Tuesday 25th of June 2024

Richard Tonkin's blog

Arrakis and Iraq- From Dune To The Dunes

Regime Change on the planet Arrakis... ring any bells?  When the news
about the President Bush's failure to control Iraq after the occupation
came about, any reader of Frank Herbert's novel Dune would not be
suprised.  Herbert explained the ethical nobility implied in the
Islamic approach to battle.  His freedom fighters, the Feydakin,
believed that sacrificing one life to ensure the deaths of many of the
enemy was an extremely sensible and honourable way to fight a war.  The
higher the number of enemy deaths taken in an attack, the greater was
the revererance bestowed on the self-sacrificing soldier

Solomon Islands In Iraq ?

It's of interest that while companies from countries such as China,
Germany and Canada were not allowed to tender for Iraq reconstruction
contracts, our little troubled neighbour, the Solomon Islands was given
permission to bid.

Sweden, Ireland, Austria, and Finland, all neutral countries, were also cut off from the spoils. According to Bloomberg, of the 15 European Union states, only six are approved.
They are the U.K., Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, and
Denmark. All have sent soldiers or police forces to Iraq.

Reactor For Spaceport

Who's involved in an unexpected consortium proposal for a nuclear reactor at Woomera? 

Australian foundation member of the International Nuclear Energy Academy Professor Leslie Kememy has spearheaded a push for a reactor near South Australia's Spaceport, and a feasibility study for a three billion dollar reactor was being conducted.

Leslie, who told Adelaide's Advertiser that he had been hired by a consortium as a technical consultant, but declined to give their name

Senior Democrat Senator Calls For US AWB Probe, AWB Says Bribes Tax Deductible

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top Democrat on the U.S. Senate
Agriculture Committee on Tuesday called for a probe into the Australian
Wheat Board's alleged violations of the United Nations oil for food
program, saying the Bush administration had not heeded the concerns of
America's wheat farmers.

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa wrote to the
U.S. Agriculture Department Inspector General seeking an independent
review after letters to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns and U.S.
Trade Representative Rob Portman earlier this year failed to produce
any action, a spokesman for Harkin's office said.

Commander Cosgrove's New Battle Game- Board And Playing Pieces

 

 This is all that is really relevant about Adelaide now.  All the rest is superficial:

 

(map and links below from defence-sa.com)  Map shows up on edit but won't publish... weird.


Follow the links for news stories and articles to
find out more about the recent successes of South Australia's
defence industry.

South Aust Premier In London To Sell Uranium?

South Australian Premier Mike Rann isn't known as "Media Mike" for nothing.  This is why it's suprising that Rann has made a trip to England with no public fanfare.  His website isn't even operative to convey his media releases!

Mr Rann usally makes great media mileage from his visits, proposing M-1 tank reconstruction facilities, visiting warship contract contenders, generally publicising his intentions from the perceived locales of "the horse's mouth"  This is why it's surprising that the best our Premier has had to offer is that our defence contract bids are to be managed by a man who doesn't live in South Australia.  Rann's climate change consulant, by the way, is also about to become a Sydney resident.

Cosgrove To Lead Charge For South Australian Defence Contracts

[ABC]

The former head of the Australian military, General Peter Cosgrove,
will lead South Australia's bidding for multi-million dollar defence
contracts.

Premier Mike Rann has announced General Cosgrove as the new chairman of the state's Defence Advisory Board.

General Cosgrove helped restore order in East Timor in 1999 and named Australian of the Year in 2001.

He will remain based in Sydney but will visit South Australia regularly.

Australia-India Uranium Trade Tied To Nuclear Reactor Construction Contracts

I've highlighted the last sentence of this extract because it seems of particular significance to activity in Australia. 

 [from the Financial Express, poste 20/5/05]

MAY 19:  Seeking to meet its rising energy demands, India may
pay suppliers, including General Electric (GE) Co, Rs 1.8 trillion ($40
billion) to build nuclear reactors over the next 14 years, a government
official said.

France’s Areva SA, Electricite de France and US-based Westinghouse
Electric Co are among the possible providers of 25 to 28 reactors by
2020, chairman Nuclear Power Corporation of India, SK Jain said.

