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

Hillary Clinton's Big Problem

Premature Triangulation

by NORMAN SOLOMON

Two years from now, Hillary Clinton might be pleased to hear the kind of boos and antiwar chants that greeted her days ago when she spoke at the annual Take Back America conference of Democratic activists and argued against a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. But so much of politics is about timing. And right now, Clinton is facing a serious problem of premature triangulation.

As long as she needs support from Democratic primary voters, Hillary Clinton will want to defer the media rewards of an all-out "Sister Souljah moment." Let’s recall that in 1992, when Bill Clinton went out of his way to denounce the then-little-known rap singer Sister Souljah at a Rainbow Coalition conference, he’d already clinched the Democratic presidential nomination and was looking toward the general election.

Bill Clinton’s triangulation gambit, using Sister Souljah as a prop for his calculated move to ingratiate himself with establishment pundits, had been foreshadowed by a Washington Post article that reported the day before: "Some top advisers to Clinton argue that … he must become involved in highly publicized confrontations with one or more Democratic constituencies." The constituency that Clinton chose to polarize with was African-American activists.

These days, and from here to the horizon, there’s no larger or more adamant Democratic constituency than the antiwar voters who want the U.S. military out of Iraq pronto. At this point, Hillary Clinton’s pro-war position is far afield from the views of most grassroots Democrats.

Clinton’s foreseeable game plan is to eventually confront antiwar activists head-on as she portrays herself as a strong-on-defense Newer-Than-New Democrat. Two years from now, if she has the nomination cinched, she’ll be eager to ratchet up her strategy of playing to the gallery of corporate-media journalists by presenting herself as a centrist alternative to both the Republican Party’s right wing and the Democratic Party’s "special interests" (a.k.a., the party’s base).

But first Hillary Clinton would need to win enough delegates to become the party’s presidential nominee. To that end, she’ll try to finesse and blur the war issue in hopes that her hawkish position won’t rub too many Democratic primary voters the wrong way.

It’s not going to be easy. What happened at the Take Back America conference the other day was mild compared to what Hillary Clinton has coming in primary and caucus battleground states once the presidential campaign begins in earnest. And she may encounter unexpected difficulties as her pro-war reputation grows.

If Hillary Clinton thinks she can postpone an all-out confrontation with the antiwar movement until a time and place of her tactical choosing, she’s going to be very disappointed. And at the end of her 2008 quest, Clinton may discover that she has triangulated herself right out of the nomination.

NORMAN SOLOMON is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. His e-mail is: mediabeat@igc.org.