Australian Special Forces Killed Afghan Children, Tried to Cover It Up

Aussie Forces Killed Afghan Children, Tried to Cover It Up

Australian Special Forces Killed Afghan Children, Tried to Cover It Up

Killings Reflected Shifting Priorities, Tactics in Afghan War

Adding to evidence of the humanitarian nightmare the Afghan War has become, Australia is now investigating soldiers from their special forces related to evidence that at least twice in raids in Kandahar Province, those troops killed children in rural areas, then tried to cover up their deaths.

“Cover it up” might be overstating it, really. Indeed, the evidence suggests that the Australian forces who were present at the killings just plain never reported them up the chain of command, and it was only because local villagers found the bodies that those deaths became public knowledge.

This comes as Australia’s Inspector General is already investigating the special forces over other unlawful killings, and that those special forces were killing so many civilians they routinely carried spare “drop weapons” with them just to plant on the corpses to make it look like they were combatants.

The investigations serve as just another embarrassment from the perspective of Australia’s military, but also appears to be the result of broad changes in the priorities and tactics of the US and its coalition allies in fighting in Afghanistan, as they moved away from the “clear and hold” tactics of the war’s first decade.

Those familiar with the situation say that once “clear and hold” was abandoned, the collateral damage of raids stopped being a major concern for the troops, since they weren’t going to be there after the operation anyhow, and that often helicopter-based raids became “land, kill, and leave.”

This attitude was plainly in evidence when the Australian forces engaged in the raids in question, heading into rural Kandahar in the middle of the night and shooting anything that moved, even if they weren’t in a combat situation yet. If the slain turned out to be children, the expectation was that this could simply be swept under the rug.

It is this same attitude that has other nations involved in the operations facing similar question, from New Zealand’s probes into “revenge raids” to US special forces desecrating the bodies of slain enemies. It’s also the latest in a long list of reasons why they aren’t “welcomed as liberators” and aren’t anywhere near winning the war.

Washington is Leading the U.S. and its Vassal States to Total Destruction

By Paul Craig Roberts

“The problem is that the world has listened to Americans for far too bloody long.”  — Dr. Julian Osborne, from the 2000 film version of Nevil Shute’s 1957 book, On the Beach

May 06, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – A reader asked why neoconservatives push toward nuclear war when there can be no winners. If all die, what is the point?

The answer is that the neoconservatives believe that the US can win at minimum and perhaps zero damage.

Their insane plan is as follows: Washington will ring Russia and China with anti-ballistic missile bases in order to provide a shield against a retaliatory strike from Russia and China. Moreover, these US anti-ABM bases also can deploy nuclear attack missiles unknown to Russia and China, thus reducing the warning time to five minutes, leaving Washington’s victims little or no time in which to make a decision.

The neoconservatives think that Washington’s first strike will so badly damage the Russian and Chinese retaliatory capabilities that both governments will surrender rather than launch a response. The Russian and Chinese leaderships would conclude that their diminished forces leave little chance that many of their ICBMs will be able to get past Washington’s ABM shield, leaving the US largely intact. A feeble retaliation by Russia and China would simply invite a second wave US nuclear attack that would obliterate Russian and Chinese cities, killing millions and leaving both countries in ruins.

In short, the American warmongers are betting that the Russian and Chinese leaderships would submit rather than risk total destruction.

There is no question that neoconservatives are sufficiently evil to launch a preemptive nuclear attack, but possibly the plan aims to put Russia and China into a situation in which their leaders conclude that the deck is stacked against them and, therefore, they must accept Washington’s hegemony.

To feel secure in its hegemony, Washington would have to order Russia and China to disarm.

This plan is full of risks. Miscalculations are a feature of war. It is reckless and irresponsible to risk the life of the planet for nothing more than Washington’s hegemony.

The neoconservative plan puts Europe, the UK, Japan, S. Korea, and Australia at high risk were Russia and China to retaliate. Washington’s ABM shield cannot protect Europe from Russia’s nuclear cruise missiles or from the Russian Air Force, so Europe would cease to exist. China’s response would hit Japan, S. Korea, and Australia.

The Russian hope and that of all sane people is that Washington’s vassals will understand that it is they that are at risk, a risk from which they have nothing to gain and everything to lose, repudiate their vassalage to Washington and remove the US bases. It must be clear to European politicians that they are being dragged into conflict with Russia. This week the NATO commander told the US Congress that he needed funding for a larger military presence in Europe in order to counter “a resurgent Russia.” https://www.rt.com/news/387063-nato-counter-resurgent-russia/

Let us examine what is meant by “a resurgent Russia.” It means a Russia that is strong and confident enough to defend its interests and those of its allies. In other words, Russia was able to block Obama’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran and to enable the Syrian armed forces to defeat the ISIS force sent by Obama and Hillary to overthrow Assad.

