Monday 10th of December 2018

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 12:23

Most people in the UK do not know in fact what they are voting for; they vote for political parties the same way they support a soccer club, totally ignorant of policies or manifestos (with few exceptions) and on that fateful, sunny June day in 2016 the Brexiteers also had no idea what they were doing.

REMAIN would today win by 60% to 40%. We demand a referendum

Many were from the more elderly section of the population who leave behind a sour apple for their grandchildren to eat, and most of the grandchildren wanted to remain. A sufficient number of the former have now departed, and as many young people are now able to vote, which translates into an entirely different picture: according to opinion polls, the REMAIN vote today would win by 60% to 40% at the very least. So why is it not democratic to hold a second referendum?

As it stands today, the United Kingdom is about to play Russian roulette, taking a leap in the dark while standing on a cliff-edge. The Government itself admits that it has no idea what will happen, after two years of negotiations and after presenting part of a report to Parliament. But it is clear and common sense what will happen.

REMAIN would today win by 60% to 40%. We demand a referendum

Scotland will refuse to accept this dreadful  legacy imposed on it by its English cousins, not one single constituency in Scotland voted to leave the EU, so if Scotland is a country, which it is, why should it leave the EU when the vast majority of its population wishes to remain? Is this democracy?

Here where I write in London (I work in the City) not a single person I know thinks Brexit will bring anything but chaos. Those of us who work with the EU know very well what will happen.

REMAIN would today win by 60% to 40%. We demand a referendum

The financial institutions are already prepared to move to Germany, France and some of them to a second tier of countries including Portugal and Italy and Spain. This will cost the capital, the most prosperous region in the UK, a substantial part of its wealth involving terrible social knock-on effects. Along with the financial institutions, the headquarters of numerous countries are preparing to pull out and relocate inside the Union, creating a social tsunami as even more money pours out of this island.

As regards jobs, the UK universities, besides costing an arm and a leg for their students, do not provide enough raw material for the work market. Portuguese Universities provide doctors, nurses and many working here in the financial markets, and they are far better prepared than their British counterparts. English firms will be undermanned, understaffed and under-qualified.

REMAIN would today win by 60% to 40%. We demand a referendum

And now for the question of trade. The European Union, today, is the main trading partner of the United Kingdom. It accounts for 44 per cent of all UK exports and 53% of UK imports.

The largest percentage of these exported products came from Wales and the North-East of England, two regions which stupidly voted to leave without thinking of the consequences. With increased tariffs on these products (inevitable after Brexit) get ready for massive increases in unemployment in these areas, coupled with crippling social costs. Next, imports. Since the UK imports more from the EU than it exports to it, the cost of products will be even higher than it is today.

REMAIN would today win by 60% to 40%. We demand a referendum

Now, for those working in the services sector (engineering and technical services, legal, accounting, advertising, research and development services) prepare yourselves for a massive blow dealt to you by the idiots who voted LEAVE without knowing what they were doing. For those working in research projects involving the EU, these projects will be pulled out of the UK and relocated. This is not fantasy, it is clear, unadulterated, common-sense fact. So suppose those who voted LEAVE pick up the tab? Not so funny now is it?

With increased tariffs, how are our goods and services going to be competitive, especially when our Universities have fallen behind those of other EU nations in terms of producing the goods? With higher transportation costs involved in exporting to Australia for example, how are our goods going to be more competitive than those available from Indonesia, Vietnam and the PR China?

REMAIN would today win by 60% to 40%. We demand a referendum

Brexit is like sitting in a hot bath on a freezing winter day, pulling out the plug and watching the water go down into the sewer, then finding out that the tap has jammed shut. True, Brussels' interference is annoying, true, the EU went too far and too fast. But also the UK was never a full member of all the EU institutions and of all the countries, it is already the one with one foot in and the other, out but, and crucially, with free access to the market which represents most of our trade and crucially, with a voice inside EU mechanisms.

Now thanks to the idiotic decision of those who do not understand what they have done, the people of England will be saddled with a mountain to climb without any equipment. We will have to pay for access to what we enjoy today for free, and more ridiculous, not have any say in any part of the proceedings because with Brexit we lost our voice. I say England, because Scotland, if it votes for Independence, which it should, will be far luckier.

