Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. Cockburn’s rules on how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, he will give CounterPunch a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC
 Day 19

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….)

pp1

or
cp-store

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

Which Menendez Brother Will You Vote For...Lyle or Eric?

Election Day

by WILLIAM S. LIND

An old guy in the barbershop summed up this election best. Choosing between Bush and Kerry, he said, "is like being asked which of the Menendez brothers you like better." As Paul Craig Roberts wrote, it is "the worst election ever."

If we look at both candidates from the standpoint of national security, what do we see? Both talk about the subject endlessly, but neither has anything to say. On Iraq, Kerry, like Bush, refuses to recognize the war is lost. Kerry refuses even to say what Ike said in 1952: "I will bring the boys home." Like Bush, he pretends that the key to victory is training more Iraqi forces, as if training, not loyalty, were the problem.

The landscape is equally bleak if we look beyond the Iraqi debacle ­ America’s Syracuse Expedition. If a voter were trying to determine which candidate would do better at defending the country against Fourth Generation enemies, the checklist might look something like this:

To be able to confront Fourth Generation opponents, our own armed forces must first move from the Second Generation (French-style attrition warfare) to the Third (German-style maneuver warfare, which includes a decentralized, initiative-oriented military culture). Bush has done nothing to make this happen, instead pushing us further up the blind canyon of the "Revolution in Military Affairs," where future enemies are all Second Generation state armed forces whom we defeat through superior (meaning more complex) technology. Kerry has said nothing to suggest he knows the Second Generation from Second Grade.

Adopting a defensive rather than an offensive grand strategy. So long as we are on the grand strategic offensive, threatening to impose our ways on every one else through military force, we will be defeated regardless of how many battles we win. Like Germany in both World Wars, we will generate new enemies faster than we can defeat old ones. Bush promises in every other sentence that "America will stay on the offensive," while Kerry’s foreign policy utterances sound as Wilsonian as any neo-con. Can we be sure Kerry isn’t in fact a neo-con? No.

Developing a "counter-terrorism" capability that, instead of pretending the whole thing is a law-enforcement problem, mimics the way Fourth Generation entities fight and turns it on them. Our armed services can’t do this because it requires a non-hierarchical organization free of the First Generation culture of order. Bush and Kerry both seem as clueless on this as Bart Simpson.

Developing contingency plans for what we do when a Fourth Generation force such as al Qaeda nukes an American city, which is going to happen. Both Presidential candidates suggest their response will be a headless chicken act; in Bush’s case, the chicken never had a head.

Finally, if we are to be able to fight Fourth Generation war we need to figure out what it is. The Pentagon is willfully ignorant, because Fourth Generation war doesn’t justify hi-tech "systems" and vast budgets. Which candidate will undertake the serious military reform we need to re-focus our military on war instead of on money? Bush obviously won’t, because he hasn’t. Kerry hasn’t said a word about it.

So what is a voter who cares about national security to do? Bush has already failed (spectacularly). Kerry seems to be an empty vessel. Hope would suggest a vote for Kerry. Unfortunately, hope is a fool.

What voters need to do is realize we are facing systemic failure. Our vaunted two-party system offers us two choices, neither of whom is fit to be dog-catcher of Podunk, much less President of the United States. It was the same in 2000, in 1996 and in 1992. Reagan looked good, as an actor should, but the last President we had who actually understood things like grand strategy was Richard Nixon. Oh for a happy monarchy, where Nixon would have been foreign minister for 50 years.

As for this monarchist, the political landscape seems so barren to me that it doesn’t matter much who we vote for. What we will get is more of the same. It is not just time for a new king; it is time for a new dynasty.

WILLIAM S. LIND, expressing his own personal opinion, is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation