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Archives from January 2011
Hu Are You?
PETER LEE
China’s President Hu Jintao’s four-day state visit to the United States that ended on Friday has unleashed an avalanche of empty verbiage, courtesy of the two governments, their media enablers, the punditocracy, and the blogosphere. ...
How Green Became the Color of Money
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Click here to read Part One. Click here to read Part Two. Click here to read Part Three. "...
The Forgotten Jobless
MARK VORPAHL
In the political theater exhibited last December where 13 months of unemployment extensions were linked to continuing tax breaks for the rich, a significant issue was left out of the drama, though it directly impacts the lives of millions. That is the fate of those w...
Lock Heed
DAVID Ker THOMSON
The left fears corporations and the right fears the government and the far right feareth the Lord, but the distinction between the three is nominal.  We teach our children that democracy is good because we were taught thus.  We were t...
The Context of Cuba’s Crisis
SAUL LANDAU And NELSON P. VALDES
On December 18, 2010 Cuban President Ra?l Castro warned Cubans: the nation faced a crisis. The disastrous condition of Cuba’s economy no longer allowed the state any maneuvering room to walk the dangerous “precipice” of inefficiency, low productivit...
The Feds Go Fishing
RON JACOBS
Back in September 2010, a series of FBI raids were conducted in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago and North Carolina.  These raids were conducted under laws pertaining to US citizens providing "material aid to terrorists" and targeted members of antiwar, l...
The People’s War to Come
LARRY PORTIS
Generations come and generations go. But somehow?by standing on the shoulders of giants?humanity advances towards something more positive. This is the hope held out by Iciar Bollain in her new film Even the Rain (Tambi?n la Iluvia). I believe she shows how this slow ...
The Time Has Come to Do Something
FIDEL CASTRO
I shall relate a bit of history. When the Spanish “discovered” us five hundred years ago, the estimated population on the Island was no more than 200,000 inhabitants who were living in harmony with nature.  Their main sources of...
The Murdered Women of Juarez
LAURA CARLSEN
Marisela Escobedo’s life changed forever in August 2008 when her 16-year-old daughter Rubi failed to come home. What was left of Rubi’s body was found months later in a dump — 39 pieces of charred bone. Rubi became one more mac...
Defender of the Movement
JOE ALLEN
Albert Goldman was born Albert Verblen in Chicago in 1897. He had first become involved with radical politics during a summer break from college (where he had been studying to be a rabbi) in 1919 while working in the Dakota wheat fields. There he met members of the I...
Phil Ochs’s Tragedy and Our Own
DOUG LORANGER
In December 1966, Phil Ochs appeared on a one-hour television program entitled The Rebel Songwriter on WNDT-TV in New York City.  A small studio audience was on hand to listen and ask questions.  Host Dennis Wholey, who was beginning his career in televisio...
Sonoma County, Banana Republic of Wine Grapes
WILL PARRISH
In 1993, American wine industry goliath E&J Gallo (annual revenue in the billions) founded its first subsidiary dedicated solely to producing high-end, “premium” vintages: Gallo of Sonoma.  The move reflected a dramatic shift for the Gallo empire...
Exporting Torture, Courting Prosecution … Still
STEVE HENDRICKS
Exactly two years have passed since President Obama banned the United States from torturing captives?sort of. More precisely, he banned the United States from torturing captives directly. He left intact the option of sending captives elsewhere to be tortured. ...
Ceausescu’s Bleak Romania
CHARLES R. LARSON
When Herta M?ller won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009, there were the usual observations. Who’s that? What has she written? Where’s she from? All easily answered these days with the Internet. M?ller was born in Romania in 1953 but fled to Berlin wi...
The FDA and the Death Penalty
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
It is easy to lose sight of one’s mission and we should be sympathetic and not critical. After all, its employees are busy people and that probably helps explain why the Food and Drug Administration has momentarily gotten confused as to its purpose. On its webs...
With Us Or Against Us
RUPAL OZA
2010 was marked by two public cases in which members of prominent human rights organizations expressed grave concerns that their organizations were supporting what they have termed ‘misogynist individuals with jihadist leanings’.  In the first case, ...
American Decline
MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
When we say the American Empire is in decline, what do we mean? Is it the decline of: 1) The U.S. economy (and consequently U.S. political power) in relation to and in competition with the other national economies, the regional groupings...
