Tag Archives: Middle East

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Upcoming Conference: “Voices for Peace and Justice in the” Middle East

[Editor’s note: I publish this here to indicate the level of understanding in the US of the conflict in the middle east.] Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7 – 8 Conference on Palestine/Israel – Madison. At the Pyle Center on the … Continue reading

Are we safe – contest of fear and hope?

The Westender found this news story that we re-published in 
May last year (2013) .... If you substitute “ISIL” for 
“Al Qaeda” throughout, it still makes perfect sense today.
                         -- Quote from local paper, Brisbane

I understand The Westender is trying to highlight the specter of fear that western governments and Mass Murdoch push but I would like to look more closely at the politics of fear and show how words are important.

The word Al Qaeda (arabic word meaning ‘The Base‘) only appears once in the article referred to by The Westender:

Jabhat al-Nusra, affiliated with Al Qaeda and other extreme Islamist groups, control the majority of the oil wells in Deir Ezzor province, displacing local Sunni tribes, sometimes by force.

– from European powers fund Al Qaeda looting of Syrian oil

Al Qaeda is mentioned here to differentiate it from Jabhat Al Nusra (arabic word القصاص meaning retribution). *

It is true that western leaders, including the Australian Prime Minister, now refer to ISIL much more than they do to Al Qaeda, western government’s  buzz word for evil only a few months ago.

In The Westender there is a confusion, admittedly shared by the Australian Federal Police, that people can interchange willy nilly names such Al Qaeda or Al Nusra or ISIL.

The reality is that Al Nusra and ISIL are engaged in a bloody conflict where they are shooting and killing each other in Iraq. This may be seen by the Australian Federal Police as a quibble over words but when journalists, whose business is words, also join in, its a worry.

Take for example, recent raids against members of the Islamic community in Brisbane and Sydney. Police allege that Omar Succarieh from Logan City demanded $7,000 be returned to him so that he could pass it on to Al Nusra.

Brisbane journo, Sarah Elksin, claims in her frontpage Australian article titled The rocky road for Logan’s zeroes that Succarieh was ‘charged with funding the terrorist group of choice for his brothers, Jabhat al-Nusra‘.

The Australian article claims that his co-accused, 22-year old Agim Kruezi, is charged with ‘with preparing for hostile foreign incursions into Syria’. Succarieh is charged with this and with extorting the $7,000 from Kruezi’s schoolmate, Adrian Vaevae, at least according to the Murdoch press.

At the same time, the Australian government has promised 8 Super Hornet Fighters to assist the US in bombing ISIL and to equip their enemies with weapons. The Australian military have already supplied arms to the Peshmerga (Kurdish word meaning ‘those who confront death’).

And Prime Minister Abbott has claimed that “… exhortations, quite direct exhortations, were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country.

Police say that Azari “did conspire with Mohammad Baryalei and others to do acts in preparation for or planning a terrorist act” meaning picking out random people and cutting their heads off. Only problem is, both police and Abbott are talking about ISIL not Al Nusra. And two of the accused from raids last week in Brisbane and this week in Sydney, namely Azari and Kruezi, are supposed to be connected with Al Nusra but at the same time planning to work for ISIL – groups that are fighting with each other. Surely police can do better than this?

Australian Federal police, the Australian, and the Prime Minister are all involved in the same thing, confusing words to advance the politics of fear.

As the No vote in the Scottish Independence referendum demonstrates, fear sells.

The Australian newspaper is publishing maps to show countries “that have committed resources towards a US-led stronghold to repel and defeat Islamist extremists in parts of Iraq and Syria” – direct quote from the Australian. The Australian government has promised:

. Military transport planes to deliver weapons to Kurdish forces.
. to deploy 600 troops to the UAE.
. $4.6 million in humanitarian aid.

middle-east-map.jpg

All police, mainstream media and government are doing is killing hope that some settlement can be found by highlighting lunatic acts on video … surely journos and local newspaper can do better and not get sucked in.

What is more brutal: being killed by a knife or by precision bombing of your home by a Super Hornet jet fighter?

Conclusion
The only hard facts police have presented against Succarieh and Kruezi in court is that they tried to get money out of a school kid to send to Syria. The rest is speculation seemingly based on a misreading of intelligence provided to them about al-Nusra and ISIL. Until police come up with some hard evidence that these men are committing crimes, the rest is a beat-up by the mainstream media and the government. It is guilt by association for followers of Islam.

Attempting to make people feel unsafe is no way to conduct policing at home or foreign policy abroad. Nor is following the US and its agencies into another war in the middle east. Australia needs to make its own decisions as to what is right for those people abroad who do not have the luxury of being safe. Australian government should withdraw its offer of troops and planes until a proper debate about what is going on and how best to deal with it.

The middle east is a huge oil field and everybody wants a piece of it; western powers, Russia and Islamic fundamentalists.

At the end of the day, its poor middle eastern people who are suffering, this war is so bad and good people are powerless. And it hurts … we need to help by trying to understand not by inflaming the situation.

Ian Curr
September 2014

Postscript
See also Tangled Turkish-Kurdish-Syrian-Iraqi Web :

Is Australia (together with our NATO allies) now unofficially at war with Syria, together with a rather large number organisations, some of which we have prescribed (proscribed, sic) as terrorist organisations?

