• $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • other
  • use Paypal

CALLING ALL COUNTERPUNCHERS! CounterPunch’s website is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. We are supported almost entirely by the subscribers to the print edition of our magazine and by one-out-of-every-1000 readers of the site. 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 to the “new” Cuba. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads or click bait. Unlike many other indy media sites, we don’t shake you down for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it. So over the next few weeks we are requesting your financial support. Keep CounterPunch free, fierce and independent by donating today by credit card through our secure online server, via PayPal or by calling 1(800) 840-3683. Note: This annoying box will disappear once we reach our fund drive goal. Thank you for your support!


Does New Hampshire Mean Anything? Nervous Dems Beg Nader Not to Run



The facial topography of Senator John Kerry–gravity and the exactions of time pulling his features inexorably southward, a forlorn Hawthornian feel to the whole ensemble–remind us of another conqueror of New Hampshire in 1972: Senator Ed Muskie of Maine, on whose cheek a single tear (or was it just a snow flake?) turned into a mighty river of defeat as the press derided him for being a cry-baby, chided him for not winning by a larger margin and consigned him to history’s trashcan, same way they’re trying to do with Howard Dean.

Other winners in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary include Lyndon Johnson in 68, with a margin over Eugene McCarthy narrow enough to be construed a vote of no confidence. A few weeks later LBJ stepped aside. Then in 1992 Paul Tsongas, another son of Massachusetts, beat Bill Clinton, who was beleaguered by the kiss ‘n tell revelations of Gennifer Flowers. As with the Iowa caucuses, victory in New Hampshire has been often a portent of doom, which may explain the cloudy cast to Kerrry visage.

So the distraught supporters of Howard Dean need not abandon all hope–even after the loss to Kerry by 12 points, the resignation of his rumpled campaign strategist Joe Trippi and amid the fearful pounding in the press for his tiny break with decorum on the evening of the Iowa caucuses. The onslaught on Dean in the press, orchestrated mostly by Clintonites in the DNC and their consorts in the media, has been bizarre. After all, it’s not as if Dean is anything other than entirely mainstream in his views, most of all on economic policy where, as he himself plaintively insisted, he is “the most conservative” of all the Democratic candidates.

But Dean embodies two prime threats: first, to a run four years hence by Hillary Clinton; second, to the money-dispensing monopoly of the Democratic National Committee. Dean has displayed a poweful ability to raise money, $42 million to date, though he has spent much of it already, $3 million in Iowa alone.

The more hostile the DNC and press acts towards Dean, the more money drops into his campaign chest. But after coming third in Iowa he promptly raised more than $1 million in the next three days. If this stays true, he can stay in the race through to the convention in Boston this coming summer. There’s a scenario where Dean could finish second in most of the states, win only a handful of primaries and still capture a plurality of the delegates at the Democratic convention.

What comes next? There’s nothing much for Dean to look forward to in the immediate future beyond other candidates turning on the front-runner, Kerry, and drawing some blood. In South Carolina next week it will be a time of truth for its native son, John Edwards, the lissome-tongued trial lawyer who is now North Carolina’s senior senator. As Edwards himself has perhaps unwisely said, South Carolina is make or break for him. By the same token Dean’s camp hopes that Kerry will knock out Edwards, thus narrowing the field.

Those who’ve spent some time in South Carolina say it may be tough for Kerry, since he’s apparently decided on a strategy of writing off the south, which in the case of Democrats means blacks in the south who, in most states below the Mason Dixon line, represent a majority of registered Democrats. Kerry declared his candidacy on an aircraft carrier off Mount Pleasant S.C. and has scarcely been seen in the palmetto state ever since.

A person who could at last make some sort of a showing in South Carolina is Wesley Clark, the Clintons’ stalking horse, who plummeted after slipping badly in New Hampshire on the treacherous surface of his evasions on whether he supported the war in Iraq. Of course he did support it, repeatedly, and the only merit we can find in the ever more remote beacon of the Lieberman campaign is that Senator Joe has usefully catalogued no less than seven different Clarkian claims to have been a peacenik, all of them false.

Clark is also encumbered with an endorsement from Michael Moore, whose kiss may be as lethal as was Al Gore’s for Dean. But Clark is a military man, albeit one in whose “integrity and character” former chief of the joint chiefs of staff Hugh Shelton has publicly expressed categorical mistrust. There are many black people in South Carolina with sons and daughters in the military, and besides, unlike most of the other white candidates, Clark has invoked the name of Martin Luther King.

Everyone has something to look forward to. Clark can take comfort in good polls in Oklahoma and Arizona. Kerry eyes Missouri now that native son Gephardt has quit the field. Edwards and Al Sharpton hope for a boost in South Carolina and the DNC is already hinting to Edwards that he could end up as nominee Kerry’s running mate, and therefore shouldn’t start throwing dirt at the thin-skinned senator from Massachusetts. Lieberman? Well, it is hard to detect any silver lining for him and for our part we hope for his imminent departure since it will stop the noxious slogan, which even some of our friends proclaim, “ABL”, Anyone But Lieberman. He apparently reposes his hopes in the state of ten thousand corporations (most of whom he’s probably carried water for): Delaware.

It’s been bemusing to read the heroic press releases from the campaign of Dennis Kucinich, as indomitably optimistic as was Comical Ali in the last days of Saddam Hussein. Dennis, a politician whom we admire but in whose candidacy we have always entertained 100 per cent lack of confidence, now heads back to where it all began, New Mexico, where resides his spiritual adviser. His press man is now William Rivers Pitt and Pitt promises to be as sanguine as was the former flack, David Swanson. As least Kucinich can afford the air fare to Albuquerque.

You ask about ideas, the clash of ideologies, of visions? Friends, this is a minimalist campaign between Democrats and no doubt it will be thus, between the ultimate nominee and George Bush. The night of the New Hampshire primary, on a day when six US soldiers died in Iraq, not one candidate used the deaths as a rallying cry to end the occupation of Iraq. Indeed the “antiwar” candidate, Dean, said the war in Iraq was no longer an issue.

Kerry, who supported both the Iraq war and the Patriot Act, defended himself against media charges that he was “just another Massachusetts liberal” by riposting that he is no such thing, touting his support for Clinton’s demolition of welfare and Clinton’s ramping up of the drug war which funded 100,000 cops in urban (ie., black and hispanic) neighborhoods. As for Edwards’s low-cal economic populism, we’ve been there, haven’t we? Truth in packaging. At least Dean ‘fesses up to being a neoliberal.

This brings us to the Democrats great dread: the return of Ralph Nader. As young idealists who have bizarrely hooked their hopes to the impeccably conventional former govenor of Vermont see him treated by the Democratic powerbrokers as if he were a dangerous revolutionary, they may throw up their hands in disgust and look outside the two parties. Scenting this menacing prospect, this week’s edition of The Nation magazine carries an unsigned “Open Letter” imploring Ralph not to run. From Anyone But Lieberman to Anyone But Nader.

As yet there’s no comment from Nader, though a seasoned staffer did remark to us that there was certainly “plenty of oxygen” out there.

Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair’s new book, The Politics of Antisemitism, has just been published by AK Press.


Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch. Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net.

October 13, 2015
Dave Lindorff
US Dispatched a Murderous AC-130 Airborne Gunship to Attack a Hospital
Steve Martinot
The Politics of Prisons and Prisoners
Heidi Morrison
A Portrait of an Immigrant Named Millie, Drawn From Her Funeral
Andre Vltchek
Horrid Carcass of Indonesia – 50 Years After the Coup
Jeremy Malcolm
All Rights Reserved: Now We Know the Final TTP is Everything We Feared
Omar Kassem
Do You Want to See Turkey Falling Apart as Well?
Paul Craig Roberts
Recognizing Neocon Failure: Has Obama Finally Come to His Senses?
Theodoros Papadopoulos
The EU Has Lost the Plot in Ukraine
Roger Annis
Ukraine Threatened by Government Negligence Over Polio
Matthew Stanton
The Vapid Vote
Mel Gurtov
Manipulating Reality: Facebook is Listening to You
Louisa Willcox
Tracking the Grizzly’s Number One Killer
Binoy Kampmark
Assange and the Village Gossipers
Robert Koehler
Why Bombing a Hospital Is a War Crime
Jon Flanders
Railroad Workers Fight Proposed Job Consolidation
Mark Hand
Passion and Pain: Photographer Trains Human Trafficking Survivors
October 12, 2015
Ralph Nader
Imperial Failure: Lessons From Afghanistan and Iraq
Ishmael Reed
Want a Renewal? Rid Your City of Blacks
Thomas S. Harrington
US Caught Faking It in Syria
Victor Grossman
Scenes From a Wonderful Parade Against the TPP
Luciana Bohne
Where Are You When We Need You, Jean-Paul Sartre?
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The US Way of War: From Columbus to Kunduz
Paul Craig Roberts
A Decisive Shift in the Balance of Power
Justus Links
Turkey’s Tiananmen in Context
Ray McGovern
Faux Neutrality: How CNN Shapes Political Debate
William Manson
Things R Us: How Venture Capitalists Feed the Fetishism of Technology
Norman Pollack
The “Apologies”: A Note On Usage
Steve Horn
Cops Called on Reporter Who Asked About Climate at Oil & Gas Convention
Javan Briggs
The Browning of California: the Water is Ours!
Dave Randle
The BBC and the Licence Fee
Andrew Stewart
Elvis Has Left the Building: a Reply to Slavoj Žižek
Nicolás Cabrera
Resisting Columbus: the Movement to Change October 12th Holiday is Rooted in History
Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria