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Archives from December 2009
The Fear Stimulus
GREG MOSES
As one hand of history played high keys of hope and change during the inaugural days of 2009, the other hand was reaching for more ominous sound.  Across the keyboard of our national concerto, some chimed celebration, others hoarded bullets. Reporter Harr...
Tiger Max, Evel Denny, Buffalo Brian and Mini-Max Jon
PAUL RICHARDS
Montana politics are fun again! It seems like eons since we were amused by bald-faced buffoonery by the likes of former U.S. Rep. Marlenee and former U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns. Sure, we’ve had 35 years of consistently reliable incoherence from U.S. Sen. Ma...
The Lesser Evil
NICK EGNATZ
As the New Year approaches and with it the one year anniversary of Obama’s administration I have a request for my friends on the left.  Name one good thing that Obama has done.  I see our corporate Democratic Senators and Representatives on TV explain...
"The System Worked"
TOM STEPHENS
“The system worked.” –Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, regarding the attempted Christmas 2009 bombing on an airplane landing in Detroit The system worked. After an oppressively narrow and empty...
Touch Yemen, Get Burned
PATRICK COCKBURN
We are the Awaleq       Born of bitterness       We are the nails that go into the rock       We are the sparks of hell       He who defies us will...
Interventions R Us
RON JACOBS
As if the US interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan were not enough to satiate the Empire’s bloodlust, the calls are increasing for an all-out war on the nation of Yemen. The reason given for this intervention is that the man who apparently wanted to blow up an ...
Eliminate the Senate
WINSLOW T. WHEELER
Pointing out the obvious can sometimes be useful if you have a big enough megaphone. Washington Post staff reporter Ezra Klein was handed that opportunity this past Sunday when that paper’s prestigious Outlook section printed his commentary on “dysfunctio...
Lining Up for the Wall Street Gravy Train
MIKE WHITNEY
British economist John Maynard Keynes, believed in capitalism, but he was also sharply critical of its structural flaws. He summed it up succinctly like this: Our analysis shows… that long-run development is not inherent in the capitalist ec...
The Man Who Would Reclaim Sports
DAVE ZIRIN
It was 1976, and the Summer Olympics in Montreal had improbably become ground zero in the struggle against apartheid. Several dozen African nations threatened to boycott if the International Olympic Committee dared allow South Africa to be a part of the games. Montre...
Egypt’s Steel Wall
RAMZY BAROUD
Those pesky taxi drivers of Gaza are always circulating rumours. One story that made the rounds during the first Palestinian uprising in 1987 claimed that an Arab army crossed the Sinai desert to save Palestinians from the daily killings and protracted state of siege...
The Affluent Terrorist
CHARLES R. LARSON
In photographs, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab–the Nigerian who planned to blow up a Northwest airliner on Christmas–looks younger than his twenty-three years. Seventeen, eighteen, maybe—the face of innocence but also of bewilderment, a little like the e...
Toys for Tots … with Green Cards
JAYNE LYN STAHL
Some children in Nashville this Christmas awoke to a barren Christmas tree because their parents weren’t able to provide Santa with social security numbers. What does it say about a country when two of its largest holiday gift givers, the Salvation Army...
Israel Rules
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
On Christmas eve, the New York Times delivered forth a call for war.  “There’s only one way to stop Iran,” declared Alan J. Kuperman, and that is “military air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.”  Kuperman...
Are Presidents Afraid of the CIA?
RAY McGOVERN
In the past I have alluded to Panetta and the Seven Dwarfs. The reference is to CIA Director Leon Panetta and seven of his moral-dwarf predecessors — the ones who sent President Barack Obama a letter on Sept. 18 asking him to “reverse Attorney General Hol...
A Lawless Presidency
STEPHEN GREEN
It is ironic that a president who owed his election to office to a U.S. Supreme Court decision – and a narrow one at that – spent so much of his eight years in office battling that same court, and the institutions which are the arbiters of international h...
What Did Angelina Jolie Pay for Her Baby?
THOMAS MOUNTAIN
Asmara, Eritrea Did anyone ask movie star Angelina Jolie how much she paid for the Ethiopian baby she adopted? Or should I say how much she “donated”, most of which ended up in the hands of the national crime syndicate known as the Government of E...
Hate and Death on the Border
BRENDA NORRELL
Hate crimes against African-Americans and the number of hate groups increased in the United States during this decade, according to US statistics. But what of the hate crimes on the US/Mexico border, where white Border Patrol agents kill people of color in cold blood...
The Grand Placebo
BINOY KAMPMARK
The authorities in Britain and the United States are scrambling.  They hope to find answers as to how the 23-year-old engineering student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab managed to elude and almost detonate himself on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to De...
Baluchistan and the Af/Pak War
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
US news reports about the widening war in the “Af-Pak” region have made increasing reference to the presence of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Baluchistan, a Texas-sized swath of territory located in southern Pakistan.  Yet Americans remain surprisingly...
Don’t Apologize for Democrats
JEFF COHEN
For the new year, let’s resolve: Don’t defend Democrats when they don’t deserve defending. And that certainly includes President Obama. Let’s further resolve: Put principles above party and never lose our voice on human rights and soci...
Krugman’s Health Care Sell-Out
DAVE LINDORFF
Paul Krugman, one of the few liberal columnists writing for the New York Times, claims that at some point in the hoary past when he “began writing a lot about health care,” he was in favor of a Canadian-style single-payer health care system. He adds that ...
Who is the Ideal Labor Leader?
DAVID MACARAY
Whenever labor wonks get together to hoist a glass and mull over the problems plaguing America’s unions, the discussion inevitably turns to the question of what sort of person it would take to lead organized labor out of the wilderness and into the Promised Lan...
Compromised Domestic Policy, Militarized Foreign Policy
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
With the passing of a disastrous decade and President Obama about to complete his first year in office, it is perhaps appropriate to look at the recent past and what may lie ahead. For the Obama presidency, it has been more of a downhill journey than a steep climb th...
Yemen Next
PATRICK COCKBURN
Yemen is the Afghanistan of the Arab world. It is the poorest Arab country, its government is weak, its people are armed, it already faces a serious rebellion, it is strongly tribal and its mountain ranges are a natural refuge for groups like al-Qa’ida. ...
Who is the Ideal Labor Leader?
DAVID MACARAY
Whenever labor wonks get together to hoist a glass and mull over the problems plaguing America’s unions, the discussion inevitably turns to the question of what sort of person it would take to lead organized labor out of the wilderness and into the Promised Lan...
Yemen Next
PATRICK COCKBURN
Yemen is the Afghanistan of the Arab world. It is the poorest Arab country, its government is weak, its people are armed, it already faces a serious rebellion, it is strongly tribal and its mountain ranges are a natural refuge for groups like al-Qa’ida. ...
The Courage of Michael Vick
WALTER BRASCH And ROSEMARY BRASCH
The Philadelphia Eagles honored reserve quarterback and admitted dog-killer Michael Vick with an award for courage. Yes, you read that right. "Michael Vick" and "courage" are in the same sentence. Each of the 32 NFL teams annually honors o...
Share the Land
SUSAN ALBULHAWA And RAMZY BAROUD
Prior to the establishment of Israel, Palestine had been multi-religious and multi-cultural. Christians, Muslims and Jews, Armenians, Greek Orthodox, to name a few, all had a place there; and all lived in relative harmony. Other nations fought wars and waged epic str...
The Iranian Nuke Forgeries
GARETH PORTER
U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a "neutron initiator" for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, accor...
Krugman’s Health Care Sell-Out
DAVE LINDORFF
Paul Krugman, one of the few liberal columnists writing for the New York Times, claims that at some point in the hoary past when he “began writing a lot about health care,” he was in favor of a Canadian-style single-payer health care system. He adds that ...
The Iranian Nuke Forgeries
GARETH PORTER
U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a "neutron initiator" for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, accor...
Share the Land
SUSAN ALBULHAWA And RAMZY BAROUD
Prior to the establishment of Israel, Palestine had been multi-religious and multi-cultural. Christians, Muslims and Jews, Armenians, Greek Orthodox, to name a few, all had a place there; and all lived in relative harmony. Other nations fought wars and waged epic str...
Defeating Autism, Now
STEVEN HIGGS
When she discusses her autistic clients, Marcella Piper-Terry almost always speaks in reverential and laudatory tones. "They’re just absolutely gorgeous children," she says of kids with Asperger’s Disorder, such as her 15-year-old daughter Rache...
