Annual Fundraising Appeal
 Here’s an important message from John Pilger on why the Left needs CounterPunch:
Pilger
John Pilger is one of the world’s most courageous journalists. He’s been contributing to CounterPunch for years. But as he notes, the old media establishment is crumbling around us, leaving precious few venues for authentic voices from the Left. This collapse makes CounterPunch’s survival an imperative. We’re not tied to any political party or sect. Our writers are free to speak their minds. Let’s keep it that way.  Please donate.

Day12Fixed

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….)
cp-store

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

The Western Criteria for Democracy

As Dangerous as It Gets

by BOUTHAINA SHAABAN

If The New York Times is capable of printing on its pages such a sinister, undiplomatic and uncivilized piece of writing, where do you go to get your news and reach your assessment of today’s world? I am referring to Thomas Friedman’s article "As Ugly as It Gets" that was published on May 25, one day after the announcement of the U.S its new plans to expand "secret Military Acts in Mideast Region" which claims to give up the term "war on terror" only to give the Pentagon and CIA a free hand to use Blackwater contractors "to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. Officials said the order also permits reconnaissance that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate" (see NYT, May 24, by Mark Mazzetti).

Friedman accused the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, of being a deep moral disappointment. Appointing himself as the judge of "proper" democracy, Friedman duly  classified Iran, Venezuela, Brazil and Turkey, as not fit to be included in the democratic roster.  Moreover, he hopes to incite a "green revolution" in Iran, similar to the "orange revolution" of a few years ago in the Ukraine.

On the other hand,  Friedman had nothing to say about the nuclear warheads that Israel wanted to sell to the South African apartheid regime since the 1970s. He preferred to he highlight the vague estimate of his expert sources that "it would only take months for Iran to again amass a sufficient quantity for a nuclear weapon". Iran, which is unable to enrich uranium to 20 per cent, while a nuclear weapon needs 90 per cent; Iran which is a signatory of the NPT, while Israel is not.
  
Had Iran, Turkey, Brazil and Venezuela supported Israel’s crimes today and declared that they do not support the Palestinian people’s right to freedom, contributed to blockading Gaza rather than lifting that blockade, we would have heard that Iran is democratic and that these countries have become “friends” and “allies”.  The Western criterion for democracy in the Middle East is insuring Israel’s security. 

The newly announced clandestine military activity agreed by the Pentagon and the CIA for the Middle East and beyond warns of a new era of instability. The world is again divided into those with us and those against us, but with the efforts to recruit some of the indigenous local people to give "orange revolutions" and "green revolutions" a legitimate cover. We are heading towards a more dangerous future.

BOUTHAINA SHAABAN is Political and Media Advisor at the Syrian Presidency, and former Minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer and professor at Damascus University since 1985. She has been the spokesperson for Syria and was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She can be reached through nizar_kabibo@yahoo.com

 

 

WORDS THAT STICK