Annual Fundraising Appeal

The US Geological Survey recorded a minor earthquake this morning with its epicenter near Wasilla, Alaska, the probable result of Sarah Palin opening her mail box to find the latest issue of CounterPunch magazine we sent her. A few moments later she Instagrammed this startling comment…

Ayers

The lunatic Right certainly has plenty of problems. We’ve made it our business to not only expose these absurdities, but to challenge them directly. With another election cycle gaining steam, more rhetoric and vitriol will be directed at progressive issues. More hatred will be spewed at minorities, women, gays and the poor. There will be calls for more fracking and war. We won’t back down like the Democrats. We’ll continue to publish fact-based critiques and investigative reports on the shenanigans and evil of the Radical Right. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.

Day10

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….)
button-store2_19

or use
pp1

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

Congress Fold Again

AIPAC Intervenes on Iran

by BADRUDDIN KHAN

It has happened again, and in the open. The American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) which heads a network of pro-Israeli lobbies, persuaded Congress to drop a provision which would have required President Bush to ask for Congressional approval prior to attacking Iran.

As reported in the May 16, 2007 issue of The Hill:

"The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), an influential group that advocates strong U.S. ties with Israel, lobbied heavily to remove the Iran provision in the supplemental, arguing that the measure would weaken President Bush’s attempts to dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons."

This intervention by AIPAC to permit President Bush to act without Congressional debate was widely reported, as was AIPAC’s earlier intervention with a supplemental budget bill.

In other words, a Democratic Congress elected to end the Iraq war has willingly given up its right (and responsibility) to engage in public debate prior to a new act of war against Iran, a sovereign nation. By voting to look the other way, Congress has left this war decision to the discretion of an unpopular president, who has already failed once.

Why on earth would the Democrats, empowered to change the administration’s current foreign policy regime, ignore popular will? One reason, of course, is AIPAC.

It is now generally seen by all (but noticed by few) that AIPAC interests dominate US strategy in the Mideast. Its influence over our centralized power centers in Washington and elsewhere is widely discussed. This grip on power is exercised ruthlessly, and frequently, and pre-emptively by AIPAC. A good (short) writeup that describes AIPAC’s ominous methods is Michael Massing’s essay in the New York Review of Books, June 8, 2006. An excellent (longer) writeup is the classic Harvard Kennedy School paper by Profs. Mearscheimer & Walt.

To trace AIPAC’s ascent, one has to start by acknowledging the admirable democratic instincts of Americans as individuals. These instincts are founded in our belief in the self-evident equality of all citizens. Local volunteer organizations, churches, and philanthropic dedication are testaments to our commitment to our communities and to our democratic foundation. America’s strength derives from this foundation, which shapes its identity and guides its purpose.

The further we get from our communities, however, the looser the resemblance of the power-process to actual democracy. As we reach Washington and the centralized halls of power, the balance tilts from one-person-one-vote towards one-dollar-one-vote. This is where foreign policy is made, this is where money, organization, and crafty strategies matter, and this is where lobbyists cut deals behind the scenes. This is where the irrational behavior of our elected politicians is explained through spin, and manipulated through money. This is the home turf of lobbyists, and of AIPAC.

AIPAC has apparently been good for Israel. On his last trip to the US, Israel’s Prime Minister Olmert publicly thanked the US for the destruction of Iraq (the neoconservatives would have called it "creative destruction"), and then unambiguously pointed the finger in Iran’s direction. Nobody had the patriotic courage to raise the obvious question: attacking Iran may be good for Israel, but is it good for the US? And, is there conflict of interest at work?

BADRUDDIN KHAN lives in San Francisco. He can be reached at: bkhan@hotmail.com