Here’s an important message to CounterPunch readers from Chris Hedges….
Chris Hedges calls CounterPunch “the most fearless, intellectually rigorous and important publication in the United States.” Who are we to argue? But the only way we can continue to “dissect the evils of empire” and the “psychosis of permanent war” is with your financial support. 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….)
Don’t want to donate through PayPal?
Then click here to donate through our secure server.
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
Ahmadinejad Steals the Show
All the furor, and media feeding frenzy over Ahmadinejad’s comments at a meeting of the United Nations on Thursday couldn’t have been better timed.
When Iran’s Machiavelli decided to vent about the U.S. exploiting the bombing of the World Trade Center as a pretext for invading and toppling sovereign states in the Middle East, members of the U.S. delegation and those of several other European nations reportedly headed for the door. This makes for good copy, but does it make for good diplomacy? More to the point, such high theatrics steal the show rendering any other news coverage impossible.
So, when Ahmadinejad told FOX News, that it was time for a "fact finding mission" to find out who the real culprits were behind 9/11 as, in his opinion, the U.S. government was behind the attack, he was clearly stoking the fire of middle America by saying "such an insane and nutty thing." He was also driving up the ratings of all the major television news networks that covered the story.
While the president might consider the Iranian leader’s comments "hateful" and "offensive," he allowed what was predictable, and won’t even wind up as a footnote in history books, to hold America’s attention captive for 48 hours.
What’s more, the president did not deny Ahmadinejad’s claim, as the Associated Press reports, that the U.S. has allocated $80 billion to upgrade our nuclear arsenal nor the hypocrisy of working with Russia, India, and Israel on their nuclear arsenals in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He merely went along with the drama by instead focusing on the shamefulness of those remarks, especially so close to ground zero. What’s really shameful is that the claim can’t be refuted.
Nobody is defending Ahmadinejad’s statements which were, at best, wildly inappropriate, but something else is being lost in the shuffle. The Obama administration and the mainstream media enabled furor over Ahmadinejad, as well as all the hooplah over the building of a Muslim community center at ground zero, at a time when Texas has decided to limit the number of references to Islam in future history textbooks. If we treat people as enemies, do they not become enemies?
Moreover, the news that poses the greatest threat to national security was eclipsed, deliberately or otherwise, by the visit of a the man who is, and has always been, essentially the fall guy for the Ayatollah.
On Friday, when most of America was preparing itself for the weekend, and after nonstop news coverage of Ahmadinejad’s follies, it was announced that the feds have taken over three major credit unions.
It was also announced, on Friday, that Citigroup is awarding many of its executives with millions of dollars of salary raises in stocks. Citigroup, as you know, is partly owned by the government, and was the recipient, according to the AP, of $45 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or government bailout money. So, in essence, your tax dollars are again going into the pockets of top executives with the stock market being used as a money-laundering operation.
While there is a federal pay cap on how much any chief executive can earn, one can supplement their compensation by awarding them millions in stock options which is precisely what Citigroup has done.
British deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, told the General Assembly that Ahmadinejad’s "remarks were intended to distract attention from Iran’s obligations and to generate media headlines."
The response by the United States and representatives of those other 27 other European nations who walked out of the United Nations, and those news outlets that covered the story nonstop, to Ahmadinejad’s remarks effectively deflected attention away from the fact those who have been sticking their hands into our pockets to enrich themselves are still at it.
JAYNE LYN STAHL is a widely published poet, essayist, playwright, and screenwriter, member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA.