« January 2008 »
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
about editor
aust govt
big media
contact us
donations to SAM
election nsw 2007
election Oz 2007
free SAM content
human rights
independent media
local news
nsw govt
nuke threats
publish a story
zero waste
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
official indymedia
ecology action Australia
ecology action
Advertise on SAM
details for advertisers
You are not logged in. Log in

sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 4 January 2008
Win win win: How Iemma can book $1B, save the environment and avoid power privatisation political meltdown in NSW
Mood:  special
Topic: nsw govt
This view of Chipstop group below to Garnaut Inquiry is bound to gain traction if only for group survival instinct:
Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 10:16 AM
Subject: [chipstop] “End woodchipping to stop climate change,” say conservationists

“End woodchipping to stop climate change,” say conservationists
Conservationists are asking the new federal Government to stop native forest woodchipping as a way to avert climate change.
In a submission to the Garnaut Review, the Chipstop group has argued that forests are worth more as carbon sinks than they are as woodchips.
Spokesperson, Ms Harriett Swift says that now that Australia has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, there is potential for native forests to be protected as carbon offsets, as permitted under Article 3.4.
“Australia subsidises the protection of native forests in South East Asia while continuing to destroy its own forests.”
“In international forums such as the recent Bali conference, Australia will have far greater credibility if it protects its own native forests,” she says.
In SE NSW, the vast majority of trees logged end up as woodchips. In the Eden region, for example, approximately 95% of timber felled is woodchipped. 
“As paper products, these have a life of two to three years.”
“Even manufactured wood products are mostly low value, short lived items such as pallets, which usually end up as landfill or are chipped as mulch within a very few years,” she says.
Forest destruction has been estimated to release hundreds of tonnes of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere for every hectare logged, depending on the forest type.
“In addition, trucks delivering loads to the mill travel 14.5 million kilometres per year, generating a further 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year.”
“To make matters worse, in both NSW and Victoria, the native forest woodchipping industry is subsidised.”
“NSW revenue from pulpwood royalties is about $3.5 million less than the cost to Forests NSW of running its woodchipping operations.”
“Last year, VicForests returned a $17,000 loss to Victoria for the logging of native forests.”
“Other costs to the community from woodchipping include the loss of water quality and quantity, degradation of topsoils, damage to roads and other infrastructure. In addition, it is impossible to quantify the loss of wildlife and habitat.”
“In these circumstances, we believe it is reckless and absurd to continue native forest woodchipping, when forests are worth so much more as carbon sinks.”
“We also reject burning native forest wood to generate power for the same reasons,” Ms Swift said.
3 January 2008
02 64923267, 0414908997


Between 2,500 and 3,000 trees from SE NSW and East Gippsland are cut down every working day to supply the Eden chipmill
CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, 02-64923134, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia, http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au
Notice similarly in the piece by the very brown Michael Costa about the big ticket item of sell off of $15B public electricity assets to his reference to the big unions submission to the Owen Inquiry regarding climate and power generation (and this is very significant as you will see):
The unions' scare campaign is hypocritical, because it's their own plans for the power industry that would drive up prices. In their submission to the Owen inquiry Unions NSW called for the phasing out of coal and gas-fired generation in favour of solar and wind. Given the high cost of renewable energy compared with existing plants, the unions' plans guarantee immediate higher prices.
[bold added]
in  Unions' electricity reforms just scare campaign 3rd January 2008 Costa says the govt needs $2-$3 billion revenue fast as follows:

The Australian energy market is already highly competitive, and many customers of public utilities already choose private retailers.

The Government is not in a position to make the $2 billion-$3 billion investment to meet this competition without cutting back spending elsewhere.

Increasing private investment in the electricity sector is the best way to protect the jobs of existing employees and create new jobs as expansion and investment take place, while enabling the Government to get on with its core service delivery priorities.

[bold added]

But Costa is wrong. Power is an essential service with a natural monopoly and not suitable for privatisation if the public want to keep a sovereign govt that is not a wholly owned subsidiary of ruthless private corporations. Most people intuitively understand this.

