home / subscribe / donate / tower / books / archives / search / links / feedback / events / faq

Exclusive to CounterPunch Newsletter Subscribers!

Why Hillary Clinton Has Always Been a Republican

In the first of a series of profiles, Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair chart the formative years of Hillary Clinton. Watch her as she zigzags from Nixon campaigner and vote-fraud investigator in 1960 to Goldwater Girl and President of Young Republicans at Wellesley to her internship for Gerald Ford and campaigner for Nelson Rockefeller. Witness her reaction to the student protests at Yale and the demonstrations at Grant Park during the Democratic Convention in 1968. Learn how she and Bill vowed to "remake" the Democratic Party--using the Nixon model HRC learned about as a member of the House impeachment staff. And much more! Plus: David Price on anthropologist Andre Gunder Frank, the FBI and the Bureaucratic Exile of a Critical Mind.

Get your copy today by subscribing online or calling 1-800-840-3683 Remember contributions to CounterPunch are tax-deductible. Click here to make a donation. If you find our site useful please: Subscribe Now

Order CounterPunch By Email for Only $35 a Year and Receive a Free Copy of
"Imperial Crusades: a Diary of Three Wars" by Cockburn and St. Clair

CounterPunch Blues: David Vest at the Waterfront Blues Fest in Portland

Today's Stories

July 3, 2007

Bill Quigley
Injustice in Jena: Black Nooses Hanging from the "White" Tree

July 2, 2007

Andy Worthington
The Guantánamo Whistleblowers

Nina Serrano
The Assassination of a Poet: Memories of Roque Dalton

Jack Hirschman
The Nation and the Assassin: a Shameful Blunder

Paul Craig Roberts
Enter Turkey

Bill Williams
The Commissar Two-Step at DePaul

Anthony Papa
A Taste of the Gulag: What Paris Learned

Sonja Karkar
Who Will Save Palestine?

Louay Safi
Steve Emerson's Fantastic Obsession

Anthony Gregory
When Killer Cops Walk

Monica Benderman
In Consideration of War

Website of the Day
Dylan's Masters of War, at West Point, 1990


June 30 / July 1, 2007

John Ross
Free Frida Kahlo!

Alan Farago
Fakery, Inflation and the Housing Market

Peter Quinn
The Political Paranoia Over Immigration: Two Centuries and Counting

Christopher Brauchli
Cheney Does the Constitution

Robert Fisk
Abu Henry and the Mysterious Silence

Uri Avnery
A Dark Summit

Judith Siers-Poisson
The Politics and PR of Cervical Cancer

Saul Landau
Israel is Bad for Jewish Ethics

Abbas Zaidi
The Ad Hominem World of Pakistan Politics

Ron Jacobs
Ending the War, Organizing for Change

Ralph Nader
Move Over Oprah: a Summer Reading List

Donald Worster
Which City is Worse Off Today, New York or New Orleans?

Mike Whitney
The Fed's Role in the Bear Stearns Meltdown

Jacob Hill
Fast Track to Trade Failure

Kenneth Couesbouc
Why Global Trade is Rarely Fair

Missy Beattie

Mohammad Kamaali
Envoy for the Quartet

Ramzy Baroud
Finding Lessons in Gaza's Bloodshed

Leonard Peltier
A Gathering at Oglala

Phyllis Pollack
Seven Hours of Banging with the Stones

Poets' Basement
Reed, Orloski and Buknatski

Website of the Weekend
A Podcast Interview with Cpt. Ward Boston on the USS Liberty


June 29, 2007

St. Clair / Frank
Toward a New Environmental Movement

Brian Cloughley
Losing the War in Afghanistan: One Civilian Massacre at a Time

Patrick Cockburn
End the Occupation: an Open Letter to Gordon Brown

Gilad Atzmon
The Peace Envoy: Tony Blair on Work Release

Dave Lindorff
Subpoenas, Executive Privilege and Liberal Pipedreams

Jennifer Matsui /
Carl Kandutsch

Electric Larryland

Kevin Zeese
A Different Kind of Peace Candidate

Daniel Klimek
Fasting for Justice at DePaul

David Michael Green
The Founding Fathers Never Met Dick Cheney

John Chuckman
The London Car Bomb

Website of the Day


June 28, 2007

Bill Quigley
How to Destroy an African American City in 33 Steps

Vijay Prashad
Once More on the New York Times

Margaret Kimberley
The Whitening of Marianne Pearl: When White Actors Play Black Characters

