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.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
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.

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 London Olympics

Let the Muddle Begin

by BINOY KAMPMARK

It has begun.  Oscar-winning Danny Boyle is one of the artistic gatekeepers who was commissioned to deal with the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, and was given £27m to do it.  There was Mary Poppins, the Red Arrows, there was the Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, decked in yellow jersey in front of the Olympic bell.  There was historical context thrown in, idiosyncratic twists and turns.  If people find hope and happiness in such saccharine nonsense, well and good.  There was certainly some bafflement to be had.

The occasion provides a stupefacient, annulling the senses.  If the fireworks show is good, then everything else will go swimmingly.  “What the Olympics have, in their formal, cyclical way,” wrote a clearly moved James Lawton (Independent, Jul 28), “is renewal, a wiping-away of the past and a huge investment not so much in the future but the moment.”  Criticism is muted, even neutered – one “had to be a brave and resilient polemicist last night” to ignore being caught up in that moment.

Then come the almost moronic comparisons – the pissing contest is all de rigueur when it comes to Olympic openings.  Did, for instance, Beijing do it better?  “Watching these open ceremonies,” tweeted Slate’s Matt Yglesias, “fairly confident that China will bury the west.”  Police states must have all the fun at sporting ceremonies.  Marina Warner of the Guardian was thrilled by the “brilliantly irrational night” – and its indigestibility for foreign palettes.  A true muddle of a scene.

Then there was Mitt Romney’s London visit, one that went hopelessly wrong for the US presidential contender.  His own summations of London’s Olympic effort were negative, something that immediately placed his own record regarding the 2002 Winter Games in Utah in the spotlight. Let’s ignore, shall we, the corruption endemic to that event, and the papering over received from federal funding.

Or rather, let’s not.  Former rival Rick Santorum in February remaindered us that, “One of the things he talks about most is how he heroically showed up on the scene and bailed out and resolved the problems of the Salt Lake City Olympic Games.”  He did so by “heroically [bailing] out the Salt Lake City Olympic Games by heroically going to Congress and asking them for tens of millions of dollars to bail out the Salt Lake Games in an earmark.”  An unimpressed Prime Minister David Cameron took his rapier out:   “Of course it’s easier if you hold an Olympics Games in the middle of nowhere.”  Rupert Murdoch’s UK Sun also jointed the criticism – this was “Mitt the Twit” talking.

So, matters are already proving entertaining for London 2012.  Where there is rhetoric on fairness in sport, an actuality of corruption is bound to take precedence.  The ‘peoples games’ is all too often a short hand expression for ‘orgy of the elite’, playground for the terminally cashed.  Be it the sportsmen and women who fight it out on the pitches or the Olympic Committee members who move about their anointed cities like an intergalactic parasite consuming all before them, we know each Olympics when we see it.  London has seen the unfortunate construction and allocation of road lanes dubbed “Zil” lanes (or Game Lanes) – if Stalin’s vehicles could have special access in the proletarian paradise, so can Olympic officials and their various impedimenta.

The introduction of those lanes has been particularly disrupting for motorists.  One can be fined £130 for making unauthorised use of them, and a mass revolt by drivers should be encouraged.  (So far, one item of resistance has been documented – a taxi driver taking the plunge off the Tower Bridge in protest against the exclusivity of those lanes.)  In any case, given that space is at a premium in London’s transport infrastructure, such a move is something the city can ill afford.  On Wednesday, this became all too apparent with the eight-mile clog-up on the M4 motorway.

Transport for London, that Orwellian overseer of a system they scant understand, have been pleased by the compliance of Londoners.  Riots are not imminent – yet.  “Compliance among drivers have been high” (Independent, Jul 25).  There was less compliance on the part of those providing the new cable car system, valued at £45m.  More than 30 cars, equipped with 60 passengers, were suspended 300 ft above Thames on Wednesday.  Emirates Air Line – the geniuses behind it – had some explaining to do.

If not on the roads, then on the Tube – the London transport system will be moving into a well-earned paralysis.  For the duration of this month, there will be regular announcements of delays on every single line of the network.  Globally, the Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith, and City Lines, shall be made more famous than they already are.  Yes, the games have well and truly begun.

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com