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 February 2007
US Turnabout?
NICOLA NASSER
Two-pronged U.S. tactics of confrontation and engagement unfolded last week and described by some media as "turnabouts" in the strategy of containment of what Washington perceives as adverse regional roles in the Middle East, but in the Iraqi context and...
The Sham of Nuclear Power
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Vermont, like too many other places with nuke reactors, was recently disgraced by an industry-sponsored visit from Patrick Moore, who claims to be a "founder" of Greenpeace, and who is out selling nuclear power as a "green" technology. ...
License to Torture
NICOLE COLSON
YEARS OF solitary confinement, sensory deprivation and overload, denial of contact with lawyers or family, forcible injections with unknown drugs. Most people would call this "torture." The Bush administration calls it standard operating procedure in the...
Why the Boumediene Case Was Wrongly Decided
MARJORIE COHN
Last week, in Boumediene v. Bush, two judges on a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that strips the rights of all Guantanamo detainees to have their habeas corpus petitions heard by ...
Take the Money and Run
CHINA HAND
Take the money and run. That’s what appears to have been behind the crash of the Shanghai stock market on February 27. In early February, Time did a good job of describing the liquidity-fueled stock bubble in China, which looked just like the last st...
Is Lt. Watada an Isolated Case of Military Dissent?
SARAH OLSON
The Army refilled five charges against 1st Lt. Ehren Watada late last week, paving the way for a possible second court-martial for the highest-ranking member of the military to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq. When his first court-martial ended in a mistrial on ...
An Amazing Disgrace
PETER LINEBAUGH
W.E.B. DuBois taught us that the slave trade and the struggle against it were magnificent dramas superior even to the Greek tragedies. This year is the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade by the English Parliament, and the bicentennial is...
The Non-Thinking Enemy
WILLIAM S. LIND
One of the rituals attending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when our opponents score a goal, is for an American general to materialize before the press and announce, in his best miles gloriosus manner, that "we face a thinking enemy." Wow. Who ever wo...
Mark Wilkerson’s Call to America
SUSAN VAN HAITSMA
My favorite photograph of Mark Wilkerson shows him smiling, looking relaxed. He is standing in a grove of trees whose trunks radiate outward from his image as though they are drawing life from him. One side of his face glows with reflected sunshine. He wears a bla...
The Khyber Impasse
TARIQ ALI
It is Year 6 of the UN-backed NATO occupation of Afghanistan, a joint US/EU mission. On 26 February there was an attempted assassination of Dick Cheney by Taliban suicide bombers while he was visiting the ‘secure’ US air base at Bagram (once an equally...
America’s Crusaders
TOM BARRY
Ideology and faith are stirring new calls to arms among influential political factions in the United States. At a time when the U.S. public is questioning the interventionism and unilateralism of the Bush administration, leading social conservatives and neoconserv...
Airline Bankruptcies, Mergers and Profits
CARL FINAMORE
Entering bankruptcy protection is as common for airlines the last few years as entering drug rehab is for contemporary pop stars. The only difference is that airlines leave the ‘treatment center’ flying higher than ever. Of course, it’s ...
Israel’s Cluster Bombs: Still Killing and Maiming
MITCHELL KAIDY
After Israel’s no-holds-barred attack on population centers in Lebanon last year, thousands of little bomblets were left behind that exacted little damage on the Islamic cleric and his rocket-armed Hizbullah forces. But those little things are still causing ...
The Really Big Lie About Autism
ANNE McELROY DACHEL
About six months ago I wrote an OpEd piece called "The Really Big Lie Abou...
Who is Really in Control?
RAMZY BAROUD
Years back, an old and astute professor at the University of Washington ended a fascinating lecture to a small group of freshmen with the following contention: "Our country might find itself in a position that could force it to deprive its citizens from certa...
Grenada: an Invasion Revisited
HUGH O'SHAUGHNESSY
One of the fetid messes which Ronald Reagan left on the Caribbean island of Grenada after his invasion of it in 1983 has been smelling increasingly vile over the last few decades. It has just resurfaced in London. Older readers will remember that the gover...
Howard Hunt and the National Memory System
JEFF NYGAARD
E. Howard Hunt died on January 23rd. Hunt was famous for his role in the Watergate burglaries that brought an end to the presidency of Richard Nixon in 1974. Although this is what he is famous for, it is not the most important thing to know about this man. The Lon...
