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 August 2008
What About the Ossetians?
SHELDON RICHMAN
If Russia exited Georgia — as it should — and the Bush administration dropped its wish to expand NATO to Russia’s border — as it should — there would still be an issue to be dealt with: the secessionist ambitions of the majo...
Impasse at Singur
BINOY KAMPMARK
Singur, West Bengal state was the scene of protests over the weekend by supporters of the Trinamool Congress.  Some 40,000 protesters formed a gauntlet leading up to the factory entrance of Tata Motors, a company which promises to make the world&rsq...
Obama and the Working Class
MICHAEL D. YATES
A recent New York Times article (‘Rural Swath of Big State Tests Obama,’ August 21, 2008) described life in the dead mill towns of western Pennsylvania and asked why Barack Obama’s presidential bid was not catching fire there. The artic...
The Big Questions About Iraq
PATRICK COCKBURN
Will Iraq disintegrate if the United States withdraws its combat troops? The US and Iraq are close to agreeing a security accord under which the  US would pull its combat troops out of Iraqi cities, towns and villages on June 30, 2009...
Sailing Into Gaza
HUWAIDA ARRAF
On Saturday, after 32 hours on the high seas, I sailed into the port of Gaza City with 45 other citizens from around the world in defiance of Israel’s blockade. We traveled from Cyprus with humanitarian provisions for Palestinians living under sieg...
Death by Paranoia
JAMES McENTEER
Caracas A U.S. traveler in Venezuela may recall the Will Rogers observation: “God must love poor people; he made so many of them.” The poor are the natural constituents and enthusiastic boosters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The...
Katrina, the Pain Index
BILL QUIGLEY
0.  Number of renters in Louisiana who have received financial assistance from the $10 billion federal post-Katrina rebuilding program Road Home Community Development Block Grant – compared to 116,708 homeowners. 0.  Number of apa...
Biden His Time
WAJAHAT ALI
Barack Obama, that Presidential coquette who teased the world by not announcing his running mate for nearly two months, finally unveiled his vanilla, Vice Presidential bride, thus ultimately opting for a marriage of blandness, predictability and conciliation.  O...
Reinventing the Evil Empire
STEPHEN LENDMAN
For the West, everything changed but stayed the same, hard-wired and in place. Things just lay dormant in the shadows during the Yeltsin years, certain to reemerge once a more resolute Russian leader took over. If not Vladimir Putin, someone else little different. ...
The Devil’s Hoof
URI AVNERY
I WAS shocked when I read the headline in Haaretz. It quoted Sari Nusseibeh as saying "There is no Room for Two", meaning two states between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan. What? Has Nusseibeh abandoned his support for a solution based on coexi...
US out of Iraq by … "2011"
PATRICK COCKBURN
The United States is moving towards ending its military control of Iraq by agreeing to withdraw combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns by June next year and from the rest of Iraq by 2011, according Iraqi and American negotiators. T...
The State Deparment’s Green Scare Wing
WILL POTTER
A PowerPoint presentation, ...
Israeli Outposts Seal Death of Palestinian State
JONATHAN COOK
Migron, West Bank Yehudit Genud hardly feels she is on the frontier of Israel’s settlement project, although the huddle of mobile homes on a wind-swept West Bank hilltop she calls home is controversial even by Israeli standards. Despite the size ...
China in the Spotlight
CARL FINAMORE
The recently-concluded summer Olympics introduced China as a major player on the world stage in spectacular fashion. No doubt about it, the country made a superbly dramatic entrance. Of course there were the much-publicized disclosures that some elemen...
Technological Fundamentalism
ROBERT JENSEN
While media watchdogs and bloggers probe contemporary news media for signs of bias — from every angle, on virtually every issue — perhaps the most important of journalists’ biases is ignored: their routine acceptance of society’s technological...
Western Turf Wars
JAMIE NEWLIN
For those interested in understanding and maybe influencing the management of public lands, a new and so far under-appreciated resource is making its way onto the bookshelves. It’s ...
Cash Register Conventions
MICHAEL WINSHIP
Another humid August, a long time ago, and I was working in my father’s small town drugstore, the last summer before my first year of high school. Today, cash registers are as computerized as ATM’s and tell you everything...
