Matching Grant Challenge
BruceMatch
We’re slowly making headway in our annual fund drive, but not nearly fast enough to meet our make-or-break goal.  On the bright side, a generous CounterPuncher has stepped forward with a pledge to match every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, he will give CounterPunch a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate.
 unnamed

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….)

pp1

or
cp-store

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

Somewhere Real People are at the Controls

Predator-Automatons?

by WILLIAM MANSON

“Automaton—person who behaves like a robot…”

—Oxford Desk Dictionary

Once unchained—like a voracious predator–the U.S. War Machine is monomaniacal, hyper-focused, relentless in its purpose.  Like those robots designed to repair and rebuild themselves, but on a vastly greater scale, the Machine becomes self-driven and self-perpetuating, a mindless Juggernaut of  “Apache” helicopter-gunships, “Hellfire” missiles, incendiary munitions.  Once set in motion—under the cloak of NATO or some other “coalition”—the Machine immediately goes into hyper-drive: thousands of air “sorties,” “operations,” night raids, bombings, burnings, “surgical” strikes (by very blunt, bloody instruments).  A deranged Colossus, wheeling and staggering and lumbering about, crushing villages, pulverizing “targets,” burning children—all rationalized, in delusional terms, as mere “collateral damage.” 

Once it invades, the Machine seeks-and-destroys the enemy.  And who is the enemy?  Those who resist (“insurgents”?), those who may resist, those who may be secretly planning to resist, those who may be harboring someone who may be planning to resist.  Root them out, “cleanse” the defined battleground of all those who would stand in the way of…what?  Total occupation?  Total “pacification”?  Total submission.  “Transition” to “friendly” regimes which streamline privatization and capital investment through dispossessing the people from their own resources and public infrastructure. 

A positive-feedback-loop of escalating madness: invasion and attack meet with “resistance,” which must be further crushed with more strikes and “surges” and “sorties.”  To guarantee “victory”–or at least the “success” of the however-ill-defined “mission”—all those still alive to resist must be hunted down and destroyed.  Yet the loop is further amplified because those killed had friends and sons and comrades who will not forget their deaths.  Thus, new pockets of “insurgency” appear, new episodes of violent resistance (e.g., IEDs)–once again re-activating this lurching Machine into attack-mode—into a nightmare of destroyed villages, senseless killings en masse, and hundreds of thousands of people forced to leave their homes and flee, destination (and ultimate fate) unknown. 

The Predator-Drone, uncanny and unpredictable, appearing suddenly and striking with deadly firepower, terrorizes and incinerates innocent people in places like Afghanistan and Yemen.  Yet somewhere, somehow, real people are “at the controls,” real people trained to act like automatons of death, real people ultimately accountable, to themselves and to humanity, for their moral failure and criminal transgressions.

William Manson formerly taught social science at Rutgers and Columbia universities. He is the author of The Psychodynamics of Culture (Greenwood Press).