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….)
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
Attacks on Polling Stations Leave 13 Dead
With only three days to go until polling booths open in Iraq’s elections, insurgents determined to disrupt the vote carried out a series of attacks on voting stations yesterday, killing at least 12 Iraqis and one US Marine.
The most serious losses occurred when insurgents blew up a school building in Samarra, north of Baghdad, killing 11 Iraqis and one US Marine. The building was scheduled as a voting centre in Sunday’s election. An Iraqi National Guard soldier was also killed when insurgents targeted a joint US-Iraqi force guarding a voting centre in Ramadi.
In the north, a spate of attacks on seven polling stations in Kirkuk provided further evidence that insurgents were fulfilling their promise to create a climate of intimidation in the days leading up to Sunday’s poll.
Iraqis will choose a 275-member legislature and provincial councils across the country. But the election is expected to be overshadowed by a boycott by Sunni Muslim militants, who fear that the elections will concentrate power in the hands of the Shia majority.
As tension mounted, coalition forces stepped up security operations around Baghdad yesterday. The interim Iraqi government announced it would deploy an additional 2,500 troops to help with the elections and hundreds of US soldiers have also been moved from Camp Liberty, near Baghdad’s main airport, to take up positions at smaller bases scattered around the city.
"We’re hoping to enable the Iraqi security forces to be successful in defending the polling sites so their countrymen can vote," said Brig Gen John Basilica, commander of the National Guard’s 256th Brigade. "It’s a critical time for them."
American marines also came under attack yesterday in intermittent clashes with armed fighters near Iskandariyah, about 30 miles south of Baghdad, during which a US Marine died. Another marine was killed yesterday in what the military described as an "accident". In the capital, the notorious Haifa street was once again the scene of fighting between Iraqi forces and insurgents.
An Iraqi soldier was killed and five civilians injured when a suicide car bomb exploded near a patrol in Baqouba. A hospital in the city also confirmed that the body of a former colonel in Iraqi intelligence under Saddam, Talib Minshid, had been discovered following his earlier abduction.