AUSTRALIANS AT WAR

AUSTRALIANS AT WAR
Now available. $20-00 including postage in Australia. Click on image above for details..... TELLING THE HISTORY OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY AS IT REALLY WAS.

Monday, July 30, 2012

ROMNEY TELLS NETANYAHU THAT U.S. WILL SUPPORT ISRAELI ‘UNILATERAL’ STRIKE AGAINST IRAN IF HE IS ELECTED PRESIDENT

During a speech to leading ultra-Zionists in Israel, Mitt Romney said that, if he is elected President next November, he will support an Israeli ‘unilateral’ attack against Iran. His words, as reported in Haaretz, were unmistakable:  “We recognize Israel's right to defend itself, and that it is right for America to stand with you”. Though Romney was careful not to commit the US to a first strike against Iran, the message was clear.

As I have repeatedly argued at this blog in the past, there is no way that Israel can ‘unilaterally’ attack Iran. Israel can only launch an attack against Iran with the complete support of the US. There can, therefore, be no such thing as an Israeli ‘unilateral attack’ on Iran. While Israel might launch the first strikes against Iran to make it seem that Israel has attacked ‘unilaterally’, the reality is that any attack against Iran by Israel will be coordinated and closely planned with the US and in conjunction with a US follow-up attack during which period Israel will launch ‘pre-emptive’ attacks against Hezbollah in Lebanon and against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

With this speech, Romney has effectively committed the US, and possibly their allies, to a war against Iran on behalf of Israel.

Just to balance the situation from Obama’s side, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on Sunday has told reporters that the administration ‘would respect Israel’s ability to make decisions about its security’ leaving it open for Israel to decide when it wants to start the war. Obama and Romney’s desire not to directly commit the US to war this side of the election is all that is now preventing an attack against Iran.

As yet, there are no massive demonstrations against such a war; a war that has the potential to be far more devastating for the entire region than Iraq ever was.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES PANDER TO AMERICAN’S WISHES RATHER THAN COME CLEAN ON FOREIGN POLICY

In my post yesterday I pondered the notion that, once the elections were out of the way, whoever was elected President would soon mount an attack against Iran. My reasoning was, one, that neither candidate wanted to talk too seriously about war this side of the elections through fear of alienating large chunks of American voters who’ve simply had enough of America’s wars and their costs, while, two, war against Iran for the purpose regime change is the ultimate endgame for both the US and Israel and would be something that either candidate would feel free to do after being elected.

This position has led to some observers of the election pointing out that both candidates seem to have similar endgame foreign policies with regards to Iran which, so they are telling the electorate, reflect a desire to resolve the problems with Iran and its so-called nuclear weapons program via sanctions and diplomacy while leaving the military option firmly on the table.

Let’s be clear about this; both sides want to see regime change in Iran. This is the real goal of both Obama and Romney. The question of Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program is merely an excuse by which regime change will ultimately be effected. There is absolutely no bona fide evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and, even if it did and Iran actually managed to build a bomb, using it would be the last thing it would ever do – literally. The US knows this and so do the Israelis. And both are armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons.

To see what Republican foreign policy really is all about one need look no further than Romney’s foreign policy advisor team. While the likes of GOP ‘good ol’ boys’ Henry Kissinger, James Baker and George Schultz are mentioned, they are there merely for window dressing and credibility. Others, however, have a well-known reputation for their anti-Iran warmongering rhetoric. Neocon warhawks Eliot Cohen, John Bolton, John Lehman, ultra-Zionist Paula Dobriansky and ex-Blackwater executive Cofer Black all lurk menacingly in the background. All of these neocons have advocated attacking Iran to effect regime change. They are all part of Romney’s foreign policy team.

As for Obama; as I explained, if he wins the election to gain a second term he will become a nothing-to-lose President who will need to answer only to the long term interests of the US and history.

The future does not bode well in a post-November 2012 world.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

THERE’LL BE WAR AFTER THE 2012 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS – NO MATTER WHO WINS

In an article today in Commentary magazine, neoconservative writer Jonathan Tobin asks: ‘Who can be trusted to act on Iran?’ The question, of course, is rhetorical. What he’s really asking is; is Romney any more likely to attack Iran than Obama?

The answer is simple. After the election is over, no matter who wins, Iran will be attacked.

The reason Tobin asks the question is because, while Romney has said ‘nothing is off the table’ – just as Obama has and George W before him did – neither Romney nor Obama has said they will actually attack Iran no matter what.

The reality is that both contenders for the Presidency need to tread a fine line in the lead up to the election. On one side of the line, a war-weary American people aren’t interested in heading off to yet another war for the Israelis – or anyone else. Already the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost them dearly in both blood and treasure to the point where many equate the current economic crisis in America with the debts that America has incurred because of the wars. They are unlikely to support a candidate that promotes war.

But on the other side of the line is America’s long-term end-game for the Middle East in which Israel plays a crucial role that both candidates acknowledge. Neither candidate can entirely ignore that.

If Obama wins the election, he becomes a second term nothing-to-lose president who can do as he pleases where the only consequences he must face is how historians will portray him after his presidency is over. While Obama has been saying he wants to give sanctions and diplomacy a chance before doing anything else, he has quietly and steadfastly been building up American forces in the Gulf ready to attack. All he needs is a casus belli. One will quickly arise just as soon as the election is over – the Israelis will see to that.

If Romney gets up on the 6 November it will be on the back of economic promises of a return to prosperity. But, for Romney war is much easier. He’s a Republican for a start. Once he goes to war, he’ll claim that the election gave him a mandate to deal with Iran as he sees fit. And, of course, the war machine is already in place.

In short, no matter who wins, the world loses and tens of thousands will die.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

EVERYTHING TO LOSE THIS SIDE OF 6 NOVEMBER 2012: NOTHING TO LOSE AFTER

The reason why President Obama romped home to the Presidency in 2008 was because the American people believed him when he told them the wars would end and he’d bring the troops home. Well, it took a while but he got there in the end in Iraq, but the American people are still seeing their boys getting killed four years later in Afghanistan.

As the 2012 Presidential election approaches, the last thing he wants to do is get America involved in another war, this time with Iran. The bottom line is: if he goes to war this side of 6 November, Obama will become a one term President for sure. And, because of that virtual certainty, one can just about guarantee there will be no war launched against Iran this side of the election.

The commentariat on both the right and the left have played the suspense game on this asking what would happen if Israel decided to launch a pre-emptive unilateral strike against Iran. The reality is: it would be absolutely impossible for Israel to launch a unilateral pre-emptive strike against Iran. Israel is completely reliant on the US for fuel, much of its weapons, intelligence, co-ordination with allies, and back-up against retaliation by the Iranians and Hezbollah and anyone else that gets involved.

While the US build up their forces in the Persian Gulf, it’s very unlikely that there will be any attack against Iran before the elections unless Iran blinks first and fires the first shot.

Part of the psychological game being played with Iran is the play-acting between Israel and the US whereby the US behaves as if it is restraining an irate friend from a fight and would prefer to have the two sides resolve their differences around a conference table rather than the battlefield. But, again, the reality is somewhat different.

The US has as itchy a finger as Israel and wants to see regime change in Iran as much as the Israelis do. But Obama knows that he has far too much to lose if he squeezes the trigger this side of the election – and, of course, Netanyahu knows that.

The game has been played so well that many are now even commenting about how a divide has grown in relations between the US and Israel. This, so they hope, will lull Iran into a false sense of security and, at the same time, mould public opinion into believing that Obama really does want to see peace between Iran, the US and Israel.

But don’t be fooled. This is all about regime change; not Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program. And there is only one way to achieve regime change.

That will happen after the election when Obama thinks he has absolutely nothing to lose.

Frightening, isn’t it!       

Friday, July 20, 2012

NEOCONS WANT THE U.S. TO ‘SHAPE’ POST-ASSAD SYRIA.

Max Boot, one of neoconservatism’s most hawkish commentators, has today suggested that the US become involved in a post-Assad Syria. Boot doesn’t explain exactly how the US should get involved but he does explain why.

He seems to think that if the US doesn’t get involved now, then “our ability to shape the post-Assad country will be severely limited”. He goes on to write: “As always when dealing with the issue of regime change, the biggest challenge is not how to get rid of the old dictator but how to replace him with a stable, reasonably democratic regime”.

Is it any wonder that the Islamic world despise the US so much? Isn’t up to the Syrian people to decide what they want? Whatever happened to the right to self-determination? And why on earth would they want the US to intervene in setting up a new government?

The neocons are likely to be very disappointed with the new Syria. Getting rid of Assad will not make the Israelis any more popular with the Syrian people. Indeed, it was Assad that provided a certain degree of stability in relations between the two countries. But with Assad gone and a strong chance that an incoming government will be dominated by Islamists who haven’t forgotten that Israel occupies the Golan Heights that was stolen from the Syrians in the 1967 war, the government that replaces Assad is unlikely to want the US ‘involved’ in anything in Syria.

Arrogance and hypocrisy; the values that ‘they’ hate about ‘us’.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

IS ISRAEL SETTING UP ITS ENEMIES FOR THE FINAL CONFRONTATION?

Just as the dust hadn’t even settled on Manhattan on 9/11 before Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz pointed the finger of blame at Saddam Hussein as well as al Qaeda, so the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly points the finger of blame for today's suicide bombing in Bulgaria that killed seven Israeli tourists firmly at the Iranians. Meanwhile, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak is blaming Hezbollah in Lebanon by accusing them of being Iran’s agents. Both are vowing a response though neither has specified what.

In the volatile environment that the Middle East is already in, it would not take too much for the Israelis, who have been itching for an excuse to get the final confrontation with their enemies off the ground, to use just such an attack against Israeli civilians as a casus belli for war.

See my earlier article to find out why Israel is so keen for war.

WAR AGAINST IRAN IS FOR REGIME CHANGE; NOT TO STOP ‘BOMB’

Ignoring for a moment the total lack of any hard evidence that Iran actually has a nuclear weapons program, various commentators have noted over the years, that a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities will not stop Iran from eventually building a bomb but merely delay it – assuming there’s one to delay.

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said quite categorically in December last year that such a strike would only delay Iran from obtaining a bomb by a year or two “at best”. Panetta also told his audience at the Brookings Institute in Washington DC that ‘such an attack could disrupt the already fragile economies of Europe and the United States, trigger Iranian retaliation against U.S. forces, and ultimately spark a popular backlash in Iran that would bolster its rulers’.

Panetta and the White House are sticking to the line that a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities will only delay Iran from getting a bomb. However, if all a strike will do is delay the inevitable, how often are the US and Israel prepared to strike Iran in order to continue ‘delaying’ Iran from getting a bomb? Every couple of years? Very unlikely.

So, what’s the alternative? Well, if the regime really was dead set on getting a bomb and the US/Israel equally dead set on stopping them then, clearly, regime change is the only way to solve the ‘problem’.

But, that’s assuming that this is what it’s really all about.

I have said for some time that the ‘Iranians have a nuclear weapons program’ rhetoric has been merely to set up background scenery with which to influence Western public opinion to support a regime-changing attack.

I have further stated that it is not just about regime change in Iran but also about providing an opportunity for Israel to attack and wipe out it’s enemies closer to home; Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

At the moment the White House and Leon Panetta are content simply to continue with the propaganda about ‘a strike against Iran’s facilities will merely delay them eventually getting the bomb’, but avoid for the time being saying that the only way to ensure Iran doesn’t get the bomb is to attack them by hitting not just their nuclear facilities, but also their defences and governmental institutions and attack them so hard that the existing regime will capitulate and a new regime acceptable to the US/Israelis is installed.

The game is on. Panetta and the White House, while it suits them, will keep saying that hitting the nuke plants in Iran is useless – right up until they are ready to strike with devastating regime changing force that will also provide the opportunity for Israel to strike its enemies. Their forces are gathering and they are getting ready.

Like everything the Americans and the Israelis do, they think that their plan will go like clockwork; but, like it did for the US in Iraq and as it has in Afghanistan and as it did for the Israelis in Lebanon in 2006, it will end in disaster. And this time, who knows where it will end.

