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 January 2012
The Ongoing War on Iran
PATRICK COCKBURN
The way in which the growing confrontation with Iran is being sold by the US, Israel and West European leaders is deeply dishonest. The manipulation of the media and public opinion through systematic threat exaggeration is similar to the drum beat of propaganda and disinf...
The Trial of Judge Baltasar Garzon
VINCENT NAVARRO
In 1936, a democratic government was forced to face a military coup led by General Franco.  The coup succeeded because it had the support of the majority of the Spanish armed forces which were well-equipped and supported by Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy.  Wit...
The Haditha Massacre
MARJORIE COHN
They ranged from little babies to adult males and females. I’ll never be able to get that out of my head. I can still smell the blood. This left something in my head and heart. –Lance Cpl. Roel Ryan...
Grandstanding and Betrayal
FRANKLIN LAMB
Shatila Camp, Lebanon In the US, it would be a difficult task to find even more revolting and groveling intellectual “half-men” to borrow a phrase from Syria’s beleaguered President Bashar Assad than Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich during their ...
The Drug War’s Invisible Victims
LAURA CARLSEN
There are many kinds of war. The classic image of a uniformed soldier kissing mom good-bye to risk his life on the battlefield has changed dramatically. In today’s wars, it’s more likely that mom will be the one killed. UNIFEM states that by the mid-1990s, 90% ...
Occupy Oakland and State Repression
MIKE KING
A crowd of several hundred quickly swelled to a couple thousand, as Occupy Oakland attempted to occupy the vacant Kaiser Convention Center.  The goal was to use it as an indoor base for Occupy Oakland – a place to have General Assemblies and meetings, share food and ge...
No Exit in the Gulf
MICHAEL T. KLARE
Ever since December 27th, war clouds have been gathering over the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow body of water connecting the Persian Gulf with the Indian Ocean and the seas beyond.  On that day, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned that Tehran would block th...
Rationalizing Idiocy
RON JACOBS
Unlike a couple years ago, when the consensus was split, there recently seems to be a growing consensus among pundits and certain politicians that Washington will be launching a military attack on Iran.  While pundits do not have the power to make war, politicians in Con...
Demands for the 99%
ROBERT ROTH
In a helpful review and constructive critique of the current status of the Occupy movement, Ismael Hossein-Zadeh makes several good suggestions.  And I’ve seen some other comments more recently that seem worth sharing with you, in case you haven’t seen them.  Hossei...
The Left’s Broken Clock
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
Someone once likened the political positions of the extreme left with a broken clock that never shows the right time. But as everyone knows, a broken clock shows the correct time with astronomical precision twice every 24 hours, something a functioning clock can ne...
The People Party of Wall Street
BILL MOYERS and MICHAEL WINSHIP
A week or so ago, we read in The New York Times about what in the Gilded Age of the Roman Empire was known as a bacchanal – a big blowout at which the imperial swells got together and whooped it up. ...
The New GOP Platform?
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
The New GOP Platform? ...
When Do You Start Counting?
RODOLFO F. ACUÑA
When the great Muhammad Ali was asked how many sit ups he did, he responded,  “I don’t count my sit-ups, I only start counting when it starts hurting, that is when I start counting, because then it really counts, that’s what makes you a champion.” These wo...
Bernanke’s Low-Rate Crapshoot
MIKE WHITNEY
The US economy has been out of recession for more than 2 years. Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced that real gross domestic product (GDP) had increased at a rate of 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Also, unem...
The On-Going Scandal of the F-35
FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY
No program better illustrates the pathologies of the weapons acquisition process as it is currently practiced by the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC) than the entirely predictable, and in this case, ...
A Social Justice Quiz
BILL QUIGLEY and SAM SCHMITT
Question One.  The combined pay of the 299 highest paid CEOs in the US is enough to support how many median salary jobs? 45,000?  83,000?  102,325? Two.  The median net worth of black households in the US is $2,200.  What is the median net worth of whit...
Fingers Itch for a War on Iran
VIJAY PRASHAD
If you ask Iranians, they will tell you that the war against Iran has already begun. Some will take you back to 1953, when the US fired its first shot across the bow, taking out a democratically elected government in a CIA coup. Others will point to the political and fina...
