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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Chinese military goons to spy on democracy activists in Canberra, for retribution in Tibet?
Mood:  don't ask
Topic: human rights
The fact PM Rudd said the China military so called "thugs" would not be shadowing the torch relay, and has been over ruled by the IOC with it's 'democratic global mandate' to make any policy it likes to (like a royal king or emperor in fact) is a little embarrassing . Yes. But it's trivial.
Chinese military SPIES taking pictures of democracy activists in Canberra and seeking retribution from relatives or friends is not trivial:
Hamish McDonald reported recently Sydney Morning Herald p22, 29 March 08 Running rings around the truth - World - smh.com.au
12 Apr 2008 that
"Russia's Novosti news agency reported that in Gansu province alone the Public Security Bureau has arrested 2302 people since the pro-Dalai Lama protests began in mid-March, with 432 (including 170 monks) still in custody. That suggests the total arrested across the Tibet Autonomous Region itself, Sichuan, Qinghai and Yunnan, might run into many more thousands."
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 12:17 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Chinese security and human rights?

15 April 08

Chinese security and human rights?
ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey today called on the ACT Government to explain
the rules of engagement for Chinese security officers who will accompany
the torch.
"Kevan Gosper for the IOC has announced that Chinese 'Torch Protectors'
will travel behind the torch when the relay is run in Canberra" Dr
Foskey said today.
"The questions I would like the ACT Chief Minister or the AFP
Commissioner to answer are:
* If the Chinese Security Officers will be carrying weapons
* If they will be required to comply with ACT Human Rights
* On what occasions will they be asked to assist the police or
Australian security officers on duty and what are their rules of
"I had understood from the ACT Government that all necessary security
would be managed by the AFP."

"This appears to be a complete backflip."

"I know the Chief Minister has absolute confidence in the AFP.  How does
the use of a bus load of 'Torch Protectors' sit with that belief?" Dr
Foskey asked.

Roland Manderson   Media Advisor
ACT   Greens    MLA  Deb  Foskey 
Legislative Assembly for the ACT
ph(02)62050551      m 0412241379


The pro China rally here recently has been well analysed here via ClubTroppo blog ezine: Jeremy is bemused by pro-China protests.

Posted by editor at 3:40 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 3:51 PM NZT
Monday, 14 April 2008
China Inc's catspaw: Brainwashed youth diaspora crank Olympic nationalism in Sydney streets here?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: human rights

As a uni student in 1989 and 1990 we lived with two different Chinese households in Canberra in the suburbs of Downer and Curtin. They were very good housemates, if less than western standards of house cleaning. Being a bit of a bush pig here that was okay. It was an indicator of perhaps '2nd world' social standards of the mechanic, a motel worker, an academic who explained the concept of the internet (in 1990!).

It was a cold winter. We literally lived on $4500 income, food, rent, books, before getting a job with Baker & McKenzie big corporate law firm in Sydney.

Recently we spent 6 months tutoring a great 16 year old I will call  'Lucy' (as in actress Lucy Liu) of Chinese Australian background but born in China. Always with grandma hovering.

Her English was pretty good for a second language but had some rough patches.

Lucy got over 90 in the end in her HSC even after fainting at school a month prior to the exams. We didn't know if it was a serious medical condition or not. That's when we had the "It Takes Personal Courage Talk" in earnest tones. It went like this: 

Ok. So we don't know if it's a serious medical problem or nothing. The truth is no one else is going to do this for you. Really. Others can help like me as your tutor. But you have to decide to fight for your own corner, and your future. It takes commitment.  No one else can make this choice for you.

That was it, right between the eyes, no hedging, no escapes, no excuses. She was young enough and tough enough to take it and it's what she needed to hear too, based on a trust we had worked on for months.

I was never prouder than when she went on and completed her HSC and got access to a tertiary course. For doing herself and her family justice. Bravo. It does take courage and she had it. Where is she now I have no idea.

She suggested I could make alot of money working in China using my English or such like, and tried to set me up with a relative. She taught me a maths multiplication game ambitious kids play over there. Told me about the cut throat lassez faire Shanghai rip off merchants and con artists. How one had to be at the top of your game just to hang on to your dough.

And with the Beijing Olympics on the way in a few years she was right as long as I avoided disease carrying rats (like Rudd famously was threatened by early in his diplomatic career). But that's not our vocation. Rather it's harrassing anti environmental corporate fascism via crikey.com.au and here.

But the broader point is this - It may have been the discussions over Macbeth where the nature of democracy, and good governance came up: Violence for political power versus say Gandhi philosophy? The Mao dictum of "political power grows from the barrel of a gun", or in Macbeth's case a sword in that famous profound Shakespearean play.

