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 December 2007
Pakistan: the Aftermath
TARIQ ALI
Arranged marriages can be a messy business. Designed principally as a means of accumulating wealth, circumventing undesirable flirtations or transcending clandestine love affairs, they often don’t work. Where both parties are known to loathe each other, only...
The Perfidy of Pakistan’s Rulers
LIAQUAT ALI KHAN
The Bhutto assassination might force Pakistani rulers to reconsider supporting the war on terror that has been forced upon the entire Muslim world. Just as Spain withdrew from the war in Iraq after the Madrid terrorist bombings, Pakistan too might use Bhutto’...
Hello 2008 and You’d Better Shape Up!
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
It was the No! 2007 was never the best of times. It was a whiny, fretful twelve months, and what should have been a time of keen enjoyment, poking at the graying ashes of the Bush era, saw the left and progressive sectors grasping at phantoms and with less of a si...
Myths and Realities About Benazir Bhutto and Pakistan’s Dark Future
AJAI SAHNI
A tremendous myth had been generated over the past months regarding the imminent restoration of ‘democracy’ in Pakistan–with Benazir Bhutto projected as the great liberal hope. This was arrant nonsense. Bhutto was a discredited, demonstrably inep...
The Beilin Syndrome
URI AVNERY
MEPHISTO, the demon who bought the soul of Faust in Goethe’s monumental drama, describes himself as "a part of that force which always wants the bad and always creates the good." Yossi Beilin, who resigned this week as chairman of the Meretz...
The Middle East and the US Presidential Election Campaigns
MARWAN BISHARA
National and economic security have been the twin agendas of US presidential elections for more than half a century. The Democrats have attempted to demonstrate why they are the best party to manage the economy, while the Republicans are underlining their s...
Does This Happen in Canada?
MARK T. HARRIS
The story of 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan’s recent death from liver failure was tragic. But it was a uniquely American brand of tragedy. Only in the United States would the medical fate of a sick child be left to some private company’s idea of what c...
Who Killed Bhutto?
ROBERT FISK
Weird, isn’t it, how swiftly the narrative is laid down for us. Benazir Bhutto, the courageous leader of the Pakistan People’s Party, is assassinated in Rawalpindi–attached to the very capital of Islamabad wherein ex-General Pervez Musharraf live...
Resistance and Censorship
BRENDA NORRELL
The widespread censorship of crucial issues for American Indians increased in 2007, according to Censored Blog readers. The most censored issue was the "Silencing of traditional and grassroots’ voices by those in power." The elected councils...
After Bhutto: a Nuclear Pakistan?
WAJAHAT ALI
In the wake of Bhutto’s tragic assassination, renewed international attention focuses itself on Pakistan’s political instability and nuclear capabilities. The United States and President Musharraf adamantly state that the Pakistani military represents ...
Pakistan and the Failure of Quick-Fix Politics
JOHN CHUCKMAN
With the assassination of Ms. Bhutto, we are given to understand, by many newspaper stories and broadcasts, that anti-democratic religious zealots killed Pakistan’s last hope for democracy. Ms. Bhutto was in many ways an admirable and accomplished lea...
Encountering Benazir Bhutto
FAWZIA AFZAL-KHAN
Lahore, Pakistan. I was a twenty-two year old graduate student in Boston when in 1980, a year after her father, the charismatic populist former prime minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had been hung by military dictator Zia ul Haque, Ms Bhutto arrive...
The Sham of Homeland Security
ROBERT FANTINA
One of President Bush’s much-vaunted ‘accomplishments’ since the start of his reign of terror is the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security. This cabinet post was created following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S., and bro...
Beauty from the Heart of Texas
GREG MOSES
Over at the Internet Movie Database, redneck trolls are saddling up their cyber posse to go night riding on the message boards against Denzel Washington and "The Great Debaters." All of which is a good thing if you like to see relevance in contemporary a...
What We Can Not See
CATHERINE LUTZ
This interview is excerpted from Bomb After Bomb: a Violent Cartography, a col...
Seeing in the Dark
KRISTIN VAN TASSEL
The second week of December, an ice storm hit the Plains states, and thousands of families lost power, some for a week or more. My family was among them, and the experience gave me an epiphany I call the Light Bulb Theory of Materialism. Never mind the ot...