References
*Suqour al-Sham commander: “Our land can’t bear a proxy war.”
Coalition against the Jihadists

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Lies & Silence – bias in Australian media

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On this sad morning there is no justice in the dawn So many years of dying where does hope get born Not over the broken and bloodied bodies of sleeping children Or the fork tongued lies of the criminals and … Continue reading

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Australian Government double standard over Israel

MEDIA RELEASE Australian Government demonstrates double standards over Israel FOREIGN minister Bob Carr recently expelled Syrian diplomats because of human rights abuses in their country. Yet the Israeli defence force and Israeli settlers shoot, abduct, detain and torture Palestinians in the occupied territories on a daily basis. The Israeli government destroys Palestinian homes on the West Bank. On 21 May 2012 an Australian citizen, Khalil Hamdan, received a call from his sister Weam in Nablus. “My sister was distraught because 25- 30 Israeli soldiers broke into her small two bedroom unit at 3am in the Camp No.1 refugee camp in Nablus, Palestine,” Mr Hamdan said. “She is the wife of Ridha Khalid and the mother of five children aged 5 to 18 years. Ridha is employed by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Nablus.” “The soldiers smashed the door down and took Ridha away for no reason and took him to Huwarra prison outside of Nablus. After they took him away, they asked my sister, Weam, to get out of the unit with her children. “They proceeded to destroy everything in their unit: furniture, electrical appliances including the children’s computer; the children’s school books. “Naturally all the children were traumatised and they were mindful of their imminent school examinations.” The soldiers took the food from the pantry, freezer and refrigerator and spread it all over the furniture and floor. They removed all the pictures from wall and smashed them. Weam is aged fifty years. “She is a good woman and cared for her aged parents and her two handicapped brothers since she was a young teenager. She is a good wife, caring mother and kind to her friends and has never been in any trouble. “Weam was born in the Refugee camp. The destruction of the contents of her unit was completely unjust. Her frugal savings and furniture were gone in 2.1/2 hours.” Weam’s husband Ridha distributes aid throughout the West Bank. The Australian Government will contribute $90M to UNRWA over the next three years. Ridha has been taken before and tortured. In 2001 he spent 18 months in detention without charge. His 17 year old son was shot dead and Ridha has been the victim of an Israeli rocket attack. He now is on hunger strike in Huwarra prison near Nablus. Weam is concerned for the future of her husband and their family. I, Khalil Hamdan, call on the Foreign Minister to seek the immediate release of Ridha and compensation for loss of property and savings taken from Weam’s unit. I want an independent medical examination of Ridha. “The Australian government is obliged to act because: 1. I’m an Australian citizen and my family has been attacked. 2. My brother-in-law works for United Nations Relief and Works Agency. The Australian government provides funds to UNRWA. 3. The Australian government is signatory to international agreements that outlaw the abduction and torture of civilians. 4. My sister’s property has been damaged and money stolen. 5. The Australian Government has acted to prevent human rights abuses across the border in Syria but not in the occupied territories. Khalil Hamdan, his mother, father and siblings were driven out of their village in Jaffa in 1948. They fled to Nablus where Weam was born in 1962. “As a result of the 6-day war in 1967 I was made a refugee for a second time and sought a new life in Australia” Mr Hamdan said.” “I want an end to the occupation and the right to return to my village. I am one of 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants. We all want justice.” I, Khalil Hamdan, can be contacted at 0438 194 342 Continue reading

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“We are going back to Palestine” – marchers cross into Palestine from the Golan Heights

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Editor’s Note: Over night (15 May 2011) there have been dramatic reports of an uprising by Palestinians from within and from the borders of Palestine. One of the most dramatic was the Palestinian march from Syria breaking through the Golan … Continue reading

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Brisbane BDS Flash Mob – join in!

We will boycott Israel! Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Flash Mob The words of the Queen song “We Will Rock You” have been re-written to take the message of the BDS campaign to the people of Brisbane with a Flash Mob … Continue reading

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Rally for Palestine – remembering al-Nakba

63 years after Al Nakba Khalil Hamdan returns home to Palestine Interview with Khalil Hamdan on the Paradigm Shift on 4Zzz. Interviewers are Eliza and Ian. Khalil is one of the 1948 refugees from Al Jammasin in Palestine. His family … Continue reading

Protected: Support Iraqi family shot by Australian soldier!

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Protest against more settlements in Palestine

Editor’s Note: It is interesting that these marches are being led by secular groups such as The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front.
Look closely at the flags at the head of the marches and read the reports from the Democratic front website:

In Bil’in, a village in western Ramallah, Israelis used force to disperse demonstrators, injuring dozens and asphyxiating two.

On Monday, 25 July [2008], a video was broadcast revealing Isreali forces deliberately shooting at Palestinians, who were participating in a peaceful march against the Wall.

These groups are for unity and a secular opposition to the settlements. Their leaders are in jail, many have been killed.

Ian Curr
September 09

A report from al jazeera in Bil’in

Hundreds of Palestinian villagers have made a short but symbolic march to the separation wall that Israel has built on their land, a non-violent protests that they regularly undertake.

Equally, the protesters, marching from the village of Bilin, are regularly met with a violent response from the Israeli army.

“The village of Bilin is literally on the frontline of Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land and the construction of its separation barrier,” Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera’s correspondent reporting from the village, said.

“Later today the villagers of Bilin will protest the fact that not only they, but also five neighbouring villages, have lost their land which has been seized to build an Israeli settlement.

“This huge settlement will result in 40,000 Jewish settlers living on occupied land here in the West Bank and as Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu is planning to give the go ahead for even more of these settlement homes to be built,” she said.

Netanyahu is set to approve plans to build hundreds of new homes on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, before considering US demands for a construction freeze.

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A Diary of Resistance – behind the news

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This is an alternative diary of the Iraq war compiled from a variety of media and other sources. It is compiled by Ray Bergmann who is active in various peace and social justice groups in Brisbane. Continue reading