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 2006
The Nation is Locked in a Spousal Abuse Relationship
Dr. CAROL WOLMAN, MD
"We the people" have been and are being badly abused by the Bush administration. We’ve been disenfranchised by Diebold, a major Bush donor. Our Congress, our elected Representatives, have been corrupted, intimidated into going along with shredding ...
A Nation Soaked in Blood Tears Itself Apart
PATRICK COCKBURN
The history of Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has been full of fake turning-points–the capture of Saddam in 2003, the supposed handover of sovereignty to Iraqis in 2004, the parliamentary elections and referendum in 2005. All these events were gr...
Executing Saddam, Protecting the Rackets
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
What does the execution of Saddam Hussein mean to the public? What has the execution of captured national leaders meant in the past? Vercingetorix was the leader of the Celtic revolt against Roman rule in Gaul. He was taken captive by Julius Caesar a...
Injustice in Black and White
MICHAEL DONNELLY
"One would wonder why one needs an attorney if one was not charged and had not done anything wrong." – Michael B. Nifong, Durham, NC prosecutor This part is true: on March 13, 2006, the nationally second-rank...
Bush’s MLK Day Speech, 2007
DICK J. REAVIS
Atlanta, January 15, 2007 President George W. Bush revealed Monday that in his recent review of strategy options for the war in Iraq, he turned for inspiration not only to the Bible, but to the writings and speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr....
The Sigh of the Oppressed
RON JACOBS
As mostly secular people, it is often hard to get around the religious nature of the resistance groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and elsewhere in the so-called Muslim world. But, religion is a very real aspect of human existence, so we have to appreciate that an...
Hanging With Saddam
DOUGLAS VALENTINE
My qi gong master tells me not to think about these things. Of course, Shi Fu tells me not to think about anything too much. So, I tried not to think about it. I tried not to read the newspapers or listen to TV; the slew of government communiqués put...
The War on Terror Hits Africa
NICK DEARDEN
"The president is not going to allow Somalia to become a safe haven for terrorists." US spokesperson, May 2006 Once again the Horn of Africa is being drawn into a global power game likely to increase the suffering ...
Saddam at the End of a Rope
TARIQ ALI
It was symbolic that 2006 ended with a colonial hanging— most of it (bar the last moments) shown on state television in occupied Iraq. It has been that sort of year in the Arab world. After a trial so blatantly rigged that even Human Rights Watch—the l...
Comes Now the Ghost of "Decrim"
FRED GARDNER
Along with the man who pardoned Nixon, a man who disappointed Nixon left us this month: Raymond Shafer, a former Republican governor of Pennsylvania appointed in 1971 to lead a bipartisan "Presidential Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse." (Such a com...
An Act of Contrition
ANDREW WIMMER
And so, Saddam Hussein hangs, writes Robert Fisk, "on the very eve of the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, the moment of greatest forgiveness in the Arab world." The execution of a dictator, orchestrated by the occupying power. But what about our...
Listening to James Brown and His Followers
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
James Brown: Live at the Apollo (Polydor) JB in Harlem, 1962: Rock musi...
Can You Imagine the Long War for Iraqis?
BERT SACKS
"Can you imagine …" With these words, Israeli author Amos Oz offers the beginning of an answer to his query, "...
The Third Degree
ELIZABETH WEILL-GREENBERG
What always horrifies me is, as Hannah Arendt phrased it, the utter banality of evil. Every generation’s atrocity has the pencil pushers who work, somehow, in the business of murder, torture and degradation. While they literally don’t get their hands d...
The Prospects for Progressive Politics
RALPH NADER
San Francisco. It was a packed house at the historic old Roxie Theatre in this city’s Mission District. A diverse group of citizens gathered here between Christmas and the New Year to listen and discuss the prospects of progressive politics following ...
In Harm’s Way
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
In harm’s way. This phrase originated with John Paul Jones in 1778 when, during the Revolutionary War, he wrote, ‘I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail FAST; for I intend to go in harm’s way.’ In harm’s ...
New Year’s Resolutions for Big Pharma
MARTHA ROSENBERG
It was another year of fighting black boxes, sweet talking juries and burying incriminating clinical data for Big Pharma. But before its reputation is completely gone–How many pharmaceutical salesmen does it take to change a light bulb? It doesn’...
