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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Uh oh, Greens vote goes up in Marrickville via News Corp bully rag?
Mood:  cool
Topic: peace

Harriet Swift.


Greens candidate in the seat of Bega who polled 12.5% of the vote, highest on record for that seat and above the NSW average for Greens in lower house seats apparently. 

Subject of front page attacks for weeks in the Eden Magnet and Bega District News.

So what distinguished Harriet as a local candidate? Her staunch opposition in and outside the courts to the Eden chipmill owned by our Japanese industrial friends. 

There's a lesson there for the Greens in Marrickville campaigning against the ALP minister for asbestos, Carmel Tebbutt.

Also amusing to note federal MP's worried about hacking of their email. Mutterings about foreign interests like China. Or would that be News International? Or Israel?

Finally, who knew that Holden supports the Israeli right catspaw, predatory 'settler' land theft movement in Palestine? Or a host of other companies? Maybe these companies might want to reconsider getting into bed with the assassin of Israeli PM Rabin, a vile criminal by the name of Yigal Amir. Yigal is the poster boy of the settlers, currently serving a  long stretch in an Israeli gaol despite a campaign for his release. 

 Who indeed knew that Israeli murderers are allowed to marry in gaol and beget a son for the settler predatory movement? Mmm. That's a real witches brew of right wing politics The Australian is associating itself with.

But morals was never News Corp's strong suit.


Posted by editor at 10:03 AM NZT
Updated: Thursday, 14 April 2011 10:08 AM NZT
Saturday, 9 October 2010
They always said you were so weird ...
Mood:  lyrical
Topic: peace

Thank you John Lennon, an influential life echoing down the years, posted at the anniversary of his death, or something like that around this time in alot of big media. The header refers to a line in a song by George Harrison in tribute to his band brother on his untimely death. But on balance I went for another song link demonstrating such influence in the current day, like the lovely "IMAGINE" banner below in 2007: Eddie Vedder cover of a well know Lennon song, apparently channeling Dylan at the time.


Posted by editor at 7:26 PM NZT
Updated: Sunday, 7 November 2010 12:14 PM EADT
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Abbott in Green Zone - but where are the WMD Tony?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace


Posted by editor at 6:38 PM NZT
Friday, 22 January 2010
Howard the nuke weapon candidate for international cricket body?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: peace


Picture: Recent article 14 Dec 2009 in the Murdoch conservative press of choice here, regarding a future nuke weaponised Australia - contrary to current Govt settings. Always a covert agenda of the former Howard Govt via dual use energy reactor policy. An agenda rejected by the Australian people in the 2007 federal election where Howard himself lost his own seat.

Oh no say it isn't so. Ex PM John Howard, arguably Iraq war criminal, touted for an international sports job in cricket. With adverse reaction here too by cricket expert Peter Roebuck:


Do the ICC international body realise this is the candidate whose soul still dwells in the 1960ies? Who wanted to expand dual use nuclear power across Australia before ejection in the 2007 election here?:

Picture: image relating to this: Lateline - 20/04/2007: PM describes new reactor as a triumph, before this: Lucas Heights to stay closed till 2008 - ABC News (Australian ... 25 Oct 2007 ... Lucas Heights to stay closed till 2008. By Sabra Lane ... Australia's new $400 million nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, in Sydney, ...


A media release from that election campaign by the now Govt of Australia:  

Joint Media Release, Ziggy blows Howard's nuclear cover

Today, at Newport Park on Port Phillip Bay, Anthony Albanese and Nicola Roxon reiterated Labor's opposition to nuclear reactors in Australia.

"John Howard must immediately reveal his promised nuclear legislation and reveal his list of sites for his 25 nuclear reactors. The Head of the Prime Ministerial Taskforce on Nuclear Energy, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, made it very clear today that a re-elected Howard Government would develop 25 nuclear power stations in Australia, and Newport has been identified as a potential site. “John Howard is trying to hide his nuclear reactor plans until after the election, but Ziggy Switkowski has blown his cover" said Anthony Albanese.

 On 30 January 2007, the Australia Institute identified Newport on Port Phillip Bay as a potential site for a nuclear reactor due to its proximity to seawater for cooling, and easy access to electricity and transport infrastructure. John Howard is committed to build 25 nuclear reactors across Australia, and Port Phillip Bay's coastal location and access to the electricity grid and transport infrastructure may make it a prime site for one of John Howard's nuclear reactors.

In response to a Parliamentary Question on Notice, John Howard has specifically refused to rule out the Electorate of Gellibrand as a site for one of his 25 nuclear reactors. To ensure nuclear reactors can be imposed on communities, John Howard pledged on 28 April 2007 to repeal current Commonwealth laws which prohibit nuclear reactors. On 30 May 2007, John Howard stated the Commonwealth should legislate to over-ride State laws blocking nuclear reactors.

"The next federal election will be a referendum on nuclear reactors. The Australian people will face a stark choice between Kevin Rudd's vision for solar power and clean energy, and John Howard's plan for 25 expensive and dangerous nuclear reactors" said Anthony Albanese. "Here in Gellibrand, the community is united in opposing a nuclear reactor at Newport on Port Phillip Bay, but the Howard Government continues to push its agenda for 25 nuclear reactors across Australia" said Ms Roxon. "Hobsons Bay has recently been declared nuclear free and the Victorian State Government has consistently opposed nuclear power generation in Victoria."

The Prime Minister needs to listen to the local community and rule out a nuclear power station in Newport, or anywhere else in Melbourne' s west. Friday, 28 September 2007

 For further information/comment: Antony Sachs (Albanese)  Sarah Toohey (Roxon)

in Joint Media Release, Ziggy blows Howard's nuclear cover [pdf]


Howard surely would have thrown the switch to nuke weaponised aircraft carrier Australia if he had been elected. Howard always admired former war veteran Sir John Gorton and his aggressive posture on nuke weapons:

PM visits Gorton in Sydney hospital

Prime Minister John Howard has visited his former Liberal counterpart Sir John Gorton who was admitted to hospital in Sydney yesterday.

The 90-year-old former prime minister was taken from his Vaucluse home to St Vincent's Hospital suffering from pneumonia yesterday.

Sir John, who was prime minister from 1968 to 1971, is expected to remain in hospital for at least another day for tests.

A hospital spokesman says Sir John is alert and feeling much better today and exchanged jokes with Mr Howard.

Sir John appeared frail at his last public appearance last month to launch his book.

at http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200204/s543515.htm

Howard whose ideology was to go soft on Rhodesia and South Africa's Nationalists? Just as Hollywood cranks feel good movie Invictus on Rugby World Cup in South Africa under Mandela?

John Howard on Gorton's death in 2002, in his own words, and note the strong theme of science (ie nuke technology) and defence including navy in the Gorton life story, which Howard who never served presumably envied:

Statement from the Prime Minister, John Howard

John Howard, Prime Minister May 20, 2002 - The death of Sir John Gorton, Australia’s nineteenth Prime Minister, marks the passing of a proud Australian nationalist and a very distinguished Australian.

John Grey Gorton was born on 9 September 1911 and educated at Geelong Grammar School and Oxford University.

After bravely serving his nation in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II, he served in Local Government in Victoria and was then elected to the Senate as a Liberal Senator for Victoria in 1949. He remained a Senator until 1968 when he was elected to the federal House of Representatives seat of Higgins, a seat he held for the Liberal Party until his retirement from Parliament in 1975.

He held a number of important ministerial portfolios in the Menzies and Holt Governments. He was the longest serving Minister for the Navy (1958-1963), a fact he proudly reflected on in his later years. Additionally, he assisted the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1960-1963, was Minister in charge of the CSIRO from 1962-1968, Minister for Works (1963-67), Minister for the Interior (1963-64), Leader of the Government in the Senate (1967-68), Minister for Education and Science (1966-68)(the first federal Minister for Education), and later Minister for Defence in 1971.

............[at http://www.australianpolitics.com/news/2002/05/02-05-22a.shtml]

Can the ICC be so stupid? A recently picture here of Howard lifted off SkyNews in Dr Strangelove uniform ... at the cricket dreaming of a nuke weapons return to empire?



Posted by editor at 10:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 22 January 2010 10:58 AM EADT
Tuesday, 30 December 2008
Awesome testimony of atomic bomb "hell" reaches across the ocean into the heart of Sydney
Topic: peace

The room was a little stuffy for so many. And 2 1/2 hours on a sunny afternoon at the end of our "work season", as the charming 78 year old Nakanishi Iwoa phrased it, was a big ask. On the other hand it's not every day, in fact it's probably once in a lifetime, one gets to meet survivors of a nuclear bomb. These folks are the real Indiana Jones of today. Not in a lead lined 1950ies refrigerator in a fluffy Hollywood thriller, but in Nagasaki Cathedral or similar "strong building". They were the extremely lucky ones who won the lottery when 140,000 and then another 70,000 died as a result of a monstrous blinding white light that ate their respective cities.

It's not every day one is led like a child held at the wrist to one's chair by 70 year old Sato Hiroe who works for Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park since 1990. Steve Mori was there manfully struggling with a hot kettle in his own art gallery kitchen in undersized black singlet preparing endless trays of tea and lime waters for the honoured guests: The 100 Hibakusha, witnesses to the atom bomb dropped on them in Nagasaki and Hiroshima visiting Sydney until 5 pm this afternoon.

As retired High Court Judge Kirby has said recently Love is the most profound force in this world and that elixir was in Mori Gallery yesterday. Unexpected, unassuming, eye opening, healing. Some of the images here are sombre for a serious matter but that would be deceptive of the vibe of the event. Actually it was very vibrant with cross cultural openness and trust.

