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Archives from February 2008
The Obama Craze
MATT GONZALEZ
Part of me shares the enthusiasm for Barack Obama. After all, how could someone calling themself a progressive not sense the importance of what it means to have an African-American so close to the presidency? But as his campaign has unfolded, and I heard that we a...
Hubris and Nemesis
BINOY KAMPMARK
‘In his day,’ wrote Ralph Nader and James Love in Information Policy Notes (1998), ‘John D. Rockefeller tried to monopolize oil production, refining and distribution.’ Alcoa had a go at cornering aluminum manufacturing. AT&T, with its f...
Cop Abuse in America
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
Before the first few second of January 1, 2008 elapsed, Philadelphia police shot and killed an unarmed man sitting at a New Year’s Eve party, engaged in no criminal activity. This fatal shooting marked the second straight year that Philadelphia polic...
Academic Freedom? Not for Arabs in Israel
JONATHAN COOK
in Nazareth In the strange world of Israeli academia, an Arab college lecturer is being dismissed from his job because he refused to declare his "respect for the uniform of the Israeli army". The bizarre demand was made of Nizar Hassan, director o...
Australia’s Government Continues Its Love Affair with Israel
SONJA KARKAR
Well, so much for our new government taking an even-handed position on Israel/Palestine. Before our politicians even warmed their seats in the new parliamentary sittings, the Australian Prime Minister announced that he will lead a parliamentary motion to honour Is...
A Manchurian Candidate in the White House?
DAVE LINDORFF
With a viral campaign underway via email, right-wing radio, and on the street suggesting that Barack Obama is a black "Manchurian Candidate," secretly trained as a Muslim fanatic who will insinuate himself into the White House, thence to undermine all th...
The Jevons Paradox
ROBERT BRYCE
That increased energy efficiency will save us has become an article of faith. Last year, Congress passed "The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007." The text of the new law covers 310 pages. The word "efficiency" appears 331 times, and ...
Obama and Israel
JOSHUA FRANK
In an attempt to squelch rumors that he is pro-Palestinian, or god forbid Muslim, Barack Obama made it clear in the final Democratic Presidential debate on Tuesday that he is anything but. After being prodded by NBC’s Tim Russert on the issue, Obama said he ...
The Unilateral Presidency
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
In a refreshing investigative series in the Boston Globe from 2006, journalist Charlie Savage dropped a bombshell on the Bush administration. Reporting on Bush’s use of "signing statements," Savage highlighted the president’s long-standing co...
The Crisis in Kosovo is Just Beginning
MICHAEL LEVITIN
As renewed Serb protests this week in Bosnia and elsewhere demonstrate, the storm unleashed by Kosovo’s Feb. 17 declaration of independence is long from abating. Rather, what recent events have showed is the start of a long and protracted struggle that, in t...
The Fake State of Kosovo
WILLIAM S. LIND
If the Balkans had an anthem, it would be that 1950’s doo-wop hit, "Fools rush in, where angels fear to tread." The latest Balkan fools are the United States and the European Union, which have rushed in to recognize what Serbian Prime Minister Voji...
Nader’s Latest Run
STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN
"Here we go again," murmured the old guard Democrats when Ralph Nader officially announced his candidacy for president in 2008, on Tim Russert’s "Meet the Press" show, Sunday, Feb.24th. "Nader–the spoiler," they cal...
The Myths of Forest Health
GEORGE WUERTHNER
I just read through a portion of the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest (BDNF) revised plan. Among the major components of the plan is support for "vegetation management," a euphemism for logging. The BDNF plan calls for "treating" its forest...
The Day I Bombed the House of Commons
MICHAEL DICKINSON
The security of the House of Commons in London was breached again on Wednesday in a spectacular manner by the environmental protest group ...
A Ray of Hope for Organized Labor
DAVID MACARAY
Unions don’t have to search very hard for reasons to distrust or resent the Democratic Party. For openers, they can go back to 1947, when the crippling, anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act was passed, with the help of congressional Democrats, over President Truman&#...
"Iraq" Falls Apart
PATRICK COCKBURN
Iraq is disintegrating faster than ever. The Turkish army invaded the north of the country last week and is still there. Iraqi Kurdistan is becoming like Gaza where the Israel can send in its tanks and helicopters at will. The US, so sensitive to any threat to Ira...
The North American Union Farce
LAURA CARLSEN
It’s got millions of rightwing citizens calling Congress, sponsoring legislation, and writing manifestos in defense of U.S. sovereignty. It comes up in presidential candidates’ public appearances, has made it into primetime debates, and one presidentia...
Why the Delta-Northwest Deal Hasn’t Taken Off
CARL FINAMORE
Most of us dread the experience of getting stuck in an uncomfortable, overcrowded airport lounge after an overbooked or cancelled flight. But probably none of us has ever been seated on a plane that actually left the gate and was ready for take off before realizin...
The Birth of NAFTA
FRED GARDNER
The best defense, some say, is a good offense. Hilllary’s "Shame on you, Barack Obama" performance deflected attention from the fact that the Clinton Administration did indeed get NAFTA through a resistant Congress. NAFTA was conceived under Reagan...
McCain and the 100 Year War
VIJAY PRASHAD
John McCain beams. When he was defeated by George W. Bush in the Republican primaries in 2000, McCain’s hopes for the White House seemed dashed. Seven years later, as he began his campaign for the same address, the media scoffed. He could neither raise the m...
Obama by Unanimous Decision
MICHAEL DONNELLY
It was like one of those Heavyweight fights that ends with a Decision, not a Knockout. The Feb. 26 Ohio MSNBC Debate, the 20th debate in the endless Primary season, saw Sen. Hillary Clinton give her best debate performance — and she still lost on points....
Conspiracy Theory, Fears of Betrayal and Today’s Anti-War Movement
STEPHEN PHILION
Jerry Lembcke is professor of sociology at Holy Cross College and the author of The Spitting Im...
The Auction-Rate Securities Fiasco
PETER MORICI
I don’t know how Broadway sells tickets these days when folly is in so plain array on Wall Street. Auction-rate securities drama provides the latest tale of greed and betrayal. Investors are stuck with big losses, because investment banks miscalculate...
After the Land Deals
ERICA ROSENBERG
and JANINE BLAELOCH A Washington County wilderness bill is in the works again. That should be good news for environmentalists. But whether this one, like the recent spate of "wilderness" bills, is really a developer’s dream in conservationist&#...
Guantánamo’s Shambolic Trials
ANDY WORTHINGTON
This has been another terrible week for Guantánamo’s Military Commissions, established by Dick Cheney and his close advisors in November 2001 to try, convict and execute those responsible for 9/11 through a novel process so far removed from the US cou...
Pakistan for Sale
WAJAHAT ALI
  “They never forget. They’ll come after me. Not now, but later. The military never forgets. Never,” warns Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, a “Pakistan Scholar” at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and author of the incendia...
Playing the Race Card
DAVID ROSEN
The ’08 electoral dirty-tricks season has official begun. The Drudge Report’s recent posting of a photograph of Barack Obama wearing a white robe and turban presented to him by elders in Wajir, in northeastern Kenya, signals the wrenching-up to the nex...
Incident at Turkey Point
HARVEY WASSERMAN
A s many as two million Floridians were blacked out yesterday by a series of grid malfunctions that forced shut two atomic reactors south of Miami and renewed nightmares of a radioactive catastrophe. The chain of events should serve as yet another serious warning ...
The Big HRT
MARTHA ROSENBERG
A reduction in a jury award for a drug that caused cancer from $134 million to $58 million would not normally be cause to rejoice. But it has not been a normal year for hormone maker Wyeth. The Madison, N.J. based drug company faces 5,300 Prempro and Prem...
Confessions of a Gitmo Guard
DEBBIE NATHAN
A psychiatrist who has treated former military personnel at Guantánamo prison camp is telling a story of prisoner torture and guard suicide there, recounted to him by a National Guardsman who worked at Guantánamo just after it opened. Dr. John...
Canada in Afghanistan
DAVID ORCHARD
The Harper government is seeking to prolong Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan. So far, Canada has spent six years, billions of dollars, 78 young lives (many more wounded) and inflicted unknown casualties on that country. The terms used to ...
Condi vs. Putin on Bullying Belgrade
GARY LEUPP
The Reuters headline on February 23 reads: "Rice holds Serbia responsible for US embassy attack." Reading this I couldn’t help thinking about the ultimatum delivered to the Belgrade government in July 23, 1914 by representatives of the Austr...
The Electoral Circus and Nader’s Sideshow
FRAN SHOR
Once again, Ralph Nader has made a commitment to enter the electoral arena as an "independent." Given Nader’s consistent and courageous positions on the corporate corruption of daily life in the United States, his perspective will always be of crit...
How Ohio Got Nuked
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Ohio is poised to do its thing as the ultimate swing state. On March 4 it may, along with Texas, choose the Democratic presidential nominee. Tragically, the candidates will campaign in a state whose economic future has been nuked. Once a great indust...
Neo-Liberalism and Protectorate States in the Post-Yugoslav Balkans
GLOBAL BALKANS
An interview with Tariq Ali conducted by GLOBAL BALKANS in the fall of 2007 that sets the context for the most recent developments in the politics of neoliberal transition and the new protectorate states in the post-Yugoslav Balkans, as well as examining the lega...
Menetrez’s False Allegations
ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
Frank Menetrez, in "The Case Against Alan Dershowitz" on the CounterPunch website, absurdly repeats the politically motivated and false charge that I committed plagiarism by quoting Mark Twain and citing to the origina...
Ralph Nader vs. the Fundamentalist Liberals
MICHAEL COLBY
We live in scary times. And no one scares me more than the faux-liberals of today. They are a most intolerant mob that has become so dislodged from logic that they’d rather gaze reverently at the false packaging of hope than seriously contemplate the issues ...
The Dom Perignon Socialist Manifesto
SERGE HALIMI
Last September Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of the luxury conglomerate company LVMH, held a little "do" to mark the 60th birthday of the couture house of Dior. He spared no expense, with Dom Perignon champagne, caviar, 75 waiters for 25 tables, 14 c...
A Death in Damascus
ROGER MORRIS
It was another car bomb in the Middle East, the victim this time one of those "notorious terrorists" seemingly generic to the landscape. Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh died February 12 in Damascus as he lived most of his forty-five years, in that world...
Bernanke’s Failing Policies
PETER MORICI
The National Association of Realtors reported January existing home sales sank to 4.890 million from 6.380 million a year earlier, and the average price was $201,100, down from $210,900 or 4.6, percent from a year earlier. In December, sales were 4.910 million and...
General Welch’s Whitewash
DAVE LINDORFF
A new report on the August 30 incident in which six nuclear-armed advanced cruise missiles were effectively "lost" for 36 hours, during which time they were, against all regulations, flown in launch position mounted on a pylon on the wing of a B-52H Stra...
Waterboarding is Merely Unpleasant … Right?
ROBERT WEITZEL
"This government does not torture." - George W. Bush All right! Waterboarding is a very unpleasant experience, which is sometimes fatal. I can also imagine that a small percentage of root canals are fatal, but no o...
James Orange, Civil Rights Legend
HEATHER GRAY
On February 16, 2008 we lost the Reverend James Orange. He was 65. And what a remarkable sixty-five years they were! His funeral was on February 23 at the International King Chapel on the Morehouse College campus. It is one the few chapels in Atlanta that could ac...
Why I’m Running
RALPH NADER
The following is a transcript of RALPH NADER’s appearance on Meet the Press on Feb. 24, 2008. MR. RUSSERT: Will you run for president as an independent in 2008? MR. NADER: Let me put it in context, to make it a little more palatable to people ...
Iraq Broils
PATRICK COCKBURN
A suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in a tent filled with Shia pilgrims walking to one of their holiest shrines south of Baghdad, killing at least 40 of them and wounding 60. The attack shows that al-Qa’ida has restarted its bombings of Shia ...
Kucinich Goes Down
JOHN HALLE
Dennis Kucinich has long been known as the conscience of the U.S. Congress and is a hero for many on the left. Vehemently opposed to the Iraq invasion, continually pressing for protection of labor rights and for serious action on climate change, against co...
A Bloody Oil Film
SAUL LANDAU
and FARRAH HASSAN "There Will Be Blood" implicitly warns against fanatics in an era when one form of that breed occupies the White House and other major mountebanks consume countless daily hours of TV and radio time. "I see the worst in p...
Kosovo and the Empire Crazies
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The hypocrisy of US government officials is boundless. On February 18, the US government inflamed Serbians by recognizing Muslim separatists in Kosovo, a historic province of Serbia, as an independent country. Two hundred thousand Serbs marched in protest and the ...
The Foundations for Permanent War
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Few developments in Iraq have been less reported on than the United States’ plans for permanent military bases. Most of the powers that be in the Republican and Democratic parties do not seem to see these bases as a problem. Quite the contrary, the bases, co...
Unions Under Assault
DAVID MACARAY
There are two "wars" going on in this country, each of which has the power to dramatically affect the future of working people. One is the war being waged by organized labor, seeking (through membership drives, lobbying and political contributions) to ex...