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, August 27, 2012

TOBIN, A NEOCON PROPAGANDIST, TURNS TO DOWNRIGHT LIES TO DEMONISE IRAN

There’s a fine line between propaganda and downright lying – neoconservative Commentary propagandist Jonathan Tobin has crossed that line.


The latest report being prepared by the International Atomic Energy Agency about Iran appears to be a sobering retort to those who have spent the summer trying to claim that Israel’s warnings about the need to act should be ignored. The report, which has not yet been released but whose contents have been leaked, says that Iran has installed hundreds of new centrifuges in recent months and is devoting its efforts to refining uranium to a level of greater than 20 percent, a sign that it is working on a nuclear bomb and not, as it disingenuously contends, on medical research.

Tobin’s link takes you to a New York Times article which, in relation to the assertion about Iran refining uranium, actually says:

The report will also indicate, according to the officials familiar with its contents, that Iran is increasingly focused on enriching uranium to a level of 20 percent — a purity that it says it needs for a specialty nuclear reactor that it insists is used only for medical purposes.

That’s “to a level of 20%”, not “to a level of greater than 20%” as Tobin says deliberately lying.

What warmongering scumbags!!

IS CATACLYSMIC WAR AGAINST IRAN ONLY A DISTRACTION TO COVER ISRAEL’S ULTIMATE WAR AIMS?

This article was first posted on 21 August 2010.
It's as appropriate today as it was then - maybe even more so!


Any strike on Iran by either the US or Israel or both is likely to be cataclysmic in scale yet for the Zionists of Israel such a war will serve only to distract the people of the West from the real aims of instigating such a horrific war which is to provide both the opportunity and the cover for Israel to realise its ultimate regional endgame of creating a Greater Israel. The Zionist’s dream of a Greater Israel includes occupying, and eventually annexing, south Lebanon up to at least the Litani River and possibly beyond, and also the full occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with the eventual deportation of the Palestinians living in these places to the Sinai and Jordan.

Iran is a geographically large country with a well educated and cultured population that has, since the revolution in 1979 that threw out the US-supported Shah, mainly supported its theocratic hierarchy. It does have its own internal problems that are largely over domestic issues. The Iranian people clearly would like to have their government pay more attention to their welfare needs. Unemployment is high; inflation is high; wages could be better; the health system needs improvement; infrastructure needs upgrading, especially with regard to the processing of its own natural resources. For sure there is a demand for a more liberalised legislation that relies less on Sharia law and more on natural justice. But, for all of Iran’s internal short-comings, the Iranian people are essentially united when it comes to supporting its government’s nuclear power ambitions and also the defence of their country against US and Israeli aggression, threatened or otherwise.

The moment that the West thought it might be able to influence and exploit Iran’s internal divisions in order to create an environment that might bring about revolution leading to regime change has now long passed. The disputed elections of June 2009 created violence in the streets which clearly were aggravated by agents provocateurs supported and financed by Israel and the US. However, the rather feeble attempts to create conditions that might lead to some sort of ‘regime change’ favourable to the US and Israel failed miserably.

As a result of these failures, the West, particularly the US and Israel, have returned to the rhetoric and propaganda of ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons program’ that is designed to induce Western public opinion to support a military strike against Iran ostensibly to eliminate the so-called Iranian ‘nuclear threat’. In order to overcome the total lack of any evidence to support the ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons program’ meme, the US and Israel have adopted a ‘pull out all the stops’ propaganda strategy to the point now that they have said it so often, so loudly and so relentlessly that many now take it as read that Iran really does have a nuclear weapons program despite there still being no actual evidence to support the assertion.

The ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons program’ meme originated as public rhetoric by Israeli Zionists and their neoconservative supporters in the United States soon after the Shah was deposed and the Islamic Revolutionary government took control. It has reached a crescendo today after years of continuous and increasingly relentless propaganda from Israeli Zionists and neoconservatives. The propaganda existed long before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became Iran’s president, but once becoming president, Ahmadinejad’s own rhetoric about Israel has served only to reinforce the twisted propaganda from the Zionists and neoconservatives about Iran being an existential threat to Israel based on Iran’s continued so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’.

Recently, the Israelis and their neoconservative supporters have changed gear in their propaganda about Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’. The call at first was supposedly about finding a diplomatic solution to the perceived problem of a nuclear Iran. Sanctions, as part of finding a ‘diplomatic solution’, are an absolutely necessary step in the path to war against Iran; world public opinion would not support a direct attack against Iran without going via the sanctions route first. UN endorsed sanctions are now in place and, just as the Israelis and the neoconservatives had hoped, they are not having any effect on Iran’s nuclear ambitions. As a result, the Israelis and neoconservatives have shifted up a gear and are now demanding quite openly and in unison that the US attack Iran.

Some commentators have suggested that President Obama is hesitant about attacking Iran and that because of this Israel may take it upon themselves to attack unilaterally. The well publicised recent article by Jeffery Goldberg in Atlantic magazine suggests that there is a ‘50/50 chance’ that Israel will do just that. Well known neoconservative and former CIA officer, Reuel Marc Gerecht writing in The Weekly Standard also recently suggested that Israel may launch a unilateral strike against Iran. George Will, writing in the Washington Post has said, after lamenting the lack of action against Iran by the US; “If Israel strikes Iran, the world will not be able to say it was not warned”. Other far-right neoconservatives on the other hand, like Michael Barone writing in National Review Online, are saying that Obama just might instigate an attack against Iran. Meanwhile, another neoconservative, Jonathan S. Tobin, writing in the neoconservative flagship intellectual magazine Commentary this month, goes as far as calling upon and encouraging Obama to “emulate Truman’s example of decisive leadership”, eluding to Truman’s use of nuclear weapons on Japan in an effort to end a war that was as good as already over anyway.

The rhetoric of Israel launching a unilateral strike against Iran is designed not so much to garner public opinion against Iran, but more to promote sympathy for Israel from a US Congress that may be otherwise hesitant to support a US strike against Iran. The idea is to get Congress to push Obama to support an Israel that feels so desperate about their situation that they may take it upon themselves to go it alone despite the risks involved. In the process, the rhetoric also attempts to garner public opinion that supports the notion that Israel is a ‘small embattled nation’ struggling to survive in a hostile region.

Pushing the ‘we might need to strike unilaterally’ propaganda as portrayed by the Israeli Zionists and the neoconservatives, however, does not stand up to close scrutiny and even the most cursory analysis reveals that it is, indeed, nothing more than propaganda.

The reality is; Israel is so reliant on the US that it would be utterly impossible for Israel to strike Iran ’unilaterally’. Israel will need the full support of the US to launch any attack against Iran even if the initial attack is carried out solely using current Israeli air force aircraft and personnel in order for such an attack to appear unilateral. The logistics of obtaining the fuel and ordnance alone that would be required for such a strike will necessitate the full connivance of the US; and the follow-up support of an America apparently coming to Israel’s aid to prevent retaliatory attacks by Iran would require meticulous advance planning and is not something that can be spontaneously set in motion at a moments notice.

The notion that Israel could act ‘unilaterally’ against Iran is one designed purely for propaganda purposes only.

Neither Israel nor the US will be attacking Iran for the exclusive purpose of eliminating Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to destroy its so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’; the US and the neoconservatives have made it quite clear that their aim is to bring about regime change in Iran and nothing less. The idea that either or both will attack in order to destroy Iran’s ‘nuclear weapons program’ will merely be the stated casus belli to justify such an attack.And there are other realities that also need to be considered. Despite the now almost deafening rhetoric of Iran’s so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’, there is still the not unimportant matter of evidence proving that Iran actually has a ‘nuclear weapons program’. To date not a single skerrick of any hard evidence has been produced to support any of the US or Israeli claims. The UN’s nuclear watchdog organisation, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has not been able to find any evidence and the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of 2007 stated quite categorically that Iran had discarded its nuclear weapon program in 2003. While the 2010 NIE (which this year is entitled ‘The Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community’) has suggested that Iran “is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that bring it closer to being able to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so”, no actual hard evidence was offered to support the idea that Iran actually had a ‘nuclear weapons program’. The 2010 NIE also noted tellingly that: “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons”. Surely, if Iran hasn’t yet decided to build nuclear weapons how would it have a nuclear weapons program? And if they ‘do not know’ then what evidence can they possibly have to even assume that Iran has a ‘nuclear weapons program’?

As the threat of UN sanctions against Iran loomed yet again in mid-May, 2010, Turkey, Brazil and Iran came up with a plan that they thought would allay the West’s apprehensions about Iran’s so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’. The plan was actually in response to the West’s demands that Iran send its Low Enriched (LE) uranium to a third country for enrichment to Medium Enriched level (ME) for use in producing isotopes for cancer treatment. The product returned to Iran for use would not then be able to be further enriched to the High Enriched level (HE) required to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran arranged through Turkey and Brazil to send half of its 2400kgs of LE uranium off to France and/or Russia for conversion to ME uranium suitable for producing isotopes.

Not entirely unexpectedly, the US rejected the plan saying that this would still leave Iran with 1200kgs of uranium – enough, once enriched, to build one bomb – which was not acceptable to the US. The irony, of course, is that Iran is now left with enough uranium which, once enriched, is enough to build not just one bomb but two; a point seemingly lost on the US and their allies – or was it?

In rejecting the plan, (which conveniently left Iran with nearly two and a half tonnes of uranium) the way was immediately left open for the US to continue its pursuit of sanctions against Iran through the UN. It was by now quite clear where the US, Israel and their Western allies were heading with this strategy. If Russia and China vetoed further sanctions, the way would then be clear for the US and Israel to claim that Iran’s ‘pursuit of nuclear weapons’ could not now be stopped which would provide a pretext for either or both to then attack Iran. In order to avoid, or at least delay, war against Iran, Russia and China reluctantly agreed on 9 June 2010 to expand the already existing UN sanctions but not before the US agreed to water the new proposals down. Later, the US in partnership with the European Union, adopted further much stronger sanctions against Iran outside of UN oversight.