Russia is “resurgent” because Russia is able to block US unilateral actions against some other countries.

This capability flies in the face of the neoconservative Wolfowitz doctrine, which says that the principal goal of US foreign policy is to prevent the rise of any country that can serve as a check on Washington’s unilateral action.

While the neocons were absorbed in their “cakewalk” wars that have now lasted 16 years, Russia and China emerged as checks on the unilateralism that Washington had enjoyed since the collapse of the Soviet Union. What Washington is trying to do is to recapture its ability to act worldwide without any constraint from any other country. This requires Russia and China to stand down.

Are Russia and China going to stand down? It is possible, but I would not bet the life of the planet on it. Both governments have a moral conscience that is totally missing in Washington. Neither government is intimidated by the Western propaganda. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said yesterday that we hear endless hysterical charges against Russia, but the charges are always vacant of any evidence.https://sputniknews.com/politics/201705041053274379-lavrov-russia-us-relations/

Conceivably, Russia and China could sacrifice their sovereignty for the sake of life on earth. But this same moral conscience will propel them to oppose the evil that is Washington in order not to succumb to evil themselves. Therefore, I think that the evil that rules in Washington is leading the United States and its vassal states to total destruction.

Having convinced the Russian and Chinese leaderships that Washington intends to nuke their countries in a surprise attack (see, for example, http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/04/us-forces-preparing-sudden-nuclear.html ), the question is how do Russia and China respond? Do they sit there and await an attack, or do they preempt Washington’s attack with an attack of their own?

What would you do? Would you preserve your life by submitting to evil, or would you destroy the evil?

Writing truthfully results in my name being put on lists (financed by who?) as a “Russian dupe/agent.” Actually, I am an agent of all people who disapprove of Washington’s willingness to use nuclear war in order to establish Washington’s hegemony over the world, but let us understand what it means to be a “Russian agent.”

It means to respect international law, which Washington does not. It means to respect life, which Washington does not. It means to respect the national interests of other countries, which Washington does not. It means to respond to provocations with diplomacy and requests for cooperation, which Washington does not. But Russia does. Clearly, a “Russian agent” is a moral person who wants to preserve life and the national identity and dignity of other peoples.

It is Washington that wants to snuff out human morality and become the master of the planet. As I have previously written, Washington without any question is Sauron. The only important question is whether there is sufficient good left in the world to resist and overcome Washington’s evil.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

See also

500K People Sign Petition Barring Trump’s Nuclear Weapons Use: According to the bill, the President will be prohibited from using the Armed Forces to conduct a “first-use nuclear strike” until a congressional declaration of war expressly authorized such a strike.

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

Does The US Love Freedom of Information?

ٍST

Created on Wednesday, 19 April 2017 09:27

My dear friend, Kris Janssen, was part of the visiting delegation to Syria. The delegations  comprises journalists from the United States, Australia and eight European countries.

According to statements by  Dr. Jamal Daoud, head of the delegation, the aim of the visit is to have future media cooperation as to convey the reality of events in Syria, and as voice solidarity with and support for the steadfastness of the Syrian People, Army and Leadership in their fight against terrorism.

I was so honored yesterday with the private visit of my friend Kris to the Syria Times headquarters. Mr. Kris, voiced his pleasure over the delegation meeting with Minister of Information, Mr. Mohammad Ramez Turjman.

Kris said that Minister  Turjman “gives good explanation,” and was ” open, honest talking in an open way.” Minister  Turjman spoke ” frankly and answered even critical questions”, added Kris.

Kris, however, added that “Unfortunately, the Western media reverse the truth and the reality. ” I said, your frequent visits are welcome as to clarify and depict the ongoing on the ground.

With this in mind, came the said and written by my facebook friend, Miguel Valenzuela , who wrote his own observations and impressions following the meeting with Minister Turjman:

I met the Syrian Minister of Information today in Damascus. He described the war as a culture of life vs a culture of death. He said that despite the war, we still have festivals and activities, and protect all faiths, as I’ve witnessed, while the “opposition” tries to destroy all of this and impose their way, as I’ve also witnessed.

