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Friday, December 27, 2013


If only it were.

If it were just up to Obama there would be no war until he decides there will be. But he’s just the President and, while he wields a lot of clout, at the end of the day he has a Congress to answer to.

If Obama put his foot down and said ‘no’ to Netanyahu launching a strike against Iran then Netanyahu wouldn’t do it. While there’s been a lot of talk of Netanyahu launching a unilateral strike against Iran, there is no way that he would do such thing without knowing that the US would come to Israel’s aid if Iran decided to retaliate – which it almost certainly would.

Obama has made it clear that he wants to give diplomacy every chance before taking any other action – let alone resorting to the military option. Netanyahu, however, has other ideas. He has told the world that, because Israel was not involved in the talks with Iran, Israel is not obligated by the terms of any agreement the P5+1 made with Iran. Furthermore, Netanyahu has also made it quite clear that Israel retains the right to launch a pre-emptive unilateral strike against Iran at any time Israel feels threatened or believes that Iran has crossed a ‘red line’.

Netanyahu’s problem was that he knows he can’t launch a pre-emptive ‘unilateral’ attack against Iran without US support and, without support from President Obama, war might be impossible.

Netanyahu, not to be thwarted by an obstinate US President, believes he has found another way to circumvent Obama’s no war policy by using the powerful combined forces of the American Israel lobby groups to garner support from the US Congress.

To this end a bipartisan group of Israeli supporters in the Senate have banded together to introduce a bill that will ostensibly create even more sanctions against Iran despite the P5+1 agreement with Iran specifically excluding further sanctions for the duration of the agreement. However, barely hidden in the proposed bill is a clause that states:

 …if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with the law of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence…

If this bill is passed in its entirety through Congress, it clearly most effectively gives Netanyahu the power to commit the US to war against Iran by simple virtue of Israel launching such an attack.

Obama has already strongly indicated that, if the bill is passed through Congress, he would veto it. But the President’s veto power is not limitless; if the bill flows through Congress with a two-thirds majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives then the President’s veto power may be over-ruled. (See here for the rules regarding presidential veto.) It would be up to Obama to use all of his Presidential influence to defeat the bill.

One can be sure that the Israel lobby will be using every ounce of its influence to ensure that, not only does the bill get through, but gets through with a big enough majority to prevent a presidential veto.

Much will depend on how this bill progresses through Congress - especially the future of the Middle East.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


There is an interesting article in the neoconservative Weekly Standard online magazine this week that is well worth a read. The writer, neoconservative Uri Sadot, a research associate with the Council on Foreign Relations, argues that Israel, based on its historical record of successes in pulling off seemingly impossible military operations, might very well consider a pre-emptive unilateral strike against Iran.

Netanyahu has already stated that, because Israel was not part of the deal struck between Iran and the so-called P5+1, the US, UK, France, Russia and China being the 5 and Germany being the +1, Israel reserves the right to defend itself unilaterally if and when it deems necessary.

Since the deal was signed on 24 November 2013, the US Congress has been debating means by which sanctions against Iran can be increased despite the deal saying that there would be no more sanctions for at least six months. If such a bill is passed, Obama has threatened to veto it.

Veto or not – and Obama’s power to veto is limited – the stand-off clearly shows how much support Israel has in Congress amongst both Republicans and Democrats, much of it as a result of intensive lobbying by the Israelis and their US lobby groups. Such support would quickly translate into supporting Israel fully in the event of Israel deciding to make a pre-emptive strike against Iran. Any hesitation that Congress has had about weather or not to support sanctions would instantly evaporate and be quickly replaced with an all but unanimous call for the US military to go all out to support Israel and approve war against Iran.

Friday, December 13, 2013


Norman Podhoretz, often regarded as one of the Godfathers of neoconservatism, has a piece in the Wall Street Journal calling for the bombing of Iran. In it he argues that the alternative is to accept that Iran will get a nuclear weapon and that it will be used against Israel despite the certainty of Israel launching a devastating retaliatory nuclear strike that would destroy Iran. He writes:

…that the prospect of being annihilated in a retaliatory nuclear strike, which had successfully deterred the Soviets and the Chinese from unleashing their own nuclear weapons during the Cold War, would be ineffective against an Iran ruled by fanatical Shiite mullahs.

He then goes on to quote a fellow neoconservative, Bernard Lewis, who in 2007 wrote:

…mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement. We know already [from the Iran-Iraq war] that they do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers… They are giving them a quick free pass to heaven and all its delights.

This is a complete furphy. What both Lewis and Podhoretz – and, indeed, all those that argue that Iran is some kind of nihilist state – fail to understand is that Iran is exactly the opposite; it is a survivalist state. The state did not ‘kill their own people in vast numbers’ but, rather, vast numbers of Iranians volunteered to sacrifice their lives in order to defend their country from annihilation by Iraq and ensure its survival. Why then would Iran risk annihilation at the hands of Israel?

This is not the first time Podhoretz has called for the bombing of Iran. In 2007, toward the end of the George W. Bush presidency, Podhoretz hoped to persuade Bush to take on Iran before he left the presidency by writing an article in Commentary magazine entitled “The Case for Bombing Iran”.

In this fear-mongering piece of nonsense Podhoretz repeats the lie that the then Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had threatened to ‘wipe Israel of the map’. (In fact Ahmadinejad was quoting Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who, in 1980, had actually said: ‘This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the arena of time’.) Podhoretz goes on to claim that it is Iran’s intention to dominate, not just the entire Middle East, but, according to Podhoretz:

He has a larger dream of extending the power and influence of Islam throughout Europe, and this too he hopes to accomplish by playing on the fear that resistance to Iran would lead to a nuclear war.

Iran, of course, has moved on and has a new far more conciliatory president who is willing to talk with the West (much to the annoyance of Israel and their neocon supporters) and who insists that their nuclear program is about developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and not for building bombs – a notion supported by the fact that there is not one piece of hard evidence showing otherwise.

While Iran has moved on, Podhoretz, clearly, has not. The world can only hope that Netanyahu, who obviously is on the same page as Podhoretz, has advisors that have the good sense to ignore Podhoretz’s ravings.

Friday, November 22, 2013


During all of the time the administration has been negotiating together with the so-called P5+1 team for a deal with Iran lower sanctions, Israel has been demanding any such deal be contingent on Iran dismantling its nuclear program and facilities entirely. Netanyahu hasn’t budged one bit from this demand and nor have his hard right Zionist supporters both in Israel and their supporters in America and around the world.

While Secretary of State John Kerry has been beavering away working on a deal that would partially relieve sanctions on Iran in return for a halt to further enrichment, the Israel lobby in the US has been working just as hard to undermine Kerry’s efforts in support of Netanyahu’s demands.

Most Democrat and Republican Congressman not only support Netanyahu’s demands for tougher actions if Iran doesn’t dismantle its facilities entirely, but they would very likely, if push came to shove and Netanyahu decided to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran, call for the US to support with all of its military might any war Israel initiates against Iran.

As negotiations continue and look increasingly like there may be some sort of settlement in the wind, the likelihood of Netanyahu taking matters into his own hands vastly increases.

On the other side of the coin, the administration is warning that, if sanction are not reduced, Iran will likely continue doing whatever it’s doing which inevitably will lead to war.

The fact is; Netanyahu has been hankering for war for years. He knows that war with Iran means war with Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinians in the West Bank. It will be the only opportunity Israel will ever get to attempt to defeat all of its enemies and, at the same time, put an end to the question of what to do about a Palestinian state – there simply will never be one. The West Bank will become the district of Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip will be re-occupied together with south Lebanon up to the Litani River which will later become annexed and part of Greater Israel just as they did with the Golan Heights. Under the cover of all-out war Israel will eliminate all of its enemies just as it attempted to do in 1982 when Israel facilitated the slaughter of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon.

It’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s just a matter of ‘when’. All Netanyahu is waiting for now is an opportunity. When all the right conditions line up, he’ll strike.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Netanyahu is becoming increasingly desperate to start his war against Iran. According to a report in Haaretz citing a report in Britain’s Sunday Times, Saudi Arabia has offered help to Israel in order to facilitate an attack against Iran. According to the report, Saudi Arabia will allow Israeli strike aircraft to transit Saudi airspace in order to reach targets in Iran. Saudi Arabia will also allow refuelling tanker aircraft, drones and rescue helicopters to be in Saudi airspace.

According to another report, Yaakov Amidror, who only recently left his position as Israel’s national security chief, has said that ‘Israel has the ability to strike Iran and is willing to go it alone’. Amidror concedes they don’t have the same wherewithal as the US but believes Israel would be able “to stop the Iranians for a very long time”.

Until recently, for the Israeli air force to get strike aircraft to Iran was a major hurdle against being able to attack. If they were not able to use Saudi airspace, they would have to have used Jordanian and Iraqi airspace, refuelled over the Persian Gulf, then returned to Israel the same way. However, Iraq was never going to give permission for the Israelis to use their airspace and it would be highly unlikely that Jordan would. The alternative would have been a long flight south down the length of the Red Sea, then east north-east across the Arabian Sea skirting Yemen and Oman and then into the Persian Gulf to attack Iran. Refuelling aircraft would need to be stationed at least two points along the way to refuel strike jets both on the way out and on the way back to Israel. This route would have been long and arduous for already stressed aircrew and they would almost certainly lose any element of surprise they may have hoped for.

The decision to strike Iran will very much depend on what course the next round of talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 takes. If an agreement is made whereby Iran is allowed to proceed with limited enrichment in exchange for an easing of sanctions, then there is a very strong chance that Netanyahu, who is insisting on nothing less than a complete dismantling of Iran’s nuclear facilities, will order a strike.

His hope will be that, once he has launched the initial strike, the US will then launch follow-up attacks against Iran using its Persian Gulf forces and long-range bomber forces to prevent Iran launching retaliation strikes against Israel.

Israel will also likely launch strikes against Hezbollah and Hamas also in order, so they will say, to prevent retaliatory strikes from either or both of these organisations at Israel’s doorstep. Israel may also launch a full-on invasion of the West Bank to thwart any possibility of West Bank Palestinians launching a third Intifada against Israeli occupation.

Clearly, Netanyahu is determined – one way or the other – to have his war against Iran, not because he thinks Iran is an existential threat to Israel, but because it is the only way that Netanyahu will be able to realise his and his fellow right-wing Zionists lifelong dream of creating a Greater Israel and preventing the Palestinian people from ever having a state of their own.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Jonathan Tobin, one of neoconservatism’s leading propagandists, writes in Commentary today that, “If those pushing for more sanctions really wanted war, they wouldn’t be bothering with more sanctions”.

