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 January 2007
A Conversation with Dr. Susan Block, Part One
TAO RUSPOLI
This week film-maker TAO RUSPOLI travels to the noirish heart of Los Angeles for a conversation about sexual and political repression (and liberation) in America, with Dr. Susan Block, a sex educator, political columnist and defender of the First Amendment. ...
What America Really Needs to Hear
JOSHUA FRANK
Shortly after President Bush’s State of the Union address last week Jim Webb, the freshman Senator from Virginia, delivered the Democrats’ televised response to Bush’s annual speech. Many antiwar progressives were pleased to hear a Democrat confr...
What is the Decisive "Clash" of Our Time?
JEAN BRICMONT
July 1, 1916, was the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. On that single day, the British suffered more than 50,000 casualties, of which 20,000 died. The battle went on for four months, leading to about a million casualties on all sides, and the war itself con...
Shameless in Gaza
RAMZY BAROUD
The most recent fighting in the Gaza Strip, which has left many people dead, confirms that the internal strife plaguing the Occupied Territories since the advent of Hamas to power in January 2006 was not entirely the outcome of outside meddling in Palestinian affa...
Nader Still in the Crosshairs
MICKEY Z.
I was at the gym, walking by a television tuned to one of the many insipid morning chat shows…but that’s not what stopped me dead in my tracks. What got my attention was the guest: Ralph Nader. I watched the host begin the interview with yet another re...
US "Victory" Against Cult Leader was a Massacre
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. There are growing suspicions in Iraq that the official story of the battle outside Najaf between a messianic Iraqi cult and the Iraqi security forces supported by the US, in which 263 people were killed and 210 wounded, is a fabrication. The heavy ...
The Judge, the Reporter and the Secret Zyprexa Documents
EVELYN PRINGLE
The judge in the Zyprexa secret document case has sent a New York Times reporter an invitation to attend a hearing in the on-going Eli Lilly fiasco in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. "This invitation," Judge Jack Weinst...
Worker Resistance at Smithfield Foods
WILLIAM JOHNSON
Hundreds of meatpackers from the Smithfield Foods hog processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina honored Martin Luther King Jr. Day at a January 15 rally in nearby Fayetteville, where they lambasted the company for its refusal to give workers the holiday off....
Flashbacks de Jour
JAMES T. PHILLIPS
Once, during previous wars in distant lands, professional photographers were the foolhardy folks who faced danger on battlefields (and in the shadowy world of guerilla warfare), shooting pictures under extremely adverse conditions, adding the vivid reality of phot...
A Hawk in Drag
TIM WILKINSON
Not so long ago, the prospect of the US and UK taking military action against Iran was inconceivable. In September 2005, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw explicitly said as much in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Prime Minister Tony Blair,...
The Mother of All Bubbles
MIKE WHITNEY
"The Fed should have tightened earlier to avoid a festering of the housing bubble early on. The Fed is facing a nightmare now: the recession will come and easing will not prevent it." Nouriel Roubini, "Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady as Slowdown Out...
If Arafat Were Alive
URI AVNERY
"If Arafat were alive" one hears this phrase increasingly often in conversations with Palestinians, and also with Israelis and foreigners. "If Arafat were alive, what’s happening now in Gaza wouldn’t be happening"–"...
Can the Anti-War Movement Dismantle the War Machine?
FRAN SHOR
Although the anti-war movement demonstrated on January 27th that it could mobilize hundreds of thousands to demand an end to the war on Iraq, the question remains whether the anti-war forces can begin to dismantle the war machine. In one of their more challenging ...
Embedding Without Blending
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
I just watched a video from BBC Newsnight showing Iraqi forces in a recent dust up near Najaf. Our Iraqi "allies" were moving about in "technicals" or small Jeep type 4x4s, some with machine guns on top. Then along came the embedded US troops i...
An Iron Curtain is Descending
PARIAH
"Why are you travelling so often to Canada?" the tough U.S. border guard barked. I was on Amtrak, going from New York to Montreal, as I’d done dozen of times before over several decades. This was my first experience (summer 2006) of the increasingl...
Hiding America’s Surging Militarism Behind Children
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Matthew’s gospel records that when his disciples asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?," Jesus put a child in their midst and said, "Whoever becomes humble like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (18:1-4) ...
The Logic of Withdrawal
ANTHONY ARNOVE
(This essay is adapted from ANTHONY ARNOVE’s January 29th testimony before Congress’s "Out Now Caucus," chaired by Rep. Lynn Woolsey and Rep. Maxine Waters.) The title of my book is borrowed from Vietnam: The Logic of Withdrawal, writ...
