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
Memories of Ali Farka Touré
COREY HARRIS
I first heard Ali Farka Touré perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 1994. At that time many North American audiences were beginning to learn about the man and his music, often through Ry Cooder, one of his early American collaborators. I ...
It’s Spring and Talk of Impeachment is in the Air
DAVE LINDORFF
The crocuses are up and the forsythia is starting to flower in my yard–a sure sign of spring. And on the corporate media front, suddenly we’re reading about Sen. Russ Feingold’s censure resolution against President Bush –a clear sign that t...
Questions of Solidarity
DAVID GREEN
Since I began intensively studying the Israel-Palestine conflict nine years ago, I have (as a Jew) also been concerned with its historical and current effect on relations between Blacks and Jews in this country. I have become increasingly aware of the influence th...
Slobo Can’t Talk Any More
JEREMY SCAHILL
Slobodan Milosevic is characterized in the obituaries as the "Butcher of the Balkans." If that is the story you want to read about, please go to almost any other media outlet and read it again and again. Some are now suggesting that death is Milosevic...
Amazonia: Where All Life Matters
JULIA KENDLBACHER
They came from the deepest forest, gathered at the two harbors of Porto Velho in Rondônia and Belém in Pará and finally reached the center of Amazonia, Manaus. They came together to celebrate the 20th anniversary at the annual conference of the...
A Lawless and Incompetent Leadership
RALPH NADER
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, two top outlaws smashing our country’s rule of law and democratic liberties, are testing the American people’s resistance. Every day they are testing. Every day they think by flaunting the words, "war on terror"...
Smearing Ron Carey and the TDU
JOE ALLEN
Ron Carey was the most important trade union leader to emerge in the last decade of the 20th century in the United States. His 1991 election as the first reform leader of the Teamsters was bombshell that hit the labor movement and Corporate America. ...
Why Did Bush Destroy Iraq?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
March 20 is the third anniversary of the Bush regime’s invasion of Iraq. US military casualties to date are approximately 20,000 killed, wounded, maimed, and disabled. Iraqi civilian casualties number in the tens of thousands. Iraq’s infrastructure is ...
What We’re Listening To This Week
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR, JESSE WALKER, PHYLLIS POLLACK And DAVID VEST
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabate: In the Heart of the M...
The Cowboys and the Village Voice
JOHN STRAUSBAUGH
In January 1991 I represented New York Press at a weekend conference of alternative weekly editors, hosted by wealthy liberal Smith Bagley at Musgrove Plantation, his gorgeous 600-acre estate on St. Simons Island off the southern coast of Georgia. Bagley is a gran...
Democrats: When the War Was Lost
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Here we are, in early 2006 and the headlines are briefly given over to the disclosure that the oil companies have been underpaying their royalties from drilling on US public lands by $7 billion. One of the firms, Kerr McGee, is saying defiantly it doesn’t ow...
"… But He’s Good On Our Issue"
FRED GARDNER
Pro-marijuana activists from the Beltway to Oaksterdam have been circulating, with praise and thanks, George Melloan’s Feb. 21 Wall St. Journal op-ed piece, "Musings About the War on Drugs." Six of seven members of the WSJ editorial board agree wit...
Why "We" Fight "Their" Wars
SAUL LANDAU
and FARRAH HASSEN "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists...
The Fallacy of Nation-building in Afghanistan
JOHN CHUCKMAN
Nation-building is a term created by people living off Pentagon contracts. It is one of those queasy political expressions with no hard meaning yet its use raises few eyebrows. The term sounds as though it means something, and it is treated as though it were somet...
The Genius and Courage of Octavia Butler
JONATHAN SCOTT
"Tolerance, like any aspect of peace, is forever a work in progress, never completed, and, if we’re as intelligent as we like to think we are, never abandoned." Octavia Butler The first thing I ...
Condi and Iran
RON JACOBS
Although the strategy is older than the mean sheriff and his less sadistic deputy in the Old West, we need to only go back a few years here. If one recalls prior to the US/UK invasion on Iraq in 2003, there were several initiatives to "promote democracy"...
My Night at the Oscars
BEN TRIPP
The wedge issue that has split America in half like a jackhammered lemon is not race, nor class, nor religion. It is not political affiliation. It is a fundamental disagreement about the very nature of reality. For one half of America (a half comprised of approxim...