Winslow T. Wheeler
House of Pork: Changing Lightbulbs in the Democrats' Bordello

Philip Rizk
The Failing of Gaza

D. K. Wilson
The Black Villains Club

Bill Williams
Strange Calculus at DePaul

Mahmoud El-Yousseph
The Deportation of Yardlin Jimenez

Richard Rhames
The Liberation of Paris

Paul Krassner
Bong Hits for Repression: the Giant Sucking Sound of the Supreme Court

Website of the Day
Free Lightnin' Hopkins


June 27, 2007

Marjorie Cohn
Targeting Dissent: FBI Spying on the National Lawyers Guild

Dr. Susan Rosenthal, MD
Sick and Sicker: Two Models of Health Care Rationing

Alan Farago
Bush and the Everglades: Rebranding Failure as Success

Carla Blank
"America, the Beautiful": the Queen, Jamestown and the Eye of the Beholder

Matthew Abraham
The Smearing of Robert Trivers, Dershowitz-Style

Sunsara Taylor
The Deadly Consequences of Compromise: Abortion Rights Under Assault, Where's the Women's Movement?

Russell D. Hoffman
16 Dirty Secrets About Nuclear Power

Robert Weissman
Blackstone and Capital's Grand Scam

Sen. Russ Feingold
Secrecy and the Federal Death Penalty

Paul Buchheit
The Footprints of Democracies

Website of the Day
Anarchy for the USA: an Interview with Josh Wolf


June 26, 2007

Jonathan Cook
Divide and Rule, Israeli-Style

Ralph Nader
Sicko and the Politics of Health Care

Corporate Crime Reporter
Which Side Are You On, Michael Moore?

Ron Jacobs
Are the Neocons Really Going?

Martha Rosenberg
Mad Cow in God's Country

John Chuckman
China's New Weapons

Denny Haldeman
Ethanolics Anonymous

Anthony DiMaggio
Free Speech Hypocrisy at the Supreme Court

Stephen Fleischman
The Tightrope Economy

William S. Lind
Legitimacy, Toujours Legitimacy

Website of the Day
The CIA's Family Jewels


June 25, 2007

Paul Craig Roberts
Goodbye to the City on the Hill

Jennifer Loewenstein
The Triumph of US / Israeli Policy in Palestine

Bob Anderson
The Grooming of Bill Richardson: New Mexico's Nuclear Governor

Robert Pollin
The Realities of Microlending

Patrick Cockburn
Chemical Ali Faces the Hangman: the Life and Crimes of al-Majid

Eva Liddell
Why They Want to Fire Ward Churchill

Dan Bacher
Democrats and the School of the Americas: 42 House Democrats Back Torture Academy

Larry Atkins
The Case of the Judge and the $54 Million Pair of Pants: an Embarrassment, Not an Argument for Tort Reform

Mark Brenner
SEIU Ends Nursing Home Partnership

James Rothenberg
Hillary Does Iraq

Website of the Day
"A Long Train of Abuses"

June 23 / 24, 2007

Alexander Cockburn
Zyklon B on the US Border

Jeff Taylor
The Foreign Policy of Barack Obama

Oren Ben-Dor
Israeli Apartheid is the Core of the Crisis in Gaza

Gary Leupp
In Defense of Academic Freedom: the Ward Churchill Case

Robert Fisk
The Bumbling Envoy

David Rosen
The Hidden Cost of War: Genital Injuries, Prosthetic Devices and the War on Terror

Russell Mokhiber
Ins and Outs for 2008: Up with Spoilers!

