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Archives from November 2007
The Dismantling of Pakistani Democracy
FATIMA BHUTTO
Karachi. We Pakistanis live in uncertain times. Emergency rule has been imposed for the 13th time in our short 60-year history. Thousands of lawyers have been arrested, some charged with sedition and treason; the chief justice has been deposed; and a dracon...
Torturing Palestinian Detainees
STEPHEN LENDMAN
B’Tselem is the conservative Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories with a well-deserved reputation for accuracy. A group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists and Knesset members founded the organization in 1989 to ...
Mailer and Us
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Two years ago Norman Mailer came to Portland for a big book event portentously marketed as WordStock. Mailer had been battling his failing body for the last couple of years. He inched his way across the stage on crutches and lowered his frail bones down in a big c...
The Teamsters and the Hollywood Strike
DAVID MACARAY
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is facing a moral and economic dilemma: Do its members cross a WGA (Writers Guild of America) picket line, thereby committing ideological treason; or do they defiantly refuse to cross, putting themselves in danger of losi...
Pakistani Lawyers vs. American Lawyers
RALPH NADER
One of the most noticed photographs in the newspapers last week was that of a well-dressed Pakistani lawyer on the streets hurling back a tear gas canister toward the soldiers who were suppressing a demonstration by lawyers protesting the martial law (called "...
Education Versus Incarceration in Tallulah
JORDAN FLAHERTY
Tallulah is a small town in Northeastern Louisiana, one of the poorest regions in the US. It is about 90 miles from the now-legendary town of Jena, and like Jena it is a town with a large youth prison that was closed after allegations of abuse and brutality. Also ...
The Pakistan Fuel Connection
ROBERT BRYCE
When it comes to America’s relationship with Pakistan, remember one thing: it’s all about the fuel. The Bush Administration’s muted reaction to the new dictatorial rule of Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf can be traced to the American ...
Hillary’s Big Problem and How Bill Can Fix It
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Hillary’s problem is that she’s not too quick on her feet, unlike her husband Bill, a Baryshnikov of equivocation, who in his heyday could pirouette effortlessly across the political spectrum in a single phrase. In that Fatal Debate, out there under th...
Chavez Blasts the Spanish King
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
It’s been almost two hundred years since Venezuela first declared its independence from Spain, but over the past few days Hugo Chávez stoked Venezuelan nationalism again by attacking King Juan Carlos of Spain. The spat, which could damage diplomatic r...
Dear Mrs. Bhutto
B.R. GOWANI
Hi! How are you? Whether one likes you, your politics, or your closeness to the United States’ ruling elites or not, one has to acknowledge, grudgingly though, that you (unlike George W. Bush, the facilitator who helped break your self-imposed exile a...
Bulletins from the Titanic
MIKE WHITNEY
On Monday, Asian stock markets took another beating, on fears that the credit squeeze which began in the United States will continue to worsen in the months ahead. Every index from Tokyo to Sidney fell sharply continuing the "self-reinforcing" cycle of l...
I Too Saw a UFO!
DAVE LINDORFF
It was predictable that just as people in the Democratic primary states are starting to notice that of all the candidates running for the party’s nomination, it is Dennis Kucinich who stands solidly for everything that they care about–ending the war, i...
Faith and War
CINDY SHEEHAN
A friend of mine, who is Chair of the Economics Department, invited me to speak to the students and faculty at the University of Dallas (where the Veterans for Peace convention was that I spoke at the day before I went to Crawford on August 6th, 2005), which is a ...
The Return of Levon Helm
PETER STONE BROWN
The first time most people heard Levon Helm sing was way back in 1968 when The Band released Music From Big Pink. You had to wait until the end of side one to hear him, and the song was the album’s most accessible, "The Weight." The song was at onc...
A Pakistani Lawyer’s Testimony
OMAR K.
[Editors' Note: The following was written by a Karachi based lawyer, OMAR K. Throughout his legal career he has been active in social causes, including prisoner's rights and causes and the issue of forced evictions carried out by the state. Omar's fr...
Asshole of the Year
PAUL KRASSNER
It’s Tim Russert. The moment he said to Dennis Kucinich at a "debate" among Democratic presidential candidates, "This is a serious question," you knew it wouldn’t be. A responsible journalist might have asked, "Why do think tha...
Mailer’s Miasma
FARZANA VERSEY
Norman Mailer felt flaky as I ran my fingers over his sunburnt cheek. Something singed right then. You would not expect an Indian woman to identify with an old American man getting off on his own words. It is not just about déjà vu. The reali...