What Tobin neglects to mention is that it is he and the entire neocon movement, together with the right-wing Zionists of Israel, who are the ones that ‘really want war’. And the reason why they are bothering with sanctions is three-fold; first, they are aware that the vast majority of Americans and most of the planet aren’t in the slightest bit interested in war and to just come right and say ‘Let’s go and bomb Iran’ is simply going to get them laughed at. Secondly, the reality is that it is sanctions that are the only route to war because then it provides an excuse to attack Iran when they claim that the sanctions have failed – which brings us to reason three: The neocons and the right-wing Zionists know full well that, no matter what, the Iranians will not give up their rights to nuclear power and, since the Israelis are insisting on nothing less than a complete dismantling of all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, it will leave the Israelis with no alternative but to attack Iran as they have always threatened to do if the sanctions fail – as they know they will.

But it’s not just about Israel. The neocons know that Israel can’t possibly destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities without the help of the US. As I have mentioned before many times at this blog, Israel needs the full connivance of the US in order to strike Iran. And that, as far as the neocons and the Zionists of Israel are concerned, is the fly in the ointment. Obama is unlikely at this time to support any unilateral strike against Iran. However, if Israel decides to launch a small pre-emptive strike against one or two of Iran’s nuclear facilities then Obama may have little choice other than to enjoin Israel in attacking Iran in order to prevent Iranian retaliatory strikes against Israel – and this is exactly what Israel will be hoping for.

The ultimate goal once war gets underway is not just the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but complete regime change which the Israelis and the US hope will happen after a massive bombing campaign designed to force the Iranian regime into capitulation.

Meanwhile, to complete their war aims, the Israelis will launch an all-out attack against Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The neocons and Zionists want nothing less than war. Squeezing Iran with sanctions that they know Iran won’t give in to is their path to war.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) today quoted US so-called nuclear expert David Albright as having stated that Iran could have a nuclear bomb ready ‘within a month’.

This is the same David Albright who I have written about before detailing his fearmongering nonsense after having made similar claims for years. I won’t bother repeating it. You can find it here.


In a recent interview with Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, Australian journalist Andrew Bolt displayed the extent of his well-known racism when the discussion turned to Australia’s indigenous people. It went thus:

AB: I assume you believe all Australians should be treated equally on the grounds of race and ethnic origin.

PM: Yes.

AB: Why do you then want the Constitution rewritten so that some Australians are given different status on the grounds of their racial ancestry?

PM: Well, that's not I want [sic]. I want to appropriately acknowledge indigenous people in the Constitution. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that we have two classes of Australian citizens, and any proposed amendment that did in effect create two classes of citizens wouldn't be put forward by me, and would deserve to fail if it was.

AB: But dividing people by race …

PM: Yeah, but you're assuming that anything along these lines will divide people by race.

AB: Yes, I do.

PM: Well, I don't accept that this is mission impossible.

The words ‘racist’ and ‘racism’ have been universally accepted as being derogatory in the sense that the words are usually used to convey a negative perception of a person or a persons attitude to people of a different race, culture or religion. A racist is a person of one race who, for whatever reason, hates people of another race simply on the basis that those other people are of a different race. The hatred is usually accompanied by, or more usually caused by, an innate fear of the other and/or a sense of superiority over the other. That sense of superiority usually revolves around sense of cultural superiority and/or differences in physical appearance which to the racist denotes both cultural and physical superiority.

What Bolt attempts to do is deny his racism while at the same time promote it and, in order to achieve this, he has developed a rhetoric that tries to ‘invert’ his racism. He does this by insisting that, if we recognise the differences in other people’s cultures, religion, heritage and physical appearance, then that in itself is racism. In other words, recognising the positive aspects of people of different colour, religion, culture or heritage is to Bolt as much racism as the more usual negative characteristics that we think of when considering and using the words ‘racist’ and ‘racism’.

Where Bolt’s attempts to hoodwink us fails is in what he offers as an alternative – and it is this that betrays his racism.

What Bolt says he wants is for all Australians to be treated equally. The problem here, however, is what Bolt wants to set as the standard by which equality is attained – and that for Bolt is a white Anglo-European-Judea-Christian dominated Western orientated monocultural society which others, if they must be here, are expected to adopt and assimilate into leaving their own cultures and religions behind. Bolt insists that ‘they’ become like ‘us’ and that they not be allowed to integrate ‘their’ culture and religion into ‘ours’.

Bolt wants to deny Australia’s Indigenous people their right to recognition as Australia’s first people in a future revised constitution. He supports the crackpot ideas of Keith Windschuttle who denies the ‘stolen generations’ and denies that widespread massacres and ethnic cleansing of Aboriginal people by white settlers occurred during colonisation.

Bolt is the quintessential Australian racist; he denies that he is a racist and accuses anyone that attempts to recognise the attributes of the culture, heritage and religion of others as being racist against white Anglo-European-Judea-Christians who want a Western orientated monocultural nation.

The very idea of a multicultural, multiracial society that recognises the virtues of the culture, heritage and religion of different races co-existing in our nation is a complete anathema to Andrew Bolt.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Further to my last post wondering if Israel might launch a pre-emptive unilateral attack against Iran before the gulf between Israel and the US over Iran’s nuclear program gets to a point of no return, it should be pointed out – as some commentators have – that there is unlikely to be any attack against Iran while the current round of talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 alliance are still underway. Talks are scheduled to restart on 10 November 2013 after a break that allows the parties to consider their next moves.

