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 September 2006
On Constitution Day
DAVE LINDORFF
The talk on the weekend of Sept. 16-17 at Camp Democracy in the shadow of the Washington Monument on the National Mall was of impeaching the president–and of looming war with Iran. I spoke on the morning of Sept. 17, along with John Nichols of the Nat...
Imperial Entropy
JOHN CHUCKMAN
The rise now of China, Japan, Europe, and others–India, Korea, and to some extent Russia and Brazil–means the United States must be relatively diminished on the world stage, much as an only child whose mother just gave birth to quintuplets. The ...
The Crusade of Pope Rat
GARY LEUPP
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech September 12 at the University of Regensburg in his German homeland. He discussed "the question of God through the use of reason" and the matter of getting "reason and faith [to] work together in the righ...
What I’m Listening to This Week
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Bob Seger: Face the Promise (Capitol) Some cling to Springsteen, o...
The Pretexter in Chief
LAWRENCE R. VELVEL
Though George Bush, Dick Cheney and their cohorts are liars, one has always been reluctant to apply the word "liar" to the President of the United States. "Liar" is such a harsh word, a word so out of keeping with the (false?) conventions of pr...
Deporting Widows
ADRIENNE JOHNSTONE
JACQUELINE MUHORO COATS is in the middle of what she can only describe as "a nightmare." On May 14, her husband Marlin died at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach trying to rescue two drowning boys. As if that weren’t tragedy enough, U.S. Imm...
A Bavarian Provocation
TARIQ ALI
Was Benedict’s most recent provocation accidental or deliberate? The Bavarian is a razor-sharp reactionary cleric. A man who organises his own succession to the Papacy with a ruthless purge of potential dissidents and supervises the selection of Cardinals wi...
Republicans Sweep
BEN TRIPP
In the last week, there have been millions of words expended on the subject of the mass murders that occurred on the ninth day of September in 2001, most of it emotional pornography of the lowest sort. It’s been five years since a small group of fanatical as...
Shooting Sgrena
RON JACOBS
Giuliani Sgrena was wounded by US soldiers not long after being freed from her guerrilla fighter captors in Iraq. This incident put her on the front pages of newspapers around the world. In addition, it put her in the hospital and her rescuer six feet under. Of co...
Death and Tears in Nablus
ELIZA ERNSHIRE
Nablus While war raged in Lebanon throughout the month of July and death was a daily occurrence in Gaza, other regions in this war-torn part of the world also experienced weeks of torment and torture at the hands of the Israeli Military. Among these ...
The American Military’s Cult of Cruelty
ROBERT FISK
In the week that George Bush took to fantasising that his blood-soaked "war on terror" would lead the 21st century into a "shining age of human liberty" I went through my mail bag to find a frightening letter addressed to me by an American vete...
Why I Hate America
MICKEY Z.
"Why do you hate America?" This is a remarkably easy question to provoke. One might, for instance, expose elements of this nation’s brutal foreign policy. Ask a single probing question about, say, U.S. complicity in the overthrow of governm...
The Remaking of Cataract Canyon (Part Seven)
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
I return to the beach a few minutes late, a victim of prior appropriation. The kayaks have already been claimed by the Wolff-Renzi clan, in a ruthless application of western water law: first in time, first in right. Kimberly is sitting on Weisheit’s raft, al...
The Insecurity of Immorality
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Lately, I’ve watched very little television and none at all on 9/11/06. My husband likes to watch the news when he comes home in the evening and, if I’m sitting in front of my computer in another room of our small apartment, I can hear the palaver. The...
A Visit with Mordechai Vanunu
MAIREAD CORRIGAN MAGUIRE
On 7 September 2006, upon hearing of her unanimous appointment as the next Israeli Supreme Court President, Justice Dorit Beinisch said she would preserve "the Supreme Court’s culture of values." She went on to say, "As for the talk of eroding...
Bush and Latin America
LAURA CARLSEN
As the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center covered the pages of every U.S. newspaper with solemn remembrances, Latin American papers also marked the event but often in very different terms. In countries throughout the region, the da...
Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
To understand why so many US representatives in foreign countries are figures of fun or even derision and contempt to their inhabitants one need look no further than a Public Broadcasting Service item of August 7. The report goes further than showing that ...
