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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 1 January 2008
Bali climate conference 'A missed opportunity': Top academic
Mood:  hug me
Topic: globalWarming


Beach Hand Signing - Solar Generation

REDD action.

Rosa at Fossil Fools of the Day Action

Solar Taxi

Sunset Kuta Beach


walden bello           

Director, Focus on the Global South
waldenbello [at] hotmail.com

                Logo Right Livelihood Award

Walden Bello is executive director of Focus on the Global South, professor of sociology and public administration at the University of the Philippines, and a fellow of the Transnational Institute. He is the author of numerous books on Asian issues and globalisation, including Dilemmas of Domination: the Unmaking of the American Empire (2005), The Anti-Development State: the political ecnonomy of permanent crisis in the Philippines (2004) and Deglobalisation: ideas for a new world economy (2004). His articles have appeared in numerous periodicals including Review of international Political Economy, Third World Quarterly, Foreign Policy, Race and Class, Le Monde Diplomatique, Le Monde, Guardian, Boston Globe, Far Eastern Economic Review, and La Jornada. He is currently a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Foreign Policy in Focus.

He won South Korea's Suh Sang Don Prize in 2001, and in 2003 he was given the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, for "for outstanding efforts in educating civil society about the effects of corporate globalisation, and how alternatives to it can be implemented. " (See Walden's acceptance speech The Future in the Balance)

An academic as well as an activist, Bello obtained his PhD in sociology from Princeton University in the US in 1975 and has been a full professor at the University of the Philippines at Diliman since 1997. He has also served as visiting professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (2002), UC Irvine (2006), and UC Santa Barbara (2006). He also taught for four years, 1978-82, at UC Berkeley. He was Chancellor's Fellow at UC Irvine in 2004 and was awarded an honorary PhD by Panteion University in Athens, Greece, in 2005. Click here for full biography



Picture: A child enjoys the warm weather on Bondi Beach New Years Eve 2007


Bali: A Missed Opportunity

By Dr. Walden Bello

The gap between the urgent threat of global warming and the collective will to do something about it has never been greater. The recently concluded Conference on Climate Change in Bali was a grand opportunity to act. Instead, it was another missed opportunity. Unfortunately, the United States played a very negative role, standing in the way of consensus at every turn. And unfortunately, the rest of the world thought that seducing the US into a new agreement on climate action was top priority, resulting in a Bali Roadmap that was very sketchy.

A Roadmap to Anywhere

The US was brought back to the fold, but at the cost of excising from the final document--the so-called Bali Roadmap--any reference to the need for a 25 to 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2020 to keep the mean global temperature increase to 2.0 to 2.4 degrees Celsius in the 21st century.

Reference to quantitative figures was reduced to a footnote referring readers to some pages in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 Report which simply enumerate several climate stabilization scenarios. The alternative scenarios ranged from a 2.0 to 2.4 degree rise in temperature to a 4.9 to 6.1 degree increase. This prompted one civil society participant to remark that the "Bali roadmap is a roadmap to anywhere."

A few days after the new agreement was forged, many are now having doubts whether on balance, it was positive. Would it have been better to have simply let the US walk out, allowing the rest of the world to forge a strong agreement containing deep mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions on the part of the developed countries? With a new US president with a new policy on climate change at the beginning of 2009, the US would have rejoined a process that would already be moving along with strong binding targets. As it is now, having been part of the Bali consensus, Bush administration negotiators, say skeptics, will be able to continue their obstructionist tactics to further water down global action throughout the negotiations in 2008.

One wonders what would have happened had Washington remained true to its ideological propensities and decided to stomp out of the room when the delegate from Papua New Guinea, releasing the conference’s pent up collective frustration, issued his now historic challenge: "We ask for your leadership and we seek your leadership. If you are not willing to lead, please get out of the way." As everyone now knows, after last-minute consultations with Washington, the American negotiator backed down from the US’s hard-line position on an Indian amendment seeking the conference’s understanding for the different capacities of developing countries to deal with climate change and said Washington "will go forward and join the consensus."

Weak Institutional Outcomes

The single-minded focus on getting Washington on board resulted in the dearth of hard obligations agreed upon at the meeting except for the deadline for the negotiating body, the "Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention," to have its work ready for adoption at the Conference of Parties in Copenhagen in 2009 (COP 15).

Many delegates also felt ambivalent about the institutional arrangements that were agreed upon after nearly two weeks of hard North-South negotiations.

o An Adaptation Fund was set up, but it was put under the administration of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) of the US-dominated World Bank. Moreover, the seed funds from the developed countries are expected to come to only between $18.6 million to US$37.2 million--sums which are deemed severely inadequate to support the emergency efforts to address the ongoing ravages of climate change in the small island states and others on the "frontlines" of climate change. Oxfam estimates that a minimum of US$50 billion a year will be needed to assist all developing countries adapt to climate change.

o A "strategic program" for technology development and transfer was also approved, again with troubling compromises. The developing countries had initially held out for the mechanism to be a designated a "facility" but finally had to agree to the watered-down characterization of the initiative as a "program" on account of US intransigence. Moreover, the program was also placed under the GEF with no firm levels of funding stated for an enterprise that is expected to cost hundreds of billions of dollars.

o The REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) initiative pushed by host Indonesia and several other developing countries with large forests that are being cut down rapidly was adopted. The idea is to get the developed world to channel money to these countries, via aid or market mechanisms, to maintain these forests as carbon sinks. However, many climate activists fear that indigenous communities will simply be victimized by predatory private interests that will position themselves to become the main recipients of the funds raised.

Big Business Roars in

In this connection, Bali will be remembered as the climate change conference where business came in in a big way. A significant number of the side events focused on market solutions to the greenhouse gas (GHG) problem such as emissions trading arrangements. Under such schemes, GHG intensive countries can "offset" their emissions by paying non-GHG intensive countries to forego pollution-intensive activities, with the market serving as the mediator. Shell and other big-time polluters have been making the rounds touting the market as the prime solution to the climate crisis, a position that articulates well with the US position against mandatory emission cuts set by government.

Climate change activists have been appalled and stunned by the business takeover of the climate change discourse. According to them, the carbon market was originally a very minor part of the architecture of climate architecture, one that climate activists agreed to in order to get the US on board the Kyoto express. Well, the US did not get on board, and we are now stuck with carbon markets driving the process since the corporations have found that there is money to be made from climate change. Many climate activists worry that carbon trading will merely allow polluters in the North to keep on polluting while allowing private interests in the South to displace smallholders so they can set up unmonitored and unregulated tree plantations that are supposed to absorb carbon dioxide.