These latest sanctions, however, are doing nothing to deter Iran from continuing what it is actually legally entitled to do under international law with regards to uranium enrichment within the terms of the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty of which Iran is a signatory. It is this lack of deterrence which has now brought on the upsurge in threats from Israel and the neoconservatives. The Israelis and the neoconservatives, continuing to ignore entirely the total lack of any evidence, believe that they have now provided Iran every opportunity to give up their quest for ‘nuclear weapons’ and the only option now is to take military action.

By ignoring the fact that there is no evidence to suggest Iran has a nuclear weapons program and continuing to insist that Iran gives up its lawful peaceful quest for nuclear generated electrical power and to be able to produce isotopes to treat cancer, Israel and the neoconservative have demonstrated that, regardless of anything else Iran might do to allay the West’s fears, the Israelis and the neoconservatives want nothing less than war against Iran.

And now we get down to the reason why war, and only war, is so necessary for the Zionists of Israel and their neoconservative supporters.

Israel knows full well that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. They also know that, even if Iran did manage to obtain a nuclear weapon or two, it would still be utterly impotent. To be sure, two nuclear devices, or even one, detonated in Israel would likely destroy Israel, but if Iran were to commit such a horrendous crime, Iran knows it in turn would be destroyed in retaliation by Israel’s comparatively massive arsenal of nuclear weapons that are undoubtedly dispersed throughout Israel and on board Israel’s submarine fleet.

Despite this, however, the Zionists and neoconservatives, like George Will for example, argue that Iran has some kind of death wish whereby it is willing to ‘martyr’ itself in the cause of destroying Israel. To actually believe that Iran would be willing to sacrifice itself just to get at Israel in this way demonstrates only Zionism’s sense of monumental self-importance – or, more realistically, their desire to portray themselves as the perennial victim where Islam is out to get them no matter the cost.

All of this serves the Zionist purpose. Without war with Iran there would be nothing to distract the world’s attention away from an Israeli attack against Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, the benefit of war with Iran provides a multitude of perceived advantages.

Both the US and Israel have gone to great lengths over the years to emphasise Hezbollah’s and Hamas’ links to Iran portraying them as Iran’s ‘proxies’ on Israel’s doorstep. Building these connections to Iran has been essential to the Zionist’s strategy. From the propaganda point of view, the Zionists use of the word ‘proxy’ in describing Hezbollah and Hamas has been important; for the Zionists and neoconservatives to say that Hezbollah and Hamas are Iran’s ‘proxies’ is to imply that Iran is the main enemy and that Iran had developed Hezbollah and Hamas specifically to provide a means of getting closer to Israel. Presented as proof of this is the supply of arms and finance that flows from Iran.

The reality is somewhat different. Both Hezbollah and Hamas are organisations that resist Israel’s expansionist ambitions and, despite being of two different sects of Islam (Hezbollah is Shiite, as is Iran; while Hamas is Sunni) the two organisations have very common interests inasmuch as both are enemies of expansionist Zionism.

The Zionist dream of a Greater Israel is well known and its history and ideology are well documented. The original idea of a Greater Israel that stretched “from the Nile to the Euphrates” is now truly just a dream. But the Zionists haven’t given up entirely on their dream of a Greater Israel. The Zionists of today firmly believe that the dream of creating a Greater Israel that includes the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and south Lebanon up to the Litani River or even beyond, can be become a feasible reality.

Israel’s past attempts at occupying the Gaza Strip and south Lebanon have failed miserably due to resistance from the Palestinians and the Arabs respectively. Israel’s attempts to spread itself into the West Bank via ever-growing ‘settlements’ have had some success since the 1967 invasion and military occupation but nowhere near as successful as Israel’s invasion, occupation and eventual colonisation of the Golan Heights that occurred at the same time.

Recent attempts by Israel to eliminate Hezbollah and Hamas have failed. The 2006 attacks and invasion of south Lebanon ended in defeat for Israel despite the horrendous loss of lives inflicted on the civilian population by the Israelis. Likewise, the 2008/09 attacks on Hamas in the Gaza which slaughtered over 1300 innocent civilians and all but destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure was also to no avail. Both wars failed to draw in the US and Iran directly and succeeded only in gaining for Israel the condemnation of the world for what many saw as deliberate war crimes committed against civilian populations.

The Zionist leaders of Israel have learnt their lesson; in the future they will not attempt to get what they want while the eyes of the world are upon them. Before attacking Hezbollah and Hamas again the Zionists of Israel need to ensure that the eyes of world are looking elsewhere. They will also need to ensure that their casus belli for attacking Hezbollah and Hamas and invading Lebanon and the Gaza Strip is credible – and what more credible or plausible an excuse could the Israelis have for attacking Hezbollah and Hamas than pre-empting strikes by them in retaliation for Israel having attacked Iran in order to eliminate an ‘existential and imminent nuclear threat’.

While the eyes of the world are watching the turmoil and carnage being wrought on Iran, initiated possibly by Israel and then followed up with the full force of the US, the Israelis will feel free to smash all resistance to them as they attack and then invade Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and launch a full take-over of the West Bank on the grounds that the Palestinians there will launch a full-on third Intafada against the Israelis and the Zionist settlers.

