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Archives from May 2007
Much Ado About the Fort Dix Pizza Plot
NICOLE COLSON
To listen to government officials and the mainstream media, the six New Jersey men arrested for allegedly plotting an attack on the Fort Dix military base were well organized and nearly "ready to strike." But like all of the government’s cla...
Pfizer CFO Resigns
PETER ROST, MD
Pfizer’s CFO Alan Levin’s resignation was hastily announced 9:25 PM on Sunday evening in a BusinessWire news release. Mr. Levin, 45, took over as the chief of finance in 2005 as Mr. Shedlarz’s was promoted. Mr. Levin’s resignation co...
Shooting for the Top
JOHN ROSS
The assassination of a top government drug fighter outside his southern Mexico City offices first thing last Monday morning (May 14), has sent tremors ratcheting through the highest echelons of security agencies on both sides of the border. In an unusual d...
Chosenness and Israeli Exceptionalism
M. SHAHID ALAM
No idea has played a more seminal role in the recent history of Jewish and Christian Zionism than the Jewish doctrine of divine election or chosenness.[1] Since this doctrine is the cornerstone of Zionism, divine sanction for Jewish uniqueness has been inseparable...
Torture, Maine Style
JULIAN C. HOLMES
What is Torture? Answer: It’s what Maine does to its prisoners at the Warren Supermax. It’s what the US Government does to its captives in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and at other less-publicized holding tanks around the world. It̵...
Iraq’s History
ROBERT FANTINA
For years now many people have been comparing America’s Vietnam debacle with the current unfolding catastrophe in Iraq. The lessons of history, they say, have not been learned. Others argue that Iraq is not Vietnam: the issues, culture, politics, religion, e...
Mumia Case on Hold
DAVE LINDORFF
Momentous decisions are ahead in the 25-year-long case of Philadelphia death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, following a hearing before a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia Thursday. Assistant District Attorny Hugh Burns, ...
Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani and Osama’s Fatwah
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
If applause is an accurate measure of winning, then, Rudy Giuliani won round two of the Republican presidential blather. But Rudy’s triumph is the American public’s loss. Those in the audience who clapped did so in response to the great umbrage Giulian...
The Palestinians of Iraq
SONJA KARKAR
Iraq, we know, is hell on earth. So, anywhere else outside Iraq would almost have to be heaven to those fleeing the inferno. But there is another place that no one would want to be and that is in no-man’s land on the Syrian-Iraqi borders. A dusty, windswept,...
Bush’s Accomplishments
SAUL LANDAU
WWHAT’S BUSH’S MISSION? WHAT HAS HE ACCOMPLISHED? SAUL LANDAU On November 15, 2002, Donald Rumsfeld proclaimed: "The idea that it’s going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happe...
Waiting for Obama
JEAN DANIELS
Rev. Jesse Jackson has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama’s Democratic presidential campaign. I must say, I am a little ambivalent about this endorsement. We are a people who have clung to hope. Hope is what sustained us through enslavement and exploitation. Both me...
The Easy Road from Tourism to Terrorism
PETER GELDERLOOS
"I’m a tourist! Tourist!" I protested, somewhere in the dungeons of the Guardia Urbana located inconspicuously along La Rambla. "¡No!" the cop yelled back, wagging his finger. "¡Terrorist!" On the str...
The Next War
URI AVNERY
THE WINOGRAD committee of inquiry is not a part of the solution. It is a part of the problem. Now, after the first excitement caused by the publication of the partial report has died down, it is possible to evaluate it. The conclusion is that it has done mu...
Red Mutiny
CLANCY SIGAL
Anyone who’s seen Warren Beatty’s 1981 film "Reds," which dramatized the birth pangs of the Russian Revolution, may be equally moved by "...
Timid Democrats and the Antiwar Movement
RALPH NADER
The current issue of the UTNE Reader (May–June ’07) carried a short but sensibly provocative article protesting the stagnation and the cul-de-sac nature of street protests that involve nonviolent civil disobedience. Joseph Hart, the author, asks...
Vietnam Syndrome
REZA FIYOUZAT
Ho Chi Minh City. While traveling around Vietnam, you come across different kinds of western tourists. One staple of such a species is the American ex-military person. They usually display a proprietary disposition toward Vietnam which is inexplicable and s...
A False Dichotomy
FRED GARDNER
"I’d like your opinion on the Cannabis vs Hemp issue," writes Jeanette Doney of Fort Bragg. "Last week the house in CA passed AB 684, industrial hemp for farming. It now goes to the senate, and then to Arnold, as it did last year… Cannab...
The Murder of Fred Hampton
PRAIRIE MILLER
Hate crime race murder is such an embedded social pathology in US culture, not to mention the historical precedent of violence as entertainment, that it requires no introduction. The many Amadou Diallos in the procession of anonymous victims of racial profiling as...
The Dog Ate Karl Rove’s Homework
JAMES MURREN
Late last month, Teachers of the Year representing the states of the union gathered in the nation’s capital to be recognized for their outstanding achievement. While waiting for the arrival of President Bush into the Rose Garden off of the West Wing of the W...
Keep Workers Healthy and Reduce Health Care Cost: Eliminate Co-Pays
JEFF SHER
Large corporate employers are starting to figure out that charging their employees higher co-pays for medical care is not saving them any money. In fact, it’s costing them more. What a surprise. For years now we have been browbeaten about how e...
Magical Thinking About Nuclear Waste
ROBERT ALVAREZ
As a senior energy adviser in the Clinton administration, I recall attending a briefing by the National Academy of Sciences in 1996 on the feasibility of recycling nuclear fuel. I’d been intrigued by the idea because of its promise to reduce the amount of wa...
Why America Lost the War in Iraq
ANDREW COCKBURN
Rumsfeld loved Future Combat Systems (FCS), and would list its development as one of his major accomplishments at the end of his six years at the Pentagon, by which time the overall cost of FCS, as estimated by his own office, had climbed to $307.2 billion. But co...
The Virginia Tech Massacre
SUSAN ROSENTHAL, M.D.
Why did Cho Seung-Hui go berserk and kill 33 people including himself? We know that Cho was a shy Asian immigrant who was severely bullied as a youngster and suffered racist discrimination. We know that he was a man, and men are not supposed to show their p...
What Do These Crimes Have in Common?
DAVID SWANSON
Another day, another impeachable offense. If this one were on a television show we’d all flip it off in disgust as too unlikely. The President phones up a hospital to demand that the ailing Attorney General (who has turned over his duties and is diso...
Fifty-Nine Years of Dispossession
SAMER ASSAD
For Palestinians, 15 May represents the date when they lost 78 percent of their historic homeland and the date that turned them into the world’s oldest and largest refugee population. Palestinians refer to 15 May as the al-Nakba, or catastrophe, to describe ...
Cheney’s Middle East Adventure
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
While Cowboy Dick is traveling around the Middle East telling the world of plans he has for blowing up some more bad people, others were figuring out how to deal with the consequences of some of the blowing up he and his side-kick, George the Awful, helped sponsor...
The Death of Triangulation Politics?
SHARON SMITH
A few months ago, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton would have seemed the least likely Democratic presidential candidate to lead the charge to repeal the authority Congress bestowed upon George W. Bush to wage war on Iraq in 2002. Indeed, ever since Clinton laid...
The Lawyers’ Mutiny in Pakistan
ALI KHAN
A lawyers’ mutiny is making history in Pakistan. The sight of a "strong and honest" Chief Justice leading the nation’s lawyers to oust a military ruler who seized power by removing a democratically elected government makes a fabulous s...
When Does Genocide Purify?
ADAM JONES
Pope Benedict XVI’s recent trip to Brazil seems to have done little to shore up the Catholic Church’s declining power in its Latin American heartland. It went a long way, however, towards confirming Benedict’s reputation as a reactionary bigot....
The Murder of Our Mother, Anna Mae Pictou Aquash
DENISE MALONEY PICTOU
It has been over 31 years since our mother’s body was discovered in the Badlands of South Dakota in the United States. Over the course of 31 years, there seems to have been very few people, other than her family who have considered her constitutional rights,...
Bribes and Spies in the Drug Industry
PETER ROST, M.D.
A former Pfizer finance executive alleges that Pfizer is a company which hires detectives who pay bribes, use corporate spies, pretexting, and pays off competitor’s employees to leak confidential information, and uses other potentially illegal means of obtai...
Bidding for Extinction
CounterPunch News Service
An investigative report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare reveals how the rampant trade in elephant ivory...
Uribe and the Para Scandal
W. JOHN GREEN
Just months after Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Vélez’s landslide re-election in May 2006, some critics began pointing to ‘cracks in the pedestal’ of his popularity. The ongoing brouhaha surrounding the evident connections between the U...
Hell, No, Harry Won’t Go!
BRIAN J. FOLEY
How fitting that England’s Prince Harry won’t be sent to Iraq with the rest of his regiment, despite his request to go. Commanding officers have pulled him from the ranks, citing concern that insurgents have targeted him specially, which would endanger...
