Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day12Fixed

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

For Six Years, Rightwing Think Tanks Have Been Pushing an Invasion of Iraq

Hell-Bent for War

by JASON LEOPOLD

Never before in the history of the United States presidency has a think tank had such an impact on shaping U.S. foreign policy as the Project for the New American Century has on helping President George W. Bush set foreign policy goals for his Administration, particularly dictating exactly how Bush should deal with Iraq and its President, Saddam Hussein.

For the past six years, PNAC has lobbied former President Clinton and Bush heavily to initiate a war in Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power, claiming the country poses a serious threat to the U.S. and its allies because of its ability to develop weapons of mass destruction. Clinton rebuffed the advice by PNAC members during the last four years of his presidency, but Bush has virtually used, word for word, the written statements by PNAC members when he speaks publicly about Iraq crisis.

PNAC, which says its goal is to promote Americais foreign and defense policies, has been written about in dribs and drabs over the past year in the foreign press, but has yet to crack any of the big mainstream newspapers and magazines here. It operated below the radar while Clinton was in office and has recently resurfaced because of the uncanny similarities between its policies and that of the Bush Administration on matters relating to national defense to Asia and the Middle East.

Most of its members cut their teeth in the Reagan and the first Bush Administrations. However, many of its former members, notably Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney, are working in the current Bush Administration. William Kristol, the editor of the ultra-conservative magazine The Weekly Standard, heads PNAC.

In the past year, the organization has succeeded in getting the Bush Administration to scrap the Armyis Crusader Artillery Program and to ask Congress for a one-year increase of more than $48 billion for national defense. But itis PNAC’s position to drive America into a war with Iraq that has influenced Bush the most.

Dozens of letters and reports by PNAC members concerning Iraq are posted on its website, www.newamericancentury.org, and lays out in startling detail how war is the only way to deal with the so-called threat that Iraq poses to the U.S. Bush has drawn upon many of these letters to publicly make a case for war. Reading through the letters, the impression it leaves is not that the U.S. is in imminent danger but that the people that run PNAC have been hell-bent for war for six years and they finally got a president who will listen to them.

Robert Kagan, co-chair of PNAC and a former Deputy for Policy in the State Department’s Bureau for Inter-American Affairs during Reagan’s presidency, wrote in 1999 that the U.S. should “complete the unfinished business of the 1991 Gulf War and get rid of Saddam.”

It’s simply not enough to increase inspections by the United Nations, PNAC says, or to think that “we can contain Saddam inside a box” to ensure the safety of the U.S. and our allies. It has to be war.

“Above all, only ground forces can remove Saddam and his regime from power and open the way for a new post-Saddam Iraq whose intentions can safely be assumed to be benign,” Kristol said in a PNAC report in 1997. Containment and inspections won’t work, Kristol said

Consider the impact Kristol had on Cheney when the Vice President spoke about Iraq before the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Nashville last August.

“This is the same dictator who dispatched a team of assassins to murder former President Bush as he traveled abroad,” Cheney said. “A person would be right to question any suggestion that we should just get inspectors back into Iraq, and then our worries will be over. Saddam has perfected the game of cheat and retreat, and is very skilled in the art of denial and deception. A return of inspectors would provide no assurance whatsoever of his compliance with U.N. resolutions. On the contrary, there is a great danger that it would provide false comfort that Saddam was somehow back in his box.”

“Meanwhile, he would continue to plot. Nothing in the last dozen years has stopped him — not his agreements; not the discoveries of the inspectors; not the revelations by defectors; not criticism or ostracism by the international community; and not four days of bombings by the U.S. in 1998. What he wants is time and more time to husband his resources, to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons programs, and to gain possession of nuclear arms,”Cheney said.

But the mere fact that many of these letters and policy statements about Iraq were drafted while Clinton was President raises a number of serious questions: for one, where’s the evidence that suggests the U.S. is in imminent danger of being attacked by Iraq? No one at PNAC would respond to these or other questions about the organization. The one thing that is crystal clear, however, is that neither PNAC nor the Bush Administration has been able to produce a shred of evidence that justifies the U.S. going to war with Iraq. Only through a coordinated effort of injecting fear into the minds of Americans has PNAC and the Bush Administration been able to win the little support it has to start a war.

JASON LEOPOLD can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

?