He said that the Syrian government maintains two things: That there is no place in Syria for terrorism, and that the leader of Syria must be chosen by way of the ballot box; while the “opposition” only repeat two sentences: “Assad must go” and “Give us the keys to power in Syria.” But there are more than 1,200 armed groups in the “opposition”, so who exactly will get the power?

He said that when he became the Minister 6 months ago, he met with one of the strongest armed groups called Jayish al Islam. The group started to have trouble with the other groups nearby and within two weeks there were more than 700 killed between these groups. He asked them what can we expect if they’re leading this nation when they’re already killing each other? He asked them why are they dismantling factories and medicine manufacturers and selling them to Turkey? He said that real revolutions protect these vital infrastructure, but this is not a real revolution.

He said the plot against Syria was discussed openly long ago during the Condoleezza Rice talks. Essentially, they want to dismantle our nations and establish a “New Middle East”. He said this is the plan of the United States but it won’t work. They have tried to spread sectarian hate to divide us but it didn’t work. Syria is united.

“Regarding the ‘chemical attacks’ that we are being accused of by the United States, which supposedly was the reason for launching a missile attack on our airbase, there are many important questions to ask. Why were there so many civilians present in the uninhabitable area where the ‘chemical attack’ allegedly took place? Why were the so called ‘White Helmets’, who were first on the scene wearing masks and some were not? Why did they not wear gloves when touching the bodies, if it was indeed a ‘chemical attack’? Why would the Syrian government attack these people? What’s the point? What do we have to gain from this?

There needs to be an independent analysis to find out what is true and what is false before responding, but the US did not wait for one, they generally don’t, even though in the media they always say that they’re defending ‘truth and freedom’

I’ll give you an example as well of how much the US “loves freedom of information”…the first thing they did when the crisis started was ban satellite TV from broadcasting Syrian channels and they pulled their ambassadors out of Syria. Syrian broadcasting headquarters, Alakhbaria, Syria TV was attacked many times by mortars and suicide bombings. Syria TV headquarters was completely destroyed. Many journalists were killed in these attacks, but in spite of this, journalists are still going to work because they believe that they are on the right side of history.”

“We depend on good people like you from around the world. We want you to take all that you have witnessed here back to your country. We understand that most people are scared of coming to Syria especially now with the US attacks and all the hysteria in the media, but you are here. We welcome you to Syria and we thank you for your courage.”

 

Dr. Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim

alibrahim56@hotmail.com

The Syrian Chemical Weapons Nexus: Verdict First, Evidence Later

Syria chemical weapons

Verdict First, Evidence Later: How the Australian Media Misrepresent Geopolitical Events

James ONeill

April 12, 2017

“Let the jury consider their verdict”, the King said, for about the twentieth time that day. “No, no,” said the Queen. Sentence first – verdict afterward.” – Charles Dodgson ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.’

The pictures of dead and dying civilians, including children, their suffering allegedly caused by a Syrian/Russian chemical warfare attack, has once again caused the western media to renew their demands for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

In the Sydney Morning Herald of 6 April 2017 the SMH’s chief Washington correspondent Paul McGeogh, refers to Trump meeting with Egyptian President el-Sisi and a parallel declaration by the US UN Ambassador Nikki Haley that the removal of Assad was no longer a US priority. These two incidents, he argues, sent a signal to Damascus that the Syrian government had a licence to do as it pleased.

Although McGeogh did not acknowledge it, that thesis was exactly the same as that being argued by arch neocons Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain. The latter was recently described in a SMH editorial as ‘widely respected.’ Which is one measure of the parallel universe the SMH occupies these days.

McGeogh goes on to say, “we’ve been here before,” referring to the 2013 poison gas attack in Ghouta, Syria. That was blamed on the Assad government by the western media at the time. The fact that the allegations were later discredited.

The rush to judgment by McGeogh and his counterparts elsewhere in the mainstream media overlooks a number of alternative explanations that are at least worth considering, especially when actual hard evidence is in such short supply.

One such scenario is that the Syrian air force bombed a factory that was storing chemical weapons for use by one or more of the multiple terrorist groups operating in the area.

The fact that the terrorist groups have used such weapons in the past and had strong motives to use them again is entirely missing from the western media narrative. The stockpile of chemical weapons at Khan Sheikhoun had previously been shipped to fellow terrorists operating in Iraq, as confirmed by the Iraqi government.

It is also known that three days before the tragedy at Khan Sheikhoun a convoy of TOW missiles, gas masks for up to 2000 persons and chemical warfare suits from Saudi Arabian stockpiles left Hatay, Turkey for Hama, Syria where al Nusra are waging a major battle for control. This raises obvious questions about the intended use of the gas masks and chemical warfare suits by the terrorist groups. This information, released by the Russians before the Khan Sheikhoun tragedy, was ignored by the western media at the time and certainly does not appear now.

To disclose that information would raise wider questions, such as the role of Saudi Arabia and others in the Gulf region in supplying and financing the terrorist activity in Syria and Iraq. Certainly no hint of criticism of Saudi Arabia escapes the lips of Australian government spokespersons from PM Malcolm Turnbull down. This is also the case with the illegal war being waged on Yemen by the US and Saudi Arabia.

In all the fury mounted against the Assad government for their alleged conduct, no one has raised a single plausible reason why the Syrian government would risk such international condemnation for so little military benefit.

Assad is not a fool and he would know that such an attack would provide ammunition for the very powerful neocon element in the US for who massive civilian casualties are a matter of indifference when committed by their side, as they repeatedly demonstrate, but are ever willing to use tragedy whether at their own hand or by others, in pursuit of their geopolitical goals.

The very astute analyst who writes under the nom de plume ‘The Saker’ expresses it this way:

“The Neocons, apparently backed by the CIA and the Pentagon, want to go at it solo: just shoot up all of Syria OK Corral style and they seem to be convinced that they can somehow scare the Russians, the Iranians and the Syrians into submission. If so, then they are both stupid and ignorant.”

Syria does not exist in geopolitical isolation despite the best attempts of McGeogh et al to make it appear so. In 2007 General Wesley Clark revealed previously secret US plans to topple seven Middle East and North African countries in a five year period.

Those seven countries make revealing reading in the light of recent events: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Iran.

Five of the seven have been or are currently being attacked, occupied, and/or destroyed by the US and its allies, including Australia. During the recent US Presidential campaign both Trump and Clinton made no secret of their intense dislike of Iran. For a number of reasons outside the scope of this article Iran is unlikely to be attacked directly. It is however, the victim of asymmetrical warfare through sanctions, assassinations and support for the terrorist organization MEK.

Lebanon will probably be left to the Israelis who have attacked it on multiple occasions and occupied the southern portion for a nearly two-decade period.

Israel also plays an important role in the attack on Syria both directly through the bombing of Syrian Army positions, and also by providing medical aid to wounded ISIS fighters in military hospitals in the Golan Heights.

The Syrian Golan Heights themselves have been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. They remain, in defiance of UN resolutions and international law, with the support of the US and Australia. Their reasons for the continued occupation of Golan are multiple, including the fulfillment of part of the Yinon Plan (O. Yinon Directions Kivunim Magazine February 1982). That plan called for the breakup into ‘statelets’ of Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon and the dissolution of Jordan.

Recent discoveries of huge reserves of oil and gas in the Golan Heights are another reason for staying. Genie Energy, a company based in Newark New Jersey, is carrying out the exploitation of those resources. Its strategic advisory board includes such luminaries as Dick Cheney (former US vice-president), James Woolsey (former director of the CIA), Larry Summers (former US treasury Secretary), Bill Richardson (former US energy Secretary) and Rupert Murdoch (media baron).

The latter’s role in Genie Energy is probably one of the reasons that criticism of Israeli policies rarely blemishes the pages of News Corp publications.

The other driving force of US policy in Syria dates from the latter’s refusal to allow transit of a pipeline for Qatari gas to Europe. The US plan behind the pipeline was to use Qatari gas to wean Europeans off their reliance on Russian gas, thereby undermining the Russian economy.

None of this geopolitical context is given to readers of the mainstream media. Their reporters, editors and our politicians find it much easier to regurgitate the clichéd and self-serving memes that flow from Washington and London.

The reporting of the tragedy from Syria is but the latest illustration of an all too common phenomenon: a pre-determined verdict on little or no evidence.

Al-Manar.com.lb is not responsible for the content of this article. All opinions expressed are solely those of the author

Source: New Eastern Outlook

Australian lawmakers urge end to israel’s abuse of Palestinian children

Australian lawmakers urge end to Israeli abuses of Palestinian children

 

Some of the 49 members of Australia’s parliament who signed a letter urging Israel to end its military detention of Palestinian children participate in a press conference organized by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network in Canberra, 28 November. (via Facebook)

One in five members of Australia’s parliament is calling on Israel to end its systematic abuses of Palestinian children.

“Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts. And only Palestinian children,” dozens of members of the Australian house of representatives and senate say in a letter released by the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network on Monday.

“Up to 700 Palestinian children are arrested each year by the Israeli military, and this number is increasing,” the 49 lawmakers add, citing United Nations reports that ill-treatment of Palestinian children is “widespread, systematic and institutionalized.”

The lawmakers call on Israel to comply with its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and “to not arrest or detain Palestinian children unless this is a last resort, and if they are detained, to immediately institute protections for those children including that their safety and best interests are prioritized, and that they are permitted a fair trial.”

Growing debate

The letter is part of a growing debate on Israel’s human rights abuses. Earlier this month, Maria Vamvakinou, a member of the main opposition Australian Labor Party, introduced a motion calling on Australia “to raise concerns with the Israeli government about the treatment of Palestinian children.”

Though parliament has yet to vote on the measure, a number of lawmakers have given speeches calling on Israel to end its abuses of Palestinian children:

“We are very encouraged to see this issue resonating with members of parliament in Australia,” Beth Miller from the human rights group Defense for Children International-Palestine told The Electronic Intifada. “The situation on the ground for Palestinian children is increasingly dire. This is a welcome sign that more leaders are ready to take bold action to ensure justice and accountability.”

International success

The initiative in Australia was the result of international cooperation among advocates for Palestinian rights.

Over the summer, members of APAN – the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network – contacted the No Way to Treat a Child campaign about its successes in winning US congressional support for Palestinian children’s rights.

Led by the American Friends Service Committee and Defense for Children International-Palestine, the No Way to Treat a Child campaign has gained traction in notoriously difficult political territory for those working to hold Israel accountable for its abuses.

“We were thrilled that organizers in Australia heard of our advocacy with members of the US Congress about Palestinian children in Israeli military detention,” Jennifer Bing of the American Friends Service Committee told The Electronic Intifada. “We had several email and Skype exchanges to share strategies and effective messaging with those often silent about Palestinian human rights.”

In June, 20 US lawmakers urged President Barack Obama to send a “clear signal” to Palestinian children that their lives are valued.

In a letter initiated by Minnesota congresswoman Betty McCollum, the lawmakers urged the president to appoint a special envoy to protect the rights of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation.

A year earlier, 19 US lawmakers called on Secretary of State John Kerry to “prioritize the human rights of Palestinian children” in relations with Israel.

While Obama did not act on the lawmakers’ request, and unconditionally awarded Israel the biggest US military aid package in history earlier this year, the lawmakers’ willingness to speak out is a sign of the greater openness and contestation over Palestinian rights within the Democratic Party.

One of the signers of the letter to Obama was Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison, a leading contender to be chair of the party’s top governing body, the Democratic National Committee.

 

Australia, Tagging Along into Other Nations’ Wars

Australia, Tagging Along into Other Nations’ Wars

Since World War II, the U.S. has been the big boss leading a band of lackey nations, mostly in Europe but reaching distant Australia which tags along for the periodic pummeling of some hapless country, as James O’Neill explains.

By James O’Neill

For a country relatively remote from the world’s trouble spots, Australia throughout its short history since European settlement in the late Eighteenth Century has shown a remarkable capacity to involve itself in other people’s wars. With the possible exception of Japan in World War II none of these wars have posed a threat to Australia’s national security.

In the 1850s, Australia provided troops on behalf of the British in the Crimean War at a time when few Australians would have been able to locate Crimea on a map.  Ironically, Tony Abbott as Prime Minister this decade was willing to commit troops to Ukraine, again over Crimea.

australia_71

But Australian knowledge of historical and geopolitical realities in Crimea appeared no greater in 2014 than in the 1850s. The major difference was the infinitely greater threat to Australia’s national security if such a foolhardy plan had occurred in 2014 and Australian troops had found themselves confronting Russian forces.

Australian troops were also committed to the Boer War in South Africa, World Wars I and II, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, to name just the major conflicts. All of these involvements had two major characteristics in common: at no point (with the possible exception of Japan 1942-45) were Australia’s borders or national security threatened; and each involvement was at the behest of a foreign imperial power, often on entirely spurious grounds. The last four named conflicts above – Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria – had the added dimension of being contrary to international law.

A common justification advanced in support of these foreign adventures is that they constitute a form of insurance policy, with the deaths of tens of thousands of Australian servicemen and women being the premium that has to be paid. If we do not pay these premiums, the argument runs, the “policy” expires and our “great and powerful friends” – the United Kingdom and more recently the United States – will not come to our aid if and when we are, in turn, attacked.

