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 April 2008
Bad Jazz in New Orleans
JOHN ROSS
New Orleans. Mexican President Felipe Calderon was not having a good day. His plan to arrive in New Orleans for the NAFTA Summit April 21-22 with a freshly minted law privatizing Mexico’s oil industry in his pocket had been foi...
Did the Supreme Court Just Elect John McCain?
BOB FITRAKIS And HARVEY WASSERMAN
The US Supreme Court has just dealt a serious blow to voters’ rights that could help put John McCain in the White House by eliminating tens of thousands of voters who generally vote Democratic.  By 6-3 the Court has upheld an Indiana law that requires ci...
The Day I Lost My Innocence
WILLIAM P. O'CONNOR
When I was nineteen I was stationed in a remote Laotian village on the Mekong River. I was an Irish kid from the Bronx, over twelve thousand miles from home. It had been a twenty-two hour plane ride to get, “in country” and another four excru...
Storming Heaven
TARIQ ALI
A storm swept the world in 1968. It arose in Vietnam, and then blew across Asia, crossing the sea and the mountains to Europe and beyond.  The signs and portents had been there for some years, but the speed with which it spread was not foreseen. A b...
Medical R&D That Works in the Developing World
ROBERT WEISSMAN
Can the world settle on a medical research and development (R&D) system that develops medicines and other products to meet priority health needs and makes those products available on an affordable basis? Developing a strategy to meet these twi...
Pop Goes the Race-Neutral Campaign!
GLEN FORD
Barack Obama’s strategy to win the White House was to run a "race-neutral" campaign in a society that is anything but neutral on race. The very premise — that race neutrality is possible in a nation built on white supremacy —&...
Election Season Piffle
JOSHUA FRANK
This is what it has come to. Hillary Clinton seems poised to damage Barack Obama so badly in the Democratic primary that he will end up flopping around like a suffocating trout in the general election when he faces John McCain. From the progressi...
The Bush Administration’s Shroud of Secrecy
Sen. RUSS FEINGOLD
More than any other Administration in recent history, this Administration has a penchant for secrecy.  To an unprecedented degree, it has invoked executive privilege to thwart congressional oversight and the state secrets privilege to shut down laws...
Iraq After Basra
ASHLEY SMITH
The trumpeted success of the Bush administration’s surge was built on flimsy foundations. They were, principally, the employing of the Sunni resistance to fight al-Qaeda, effectively bribing a large section of the Sunni resistance to stop attacking...
Mental Barriers in Palestine
MATS SVENSSON
It is dry, it is hot. Black string bikinis descend the small steps meeting black flapping swimming trunks. They look naked thanks to the black mud. Both bodies entirely black, only the feet remain white. Salt easily penetrates the skin, making it soft an...
The Torture Election
CHRIS FLOYD
As the presidential horse race grows more frenzied and absurd — Flag pins!  Bowling! Obliteration!– it is important to keep in mind what the election is really about: torture. Specifically, the use of torture as an openly admitted...
Inside American Royalty’s Security Bubble
MIKE FERNER
Washington, DC The First Family Security Bubble was nearly pried open for a moment last Friday; but in the end Disneyland remained blessedly undisturbed. On a particularly warm spring evening, Laura and Jenna Bush alighted fro...
The Military Option
URI AVNERY
War with Syria? Peace with Syria? A big military operation against Hamas in the Gaza strip? A cease-fire with Hamas? Our media discuss these questions dispassionately, as if they were equivalent options. Like a person in a showroom making a...
Why General Musharraf Must Go
ROEDAD KHAN
When I watched General Musharraf a few days ago on TV, he looked like the captain of a sinking ship, the wind of defeat in his hair. Those who hold power and shape the destiny of others should never be judged when they are dead and g...
China Olympics, Tibet Crackdown, Coke Profits
AMIT SRIVASTAVA
Responding to a question about Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Olympic Torch Relay at the Coca-Cola shareholders meeting last week, Mr. Isdell, CEO of Coca-Cola, defended the sponsorship by referring to the Olympic Torch as a symbol of hope and open...
The Iraq War Morphs Into the Iran War
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
It is 1939 all over again.  The world waits helplessly for the next act of naked aggression by rogue states.  Only this time the rogue states are not the Third Reich and Fascist Italy.  They are the United States and Israel. ...