The Roots of Pakistan’s Political Crisis
SADIA ABBAS
It seemed too good to be true. Pakistan had a judiciary asserting itself. The media was feeding a nascent democracy movement. The military was being challenged. Even the intelligence services were being asked to produce those it had been "disappearing" f...
The Political Crimes of Complicity
RICHARD W. BEHAN
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. –Article III, Section 3, United States Constitution (emphasis added) T he...
Why Hillary’s Health Care Plan Really Failed
VICENTE NAVARRO
In his article "The Hillarycare Mythology" (The American Prospect, October 2007, pp. 12-18), Paul Starr, a senior health policy advisor to President Bill Clinton and a leading figure in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s White House task force on health care...
A Tribute to My Vietnam Vet Father
BEN BROWN
Ho Chi Minh City. I can’t say that I was exactly nervous in the days before I met my father in Vietnam. He has come a long way since my childhood, when his world suddenly darkened, and he would lose days on end to haunted memories of his war. I rememb...
Flunking Out of the Electoral College
PAUL KRASSNER
The Electoral College system was originally designed in part to cater to slavery and to the disenfrancisement of women. But what if there were no Electoral College in modern times? There would be no red and blue states. There would be no battleground states that c...
The First Dambuster
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Here is a coyote tale I learned from Johnny Whizz, an old dipnet fisherman of the Yakima Tribe. Whizz told me the story a few year ago on a foggy morning as we motored in his skiff up the choppy Columbia toward Memaloose Island, the ancient burial ground of the ri...
Legitimizing Torture
ROBERT FANTINA
The U.S. now has an Attorney General, Mr. Michael Mukasey, who does not know if waterboarding is torture. One wonders what else escapes the knowledge of the Mr. Mukasey. Is he aware that U.S. law forbids the practice of waterboarding, as do numerous interna...
NATO’s Southward Drift
NICOLA NASSER
Discreetly but progressively and confidently the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is expanding south and southeast almost uncontested — after the collapse of the former USSR-led Warsaw Pact — outside the mandate designated by its statute into ...
The Pope Versus Terry Higgins
MICHAEL DICKINSON
Shortly after gay reporter and barman Terry Higgins died in 1982, one of the first acknowledged victims of the AIDS virus then nascent in England, a group of his friends got together and set up a charity trust in his memory, dedicated to promoting awareness and pr...
Tangled Up in Blue
ALAN FARAGO
Last week, Congress handed President Bush the first override of a presidential veto. The issue was the Water Resources Development Act– and for Florida, what was at stake was reviving the federal half of Everglades restoration. In 2000, Congress set o...
When Language Drowns
BINOY KAMPMARK
It was once pithily observed that when a solution was found to the Irish Question, the Irish changed the question. And so it is with some members of the intelligence community, congressman and lawyers. They twitter at the idea of defining torture–in an ̵...
The Blame Game in Gaza
PHILIP RIZK
The blame game surrounding Gaza’s current political and social crisis is too unilateral and simplistic. In the public sphere responsibility for the instability of Gaza and the general Palestinian political malaise is placed either on Fatah’s corruption...
The Ongoing War on Journalists in Haiti
WADNER PIERRE
and JOE EMERSBERGER Gunshots were fired at Radio-Tele Ginen (RTG) during the morning of Tuesday, November 6, in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince. The attack injured a female street vendor who was subsequently hospitalized according to RTG employees. A fro...
Uncle Sam’s New Backyard
ALAIN GRESH
When the US decided that its backyard would in future be a greater Middle East –from Pakistan to Morocco –it imagined that it could rearrange the region to suit itself. The results have been disastrous and will be long-lasting. The United States...
Psychological Torture in the Name of Family Values
FRED GARDNER
Which psychological torture would you rather not have to endure (bearing in mind that you don’t know how or when it will end): 1. Being made to wear panties and chained to a heap of fellow prisoners while rude foreigners insult you. Or,...
The General in His Labyrinth
AYESHA IJAZ KHAN
Contrary to General Musharraf’s address and the Proclamation Order issued on November 3, declaration of a state of emergency in Pakistan had nothing to do with combating terrorism and everything to do with avoiding potentially unfavourable Supreme Court verd...
The Grand Delusion
JOEL S. HIRSCHHORN
With an endless, futile and costly Iraq war, a stinking economy and most Americans seeing the country on the wrong track, the greatest national group delusion is that electing Democrats in 2008 is what the country needs. Keith Olbermann was praised when h...
The Last Dead Bull on Wall Street
MIKE WHITNEY
What a week for the stock market. On Wednesday the market took a 360 point nosedive followed, two days later, by a 220 point belly-flop. By the time it was over, the trading pits looked more like a sausage-packing plant than the world’s financial epicenter. ...
A View from the Pakistani Left
RON JACOBS
In recent days, the already tenuous political situation in Pakistan has made a turn toward the worse. Musharraf’s government clamped down first on the judiciary and other opponents in the government in the first days after his declaration of martial law. Mor...
Ron Paul, Big Media’s Invisible Candidate
MIKE WHITNEY
"The American Republic is in remnant status. The stage is set for our country to devolve into a military dictatorship, and few seem to care." –Rep. Ron Paul First we stop the killing, and the...
Blackwater Goes to Mexico
JOHN ROSS
If and when private security contractor Blackwater USA and its heavily-armed operatives are forced to pull out of Iraq as the result of the September 16th rampage in downtown Baghdad when its employees massacred up to 28 Iraqis, Mexico could be a profitable option...
Pakistan and the Israel Lobby
BADRUDDIN KHAN
Recent events in Pakistan should serve as a wake up call. There is more to the Mideast region than Israel and its Arab antagonists. The Israel Lobby has been successful in inducing the United States into mis-allocating its resources to protect Israeli interests, a...
In the Kandil Mountains with the PKK
PATRICK COCKBURN
There are 100,000 Turkish troops just across the border preparing to launch an invasion of northern Iraq in order to eliminate the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The US has labelled the PKK ‘terrorists’ and the Iraqi government...
The Blood Sport of Vice Presidents
MARTHA ROSENBERG
While most people are lamenting the violence in Pakistan, Burma, Afghanistan and Iraq, apparently it’s not enough bloodshed for Vice President Dick Cheney. Last month in a caravan of 15 sport utility vehicles and an ambulance–no jokes, please...
The Empire Strikes Back
DAVID MACARAY
Yesterday, in New York, Michael Eisner shared his thoughts on the WGA (Writers’ Guild of America) strike. As the keynote speaker at a "Media and Money" conference, hosted by Dow Jones and the Nielsen Corporation, the former Disney CEO, Eisner descr...
Musharraf and the Drunk Uncle
MOHAMMED HANIF
Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf deserves our sympathy. Not because he has been forced to carry out a coup against his own regime, not because his troops are being kidnapped en masse by Pakistani Taliban and then awarded Rs 500 for good behaviour, not bec...
Hillary Clinton’s Lack of Respect for Latin America
TOM BARRY
"A great nation must command the respect of others," writes Hillary Clinton in the new issue of Foreign Affairs. But what about showing a little respect? In her infatuation with U.S. power and the transcendent "American idea," she forgets that ...
Is the AFL Trying to Derail Single Payer Health Care?
CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER
Does the leadership of the AFL-CIO favor a single payer, Canadian-style, Medicare-for-all, health insurance system? They do not. The California Nurses Association, which joined the AFL executive council earlier this year, supports single payer. More ...
A Market Without Parachutes
MIKE WHITNEY
America is finished, washed up, kaput. Foreign investors and central banks around the world have lost confidence in US markets and are headed for the exits. The dollar is sinking, the country is insolvent, and its leaders are barking mad. That’s bad for busi...
Solidarity with Pakistan’s Lawyers
LIAQUAT ALI KHAN
The time is here for the lawyers of the world to show solidarity with the lawyers in Pakistan who are waging a struggle to challenge the lawlessness of an ugly usurper, a power addict, a man in military uniform determined to undermine a Muslim nation that yearns f...
Why Woodstock May Have Saved John McCain’s Life
SHELDON RICHMAN
John McCain scored a standing ovation at the last Republican presidential debate when he attacked Sen. Hillary Clinton for proposing — unsuccessfully — to spend a million taxpayer dollars on a museum commemorating the 1969 Woodstock festival, saying,...
The Victims of "Jessica’s Law"
MARC GARDNER
KB is not the most egregious victim of California’s Proposition 83, or "Jessica’s Law." Maybe that belongs to the guy who, when he was 17, was convicted of a misdemeanor statutory rape (consensual sex) with his 15-year-old girlfriend. That wa...
Double Standards at the New York Times
DAVE LINDORFF
The New York Times, which claims to draw a clear distinction between its news articles and its commentary articles, dropped any pretense of such a distinction in its minimalist "coverage" of yesterday’s dramatic effort by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to fo...