This is why Carr failed in 1997 at his own ALP conference. But the lust of a Premier for a bucket of money is well understood hence we wrote back in February 2003 in a prescient way (or 4 years premature depending on how you look at it):

21/2/03 Sale of NSW electricity assets by NSW ALP after 2003 election?

Yet the Iemma Govt can go a long way to finding the money in other places, and none better than the revenue currently being used to crank the financial viability of the native forest woodchipping industry. [And see postscript below re tollway subsidy in the Herald today.] Yes, that's right - the public plantation estate - which is simply an agricultural crop for most intents and purposes now. There is no real reason to keep it in public ownership provided there are decent and sensible environmental safeguards, of equal or better nature to farming generally. There is the added dimension of fire suppression for public safety but that's well within the wit of the private sector if only to protect their own asset. More on this very substantial asset here:

17/2/2000 ...Plantation based economics of the current logging industry in NSW

And here is a summary of the 'pre privatisation' policy setting of this ALP Govt to date from 2005, namely corporatisation:

18/2/05... latest govt position on asset realization, break up of NSW Forestry dodgy $ diversions from public plantations

We have been proposing the asset realization of the $1Billion public plantation estate for about 3 years now. The Green Party are against it for public ownership ideological reasons. Respected resource economist Judith Adjani (Clark) is against it for similar arguments of public sector govt capacity to reform manufacturing jobs and profits in the wood industry out of native forests. But they are both wrong in our humble view. How so?

One must appreciate the role of  land baron political economics not simply clinical efficiencies of resource/manufacturing economics, because we don't live in such a rational world free of biased access or systemic bureaucratic corruption of the public estate.

The plantations which are profitable and dominate wood volumes are cranking the native forest  sector which is loss making for clearance of same for more defacto and then inevitably official plantation and then privatised plantation. The public are being denied their plantation revenue profits today off public land, which revenue is (corruptly) diverted to the private native forest interests(truck owners, logging contractors, chipmill owners, Japanese corporations etc) and to justify wages of NSW Forestry bureaucrats. A real bootstraps financial exercise off the public natural estate helping to grow the spread of the essentially private plantation sector.

As the ex CEO of the huge dominating CSR at the Adjani/Clark book launch (Gleebooks) late 2007 pointed out politely,  Adjani doesn't appreciate the land baron politics of this situation in native forest logging. But we do after 15 years of tackling the criminal sector: It's about privatising with creeping conversion the higher rainfall state forest areas over decades into higher profitability far more economically efficient treefarm estate,  using public's own plantation revenue to destroy their remaining natural forest estate. This way they effectively get the public land and rainfall free, rather than pay for private tree farm development on existing private cleared land.

It's very cute and very corrupt promoted with truckloads of bogus science.

It's not about 'existing plantation versus native forest' models of wood production or differential product lines to market. The native forest loggers (union and industry) already agree with Adjani/Clark's well worn thesis that plantations are better for jobs, wood production volumes and profits. Only they don't want to switch over, they want all native forest cleared to treefarm, in a huge conversion project, slowly steadily over a decade or two. It's that big and cynical and greedy.

If we as the public and ethical government don't cut off the woodchipper's financial crank of loss making native forests (in their hands) they will all be converted to private plantation by a future govt and sold as inappropriate to the public sector. You mark my words. The only way to stop this dynamic responsibly is to remove the revenue of the public plantations from the corrupt NSW forestry agency in collusion with this conversion process. That is to effectively bankrupt NSW State Forestry and fold native forests into national parks as water, ecosystem and tourism asset, and leave the loggers to do their private tree farming within an environmentally decent regulatory framework on their own land just like other agriculture. In this respect tree farming is just like wheat.