Imagining a “Clean Break” with Israel…Over Iran
GARY LEUPP
The world of science acknowledges matter-of-factly that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program. There is simply no evidence for one. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, staffed by specialists on nuclear power and maintaining a tight watch on Iran’s ci...
Capitalism’s Barren Landscape
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
A few days before the annual gathering of business and political elites at the World Economic Forum at Davos, the British prime minister David Cameron set out his vision of capitalism that is popular and responsible. At a time of acute crisis, Cameron put up a staunch def...
The Turkish Riddle
PATRICK COCKBURN
Istanbul In the tea houses of Istanbul the mood is generally optimistic as customers listen to the news of the European economic crisis. “Turkey doesn’t need Europe,” says one tea drinker. “Look at Greece – it was inside th...
Who’s Watching Whose Back?
CLANCY SIGAL
Last week’s farce of the court martial of Marine sergeant Frank Wuterich at Camp Pendleton, California is a license to murder.  Everyone, especially the Iraqis, seems to understand this except the American public from President Obama on down.  Wuterich led an eight-ma...
NATO / G8 in Chicago
BRIAN TERRELL
On January 25, the host committee for the G8/NATO summit in Chicago in May unveiled a new slogan for the event, “The Global Crossroads.”  The mood of the organizers is upbeat and positive. This is a grand opportunity to market Chicago with an eye for the tourist dol...
Beating the Cops in Eugene
WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Beating the Cops in Eugene ...
Goodbye, Gingrich?
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
Sick with disappointment that I missed the Tin-Tin movie showing in Eureka, I had to settle for Obama’s State of the Union and Thursday’s Republican debate in Jacksonville. Await a presidential State of the Union address with keen anticipation? It’s like sayi...
Banks Weren’t Meant to Be Like This
MICHAEL HUDSON
In medieval times, wealthy bankers lent to kings and princes as their major customers. But now it is the banks that are needy, relying on governments for funding – capped by the post-2008 bailouts to save them from going bankrupt from their bad private-sector loans and ...
Montana Supreme Court Flouts Citizens United
JOHN DEAN
On December 30, 2011, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that the state’s one-hundred-year-old ban on corporate political contributions should remain in full force and effect, notwithstanding the January 21, 2010 ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in ...
Tough Days Ahead in Egypt
CARL FINAMORE
Cairo The most populated country in the Arab world took the day off on Wednesday, January 25. Tahrir Square was overloaded with people stretching and squeezing into every nook and cranny on adjacent streets, storefront alcoves and building doorways...
Draghi’s 489 Billion Euro Fakery
MIKE WHITNEY
ECB president Mario Draghi’s new lending facility–the Long-Term Refinancing Operation–has helped to pull the financial system back from the brink of another Lehman-type catastrophe, but it doesn’t address the fundamental problems that created the c...
Hurrah for Egypt!
URI AVNERY
THE IMPOSSIBLE has happened. The Egyptian parliament, democratically elected by a free people, has convened for its first session. For me this is a wonderful, a joyful occasion. For many Israelis, this is a worrisome, a threatening sight. I CANNOT but...
Walking Through Shatila
MALINI JOHAR SCHUELLER
Far from the opulent Golden Tulip hotel where I was staying in Beirut and a world away from the glittering shopping district of Hamra is Shatila, the Palestinian refugee camp where in 1982, Christian Phalangalists, with the tacit approval of Israeli forces who were then o...
Tunisia and Egypt One Year On
ESAM AL-AMIN
January 25 marked the one-year anniversary of the inception of Egypt’s revolution against the dictatorship of the Mubarak regime, eleven days after the success of the Tunisian revolution, when its former president Ben Ali fled the country. Within weeks of the brisk succ...
Chronicle of a Revolution-in-Progress
AMIRA HOWEIDY
1 January : Egypt wakes to news of the attack on the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve. Twenty Copts are killed as well as the church’s Muslim police guard. More than 100 are injured. No group claims responsibility. ...
Why Do “True Believers” Hate Mormons So Much?
ANDREW LEVINE
Before his 2008 campaign began, merely selling his soul – figuratively, of course – to the usual suspects hardly looked like it would be enough to put Barack Hussein Obama in the White House.  With dark skin, an African surname, and a middle name conjuring up memorie...
