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
Huffing and Puffing to Failure
This week: CNN’s obsession with the reflection in Dick Cheney’s sunglasses. This is not reportage. It’s inanity, filler. Bill Clinton. He needs to stay at home, bake cookies and stuff them in his mouth when he gets the urge to bring up an issue that, finally, has died down, and let his wife wear the pantsuit. Obama. Well, he should say "good for Jimmy Carter for wanting to meet with Hamas." And John McBush should never again use the word ‘trollop’ when attacking his wife Cindy. The word is archaic and marks him as the moldy, passé, cruel, old creep-from-another era that he is.
Also, and most relevant:
General David Petraeus will know the conditions for troop withdrawals when he sees them. He and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker stayed their course when they gave us nothing but stay the course.
Because they and the top war wolves, George Bush and Dick Cheney, would have us believe that there is the prospect of success in Iraq. Never mind the immorality of an illegal war. Let us just focus on the road to the prospect of victory-a road that’s hard to find or follow, even harder to define, and more difficult, still, to explain to the Senate and to the American public. The entire Petraeus and Crocker production was contrived to be murky. Watching it could have been funny if war were a comedy, people weren’t being slaughtered daily, and if a civilization hadn’t been obliterated. What exactly is war to those who manipulate the joystick? Is it exhilarating like an arcade game is to adolescents who are racking up high scores?
The questions (?) asked during the Patraeus/Crocker hearings by senators complicit in the Iraq War Crime provide evidence of the charade inflicted on us. Ever since Congressmen and women handed control of their minds to the president, they have been meaningless objects. The Bush Administration has erased them and their power to balance the balance of power. Some posture in opposition to continuing the occupation of Iraq because their constituents have spoken. But they huff and puff, accomplishing nothing except embarrassment, frustration, and a wide invitation to criticism. Others repeat the stupid position that if we leave Iraq before achieving success, the terrorists will follow us home.
So, who should question Petraeus and Crocker? Our troops and the Iraqi people. Polls show that a majority of our military serving in Iraq think that the occupation should end. They no longer believe in what they were sent to accomplish. And a majority of Iraqis want us out of their country.
But this will never happen. The big, bad wolves of war have silenced true debate and substantive questioning with their use of fear and nationalism.
Bush has stated that he will give Gen. Petraeus all the time he needs to determine conditions-conditions which will decide the fate of our troops and the destiny of Iraqis who have survived the devastation of their country. Since Congress has neutered itself, we, the citizenry, should act to restore a constitutional government. We must take to the streets, shouting down not just Bush and Cheney but members of Congress who have ceded their oaths. We can’t be complacent while our elected officials continue to huff and puff and blow up the world.
Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com