"Bomb Teheran!" Urges Jilted Condi?


An Iranian MP said Thursday that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice holds a grudge against Iran “because until today she hasn’t gotten over her Iranian boyfriend dumping her when she was a university student.” The MP, Shakrallah Atar, claimed the faithless lad was from Kazwin , some eighty miles west of Teherean. Atar said his source was a female MP whose name he would not disclose.

Reporting this story the London-based Al Quds Al Arabi commented that “This is not the first time that Iranians used romantic reasons for diplomatic stands. Last year, the newspaper said, rumors spread that the German foreign minister Youshka Fisher’s tone had tightened against Iran because he was having an affair with an Iranian young girl who was against the Iranian regime. Other rumors, the newspaper said, indicated that the head of the IAEA, Mohammed Al Baradia’s soft stance with regards to the Iranian nuclear file was because he had an Iranian wife.”

So just add the claim to the bulging Condee file, already ripe with allegations ranging from intimacy with the Commander in Chief to her Sapphic preference.


“Honey, Save Roe v Wade!”
Is This Really Laura Bush’s Pillow Talk?

This Friday, in the piece by your CounterPunch editors about the impending resignations of O’Connor and Rehnquist, we noted the pro-choice stance of
Laura Bush as a possible factor in the battle for what is optimistically described as the President’s “mind”.

Jack McCarthy, Talahassie’s answer to Dean Swift, immediately asked what evidence we had for such a claim about the First Lady, about whose hold on Cockburn he jestingly animadverted. Cockburn responded that Laura had evinced support for women’s right to chose back in the dawn of the Bush presidency, drawing harsh rebukes from the ultra-Christians for her frankness.

Jack obviously didn’t believe a word of this and did some research of his own and then gallantly agreed that I’d got the “basic facts” right. In fact it was during the presidential campaign of 2000 that Laura indicated her support for Roe v Wade. Then, in interviews with NBC and CNN in January, 2001, she said forthrightly Roe v Wade shouldn’t be overturned. In 2004, a reporter asked Laura whether she’d changed her view on abortion. She answered, “Yes, I think abortion should be rare.” Mrs Bush also told Times reporter Bill Sammon that she agreed with President Bush that human life begins at conception.


Race-Baiting at the Neshoba County Fair

In her very fine piece that ran on June 10-11 about Mississippi and its dark history, Heather Gray recalled how Ronald Reagan launched his campaign for the presidency in 1979 with a speech at the Neshoba county fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi, not far from where the three civil rights workers, Goodman, cheney and Schwerner, were murdered by the Klan. The speech signaled a fierce amping up of Nixon’s “southern strategy”, with coded appeals to racis, under the banner of states’ rights. Many saw this as pivotal to Reagan’s victory.

What Heather wrote about Reagan and the Neshoba Fair is true. But I reminded her that in 1988 the Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis copied Reagan, and went to the Neshoba County Fair right after the Democratic convention in Atlanta where Jackson had made a great and generous speech about the rainbow, and how the party “needed two wings to fly”.

Dukakis’ decision to go to Philadelphia, Mississippi, in early August was a savage rebuff to Jackson and black hopes. And Dukakis’ cowardice and opportunism didn’t stop there. In his speech at the Fair Dukakis never mentioned the three civil rights workers who had been murdered nearby. The irony is that Dukakis then got hit with the whole Willie Horton bucket of sewage by Bush’s campaign manager Lee Atwater. (And where did Atwater get the Horton case from? From Al Gore, who’s used it against Dukakis in the primaries.)

Apropos racist appeals, Already in ’76 Jimmy Carter was using the phrase “ethnic purity” to describe white neighborhoods and schools and tossing out phrases about “alien groups” and “black intrusion”.To quote one historian, “Interjecting into [a community] a member of another race” or “a diametrically opposite kind of family” or a “different kind of person” threatened what Carter called the admirable value of “ethnic purity”)

On Heather’s larger theme of racism in Mississippi, I was in New Orleans at the Jazz Fest this spring and Randy Newman sang his song Rednecks, which ends,

Now your northern nigger’s a negro
You see he’s got his dignity
Down here we’re too ignorant to realize
That the north has set the nigger free

Yes he’s free to be put in a cage
In harlem in new york city
And he’s free to be put in a cage in the south-side of chicago
And the west-side
And he’s free to be put in a cage in hough in cleveland
And he’s free to be put in a cage in east st. louis
And he’s free to be put in a cage in fillmore in san francisco
And he’s free to be put in a cage in roxbury in boston
They’re gatherin’ ’em up from miles around
Keepin’ the niggers down.

The laughs from the crowd in front of the Sprint stage at Jazzfest were somewhat nervous.

Heather Gray’s piece elicited more than one striking response, including g this dignified communiqué from the office of the Attorney General of Texas.

From: Richard Escamilla
Sent: Jun 10, 2005 12:35 PM
To: hmcgray@earthlink.net
Subject: counterpunch article

to paraphrase the Saturday Night Live skit……Heather, you ignorant slut. Is this all you can write about is events of 3 to 5 decades ago and insinuate that nothing has changed? You are the one that refuses to acknowledge the change that has occurred and you are the one who agitates for ignorance. Spare me your freakin leftist sensibilities and hate-speech. You make me want to puke….

Richard L Escamilla
Office of the Attorney General
Phone: 512-460-6419
Fax: 512-460-6800
Pager: 512-235-5023


The Tedium Twins

My old parody of PBS’s Jim Lehrer and his erstwhile tedium twin, Robin McNeil, met with approval from many CounterPunchers.

From: Morton Skorodin @asis.com
Subject: right wing pbs

Mr. Cockburn,

Great piece on PBS. C-SPAN is almost the same. Claim to be neutral; Brian Lamb is an ICONOBLAST (the opposite of iconoclast) – it’s very well-managed. He snickered at a caller who was a Hawaiian “nationalist.” Right wing think tanks dominate on CSPAN- e.g. Heritage Found, AEI. They quote the Wash. Times daily. One caller counted 40 Republicans to 21 Democrats. Progressives tolerated rarely – Howard Zinn was on recently. In all fairness CSPAN 2 has some progressive coverage.

Also, Lamb’s book – it’s chronological – and it completely skips the 60’s.

Lamb hung up on me twice; I accused the pres. of treason.

And this from Tom Bernhardt,

I enjoyed your article and parody of the Newshour. I frankly haven’t watched it for years for the reasons you demonstrate. However, I believe your parodies give them too much credit. For example, in the case of the cannibalism debate, the two “sides” would have been really represented by a human flesh association spokesman who would be arguing for only some increased regulation compensated for by increased subsidies and a lobbyist from the beef industry decrying how cannibalism was taking away ranch jobs. To put it all into perspective and give balance, the deputy head of the FDA would provide inconclusive reports on the relative nutritional value of beef and human flesh.


Those Controversial Google Ads: Some CounterPunchers Scoff at “Negative Purists”

Several CounterPunchers rallied eloquently to the support of CounterPunch editors battered by prissy rebukes for trying to make ends meet by running the ads you now find discreetly perched at the end of each web page article.

Dear Alex,

Far be it from me to complain about the Google ads, even if clicking this evening brought me to a chortle-worthy Christianity Today article attempting to spin the Crusades. I’ll gladly support Counterpunch this way and, when fortunes allow, through resuming my subscription.

What I wish to warn you about: the ads aren’t visible here using Firefox on OS X. Had you not made gentle mention, I’d never have known about them. This may be due to my having run the Ad Blocker extension in the browser to tame animation-happy web sites, but even disabling that feature didn’t turn on your ads. I had to fire up the dread Internet Explorer to effect my clicks; so, word to the wise.

Best, Richard Cretan

Now that’s what I call dedication to our welfare!

Here’s one more vivid endorsement of our efforts to give the good ship CounterPunch some extra financial ballast (though it has to be said that, thus far, Google ad revenue has been on the meager side.

Dear CounterPunch,

Even convicted villains can sometime tell the truth. The pompous, disgraced British ‘writer’ Jeffrey Archer once did just that. “The freedom of time is the greatest luxury,” he wrote somewhere. Those of us who have that freedom should rejoice that we have so painless a method of swelling CounterPunch coffers. For instance, I’d like to have Tony Blair’s nose surgically attached to Dubya’s anus, but I am happy to click on the Thank Tony Blair link. And, some of the Google links are unexpected sources of interesting items, perhaps bringing
up things that are genuinely unknown to the surfer. One of the links, to yet another ‘conspiracy’ site, was such a pleasure because spelling, grammar, and composition was so clean and
well-formulated. And, it added to my understanding of how the swine are taking-over the entire world.

So, well done CounterPunch. Don’t let the negative ‘purists’ bring you down or deter you from doing whatever you must to stay alive!


















Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined!, A Colossal Wreck and An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents are available from CounterPunch.