Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Monday, May 31, 2004

socialism, capitalism and democracy...

These concepts have been rattling around in my brain a lot these last few days. And they present me with a dilemma. The dilemma first came to my notice about twenty years ago and then seemed to go away. Now it is back. And this time it won't let me go.

The problem is that socialism and capitalism appear to be mutually exclusive concepts. To build a socialist system, capitalism must be dismantled. To build a capitalist system, socialism must be dismantled.

Big business sees socialism as it's mortal enemy, and looking at Big Business global strategies in the last 50-odd years, we see that indeed Big Business has become the mortal enemy of socialism.

What has this got to do with democracy? Well, for all the waffle we've heard about the sacredness of democracy, the centre of Big Business, the U.S., has time and again subverted, or tried to subvert, the democratic processes throughout the world whenever and wherever that process looked like producing a socialistic government. In fact, in so aggressively trying to prevent it, the U.S. is behaving exactly like a totalitarian regime.

The U.S., because of it's subversion by Big Business, has no intention of allowing democracy to work if that democracy is not capitalistic in nature. So, I'll say it again, for emphasis: The U.S., for all its ranting about democracy, is actually totalitarian in nature. "You can have any government you want, as long as it's capitalistic."

And vice versa. Socialist (or communist) systems have generally been totalitarian in nature, again, because they see the forces of capitalism as their mortal enemy.

So where does that leave democracy? Well, now that Big Business thinks globally, it's the end of the road for socialism, I'm afraid. They own the world's largest and most powerful military machine. Their priorities are sacrosanct. The future of their shareholders, and therefore all you super-funded persons as well, depends on it.

So who would vote for socialism these days? Superannuation is compulsory, so your retirement nest-egg is tied to Big Business. Your government has made sure of it because the men in dark suits from the World Bank have told it to.

So only the poorest, the most disenfranchised, can afford to think about socialism. But the poor and the disenfranchised are not only ignored, they are blamed, they are despised and they are exploited. Yet without them, Big Business goes bust. The new age of greed and dependence on Big Business has made sure that the vast majority have no time for socialism.

Democracy? Yeah, sure, as long as you vote for what's best for Big Business, because that's who owns your politicians, your military and your law-enfocement. And you wouldn't have it any other way, would you?

I give up. I'm sick of being negative and the only positives I can see are trivial and superficial by comparison. I guess my depression's got me again. I don't know when I'll post again...

Thursday, May 27, 2004

vietnam, iraq and integrity...

This is a bit of a war story...

So there I was one night, lying in an ambush position in Vietnam. Next to me was my platoon commander, Lt Clarke. It was probably during January 1969. I remember asking him, quite genuinely and naively, "What are we doing here, sir?". I don't recall his answer, but I would guess he would have been dutifully circumspect. I have a lot of respect for Lt Clarke. He seemed to me to be an officer with a lot of integrity, caught up in, as we all were, a war which was starting to stink to high heaven. Not long after that, I was seconded to a Mobile Advisory Training Team to train South Vietnamese soldiers and I didn't see anyone from my old unit until well after my return to Australia.


Well, not long after I left, Lt Clarke was reposted and a certain Lt Cosgrove took over command of my old platoon. This is the same Cosgrove who is now a General and the Chief of the Defence Forces. I never met the man, but last year I read a piece in a media rag in which the erstwhile Lieutenant was described as quite "gung ho" by some members of the old 5 Platoon. He was hell-bent on making a name for himself, apparently.


Well, in 2003, it was General Cosgrove who issued the orders to commit our troops. He would have seen all the intelligence. He would have known, I firmly believe, that Howard was telling big fat porkies. And here's my point: Did Gen Cosgrove do a "Wilkie", or a "Collins"? Did he refuse to "play the game"? Did he do anything to prevent the commitment of our troops to a blatantly unjust and possibly even illegal war? No way, yeronner! Howard said "Jump!", and apparently, the only question Gen Cosgrove asked was "How high, Sir?" Once again, it seems, he was hell-bent on making a name for himself.

So when this sorry mess is all over, let's not forget that when it most mattered, Big Boy General Cosgrove failed to stand up to Pathetic Little Johnnie. And what will his excuse be? Yep, you guessed it - it'll be "I was just following orders". Bring back the Nuremberg Trials, I say...

Monday, May 24, 2004

it's in our interests...

It easy to go into another country with all guns blazing in the name of 'freedom', 'liberty' or 'democracy'. But these are euphemisms. Propaganda words. Words every aggressor, dictator and despot has used since imperialism was invented. And there's a new euphemism to justify mass destruction, grand theft, rape and mass murder, it's called 'interests' e.g. 'U.S. interests', 'British interests', 'Australian interests', etc..