Engagement with War
KATHY KELLY
Amman, Jordan. Earlier this week, I received a joyful phone call from Baghdad. Members of a family I’ve known since 1996 announced that one of their younger daughters was engaged. Broken Arabic and broken English crossed the lines: "We love you! ...
The Real Game
WILLIAM S. LIND
Bush’s splurge is already bringing premature claims of success, even though the first troops are just arriving in Iraq. A column in yesterday’s Washington Times by Ollie North quotes an American officer in Iraq as saying, "Do they (Members of Cong...
DC’s Botoxed Golems
WERTHER
"You can’t use tact with a Congressman! A Congressman is a hog! You must take a stick and hit him on the snout!" Henry B. Adams These are trying times for the first branch of government. Ignore the evident kn...
A New Cold War?
REZA FIYOUZAT
It is very difficult to get people to see the long-term, the strategic, and those things that fundamentally could change our world for the better; or for the worse if things are left to the vices of the ruling classes. We are constantly pressured by the media imag...
Chuck Hagel’s Challenge to America
KEVIN ZEESE
Last week Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) spoke with strength, clarity and emotion about the need for every senator to take a stand on the Iraq War. There are moments in the Iraq War dialogue that create a paradigm shift in the Congress and the nation, e,g, when Rep. M...
Our Fire and Congress’s Feet
RON JACOBS
It was relatively early on Saturday the 27th of January when I got to the Mall in Washington DC. The bus ride from Asheville had been bearable–I even got a few hours of sleep. The early morning crowd was small–in fact it wasn’t even a crowd.; jus...
US Soldiers Kill 250 Men from "Apocalyptic Cult"
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. American and Iraqi troops killed about 250 armed men alleged to belong to an apocalyptic Islamic cult who were planning to attack the religious leadership of the Shia in the holy city of Najaf, according to Iraqi political, military and police sour...
Chirpy Slogans, Empty City
JoANN WYPIJEWSKI
I went to the protest on Saturday. At the end of it an old soldier from movements past said, "The problem is the people who organize these marches are too old. They’re risk averse and institutionalized. And that’s really it." I think she̵...
Let Our Children Live
NURIT PELED-ELHANAN
Bassam Aramin spent nine years in an Israeli prison. He belonged to Yasser Arafat’s Al Fatah in the Hebron area and attempted to throw a grenade at an Israeli army Jeep in occupied Hebron. Last Wednesday morning, an Israeli soldier in a jeep in his village o...
The Missing Word at the Anti-War Demo
DAVE LINDORFF
The largely unstated word at the massive anti-war demonstration and march in Washington on Saturday was "impeachment." Not that it wasn’t on demonstrators’ lips and signs, but it wasn’t coming from the podium. The march, organize...
Did It Sink Conrad Burns?
PAT WILLIAMS
Do you remember those happy scenes of Iraqi voters walking out of the voting places with a smile on their face and a purple covered finger stuck proudly in the air? That voting process is called same-day voting. America’s men and women are dying every...
America’s "Money Honey" Does Davos
PAM MARTENS
Looking tense and cold and a little dazed, Maria Bartiromo appears on the CNBC business channel screen in a Antarctica style parka to do her report from Davos, Switzerland where the world’s business elite have gathered at the World Economic Forum. Ms....
Murdering Journalists
HERMÁN URIBE
Twenty-eight journalists were murdered, while five others disappeared, last year in eight Latin American countries, according to an overview of 2006 prepared by the Commission to Investigate Attacks against Journalists (Comisión Investigadora de Atentados a...
Children Without a Country
GREG MOSES
"A man without a country," is what Judge Maryanne Trump Barry called the hapless stowaway, Salim Yassir, who was born in Palestine, exiled to Libya, and jailed in the USA. Four years after foiling Yassir’s 2000 attempt to enter the USA, immigration...
Dying for Lies
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Staff Sergeant Charles D Allen of Wasilla, Alaska, was killed in Iraq last week. I happened to click on the internet news item and saw photographs of him with his wife and son. Now I’m an old and hardened former soldier. A cynic, some say, although I would d...
The Hidden Cost of Free Congressional Trips to Israel
JAMES ABOUREZK
Democrats in Congress have moved quickly – and commendably – to strengthen ethics rules. But truly groundbreaking reform was prevented, in part, because of the efforts of the pro-Israel lobby to preserve one of its most critical functions: taking membe...