The Philippines at the Frontlines of Global Warming

The Philippines, we learned at Bali, is on the frontlines of climate change. In a study released at the meeting, the institute Germanwatch claimed that the Philippines was the country most negatively affected by climate-related disasters in 2006. Measured on a "climate risk index" derived from four indicators—total number of deaths, deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, absolute losses in millions of US$ purchasing power parity, and losses per unit of GDP—the Philippines topped North Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam. When we talk about the people dying from the recent spate of supertyphoons like Millenio, let us be clear that we are talking about victims of climate change. When we talk about people being displaced or uprooted from their homes, we are talking about environmental refugees, as much refugees as people in Tuvalu and Bougainville who are forced to flee their lands on account of sea-level rise. We are no longer talking about the usual ravages of a normal typhoon season. We as a people are at the frontlines of global warming.

A National Response to Climate Change

The many dimensions of the climate crisis in the Philippines still need to be understood. We are sure, however, that many of the preemptive and adaptive measures needed to protect our people will cost billions of dollars. If what we saw in Bali is any indication, money on this scale is not likely to come from the North in the form of aid. We have to raise it from our own resources. Climate change is one more reason why we need to radically reduce the massive outflow of financial resources to our creditors and channeling it to solutions to national problems. More than ever, we must act to drastically write down the foreign debt.

Radically scaling down our debt is, however, but one aspect of a broader response. Let me conclude by saying that climate change is fast emerging as the greatest challenge to our generation, for even as we prepare for it, we must also make sure that our country develops so we can eliminate poverty. Poverty can never be a solution to the climate crisis. The ultimate solution is a pattern of development that is both sustainable and equitable. A transition to a low-growth, low-carbon economy where people’s standards of living have also risen is possible. But it will only be possible if equity is at the center of development. Thus climate change is both a crisis and an opportunity—an opportunity to overcome the structural obstacles to social equality and genuine democracy.

*Walden Bello is President of Freedom from Debt Coalition. He is also a Professor of Sociology at the University of the Philippines and senior analyst at the Bangkok-based research and advocacy institute Focus on the Global South. He attended the Bali Conference on Climate Change as a civil society participant.





Adrian Whitehead of local Melbourne based Zero Emissions Network in his final day blog writes:

Bali Blog - Final Day - Adrian in Bali


The USA has been playing a spoiling role seeking to undermine any outcome of the conference.

They have been supported by Japan, while Australia is not helping because it wont agree with the 25-40% goals by 2020 despite the Liberal parties approval at home.

Canada was also been playing a spoiling role. There is now less than 24 hours to come up with a solution.

Met Greg Hunt, Liberal MP for Flinders. Had a chat about the change in the political position of the Liberal's i.e. support of the 25-40% target by 2020 and discussed the Zero Emission Now goal and handed him a lobbying kit.

The youth did an excellent speech and action in the main plenary (i will get the text) where over 100 youth stood up in support of "getting serious" on climate change.

I had a good hour long discussion to a number of Islanders and Islander activist Ken. They came around to the Zero Emission Now idea accepting the only change for their islands was the rapid reduction of atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions.

I ended up having a laugh with them describing how people (ACF/AYCC) will do a joint action with them and then propose a mainstream goal such as 25-40% by 2020 which will absolutely guarantee the destruction of their islands. I described this phenomena as part of the collective madness that seems to surround action on climate change.

I watch the last fossil of the day awards which was won by Canada because their Ministerial representative has "been so busy at the climate change negotiations to actual have the time to make it to the climate change negotiations".

USA came second for their undermining of the process and the quote from James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality,

"We will lead, the US will lead, and we will continue to lead, but leadership also requires others to fall in line and follow.".

Together they won the joint fossil of the year, which resulted in a performance of "anything you can do I can better" as they argued over the right to be the worst.

Youth Statement to the High-Level Plenary

My fellow human beings,

I am White Jones from the United States of America. I am Karmila Parakkasi from Indonesia. And I am Anna Keenan from Australia. We speak today as part of the global youth climate movement. Half the world's population is under 30, and will live with the decisions you make today.

Just last week, a young woman from Kiribati told us about her plight. Her island is only 2 meters above sea level, and as the land gets washed away, so does her people's livelihood and culture. I was filled with a deep sense of urgency, solidarity and perhaps most importantly, responsibility to speak and act. Her story moved me to tears and should move you to action.

How many stories do we need to hear before we wake up and take action? We have one climate, one future, and this is our last chance.

The science is clear. We call on you to acknowledge that climate change is not bounded by economics and politics, but by science. You can't negotiate with the laws of physics and chemistry.

The targets currently being discussed are not even close to protecting our future. Our best science shows clearly that 450 ppm of CO2-equivalent gives us a 50% chance of avoiding catastrophic and irreversible feedbacks in the climate.

I have a coin here. The flip of this coin represents gambling with our future. A 50/50 chance. *Flips coin* What's it going to be?

Our future is at stake. As climate change accelerates, and your decisions unfold, we will look back at this moment, this conference. History will judge whether you did enough to give us a planet worth living in.

The time for excuses is over. We need you to acknowledge that solving climate change will require a just transition to eliminate fossil fuels within our lifetimes.

Developed countries must mitigate now and assist those without the same financial resources. Deforestation must be addressed with strong consideration for local and indigenous communities.

The climate emergency is our best and possibly last opportunity to create a global consciousness. We are inspired by those of you taking true leadership, both at home and internationally. We are ashamed of the countries who are delaying action in this UN process and who are actively compromising our future.

We cannot wait any longer. If you lead us on the wrong path, we have no time to find our way back and undo your decisions. The potential effects will be devastating and indiscriminant.

Youth around the world are rising to the challenge. As emerging leaders, we are mobilizing the public, building powerful movements, and forging international coalitions.

But all this won't be enough without strong action from you. We have put our trust in you. We need a Bali Breakthrough -- now.

As you make these decisions, take a moment to reflect on why you are here.

Are you here as only a delegate? Or are you also here as a mom or dad, an aunt or uncle, a brother or sister? Are you here for us, your children?

This is not a political choice – rather, a moral imperative, and a requirement for human life. We are already inheriting the consequences of your choices. The world is watching, the youth are rising. Join us.


Posted by editor at 7:46 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 1 January 2008 8:54 AM EADT
Epoch Times photo competition - Bondi Beach New Year's Eve 2007
Mood:  party time!
Topic: local news

The Epoch Times First Annual International Photography Competition







Posted by editor at 7:16 AM EADT
Sunday, 30 December 2007
The Composter #3, all the dirt fit to print on 3.4 ha Addison Rd Community Centre
Mood:  energetic
Topic: nsw govt


Posted by editor at 10:36 AM EADT
Friday, 28 December 2007
Preface to murder of Benazir Bhutto and supporters: 10 hour 20 km procession from Karachi Airport 18.10.07
Mood:  blue
Topic: world
Supporters of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto carry her coffin.