Alison Weir
USA Today and the USS Liberty

Robert Fantina
The Floundering Congress

D. K. Wilson
Of Gangstas and Spearchuckers, Sex and Zulus

Nicole Colson
Litigating Gitmo

Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner and Brad Olson
Torture, Psychologists and Colonel James

Dave Lindorff
Exodus of the Puppets: Bush's Incredible Shrinking Coalition

Benjamin Dangl
Cerámica de Cuyo: a Profile of Worker Control in Argentina

Michael Dickinson
The Catholicization of Tony

Poets' Basement
Davies, Engel, Gerard and Orloski

Website of the Weekend
Incarcerex: a Drug War Video


June 22, 2007

Andy Worthington
A Tunisian in Gitmo: the Story of Prisoner 660

Sherwood Ross
Corporate America's Deadliest Secret: the Big Profits in Biowarfare Research

Eliana Monteforte
The Torture Academy

Robert Weissman
Things Can Be Different

Richard Rhames
Farmer Preservation

Christopher Brauchli
Bush and the Uighurs: an Encounter in Albania

Ramzy Baroud
Chronicle of a Chaos Foretold

Ehud Krinis, David Shulman and Neve Gordon
Facing an Imminent Threat of Expulsion: Palestinians in S. Hebron Hills Need Your Help!

David Michael Green
If Reid Were Rove

Kathryn Webber
Boycotting DePaul

Website of the Day
Stop Me Before I Vote Again!


June 21, 2007

Peter Linebaugh
The Day of the Rope

Natsu Saito
The Regents and Ward Churchill: Now is the Time to Speak Out

Ron Jacobs
The Intimidation of a Vet

Saree Makdisi
The West Chooses Fatah, But Palestinians Don't

John Stauber
Blessed Unrest: an Interview with Paul Hawken

Scott Liebertz
Fox News and Venezuela: an Analysis of How the Network Deliberately Misinforms Its Viewers

Tom Clifford
The Ghost Prisoners

Robert Jensen
The Last Sunday?

Michael J. Smith
Who Among Us Will Step Up to Destroy the Democratic Party?

Jeb Sprague
Pain at the Pump in Haiti

Website of the Day
Dion: Hey Paris

June 20, 2007

Omar Barghouti
A Secular-Democratic State Solution

Andy Worthington
Repatriated to Torture

Margaret Kimberley
Supreme Injustices: the Bush Court

Robert Weissman
Sicko, Part One: the Human Tragedy

Russell D. Hoffman
Time to Choose: Meltdowns or Solar Power?

Rannie Amiri
Mideast Alight

Stephen Lendman
The New York Times vs. Hugo Chavez

Dave Lindorff
Democratic Disconnect

David Swanson
Booing Hillary: Platitudes from the Drone Machine

Anne Dachel
Autism & Vaccines: Why are They Afraid to Look?

Website of the Day
Revolution By the Book


June 19, 2007

Ralph Nader
Hillary's Stock and Trade: the NAFTA Two-Step

Dr. Shepherd Bliss
Torture's Long Reach

Bill and Kathleen Christison
Demostrating Against the Catholic Church in Santa Fe

Jeff Leys
Swarming Congress: Building a Resistance to the 2008 Iraq War Supplemental Funding Bill

Dave Zirin
The Unforgiven: Barry Bonds and Jack Johnson

Chris Floyd
Hitchens Takes a Roll in the Hay

Ben Terrall
Iraq Union Leaders Speak Out Against the Occupation

Anthony Papa
Veronica's Story: a Dying Wish to Governor Spitzer

Countering Terrorism: How Not to Do It

Linda Flores
Criminalizing the Classroom

Website of the Day
Sign On to the Iraq Moratorium

June 18, 2007

John Ross
The Annexation of Mexico

Paul Craig Roberts
The Reign of the Tyrants is at Hand

Martha Rosenberg
Let Cheney at Him: Richardson the Oryx Hunter

Norman Solomon
War at the Remote

Don Santina
Memo to the Queen: Bobby Sands Died for Your Sins

Isabella Kenfield
Landless Rural Workers Confront Lula

James Brooks
America's Guilty Silence

Eva Liddell
Planning to Lose: Democratic Stratagems

Sam Husseini
Clinton Health Care Scam Revisited

Akiva Eldar
Ariel Sharon's Dream

Website of the Day
Frank Zappa: the Cop Interview


June 16 / 17, 2007

Alexander Cockburn
The Psychopathology of Shrinks

John Halle
Finkelstein and "The Progressive"

Robert Fisk
Welcome to "Palestine"

Andy Worthington
Return to Torture?

