Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely 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….)

or use

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

 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

"I Didn't Sign Up for the Navy to be in the Army!" The Other Military Draft

The Other Military Draft


"There sure as hell is a draft going on," the passenger sitting next to me said begrudgingly as the flight attendant handed him a ginger ale on our way in to Los Angeles last week. "I signed up to be in the Navy, not the damn Army."

It will be his third deployment to Iraq in four years but his first to be served on shore. Thousands of Navy and Air Force personnel are now serving non-traditional roles in Iraq — posts they never signed up for. Steven, who asked I not use his last name in print, said he’s to receive six weeks of weapons training at a California Army base before being flown over to Iraq for a year-long deployment.

"We’ve all heard of the stop-loss policy, there’s even a new movie about it, but few know about what else is happening in our armed forces right now," Steven explained. "The back door draft is real, for sure, but here we are being shipped off to Iraq to basically serve in the infantry. It’s ridiculous."

The Department of Defense reports that sailors and Air Force members are carrying out many different missions in Iraq, from traditional duties in the air and sea to construction jobs, medical operations, civil affairs, custom inspection, security and detention operations. Most are promised non-combative roles in Iraq, but many have found themselves to be in harms way once they arrive.

In 2007 the Navy sent roughly 2,200 "individual augmentees", as the service calls them, to handle combat-related duties with Marine and Army units stationed in Iraq. As of early April, 2008, 92 Navy and 46 Air Force personnel had been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, with those numbers sure to rise as the U.S. troop surge continues into its second year.

On March 31, 400 Navy reservists who had received training at military bases in Virginia were shipped back to Iraq. "The good news and bad news about this is that we are out doing things that our people weren’t originally trained for," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley in a speech last year.

Such a trend has increased over the past several years. In 2006, for example, there were 4000 Air Force members in Iraq, but that number has jumped significantly. Now the Pentagon reports that over 6000 are to serve in the country by year’s end.

"Technically, these combat-related assignments do not violate service members’ contracts," said Lawrence Korb, who handled manpower as assistant secretary of defense during the Reagan administration. "But many … are not volunteering for these jobs — they’re being told to do them."

Military recruitment numbers across the board are dwindling, and as result all branches of the service are being overextended to maintain current troop levels in Iraq. Aside from combat-related roles, however, sailors and Air Force members have been deployed in order to protect U.S. economic interests in the region — from oil pipelines to Halliburton’s numerous reconstruction projects.

And that’s what seems to have sailors like Steven irked at the troop surge and his new job in Iraq.

"It’s a draft, plain and simple. I don’t care what they call it," Steven told me as our plane landed at LAX. "I didn’t sign up for the Navy to be in the Army. But I’m going because I don’t feel I have a choice. I have children to feed and a mortgage to pay."

JOSHUA FRANK is co-editor of Dissident Voice and author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush (Common Courage Press, 2005), and along with Jeffrey St. Clair, the editor of the forthcoming Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance in the Heartland, to be published by AK Press in June 2008.