Finally, it may seem like a strange thing for a historian/analyst to say but I really hope I’m wrong about this because, if I’m right… well, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

AUSTRALIA: OUR ‘ROLE’ IN THE SYRIA DILEMMA – AND THE REST OF THE MIDDLE EAST’S FUTURE

Yesterday, Michael Brull, writing in the ABC's Drum column, asked ‘What’s behind Australia’s support for the Syrian protests?’ But, while Michael does a good job of explaining the geo-political realities on the ground that relate to the different ways the West has dealt with the various ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East, he has failed to provide an answer as to what really is behind Australia’s support for the Syrian protests.

The answer is blindingly simple; it is because Australia supports any cause that the US supports - especially when it comes to US foreign policy in matters relating to the Middle East. In doing so, the Australian mainstream media, dominated by the Murdoch Empire which has powerful connections to US neoconservative and Republican warhawks, will toe the government line that, in turn, follows the US foreign policy line. As a consequence, Australians get a rather distorted picture of what is actually going on.

Atrocities are being committed by both Bashir al-Assad supporters and rebel forces. While questions hang over who may have been responsible for the spate of massacres in various towns and villages across the west of Syria with the two sides blaming each other, suicide bombings that have resulted in many civilian deaths are clearly being committed by extremist anti-Assad forces.

The key, however, to understanding what’s going on is to be aware of, not just who are clearly friends with the US and those who clearly are not, but also to understand how any change in the status quo is likely to affect America’s closest friend, Israel.

Tunisia, the first of the Arab states to experience the Arab Spring, is far enough away from Israel to be of no concern to them. Tunisia’s a relatively small country, has little oil to be worth fighting over, was ruled by a dictator and was unlikely to be taken over by Islamic extremists. In the end, moderate Islamists were voted in to power within a democratic framework. As far as the neoconservatives were concerned, it was the kind of transition from dictatorship to democracy that they hoped would happen across the Arab world. This was the realisation not just of neoconservative policy, but neoconservative ideology. Their dream had always been to see Israel surrounded by democratic Arab nations that accepted Israel’s existence and enjoyed friendly relations. This, it was hoped, would lead to these newly democratised and Israeli-friendly Arab nations to influence Palestinians’ acceptance of a state with borders determined by Israel and including expanded settlements. This would be in conjunction with Israeli-controlled airspace, a Fatah-controlled Gaza Strip, and a completely demilitarised Palestinian state with the police armed only enough to maintain law and order.

As the Arab Spring revolutions spread, the neoconservatives and the Israeli right-wing became nervous. After pushing for years the ideology of democracy taking root in the Arab and Islamic world, they found it difficult not to support the Egyptian Arab Spring. Netanyahu became particularly nervous and pleaded with the West to support the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak when it seemed the Muslim Brotherhood were set to replace him – and, indeed, still might.

Meanwhile, the people of Libya rose against their leader, Muammar Gaddafi. The neoconservatives were keen to have boots on the ground in Libya – not just to help get rid of Gaddafi but, more importantly from their point of view, to keep the Islamist extremists well away from power once Gaddafi had gone. In the end, Obama resisted the temptation and instead supported NATO-led action against Gaddafi using airpower and, quite likely, a few covert ‘boots on the ground’. The results of the Libya venture have yet to be resolved.

So where is all this leading as far as the Syria uprising is concerned?

The main reason that the US and its allies, therefore including Australia, are keen to be rid of Bashir al-Assad of Syria is because of his alliance with Iran coupled with their joint support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and, to a lesser extent, Hamas in the Gaza Strip. With Syria out of the Middle East equation, Hezbollah and Hamas will have only Iran left to support them though Hamas is already relying less and less on Iran and more and more on Egypt for support.

The US and its allies need to be very careful about how they handle the Syria crisis. It could, in the end, be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. The ousting of Assad doesn’t guarantee a quiet life for Israel. While the Syrian people don’t seem to have much time for Assad, they have even less for Israel which, some tend to forget, invaded and occupied the Syrian territory that is the Golan Heights. The Syrian people and particularly the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, membership of which had been banned under punishment of death by Assad, are keen to see their territories returned and may well be willing to let bygones be bygones and strike up a rapport with Hezbollah to help settle the matter, despite Hezbollah having supported Assad.

