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'
War on All Fronts
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The Russian government has finally caught on that its political opposition is being financed by the US taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy and other CIA/State Department fronts in an attempt to subvert the Russian government and install an American puppet s...
Putin’s Pussy Problem
MICHAEL DICKINSON
“Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away! Рut Putin away! Put Putin away!” The shining bronze-plated walls  inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour echoed with the raised voices of an acapelo choir of strident fema...
It Came From Washington
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
When President Reagan nominated me as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, he told me that we had to restore the US economy, to rescue it from stagflation, in order to bring the full weight of a powerful economy to bear on the Soviet leadership in orde...
Why Milošević Yielded
ANDREW COCKBURN
Paul Wilson, in his review of Madeleine Albright’s Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembranc...
Washington and Damascus
SAUL LANDAU
Syria has become dangerous. Syrians get killed and wounded almost daily. Their neighbors have also felt the impacts of violence: refuges in Turkey and outbreaks of fighting in Tripoli’s streets in Lebanon where peace depends on a nuanced arrangement between Christians a...
Wall of Fear Rebuilt in Syria
PETER LEE
In the summer of 2011, foreign reportage and commentary on the Syrian uprising noted that the “wall of fear”—popular unwillingness to speak out against the government out of fear of reprisal by the government’s brutal security services—had crumbled, thanks...
The Dow of the G20
VIJAY PRASHAD
In quick succession, the World Leaders shall gather, first at Los Cabos (Mexico) for the G20 summit and then at Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Frantic discussions are being held by the sherpas, the bureaucrats whose task...
The Syrian Stalemate
PETER LEE
Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao had an interesting question to discuss during their summit in Beijing.  Is it good business and good geopolitics to acquiesce to a Sunni Arab triumph in Syria?  Or is Syria the place to hold the line against a destabilizing and counterproduc...
City on the Edge of Darkness
PATRICK COCKBURN
Damascus feels like a city expecting the worst to happen and seeing no way to avoid it. War is spreading across the country and is unlikely to spare the capital. Rebels speak of stepping up attacks in the city and could easily do so in the next few weeks. I spent t...
Politics Without Pretense
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
It was a particularly refreshing sight and, one can hope, may be treated as a didactic moment for the United States Congress.  If adopted many of the problems it faces would disappear and Congress could return to doing what it was elected to do. Kiev in the Ukrain...
Sorting Out the Houla Massacre
PETER LEE
Juan Cole jumped the gun a bit by attributing the hund...
Syria: How Strong Are Russian Ties?
PATRICK COCKBURN
The expulsion of diplomats always looks like a weedy response to an atrocity, particularly one as outrageous as the murder of children at Houla. Unsurprisingly, news reports  about kicking out the diplomats yesterday often concluded mournfully that the move wouldn’...
The Shame of Nations
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER
On April 17, 2012, as millions of Americans were filing their income tax returns, the highly-respected Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its latest study of world military spending. In case Americans were wondering where most of their tax m...
Getting Serious About Syria
SAUL LANDAU
The Syrian conflict continued to boil — or boil over — when Syrian troops fired across the Turkish border on April 9, apparently killing either fleeing refugees or armed combatants. Then the UN team entered and began monitoring a shaky ceasefire – sha...
Five Challengers of the Neoliberal Jackboot
VIJAY PRASHAD
The governments of the five large countries of the Global South, the BRICS states, met in New Delhi this week for their fourth summit. These five countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, are home to forty per cent of the world’s peoples, and their share...
The Conflict in Syria
NASEER ARURI
On March 21, 2012, the fifteen-member UN Security Council voted unanimously, for the first time, to push the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, towards a diplomatic settlement, by ordering it to comply with the Six Point plan presented by Kofi Anan, the former UN Secretary...
No Apocalypse Yet
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow The anticipated apocalypse did not come to pass. The presidential election in Russia ran its course, Putin was duly elected, and to the great astonishment of the opposition, multimillion crowds demanding the blood of the tyrant did not materialize. ...
Why Intervening in Syria is a Crazy Idea
URI AVNERY
IF I were to follow the call of my heart, I would appeal to our government to send the Israeli army into Syria, drive the Assad gang from Damascus, turn the country over to the Syrian opposition or the UN, and go home. That wouldn’t even be very difficult. ...
Trying the Dead
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
“Hanging is the worst use a man can be put to.” Sir Henry Wotton, The Disparity Between Buckingham and Essex (1651) It is not often that one is inclined to look to other countries to see if there are procedures ...
Silencing the Critics
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In 2010 the FBI invaded the homes of peace activists in several states and seized personal possessions in what the FBI–the lead orchestrator of fake “terrorist plots”–called an investigation of “activities concerning the material support of terrorism.”...
