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 November 2006
It Is Our Duty to Save Our Species
FIDEL CASTRO RUIZ
Dear compatriots and friends from all over the world: In this period I have worked intensively ensure the objectives set for our country in the Proclamation of July 31st. Currently, we are facing an adversary who has dragged the United States to such...
Palestinians Are Being Denied the Right of Non-Violent Resistance?
JONATHAN COOK
in Nazareth If one thing offers a terrifying glimpse of where the experiment in human despair that is Gaza under Israeli siege is leading, it is the news that a Palestinian woman in her sixties — a grandmother — chose last week to strap on a sui...
Robert Gates is Rumsfeld Lite
RAY McGOVERN
Press reporting on information provided to the Senate by Robert Gates, President George W. Bush’s nominee for the post of defense secretary, show Gates hewing closely to the rhetoric of his predecessor. Gates is shown to be more parrot than innovator in his ...
Confirmation Hearings as Kabuki Dance
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
I’ve watched the U.S. Senate exercise its constitutional duty to consider and vote on presidential nominees for major offices for more than 30 years, up close and personal. Over that time, I’ve come to the conclusion that the last thing a modern senato...
More Troops Into a Lost War?
WILLIAM S. LIND
The latest serpent at which a drowning Washington Establishment is grasping is the idea of sending more American troops to Iraq. Would more troops turn the war there in our favor? No. Why not? First, because nothing can. The war in Iraq is irredeemably l...
Acclaimed Muralist Among Oaxaca’s Disappeared
CounterPunch News Service
The impact of Oaxaca, Mexico’s struggle is hitting home. Gerardo Bonilla, painter and friend of many in the Austin artistic, activist, and student communities, was one of 149 arrested this past Saturday in a federal police sweep of Oaxaca city that is increa...
Venezuela and the Bolivarian Dream
TARIQ ALI
In the Muslim world religious groups that are militarily effective, but politically limited dominate resistance to the American Empire. Asia is infatuated with capital. Europe lies buried deep in neo-liberal torpor, and the Left and social movements in the EU (Ita...
So Close to the West, So Far From Democracy
AGUSTIN VELLOSO
United States sponsored secret flights and clandestine detention centres in Europe and elsewhere have received plenty of comment recently. Politicians and journalists tell us the "war on terror" demands extreme measures. At the same time, in countries wh...
Prostituting Democracy
CHRISTOPHER FONS
AOn November 28, 2006 George Bush used the NATO meeting in "new Europe " in Riga , Latvia as the stage for the last act of his tragedy being played out in Iraq. The venue was the University of Latvia where Bush invoked the history of occupation and the s...
The High-Jacking of a Nation
SIBEL EDMONDS
"The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes." —Justice Felix Frankfurter It used to be the three branches–congress, the executive, and the courts&#...
Barack Obama and the Winds of War
GLEN FORD
Barack Obama is a windblown politician. The junior Illinois senator avoids anchoring himself to any principle, lest his political sails fail to catch the slightest breeze blowing from the left or the right. His political direction is always tentative, although his...
Human Rights Watch Must Retract Its Shameful Press Release
NORMAN G. FINKELSTEIN
Even by the grim standards of Gaza, the past five months have been cruel ones. Some four hundred Palestinians, mostly unarmed civilians, have been killed during Israeli attacks. (Four Israeli soldiers and two civilians have been killed.) Israel has sealed o...
Pfizer’s Shell Game
PETER ROST, MD
So the news is finally out, after months of speculation. Pfizer, the #1 drug company which started the arms race among pharmaceutical sales forces, is finally cutting back. And they’re not cutting back lightly. 20% reduction is a huge change when it c...
Dispatch from Oaxaca
ROCHELLE GAUSE
Running as fast as I can, surrounded by hundreds of others, I can hear screams behind me. Glancing back, through the darkness of night I can only differentiate between the masses running with me and the federal police by the light reflecting off their shields and ...
CIA: No Evidence of Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program
GARY LEUPP
According to Seymour Hersh’s latest New Yorker shocker, the CIA has found no evidence of a sec...
Blood, Snow and NATO
CHRIS SANDS
in Kabul. As the powers that be met in Latvia for a NATO summit, the first snowflakes of winter were falling lightly on Kabul city. The suits thousands of miles away talked about the progress being made here. The Afghan people huddled around pathetic...
Self-Immolation as Anti-War Protest
JOE DeRAYMOND
"When you own a big chunk of the bloody third world, dead babies just come with the scenery" Chrissie Hynde, from "Middle of the Road", by The Pretenders In November of 2005, the United States used white...
Dark Fire
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Bright, windless September morning in Manhattan, looking south and slightly west across Vesey Street from the 12th floor of WTC 7. The eight story US Customs House (WTC 6) lies directly across the way, and beyond it the North Tower (WTC 1), slightly rightward to t...
Iraq Nears the "Saigon Moment"
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraq is rending itself apart. The signs of collapse are everywhere. In Baghdad the police often pick up over 100 tortured and mutilated bodies in a single day. Government ministries make war on each other. A new and ominous stage in the disintegration of the Iraqi...
Racism Kills
MOLLY SECOURS
Last week comedian Michael Richards fired a round of angry racial epithets at several young black men heckling him in a comedy club in Los Angeles. Just one week later, Sean Bell, a 23 year old groom-to-be and his two friends (all black) were gunned down by five p...
The Physics of 9/11
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Five years after the events of September 11, 2001, conspiracy theories abound as an anxious public seeks to find a comprehensible story for that day and more broadly for their socio-political world. People need reliable foundations upon which to base the many assu...
How Far We Have Fallen
JoANN WYPIJEWSKI
There was one positive side-effect of 9/11/01, and it was that people in New York actually talked to one another, and not just about pain and suffering. Those were sharp, but the whole grief machine has been grossly overplayed. This last anniversary of 9/11 there ...
War Chic
LUCINDA MARSHALL
The November issue of the magazine Marie Clare did an outstanding job of in remedying the media’s woeful lack of coverage of the impact of war on fashion. With several hard-hitting articles and a photo spread, MC gives this aspect of war reporting it’s...
The 9/11 Conspiracists and the Decline of the Anmerican Left
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Where was the American left in the campaign that ended in recapture of both houses of Congress by the Democrats on November 7, 2006? Was it in the streets, fomenting opposition to the war in Iraq? Not at all. The antiwar movement has been inert for months. When I ...
The War on Rebel Journalists
JOHN ROSS
The pogram against independent journalists who refuse to conform to corporate media definitions of what a reporter should be continues full throttle. The murder of Indymedia correspondent Brad Will this past October 27th on the barricades in Oaxaca by death squads...
The Thermodynamics of 9/11
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
When hijacked airliners crashed into the tall Towers of the World Trade Center, in New York City, each injected a burning cloud of aviation fuel throughout the 6 levels (WTC 2) to 8 levels (WTC 1) in the impact zone. The burning fuel ignited the office furnishings...
SASC-ing Robert Gates
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
Robert Gates will start the constitutionally required Senate confirmation process to become secretary of defense at the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) on Dec. 5. However, what that committee calls an inquiry into his fitness for office will, instead, be an...
Big Pharma and the Pill
PETER ROST, MD
The world changed when "The Pill" arrived. Everyone talked about this event, and some people feared what this liberator would do to humanity. The amazing part is how those two innocuous words came to represent a human revolution. Of course you k...
The War Crimes Case Against Rumsfeld
MICHAEL RATNER
On November 14, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the International Federation for Human Rights, Germany’s R...
Debunking the Myths of 9/11
ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
In this file we make available our series of articles, exclusive to our newsletter or this website, undertaken in the fall of 2006, criticizing the theories of the 9/11 conspiracists, who propose that, in the words of their slogan, “9/11 was an inside job”....
Digging In and Digging Deep
ROBERT JENSEN
[Remarks to the first in a series of "Last Sunday" community gatherings in Austin, TX, November 26, 2006.] We billed Last Sunday as a place for people to come together to explore the intersections of the political, artistic, and spiritual. The ide...
Freedom Air
MICHAEL DONNELLY
The unwarranted removal of passengers from a domestic air flight has triggered an investigation, a discrimination complaint and a national protest. Flying While Muslim On Tuesday November 21, six Muslim clerics were removed from a US Airways...
Genocide or Erasure of Palestinians
KATHLEEN And BILL CHRISTISON
During an appearance in late October on Ireland’s Pat Kenny radio show, a popular national program broadcast daily on Ireland’s RTE Radio, we were asked as the opening question if Israel could be compared to Nazi Germany. Not across the board, we said,...
