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

Greenscare 2.0

New Cold War Sets Sights on Green Groups

by ALEXANDER REID ROSS

When Russian commandos surrounded Greenpeace activists and arrested them for piracy, it created an international incident. The Arctic 30 have been released since, their boat returned to Greenpeace, and Russia commenced drilling in the Arctic. While Greenpeace is still agitating in the Arctic, the world’s attention has shifted elsewhere—to Ukraine, back to Syria and Iraq, and so on. What has gone unnoticed is that the political repression of the environmental movement, previously known as the Green Scare, has not only gone international, but in doing so, has adapted to international rhetoric—namely a new Cold War.

This is the Green Scare 2.0. Instead of ranting against the “brainwashing” torture tactics of the Communists in Russia and China, western diplomats are insisting that Ruskie agents are driving the annihilation of the West through anti-fracking campaigns. Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign agents law, put into effect in recent years, has characterized any and all organizations deemed threats to industry as agents of deconstruction from abroad.

According to Secretary General of NATO Anders “Fogh of War” Rasmussen, “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas.”

According to Tony Cottee of the grassroots, direct action eco-group Rising Tide, Rasmussen’s comments show “how ludicrously out of touch these people are. He clearly doesn’t know the type of person that has been turning up to demonstrate. There are 60 groups in Frackfree Somerset for example, and this includes the Women’s Institute, church groups—we’ve even got a knitting circle. These protests are involving everyone.”

Greenpeace had some choice words as well, “The idea we’re puppets of Putin is so preposterous that you have to wonder what they’re smoking over at NATO HQ. Mr. Rasmussen should spend less time dreaming up conspiracy theories and more time on the facts.”

In spite of the fact that the UK imported less than 1 percent of its gas from Russia, Rasmussen’s comments illustrate the kind of fear mongering that has overridden conscientious diplomacy in the North Atlantic. In the US, it has already been established that the DHS works with private intelligence corporations and the energy industry to intervene in municipal elections that effect zoning ordinances crucial to industry, while spying on activists and communities. DHS has also tried to link environmental groups with international drug cartels.

Similar public-private spying cases have been revealed in the UK and Australia, with industry hiring undercover investigators to spy on the Mauls Creek blockade in Australia and the UK deploying undercover police notorious for engaging activists in sexual relationships. Canada has dispatched a counterinsurgency team to Alberta on the heels of OKing the Gateway Pipeline, and has published reports on combating First Nations uprising in tandem with environmental and human rights activists. With the hard right gaining important seats in the EU parliament, the trend is likely to get worse.

medium_grabbingback

Arctic Espionage

Espionage is back in vogue with revelations that the NSA has been spying on world leaders at climate summits and beyond, and some of the paranoia may be justified. The most aggressive contention is happening in the Arctic. Russia has reopened a naval base in the region, recalling the Cold War era of submarine surveillance under the sea ice.

Last year, a naval officer was arrested in Canada for spying on behalf of Russia, and a Lloyds Register employee was arrested in Toronto for attempting to give information about Arctic patrol ships to the Chinese. In 2012, a University of Copenhagen employee was arrested on his way to a rendezvous with a Russian diplomat with a briefcase full of public Arctic policy documents under his arm.

The Norwegians have just christened a $250 million spy ship to monitor Russia’s arctic activities. “There is a demand from our political leadership to describe what’s going on in this region,” states Lt. Gen. Kjell Grandhagen. Particularly interesting for the Norwegians is Russia’s oil and gas production, and “military aspects in terms of being able to defend that.” According to Erik Haugland, head of counter-espionage, a foreign agent came to Norway three years ago on a mapping expedition of an underwater cable to Svalbard. You can never be too careful.

For its part, Russia’s new foreign agents law began with a formal registry in 2012. Every NGO barring one refused to register, but the law has been strengthened this year. Within a little more than a week, it was used to suppress Ecodefense, an anti-nuclear group, along with five other groups. The law declares illegal all NGOs working in relation to “political activity.”

According to Ecodefense head, Sliyak, “Throughout its entire history, Ecodefense has made and continues to make decisions by a council consisting of Russian citizens, and never in the interests of any foreign entities.”

Foreign Agents

According to the Russian government, resisting nuclear plants is tantamount to resisting a government plan. It is explicitly political, therefore. The group is also financed by EU grants and German foundations. The fine for administrative violation is $13,000, but

it is also a strike against a group’s reputation. According to the Chariman of the Environment and Rights Center, Alexander Nikitin, “being called a foreign agent is a gravestone—any demonstrations you wish to have, any projects, they’ll all fail as the population looks on you as a foreign spy.”

Putin has also granted vast powers to law enforcement and security agencies to raid NGOs. One of the things that vexes Ecodefense, says Sliyak, is that the group passed inspections. “The prosecutors say no problem, and the Justice Ministry says we are agents—the only thing that changed is that construction at the Baltic NPP stopped.” Sliyak is referring to a nuclear power plant that Ecodefense helped to halt, indicating that the foreign agents law has been enforced punitively.

The escalation of political repression resulting from the new Cold War is to be expected. The beginning of the conflicts can be sourced to the argument over Syria, which Russia wants to continue to use for the “four corners” pipeline networks involving the southern route (Pakistan-Iran-Iraq), the Caspian route (via Turkmenistan), the Crimea, and the Mediterranean. The shift of conflict from Syria to Ukraine signified another resource conflict over infrastructure. The fact is that Europe needs more energy inputs, and aside from scrapping with Russia over routes, the extremists in NATO are attacking its own population as agents of Russia over domestic production. Either way, the gas must flow, the power plants must be built, and disruption is always coming from the other side.

Alexander Reid Ross is co-moderator of the Earth First! Newswire and editor of Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab (AK Press 2014). His work can also be found in Life During Wartime: Resistance Against Counterinsurgency (AK Press 2013).