The REMAIN campaigners will hold the LEAVE campaigners responsible for this decision, we will find out who they are (easy) and we will make them compensate us for the damage they have done.

REMAIN would today win by 60% to 40%. We demand a referendum

My thanks to Professor Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey and PRAVDA newspaper for printing this article.


John Whitehouse

London, England

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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 10:11

It takes 45 minutes to pick up all the milk cartons that have washed up on Long Hai beach overnight. “I feel like all I do is collect them,” says Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tham, gesturing towards the quiet length of sand that fronts her beach house in the south of Vietnam. “I fill about three or four bags every morning, but then there will be a big wave, and when I look back over my shoulder the sand is covered again.”

Milk cartons aren’t the only rubbish that washes up on her shores; bottles of Coca-Cola float in the shallows next to odd shoes, bin bags and sodden bits of cardboard. Once or twice a year, there’s a dead body. “The milk cartons are the most difficult,” she explains. “I can get rid of everything else. Local waste pickers will buy the plastic and the paper from me, and I call the police for the corpses. Nobody will take the milk cartons from me.”

Milk consumption in Vietnam has almost doubled in the past 10 years, as the dairy industry shifts its focus from “saturated” western markets in favour of Asian expansion and is now valued at $4.1bn (£3.1bn). But one of the biggest beneficiaries of this growth seems to be the dairy industry’s principal packaging supplier, Tetra Pak. Last year, 8.1bn of Tetra Pak’s individual cartons were sold across Vietnam. Yet a comprehensive country-wide recycling programme is yet to be implemented. Now, as cartons pile up on beaches and in landfills up and down the country, that’s having a devastating effect on the environment.


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The USA could not win the war against Vietnam and took their revenge with cardboard boxes...



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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 10:04

Tasmanian forest considered important for the survival of the critically endangered swift parrot may be bulldozed to build a dam for a fish farm and golf course development.

Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, on Tasmania’s east coast, wants to clear about 40ha of what scientists say is critical swift parrot breeding and foraging habitat to develop a 3,000m-litre-a-year dam near the town of Orford. The environment minister, Melissa Price, will now decide whether the proposal goes ahead.

The dam would provide fresh water to a salmon farm in Okehampton Bay, a planned golf course and housing development and for local towns in the event of drought or climate change-related shortages. Advice to the council from Birdlife Tasmania says all remaining parrot habitat is critical for the species’ survival and must be protected.

A peer-reviewed analysis in 2015 found the parrot was headed for extinction or near extinction within 16 years. It was listed by the federal government’s threatened species commissioner as a protection priority – one of 20 birds that needs to be on an improved trajectory by 2020.


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Humans: any which way to implement the final destruction... for another fucking golf course...

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 09:44

China’s Uyghur Problem — The Unmentioned Part

by F. William Engdahl, via NEO

In recent months Western media and the Washington Administration have begun to raise a hue and cry over alleged mass internment camps in China’s northwestern Xinjiang where supposedly up to one million ethnic Uyghur Chinese are being detained and submitted to various forms of “re-education.” Several things about the charges are notable, not the least that all originate from Western media or “democracy” NGOs such as Human Rights Watch whose record for veracity leaves something to be desired. 

In August Reuters published an article under the headline, “UN says it has credible reports that China holds million Uighurs in secret camps.” A closer look at the article reveals no official UN policy statement, but rather a quote from one American member of an independent committee that does not speak for the UN, a member with no background in China. The source of the claim it turns out is a UN independent advisory NGO called Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The sole person making the charge, American committee member Gay McDougall, stated she was “deeply concerned” about “credible reports.” McDougall cited no source for the dramatic charge.

Reuters in their article boosts its claim by citing a murky Washington DC based NGO, the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD). In an excellent background investigation, researchers at the Grayzone Project found that the CHRD gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from unnamed governments. The notorious US government NGO, National Endowment for Democracy, is high on the list of usual suspects. Notably, the CHRD official address is that of the Human Rights Watch which gets funds also from the Soros foundation.

The ‘Uyghur Problem’

The true state of affairs in China’s Xinjiang Province regarding Uyghurs is not possible to independently verify, whether such camps exist and if so who is there and under what conditions. What is known, however, is the fact that NATO intelligence agencies, including that of Turkey and of the US, along with Saudi Arabia, have been involved in recruiting and deploying thousands of Chinese Uyghur Muslims to join Al Qaeda and other terror groups in Syria in recent years. This side of the equation warrants a closer look, the side omitted by Reuters or UN Ambassador Haley.

According to Syrian media cited in, there are presently an estimated 18,000 ethnic Uyghurs in Syria most concentrated in a village on the Turkish border to Syria. Since 2013 such Uyghur soldiers have gone from combat alongside Al Qaeda in Syria and returned to China’s Xinjiang where they have carried out various terrorist acts. This is the tip of a nasty NATO-linked project to plant the seeds of terror and unrest in China. Xinjiang is a lynchpin of China’s Belt Road Initiative, the crossroads of strategic oil and gas pipelines from Kazakhstan, Russia and a prime target of CIA intrigue since decades.

Since at least 2011 at the start of the NATO war against Bashar al Assad’s Syria, Turkey had played a key role in facilitating the flow of Chinese Uyghur people to become Jihadists in Syria. I deliberately use “had” tense to give benefit of the doubt if it still is the case today or if it has become an embarrassment for Erdogan and Turkish intelligence. In any case it seems that thousands of Uyghurs are holed up in Syria, most around Idlib, the reported last outpost of anti-regime terrorists.

Washington and ETIM

In an excellent analysis of China’s Uyghur terror history, Steven Sahiounie, a Syrian journalist with 21st Century Wire, notes that a key organization behind the radicalization of Chinese Uyghur youth is the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and its political front, the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), which is also known as “Katibat Turkistani.” He cites a speech in Istanbul in 1995 by Turkey’s Erdogan, then Mayor, who declared, “Eastern Turkestan is not only the home of the Turkic peoples but also the cradle of Turkic history, civilization and culture…” Eastern Turkestan is Xinjiang.

ETIM today is headed by Anwar Yusuf Turani, self-proclaimed Prime Minister of a government in exile which notably is based in Washington DC. ETIM moved to Washington at a time the US State Department listed it as a terrorist organization, curiously enough. According to a report in a Turkish investigative magazine, Turk Pulse, Turani’s organization’s “activities for the government in exile are based on a report entitled ‘The Xinjiang Project.’ That was written by former senior CIA officer Graham E. Fuller in 1998 for the Rand Corporation and revised in 2003 under the title ‘The Xinjiang Problem.’

I have written extensively in my book, The Lost Hegemon, about career senior CIA operative Graham Fuller. Former Istanbul CIA station chief, Fuller was one of the architects of the Reagan-Bush Iran-Contra affair, and a prime CIA sponsor or handler of Gülen who facilitated Gülen’s USA exile. He was also by his own admission, in Istanbul the night of the failed 2016 coup. In 1999 during the end of the Russian Yelstin era, Fuller declared, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”

This is what the covert US weaponization of ETIM is aimed at. Like most radical Sunni Jihadist groups, Turani’s ETIM got funding as most radical Sunni Jihadist groups from Saudi Arabia.

In the late 1990s, Hasan Mahsum, also known as Abu-Muhammad al-Turkestani, founder of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, moved ETIM’s headquarters to Kabul, taking shelter under Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, ETIM leaders met with Osama bin Laden and other leaders of the CIA-trained Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to coordinate actions across Central Asia. When the Pakistani military assassinated al-Turkestani in 2003 Turani became head of ETIM, and took his roadshow to Washington.

In his own study of Xinjiang, the CIA’s Graham E. Fuller noted that Saudi Arabian groups had disseminated extremist Wahhabi religious literature and possibly small arms through sympathizers in Xinjiang, and that young Turkic Muslims had been recruited to study at madrasas in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. He adds that Uyghurs from Xinjiang also fought alongside Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Fuller noted, “Uyghurs are indeed in touch with Muslim groups outside Xinjiang, some of them have been radicalized into broader jihadist politics in the process, a handful were earlier involved in guerrilla or terrorist training in Afghanistan, and some are in touch with international Muslim mujahideen struggling for Muslim causes of independence worldwide.”

