salon.com / By Joan Walsh
“Much of the American right supported apartheid, almost to the bitter end. We must remember that…
…It’s shocking how little American leaders of both parties did to oppose the rise and consolidation of the brutal apartheid regime in the ‘50s and ’60s, but it was Richard Nixon who developed closer ties. The anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s and ’80s – where Barack Obama got his political start; I covered the University of Wisconsin’s successful divestment movement with the Daily Cardinal in 1978 — was demonized as the far left at the time. Moderates proposed alternatives like the Sullivan Principles, named after Rev. Leon Sullivan, a General Motors board member, which tried (and failed) to impose a code of conduct on companies doing business in South Africa (Sullivan eventually agreed they weren’t enough)…”
Complaint Filed with Spy Authorities…
A complaint has been filed with the Australian Inspector-General of Intelligence Security.
It calls for an immediate investigation into deeply troubling reports that the Australian intelligence services offered to violate the privacy rights of millions of citizens by handing over bulk metadata to its Five Eye partners.
Australian lawyer, Carly Nyst, Head of International Advocacy for Privacy International, said that “the ASD are violating their own Rules to Protect the Privacy of Australians, as well as the Intelligence Services Act 2001″.
That law prescribes that “an agency must not undertake any activity unless the activity is necessary for the proper performance of is functions; or authorized or required by or under another Act”.
PI’s Media Release is at: https://www.privacyinternational.org/press-releases/privacy-international-files- complaint-with-australian-spy-authorities-over-five-eyes
A copy of the complaint is at: https://www.privacyinternational.org/sites/privacyinternational.org/files/downloads/pres s-releases/igis_complaint.pdf
In an article for the Guardian, The UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC said Snowden had disclosed “issues at the very apex of public interest concerns”. He said the media had a duty and right to publish stories about the activities of GCHQ and its American counterpart the National Security Agency…
“The astonishing suggestion that this sort of responsible journalism can somehow be equated with aiding and abetting terrorism needs to be scotched decisively,” said Emmerson, who has been the UN’s leading voice on counter-terrorism and human rights since 2011.
“It is the role of a free press to hold governments to account, and yet there have even been outrageous suggestions from some Conservative MPs that the Guardian should face a criminal investigation. It has been disheartening to see some tabloids giving prominence to this nonsense.”
more @ the Guardian (UK edition) :::: click here :::
Coal mining in Australia looks to be increasingly disconnected from reality of late. The industry’s push to massively expand operations in the Galilee basin continues to enjoy strong support from State and Federal Coalition governments, of both political persuasions. This is at a time when both the international market and domestic investment are slumping, creating losses. A new Greenpeace report has warned that Indian conglomerate Adani’s Galilee project is “uncommercial“, and as global climate action grows, the divestment movement gathers pace, and the realities of unburnable carbon loom increasingly large in the minds of investors, the future for coal is anything but rosy. As many people have predicted – the Galilee basin could become a wasteland of stranded assets.
Ian Dunlop’stilt at the board of BHP Billiton has highlighted the risk ignoring the climate imperative poses, kick starting a discussion about BHP Billiton’s contradictory claims of climate leadership while supporting the abolishment of carbon pricing. Cognitive dissonance in the industry was again demonstrated on Monday, when billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart launched “National Mining and Related Industries Day”, celebrating “an industry group that is too often shy about speaking of its efforts and contributions”. Given its vast advertising spend, its fondness for highly paid lobbyists and its expensive and brutal campaign against the mining tax, the thought of the industry being a wallflower is as believable as the World Coal Association’s claim that “high-efficiency coal” is a low-emissions technology.
The coal industry appears to be increasingly delusional about its future, pushing for expansion as investment slows, pretending to acknowledge the climate imperative while supporting the repeal of carbon pricing, and claiming it is shyand green when it is anything but. Despite State and Federal government enthusiasm to expand coal mining and the industry’s willingness to make increasingly risky bets, there is no future for growing coal use in a world struggling to stay under 2DegC of global warming. The vast majority of Australia’s coal reserves – particularly in the Galilee basin – must stay in the ground if the world is to have any hope of addressing climate change.
