THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY is a compelling factual history of neoconservatism and its influence on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Click on image above for details.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


While Australians and the politicians hum and ah over the deaths of hundreds of asylum seeking boatpeople and then argue among themselves as to whether the Nauru solution is better than the Malaysia solution, why aren’t Australians discussing the most obvious solution? It’s a solution which avoids all the deaths and misery of indefinite incarceration. Let’s call it the Australian solution – which is to bring them direct to Australia by the safest means possible which is flying them here. If they can pay people smugglers thousands of dollars then they can surely afford the $450 fare on an airline ticket to get here.

These people want to come to Australia. The vast majority of them will end up here eventually anyway - regardless of where they are sent to - so why do we need to send them to Malaysia or Nauru or anywhere else first?

The answer is blindingly obvious.

The reality is, frightened as most Australians are to admit it, some Australians are racists. Politicians and commentators on the right do not want Islamic or non-Europeans in Australia, it’s as simple as that. They’ll deny that they are racists until the cows come home, but that’s what they are - racist. And when I say politicians on the right, I’m not just talking about Liberals; I’m also talking about some in the Labor ranks as well. And of those politicians that aren’t racist, there are many that, for the sake of politics, will bow to public opinion or, at least, to the loudest or most influential of commentators in the media that are also blatant racists and who are currently pushing public opinion against boatpeople.

Despite the denials of the racist right, Australia has a long history of racism. Not only do Australia’s racists don’t want non-white boatpeople in Australia, they never really wanted the non-white people that were already here when their antecedents first arrived here a little over a couple of hundred years ago. And white Australians have been kicking up a fuss every time a non-white group arrived on our shores ever since.

The racist attitudes of some Australians haven’t changed with the arrivals of the latest groups of people wanting to come to Australia – boatpeople who are mostly from places we were involved in invading but, more importantly, mostly Islamic.

It’s time Australians got to grip with themselves and faced the reality that it is complacent majority of Australians who allow the minority of racists among us to dominate the policies that lead to the deaths of the boatpeople.

Enough is enough. Those Australians that call for a halt to boatpeople arriving in Australia should be called out for what they really are – racists every single one of them!

Raise the refugee intake quota and fly them in!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


There’s a rumour doing the rounds in the Adelaide Hills that the current Federal Member for Mayo, Jamie Briggs, may be dumped at the next election in favour of Edward Downer, the son of the former Member for Mayo, Alexander Downer.

It’s no secret that Edward Downer has political ambitions and, while it might not quite be in the true spirit of democracy, his hereditary credentials are spot on – if you think that being the son, grandson and great-grandson of an entire family of silver spooned power-mongering South Australian politicians are ideal qualifications for leading a nation-state.

It seems Jamie Briggs’ days may be numbered and his short career as a politician may soon be over. Still, I’m sure that if the Liberals get in at the next election, which, unfortunately for Australia, seems likely, the new coalition government will no doubt find Jamie a cushy little job stashed away in some all-white diplomatic post somewhere on the planet well out of harms way.

Of course, since Liberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher has resigned her seat, young Edward Downer could get in to power without even being elected, but I fancy that Edward would prefer to be in the House of Representatives and follow in his fathers footsteps.

Time, as with everything, will tell.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


This could be good news for those that challenge Andrew Bolt’s extreme right-wing views at his online blog. In his latest post he writes, almost as an ‘Oh, and I nearly forgot’:

Please note: I am told there will be no moderating of this blog outside office hours.

He then adds very importantly and hoping no one really notices:

I cannot moderate it myself, I am told.

Last week Bolt deleted a comment I made against one of his posts saying: ‘SNIPPED FOR STUPIDITY’. My comment was well within the guidelines so I emailed Bolt and asked why it had been ‘snipped’ and told him that, if I did not receive a satisfactory explanation, I would lodge a complaint with the Australian Press Council (APC).

Despite being within the guidelines, Bolt said that my comment was vilifying, stupid and defamatory. Of course, it was nothing of the sort. Bolt then said that if I took ‘legal action’ he would ban me from commenting on his blog.

I have since lodged my complaint with the APC.

