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.

Day11

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

The Iraq War and Israel

How 9/11 Report Soft-Pedaled Root Causes

by RAY McGOVERN


Former CIA analyst

The 567-page final report released Thursday by the 9/11 Commission provides a wealth of data–indeed, so much detail that it is all too easy to miss the forest for the trees. Comments by the ubiquitous commissioners last weekend yield the clear impression that they would just as soon limit our horizon to the trees.

On CNN’s Late Edition Sunday, Wolf Blitzer braced commission vice chair Lee Hamilton with an unusually blunt question, prompting Hamilton to give the game away. Expressing puzzlement as to why the commission had ventured no recommendation regarding Iraq, Blitzer suggested one: "Don’t go to war with countries that had nothing to do with 9/11."

Caught off balance, Hamilton explained that dealing with the issue of Iraq "would have been highly divisive," and that commission members would not have been able to agree on a recommendation. Then, recovering quickly, he gave the official answer; i. e., that discussing Iraq would have been "well beyond any reasonable interpretation of what we were supposed to do."

Thankfully, the putitave limits on the commission’s mandate did not prevent it from putting the final nail in the coffin in which lies the scarytale favored by Vice President Cheney that Iraq and Al Qaeda were in bed together. Nor, curiously enough, did those limits prevent the commission from leading off its policy recommendations with ones regarding Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

One can be forgiven for being struck at the incongruity of the commission’s silence on Iraq, with 140,000 U.S. troops tied down there and terrorists breeding like rabbits.

Why They Hate Us

The commission’s desire to avoid unpleasantness shows through even more clearly as the final report tiptoes past a core issue–motivation. Chartered to "prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks," the commission might have been expected to devote considerable effort to discerning the "why" of the attacks–especially for those among us who remain impervious to the dumbed-down bromide about the terrorists hating our democracy.

If you read page 147 of the commission report carefully, you will find embedded there a key sentence throwing light on the motive of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whom the report calls the "mastermind of the 9/11 attacks:"

"KSM’s animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel."

A footnote points out that his statements regarding the "why" of attacking the United States echo those of his nephew, Ramzi Yousef, when he was sentenced in New York to a prison term of 240 years in January 1998. Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, accused the United States of supporting Israeli terrorism against Palestinians, adding that he was proud to fight any country that supports Israel.

Hats off to commission staff for shoehorning that information in and to the commissioners who let it stay. This is highly unusual prose for a Washington establishment usually allergic to any hint at the cruel reality that Israel is the tail wagging the dog–the dogs of war let slip on Iraq by those in the Bush administration who draw no distinction between U.S. strategic interests and those of Israel.

Bravo for the commission’s attempt–however timid–to go beyond jingoism in addressing "why they hate us." On page 374 begins a section titled "PREVENT THE CONTINUED GROWTH OF ISLAMIST TERRORISM." There the authors pick up on the conundrum repeatedly expressed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld regarding whether the United States is generating more terrorists than it is killing, and whether the United States needs "a broad, integrated plan to stop the next generation of terrorists."

In gingerly language, the report points out: "America’s policy choices have consequences. Right or wrong, it is simply a fact that American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across the Arab and Muslim world." –or, in the vernacular, "It’s the policy, stupid!"

Michael Scheuer, the CIA analyst author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, emphasizes that Bin Laden’s "genius" is his ability to exploit U.S. policies–first and foremost, our one-sided support for Israel–that are most offensive to Muslims, and notes that it is particularly difficult to have a serious debate regarding U.S. policy toward Israel.

As if to prove Scheuer right, Commissioner Bob Kerrey yesterday on ABC’s This Week recited a mantra that is as familiar as it is mindless: You cannot negotiate; you cannot compromise with those who have reached the conclusion that terrorism is their only option.

But of course. Keep it at that level, Bob. Don’t dare ask the deeper but simple question as to why such people have lost all hope for peaceful change. Have you really forgotten that there can be no peace without justice?

I was reminded of Rumsfeld’s melancholy musing on the same ABC program some months ago: "How do you persuade people not to become suicide bombers; how do you reduce the number of people attracted to terrorism? No one knows how to do that."

Let’s hope that Rumsfeld, Kerrey and others will read and ponder the implications of what is said on pages 374-377 of the 9/11 commission report.

RAY McGOVERN, a CIA analyst for 27 years, is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and a contributor to CounterPunch’s unsparing new history of the Afghanistan/Iraq wars, Imperial Crusades. McGovern can be reached at: RRMcGovern@aol.com

This article first appeared on TomPaine.com.