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 2007
A Ticking Bomb
WILLIAM S. LIND
I returned at the end of last week from the Imperial fall maneuvers, held this year in Ostland. His Majesty’s forces prevailed, for much the same reasons that Blue usually wins in American war games. As someone who has led Red to victory in several senior-le...
The Children of 5767
GIDEON LEVY
It was a pretty quiet year, relatively speaking. Only 457 Palestinians and 10 Israelis were killed, according to the B’Tselem human rights organization, including the victims of Qassam rockets. Fewer casualties than in many previous years. However, it was st...
Hate and Hope in Herndon
ZACH MASON
The Official Workers Center of Herndon, Virginia closed on September 14th, the day that a conditional use permit expired. The day laborer center had been highly controversial even before its opening in December of 2005. The town council that approved the center ha...
So What About Iran?
URI AVNERY
A respected American paper posted a scoop this week: Vice-President Dick Cheney, the King of Hawks, has thought up a Machiavellian scheme for an attack on Iran. Its main point: Israel will start by bombing an Iranian nuclear installation, Iran will respond by...
Iraq’s WMD Myth
ANDREW COCKBURN
A former senior UN diplomat has revealed to me details of how, just over 10 years ago, the Clinton administration deliberately sabotaged UN weapons inspections in Iraq. American officials were fearful that Iraq would be officially certified as weapons-free,...
The Curse of the Military Commissions
ANDY WORTHINGTON
The Military Commissions, the Stalinesque show trials dreamt up in November 2001 by Dick Cheney and his cabal of close advisors, including David Addington, have been dogged by controversy ever since. Killed off by the Supreme Court in June 2006, brought back to li...
Iran’s Nuclear Program
REZA FIYOUZAT
The U.S. military capabilities, personnel and hardware alike, having reached a stalemate in Iraq, are said to be increasingly more likely to be sent on more insane and murderous missions in the region. There have been a growing number of reports of intended attack...
Bill Zimmerman or Bill-Did-Us-In?
FRED GARDNER
The author of the lame "General Petraeus or ‘General Betrayus?’" ad for MoveOn.org was none other than Bill Zimmerman, the Santa Monica p.r. man installed as Prop 215 campaign manager in the Spring of 1996. Zimmerman was assigned to repl...
Clinton Time: Do We Set Our Clocks Forward or Back?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Just like the architect of the Tower of Babel bustling out of his studio with a fresh set of drawings, Hillary Clinton has produced a new health plan. Politicians don’t care to admit they messed up, and Mrs Clinton is no exception to this rule. In fact she i...
The US Economy Since 1980
SETH SANDRONSKY
What makes the U.S. so unlike other rich nations? There is no single answer. At the top of a list is the power of the business class to shape policy-making and the lives of the nation’s populace. In ...
The Good, the Bad and the Iraqi
WAJAHAT ALI
"Privatize first, ask questions later." William D Hartung "I would like to have the largest, most professional private army in the world" Ga...
Buyer’s Remorse
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
I don’t know about you, but I for one am getting sick and tired of all these right-wing hacks righteously and publicly jumping ship on the Bush administration and the national nightmare they’ve been so kind as to bequeath to us this last awful decade....
Ethnic Cleansing in San Francisco
DON SANTINA
"They want to kick you out so they can build housing they know you can’t afford and allow rich San Franciscans to enjoy it. They don’t feel that poor Blacks or other people of color deserve to have a view like that." ...
Wag the Tail, Frag the Dog
RICHARD RHAMES
"There’s an old saw in the military that goes, ‘Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics.’ And when it comes down to the essential elements of the Iraq war, the fight is about logistics." ...
Free Lunches, for Corporations!
RALPH NADER
On September 26, 2007, the powerful National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) bought two pages in the Wall Street Journal to tout a prosperous, expanding group of member-companies producing products. It occurred to me as I began the copy, that the NA...
Going Down on the Rocks in Dinosaur
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
The Gates of Lodore confront us from the river like a misty portal in a Romantic ode. That must be why John Wesley Powell lifted the name from Robert Southey’s clunky poem, "The Cataract of Lodore." Jack Sumner, the most seasoned outdoorsman o...
September, the Cruelest Month in Chile
SAUL LANDAU
"Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain." T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land On September 10, 1810, Chile declared independence from Spain. On September 4 197...