Towing Icebergs to San Pedro
JOHN WEISHEIT
Not satisfied that the entire contents of the Colorado River sloshes inside the bloated bellies of the seven basin states, this monster is now searching for water beyond their horizons. They call it river augmentation, or the mechanical harvesting of wat...
Will the Fed Broaden Its Focus?
PETER MORICI
The Federal Reserve will almost certainly cut the target federal funds rate a quarter point to two percent on Wednesday. Fed watchers will be looking at the policy statement for clues as to whether the Fed will pause after cutting rates 3.25 percentage p...
Invasion of the Pumpheads
DAVE LINDORFF
Is America at the mercy of an invasion of the pumpheads? The bizarre behavior of Bill Clinton during this campaign season, which has seen this once smooth-talking and politically uber-sophisticated campaigner repeatedly stick a foot in his mouth a...
The New Walls of Baghdad
STEVE NIVA
The new "surge" strategy in Iraq, led by General David Petreaus, has been heavily marketed as an example of the U.S. military’s application of the "lessons of history" from previous counterinsurgencies to Iraq, foremost among th...
CAFTA’s Bloodtrails
DAVID MACARAY
On Wednesday, April 23, U.S. and Guatemalan labor groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor,  changing the workers’ rights provisions of CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) are being violated.  The petitioners a...
The Politics of Green Scare
STEPHEN LENDMAN
In May 2005, FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism John Lewis told a Senate panel that ecoterrorism is "one of today’s most serious domestic terrorism threats." Then the FBI’s James Jarboe estimated that two organizatio...
A Polemic Devoid of Politics
WILLIAM KAUFMAN
Last week Michael Moore published an ardent declaration of support for Barack Obama. In case you missed it, you can read it ...
On Queen’s Boulevard, the Night Sean Bell’s Killers Got Off
JoANN WYPIJEWSKI
Friday dusk in Queens, the first march after the verdict in the police killing of Sean Bell started among the cherry blossoms. In front of the cool stone courthouse, where that morning Judge Arthur Cooperman announced that essentially his decision had pi...
The Fruiting Fig Tree
IRIS KELTZ
In 1967, a caprice of fate found me assimilated and married into an Arab family living in east Jerusalem within two weeks of my arrival.  Forty years later, I am reliving the war with a view of the front line from the safety of my armchair.  I ...
On "Withdrawing Responsibly" from Iraq
MALOU INNOCENT
Sixty percent of Americans want the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, according to a March 12th Gallup poll. And sixty-four percent, according a recent CBS poll, believe that the Iraq War was never worth fighting to begin with. A...
Jeremiah Wright Delivers the Knockout Punch
MIKE WHITNEY
Reverend Jeremiah Wright appeared on PBS Bill Moyers Journal on Friday night and delivered a knockout punch to the bully-boys in the corporate media. Wright showed that he is neither a fanatic nor an “America hater”; just an extreme...
Sneak Privatization of Mexico’s Oil Halted
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. "The Adelitas have arrived/To defend our oil/Whoever wants to give it to the foreigners/ Will get the shit kicked out of him!" yodeled the brigades of women pouring onto the esplanade of the Mexican senate to p...
Chicago: the Stupid Experiment
GREG MOSES
Chicago is bleeding, and the Mayor has called the citizens to action: “I don’t want people to wait for Mayor Daley to call a meeting. I want you to call a meeting in your home with your children and loved ones. I want you to go next door and talk to those chi...
A World of Hunger
RALPH NADER
Where is Harry Chapin when we need him? The popular folk singer (Cat’s in the Cradle), who lost his life in an auto crash 27 years ago, was an indefatigable force of nature against hunger—in this country and around the world. To hear H...
Nero, Frederick the Great, Nixon … They All Did It Better Than Clinton
DAVID YEARSLEY
Many a political leader has tried sought to bolster flagging popularity through public music-making. Tacitus relates how Nero took to the stage on one memorable occasion with his lyre and sweet voice. Insulating himself from failure, Nero packed the audi...
Obliterate Them!
ANDREW WIMMER
There is a Persian proverb that says, “Esfah?n nesf-e jah?n ast” or "Esfahan is half the world.” And there is the American zeitgeist that says, “Obliterate them.” Esfahan is a modern Iranian metropolis of ...
Food Riots and Speculators
MIKE WHITNEY
Food riots have broken out across the globe destabilizing  large parts of the developing world. China is experiencing double-digit inflation. Indonesia, Vietnam and India have imposed controls over rice exports. Wheat, corn and soy beans are at recor...