Picture: Supporters of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto carry her coffin. Photo: AFP

"Improbably, 2007 may prove to be the year that the politics of terror passed into history. At least the status quo points us hesitantly in that direction. Of course, one bomb would rapidly change all that. As I say, nothing is inevitable.

Waleed Aly is a lecturer in politics at Monash University. He is the author of People Like Us: How Arrogance is Dividing Islam and the West (Picador) in Domestic issues return to spotlight | The Australian 27 Dec 2007, p10

There's nothing very funny about murderous fanaticism. It's not really a fit subject for satire either from T shirts indicative of an immature carefree or frivolous attitude as here spotted at Bondi 27th Dec 2007:

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto will likely symbolise for the Western world everything they despise about misogynist religious and political fanaticism.

We awoke intending to write on David Hicks cross referencing Waleed Aly above noticing some threads of a potential trend. But his prescient comment last paragraph changes all that. Our intention was to acknowledge the story wrap on Hicks on 7.30 Report last night which was quite fair but with one view - questioning Leigh Sales objectivity on what Hicks represents: Framing questions for Hicks on his security threat, but not the long history of CIA sponsored torture and grotesque human rights abuse from as far back as El Salvador? Who could forget this searing fictionalised critique of craven pampered western journalists lying for Uncle Sam in the face of death squads sponsored by same Uncle Sam?


Or does Ms Sales really lack objectivity? Many will say no sympathy is needed, especially after this assassination of an international figure.

We presume Hicks was desperate to get out of Afghanistan after the WTC 2001 horror but for what future purpose is her question and even louder today.

For idealistic bloggers we want to believe the prison is full of innocent people. It's in our nature. And presumbaly a small percent really are and this keeps us going in terms of faith in our mission of truth and justice.

But the murder of the brilliant rich ambitious Bhutto and her 16 supporters will turn politics on a 20c piece again. The reports are here:

Bhutto assassinated, Pakistan opposition leader killed in gun and bomb attack after a rally in the city of Rawalpindi.

Bhutto killed in rally bombing

More here:

Anyone who watched reportage of the 10+ hours long procession 18th Oct 07 of hyper rich Benazir Bhutto from the Karachi airport to the resultant suicide bombing in late October 07 killing over 100 people, as reported in amazing clarity by Mark Davis of SBS Dateline, would know she or her security or both had failed to address the danger.

  • Benazir Bhutto's Deadly Return
    Tuesday, 30th October,2007  BENAZIR BHUTTO'S DEADLY RETURN Previously: Mark Davis was just metres away as two explosions ripped through former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade in Karachi, killing at least 125 people and injuring hundreds more.
  • And notice this quote from Davis's report:

     As she heads to the plane the most notable absences are the British and American politicians who had apparently pledged to travel in with her. It seems they now have other engagements. But there is no shortage of people keen to share this journey with her.

    And the very frightening expose' of the chronology of that day back in October which suggests an almost reckless disregard for suicide infiltratration over the strident warnings of the Musharaf (dictoratorship) govt:

    After years of anticipating this homecoming, Benazir Bhutto and her party have just 10 hours left before this day will be torn apart. Meanwhile, the close security plan swings into action. The VIP lounge gives her an opportunity to quietly compose her thoughts and meet some dignitaries before the day begins, a respite from the crowds and chaos that she will soon have to face. As the converted bus that will carry her though the streets of Karachi departs, the first 30 metres is the fastest it will travel all day. The Bhutto bus inches its way through the crowd on its 2Okm journey to her home. By nightfall, four hours later, it had barely left the airport precinct. In the streets ahead of the convoy, more crowds are gathering to catch a glimpse of Bhutto.

    It was coming up to 11:00pm, 9 hours since she landed, when I managed to scramble aboard the bus.

    REPORTER: How much longer before we get there?

    WOMAN: Another 8 or 9 more hours minimum.

    REPORTER: How long does this trip normally take from the airport?

    WOMAN: About half an hour, maybe 40 if traffic is bad.

    Now with less than an hour to go before the first blast, I find an exuberant Rehman Malik.

    Radio National with Steve Kinane in the chair suggests she was shot dead yesterday when standing up in her car through a roof space to wave to a crowd of supporters. If true this echoes the quite reckless lack of security back in October 07.

    One can't help thinking that life is cheap in this sixth most populous country with 159M people.


    Posted by editor at 7:21 AM EADT
    Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007 7:55 AM EADT
    Thursday, 27 December 2007
    'We're going wrong' as a suitable soundtrack for the Iraq War 2005?
    Mood:  lyrical
    Topic: culture


    More background:

    Great Performances . Cream Reunion Concert | PBS

    Posted by editor at 10:30 AM EADT
    Tuesday, 25 December 2007
    Once a convicted terrorist supporter, always one? Or are we just talking censorship here?
    Mood:  lucky
    Topic: legal





    Pictures: Change anyone? Dr Brendan Nelson, leader of the Federal Opposition, who famously used to be a member of the ALP until his preselection in 1993 and election to Parliament in 1996 for the Liberal National Party.

    After 5 years in Gitmo and the best part of a year in gaol in Australia David Hicks, 'convicted terrorism supporter' is about to be released subject to a control order. 

    Before the Sept 11 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre with loss of some 3,000 lives it was not illegal to fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan, allied to Osama Bin Laden widely seen in hindsight as a sponsor of the shocking WTC attack. As nasty as the Taliban are that was the legal reality back in 2,000. It's quite doubtful David Hicks was a good person back then. That was 6 years ago now.

    Do people like Hicks change after 5 miserable years in the USA Gitmo prison?

    Ask Brendan Nelson, (pictured above from his official website), who famously used to be a member of the Labor Party and is now the leader of the Liberal Party of Australia which took us to the ill fated war in Iraq under ex MP, ex PM John Howard. The wrong war in the wrong country said to be in part justified by 9/11.

    If David Hicks hasn't changed his point of view from what he was in 2000 then Brendan Nelson is probably a covert member of the Labor Party sent on a sabotage mission to destroy once and for all time the now defeated Coalition Party of government 1996-November 24 2007.

    I don't think so. Of course people change - if they have any common sense. It's the only thing you can be sure of, that and getting older.