I don’t know, but I hope that Bolt’s gagging by his own publishers has been as a result of my and I suspect others complaints and I look forward to challenging his extreme right-wing views by commenting at his blog.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Racists, Islamophobes, xenophobes and rednecks just hate being called racists, Islamophobes, xenophobes and rednecks, so when a boatpeople tragedy happens they see it as an opportunity to kill two birds with one piece of propaganda and immediately jump on the caring conservative bandwagon in an effort to convince people that they truly care about the welfare and safety of asylum seeking refugees coming to Australia by boat. This is exactly what Murdoch minion and racist warmonger Tim Blair has done.

Blair tries to make the case that racists, Islamophobes, xenophobes and rednecks are really ‘caring conservatives’ and, because they’re so caring, they want to make life really tough for boatpeople – for their own good mind you – by banging them up in detention indefinitely in places they don’t want to be in order to deter people trying to seek asylum in Australia by boat.

Let’s get one thing straight here; the likes of Tim Blair, Andrew Bolt, et al, have absolutely no interest in the wellbeing or safety of boatpeople, They are racists that do not want non-white people in Australia – especially if they are Muslims.

The ‘we care about the dead boatpeople’ nonsense is just a con that attempts to cover their real motives of keeping boatpeople out of Australia.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


It seems the third round of talks with Iran over its nuclear program has not resolved what the West sees as a problem and as a consequence the neoconservatives have reverted to their usual rhetoric of calling for urgent military action before the Iranians cross the ‘nuclear threshold’ and have enough enriched material to build a bomb.

In the latest issue of The Weekly Standard, Jamie Fry and William Kristol write, without, one might add, a skerrick of evidence to support their claim, that:

This is a regime committed to developing nuclear weapons, despite the cost to the Iranian economy and the toll on the Iranian people.

They go on to write:

Time is running out and the consequences of inaction for the United States, Israel, and the free world will only increase in the weeks and months ahead. It’s time for Congress to seriously explore an Authorization of Military Force to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

This is all familiar stuff and we’ve heard it all before, but now, with seemingly no further talks planned, the neoconservatives are beginning to consolidate both Democrat and Republican support in Congress for debate on the military option. In a letter to President Obama signed by 44 Senators from both sides of the Senate, they urged the President to make it clear that ‘a credible military option exists’.

The failure of the talks might also give Netanyahu some serious food for thought. He knows that, despite Obama’s reluctance to got to war against Iran this side of the Presidential elections, if Israel were to launch an attack against Iran, then the US would instantaneously enjoin the war with Israel taking over straight away from Israel while Israel deals with Hezbollah and Hamas to pre-empt any retaliatory attacks from either. As I have said so many times before, this is what the whole ‘Iran has a nuclear weapons program’ is really all about; it’s not about Iran or its nuclear weapons, it’s about Israel and the creation of a Greater Israel and the destruction of its enemies.

The neoconservative-run Emergency Committee for Israel has already ramped up the propaganda for war against Iran.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Owen Bowcott’s recent article in the Guardian raises very serious issues about the operation of drones that the US uses to attack its enemies around the world. Bowcott reports that United Nations investigator Christof Heyns has told a conference in Geneva that some drone attacks by the US may constitute war crimes. Heyns went on to say that some states “find targeted killings immensely attractive. Others may do so in future … Current targeting practices weaken the rule of law. Killings may be lawful in an armed conflict [such as Afghanistan] but many targeted killings take place far from areas where it's recognised as being an armed conflict”. Heyns also strongly suggests that a secondary drone attack against rescuers coming to the aid of victims of the first attack is a war crime.

The article confined itself to discussion around the legality under international law of the continued use of drone attacks by the West, but what was not discussed was the possibility of the West’s enemies developing drone weapons for use against the US and its allies.

The drones the US use are little more than very expensive and very sophisticated radio controlled aircraft from which missiles can be launched. Their sophistication lies in the fact that they can be controlled from the other side of the planet via satellite and can very accurately launch laser guided missile to a specific target.

While most of the West’s non-state enemies do not have anywhere near the wherewithal to build drones as sophisticated as the West’s, primitive but effective small drones can actually be constructed very cheaply and, because they can be constructed cheaply, rather than using missiles fired from the drone, the low-budget drone itself could become the missile.

All the technology needed to build such a drone already exists. Hot-wire cut foam shapes covered in high strength carbon fibre reinforced epoxies can quickly become an airframe to which can be attached a lightweight motor with a pusher propeller allowing a cheap video camera to be mounted in the nose by which an operator can guide the drone to its target. Such an aircraft would be able to lift several kilograms of explosive fitted with a simple impact trigger or mobile phone trigger. They can be launched from just about anywhere with the operator up to 2 or 3 kilometres away from the target. Model aircraft enthusiasts build and fly such aircraft everyday all over the world. All that needs to be added are explosives and a video camera.

One can only imagine the hue and cry coming from the West when one of these primitive devices are used to assassinate a Western military or political leader or used against multiple targets in which civilians are killed.

The world needs to think very seriously about where we are going with this technology from the point of view of using it to kill ones enemies. If one has enemies than one is an enemy of ones enemies -  and what you think might be right for dealing with your enemy, then so your enemy might think he is right to deal with you in the same way. Where will it end?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


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:

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

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.

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

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:

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 ...

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

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.  



[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.  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.  Accessed 2 June 2012.
[4] Media Release, “Force Deployment”, 17 October 2001.  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.  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 2020.  p. 535.
[7]Testimony of General Hussein Kamel’, UNSCOM/IAEA, 22 August 1995.  Accessed 12 June 2012.
[8] John Howard, “Transcript of the Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard MP doorstop interview, Perth”, 2 February 2004.  Accessed 12 June 2012.
[9] John Howard, “Ministerial Statement to Parliament on Iraq”, 4 February 2003.  Accessed 12 June 2012.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


At the beginning of the month I asked ‘Who was killing who in Syria?’ It seemed to me that, no matter what one might think of al-Assad, there seemed to be no logic from his point of view in committing such horrendous crimes at this stage of the crisis knowing that the US, Israel and the British are keen to get into Syria to ‘intervene’ (propaganda jargon for ‘regime change’). I then asked who would have most to gain from a false flag massacre of this type. I suggested the US and/or Israel being responsible based on the fact that, one, they are Assad’s two main protagonists and, two, they both have form for these types of outrages.

It turns out I was right about who didn’t do it; al-Assad, but wrong about who did – or at least partially wrong.

It now seems that the culprits were in fact anti-al-Assad Syrian Sunni rebels and that many of the victims were Alawi and Shia who are mostly supporters of al-Assad’s regime. I suggest ‘partially wrong’ because it could well be that it was the US/Israel that put the real culprits up to do the deadly deeds in order to try and get Russia and China onside for ‘intervention’.

Last week I wrote that the neocons were now split over what to do about Syria but it now seems that the neocons are coming into line and opting for the ‘let’s not support the rebels’ side of the argument. It’ll come as no surprise then that the source for the ‘al-Assad didn’t do it’ story comes from the neocons at National Review Online via Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

It seems that the neocon rush to overthrow nasty Middle Eastern dictators in order to have lots of happy Arabs voting in a democracy is not as important as ensuring that all these newly liberated Arabs don’t go and waste their vote on the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamic political parties.

But back to the crimes. It is essential that whoever did these crimes – and also whoever put them up to do these crimes, regardless of who they are – should face justice as war criminals in the international courts.    

Friday, June 08, 2012


Neoconservative commentary recently about Syria indicates a split developing within their ranks. There are now two distinct groups giving two very divergent views. On one side there are those that would like to see intervention preferably by the US and their allies to oust President Bashar al-Assad, while on the other side there are those that strongly object to intervention arguing that it would be aiding and abetting the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.

Writing in National Review Online, Andrew McCarthy says:

Congratulations to Mitt Romney. In calling for “opposition groups” to be armed and trained for their ongoing jihad against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, the GOP’s presidential contender has managed to align himself with al-Qaeda emir Ayman al-Zawahiri and Muslim Brotherhood icon Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Meanwhile, over at Commentary, neocon warhawk Max Boot is demanding to know why the US is not helping the Syrian rebels. Boot writes:

…election-year politics probably weighs against a… forceful American response. That’s a shame, because if we do nothing, not only will many more Syrians lose their lives, but we will lose a prime opportunity to tilt the Middle East balance of power against our primary adversary, Iran.

The lessons of previous ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions, it seems, are only just beginning to sink in with the neocons.

The word ‘intervention’ when used by either side has simply become propaganda shorthand for regime change. Neither side are in the slightest bit interested in intervention for strictly humanitarian purposes – which, of course, are why the West will get no support from the Russians and Chinese who can see right through the West’s ploy.