Then there’s the matter of Iran, mortal enemy of Israel and neoconservatives all over the world.

The ebb and flow of war propaganda against Iran from the West, particularly from the neoconservative-dominated mainstream commentariat in the Murdoch and associated media, has coincided with the rise and fall of chatter about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. And each time the chatter gets louder, so the likelihood of Iran being attacked seems ever more likely – even though the evidence pointing to Iran having such a program is actually no more apparent today than it was ten years ago when claims were being made that Iran was only a year or so away from having a weapon. (In the latest estimate, it’s reckoned it’s still two years away.) Because Iran does have a nuclear program, albeit to produce electrical energy and isotopes for use in treating cancer, Israel is claiming that the program’s existence is an existential threat to them though, considering Israel has at least a hundred, possibly many more, nuclear weapons at its disposal, the reality is more likely to be that Israel is actually an existential threat to Iran.

Propaganda about Iran’s so-called nuclear weapons program aside, both Israel and the US and their allies are well aware that, even if Iran did have a bomb, it would hardly be likely to use it. Apart from anything else, it would be the last thing it ever did.

So why all the fuss?

Again, it comes back to Israel and its relations with its immediate neighbours including the Palestinians in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

In 2006 Israel attacked Hezbollah in Lebanon ostensibly because Hezbollah had captured two Israeli soldiers who were part of a patrol close to the Lebanese-Israeli border and because Hezbollah were firing rockets into Israel. What didn’t get an airing in the Western mainstream press at the time was the reason Hezbollah were sending rockets to Israel; and that was because Israel was continually flying fighter jets at high speed and low-level often going supersonic and breaking windows over Beirut. The low-level flights were designed to provoke Hezbollah into a response that would create a casus belli for Israel to attack Hezbollah.

Israel’s stated war aim was to destroy Hezbollah. What wasn’t stated was Israel’s intention of occupying south Lebanon up to the Litani River. However, because of both Hezbollah’s resistance to the Israeli attacks and worldwide public opposition to Israel’s methods of war, which involved many civilian deaths in several well publicised Israeli attacks, the US withdrew its support of the war. This left Israel with no choice but to retreat.

But that doesn’t mean the Israelis have given up. An attack against Iran, either by the US or Israel or both, will provide an opportunity for Israel to have another crack at destroying Hezbollah once and for all. In the event of an attack against Iran, Israel, declaring that it is taking pre-emptive action against Iran’s ally, may choose to launch an all-out assault followed by a full-on invasion of south Lebanon. Israel may also see an opportunity to attack Hamas and occupy the Gaza Strip and possibly even fully occupy the West Bank.

All this may seem to most people as being rather extreme and unlikely. But before writing such likelihoods off, one should remember that in the event that these events come to fruition, as far as the West Bank, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip are concerned, it’s all happened before – several times.

The question is not ‘What’s behind Australia’s support for the Syrian protests’ but ‘What’s Australia’s role going to be in the destruction of the Middle East?’

Friday, July 13, 2012

MI6 CHIEF HINTS THAT U.S. TORTURE OF ISLAMIST DETAINEES WAS TO GET THE RIGHT ANSWERS TO SUIT THEIR PROPAGANDA

In a UK Telegraph article today, Sir John Sawers, Britain’s head of the Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, was reported as telling an audience of public servants that the Americans were so keen to get intelligence after 9/11 that would fit their propaganda that they resorted to torture in order to ‘get the right answer’.

Sawers told the gathering:

There’s always a danger that, as a bunch of secret squirrels, you can get involved in something that takes you down a pathway where you end up in the wrong place.

The Americans have done that over their interrogation techniques after 9/11. They got so obsessed with getting a right answer that they drifted into an area that kind of amounted to torture.

One has to wonder what the ‘right answer’ was that they were seeking. Could it be that it was one that fitted in with their version of the events of 9/11? Is this why Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to over 180 incidents of waterboarding torture in March 2003 in the course of which he confessed to having been the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks on behalf of al Qaeda?

