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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Pentagon-Bush Republican regime playing Iranian politics in New Hampshire?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: peace


Like most wonks we take an interest in the Obama phenomenon.

Malaysia Star
     Obama at 39, McCain at 32, in new poll - 21 hours ago
by John McCormick NASHUA, NH -- Sen. Barack Obama has jumped into double-digit lead in the latest CNN/WMUR nightly tracking poll for New Hampshire. ...

Our question is:

Will Republicans outside of Iowa, and New Hampshire voting in primary preselections later tonight, be of similar ilk i.e. pissed at President GW Bush and wanting a change along with Democrat voters but so antagonistic to Hilary/Bill Clinton that they prefer Democrat Obama?

At least in sufficient numbers to remove the Grand Old Party aka Republicans from the White House in USA national elections in Nov 2008?

If this is a real threat to the Republicans as in Iowa then we greatly fear the USA relations, or non relations, with Iran will become a dangerous dimension of the domestic primaries to preselect Republican and Democrat candidates.

No less than Robert Macnamarra in the chilling documentary

The Fog of War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

instructed all future generations and governments on about 11 sobering lessons he took out of his incredible war mongering career: One of these lessons (so compelling after the David Kelly docudrama The Government Inspector last night on ABC TV re Iraq war and missing WMD):

6. Get the data:

Which we at SAM here interpret as: Get your facts right - in the film he refers to a naval clash near Vietnam in the early 60ies, which later turned out to be bogus analysis of what actually transpired. But the diplomatic and political consequence was set in train (or manipulated?) leading to USA open warfare in Vietnam.

All the newswires today are running a story that Iran and the USA navy have had a tense stand off and near run conflict in the Straits of Homouz (spelling?). 

Iranian boats harass US navy in Strait of Hormuz: Pentagon ...

Iranian speedboats threaten US Navy ship - ABC News (Australian ...

Sound familiar? Complete with the Iranians denial of a real clash and that there was nothing unusual in the dynamic of this latest interaction in Hormuz.

Only it's the New Hampshire primaries today?

What is even more concerning is that there is a well known policy point of contention between the rising Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton going into the New Hampshire primary vote later tonight (our Sydney time).

The Pentagon and/or the Bush regime wouldn't be promoting potential warlike conflict with Iran in its PR for the base political reason of sewing dissension in the Democrat camp? And to damage Barak Obama? Surely not.

Yet this election blog from the US does make it clear the opportunity and motive of the Republicans to do just that back in Oct 2007:

Obama Attacks Hillary Over Iran Vote; Camp Hillary Hits Back

Barack Obama has now joined John Edwards in slamming Hillary for her vote for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which says Iran is responsible for problems in Iraq and designates the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization:

"Senator Clinton obviously in 2002 voted to authorize the war in Iraq," Obama told ABC News' Sunlen Miller. "And her willingness to once again extend to the president the benefit of the doubt I think indicates that she hasn't fully learned some of the lessons that we saw back in 2002."

"We have to be very cautious in how we approach these kinds of issues, because we've already seen enormous damage done to U.S.'s prestige around the world, the U.S.'s strategic interests in the world," he added. "Part of the reason Iran has been strengthened is because of that war that had been authorized in Iraq."

The Hillary campaign has just hit back in this statement sent over to us moments ago by Hillary spokesperson Phil Singer in which he says Obama's attack is motivated by dropping poll numbers and a "flagging" campaign:

It's unfortunate that Senator Obama is resorting to the same old attack politics as his poll numbers start falling. He knows that Senator Clinton was one of the first in Congress to say that Bush must seek an explicit authorization from Congress for any military action against Iran and that she is the lead co-sponsor of legislation by Jim Webb to prohibit funds for military action in Iran without approval from Congress. A flagging campaign is not an excuse to distort anyone’s record.

Hillary supporters will also note that Obama co-sponsored a bill designating the Iran Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, though the Obama campaign has said that their objection to Kyl wasn't to that facet of it but to the fact that it blamed Iran for problems in Iraq.

Late Update: Obama spokesman Bill Burton emails this response to Camp Hillary's response:

"It's clear that Senator Clinton can get irritated by questions about her Iran vote but the Lieberman-Kyl amendment does indeed make a case that military action against Iran could be a part of the ongoing war in Iraq. And in 2002, the vote to authorize war in Iraq was not a vote for diplomacy and inspectors. Senator Obama is focused instead on ending this war in Iraq, and preventing another disastrous foreign policy mistake."


Postscript #1 9th Jan 2007

Leftish columnist Phillip Adams fears for Obama's ability to survive the very frightening violence of US culture in a very factual and tightly written piece. It's a very fair and prominent piece there in the so called 'Govt Gazette': 8th Jan 08 Obama must be wary of the assassin's gun | The Australian

It reminds us of this thrilling finale of West Wing TV show series 1 referred to here by the ever helpful Wikipedia entry:

List of The West Wing episodes

specifically this one      "What Kind of Day Has It Been"

The West Wing episode   
Bartlet being ushered away during the shooting

which played way back in 1999-2000 indicating how behind the viewing times Australia really was given we got to see it about 2005 here(?). This has changed apparently these days with much greater synchrony of international scheduling in the age of internet download threats.

This episode virtually guarranteed a series 2 if only to answer the question: What the f*** happaned?! Answer - the good guys all survive with mercurial/goofy Josh Lyman character recovering in hospital. Unlike Benizir Bhutoo RIP in Pakistan recently. For real. Good article Mr Adams.

We once saw Mark Latham as the 2004 electoral aspirant for John Howard's crown in a Darling Habour forecourt next to the roadway as we innocently drove our van in there to get some pics of the ALP national conference.  If memory serves the eager still hopeful Mark was hob knobbing with the odd press gallery reptile including Matt Price out in the open exposed to the public.

We distinctly recall thinking this public access to a VIP is not so secure or wise for a guy doing so well in the polls at that time at least. On the other hand maybe we were so well known for our scruffy strict adherence to Gandhi philosophy by those ever alert CBD surviellance cameras it was all in hand? Who would know? We can say we once unwisely drove a donated unregistered (by a few days) van through the CBD and sure enough were booked and fined a painful $550 for our sin (in 2006) by an unmarked police car. Number plate recognition software? One wonders.

Posted by editor at 7:40 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 January 2008 10:02 AM 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
Friday, 5 October 2007
Sudanese human rights, and out flanking the white supremacists at the next election?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace

Hanson/Australians Against Further Immigration/white supremacist vote in 1998 caused mayhem for Howard/Abbott Coalition by splitting their vote. In 2001 Howard actually adopted the strategy to get that bigot vote back in the infamous Tampa Affair. Decency gradually shut down Hansonism and the Tampa strategy for being what it was - "dog whistling" and the "race card". So what is going on this time around issues of colour as the Americans call it in 2007?

Consider some apparently disparate facts:

Falung gong in their email broadcasts argue that Chinese Communist Party regime fund the Sudanese civil war (to annexe the oil) creating widespread misery.

Caller to Trioli 702 abc radio (5/10/07) - tension between Africans and the Asian shop owners in the Adelaide market area. Barely contained mutual hatred is the implication.

Eyewitness report from our source in Inner Sydney re Asian Australian Christian outreach folks, run in with African guy who upturns their table. Quite irrational, sad, unacceptable. Atypical contrast with the vast majority of African youth both well behaved and welcome in this diverse coffee coloured area.


Join the dots: The pragmatic Howard Govt need (according to their self interest I mean) to neutralise and shutdown the white supremicist ultra right at their heels in case their vote splits the Coalition again in a 2007 election already looking too tough. It was called One Nation 9 years ago, now its Pauline Hanson Mark II. On the other hand they need to avoid the muck of the racial gutter or be correctly condemned and lose the mainstream too. Their interim partial answer to Hansonism - just stop the flow of colour.

The Africans refugees with their very recognisable (and we say appealing) physical traits are an easy mark for the ultra right bigot/simpletons to the right of the Coalition govt. Ironically it was this same distinctiveness that served a useful real politik for the govt against the left pro refugee groups by demonstrating with symbolic small numbers of African refugees a moral riposte. But the bigots have closed down that Coalition govt angle now too. The govt in real politik terms is walking the tightrope of mainstream decency and ultra right jackals in a very fragile election profile.

To guillotine the African refugee programme is a real sign of electoral weakness by Minister Andrews , not so much appeasing racism as fearful of the 1998 demonstrated effectiveness of their evil ways.

We submit the African refugee potential Australian citizens enriching our society and pool of talent - are just another victim of this long drawn out election season for complex reasons.

Less a case of racist motive by Minister Andrews, more a case of real politik survival.  One hopes post election decency will return on a bipartisan basis. Depressing to know the 5% racist vote are having their pound of flesh if only for a month or two until the vote.

Posted by editor at 11:30 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 8 October 2007 1:05 PM NZT
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
A couple of post APEC 'Stop Bush' protest gems
Mood:  special
Topic: peace

We have been doing our best to catch up the press after the frenzy of political wonkiness during the APEC week earlier this month of Sept 07. Our fat file is in the high draw of the filing cabinet on top of another cabinet.

But we had to seek out and link these two unusual contributions, one by Phil Burgess a US expatriate high level Telstra executive with some embarrassing things to say about security protocols, at least apparently because we don't necessarily agree with second guessing the effectiveness of their covert ways. Did they already know it was Phil Burgess, a very distinctive chap in the first place. Here is his piece in The Australian main opinion page and its quite a lark:

Chaser cut to the charade Phil Burgess | September 10, 2007

The other whimsical article well worth clipping was poor Mr Paul O'Sullivan. Not just any citizen but chief of ASIO, possibly offline at page 9 Monday Sept 10 2007 by Sian Powell:

Osama gets in, but not the ASIO chief

"ASIO chief Paul O'Sullivan was refused entry into two venues during APEC leaders' week in Sydney, but an Osama bin Laden lookalike in a fake Canadian motorcade was waved through two police checkpoints.

APEC security was a bizarre combination of the laughably incompetent and the overzealous, critics say.

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation said Mr O'Sullivan was not inconvenienced by the suspicious officers who blocked his entry into the venues. "It was a minor administrative detail, quickly worked out," a spokesman said yesterday."

We don't second guess effectiveness of what covert operational activities the security agencies are involved in, because we don't by definition know. But we note this book published with the help of our grandfather Eric McLoughlin as a senior journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald back in the mid 1950ies which according to the key spy who brought Petrov over from Stalin's Soviet was none too impressed with the ASIO forerunner called ASO back then.



Reading between the lines fluent Russian speaker Michael Bialoguski thought ASO were thick, culturally unsophisticated, arrogant pseudo Brits, and he was on the same side given demise of his Polish family under the communist heal in the 1940ies. On the ASO side they thought he was a double agent. Tricky stuff.

Posted by editor at 8:58 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 September 2007 10:11 PM NZT
Saturday, 8 September 2007
Collage of Stop Bush Coalition march in Sydney CBD Sept 8th 2007
Mood:  special
Topic: peace




Posted by editor at 9:34 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 8 September 2007 11:48 PM NZT
Senior police Scipione and Cullen at risk of referral to Police Integrity Commission over APEC conflicting protest permits?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace



As a solicitor in NSW and a community media practitioner this writer has been very interested in various aspects of this APEC week.

Now we are at the most serious end with the world leaders meeting in session and the biggest protest march scheduled in 10 hours time meeting at Town Hall at 10 am.

It has been raining heavily so the weather may or may not be conducive. That's in the hands of God or whatever guiding spirit you follow.

But here on Earth the NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione as a former chief of police intelligence, and his lieutenant Chief Superintendent Stephen John Cullen Commander of the Public Order and Riot Squad, are responsible for peace welfare and good order in Hyde Park North Friday 7th of September.

I have just finished an interview with the night shift at the ABC news desk via their direct phone line. A long chat on tape with plenty of material to work with.