Uri Avnery
The Gaza Cage

Fred Gardner
Paris Hilton's Punishment: a False Parable

Saul Landau
Our Gang of Thugs: The 1970s as a Context for Terrorist Violence

P. Sainath
Heaven Can Wait: Creditors and the Widows of Vidharbha

Missy Comley Beattie
Calling Evil Its Name

Alan Gregory
When ADM Comes to Town: Killer Tax Breaks for Wildlife Destruction

Walter Brasch
Bush and the Philosophy of Swiss Cheese

Website of the Weekend
Obama Girl


June 15, 2007

Alan Farago
View from the Construction Crane: Sex, Taxes and Real Estate Scams in Miami

Andy Worthington
The Ordeal of Ali al--Marri

Michael Simmons
Terrorizing Artists in the USA

Franklin Lamb
Blowback Across Lebanon: The Failed Sunni Army Solution

Gary Leupp
The Day After We Attack Iran

John Ross
Ballot Burning Time in Ol' Mexico

Website of the Day
The American Rationalist


June 14, 2007

Michael Donnelly
Charred SUVs and the End of Citizen Eco--Activism

Faisal Kutty
Scare Canada: The No--Fly List's False Sense of Security

Harry Browne
Ireland's Green Party Sells Out

Charles Jonkel
From the Arctic to Yellowstone: Bears in a World of Indifference

Steven Higgs
Murder in a Small Town: "Gay Panic" in Indiana?

Bruce Dixon
Black Power Through Low Power Radio

Bruce K. Gagnon
What Do We Do Now? A 10--Step Plan for Antiwar Activists

Website of the Day

June 13, 2007

Glen Ford
Obama's Siren Song

Marjorie Cohn
Repression in Oaxaca

Bill Christison
A Grave Injustice at DePaul University

Charles Jonkel
Bears in a World of Indifference

Silvia Cattori
"I Was Not Prepared for the Horrors I Saw": an Interview with Hedy Epstein

Richard Gott
Racism and TV in Venezuela

Firmin DeBrabander
How the Neocons Misread Machiavelli

William S. Lind
The Perfect (Sine) Wave: Bombing Railroad Stations in Iraq

Keith Rosenthal
Workers Score a Victory at Harvard

Website of the Day
GOP and Monty Python Explain: "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques"

June 12, 2007

Jeffrey St. Clair
How to Sell a War

Paul Craig Roberts
The Neocon Threat to American Freedom

P. Sainath
India's Plutocrats and the Press

Ralph Nader
The Biggest Scam in the World

Omar Waraich
A Black Day for Pakistan's Press

Dave Lindorff
Things Your Media Momma Didn't Tell You

Harvey Wasserman
Confessions of an Anti-Nuke Jerk

Malini Johar Schueller
It Takes a Bomb

Ramzy Baroud
War Foretold: Mark Twain and the Sins of Empire

Website of the Day
Palestinian Chronicle Needs Our Help!


June 11, 2007

Patrick Cockburn
The War on Journalists

Paul Craig Roberts
Losing the Economy to Mythology

Uri Avnery
40 Bad Years: the Rot of Occupation

Norman Solomon
The Silence of the Bombs

Eva Liddell
Paris Hilton Doesn't Do Dishes: How Barbie Stood Up to Allen Ginsberg

Rannie Amiri
Groundhog Day in Pakistan

Rachel Voss
Poetry and Politics in Nassau County

Christopher Brauchli
A Wild West Tale, Starring Rev. Dobson and Bill O'Reilly

D. K. Wilson
Untangling Michael Vick from the Dogs

Website of the Day
Paris, Mixed Up

June 9 / 10, 2007

Alexander Cockburn
Dissidents Against Dogma

George Ciccariello-Maher
Behind Venezuela's "Student Rebellion": Who's Pulling the Strings?

