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Archives from October 2009
Fidel on Obama and Consumerism
SAUL LANDAU
After Fidel Castro’s abdominal surgery in the summer of 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice assured Cubans in Bush’s name: “You must know that you have no greater friend than the United States of America.” This great pal showed amity by ...
Fox News vs. Team Obama
NORM KENT
This past week the Obama Administration said that it does not view the Fox News Network as a credible news organization because it has an agenda and a perspective inconsistent with neutrality. As if to prove the point for them, Fox’s terror dogs immedia...
Saada Under Siege
RANNIE AMIRI
“One of the reasons I’m here is to try to give a bit more profile to a conflict, and its humanitarian consequences, which had been fairly low on the list of the international media’s priorities.” – John Holmes, UN Unde...
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
RON JACOBS
I don’t write about so-called matters of faith very much, preferring to leave that to people to whom those things matter more, but the recent announcement by the Vatican to disenchanted Anglicans and Episcopalians that the Roman Catholic Church would not only i...
All the Populism Money Can Buy
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Across the country, last weekend there were anti-war demonstrations, modest in turnout, but hopefully a warning to Obama that war without end or reason in Afghanistan, plus 40,000 more troops to Kabul, is not why people voted for him. I spoke at our own littl...
The Organic Revolution
RONNIE CUMMINS
Beyond the gloom and doom of the climate crisis, there lies a powerful and regenerative grassroots solution: organic food, farming, and ranching. Even as politicians and the powerful fossil fuel lobby drag their heels and refuse to acknowledge that we have about ten ...
Palestine in Pieces
JEFF GORE
In 1979, Kathleen and Bill Christison retired from the CIA, where they worked as analysts. Ever since then, they’ve had an unorthodox retirement, to say the least. With only a couple relatively brief interludes, they’ve dedicated what could have been year...
AARP’s Tradition of Betrayal
STEPHEN LENDMAN
Founded in 1958 for aged 50 and older Americans, AARP call itself "a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization (dedicated to) improv(ing) the quality of their lives," even though from inception it sold insurance to earn royalties – now to its 40 ...
Challenging the Dollar Dictatorship
NIKOLAS KOZLOFF
Last week, representatives of the Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas (known by its Spanish acronym ALBA) met in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba to discuss the future evolution of the trade bloc, designed to promote complementarity and reciprocity amongst left-lea...
Costa-Gavras’s "Z": an Excellent Thriller
BEN SONNENBERG
The conspiracy thriller Z by Costa-Gavras – starring Yves Montand, Irene Papas and Jean-...
Without Any Exception Whatsoever?
RICARDO ALARCÓN De QUESADA
Venezuela’s formal request for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles was well founded. There is an Extradition Treaty between Venezuela and the United States, ratified by both countries in 1922, which has been implemented for a century.   Venezuel...
Natural History
DAVID Ker THOMSON
It is the watershed, not the nation-state, which provides the natural social formation of our species.  Water “sheds” and branches all the way down to the molecular level and all the way up to half continents.  Each thread from the shed is a lin...
The Weiner Charade
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
What would Democrats do if they were serious about single payer? The 88 members of the House who support it – The Single Payer Caucus – would get together and say – we’re not going to vote for Obamacare. (By the way — that&...
Zimbabwe’s Unravelling
CHARLES R. LARSON
Irene Sabatini’s deceptive narration in this haunting novel lures the reader in slowly, slowly—coiling like a snake about to spring. By the time you realize that she’s mesmerized you, it’s too late. You’re hooked on Sabatini’s supe...
Small Oversights and Big Lies
ERIC TOUSSAINT
It may be useful to assess the dangers of the systematically hostile attitude of the overwhelming majority of major European and North American media companies in relation to the current events taking place in Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. This hostility is only ma...
The Rotten Fruits of War
DAN PEARSON And KATHY KELLY
Five months ago, shortly after the Pakistani government had begun a military offensive against suspected Taliban fighters in the northernmost area of the country, we arrived in Islamabad, the capital, as part of a small delegation organized by Voices for Creative Non...
What is Damien Hirst Playing At?
CHARLES THOMSON
"I always thought painting was the best thing to do … I don’t like conceptual art".  This is a sentiment felt by many people, and one of the main practitioners of conceptual art they might have in mind is Damien Hirst, particularly for his...
Busting the Darfur Myth
TOM MOUNTAIN
Asmara, Eritrea. As one of the first to write about the problems in West Sudan/Darfur, in mid 2003, and living side by side here in Asmara for three years with representatives of the Darfur, and other Sudanese resistance, my investigation has found no evidence...