Chevron’s Crude Attacks
MICHAEL WINSHIP
Joe Berlinger’s back is against the wall. Last week the independent filmmaker, already facing crushing debt from legal bills, was dealt a major blow in his continuing fight against the third largest company in America, Chevron. It’s ...
The Empire Strikes Back
CONN HALLINAN
For the past decade, American policy vis-?-vis Latin America has been relatively low-key, partly because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and partly because the region has seen an unprecedented growth in economic power and political independence. But, with Republ...
Two Ousted Leaders
RANNIE AMIRI
Some dubbed it the “Jasmine Revolution” out of an apparent need to romanticize all popular uprisings by tagging a color or symbol to it, as with Tunisia’s national flower. Yet it felt decidedly out of place. This was no Western-backed revolt, where ...
Questioning Eros
FARZANA VERSEY
Berlusconi will be happy to do it and so would the caretakers of prisons whose inmates are sodomised and pussy-whipped. This is the cult of militant sexuality. So, while it may be personally a joyful time to celebrate Eros Day on January 22, as Dr Susan Block so deli...
A Welcome Prison Victory at Youngstown
DENIS O'HEARN
Three death-sentenced men were on hunger strike in Ohio State Penitentiary on January 3 to win the same rights as others on death row in the state. On Saturday January 15, the twelfth day of their protest, a crowd of supporters gathered in the parking lot by the tiny...
Insurance Execs Target William Hsiao
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Harvard Professor William Hsiao is a single payer supporter. Twenty years ago, he helped push through a single payer system for Taiwan. And now, he wants to do something similar in Vermont. Over the pa...
Catastrophes on Camera
PATRICK COCKBURN
The media generally assume that news of war, crime and natural disasters will always win an audience. "If it bleeds, it leads," is a well-tried adage of American journalism. Of the three categories, coverage of war has attracted criticism for its lies, jing...
Why Aristide Should be Allowed to Return to Haiti
MARK WEISBROT
Haiti’s infamous dictator "Baby Doc" Duvalier, returned to his country this week, while the country’s first elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is kept out. These two facts really say everything about Washington’s policy toward Hait...
Was Picasso Apolitical?
VICENTE NAVARRO
A political objective of the artistic establishment in the U.S. is to depoliticize art.  Art that explicitly expresses a political commitment to change the power relations in our societies is frowned upon, discouraged, ridiculed or condescendingly dismissed by t...
A Voice From the Past
JOS? PERTIERRA
The first of the 18 witnesses in the case against Luis Posada Carriles that the prosecution announced that it wishes to present in the coming three weeks testified today: Gina Garrett-Jackson. She is the person who was charged with liti...
In Praise of Incivility in Politics
DAVE LINDORFF
"The wranglers over creeds and dogmas are perhaps the most persistent of all agitators; the bedrock idea being that a wrong exists which must be found and exterminated." — Eugene Debs "Get it...
Building Little Republics in a Collapsing Empire
SAM SMITH
Several years after the passage of the Federal Boating Act of 1958, the Second Coast Guard District in St. Louis sent a team of unarmed men, and a van with outboard patrol boat in tow, to Oklahoma to begin safety inspections of vessels on a federal waterway. A few da...
Gold v. Water
CECILIA ZARATE-LAUN
Last August 7 in his inaugural speech as President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos said : “We are a nation with one of the largest biological diversities in the world, and with a great supply of water. Therefore we are called upon to care for them for our ...
Why Are We Still in Afghanistan?
IRA CHERNUS
AWhen I try to figure out why we are still in Afghanistan, though every ounce of logic says we ought to get out, an unexpected conversation I had last year haunts me. Doing neighborhood political canvassing, I knocked on the door of a cheerful man who was just about ...
Hyatt Sues Hotel Workers Union
CARL FINAMORE
Within hours of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s national holiday coming to an end on Monday, January 17, San Francisco Grand Hyatt management called an early morning Tuesday press conference to denounce the hotel union, Local 2, UNITE-HERE,...
Ganja Yoga
STEWART J. LAWRENCE
Just when you thought America’s $6 billion yoga industry couldn’t get any wackier, a new yoga “hybrid” ? “Ganja Yoga” – is sweeping down from Canada into the hills and valleys of northern California, establishing firm roots i...