Why Can’t Americans See What’s Coming?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The American public and the US Congress are getting their backs up about the Bush Regime’s determination to escalate the war in Iraq. A Massive protest demonstration is occurring in Washington DC today, and Congress is expressing its disagreement with Bush&#...
Mayday from the Circus Tent
ALAN CABAL
I spent quite a few years working circuses, setting up and tearing down big top tents all over the Lower 48. I happened into the business accidentally, just needed a job one day and there it was. I fell in love with it and gained quite an education from it, by no ...
Do We Really Need an International Criminal Court?
DIANA JOHNSTONE
Year after year, people in the Arab countries are helpless spectators to the ongoing destruction of Iraq and Palestine by the United States and Israel. They see families wiped out by bombs in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon. They see Arabs tortured and humiliated in...
Democracy in Crisis
RALPH NADER
Among the tens of thousands of Americans protesting in the nation’s capital against George W. Bush’s war-quagmire in Iraq this weekend, more than a few will probably wonder why there are not more folks with them or, at least, more marching in other vil...
The Suppression of Collective Joy
FRED GARDNER
Barbara Ehrenreich made a quick visit to San Francisco last week to promote her new book, "...
The Double Life of Prostitution in America
DAVID ROSEN
Around Thanksgiving 2006, the bodies of four female prostitutes were found decaying in a drainage ditch along an abandoned roadway outside Atlantic City, NJ. Since its release in March 1990, "Pretty Woman," a Cinderella morality tale about a streetwise h...
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
JOHN WHITBECK
For anyone who possesses a strong stomach and an equally strong desire to know the truth, I strongly recommend Israeli historian Ilan Pappe’s new book "...
Exiled from Palestine
ELIZA ERNSHIRE
Amman. It is a terrible feeling to be in exile. Even from a country I have only called home for 9 months. As I sit here in Amman many questions fill my mind, not least among them the question of how all the Palestinians exiled for life manage to accept this...
Bombers Target Shia Civilians
PATRICK COCKBURN
A bomb in the Baghdad bird market killed 15 people and wounded 55 yesterday in the latest savage bombing aimed at Shia civilians. Iraqis have always loved song birds and often keep them as pets. They buy and sell them in the Ghazil market, a tattered collec...
Localizing the Anti-War Movement
SETH SANDRONSKY
Absent a national antiwar political formation on the near horizon, local politics can point to a trend of note. Consider the activism underway to make peace a political policy for Doris Matsui. She was elected for the first time last November to the House of Repre...
The Timid Chorus and the Mad Marchers
BERNARD CHAZELLE
If you fancy losing an argument, try shooting down my contention that Mikhail Gorbachev is the leading historical figure of our time. Not one to miss a shooting opportunity, Dick Cheney tried. To my surprise, he won. Westerners fondly remember Gorbachev fo...
CounterViews
Tao Ruspoli
This interview with CounterPunch co-editor Jeffrey St. Clair was filmed last week in Venice, California. If you missed part 1, please click here . For Flash version (viewable on more computers,) click below: ...
Are You the Terrorist Next Door?
CHARLOTTE LAWS
I was an ordinary American until November 27, 2006 when I became a terrorist or more accurately what I call a "stand-by terrorist." Perhaps I cannot truly own this newfound nickname until the government decides to prosecute me for word crimes, if that da...
Eli Lilly: the Habitual Offender
EVELYN PRINGLE
The revelations that Eli Lilly concealed the side effects of Zyprexa and promoted the drug for unapproved uses is not newly discovered misconduct. It is a persistent pattern of conduct indicative of a nasty habit that needs breaking. After the secret compan...
Paying for Health Care and Not Getting It
JOE DeRAYMOND
In 2003, the United States spent $1.679 trillion dollars on health care. In 2006, the estimated spending was $1.937 trillion (Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, Office of the Actuary, from California Health Care Foundation 2005). This includes government s...
Inside the Criminal Mind
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Not "cogito ergo sum," but "I think; therefore it is so." Let’s see now. What was that guy’s name, the psychologist whose area of expertise was the criminal personality? I attended his lecture a couple of decades ago when I w...
The Three US Armies in Iraq
ZIA MIAN
The Iraq War is coming up on its fourth anniversary. Increasingly embattled, even desperate, President Bush has decided to send another 21,500 American troops into the fight. They will join over 150,000 U.S. soldiers already deployed in Iraq. In the speech...