My take was quite similar and independent to this which I have just seen on the SMH website this early Saturday morning:

Anger over 'propaganda'

APEC protesters dismiss police warnings about violence at a march in Sydney today.

and video by SMH here


In my interview I said: How can a police force  - as evidenced by the web reports of the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday afternoon here

Photos: Tempers and humour flared in locked-down Sydney.


- encourage two counter protests at the same time and same place in Hyde Park North, one for George W Bush, and one against the USA President. We heard via abc radio that the numbers were 10 to 1 against the pro bush banner holders.

What the images on the SMH website showed yesterday, especially one image, is that a NSW police phalanx shepherded the pro Bush banner holders into the same place and time of a long time scheduled 'bums against Bush' event which might indeed have attracted world coverage, like those mass naked glacier events.

Sure enough one anti Bush protester sought to spray symbolic red sauce on the pro Bush banner referring no doubt to the blood spilled in Iraq. He was arrested with serious force by police. This was the image of conflict we say the NSW police wanted, and promoted.

It's not the role of the NSW police hierarchy to play politics positiioning rival protests against each other same time and place, to promote conflict to justify their huge expenditure on security or to grandstand their law and order credentials.

It defies common sense that the police would chaperone a small banner weilding pro Bush protest into the midst of an anti Bush rally yesterday at Hyde Park North and is a proper matter of concern for consideration of the Police Integrity Commission.

The context is suggestive also - Scipione has been very clever as a former intelligence chief in denying the first march route past the Opera House, then second route along Martin Place, then very late in the piece announcing a road block only on Sept 4th via the Supreme Court at King and George st intersection and then allowing a third march route of their choosing to end at ... Hyde Park North just like the arrest yesterday.

In The Australian newspaper earlier this week here Black-listed marchers in court fight Sept 6th at page 11 state:

"Outside court, rally organiser Alex Bainbridge refused to rule out marching to King Street.

"The court has made very clear that we have got a right to protest. The court order today prohibits nothing, our rally and demonstration will be going ahead. As we have always said we intend for this to be a peaceful protest," Mr Bainbridge said.

Public Order and Riot Squad Commander Stephen Cullen told the court police were bracing for large-scale violence, with intelligence reports tendered in court saying protest organisers might be unable to maintain control.

The police intelligence report said "a right-wing group" numbering about 60 intended to attend the rally, which could lead to confrontation with others among the protesters themselves.

The second day of official protest passed peacefully yesterday, with police praising the conduct of about 250 demonstrators in Sydney's Belmore Park.

Sarah McKenzie, 16, from Ravenswood School for Girls, said the protest allowed young people to express their beliefs. "It's very important because I'm only 16 and I don't have the power to vote yet," she said. "

[bold, italic added]

If the NSW police under Scipione and Cullen act like they did at Hyde Park North Friday afternoon last with preferential support and prominence to a right wing group obviously seeking to provoke a reaction in the same place and location, then the NSW Police will be culpable of provoking violence for their own political purposes, just like we saw with rock carrying Quebec police in Canada reported their in late August 2007 by such as CBC network. 

That's properly a matter for the PIC. 

Fair notice of an intention to refer top brass to the NSW Police Integrity Commission to consider any improper political interference in the anti Bush protest march, free speech and right to assembly by encouraging concurrent conflicting protests at the same time and place with their police permit system.

Interestingly Tom Allard, National Security Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald writes today 8th September 2007:

Not much civility from police chiefs, but scant civil disobedience

referring to Cullen in the story and with this prescient comment:

"The psychology of the mob in protest rallies is an unpredictable beast. But there is no bigger influence on crowd behaviour than the police themselves. Bored and tense, officers controlling APEC have annoyed plenty already with their overbearing manner.

Calm and restraint are required from police manning protest lines. Unfortunately, if they have been listening to their commanders and political leaders, it's a message front-line police are unlikely to have heard."

Earlier this week we asked here on IMC will the NSW Police now that they have finally agreed to a protest march route act honourably and with integrity. We think the initial evidence of shepherding a pro Bush protest into the midst of an anti Bush rally is worrying evidence that they suffer a real deficit of honour and integrity. 

Over to the Saturday protest march. Rain permitting. 