The Queen: What the Movie Didn’t Show
ANDREW ROUSE
On Sunday The Queen won one of Tinsel town’s highest accolades. We can now expect that during the next few months that millions of Americans will view the movie. They will undoubtedly conclude that she is a wise woman, sage statesman and practiced politician...
Oil Grab
ANTONIA JUHASZ And RAED JARRAR
While debate rages in the United States about the military in Iraq, an equally important decision is being made inside of Iraq–the future of Iraq’s oil. A new Iraqi law proposes to open the country’s currently nationalized oil system to foreign c...
The Next War
URI AVNERY
"WE ARE ready for the next war," a reserve soldier in the Israel Defense Forces told a TV reporter this week, on the scene of a brigade-size maneuver on the Golan Heights. What war? Against whom? About what? This was not stated, and not even asked...
The Right to Return to New Orleans
BILL QUIGLEY
Each morning, Debra South Jones drives 120 miles into New Orleans to cook and serve over 300 hot free meals each day to people in New Orleans East, where she lived until Katrina took her home. Ms. Jones and several volunteers also distribute groceries to 18,000 fa...
US Israel Lobby Targets Lebanon’s Jihad al-Bina
FRANKLIN LAMB
Come to think of it, wasn’t it just a matter of time before the Bush administration would get around to declaring the Lebanese registered construction company, Jihad al-Bina, yet another "terrorist organization"? It finally did put Jihad al-Bina on...
The Income Gap
PAUL BUCHHEIT
We all believe that a growing economy is a good thing. Corporate successes make America strong, and international monetary policies have been designed to promote economic growth around the world. But something is wrong. The income gap is growing faster in t...
Suzie Hazahza in Haskell Hell
GREG MOSES
For many miles of his protest walks, whether against border walls or children’s prisons, Jay Johnson-Castro has walked alone. His four-day walk from Abilene to Haskell, Texas this week may be no different, as he protests the cruel and unusual treatment of th...
Bush and Cheney Must be Impeached Before More Die
RALPH NADER
The invasion-occupation of Iraq has been described as a classic case of asymmetrical warfare. Unable to begin to match the modern land, aerial and sea weaponry of the United States, the insurgents are fighting back with roadside IEDs, rifles and grenades to sow ch...
The Income Gap
PAUL BUCHHEIT
We all believe that a growing economy is a good thing. Corporate successes make America strong, and international monetary policies have been designed to promote economic growth around the world. But something is wrong. The income gap is growing faster in t...
An Open Letter to Jason Whitlock
DAVE ZIRIN
(Note to Reader: Over the last decade, Jason Whitlock has been one of the most prominent African American sports columnists in the United States. He writes for the Kansas City Star and AOL Sports. For reasons unclear, he often refers to himself as "Big Sexy&q...
Calling All Carriers
Col. DAN SMITH
Most people know and, in any given week, probably utter one of the many thousands of "Murphy’s Laws" that exist. But Murphy is not the only perceptive spirit: We have Howe’s Law, Sod’s Law (British), O’Toole’s Comment...
How Democrats are Buying the Iraq War
JEFF LEYS
Last week, members of the Smedley Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace organized an office occupation of Representative Ed Markey’s office in Massachusetts. Their demand was simple: refuse to continue funding the Iraq war and vote against the $93 billion sup...
Doomsday Dick and the Plague of Frogs
MIKE WHITNEY
Gold traders love Dick Cheney. Every time he opens his twisted lip and barks out another threat to Iran, the dollar takes a powder and gold futures shoot to the moon. Maybe that’s the way Cheney likes it. After all, he dumped about $25 million in euro-bonds ...
Can Hillary Be Trusted?
KEVIN ZEESE
The 2006 election showed the Republican Party that opposition to the Iraq War was the dominant political issue of the year–trumping all others. Their failure to understand voter anger over the war cost them the majority in the House and Senate. Candidates ar...
Inside Islamic Charity
R. T. NAYLOR
Usama bin Laden, according to a top level "independent" task force of political hacks and self-appointed experts in "clandestine finance" set up by the Council on Foreign Relations, worked his monetary magic with the usual tools of clandestine ...
Iraqi Labor vs. Big Oil
KATHLYN STONE
According to British media, the US and UK governments are on track to achieve a March victory in Iraq. This victory will not be publicized nor will it mean an end to the occupation. Written by Bush and Blair’s big oil business partners who serve as th...
