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 May 2011
Israel in a Strategic Dead End
JONATHAN COOK
Nazareth They are extraordinary scenes. Film shot on mobile phones captured the moment on Sunday when at least 1,000 Palestinian refugees marched across no-man’s land to one of the most heavily protected borders in the world...
Scenes From an Occupation
JOSEPH NEVINS
Using the courts to condemn part of Eloisa Tamez’s land, the authorities put an 18-foot-high steel barrier in her backyard, a wall justified in the name of the political black hole called national security. In doing so, they effectively cut off a...
Afghanistan Under the Knife
JOHN FEFFER
It was a primitive form of surgery. Almost ten years ago, the United States and its allies stuck a knife deep into Afghanistan in an attempt to remove two malignancies, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. One of those, Osama bin Laden’s crew, is nearly gon...
Le Rapist is a Socialist? Non!
SHERRY WOLF
When the NY Daily News headline writers have to take a break from bashing Muslims to ravage your party’s key political hope as "Le Perv" on its front page, it’s time to reassess. Dominique Strauss-Kahn is accused of, let’s j...
Strauss-Kahn and the IMF
DEAN BAKER
Those who hoped for serious reform of the International Monetary Fund have to be very disappointed by the allegations of sexual assault against its director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. If the charges prove true, this will end Strauss-Kahn’s efforts ...
War Crimes and the Bombing of Libya
CONN HALLINAN
Gen. Sir David Richards, "Britain’s top military commander," is proposing that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)ganization (NATO) target Libyan "infrastructure," including electrical power grids and fuel dumps, in ...
The Maddening Return of Terrence Malick
WAJAHAT ALI
The Tree of Life is maddening, exhilarating, gorgeous, ponderous, insightful, pretentious, epic, shallow, beautiful, and strange — essentially the apotheosis of Terrence Malick’s entire career. It will divide audiences like few films have i...
The Democrats’ Attack on Unions
MURRAY DOBBIN
The ongoing fight to get Canada to ban the export of the world’s deadliest industrial material has finally reached the Comedy Network and Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. The sheer absurdity of pretending that chrysotile asbestos can be used s...
Why I’m Going to Gaza
JOHNNY BARBER
Every time I hear American journalists use words like “storming”, “rioting”, “infiltrating” and “terror, terrorism and terrorist” in describing Palestinian protesters marching with flags, or youth throwin...
Gingrich
ANTHONY DiMAGGIO
Newt Gingrich is a born again loser.  After having stepped away from the political spotlight for nearly a decade-and-a-half, Newt’s not-so-glorious return on Meet the Press as he announced his presidential candidacy la...
The Nakba
SONJA KARKAR
The Nakba is the Palestinian catastrophe. It means upheaval, violence and cataclysmic loss; it describes the terror, which drove almost one million people out of their homeland, as well as the perpetual terror in exile ?displaced, dispossessed, statel...
Weep Not for Strauss-Kahn
DIANA JOHNSTONE
In a flood of carefully designed public opinion polls, editorials, and books bordering on idolatry, the French communications industry had already settled next year’s presidential election.  The loser would be Nicolas Sarkozy, sagging in the...
War Pundits and War Pornographers
PETER Van BUREN
Objective reporting on the SEAL team that killed bin Laden was as easy to find as a Prius at a Michele Bachmann rally. The media simply couldn’t help themselves. They couldn’t stop spooning out man-sized helpings of testosterone — the...
The Democrats’ Attack on Unions
SHAMUS COOKE
Obvious political truths are sometimes smothered by special interests. The cover-up of the Democrats’ national anti-union agenda is possible because the truth would cause enormous disturbances for the Democratic Party, some labor leaders, liberal...
America’s New Nuclear Showdown
HARVEY WASSERMAN
As Fukushima continues to leak and smolder, what may be the definitive battle over new nukes in America has begun. The critical first US House vote on a proposed $36 billion loan guarantee package for reactor construction may com...
Bankers Cheer as IMF Head Faces Sexual Assault Charges
MIKE WHITNEY
Dominique Strauss-Kahn is effectively finished as a political force, even if he doesn’t draw a guilty verdict in New York, where a 32-year-old maid says she was attacked and forced to perform oral sex on him. He’s fin...
The Ballad of Alvaro Luna Hernandez
MAX B. KANTAR
"I will never surrender my pride and dignity nor allow the system to ‘cut my tongue’ and I will always, without fear, speak out against these war crimes and crimes against humanity, no matter if I spend the rest of my life in a prison cage, and draw ...
Dublin Locked Down for Visits of the Century
HARRY BROWNE
I don’t know if Barack Obama and his advisers truly believe in the luck of the Irish, but even if they’re not superstitious, why would they take any chances? When he lands in Ireland next week Obama will join a long list of re-election-mind...
The Bible, the Constitution and Trial Lawyers
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Does the U.S. Constitution guarantee a right to a civil jury trial? It does. Very clearly ? in the Seventh Amendment. But Andy Cochran believes that most Americans don’t have a clue. ...
Obama and Land Mines
RALPH NADER
Everyday around the world innocent people, many of them children, are killed or injured by millions of unexploded land mines and cluster bombs. Some of the cluster bomblets look like candy or a toy which attract a child in a field, orchard, schoolyard ...
Repression and Backroom Deals in Honduras
TANYA KERSSEN
Tear gas and rubber bullets were flying last Friday in the streets of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Nearly two years after the overthrow of the country’s democratically elected president, the new regime was knocking elbows with diplomats and billiona...
Lessons From the Freedom Rides
JERRY ELMER
This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Ride. It has been gratifying to see a number of public events commemorating the occasion; too often progressive history goes unmarked and unremarked. For example, George Houser, the last sur...
The Responsibility to Protect
MARJORIE COHN
The United States, France and Britain invaded Libya with cruise missiles, stealth bombers, fighter jets and attack jets. Although NATO has taken over the military operation, U.S. President Barack Obama has been bombing Libya with Hellfire missiles from...
Nakba Sunday at Maroun al Ras
FRANKLIN LAMB
On the Lebanon-Palestine border Maroun al Ras is a beautiful hillside Lebanese village on the border with Palestine. 63 years ago today its villagers lifted their lights to welcome ethnically cleansed Palestinians, who were part of the approxim...
Is Britain Heading for a Break-Up After the Latest Scottish Elections?
KEN FERGUSON
The stunning victory in last week’s elections by the pro-independence Scottish National Party was a result which was supposed to be impossible. Scotland, after all, ceased to be an independent country in 1707, when it was forcibly joined with Eng...
Anti-Shia Pogroms Sweep Bahrain
PATRICK COCKBURN
"Let us drown the revolution in Jewish blood,” was the slogan of the Tsars when they orchestrated pogroms against Jews across Russia in the years before World War1. The battle-cry of the al-Khalifa monarchy in Bahrain e...
Dershowitz vs. Chomsky, Again
ALLEN MENDENHALL
For an attorney, Alan Dershowitz doesn’t argue very well, at least not in his recent attempt to take down Noam Chomsky for Chomsky’s recent op-ed, "My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death." These men have a history. Dershow...
Bin Laden and the Spring of Arab Revolutions
ESAM AL-AMIN
At the end of June 2009, General Jim Jones, the U.S. National Security Advisor at the time, traveled to Afghanistan to evaluate the situation on the ground on behalf of Barack Obama. The new president had just approved an additional 21,000 troops on to...
Why the Democratic Party is Corporate Lickspittle
DAVE LINDORFF
A new Gallup Poll conducted for USA Today earlier this week reports that a majority of Americans (52%) say that they would prefer a third party instead of the two parties, Republican and Democrat, that have dominated American politics for nearly centur...
That Hippie Sacrament
JOHN SINCLAIR
The legalization of medical marijuana by means of a ballot initiative approved by 62 percent of Michigan voters in the 2008 election signaled the end of the drug war that’s raged unchecked for almost a half-century without appreciable positive ef...
Korean Family Dynamics
CHARLES R. LARSON
The opening of this painfully disturbing novel is enough to chill every?yes, every?reader. Visiting one of their sons in Seoul, his parents are about to enter one of the cars at a subway station. The father, who enters first, believes that his wife i...
NUHW Wins in San Francisco
CAL WINSLOW
The new National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) has won another important victory in its struggle to rebuild California’s healthcare union movement. In an election delayed fully twenty-eight months, NUHW members have won...
Viva la Muerte!