    When it comes to a sensible approach to David Hicks today late 2007, in the words of Zorba the Greek, after a while you stop asking whether your enemy is a good person, or a bad person, you just think of them as another human being with fears, needs and a desperate desire to survive. Hold onto that thought because it's a merciful one in relation to our own failures as a country especially under John Howard, and for such as Hicks specifically. 

    How much is enough punishment for David Hicks? How much is cruelty for the sake of political posturing? Are we 'there yet' regarding the David Hicks story? Is it over now? Please God may it be soon.

    Either you believe in and accept that people change according to life experience, or you don't. We look forward to the time in 2008 when David Hicks is a nobody of no news value whatsoever. No doubt he does too. 

    Dangerous climate, an Iraq disaster, an overpopulated unsustainable inequitable world, bushfire season, racial tensions in western Sydney, even vertical fiscal imbalance of a broken federation. All of these are far more real and present issues than one sorry arse ill educated Australian looking to make a life as a military adventurer, who definitely made some very bad decisions.

    So what's really going on with the Australian Federal Police drum beat in the conservative media over the release of David Hicks under tight conditions including his 6 year old travel letters? Well it's pretty clear one big aspect is censorship. What Hicks could tell, even allowing for all his biases, was so dangerous to vested interests he was banned from talking prior to a federal election. That's a real worry for our democracy actually. More than that, it was a disgrace, and the new Govt may not be very interested in his free speech more than the old govt (?).

    We trust the same spirit that saw 60 Minutes indirectly bring a public interest story to the screen earlier in 2007 will carry our democracy forward in terms of right to know regarding David Hicks in 2008 and be done with him and his story. For his sake and ours.


    Postscript #1 26 Dec 2007

    It seems no coincidence in light of the Hicks saga above that the security agencies are fighting a legal pitched battle with a supreme court judge over similar issues of 1. due process and 2. (judicial) free speech. Nor is it any surprise 3. the big Fairfax media are putting the spotlight on this 'old style' governance culture as part of the Right to Know Coalition. The report linked below is significant for the new ALP govt tipping the press they are quite agnostic about this latest pressure tactic on the judiciary by a senior bureaucrat in the federal Attorney General's Office:

    Judge lashed for accusing ASIO of kidnap by Tom Allard

    As regards the 'old style' - by which we mean the ex Howard Govt regime - of pretty much a blank cheque to the national security industry, we suspect the federal Attorney General's Office might want to put alot more energy into dealing with a 'ticking Christmas present'. That is the metaphor by sharp political satirists Clark and Dawe last spot for the year (21/12/07) re new inquiries in to the AWB Saddam bribery scandal. Who in the Howard Govt knew? What will come out in the strident defence cases of those charged last week (what a Christmas present), a good year after the Inquiry, and conveniently post federal election? What legal advice did the AG Dept give the Howard Govt and how adequate and indeed ethical was it?

    This is not just some clever script by some comics with good ABC/political contacts:

    AWB is not over yet | The Australian 21 Dec 2007

    And to quote the editorial:

    December 21, 2007

    A Senate inquiry would serve the public interest

    THE AWB bribery scandal raised two significant issues of national importance. The first is the legal status, both corporate and criminal, of AWB officials paying bribes to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein that were disguised as transport payments to circumvent UN sanctions. The second question is whether it was incompetence or worse that prevented the Australian government from taking action to stop it. [bold added]
    And that puts the Federal Attorney General's office during the Howard years in the picture. No wonder the ALP are agnostic about worker bees from an earlier time who might be in the spotlight themselves soon enough.
    Postscript #2 28 Dec 07
    The strident tone in this editorial of 27th Dec 07 is notable for being 24 hours prior to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. This editorial may thus become the low water mark of the tidal reverse on national security politics this last 6 years at least in the short term. On the tragic murders in Pakistan underline Afghanistan as the relevant focus as per the Rudd Govt settings, not Iraq per se (more shame on the Howard Govt for that).

    Posted by editor at 8:47 PM EADT
    Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007 9:37 AM EADT
    Monday, 24 December 2007
    CIA protecting Freeport mining interests in West Papua at the expense of human rights, again?
    Mood:  blue
    Topic: human rights



    Even allowing for mass murderer Joseph Stalin and the other communist cold and proxy war warriors like Pol Pot, a cursory viewing of the Discovery Channel 3 hour documentary of 1997 CIA Secrets makes you wonder and shake your head at the morality of the CIA defence and promotion of their country's corporate Empire. From

    * the destruction of the Arbenz democractic Govt of 1951-54 of Guatemala in 1954

    Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán

    * overthrow of the elected Mossedegh nationalist government of Iran in 1953


    *  Like Guatemala, the mass murder of democraticly elected socialist Allende Govt in Chile from 1973

    *in alliance with the Nazi vermin (who ran to South America post WW2) to operate the murderous Operation Condor,

    * right back to the CIA adoption back in the late 40ies of Nazi intelligence officers (prisoners of war) and their techniques (used to suppress Russian satellite countries on the Eastern Front during WW2) while setting up the Central Intelligence Agency out of the Office of Strategic Services, and especially the Directorate of Operations which is 'the heart of the CIA'

    We particularly took notice of a quote of this cigar chomping character with a certain direct charm about him, Duane "Dewey" Clarridge

    “There’s going to have to be something awful that happens [to revive the mission of the CIA]” Duane “Dewey” Clarridge CIA officer 1957-87 in CIA Secrets 1997 Discovery Channel.

    Now that's a quote the conspiracy theorists can make hay with, in light of all the apartment buildings in Moscow that got blown up allegedly by the successors of the KGB called FSB to incite a war in Chechnya in Putin's Russia.

    Now this story from Counterpunch 'America's best political newsletter', sourced via a link on Sydney Indy Media, and dated December 12th 2007, in our own neck of the woods in West Papua:

    December 12, 2007

    Detachment 88, Kopassus Get Covert US Aid

    US Intelligence is Tapping Indonesian Phones


    US intelligence officers in Jakarta are secretly tapping the cell phones and reading the SMS text messages of Indonesian civilians.

    Some of the Americans work out of the Jakarta headquarters of Detachment 88, a US-trained and funded para-military unit whose mission is described as antiterrorism, but that was recently involved in the arrest of a West Papuan human rights lawyer.

    The Papuan lawyer, Iwangin Sabar Olif, was seized by police and Detachment 88 on the street and later charged with "incitement and insulting the head of state" after he forwarded SMS text messages that criticized the Indonesian armed forces (TNI), as well as the President of Indonesia, Gen. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (West Papua is a restricted-access region where Indonesian forces have been implicated in rapes, tortures, kidnappings, assassinations, mass surveillance and intimidation.)