The January 2018 Pentagon National Defense Strategy policy document explicitly named China along with Russia as main strategic “threats” to continued US supremacy. It states, “Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security.” Explicitly, and this is new, the Pentagon paper does not cite a military threat but an economic one. It states, “China and Russia are now undermining the international order from within the system by exploiting its benefits while simultaneously undercutting its principles and ‘rules of the road.’” The escalating trade war against China, threats of sanctions over allegations of Uyghur detention camps in Xinjiang, threats of sanctions if China buys Russian defense equipment, all is aimed at disruption of the sole emerging threat to a Washington global order, one that is not based on freedom or justice but rather on fear and tyranny. How China’s authorities are trying to deal with this full assault is another issue. The context of events in Xinjiang however needs to be made clear. The West and especially Washington is engaged in full-scale irregular war against the stability of China.


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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 08:15

The Russian ambassador. A deputy prime minister. A pop star, a weightlifter, a lawyer, a Soviet army veteran with alleged intelligence ties.

Again and again and again, over the course of Donald Trump’s 18-month campaign for the presidency, Russian citizens made contact with his closest family and friends, as well as figures on the periphery of his orbit.

Some offered to help his campaign and his real estate business. Some offered dirt on his Democratic opponent. Repeatedly, Russian nationals suggested Trump should hold a peacemaking sit-down with Vladi­mir Putin — and offered to broker such a summit.

In all, Russians interacted with at least 14 Trump associates during the campaign and presidential transition, public records and interviews show.

“It is extremely unusual,” said Michael McFaul, who served as ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama. “Both the number of contacts and the nature of the contacts are extraordinary.”


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Does this mean that the Russians interfered with the 2016 US Presidential election? NUPE! NO! NADA! Zilch! Did the Hillary team meet with other country ambassadors? Israel? Has Uncle Rupe got his own "ambassador" in the USA or does he do his own work himself?

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 07:52

Executives from a company responsible for providing food and water for deployed U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been charged with defrauding the government and creating a fake construction site to overstate progress on an $8 billion contract, the Department of Justice said in a recently-filed indictment.

The allegations came four years after the company's predecessor pleaded guilty to criminal charges that it fraudulently inflated prices for basic items it sold to the U.S. military. Both cases emphasized how the U.S. military has struggled to curb abuses of U.S. defense spending in America's longest-running foreign war as the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan enters its 17th year, analysts said.

On Nov. 27 the Justice Department charged Abdul Huda Farouki, Mazen Farouki and Salah Maarouf, three Virginia residents who worked with a Dubai-based company called Anham FZCO, with defrauding the U.S. military under an estimated $8 billion military supply contract.

The DOJ also accused them of laundering money, violating U.S. sanctions while shipping products through Iran, and photographing a fake construction scene to mislead contracting officers regarding their progress. The three individuals pleaded not guilty.

The lawsuit revived long-standing concerns over Anham's stewardship of taxpayer dollars, and also raised questions about the government's oversight of the Subsistence Prime Vendor - Afghanistan contract, known as SPV-A. The contract is seen as important to the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan because it ensures deployed U.S. troops have access to food, water and basic provisions. Servicing it is immensely challenging, however, because the contractor is required to build and maintain a distribution network in the middle of a war zone.

The last company to handle that work, a privately held Swiss company called Supreme Foodservice GmbH, pleaded guilty to similar charges in 2014 and paid $288.36 million in criminal fines following a congressional inquiry.

Scott Amey, general counsel with the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, described the Pentagon's oversight of the food and water supply contract as "a game of catch-me-if-you can" in which the government is losing.


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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 07:41

As four of the world’s largest oil and gas producers blocked UN climate talks from “welcoming” a key scientific report on global warming, Australia’s silence during a key debate is being viewed as tacit support for the four oil allies: the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait.

The end of the first week of the UN climate talks – known as COP24 – in Katowice, Poland, has been mired by protracted debate over whether the should “welcome” or “note” a key report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


Australia did not speak during the at-times heated debate, a silence noted by many countries on the floor of the conference, Dr Bill Hare, the managing director of Climate Analytics and a lead author on previous IPCC reports, told Guardian Australia.

“Australia’s silence in the face of this attack yesterday shocked many countries and is widely seen as de facto support for the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait’s refusal to welcome the IPCC report,” Hare said.

Richie Merzian, climate and energy program director at the Australia Institute, said widespread goodwill across the Katowice talks was being undermined by “a handful of countries” trying to disconnect the science and urgency from the implementation of the Paris agreement.

“It is disappointing but not surprising that Australia kept its head down during the debate … by remaining silent and not putting a position forward, Australia has tacitly supported the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia’s rejection of the latest science on climate change.”