Targeting Pelosi (and the War Machine)
JOSHUA FRANK
Cindy Sheehan’s independent antiwar campaign against Rep. Nancy Pelosi is beginning to gain steam in San Francisco. I recently caught up with Cindy to discuss her bid for Congress as well as the Democrat’s perpetual incompetence. – JF...
John McCain in a New Context
PATTY O'GRADY
Did you know that when John McCain was away from home for extended periods of time working as a U.S. Senator, Mrs. Cindy McCain would tell her children with his acquiescence that he was “deployed” and imagined herself just another lonely R...
Sailing to Gaza
OSAMA QASHOO
This morning I am sorry to find myself back on dry land in Cyprus, separated from my fellow sailors who are now completing the final leg of their trip to Gaza. They are carrying humanitarian and medical aid to a people now suffering both an international...
Obama and the Mining Cartel
STEVE CONN
A few days ago, Fairbanks Mayor Jim Whitaker co-authored an Anchorage Daily News piece in favor of the mining industry’s $6 million to $8 million war to put down ballot measure Proposition 4. Then he was invited to speak at the Democratic National ...
Obamanomics
JONATHAN M. FELDMAN
Barack Obama, now decrying John McCain’s definition of rich people as those earning five million or more, has a clear populist streak to his campaign.  Obama notes that McCain thinks that “the economy” is doing well.  But what...
"Change," "Hope" … Why They Must be Talking About Joe Biden!
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
"Change” and “hope” are not words one associates with Senator Joe Biden, a man so ripely symbolic of everything that is unchanging and hopeless about our political system that a computer simulation of the corporate-political paradi...
The Culture Wars Are Over
DAVID ROSEN
The once-powerful Christian Republican movement is in retreat. After more than a quarter-century of growing influence and power, the fierce rightwing assault on popular values, especially sexual freedom, is in eclipse. This round of the culture wars seem...
The Long Silence
HOWARD LISNOFF
For many years, now decades, I have been silent as a Jew about Israel’s relationship to, and treatment of, the Palestinian people and my place as an American Jew in that equation.  Recently, I looked back at the Jews who I have known personall...
Obama and Big Corn
NICOLE COLSON
The recent news that ExxonMobil’s second-quarter profits rang up at $11.7 billion–the largest quarterly profit of any company in history–rightly enraged millions of working people in the U.S. and abroad who are feeling the sting of high...
A Banner Month for Passports
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
August 2008 was a banner month for passports. They played a significant role in world events that garnered them rare publicity. Two of the events demonstrated how easy a government can make it to get passports and one demonstrated how difficult it can be...
Don’t Try to Tame the Lightning Bolt
PATRICK B. BARR
Mr. Jacques Rogge President, International Olympic Committee Lausanne Switzerland Dear Mr. Rogge, You have been derelict in your duty. You have failed to seek out the Jamaican wunderkind, Usain Bolt, kowtow to him,...
Killing Salmon With Paul O’Neill
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Paul O’Neill, Bush’s first Secretary of the Treasury, is an unlikely apostle for the crusade to combat global warming. But for the past couple of years the former corporate executive has been preaching the virtues of moving away from fossil f...
Once Upon a Time in America
ROBERT FANTINA
Anyone interested in light-hearted, fanciful reading, need look no farther than the ‘John McCain for President’ website. There the reader will find a curious mix of fantasy, unintended humor and the fruits of a mind-boggling imagination. Let ...
Who Crippled the Government?
ALAN FARAGO
This morning McClatchy newspaper reports, "Democrats poised for sharp turn to the...
Pakistan in Uncertain Times
DEEPAK TRAPATHI
Old enemies seldom make easy bedfellows. This is what we see in Pakistan today. Now that President Pervez Musharraf, once the military strongman, has been forced out, the shaky alliance of the two most powerful civilian politicians, Asif Ali Zardari and ...
John McCain Discovers America
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
Hey, have you heard?  America is worse off than it was four years ago! Big shocker, eh?  I mean, it’s not like the clues are all around us or anything. So how ‘bout that John McCain, eh?  For an old geezer who has...
Vlad the Derailer
RICHARD RHAMES
On August 7, as distracted Americans were immersed in the HiDef torrent of logo-emblazoned jock-ularity and Olympic pageantry, Bush toady Mikhail Saakashvili saw his opportunity. The Georgian strongman (who ascended to power in a US-backed coup) sent his...
Why Not Let the Republicans Deal with This Mess?
DAVE LINDORFF
If the direr warnings about the US economy and the general state of the world are correct, maybe we should be glad that Obama’s presidential campaign is in failure mode. Two terms of the Bush/Cheney administration have pretty much destroyed ...
The Battle for the Amazon
CHARLES MOSTOLLER
On August 27th, the Brazilian Supreme Court will decide a case that could have far reaching effects on the Amazon and the thousands of indigenous people who live there. The case questions the legality of a process that created an Indigenous Territory in ...
Obama is Not a Muslim
SUMBUL ALI-KARAMALI
I was recently conversing with a local schoolteacher, a thoughtful woman I admire, when she exclaimed, “I would love to talk to you more when we have time! I mean, I’d love to know what you think about Obama, since he’s black and, oh, w...
Standing Up to Union-Busting
KEITH ROSENTHAL
Here in New England autumn starts early, and on this late August morning the weather was especially chilly.  Nonetheless, approximately 65 union members and supporters found their way to the picket planned here in Harvard Square at the Sheraton Comm...
Is the Fed Still a Central Bank?
PETER MORICI
Federal Reserve officials, academics and central bankers from abroad are gathering for Ben Bernanke’s annual confab in Jackson Hole Wyoming to discuss the management of financial crises. A better topic might be: Is the Fed Still a Central Bank? ...
The Big Heat
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
Yesterday, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued its report on the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7) on September 11, 2001. Collapse was caused by the rupturing of the building’s metal framework due to the...
No War for Georgia
BOB BARR
The war between Russia and Georgia is a tragedy on its own terms. But it also has broad implications for U.S. foreign policy. Both President Bush and Sen. John McCain have demonstrated their shared predisposition to involve America’s armed services...
The Devolution of the Baby Boom Generation
JOHN F. MIGLIO
Some people say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. – John Lennon Although Albert Camus died before baby boomers took charge of the world and placed their redou...
From Russia with Love…
MARWAN BISHARA
The geopolitics of Russo-American relations is best portrayed by an old Swahili proverb that says ‘when the elephants fight, the grass gets crushed, and when elephants make love the grass gets crushed’. In that way, post-Cold War rapp...
Fallout from the Georgian War
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
Fortunately, the Russia-Georgia war was short-lived, but its repercussions will be felt for quite a long time. By defeating Georgia and showing that Washington was unable to defend its own ally, Russia humiliated the United States in front of the whole w...
Obama and Latin America
LAURA CARLSEN
The great debate on how much—or how little—Barack Obama would change our disastrous U.S. foreign policy usually focuses on the Middle East. That makes sense. Nowhere has the price of the Bush national security strategy been higher, as the vio...
Georgia and Historical Farce
RON JACOBS
Karl Marx once wrote, "Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.”  He wrote these words in his opening ...
The Military Commission Trials, So Far
JOANNE MARINER
"We will continue to bring the world’s most dangerous terrorists to justice," President George Bush said in 2006, explaining why Congress needed to pass a bill to allow detained terrorist suspects to be prosecuted in military commissions....
Unlocking the Power of Art to Counter Injustice
ANTHONY PAPA
The artist’s role as social commentator and activist has historically been engrained in our culture. Art and its creation as a response to social and political issues can become powerfully influential in raising public awareness that results in pos...
Is Georgia 2008 a Repeat of Hungary 1956?
ALLAN J. LICHTMAN
The crisis in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia eerily recalls a tragedy of the Cold War, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. That year, after revolutionaries challenged Soviet control of this satellite state, Russian tanks and troops rolled into Hunga...
The Problem with Problem Banks
RALPH NADER
This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) officials are pushing various agencies charged with regulating banks, such as the Treasury’s Office of Thrift Supervision to more aggressively give proble...