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 March 2006
Howard Dean’s Plea for Advice
RALPH NADER
I just received a letter from Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, describing me as a "Democratic Leader" and "an active and engaged member of our Party in your community." He asks for my "opinions" which "...
Death Squads on the Prowl; Iraq Convulsed by Fear
PATRICK COCKBURN
Irbil, Iraq. Iraq is a country convulsed by fear. It is at its worst in Baghdad. Sectarian killings are commonplace. In the three days after the bombing of the Shia shrine in Samarra on February 22 , some 1,300 people, mostly Sunni, were picked up on the st...
AP Erases Video of Israeli Soldier Shooting Palestinian Boy
ALISON WEIR
"The trend toward secrecy is the greatest threat to democracy." - Associated Press CEO, in a speech about the importance of openness "The official response is we decline to respond.&q...
The War on Kids
FRED GARDNER
In a series of raids March 16 the DEA took down several East Bay facilities -indoor grow sites and kitchens- at which cannabis-laced candies and sodas were produced for distribution through dispensaries. Twelve people were arrested, including the alleged honcho, K...
"Where Do We Get Such Men?"
WERTHER
The question posed in our title rings historical and true, and nine out of ten readers might surmise it refers to the Marines at Khe Sanh, or perhaps the boys of Pointe du Hoc, or possibly the lost battalion almost 90 summers ago in the fields of France. ...
Free Speech in the Classroom
JULIE HILDEN
So far, this year has been tumultuous for Jay Bennish, who teaches social studies at a public school in Aurora, Colorado. On February 1, the day after President Bush delivered the State of the Union, Bennish commented to his World Geography class that Bush...
Kurds Destroy Monument to Victims of Saddams’ Poison Gas Massacre
PATRICK COCKBURN
Halabja, Iraq. Smoke was still rising from the burnt-out monument on the outskirts of the Kurdish town of Halabja yesterday where 18 years ago some 5,000 people were killed in a poison gas attack. Enraged by what they see as official neglect of the s...
General Insanity
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
"I wouldn’t put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say [things in Iraq are] going very, very well from everything you look at." General Peter Pace, America’s most senior military officer, March 5, 2006....
Iraq Vets and Post-Tramatic Stress Disorder
S. BRIAN WILLSON
I was flabbergasted to read Sally Satel’s March 1, 2006 New York Times Op-Ed, "For Some, the War Won’t End," describing the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as creation of a suspicious "culture of trauma" providing...
What I’m Listening to This Week
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch Eric Dolphy may have been post-bop jazzR...
Where’s the Resistance Here on the Home Front?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR Three years into the war in Iraq and now about two out of three Americans are against it, as against about one out of fifty elected politicians. In Iraq 2,315 Americans have died, and 17,100 wounded, many of them with limbs lost, some fac...
Challenging Disparity
LAURA CARLSEN
The following is the text version of a presentation to the plenary of the Latin America track of Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington DC, March 11, 2006. I’ve been asked to speak on the Global Good Neighbor initiative and ...
General Insanity
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
"I wouldn’t put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say [things in Iraq are] going very, very well from everything you look at." General Peter Pace, America’s most senior military officer, March 5, 2006....
Life in the Shadows of the Empire
EAMON MARTIN
"It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings." Sandra Day O’Connor, March 9, 2006 I help publish a small, nonprofit, i...
House Katrina Aid Package
CHRIS KROMM
Last week, by a vote of 348-71, the House passed a bill to provide $19.1 billion for cleanup and rebuilding of the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. H.R. 4939, "The Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on ...
Abortion Politics and Animus Toward Women
ELAINE CASSEL
Last week, the governor of South Dakota — a state with only one abortion facility and the fewest abortions in the country — signed a law banning all abortions except when the life of the mother (or serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairmen...
The Bush Doctrine of Nuclear Preemption
GREG MOSES
As our ears prick to the drumbeat of Bush v. Iran, a highly respected researcher from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) warns that Washington is edging toward a policy of nuclear preemption, and Teheran knows it. Although the post 9/11 doctrine of...
Ismail Haniyeh: "I Never Sent Anyone on a Suicide Mission"
AMIRA HASS
Hamas leader and Palestinian prime minister-designate Ismail Haniyeh told a U.S. television station Thursday that he has never personally ordered a terrorist action against Israel and that he hopes to ultimately reach a peace deal with Israel. `I`ve never s...