Saul Landau
An Interview with Ricardo Alarcon, Vice President of Cuba

Robert Fisk
Believe It or Not in the Middle East

Brian Cloughley
Troop Support: Deceptions and Insipid Sentiments

Ron Jacobs
Condoleezza Rice Names the System

Ward Boston
Searching for the Truth About the USS Liberty

Conn Hallinan
Dark Plots in Byzantine Beirut

Leonard Peltier
The Ongoing War on Native American Religious Practices

Lawrence Davidson
Israel's New Anti-Boycott Task Force

John Ross
Mass Nude-In Complicates Church-State Scuffling in Mexico

Kate Allan
Some People Think the Internet is a Bad Thing

Fred Gardner
Ignorance Marches On

Stephen Fleischman
Little Boy, Fat Man and Iran

Monica Benderman
Reading Tom Paine in a Time of Crisis

Geoff Bailey
A Real Oil Conspiracy: Gouged at the Pump

Missy Beattie
Faith and War

Patrick Dyer
A Democrat Revs Up Ohio's Death Machine

Tim Lengerich
Dispelling the Cowboy Myth: an Interview with George Wuerthner

James Irani
and David Rahni

Perspectives on the Arrests of Iran-Americans in Tehran

Gary Leupp
The Unfair Treatment of Paris Hilton

Michael Tillery
The Heart of a Sportswriter: an Interview with David Aldridge

Michael Simmons
Beating Off the Squares: the Hipness of Anton Rosenberg

Poets' Basement
Laymon, Davies and Ford

Website of the Weekend
This is Sea Shepherd!


June 8, 2007

Serge Halimi
What Sarkozy Learned About Politics from the US

Patrick Cockburn
The Turkish Incursion

Jeffrey St. Clair
Israel's Attack on the USS Liberty, Revisited


Paul Craig Roberts
The Secret War

William Blum
What If NBC Cheered on a Military Coup Against Bush?

Joshua Frank
Swing-State Strategy: Looking for a Spoiler

Lance Selfa
How the Six Day War Changed the Middle East

Dave Lindorff
A "Criminal Conspiracy" in the White House

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The Summer of Love: Flashbacks of a Human Be-In

Website of the Day
Robert Pollin: "Making the Federal Minimum Wage a Living Wage"

June 7, 2007

Marjorie Cohn
The Prison is the War Crime

Soldz, Reisner and Olson:
A Q & A on Psychologists and Torture

Soldz, Reisner
and Olson, et al:
An Open Letter to Sharon Brehm, President of the American Psychological Association

Paul Craig Roberts
Losing Iraq, Nuking Iran

Bill Quigley
"How Long Must We Support a Mistake?"

Silvia Cattori
Sailing to Gaza

Carl G. Estabrook
What the June Bug Is: Politics in the Dismal Season

Ellen Taylor
Free the Tweakers!: The Good News About Meth

Corporate Crime Reporter
BAE Systems, Prince Bandar and the $2 Billion Account at the Riggs Bank

Brenda Norrell
Torture Training at Ft. Huachuca: Two Priests Face Prison for Exposing Torture in Arizona

D. K. Wilson
What Gary Sheffield Really Said

Kevin Zeese
Iraq Occupation Coming to a Head Over Oil

Website of the Day
How the Press Expired

June 6, 2007

Alain Gresh
Countdown to War on Iran

Gary Leupp
Poddy's Crazy Prayer: Bomb Iran, For Israel and America!

Steven Sherman
The Perils of Humanitarian Intervention

Bruce Dixon
Is Bill Gates Trying to Hijack Africa's Food Supply?

Corporate Crime Reporter
The Professor and the Nukes

Brian M. Downing
The Iraq War and Presidential Politics

Ron Jacobs
Luv n' Hate: a Different Take on the Summer of Love

George Bisharat
The Mirage of the Two State Solution

Nicole Colson
Over to You, Dante: Falwell's Ministry of Hate

Bruce K. Gagnon
From Italy to Guam: A Global Peace Movement is Taking Shape

Website of the Day
How the Democrats Should Treat Bush


June 5, 2007

Michael Neumann
Canada in Afghanistan

Jonathan Cook
The Shin Bet and the Persecution of Azmi Bishara

David Vest
The Democrats' War

Robert Fantina
America's Cuba Policy

Hoffman, Parsneau and Chowdhury
CounterTerrorism as International Healthcare

John V. Walsh
Shaming the Official Antiwar Movement

Richard Cretan
Yellow Dog: The Strange Love of Martin Amis and Tony Blair

Adam Engel
Days of Dread: an American Tale

William S. Lind
The News from Anbar: Has Al Qaeda Over-Reached?

Myles Hoenig
Free the Oaks! Cut Down Those Yellow Ribbons!

Jim Minick
Lead-Foot Nation

Website of the Day
Punk Rock Soap Opera

June 4, 2007

Nizar Latif
An Interview with Moqtada al-Sadr

Diana Johnstone
Sarko and the Ghosts of May, 1968

Gregory Wilpert
RCTV and Freedom of Speech in Venezuela

Paul Watson
The Anchorage Whale Killing Bureaucrats Summit

Susan Rosenthal, MD
How Cindy Sheehan Unmasked the Democrats

Richard Ward
The Right of Return to New Orleans

Eva Liddell
Don't Support the Troops

Zahi Khouri
Four Decades of Occupation

Evelyn Pringle
The FDA, GlaxoSmithKline and the Avandia Disaster

China Hand
About Those North Korean Benjamin Franklins ...

Karyn Strickler
George W. Bush: a "Ficeist" Leader

Website of the Day
The Guantanamo Files


June 2 / 3, 2007

Alexander Cockburn
The Last of the Texas Outsiders

Marc Levy
Iraq Dead Ahead: a Brief Military History and Civilian Guide to Arlington National Cemetery

Martin Smith
Camilo Mejía's War: From Foot Soldier for Empire to Rebel for Peace

Diana Johnstone
Great Power Meddling in Kosovo

John Ross
The Oaxaca Volcano Stews

Uri Avnery
On Generals and Admirals

Sunsara Taylor
This is Not a Story About Cindy Sheehan

Richard Neville
Were the Hippies Right?

P. Sainath
The Farm Crisis and 100,000 Indian Widows

Missy Comley Beattie
Let's Roar

Nisrine Abiad
and Victor Kattan
The Hariri Tribunal: a Fait Accompli?

Rannie Amiri
Lebanon, Bush and the Three Stooges

Margot Pepper
Deconstructing "Return to Sender"

Eric Stewart
Censorship and Cop Brutality in the New Bison Wars

Ralph Nader
The Halberstam Camp

Dan Bacher
A Victory for the Fish

Shaun Harkin
and Sandy Boyer
Irish War Protesters on Trial

Richard Rhames
Selling Five Acres in Crawford

Frederick Hudson
The Rediscovery of Ella Fitzgerald

Poets' Basement
Lindorff, Landau and Buknatski

Website of the Weekend
Gimme Shelter

June 1, 2007

Dave Marsh
The FBI and the Godfather (of Soul): James Brown's FBI Files

Saul Landau
Return to Cuba: 47 Years Later in Havana

David Phinney
How the Baghdad Embassy Was Built: Forced Labor and Worker Abuse

Robert Jensen
The Bigot and the Boycott

Stanley Heller
Arrest Robert McNamara

Yifat Susskind
Indigenous Women Fight Back

Robert Weissman
Corporate Power Since 1980

Paul Buchheit
Africa and Its Discontents

William S. Lind
The Folly of Maximalist Objectives

Sherwood Ross
78,000 Iraqis Have Been Killed by Coalition Airstrikes

Stephen Lendman
Terrorism Defined

Website of the Day
Desert Autonomous Zone

May 31, 2007

Robert Bryce
The Language Barrier

Patrick Cockburn
Killing with Impunity: Iraq's Militias Under the Surge

Gary Leupp
Appropriate Disillusionment: the Despair of Cindy Sheehan and Andrew Bacevich

Kathy Kelly
Being Hope

Marjorie Cohn
The Unitary King George

Chris Kutalik
and Tiffany Ten Eyck

Fallout from the Sale of Chrysler: Jobs, Health Care, Pensions, All in Jeopardy

Corporate Crime Reporter
Zheng Xiaoyu Meet Lester Crawford

Dave Lindorff
Our Monica: a Hero of the Constitution

Website of the Day
Know Your Rights!