Breaking the Dam in Olympia
DAVE LINDORFF
If the state of Washington ends up passing a joint legislative resolution next month calling on the US House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney, it will because 900 people who crammed into this c...
Liberal vs. Radical Enviros, Redux
KEVIN WEHR
Every few years the question of selling out comes up again, most recently it has been in the circles of the environmental movements. First it was Shellenberger and Nordhaus in their Grist Magazine article, the "Death of Environmentalism." This cogent arg...
Frightening Tales of Endangered Species
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Chuck Cushman was on a roll. His ruddy face enflamed to imperial purple as he unleashed a horror story about the dastardly practices of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s "endangered species strike force." Seems back in February of 1994 a black helico...
FBI Hunting Dead Panthers
SOFFIYAH ELIJAH
John Bowman is a former Panther who was arrested in New Orleans in 1973 and was tortured by a task force of law enforcement officers from several jurisdictions. In 2003, some of those same agents came to his home in Oklahoma City and confronted him about an unsolv...
Missile Defense Redux
RON JACOBS
Huh? According to Condi Rice, the US attempt to put missile shields in Poland and the Czech Republic is to counter some future Iranian missile threat? What would that be? Does Tehran want to conquer Poland? For its strategic position, perhaps? Or maybe to set up a...
A Debate on the Israel Lobby
JEFFREY BLANKFORT
It appeared that all but a handful of the 300 seats were filled in Room 250 of University of San Francisco’s McClaren Conference Center on a rainy Thursday night for what was probably the first debate on the power and influence of the Israel Lobby held betwe...
Five Words That Change Lives
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
This past week, we’ve been bombarded by the media with Anna Nicole Smith’s death, the courtroom antics surrounding her burial and custody of her daughter, and Britney-always Britney-who has shaved her head and entered rehab. Plus, there’s the all...
Afghanistan in Winter
CHRIS SANDS
in Kabul. A crazy woman stalks the streets near Afghanistan’s parliament. When a warlord’s rocket killed her family during the early 1990s she lost her mind. Now she moves between the cars and people looking for it, another of the living dead tr...
Zionism and the United States
LARRY PORTIS
Not long ago, I met Eyal Naveh, an Israeli historian, who explains that the United States has been the "model" for the Israeli state and society. He claims that the US was first a model for the Zionist pioneers, then for the founders of the state of Isra...
What Next for the Immigrants’ Rights Movement?
LEE SUSTAR
Amid ramped-up federal raids on undocumented workers and a raft of new anti-immigrant legislation at the state level, the immigrant rights movement is building grassroots emergency response networks–while debating what to demand from expected immigration leg...
Free Kareem Amir!
MICHAEL DICKINSON
In March 2006 the conservative administration of Egypt’s prime Islamic high-learning institution, Al-Azhar University, learned that one of their students was an online blogger, and they didn’t like what he was blogging. Complaining about its &q...
Two Million in "Maximum Distress"
P. SAINATH
Ramesshwar Kuchankar decided that the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee was where he would take his own life. He did, on November 28 in Panderkauda, Yavatmal. Ten days later, Dinesh Ghughul was shot dead by the police at the Wani cotton market in the same d...
The African Card
KEN COUESBOUC
Under the pretext that French citizens are equal before the law, there are no official statistics concerning their national or ethnic origins, nor their religious beliefs. These are considered private matters which should not be quantified. However, extrapolations...
The N-Word and Black History Month
GARY FREEMAN
Let’s not allow the N-word issue to be over-intellectualized into a debate that focuses on the style of language. The focus must be on the style of racist subjugation and hatred, including the pathologies of black inferiority and self-hatred. We need ...
AIPAC Demands "Action" on Iran
GARY LEUPP
Former CIA counterterrorism specialist Philip Giraldi, comparing the propaganda campaign against Iran to that which preceded the war on Iraq, has recently declared, "It is absolutely parallel. They’re using the same dance steps-demonize the bad guys, th...
All Roads Lead to Checkpoints
REMI KANAZI
There may have been a period when all roads led to Rome, but for the Palestinian people, all roads lead to checkpoints. The latest checkpoint Palestinians find themselves at is not manned by Israel but rather the ostensible mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian peac...
Criticizing Israel is Not an Act of Bigotry
JASON KUNIN
A grassroots revolt is underway in Jewish communities throughout the world, a revolt that has panicked the elite organizations that have long functioned as official mouthpieces for the community. The latest sign of this panic is the recent publication by the Ameri...