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.

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DigarguN hai jahaN taroN ki gardish tez hai Saqi

Ghazal

by MUHAMMAD IQBAL

Translation by M. Shahid Alam

The world changes utterly: the stars spin faster, O Saqi.
In every heart I hear the cry of surrender, O Saqi.

God’s journeymen have lost their arts, their certainty.
Whose artifice deceives them, who has this power, O Saqi.

Weak-willed, weak-hearted, dimly they mope about.
Deep is their need for that life-enhancing elixir, O Saqi.

The Muslim lacks the fire that can ignite his heart.
Why is the birth of spirit so hard to deliver, O Saqi.

There rises none like Rumi from the gardens of ‘Ajam.
Persia is the same, unchanged her sky and water, O Saqi.

Iqbal will not walk away from his fields laid waste.
A little dew and sweat will revive its power, O Saqi.

This dervish is privy to the rites, the rigors of power.
His words are rare, he ignites visions of splendor, O Saqi.


M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, and author of Challenging the New Orientalism: Dissenting Essays on America’s ‘War Against Islam’ (IPI Publications: 2007). He may be reached at alqalam02760@yahoo.com.

© M. Shahid Alam