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Archives from February 2008
Health Care as a Human Right
HELEN REDMOND
At the core of the idea that health care is a human right is freedom. The for-profit health care system in the United States severely restricts our freedom in a number of subtle and not so subtle ways. Instead of freedom there is fear. The health care cris...
Poor Ohio
LINN COHEN-COLE
Dear Hillary, This is my second letter to you. I am writing again because I feel badly for you that you seem not understand what is wrong. You are going into Ohio soon. The issue is that you don’t travel alone....
Daydream Believer
MICHAEL SIMMONS
John Stewart — singer, songwriter, guitarist, artist, husband, father, grandfather, Californian, American — was scheduled to perform at McCabe’s in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 2. He missed the gig, but he had a good excuse. Stewart suffere...
Kosovo’s Dilemma
MICHAEL LEVITIN
Tensions are high, violence is flaring and bombs have exploded in the aftermath of Kosovo’s declaration of independence on Sunday. But as Kosovo leaders and NATO peacekeepers worry about the Serbs’ volatile short-term response to their historic provinc...
Land and Food in Venezuela
PATRICK IRELAN
Last week, the Los Angeles Times gleefully reported that a crowd in Sabaneta, Venezuela, had looted a food warehouse belonging to the state-owned Mercal grocery-store chain. Mercal sells its food to the poor at reduced prices The LAT found it amusing that Sabaneta...
Fear and Loathing on the Emerald Isle
LIAM LEONARD
The ‘Celtic Tiger’ economic boom of recent years has led to a number of disputes involving infrastructural projects around the green fields and valleys of rural Ireland. This article examines the critical issues surrounding one such dispute; the ‘...
America’s Long Term Unemployed
ELIZABETH SCHULTE
Two scenes from different parts of the country paint a picture of the grim reality behind the government’s statistics on unemployment. In Akron, Ohio, 500 people braved a harsh winter storm on February 12 to apply for possible jobs at FirstEnergy Corp...
Obama and Global Trade
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Unique among the contenders for the presidential nominations, Barack Obama has raised the issue of US job loss from US corporations moving operations abroad in order to lower their labor costs and, thereby, boost profits. As reported by the Financial Times, Obama ...
Undermining Bolivia
BENJAMIN DANGL
A thick fence, surveillance cameras, and armed guards protect the U.S. Embassy in La Paz. The embassy is a tall, white building with narrow slits of windows that make it look like a military bunker. After passing through a security checkpoint, I sit down with U.S....
Fidel Steps Aside
SAUL LANDAU
Fidel decided not run for President this week. I saw him last in April 2001. "The worst is over," he told the person next to me in the hallway. "The issue is developing socialism." Poking his finger into my chest, he asked about the Zapatistas ...
Neutering the FDA
RALPH NADER
Like other families, the Bush family eats, uses medicines, and relies on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assure the safety of vast amounts of both products. Like other families, more and more of the food and medicine you consume is coming from oth...
To All US GIs in Okinawa
CounterPunch News Service
Once again, American GIs have raped an Okinawan girl, one from junior high. We are angry. We do not believe that all of you are rapists. But given the long history of similar crimes over the sixty years from the Battle of Okinawa continuing to today, one co...
My Brief Encounter with Fidel Castro
PAUL KRASSNER
In 1960, the U.S. State Department was financing counterrevolutionary broadcasts to Cuba from a radio station on Swan Island in Honduras. Program content ranged from telling Cubans that their children would be taken away to warning them that a Russian drug was bei...
If Kosovo, Why Not Palestine?
JOHN V. WHITBECK
Kosovo has now issued its anticipated unilateral declaration of independence, and the United States and most European Union countries, with which this declaration was coordinated, are rushing to extend diplomatic recognition to this "new country", a...
The Pakistani Elections
FAWZIA AFZAL-KHAN
F ollowing the crackdown on Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad at the beginning of July 2007, militant violence increased in Pakistan especially in North Waziristan and other parts of FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) -but also, as many Pakistani libera...
Cuba Sans Fidel
STEVE ECKARDT
It’s big news in the U.S. that Fidel Castro has declined to accept election when Cuba’s Parliament meets this Sunday to select the country’s Ministers–it’s the headline story in every form of media, along with more than the usual back...
Lies and Spies
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
President George W. Bush and his director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, are telling the American people that an unaccountable executive branch is necessary for their protection. Without the Protect America Act, Bush and McConnell claim, the executive b...
How Sick of It Are You?
MIKE FERNER
We have screamed at the heavens and cried bitter tears. We’ve marched and picketed and gone to jail. And we are sick. Sick of the corruption–sick of the liars–sick of this war! On March 19, the day the U.S. invaded Iraq five years ago, we...
The Great Dictator?
FARZANA VERSEY
The jubilation in the streets of Pakistan is understandable. That is what streets are for. But when downright corrupt politicians begin talking about democracy and the downfall of a dictator, then they do take hallucination to great heights. Pakistan cannot...
Israel’s New Plan to Attack Lebanon
ALLAN NAIRN
Last Friday I asked a top-level Israeli, a former IDF (Israel Defense Forces) elite unit man and prime-ministerial confidante, whether the assassination of Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh could have been done by a Lebanese group. He snorted at the prepos...
A Balcony Seat to Our Own Balkanization?
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
"The United States has today formally recognised Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state. We congratulate the people of Kosovo on this historic occasion.” –Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Feb 18, 2008 ...
The Independence of Kosovo
GARY LEUPP
Russia has repeatedly made it very clear that it will not recognize nor accept an independent Kosovo but rather uphold Serbia’s historic claim to the province. Recall how World War I broke out after a Serbian nationalist assassinated the Austro-Hungar...
The Moment Has Come
FIDEL CASTRO
The moment has come to nominate and elect the State Council, its President, its Vice-Presidents and Secretary. For many years I have occupied the honorable position of President. On February 15, 1976 the Socialist Constitution was approved with the free, di...
Management’s Dirty Little Secret
DAVID MACARAY
For obvious reasons, no company is going to want its employees represented by a tough, effective labor union. No company is going to want its employees represented by a vigilant organization dedicated to improving wages, benefits and working conditions by any mean...
Buck the Circus!
REZA FIYOUZAT
Every four years we are treated to watching the presidential election circus pass through town. Of late, though, the circus has been getting embarrassingly less meaningful yet more raucous. In the absence of an immediate and ready-made exit from the curren...