It has never been clear just who these aggressors might be, despite endless manufactured potential foes, nor why Australia feels the need to base its foreign policy thus when scores of countries do not feel similarly threatened nor feel the need to pay such a price for their “security.”

The capacity to have an intelligent debate about whether or not there are other, and better, options, is severely hampered by a number of factors. One of the major factors is the concentration of ownership of the mainstream print media. The Murdoch empire controls 70 percent of the nation’s newspapers and is run by someone who is now an American citizen and no longer resides in Australia. The bulk of the balance is controlled by the Fairfax family who at least reside in Australia.

This concentration of ownership results in a degree of uniformity of opinion that Stalin would have recognized and appreciated.  There is a greater diversity of media ownership and opinion in modern Russia than there is in Australia, yet the relentless message in the Australian media is that Russia is an authoritarian state where dissent from an all powerful Vladimir Putin is discouraged or worse. Such a view would be laughable if it were not so dangerous.

The Pervasive ‘Group Think’

Academia is little better. The universities and the so-called “think tanks” rely heavily on subsidies from their American equivalents, or from Australian government departments committed to the government’s policies. There is an obvious reluctance to criticize, for example, American foreign policy when such criticism endangers funding sources, promotions, and comfortable sabbaticals in the U.S.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

A recent example of the intellectual drivel that this can lead to was found in the recent publication of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute entitled “Why Russia is a Threat to the International Order,” authored by Paul Dibb, a former spymaster. It was an ill-informed discussion all too typical of what passes for foreign policy analysis. Not only did it demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of Russian strategic policy, it wholly accepted and American-centered view of the world.

In Dibb’s world, the Americans only act from the best of intentions and for the benefit of the people unfortunate enough to to be the object of their attentions. Any analysis of the way U.S. foreign policy is actually practiced is air brushed from the reader’s attention. The treatment of Ukraine is instructive in this regard.

Dibb completely ignores the February 2014 American-organized and financed coup that removed the legitimate Yanukovich government from power. Dibb ignores the military agreement that provided for the stationing of Russian troops in Crimea; that Crimea had for centuries been part of Russia until Khrushchev “gifted” Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 (without consulting the Crimeans); the overwhelming support in two referenda to secede from Ukraine and apply to rejoin the Russian Federation; the discriminatory treatment of the largely Russian-speaking population of the Donbass region in Eastern Ukraine; and the Kiev regime’s systematic violation of the Minsk Accords designed to find a peaceable solution to the Ukrainian conflict.

Instead, he writes that Russia’s “invasion” and “annexation” of Crimea and its attempt through military means to detach the Donbass region in the eastern part of Ukraine have to be seen as a fundamental challenge to the post-war sanctity of Europe’s borders. Such historical revisionism and detachment from reality is unfortunately not confined to Dibb. It is all too common in the Australian media in all its forms.

A selective view of the world, of which Dibb is but one example, extends to a sanitizing of the U.S.’s role in post-war history. The U.S. has bombed, invaded, undermined, overthrown the governments of, and destroyed more countries and killed more people in the process over the past 70 years than all other countries in the world combined. Its disregard for international law, all the while proclaiming the importance of a “rules based system,” is well documented.

A particularly egregious but far from unique example is the war in Syria in which Australia is also involved, even to the comical extent of admitting culpability in the “mistaken” bombing of Syrian government troops at Door Ez Zair.

That the bombing was not a mistake but rather, as several commentators have pointed out (although never in the Australian media), was much more likely to have been a deliberate sabotaging by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s Pentagon element of the American war machine of the Kerry-Lavrov negotiated partial ceasefire.

Syrian intelligence has reported intercepts of communications between the U.S. military and the jihadist terrorists immediately before the bombing in which their respective actions were coordinated. The bombing was followed by immediate terrorist attacks on Syrian army positions in the area and is highly unlikely to have been a coincidence.

Cozy with Terrorists

This is, of course, consistent with American policy in Syria from the outset. The U.S. government has sought to maintain a ludicrous distinction between “moderate” terrorists and the rest.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Journalist James Foley shortly before he was executed by an Islamic State operative.

Before the Russian intervention at the end of September 2015, the U.S. managed to avoid actually stopping the Islamic State advance through large swathes of Syrian territory, and together with Washington’s Saudi and Qatari allies have trained, financed and armed the terrorists from the outset. All of which is part of a pattern of U.S. support for terrorists, as long as they support U.S. strategic goals.