Pope Rat in Brazil
CHINA HAND
The American media is waking up to the fact that the Eurocentric Pope Benedict has a Third World problem… …and a Middle East problem. …and an Asia problem. Via Tapped’s Adele Stan, we learn tha...
Bernard Lewis’ Latest Call to Arms
BADRUDDIN KHAN
Bernard Lewis’ op-ed piece in the May 16, 2007 issue of the Wall Street Journal deserves swift rebuttal. This is the same man who advised President Bush prior to the Iraq war that the only language Arabs understood was the language of force. While Presidents...
Falwell’s Tinky Winky Legacy
DAN VOJIR
Five minutes after the death of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, online news photos of Teletubbies were everywhere. Millions of his followers may still be rushing to blog their indignance over the fact that Falwell’s over-the-top homophobia seems to be the only image...
On the Menu and on the Docket
MARTHA ROSENBERG
"I have moved five times in order to raise and fight my game cocks," a fourth generation cockfighter from Oklahoma recently wrote in an email. "Most of my friends moved to Louisiana and New Mexico (now banned there too) or overseas in order to figh...
Challenges for the New Sanctuary Movement
ERIC JOHNSON-DEBAUFRE
On Wednesday, May 9th religious organizations in five U.S. cities announced the launch of the New Sanctuary Movement and pledged their determination to protect undocumented people against federal efforts to deport them. Modeled in part on the original Sanctuary Mo...
Being Ali or Being Owned
DAVE ZIRIN
Dear LeBron: At the tender age of 22, you have the galactic talent to make us wonder if a mad scientist had Magic and MJ genetically spliced. But talent ain’t wisdom. In a recent interview, you said that your goal in sports was to become "the ric...
The Murder of Du’a Aswad
YIFAT SUSSKIND
Recently, a mob of frenzied men beat and stoned to death a 17-year-old girl, Du’a Khalil Aswad, in northern Iraq. She was murdered by relatives and neighbors for falling in love with someone that her community did not approve of, in what’s typically ca...
The General vs. the Judge
TARIQ ALI
Sixty years old this August, Pakistan has been under de facto military rule for exactly half of its life. Military leaders have usually been limited to a ten-year cycle: Ayub Khan (1958-69), Zia-ul-Haq (1977-89). The first was removed by a nation-wide insurrection...
Obama’s Cash Flow
JOSHUA FRANK
A recent editorial in The Chicago Sun-Times, published on May 14, attempted to defile an essay I wrote in these pages about Barack Obama’s fundraising channels and his ties to corporate America. The Sun-Times piece, written b...
Whatever Happened to Rogerian Argument?
KAZ DZIAMKA
It is, of course, regrettable that logic and reason hold little sway in politics and religion. Politics is typically concerned with expediency, not with moral principles or rational conduct. Religionists often cater shamelessly to our infinite capacity for delusio...
Black Labor and the Big Mission
GLEN FORD
Never before in U.S. history has an actual decline in the economic fortunes of workers across the board been so clearly the deliberate, planned result of public policies. The crisis for working and unemployed Americans is general and unremitting – a steadily...
The Ghosts of Timothy Leary and Hunter S. Thompson
JOE BAGEANT
In my ragged assed 40 years of writing, I’ve been lucky enough — or sometimes unlucky enough — to meet and write about many of America’s "somebodies," mostly vapid asshole movie and TV stars and rock musicians. When I was young, s...
Farewell, Falwell …
MICKEY S. HUFF
It’s always a tragedy in the human experience when one passes on to whereever one goes when one dies. We often look back upon people’s lives and see what we have learned from someone, what they contributed to society over a lifetime. We tend to focus o...
Four-Letter Word for Tenet
RAY McGOVERN
If they question why we died, Tell them because our fathers lied. Rudyard Kipling Mercifully, the flurry of media coverage of former CIA director George Tenet hawking his memoir, "At the Center of the Storm," h...
The 59-Year Catastrophe
SONJA KARKAR
Fifty-nine years is a long time to wait to return home, yet the Palestinian refugees have waited, and waited resolutely. However, despite every international law that recognises their right to return home, despite the universal consensus that has affirmed that rig...
Falwell’s Lone Act of Kindness
JOHN CHUCKMAN
That great bulk, Jerry Falwell, has eaten his last family-size bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Yes, Jerry has ordered his last tent-sized silk suit, taken his last bag of cash from lonely old ladies, and ordered his last truckload of cheap, merchandising ...