The power industry privatisation political meltdown can similarly be avoided, of huge importance to the unions, the Greens and the public by providing crucial revenue to begin that reform process in clean green energy production. Costa's brown endless consumption growth vision for the energy sector must be rejected as ecologically insane. Rather the value of the plantations built up on the public estate over decades is realised but also hypothecated into a sustainable future for NSW. Yes it does mean loss of some public control of plantations. But it's worth it. More than that. It's the right thing for immediate damage control beyond academic economic theories of idealistic Adjani (I fully concede) this last 15 years to actually stop massive vandalism across South East Australia. Adjani's agenda for the 'best profile for reform of the manufacturing sector' within a public sector paradigm in the age of a high employment mining boom is not the priority for the environment. It's to stop such as this as soon as humanly possible to keep our carbon store, stop the systemic industry drying out of forests leading to intense bushfire and conservation generally:



 ....in Tasmania

 ....in South East NSW

Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 6:57 PM
Subject: [chipstop] Maiden voyage breaks record

From Eden Magnet today:
03 January 2008 - 10:09AM

Maiden voyage breaks record

Bulk woodchip carrier, Silver Pegasus safely completed her maiden voyage to Eden on Thursday, December 27 after leaving the Ohshima shipping yard in Japan on December 14, 2007.
Arriving with a crew of 21, the 210-meter vessel, with a gross registered tonnage of 43,621 has the latest in navigation and cargo equipment on board.
The cost of the round trip from Japan to Australia is said to be more than $1.2 million.
Managing director of SEFE, Toshihiro Eguchi and his family, along with representatives from SVITZER and Twofold Bay harbour pilot Jo Clark, were invited to inspect the ship and witness the presentation of a commemorative plaque to master captain, Sin Sang Tae.
Discussing the year's sales, corporate affairs manager of South East Fibre Exports, Vince Phillips said the Silver Pegasus' shipment would break sales records.
"The load of about 46,000 ton will take us to another record sale,” Mr Phillips said.
"I think we have done a total of a million and sixty thousand for the 2007 calendar year... beating last year’s sales record by about ten thousand ton," Mr Phillips said.
Mr Phillips said that this year's record export volume was an unexpected result given wet weather during the year but production was boosted in volume by access to bushfire affected timber.
The planned export of plantation pine woodchips in coming years means SEFE expects to maintain these levels.
The Silver Pegasus is purpose built and has six holds each with a 10 tonne capacity.
A 9195-kilowatt engine gives her about 12 and a half thousand-horse power and a top speed of 14.2 knots.
Owned by NYK, an international shipping company, Silver Pegasus will be charted by South East Fibre Export to transport wood chip to the port of Muroran in Japan.


Between 2,500 and 3,000 trees from SE NSW and East Gippsland are cut down every working day to supply the Eden chipmill
CHIPSTOP campaign against woodchipping the SE forests, 02-64923134, PO Box 797 Bega NSW 2550 Australia, http://www.chipstop.forests.org.au

Postscript #1 4th Jan 2008

It appears the Sydney Morning Herald has identified another many hundreds of million$ that can or should have been saved for critical infrastructure investment as reported here:

Toll bribe will cost $860m CASHBACK, the road toll subsidy on the M4 and M5 motorways, could be the most expensive broken election promise in NSW history. By the time the subsidy expires on the M4 in 2010, the total bill is forecast to have climbed to about $860 million.

And their cartoon correctly identifies the very dark shade of brown of Treasurer Costa in love with his endless growth economics much like John Howard ex PM:

Friday, January 4, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008
Illustration: Alan Moir

Posted by editor at 1:38 PM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 5 January 2008 8:59 AM EADT
Xstrata and Barrick involved in highly contoversial mine conflicts in Phillipines, PNG
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: human rights

The Big Media is rightly reporting terrible fatal unravelling of democracy in Kenya reinforcing the significance of a strong Australian Electoral Commission here in Australia Nov 24 federal election. Thank God for strong institutions who do their job. The unsung heroes of peace and stability. But we have major human rights concerns closer to home too:

What makes rebel leftists in Mindanao, Phillipines demand a 'revolutionary tax' and then bomb and destroy a mine majority owned by Xstrata? Is it cynicism learnt from their corporate capitalist masters, looking for their cut of the action, or do they have a social justice case?

Map of the Philippines showing the island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao

It starts to look alot more than ideology or greed when in relation to the same controversy a local Catholic bishop is reportedly motivated to "lead some opposition to mine development, warning of environmental damage"?


Rebels raid gold mine | The Australian 3rd Jan 2008

[full copy cut and paste above]

Perhaps because it's happened before:

24/12/04...Newmont mining in Indonesia accused again of mercury pollution: Bloomberg via SMH

Xstrata is a quite a controversial mining multinational in recent Australian history too with its attempt to takeover uranium miner WMC which failed in 2005. Some interesting reference material about that here:

Big Media here:

21/2/05... flagship '4 Corners' ABC exposes Glencore's sinister control of Xtrata assets eg bid target WMC U-mine at Olympic Dam - 1/3 world's uranium

21/2/05...New Xstrata, Glencore links emerge: AAP via SMH

21/2/05...Xstrata's links tarnish WMC takeover deal

14/2/05...Analysis of Glencore/Xstrata sordid history and bid for U-mine re Treasurer Costello's bid validation, by senior finance writer for News Ltd

Following little media here

12 Feb 2005 Costello assists corporate terrorist Glencore via Xtrata bid for U ...

11th Feb 2005 'Sordid' Swiss link undermines Xstrata's bid for WMC's U- mine at ...

8th Feb 2005 Shell failled bid for Woodside a precedent re Xtrata/WMC concerns ...

Xstrata was deemed not fit to own WMC by most thinking Australians but it seems they are good enough to manage the environment in the Phillipines? Doubtful. They also dominate coal mining in NSW Hunter Valley, an activity that should be banned sooner rather than later if we want any world at all ie dangerous greenhouse gases:

 Xstrata climbs over Resource bid


Similarly what makes this dysfunction in PNG happen as reported in the same story tucked away in The Australian yesterday and no other press on our doorstep involving major Australian based companies?:

* A MAN has been killed in a gun battle between police and illegal miners near Barrick's giant Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea.

According to Enga Province Police Commander Michael Chare, the man was among a number of armed illegal miners searching for gold at the mine and was shot after the group opened fire, sparking a five-minute gun battle.

Hundreds of illegal miners risk injury and death each night to descend steep cliffs into the Porgera open pit to hunt for gold.

Additional reporting: Reuters, AAP [bold added]

in Rebels raid gold mine | The Australian p17 3rd Jan 2008


Let's not forget charming cyanide miner Barrick Gold on the home front too which is sucking the water table dry and vandalising Lake Cowal as here:

Nov 06 - Alarm of independent greens over miner 'Environment Foundation' pay off to badly compromised 'peak' greens

3rd Nov 06 - Lake Cowal cyanide gold mine chewing up farmers drought water, 20m water table drops to 50 m depth!

Feb 2005 - What is the real price of gold? by Natalie Kent and Sandra Reidenbach, UTS School of Journalism, Sydney

November 5th 2004 interim legal victory against Lake Cowal mine infrastructure

15/3/04...The dirty Lake Cowal cyanide gold mine trust terms discussed here in 'Lake Cowal and real politik of mining decisions under Carr govt'

     activist school educators 31 Jan to 14th Feb 2005      lakecowalactivists.jpg
     The cyanide mine at Lake Cowal as deep as Centrepoint Tower in Sydney

As much as the Big Media and corporate Australia want to quarantine such human rights, economic justice and environmental sustainability issues from local domestic press the reality is likely very connected. One imagines for instance many many willfully ignorant superannuation and other share market investors with their piece of the action in Xstrata, Glencore, and Barrick in their various corporate manifestations. The question becomes morally, what's the the difference between those shareholders and the gun toting leftists? Different tools? 

Posted by editor at 11:35 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 5 January 2008 9:48 AM EADT
Readership pageviews of this SAM micro news website, 2007 and monthly figures
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media



So ... that was micro news blog year for SAM 2007. We are flat out consolidating our other website environmental reference material into SAM. Our annual page views* in a state and federal election year for this quite political micro indy community media service has been ... drum roll please:


After consolidation of our ecology action website into SAM underway here the figure rises some 19K (2005-07). This is a nice number I guess. A ton in cricket terms. But not very probitive of influence expressed through the device of first rough draft which may be adopted to some degree by big commerical media under huge time and employment pressure. We feel they do. Why? Because they now have the benefit of our broad professional and personal history to judge for themselves our credibility. Not least capacity for keyword search on Google right back to 1987 as a trademarks examiner once in the Canberra public service. And our substantial files reflecting 10 years or more of ngo history especially pre search engine. This also reassures us making for less defensive prose. It has also prompted an interest in our journlist grandfather we never met, namely Eric McLoughlin, who played quite a role in the Petrov Affair of the 1950ies..

And how does the editor feel? Well we need a flat top liquid crystal (LCD) display screen preferably 19in, but 17in would be fine, to save our eyes which every morning have a weepy quality from the cathode ray display (CRD) we have used all this year.

But overall we feel satisfied at having a constructive honest and ecological effect on other media and politics both, as practised here in Sydney Australia. The key to this is non profit, sole trader status but also hard won expertise (including legal survival skills). Secondly we feel we have much improved our writing and production values - which follows the discipline of the daily slog. But it all started with deciding to have a go supercharged with stubborn determination.

Also we feel the turning point in our creativity and God given insight was actually 18 months ago, pre SAM, when against all family tradition we went teatotal (50% coffee). What a dangerous drug it really is for sensitive intelligent types. A real downer and muddler even for our quite low consumption. More recently extraction of a troublesome molar, and exercise regime, has kicked us along again.

We also feel a regular inspiration still over engagement with the Big Media from our humble perch. They definitely feel our mosquito bite. And even to some degree a rapproachment. Similarly with the organisers of Sydney Indymedia which is much more interactive than SAM will ever be but also far more chaotic standards of content.

As far as paid advertising service goes it's been token so far and we haven't really figured this side of things out. But we are enthusiastic too, so maybe in 2008. We know enough that we have a saleable product. Also that this makes other minor media nervous. We know this will be the real focus of interest of many in the Big (and not) Media and indeed party politics/NGO all Working for the Man as wage slaves. Often the first and revealing question others ask (eg shadow AG NSW, former chief of NSW Nature Conservation Council) in terms of showing their own character is "Where does your money come from?".

It's a fair question in terms of integrity and independence (in 2007 it was grovel labour like gardening at a community centre, and street press delivery for a small indy company) but a sad one too in terms of actual purpose namely fair media and good governance not least ecological sustainability (eg downshifting). The question to us is about career rivalry when we strive for vocation. Having said that we rather like shelter and food in the fridge and basic utilities. After that we are just scared for the future not least dangerous climate.

And lastly for the quietly menacing gentleman from the Kangaroo Shooters industry group earlier this year (after we wrote here and here about potential lethal hydatid associated with offal to dogs to you) some free market research 3rd Jan 08 on the discounted product marked down from $7+ a kg Marrickville Woolworths to can't sell it $2.50:



* Previous monthly reader pageview figures for 2007 verified by screen shot (web host provider monthly pageview account details) posted on or about 4th day of the month found in this thread:

  • November 10,220
  • October - 9, 100 
  • Sept -  8,100 (roughly, no screenshot)
  • August - 8,845
  • July - 7475
  • June - 9675
  • May  - 9, 059
  • April  - 12,087
  • March  - 6,684
  • February - 5,372
  • January 07 -  2800 (3rd Jan - 3rd Feb 07)

Posted by editor at 8:57 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008 10:45 AM EADT
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

    Newer | Latest | Older