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 October 2007
A Trail of American Blood
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
A classic denial of reality is seen in the defensive reactions of CBS "60 Minutes" reporter Scott Pelley in his September 23, 2007 interview with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Pelley’s defensiveness is an attempt to deny the reality of an ...
"Social Cleansing" from Guatemala to LA
LUIS J. RODRIGUEZ
One of the "solutions" we often heard in Guatemala to the growing gang violence there was "social cleansing." Repeated by officials and common people alike, this literally means what it says: the active and violent removal of alleged gang membe...
The Bicycle Bomber of Baquba
PATRICK COCKBURN
A suicide bomber riding a bicycle detonated explosives packed with iron balls in a crowd of police recruits in Baquba yesterday, killing 28 people and wounding at least 20 others. "I saw many bodies covered in blood," said Ali Shahine, a shopkeepe...
A Real Halloween Scare
WALTER BRASCH
There are a lot of scary things in the world. There’s the "fun-scary"-kids who dress up as clowns, monsters, or fairy princesses once a year to get a month’s supply of candy, which they’ll finish off by morning. There̵...
Attacking Iran for Israel?
RAY McGOVERN
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is at her mushroom-cloud hyperbolic best, and this time Iran is the target. Her claim last week that "the policies of Iran constitute perhaps the single greatest challenge to American security interests in the Middle Ea...
Poisonous Espionage
ERIC WALBERG
Four Russian diplomats were expelled from Britain this summer as a pressure tactic to try to force Russia to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the key suspect in the death of a former KGB officer and proud new UK citizen, Alexander Litvinenko. The expulsion came shortly a...
New Orleans’ Broken Criminal Justice System
BILL QUIGLEY
"We are faced with the daily reality of an imminent collapse of our criminal justice institutions." New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley Some say crime causes a city to be under siege; others say crim...
Giuliani and Torture
SHERWOOD ROSS
If Rudy Giuliani doubts that sleep deprivation and waterboarding are torture, why doesn’t he try them himself? As the tough-talking Republican advocate of "aggressive questioning," he thinks the "liberal media" exaggerate torture,...
The Epiphany of Matthew Waxman
ANDY WORTHINGTON
In a fascinating article for the Washington Post, "The Smart Way To Shut Gitmo Down," Matthew Waxman, a teacher at Columbia Law School, who was deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs in 2004-05, calls for the closure of Guantán...
Bush has Time to Run the World
SHELDON RICHMAN
President Bush has been a busy man. Even though the quagmire in Iraq threatens to worsen as Turkey prepares to invade the Kurdish north, Bush has time to undertake the arduous task of preventing World War III and begin the transition to democracy in Cuba. How does...
What "All Options are on the Table" Really Means
FLOYD RUDMIN
Conscious or not conscious of your own bad intentions, you suspect theirs to be still worse. Their notion of your intentions is the same. Measures of mere self-defense are naturally taken for acts of aggression. The same causes produce, on both sides,...
The Second Death of Guy Môquet
V. G. SMITH
Last week President Nicolas Sarkozy expressed the wish that Lycée instructors read the celebrated letter of Guy Môquet on October 21 to commemorate the anniversary of that young student’s death in WWII. At 17 years, Moquet was the youngest of 27...
The Twisted Logic of Drug Laws
ANTHONY PAPA
Robert Chambers served 15 years in prison for the notorious murder of Jennifer Levin in 1986. He claimed that he accidentally strangled Levin during rough sex. Despite his horrific crime, Chambers was allowed to plead guilty to first degree manslaughter and was se...
Pilfered Scholarship Devastates General Petraeus’s Counterinsurgency Manual * Core Chapter a Morass of "Borrowed" Quotes * University of Chicago Press Badly Compromised * Counterinsurgency Anthropologist Montgomery McFate’s Role Under Attack
DAVID PRICE
Editors’ note: This expose of the stolen scholarship in the Army’s new manual on counterinsurgency to which General David Petraeus has attached his name also runs in our current newsletter sent by US mail or as a pdf to our newsletter...
Will History Repeat Itself?
M. SHAHID ALAM
In January 2002, when President Bush named Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the first targets in his ‘global war against terror’–the putative ‘axis of evil’–few noticed a curious omission. Pakistan was not on the list. The t...
The Greening of the Oligarchy
STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN
America’s Byzantine campaign financing system is like the slave auction block in days of yore. As a corporate finagler, you buy and pay for your politician and put him to work for your corporation or in your industry’s behalf. A good day’s...
Corporate Murder in Brazil
ISABELLA KENFIELD And ROGER BURBACH
In the Brazilian state of Paraná, Valmir Mota de Oliveira of Via Campesina, an international peasant organization, was shot twice in the chest at point blank range by armed gunmen on an experimental farm of Syngenta Seeds, a multinational agribusiness corpo...
The Frivolous Investigation of Dr. Sterner
FRED GARDNER
Dog stories sell newspapers, they say. As the winds were fanning the flames towards San Diego last Sunday, the Union Tribune ran one purporting to describe how a pro-cannabis doctor authorized an undercover police officer to buy some pot for his Labrador Retriever...
The Politics of Lethal Injection
JOE DeRAYMOND
The Supreme Court has decided to rule on the humanity of using lethal injection in executions, in Baze v Rees, a Kentucky case in which two inmates scheduled to be killed by the State have questioned the method of their punishment. Death penalty opponents have sei...
The High Stakes in Iraqi Kurdistan
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurds of northern Iraq, expressed defiance yesterday in the face of a threatened invasion by 100,00 Turkish troops, and was scornful of Turkey’s claim that it wants only to pursue Turkish-Kurd rebels....
Dan Keating, the Last of the Republican Irreconcilables
EAMONN McCANN
Dan Keating, who died peacefully in his native Kerry on October 3rd, aged 105, was the last of the Republican irreconcilables. The sole survivor of Ireland’s 1919-1921 War of Independence, he refused ever afterwards to recognise the legitimacy of any ...
Caricaturing Islam
FARZANA VERSEY
Don’t they really fancy Islam? The Danes show their love for the Prophet again. On October 25, the rightwing Danish People’s Party used a hand-drawn picture of Prophet Mohammed under the slogan "Freedom of expression is Danish, censorship is not&q...
The Congressional Rip Cord
MARCELLE CENDRARS
"Just as Mrs. Phelps, in Sidney Howard’s 1926 The Silver Cord, destroys the relationship between her younger son and his fiancee, Congress (among other things) destroys the relationship between democracy and justice. And just as the ol...
Inside Israel’s Military Courts
LISA HAJJAR
Should the United States, seeking to recalibrate the balance between security and liberty in the "war on terror," emulate Israel in its treatment of Palestinian detainees? That is the position that Guantanamo detainee lawyers Avi Stadler and John ...
For Halloween, Ann Coulter Dresses as …. Ann Coulter!
MARTHA ROSENBERG
James Dewey Watson, the co-discoverer of DNA, recently resigned as chancellor of Long Island’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for making racially insensitive remarks. But don’t expect Ann Coulter to step down from the public spotlight anytime soon. ...
Labor at the Crossroads
RON JACOBS
I began reading Kim Moody’s new book US Labor in Trouble and Transition just as news ...
U.S. Eyes on Oaxaca
JOHN ROSS
This October 27th marks the first anniversary of the assassination of New York-based Indymedia photojournalist Brad Will by Oaxaca Mexico police under the thumb of a corrupt and tyrannical governor. Will was gunned down just outside Oaxaca City while filming a pit...
So Much for Islamo-Fascism Awareness
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
In America awareness never sleeps and has been on particularly active duty this October, designated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month (proclamation of President George Bush); as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (proclamation of President George Bush); as Energy Aw...
The FBI’s Right to Threaten Torture
JAMES BOVARD
A federal appeals court has concluded that an FBI agent must go to trial on charges he coerced a false confession out of a prime suspect in the 9/11 attacks. But the FBI still insists that its agent did nothing wrong. And the feds swayed the court to suppress that...
In Search of Logic About Iran
ALI MOAYEDIAN
In Bushies’ march to war with Iran. Many are concerned and see the dangers of war as imminent. Others are openly advocating for U.S. aggression against Iran and they scream for bombardment of another nation, just because we can! Forces of Good and Evi...
The Arsonists in the West Wing
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
I am imagining Southern California. I am imagining Southern California because I have been watching and reading about the devastation via television news and newspaper articles. I have seen the flames, the smoke, and the tears. Eighteen hundred homes have been des...
Beyond the Role of Law
RALPH NADER
Every law student promptly learns the national ideal that our country is governed by the rule of law, not the rule of men. Today, the rule of law is under attack. Such activities have become a big business and, not surprisingly, they have involved big busin...
The Fraud of the War on Terror
JACOB G. HORNBERGER
Immediately after he denounced Fidel Castro for being a dictator, President Bush unilaterally decreed new sanctions against Iran, moving the United States closer to war against Iran. Would someone please tell me how it is that Bush exercises such omnipotent power,...
Iraq, Iran and the U.S. "Vision"
ROBERT FANTINA
The U.S.’s current cheerleader for American imperial arrogance, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has now stated that Iran presents a major obstacle blocking the U.S.’s vision for the Middle East. In her fairy-tale world, this vision is of a region ...
The Wahhabis are Coming, the Wahhabis are Coming!
M. REZA PIRBHAI
From January 1857 to September 2007, the New York Times published eighty-six items that mention ‘Wahhabism’–a ‘puritanical’ (salafi) Islamic creed named after its 18th century Arabian founder, Abd al-Wahhab. Six appeared before the at...
Cuba, Claims and Confiscations
ROBERT SANDELS
In 2005, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Creighton University a $750,000 contract to study how to collect on claims against the Cuban government for property confiscations, most of which were carried out in 1959 and 1960....
What If We Had a President Who Didn’t Give a Damn About Terrorism?
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
One thing all Americans can agree on, that’s for sure: terrorism is bad news. Yep–left, right and center–we all want protection from bad people who possess even badder weapons. (Sorry if that comes as a shock to the certifiables of the Rid...
A Castro Behind Every Bush
ALAN FARAGO
People won’t get as many colds, is how White House spokesperson Dana Perino put it yesterday when asked about global warming and criticism that the Senate testimony of one of the nation’s top scientists, CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding, had been &quo...
Home of the Brave?
DAVE LINDORFF
Several years ago, I warned that as the Bush/Cheney administration sought to reduce politically problematic casualty rates in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would resort to increased use of air attacks to combat the growing insurgency in Iraq and the resurgent Taliban i...
Murdoch’s Cuckoo’s Nest
MIKE WHITNEY
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page is the ideological headwaters for far-right fanaticism in the US. It is less of a forum for open debate than it is a breeding ground for noxious ideas that undermine democratic institutions. Every day, there’s a...
Does "Loving" Lebanon Mean Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?
FRANKLIN LAMB
As US Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman packs his bags and prepares to depart Lebanon for his next assignment, he probably should be forgiven for feeling a bit abused these past few months. His pique surfaced on October 22 nd when he rudely insulted his host,...
Going Down on the Rocks in Dinosaur
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
A raven wakes me at dawn with the scratchy-throated call of a two-pack a day smoker. I dredge myself out of the sleeping bag, which is saturated with dew. The air is sharp, autumnal. I lumber to the river, strip and dive in. I haven’t bathed in four days. I&#...
Getting Justice in the HLF Case
AHMAD AL-AKHRAS
After years of investigations and wiretaps, after three months of court arguments and a record 19 straight days of jury deliberations, the jury could not return a single guilty verdict on the nearly 200 charges in a case against the Texas-based Holy Land Foundatio...
Portrait of Rudy
SAUL LANDAU
"Rudy Giuliani has defended Newt Gingrich, saying it’s okay Newt had an affair and that no one is perfect. That’s when you know the Republicans are in trouble — when a guy with three marriages and an affair is defending the...
Conscripting Feminism into the War on Terror
YIFAT SUSSKIND
American feminists found themselves in strange company this week. In days of campus activity labeled "Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week" (IFAW), conservative writer David Horowitz and his fellow travelers issued a call for an end to the oppression of women i...
Revenging Bloodshed
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Do Bush and his people ever wonder why more and more recruits are joining the movements to fight against US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? The overall policy of Shock and Awe has a great deal to do with it. Washington’s deeply-held belief that bullying is t...
Homes of the Crash Test Dummies
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Trick or treat, Trick or treat, Give me something good to eat. If you don’t I don’t care, I’ll pull down your underwear! The above can be taken as a succinct analysis of the current economic si...
The Lesson of the Chrysler Rebels
CHRIS KUTALIK
Negotiations between the Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers (UAW) were anything but predictable this year. Nationwide strikes at both General Motors and Chrysler, union givebacks on an unprecedented scale, and the stirrings of a strong "vote no ...
Iraq’s Environmental Crisis
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR And JOSHUA FRANK
The ecological effects of war, like its horrific toll on human life, are exponential. When the Bush Administration and their Congressional allies sent our troops in to Iraq to topple Saddam’s regime, they not only ordered these men and women to commit crimes...
The Politics of Paranoia
Col. DAN SMITH
Congresswoman Jane Harman has introduced legislation–H.R. 1955: "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism"–that is expected to be referred to the House Rules Committee for assignment of floor time for debate by the House. This is a bill...