Cuba: Looking Back and Ahead
SAUL LANDAU and NELSON P. VALDES
In 2012, the White House will focus on the most important of international and national issues: the re-election of the President. US-Cuba policy will fall into “Next Year’s” box – or the year after that. The National Security staff reverts to its familiar position...
The Mass Psychology of Newt Gingrich
DAVID ROSEN
Are hypocrites born or made?  Is false consciousness a social disease?  These are among the unasked questions haunting the 2012 Republican presidential race. The four surviving candidates are hypocrites.  Mitt Romney is the guy-next-door everyman with a quarter-...
Health Care, Sex and the Church
CHRISTOPER BRAUCHLI
Health care coverage is one horse that the Church has chosen to ride in order to protect its belief in the sanctity of its beliefs.  Sex, rather than God, is its focus. If God’s perceived commandments on how one deals with one’s fellow man come into conflict wit...
Doing Afghan Drugs
BRIAN CLOUGHLEY
Drug addicts are pathetic but sometimes happy people.  They are pitiable in their hopeless enslavement to something that dominates and will probably kill them, but seem content in a warped sort of way because they can be taken out of their bleak and dismal lives into who...
Violence Sweeps Central America
PAUL IMISON
Mexico City While Mexico grabs the headlines of soaring murder rates and rampaging drug gangs, the really heavy bloodshed is taking place to the south. The much smaller nations of Guatemala and El Salvador are seeing their worst violence since the civil wa...
Turks Fume at Sarkozy and France
PATRICK COCKBURN
Istanbul Turkey warned yesterday that it would impose permanent sanctions on France if a bill being discussed by the French Senate, which would punish with prison and a fine anybody denying that the killing of over one million Armenians by Ottoman Turks in...
A Pipeline Splits the Party
GEORGE OCHENSKI
The Keystone XL pipeline has been a hot topic of debate since it was first proposed by the Canadian oil giant TransCanada last year. More than 1,200 people who oppose the massive, 1,700-mile pipeline were arrested in demonstrations in Washington, D.C. last fall, including...
Israel, Settlements and Democracy
ROBERT FANTINA
As Israel continues to defy international law, including countless United Nations resolutions, and builds more and more settlement on land stolen from the Palestinians, its reputation as a model democracy is taking a well-deserved beating. Last year, Israel took a ...
Stephen Harper and the Big Oil Party of Canada
MURRAY DOBBIN
Where will you be and what will you be doing when the first giant oil tanker (there will be two plying the waters every three days), carrying over 200,000 gallons of tar sands goop diluted with solvent, spills its load into the waters of northern B.C? We often reme...
What About the State of Our Planet, Mr. President?
WILL ALLEN and RONNIE CUMMINS
In his state of the union address this week, President Obama talked about the American promise –  the promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement. ...
The US vs. Genuine Reforms at the UN
RAMZY BAROUD
The country that has long been known to abuse its powers and privileges in the United Nations is now leading a campaign to reform the same organization. While UN reforms are welcomed, if not demanded, by many of its member states, there is little reason to believe the rec...
We are the Champions … of the World?
DAVE LINDORFF
Say it loud and say it proud: We’re Number 47! We’re Number 47!  Boo-yah! If you want to know why the US — beacon of freedom, land of the First Amendment —  is now ranked number 47th (out of 179) in terms of freedom of the press in the ...
Revolution as Assisted Suicide
ROB URIE
Last Fall New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, apparently fearing the early demise of New York’s number one tourist attraction and occasional pain-in-the-ass Occupy Wall Street, set up a series of meetings called “court dates” where we could come together to discu...
A New Chile is Possible
RAÚL ZIBECHI
Chilean students question the education system as commercial and elitist because it reproduces existing social inequities and makes them worse. But they are not just asking questions: They are practicing the kind of education they have spent years dreaming about and strug...
Still Waters Run Deep
MISSY BEATTIE
Go with the flow at the drop of a hat: Since Erma doesn’t have invasive Big C, the four of us, including the kitten, left Baltimore’s cold for Georgia’s warmth last Sunday.  Sister Laura, the navigator, shut her eyes for a few minutes.  I’m the driver wit...
The Article I Was Telling You About
DAVID KER THOMSON
Is there anything more revealing of a certain witlessness of supporters of leaderville than the word “the” they use to describe a government that happens to be theirs?  “The government.” And by “the government” they don’t always even mean just some p...