Terror on the Road
RALPH NADER
Forty years ago this week, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in a ceremony at the White House, which included me, signed into law the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. Thus, for the first time, the giant auto industry was no longer exclusively able...
The Cesspool
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
and ROBERT WEISSMAN Ah, the cesspool. That would, of course, be Congress. Aka Capitol Hill. We caught a whiff of the cesspool the other day when a group of corporate liberals announced that they were going to launch yet another "newsp...
General Puffery
WILLIAM S. LIND
During World War II, one of the Fuhrer’s favorite sayings was, "All generals lie." Today, Washington prefers the word "spin" to lie, although the difference is often difficult to parse. As an eighteenth-century man, I prefer an eighteenth...
Lost in the Bush Spin Cycle
RAMZY BAROUD
Removed from reality, self-consumed and desperate, the Bush administration went on another PR offensive, in what is considered the "third most major public relations effort" in the last year. In his first of a series of speeches, the president spo...
Radioactive Leaks and Plumbers at Hanford
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
The outback of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington State is called the T-Farm, a rolling expanse of high desert sloping toward the last untamed reaches of the Columbia River. The T stands for tanks, huge single-hulled containers buried some fifty...
Bosses Take Aim at the Undocumented
LEE SUSTAR
Employers using Social Security data to target and dismiss immigrant workers in view of proposed changes to government regulations–and if the rules formally take effect, millions of workers’ jobs could be at risk. The regulations would give the ...
On Retaliation
DIANE CHRISTIAN
Retaliation is giving back in kind. We are struck, we strike back. Both President Bush and Osama Bin Laden believe in retaliation; both argue that their strikes are answering attacks, that they are protecting and avenging their people. Both anathematize the other ...
In Defense of Conspiracy
DIANA JOHNSTONE
The spreading popularity of the 9/11 conspiracy hypothesis is a political phenomenon of some significance. I wish to examine both the causes and the effects, as well as the substance of the hypothesis itself. Distrust and hatred of the Bush administration a...
Bush on the Ropes
DAVE LINDORFF
The Bush administration’s full-court press against the Constitution is on, with the president getting closer to Senate, and possibly full Congressional approval of his warrantless spying program by the National Security Agency, and with a lobbying campaign o...
Five Years After 9/11
SAM HUSSEINI
Conspiracies abound about 9/11. Raed Jarrar is detained for wearing "We Will Not Be Silent"...
Israel’s Use of American Cluster Bombs
FRANKLIN LAMB
Al Sultaneih, Lebanon. As the initial assessment and clean up of American cluster bombs, estimated at more than 130,000 unexploded bomblets across the south of Lebanon, gets underway, unanticipated findings are emerging: The breadth and depth of the ...
Ah, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?
J.L. CHESTNUT, Jr.
Recently I watched Spike Lee’s movie in four acts on the breaching of the levees in New Orleans during Katrina and I was often in tears. Although Katrina turned Eastward in the Gulf and actually missed New Orleans much of my favorite city was nevertheless de...
Targeting Refugees and Human Rights Workers in Colombia
MARY TURK
The four international observers came to watch and film as displaced Colombian families occupied an abandoned, government-owned slaughterhouse. Instead, they were seized and taken away by police, accused of organizing the peaceful protest and paraded before televi...
Is It the PR or the Policy?
BILL BERKOWITZ
In a recent speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared that, "The enemy is so much better at communicating. I wish we were better at countering that because the constant drumbeat of things they say — all of w...
Mexico’s Time of Troubles
DICK J. REAVIS
On Sept. 6 the Mexican Federal Electoral Tribunal drew its breath, crossed its fingers and, hoping that its decision would stick, declared Felipe Calderón the winner of the nation’s July 2 presidential election. Its dictum was an exercise in wi...
Amnesty International Accuses Hizbollah of "War Crimes"
PATRICK COCKBURN
Amnesty International has accused Lebanon’s Hizbollah movement of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting Israeli civilians with its rockets. The 4,000 rockets it fired into northern Israel during the war in Lebanon killed 43 civilians, seriou...
What Media Democracy Looks Like
DIANE FARSETTA
"Media democracy" is a term that everyone defines a little differently. Is it quality reporting that not only informs about local, national and international issues, but also facilitates citizen involvement? Is it having the diversity of our commu...