Why They Really Think They Must Defeat Iran
GARY LEUPP
"The problem of the Iranian regime has become entrenched over the course of an entire generation," Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told the House International Relations Committee March 8. "It may require a generational ...
Gitmo on the Mississippi
JORDAN FLAHERTY
Sometimes the injustices here in New Orleans leave me numb. But the continuing debacle of our criminal justice system inspires in me a sense of indignation I thought was lost to cynicism long ago. Ursula Price, a staff investigator for the indigent defense organiz...
A Thousand Pages of Rage
ROBERT BRYCE
It’s 1,000 pages of rage. One thousand and thirty eight pages, to be exact. And Robert Fisk, one of the best, most courageous Westerners who writes about the ongoing military conflicts in the Middle East, justifies that rage on every page of his magnum opus,...
Lying and Deception as Government Policy
RAMZY BAROUD
What is even more imprudent than the invasion of Iraq and the ‘war on terror’ is the Bush administration’s determination to interpret the tragedy of that stricken nation in a way that lays blame on just about everyone else but itself. And yet thi...
The Gitmo Documents
LILA RAJIVA
A year of stonewalling a Freedom of Information lawsuit by the Associated Press and now the Pentagon releases documents (Friday, March 3, 2006) with the names of hundreds of detainees held at Guantanamo. The more than five thousand pages give us a flavor o...
An Interview with Subcomandate Marcos
AURA BOGADO
I conducted this interview with Subcomandante Marcos, at The Center for the Documentation of Son Jarocho in Veracruz. We talked about the Zapatista’s Other Campaign, change in Latin America, Zapatista women’s struggle, and Latinos in the United States....
From Rachel Corrie to Richard Rogers
SAREE MAKDISI
Richard Rogers, the noted British architect, was recently summoned to the offices of the Empire State Development Corp. to explain his connection to a group called Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine. Empire State is overseeing the redesign of New Yor...
Lynching Barry Bonds
DAVE ZIRIN
"If he did it, hang him!" This is what ESPN radio host John Seibel (filling in on the Dan Patrick show) said about Barry Bonds. Is Seibel oblivious that some may take offense to the image of a controversial Black athlete being lynched, or is this just re...
The Great Green Scare and the Fed’s "Case" Against Rod Coronado
BEN ROSENFELD
The federal government has been champing at the bit to put Rod Coronado back in prison since the moment he got out in 1999, refusing to repent for his role in a 1992 arson at a Michigan State University fur research lab. Federal officials have publicly branded Cor...
FBI Grills Professor Over Support for Venezuela
ELENA SHORE
A Pomona College professor who is an outspoken critic of U.S. policy in Venezuela was questioned on March 7th by two agents from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in what he calls an act of inti...
How the Green Party Slays Their Own
JOSHUA FRANK
John Murphy is running an antiwar pro-civil liberties campaign for US Congress from the 16th District of Pennsylvania (...
How the Bushes Brought Bedlam to Iraq
CHRIS FLOYD
This week, the Washington Post offered a grim overview of Iraq’s epidemic of mental disorders, produced by years of war, upheaval and neglect ("Iraq’s Crisis of Scarred Psyches," March 6). Of course, much of this psychological damage is the f...
"Over There"
RACHARD ITANI
Had the 1972 Munich Olympics hostage crisis lasted three months, it would have been unthinkable for U.S. TV to start airing, on the seventh day, a series that mimicked the real-life drama that was taking place in the Olympic village. All the more so if the series ...
Daniel Pipes Finds Comfort in Muslims Killing Muslims
JOHN WALSH
One of the abiding myths about the War on Iraq is that the neocons were too stupid to realize that they would confront an unrelenting, indigenous resistance to their occupation of Iraq. Unwittingly, the story line goes, they led the U.S. into a conflict which has ...
Free Borders Make Good Neighbors
WYLIE HARRIS
Not long ago, half a dozen people calling themselves the "Lone Star Minutemen" descended on a corner in the college town near our farm to protest illegal immigration. Every day at this corner, undocumented Latino men gather in hope of landing a day’...
The Action Thing
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
Consider these news items from the past month: * Thousands of people took part in huge and emotional demonstrations in various Arab countries, and others with large Muslim populations, from Morocco to Indonesia, to protest the cartoons in a Dan...