Image:Charles Kean as Macbeth 1858.jpg

I suggested "a metaphor" beloved of HSC study guides using the Chinese Revolution over so called Emperor's noblesse oblige (not a very credible claim but at least analogous).


The memories are all a bit misty now like the witches bedevilling Macbeth in the picture above. But what I do remember clearly is this : Lucy, this otherwise perky teenager was extremely reticient to make even study talk about the flaws of a Chinese Govt regarding power through violence.

I pressed her on this dogmatism in someone so young - why not? It's only a student's essay and study, and it's a sound point too about the themes in the play about rivalry for political power, whichever side you take.

Oh no, I don't think that's a good idea. To criticise the govt of China. I just don't think so.

It was a fear she had no words or emotional equipment to articulate, as I saw it. It was a bridge too far for this otherwise ambitious bilingual teenager with the rebellious interest in gangsters, working to fit into two cultures - east and west. 

Indeed there was still ill feeling in the family about the father insisting on taking out Australian citizenship, not least after Tiananmen Square in 1989 (which even if exagerating reportage was surely a disaster for democarcy in China).

This intelligent gutsy Lucy's fear and awe of the central Beijing Govt suggested brainwashing to not even manage criticism in a student essay. I could feel a chill hand in the room. We feel this same chill hand sanitising Beijing relations with Tibet has been on display in the main streets of Sydney CBD yesterday in a rally 13th April 2008. An unquestioning loyalty as per ABC tv coverage here:

News Video | Sun, 13 Apr 2008 17:58:00 +1000 | Duration 2m 4s, Over one thousand demonstrators have gathered in Sydney to call for fairer and more objective reporting on events in Tibet.

This is my firm feeling. Proud of their emerging world power status - go China - will be the emotion. But it's a brainwashed loyalty. If "some western media" are "liars" as per the placards about the devastations of Tibet, much like the Japanese raped Nanking, then why simply is there no free press in Tibet?


  Japanese soldiers entering

In Tibet and Beijing both, no transparency to foreign eyes. No freedom of speech to criticise or organise a rival political party or media outlet for 50 years now.

Most Chinese born and raised, and likely diaspora in Australia too, with their satellite tv media consumption, don't even know what Tiananmen was about really.

But I can report that Martin (not his real name) on that day in 1989 was stomping through the house very upset "Chinese Govt very stupid" he kept saying "Very stupid" over the reportage of Tiananmen Square tanks rolling into the student protests. Because when he knew what was happening he reached an opinion for himself.

That's what professional media reportage is all about. Telling the truth and letting that truth take it's course. In short the Big Media should be aware this brainwashed effect of a closed society under the control of Beijing central is not going away. It's a preferred tactic of soft power by this enormous world power including through it's own diaspora here.

In this Olympic season though it's somewhat of a two way street of communication including at grassroots level. Though the road rules are a little lacking in this engagement still too. Let's keep this two way flow going. That's a constructive way forward for both parties, with truth as our guide.


Postscript #1, 14th April 2008

Crikey.com.au 14th April 2008 runs this revealing sheet sourced to the Chinese Embassy here organising public rally support:

An anonymous tipster writes:

The following points are based on an internal document circulated by the Chinese authorities in Australia to the Chinese Students Association of 7-8 April. It has two options for public action appended. The large "spontaneous protests" witnessed in Sydney yesterday are an indication of this kind of mobilisation effort. The following is a direct translation of the original document:

Executive Summary: This activity is a voluntarily organised and spontaneous peaceful patriotic activity. The aim of this activity is prevent the disruptive actions of Free Tibet campaigners (the Chinese used is Zang du fenzi - Tibet Independence Elements) and Anti-Chinese elements from interfering with the Olympic torch relay.

Roles and Duties: The National Flag Group -- is to hand out Chinese flags and Olympic flags to friendly onlookers; The Picket Group -- will maintain order under the direction of the group leader. All members will follow instructions to protect the Olympic torch; The Propaganda Group (i.e., the PR team) -- will hand out leaflets to standers-by, onlookers and others; and, The Visual Recording Group -- will record the words, pronouncements, provocations and malicious actions of Free Tibet campaigners. Moreover, this group will record all other useful material.