Once the talks are over, however, if the outcome of the talks hasn’t satisfied Netanyahu who is demanding that Iran dismantles all of its nuclear facilities, then he might feel that this maybe the only opportunity he’ll have to attack Iran with any hope of the US, no matter how reluctantly, getting on board to help the Israelis in their fight against Iran. Netanyahu may take a chance and attack in the hope that Obama will consider it fait accompli and be left with no option other than to support Israel by launching its own attacks against Iran.

However, if as an outcome of the talks Obama expresses satisfaction with whatever deal they come up with about Iran’s nuclear program and then states that as far as the US is concerned, provided Iran keeps to its end of the deal, the crisis is over, then it’s all over for Netanyahu too – which means Netanyahu will have to act quickly after the talks are concluded if he wants the US to help Israel fight Iran.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Relations between Israel and the US, according to some observers, are deteriorating rapidly as the US talks with the Iranians over Iran’s nuclear program seem to be gaining ground.

Netanyahu has been trying to convince the world that the new president of Iran’s fresh and non-confronting approach to the West over sanctions and Iran’s nuclear program are just about buying time which Iran is using to build a nuclear bomb that Netanyahu says will be launched at Israel just as soon as it’s ready.

Netanyahu maintains that he will strike Iran unilaterally if he felt that Iran was getting close to building a bomb. This has put the US on edge and a little worried that Netanyahu may lose patience and go ahead with a unilateral strike against Iran.

I have for years argued that any such strike by Israel against Iran could not possibly be wholly ‘unilateral’ and that there must be some level of connivance with the US before such a strike could be carried out. However, Israel may feel they are able to risk launching an initial unilateral attack against Iran in the hope that, after launching such an attack, the US would feel obligated – no matter how begrudgingly – to immediately come to Israel’s aid. It is now getting to the point where Israel may feel that, if they leave it any longer, the divide between them and the US may be so wide that such help from the US may not be forthcoming.

Obama has, despite his coolness to Netanyahu of late, said that he has ‘Israel’s back’. Short of actually announcing that the US will not come to Israel’s aid if Israel attacks Iran unilaterally, the US would, I believe, nonetheless go into bat for the Israelis after the Israelis launched the initial strike. Certainly, the US already has its military in place in the Persian Gulf for just such an operation.

It should be made clear though, that once a strike is launched, there will be no turning back. It will not simply be a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities; it will be in pursuit of nothing less than regime change. And that will be achieved without invasion and by use strategic bombing until Iran capitulates.

Netanyahu is becoming desperate. He believes that it is his destiny to create the Greater Israel he has always dreamed of – and war against Iran is the only way he will ever be able to achieve that.

Friday, October 04, 2013


While anything that anyone does to ease the burden of refugees or at risk if they remain where they are can be nothing but helpful, it’s difficult to applaud such actions when one knows that it is being done for such blatantly transparent ulterior motives.

Yesterday the Abbott government announced that 500 Syrian refugees currently being handled by the UNHCR will be settled in Australia. Today the Abbott government also announced that some 800 Afghans who had worked for the allies in Afghanistan will also be offered places in Australia. All of these people, however, are being admitted into Australia not as part of some special extra humanitarian allocation, but as part of the existing already reduced allocation of 13,750 – reduced, that is, from 20,000 places.

So, while the number of refugees across the planet is drastically increasing – due mainly to wars started or supported by the West, including Australia – Australia is actually reducing its commitment to the refugee problem. But in order to make it look good for the government the Immigration Department is making a song and dance about helping the Syrian refugees and Afghan asylum seekers and they are going to great pains to tell Australians that these people are coming in through ‘legal’ channels while those that attempt to arrive by boat are, as Immigration Minister Scott Morrison refers to them; ‘illegal’ and will never be allowed to settle in Australia.

It’s quite clear that Morrison is using the plight of one set of people to demonise the plight of others who the government has developed, it would seem, nothing but contempt for. No doubt when the folk around the world talk of the way Australia treats its refugees, the Abbott government will be responding loudly and clearly by saying how good they are by helping just 1300 refugees and asylum seekers. That, they hope, will detract from the reality of Australia’s cruelty to boatpeople.

Thursday, October 03, 2013


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the light of US President Obama’s much softened stance on Iran, has recently been quietly entertaining guests from some Arab states that are concerned about the rise of Iran’s growing regional hegemony. While none of these countries have diplomatic relations with Israel, all share an interest in diluting Iran’s influence.

In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly recently Netanyahu stated that he was prepared to act alone against Iran in order to ‘prevent Iran building a nuclear weapon’. While President Obama is reluctant to take America to war again by attacking Iran, he has on several occasions suggested that Israel must do as it sees fit in its own defence and, furthermore, has said that he supports Israel’s right to defend itself. Obama has also said the ‘US will always have Israel’s back’, a promise, no matter what the circumstances, he is unlikely to back away from if push really came to shove.

Even though in public Obama, for domestic political reasons, seems to be far more desirous of a diplomatic solution than a military one with regards to Iran’s nuclear program, he would not hesitate to back Israel if it decided to take the unilateral route to attacking Iran though, of course, for the sake of public opinion, Obama would appear to do so reluctantly. However, as I have explained before, any action that Israel takes against Iran can never be truly unilateral; it must, at the very least, rely on US connivance and, just as importantly, US preparedness in the event of Iranian retaliation.