Missing Canada’s Health Care System in Tucson
SOL LITTMAN
Ever since my wife and I chose to leave Canada and settle in Tucson, we have been amazed and angered by the distortions and misrepresentations in the American media of Canada’s government-funded, one-payer medical system. For most of my adult life, I...
Bush’s Big Indonesian Photo-Op
BEN TERRALL And JOHN M. MILLER
On his return from last week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam, President Bush briefly touched down in Indonesia on November 20. Protests against the visit were held across the archipelago, demonstrating popular outrage against the...
An Evening in Jounieh
URI AVNERY
During the first Lebanon war, I visited Jounieh, a town some 20 km north of Beirut. At the time, it served as a port for the Christian forces. It was an exciting evening. In spite of the war raging in nearby Beirut, Jounieh was full of life. The Christian e...
Ecuador and the Contradictions of Chavismo
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
It now looks as if Rafael Correa, a leftist candidate in Ecuador, has handily won his country’s presidential election. As of Monday morning, with about 21 percent of the ballot counted, Correa had 65 percent compared to 35 percent for Alvaro Noboa, according...
Would Jesus Get Out of Iraq?
WILLIAM BLUM
The good news is that the Republicans lost. The bad news is that the Democrats won. The burning issue — US withdrawal from Iraq — remains as far from resolution as before. A clear majority of Americans are opposed to the war and a...
The Curious Origins of Political Hacktivism
JULIAN ASSANGE
Real hacktivism is at least as old as October 1989 when the US Deptartment of Energy and NASA machines world wide were penetrated by the anti-nuclear WANK worm. The worm was the second ever to be unleashed, but its provenance was a curious contrast to its forebear...
Reclaiming America
RAMZY BAROUD
The Democrats’ ascendancy within the US Congress could signal the regaining by the public, of its country’s direction. The astounding results of the US Congressional elections of 7 November were undoubtedly a welcome sign of change, not in the A...
A Way Worth Living For
MICHELE NAAR-OBED
Dear Judge Hovland, Thank you for making the arrangements for me to visit Greg in jail after you sentenced him to a year and a day in federal prison. The jail officials had been rather adament in their unwillingness to allow me to visit, so your interventio...
Factors in Our Colossal Mess
GABRIEL KOLKO
These are dismal days for those who attempt to run the affairs of the world. But how should we understand it? It would be a basic error to look at our present situation as if it were rationally comprehensible. The limits of rational explanations are that th...
India on 20 Cents a Day
ASEEM SHRIVASTAVA
The World Bank–which has to be applauded for having made the first such attempt ­started making international comparisons of poverty only about two decades back. For obvious reasons of convenience it developed two simple notions of poverty. The US Treasu...
Striving of His Day Days
ADAM ENGEL
The "Puppets of Weltschmerz" played hard steely club music, hate chords, music of the Angry Young. They were lead singer/songwriter and guitarist, JayDee, his brother, guitarist Carl, the giant Samoan, Jake, on drums, and Kringe, an old army friend of Ca...
The Trouble with the Bubble
RALPH NADER
The torrid pace of risks and valuations reached a new level in the business known as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Required by federal law to pass on most of their earnings to their shareholders, REIT shares have been going up and up for eight straight ye...
What We’re Listening to This Week
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR And DAVID VEST
Scott Miller and the Commonwealth: Citation (Sugar Hill) ...
A Gay Outing for Democratic Voters
SAUL LANDAU
The Reverend Elmer Gantry was reading an illustrated pink periodical devoted to prize-fighters and chorus girls in his room at Elizabeth J. Schmutz Hall late of an afternoon when two large men walked in without knocking. "Why, good evening...
Pitting the West Against Islam
M. SHAHID ALAM
It is tempting to celebrate the creation of Israel as a great triumph, perhaps the greatest in Jewish history. Indeed, the history of Israel has often been read as the heroic saga of a people marked for extinction, who emerged from Nazi death camps–from Ausc...
The Rout and the Honeymoon
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
It was a short honeymoon. Barely a week. If you’re in bed with George Bush it’s long enough. On the day following the rout of November 7, George held a press conference in which he announced he’d lied to the public the preceding week when ...
Contingency and Counter-Contingency in Venezuela
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
Anyone paying attention to the Venezuelan press in recent weeks will not be able to ignore a shift in the tenor of the electoral campaign. Weeks and months of straightforward campaign rhetoric and poll results has given way to a more sinister tone, as the discussi...