Discipline: Obey orders, act collectively. Prevent all actions that can in any way be detrimental to the image of China, including words, comments and provocative behaviour, or any use of force. When confronting provocation you must be aware that the media will exaggerate even your most minor actions without any basis in fact while willfully ignoring those of the Free Tibet campaigners. You must remain calm and cool. The Visual Recording Group must be sure to be timely in taking footage of the provocations and destructive activities of the opposition. There must be reasonable use of the national flag and slogans. Do not drop any or leave any behind. When speaking to outsiders firmly maintain that this is entirely a spontaneous activity. You must accept no media interviews in the name of any group or collective. Keep a reasonable distance between yourself and the torch-bearer. Maintain a smiling face to onlookers, the media and other peaceful demonstrators. Demonstrate the good behaviour of the Chinese. Wear light and casual clothing. We suggest that you wear light colours.

Costs: The organisers will pay costs in advance. However, if any participants wish to pay for themselves they will be most welcome.

Promotional Strategy - Option 1: The Canberra leg of the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay will begin at Capital Hill where Parliament House is located. The harmonious flame of the Olympic Torch will set alight the emotions of this garden city. The Australian Chinese Youth Exchange Promotion Association cordially invites all patriots, Chinese students studying overseas, patriotic young people as well as all of your friends and relatives to join hands as witnesses of this historical moment, to raise your arms and cheer! The aim of this activity is to share the Olympic Spirit and Great Chinese Civilisation with the whole world. The organisers will provide bus transportation from Sydney to Canberra return, as well as breakfast and lunch. Participants will also be presented with Olympic keepsakes. We will cooperate closely with the police to ensure the safe protection of the Olympic torch. Whenever any willfully disruptive individual is found they will immediately be handed over to the police to be dealt with.

Signed: The Australian Chinese Youth Exchange Promotion Association (a non-profit organisation sponsored by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia).

Promotional Strategy—Option 2: Chinese Students in Australia Welcome Committee for the Olympic Torch The Australian Chinese Students Association (ACSC) hopes that the vast majority of Chinese students studying in Sydney will participate in the welcoming ceremony for the Olympic Torch in Canberra, and by so doing cheer on the Beijing Olympics. We welcome the enthusiastic participation and mobilisation of all students, as well as their friends. We welcome people from all walks of life to sign up, regardless of gender, age or nationality. We will provide free transportation as well as breakfast and lunch. Our buses will be available at five different locations for pick-ups. Protesters have to apply to demonstrate ahead of time! Therefore any protesters who attempt to disrupt our force must be handed over to the police immediately.

Signed: The Australian Chinese Students Association (a non-profit organisation sponsored by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Australia).

Posted by editor at 7:41 AM NZT
Updated: Monday, 14 April 2008 9:48 PM NZT
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
Sydney press on lucky no.8 day: Protesting human rights to Beijing Govt's olympics
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: human rights

Apparently in Chinese culture the number 8 is said to be lucky. And today 8th April 2008 is a great lucky day for Chinese democracy if one takes a sophisticated view of the outpourings of free speech at the parade of the Beijing global tour of the Olympic Torch. This is indeed what engagement with the rest of the world is actually about.  Wikipedia explains lucky eight as follows:


The word for "eight" in Chinese (Pinyin: b?) sounds similar to the word which means "prosper" or "wealth" (?amp;#8216; - short for "?amp;#8216;e'?", Pinyin: f?). In regional dialects the words for "eight" and "fortune" are also similar, eg Cantonese "baat" and "faat".

There is also a resemblance between two digits, "88", and the shuang xi ('double joy'), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters ?mp;#8211;œ (xi, 'joy', 'happiness').

Telephone number 8888-8888 was sold for USD$270,723 in Chengdu, China.

The Summer Olympics in Beijing are scheduled to open on 8/8/08 at 8:08:08 p.m.[2]

A man in Hangzhou offered to sell his license plate reading A88888 for 1.12 million yuan.[2]

Dragon Fish Industry in Singapore, a breeder of rare Asian Arowanas (which are "lucky fish" themselves, and, being a rare species, are required to be microchipped), makes sure to use numbers with plenty of eights in their microchip tag numbers, and appears to reserve particularly numbers especially rich in eights and sixes (e.g. 702088880006688) for particularly valuable specimens

We wrote recently about how Sydney 2000 Olympics was a very robust Big and Little Media dynamic evidenced by a good 15 cm of clippings 8 years ago, searching out every wart and human flaw in the now global big business circus that is modern elite sport:

26 March 2008 Retrospective Sydney 2000 Olympic racket: Bribes, drugs, lies, arrogance
Mood:  irritated
Topic: human rights

This in truth is the world we really live in including China who should and must engage and interact. It's global conversation grassroots style.