    The information on the US surveillance program is provided by three sources, including an individual who has worked frequently with the Indonesian security forces and who says he has met and formally discussed their work with some of the American phone tappers, as well as by two Indonesian officials who work inside Detachment 88.

    The first source says that the he was told that the Americans are employees of the US CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), but it could not be confirmed whether they work for the CIA or other US agencies. He says that through his work he has observed that these US intelligence specialists help run a sophisticated wiretapping network that uses much new US equipment.

    He says the US operation includes the real-time monitoring of text messages, as well as mapping contact "networks," ie. tracing who is calling or texting whom.

    This individual deals frequently with Detachment 88, but says that he has not inquired about the seizure of the Papuan human rights lawyer, Iwangin .

    He said that Detachment 88 units are also present in other outlying zones including Solo, Ambon, and Poso, the later two of which have been the scene of TNI - POLRI (the Indonesian National Police, who formally oversee Detachment 88) "provokasi" operations that have helped to spur deadly fighting between poor Muslim and Christian villagers.

    This source also says that US intelligence is providing covert intelligence aid to Kopassus, the Indonesian army's red beret special forces famed for abduction, torture, and assassination.

    Classified Kopassus manuals discuss the "tactic and technique" of "terror" and "kidnapping" (see "Buku Petunjuk tentang Sandi Yudha TNI AD, Nomor: 43-B-01").

    Kopassus has, in the past, been heavily trained by US Green Berets and other forces, in topics that included "Demolitions," "Air Assault," "Close Quarters Combat," "Special Reconnaissance," and "Advanced Sniper Techniques" (all of these during the Clinton administration, under a program called JCET -- Joint Combined Exchange Training).

    But after this training was exposed and after the TNI - POLRI Timor massacres of 1999 (which followed a UN - supervised independence vote, and in which Kopassus was implicated), many in Congress were under the impression that they had succeeded in stopping US aid to Kopassus.

    (Congress is due to decide within days on a new lethal aid bill for Indonesia).

    The American presence inside Detachment 88 was confirmed by an Indonesian Detachment 88 official who said that a team of Americans did telecommunications work in the "Intel Section," along with an individual whom they believed to be a British national.

    A second Detachment 88 official also confirmed the US presence, but said he did not know the name of the American team leader. Like the first Detachment 88 official, he gave the name of the operative whom he said was British, but that named individual could not be reached for comment.

    Asked for comment on December 12, during the late afternoon, local time, Stafford A. Ward, a spokesman for the US Embassy in Jakarta at first said he was not familiar with such a US program and did not know what Kopassus was.

    An hour later Ward read out a statement that said that "there are no Americans in either Detachment 88 or Kopassus." When asked if there was any kind of US assistance to those units he said: "The US is not involved with either of those organizations. I can confirm to you that the US has no involvement with either Detachment 88 or Kopassus."

    In fact, though, that US Embassy statement appeared to contradict the public record. US officials have frequently spoken on the record about their involvement with Detachment 88, including to the press and in meetings with and testimony to the US Congress.

    Twenty minutes after issuing that denial, Embassy spokesman Ward sent the following email: "I misspoke earlier when you called me a second time today. The U.S. government works with Indonesia to bolster its counterterrorism capabilities. For example, the Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security's Office of Antiterrorism Assistance has trained Indonesian Antiterrorist Units."

    This revised Embassy statement did not repeat the denials of the earlier statement, nor did it deny the presence of US personnel inside Detachment 88, nor did it deny the existence of covert US intelligence aid to Kopassus.

    US officials have never acknowledged on the record the presence of US intelligence wiretappers inside Jakarta's security forces, nor have they acknowledged on the record the provision of intelligence assistance to Kopassus.

    The initial Embassy denial, phrased in the present tense, came less than 24 hours after the US Congress, in Washington, made private inquiries to the US Executive Branch about whether the US was aiding or planning to aid Kopassus.

    These Congressional inquiries came after this blog reported on December 7 that "the State Department this week was putting out urgent queries around Washington that make it sound as if they are planning to openly aid Kopassus," and after people in a position to know privately declined to deny that report.

    It is not known whether the Congressional inquiries included the question of Detachment 88.

    But in a call to the Detachment 88 office hours before today's initial carefully-phrased Embassy denial, the Indonesian officer who answered the phone said that the Americans had not come in to work today and that, as far as he knew, the British staffer there was on vacation.

    Detachment 88 has been mentored by veteran CIA and State Department official Cofer Black, who was one of the architects of the US invasion of Afghanistan.

    Detachment 88 is publicized as being aimed at violent jihadists, like the groups implicated in the bombings in Bali and Jakarta that killed more than 200 civilians.

    But the US wiretapping program provides a capacity to target any kind of phone user in Indonesia, an issue of concern in a country where the security forces -- often US-assisted -- have killed many hundreds of thousands of civilian dissidents.

    Allan Nairn can be reached through his blog.


    Of course the CIA will be very busy to protect POTUS and his representatives when visiting Indonesia for 6 hours say just prior to APEC in October 2007, as follows [not sourced but reads as reliable, said to be submitted to Sydney IMC via  Dietas as Urip Hudiono, Hanoi/Jakarta] when aggressive intolerant organisations promote street rallies against him as reported recently here:

    Urip Hudiono, Hanoi/Jakarta – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has warned people not to "excessively" protest US President George W. Bush's visit on Monday, as Muslim militants publicly called for Bush's assassination and thousands of people rallied across the country to oppose the meeting.

    "If something bad happens, the world will blame us. We certainly don't want to be regarded as a country that can't respect its guests," Yudhoyono said Sunday in Hanoi after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.

    Bush is scheduled to talk with Yudhoyono at the heavily guarded Bogor presidential palace during his six-hour visit Monday.

    Yudhoyono said any incident during the short visit would cause repercussions that would last for much longer.

    Jakarta Police chief Maj. Gen. Adang Firman said police were treating extremely seriously reports of possible attacks by hard liners on the meeting.

    The city police will deploy 7,700 officers, about two-thirds the total staff, to guard the visit.

    Meanwhile, more than 5,000 protesters grouped in the "Coalition To Crush Bush" marched from the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle to the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Sunday, with Muslim militants publicly calling for the assassination of the American leader.

    Habib Rizieq, leader of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), said the deaths of Muslims across the globe should be revenged. "His blood is halal (permitted) to be shed. Not only is it halal, but it is obligatory to kill him," Rizieq told a crowd on Sunday as quoted by AFP.

    "Kill, kill" the crowd yelled, pointing their fists up, when Rizieq shouted Bush's name, while the shouting of "America" was greeted with shouts of "Destroy, destroy".

    The coalition of hardline and conservative Islamic groups included Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, the Muslim Forum, the Surakarta Muslim Youth Forum, the Indonesian Muslim Brotherhood Movement and the Tafsir Alquran Assembly.

    They carried banners and Palestinian flags and condemned Bush as a war criminal and a human rights violator for invading Muslim states such as Iraq and Afghanistan, and for supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    The protesters warned Yudhoyono and Vice President Yusuf Kalla they risked an election defeat in 2009 for receiving Bush.

    They later marched to the United States Embassy, some six kilometers away from the State Palace. There they distributed posters and fliers to recruit people for a major anti-Bush rally in Bogor.

    At another protest in South Jakarta, more than 5,000 supporters of the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) rallied peacefully against the visit at the Al-Azhar mosque. PKS leader Tifatul Sembiring and former People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Amien Rais were in attendance.

    Tifatul, whose party holds the largest number of seats in the Jakarta legislative council, said Bush was responsible for the deaths of more than 650,000 people since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The PKS leader later blessed some 2,000 party members set to leave for Bogor to join a protest.

    Similar rallies were also staged in cities in East Java, West Kalimantan, South Sulawesi, Riau, West Nusa Tenggara, Yogyakarta and Aceh.

    In Bogor, West Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Soenarko Ardanto inspected several helipads prepared for Bush and his entourage, while security forces were on full alert at the palace. It is estimated Bush's visit has cost the government a whopping Rp 6 billion (about US$660,000).

    Streets around the palace will be cordoned off Monday and cellular phone signals will be jammed within a 200 meter radius around the venue.

    Bush is set to arrive at 4 p.m. at Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusumah Airport before leaving for Bogor by helicopter. He will have dinner with Yudhoyono and is scheduled to leave at 10 p.m.

    The talks between the two leaders will focus on education and health issues, including increasing study scholarships and efforts to combat bird flu, officials have said.

    The two will be joined by experts, public figures and a group of elementary school students.



    And similarly in the lead up to the Bali UNFCC climate conference earlier in Dec 2008 where other curious security work is being done reading like a bizarre version of real life imitating fiction:


    But in our judgement even if proximate event based security work is being undertaken one presumes intuitively that the CIA leopard does not it's spots change: That the CIA have a watching brief to ensure their revolving door corporate friends in the massive, massive Freeport gold mine in West Papua continues to pump out the profits to sustain the Indonesian economy but even more so their own USA owned multinationals:




    Freeport - McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

    copper, gold, copper&gold, copper and gold, mining, drilling gold, exploring gold, drilling copper, exploring copper, Freeport, Freeport-mcmoran, Freeport ... Stock quote for FCX


    Here's the unauthorised version via non government group Mineral Policy Institute:

    The Mineral Policy Institute - Indonesia

     Shareholders join with West Papuans and Bouganvilleans to address Rio Tinto's A.G.M

    Indonesian Environment Forum (WALHI) Launches Damning Environmental Report on the Freeport Mine:

    Posted by editor at 10:04 AM EADT
    Updated: Monday, 29 December 2008 9:17 PM EADT
    Tony Blair ex PM of the UK grasps at Catholic redemption for Iraq slaughter, tragedy
    Mood:  not sure
    Topic: human rights



    What is it she does now? Look how she rubs her hands.

    It is an accustom'd action with her, to seem thus
    washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.

    Lady Macbeth:
    Yet here's a spot.

    Hark, she speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to
    satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.

    Lady Macbeth:
    Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!—One; two: why, then
    'tis time to do't.—Hell is murky.—Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our pow'r to accompt?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

    Macbeth Act 5, scene 1, 26–40


    Is ex PM Tony Blair a modern Lady Macbeth, in 2003 at the height of his undoubted power full of his pride and skill, but in late 2007 realising "the old man" ie Iraq "to have had so much blood in him"? Does he now seek the sacrament of confession or even  make plans for the sacrament of the Last Rites, so he may be accepted into the doors of heaven?:

    BBC NEWS | UK | Tony Blair joins Catholic Church

    "Earlier this year, Blair told the British Broadcasting Corp. that he had avoided talking about his religious views while in office for about 10 years for fear of being labeled "a nutter."

    Alastair Campbell, Blair's director of strategy and communications, once intervened in an interview, preventing the prime minister from answering a question about his Christianity, saying, "We don't do God".

    But in an interview on ITV in 2006, Blair referred to the role of his Christian faith in his decision to go to war in Iraq, saying that he had prayed about the issue and that God would judge him for his decision.

    "I think if you have faith about these things, you realize that judgment is made by other people and if you believe in God, it's made by God as well," Blair said at the time. "

    in Washington Post Dec 22nd 2007


    We think Blair meets Macbeth meets Brideshead Revisited. As a lowly elected official once we felt the influence of that heady brew of political power, enough of a taste to know it would corrupt our God given (?) soul, nurtured as an alter boy under the St Joseph's bluestone steeple, mother leading the choir, surrounded in one way or another by 8 jostling siblings.

    We chose poverty as more suitable to the ecological times.

    Picture: Jeremy Irons launches his film career in the role of Charles Ryder, last episode (11) of Brideshead Revisited Granada TV 1981.


    Yesterday we watched the (last) episode eleven of Brideshead Revisited (1981) on DVD made by Granada TV, arguably the best tv mini series ever made. Certainly the soundtrack is sublime. There is a pivotal scene where the 'sinful' Lord Marchmain (below) having been advised of his "crime" by his devout daughter Cordelia (don't you know) having spent a good 25 years in Italy with his mistress, deserting his faithful wife, returns to his 4 poster death bed in the Chinese drawing room (don't you know). These are delicate refined folks.

    It's all about the grip of Catholic dogma amongst the British aristocracy within the moral grandeur of source Christianity. And the desire for redemption for 'sin', a particularly Judeo Christian invention that underpins ruthless hierarchy crushing people's choice and natural potential: Subservient martyred women, neurotic drunken men, supremacy of the priest representing the Roman Pope, all leveraging the profound fear of death. The whole box and dice.

    Here is the patriach Marchmain in Castle Howard/Brideshead on the eve of WW2  played by Sir Laurence Olivier about to die but making the supreme effort to cross himself as 'a sign of contrition' to his God before he slips away.

    In fictional Lord Marchmain's case he only deserted his wife and his religion for 25 years, after fighting in WW1 after which he preferred Italy as a domicile. In Tony Blair's case he deserted the basics of good governance out of pride and dogma in the ultimate political vanity that there was no argument, no conflict that he was not equal to, to conquer and resolve, with his enormous communication skills. A vanity that has killed maybe a million people and has him gasping for redemption, like a moral invalid on the oxygen bottle on his death bed in fictional Brideshead Revisited.

