Archive for September, 2014

Saying it with Flowers

Posted: September 14, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Red-Poppy  The Pope now reckons WWIII is already being fought in piecemeal fashion. Well spotted. I agree. It was always going to be fought in the Middle East.

Definition of a world war: A war involving many large nations.

I watched Anzac Girls last night (I fell asleep at the point when Uncle Sam saved the day which when I woke as the credits rolled I thought rather ironic).

Then I thought of where the battles of WWI were fought. I don’t like war and haven’t studied it so I’m hazy. But I suspect if you got some maps and superimposed the countries in battles fought now on top of those back then, you would have a similar geographical area. I understand for example that Iraq and Syria are quite big.

Ukraine is chunky too.

Gaza is a thin strip so we can’t always go by size. We must also factor in devastation.

We must also factor in genocide, ethnic cleansing and the displacement numbers.

Our WWIII is also a war on terror, which isn’t a war at all, but has somehow helped to create this other war.

The in-depth analysis I will leave to others.

I will say it with flowers.

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images   Hearing Obama outline his latest plan for the curtailment of ISIS it would be easy to believe that this group emerged spontaneously and entirely of its own accord out of the desert country of Syria and Iraq, filling a vacuum in the power shenanigans left when the US military pulled out of Iraq. That’s the propaganda. That is what the US and its allies would have us believe. And it isn’t true.

An elite of concentrated power bent on expansionism, such as found in Empire America today, will inevitably spawn its nemesis; groups of the disenfranchised, the alienated or the diametrically opposed in belief and ideology, those who contest both the expansionism and the elitism behind it. This sounds a logical and reasonable claim.

Empire America calls the nemesis terrorism.

Dig around and things begin to look quite different. Since the power elite of Empire America knows full well that such a nemesis will emerge, as inevitable as sunrise, they have set off with fertilizer and a watering can, encouraging their nemesis to grow and flourish, seizing the opportunity to further their own aim to render the Middle East a series of Failed States.

The nemesis has had other names. In the age of European expansionism, when Spain and Portugal and Britain were conquering new lands, the nemesis was piracy. In fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries piracy was rife. Renegades from all over Europe flocked to Algiers and Sale, (the pirate utopias of North Africa),  many converting to Islam. Piracy was big and legitimate business. In Algiers, then the world’s slave capital and a sanctuary for a polyglot of renegades from all over Europe, ten per cent of the proceeds of a pirate attack went into the city coffers in exchange for the pirates’ protection. Sale, originally inhabited by Berbers and the only Moroccan Atlantic city not to have fallen to the rising powers of Spain and Portugal, became the home of exiled Spaniards that had fled King Phillip III’s anti-Moor ethnic cleansing. It was out of these exiled groups that the notorious Sally Rovers came into being. Ships sailing back from the Americas were especially vulnerable. The Canary Islands, situated en route to the Americas, were repeatedly sacked. And these piratical attacks were brutal. Whole villages and towns razed, people slaughtered, or taken as slaves to be sold back in Algiers. An entertaining and informative book on the matter is Pirate Utopias: Moorish Corsairs and European Renegadoes,  by Peter Lamborn Wilson, 1995.

Today the ideology of Jihad has replaced that of piracy as a repository for all the thugs, criminals and blood-lusting psychopaths eager to let loose their base impulses. Young men craving adventure, keen to cut loose and go wild, enamoured with rampage, glorying in brutality are drawn to join one or other of the many groups fighting the enemy Empire America, fighting to gain supremacy over competing groups, fighting to impose their own version of Islam, fighting for the hell of it.

Then as now the holy war and its defeat are glamourised and revered. Tragedies mourned, heroes celebrated. Pomp and ceremony in abundance. Then as now it is big business that profits. Then as now it is the innocent who suffer.

Now, as then, the fall of ISIS will mirror the retreat of Empire. Or its collapse.

 

On Air

Posted: September 5, 2014 in Uncategorized
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561631-asylum-seekers   I’ll be on Ann Creber’s The Good Life this Monday (8th September) at 4.10 pm, talking about the home hospitality respite program for asylum seekers that I coordinate for the Bega Valley under the auspices of Home among the Gum Trees, Rural Australians for Refugees.
Tune in to 3MDR, 97.1FM or go to their website for live streaming.  http://www.3mdr.com/program/detail/6/The-Good-Life/

5717630-3x2-340x227   It pleases me to announce that Australia will be selling uranium to India. They are a stable democracy with a growing economy and much need for power. This government is happy to expand into the vibrant market of India with this valuable resource, giving a timely boost to our own economy. Our nation stands to gain many benefits from this gesture of goodwill. Profits all round. It’s a win win win. Yes, I’ll chink flutes with you.

Tailing ponds? Oh, don’t worry about them. They are perfectly safe. Deformities in local populations? You mustn’t take notice of the propaganda on this one. There is no evidence whatsoever that any deformities, if they exist, were caused by the uranium mines, mills or tailing ponds. I shouldn’t pay much attention to the ABC (chuckle). Nuclear power is a safe industry. Fukushima? That was a freak accident and the authorities are doing a good job, a good job securing the plant. Nuclear power is the way of the future, a clean green technology empowering generations to come. Waste? I understand that the Indian nuclear power companies have a sound policy for securing their waste. Nuclear weapons and depleted uranium? Our uranium is sold for sole use in nuclear power stations and not for military use and I have it on good authority that the Indian government is working closely with the power industry to ensure that no uranium and no nuclear waste falls into the wrong hands.

Expanding the uranium mining industry in Australia is good for jobs and good for business. And make no mistake here, mining uranium is perfectly safe. What about adverse effects found in impact studies on World Heritage ecosystems and landscapes? There is absolutely no proof of this. Stringent environmental measures are in place. This government takes environmental safety matters very seriously.

I think we are all agreed on this. Bob Hawke has come out in support of our indigenous Australians accepting the storing of nuclear waste on their land. He’s right when he says it will  close the gap  on disadvantage. Clearly this is not a partisan issue.

No.

It’s a cast iron mindset.