Cutting Taxes is Killing the Economy
LAURA FLANDERS
It scored the cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Paul Krugman’s feature, CAN EUROPE BE SAVED? And a quick read may have left American readers feeling reassured. At least Americans aren’t in the Europeans’ fix with their common currency, en...
A Conversation With Noam Chomsky
MICKEY Z.
While Noam Chomsky surely needs no introduction, as they say, that doesn’t mean interviewing him has to follow a blueprint. So, after seeing him in a video called "...
The Economists Forgive Themselves
DEAN BAKER
The American Economics Association held its annual meeting in Denver last weekend. Most attendees appeared to be in a very forgiving mood. While the economists in Denver recognized the severity of the economic slump hitting the United States and much of the world, th...
The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World Today
JOE MOWREY
It is tragic that six people lost their lives and many more were wounded by a fanatic in Arizona. Indiscriminate killing is a terrible thing. There is no way we can truly comprehend the motives behind this act, nor appreciate the full extent of the pain and heartache...
Wikileaks Cables on Israel’s Gaza Onslaught
KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
CounterPunch has accessed Wikileaks’ file of cables on Israel’s Gaza assault two years ago (Operation Cast Lead, December 27, 2008 through January 18, 2009). Though the cables often  simply rehash Israeli press repor...
An Anti-Interventionist Looks at China
JOHN WALSH
Most discussion of China in the mainstream press, especially the left liberal press, focuses on China’s human rights record or freedom of press and speech or labor issues or family planning policies.  One may argue endlessly about those matters.  But ...
The Trial of Luis Posada Carriles
JOS? PERTIERRA
With a jury of five men and seven women empaneled, opening statements in the trial for immigration fraud against Luis Posada Carriles, will be heard tomorrow. Judge Kathleen Cardone is the presiding judge. The government attorneys will offer up the opening s...
The Fall of the West’s Little Dictator
ESAM AL-AMIN
When people choose life (with freedom) Destiny will respond and take action Darkness will surely fade away And the chains will certainly be broken Tunisian poet Abul Qasim Al-Shabbi (1909-1934) ...
The Pentagon and the King Legacy
WILLIAM LOREN KATZ
This January 13 the Pentagon commemorated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an address by Jeh C. ...
Left Till the End
CLANCY SIGAL
I’m older now, but still runnin’ against the wind. –Bob Seger Did you ever go to a class reunion and feel everyone in the room has moved on except you? Recently, on separat...
Winter Break in Gaza
MAX AJL
I got to Gaza three weeks ago after being away for over five months, and almost nothing has changed. F-16s continue to unload their cargoes of heavy explosives on “suspected” military sites nearly every night, terrifying everyone in Gaza as we all wonder ...
Skin Tight at the Golden Globes
ALAN FARAGO
The comedian Ricky Gervais muddled through his range of material on the Golden Globes last night. Humor made him rich beyond his dreams. He made me fall off my chair laughing when I was a young man with the original, British "The Office". That was a few Gol...
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon
MIKE WHITNEY
In August 2010, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah presented "intercepted Israeli reconnaissance footage" and "the recorded confessions of Israeli spies" at news conference in Beirut to support his claim that Israel was responsible for t...
Farewell to the Utterly Unique John Ross
FRANK BARDACKE
John’s gone. John Ross. I doubt that we will ever see anyone remotely like him again. The bare bones, as he would say, are remarkable enough. Born to show business Communists in New York City in 1938, he had minded Billie Holliday’s dog, sold dope...
Auto Safety and the Supreme Court
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Any day now, the Supreme Court will come down with its decision in Williamson v. Mazda. In that case, the court will decide whether federal auto safety law pre-empts state common law. The auto industry is watching the case ...
Who Killed the Iranian Physics Professors?
SASAN FAYAZMANESH
In March of 1990, a Canadian ballistics expert by the name of Gerald Bull, who was suspected of being involved in developing Iraq’s missile system, was murdered in Brussels, after being warned by a friend that the Israeli secret police, Mossad, was planning to ...
Pentagon Ecstatic Over New Chinese "Threat"
ANDREW COCKBURN
Once upon a time, as the FY 1964 defense appropriations bill was making its way through congress,  there came a somber moment when it looked as if the U.S. Navy might actually receive a lesser increase in its appropriation than its hated Air Force rival.  T...