And, just to tie in al Qaeda with a few other ‘terrorist’ loose ends, was it this obsession with ‘getting the right answer’ that also led to Mohammed confessing also to many other terrorist plots over the last twenty years, including the 1993 World Trade Center  bombings, Operation Bojinka, which was an attempted 2002 attack on the US Bank Tower in Los Angeles, the Bali nightclub bombings, the attempted blowing up of American Airlines Flight 63, the so-called Millennium Plot, and the murder of Daniel Pearl?

“Obsessed with getting a right answer”?

Aren’t we all!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

IS ANDREW ABOUT TO BOLT THE MURDOCH STABLE TO BE WITH THE FAIRFAX FILLY?

Rumours are flying around at the Herald-Sun offices about Andrew Bolt’s intentions. It’s reckoned that he maybe hanging in at the Herald-Sun treading water while he waits for Gina Rinehart to get her foot in the door at Fairfax.

Ever since his publishers stopped him from doing his own blog moderating and then failed to find staff moderators to do the job due, so Bolt claims, to staff cut-backs, Bolt’s readership has dropped dramatically to the point where he’s no longer earning his keep.

Bolt’s quick staccato ‘cut and paste’ style of blogging journalism where he simply regurgitates stuff that others have written which he can then scoff at with just a sentence or two suited his column to attract interactive readers keen to comment about his posts, but it loses momentum when there’s no response. Readers have lost interest and gone elsewhere.

But Bolt has only himself to blame. He refused to publish dissenting views and even deleted dissenting views that snuck in under his radar. I emailed him and complained about most of my comments not being published and some being deleted after being published. I told him that, if I didn’t get a reasonable explanation for his action, I’d complain to the Australian Press Council (APC). He emailed me back saying that if I threatened him with ‘legal action’ (by which he meant me making a complaint to the APC) he would ban me. He was hoping to put me in a Catch 22 situation whereby, if I complained to the APC about being banned from writing dissenting comments and threats to ban me, he’d ban me anyway because it ‘wasn’t worth the legal risk to them’ – whatever that was supposed to mean. Anyway, it seems it has backfired on him and now no one is allowed to comment and his blog has all but dried up.

If, indeed, Bolt was hoping for Rinehart to get her foot in the Fairfax door and then offer him a blog at, say, The Age, then he might just have to think again.

Rinehart’s plans to get seats and influence on the Fairfax board, which may well have allowed her to get a spot for Bolt, seems to have stalled lately, especially since the rest of the Fairfax board are insisting that she has nothing to do with the editorial content of the company’s products.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

BOLT GETS THE MESSAGE

I was wondering how long it would take him, but finally, Bolt’s got the idea:

We’re now picking up boat people almost within sight of the Indonesian coast - so why not just pick them up from the airport and spare the expense?

Why not indeed! I’ve been advocating doing just that for yonks. It’s good to see he’s finally woken up. Virtually all of them are going to end up here anyway, so why not?

Monday, July 09, 2012

AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN FEAR OF THE GREENS

The spate of recent Green bashing by various Labor/Union identities is an indication of how much the Labor party fear the Greens movement as a viable alternative to Labor as the gap between Labor and Liberal policies gets barely discernable particularly on issues relating to the environment, asylum seeking boatpeople and defence.

In the most recent attack on the Greens, Paul Howes, a now right-wing (but once hard Left) trade unionist and national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, has told Labor that it ‘must turn on the Greens and destroy them’. In an article published on Sunday, Howes twists Greens policies in such away that is so transparent that it is a wonder his own people aren’t cringing with embarrassment. Howes opens his attack on the Greens by writing:

“As their policy explains, the Greens ‘believe too much emphasis is placed on full body contact sports often causing unnecessary physical damage and confining opportunities for participation to the athletic elite.’
Sorry kids -”

What ridiculous nonsense. To infer that it is Greens policy to ban all contact sports is simply an attempt to marginalise Greens as being wimps and to suggest that the Greens want Australians to become a nation of wimps. As Howes himself goes on to explain, kids will always be kids and the competitive spirit will always be there with them. Greens are not saying ‘no more rugby, no more Aussie rules, no more hockey or netball. Let's all go meditate instead’, they’re simply saying ‘lets minimise the unnecessary dangers that accompany these sports – which is exactly what the various controlling bodies of these sports are already doing.

