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
Nukes by the Numbers
Earlier this week, Senator Lindsay Graham reportedly told a packed house at an AIPAC meeting that he urges a military strike against Iran before that country develops a nuclear bomb. As you know, Iran claims its uranium enrichment program is for civil nuclear power purposes only, and not for nuclear weapons.
Well, the next time Lindsay Graham, Republican senator from South Carolina, or any of his right-wing cronies in Congress happens to mention uranium enrichment, or development of nuclear weapons, consider these numbers from the Brookings Institute archives about our own nuclear ambitions:
The cost for the Manhattan Project, a plan to develop the atom bomb during World War II, through the fall of 1945 was $20 billion.
From 1951 through 1998 alone, the U.S. built nearly 68,000 nuclear missiles, or more than 22,000 nuclear missiles a year.
Total number of nuclear bombers built, in the same period, 4,680
The Army requested more than 150,000 nuclear warheads in the years 1956 and 1956.
Even after the Strategic Offensive Reduction Treaty, the Army is projected to request, in the year 2012, somewhere around 2,000 operational nuclear warheads.
Also, according to the Brookings Institute, the states that have the most nuclear weapons, as of 1999, are New Mexico, Georgia, Washington, Nevada, and North Dakota.
The Department of Energy paid lawyers about $100,000 to ward off litigation from workers and citizens from the fall of 1990 through the spring of 1995.
More than 100 nuclear tests have been conducted in the Pacific, and nearly 1,000 in Nevada.
And, as of 1995, the number of classified pages said to be in the possession of the DOE — at least 280 million.
And, here’s the clincher:
As of twelve years ago, 1998, the date of this study, the U.S. spent approximately $35 billion not just on nuclear weaponry, but on nuclear weapons programs.
Iran’s nuclear ambitions, such as they are, are chump change when compared with what we, in the U.S., have already accomplished. To suggest otherwise would be to say that a goldfish can swallow a shark.
JAYNE LYN STAHL is a widely published poet, essayist, playwright, and screenwriter, member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA.