Monthly Archives: August 2014

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Humanitarian aid, arms trade and refugees.

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This is the story of how the Syrian war reached out 5,000 miles across the globe and destroyed at least 29 Lebanese lives in the Indian Ocean. It is a story of tragic irony; the destitute Lebanese families who wanted … Continue reading

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Changed “Terror War” strategies?

Profitable armaments industries assure that wars generated by the great powers proliferate one after another and are preferred to diplomacy and justice in resolving conflicts. The current ‘Terror War’ has seen the US-UK led alliance actively generating enemies using false … Continue reading

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Foco Nuevo in September

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FOCO NUEVO IN SEPTEMBER As we welcome Springtime weather, we’ve got another line-up that’s sure to be well-received, our September guests will be The Boxties and Steve Tyson & The New Felons. The Boxties: Boxty is an Irish potato pancake … Continue reading

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Bloodless Coup – Barwick revisited

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In this, the season of demonstrations and marches, there is a call for ‘better government’, but is that possible when the problem is the system of government itself? Along with that is a call to block the austerity budget put … Continue reading

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G20 Brisbane Declaration

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Fresh allegations of unlawful Stradbroke Island sand sales

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Fresh allegations of unlawful Stradbroke Island sand sales emerge as court case draws to end 7.30 By Conor Duffy Updated 1 minute agoThu 21 Aug 2014, 5:29pm PHOTO: Belgian mining giant Sibelco operates Stradbroke Island’s three mining leases. (ABC News: … Continue reading

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Kooii Gigs

hi folks, it’s been a long time since I’ve used this means to spread the word about Kooii and related events. I want to activate it again though and communicate all info about Kooii and other gigs that I do, … Continue reading

Vale John Boyd

I have been asked by John’s family to say a few words today. I spoke at the funeral of John’s beloved son, Robert, and now I speak at the funeral of the father. I have lost a good friend, and his family have lost a good father and a good grandfather. We are all grieving and I have no words to ease that grief, especially that of his family. Grief and death are part of the human condition. We all live and we all die and there is nothing to be done about that. What is important is how we live. And I can say that John led a good life. That is what we must hold onto now. He lived and died a generous, warm hearted man. I personally could always rely upon him for love and friendship and understanding. Just before he died I told him that he was one of the very few people in this world that I could talk to about anything with an absolute sense of trust, and he thanked me for that.

John Boyd Sings Leave it in the Ground and Freedom in Palestine on Living in the Colonies: What’s Left?

leave it in the ground

I first met John in 1980 when he joined the International Socialists after he moved from Mt Isa to Brisbane. This was during the reign of Bjelke-Petersen, the far right premier of Qld. There had been strong civil liberty struggles against Petersen’s attempt to ban the right to march. John led the movement against the ban on street marches in Mt Isa. Those of you who have been to Mt Isa will know how incredible an achievement it was to create a radical movement in that town. John played a key role in two struggles during his time in Mt Isa. He was prominent in the anti-uranium movement and also fought for the rights of Indigenous Australians. He played a key role in the founding of provision of Aboriginal Housing. Mt Isa was and remains a deeply racist town. Taking up the cause of the First Australians was a brave and generous thing to do and it was typical of John.

freedom in palestine

During our time in the International Socialists we took up a range of struggles. These led to direct confrontation with Bjelke-Petersen’s police force. One of my favourite stories about John was of his arrest during a march in support of women’s right to access abortion. Petersen had threatened a bill which would make abortion illegal for all reasons including rape and incest. During the rally and the March that followed John was responsible for carrying an effigy of Bjelke-Petersen. I cannot recall if we were to hang or burn the effigy. In any case, John was intercepted and arrested and the effigy was confiscated, and we never saw it again.

John duly turned up in court to face a ridiculous range of charges which would have cost him thousands. Just as the trial was about to begin the prosecuting officer got up and advised the court that the police were dropping the matter owing to the sudden death of the arresting officer. There was a silence which was almost broken by John’s laughter, but he managed to repress the urge. The magistrate looked at him and said “It seems, you are a very lucky man, Mr Boyd.” John got up grinning and said, “Not so, your honour, I am confident I had a very adequate defence prepared”. The magistrate replied to that, “Well, we will see you again, Mr Boyd, I have no doubt”.

He was right about that, because John continued to take up many causes on behalf of those who were the victims of power. One of these causes that I know he would want me to mention was that of the Palestinians. John did great work in the Palestinian solidarity campaign in the early 80s. I still remember his outrage at the massacre of the thousands of Palestinian refugees in the camps of Sabra and Shatila in 1982.

Even though John dropped out of active leftist politics when his health began to break down, he remained to the very end a man deeply committed to the emancipation of all oppressed people everywhere. He spent a life time on the side of the people and he never wavered from that.

Towards the last years of his life John moved into a flat not far from me down the Ipswich Road. I used to visit him on Sundays and we would read, chat, laugh and drink together. Those were very good moments and I will remember them to the end of my own days. We read everything together – poetry, classic short stories, novels and Shakespeare. John, though, especially loved Charles Dickens’ work and so we read Hard Times, Great Expectations and had started on David Copperfield. One of John’s favourite books by Dickens was A Tale of Two Cities. It is as you know set in the French Revolution, which John had made a special study of when he studied at university.

I will finish with a quotation from that book. The hero Sydney Carton has given up his life for others and he goes to his death saying

“… it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

John is at rest now. And for those of us who remain, our task is to grieve for our loss and also to give thanks for having had the privilege of having known this good man.

Gary MacLennan

8th August 2014

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Leon says: ” 17 Groupers, go to “Perspectives on Accountability” instead”.

As there is a clash on the first Wednesday of the month of September with what looks like an excellent meeting of the T J Ryan Foundation, the 17 Group will be cancelling its Wed. 3rd September meeting in favour … Continue reading

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Tony Abbott Construction Code is a full scale attack on Construction workers wages, condition and their unions

(this is a short version) By Simon Millar 14/8/14 The Liberal & National Party dominated senate will vote on a raft of amendments to the Fair Work Act in July 2015 that includes the Building and Construction (Fair and Lawful … Continue reading

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Give up Activism

The activist is a specialist or an expert in social change. To think of yourself as being an activist means to think of yourself as being somehow privileged or more advanced than others in your appreciation of the need for social change, in the knowledge of how to achieve it and as leading or being in the forefront of the practical struggle to create this change. Continue reading

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Brisbane Palestine rally

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Palestine rally 15 aug LEAFLET Bris square.pdf Palestine rally 15 aug POSTER Bris square.pdf

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‘Why We’re in a New Gilded Age’ – a review of ‘Capital’

The big idea of Capital in the Twenty-First Century is that we haven’t just gone back to nineteenth-century levels of income inequality, we’re also on a path back to “patrimonial capitalism,” in which the commanding heights of the economy are controlled not by talented individuals but by family dynasties. Continue reading

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1984 British miners’ strike anniversary

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for more info Socialist Alternative has a website dedicated to left wing news and analysis, plus updates on all the campaigns that matter. Check it out at http://www.redflag.org.au

Bombing for Kurdistan’s Oil Fields

صورة-نادرة-تجمع-السناتور-جان-مك-كين-و-ابوبكر-البغدادي-عام-2013-في-تركيا

The photo shows Senator John McCain meeting with
IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2013 in Turkey.

US warplanes have joined the Baghdad and Erbil governments in bombing rebels and civilians in Iraq while assisting the CIA-IS/ISIS/ISIL forces (called in Arabic al-Dawlah al-ʾIslāmiyyah) that are terrorising the population on the ground.

By creating such chaos both on the ground and in the air the Pentagon has fooled both the Iraqi and the Iranian administrations into accepting the CIA chosen successor Haider Abadi as puppet Prime Minister, who has been commissioned by current CIA chosen President Fuad Masum. In the meantime (now officially ex-Prime Minister) Nuri Al-Maliki will continue leading his private militia in attacking Iraqi rebels in the south.

Iraqi sources report that on the day before Nuri Al-Maliki was deposed the Iraqi government warplanes shelled civilian areas of Tikrit, the center of the province of Salahuddin, and dropped barrel bombs onto Fallujah General Hospital, “killing and wounding dozens, including a number of the medical staff at the hospital, and demolishing large parts of the top two floors of the hospital, and damaging a number of neighboring houses .. noting that the number of dead and injured are still under the rubble.”

CNN confirmed what these Iraqi sources reported, citing a spokesman for the Pentagon (John Kirby), that US fighter aircraft (F-18) launched laser-guided bombs each weighing (500-pound) on sites near Erbil in northern Iraq, adding:

“The decision to bomb was made by American Central Command with the authorization of the Supreme Commander.” The deputy national security adviser (Ben Rhodes) revealed that the current American military operations were centered around the Kurdish capital Arbil (Erbil), and hinted that United States is ready to expand operations to include areas near the capital Baghdad. In this context, an official in the White House told Reuters: “There is no specific time to end the American air strikes in Iraq” noting that “it depends on the security situation on the ground” as he said.

Dahlia Wasfi reported the following in her essay The truth about Operation Iraqi Liberation, published 12 Aug 2014 at http://www.middleeasteye.net/essays/truth-about-operation-iraqi-liberation-take-two-1129963995>

Local tribal leaders were (and remain) in control of Fallujah, not IS, despite what numerous media outlets reported. “Rooting out terrorists” as an excuse for quashing local resistance is a story we have heard before. Recall the November 2004 siege of Fallujah, in which the US military conducted massive aerial bombardments and then designated all residents remaining in that city as “insurgents”. Iraqi government air strikes and barrel bomb attacks on the people of Fallujah in the name of combating ISIS/ISIL terrorists have continued from January through to today. These attacks include numerous strikes on Fallujah General Hospital. This ongoing violent and criminal government oppression in Iraq further emboldened the opposition forces.

Dahlia Wasfi’s essay contains a section callled “Public relations cover” where she explains:

Then on 3 August, the areas of Sinjar and Zummar under Kurdish control in northern Iraq were seized by IS, per most media reports (it’s not clear to me yet whether IS or opposition forces have control). The community of Yazidis in Sinjar fled to the hills in fear of IS’s advance and became stranded there; so began the latest humanitarian crisis. By 6 August, IS advanced to within 30 miles of Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital city of Irbil; this development brought about an immediate change in US policy. Irbil is home to a key American CIA station. It is also home to numerous American and British oil companies whose operations were threatened by the Peshmerga (Kurdish Army) loss of territory. There have been numerous humanitarian crises brought about by US-sponsored instability in Iraq. We’ve ignored (and/ or caused) many of them. But threats to the oil industry – that danger elicits a militant response from the United States.

The US government acts to protect the flow of oil and the dollar; humanitarian causes provide the necessary public relations cover. No matter how sophisticated our weaponry, airstrikes kill innocent people, and it makes no sense to kill one set of innocent people (“collateral damage”) in the name of saving other innocent people. The US administration doesn’t care about the welfare of Yazidis today any more than it has cared for the welfare of the 2-3 million Iraqis who have died because of US policy since 1991. These airstrikes are about the oil.

Likely with US encouragement, Kurdish Regional President Massoud Barzani launched attacks on IS that are striking the city of Mosul. According to witnesses on the ground, Peshmerga mortars have hit civilian homes, causing death and destruction. The Iraqi air force is also supporting Peshmerga fighters over Mosul. And though the US military claims to have struck only “convoys” and other such “IS targets” in the past days, we should know by now that these are sanitised propaganda reports. The people in Mosul are now isolated; they have no water, electricity, or fuel for their cars or generators. Fearing incursion by “IS”, Kurdish forces have sealed their borders, preventing anyone from entering or exiting.’

Justin Raimondo article “Iraq: Why Bomb Now?”, published on 11 August 2014 at http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/08/10/iraq-why-bomb-now/ gives the following explanation:

The cover story we are being given is that 40,000 members of the formerly obscure Yazidi sect were being threatened with “genocide” by ISIS, which is supposedly demanding they convert to Islam or die… The problem with this narrative is that ISIS has been beheading its way through Iraq all these months with nary a peep from our vaunted “humanitarians.” And yet suddenly, we are told, it was imperative that we act. Why? Are the Yazidis so special that their suffering counts for more than the Shi’ites and others who have faced the very same predicament – conversion or death – in northern, central, and eastern Iraq? … The answer is the central axiom of real estate: location, location, location. ISIS was getting close to Kurdistan, and eyeing Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).’

John B Judis correctly named his article “The US Airstrikes in Northern Iraq Are All About Oil”

[at http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119035/us-attack-islamic-militants-all-about-iraqs-oil], but this is just a portion of the truth as Justin Raimondo explains it:

The larger truth encompasses both military and domestic political reasons – Washington wants Kurdistan as a possible launching site for a military campaign against Iran if such becomes (in their view) necessary. Israel, for its part, is practically demanding independence for Kurdistan, and Washington – not known for resisting Israeli demands – is slowly but surely caving in to the Israel lobby and abandoning its insistence on the unity of Iraq. The escalation of this abandonment was signaled by the President’s recent statement that the US military effort in Iraq isn’t just a bomb-and-go affair but “will take some time.”

Justin Raimondo reveals that

“the Kurds have hired the well-connected Patton Boggs public relations firm to press its case for a prolonged American campaign, with a budget in the millions… Militant Kurdish ultra-nationalism unleashed on the Middle East will prove a scourge for the entire region, one that could end in a war involving all the major players. Washington and Tel Aviv are playing with fire – a fire, furthermore, that is being deliberately set. Arsonists are on the loose in the most volatile part of the world, and no one should be surprised by the subsequent conflagration. ”

[http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/08/10/iraq-why-bomb-now/]

It appears that the American Central Command are pretending they are bombing their own CIA-IS forces whereas in fact they are also bombing rebels fighting those US armed ISIS terrorists who were trained in Jordan by CIA and Mossad and who now threaten to bite the hand that raised them.’

United States’ CIA, Israel’s Mossad, Britain M16, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and Persian Gulf allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait are responsible for the creation of ISIS.

The blogger at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e2e_1407810409 wrote:

According a document recently released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, now the Islamic State, is an intelligence asset … The NSA document states the group was established by U.S., British and Israeli intelligence as part of a strategy dubbed “the hornet’s nest” to draw Islamic militants from around the world to Syria.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “took intensive military training for a whole year in the hands of Mossad, besides courses in theology and the art of speech,” the documents explain, according to Gulf Daily News, a Bahrainian source.

In June a Jordanian official told Aaron Klein of WorldNetDaily (WND) that ISIS members (or Syrian rebels who would later join ISIS) were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan.’

Aaron Klein wrote in “Blowback! U.S. trained Islamists who joined ISIS”, published on 17 June 2014 at http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/officials-u-s-trained-isis-at-secret-base-in-jordan/:

WND reported last week that, according to Jordanian and Syrian regime sources, Saudi Arabia has been arming the ISIS and that the Saudis are a driving force in supporting the al-Qaida-linked group. WND further reported that, according to a Shiite source in contact with a high official in the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Obama administration has been aware for two months that the al-Qaida-inspired group that has taken over two Iraqi cities and now is threatening Baghdad also was training fighters in Turkey.

The source told WND that at least one of the training camps of the group Iraq of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria, the ISIS, is in the vicinity of Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, where American personnel and equipment are located. He called Obama “an accomplice” in the attacks that are threatening the Maliki government the U.S. helped establish through the Iraq war. The source said that after training in Turkey, thousands of ISIS fighters went to Iraq by way of Syria to join the effort to establish an Islamic caliphate subject to strict Islamic law, or Shariah.”

Brandon Turbeville asked on 6 August 2014 at http://www.activistpost.com/2014/08/why-arent-isis-and-al-qaeda-attacking.html: Why does Israel not share the concern it has over Palestinians, Iranians, Syrians, and Lebanese with al-Nusra, ISIS, and al-Qaeda? Why do these groups wage jihad against Israel’s enemies but not against Israel itself?

Indeed, this curious fact was also raised by Nabil Na’eem, the former al-Qaeda commander who recently gave an interview to Al-Maydeen where he stated that these organizations of Islamic terror were in fact controlled by the CIA. Na’eem stated in regards to Issam Hattito,

For instance, Issam Hattito, head of Muslim Brotherhood responsible for leading the battles against Bashar Assad, where does he reside? Is he in Beirut? Riyadh or Cairo? He’s residing in Tel Aviv.

Ahmad Jarba, does he stay in Riyadh, Cairo or Tehran? He’s moving between New York, Paris and London, his employers, who pay his expenses . . .

Nabil Na’eem is right to point out these odd bedfellows because it provides one small piece of a larger puzzle – that Israel, along with its cohorts in the West (the United States and Europe) are not victims of Islamic terror, they are sponsors of it.

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Aili Labanino-Cardoso speaks on ‘Free the Cuban Five’

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Aili Labañino Brisbane flyer

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Petition to drop the Sorry Day charges in WA

Petitioning To the Honourable Helen Margaret Morton MLC The WA Minister of Child Protection, intervene and ensure all charges are dropped in relation to the May 26 protest. Petition by : Grandmothers Against Removals To the Honourable Helen Margaret Morton … Continue reading

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Gaza: the dark tunnels …

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Fred Chaney’s absolute deceit – learn from the past and beware of “Recognise”

the attached media release comes from ‘ghillar’ michael anderson of the sovereign union of first nations and peoples of australia and his knowledge of the sins of fred chaney. in particular when he was in government as the aboriginal affairs … Continue reading

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Morrison attacks Hazara Truck Driver in High Court

Morrison’s next move: change reality High Court bid to move asylum goalposts The Australian August 04, 2014 12:00AM by Jared Owens IMMIGRATION Minister Scott Morrison is seeking a High Court ruling that could reshape Australias interpretation of the Refugee Convention … Continue reading

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National Grassroots Aboriginal Alliance Calls For Action

National Grassroots Aboriginal Alliance Calls For Action Against Ongoing Stolen Generations on National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day The National Aboriginal Strategic Alliance to Bring the Children Home (NASA) was formed at a national conference in Brisbane July … Continue reading

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Protected: Decolonisation before Profit – Protest G20

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