But then Howes gets to the nitty gritty of his fears. He goes on to write:

“People assumed that the Greens might have some weird ideas, but they are never going to run the show, so we don't need to worry about them.

Well, we can no longer afford to be so complacent.”

This is music to a Greenies ear. The ‘we’, of course, are the Labor party. The Labor/Union movement finally concede that the Greens are a force to be reckoned with.

The fundamental difference between the Labor/Union movement and the Greens movement is that the Greens gives the nation and the planet’s long-term environmental future priority over immediate financial gain and short-term job opportunities, whereas Labor and the Unions are interested only in the medium and short-term interests of business and jobs – in short, the economy from a political point of view. In other words, they, like the Liberals, will do anything to keep the punters (us) happy and them, the right and center, in power and enriched even if it’s at the expense of the environment or other people.

The problem is, as Howes now recognises, many Australians are waking up to what’s going on within the Labor/Union/Liberal ranks. While the Liberals and the Unions will always have their stoushes over profit versus wages, both sides see the Greens as a threat to the short-term viability of profits and wages.

And there are other fundamental issues where the Labor/Union/Liberal ranks are much closer together than many realise. 

With regards to boatpeople for example, the only difference between Liberal and Labor is where to send them; Malaysia or Nauru, whereas, for the Greens, the policy is clear; bring them safely to Australia where they can be quickly screened and, where applicable, released into the community. Increasing numbers of Australians are very concerned about what is happening with boatpeople and the way they are being used as a political football by both sides of the increasingly less obvious divide between the Labor party and Liberal party to placate the inbuilt xenophobic fears of some of our noisier Australian political commentators.

Similarly with defence. Increasingly, spending on defence has been seen more as a necessity simply to provide jobs rather than to actually build stuff (let alone stuff that works) with which to defend Australia. Both the Labor/Union movement and the Liberals see our past involvement in Iraq and our continuing involvement in Afghanistan as being essential for ‘Australia’s interest’ – though exactly what those interests are is never properly explained. Australian’s in the past seem to have had a ‘well, the pollies know best’ attitude rather than to ask to such questions as ‘why are we there?’. Again, though, there are an increasing number of Australians who want to know why we are there, especially as allied soldiers, including Australian, continue to die for absolutely no apparent reason in a clearly unwinnable war. Most Greens don’t want a bar of it anymore – and many Australians don’t either.

Well may Paul Howes call for the destruction of the Greens movement; clearly he sees his own Labor/Union movement under threat from the Greens – and for good reason.

Like our contact sports governing bodies, all Australian Greens want to achieve is a safe, friendly and sustainable environment for all people, regardless of where they are from, to live, work and play in well into the future by keeping our competitive spirit on the playing field and well away from unnecessary battlefields and providing long-term sustainable jobs and growth using renewable energy resources for the good of all.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

ANDREW BOLT ONCE AGAIN USES A BOATPEOPLE TRAGEDY FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES

Andrew Bolt today told his dwindling readership about the Barokah boatpeople tragedy which occurred in December last year when a boat full of asylum seekers capsized in Indonesian waters and Australian authorities refused to help in the rescue. The disaster, the scale of which is only just becoming known – as is Australia’s role, or rather lack of it, in the events that followed the initial distress call from the boat – is an indictment of the Australian government.

For the racist Bolt, however, this is simply another opportunity to propagandise his anti-boatpeople stance by pretending to be horrified at the tragedy and saying that it is another reason why boatpeople should be deterred from coming to Australia and that incarceration in places they don’t want to be while they await a long drawn ‘processing’ of their claims will provide that deterrence.

To top it off, Bolt then uses the tragedy to push his anti-Left barrow saying that, “if this had happened under John Howard’s watch, we’d no doubt have had another SIEV X spate of protests and plays, accusing the Liberals of murder”.

Of course, it doesn’t matter under whose watch the incident occurred, someone needs to be held accountable, and policies need to be put in place to ensure that asylum seeking refugees that want to come to Australia are able to do so safely without risk of either sinking or going to off shore detention centers for indefinite periods if they survive the journey.

Australian’s need to demand an enquiry into the incident and to demand that refugees are treated a refugees and not criminals that need locking up.