Ex-State Department Security Officer Charges Pre-9/11 Cover-Up
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
A former State Department security officer has given CounterPunch a detailed memoir and documents that point to very curious conduct by the CIA, Secret Service and FBI in the Philippines following warnings of an assassination bid on President Clinton during his No...
The Dark Side of Liberal Imperialism
ANNIE ZIRIN
More than four years after the September 11 attacks and three years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, neither the war in Afghanistan, nor the war in Iraq appears to be drawing to a close. This is despite the fact that hundreds of thousands have protested the war in...
We All Live in Poletown Now
BRIAN McKENNA
"You wanna run all the people out This what you’re all about Treat poor people just like trash Turn around and make big cash" Open Letter (to a Landlord) by Living Color Twenty five years ago this...
Anatomy of an Agreement
VIJAY PRASHAD
Bela’s Story. In Jangpura, a small neighborhood in Delhi, my friends Bela Malik and Tommy Mathew planned to welcome Laura Bush. As with all State visits, between the negotiations and the meetings, the hosts arrange for the dignitaries to tour safe &qu...
Compromising Civil Liberties
WALTER BRASCH
Two weeks before President Bush signed Congressional legislation that made permanent all but two sections of the USA PATRIOT Act, State College, Pa., became the 397th American community to reaffirm the belief that the Constitution and Bill of Rights take precedenc...
Wolfowitz’s Anti-Corruption Hoax at the World Bank
PATRICK BOND
A few weeks ago, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff in the State Department, Lawrence Wilkerson, revealed to a PBS NOW audience something we all knew anyway about Saddam Hussein’s weapons arsenal: ‘I participated in a hoax on the American peopl...
Bush: the View from the Purple States
PAT WILLIAMS
Here in the "purple states" of the Rocky Mountain West, President George W. Bush’s job approval ratings have fallen lower than a rattlesnake’s belly. In five of our eight mountain states, Bush approval has sunk well below 50 percent with his ...
Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Felony?
Courts Seeking Jurors.
By Little League officials screening coaches. For background checks of all kinds. People want to know. If you have been convicted of a felony, then it says something bad about you. And if you have been convicted of a felony, then people...
Elusive Victories in Haiti
BRIAN CONCANNON, Jr.
"Naje pou soti" in Haitian creole means "swim your way out." Haiti sits on an island, where rivers swell and rage after rain, few people know how to swim, and many die trying to flee the country in rickety boats. So hard experience makes the sa...
The Democrats and Dubai
LANCE SELFA
It didn’t take long after the flap over the Dubai ports deal broke for media pundits to claim that this issue might just be the push the Democrats need to win back Congress later this year. Pollster Scott Rasmussen wrote that the Dubai ports controver...
No Immunity
MIKE WHITNEY
Gangland violence is making us safer. That’s the message we hear today from Israel’s Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, who not only defended the practice of "targeted assassination" but threatened to use the controversial tactic against P...
Dr. Strangelove is Our President
JOHN BLAIR
Is this a bad dream? Please wake me up! Is Dr. Strangelove really our President? But, it is not a dream. George W. Bush has decided that the world needs another nuclear arms race and has done so by going to India and signing an agreement to undermine the fi...
Misleading Testimony About NSA Domestic Spying
Sen. RUSSELL FEINGOLD
The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales Attorney General U.S. Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20530 Dear Attorney General Gonzales: I write in response to your letter of February 28, 2006, regarding your Fe...
Half a Trillion Dollars
WERTHER
Ever since President Eisenhower’s farewell address, there have been sporadic warnings about the Military Industrial Complex. Over the last couple of decades, critics like Ernest Fitzgerald and Chuck Spinney have performed a valuable public service by uncover...
Why I am a Christian (Sort Of…)
ROBERT JENSEN
I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe Jesus Christ was the son of a God that I don’t believe in, nor do I believe Jesus rose from the dead to ascend to a heaven that I don’t believe exists. Given these positions, this ye...
Digital Hype
NORMAN SOLOMON
As each new season brings more waves of higher-tech digital products, I often think of Mark Twain. Along with being a brilliant writer, he was also an ill-fated investor — fascinated with the latest technical innovations, including the strides toward functio...
Who is Afraid of Rachel Corrie?
WARREN GUYKEMA
Dear Mr. Nicola: I write an open letter to encourage you to set a firm date for the opening of "My Name is Rachel Corrie" and to ask you to help me understand what is going on at the workshop that caused it to "postpone" the production t...