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 by Tag 'Africa'
Carnage in the Congo
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
The UN has condemned Rwanda’s role in the carnage in the Congo for supplying arms and aid to the M23 rebels fighting the Congolese army in northern Congo yet provides the Rwandan military ten$ of million$ in arms and aid for the thousands of Rwandan “peacekeepers” o...
Mali: West Africa’s Gate to Convenient Chaos, Intervention
RAMZY BAROUD
France is insisting on ‘rapid’ military intervention in Mali. Its unmanned drones have reportedly been scouring the desert of the troubled West African nation – although it claims that the drones are seeking the whereabouts of six French hostages believed to be ...
Isolating a Nation
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
Award winning independent producer Afshin Rattansi, a frequent contributor to CounterPUnch, has released the groundbreaking documentary “Eritrea; A Nation In Isolation” on PressTV. The first authentic documentary on Eritrea since its independence 21 years ago a...
Why is Obama Silent Over the New Congo War?
SHAMUS COOKE
The last Congo war that ended in 2003 killed 5.4 million people, the worst humanitarian disaster since World War II. The killing was directly enabled by international silence over the issue; the war was ignored and the causes obscured because governments were backing gro...
The African-American Case Against Obama
AFEWORKI MEKONNEN
Over the last little while, a few individuals, claiming to be Eritrean-Americans, have come on the popular Eritrean website, Dehai, and tried to influence their fellow Eritrean-Americans to vote for Barack Obama. I see this as akin to asking Eritreans to reward Obama for ...
Which Africans Will Obama Whack Next?
PATRICK BOND
Durban, South Africa. Would Barack Obama’s re-election advance African democracy and prosperity? Evidence suggests not, though the alternative in the November 6 election would probably be worse. Obama’s most important important policy speech on ...
Somalia’s Election Farce
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
While the international media might trumpet “Somalia’s First Free and Fair Elections in 50 Years” reality on the ground in Mogadishu reveals a truly grand farce of an “election” process. First of all, the so called “Members of Parliament”, most of who...
Ethiopia’s Opportunity
GRAHAM PEEBLES
London. The death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, announced on 22nd August after his mysterious two-month disappearance, presents a tremendous opportunity to Ethiopia. Let a new day dawn for the people, one filled with hope and fundamental chang...
The Trouble in Kenya
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
Faced with a combination of body blows ranging from spiking prices for maize, import dependent Kenya’s staple food, IMF mandated food subsidy cuts, a foolhardy USA instigated invasion of Somalia, election triggered ethnic warfare and a simmering independence movement by...
The War in Mali
CONN HALLINAN
The reports filtering out of Northern Mali are ...
The Children are Still Dying
RAMZY BAROUD
Somewhere in my home I have a set of photo albums I rarely go near. I fear the flood of cruel memories that might be evoked from looking at the countless photos I took during a trip to Iraq. Many of the pictures are of children who developed rare forms of cancer as a resu...
Veiled Muslim Women and Boozing Western Intellectuals
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Nairobi, Kenya. I am scared. As I am writing this essay, the Eid-ul-Fitr is approaching; festivities that will mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan are about to start. Some 20 percent of the world population, which is Muslim, is now coo...
The Coming Corpse of Zimbabwe
PATRICK BOND
Zimbabwe’s political-economic crisis continues because dislodging decades of malgovernance has not been achieved by either a Government of National Unity that began in early 2009, civil society activism, or international pressure, including this week’s Maputo summit o...
The Meles Mystery
GRAHAM PEEBLES
To many Ethiopians the sudden disappearance of Prime Minister Zenawi is a source of joy and excited expectation, for his die-hard supporters apprehension no doubt and concern for their leader. Is he dead they ask, or perhaps critically ill, has he run away, finally overwh...
The Afghanistan of Africa
RAMZY BAROUD
Northern Mali promises to be the graveyard of scores of innocent people if African countries don’t collectively challenge Western influence in the region. Mali is fast becoming the Afghanistan of Africa. The tragic reality is that Mali – a large ...
Libor and Africa: Nothing New Here
KALUNDI SERUMAGA
While Africa’s rulers have become world famous for rigging elections, Europe’s’ financial class are acquiring their own reputation for rigging financial results. Both acts will have the effect of weakening democracy worldwide. Greece’s’ democracy is still...
Obama’s Scramble for Africa
NICK TURSE
They call it the New Spice Route, an homage to the medieval trade network that connected Europe, Africa, and Asia, even if today’s “spice road” has nothing to do with cinnamon, cloves, or silks.  Instead, it’s a superpower’s superhighway, on which trucks and sh...
Into Africa
MICHAEL BRENNER
America’s “war on terror” now has brought us deep into tropical Africa and the Sahel. We learned last week that Washington is engaged in an expansive project to hunt down an array of local “terrorists”, could-be “terrorists” and mayhem makers in general. Nea...
Anti-African Hysteria Sweeps Israel
URI AVNERY
“We shall not be a normal people, until we have Jewish whores and Jewish thieves in the Land of Israel,” our national poet, Haim Nahman Bialik, said some 80 years ago. This dream has come true. We have Jewish murderers, Jewish robbers and Jewish whores (though ...
How to Starve in Somalia on 10 Cents a Day
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
The UN announced its budget for feeding the over one million Somali refugees under its care for the next year and have allocated less than 10 cents a day to do so. Anthony Lake, once nominated to head the CIA, now UNICEF supremo, held a press conference in April 20...
Grasp the Future
VIJAY PRASHAD
In August 1964, Malcolm X spent several weeks in Egypt. While in Cairo, he wrote an essay in the Egypt Gazette entitled “Racism: the Cancer that is Destroying America.” Here, Malcolm X noted, “The common goal of 22 million Afro-Americans is respect and HUMA...
