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 June 2009
Six Ways to Reinvigorate Labor
DAVID MACARAY
“Fools make feasts, and wise folk eat them; the wise make jests, and the fools repeat them.”                         &...
You Provide the Tweets, We’ll Provide the Info War
JACK Z. BRATICH
We can all remember a moment when we gazed up at the sky and used our imagination to make familiar shapes out of the clouds.  In folk wisdom, seers practice aeromancy, a form of divination that involves observing atmospheric phenomena and nephomancy, the divinat...
Israeli Firms Accused of Profiting Off Holocaust
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth. Israel’s second largest bank will be forced to defend itself in court in the coming weeks over claims it is withholding tens of millions of dollars in “lost” accounts belonging to Jews who died in the Nazi death camps. Bank ...
Don’t Cry for Him, Argentina!
CHARLES R. LARSON
All right, so another Republican hopeful has fessed up to his sexual indiscretions.  A tearful Mark Sanford, the Governor of South Carolina, has confessed that he messed up his life, and the lives of his wife and children, because of a mistress in Argentina.&nbs...
The Health Insurance Industry v. Health Care Reform
WENDELL POTTER
I’m the former insurance industry insider now speaking out about how big for-profit insurers have hijacked our health care system and turned it into a giant ATM for Wall Street investors, and how the industry is using its massive wealth and influence to determi...
Haiti’s Elections
MARK SCHULLER
Port-au-Prince. This was the final round of elections for a third of the Senate in Haiti. I woke up with a start as several UN helicopters zoomed to and from downtown from uphill. Given this week’s events, I feared the worst. As it turns out, it was not...
Now We See You, Now We Don’t
KATHY KELLY
In early June, 2009, I was in the Shah Mansoor displaced persons camp in Pakistan, listening to one resident detail the carnage which had spurred his and his family’s flight there a mere 15 days earlier. Their city, Mingora, had come under massive aerial bombar...
The Tears of Mark Sanford
ALAN FARAGO
In the 1960’s, conservatives were fixated by the threat of the Red Menace and a youthful culture supine with drugs and rock ‘n roll. They set out the foundations of a new Moral Majority to combat these threats. The precepts of the Moral Majority were Chri...
Telltale Signs of Saudi Fraud
GARETH PORTER
In the last week of October 1996, the Saudi secret police, the Mabahith, gave David Williams, the FBI’s assistant special agent in charge of counter-terrorism issues, what they said were summaries of the confessions obtained from some 40 Shi’a detainees....
The Department of Energy’s Nuclear Albatross
ROBERT ALVAREZ
Last month, the Obama administration rolled out the details of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) budget for fiscal year 2010. "The president’s budget for energy reflects his commitment to ending our dependence on foreign oil, restoring our scientific ...
Obama and the Torturers
JAMES BOVARD
Since 1997, every June 26 has been formally recognized as the International Day of Support for Victims of Torture. Political leaders around the globe take the occasion to proclaim their opposition to barbarism. On June 26, 2003, President George W. Bush proud...
The Age of the Everyday Billionaire
P. SAINATH
"I think almost everyone will grant that if candidates for the United States Senate were required to possess ten million dollars, and for the House one million, the year-in-year-out level of conservatism of those two bodies might be expected to rise ...
Medicare for All
DAVE LINDORFF
When it comes to reforming America’s disastrous health care “system,” there are two issues that need to be considered: access and cost. The so-called reform proposals being offered by the Obama White House, the House and the Senate, are faili...
Remembering Giovanni Arrighi
STEVEN COLATRELLA
Giovanni Arrighi, one of the pioneers of World Systems analysis and more recently one of the most cited and influential thinkers on the fate of US hegemony and the direction of world politics and economy, passed away on June 18th, after a protracted struggle with a t...
How the U.S. Has Secretly Backed Pakistan’s Nuclear Program From Day One
ANDREW COCKBURN
"If the worst, the unthinkable, were to happen,” Hillary Clinton recently told Fox News, “and this advancing Taliban encouraged and supported by Al Qaeda and other extremists were to essentially topple the government … then they would have key...
The Story of Abdul Rahim al-Ginco
ANDY WORTHINGTON
In over three years of researching and reporting about the prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, I learned early on to expect, as one of Guantánamo’s first commanders, ...
Investigating the Khobar Tower Bombing
GARETH PORTER
On Jun. 25, 1996, a massive truck bomb exploded at a building in the Khobar Towers complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, which housed U.S. Air Force personnel, killing 19 U.S. airmen and wounding 372. Immediately after the blast, more than 125 agents from the U.S. ...