Paradigm? What Paradigm?
TIM WILKINSON
Alan Dershowitz, like the Neo-cons (they who whisper into Mr Bush’s earpiece) is a Hawk, through and through. In the US, this macho epithet commands great enthusiasm. But to the audience on this side of the Atlantic, this self-identification with a creature ...
Democracies of Death
DOUG GIEBEL
"Its purpose is to promote its ideology based upon the perversion of Islam . . ." – British Prime Minister Tony Blair, July 28, 2006 "[W]e’ve come to learn more about our enemies — we learned more about t...
My Adventures with the FBI
JIM BENSMAN
I was sitting at home on July 31st when the phone rang and the caller ID said Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI wanted to know if they could come to my place and talk to me. So I asked what he wanted to talk to me about. It all started a few days ear...
My Israel Question
ANTONY LOEWENSTEIN
Jamie Glassman is a British Jewish writer on The Ali G show, a comedy program known for intentionally offending deserving establishment figures. Glassman recently attended the Edinburgh Arts Festival and was disturbed. He wrote in the London Times: ...
Teaching Iraq and Iran
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
They were very good students. That is why they remembered the techniques that we taught them back in the 1980s. During the 1980s Iran and Iraq were engaged in a war that the United States hoped would go on for a very long time. That is because even though w...
Al Qaeda de Mexico?
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. In an epiphany of how he might have to govern Mexico if the left opposition allows him to assume the presidency December 1, right-winger Felipe Calderon had to be helicoptered to the bunker in the deep south of this conflictive capital where th...
Mourning in America
DAVE LINDORFF
The New York Times, in lead article on Monday headlined (on the jump) "Bush Mourns 9-11 at Ground Zero," reported that a "visibly moved" president laid a wreath Sunday at the memorial in the hole that is what’s left of the World Trade Cen...
Bill and Melinda Gates Do African Agriculture
AL KREBS
"We have to get away from the romantic anachronism that developing countries should strive for self-sufficiency in food." John Block, former U.S. secretary of Agriculture, 1986. "If multinational companies are successful i...
Eyes Put a Spell on You
JACK BRATICH
During the last couple of weeks, I’ve been bemused at my own confusion regarding the logo for the Discovery Channel’s Ted Koppel-hosted 9/11 program "The Price of Security". Every time I saw the logo on the subway or on TV my first thought wa...
Kill Arabs, Cry Anti-Semitism
NORMAN FINKELSTEIN
A central thesis of my book Beyond Chutzpah is that whenever Israel faces a public relation...
The War on Nurses and Other Workers
SETH SANDRONSKY
These are trying times for U.S. labor unions. Their strength is on the wane. There are many reasons why. One reason is a fierce attack by employers and the federal government. Some of the attacks are harder to see than others. A provision in the recently pa...
September 12th America
NATE MEZMER
September 11th, 2001, I remember waking up to the sobering fact that two planes had just crashed into the twin towers. To be honest, I cannot recall if I was actually hung over, although it is not out of the realm of possibility. You see, at the time of the attack...
The Coming Collapse of Zionism
KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
Former CIA Analyst Is it only observers outside the conventional mainstream who have noticed that by its murderous assault on Lebanon and simultaneously on Gaza, Israel finally exposed, for even the most deluded to see, the total bankruptcy of its very foundin...
The New Hysteria
ALAN MAASS
THE CHIEFTAINS of the never-ending "war on terror" are peddling a newly updated enemy: "Islamic fascism." After British officials claimed in August to have foiled an al-Qaeda plot to blow up transatlantic air flights, George Bush said th...
Khatami Comes to Harvard
JOHN WALSH
On September 10, the reality outside the Kennedy School at Harvard was a stark inversion of the usual scene, as former President Mohammad Khatami of Iran arrived to speak. When protesters appear at these events, they usually bear banners of peace or the occasional...
Troubling Questions About Missile Defense
DAVID KRIEGER
On September 1, 2006, the US held a missile defense test, which has been widely heralded by the government as a "success." The $80 million test involved a dummy warhead launched from Kodiak Island in Alaska, which was intercepted and destroyed by an inte...