A Mennonite Farmer is Hauled Away
LINN COHEN-COLE
On April 25, 2008, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Mark Nolt, a Wenger Mennonite (Horse and Buggy Mennonite) dairyman, threatened for months with arrest for selling raw milk without a permit was removed from his property by state troop...
Introducing President McCain
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
First, allow your brain to conceive of John Sidney McCain as president of the United States.  Then, form in your mouth the proper noun, President John McCain, and let it roll off your tongue into the room and ears of those nearby.  Practice it ...
Will U. S. Policy in Lebanon and the Middle East Ever Change?
FRANKLIN LAMB
Editors’ Note: This is the third and final  installment in FRANKLIN LAMB’s three-part series. AC/JSC. Dahiyeh "Absolutely not! Without a credible deterrent force, there is no real Lebanese sov...
Making You Pay for the Next Chernobyl … in Advance!
HARVEY WASSERMAN
Are you ready to pay for the next Chernobyls—in advance? Are you willing to have nuclear power prevent a solution to the climate crisis? Twenty-two years ago today, an apocalyptic cloud rose up from Unit Four, in the heart of the Ukraine. F...
Walking the Lonely Road
RON JACOBS
When we think of Paul Robeson, those of us who know  his work hear that bass voice professing a melody like no other voice bass ever recorded.  His voice on “Ol’ Man River” is the undercurrent of that mighty river pulling the ...
Booked Up
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
An Unreasonable Woman by Diane Wilson. Chelsea Green. 2006. ...
Fisk Fighting
WAJAHAT ALI
"One thing I’m going to say to you now, please make sure – and I hope you’re tape recording this – but please make sure you’re quoting me accurately. Don’t even for the basis of shortening something make me say something I haven&...
Remembering Ruben Salazar
PAUL KRASSNER
Now that there’s a commemorative stamp honoring Ruben Salazar, it’s appropriate to recall the context in which he was killed. No wonder conspiracy researcher Mae Brussell was so excited.  The attempted burglary of Democratic headquarters at the Water...
Nothing Will Get Hillary Out of the Race
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Even though she won by a 9.4 per cent margin and not the blow-out victory in Pennsylvania she was predicting a month ago; even though Barack Obama is decisively ahead in both the delegate count and the national popular vote in all Democratic primaries an...
The Wages of Left Capitulation
PETER CAMEJO
Iwas stunned to see Medea Benjamin complaining to the Nader/Gonzalez campaign because the campaign had used the word "shameful" in referring to "progressive" Democrats who had supported the pro-war, pro-Patriot Act, anti-labor, and an...
Bush vs. Carter: Let History Judge
ROBERT FANTINA
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this week admonished former president Jimmy Carter for meeting with representatives of Hamas, the Palestinian organization that currently maintains a strong presence in the Gaza Strip. Regarding advancing the cause of ...
Is There Really Any Difference Between Hillary and Condoleezza?
KATHLEEN BARRY
Several noted feminists have been using their mailing lists to get out the vote for Hillary Clinton.  This is my response to them. Does it not matter to you that Clinton voted for the war against Iraq, that she did not have the judgment that millions upon...
The Black Hole of Debt
NICK DEARDEN
In recent weeks, Haiti has been gripped by violent protest yet again. And yet again ...
Why the Bush Administration Wants to Negotiate Now with Hezbollah
FRANKLIN LAMB
Note: This is the second installment in FRANKLIN LAMB’s extraordinary three-part series,  which we are publishing  across Thursday, Friday and the weekend. Editors. "Th...
Why Biotech is Betting on Biofuels
CARMELO RUIZ MARRERO
There is a new participant in the international deliberations on global warming and agrofuels: the biotechnology industry. The corporate giants of the genetics industry propose new technologies, including genetically modified trees, second generation cellulosic ethan...
How Clinton Courted Racists in Pennsylvania
DAVE LINDORFF
Time for a discussion on … not race, but racism. One of the clear observations that can be made about the ugly Democratic presidential primary just held in Pennsylvania is that it was marred by racism. The winning candidate, Hillary ...
Syrian Nukes: the Phantom Menace
JOHN W. FARLEY
Last September 6, Israel bombed a Syrian building at Dair el Zor. In the immediate aftermath of the bombing, little was said in public, by either Israel or Syria, but later the Israelis started claiming that the Syrians were building a nuclear reactor. On the radio t...