Torture Eats the Soul
DIANA GIBSON And RAY McGOVERN
Anniversaries can be important. This Friday marks the 22nd anniversary of the U.N. Convention against Torture, ratified and signed under President Reagan. Last Friday marked the 150th day of the presidency of Barack Obama, who is trying to put a definitive end to the...
Making Financial Regulation Work
DEAN BAKER
One of the major debates around President Obama’s plan for reforming the financial system is over who should be given the job of regulating systemic risk. This debate is fundamentally misguided. We already have an unofficial systemic risk regulator, or S...
Seeing Through Israeli Delay Tactics
YOUSEF MUNAYYER
The growing divide between the Obama administration and the Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu over Israel’s expansion of its West Bank settlements has led to delay tactics by Israel. President Obama must see through them and press his criticism or ri...
Using the Economic Crisis to Attack Workers
DAVE LINDORFF
Reports are starting to appear suggesting that laid-off or underemployed Americans, and the long-term unemployed, are losing patience with the Obama administration’s and Congress’ economic stimulus plan, which thus far has not done anything to arrest the ...
The Erosion of the Mullahs’ Monolith
BRIAN M. DOWNING
We may never know the true vote count in the recent elections – and it’s almost irrelevant now. Debate has ended, sides have been drawn, and a test of power, not votes, is underway. Over the last two days, in the face of serious yet restrained repression,...
Obama’s Classroom Spies
DAVID PRICE
As the continuities and disjunctures between the Bush and Obama administrations come into focus it becomes increasingly clear that while Obama’s domestic agenda has some identifiable breaks with Bush’s, at its core, the new administration remains committe...
Dennis Ross Moves to the White House
GARY LEUPP
There was a time when the most ridiculous accusations against Iraq as prepared by the White House Iraq Group of neocon-led propagandists were accepted  by the entire Washington power elite. Remember? It was not so long ago. Iraq and al-Qaeda were in cahoots and ...
The G8 is Dead
NICHOLAS DEARDEN
The next fortnight will witness two summits of world leaders which will give radically different directions for recovery and reform of the global economy. While one – the G8 – harks back to the days when a handful of rich countries could happily c...
Bi-Partisan Bull on Health Care
JAMES RIDGEWAY And JEAN CASELLA
As it hammers another nail into the coffin of meaningful health care reform, the Bipartisan Policy Center is laying it on thick. “Join Howard Baker, Tom Daschle and Bob Dole as they unveil their bipartisan plan for comprehensive health reform,” its web si...
Puerto Rico: Biotech Island
CARMELO RUIZ-MARRERO
In the global debate regarding genetically modified (GM) foods and organisms (GMO’s), the little-known role of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in testing and propagating GM crops has gone largely unnoticed and unexamined. The agricultural biotechnology acti...
Iraq Reels Toward a New Era
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. On June  30 the last US troops will pull out of the Iraqi cities. America’s great adventure in Iraq is ending. Already there are few US military patrols in Baghdad. The American-held area of the Green Zone, for long a forbidden city in the ...
Gandhi Goes to Tehran?
ROBERT BRYCE
Ican’t get enough news about what’s happening in Iran. The power struggle  fascinates me for a number of reasons: * The demonstrations in Tehran and elsewhere show the huge miscalculations made by the country’s theocratic leadership. For...
The Fog Machine
JACK Z. BRATICH
Occasionally, an event gushes through media channels, spectacularly belying the notion that news outlets have major ideological differences.  The current surge is a Green Wave, emanating from Iran.  But there is more going on here than a uniform support for...
The Blank Check
ANDY THAYER
Now that the dust has begun to settle on President Obama’s latest broken promise to the LGBT community — his egregious brief FOR the Defense of Marriage Act, comparing equal marriage rights to incest and pederasty — it’s time to examine how we...
What Actually Happened in the Iranian Presidential Election?
ESAM AL-AMIN
Since the June 12 Iranian presidential elections, Iran "experts” have mushroomed like bacteria in a Petri dish. So here is a quiz for all those instant experts. Which major country has elected more presidents than any in the world since 1980? Further, whic...
Victory in the Amazon
LAURA CARLSEN
Thousands of indigenous people from the Amazon jungle of Peru accomplished the unthinkable last week. Their movement to save the Amazon and their communities forced the Peruvian government to roll back implementing legislation for the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement t...