Road to Damascus… and on to Armageddon?
DIANA JOHNSTONE
Paris What if pollsters put this question to citizens of the United States and the European Union : “Which is more important, ensuring disgruntled Islamists freedom to overthrow the secular regime in Syria, or avoiding World War Three?” ...
“Or Your Lying Eyes…” Truth and Fiction in the News Business
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
If you want a sense of what could well lie in store for Syria, go no further than Anthony Shadid’s report from Libya in the New York Times for February 9. Shadid, a good reporter, describes a dismembered country, rent by banditry: “The militias are ...
Will Iran Be Attacked?
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Washington has made tremendous preparations for a military assault on Iran. There is speculation that Washington has called off its two longest running wars–Iraq and Afghanistan–in order to deploy forces against Iran. Two of Washington’s fleets have been ass...
The Tug of War in Moscow
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow For a month, Moscow was bracing itself for the February 4 Rally. It was pre-planned and prepared by the anti-Putin pro-Western liberal opposition. Despite sub-zero Fahrenheit (minus 20 degrees Centigrade) arctic frost, the organizers hoped to break ...
Cynicism Around Syria
VIJAY PRASHAD
Rehearsed statements filled the stale air of the UN Security Council on the last day of January. The Arab League’s Nabil el-Araby pleaded with the Council to adopt a draft resolution on Syria furnished by the Moroccan delegation to the UN. The Moroccan resolution is bas...
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...
Banking on Sanctions
PEPE ESCOBAR
Let’s start with red lines. Here it is, Washington’s ultimate red line, straight from the lion’s mouth.  Only last week Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said of the Iranians, “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re ...
The Lull Before the Russian Storm?
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
The global political crisis — a natural outcome of the continuing economic crisis — finally made it to Russia in December before getting derailed by the country’s traditional hibernation in early January. Nothing ever happens in Russia between Dec. 31 an...
The Golden Age of Tycoons
JOHN FEFFER
John F. Kennedy essentially bought his way into politics. His father, the wealthy Joseph Kennedy, picked out a nice congressional seat in Massachusetts and basically paid the occupant of the position to step down and run instead for the Boston mayoralty. JFK’s father ...
The Arms Merchants
CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI
Arms sales are not as straightforward as one might think. For one thing, Russia and the United States are both eager to maintain their respective positions as the most successful merchants of death dealing devices. That causes them to sacrifice principle to expediency.  ...
A Very Peaceful Russian Revolt
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
The calls by the “moderate left” for passively following behind the liberals are supposedly based on the need to “work among the people”, to go where the masses are. But how, and with whom, are the forces of the left to set out after these ardently pursued masses?...
The Snow Fronde
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow After an interminably long delay, the grey Moscow heavens were at long last generous with snow, dispensing heaps and heaps of the white stuff, turning cars into snow mountains and making sidewalks  impassable. This is a nice time of year: bare tree...
The Struggle Emerges in Russia
LEE SUSTAR
Protests by tens of thousands of people in Moscow and other cities December 10 were by far the largest demonstrations in Russia since the collapse of the USSR two decades ago. The focus of the mobilizations was massive fraud in the December 4 parliamentary election...
Russia and the Return of the Repressed
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow saw its biggest demo in a decade last Saturday. It was a feel-good, peaceful manifestation of youthful Facebook users, and it was already nicknamed the Likes Parade, as the prospective participants had clicked on “like” in response to the call to demonstrate. T...
Why Managed Democracy Always Fails in a Crisis
BORIS KAGARLITSKY
The crisis is developing exactly as expected. The inability of the authorities to cope with the rising wave of social problems has naturally spilled into the political sphere. At the same time, the mechanism of “managed democracy” has yet agai...
Crisis for Billionaires
ISRAEL SHAMIR
Moscow The fate of Qaddafi hovers like Hamlet’s father’s spirit over many a presidential and managerial desk. The Libyan leader amassed a fortune, some for himself and his family, some for his nation. He placed it in various banks, funds and shelters, ...
The Decline and Fall of Just About Everyone
PEPE ESCOBAR
More than 10 years ago, before 9/11, Goldman Sachs was predicting that the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) would make the world economy’s top ten — but not until 2040.  Skip a decade and the Chinese economy already has the number two spot all to its...
Russian Chess on the Korean Peninsula
TIM BEAL
Wellington, New Zealand. The visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to Russia in August 2011 received little attention in the international media, and most of the articles were uninformed. As is often the case, the South Korean media provided the best co...
Wall Street’s Code of Silence
RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner were at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. this week for a discussion about their book – ...