Dying for Our Sins
PAUL WOLF
Today is the first day of the Eid al adha, or Feast of Sacrifice. Celebrated by Muslims worldwide, it’s a major holiday like Christmas or Hanukkah, commemorating the willingness of the Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael to God. In Islam, God stoppe...
Defend Illegal Immigrants
DAN La BOTZ
What would the great religions have us do? What would the abolitionists have done? What would the best traditions of the labor movement suggest? How would a humanitarian of any sort react? There can be only one answer: defend the illegal immigrants. I don&...
The New Dark Age
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In her historical mystery, "The Daughter of Time," Josephine Tey (a pen name of Elizabeth MacKintosh), has Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant, while confined to his hospital bed, solve the 15th century murder of the two York princes in the Tower of Londo...
Who Owns Ikea?
OLIVIER BAILLY, JEAN-MARC CAUDRON And DENIS LAMBERT
Ikea is not quoted on any stock exchange. There is no way of knowing who really owns the Ikea idea, and still less of obtaining a consolidated balance sheet or a breakdown of investments. It seems that the Stichting Ingka Foundation in the Netherlands owns the lim...
Did Sharon Order the Assassination of Arafat?
STEPHEN LENDMAN
Longtime and now recently deceased confidant to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Uri Dan, published a book in France that may have been his 2006 one titled Ariel Sharon: An Intimate Portrait in which he accused the former prime minister of assassinating...
The New Iraq Policy: Escalation
BRIAN M. DOWNING
Ever since the November elections and the Iraq Study Group report, both widely seen as rebukes of the present war policy, there has been expectation of a new course in Iraq. A new policy, part of which has been dubbed a "surge," is expected in January. C...
Ahoy 2007! It Just Could Be Bobby Byrd’s Year
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
No task is more important for any newspaper than to impart the news convincingly to the people and their government that a war is lost or futile or wrong.. The failure of America’s major newspapers in 2005 and 2006 to disclose the U.S.’s defeat in Iraq...
The Dershowitz Treatment
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
Jimmy Carter’s book plainly threatens to ignite a serious mainstream discussion of the Israel-Palestine conflict. To avert such a disaster he just as plainly must be reduced to ridicule and the debate turned into a circus. Enter Alan Dershowitz. Afte...
The Re-Talibanization of Afghanistan
ABID MUSTAFA
Lately, relations between Kabul and Islamabad have taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Hamid Karzai has accused Pakistan of spurring the Taliban to carry out attacks against his fledgling government and the NATO troops that defend it. He is not alone in holding P...
Stand Up for Herod!
URI COHEN
King Herod the Great, who ruled Palestine from 37 to 4 BC, is vilified by both Jewish and Christian traditions. Like more recent Palestinian leaders, King Herod enjoyed relative autonomy under the menacing shadow of the world’s most powerful empire and its b...
A Tale of Two Sisters
BILL QUIGLEY
Gloria Williams and her twin sister Bobbie Jennings are 60 years old.They are two of the over 4000 families who lived in public housing in New Orleans before Katrina struck who are still locked out of their apartments since Katrina. Their apartments are two of 453...
The Secrets in Ikea’s Closet
OLIVIER BAILLY, JEAN-MARC CAUDRON And DENIS LAMBERT
Ikea, the home furnishing multinational, with 410 million customers worldwide and 160mg catalogues in circulation (more than copies of the Bible), is doing fine. Its revenues continue upwards, from $4.3bn in 1994 to $19.4bn in 2005, more than 400% growth. It would...
World Responds to Palestinian Family’s Jailing Despite Media Blackout
GREG MOSES
After a hectic day of child care and phone calls, Ahmad Ibrahim decided not to attempt a San Antonio protest Friday. "I am very thankful for the support," said Ibrahim in a late-night email Thursday. "And I hope when this nightmare is over, t...
Curb Your Environmentalism
JOHN BOROWSKI
Several weeks ago I was contacted by Laurie David and her surrogates at the Natural Resources Defense Council regarding the National Science Teachers Association’s (NSTA) refusal to distribute 50,000 free "An Inconvenient Truth" DVDs on climate cha...
Washington and Miami’s Favorite Terrorist
BRITTANY BOND
"One who shelters a terrorist, is a terrorist" –President George W. Bush The upcoming immigration hearing for Luis Posada Carriles, the 78 year-old felon who is a self-confessed co-conspirator responsible for...