South Sudan’s Missing $10 Billion
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
South Sudan’s leaders have stolen at least $10 billion in oil revenues shared with them by Sudan in the past 7 years. With somewhere between $12 to $17 billion turned over to South Sudan, Africa’s newest “government”, during this time frame some say estimates ...
Grab Everything And Justify It By War
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Welcome to Kenya. Karibu sana! And welcome to the world of Kenyan politics, of intrigues and cruelty. Welcome to the world where ‘seemingly’ unconnected events like the Kenyan invasion to Somalia, kidnapping of Western tourists and aid workers, gigantic infra...
The African Roscius
CHARLES R. LARSON
If you have never heard of Ira Aldridge—“the most visible black man in Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century”—his biography, by Bernth Lindfors, will come to you as a revelation.  How can that be?  Aldridge, who was African American, left the United Sta...
The Drunken Logic of Eco-Tourism
KHADIJA SHARIFE
t was with some admiration that I watched Johnny Depp’s rambling dramatisation of Hunter Thompson’s ...
Now He’s Dead and I’m Having a Bubble Bath
FAITH KA-MANZI
Ten minutes before my uncle died in my arms this afternoon, my big brother, Kwazi, spoke to me of a horrific story about imbizas or traditional medicine. He said that one guy, a friend of his, who was sick, had given him and another guy imbiza. Kwazi said that only...
Toilet Capitalism
KHADIJA SHARIFE
The restaurateur-cook-waitress looked more like a grandmother than mother, shrunken with poverty. Scarf tied around her simple but sweet face. Tired but with a smile and outspread, work-worn hands, one felt the urge to give her a hug, and tuck her into bed, rather than gi...
Selective Justice at the International Criminal Court
ZAYA YEEBO
Once again, the spotlight is on Africa as four Kenyans – three political leaders and a journalist – have been indicted at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Once again, the question that has never been answered is, why Africa? And why the speed? In Anglo-Saxon pa...
African Babies as Guinea Pigs?
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
When it comes to the new malaria vaccine developed by  GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) now being tested on infants in the east African country of Tanzania I will let the words of an industry insider tell it best: “There is not much profit to be made by big pha...
The IMF and Tunisia
PATRICK BOND and KHADIJA SHARIFE
With International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde visiting Tunis today, the stage is set for the next stage of ideological war over the progress of democratic revolutions. Until 27 year-old fruit seller Mohamed Bouazizi committed suicide by...
When Silence Brings You HIV
Faith ka-Manzi
Being HIV positive for almost ten years now, I have had my fair share of serious and not so serious infections which have at times seen my immune system succumb and often come close to collapse. I would believe that I had full-blown Aids only to revert back to being HIV p...
Frantz Fanon Fifty Year Years Later
RICHARD PITHOUSE
Some days ago we saw a sunset that turned the robe of heaven a bright violet. Today it is a very hard red that the eye encounters. – Frantz Fanon, ...
Choke Point Bab el-Mandeb
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
The Horn of Africa is one of the most strategically critical  regions in the world with the narrow passage where the Red Sea joins the Indian Ocean, the Bab el-Mandeb, being a potential choke point for much of the worlds commerce. Almost all of the trade between t...
Tanzania and Illusions of Economic Sovereignty
ROBERT GORDON
In 1968, Julius Nyerere, the first President of the emerging Tanzanian state, wrote a series of essays entitled Uhuru na Ujamaa or Freedom and Socialism that articulated a distinct vision of African socialism. He believed that even though Tanzania an...
Planting the Seeds of Peace
ROB NIXON
The Kenyan activist, Wangari Maathai, is dead at 71. With her passing we have lost one of our era’s great environmental visionaries. Maathai came from an impoverished, rural background; it was her belief in the environmentalism of the poor that propelled her life’s wo...
The Real Reason the US Wanted Gaddafi Gone
MURRAY DOBBIN
Powell River, BC When the U.S. invaded Iraq riding a pack of lies and monstrous manipulation, the entire U.S. elite, including major news services, academics, and politicians from both parties, lined up to cheerlead and off they went to war. It was one of ...
The New Scramble for Africa
CONN HALLINAN
Is current U.S. foreign policy in Africa following a blueprint drawn up almost eight years ago by the rightwing ...
NATO’s War on Libya is an Attack on African Development
DAN GLAZEBROOK
“Africa the key to global economic growth”; this was a refreshingly honest recent headline from the Washington Post, but hardly one that qualifies as ‘news’. African labour and resources- as any decent economic historian will tell you – has been key to...
Return to Africa, 50 Years Later
CHARLES R. LARSON
When I joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Nigeria almost fifty years ago, I was avoiding the draft.  I was unformed, undisciplined and unworldly—especially the latter—since I knew little about the world beyond America’s borders.  The experience altered my li...
The New Libya
PATRICK COCKBURN
Tripoli. Yassin Bahr, a tall thin Senegalese in torn blue jeans, volubly denies that he was ever a mercenary or fought for Muammar Gaddafi. Speaking in quick nervous sentences, Mr Bahr tries to convince a suspicious local militia leader in charge of...
An Island in the Famine
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
Asmara, Eritrea. Most people in Africa spend most of their income on food. With food prices rising by over 50% drought is not the only cause of hunger in the Horn of Africa. While southern Ethiopia, home to half of Ethiopia’s 80 million people, is su...
The World Bank’s Africa Strategy
PATRICK BOND
A renewed wave of development babble began flowing soon after the February launch of the World Bank’s ten-year Strategy document, “Africa’s Future and the World Bank’s Support to It”. Within three months, a mini-tsunami of Afro...