Tom McLoughlin, solicitor in NSW, editor www.sydneyalternativemedia.com

3.00 am 8th Sept 2007 

Posted by editor at 5:11 AM NZT
Thursday, 6 September 2007
Why is Thales Corporation, arms maker/dealer sponsoring APEC, including flags in the CBD?
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: peace


As the NSW Govt joins a beat up this last half hour against democratic protest over multinational corporations bad behaviour, with civilian protesters on one side (at least allegedly), and the NSW Chamber of Commerce and NSW Govt on the other side (like Deputy Premier Watkins on abc radio just now), these establishment folks don't want to talk about Thales Corporation.

Most thinking people have heard of the classic documentary about the psychological dysfunction of corporations made famous by The Corporation Film: Welcome

But the public and big media might not know that down at Darling Habour Tumbalong Park flying proudly are flags with the sponsorship name "Thales".

You can forget your Nike, or Starbucks, or similar greedy corporations known for exploitation or even collusion in sweat shops and murder of unionists in the case of Coca Cola in places like Columbia, at least for a moment.

Here is more of the involvement of this arms maker and dealer at APEC on their official website

APEC Australia 2007 

28 March 2007- Showcasing Thales Australia at APEC Australia 2007™ Transportation Ministers Meeting Thales Australia. 26 March 2007 - APEC Transportation ...

Thales describe themselves in their own words:

"THALES Australia's origins
can be traced to the Colonial Ammunition Company, registered
in Victoria in 1888. The fully privatised ADI Limited
was established in November 1999, when the Department
of Defence approved the sale of the company to the
Transfield Holdings and Thomson-CSF (now THALES) 50:50
joint venture. In October of 2006 THALES Global purchased
Transfield Holdings remaining share of ADI to form
THALES Australia."

It's all here in blatant military industrial vanity:

Joint Strike Fighter: Industry Capabilities | THALES Australia

THALES Australia is Australia's premier provider of systems, products and services in the defence, security and civil markets. THALES Australia's origins ...

blah blah blah.

This is the same corporation that sold off the huge ADI site full of native fauna for Lend Lease to clear and build urban development in Western Sydney.

And they have been having some embarrassing moments too at APEC here:

APEC pass farce: it's no go - National - smh.com.au 

Mr Johnson said an APEC staff member said the database, run by the defence company Thales Australia, was not uploading correctly to the APEC computers. ...

And yes they are prominent corporate sponsers on the APEC flags flying over our CBD, using our taxpayers money to take over our city and provide them with corporate welfare, security services at the cost of of some $330 million dollars.

That is, we are paying for their war machine off on a Sydney junket with their international clients, literally.

So it seems Deputy Premier John Watkins is now working as a PR merchant for international arms manufacturer Thales, and other similar corporations at APEC?

Gee John, and we thought you were from the left of the ALP? Power and money changes everything obviously.

Posted by editor at 12:37 PM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007 1:26 PM NZT
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Gandhi's confronting non violence
Mood:  special
Topic: peace


Gandhi making his own clothes ...
.. talk about subversive!


Gandhi's ten principles of nonviolence:

1. Humiliating or deliberately provoking your opponent invites violence.

2. Knowing your facts and arguments well helps avoid violence.

3. If you are open about your cause your opponent is less likely to be violent.

4. Look for common ground between you and your opponents to promote trust and understanding.

5. Do not judge others.

6. Trust your opponent. They will sense this trust.

7. Compromise on inessential items to promote resolution.

8. Sincerity helps convert your opponent.

9. By making personal sacrifice you show your sincerity.

10. Avoid exploiting weakness in your opponent. Aim for integrity, not simply to win.

We at ecology action presume to add this: The next unexpected tense situation you find yourself in, try copying this presecription for group harmony and anonymously pinning it up somewhere it can be seen. You will be surprised by its effect as everyone who notices finds themselves automatically agreeing with its common sense albeit idealistic and often unachievable in total.

In the process of so agreeing each person actually opens a door to tolerance and a new idea of how to relate to their protagnonists ... in the work place, the home, in politics or where ever. But notice Gandhi was not passive. He promoted peaceful confrontation of injustice.