No such analysis appears in the Australian mainstream media which maintains an unswerving allegiance to only one form of analysis. This dangerous group think and intolerance of dissent is exemplified in a recent article by Peter Hartcher, the senior political correspondent of the Fairfax media.

Hartcher described what he called “rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows” by which he meant opponents in Australia of a war with China. The “rats” were politicians “compromised by China’s embrace”; the “flies” are the “unwitting mouthpieces for the interests of the Chinese regime”; the mosquitoes were Australian business people “so captivated by their financial interests that they demand Australia assume a kowtow position”; the “sparrows” were Chinese students and Australia-Chinese associations that exist “specifically to spread China’s influence.”

In Hartcher’s view all four groups were “pests” that needed to be eradicated. To call this reversion to the worst elements of 1950s McCarthyism is probably to do the late junior Senator from Wisconsin a disservice.

Were it simply a case of ignorance it might be simply consigned to the scrap heap where it richly belongs. But it is representative of the same mindset that has led Australia into so many disastrous foreign policy misadventures that it cannot be ignored. Another reason it cannot be ignored is that it represents and affects a widely held view among Australian politicians.

The demonization of Russia in general and Vladimir Putin in particular is clearly evident in the reporting of the situation in Ukraine and Syria. The ignoring of history and the inversion of reality is the default position. Everything that Russia does is a manifestation of its “aggression.” Putin is commonly described as a “dictator” and the appalling Hillary Clinton even compared him with Hitler.

That there is not a shred of evidence to support the many wild allegations against President Putin does not prevent their regular repetition in the Western media.

Ignoring International Law

Similar blindness is evident with regard to the reporting on Syria. Australia is manifestly in breach of the United Nations Charter in its participation in the attacks upon the Syrian government and its forces. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s laughable defense of the presence of the Australian military in Syria, the central plank of which was specifically denied by the Iraqi government, was nonetheless accepted without question by the Australian mainstream media.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

The neo-Nazi Wolfsangel symbol on a banner in Ukraine.

There is more preposterous posturing over the South China Sea. The much vaunted “freedom of navigation” demanded for shipping in the South China Sea (although no one can point to a single instance of civilian maritime traffic being hindered in any way) is a concept selectively applied. Just ask a Cuban, Palestinian or Yemeni if freedom of navigation is their recent or current experience of American policy.

Australia partakes annually in a U.S.-led naval exercise, Operation Talisman Sabre that rehearses the blockading of the Malacca Straits, a vital seaway for China that along with dozens of military bases (including in Australia), missile systems surrounding China, free trade agreements that pointedly exclude the world’s largest trading nation, and many other aspects designed to “contain” China, are not the activities of a peacefully oriented nation.

Australia not only participates in clearly provocative actions, but the 2015 Defense White Paper is clearly predicated on planning a war with China. Public statements by senior defense personnel, both civilian and military, reflect a militaristic mindset vis-a-vis China that can only be described as magical thinking given the military capacity of the Peoples Republic of China to obliterate Australia within 30 minutes of hostilities actually breaking out is only part of the problem.

That such thinking takes place in a context where China, the perceived enemy, is also the country’s largest trading partner by a significant margin and the source of much of Australia’s prosperity over the past 40 years reveals a strategic conundrum that the politicians have singularly failed to come to grips with. Worse, it is not even considered a matter worthy of sustained serious discussion.

By its conduct both in Syria and the South China Sea, Australia runs the risk of becoming involved in a full-scale shooting war with both Russia and China. Viewed objectively, there is little doubt that in any such conflagration Russia and China enjoy significant military advantages.  Even that superiority is not to be entertained.  Instead, Australia pursues the purchase of hugely expensive submarines and F-35 fighter planes the strategic and military value of which is at best dubious and more probably, useless.

What then is the benefit to Australia of constantly putting itself in a position where the best it could hope for would be collateral damage? No rational human being would advance on a course of action where the detriments so significantly outweigh the benefits, so why should a nation be any different?

With its crumbling infrastructure, endless wars that it regularly loses, a corrupt money-dominated political culture, technologically inferior weaponry and enormous burgeoning debt, the U.S. is hardly a model protector. To believe otherwise is simply delusional.

As the U.S.-based Russian blogger Dimitry Orlov  has recently pointed out, Russia’s international conduct is governed by three basic principles: using military force as a reactive security measure; scrupulous adherence  to international law; and seeing military action as being in the service of diplomacy. That clearly does not accord with the relentless misinformation Australians are constantly fed but to confuse propaganda with reality is a dangerous basis upon which to formulate foreign policy.

