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 'Russia'
Showdown in Ukraine
MIKE WHITNEY
“Comrade Wolf knows who to eat, and he eats without listening to anyone.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin referring to the United States The Ukraine crisis has its roots in a policy that dates back nearly 20 year...
A World War is Beckoning
JOHN PILGER
Why do we ­tolerate the threat of ­another world war in our name? Why do we allow lies that justify this risk? The scale of our ­indoctrination, wrote Harold Pinter, is a “brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of ­hypnosis”, as if the truth “never happe...
Crimea River
MIKE WHITNEY
 “There is no question but that Russia is confronted with an existential threat. The integration of Ukraine into the expanding anti-Moscow alliance would render Russia more vulnerable to imperialist aggression and destabilization. Future operations will...
Russia’s New Dissidents
ALEXANDER REID ROSS
In a risky action, activists with Greenpeace attempted to drop a banner off of an arctic oilrig when Russian Special Forces raided their boat, guns drawn. Today, thirty Greenpeace activists sit in Russian jails, faced with the charge that they posed a significant threat t...
Eliminating Nuclear Weapons
LAWRENCE WITTNER
he apparent employment of chemical weapons in Syria should remind us that, while weapons of mass destruction exist, there is a serious danger that they will be used. That danger is highlighted by an article in the September/October 2013 issue of the Bulletin of the...
Should Russia Attack Colombia?
NICK ALEXANDROV
The President and Secretary of State are making “a largely moral case for a retaliatory response” in Syria, New York Times editors asserted recently. And Obama declared Wednesday that “the international community’s credibility is on the line,” since it was “th...
Russia, China and Anti-Gay Bigotry
PETER LEE
For readers seeking insight into the atavistic creepiness of the institutionalized anti-LGBT bigotry of the Russian state—which is eliciting calls to boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics–I refer readers to ...
The Wishful Thinking Left
JEAN BRICMONT
Louvain, Belgium. Once upon a time, in the early 1970’s, many people, including myself, thought that all the “struggles” of that period were linked: the Cultural Revolution in China, the guerill...
Provoking Russia
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
It was five years ago that the president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvilli, who was installed in power by the Washington supported “Rose Revolution,” launched a military invasion of South Ossetia, a break-away province under its own government. The Georgian atta...
America’s Police State Marches On, Media in Tow
DAVE LINDORFF
BREAKING!: It could well be that the harsh pretrial treatment of Bradley Manning and the harsh verdict handed down against him Tuesday may have been what convinced Russian authorities of the validity of National Security Agency whistleblower ...
The Earth’s Most Wanted Man Finds a Refuge
STEPHEN LENDMAN
On June 23, he arrived in Moscow. He applied for asylum. He’s been stuck in Sheremetyevo Airport transit zone limbo. Putin was clear and unequivocal. He won’t extradite him. No treaty obligation exists. Official requests don’t matter. Snowd...
Two Faux Democracies That Threaten the World
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Amitai Etzioni has raised an important question: “Who authorized preparations for war ...
Empty Lectures About the Sanctity of the ‘Rule of Law’
DAVE LINDORFF
The spectacle of the US threatening Hong Kong, China, Russia and now little Ecuador with all manner of reprisals if they don’t respect the “rule of law” and hand over whistleblower Edward Snowden to the tender mercies of the US national security apparatus is delicio...
Inflicting Death While Avoiding Taxes
BINOY KAMPMARK
For some time it has been a gathering that seemed to be more floral than substantive, a matter of chit chat, sometimes serious, over issues of the day.  General guidelines are proposed.  Bland suggestions are made. Declarations are always filled with well meaning sugges...
Privatizations and Failures in Russia’s Economy
JEFFREY SOMMERS
The departure of college rectors is typically is not the topic of national news, let alone a story dominating global press coverage for a week.  The exit of Sergey Guriev as rector from Russia’s New Economic School, however, has proved just that.  From Russian interne...
The Challenges Confronting Russia
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
Despite being potentially one of the richest countries in the world, Russia still confronts several challenges such as youth emigration, and demographic and public health issues that hinder the country’s development. The lack of opportunities and growing economic...
Why Alcohol May Doom Putin
Dr. CESAR CHELALA
Russians’ love for vodka has a long history. Legend holds that vodka arrived in Moscow in the 14th century, brought by Genovese merchants to Prince Dmitry Ivanovich. Legend also says that monk Isidore, who lived in the Chudov Monastery, inside the Kremlin, made a recipe...