Israeli Police Don Arab Disguises
JONATHAN COOK
Civil rights groups in Israel have expressed outrage at the announcement last week that a special undercover unit of the police has been infiltrating and collecting intelligence on Israel’s Arab minority by disguising its officers as Arabs. It is the fi...
The US as Failed State
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The US has every characteristic of a failed state. The US government’s current operating budget is dependent on foreign financing and money creation. Too politically weak to be able to advance its interests through diplomacy, the US relies on te...
Three Myths Driving the Afghan War
JOHANN HARI
Is Barack Obama about to drive his Presidency into a bloody ditch strewn with corpses? The President is expected any day now to announce his decision about the future of the war in Afghanistan. He knows US and British troops have now been stationed in the hell-mouth ...
Russia’s Daring Vote
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Russia’s vote to endorse the Goldstone Gaza report in the United Nations Human Rights Council last Friday was an important, milestone event both for Palestine and for Russia. For Palestine, this vote opened a way to try and sentence Israeli mass-murderers, and ...
Pranksters Fixing the World
MARK ENGLER
Over the past ten years, the Yes Men have emerged as an infamously daring and creative duo of anti-corporate pranksters. In their new movie, The Yes Men Fix the World, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno (known in their non-activist lives as Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos...
Losing the War
BRIAN M. DOWNING
The US and NATO have begun an ambitious counterinsurgency program in Afghanistan that places great importance on winning the support of the Afghan people. But there is a rarely-considered corollary in the counterinsurgency effort: Afghanistan must win the support of ...
Now Pakistan
LIAQUAT ALI KHAN
A conspiratorial view of the world is frequently inaccurate, exposing more the paranoia of the view rather than the reality of the world. The sequential destruction of Muslim nations — Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, (and Iran is on the list) — ma...
Rush Limbaugh and the NFL
D. K. WILSON
Now that it’s safe for ESPN to discuss Rush Limbaugh at length, we know Dave Checketts has dropped Limbaugh from his investment group seeking to purchase the St. Louis Rams. The fear here is that the players who spoke out against Limbaugh and NFLPA chief D...
A Kafkaesque Deportation
LINN WASHINGTON, Jr.
Julio Maldonado faces flying into an uncertain future if federal authorities succeed in deporting this former construction worker to Peru, the South American country he left 39-years-ago as a three-year-old child. Maldonado faces deportation due to dictates of...
Hypocrisy Unbridled
STEPHEN FLEISCHMAN
I learned my first lesson in capitalism when I was a kid during the Great Depression of the 1930s. (Yes, I was a teenager in 1933) In our living room, we had only one electric light bulb. It hung down from the middle of the ceiling on an electric wire. My fat...
On Harvard’s Financial Crisis
PATRICE HIGONNET
To Michael D. Smith, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences October 20 2009 Dear Professor Smith: I read with great interest as I am sure we all did your letter regarding Harvard’s finances. It’s a long document, many parts of...
The Next Financial Crisis Hits Wall Street, as Judges Start Nixing Foreclosures
PAM MARTENS
The financial tsunami unleashed by Wall Street’s esurient alchemy of spinning toxic home mortgages into triple-A bonds, a process known as securitization, has set off its second round of financial tremors. After leaving mortgage investors, bank sharehol...
Uncle Sam in Afghanistan
NORMAN SOLOMON
Almost eight years after choosing Hamid Karzai to head the Afghan government, Uncle Sam would like to give him a pink slip. But it’s not easy. And the grim fiasco of Afghanistan’s last election is shadowing the next. Another display of electioneeri...
Syria’s Golan Heights
FRANKLIN LAMB
Qunaitra Nationals from nearly one-third of the 192 member states of the United Nations met in Damascus last week to discuss the Return/Liberation of the Golan Heights.   An estimated 5000 researchers, lawyers, politicians, activists, victims of Isra...
Searching for a Minyan
KEVIN COVAL And JOSH HEALEY
This weekend, J Street, a new Jewish “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” PAC and Washington-based organization is holding its first national conference. The two of us, along with another artist, were to perform and read poems at several sessions during the conference...
Herta Müller’s Nobel
BINOY KAMPMARK
I just wonder if, as an American and English-speaker only, I’m somehow missing out on a lot of erstwhile magnificent literature because it isn’t translated into my mother tongue, and if this is so, why? Comment...