May 30, 2007

James Ridgeway
The Bi-Partisan Con on Synthetic Fuels

Franklin Lamb
Lebanon and the Planned US Airbase at Kaleiaat

Terrence E. Paupp
Withdrawal Symptoms

Uri Avnery
To the Shores of Tripoli

Alan Maass
and Jeffrey St. Clair
The Green Masquerade: Corporate America's Latest Counter-Attack

Rock and Rap Confidential
Watching the Detectives: the Political Censorship of Hip Hop

Ralph Nader
Taming the Giant Corporation

Nirmal Ghosh
China, CITES and the Fate of the Tiger

Jean Daniels
Dealing Democrats: Folding to Mr. 28%

Tom Barry
Meet Robert Zoellick: Bush's Pick to Head World Bank

Website of the Day
Petuuche Gilbert on the Rights of Indigenous People

May 29, 2007

Stephen Soldz
Shrinks and the SERE Technique at Guantanamo

Eliza Ernshire
Refugees Forever: Inside Bedawi Camp

Ron Jacobs
The Exit of Cindy Sheehan

Dave Lindorff
Whatever Happened to Signing Statements?

Evelyn Pringle
What Qualifies Bush to Lead Iraq War

Mike Whitney
Bush's New Middle East

David Swanson
How We Got Here: The Democrats and the Antiwar Movement

John Holt
Gating Montana, Part Two: the Feedback Loop

Cynthia McKinney
Dreaming of a True Memorial Day

Martha Rosenberg
Mad Cows, Mad Pigs and the Horse Slaughter Lobby

Website of the Day
The Ruminant

May 28, 2007

Bill Quigley
Katrina Activists: "Less Meeting, More Fighting"

Col. Dan Smith
The Paranoid and the Dead

Cindy Sheehan
Why I Am Leaving the Democratic Party

Dr. Susan Block
Dr. Laura's Little Monster

Jeeni Criscenzo
What I Learned About Being a Dickhead

Douglas Valentine
Memorial Day: a Poem

Website of the Day
Peace TV



Subscribe Online

July 3, 2007

The Lawyers' Crusade

Pakistan's New Jihad


When President Pervez Musharraf attempted to dismiss the Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, on March 9, 2007, allegedly on charges of corruption, he did not realize that he would have a fight on his hands. Since then, Chaudhry has toured the country north-to-south with his team of defence lawyers, rallying public support in every corner of Pakistan. Although appointed by Musharraf in 2005, it soon became clear that "the Chief" as the public endearingly refer to him, had a mind of his own. Deciding against government interests in a notable privatization case, he took up several human rights abuse cases, including those where individuals had gone "missing" in the middle of the night in the name of fighting the "war against terror".

As Chaudhry's popularity soars, Musharraf's has diminished significantly. The government is viewed as insecure and balking in the face of criticism previously tolerated. Independent television channels covering the rallies organized to protest Chaudhry's ouster were reprimanded initially and subsequently barred from live coverage. Previously, the government prided itself on encouraging a free press, but today, it insists the media is biased. In the eyes of the people, the media has played its role exceptionally well, covering all sides of every story.

Rebuked by government officials for airing every word of the Chief's address and criticized for its over-zealous coverage of the dead bodies that lay helpless in Karachi on May 12 when thugs allegedly supported by the provincial government, a coalition partner of Musharraf's party, clashed into opposition forces, the media have braved threats, sticks and even bullets to bring the true picture to the homes of average Pakistani citizens.

"You are leading the new jihad," call-in viewers tell current event talk show hosts, ratings for whose programs far surpass those of soap operas and reality television. Jihad, an Arabic word adopted into Urdu, literally means struggle. Newspaper editorials and op-ed pieces regularly comment on the struggle for an irreversible transition to democracy and civilian supremacy over military rule.