Despite Obama appearing to hold out hope for a diplomatic solution to what America’s intelligence agencies see as a non-problem, it should be remembered that behind Obama’s olive branch is a massive US military presence in both the Persian Gulf near Iran and in the eastern Mediterranean close to Lebanon, Syria and Israel ready to pounce to Israel’s defence at the first sign of an Iranian retaliation.

But before Israel goes off to attack Iran, while it knows it will have Obama’s backing, albeit discreetly, Netanyahu must also know where Iran’s neighbours stand – hence the talks with emissaries from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and elsewhere.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


There is just one of two scenarios that can be deduced from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s obsessive stance on Iran: he either genuinely believes that Iran wants to build a nuclear weapon specifically to launch at Israel or he has some ulterior motive for wanting the US to attack Iran.

An examination of the two scenarios makes it clear that of the two, the second is far more plausible.

For decades Netanyahu, his political supporters in Israel and their neoconservative supporters in the US and elsewhere around the world have insisted that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and that it is only ‘months away’ from being able to build a bomb. Furthermore, not only do they insist that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, but also that once Iran has the bomb, they will use it against Israel.

Despite their insistence, however, various US National Intelligence Estimates failed to confirm their belief that Iran was on the way to building a bomb. Indeed, not one skerrick of hard evidence has ever been produced to categorically confirm that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. But that didn’t stop the Israelis and their neoconservative supporters from continuing their propaganda about Iran’s ‘nuclear program’.

Nowhere in their propaganda is there any attempt to provide a rationale for their paranoia other than to claim – quite erroneously – that ex-Iranian president Ahmadinejad wanted to somehow ‘wipe Israel off the map’. Nor is there any explanation as to how exactly Iran would launch a nuclear attack against Israel given Israel’s proximity to Arab land and the fact that 20% of Israel’s population are the very Arabs that Iran are supporting. Ignored entirely by the Israeli Zionists and their supporters is how they thought Iran might avoid a retaliatory nuclear strike launched by a nuclear armed Israel and/or by their allies, most of who also bristle with nuclear arms. In short, none of their claims and arguments supporting their claims has any basis in reality or even logic.

One can only conclude then that there is some ulterior motive behind their vehement insistence that Iran be attacked. Regular readers know already what that motive is; others may find it here.

Later today Netanyahu will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Undoubtedly, his main topic is going to be Iran and it’s supposed ‘nuclear weapons program’ with an emphasis on how the new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is trying to pull the wool over the West’s eyes about Iran’s nuclear program.

Netanyahu has already had private talks with President Obama and Obama has already reassured Netanyahu that all options, including the military option, remain on the table. What Netanyahu says in his upcoming speech to the UNGA may provide some insight as to how he is likely to progress to his ultimate goal of a final confrontation with Iran.

Friday, September 27, 2013


The Golan Heights is territory occupied by Israel. It actually belongs to Syria and its resources, therefore, belong to the Syrian people. Despite the fact that Israel has occupied the Golan Heights ever since the 1967 Six Day War and unilaterally annexed it in 1981 (a move condemned by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in Resolution 497), Israel nonetheless is likely to give oil drilling rights to an American resources company which is part owned by Israel Energy Initiatives. That company is Genie Israel Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of Genie Energy which, in turn, is partly owned by Rupert Murdoch.

After what the Syrian people have been going through – and still are going through – they’ll need every oil dollar they can get and the dollars that come out of the ground in the Golan Heights rightfully belongs to them, not to Rupert Murdoch or the Israelis or even Dick Cheney who is also purported to have an interest in the project.

No matter who ‘wins’ Syria’s civil war, Israel will be faced with a people that will be wanting their lands back. It’s little wonder that the Israelis are pouring so much of their military resources into protecting the Golan Heights – and it’s little wonder that Rupert Murdoch uses so much of his media resources to propagandise and support Israel and its illegal occupation of the Golan Heights and other lands that Israel have occupied and colonised at the expense of other peoples.   

Sunday, September 22, 2013


For all the foibles and weaknesses of the previous Labor government, what with its leadership issues and struggles to govern with the help of the Greens and independents, at least the Australian people knew what was going on as the two sides of the media, Murdoch’s right-wing hard copy and online news resources on one side, and the centrist and left-of-centre Fairfax hard copy and online news resources and ABC media on the other side, gave a running commentary which the Labor government under both recent leaders were always willing to respond to.

But it was the overwhelming ability of the right-wing Murdoch media with its ultra right-wing commentators who were able to appeal to the business-suited right on one side of the right-wing court, while Murdoch’s bloggers like Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair, Piers Akerman, et al, on the other side of the right-wing court, appealed to the red-necked hard right working classes that managed to swing the nation against Labor and its disrupting factional influences. In the end, both sides of the Australia mainstream political fence were trying to appeal to the same tiny set of swing voters who would, in the end, determine who the new government would be.

In order to try and win over the red-necked working class voter, Labor succumbed to the demands of the racist right, so vocal through Murdoch’s media, to end the flow of asylum-seeking refugees arriving to Australia by boat by offering almost identical anti-boatpeople policies as the Liberal coalition. It ended up being a battle as to who could offer the toughest deterrence with the result that all that both sides were going to offer any boatperson attempting to come to Australia was a life of potentially perpetual misery in oppressive conditions in places they never wanted to be. It seemed that every time one side came up with what they thought was a solution; the other side would come up with something even tougher on boatpeople. All empathy went out the window in the race to be the meanest and toughest against boatpeople.

In the end, it became obvious what was going on; most of Labor hated what they said they were going to do to boatpeople and it was clear the tough rhetoric and all the talks with the various off-shore governments involved was just pandering to the racist voter. On Election Day the racist voter didn’t trust Labor to keep boatpeople out and instead voted for Abbott’s ‘Stop the boats’ and ‘Tow them back’ solutions. Messrs Bolt, Blair, Akerman, et al, were more that willing to help Abbott out with their fearmongering blogs by blustering about boatpeople on a daily basis and pointing the finger of ‘border security failure’ directly at Labor and their Left wing supporters. They did this by both playing on the fears of the racist monoculturalist right who reject anything that may upset the racial status quo of Australia and, at the same time, tempering the guilt of such outright racism by claiming that stopping the boats will end deaths at sea – as though any of them actually cared.

Now we have a government that is beginning to show its true colours. They’ve found a simple solution of making a problem disappear – pretend it’s not there by saying no more about it. And, of course, the right-wing commentariat are more than happy to oblige. Ever since the election, they have not said a word about boatpeople arrivals despite the fact that, as of this writing, some seven boat loads of asylum seeking refugees are known to have arrived. In ignoring their arrival, the right-wing commentariat expose themselves as hypocrites. Their concerns for boatpeople safety have vanished and, in all likelihood, if boatpeople did vanish at sea, we would not be hearing about it from this government.

Abbot has said that he will leave it to Australia’s military to decide what the Australian people may or may not know about asylum seeking refugees attempting to arrive by boat. And Abbott has also said that he will only be making statements to the Australian people when he deems it necessary – not just about boatpeople, but about anything.

In short, the new Australian government is no longer going to be transparent. It will tell us only what it thinks we need to hear.

One wonders to what extent the government will go in order to maintain its ability to keep the people of Australia un-informed. Will there be censorship in the media? Certainly the right-wing Murdoch dominated media are likely to be compliant but in this day and age of digital communication and social media, it will be hard to keep everyone in the dark. Will the government simply ignore those the attempt to inform or will they clamp down on them for ‘security’ purposes?

News that affects Australians and what is done in Australia’s name, including the future of asylum seeking boat arrivals, must never be allowed to become silenced. The new opposition must sort itself out quickly and challenge – no matter how futile such challenges may seem – everything the government does that hides from Australians the truth of how we are being governed.

All Australians must insist on transparent government.

The alternatives are unimaginable.

Friday, September 13, 2013


It’s clear that the new Liberal coalition government under recently elected leader Tony Abbott have opted to censor all news about any boat arrivals since coming to government last Saturday. As a result, Australia and the world will get no news about how many refugees have arrived in Australia and, more importantly, what their fate will be. 

Julian Burnside QC, an advocate for asylum seeking refugees, has recently suggested that the whole of Tasmania be declared a place of detention where boat arrivals could be sent. Pontville detention centre could become reception centre for medical and security checks prior to being released into the populace where they would be free to work and live while their status is being confirmed. Unfortunately, it’s a grand idea that the conservative Australian government are unlikely to consider despite its obvious merits.

Meanwhile, a look around the conservative commentators and bloggers in the mainstream media who, before the election, wrote daily pieces critical of asylum seeking boatpeople, have now virtually said not a word about them since the election. It’s as if they’ve been asked not to write anything that highlights the plight of asylum seeking boatpeople.

As a result of the blackout on news about boatpeople arrivals I have launched a blogspot website called Boat Arrivals to Australia Log which I hope readers will use to post what news they do have about any boat arrivals since the election.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The Obama speech to the American people and the world, delivered on the eve of the twelfth anniversary of 9/11, was very carefully crafted and designed to appeal to public opinion while leaving the ball still firmly in his court. He reminded the world he is still commander in chief and is only going to Congress for what he considers ideological reasons that reflect the democratic nature of the American nation. He laid out past precedents for going to war without Congressional approval leaving the door open for him to make such a decision if circumstances dictated.

Obama was also careful to avoid emphasising Israel’s role in Middle East affairs though very subtly gave Israel the green light to “defend itself with overwhelming force, as well as the unshakeable support of the United States of America” in the event of any retaliation resulting from strikes against Syria. Such ‘overwhelming force supported by the US’ could include attacking Hezbollah and Iran.

A politically clever speech all round designed to placate the huddled masses yet not tie his or Israel’s hands for future war.


It seems that an imminent strike against the Syrian government may have been averted due to Bashir al-Assad conceding to Russian suggestions that Syria surrender its chemical weapons to international custody. Already the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting scheduled to meet to discuss Russia’s proposal has been postponed.

The development has left the neoconservatives fuming. For them, the US strike against Syria was essential. Without a US strike there is unlikely to be the much hoped for retaliatory strikes against Israel which would have provided them with an opportunity to launch an all-out attack against Hezbollah. It also leaves them wondering if Obama will really take on Iran, an essential part of Israel’s strategy to remake Israel and realise the Zionist goal of creating a Greater Israel. There will be no war against Hezbollah if the US doesn’t take on Iran.

Israel will now likely wait to see what the US Congress comes up with and then, if war with Syria doesn’t seem likely, Israel will begin to push hard again for a strike against Iran claiming that Iran is approaching ‘the red line’ threshold of a nuclear weapon.