Russia, the West and World War II
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
London. When I lived in Moscow, occasionally Russians would fix me with a stern gaze and gravely pose the question ‘who won the war?’  Circumspectly, I would answer that Russia had without doubt borne the principal burden of vanquishing Nazi Germany. ...
Sarin in Syria
MANUEL GARCIA, JR.
A cruel and heart-rending civil war rages in Syria, and this tragedy is fueling a heated political debate in the rest of the world between interventionists (whether sincere R2P humanitarians, or opportunistic imperialists) and non-interventionists. Syrians opposed ...
America’s Syrian Riddle
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
Recent remarks by Carla Del Ponte, a Swiss investigator of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry, have changed the nature of debate on the use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war. Momentum had been building up for months against Bashar al-Assad’s government, ...
The Problem With Russia’s Silicon Valley Scheme
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
Russia’s Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomaryov once said, “To steal one ruble, it is first necessary to spend nine inefficiently.” That slogan should adorn the entrance to the Skolkovo technology park as its official motto. Scientists and scholars predi...
The Russians Came
URI AVNERY
When the huge immigration wave from the Soviet Union arrived in 1990, we were glad. First of all, because we believe that all immigration is a good thing for the country. This, I believe, is generally the case. Second, because we were convinced that this spe...
Sweden, Russia, Nato, and Extraordinary Political Theatre?
RITT GOLDSTEIN
Dalarna, Sweden “Will there be war?” (”Kommer det bli krig?”) was the question posed in the 22 April report by the one of country’s most respected papers, Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), its article revealing some alleged particulars of a Russi...
What Motivated the Boston Bombers
GARY LEUPP
New details emerge every day, raising more questions. But the outlines of the stomach-churning story seem clear. Two young men, brothers who emigrated from Kyrgyzstan twelve years ago with their parents and sisters—high-achieving, “well-assimilated” immigrant me...
Reviewing the Korean Crisis
PAUL GOTTINGER
Things seemed to have calmed on the Korean peninsula for now.  This despite the fact that the U.S. and South Korea are continuing their outrageously provocative Foal Eagle “war games” through April 30.  The Foal Eagle is one of the ...
The US / Russia Torture War
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
“The pot calls the kettle black.” –Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha The magic number is 18.  That is the number each country has selected to express its disapproval of the actions of the other.   Vladim...
Fear and Uncertainty in Cyprus
NIGEL O'CONNOR
Nicosia. The municipal theatre of Nicosia sits directly behind the Cypriot parliament. Its prominence within the capital suggests the importance of such civic buildings to a population seeing itself as the inheritors to the grand heritage of Greek traditio...
Putin’s Baby Crime
ISRAEL SHAMIR
To the many crimes of President Vladimir Putin, a new one was added last month: kicking babies, sweet, innocent, plump babies — out of sheer wickedness.  This crime was discussed ad nauseam, until it became a meme which was ...
Herzog in Siberia
LOUIS PROYECT
Back in 1954 François Truffaut coined the term auteur (the French word for author) to describe how certain directors shape their films according to a unique creative vision. According to auteur theory, directors such as Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Alfred Hitchco...
Depardieu, Putin and the Tax Man
BINOY KAMPMARK
What will a man do to avoid tax?  Become Russian for one, or the cultural ambassador for Montenegro, the prelude to obtaining another means of escaping the homeland’s rapacious tax regime. France’s Gérard Depardieu, having failed to teleport himself via a spaceship ...
Obdurate Washington
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
With its power declining, Washington was not able any longer to keep Russia out of the World Trade Organization.  Congress showed its spite over its impotence by hooking the normalizing of trade with Russia to what is called the “...
A View from Livadia Palace
ISRAEL SHAMIR and AD HEmMING
I drove up to white and sumptuous Livadia Palace with some difficulty. The palace, once a royal summer residence built and frequented by the last Russian Tsar, stands on a rather steep slope amidst a spacious park that descends to the Black Sea far below, and the road is ...
Back to the Future
VIVUDS BALDAVS and JEFFREY SOMMERS
We have arrived at a historical moment of economic crisis where no exit appears visible. The limits of financialization and the “service” economy have been reached.  The way forward is through a return to developing the real economy. However, we are also at the limit...