Turns out we Australians, great liberators of the oppressed that we are, 'protected' East Timor's new-found independence only in order to rip off their oil and gas 'interests'. It was in Australia's 'interests'. And so a new nation lost it's most valuable resource to it's Big Brother 'defender'. Makes ya proud to be Australian, don't it?

Oh, and did we show a lot of courage posturing against possible Indonesian reaction? No way. It was a done deal. The Yank spooks (oops, 'diplomats') had very emphatically warned Indonesia, prior to our deployment, that if they gave us any grief, the U.S. would f*** with them very badly (their words, not mine). So, our Big Brother told Indonesia that they were not to touch East Timor's Big Brother, and only then did we big-brother East Timor. We're so brave... And our cause was so just.

So, when we do something in 'our interests', that really means that we're about to tamper with someone else's 'interests', often by means of military 'intervention', another nice euphemism for grand theft, mass destruction, mass murder, and all that goes with the 'military intervention'package (all nicely 'sanitised' for the gullible public back home, if they can get away with it).

I think I'm finally getting the hang of this thing called 'foreign policy'. It's how you go about getting people to really, really, hate you with a vengeance. And if they finally lose the plot completely and indulge in some kind of retaliatory action, you use another cunning propaganda word, you call them 'terrorists', which loosely translates as 'you can't do to us what we're doing to you'.

Is there a better way? You bet. But it doesn't suit imperial imperatives...

Thursday, May 20, 2004

the butchery continues...

Ariel Sharon vowed to withdraw from Gaza. That was a week ago. Since then we have seen
more senseless slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza. Sound familiar? Well, Sharon's association with the wholesale slaughter of Arabs/Palestinians is not a new thing. Check it out. Let's hope he doesn't promise to withdraw from the West Bank or there will be thousands of dead Palestinians...

Friday, May 14, 2004

mushrooms, darkness and manure...

As the old saying goes, we're being treated like mushrooms - kept in the dark and fed on bullshit. I'm referring, of course, to this circus of rhetoric called "the war on terror". It's an excuse. An excuse to wage outright war.

War traps and kills vast numbers of innocent civilians. Trapping and killing vast numbers of innocent civilians is called terrorism. Someone please tell me again how only the other side are the terrorists...

There are three times as many dead innocent Palestinians than dead innocent Israelis. The U.S. lost 2,700 civilians on 9/11 and in a fit of terrorism which it calls "war on terror", it goes out and kills 10,000 innocent Iraqis and thousands of innocent Afghanis.

And why? Because Israel would rather kill tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians than curb it's illegal, zealot-inspired, land-thieving rampage. Because the U.S. would rather kill tens of thousands of innocent civilians than revise its arrogant, oil-grabbing, geo-dominant foreign policy. Because Russia would rather kill tens of thousands of innocent Chechens than grant Chechnia its freedom (again, there is the unmistakable smell of oil). All done under the flim-flam of a bullshit argument that goes "we must not give in to terror".

The U.S. rants about it's responsibility to show leadership to the rest of the world. Well, let it show leadership with a benign, more pacifist foreign policy. Let it show leadership by using it's powerful influence to curb Russian and Israeli human rights abuses. Let it show leadership by empowering and supporting the UN instead of nobbling it and ignoring UN resolutions whenever it doesn't like them. Let it show leadership by supporting and obeying International Law instead of trashing it.

Oh, and if the U.S. wants rule the whole world and if it believes in democracy, why doesn't it allow the whole world to vote in U.S. elections?

Thursday, May 13, 2004

rachel corrie - lest we forget...

WHEN, ON MARCH 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie put on a fluorescent orange vest, took a megaphone in hand and begged an Israeli military bulldozer operator not to demolish the Palestinian home up the hill behind her, she never expected to die.
>>

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

peace, justice, and the american way...

Mary Jo Schillabeer, Sydney Morning Herald, Letters, 8-9 May, 2004, writes:
As an American, the fact that we were brought up to believe that Americans are the champions of peace and justice makes it just that much more disturbing to learn of the escalating stories of abuse of prisoners.
And Mary Jo is only now becoming disturbed?

That's what's so disturbing about so many Americans - their breathtaking refusal to notice, in the face of mountains of evidence, piling up for decades now, that America is not at all interested in either peace or justice.

Mary Jo conveniently overlooks the spurious reasons for the Iraq war (champions of peace, yeah?). Apparently these did not cause Mary Jo to become alarmed (never mind merely disturbed).

And the Bush regime's emphatic claims that it will not be bound by International Law, UN resolutions, the International Court of Justice, or the International Criminal Court did not cause Mary Jo's achey breaky heart to miss even an itsy bitsy beat whilst she was apparently failing to have these events contextualise for her, the true importance America places on being a champion for justice.