RICHARD BRODERICK
In his masterpiece, Crowds and Power, Elias Canetti proposed that one of our pr...
Catching AIPAC Off Guard
OMAR BARGHOUTI
The Arab democratic spring, striving to end authoritarian rule and establish freedoms and social justice, has not been welcome by all. Israel and its main lobby in the U.S., the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), for instance, appear to ...
Turds in the Drink
CHARLES M. YOUNG
I have three comedians on my iPod: Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Bill Hicks. All of them evolved as much into prophets as comedians, and all of them died younger than they should have from maladies that probably had something to do with the stress o...
Examining My Head
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
I hit the pavement today, running a reel of the past few months through the windmills of my mind. I’ve spent so much time, lately, in rooms of joy and sorrow, and hotels, and towns where I catch my reflection in some store window and think: Who ...
The Torture Con
MARJORIE COHN
The assassination of Osama bin Laden has rekindled the discourse about the efficacy and legality of using torture in the “war on terror.” Torture is illegal under all circumstances, even in wartime. Moreover, the United States located Bin L...
The Elephants in Osama’s Compound
Rev. WILLIAM E. ALBERTS
Following the assassination of Osama bin Laden in a compound in Pakistan by US special forces, President Obama stated in a television speech, “I can report to the American people and to the world, the United States has conducted an operation that...
Why Hip is No Longer Hip
SAM SMITH
Lots of slang phrases change their meaning over time. It is far less likely, however, for such phrases to acquire an almost reverse meaning. Among the rare exceptions are hip and hipster. For example, an on...
Italy’s Great Nuclear Swindle
MICHAEL LEONARDI
Naples. Italy’s democracy is in tatters as Silvio Berlusconi and his ruling right-wing coalition work to block a citizen’s referendum that would repeal the decision of the Berlusconi government to return to nuclear ene...
Are Amsterdam’s "Open City" Days Numbered?
SENAY BOZTAS
Amsterdam, city of canals, cafes and cannabis-selling “coffee shops”, may not be home to the British tourist’s lost weekend for much longer. The Dutch government plans to make the shops private clubs with members...
Obama and the Palestinians
GHADA KARMI
Pondering Osama Bin Laden’s killing on 1 May, I found myself linking that event to another that took place 63 years ago in Palestine. It was not that Palestinians ever supported Bin Laden significantly, although some of his messages resonated wit...
The Big Wedding
SAUL LANDAU
“The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.” - George W. Bush, 9/13/01 “I am truly not that concerned a...
Which Way Wisconsin?
ANNE McCLINTOCK
On arriving in Madison some years ago, I went to the huge Farmers Market that winds round the Capitol. Startled by the slow-moving procession of orderly, white shoppers all pacing in the same direction, I dubbed the market throngs “The Million Wh...
The Vicious Circle
ERIC WALBERG
The Kremlin limited itself to a brief statement congratulating the United States for its success in killing Osama Bin Laden, noting Russias’ own firsthand experience with terrorism. The most recent attack was the 24 January bombing at Moscow̵...
The System’s Dissent
FARZANA VERSEY
The man who stood for quiet contemporary dissent has been offered a swivel chair. It could be an olive branch wrapped in poison ivy. What is worse than the government’s offer of an advisory role in the Planning Commission ? with its history of be...
After Osama
JOHN FEFFER
If the killing of Osama bin Laden were a Hollywood murder mystery, the shootout scene in Abbottabad would be followed by the unveiling of the sponsor who arranged for the al-Qaeda safe house. Is it the Pakistani intelligence officer who appears early i...
The Cry for Jobs
GEOFFREY McDONALD
The crisis is now in its fourth year, and everyone agrees that it’s all about one thing: jobs. First the politicians: Obama has declared that jobs will be his number one priority for the rest of his term. That is the decisive electoral issue; it&...
Hairy-Chested Liberals Exult
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Pinko terror-symps and the “rule of law” gang  may cavil and whine at the lack of legal propriety in the execution of Osama , but it’s not cutting much ice with liberal America.  For long years what might be called the &ldqu...
"Billy Elliot" at the Imperial
DAVID YEARSLEY
Amid all the cash cows grazing on Broadway, its meandering course said to follow the pathways of European bovines traipsing up and down rural Manhattan, the Imperial Theatre presents the narrowest of faces onto 45th street. To the passerby it appears m...