Adelaide Submarine Constructors Recruited From Classrooms

On May 13th 2005 I introduced my first Your Democracy Blog with these words:   I am writing this blog because South Australia needs help. We are an
extremely strategically located city, for years headquarters of
Murdoch, Halliburton and BAE, and are being systematically brainwashed
into becoming defence industry drones without ever being given the
choice of taking this path.

Now I learn that the submarine project, constructed at a facility controlled by Halliburton's former Global Vice President for Infrastructure, is to begin a campaign to entice our kids into becoming defence construction workers

Kovco- Wrong Body Was Halliburton Employee

The body sent to Australia in the place of a fallen soldier was that of a Halliburton contractor from Bosnia.   The Kellogg, Brown and Root employee was finally buried last Friday, a month after he died.

Halliburton have indicated  that they will pay compensation to the family of Juso Sunanovic, who the company claims died of a brain hemorrage while playing table tennis in Iraq.

The revelation is the latest in a situation filled with procedural errors.  Pte Jake Kovco's body was moved from the scene of death before MP inspection on orders from the commander of Australian armed forces in Iraq despite an MP command that the location remain undisturbed for investigation purposes.  After being ceremonially escorted to a waiting plane, his body was accidentally substituted with that  of the Halliburton employee.  

AWB- Who changed the script?

Given the totality of the apology drafted by AWB's Andrew Lindberg, what was the catalyst for assuming their apparent legal strategy of forgetfulness after having created such a self-damning document?

[From The Australian]

1. As a result of the Volcker inquiry into the OFF (oil-for-food)
Program AWB accepts that in paying money for inland transportation and
after sales service it paid money to the Iraq government in
contravention of the UN sanctions.

2. Even though there were warning signs to some employees that this may
have been occurring AWB did not challenge these payments and was not
alert to the potential consequences of making these payments. For this
we are truly sorry and deeply regret any damage this may have caused to
Australia's trading reputation, the Australian government or the United
Nations.

Halliburton's Detention Centres Only Blueprints, Says CEO

Halliburton's US contract to build detention centres was part of a plan that may never be completed, it was revealed today.

The suprising admission came from the successor to US Vice President Dick Cheney, Halliburton President and CEO Mr David Lesar.

During a question and answer session at the company's AGM a stockholder asked for details of the US$385 million contract.   The deal, said Mr Lesar, was part of a contigency plan.

"There are no plans at this point to actually physically build
anything. We don't know when or if or where this contract will be
activated," he said.

Sixteen Arrested AT U.S. Halliburton Protest

Today's Houston Chronicle says it all:

Sixteen people protesting Halliburton Co.'s environmental record and
its role as a military contractor were arrested on trespassing charges
Wednesday when they surged toward a building where company shareholders
were meeting.

Another man was arrested on a charge of destroying public property for tearing up a plastic fence holding back protesters.

A masked man beat on a large empty jug and protesters chanted, "The
whole world is watching," and "Shame on you," while police made the
arrests. A designated area had been set up for the protest, and police
had told protesters not to leave that area.

No Fitting Epitath- The Kovco Leaks

I've gotten into lots of trouble over the Kovco scandal.  Days before his body went missing I wrote that I beleived a cover-up was occurring.  Everything I wrote after that landed me in more trouble.  In spite of this I need to write down what follows:

Right now I cant' believe that not one but two officials, including the person who compiled the "accidentally leaked" the report weren't, at the very least, carrying out their actions with subconsiously compelled deliberateness.

Here's the timeline:  Kovco is killied by a bullet.   The body is moved before an MP investigation at the order of the commander in chief of Australian armed forces in Iraq.  Kovco's body goes missing, the wrong coffin sent to Ausralia.  The official version of his death is changed, and  though we're told that he didn't die cleaning his gun, no other explanation is offered.  Then the bullet (or maybe just its casing) goes missing and isn't provded with Kovco's remains to be examined by the NSW coroner.

Halliburton's Share

As protesters gather in Oklahoma for this year's Halliburton stockholders meeting, Corpwatch Director Pratap Chatterjee has given an excellent overview of Halliburton's involvement in oil exploration.

[extract from Democracy Now broadcast} 

"Halliburton is actually one of the principle players in the issue of
climate change, and the reason is that it's so profitable for them and
for the oil companies. Halliburton, in fact, is the company that
pioneered a lot of the offshore drilling technologies, the fracturing
technologies. So it's incredibly profitable for them to do this work,
and they do this and they’re part of pretty much every major oil
operation around the world.

Syndicate content