For the war against Iran, the aim will be to bring the government to its knees by use of massive and overwhelming air power against Iran’s governmental and military institutions forcing the Iranians to capitulate and sue for peace at the UN. There is unlikely to be any kind of occupation; only the threat of more force if the government of Iran does not concede to US demands. The major demand will be for a change in government to one that is friendly to the US, Israel and the West; in other words; regime change.

Meanwhile, the Israelis will consolidate their positions in the areas they occupy by ruthlessly liquidating Hezbollah and Hamas during the fighting. The occupation of south Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank eventually will give way to annexation, even in the face of opposition from most of the world, and the peoples of those places will be forced out and relocated. The Palestinian people will be forced in to the Sinai or Jordan while the Arabs of south Lebanon will be forced north of the Litani River.

Overall, once the war begins, the US and Israel will be relying on their overwhelming military might, especially their air-power, in order to prevail. The US are far too overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan to be able to invade and occupy such a vast country as Iran and would rely on its air-power to maintain its domination. In Lebanon and the Gaza Strip Israel would rely initially on its air-power and then ground mechanised and infantry forces to launch an invasion and maintain an occupation. The same would apply in the West Bank.

There will be nothing spontaneous or ‘unilateral’ about the coming confrontation; it has been in the planning for decades by the Zionists and their neoconservative supporters. Regime change in Iran will be the war aim for the US while the defeat of Hezbollah and Hamas and the subsequent occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and south Lebanon with a view to eventual annexation will be Israel’s war aims while creating a Greater Israel will be their ultimate goal. In all theatres the war will devastate the civilian populations leading to massive upheavals and deaths.

The war against Iran is likely to be cataclysmic in scale but for the Israelis such a war will serve only to be the catalyst for the creation of the Zionists dream; Greater Israel. The ultimate costs of the final confrontation, however, in the end may very well be more than any side can bear.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

ISRAEL’S COMING EXPANSIONIST WAR

For years now I have been writing at this blog and elsewhere that the coming confrontation with Iran is not about its so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’ but about using such a war as a springboard to launch attacks against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank while Iran is being dealt with by the US after an initial first strike by Israel. These attacks will be launched for the purpose of invading and fully occupying these places with a view to eventually annexing them to form their much dreamed of Greater Israel.

The excuse for such attacks will be to ‘pre-empt retaliatory attacks’ after having launched the initial strike against Iran. Now, however, the neocons are talking in terms of attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon first before launching a strike at Iran.

The problem with this strategy, of course, is that launching a ‘pre-emptive strike’ against Hezbollah prior to striking Iran will provide Iran notice that a strike is imminent and, since Iran is probably on permanent standby to launch retaliatory strikes against Israel in the event that Israel strikes first, then Iran will get the first opportunity for a pre-emptive strike against Israel – a scenario which would be disastrous for both Israel and Iran especially if Israel decided to respond using nuclear weapons if Iran’s attack was particularly devastating against Israel..

What is far more likely is that Israel will strike Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran simultaneously but after the initial trike against Iran, will withdraw from the attack on Iran leaving the US to finish off Iran while Israel goes full-on with an invasion and military occupation of Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

While Netanyahu and Ehud Barak are both giving a great impression of champing at the bit to attack Iran and making loud noises about ‘going it alone’, the reality remains that Israel is unable to strike Iran unilaterally due to the fact that it needs the US and its supporting logistics in order to do so. If and when Israel attacks Iran, it most certainly will not be ‘unilateral’ no matter what either say.

Part of my argument about why all this rhetoric is happening has been that Israel is not really interested in Iran’s so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’ but rather much more interested in actual regime change. Seth Mandel writing in the neocon comic Commentary today confirms this. Sticking to the ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons’ meme, Mandel writes:

There would only be two ways for the West to prevent the regular outbreak of hostilities over Iran’s nuclear program if Iran’s leaders stay in power and resolve to continue their mission: let Iran have the bomb, and focus on “containment”; or hit Iran with a much more comprehensive military attack in the first place.

With this, the neocons expose their true colours and their real war aims.

Iran doesn’t have any nuclear weapons but Israel does. Israel may well be looking for an excuse for their limited use. If push comes to shove, Israel has proven time and time again that in is not afraid to use whatever it takes to get their way. A big enough confrontation may just be enough to provide them with the opportunity to show the Middle East just who’s boss – especially with Egypt just next door looking set to become an Islamic government that could threaten Israeli regional hegemony after Iran has been taken out of the equation.   

ANDREW BOLT’S SKIN COLOUR OBSESSION

Bolt has succeeded in splitting Australia’s indigenous community. So-called ‘traditional Aborigines’, led by Bess Price, are now at loggerheads with so-called ‘fair-skinned’ Aboriginals and the only people to blame for this tragedy are people like Bolt and his kind who have relentlessly been driving a wedge between the two groups in order to isolate fair-skinned Aboriginal people from their traditional heritage.

Like all white supremacist racists, it is clear that Bolt’s aim is to first deny ‘fair-skinned’ Aboriginal people of their identity and heritage starting with those who are active in Indigenous politics. After being demonised by Bolt and co to start with, he next sought an ideological alliance with ‘traditional Aborigines’ who have been lured into Bolt’s racist camp with promises of exorcising ‘fair-skinned’ people from entitlements with the money saved presumably going back to ‘traditional’ people. Added to that has been the promise of political power for the likes of the racist Bess Price.

I don’t take to calling anyone a racist likely, especially someone of a race that has itself been abused so appallingly in the past and, indeed it seems, still is. However, the fact is that racism isn’t confined to white people abusing non-white people. People of different races have been abusing other people based on race ever since humankind evolved. But today the new racism of divide and rule by dictating who can identify as what is just another facet of white Australian racism trying to eliminate identity and heritage with the ultimate goal of ‘breeding out’ Aboriginality entirely.

The tragic irony is that Bess Price’s own great-grandchildren, since she is married to a white European, will most likely themselves eventually be exorcised from their own Aboriginal heritage in much the same way as Bess Price and Andrew Bolt wants to exorcise ‘fair-skinned’ people from their Aboriginality today. Within just a few more decades there’ll be few, if any, Aboriginal people left in Australia and their heritage will have all but disappeared.   

Saturday, August 25, 2012

THE DEAFENING RACKET OVER ASSANGE: OR HOW TO MAKE A NOISE AND HOPE THAT NO ONE’S LISTENING TO WHAT’S BEING SAID

In yesterday’s The Age opinion pages, Nick Dyrenfurth wrote that “the real issues go begging in the quest to ‘save’ Julian Assange”. One has to ask, however, is it not equally true that the real issues go begging in the quest to condemn him as well?

Lost beneath the quest to demonise Assange specifically, and the Left generally, is the reality of what this is actually all about – the exposure of war crimes committed by governments and lies told by their officials – war crimes and lies exposed by Julian Assange and his Wikileaks organisation. Dyrenfurth’s tirade against Assange and the Left is no more than a serious effort to make as much noise as possible about the messenger so as to drown out the message.

Dyrenfurth was eager enough to point out that Assange’s leaks had shown a “callous disregard for the safety of real freedom fighters, by virtue of publishing un-redacted US cables”, yet Dyrenfurth fails to understand that Assange might not necessarily regard those particular ‘freedom fighters’ as being ‘freedom fighters’ but rather as ‘terrorists’ who would readily kill innocent people in their efforts to get at those who they regard as ‘terrorists’. Remember, one mans freedom fighter can just as easily be another mans terrorist. Beside, it might well be that Assange has actually saved many innocent lives by exposing those that are targeting innocent Afghans and Pakistanis to drone attacks.

This brings us to the next point. Dyrenfurth argues that the Left are somehow in cahoots with radical Islam. He writes:

…today some [of the Western Left] adopt an uncritical stance towards another budding form of totalitarianism, radical Islam, which they depict as a form of anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist politics. Thus, in 2006, anti-war protesters in London chanted, ''We are all Hezbollah now.'' Likewise, in one of his zany Russia Today interviews Assange dubbed Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah a ''freedom fighter''.

Inasmuch that Nasrallah led Hezbollah in resisting Israel’s attempt to overrun south Lebanon in 2006, so Nasrallah can indeed be called a “freedom fighter” but that doesn’t mean that the Left supports Hezbollah and its ideology; it simply means that the Left does not support Israel’s expansionist agenda which involves occupying the West Bank, the Golan  Heights, the Shebaa Farms, south Lebanon up to the Litani River and the Gaza Strip, all of which Israel has or has attempted to occupy in the past only to be driven back in some of these places by… well, “Palestinian and Arab freedom fighters” or, as Dyrenfurth would probably prefer, “Palestinian and Arab terrorists”. For the Right the argument about whether or not a fighter is a ‘freedom fighter’ or a ‘terrorist’ is a Left/Right thing, while for the Left it’s more of a Right/Wrong thing.

And to argue that the Western Left ‘depict radical Islam as anti-Imperialist and anti-capitalist’ is plain nonsense. Radical Islam embraces its own potential for imperialism and Osama bin Laden came from one of the richest Muslim families on the planet.

But, that’s enough of rebutting Dyrenfurth’s distractive noise-making about Assange; lets get back to what this is really all about  - war crimes and lies perpetrated by the US, Israel and their allies and exposed by Assange and Wikileaks.

As an historian, Dyrenfurth knows well enough that eventually the Assange story will pass into history simply as ‘the Assange story’ while the discoveries made by Wikileaks will eventually bubble to the surface of history and paint its own picture; a picture that the likes of Dyrenfurth would prefer people not see for as long as possible.

And that’s what this is really all about as far as Dyrenfurth is concerned; it’s just bells and whistles covering up the myriad of crimes and wrongdoings of the West perpetrated in the first decade of the twenty-first century. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

ANDREW BOLT AND HIS RACIST BLOGGIES

There can be only one reason – and one reason only – why certain segments of Australian society do not want asylum seeking boatpeople in Australia; xenophobic racism.

Today Bolt wrote a column complaining that the Australian government was contemplating flying asylum seekers direct to Australia from Indonesia. For years Bolt has been complaining that asylum seekers risked being killed by coming to Australia on unseaworthy and overloaded boats but now the Australian government has woken up and figured out that it’s far cheaper and much safer to fly them here, Bolt is still complaining.

The comments by his coterie of bloggies expose themselves for what they really are. Here’s just a few:

‘John of Canberra‘ says:
Flying them back home makes more sense.

‘Shogun’ seems to think:
The whole situation is totally out of control, instead of flying back to Nauru, why don’t we fly them back home to where they came from.
If these people end up getting visa’s, it is totally unfair for those that emigrate legally.


‘Carbon worker of Runaway Beach, Australia’ is at least honest enough to admit that he’s nothing other than a racist:
This is now unequivocally proven to be a deliberate white genocide cultural time bomb inflicted on us by the Marxist regime.
It’s time.

The same old canards about ‘queue-jumping’, ‘illegal immigrants’, ‘country shoppers’, ‘economic refugees’, etc., are still being used in blissful ignorance of reality.

Bolt and his tiny mob of racist xenophobic Bloggies are trying to set the agenda of Australia’s refugee policy. These are sick people that are bringing down Australia’s reputation of being a ‘fair go’ country and dragging us back to the dark days of the old ‘White Australia’ mentality.

The quicker Bolt and his ilk are shut down, the better for Australia and the better for the world.

Free speech is one thing; racist hate-speak and vilification of people who are different is something else.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WAR AGAINST IRAN: FORGET THE BOMB, IT’S ABOUT REGIME CHANGE

In an opinion piece last week in The New York Times, Dennis Ross, a former US senior diplomat, wrote:

Each country [Israel and the US] could set Iran back militarily, but neither could destroy Iran’s skill or technical and engineering capacity to develop nuclear weapons.

Within this rather obvious statement lay the seeds of what the confrontation with Iran is really all about as far as the US, Israel and their allies are concerned.

Bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities will not solve anyone’s problems and the reason why it won’t is because the nuclear facilities aren’t actually the problem. The real problem, for Israel and, therefore, the US and their allies, is that Iran supports those that are resisting Israel’s expansionist ambitions into the West Bank, south Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip. Iran supports the Palestinian cause and supports Hezbollah in Lebanon. It also supports the Syrian peoples desire to have the Golan Heights returned to Syria – and, regardless of who ends up winning the civil war currently being fought in Syria, the Iranian people will continue to support the Syrians in their quest to have the Golan Heights returned to them.

Iran has said for years that it’s not interested in nuclear weapons but only self-sufficiency in providing nuclear energy to its people. While Israel and the US could indeed set back Iran’s capacity to produce uranium of any sort, they can’t, as Ross says, take away the knowledge to produce uranium and the probability that Iran will continue in its quest regardless of what Israel really thinks that quest actually is.

No matter what way one looks at it, what Israel really wants in Iran is regime change. If they truly believe that Iran is after a nuclear weapon to use on them then regime change is the only way to ensure that it never happens. To just destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities would only provide Israel with a temporary reprieve. On the other hand, if Israel are only using the ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons program’ meme as an excuse to attack both them and their other enemies, then again, regime change would be the only way to consolidate any victory they obtain over Ian, Hezbollah and Hamas – with the added bonus of occupying permanently south Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank in order to ensure that their enemies are never able to regroup.

At the moment Israel and the US are playing ‘good cop, bad cop’ with Iran. Israel, the ‘bad cop’, wants to go in boots and all right now while the ‘good cop’, the US, are pretending to hold back the ‘bad cop’ saying the villain will cough in the end. Both, of course, know the ‘villain’ won’t ‘cough’ because both know there is no ‘nuclear weapons program’ to ‘cough’ about.

For now it’s just a waiting game. The US will continue to act as if it’s trying to hold back its impetuous partner and Israel will continue to shout ‘Let me at ‘em!’

Then, after the 2012 Presidential election…   

Thursday, August 16, 2012

JOHN HOWARD AND THE MISLEADING OF PARLIAMENT AND THE AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE OVER SADDAM’S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

This article was first published here on 13 June 2012 and is republished in the light of a call being made by an eminent group of Australians led by Malcolm Fraser for an enquiry into the decisions that led to Australia joining the US-led invasion of Iraq on March 2003.



During the lead up to the war against Iraq that began on 20 March 2003, Australian Prime Minister John Howard told the Australian people and the Australian Parliament that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. On the 18 March 2003 Howard told the Australian Parliament that these weapons were “a direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people” and, for this reason, Australia will be part of a coalition that will ‘disarm’ Saddam Hussein.[1]

Howard’s announcement that Australia would join the coalition to attack Iraq was the culmination of nearly 18 months of Western anti-Saddam propaganda and rhetoric that had begun soon after 9/11. During that entire period between 9/11 and prior to the announcement to the House of Representatives on the 18 March 2003, Howard had always denied that any decision had been made to join with the coalition in any attack on Iraq.

Howard’s decision to join the coalition to attack Iraq was, so Howard told the Australian people, based on the notion that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. This rhetoric was completely in line with the rhetoric of the other members of the coalition that also took part in or supported the attack against Iraq.

John Howard first mentioned Iraq just 10 days after the 9/11 attacks during an interview with Neil Mitchell on Radio 3AW on 21 September 2001:

MITCHELL:
Israeli intelligence is suggesting Iraq sponsored this attack, is that likely?

PRIME MINISTER:
Well, I wouldn’t rule that out but I’m not saying that I’m convinced that that was the case. We would have to have an open mind on that. There are documented and published suggestions of some of the hijackers having been in touch with people in Iraq. I read another report of that in one of the newspapers this morning.

MITCHELL:
I guess that expands the possibility of any military action from Afghanistan to include Iraq.

PRIME MINISTER:
Well, I have to be careful how I speculate in a situation like that but going back to basics once again, the American’s dilemma is that if they can’t, by diplomatic pressure and by the weight of world opinion, encourage those who are currently harbouring suspected terrorists to hand them over they then have to ask themselves what other alternative do we have. If they don’t then do anything at all then hasn’t terrorism scored a very significant victory?[2]

However, while this was the first mention of Iraq after the 9/11 event, Howard had already promised the US only the day after the attack, “that Australia will provide all support that might be requested of us by the United States in relation to any action that might be taken”.[3]

The statement was emphatic and, in typical Howard style, had been carefully considered. True to his word, Howard soon offered Australian troops to help with the US attack against Afghanistan. The Americans, together with the British, launched their attack against the Taliban and al Qaeda on 7 October 2001 and by 17 October 2001, Howard had announced Australia’s military commitment to the war against Afghanistan.[4]

The question of Iraq is next seriously discussed by Howard on 10 February 2002 in a TV interview with journalist Laurie Oakes. The discussion arose as a result of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address which had been delivered on 29 January 2002, just five months after 9/11, in which Bush had referred to Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an ‘Axis of Evil’.

In his discussion with Oakes, Howard attempted to discreetly back-pedal from his 12 September 2001 commitment of “Australia will provide all support that might be requested of us by the United States in relation to any action that might be taken” Oakes asked Howard:  “…does his [Bush’s] axis of evil statement commit Australia in any way?”

The conversation then ran thus:

PRIME MINISTER:
No, not ... no, it doesn't. We are only ... we will only commit our forces to any kind of action as a result of a separate, deliberative decision by the Australian government ...

OAKES:
So we're not going all the way with the USA?

PRIME MINISTER:
There is ... well, I'll, you know, let me define our relationship with the United States in a positive way. If there is an American request for Australian forces to be involved in future action, then that will be considered afresh. Our decision to be involved in Afghanistan does not automatically commit us to involvement elsewhere.
The Americans know that, the Americans don't presume on our friendship. We are close, there is no ally closer to the United States at present, and I think everything we have done has been in Australia's interests. And I think President Bush's speech was a first class one and I understood full well the language he used and why he did it.[5]

Clearly, in the heat of the moment in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Howard, on 12 September 2001, had made a unilateral decision to back Bush and the US no matter what and, despite Howard’s later comment about only committing forces to any kind of action being as a result of a deliberative decision by the Australian government, Howard remained firmly committed to his promise to Bush. Everything Howard said and did from then on was with a view to fulfilling his promise to Bush regardless of anything that might distract from that including, as it transpired, the wishes of the Australian people.[6]

For the next thirteen months right up to the eve of the invasion, Howard made every effort to deceive the Australian people and the Australian Parliament by claiming that, one, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction which, two, Howard claimed were a “a direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people”; and, three, right up to the eve of war, he continued to claim that he had made no decision about committing Australia to go to war against Iraq as an ally of the US.

As shall be shown using bona-fide evidence, the first two of these claims by John Howard were patently and deliberately false. Both the circumstantial evidence and the balance of probabilities regarding the falseness of the third claim are compelling.

With regard to the first two claims, the second is contingent on the first. If Howard knew that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction prior to committing Australia to war against Iraq, then obviously Howard’s claim that they were “a direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people” could not be valid and, therefore, was a blatant lie.

With regard to the third claim, the circumstantial evidence clearly shows that Howard had made a decision to go to war long before the announcement on the 18 March 2003. However, this paper will confine itself to the verifiable evidence that relates to Howard’s deliberately false claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that they were a “direct, undeniable and lethal threat to Australia and its people”.

The accusation that John Howard deliberately lied to and misled the Australian people and Parliament revolves around whether or not Howard knew that Saddam Hussein had destroyed his weapons of mass destruction after the First Gulf War which ended in 1991. 

On 7 August 1995, Hussein Kamel al-Majid and his wife defected from Iraq. Kamel was the son-in-law of Saddam Hussein. He was also the Minister of Industries and was responsible at various stages of his career for developing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and later, after the First Gulf War, for secretly destroying Iraq’s WMD’s in accordance with the allies demands after the war.

On 22 August 1995, Hussein Kamel was debriefed by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It was during this debriefing that Kamel disclosed what he knew about Saddam’s WMD’s and, crucially, that he had personally seen to it that all of Iraq’s WMDs had been destroyed.[7] The reason for the secrecy at the time was that Iraq did not wish it to be known to Iran that it no longer had any WMDs. Clearly, the US and their allies went along with the ruse since the debriefing was not made public at the time.