Winding Our Way to Gaza
EMILY RATNER
Cairo. Yesterday we joined the people of Gaza, the people of all of Palestine, and allies around the world in remembering the anniversary of the inhuman and illegal Israeli attacks that stole the lives of more than 1,400 mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons l...
Defeating Autism, Now
STEVEN HIGGS
When she discusses her autistic clients, Marcella Piper-Terry almost always speaks in reverential and laudatory tones. "They’re just absolutely gorgeous children," she says of kids with Asperger’s Disorder, such as her 15-year-old daughter Rache...
Prince of Peace or Evangelistic Predator?
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Every Christmas the birth of Jesus is heralded with the hope of peace for the new year:  “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”  (Luke 2:14, New Testament, New Revised Standard Version).  The irony here...
The Jungle of Technology
GREG MOSES
"I’ll sell it to you for $12 what I paid," she says to a man holding a pale sign that says "Needed, 1 ticket."  Cheery thank yous move the long line forward, one step closer to Avatar on the last day of this box-office-busting Christmas...
Good Riddance to the Devil’s Decade
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
As I understand it, certain pundits are struggling with finding an appropriate name for the decade now mercifully coming to an end. What’s the problem, I wonder?  Are their word processor dictionaries redacted of all four-letter words?  I mean,...
The Life and Death of Dennis Brutus
PATRICK BOND
World-renowned political organizer and one of Africa’s most celebrated poets, Dennis Brutus, died early on December 26 in Cape Town, in his sleep, aged 85. Even in his last days, Brutus was fully engaged, advocating social protest against those responsib...
Eyes on Yemen
GARY LEUPP
The Christmas-day airline bombing attempt by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is generating renewed attention to Yemen as a base of international terrorism. Even if the young man’s so far uncorroborated story about visiting Yemen and obtaining explosive chemi...
"Sure, Stick It In"
ALAN McDONNELL
One tip that Mark Rudd left out of his interesting article on organizing on the weekend CounterPunch site: one has to recognize when the movement is all there, ready to go, and just needs a little impetus. For the past eleven mo...
The Egyptian Puppet State
SAM HUSSEINI
Just after midnight I couldn’t sleep. Went out to get a bite to eat or maybe a glass of wine to help me sleep. See several CodePink people and others with the Gaza Freedom March, say they are going to the French embassy — they had put out an alert:...
Hearing is Not Like Seeing
BOUTHAINA SHAABAN
There has been a story in the press recently about how Prince William, son of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, spent a night on the streets when temperature was minus four (Celcius) in order to draw the world’s attention to the suffering of...
Gaza in Crisis
SONJA KARKAR
They came one cold December day.  Not fearless warriors but fearsome hoardes hell-bent on destruction of the genocidal kind that leaves no room for regeneration.  That was one year ago in Gaza.  The attack shocked a complacent world into finall...
Decriminalize Political Speech
JAYNE LYN STAHL
In February, the Supreme Court will hear on appeal what many consider to be among the most important cases that speaks to the constitutionality of political speech in recent times, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project. And, in light of the failed attempt to blo...
"Sure, Stick It In"
ALAN McCONNELL
One tip that Mark Rudd left out of his interesting article on organizing on the weekend CounterPunch site: one has to recognize when the movement is all there, ready to go, and just needs a little impetus. For the past eleven mo...
Cast Lead II
URI AVNERY
Did we win? This week marks the first anniversary of the Gaza War, alias Operation Cast Lead, and this question fills the public space. Within the Israeli consensus, the answer has already been given: Certainly we won, the Qassams have stopped coming. A...
The Only Album "Bob Dylan" Ever Produced
MICHAEL SIMMONS
Thomas Wolfe said you can’t go home again.  Was he right? One of the quiet gems of 2009 was an album originally produced by Bob Dylan in 1973.  Other than his work under the pseudonymous Jack Frost, it’s the only album Dylan ever produced...
When Prosperity Comes to Bad Men
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Surfeit begets insolence, when prosperity comes to a bad man. Theognis, c. 545b.c. I hope the President didn’t take it personally. I’m sure no offense was intended. Even though bank presidents have shown they can s...
Where the Holidays are a Cruel Hoax
JOHN ROSS
The Christmas season is in full flower in this monster megalopolis.  "The World’s Tallest Christmas Tree" (dixit Mayor Marcelo Ebrard) which looks suspiciously like a huge bottle of Pepsi Cola (the sponsor of this Xmas kitsch) towers over the ele...