison. One of them is my husband, Danny Burns. Danny an...
Killing Tookie Williams
NATE MEZMER
If Stan Tookie Williams is executed tomorrow who will feel the negative effects? Most of those who support his state sponsored murder do not live in war torn regions of the Golden State of California. Thus it is difficult for these privileged people to understand ...
The Defenders of Torture
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The spectacle of an American Secretary of State being sent to Europe to reassure America’s allies that the US does not torture prisoners has brought an end to America’s moral grandeur. America stands revealed before the world as just another unaccounta...
My Bethlehem Experience
ALISON WEIR
Last night at something called "The Bethlehem Experience", a local church’s reenactment of Be...
Busharon
GEORGE BISHARAT
A word is missing from our current political lexicon. We need a term that describes the creature that is emerging out of the pool of resources being formed by the U.S. and Israel–especially under the twin administrations of George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon. I...
Thank You, Richard Pryor
SETH SANDRONSKY
As a high school student, I began listening to the brilliant comedian Richard Pryor. His recent passing reminds me of how he shaped my political consciousness. With wisdom and wit, Pryor spoke to individual and social relations in the U.S. His special focus...
Richard Pryor Wasn’t Crazy
EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON
Only twice can I remember an entertainer agitating audience members to the point that they stormed out of a performance or sat stone silent. Richard Pryor was that entertainer. The first time he did it was at a concert I attended on New Year’s Eve at a small...
George the Disconnected
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
George Bush’s recent speech was a microcosm of much that is wrong in his being President. Among the things wrong were: the setting, with its huge public relations pronouncements — big posters or banners containing the cornball P.R. proclamation "P...
A Kayak Journey to Vancouver Island’s Wildest Forest
INGMAR LEE
There are some things to look out for to know if a logging road is ‘active’ or not while cruising the backroads of Vancouver Island. Huge, freshly compacted tire tracks with wet streaks from water jets spraying red-hot brake drums on the downhills, and...
Not Even to Save Our Lives
MIKE FERNER
On a Thanksgiving visit home two years ago to his family in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Jim Loney tried to explain to his father why he wanted to go to Iraq with Christian Peacemaker Teams. He told his Dad about a grade school chum, Rick, sent to Afghanistan with t...
The Condemned of Nablus
SAUL LANDAU
and FARRAH HASSEN "I was depressed," said the comic. "I didn’t have the energy to commit suicide. So, I started dating." Like most good jokes, this one hides a tragic insight. If only Said and Khaled h...
The Widening Wasteland of the American Media
RALPH NADER
There are times when unchallenged commercial greed morphs into institutional insanity. I am referring to the overall advertising-saturated, trivialized performance of the media conglomerates’ utilization of our public airwaves 24 hours a day and their domina...
Bushlandia in Black and White
JOHN ROSS
On the first night of my annual autumn foray into North America to poison the minds of budding journalists and sample the first fruits of the Near North Woods’ cannabis harvest, I invested my senior citizens’ discount in a viewing of "Goodnight an...
Cheney and Rice in Hot Water
RAY McGOVERN
former CIA analyst European reaction to visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s statements on torture can be summed up in lead commentary Wednesday in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, among the most widely respected German newspapers. Under the title &qu...
Grandstanding in the Theater of the Absurd
LINDA S. HEARD
Saddam has boycotted his trial after telling the judge to "go to hell". He says the proceedings are nothing more than a US-staged sham with a pre-determined outcome. Does the outburst represent the petulant ramblings of an emotionally infantile defendant...
The Ashes of Waco
DICK J. REAVIS
Ten years and nine months ago, the United States scored a victory in a brief war against a now-nearly-forgotten tyrant in a biblical locale. Our enemy of was a dictator, officialdom claimed, who threatened his followers, his neighbors and the United States. Accord...
Trapped at the Gates of the European Union
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
War, violence, and poverty have uprooted millions of Africans in recent years. Driven from their places of birth, like nomads, they wander around the world, cross multiple borders, and search for a place they can settle and escape their dire conditions at home. At...
CounterPunch Play List
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
1. Gang of Four — Return the Gift (V2) The best of the post-Clash...
The Philly Media and Mumia Abu-Jamal
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
Let’s try to figure this one outshall we Four of America’s largest news organizations recently carried reports about a major new development in the biggest murder case in Philadelphia’s history yet Philly’s two largest newspapers tre...
Abortion and the Bush Court
ELIZABETH SCHULTE
The future of women’s right to a safe, legal abortion is on the chopping block as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on a New Hampshire parental notification law. On November 30, the Court–led by Bush crony and new Chief Justice John Robert...
Torture and White Phosphorous
JOHN CHUCKMAN
"The captured terrorists of the 21st century do not fit easily into traditional systems of criminal or military justice, which were designed for different needs. We have to adapt." Condoleezza Rice I’ve pr...
The Winter in Delhi, 1984
ASEEM SHRIVASTAVA
"I felt like a refugee in my own country. In fact, I felt like a Jew in Nazi Germany." - Khushwant Singh I write these lines on October 31, 2005. It is exactly 21 years to the day since Mrs. Indira Gan...
US Seen as the Great Violator of Global Human Rights
BILL CHRISTISON
former CIA analyst The task was to talk for three minutes — not one second more — on the grounds of the New Mexico State Capitol building (commonly known as the Roundhouse) on December 10, 2005. The occasion was a Peace-with-Justice Ra...
Murder in Jerusalem
NEVE GORDON And YIGAL BRONNER
A short article posted on the Web site of Israel’s most popular newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, described the killing of a Jerusalem resident. According to the article, the man, a young father of two, was shot down by police after he tried to run over one of the...
The Nip-and-Tuck War
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt its spiritual level to the perception of the least intelligent of those towards whom it intends to direct itself. A. Hitler, Mein Kampf Facts need friends. With the right kin...
Madeleine Albright and US Foreign Policy
JOHN RYAN
After all these years one would hope that Madeleine Albright, that baleful specter who haunted us almost as destructively as the current crop of malevolent functionaries, would have the decency to disappear, but no such luck. She continues to get a series of honor...
All the News That’s Fit to Buy
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
The Bush era has brought a robust simplicity to the business of news management: where possible, buy journalists to turn out favorable stories and, as far as hostiles are concerned, if you think you can get away with it, shoot them or blow them up. As with ...
War: What Is It Good For?
BEN TRIPP
Waging war is when you send your kids to kill someone else’s babies. It is nothing more noble than that, and all the good reasons in the world won’t differentiate your war from Hitler’s, or Napoleon’s, or Genghis Khan’s, or CaesarR...
Murtha Returns to the Attack
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
On the heels of the second in Bush’s series of four speeches on the war in Iraq, Rep John Murtha returned to the attack in a press conference, responding to Bush’s claims. Armed with graphs, bar charts and intimate knowledge of what is actually happeni...
Meet Rahm Emmanuel, the Democrats’ New Gatekeeper
ANDREW COCKBURN
WASHINGTON D.C. At a recent meeting of House Republicans, members ruminating on the disastrous state of their party reportedly murmured with gloomy jocularity about the administration of "President Hastert". A CounterPuncher familiar with the pro...
Blair Tries to Cover Up $1.3 Billion Iraqi Theft
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. The British government is trying to stall an investigation into the theft of more than $1.3bn (£740m) from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, senior Iraqi officials say. The government wants to postpone the investigation to help its favore...
Shooting the Mentally Ill
LILA RAJIVA
Forty-four year old Rigoberto Alpizar, an American citizen born in Costa Rica was killed by federal air marshals on Wednesday as he fled an American Airlines jet at Miami International Airport. Federal officials claim he threatened that he had a bomb and the shoot...
Rove Running Out of Answers, Time
JASON LEOPOLD
The attorney representing Karl Rove in the federal investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson has made a desperate attempt to ensure President Bush’s deputy chief of staff does not become the subject of a criminal indictment. ...
White House Liars on the Defensive
GARY LEUPP
In those heady months building up to the War-Based-on-Lies, New York Times columnist Ron Suskind made some remarks about then-White House Communications Director Karen Hughes. These bothered the administration. So a senior official (Karl Rove?) took Suskind to tas...
On Seeing Wesley Baker Die
DAVE ZIRIN And MIKE STARK
No, we weren’t in the room. We didn’t see the technicians spread and shackle his arms. We didn’t see the priest lightly graze Wesley’s cheek and whisper in his ear. We didn’t hear his "five or six rasping breaths" before his...
So These are the Democrats?
BRUCE K. GAGNON
Hillary Clinton wants to be president so badly that she is now wrapping herself in the flag. It was reported this week that she will now be co-sponsoring a bill in the Senate with Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah), who is one of the very worst right-wing reactionary folks...
Roots of Gitmo Torture Lie Close to Home
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
The group of American peace activists now walking across southeastern Cuba in route to stage an anti-torture demonstration at the infamous US Guantanamo Bay prison are receiving applause from activists involved in the fight against torture inside US state and fede...
Questionable Assumptions
WILLIAM S. LIND
At the end of November, the Bush administration issued a 35-page document titled, "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." The new white paper does not represent a change of strategy: it says at the outset, "The following document articulates the br...
Space Weapons and the Risk of Accidental Nuclear War
THOMAS GRAHAM, Jr.
The United States and Russia maintain thousands of nuclear warheads on long-range ballistic missiles on 15-minute alert. Once launched, they cannot be recalled, and they will strike their targets in roughly 30 minutes. Fifteen years after the end of the Cold War, ...
Chavez Wins, Bush Loses (Again)! Now What?
JAMES PETRAS
The Venezuelan congressional elections of December 4, 2005 mark a turning point in domestic politics and US-Venezuelan relations. President Chavez’s party, the Movement of the Fifth Republic, won approximately 68 per cent of the congressional seats and with ...
The Lost John Lennon Interview
TARIQ ALI
and ROBIN BLACKBURN Editors’ Note: It was twenty-five years ago today that John Lennon was murdered outside the Dakota building on Central Park West in New York City. We doubt many CounterPunchers have read the following 1971 interview with...
Blessed are the Mericful in Baghdad
KATHY KELLY
In January of 2004, two Palestinian college students visited me in Amman, Jordan, the evening before our small Voices in the Wilderness team traveled to Baghdad. "Please, if you can, help our friends," they pleaded. "They have been in the Bucca comp...
Rumsfeld’s Handshake Deal with Saddam
NORMAN SOLOMON
Christmas came 11 days early for Donald Rumsfeld two years ago when the news broke that American forces had pulled Saddam Hussein from a spidery hole. During interviews about the capture, on CBS and ABC, the Pentagon’s top man was upbeat. And he didn’t...
The Immigrant Basher-in-Chief
JUSTIN AKERS
Flanked by two black surveillance helicopters and a handpicked crew of stone-faced border agents, George Bush vowed to stop undocumented workers. "We want to make clear that when people violate our immigration laws, they are going to be sent home–and th...
Mexico’s Ill-Conceived Push for Free Trade
LAURA CARLSEN
From the Latin American summit in Mar del Plata, Argentina to the forum of Pacific Rim countries in Busan, South Korea, President Vicente Fox is a man with a mission. His mission: to promote the U.S. model of free trade, as embodied in the North American Free Trad...
How the ACLU Didn’t Steal Christmas
FRAN QUIGLEY
When the angry phone calls and e-mails started arriving at the office, I knew the holiday season was upon us. A typical message shouted that we at the American Civil Liberties Union affiliate in Indiana are "horrible" and "we should be ashamed of ou...
Rendition, Torture and Democracy
WILLIAM W. MORGAN
What are the chances that Rice and the current National Security Advisor don’t know about the secret CIA flights and the torture of prisoners? Almost zero. This makes both guilty of concealing a crime. What are the chances that the current inte...
Dershowitz versus Chomsky
JOHN RYAN
I have just watched the Chomsky-Dershowitz debate. I’m not entirely sure how debates are judged or graded, but unless one is blinded by Zionist/pro-Israel bias, there’s no question that Chomsky scored a decisive victory–on a number of counts....