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.

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’.