Guns v. Butter
VIJAY PRASHAD
In Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina’s Chronique des Années de Braise (1975), a film which won the Palme d’Or, a crazy prophet emerges from the city to greet a horde of bedraggled peasants. He extends his arms and says, “You were poor and free. Now you...
We Children of the Revolution
ATASH YAGHMAIAN
In 1978, I was a seven-year-old girl living in Tehran. My memories from that time are child-like and simple, yet I often find that what I experienced then has shed more light on my understanding of today’s Iran than any current political analysis could do. As I...
Unions and the Newspaper Crisis
DAVID MACARAY
What do you do when your bosses say they needs to slash your wages by 23%, otherwise the business will go belly up?  Worse, what do you say when they tell you there’s no guarantee these cuts will be enough to save it?  If you’re a non-un...
Dexter’s Legions in Afghanistan
CHRIS FLOYD
There is, I understand, a popular cable television show featuring a "good" serial killer who has been taught by a kind mentor to channel his murderous psychosis toward socially worthy ends; i.e., killing scumbags who deserve to die but have somehow escaped ...
The U.S. Regime-Change Recipe for Iran
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
President Obama called on the Iranian government to allow protesters to control the streets in Tehran.  Would Obama or any US president allow protesters to control the streets in Washington, D.C.? There was more objective evidence that George W. Bush sto...
Obama’s (Latest) Surrender to Wall Street
MICHAEL HUDSON
In reaching across the aisle for Republican support – and no doubt future campaign contributions from the financial sector Pres. Obama is morphing into Joe Lieberman. There also is a touch of Boris Yeltsin in his sponsorship of a financial “reform” ...
Obama’s Health Care Waterloo
DAVE LINDORFF
The Obama administration and the Congressional Democrats are finally hitting the inevitable wall that was bound to confront them because of the president’s congenital inability to be a bold leader, and because of the party’s toxic decades-old decision to ...
Workers’ Rights
JOE BAGEANT
In looking back on growing up, I always remember 1957 and 1958 at "the two good years," They were the only years my working class redneck family ever caught a real break in their working lives, and that break came because of organized labor. After working a...
Spinning Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan
GARETH PORTER
At his confirmation hearings two weeks ago, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said reducing civilian deaths from air strikes in Afghanistan was "strategically decisive" and declared his "willingness to operate in ways that minimise casualties or damage, even whe...
No Voice
CHARLES R. LARSON
In the prologue to The Locust and the Bird, an astonishing account of her mother’s life,...
The Got Away With Murder in a Pennsylvania Coal Town
WALTER BRASCH
The Schuylkill County, Pa., justice system managed to do something that insurance actuaries do with mixed results—it has determined not only the penalty for threats to a human life, but also the value of a human life. ? Norman E. Nickle, 54,...
Why the Health Insurance Industry Doesn’t Deserve Our Trust
JIM GOODMAN
Farmers often depend on off farm jobs to provide health insurance, if that wasn’t an option they could generally afford an individual plan. Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in America, heavy machinery, large animals, long hours in the sun, chemi...
When the Closet is the Culprit
KIM NICOLINI
I’m not really a big fan of overt political documentaries. For the post part, I figure I already know the point of the movie. I usually occupy the same political side of the film, so seeing these movies just confirms things I already know. The content is usuall...
Escape From the Torture Chamber
DAVID YEARSLEY
On learning of the supposed suicide of Mohammad Saleh al Haneshi in Guatanamo Bay earlier this month I immediately thought of one of J. S. Bach’s simplest pieces, Komm süsser Tod (Come sweet Death).  This is an aria that Bach apparently wrote for a bo...
The Iranian Uprisings and the Challenge of the New Media
HENRY A. GIROUX
As the uprisings in Iran illustrate, the new electronic technologies and social networks they have produced have transformed both the landscape of media production and reception, and  the ability of state power to define the borders and boundaries of what consti...
Who Will Control Iraq’s Oil?
PATRICK COCKBURN
Baghdad. Furious protests are threatening to undermine the Iraqi government’s plan to give international oil companies a stake in its giant oilfields in a desperate effort to increase its declining oil production and oil revenues. In less than two...
Charles Lynch Gets a Year and a Day (No Thanks to Eric Holder)
FRED GARDNER
Charles Lynch has been sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge George Wu to spend a year and a day in prison. At a hearing June 11, Wu rejected federal prosecutors’ arguments that Lynch must serve a five-year mandatory minimum, and defense suggestions that he ge...