The U.S. and Pakistan After 9/11
GARY LEUPP
Immediately after 9-11 the U.S. government began barking orders to the world, especially to the Muslim world. Perhaps echoing unconsciously the Christian scripture passages Matthew 12:30 and Luke 11:23, it proclaimed, "Either you are with us, or with the terr...
Brian DePalma’s Scream of Outrage
KIM NICOLINI
Brian De Palma’s Redacted is hard to watch. When I first left the movie, the one word that held fast in my mind was “hard.” The message of the movie is hard. The truth of the movie is hard. The way the movie challenges us is hard. Based on the real life ...
Who Will Take the Next Step?
RALPH NADER
1. Call them small investors, savers or shareholders – corporate crimes, frauds and abuses have battered them in the past decade. Think Enron, Worldcom, Wall Street’s brokerage and investment giants and now the big shaky banks. Trillions of dollars hav...
Keith Richards Runs With Rudolph Once More
PHYLLIS POLLACK
Arguably, the most unexpected download of this year’s holiday season is the long overdue re-issue of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards’ version of the Christmas classic "Run Rudolph Run." Although Richards recorded the track in 1976, it...
Indignation and Fear Stalk Pakistan
TARIQ ALI
Even those of us sharply critical of Benazir Bhutto’s behaviour and policies – both while she was in office and more recently – are stunned and angered by her death. Indignation and fear stalk the country once again. An odd coexistence of ...
Evaluating Bush with the Bhutto Corruption Standard
MISSY BEATTIE
Ms. Bhutto and her father and political mentor, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, were democratic, but imperfect political leaders – imperious, indifferent to human rights and, in her case, tainted by serious charges of corruption. (New York Times Editorial,...
Pakistan Stares Into the Abyss
CHINA HAND
Beyond the immediate shock of Benazir Bhutto’s death by violence in Rawalpindi, the greater tragedy for Pakistan is that the opportunity for a peaceful transfer of power-one that did not involve assassination, judicial murder, or legal vendetta — has b...
Options in America: Kill Yourself or Have a Baby
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Time made Vladimir Putin its Man of the Year. Chalk it up as nostalgia for the cold war, when America was great, and a working man in a state like Michigan had two cars, a nice house, a country cabin, a health plan, a pension and a wife who stayed at home, canning...
Stop Meddling in Pakistan!
JACOB G. HORNBERGER
I’ve got a better idea: the U.S. government should butt out of Pakistani affairs — as well as the affairs of Iraq, Iran, Korea, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba, and all the rest. My gosh, what does it take for interventionists to finally realize that t...
There Hasn’t Been a Day in My Life When I Haven’t Learned Something
FIDEL CASTRO
Comrades of the National Assembly: You have no easy task on your hands. On January 1st, 1959, surrounded by the accumulated and deepening grievances that our society inherited from its neo-colonial past under U.S. domination, many of us dreamed of creating ...
The Pakistan People’s Party Will Survive
AYESHA IJAZ KHAN
If Musharraf had an iota of sincerity, he would step down. He would apologize to the nation for having embroiled it in bloodshed. He would acknowledge his mistakes and his powerlessness. And then, maybe, we might forgive him. But that is not likely to happen. ...
The Complex Electra
FARZANA VERSEY
Brave and courageous. These words have not yet been applied to Nawaz Sharif who returned to a turbulent Pakistan, but Benazir Bhutto was honoured with such terms. She died on what people will now see as those terms. As the first Muslim woman to become head of stat...
Greens Gone Wild
JOHN MURPHY
‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat, ‘We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’ ‘How do you know I̵...
Biofuels, the Biggest Scam Going
JIM GOODMAN
Where is agriculture headed? Can we feed a growing population and meet the demand for biofuels in the Industrialized North? Supporters of biofuel agriculture, (grain and chemical companies, Wall St. investors, politicians and most University researchers) avoid men...
Death in Rawalpindi
BINOY KAMPMARK
The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi yesterday is yet another statement of politics as tragedy. The killers left nothing to chance, using gunshots and the now commonplace suicide bombing. She is dead, along with a score of others, figures killed in th...
Creeping Fascism
RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA analyst "There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater … Perhaps the only comparably od...
Transcending the Colonizer’s History
RON JACOBS
Hamid Dabashi’s 2006 book on Iran, Iran: a People Interrupted, turns conventional wes...
