Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

"aussie tony" & the value of political credibility ......

‘British Prime Minister Tony Blair made an open plea on Monday to United States President George Bush to recognise that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies at the core of any hopes for wider peace in the Middle East, including Iraq.

In his annual foreign policy speech, seen as a chance to recalibrate Britain's Iraq strategy, Blair said a solution to the conflict was central to a strategy that "pins back the forces trying to create mayhem inside Iraq".

the price of self-righteous, self-exoneration .....



only $1500 a head at an American Club Dinner …..

from the ABC ….

Murdoch urges Australians to stick by US

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch has warned Australians not to allow anti-American sentiment over the Iraq war to damage the country's relationship with the United States. 

profits of doom .....

‘The growth in global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels over the past five years was four times greater than for the preceding 10 years, according to a study that exposes critical flaws in the attempts to avert damaging climate change.

Data on carbon dioxide emissions shows that the global growth rate was 3.2 per cent in the five years to 2005 compared with 0.8 per cent from 1990 to 1999, despite efforts to reduce carbon pollution through the Kyoto agreement.

merchants of death .....

‘The United States last year provided nearly half of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales to the most unstable regions - many already engaged in conflict - grew to the highest level in eight years, new US government figures show.

According to the annual assessment, the United States supplied $8.1 billion worth of weapons to developing countries in 2005 - 45.8 percent of the total and far more than second-ranked Russia with 15 percent and Britain with a little more than 13 percent.

Downer's Dog Days

Poor Alexander Downer!  His leash has been cut, he's about to receive the political equivalent of a snip from the vet, and everyone's trying to put him down.

It's  bad enough that through the demise of the Bush Administration's power supply he's  just been demoted from alsatian to poodle, but now that the the Democrats are about to control the US' own Australian Wheat Bribe investigations, he's just lost the "flea collar" of ministerial non-accountablility that he buried in Commissioner Terence Cole's terms of reference.  No matter what Cole says when he hands down his findings in the next few weeks, Downer is about to be judged by the US Congress.  Where Cole can't find Downer guilty of participating in one of the more heinous war crimes of the Iraq invasion.   Democrat congressmen can, and probably will, banish him from the international political arena  as punishment for his crimes.

death by a thousand cuts .....

more IR changes possible, PM says .....

The Prime Minister says further changes may be made to the Federal Government's new industrial relations (IR) regime.

Today's tweaking of the laws will mean workers can cash in sick leave and businesses will be allowed to stand-down workers when there is no work to due to uncontrollable circumstances.

John Howard says these may not be the last adjustments.

home grown war criminals .....



12 November 2006

Urging or Supporting Unfair Trial of David Hicks may Constitute a War Crime

David Hicks - US Military Commissions Act of 2006 - Compliance with the Geneva Conventions and the War Crimes provisions of Australian Law

A group of eminent Australian lawyers have prepared an Opinion about the continued detention of David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay and his proposed trial by a Military Commission. The Opinion has potentially alarming implications for the Federal Government and its Ministers.

losing friends .....

‘As Iraq slips further into chaos, the war's neo-conservative boosters have turned sharply on the Bush administration, charging that their grand designs have been undermined by White House incompetence. In a series of exclusive interviews, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, David Frum, and others play the blame game with shocking frankness. Target No. 1: the president himself.’

Neo Culpa

too many winstons .....

‘British Muslims have been driven towards extremism and terrorist acts because of the UK's part in the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the head of MI5.

According to senior intelligence sources, the upsurge in terrorist recruitment was caused not by the Afghan war but by the conflict in Iraq. "Iraq was seen as more unjustified, more an example of Western, British and American, perfidy," said one source.’

Asserting Our Right to Kill and Maim Civilians

By George Monbiot 

The central mystery of the modern state is this. The necessary resources, both economic and political, will always be found for the purpose of terminating life. The project of preserving it will always struggle. When did you last see a soldier shaking a tin for a new rifle? Or a sponsored marathon raising money for nuclear weapons? But we must beg and cajole each other for funds whenever a hospital wants a new dialysis machine. If the money and determination expended on waging war with Iraq had been used to tackle climate change, our carbon emissions would already be in freefall. If as much money were spent on foreign aid as on fighter planes, no one would ever go hungry.

oil futures .....

‘Big oil companies will be a top target of Democratic lawmakers when they officially take over the House of Representatives early next year.

Democrats picked up enough seats in Tuesday's US election to win majority control of the House and have promised to roll back billions of dollars in tax breaks and other financial incentives extended to the oil industry in energy legislation Congress passed last year.

Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is poised to be the next Speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes in January, says oil companies have unfairly earned record profits by gouging consumers at the gasoline pump.

attention deficit disorder .....

‘For the first time in American history, Americans have gone to the polls in wartime and rejected that war. Not only that, but they've done so overwhelmingly. Just as the election of 1932 was a seismic repudiation of the failed economic policies of the Hoover Republicans, the election of 2006 was a landslide against the Bush Republicans and their criminally misguided war against Iraq.

Amid pre-election polls showing that voters oppose "staying the course" by margins of as much as three to one, the American people have issued a sweeping mandate to the U.S. government: Get out of Iraq.

our ABC .....

from Friends of the ABC, NSW …..

A number of significant issues have arisen for the ABC since mid-October. Some members have voiced their concerns via the FABCList, the FABCDigest, and our website. These issues will also be covered in the December Update, but with the number and consequence of the issues, I have decided to write to those members whom we can reach by email.

Privatise the ABC: A large Opinion piece by Rudi Michelson in The Australian on Mon 16th October called for the privatisation of the ABC, and I responded with an e-mailed letter to the Editor that day which was not published. I will submit it to Helen, our Update Editor, to see whether it can be included in the December Update.

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