Tools and resources
Former diplomat Bruce Haigh spent years in some of the world’s hotspots where he saw and did somtimes extraordinary things. In South Africa he befriended the legendary dissident Steve Biko. In Afghanistan he took pictures of Russian military installations. In Pakistan he flirted with Benazir Bhutto, or perhaps it was Benazir flirting with him…He is a regular contributor to the Canberra Times, Crikey and other Oz media…
…here is an excerpt of Bruce Haigh’s recent piece in the Canberra Times, (15/11/13):
“…State imposed secrecy, with respect to managing minorities, dissidents or groups judged to be antithetical to the interests of the ruling elite, leads to oppression through lack of accountability. Morrison does not want to be accountable for deaths in detention or drowning at sea. Lack of transparency is a threat to human rights and democracy, but Morrison is no democrat; he is the Reischsfuhrer of asylum seekers. He decides who goes where, and when. He sends back to Sri Lanka, Tamils who are given no opportunity to express their claims for asylum in Australia and who are detained on return by the Rajapaksa regime, many to be tortured and some held indefinitely.
Sending back people without a hearing, who on the face of it, may have a legitimate refugee claim, is illegal under Australian and international law. Morrison plans to send minority oppressed Hazaras back to Afghanistan. That would also be illegal…”
“Scott Morrison, please…”
Who should I say is calling?
Jesus. Jesus Christ…
Just a sec…putting you through, Mr Christ…
Hmmmnnnaa…MINISTERRR Morrison here…who is this?
Look, there’s quite frankly, no need to take the proverbial…
I am Jesus Christ. Ok, Morrison…I’ll cut to the chase…we’ve had reports that you’re STILL behavin’ like a rabid, fascist, cowardly and profoundly irritating bully boy…
Have not! Have not!! Have nottt!!
…And that you’re getting off, yet again, on your faux macho, mendacious BS…demonising the defenceless…treating the poor and dispossessed like pawns in your demented game of horror…I mean, for fucks sake man, have you no shame?
But, but, but…I AM A STEWARDLY GODLY man…I, I, I, I am a christian….I AM a christian…so there…
“Reichsfuhrer of asylum seekers” according to more lucid insights. Knock it off…pronto…
I AM A STEWARDLY GODLY man. I am Minister Morrison. Just, just, just sod off Jesus, you, you, you…do-gooding hippy! Why don’t you just…just go back to where you came from!!!
…well worth a squizz…’the trial of Donald Rumsfeld’…a prosecution by book…
“A gripping expose of the systematic, premeditated crimes of Rumsfeld and his colleagues – crimes against humanity more shocking than any committed by U.S. officials in this generation. If we push back against state-sanctioned torture and the tyranny that always, historically, follows upon it, we will have Ratner and his brave team at the Center for Constitutional Rights substantially to thank. An indispensable document and page-turning human story.”
-NAOMI WOLF, author of The End of America
“Michael Ratner is a hero. This book will be required reading for all of Donald Rumsfeld’s lawyers and travel agents – he’ll have to check twice before leaving the country if he hopes to stay out of prison. To war criminals walking free among us, beware: Ratner and the Center for Constitutional Rights are on the case! ”
-AMY GOODMAN, host of Democracy Now!
Blinded by the military medals Australia’s mainstream media seems to have missed the clumsy sleight of hand by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. Major Morrison, has stressed in his military style briefings that we need to keep all refugee information a secret because the people smugglers will get valuable insight into his military manoeuvers if he tells us the truth. “More importantly if the voters find out what a bungling fool I am I will be up for the order of the boot at the next election” he said..
On assuming his role as the Defender of Australian Faith from the Muslim hordes Major Morrison had told us that he wanted to send a message to people smugglers and would be “illegals” that there was no chance of getting into Australia by boat. How you send a message by keeping your actions a top-secret is difficult to understand.
Clearly the three boats that recently arrived at Darwin were either not aware of the steel curtain the Major has thrown around Australia or they have found some holes in the curtain that need darning. Loose lips bring ships may be the motto but the practice is harder.
Could it be the Australian voters that Major Morrison wants to keep in in the dark because what we don’t know won’t hurt him at the ballot box.
However we can be assured that the close relationship that Major Morrison, Mr Abbott and the Minister for Affairs Julie Bishop have built up with the Indonesian Government will ensure full cooperation in forcing Indonesia to hold onto most of the regions refugees rather than upsetting Mr Abbott’s re-election plan.
The recent revelations by Edward Snowden revealing that the Australia Government is spying on the Indonesian Government has been a hammer blow for the Abbott Government and for the mass surveillance program carried out by the USA.
Ironically it was the Labor Government who had entered into this spying venture with the USA but it is the incompetent Abbott who will pay the price.
Abbott’s refusal to apologise to the Indonesian President has meant that the Coalitions main election platform, “Stopping the Boats” is in shreds because. Indonesia’s foreign minister Marty Natalegawa responded by saying all cooperation with Australia is off including on the issue of returning refugee boats to Indonesia.
This latest revelation follows the arrogant and stupid statement from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that (in regard to turning refugee boats back to Indonesia) “Were not asking Indonesia for permission, were asking for their understanding”
Indonesia has understood very well that despite the Abbott Government repeating that Indonesia is our most important neighbor it is well down the list of our real friends like the Americans. They also notice that Abbott is fixated with two issues that are at odds with Indonesia’s best interest. That is preventing refugees passing through the region to Australia, and climate change denial which will result in rising sea levels and more typhoons and sea surges that will be devastating for small islands.
What Abbott does not understand or disregards is that the population of Indonesia will see his blank refusal to apologise as a deliberate insult to their President and therefor to their country. It is likely that this lack of nous by Abbott will set back Australia’s relationship with Indonesia for many years.
Abbott has also fallen out with the world view by supporting Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s war time atrocities against Tamils with a glib statement that things happen in wars. This phrase sounds very close to the phrase shit happens and is horrific in the context of mass murder and rape.
Finally Abbott is moving backwards on climate change policy and at a crucial time in world negotiations has not even had a minister attend the latest round of talks. His actions are reprehensible to many especially as Australia currently chairs the UN Security Council and because Australia is one of the countries worst effected by climate change and is the largest per-capita emitter of greenhouse gas.
For Australia it signals a period of isolation from world affairs and from the critical discussions that shape the future of the Globe. While the previous government had attempted to expand Australia’s horizon the Liberal National Coalition is attempting to lock out the rest of the world.
As negotiations at the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) roll into their second week, the madness of Poland allowing the coal industry to sponsor the COP is climbing to greater heights as the World Coal Association (WCA) begins a conference of its own alongside the COP. The cosy relationship between the industry and the Polish government has led to COP19 being dubbed the “Coal COP” in “Coaland”. It illustrates just how deep the industry’s influence is in the country, and the extreme lengths Poland is prepared to go to in order to protect it.
The future of the coal industry was called into question by scientists, health professionals and environmental activists frustrated by pro-coal firms descending on Warsaw for a major conference during international climate talks (COP19). The Polish government added to its growing collection of slapstick diplomatic moves by inviting the World Coal Association (WCA) to unveil plans for “high-efficiency” or “clean” coal during the UN climate negotiations where Donald Tusk and his gang are also playing the hosts. With the Polish government wrapping up climate problems and selling them as solutions, 27 top scientists from around the world were moved to jointly discredit the claim that “high efficiency coal” represents the energy of the future.
In accord, health and environmental activists took to the streets to protest outside the WCA conference, arguing that the Polish government’s deep support for the dirtiest of fuels is in defiance of the science, health concerns, and the deteriorating economics of coal as the world moves away from fossil fuels…(big thanks to the Tree)
Q. Why did Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild purchase a total of $11 million dollars of “equity positions” with Genie Energy Corporation (IDT) totaling an 11% stake in the corporation back in 2010?
A. Israel has reportedly granted the U.S. energy firm with heavyweight political connections to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights.
The company is a local subsidiary of New Jersey-based Genie Energy Ltd. The Strategic Advisory Board of another subsidiary, Genie Oil and Gas, includes former Vice President Dick Cheney, media magnate Rupert Murdoch, and former Republican Rep. Jim Courter...
The company’s website, http://genie.com/ has the following homepage announcement…
Genie Energy Subsidiary in Israel Granted Exploration License
Genie Energy (NYSE: GNE, GNEPRA), said today that the government of Israel has awarded its subsidiary, Genie Israel Oil and Gas, Ltd., an exclusive petroleum exploration license covering 396.5 square kilometers in the Southern portion of the Golan Heights.
Carefully evidenced and powerfully measured, ‘No Fire Zone’ is a feature length film about the final awful months of the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war told by the people who lived through it. It is a meticulous and chilling expose of some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity of recent times - told through the extraordinary personal stories of a small group of characters and also through some of the most dramatic and disturbing video evidence ever recorded.