China is also choosing a radically different path in its international relations. The One Belt, One Road, or New Silk Road initiatives, associated as they are with a range of other developments, the significance of which most Australians barely grasp, has the capacity to transform the world’s financial, economic and geopolitical structures in a remarkably short time.

The choice for Australia is stark.  Does it persist in aligning itself with what the late Malcolm Fraser accurately called a “dangerous ally”?  Or does it recognize that the world upon which its comfortable and dangerous illusions are based is rapidly changing and adjust its alliances accordingly.

At the moment Australia has the luxury of choice, but it is an opportunity that will vanish very quickly. Unfortunately, the lesson of history is that Australia will again make the wrong choice.

James O’Neill is a former academic and has practiced as a barrister since 1984

SYRIA FIGHTS COLONIALISM: AUSTRALIA, UK, DEMARK CONFIRM ROLES IN BRUTAL DEIR EZZOR MASSACRE

Syria In The Sun

by Jonathan Azaziah

Weekend massacre executed against Syrian troops atop Deir Ezzor’s Thardeh Mountain now looks like some kind of a murderous colonialist get-together as Australia, the UK and Denmark have all admitted their role in the unspeakable atrocity. Their statements on the crime read just about identically, with each respective Imperialist stain on humanity claiming that they, like the American regime, didn’t “intend” to hit the SAA, that they “regret” what took place and that they offer their “sincere condolences” to the families of the innocent souls whom they had butchered. The reason why this, also like Washington’s bullshit, does not hold even the weight of a termite, is because these are some of the bloodiest regimes to ever grace the stage of geopolitics.

The Australian settler regime wiped out hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people and played a key role in the overthrow of Indonesian revolutionary Sukarno as well as the Suharto coup regime’s aggression against Eastern Timor. Canberra is also in thick with theusurping Zionist entity and its intelligence services and foreign affairs institutions have literally been outsourced to the Mossad, making it complicit in every criminal act ‘Israel’ carries out. Not to mention, Australia has allowed large numbers of Takfiris to flock to Syria in service of the Oded Yinon balaknization agenda. Denmark, for its part, once ran a hideous colonialist empire, with colonies of theft and mass murder in Africa, India and notably, the Caribbean, where the Jewish-dominated Danish West India Trading Company ran cruel schemes of slave-trading and sugar-thieving. And Britain? Does one really need to enumerate how many countries that the London ZOG colonized, raped and ruined at the height of its colonialist dominance? How much suffering that the London ZOG has inflicted–and continues to inflict–on the entire Global South? As Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei once remarked, the British regime is the “most evil” of all the Western powers. Thus, such regimes cannot feel “regrets”. Such regimes cannot offer “condolences”. Because such regimes are inhuman.

Mark it down and adjust the narrative ladies and gentlemen: Syria and its Hizbullahi, Iranian, Iraqi, Palestinian and Russian allies are not just fighting a foreign mercenary invasion, with terrorists descending upon Bilad al-Sham from 100 different countries. They aren’t merely battling the Najdi-Dönmeh-originated, Khaleeji-financed backwardness of Wahhabi-Takfirism. They are in fact standing their ground and defending the Syrian Arab Republic against a unified colonialist alliance, the likes of which has never been seen before at any other point in history, as this Old Joint Colonialist Conglomerate is attempting to manifest its supremacist bloodlust into a New Zio-Imperialist World Order spearheaded by ‘Israel’ and its main ZOG, i.e. Washington.

Makes the sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army soldiers on Thardeh Mountain that much more heroic; that much more significant; and that much more inspiring, doesn’t it? These men didn’t die to “prop up a regime”. They didn’t give their lives to simply fight “Islamists”. They didn’t depart this world to “serve a dictator”. And they sure as hell didn’t fall whilst “repressing a revolution”. They were martyred, the highest, most dignified honor any individual can attain, struggling on behalf of every decolonized people on Earth, against the filthiest, most all-encompassing hegemony that has ever come into being, and in the name of what none of these genocidal Zionist puppet states will ever be able to understand: Justice, love of country and liberation from oppression. The choicest blessings of ALLAH (SWT) and the most blissful peace be upon the martyrs of the SAA. And death to the Australian, Danish and British regimes who murdered them in cold blood. Death to all these poisonous colonialist constructs and their Takfiri zombie proxies too.

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