In our world there are endless causes for peaceful confrontation especially in an environmentally unsustainable western world.

Click here for one of many web links on the life and teachings of nonviolence guru Gandhi, still with the power to profoundly change people and make life easier.

Posted by editor at 8:03 AM NZT
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
John Lyons and the rocket launchers page 1 The Australian today
Mood:  not sure
Topic: peace

Today The Australian carries a worrying story about up to 9 missing rocket launchers on page 1 of The Australian here: John Lyons: Just who has missing weapons?

Only SAM's editor wrote abou this very real worry for all Australians of whatever pursuasion back in May 07 here:

"Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Missing rocket launchers still at large in
lead up to APEC in Sydney?

Mood: don't ask

 This is a press release we noticed today from the legal authorities posted on
Melbourne Indy Media a few days ago relating to a high profile mainstream media
report in early April 2007:


charges over stolen rocket launchers
This is a
joint Media Release between the AFP and NSW Police.

As a result this report from the Murdoch press around the same story


"TWO Sydney men, including an Australian army captain, have been
refused bail after being charged with the theft of 10 army rocket launchers.



.....Mr Collins said only one anti-tank rocket launcher has been
recovered by police. He said extensive searches had been carried out in
bushland for the missing seven weapons, but their whereabouts were unknown.



......Police said the missing rocket launchers had been taken
into account in security preparations for the APEC summit
in Sydney in



The individual posting on Melbourne Indy Media states there is no update on
the police website and speculates that this means the "seven" rocket launchers
are still at large.


We find this state of affairs very scary including for innocent peaceful
protesters who might be at risk.


We also wrote about a real worry for public safety which again has nothing to do with usual public protest, and that is the petrol tanker scenario, with an accident like this one in Rockdale some 5 years back literally melting the tanker in half


Police setting APEC pre publicity tone is a
self fulfilling prophesy of aggressive clashes and ignores real
Mood: not sure

Picture: Truck accident in Rockdale about 5 years ago.
Images taken by this writer as a local resident/witness. If one looks closely at
the top image you can see a truck has flipped onto its side and is being lifted
about a metre aloft with wheels at right angle to the ground. It looks strange
because the heat of the fuel fire has literallly vaporised half the metal tank
on the trailer. No one was killed in this accident which in itself must have
been a minor miracle. There were some people sleeping in the burnt buildings
nearby at the time of the one vehicle accident at a sharp corner just before the
rail bridge.


Note this pre publicity by the police and their captured political
representatives in State Government in the press today:

gets tough on protesters | The Daily Telegraph

This writer spent 2 years on Bondi Safety Committee 1996-97 as an elected
local councillor and we learned to never let the police set the tone of pre
event publicity. The principle looks the same today even as big as the APEC
conference will be in Sydney in September 2007.

Police inevitably predict aggressive clashes with the public and suggest
criminal behaviour by protesters which is the police paradigm and in fact what
they plan for. This has the effect of promoting their own importance and budget
in a highly convenient fashion for the bureaucracy. It is also self
fulfilling prophesy because the minute number actually looking for sport at the
police expense take it as an invitation to come on down and box on.

In a sense they all get what they want at the expense of the broader public.
But there is a much more serious aspect of distraction from real risk profile
for such an event.

What worries this writer most is not loud ferals, even pushy ones,
or mindless street violence. And certainly not organised recognised non govt
groups who never want the reputation for violence. What worries me, and should
worry everyone not least Big Media and Govt:

1. is those 7 or so missing rocket launchers reported in the Murdoch
press and media release of the federal/NSW police. Still missing?

2. Canberra is set up for gatherings away from the largest centre of
population, not just for one offs like APEC, but to avoid opportunistic coups
via a big rally taking over the parliament house (theoretically possible in
Sydney of 4M but not Canberra).

3. Is Howard secretly hoping there will be an attack to get votes in a
patriotic fervour?

4. The petrol tanker scenario. See these pics above of a truck accident
in Rockdale 5 years back we locals of the time witnessed - large volumes of
fuel and a spark can destroy anything, including melt the tanker in half, like
a hot knife through butter. That's scary.

