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. These were Cockburn’s rules for 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, CounterPunch will get a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC (This photo of Alexander Cockburn and Jasper, on the couch that launched 1000 columns, was taken in Petrolia by Tao Ruspoli)
 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

Somebody Should Tell Bush He Lost Iraq

The Cheerleader at Annapolis

by MIKE WHITNEY

It’s pathetic to see the world’s most powerful man, shunted into prearranged venues so he can pitch his snake-oil to college aged boys. That said, Bush’s appearance today at the Naval Academy has got to be a new low for the White House public relations team. Apparently the only people buying the huckster-in-chief’s bedraggled vision of a democratic Iraq are rosy-cheeked young men who dream of battlefields instead of girlfriends.

Is this the last place Bush can count on a round of applause without body-scanning everyone who enters the door?

"Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorist tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder and invite new attacks on America," Bush boomed.

Bush loves the applause. He luxuriates in the warm glow of human affection. In many ways he is the consummate politician feeding his fragile ego with the ephemeral praise of complete strangers. Too bad, his only springboard to fame has been as bullhorn for right-wing fanatics and war-mongers. Now, he finds himself toddling on a narrower and narrower ledge, peering down into the abyss of defeat and disgrace.

"To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your commander-in-chief."

Who could have dreamed that events would overtake Bush so quickly? A hawkish congressman takes the floor of the House and whispers "Withdrawal" and suddenly the whole neocon master-plan begins to unravel like a ball-o-yarn skittering across the kitchen floor.

The Bush team knows they’re losing ground; and fast. That’s why they dispatched poor Rummy to 4 TV talk shows on one morning alone. That must be some kind of record. Rumsfeld was reduced to rehashing the same lame gibberish the administration has been slinging for years, only this time, no one is buying. The air is hissssing out of the tire; the momentum has shifted. The country is tired of Bush, tired of war, and tired of Iraq.

Bush-fatigue has set in like an oily pall hanging over the nation.

"At this time last year there were only a handful of Iraqi battalion’s ready for combat," Bush thundered. "Now, there are over 120 Iraqi Army and police combat battalions in the fight against the terrorists, typically comprised of between 350 and 800 Iraqi forces. Of these about 80 Iraqi battalions are fighting side-by-side with coalition forces, and about 40 others are taking the lead in the fight."

Lies, lies, and more lies. Mountains of lies; oceans of lies; an entire constellation of lies where every twinkling point of light is just another fraud issued from the raspy larynx of the master of mendacity, George W. Bush."

This is Bush’s "Victory Strategy"; stacking one deception on top of another like cord-wood and hoping the wary public will believe it; hoping they’ll approve another zillion dollars for earth-poisoning ordinance; hoping they’ll send another 2,000 sons and daughters into the Iraqi meat-grinder; hoping they’ll sign off on the genocidal attack on Iraqi civilians.

Bush "war-whoop" has lost its resonance; its allure. The bubble-president has become a shadow of his former self; a tattered coat on a stick. Perhaps, he doesn’t know that the battle is lost.

All around him a palpable sense of desperation is setting in. Cheney and Rove are already manning the bunkers for next tsunami of bad news. Still, Bush is sent on his fool’s errand; trying to appear popular in the last remaining bastion, where support is reflexive and perfunctory.

The war in Iraq is lost. John Murtha said it best:

"Oil production and energy production are below pre-war levels. Our reconstruction efforts have been crippled by the security situation. Only $9 billion of the $18 billion appropriated for reconstruction has been spent. Unemployment remains at about 60 percent. Clean water is scarce. Only $500 million of the $2.2 billion appropriated for water projects has been spent. And most importantly, insurgent incidents have increased from about 150 per week to over 700 in the last year. Instead of attacks going down over time and with the addition of more troops, attacks have grown dramatically. Since the revelations at Abu Ghraib, American casualties have doubled. An annual State Department report in 2004 indicated a sharp increase in global terrorism."

Iraq is over; we lost. Someone had better tell Bush.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com