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 April 2006
The Fourth Plague Hits the Pentagon
WILLIAM S. LIND
In Exodus, the Fourth Plague sent upon the Egyptians was a plague of flies. A similar plague of flies has settled on the U.S. military, in the form of a swarm of retired senior officers working as contractors. Not satisfied with their generous pensions, they wheed...
A Glimpse into the Mind of a Terrorist
JOSÉ PERTIERRA
Last week in Miami, Luis Posada Carriles´s accomplice in the downing of the Cuban passenger plane that was blown out of the sky with 73 innocent people on board on October 6, 1976 was interviewed by Juan Manuel Cao of Channel 41 in Miami. His name is Orlando...
The Bush Administration’s Final Surprise?
GRANT SMITH
A History Channel television marathon last week profiled US presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush. Each brief profile began with bullet point summaries of each president’s unique attributes and demeanor. The profiles ended with over-arching the...
Palestinian Health Care Conditions Under Israeli Occupation
SONIA NETTININ
Members of the Ibdaa Health Committee are on tour in the US. They are educating Americans on the devastating health conditions of Palestinians and health care workers in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. The facts on the ground are shocking, yet the i...
O’Reilly and the Law of the Jungle
FRANCIS BOYLE
On the morning of 13 September 2001, that is 48 hours after the terrible tragedies in New York and Washington, D.C. on September 11th, I received a telephone call from a producer at Fox Television Network News in New York City. He asked me to go onto The O’R...
Immigration and a History of Greed
AL KREBS
Our nation’s continuing controversy surrounding its current immigration "policy" is more than just corporate agribusiness’s dirty little secret, but it also shrouds an economic iceberg that unless recognized could well rip the U.S. apart....
Loud, Hard, Soft and Quiet
LARAY POLK
Dallas. As the Cathedral bells released their harmonic drone, people dressed in white converged from all angles. As it was Palm Sunday, there were people dressed in period outfits out on the front steps of the Cathedral de Guadalupe. They wore fake beards a...
Endangered Species in a Can?
ROBERT OVETZ
It’s common knowledge that we are running out of oil. What’s not so well known is that we are also running out of big fish. The harsh realization that catches of big fish-marlin, sharks, swordfish and tuna-are declining rapidly is beginning to s...
The Bink Wink
URI AVNERY
"Advance and be recognized!" the recruit on sentry duty calls out when he hears somebody approaching. "Sergeant Johns!" comes the answer. "Advance and be recognized!" the sentry calls again. "I told you alread...
Did Bush Pull a Fast One on Fitzgerald?
EVELYN J. PRINGLE
With the latest revelations in the CIA leak case, the question on the minds of most Americans, is whether Bush and Cheney were the masterminds in an organized plot to destroy Joe Wilson by revealing his wife’s name and status as a undercover agent of the CIA...
The Lynching of Cynthia McKinney
LUCINDA MARSHALL
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich once pointed out that, "Well behaved women rarely make history." Perhaps she should have added that women who are deemed to have thrown what Marianne Means characterized as a "hissy fit" will surely become infamous. ...
Big Greens and Beltway Politics
JOSHUA FRANK
As business and environmental groups attempt to influence government environmental decisions, only one side consistently comes out on top. You don’t have to dig too deep into campaign contributions to see who hands over more money to candidates and both majo...
Atlanta and the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
HEATHER GRAY
In 1968, the tragic events in the first week of April turned the world upside down. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in Memphis on Thursday, April 4. He was there to support sanitation workers who were on strike. In a recent interview with Amy Goodman of Pacific...
Immigration and Occupations
SETH SANDRONSKY
The U.S. Congress has delayed discussion of a new immigration bill for two weeks. Now is a useful time to put into a broader context what the congressional debate on foreign workers has covered and covered up, with help from the mainstream press. Firms batt...
FoxNews Does Ward Churchill
TOM KERR
In case you missed it, Fox News’ (so-called) Sean Hannity provided some excellent moral instruction in his recent abusive "interview" with Ward Churchill, who appeared with David Horowitz on Hannity and Colmes (April 6, 2006) following the pairR...
The Italian Elections
MICHAEL LEONARDI
Rome. Last week I told one of my high school students about a friend of mine who had her bike stolen in Roma’s trendy Trastevere neighborhood last weekend. When she went to report the theft to the police they told her that they had a good idea about w...