None of these are protester related, marbles or stuff like that. Those
are so marginal and in truth this writer has never ever witnessed that
in 15 years of ngo activity as God is my witness, 6 or so arrests for peaceful
protest without conviction, and solicitor now. That said, we don't like seeing
anyone get hurt, democracy activists police or anyone. For moral reasons but
also quite practical - draconian blow back by the system. Gandhi is my way even
if we can't be a saint like him.

We were quite surprised indeed to read the quite calm and brutal article in
the Herald recently on the history of lethal attacks on political
leaders. This was suggestive of activity way beyond the aims or objectives of
the local ngo movement I've known this last 15 years in Sydney. Here is the
reference, and we had to wonder how responsible the article was but here it is
anyway relying on the Herald as precedent:

for democracy works, just don't miss - Opinion - smh.com.au

Posted by editor at 4:36 PM NZT
Monday, 27 August 2007
3 masked, rock carrying Canadian police at anti Bush protest in Quebec exposed on CBC news 22nd Aug 07
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: peace

(via Crikey.com.au 27/8/07 sourced via Wonkette blog to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the text below is Wonkette blog)

Cops Admit Cops Caught Being Fake Protesters Are Cops

When Bush was in Canada selling America to Mexico earlier this week, Canadian labor unions protested the secret negotiations between the three countries’ leaders. And whenever there’s a big political protest, there are cops in disguise — usually as “anarchists” — trying to start shit so that the uniformed cops can smash skulls and shoot their water cannons and rubber bullets and tear-gas cannisters at the real protesters who were just peacefully protesting. What was interesting about this week’s agents provocateurs is that they got caught on video and the video was immediately seen by hundreds of thousands of people all around the world and for possibly the first time ever, a police department has been shamed into admitting that it plants disguised cops in protest crowds to stir up shit.

If you haven’t seen it yet (or even if you have), here’s the CBC report including the good parts from the YouTube video:


The matching cop boots are cute, aren’t they? It’s especially cute how the one cop put duct tape and spray paint on his new cop boots. Poseur!

There was absolutely no way to squirm out of this one, so the police in Quebec were forced to admit they do what everybody knows cops do:

With the proof caught on video, Quebec provincial police were forced to admit yesterday that three undercover agents were playing the part of protesters at this week’s international summit in Montebello.

Quebec police admit agents posed as protesters [Toronto Star]


Quebec police admit agents posed as protesters
Deny role of undercover officers was to provoke violence at summit of North American leaders
Aug 24, 2007 04:30 AM

Canadian Press

MONTREAL–With the proof caught on video, Quebec provincial police were forced to admit yesterday that three undercover agents were playing the part of protesters at this week's international summit in Montebello, Que.

But the Quebec police force denied they were attempting to provoke protesters into violence. Rather, they said the three were planted in the crowd to locate any protesters who were not peacefully demonstrating. Police said the trio's cover was blown when they refused to toss any objects.

"At no time did the Quebec provincial police officers act as agents provocateurs or commit criminal acts. Also, it is not part of the policy of the police force nor is it part of its strategy to act in this manner. At all times, the officers responded to their mandate to maintain law and order," the Sûreté du Québec said in a news release last night.

The police said after viewing a video clip from YouTube.com and video shot by police officers, they were able to confirm the three were Quebec provincial police officers.

Earlier, both Quebec police and the RCMP denied any of their officers were involved.


Earlier yesterday, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day rejected opposition calls for an inquiry into the role of suspect agents at the North American leaders summit.

"If people have concerns ... there is a complaints process for the RCMP. There is also one for the Sûreté du Québec. This incident happened in Quebec, so I imagine people could also file under that complaints process."

Day's words did little to appease Dave Coles, the union leader who confronted the three men on the protest line and accused them of being cops.

"We're going to talk to our legal counsel and we'll decide (Friday) what our next action is going to be," said Coles, president of the Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

The three officers, sporting bandannas, showed up on the front lines of a protest at the summit. One carried a large rock.

Posted by editor at 8:32 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 27 August 2007 8:49 PM NZT

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