Here is some other press coverage today on lucky 8th April 2008 here in Sydney while keeping in mind it's not so much about picking on China, or the Chinese culture, but on democracy and human rights for all (not least the Chinese too), which is why the IOC/AOC are on a hiding to stand against such outpouring, which they seem to accept in recent utterances now:

But notice the Big Business subtext rolls on, because money talks loudest of all including in the 'democratic' West:


And significantly local bank ANZ is right into the Olympic $ trough as per the advert above which has some major global environmental obligations to address regarding finance (or not) of Tasmanian pulp mill to destroy huge areas of world heritage quality forest:

 19th March 2008

ANZ shareholders encouraged to band together

Community protesters inform ANZ customers and the public of ANZ's potential role in funding Gunns' pulp mill, Sydney. - The Wilderness Society Collection
Click here for larger image

The Wilderness Society is encouraging shareholders of Gunns Ltd’s banker, ANZ Bank, to get in touch and form a syndicate of concerned shareholders who have the power to call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) should ANZ fund Gunns’ pulp mill in Tasmania.

Click here for an open letter to ANZ shareholders seeking their support to hold the EGM.

If ANZ funds or organises finance for the pulp mill project, it will demonstrate serious systemic failures in the bank’s environmental, social and economic investment policies. They will then have serious questions to answer from shareholders who expect the bank to act on environmental and social responsibility, and not just use it as greenwash.

Australia’s Corporations Act 2001 has provisions aimed at ensuring that the will of shareholders is reflected in the running of their company. EGMs give shareholders the opportunity to express their will and to obtain critical information. To force an EGM, the commitment of 100 shareholders is needed.

Polls have consistently shown that the majority of the Australian public are opposed to Gunns’ forest-hungry pulp mill because of its predicted environmental, social and economic impacts.

Similarly, it is likely that the majority of people who own shares in ANZ would hold major concerns about the pulp mill project, both from an economic risk point of view, and the impact ANZ’s support for the project could have on their investment.

If you own shares in ANZ, you have a critical role to play in deciding on the future of our forests, climate and economy.

For more information about the pulp mill project or the EGM, please contact The Wilderness Society Tasmania on (03) 6224 1550, or email pulpmill@wilderness.org.au

Click here to download the open letter to ANZ shareholders.

Regardless of whether you are an ANZ shareholder or not, you are encouraged to take action and sign the Pulp Mill Pledge. The Pledge was launched at Hobart's massive rally attended by 15,000 people in November 2007, and around 7000 people have signed it since.

Sign the pledge now

For more information, please contact:

Vica Bayley
Tasmanian Forest Campaigner
Email Vica Bayley

Created: 19 Mar 2008

A very bad look Mr ANZ suffering a credit crunch here in the press today:





Posted by editor at 9:59 AM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 April 2008 5:07 PM NZT
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Retrospective Sydney 2000 Olympic racket: Bribes, drugs, lies, arrogance
Mood:  irritated
Topic: human rights


Last night we watched the ostensible mercurial, self assurred International Olympic Committee fixer, and Australian citizen, Kevin Gosper weave his fairytale on ABC (Australia) 7.30 Report about the role of the Olympics in global corporate geo politics:

25 March 2008 Gosper rejects calls for Beijing boycott As China steps up security on the streets of Tibet, the International Olympic Committee is rejecting calls for a boycott of the Beijing Games. Ali Moore speaks with the International Olympic Committee executive member, Kevan Gosper.


We say fairytale because here is a more honest description of what happened with the 'green games' from the first bid in 1993 beating by barely 2 votes the rival Beijing bid at the time:

Sydney Harbour dioxin threat post Olympics 2000




Sydney’s dioxin time bomb reflects an
Olympic sized missed opportunity 


Similarly notice our reports here 20th March 2008:

Olympic politics: Passive censorship off the ABC 702 talk back for this 5th estate tyre kicker
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: big media

and here

Olympics IS political: Aussie Peter Norman solidarity with black power salute 1968
Mood:  special
Topic: independent media

While acknowledging Gosper's own patriotic Olympic athletic career as a younger man, frankly he spins a kind face on a global racket, made clear by the dynamic Big Media and alternative media sector coverage for Sydney 2000 of which we have two thick folders of priceless archive: A retrospective is in order because the global and Chinese media can learn a lesson from Australia how to really do free press and democracy and harvest the benefits of that open and frank exchange of information, rather than fester in bogus rhetoric, dishonesty, human rights abuses and corporate greed.

Picture: The Olympics has been about politics for a long time now. Evidence of our tragic participation in the Sydney Olympics 2000, being a reader analyst night shift job (really night shift midnight to 8 am) with Media Monitors where most of these clippings filling 2 large binders derived from.