Tinhorn Caesar and the Spineless Democrats
RALPH NADER
In the name of fighting stateless terrorism, George W. Bush is looming as the American Caesar running roughshod over the civil liberties of the American people who have turned against him in ever larger majorities. In the name of fighting terrorism, George ...
The Impeachment Clock Just Clicked Forward
DAVE LINDORFF
The national impeachment clock moved several minutes closer to midnight this week, with word from special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald’s Plamegate investigation that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby’s leaking of classified information to New York Times...
If Only They’d Hissed Barack Obama
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
What a contrast between the French demonstrations and the vast and exciting marches here against proposed immigration laws, as against the limp turnouts against the U.S. war on Iraq! Across a few explosive weeks the first two series of protests have surged...
What’s Driving the Iranian Nuclear Crisis?
MICHELE BRAND
Paris. "It is difficult for me to understand not only why the Bush administration is pursuing its aggressive policy against Iran, especially at a time when its position in Iraq is crumbling toward utter failure, [] but surely even more puz...
Bush, the Constitution, the Pentagon and Washington’s Silver
RON JACOBS
One of my favorite lines from the recent news has to be this one that appeared in the Washington Post on April 7, 2006: Some (Iraqis) say flatly that American soldiers act like "cowboys in Western movies," in Kamal’s words. Some U.S. commanders ack...
An Alternative to Endless War and Perpetual Poverty
TODD CHRETIEN
The U.S. government spent $2.25 trillion last year, not counting Social Security. This pile of dollar bills could be laid out end to end and stretch from the earth to the sun and back, and still have enough left over to get to Mars. According to the War Re...
Bush Finds Democracy Has Its Limits
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
With supreme irony, the "war to make the world safe for democracy" ended by leaving democracy more unsafe in the world than at any time since the collapse of the revolutions of 1848. J.H. Robinson, The Human Comedy...
The Rebuking and Scorning of Cynthia McKinney
DAVID VEST
A Washington press corps that stood idly by while Bush and Cheney plundered the country, wrecked the environment, spied on Americans without a warrant, tortured civilians and lied the country into a war that will only get worse, woke up one morning and collectivel...
Hue Without Rules
SAUL LANDAU
I read the March 15 Vietnam News (English language daily) read at the modern Hanoi airport. VinaLand, I learn, has invested more than $200 million into Vietnamese real estate, a "hot sector," according to Merrill Lynch. The Wall Street giant calls Vietna...
Is Bush Losing His Rural Base?
JOHN BOMAR
Hey George, I hate to have tell you this son, but they’re talking bad about you out to the deer camp. That’s real bad. When you’ve lost the deer-camp-boys you’re in big trouble around here. You see, these are the real good ol’ ...
What Does Condi Mean?
GARY LEUPP
On NBC’s "Meet the Press" March 26 Condoleezza Rice told Tim Russert, "Saddam was not related to the events of 9/11. But if you really believe that the only thing that happened on 9/11 was people flew airplanes into buildings, I think you have...
Let Us Know Praise OIL
MICKEY Z.
I say it’s never too early to start planning the predestined Iraq War veteran’s memorial. Why wait till the bombs start dropping on Iran or Venezuela or North Korea or Colombia? The whole mood will be blown by then. But, let’s face it: ti...
Kerry Advocates Iraqization
JOHN WALSH
John Kerry, known in some Massachusetts circles as Senator Weathervane, made quite a splash in a NYT op-ed this week where he seemed to be calling for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. But as always with our slippery junior Senator, one must read his proposals very caref...
The Saga of Magnequench
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Magnequench is an Indianapolis-based company. It specializes in the obscure field of sintered magnetics. Essentially, it makes tiny, high-tech magnets from rare-earth minerals ground down into a fine powder. The magnets are highly prized by electronics and aviatio...
Remember When the Irish First Met the Chinese?
RONAN SHEEHAN
To: The Most Reverend Robert Henry Alexander Eames, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of all Ireland and Metropolitan; The Most Reverend John Robert Winder Neill, Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough, Primate of Ireland and Metropolitan; The Ver...
Rachel Corrie, the Israel Lobby and "Made in Palestine"
JONATHAN SCOTT
Three intellectual events happened simultaneously a few weeks ago that had me dusting off a text I hadn’t looked at for fifteen years, Fredric Jameson’s "Marxism and Form." It’s one of his best books and it stands out especially strong ...
March of the Bunglers
DON MONKERUD
Vctor and Hugo, Bunglers in Crime, provided a brief season of entertainment for British children on a television series in 1991-92. Derived from two characters on the predecessor TV show Count Duckula, these notorious French brothers claim, "No crime is too b...
