Here’s an important message to CounterPunch readers from
Here at CounterPunch we love Barbara Ehrenreich for many reasons: her courage, her intelligence and her untarnished optimism. Ehrenreich knows what’s important in life; she knows how hard most Americans have to work just to get by, and she knows what it’s going to take to forge radical change in this country. We’re proud to fight along side her in this long struggle. We hope you agree with Barbara that CounterPunch plays a unique role on the Left. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.
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
If President Bush had any foresight at all, he’d intervene in the Darfur mayhem just to slice a wedge in the antiwar movement. President Nixon attempted to do such a thing in the early 1970s when his administration helped establish the Environmental Protection Agency.
Nixon thought the antiwar movement at the time was largely made of up radical environmentalists, so he figured why not divide the movement by appeasing a few of the enviros’ wishes. Fortunately for those who wanted U.S. armed forces out of Vietnam, Nixon’s ploy didn’t work. Today, the Save Darfur campaign is the cause du jour for the liberal wing of the antiwar movement. And unlike Nixon and the EPA in the ’70s, if Bush gets involved in Darfur he may well derail the mounting opposition to the war in Iraq.
George Clooney and a handful of other Hollywood big shots, along with over 164 humanitarian and religious groups, are now calling on the United States to hustle troops over to stop the ethnic conflict. Bin Laden, in his latest radio hit (if it was really him), claimed the Darfur region of the Sudan, which is largely Muslim, would be the next stop for the U.S. imperial armies. Let’s hope he’s wrong, even if Clooney and Amnesty International desire it. The United States, if troops were deployed, would most likely only escalate the deaths, not end them. There is absolutely no reason to believe that shipping young Americans off to the Horn of Africa to die would result in anything tangible or worthwhile. Sadly, the bloody conflict would likely continue regardless.
Some little-known facts about the Darfur situation: Both sides in the conflict are black, and both sides are Muslim. So, despite what the major news media may say, this isn’t an Arab-on-black or Muslim-on-Christian nightmare. And perhaps worst of all, there isn’t a good side to be on. Both have committed horrible atrocities, and both want to slaughter the other. Not to mention that entering the region militarily would only feed right into bin Laden’s rhetoric much like we did when we shocked and awed Baghdad. So I think it’s safe to say that hatred of the U.S. would only increase among closet jihadists in the Middle East and elsewhere if we invaded Darfur. That doesn’t make us, or them, any safer.
You may recall that President Clinton did his part to end the violence in the Sudan when he fired a few missiles at a pharmaceutical plant in 1998. It didn’t do much good; it led to countless deaths and probably prompted al-Qaeda to attack the United States quicker. There is no reason to believe that an intervention by Bush would result in anything different. And never mind that the United States isn’t all that great at "humanitarian interventions".
1992 saw the invasion of Somali, which by most accounts was an utter failure. Thousands of innocent Somalians died while others were brutally raped by UN peacekeeping forces. And for all those who claim that the late 90s Kosovo war a just conflict, don’t forget that thousands of ordinary people were killed because of our intervention. Oh yeah, and NATO is still occupying the place.
There are other reasons we ought not act on all of our humanitarian impulses, however well intentioned they may seem. Unlike Darfur, we’ve got wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan that actually involve us. In fact, we are responsible for them. Want to help bring peace to the Middle East? Why not pressure the U.S. government to halt all funding to Israel? That’d be a heck of a start.
There are atrocities for which the U.S. government is culpable, but Darfur isn’t one of them. So don’t jump on the Save Darfur bandwagon it may only lead to more devastation.
JOSHUA FRANK, author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, edits http://www.BrickBurner.org