Highway Robbery
ANTHONY COWELL
Governor Jon Corzine intends to sell New Jersey’s toll roads to private investors for $10 billion. Selling or leasing publicly owned toll roads degrades our public and financial security. Toll road takeovers led by Goldman Sachs, where Governor Corzine was t...
I’m Going to Stay Right Here
HILARIA CRUZ
Introductory Note: On December 11, 2006, CounterPunch published a letter from Bernardo Ruiz, an actor whose latest role is that of Four Drunkards in the film Apocalypto. The letter was a request for people to contact Me...
A Year of Unprecedented Turmoil
JOHN ROSS
After a tumultuous year in which the red and black flags of civil insurrection unfurled on the barricades and the rancor of "los de abajo" ("those from below") took fire, newly sworn-in president Felipe Calderon and his transnational backers ar...
The Ludicrous Attacks on Jimmy Carter’s Book
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
As Jimmy Carter’s new book Palestine Peace Not Apartheid climbs the bestseller list, ...
Palestinian Immigrant Jailings in Texas
GREG MOSES
The brother of a jailed Palestinian man whose children and pregnant wife are being held in a Texas jail says he will stage a small protest with his 3-year-old niece Friday morning outside the San Antonio offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at 8940...
Farewell to Our Greatest President
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
We bid a sad adieu to Gerald Ford. Here at CounterPunch it has always been our position that Gerald Ford was America’s greatest President. Transferring the Hippocratic injunction from the medical to the political realm, he did the least possible harm. Under ...
Journey to Vietnam
MICHAEL ORTIZ HILL
How to speak of Vietnam–merely two weeks back and still its radiance lingers. I can begin with the relentlessness preparation; my legs begin giving away with multiple sclerosis and the artificial transgressive mania of steroid "therapy." Se...
Why Hope?
MARK SCHNEIDER
Imagine if you and four activists boldly entered a military base, severely damaged a U.S. warplane on its way to kill and maim, were arrested and then three years later a jury of your peers acquitted you of all charges. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Certainly hop...
Is There a Sunni Majority in Iraq?
FARUQ ZIADA
The United States based its policy on Iraq on two primary so-called facts: 1. The Sunnis are a 20 % minority. 2. The Sunni minority and Saddam Hussein ruled the Shiite majority in Iraq. Thus, the U.S. Iraq policy &#...
Saving Caracas
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
Venezuela was hardly the foremost topic on my mind when I recently traveled to Venice, Italy. All throughout the fall, I had been writing articles about political developments in South America and promoting my book, ...
Why Hope?
MARK SCHNEIDER
Imagine if you and four activists boldly entered a military base, severely damaged a U.S. warplane on its way to kill and maim, were arrested and then three years later a jury of your peers acquitted you of all charges. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Certainly hop...
Burning EPA’s Books
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Science is not as intimidating as it first appears. Anyone can do it. It is important, however, that when done by scientists it be properly vetted by amateurs. And it is important that ordinary people don’t have too much information since it will simply conf...
Why Santa Was Hot in China This Year
REZA FIYOUZAT
Beijing Foreign residents who have been living in Beijing for more than a few years know (and would tell you) that Christmas has really arrived this year. And it certainly looked like it did; it has been everywhere. And not just in fancy department stores o...
The Golem Lives
RON JACOBS
Marc Estrin is the author of the highly praised novel Insect Dreams and ...
Cowboys Differ on Iran Attack
GARY LEUPP
The reaction to the Iraq Study Group (ISG) report suggests that a showdown is shaping up within the U.S. power elite between two different sets of cowboys. On the one hand, there are the George W. Bush cowboys who want to expand their conquests from Afghanistan an...
Chile: the Ghosts of Torture
TITO TRICOT
The night became darker that precise moment when the room exploded into a thousand sparks that burnt your flesh, making your bones and your fragile certainties shudder. For being there, naked and blindfolded, at their mercy, there were neither smiles nor turquoise...
James Brown: Please Don’t Go
PETER STONE BROWN
Late last night, or more accurately early this morning doing my final email check, I noticed the headline: "James Brown hospitalized with pneumonia." I immediately had a sinking feeling, but reading the article it didn’t seem all that serious. As i...
Dershowitz vs. Carter in Beantown
JOHN V. WALSH
"Jimmy Carter is to be congratulated for not having demeaned himself by debating Alan Dershowitz." William M. Bulger, former president of the Mass. State Senate and University of Mass. (Full text of Bulger’s one-sentence Lett...