During this time 1999 - 2001 we worked as a reader analyst for Media Monitors and raised some $4K from that organisation in the Oxfam Trailwalker charity for East Timor with 3 other workmates. Hence the access to national press coverage, copied franticly at the end of every shift midnight to 8am. It was also the year of the Olympic racket taking over Bondi Beach for a multi-million dollar temporary stadium on iconic public beach sands.

Picture: Immensely popular Bondi Beach mid 2000 turned into a construction zone, 'thieves do indeed come to the beach' and not just petty crooks either!

 The temporary wasteful takeover at Bondi was indicative of the depth of arrogance of the IOC and their local AOC chapter for  which Kevin Gosper is spinmeister for corporate sponsors. Is it any wonder they work hand in glove with the arrogant repressive central Chinese dictatorship govt?










Posted by editor at 6:24 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008 8:34 AM NZT
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Tibetan community in Sydney supporting democracy
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: human rights

This Tibetan community shop outlet is at 330 Illawarra Rd Marrickville trading hours 10am to 6pm, telephone 02-9559 3422. Their website is here:


We have learned today that an icon of The Beijing Chinese Govt propaganda, The Giant Panda, is actually a native animal of Tibet and adjacent Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu provinces within China proper but also of Tibetan cultural/ethnic affinity. In fact the national emblem of China is the dragon, but the Giant Panda has been co opted for colonial exploitation like Tibet itself.

Panda at National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
Panda at National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Apparently Tibetan budhist culture served as effective custodians of the natural environment before environmentalism had a name, but substantial vandalism of this natural heritage has occured for resource extraction, development and nuclear waste since the Chinese colonial empire invaded in 1959.

Posted by editor at 8:03 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 25 March 2008 8:39 PM NZT
Thursday, 20 March 2008
Obama's 35 minute speech without notes on race and unity
Mood:  special
Topic: human rights

Deja vu?: West Wing tv series Series 7, episode 8        "Undecideds" 

We're not much into cult of personality but that's what we call a superior orator. Win or lose this guy has courage to speak publicly on any hot issue directly with a poise and moderation that comes over like fresh air.

The conservative press are reporting this as "Candidate gives the speech of his career" . Some cynics are implying that confronting racism so openly is a fatal third rail of US politics. To which we say we are about to find out. 


Posted by editor at 9:37 PM NZT
Updated: Friday, 21 March 2008 10:18 AM NZT
Friday, 18 January 2008
John Howard's legacy: Sanitised Exclusive Brethren human rights abuse?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: human rights

 In terms of institutional misogyny in Australia the Exclusive Brethren are right up there, turning the young female members into economic slave cannon fodder.

For those who take the time to look at this EB mob seriously as the ABC 4 Corners have done, as noted here on SAM last year (see below), either conservatives or leftwingger, can only wonder how a Prime Minister of Australia ever got mixed up with this pack of ultra hierarchical grubs:

Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Now the whole dirty business of the quasi religious business cult using modern forms of economic slavery and control to gouge their profit are in the news again today 18th Jan 2008, with another clipping of interest from 2007 included. Perhaps most notable is the impertinence of this cult involving itself so deeply in Big Politics behind a facade of neutrality and other-worldliness. Or perhaps that John Howard would never let his own professional daughter, lawyer Melanie, be oppressed and suppressed with a blanket ban on access to higher education let alone computers. SAM here finds the EB very creepy:

Postscript #1 21 Jan 2008 
Sect schools to get $10m, despite ALP unease THE secretive Exclusive Brethren religious sect is poised to receive more than $10 million in Federal Government funds this year, despite the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, describing it during the election campaign as an extremist cult that breaks up families.


Posted by editor at 9:43 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008 4:40 PM EADT
Friday, 4 January 2008
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
Monday, 24 December 2007
CIA protecting Freeport mining interests in West Papua at the expense of human rights, again?
Mood:  blue
Topic: human rights



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

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

Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 12, 2007

Detachment 88, Kopassus Get Covert US Aid

US Intelligence is Tapping Indonesian Phones


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allan Nairn can be reached through his blog.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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




Freeport - McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

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


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

The Mineral Policy Institute - Indonesia

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

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

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



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

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

Lady Macbeth:
Yet here's a spot.

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

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

Macbeth Act 5, scene 1, 26–40


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

BBC NEWS | UK | Tony Blair joins Catholic Church

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

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

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

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

in Washington Post Dec 22nd 2007


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

We chose poverty as more suitable to the ecological times.

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Howard's lost opportunities on greenhouse

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

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

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

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

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

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


Postscript #1

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

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

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

We also liked very much the reference to

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

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

Posted by editor at 6:38 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 28 December 2007 12:14 PM EADT

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