In the lead up to the attack against Iraq, it was Kamel’s disclosures about Saddam’s WMD’s that were primarily used to support the allegation that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Omitted, however, was Kamel’s insistence, in the same debriefing, that these weapons had been destroyed and, more to the point, that it was Kamel that had organised their destruction.

After the allies had consolidated their hold over Iraq, it soon became apparent that there were no WMD’s despite a concerted effort by the allies to find them. When Howard on 2 February 2004 was later confronted about the fact that there were no WMD’s to be found and asked if there would be an inquiry into the intelligence failures during the lead up to the war, Howard said:

You’ve got to bear in mind of course that almost all of the intelligence that came our way in relation to the war against Iraq pertained from British and American sources. It didn’t come from our own independent sources, obviously it was independently assessed and so forth but it was primarily British and American intelligence and I’ll see what the detail of that that statement is.[8]
      
Part of that intelligence that Howard says was gained from US and British sources was Hussein Kamel’s debriefing transcript. Indeed, Howard actually referred to it and to Hussein Kamel by name in his Ministerial Statement to Parliament on 4 February 2003 when he said:

There are 6500 chemical bombs - including 550 shells filled with mustard gas, 360 tonnes of bulk chemical warfare agent - including 1.5 tonnes of the deadly nerve agent VX, 3000 tonnes of precursor chemicals - 300 tonnes of which could only be used for the production of VX, and over 30 000 special munitions for the delivery of chemical and biological agents - all unaccounted for.
In 1995, the international community was confronted by Iraq's massive programme for developing offensive biological weapons - one of the largest and most advanced in the world.
Despite four years of intensive inquiries and searches, the weapons inspectors did not even know of its existence until Saddam's son-in-law, Hussein Kamal defected. Faced with its duplicity Iraq finally admitted to producing aflatoxin - which causes cancers, the paralysing poison botulinum and anthrax bacteria.
It admitted to manufacturing 8 500 litres of anthrax. A single gram is enough for millions of fatal doses. Dr Blix wants proof that the anthrax has been destroyed - and so do we.
Iraq must account for the large quantity of undeclared growth media for biological weapons and for all its SCUD B ballistic missiles. It must explain why it has rebuilt equipment and facilities destroyed by previous inspection teams.[9]

Clearly, Howard had access to Kamel’s debriefing transcript and was well aware that the material he was referring to in his statement had been destroyed by Kamel long ago and, contrary to Howard’s assertion otherwise, had, therefore, all been accounted for by Kamel.

Because Howard was eager to tell the Parliament and the Australian people about the WMD’s Saddam Hussein once had by presenting them as WMD’s that Saddam Hussein still had, Howard deliberately misled the Parliament and lied to the Australian people by failing to tell them that these weapons no longer existed and that, crucially, the source of this withheld information was the same source as the source he relied on to accuse Saddam Hussein of still having WMD’s.

In trying to defend himself against being touted as a liar, Howard may well say that he had not been advised that Kamel had said that he had destroyed Saddam’s WMD’s, but then that would lead to accusations that he had been deliberately mislead by our allies the US since the disclosure about having destroyed the WMD’s was part of the original statement about what WMD’s Saddam had.

No matter what way one looks at it, Howard is unable to escape the fact that he either misled Parliament and the nation or, alternatively, he and the Australian people were deliberately misled by President George W. Bush and his administration. Given Howard’s close relationship with Bush, however, the alternative is an unlikely scenario. 

 

ENDNOTES



 [1] John Howard, “Iraq Speech’, House of Representatives Hansard, 18 March 2003. p. 12506.
 [2] John Howard, “Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP interview with Neil Mitchell, Radio 3AW”, 21 September 2001. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2001/interview1248.html  Accessed 2 June 2012.
 [3] John Howard, “Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP, press conference – Ambassador’s residence, Washington, DC”, 12 September 2001. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2001/interview1239.html  Accessed 2 June 2012.
 [4] Media Release, “Force Deployment”, 17 October 2001. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Release/2001/media_release1342.html  Accessed 2 June 2012.
 [5] John Howard, “Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP, Interview with Laurie Oakes, Sunday Program”, 10 February 2002. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2002/interview1507.html  Accessed 2 June 2012.
 [6] 76% of Australians were against Australia taking part in the war against Iraq without UN approval. See: Brendon O'Connor and Srdjan Vucetic, ‘Another Mars-Venus divide? Why Australia said 'yes' and Canada said 'non' to involvement in the 2003 Iraq War’, Australian journal of International Affairs, Vol. 64, No. 5, pp. 526 — 548, November 2010.  p. 535.
 [7] ‘Testimony of General Hussein Kamel’, UNSCOM/IAEA, 22 August 1995. http://www.downingstreetmemo.com/docs/unscom950822.pdf  Accessed 12 June 2012.
 [8] John Howard, “Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP doorstop interview, Perth”, 2 February 2004. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Interview/2004/Interview666.html  Accessed 12 June 2012.
 [9] John Howard, “Ministerial Statement to Parliament on Iraq”, 4 February 2003. http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20080118-1528/pm.gov.au/media/Speech/2003/speech69.html  Accessed 12 June 2012.