Musharraf's government is suffering its worst political crisis yet and the silent majority who did not speak up when Pakistan allied itself with the United States in the "war on terror" and did not respond to Musharraf's call for "enlightened moderation" is finally rallying behind a cause. Independence of the judiciary, the separation of powers and establishment of rule of law are subjects the Chief speaks about in his rallies and the common folk come out in droves to listen to him. Sixty thousand turned up at the address in Abbottabad, where the population of the entire district is less than a million.

It is no longer just the lawyers in their black coats marching out in solidarity with their Chief. The movement has reached out to the common person. A distance normally covered in three hours takes the Chief's car sixteen because of the large number of people surrounding his vehicle and lining the streets in every little town along the way. In Faisalabad, the Chief's birth place, they prepared for his arrival as they would for a prince's marriage, horsemen on white horses standing guard, dancing in the streets to the beat of powerful drums, rose petals covering every inch of his car.

Chaudhry did not disappoint. "A society can live with kufr (non-believers)," he said, "but not with injustice." The liberal, secular nature of the movement is clear from the signs on display in the audience, which no longer read "Down with America," but instead, "We want Freedom!"

The team of defence lawyers, more articulate than the Chief himself, is carefully chosen, comprising of lawyers representing the spectrum of Pakistan's linguistic and ethnic backgrounds. Led by Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan, Ali Ahmed Kurd, Hamid Ali Khan, Tarique Mehmood and Munir Malik together can pull crowds the way ex-prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif may no longer be able to.

Criticized by the government for politicizing the issue of the Chief's dismissal, the lawyers' movement is filling the political vacuum created by exiling the leaders of the two mainstream political parties in the last decade. The old guard political leadership has come out stale and largely irrelevant in the current crisis, with Ms. Bhutto watching the unfolding events from her villa in Jumeirah and Mr. Sharif from his flat on Park Lane, analysts are speculating that the Chief and his legal team may be the dominant political players in the upcoming elections.

Lead counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan, calling for the reinstatement of the Chief, has told wildly applauding crowds that "our struggle does not end there." Politically groomed in Bhutto's party and a serving member of the National Assembly on her party's ticket, Mr. Ahsan may have political ambitions of his own. Traditionally, Lahore has been his constituency, but today he is nationally recognized for his role in taking on the Chief's case against the President. A Cambridge-educated barrister, Mr. Ahsan is outspoken yet level-headed. His bold piece, "Time for Moratorium," called for an end to the senseless violence that erupted in Pakistan after a Danish newspaper published derogatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, when other politicians used the controversy to gain political advantage.

With support from the masses, a liberal, secular democratic movement led by Mr. Ahsan and his legal team is poised to take root. Sceptics argue that existing politicians will be too ready and willing to strike a deal with the military and thus the movement of lawyers will not be allowed to reach its fruition. However, when the media is willing to fight till death for transparency and the common man living on less than $2 a day is tired of sixty years of injustices, the cry for a jihad against injustice is quite a potent one, as in the words of Victor Hugo, "there is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come."

Ayesha Ijaz Khan is a lawyer and London-based Pakistani writer. Her new novel is titled "Rodeo Drive to Raja Bazaar". She can be reached at: khan_ayesha@yahoo.com



Shop at Amazon.com


New From
CounterPunch Books

The Secret Language
of the Crossroads:
By Daniel Cassidy

Click Here to Buy!


Now Available!
How the Press Failed
The Gang's All Here: Judy Miller, Bob Woodward, Rupert Murdoch, Bill O'Reilly...End Times Leaves No Reputation Unstained!

Buy End Times Now!

Now Available from
CounterPunch Books!
Saul Landau's Bush and Botox World with a Foreword by Gore Vidal

Click Here to Order!


"The Case Against Israel"
Michael Neumann's Devastating Rebuttal of Alan Dershowitz

Grand Theft Pentagon:
Tales of Greed and Profiteering in the War on Terror

by Jeffrey St. Clair




The Occupation
by Patrick Cockburn

Humanitarian Imperialism
By Jean Bricmont


By Tennessee Reed


Bruce Springsteen On Tour
By Dave Marsh


The Book on 9/11 the White House Denounced as "ABSOLUTE GARBAGE"