    Tony Blair looked old and tired on the vision. He looked to us like Lord Marchmain whose 'fear of death was wasting him away'.


    Similarly on the local NSW scene we have the redemption of ex Premier Bob Carr, always a thespian in the NSW Parliament, renowned for lacerating his opponents with his comic wit (but not wisdom), bringing the House to uproarious laughter. This capacity for humour in a veil of governance tears was Carr's 'redeeming' quality. It's a common enough phenomenon, forgiving a talent their many personal flaws for his comic ability to lighten the daily grind involved in serious work. To leverage that skill to the very top of the Catholic dominated NSW ALP Right (who can forget 'the Cardinal' Gerry Gleeson of Sydney Harbour Foreshore's Authority ) was indeed very 'amusing' and destructive.

    Here is Carr in the weekend press 'elbowing his way into' the Rudd Govt federal election victory by identifying ex PM Howard's undoubted environmental failings:

    Howard's lost opportunities on greenhouse

    There is no doubting Carr did indeed have a role in Howard's demise - it was surely his (along with this writer and many others) wedge model, latterly adopted by Rudd, that removed the ascendant NSW Fahey Govt in March 1995. Carr leveraged the great moral imperative of then and now on forest protection driving a confusing division into the marriage of Liberal and National Parties: The Liberals, more dispassionate about the importance of ecological sustainability, from the 'at any cost' Nationals resource extraction motivations with all those mining and agri industry donations. In March 1995 it was forest destruction, an agenda that Carr promised to do much about 1995-97, and proved a failure 5 years later by continuing with the Eden Chipmill and disgraceful land clearing: 9/2007 - Ongoing scandal of land clearing in NSW and Australia likely affecting climate 

    In the November 2007 federal election it was Rudd banging a similar drum on the imperative of dangerous climate change, and who one presumes will prove just as ineffective as Carr on forests. That's the hard truth of the matter.

    And thus redemption is a recurring theme in religion and politics, Carr before and Rudd next?:

    Asbestos and the struggle for redemption of spin merchant ex premier Bob Carr?

    The lesson of recent Australian political history is that the ALP want to be virtuous on the environment but the flesh is very weak. In other words the ALP are profoundly dishonest but also in simple terms moral and intellectual failures when it comes to actual delivery.

    That's why if the Green Party didn't exist as an important discipline it would have been necessary to invent them. At least with the Greens they are always being whiplashed back to the small g green/ecology by their own name, which some of us think of as God's creation (!).


    Postscript #1

    After writing the above we noticed Sheehan's parallel inclination to comment on the same topic/same day (re Blair's new found Catholicism) in the big Fairfax press, our quite distinct motive being the surprising echo of the Brideshead Revisited DVD we loaned from the local library 6 days earlier. That article here:

    Tidings in tempest, storm and wind - Opinion - smh.com.au

    And since then we also greatly enjoyed an Australian Financial Review article about one Robert Novak, syndicated columnist in Washington who apparently converted at age 67 to Catholicism. There is a quote from a US senator that now Novak is a Catholic, but is he a Christian?! Other illuminating comments about Novak's career including the role of tv media turning his 'appearances' into a 'performance' pushing him into an "ideologue" when his natural inclination presumably a range of social issues was alot less categorical. Novak is very interesting for having opposed the Iraq war when it counted in 2003 and thus, to quote the title "A conservative eaten by his own kind" AFR Review p6 9 Nov 2007.

    We also liked very much the reference to

    "The columnist is a prospector panning for gold; alot of pebbles and sand have to be sifted, and the nugget is sometimes tiny. Much Evans & Novak reporting inevitably seemed trivial or simply mystifying to readers with no interest in Washington politics. To political junkies, however, the column was catnip."

    A serious micro news blogger might say exactly the same based on the mess in our place.

    Posted by editor at 6:38 AM EADT
    Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007 12:14 PM EADT
    Sunday, 23 December 2007
    Cruel 'scientific' whaling today, cruel nuclear bomb science 1945
    Mood:  d'oh
    Topic: peace


    (Hiroshima Genbaku Dome -- PD by Fg2 on Wikipedia )




    Hiroshima atomic bomb memorial cenotaph. Photographed by Sekicho


    Hiroshima Station Oct. 1945. Photo by KIKUCHI,Shunkichi


    Peace Garden of Hiroshima, Japan by Fanghong

    Image:AtomBomb Kannon.JPG

    Kannon draped with cranes, Hiroshima, Japan -- by jpatokal



    Monument in Memory of The Korean Victims of A-Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima. Picture by Fg2.


    Marker at Ground Zero, Hiroshima. Picture by Fg2.


    This building is the former Bank of Japan branch in Hiroshima, Japan. It stands less than 500 m from ground zero, yet survived the atomic bombing. Picture by Fg2.



    Atomic Bomb Memorial Tower, Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima. Picture by Fg2.


    Recently we commented on a crikey.com.au story, which we feel is instructive Socratic style regarding interplay of cultural and historical forces at play over the perverse but socially 'logical' claims to "scientific" whaling by the Japanese Govt:


    Georgia Wednesday, 19 December 2007 1:39:31 PM

    The relentless pressure on the Rudd govt. to fix great damage in areas of environment, govt. transparency, morality; the list goes on! They show up the LIberals up as corrupt, and morally bankrupt - and SO damn LAZY! Whales - we're coming to help you.


    Tom McLoughlin Wednesday, 19 December 2007 3:14:42 PM Dramatic AND melodramatic. The Coalition ie Hill/Campbell/Turnbull NEEDED whales 96-07as PR cover on forests/nukes/climate etc. ALP MPs surely have learned to play this posturing 'game' while the Japs take perverse cultural revenge for Hiroshima/Nagasaki.


    Tim Wednesday, 19 December 2007 5:20:15 PM If the legal remedies fail I'd get talking to other cruiseliners about buying and upgrading a fleet of boats, upgrade them with hardcore military hardware and if the Japs don't back off scuttle one of their whaling ships, see how they like the harpoon!


    David Sanderson Wednesday, 19 December 2007 9:27:58 Tim and Tom, I am trying to figure out which one of you two is the bigger crackpot. It was a close run thing but yes you Tim win the prize. Enjoy it and don't come back too soon.


    Jill Edwards-Davis Thursday, 20 December 2007 11:04:17 AM Rumour today that Japan will not kill humpbacks. Pressure at last getting through? But what a pity they still seem to have fin whales in their sights. Has anyone seen the RESULTS of all this research? Or even the objects they claim? Best recipes?