Ottoman Déjà Vu?
CONN HALLINAN
Two years ago Turkey was on its way to being a player in Central Asia, a major power broker in the Middle East, and a force in international politics. It had stepped in to avoid a major escalation of the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia by blocking U.S. ships from ente...
A View Over the Bosphorus
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Istanbul. The heavy loaded cargo boats, passenger liners, cruise ships and plentiful ferries packed with tourists steam by the Maiden Tower rising from the black rock amid lucid waters; they gingerly make their way past the mountain-like mosques on the mai...
Our Leningrad
ANDRE VLTCHEK
“No one is forgotten and nothing is forgotten”. That is what is engraved in Gold on the granite stone, right behind the statue of the Motherland, spreading her arms in grief. The Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery is in the city of St. Petersburg –186 mass grav...
Turks, Cease Fire!
ISRAEL SHAMIR
In the Middle Eastern corrida, the moment of truth is approaching fast. Assad’s Syria is running around the arena like a wounded bull, fraught and worn down by a year of cruel strife. Banderillas of mujaheeds stick out of his broken hide. The public, the Europeans, the ...
The Uprising in Syria
TARIQ ALI
Angered by the non-stop, one-sided propaganda on CNN and BBC World, usually a prelude to NATO bombing campaigns (including the six-month onslaught on Libya, the casualties of which are still hidden from the public) or direct occupations, I was asked to explain my views on...
The Pussy Riot Affair
BINOY KAMPMARK
The members of the Russian punk rock (some prefer to call it porn) band Pussy Riot await the out come of their appeals after being sentenced to two years imprisonment for their song “Mother God, drive Putin out”.  It wasn’t that they sung it, so much as where there...
The Western Onslaught on International Law
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
A new film, “Compliance,” examines “the human desire to follow and obey autho...
The Decline of Political Protest
DIANA JOHNSTONE
Paris. Once upon a time there was an organization called Amnesty International which was dedicated to defending prisoners of conscience all over the world. Its action was marked by two principles that contributed to its success: neutrality and discretion....
The Secret History of Pussy Riot
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow. Universally admired, Pussy Riot (or PR for short) have been promoted as superstars. But what are they? A rock or punk group they are not.  A British journalist marvelled: they produce no music, no song, no painting, nada, rien, nothing. How can th...
From the Virgin Mary to Pussy Riot
RAY McGOVERN
The song to which the punk band “Pussy Riot” danced on Feb. 21 in Russia’s iconic Christ the Savior Cathedral ends with a prayer asking Jesus’s mother Mary to “become a feminist,” but Mary always was a feminist through and through, with a voice speaking strong...
Stumbling Towards Nuclear War?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The morons who rule the American sheeple are not only dumb and blind, they are deaf as well. The ears of the american “superpower” only work when the Israeli prime minister, the crazed Netanyahu, speaks. Then Washington hears everything and rushes to comply. Is...
Russia in the Middle East
ERIC WALBERG
The world is living through a veritable slow-motion earthquake. If things go according to plan, the US obsession with Afghanistan and Iraq will soon be one of those ugly historical disfigurements that — at least for most Americans — will disappear into th...
In Defense of Pussy Riot and the Russian Punk Movement
CHRIS RANDOLPH
Yesterday CounterPunch printed an ignorant defense of the pending imprisonment of Russian female punk band Pussy Riot by economic columnist Mike Whitney.  I choose the word “ignorant”...
The Pussy Riot Flap
MIKE WHITNEY
In March 2012, three women from the feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot were arrested and charged with “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility” for staging an ...
Romney on the World Stage
MICHAEL BRENNER
Mitt Romney’s provocative remarks in Jerusalem this week on Palestine and Iran have focused attention on how he thinks about American foreign policy generally. Beyond the immediate controversy, there is fresh reason to puzzle as to who exactly the Republican presidentia...
Israel’s Plan for Syria
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow. Israel retains its ability to control the Syrian ‘Islamist’ rebels. Netanyahu is not worried about Syria’s possible disintegration. Despite the received wisdom claiming that Israelis prefer a stable and familiar Assad to the great...
Would Putin Make a Better President Than Obama?
MIKE WHITNEY
“Every rouble spent in the social sphere should ‘generate justice.’ An equitable social and economic system is the main requirement for ensuring our sustained development during these years.” — Russian President Vladimir Putin...