The bottom line for Israel is; events are not aligning themselves up as Israel would have wanted. Short of some game-changing event, Israel will not et be having its much needed ‘Final Confrontation’.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


It was clear before Australia’s recent elections that the previous Labor government under Kevin Rudd would have supported US ‘punitive’ action against Syria – and this despite Australia taking over the presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC) this month. However, while the Rudd government may have given political support to the US, it is not known if Rudd would have provided any military support apart from the intelligence and communications resources that are based in Australia.

That was before last Saturday’s election. Australia’s conservative incoming Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is a hard right supporter of the US and Israel and, while it is too early to tell what Abbott is likely to offer the Americans, it will, in all likelihood, be much more than Rudd would have offered. A lot will also depend on what the US actually asks for. At the moment, Obama is desperate for support from wherever he can get it, as are the British.

Julie Bishop, who is likely to become the next Australian Foreign Minister, has already said that she has spoken to the Americans and has spoken to British Foreign Minister William Hague and indicated that there will be more talks with Hague later this week though one can only speculate what those talks may be about.

It is now fairly clear that the war in Syria will soon escalate if the US attacks Syria. The question for Australian’s is: Will Tony Abbott provide military support for such a strike and, furthermore, if the war escalates to include attacks against Iran, will Abbott continue to commit Australian forces to fight elsewhere in the Middle East.

The coming war in the Middle East could quickly become what I have called the Final Confrontation between the US/Israel/the West and Iran/Syria/Hezbollah/Hamas that I have warned about for years. All that was needed for the US, Israel and their allies to launch their final confrontation against their Middle East enemies was an alignment and sequence of events that would provide a casus belli to kick off just a war.

Friday, September 06, 2013


By Paul Heywood-Smith

Australia’s Prime Minister in Waiting, Tony Abbott, announced today that he will call Parliament to Canberra in the week following the election to authorize his determination to undertake a punitive strike against the United States of America.
Abbott said that the world could not allow the flagrantly immoral use of drones to kill innocent people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and the Cote d’Azur to go unpunished.  His action would be to ‘deter and degrade’ the Obama’s government’s ability to launch drones, but is said to be not aimed at ousting  Mr. Obama from power or forcing him to the negotiating table.
Abbott characterized the action under consideration as ‘limited’, perhaps lasting no more than one or two decades, and acknowledged that the Security Council would not endorse the punitive action.  “We are not silly.  We are realistic.  This is a very astute ‘government in waiting’”, he said.  “We are expecting a US veto in the Security Council.  However, what could you expect?” he mused.  Abbott said however that he was not concerned with international law given the flagrant breach of morality by the U.S.
Australia’s Prime Minister on the Way Out, Kevin  Rudd, said he would support the action and do it himself, only better, if elected.
In a reversal of form Abbott said that he would not ‘stop the boats’ but rather send them – a flotilla of Sydney Harbour ferries – to the West Coast of the U.S, to give California ‘a real pasting’.  Abbott said that the goal of the operation was ‘not about regime change’.  Seeking to reassure the public that Australia would not be drawn into a civil war in the Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps to lower expectations of what the attack might accomplish, Abbott administration officials acknowledged that their action would not accomplish Mr. Abbott’s repeated demand that Mr. Obama step down.
Weapons experts said that boomerang strikes, while politically and psychologically significant, could have a limited tactical effect.  The weapons carry relatively small warheads.
On Monday night, one prominent member of the Tea Party Front, a rebel group aligned with the Republican Party and designated a terrorist organization by the United Nations and Australia, used a Facebook posting to urge fellow members to move away from their bases or positions in California.
U.S. President Obama is said to be trembling in his size 12 sneakers and indicated he would afford tax exempt status to Paul Hogan (Hoges) if he could persuade his government to ‘stop the boats’!   

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Yesterday I wrote that any attack against Syria will not be about ‘punishing’ Syria’s president Bashir al-Assad over the use of chemical weapons but about regime change. However, the question that’s been neglected in the debate is; if there is regime change, who will the regime change over to? Once al-Assad and his government have fallen, who and what sort of government will replace him?

Western governments have made it clear that they do not want a theocratic government to replace al-Assad and especially not a coalition of Islamic extremists many of whom the West believes have affiliations to ‘al-Qaeda’. For Israel and the United States that would be an even worse scenario than if al-Assad prevailed in this civil war. The regime that Israel and the US do want in place is one made up of secularist democrats whose religious beliefs, regardless of what they are, are incidental to their commitment to a democratic secular government; in other words, a nation that replicates their own style of government.

For the West it’s not just a simple matter of ousting al-Assad, but also to prevent ‘undesirable elements’ of al-Assad’s opposition from forming the replacement government. In order to do that the West would need to attack the jihadi extremists before they have an opportunity to assert themselves as being, or being a part of, an alternative post-al-Assad government. So ‘regime change’ isn’t just about attacking al-Assad but also the jihadists. Already jihadists are preparing themselves for an onslaught against them by American forces. They are convinced that, when the US and their Western allies launch their ‘punishment’ attacks against al-Assad, they will also be targeted.

So who will be the new regime?

One can be sure that if the West is going to instigate regime change, then the new regime will be one of their choosing. Chances are the people that will go to make up the potential new interim government would have already been chosen. They are likely to be secular and Western-friendly and – importantly – Israeli friendly, and, therefore, anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah. Such governments are commonly called puppet governments.