Soldier in Winter
DAVE ZIRIN
When 50,000 people — many young, many poor, overwhelmingly African- American — marched in Jena, La., last Thursday, the political impact was felt around the country. Marching on behalf of six young men known as the Jena 6, who face prison time for a sc...
Why Presidential Records Must See the Light of Day
LARAY POLK
There is much concern over SB 866, the Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007. Librarians, historians and archivists from around the country have issued position statements regarding the bill and have worked diligently to keep it moving. SB 866 would r...
Hell, Columbia
JAMES McENTEER
"Before addressing our speaker, I have a few critical points to emphasize. First, just because we invite some nutcase here to sound off does not mean we endorse his ideas. Does the term political pressure’ mean anything to you people? Enough said. Secon...
When Anthropologists Become Counter-Insurgents
ROBERTO J. GONZÁLEZ And DAVID H. PRICE
When anthropologists work overseas, they typically arrive with an array of equipment including notebooks, trowels, tape recorders, and cameras. But in the new context of the Bush Administration’s "war on terror," a growing number of anthropologists...
Burma by the Numbers
TOM CLIFFORD
Since in Burma the number 9 is a fraught digit astrologers predicted 9/27/2007 would be a day of turbulence and the government was presumably expecting this, since it regularly consults astrologers on policy, just as President Reagan did. Perhaps the US State Depa...
The Teflon Alliance with Israel
KATHLEEN And BILL CHRISTISON
Two recent offhand comments, both widely publicized, have seriously undermined whatever progress might have been made in exposing the fact that the Iraq war was initiated at least in large part to guarantee Israel’s safety and regional dominance in the Middl...
Of Toxic Almonds and Bad Beef
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
It was beef and almonds. The whole time we were fussing about the Chinese government’s failure to impose strict standards on production of toys and Mattel was recalling toys because of lead paint and other manufacturing deficiencies, (some of which Mattel no...
When Reagan Turned Brown
BINOY KAMPMARK
It proved a painful exercise to witness, and those on the left of British labour must have had an aneurism. Aspiring less to high politics than stooping to low-brow, cudgelling tactics, the Brown government has decided to emulate Ronald Reagan. If Labour is no lon...
Spinning Suicide Statistics
MARTHA ROSENBERG
It’s been a busy year for pharma, creating new diseases to make healthy people take pills, reformulating existing drugs to win "new! improved!" patents, hiring high heel wearing reps to intercept the doc before ailing patients–and fear monger...
Pruning the Green Party
JOSHUA FRANK
It may seem as if I have been unduly harsh to the Green Party in recent columns. However, my criticism is not with the majority of Green Party members but with their leaders who are preventing the party from developing into a truly progressive alternative to the c...
Quit the Party!
DAVE LINDORFF
Cynthia McKinney is doing it. It’s time for you to do it too. Have you, like many Americans, found yourself wondering why President Bush, over and over again, would hand the Democrats in Congress the weapon needed to bring him down? Just look a...
Bush, Oil and Moral Bankruptcy
RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA Analyst It is an exceedingly dangerous time. Vice President Dick Cheney and his hard-core "neo-conservative" protégés in the administration and Congress are pushing harder and harder for President George W. Bush, isolated fro...
Joe Biden’s Plan to Chop Up Iraq
RON JACOBS
If anyone still believes that Iraq is a free and sovereign state, a couple recent moves in Washington should put a rest to that thought forever. The first is the response to the most recent slaughter by the Blackwater mercenaries. The second is the vote on Septemb...
The CDC, Vaccines and Autism
ANNE DACHEL
I listened to ABC NEWS tonight waiting for the story about the new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccines with mercury and autism. I watched commercials for prescription pharmaceutical products like Advair and wondered what influence...
A Bad Week at Guantánamo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
One thing you learn when studying Guantánamo is that nothing can ever be taken for granted, and the events of the last week have demonstrated, yet again, that this is the case. In Washington, last week District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina dismissed 16 lawsui...
Housing Market Crashes and Burns
ALAN FARAGO
Why did the bank thief in Homestead, Florida think he could get away with using a stolen backhoe "to lift and haul away a drive-through ATM from a Bank of America early Tuesday"? Because that’s pretty much how it works in Homestead, where po...