    Bronte Thursday, 20 December 2007 4:19:23 PM Rudd has challenges closer to home too. Let's not let the whales distract too much from Tassie forests. If Gunns cut them down, we may not have to worry about whales for much longer? Time to tell us YOUR truths Mr Rudd. I'm hoping they coincide with ours.


    Tim Thursday, 20 December 2007 3:10:39 PM *shrugs* The only way the Japanese will take notice and back off is if their interests are impacted. An internationally enforcable ban would work. The suck-hole diplomacy approach has not borne fruit. This is the only issue I'd agree with crackpots on...


    Tom McLoughlin Thursday, 20 December 2007 6:16:44 PM  David, I'm trying to decide who is most naive: The price of fine beef in Japan is lower than whale (not even popular there), only hunted since WW2 (rationing). Conclusion: Proud Right of Japanese politics like this 'symbolic' argument with the West.

    To comprehend such a fraught factual distortion by the Japanese we submit one must look deeper, and further. Indeed one needs compassion and common humanity to get it.


    Dennis Shanahan in The Australian last Friday is starting to suspect as much here with this historical slant with especially the last line "Don't mention the war."


    During first whaling war, we were the aggressors | The Australian 

    With Shanahan's undoubted expertise on the right wing of politics generally, we thus infer, yes do mention it framed by compassion.


    And the fusion of past historical injury and trauma in 1945 with current psychological determination to continue misconceived whaling is hinted at here with the US diplomats getting into the action, reported by AAP via Ch9 below. This is an aspect of Japanese USA history that the yanks in particular will want to keep well in the past as they manage geo politics with China and North Korea. A few dead whales is nothing in that equation. On the other hand the USA want Australia to stay jolly onside too and vis a vis other US allies.


    Japan halts humpback whale hunt: USWednesday Dec 19 20:09 AEDTSafe for a while: Japan has apparently halted its humpback whale hunt. (Getty Images)
    Japan has apparently agreed not to kill humpback whales during its current Antarctic hunt, the US ambassador to Tokyo said on Wednesday, a move that could help ease criticism of its controversial whaling program.

    Japan's whaling fleet set sail last month with plans to catch more than 1,000 whales, including 50 humpbacks, which are popular among whale-watchers for their distinctive silhouettes and acrobatic leaps, before returning to port early next year.

    Humpbacks were hunted to near extinction until the International Whaling Commission ordered their protection in 1966 and the planned hunt had sparked a loud outcry from activists.

    "I think we had an agreement ... between the United States and Japan that humpback whales would not be harvested, I think, until maybe the International Whaling Conference in June," US ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer told a small group of reporters.

    Because of migration patterns, the delay would mean it would be "a while before they are at risk again," Schieffer added.

    Australia announced on Wednesday that it would send a fisheries patrol ship to shadow Japan's whaling fleet near Antarctica and gather evidence for a possible international court challenge to halt the yearly hunt.

    Separately, Greenpeace sent a ship on Wednesday to try to stop the Japanese fleet hunting whales.

    Japan has long resisted pressure to stop what it calls scientific whaling, insisting that whaling is a cherished cultural tradition.

    "Japan's whaling is being conducted in line with international treaties and for the purpose of scientific research. We would like to win the understanding of others," a Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said in Tokyo.


    Postscript 24th Dec 2007.

    In the wake (?) of our piece the big Fairfax media carry this instructive opinion piece today, which is good, but doesn't quite dare to reach into the heart of the right wing of post WW2 Japanese politics complete with calls for independent re-militarisation contrary to the USA installed peace constitution. But it is at least a few planks in a diplomatic bridge that must reach a long way further across from one country to another yet:

    Postscript 2 - 29 December 2008

    A year later we return to note an interference in this article as follows with the images blocked out and now reinstated via wikipedia commons as follows:

    * Interestingly our original post on 23rd December 2007 appears to have stumbled on a copyright dispute between wikipedia and a Japanese website and now SAM's micro news has been interfered with by blacking out of Hiroshima Peace Park images. Or perhaps some other force of censorship? These can soon be replaced with images from the wikipedia commons. A replacement web address has been added to our  SAM site (without our permission too!) citing www.japanselifestyle.com.au as the image owner. This is in fact a clumsy mis-pelling of the website of the alleged image owner at www.japaneselifestyle.com.au. Here is the rude sign:

    At wikipedia where the image(s) are also found they state

     "This image has been released into the public domain by its author, Fg2. This applies worldwide. In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so: Fg2 grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

    Posted by editor at 8:50 AM EADT
    Updated: Monday, 29 December 2008 8:45 PM EADT
    Saturday, 22 December 2007
    Forest defenders halt log truck in Bridgetown, WA reports Perth IMC
    Mood:  a-ok
    Topic: ecology



    From the newswire - December 13, 2007:

    Concerned south west citizens held up a Jarrah log truck in Bridgetown in WA's South West to highlight the continual destruction of native forests. Six people were arrested and media devices were confiscated by Police. See Video

    Industrial scale logging and burning of native forests is a major contributor to carbon emissions in Australia. "By keeping the carbon in the forest and protecting native forests is one of the easiest and simplest solutions to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions," said spokesperson Brett Thompson. "Native forests are the lungs of the planet they store vast quantities of carbon. By protecting native forests Australia can significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and halt the devastating affects of climate change..."

    Bridgetown local resident Saffire Grant says we need to take action on a local level. "Native forest logging in our own backyard needs to be stopped now if our community is to actively help provide solutions to climate change. We call on Federal and State Labor parties to protect native forests as an active strategy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and become a world leader in the struggle against climate change."


    Postscript #1 23rd Dec 2007

    Meanwhile Harriet Swift of ChipStop based in South East NSW writes:



    Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2007 6:24 PM Subject: [chipstop] chipmill vigil on YouTube

    Hi chipstoppers
    We went to the chipmill the other day for a truck count - but couldn't stay the whole day for a complicated set of reasons.
    However, it was clear it was a very quiet day. Extrapolating from past count data, the daily equivalent of trucks was only about 125 (normally about 160).
    Gossip around Eden at the moment is that SEFE is having trouble getting "enough" wood. They have tried getting logs from Tumut (Tumbarumba), but it is just too far away (lucky for Tumut), although they are getting a lot of sawlogs (higher value and therefore more worthwhile) from Tumut (thanks to Terry's research).
    We made a small YouTube clip to illustrate the trucks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vJuZya1X00

    Posted by editor at 8:40 AM EADT
    Updated: Sunday, 23 December 2007 12:08 PM EADT

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