This footage allows us to document the day to day horror of this war in a way almost never done before: Footage recorded by both the victims and perpetrators on mobile phones and small cameras – viscerally powerful actuality from the battlefield, from inside the crudely dug civilian bunkers and over-crowded makeshift hospitals.
Footage which is nothing less than direct evidence of war crimes, summary execution, torture and sexual violence.
This was supposed to be a war conducted in secret. The Government excluded the international press, forced the UN to leave the war zone and ruthlessly silenced the Sri Lankan media – literally dozens of media workers were killed, exiled or disappeared. While the world looked away in the first few months of 2009 around 40,000 to 70,000 civilians were massacred – mostly by Sri Lankan government shelling, though the Tamil Tigers also stand accused of war crimes.
The film starts in September 2008. An air of deep foreboding hung over Kilinochchi– the de facto capital of the Tamil homelands of Northern Sri Lanka. The armed forces of the ultra-nationalist Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka were on the move, and the brutal secessionist army of the Tamil Tigers was on the retreat. After a twenty-six year revolt – the scene was set for the final awful endgame.
May 1st, 2009, I interviewed Tamil demonstrators at a rally outside ABC headquarters, East Perth…Many people were extremely concerned and visibly upset about the plight of those surviving relatives and friends who were trapped in a brutal nightmare…the killing fields of the Vanni region of north eastern Sri Lanka…
…we were about to go to press with a report from behind the lines in Vanni by David Gray of Reuters …”I managed to get a few ‘usable’ frames of a scorched and destroyed landscape. Every single dwelling was either destroyed or uninhabitable. It reminded me of East Timor in 1999. Burnt out vehicles lined the road….”
…here are a few Tamil perspectives from the demo that resonate still…
“To understand the ground situation (in the Vanni region of Sri Lanka), where there are no independent observers or media allowed by the Government, it is vital to understand the motive behind the Sri Lankan onslaught on the Tamil civilians. The meticulously planned disenfranchisement of the Tamils has been going on since independence from the British in 1948. The Tamil Tigers are an outcome of this long deprivation of basic rights to exist as equal citizens in Sri Lanka…”
“Sri Lanka – don’t kill the media. Sri Lanka – don’t bomb the hospitals. Sri Lanka – stop the genocide of Tamils.”
“Anyone really concerned about humanity and freedom should impress upon both parties for an immediate ceasefire, send in independent observers and media, provide international protection to the refugees and bring a permanent peace solution.”
Around this time, UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) put out an urgent appeal:
Sri Lanka: 250,000 People In War Zone Need Food
Major new reports from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), theInternational Energy Agency (IEA) and GermanWatch have turned up the heat on negotiators holding back progress at UN climate talks in Warsaw. These reports provide fresh information explaining how Typhoon Haiyan was more deadly as a result of climate change and how climate extremes – while prevalent worldwide – are hitting vulnerable communities hardest. These new findings leave little doubt that global warming emissions are on the rise and that governments must take urgent, concrete action to curb climate pollution from the energy sector – in order to prevent a catastrophic temperature rise of up to 6C this century.
According to the WMO climate change is already disrupting the water-cycle leading to droughts, floods and extreme rainfall in countries around the world, while others warn that the most vulnerable nations like Haiti, Pakistan and the Philippines are hardest hit.The WMO report highlights that so far in 2013 we have experienced climate extremes from record heatwaves in Australia to flooding in Sudan, USA and Europe. A complementary study from GermanWatch analyses national exposure to climate extremes from the present back to 1993, it shows us that it is the communities least able to protect themselves and most vulnerable to natural disasters that are being affected most by climate impacts.
::: please click here for more at the Tree:::
The Times of Israel are reporting that a French member of parliament telephoned French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in Geneva at the weekend to warn him that hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would attack Iran’s nuclear facilities “if the P5+1 nations did not stiffen their terms” on a deal with Iran:
“I know [Netanyahu],” the French MP, Meyer Habib, reportedly told Fabius, and predicted that the Israeli prime minister would resort to the use of force if the deal was approved in its form at the time. “If you don’t toughen your positions, Netanyahu will attack Iran,” the report quoted Habib as saying. “I know this. I know him. You have to toughen your positions in order to prevent war.”
Negotiations are now due to resume November 20.
Here at the interpretOr, we recall that the dreaded Netanyahu was Israeli ambassador to the United Nations from 1984 to 1988 – the period that coincided with the Iran-Contra affair – and today makes the likes of Richard Perle (the Prince of Darkness) seem like a goofy peacenik…