A Very Important Liar
RICARDO ALARCÓN De QUESADA
Luis Posada Carriles is a real VIP enjoying unique courtesies and privileges not offered to other dignitaries and celebrities. But he is also a self-confessed and duly certified international terrorist. Posada began his long carrier with the early actions aga...
The Adoption of the Goldstone Report
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
The endorsement of the UN Human Rights Council of the report of South African Justice Richard Goldstone on the war on Gaza, despite American and British criticism, Washington’s repeated objections to the report, Israeli threats, the delays and different interpr...
Farce in Kabul, Tragedy in Pakistan
TARIQ ALI
A few weeks ago the UN headman in Kabul, a woodenheaded Norwegian, decided that the recent Presidential elections were fine and Karzai was a legitimate ruler. His deputy, Peter Galbraith, the unofficial representative of the State Department, was enraged (since the U...
Does Citibank Need China?
DEAN BAKER
Most of the economists and pundits who could not see an $8 trillion housing bubble are telling us that the United States desperately needs for the Chinese government to keep buying its debt. This crew of failed analysts argues that without the support of the Chinese ...
Pensions: the Next Casualty of Wall Street
MARK BRENNER
Nobody wants to admit it, but the next casualty of the Wall Street meltdown will probably be your golden years. For years corporations have been trying to choke the life out of traditional pensions, working hard to get out from under the risk—and the cost&mdash...
Can the Democrats Avoid a Populist Health Care Rebellion?
KEVIN ZEESE
The leadership of the Democratic Party is on the verge of passing health insurance reform. The centerpiece of the “reform” is requiring Americans to buy overpriced insurance from private corporations. But, it is evident that many in the Democratic voting ...
Autumn in Shanghai
GILAD ATZMON
Shanghai is modernity in action, it is up for business, its many staggering new high-rise buildings, spear the imagination as well as the sky. It is saturated with festive almost unreal glamour, it is soaking in wealth, it is overwhelmingly proud and yet, it is human...
Et Tu, CodePink?
SHARON SMITH
Eight years into the war on Afghanistan — and with no end in sight — seems a peculiar time for antiwar activists to claim that U.S. forces need to stay there even longer for the sake of the Afghan people. Yet Yifat Susskind, Communications Directo...
Chronicle of a Tormenta Electrica, II
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. Monday morning broke broodingly over Mexico City.  The headlines on a score of newspapers hanging from Vicente Ramirez’s kiosk were universal loas for Calderon’s heroic seizure of Luz y Fuerza del Centro.  As usual, La Jornad...
Depleted Uranium Weapons
DAVE LINDORFF
The horrors of the US Agent Orange campaign in Vietnam, about which I wrote on Oct. 15, could ultimately be dwarfed by the horrors of the depleted uranium weapons which the US began using in the 1991 Gulf War (300 tons), and which it used much more extensively, and i...
Down in the Valley With Cesar
MICHAEL D. YATES
[Author’s note: I worked for the United Farm Workers Union during a sabbatical leave in the winter of 1977. I was made Research Director and spent my time investigating the growers, helping out in negotiations, and testifying in unfair labour practi...
Outside Agitator
MICHAEL DONNELLY
“People should be entertaining or useful; preferably both” –Sun Bear The sun set late on a warm mid-summer day. The full moon rose slowly; glistening off the glaciers of Mt Jefferson. Lamar Marshall blew away ...
Swine Fools
CHRISTOPHER KETCHAM
Looking back, there were simple prophylactic measures to prevent oneself getting sick with the virus du jour.  First of all, one should have gotten rid of any homo sapiens americanus in the immediate sphere.  Zookeepers from our planet attest it is a danger...
War, Peace and the Obamajority
BARBARA ROSE JOHNSTON
Two weeks ago I stood on the banks of a river that 64 years ago had been clogged with so many bodies that you could literally walk from bank to bank on the backs of carbonized corpses. The horror of Hiroshima, and of Nagasaki, it is difficult to describe. No m...
Zionism: an Anti-Semite’s Dream?
JOHN V. WHITBECK
In a commentary published in the Arab News (Jeddah) on October 17, the British journalist Neil Berry focuses on a reality which is rarely mentioned in polite society: that Zionism is, and has always been, an anti-Semite’s dream come true, offering the hope that...
Tea Baggers and Birchers?
JAYNE LYN STAHL
By now, word has gotten out that FreedomWorks, the right wing organization chaired by Dick Armey, that advocates for lower taxes, and smaller government, is the same group behind tea baggers who opposed Obama’s stimulus plan. Protests against the $787 billion c...