A Prince of War Exposed
WILLIAM HUGHES
"The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same." - Stendhal The propaganda machine of the Evangelical Christian Right will soo...
Why Did Israel Attack Syria?
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth Israel’s air strike on northern Syria earlier this month should be understood in the context of events unfolding since its assault last summer on neighboring Lebanon. From the leaks so far, it seems that more than half a dozen Israeli...
Tightening the Noose Around New Orleans
BILL QUIGLEY
Odessa Lewis is 62 years old. When I saw her last week, she was crying because she is being evicted. A long-time resident of the Lafitte public housing apartments, since Katrina she has been locked out of her apartment and forced to live in a 240 square foot FEMA ...
On the March Against Racism
NICOLE COLSON
Fifty years ago this month, the world watched as nine Black students braved a jeering white mob as they walked into the segregated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in the pursuit of an equal education. The images from that September day in 1957 sho...
Schwarzenegger at the UN
DAN BACHER
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s address to the United Nations today about global climate change is one of the most blatant examples of hypocrisy that I’ve ever witnessed. Schwarzenegger challenged the leaders of the world’s nations to "solv...
Is China the True Target of Financial Sanctions Against Iran?
CHINA HAND
Those with long memories-that go back, say, three months-will remember the last time the U.S. Treasury Department tried to bend an Axis of Evil member to its will through targeted financial sanctions. Failure was the outcome. Now the United States is...
Still Smearing Alger Hiss
JEFF KISSELOFF
The 1997 publication of "Whittaker Chambers, a Biography," a ten-year project that became a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, brought its author, Sam Tanenhaus, to immediate public attention, and, something unusual for a b...
At the Gates of Paradise
BEHZAD YAGHMAIAN
More than 500 sub-Saharan migrants from different nationalities and backgrounds quietly left their hideouts in the woods near the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco on 29 September 2005. Some had lived in the woods for more than two years. They confronte...
A Barbarous and Ignorant Speech
CLIFTON ROSS
To Mr. Lee Bollinger, I’m writing you to express my outrage over your vulgar treatment of President Ahmadinejad yesterday when you invited him to speak at your university. Simple human etiquette of the most primitive and elemental sort, was required ...
The UAW-GM Strike
DAVID MACARAY
Before the UAW strike against GM was, literally, ten minutes old, the long knives were already out. Pundits went on record predicting that the union had overplayed its hand, that calling a strike under these market conditions was not only a reckless gamble, but a ...
Bruce Springsteen Comes Home … to Hell
HARRY BROWNE
There are a few ways you can be both a political artist and a rock-star, and Bruce Springsteen has been trying them out for almost four decades now. You can write songs that adopt and/or explore the perspectives of people without power. You can offer moral and fin...
Speech? Arrest Him for God’s Sake
BRENDAN COONEY
There was a big struggle on Broadway yesterday. It was a collective attempt among U.S. citizens to figure out what exactly is meant by this freedom of speech they had heard so much about. I was curious, too. So I asked people protesting a speech by IranR...
Pursue Diplomacy, Not War, with Iran
MARJORIE COHN
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the United States has prompted an outcry, including protests and tabloid headlines calling him "evil" and a "madman." As Juan Cole says, "The real reason his visit is controversial is ...
A Meeting of Indigenous Peoples in Caracas
BRENDA NORRELL
CARACAS, Venezuela Adelegation of Indigenous Peoples from the United States and Canada met with leaders in Venezuela to unite in the global struggle for Indigenous rights. Robert Free Galvan, Native activist from Seattle, was among those in the deleg...
Foam on the Water
URI AVNERY
Today is Yom Kippur, and almost automatically my thoughts, like those of everybody else who was around at the time, go back 34 years, to that Yom Kippur. I was sitting at home, deep in conversation with a friend, when the sirens suddenly started to wail....
Freedom to Speak, Freedom to Learn
Col. DAN SMITH
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flew into New York City Saturday. He had come to the United States to speak before the UN General Assembly’s opening session this week. Under agreement with the UN, the United States as the host country for the UN headqu...
The Quality of Mercy in Gaza
SONJA KARKAR
In these days of warmongering, peace and justice are tossed about like hot potatoes with no end to the suffering in sight. But, where is the compassion for the children, women and men who are being subjected to the excesses of power in all its guises? Righ...