But there’s a long way to go before that happens. The jihadi fighters are unlikely to give up that easily and, if they are attacked by Western forces, will likely retaliate by striking out against the enemy closest to them; Israel.

And that’s a whole new ball game.

Monday, September 02, 2013


There should be no misunderstandings over what is about to happen in Syria. When the US and their allies – and the UK may well be joining them yet – attack Syria it will be for the purpose of regime change and not as a ‘punishment’ for using gas against civilians. The ‘punishment’ or ‘punitive’ rhetoric being used currently is purely for propaganda purposes in an effort to swing public opinion to support an attack.

The court of public opinion in the West these days, especially when it comes to the possibility of going to war in the Middle East, is particularly important to politicians after the fiasco in Iraq. In the lead up to that war public opinion was dead set against it but the politicians took their people off to war anyway only find that there were no WMDs, the reason for going to war in the first place, and chaos and mayhem has reigned ever since.

American public opinion has been firmly against attacking Syria though many have hinted they would change their view if President Obama were to gain the approval of Congress. As a result of public opinion, Obama is now seeking just that from Congress though whether he gets it or not is still debateable. Approval is by no means assured. Many Democrats are uneasy about going to war again in the Middle East so, while Democrats control the Senate, Obama may still need to do some convincing before he’s able to get them on side. Meanwhile in the House of Representatives, controlled by the Republicans, many senior Republicans who are hard right-wing conservatives, while generally supportive of a war against Syrian Bashir al-Assad, despise Obama and may not support him unless he promised to go for regime change. Other Republicans on the other hand are concerned that any ‘punitive’ strike might roll on to some other more long term objective. All in all, Congressional support is not a given and, needless to say, neoconservatives are against punitive action and will only support action that results in regime change.

Clearly, Obama is anxious about public opinion and, while he is keenly aware of what happened to British Prime Minister David Cameron when he looked to Parliament for support for a strike against Syria, Obama obviously prefers to do what Congress demands rather than incur the wrath of the American people. Democracy suddenly works.

But it’s all for show. It will not change the result. Regime change will ultimately occur and, in the process, war will escalate to include Israel who will attack Hezbollah and Hamas. The headline news about whether or not al-Assad should be punished will be forgotten as the tragedy of war once again erupts through the Middle East with the potential of making the one going on now in Syria look like a small skirmish.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


The US and their allies are expending a lot of effort in trying to convince both each other and public opinion that intervention in Syria would be legal both under their own respective domestic laws as well as under international law. Little, however, is being said about whether or not such action would be moral.

Neocon chickenhawk warmonger, “Mad Max” Boot, writing in Commentary, invokes George W. Bush’s legal justifications for attacking Iraq – of all examples – to set a precedent for Obama to attack Syria. Boot cites notorious Bush legal advisor and fellow warmonger John Yoo (famous for advising the Bush administration that torture of terrorists is legal) saying that Obama has executive power to ‘engage in war’ without consulting Congress but must consult Congress to ‘declare war’.

Meanwhile in the UK, Britain’s Attorney General Dominic Grieve sets out what he considers would have been Cameron’s legal justification for intervention. In Grieve’s opinion, if intervention is not authorised by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the UK could still legally intervene based on three conditions, namely:

1. The Syrian regime has been killing its people for two years, with reported deaths now over 100,000 and refugees at nearly 2 million. The large-scale use of chemical weapons by the regime in a heavily populated area on 21 August 2013 is a war crime and perhaps the most egregious single incident of the conflict. Given the Syrian regime’s pattern of use of chemical weapons over several months, it is likely that the regime will seek to use such weapons again. It is also likely to continue frustrating the efforts of the United Nations to establish exactly what has happened. Renewed attacks using chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would cause further suffering and loss of civilian lives, and would lead to displacement of the civilian population on a large scale and in hostile conditions.

2. Previous attempts by the UK and its international partners to secure a resolution of this conflict, end its associated humanitarian suffering and prevent the use of chemical weapons through meaningful action by the Security Council have been blocked over the last two years. If action in the Security Council is blocked again, no practicable alternative would remain to the use of force to deter and degrade the capacity for the further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

3. In these circumstances, and as an exceptional measure on grounds of overwhelming humanitarian necessity, military intervention to strike specific targets with the aim of deterring and disrupting further such attacks would be necessary and proportionate and therefore legally justifiable. Such an intervention would be directed exclusively to averting a humanitarian catastrophe, and the minimum judged necessary for that purpose.

The problem with this opinion is that it does not reflect the actual situation and circumstances on the ground in Syria and, as British legal expert Professor Philippe Sands, QC, of London University points out:

…is premised on factual assumptions – principally that the weapons were used by the Syrian government, that the use of force by the UK would deter or disrupt the further use of chemical weapons – that are not established on the basis of information publicly available.

Furthermore, Grieve in his opinion note infers that the Syrian government is also responsible for all of the 100,000 deaths and is responsible for the creation of the entire refugee crisis resulting from the war when clearly both sides need to take responsibility.

The legal principles relating to burden of proof, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, gathering of evidence, laying charges, making arrests, going to trial, etc., all seems to have been abandoned by the very governments that claim all of these principles as being the foundation stones upon which have been established the virtues that ‘they’, so the Western governments have told us, hate about ‘us’.