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
I’m Already Against the Next War and You Should Be Too
This week, the boogeyman is North Korea. Is anyone surprised? The Stalinist “Hermit Kingdom” is right out of central casting. Isolated, always bellicose, unpredictable, and on a war footing for decades: If the Korean War was an American citizen, it would be deciding about now whether to take Social Security early or keep brandishing its atomic weapons for a few more years.
But that narrative is shaped by nearly unavoidable bias. It’s easy to bash North Korea, but if I address my own knowledge of the country honestly, I must admit that most of what I think I know about it is really just what other governments choose to tell me. And those other governments routinely lie — to everyone, about everything, day in and day out, as a matter of policy so ingrained in their character that it can only be accurately characterized as pathological.
So, I can’t really know whether Kim Jong Un is a nuke-waving megalomaniac or a milquetoast reformist whose every public utterance is filtered by other states’ censors to make him LOOK like a nuke-waving megalomaniac, pursuant to those other states’ agendas.
Nor can I know whether his generals are egging him on to confrontation, or working frantically to cool things down. Or whether his armies are the brainwashed oriental hordes of US propaganda or just a starving gaggle of scarecrows who’ll throw down their weapons and throw up their hands the first time they see what a US “smart bomb” does to their positions along the DMZ.
If this particular war breaks out — or to be more exact, breaks out again — we’ll be deluged with detailed accounts of how “they” fired first and how the “free world” merely responded in kind. And once again, we’ll have no way of knowing whether those accounts are true stories or heaping piles of bovine scat. The most we’ll really be able to know (and then only if we’re willing to look closely and carefully) is that even if Kim is as bad as we’re told he is, his adversaries aren’t much better on their best days.
And of course we can know — when we take the time to think about it, we DO know — that war is evil, that as Sherman put it, it is “all hell,” and that it always, every time, serves the interests of the politicians and their crony corporate profiteers at the expense of the victims on all sides who pay the butcher’s bill in blood, treasure or both.
The state did not invent war (in fact it may have been the other way around), but the state has normalized war. It has perpetuated, and continually worked to perfect, wholesale murder for four centuries now. Not just Kim’s state, but all of them. Even if anarchy resulted only in Hobbes’s imperfect, retail “war of all against all” — a doubtful proposition, in my opinion — that would be a dramatic improvement.
Thomas L. Knapp is Senior News Analyst at the Center for a Stateless Society. He served as a US Marine infantry NCO in the first Gulf War.