Merzian said Australia’s regional neighbours, including New Zealand and Pacific islands, had voiced strong support for the IPCC’s report, which was a key outcome of the Paris agreement.

“A number of delegates privately shared their frustration that countries like Australia stood on the sidelines while Trump’s, Putin’s and King Salman’s representatives laid waste to the fundamental climate science.”

Hare said the interests of the fossil fuel industry were seeking to thwart the conference’s drive towards larger emissions cuts.


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"The worst, the biggest, the strongest, the wildest, the hottest"...


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by burning coal, the black soot will prevent the great barrier reef turning white, no?


definitely leading the induction of climate change, aka promoting global warming...


our ship looks a bit tattered...

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 06:17

The moment that forever changed my perspective on Anzac mythology

Paul Daley

One winter’s morning a decade ago while in the late stages of archival research for a book about the Australian Light Horse in the Middle East during the first world war, I came across a file that would forever alter my perspective on Anzac mythology.

In the Australian War Memorial that morning I read an anodyne description of a voice file – a recording of Private Edward “Ted” Harold O’Brien from C Squadron of the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, most of whose members hailed, like him, from Tasmania.

A summary said that O’Brien talked about horses, his work after the war, his time as a linesman in Palestine and of his visits to the pyramids in Egypt. Interesting - but nothing extraordinary, given all I’d already read about the battlefield experiences of his fellow horsemen.

I was about to look elsewhere when another sentence caught my eye: “New Zealanders and Australians went to Bedouin village and killed the men with bayonet and broke up the buildings.

My book was at that point LARGELY about the remarkable achievements of the light horsemen (who were for all their agility, stealth, bush-craft and warrior skill, effectively the Special Air Service of their day) as they helped drive the Ottoman troops from the Suez canal in early 1916 across Palestine and to final defeat at Damascus and beyond in late 1918.

O’Brien’s words, recorded in 1988 when a very old man, described how the Australian horsemen, based on the coastal plain of Palestine after war’s end in December 1918, “went out to this village and they went through it with a bayonet”.

Oh yes, our squadron was there. I was down there. I don’t know what I did with it, I was cranky and that. But they had a good issue of rum and they did their blocks.”

Just how badly the Anzacs did their blocks when it came to murdering all of the males older than 16 in the Arab village of Surafend 100 years ago would become evident to the British, Australian and New Zealand military officials in the days and months afterwards during a series of secretive inquiries that swept the truth into the corners of history.

This event was to me starkly at odds with the heroic reputation of the light horsemen as I’d known it, based on most of the official – and many unofficial – records I’d come across to that point.

While the Surafend massacre had been relegated to the furthest edge of the Anzac record, including in Henry Gullett’s official history of Australian troops in the Middle East, it naturally caused me to rethink the book, Beersheba, and, not least, to re-examine the primary sources and literature I’d already read.

I spent more months in the Australian and British archives trawling through patchy accounts of private military inquiries and the letters and diaries of government and military officials. At the 100th anniversary of the massacre, it’s worth recalling – given the $600m worth of remembering Australia had dedicated to the bravery and “sacrifice” of the Anzacs – just how they behaved, and what apparently inspired them, at Surafend.

It helps to understand the Anzac attitude to the nomadic Bedouin and the town Arabs of Palestine. The Australians did not distinguish between them. The letters and diaries of the Australian horseman are replete with critical impressions of both.

Gullett wrote how the Bedouin “prowled round [sic] the edge of the battlegrounds ready to tear uniforms and boots from the fallen and even to dig up and strip the dead”.

They were, he wrote, “Scarcely higher in civilisation than the Australian blacks – these wretched tribes presented a miserable and starved appearance.

I found Gullett’s racially-charged comparison of the Bedouin to Indigenous people from Australia echoed everywhere in the private writings of the soldiers and their Australian commanders. In the context of Surafend they would later point me to a homegrown attitude, especially in rural Australia (from where the earliest light horse regiments were drawn and where massacres proliferated throughout the 19th and well into the 20th centuries) that rendered the dark-skinned inferior and easily dispensable.

The warrior wordsmith Ion Idriess, a member of the 5th Light Horse Regiment, wrote: “They snip our wounded and dig up our dead, and steal everything they can lay their hands on. But far worse than this they are spies ... And yet we are warned to leave the Bedouins strictly alone.”