Mini-Nukes by Toshiba
RUSSELL HOFFMAN
Toshiba, famous for electronics products around the world, plans to build "small" (room-sized) fully-automated nuclear reactors. These new reactors are just 1/5000th the size of today’s old, massive, deteriorating (and did I mention unsafe?)...
A Pakistani Requiem
WAJAHAT ALI
I. THE ASSASINATION An assassin’s bullets and suicide bomb ended the life of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto; tragically, she followed in the footsteps of her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s Prime Minister [197...
Turkey’s Bombing of Iraq
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
The U.S. delivered an early Christmas present to the people of Iraq this year in the form of logistical support for Turkey’s war against the Kurds. The Turkish government has succeeded Saddam Hussein as the primary oppressor of the Kurdish people, and it und...
The Torture Tape Cover-Up
MARJORIE COHN
When the hideous photographs of torture and abuse emerged from Abu Ghraib in the fall of 2004, they created a public relations disaster for the Bush administration. The White House had painstakingly worked to capitalize on the 9/11 attacks by creating a "war ...
Cataclysm By Money Whim
ALLAN NAIRN
Three years ago today, the tsunami hit Aceh. It was a cataclysm so vast that Acehnese don’t talk about it all that much. It’s easier to deal with human-scale things. That morning, December 26, 2004, in an inland town far from the impa...
Fallujah, the Information War and U.S. Propaganda
STEPHEN SOLDZ
Now receded into distant memory for many, the battle for the Iraqi city of Fallujah, accompanied by the al Sadr uprising in the south, was a decisive turning point in the Iraq occupation. These battles demonstrated to much of the world that the occupation was deep...
Locked Outside the Gates
BILL QUIGLEY
In a remarkable symbol of the injustices of post-Katrina reconstruction, hundreds of people were locked out of a public New Orleans City Council meeting addressing demolition of 4500 public housing apartments. Some were tasered, many pepper sprayed and a dozen arr...
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
BEN TRIPP
Consider Kwanzaa and Chanukkah mentioned. One of my favorite activities during the holiday season is going out among the common folk to see how much Fun they’re having. And golly, they’re having so much fun. I never saw so much fun. Probably termites d...
Locked Outside the Gates
BILL QUIGLEY
In a remarkable symbol of the injustices of post-Katrina reconstruction, hundreds of people were locked out of a public New Orleans City Council meeting addressing demolition of 4500 public housing apartments. Some were tasered, many pepper sprayed and a dozen arr...
Channeling Suze Orman
NORMAN SOLOMON
I was near the deadline for a column when I glanced at a TV screen. "The Suze Orman Show," airing on CNBC at prime time, exerted a powerful force in my hotel room. And the fate of this column was sealed. Orman made a big splash many years ago on p...
A Tragedy Foretold
DILIP HIRO
With the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, her family will go down in history as one where everyone, except the mother, Nusrat, died a violent death. Her father, Zulfikar Ali, former prime minister of Pakistan, was hanged in 1979 during the rule of his succe...
Rumsfeld Spills the Ink
PATRICK IRELAN
Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution took a slight hit as a result of the December 2, 2007, constitutional referendum. The measures proposed by President Hugo Chávez would have ended term limits for the office of president, provided pensions for service ...
Rumsfeld Spills the Ink
PATRICK IRELAN
Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution took a slight hit as a result of the December 2, 2007, constitutional referendum. The measures proposed by President Hugo Chávez would have ended term limits for the office of president, provided pensions for service ...
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
BEN TRIPP
Consider Kwanzaa and Chanukkah mentioned. One of my favorite activities during the holiday season is going out among the common folk to see how much Fun they’re having. And golly, they’re having so much fun. I never saw so much fun. Probably termites d...
Channeling Suze Orman
NORMAN SOLOMON
I was near the deadline for a column when I glanced at a TV screen. "The Suze Orman Show," airing on CNBC at prime time, exerted a powerful force in my hotel room. And the fate of this column was sealed. Orman made a big splash many years ago on p...
Smearing Ron Paul
JACOB G. HORNBERGER
I couldn’t help but be struck by the vicious smear of Ron Paul by a Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times. ...
Killing Bhutto
OMER SUBHANI
1. I have to start off with my recent perceptions of her. She was a corrupt politician who was more interested in her political legacy than in the welfare of her nation and people. President Bush said today that Bhutto was someone who fought against terrorism. She...