US Attitude Toward Hamas
RAMZY BAROUD
What is currently transpiring in the Occupied Territories is by far a worst-case scenario, ironically one made possible with the direct help of many Palestinians themselves. The democratically elected Palestinian government is now officially isolated, as many Pale...
The Moussaoui Trial
ELAINE CASSEL
On April 3, after four days of deliberation, an Alexandria, Virginia federal court jury found Zacarias Moussaoui eligible for the death penalty — on the ground that he had conspired to use airplanes as weapons of mass destruction, resulting in the deaths of ...
The Rich Young Man
MICHAEL DICKINSON
CHARACTERS (In order of appearance) The Mother Mary Martha Bartimaeus Judas Jesus Lazarus John James Peter Darius         &nb...
Three Years After They Toppled Saddam’s Statue
PATRICK COCKBURN
A cruel and bloody civil war has started in Baghdad. A trio of suicide bombers disguised as women, explosives strapped to their bodies hidden by long black cloaks, killed 74 people and wounded over on Friday when they blew themselves up in a Shi’ite mosque i...
The Strange Case of the American Worker
DON MONKERUD
Several years ago in Florence, I joined a march with thousands of working people, protesting the Italian government’s raising of the retirement age. Formerly, workers could retire after 35 years of work, but a new law wouldn’t allow them to receive a p...
Immigrants, Migrants and Vagrants
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
Every time I hear the words, "We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws", I am reminded of just how far along the road to idiocy we have traveled. That statement is as asinine a truism as ever left a politician’s lips, almost ...
A Lesson from the Holocaust for Us All
ROBERT FISK
The Independent At a second-hand book stall in the Rue Monsieur le Prince in Paris a few days ago, I came across the second volume of Victor Klemperer’s diaries. The first volume, recounting his relentless, horrifying degradation as a German Jew in the f...
The Texas Railroad to Death Row
ROBERT McDONALD
When 19-year-old Stacy Stites was found murdered on April 23, 1996, the small central Texas town of Bastrop was shaken to its core. Now, almost a decade later, Bastrop is shaken again by evidence suggesting that the person convicted of her murder, Rodney R...
A Marriage of Convenience
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
None of the parties that contested last month’s election in Ukraine can be entirely satisfied with the result. Viktor Yanukovych would seem to have the most cause for celebration. His Party of the Regions came away with 32.12 percent, outstripping its rivals...
Get on Message with the Sissy French
DAVE LINDORFF
Why aren’t young people here aren’t taking to the streets along with their French counterparts to demand better treatment from employers and the government. A second question might be why the U.S. labor movement isn’t out on the street with them....
The Assault on Cynthia McKinney
REMI KANAZI
Joe Scarborough, political hack and host of Scarborough Country on MSNBC, went on yet another odious rant on April 3. This time his scurrilous remarks were aimed at six-term Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The Congresswoman is accused of punching a Capitol Hill se...
All Against Lopez Obrador
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. Splattered as it is with libelous calumnies, dark threats, smarmy insinuation, and stridently accusatory television spots, the run-up to the July 2 elections here constitutes the most toxic presidential race of the five this reporter has covere...
Pancho Bin Laden and Terrorists’ Tombs
DICK J. REAVIS
American commentators frequently style the 9-11 events as the second assault by foreign agents on America soil, the first having been the British invasion of 1812. But when they do, they overlook Mexican revolutionary Francisco "Pancho" Villa, the Osama ...
The Politics of Immigration
JUAN SANTOS
You hear it everywhere. Even from Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, author of the vicious anti-migrant legislation that has polarized the US. "We are a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws," he says. And like almost everyone else, he̵...
Republican Bliss
MATT VIDAL
Republicans are happier than Democrats, according to the report "Are We Happy Yet?" recently released by the Pew Research Center. Based on a nationally representative, random sample in the United States, 45% of Republicans report being "very happy,&...
Workers in the Aftermath of Katrina
MARK BRENNER
Six months after Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Coast struggles with a new challenge-who will do the rebuilding? The region is awash in clean-up and reconstruction projects, but with more than 1.5 million people displaced by the hurricane, ready hands are in short su...
Why Democrats Are At Least Half of the Problem
JOZEF HAND-BONIAKOWSKI
In a recent give and take email with a liberal, "progressive" Democrat in Vermont, I discovered what Democrats really feel about people who vote for third party candidates, and especially what they feel about Ralph Nader. 2006 is, after all, an election ...