Abracadabra
EDUARDO GALEANO
(On March 14, novelist EDUARDO GALEANO spoke to the gathering of thousands in Montevideo to bury the remains of the first recovered "desaparecidos" (disappeared) victims of the Bordaberry dictatorship. The "progressive" (neolibera...
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is Dying
RICHARD FALK And DAVID KRIEGER
For several decades now the world has been living with the illusion that the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) established a functioning treaty regime that has spared the world from nuclear danger. It is an illusion partly because three nuclear weapons aspirants (Isr...
Philippines: the Killing Fields of Asia
JAMES PETRAS
and ROBIN EASTMAN-ABAYA Since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo joined the US global "War on Terrorism", the Philippines has become the site of an on-going undeclared war against peasant and union activists, progressive political dissidents and lawm...
Reasons to March
MIKE MARQUSEE
Three years ago, at one of the huge demonstrations that preceded the invasion of Iraq, I ran into a 16-year-old friend, visibly excited by the size of the crowd and the sense of common purpose. "They can’t go to war now, can they?" he said, "N...
Three Ways to Remember Rachel
CINDY And CRAIG CORRIE
On the third anniversary of Rachel’s killing in Gaza, here are three things that we urge you to consider doing today, or as soon as possible: 1) From New York: "The "Rachel’s Words" initiative is made up of a broad spectrum of g...
War-Loving Pundits
NORMAN SOLOMON
The third anniversary of the Iraq invasion is bound to attract a lot of media coverage, but scant recognition will go to the pundits who helped to make it all possible. Continuing with long service to the Bush administration’s agenda-setting for war, ...
Dangerous-to-Society Women
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Abu Ghraib it wasn’t. But it was dismal. Lockup isn’t supposed to be fun, but we are innocent until proven guilty. Right? I was arrested with Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin, and Rev. Patti Ackerman last week as we attempted to deliver to t...
President Ken Doll
LUCINDA MARSHALL
President Bush used the occasion of International Women’s Day to tout his administration’s commitment to women. He spoke in glowing terms of how bringing democracy to the Middle East had improved the lives of women in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both the Pre...
Anne Braden’s Tireless War on Racism
HEATHER GRAY
In less then a year, we in the South have lost three giants in the civil rights movement who knew each other and whose life’s work intersected. First we lost Rosa Parks in October 2005, then Coretta Scott King in January 2006, and on March 6, 2006 the incomp...
Neoliberalism at the Garden Gate
TOM PHILPOTT
The fate of LA’s South Central Community Farm, the nation’s largest community garden, hinges on a dubious back-room deal between a developer and an ambitious city attorney. According to the Los Angeles Times, though, it’s all pretty straight-forw...
Rep. Joe Barton’s Strange War on CITGO
ANDREW BOSWORTH
There is a mad dog Texas Congressman, Joe Barton, who does not like Venezuela’s CITGO providing discount gas to America’s poor. Joe Barton is Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and he is demanding that Felix Rodriguez (President of CITGO...
President Bush Must Be Held Accountable for His Illegal Domestic Spying Program
Sen. RUSSELL FEINGOLD
As Congress heads into a weeklong recess, I hope members of the Senate have a chance to listen to their constituents back home. All Americans want to fight terrorism and protect our country from those who wish to do us harm, but they don’t want to sacrifice ...
Playing Two Different Games
AMIRA HASS
The Palestinians are busy forming a government. It is too early to say how the events in Jericho will affect its composition, but what in the past was an internal game of musical chairs among Fatah and its satellites–a competition over personal prestige and ...
Feds Schedule $385 Million Concentration Camp To Be Built By Halliburton Subsidiary
CLANCY SIGAL
I am not one of the "Hitler is here!" crowd. From personal experience of federal-and-local harassment, threats of jail, being run off the road by J. Edgar’s hotrodders, blacklisting from jobs and a long look at my FBI file, where I’m listed a...
How Many Brinks to Pass?
MISSYCOMLEY BEATTIE
My dictionary defines ‘brink’ as ‘the point at which something, typically an unwelcome or disastrous event, is about to happen.’ Seems we’ve left the brink behind and moved into those disasters many times under the leadership o...
Israel’s Raid on the Jericho Jail
JONATHAN COOK
In the looking-glass world of Middle East politics, it is easy to forget that Ahmad Saadat, the imprisoned Palestinian leader Israel summarily arrested in Jericho late on Tuesday, is wanted for masterminding the killing of the Jewish state’s most notorious r...
Widening Minority Wealth Gap
JARED BERNSTEIN
Recently released data from the Federal Reserve provide a stark reminder of the extent of racial and ethnic economic gaps in our economy, particularly regarding wealth. The Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances allows us to compare both income and net wor...
Paying for the Iraq with Supplement Funding
WINSLOW WHEELER
When America invaded Iraq in March 2003, Congress had not yet appropriated a single penny of the costs of that military operation. Instead, Congress waited for President George Bush to submit a request for "supplemental" appropriations. That first reques...
Latin America and Asia Breaking Free of Washington’s Grip
NOAM CHOMSKY
The prospect that Europe and Asia might move towards greater independence has troubled US planners since the second world war. The concerns have only risen as the "tripolar order"–Europe, North America and Asia–has continued to evolve. ...
New Tenants for Abu Ghraib?
RON JACOBS
Remember those big headlines last week about Abu Ghraib? According to the media splash, the US was preparing to close those notorious chambers within three months. That would mean by June 2006. Well, guess what? Those stories were just another piece of disinformat...
Sharon’s Stroke
DIANE CHRISTIAN
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke reminds us that even the big man with nuclear power and US backing is mortal. Despite his fierceness, stride, and canniness, he cannot transcend his bleeding brain. Whether Sharon is the man of peace Bush and Clin...
No Requiem for a Black Conservative
EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON
In a tear jerk moment toward the end of Claude Allen’s abortive Senate confirmation hearing in 2003, Utah Senator Orin Hatch tossed a puffball question at him. He asked what his grandfather who was the first in his family born out slavery would say to him ab...
The Economics of Outsourcing
THOMAS PALLEY
Outsourcing is a central element of globalization, and policymakers need to understand its economic basis if they are to develop effective policy responses. The practice of outsourcing should be understood as a new form of competition, and responding to it calls f...
Counting the Dead in Iraq
TODD CHRETIEN
Well over a year ago Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health released a report documenting 100,000 Iraqi dead as a consequence of the US invasion and occupation. At the time, they did not include the thousands of deaths in Falluja as part of their study be...
Did Milosevic or His Accusers "Cheat Justice"? The Show Trial That Went Wrong
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
"It’s hard not to feel that by dying in his cell, Slobodan Milosevic finally succeeded in his determined effort to cheat justice." Thus the opening sentence of a New York Times editorial, Tuesday March 14. The editorial cited without comment...
Why the Gitmo Tribunals are a Bad Idea
DAVE LINDORFF
The Justice Department’s vile and underhanded attempt to rig the penalty-phase trial of Zacarias Moussaoui and nail him with a death penalty is Exhibit A for why Bush and Rumsfeld should not be allowed to handle the Guantanamo detainee and other detainee cas...
Canada in Afghanistan
JASON KUNIN
Has nobody questioned whether Canada’s Prime Minister should be making "surprise" trips to Afghanistan? Since when are foreign policy decisions in a democratic country conducted in secrecy and revealed as surprises, like sexy underwear or chocolate...
Divide and Rule Goes Awry in Iraq
KEVIN ZEESE
Inherent in the policy of Iraqization is the traditional strategy of an occupier–divide and rule–as it means some Iraqi collaborators will be put in the employ of the occupier in an effort to control other Iraqis. Thus, Iraqization naturally means turn...
The Missing Word
URI AVNERY
In English, a "four-letter word" is a rude expletive. It is a vulgar description of a sexual act or organ, and an educated person will not use it. Now it appears that in the Hebrew language, too, there is a four-letter word, which a decent person ...
Hungering for Justice During My First Congressional Testimony
MIKE FERNER
Last Wednesday evening, the House Appropriations Committee voted to throw another $67,000,000,000 at the murderous work in Iraq and Afghanistan. That night members of the committee, righteously indignant and nearly unanimous, gave President "Bring Em On"...
Was Serbia a Practice Run for Iraq?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
On March 11, the former Serbian leader and president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, died in his prison cell at the Hague, where he had been on trial for four years and one month for war crimes and genocide. The Serbian Socialist Party leader Zoran Andelkovic r...
South Dakota’s Taliban
MIKE WHITNEY
In America, women are not required to walk three paces behind their husbands nor are they submitted to genital-mutilation to ensure marital fidelity. After decades of collective struggle, they have achieved many of the rights that are clearly provided under the co...