And all of a sudden, a few photos of abused and humiliated prisoners cause her to have a conscience? The wholesale slaughter of thousands of civilians during the Shock and Awe Roadshow of American Military Might did not disturb her? The reckless and lawless killing of thousands more Iraqi civilians since then did not disturb her? Apparently not. It took photos. Images.

This begs a question: Why didn't the many published photos of dead and mutilated Iraqi civilians disturb the Mary Jo's of America? I think it may be that images of dead Iraqi civilians can be easily explained away with a bit of jingoism, spin and propaganda, whereas in the Abu Ghraib images, America's atrocities cannot be so easily disimissed.

Friday, May 07, 2004

stop press...

And now we cross to the White House newsroom for an urgent update.

speaking english gets you locked up...

A survey of prison populations in the developed world reveals that the per capita average of people locked up in prisons in the English speaking world is about three times higher than that of the non-English speaking world. Interestingly, the U.S. figure is more than nine times the average in the non-English speaking world. I wonder what it all means.

The countries surveyed: Japan, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand, United States. The order of listing here is from lowest (Japan) to highest (United States).

(Figures taken from an article on page 11 of today's Sydney Morning Herald, promoting the book "How Australia Compares" by Rodney Tiffen and Ross Gittins, Cambridge University Press.)

Thursday, May 06, 2004

free lessons in cartooning...

For all you budding cartoonists, here's a site that you might find helpful.

bin laden fighting on the side of the U.S.?

In an article by Richard A. Clarke, in Time magazine, about bin Laden, he says: "First known to the CIA as one of the Arabs fighting on the side of the US in Afghanistan."

Pardon? "fighting on the side of the US" ??????????????????????


Bin Laden was a fierce freedom fighter (mujahedin) whom the CIA thought it could use. So they trained him and his men, they equipped them whilst even the village idiot would have told them that this man's loyalty would never belong to the US.

Back then, the CIA did its utmost to whip the Islamic fundamentalists into a lather of rage against the occupiers (Soviets) in Afghanistan, and, at the time, Time magazine could not praise these mujahedin more loudly. But if anyone in the CIA, the Pentagon, or the State Department, thought that the mujahedin were somehow fighting for the US, they must all have been on some kind of mind-altering drug. No doubt it was the same drug that caused them to believe that Ho Chi Minh was fighting for Russia or China when in fact he was a fierce nationalist fighting for his own people's freedom from outside interference and who had the overwhelming support of the people.

Sheeesh! Bad blunder by Clarke? Accidental slip of the tongue? I doubt it. More likely it's another attempt to skew history and thereby hypnotise the people into remaining blind to US imperialism. A nasty attempt to get us to think of bin Laden as someone who once fought for the US and then turned traitor. Crap! He was a fierce Islamic fundamentalist freedom fighter who saw the atheistic Soviets as a threat to Islam. Back then the US thought they'd bought him. Not only did he not "stay bought", it is very unlikely that he ever sold out on his principles for the Yankee Dollar.

And these same mujahedin are still fierce Islamic freedom fighters who are still enraged with the occupiers of their lands. This time they see the threat to Islam as The West. And the US, being the prime occupier, still fails to understand this and calls them "terrorists" whilst it is busily stealing global oil resources.

For those of you who have forgotten, Clarke is the former head of "counterterrorism" in the US National Security Council and the author of a recently published book "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror".

Why bother to read this man's book when he can't even understand bin Laden. But isn't that so American?

I hate bullshit. Anger is...

Sunday, May 02, 2004

war, what is it good for...

They call it ”the war on terror”. That's just pure propaganda.
It's actually a war of terror. All forms of warfare involve terror. So what's going on? Well, be afraid. Be very afraid. We're seeing a global takeover by war-mongering fanatical religious fundamentalists. Christian fundamentalists have hijacked US foreign policy, Zionist fundamentalists have hijacked Israeli foreign policy, and Moslem fundamentalists want to destroy the US and Israel. Religious fanatics reacting to religious fanatics.

The moderates on each side have been sidelined. Yet the vast majority in each of these religions is made up of peace-loving, tolerant, compassionate, and moderate people. What's needed is for the moderates in each of these religions to reassert themselves over their fanatical, fundamentalist brothers and sisters. Nothing less will stop this insane endless cycle of bloodshed and destruction. Each religion must get its own house in order before accusing the other side.

The doves must sideline the hawks. Love must sideline hate. Understanding must sideline intolerance. Forgiveness must sideline vengeance. Negotiation must replace hostile acts. Lofty ideals, I know, but if you choose not to subscribe to these, I say you are part of the problem and not part of the solution, and therefore you shouldn't complain about your own dead.

Here endeth the rant...