After the 1918 armistice the Australians and New Zealanders from the three brigades of the Anzac Mounted Division were camped near the Jewish settlement of Richon le Zion, close to the Mediterranean and Tel Aviv. The Australians particularly were well known and liked by the Jews, if not the local Arabs. There was plentiful food and alcohol and while the men waited to repatriate, they were kept busy with drill, horse racing, football and cricket games.

The Bedouin were on the outskirts of the camp, which was also near the Arab village Surafend whose residents, it was said, stole where they could from the Anzacs.

On the night of 9 December 1918, 21-year-old New Zealand Trooper Leslie Lowry chased a thief who’d tried to steal his kitbag. He caught the robber who shot Lowry through the chest. Lowry died.

According to a letter written in 1936, Trooper Ambrose Stephen Mulhall of the 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, reckoned Lowry “told his comrades before he died the thief and his murderer was a Bedouin and that he had gone to the Bedouin [Arab] village”.

Patsy Adam-Smith, who in her seminal book The Anzacs perhaps did more than any other mid-late 20th century Australian writer to lionise and mythologise the “diggers”, deals with what happened next perfunctorily, with questionable accuracy and in prose that searches for equivalence. 

The troops, a mixed bunch of Australians, New Zealanders and Scots, raided the village in their anger and undoubtedly killed men there. One report states that they threw villagers down a well and rolled a large grindstone down on top of them. Their excuse was that they were sick of the natives stealing; for five years they’d put up with their small private possessions from home being stolen as well as their uniforms and gear, were weary of their men being ambushed and killed while the authorities did nothing.”

The revered Australian bush bard, Banjo Paterson – who served the 1st Australian Imperial Force remounts in Egypt – brought more light and shade to his description than Adam-Smith could summons. Yet he still sought to diminish the role of the Australians in his account of how the New Zealanders “and their blood brothers the [Scottish] Highlanders organised a revenge party”.

A few Australians went along with them – there couldn’t be any trouble on any front without an Australian being in it – and the revenge party followed the thief to his village, recovered the stolen goods and killed every able-bodied man in the village. Then they threw the bodies down the well, filled the well up, burnt the village, and retired in good order …”

Paterson fails to capture the premeditated nature of the revenge attack that was planned after the Arab chiefs refused to surrender the thief/murderer on the day of the 10th. The reprisal was carefully planned for 7pm on the evening of the 10th, and the men – including a good many Australians – determined to arm themselves with bayonets, axe handles and sharpened sticks, to get all of the women and children out of the village, to kill all males over 16 and to burn the village.

Afterwards they also killed men at the nearby Bedouin camp and torched it.

The Scots blamed the New Zealanders. The New Zealanders blamed the Australians. The Australians blamed the New Zealanders and the Scots.

The official inquiries were a whitewash, so comprehensively did most of the men lie to protect one another...


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the WW1 conspiracy...

by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 05:51

Samuel Oakford and Ryan Goodman discovered that the U.S. failed to charge the Saudis and Emiratis properly for refueling their planes, so in addition to aiding in their war crimes the U.S. has been subsidizing them as well:

President Donald Trump, who repeatedly complains that the United States is paying too much for the defense of its allies, has praised Saudi Arabia for ostensibly taking on Iran in the Yemen war. It turns out, however, that U.S. taxpayers have been footing the bill for a major part of the Saudi-led campaign, possibly to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

Given the president’s endless complaints about being ripped off by other countries, it is fitting that he presided over almost two years of letting the U.S. get ripped off by the Saudis and Emiratis at the same time that he has kept the U.S. involved in a disgraceful war. U.S. refueling coalition planes stopped as of last month thanks to mounting public and Congressional pressure. Increased Congressional scrutiny of U.S. support for the war is the only reason that we now know these new details. The full costs of U.S. support for the war on Yemen still aren’t known, but this brings us a little closer to a proper reckoning.


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by Gus Leonisky on Mon, 2018-12-10 05:36


Between the experience of living a normal life at this moment on the planet and the public narratives being offered to give a sense to that life, the empty space, the gap, is enormous. The desolation lies there, not in the facts.”

John Berger, “A Man with Tousled Hair” in The Shape of a Pocket


From Edward Curtin


A few days ago, as I stepped into my pants to start the day as is my habit, I happened to notice the label at the waist band. It read “Gap,” and the sight of this word sent my mind spinning into a whirling contemplation of this void that lies at the center of life today, a subject that has disturbed me for a long time.

I had earlier that morning made the mistake of checking the news headlines on the computer. This too is a habit that I no doubt share with millions of other people. It is a dastardly habit no sane person should inflict on oneself. To rise from one’s night dreams and step into a litany of hyperbolic headlines shouting doom and gloom at every turn is to inject oneself with a poisonous drug before the sap of life has a chance to rise in one’s veins and one’s imagination might give birth to new possibilities.

Standing in my pants, I felt as though I were hovering over Berger’s enormous empty space, and if I didn’t wake up, I would tumble endlessly away. Thoreau’s words floated up:

To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake. How could I have looked him in the face?”

So I stepped over the hole at my feet and tried to shake the monotonous clatter of the monstrous media’s messages from my mind. In my vertiginous state I dared not look in a mirror. So many of the media’s lying words that I had already ingested with coffee seemed to float around and within me in an unreality disconnected from the actual world, even the world they were ostensibly reporting on.

I too had written many words about the drastic condition of our world today, thinking somehow my words, different from the corporate media’s, could move the world by pulling back the curtain that the powerful have created through clichés to conceal the sordid reality they have made of this beautiful earth. Yet the presentation of facts seemed to make no difference. Very little, if anything, made a difference.

Most of those who read my words more or less already agreed with me. And many, even friends and family, just ignored them, anticipating that they would disturb them. And the mainstream publications shunned them like the plague.

Between my desire for a changed world and the world that seemed to change only for the worse lay the desolation Berger identified.

Many people feel it, I know, especially dissidents who fight in various ways against the powerful. But we prefer not to go there, to see what it consists of and how we may transmute it into acts and words that might make a difference. We prefer to make believe we are making a difference by repeating ad nauseum the same prefabricated responses, usually directly political, to the atrocities committed daily.

We are caught in what Czeslaw Milosz, writing in a different context, called “ontological anemia” – “among this illness’s symptoms is the nothingness sucking from the center in.” 

We try and try but seem to devour ourselves by repeating the same approaches, as if all the slaves know is what their masters have taught them. Milosz knew this because he was an artist and a spiritual seeker, not just a political analyst, and also had personal experience with the totalitarian mindset that is descending on the West.

The twists of history can make one’s head spin.

In writing about Vincent Van Gogh, whose hunger for reality drove him to produce works of achingly loving beauty, John Berger, the quixotic Marxist, writes:

Reality, however one interprets it, lies behind a screen of clichés. Every culture produces such a screen, partly to facilitate its own practices (to establish habits) and partly to consolidate its own power. Reality is inimical to those with power.

Yet while Van Gogh sought reality by breaking the mold, the rich and powerful have devoured the results of his efforts and have transposed them into commodities. Last year, his painting, Laboureur Dans Un Champ, painted from an asylum where he had committed himself, sold for $81.3 million at Christie’s after a frenetic auction.

A humble peasant working in a field becomes a trophy for the rich, who keep the working man slaving away. Words and deeds are turned upside down on desolation row where

Between the windows of the sea where lovely mermaids flow
And nobody has to think too much about Desolation Row


We need to think again. Imagine! Today we are caught in a void of clichés and in the clutches of rapacious elites. Only acts of creative imagination will free us from their clutches.

I look to my right and on a shelf I see a vividly painted Matryoshka doll. It startles me into the thought that like Matryoshka dolls, so many of our personal habits that deaden us to imagining a way across the gap to a better world are nestled within social habits of thought, speech, and action. We are so often encased like tiny cloned dolls in the social clichés that make us smaller versions of the powers that we say we oppose but which we mimic. We are carved and painted in their likeness, and caught in the habit of reacting to them in ways that reinforce their control.

We must disrupt our routines. We must find new ways, not to just respond, but to take the initiative. When we react according to habits, although we may not realize it, we are being controlled and not in control. Habits, like the word’s etymology reveals, may reassure us that we have, hold or possess a position of strength from which we can move the world in our direction, but the only Archimedean lever and fulcrum capable of that is inspiration.

That involves a new way of seeing, not vertiginous but visionary.

I think I’ll change my pants.

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