These often sprightly retirees and their orange shirted young brigade of interpreters were a treat. It was quite an operation too with multiple microphones, translations and displays. Senator Scott Ludlum as facilitator was highly deferential. He had come off a 3 day trip by water from Auckland to Wharf 8 in Darling Harbour as part of the 63rd Global Voyage for a Nuclear Free World - Peace Boat Hibakusha Project.

Is the ocean is a unifying symbol of our emotional world? One 70 year old Hibakusha in the group session said she kept that hellish time secret until this boat trip. Now she realised it was her duty to speak about it. Another who worked as a primary school teacher explained that not all of Japanese national curriculum learns the real lessons about the atomic bombs. Not all in Australia either.

We mentioned our article in December 2007 urging PM Rudd to visit the Hiroshima Peace Park to get beyond the anti whaling straitjacket and this was well received. Rudd did make that visit 6 months later. The Q & A also covered the 40 nuclear power plants and their waste in Japan, with the fear of another Chernobyl present. A local Victorian mentioned the Pugwash group of scientist against nuke bombs founded by one brave dissenter in the Manhattan Project who resigned when it was clear Germany weren't in the race.

Jillian Marsh, an Australian activist with the Adnyamathanha People in South Australia closed the loop regarding pollution from Beverley uranium mine there. She explained how in their legends the giant Emu Spirit vomited up the uranium and traditional wisdom has known for thousands of years to avoid the poison country (including no doubt the radon gas). Film maker and consultant to the UN Kathleen Sullivan spoke about the need to educate the world for a ban on nuclear weaponry, recalling the 7 year ban on press coverage in the US on the reality of the bombing in Japan.

Some quality media picked up the threads. We saw ABC prime time tv news and 7.30 Report stories. It may have been covered elsewhere too. The most profound moment for this writer was this photo across the language barrier. No Japanese. No English. Of a Hibakusha man simply pointing on the desolate map of Nagasaki 1945 of where he was (in the Cathedral) when it happened. He posed for this photo and I shook his hand, a real honour to meet in peace. And to contemplate the awesome capacity of the human spirit to reach out to our shores.

Here is the letter submitted to a representative of the Australian PM yesterday morning praising Kevin Rudd for establishing an International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. We heard the Hibakusha were "restless" to see a global ban in their lifetime just like the Chemical Weapons Convention and Biological Weapons Convention. With cluster and land mine munitions on the list. As Senator Ludlum explained it was this same process of outreach and lobbying that concluded those bans by the same kind of people. Well said senator. Well said Hibakusha.


Posted by editor at 11:57 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 2 January 2009 4:48 PM EADT
Monday, 29 December 2008
Hiroshima, Nagasaki survivors arrive in Sydney for public events
Topic: peace

When Australian diplomatic relations with Japan were threatened in total by the the high profile whaling issue we blogged here at SAM* a proposal. That the Australian Govt look into the mythology that has grown out of the very real nuclear weapons tragedy of WW2 at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On 8th June 2008 we wrote, harking back to our post on 23rd December 2007:

- We at SAM urged the federal govt Garrett and PM Rudd to approach the whaling issue between major trading partners as a western diplomatic issue sourced ... to use of nuclear bombs in WW2 on Japan. Yes we know there is no great logic or rationality to on the one hand whaling and on the other nuclear disarmament.

But we see Japanese stubborness as their way of expressing their psychological pain over the western arrogance of nuclear weaponry causing mass mortality compared to mere whales. If so sensitive to animals why not the great suffering of the Japanese people. It's a dysfunctional spiral of emotional violence. So going to the peace shrine at Hiroshima is exactly the right place to start for PM Rudd:

Sunday, 23 December 2007

[And notice the interference in that post explained at the footnote below, we are trying to correct, but it's proving harder than we expected because the html has been sabotaged]

We already suspected the ALP federally were backing off the anti whaling agenda in favour of trade relations when we read a change of tone in The Australian business friendly press months back though we are having trouble locating the exact article that was the pivot. Certainly the Coalition's Greg Hunt is alive to the ALP go slow in favour of broader trade and security agendas. Here is more on security here from the dusty files:

Security deal a significant step for two aspiring nations ... 16 March 2008

Image:Godzilla collage.jpg

Japan halts humpback whale hunt: US

Wednesday Dec 19 20:09 AEDT

Safe for a while: Japan has apparently halted its humpback whale hunt. (Getty Images)


Given the trauma of this historic event we speculated about the symbolic confusion that might exist in the similarity of the Godzilla figure and the leviathans of the deep.

We speculated about reaching beyond the economic travesty of the whaling issue and embracing the heart of Japanese sensitivities - namely the only population on earth to be bombed by nuclear weapons. Although the Aboriginal Australians and South Pacific Islanders might argue with that given the cynical testing in the past.

Back on 23 December 2007 we wrote:

"In our estimation, our PM Rudd and Minister Peter Garrett could do alot worse for the sake of saving the magnificent whales of the world by reaching out to the soul of the Japanese People at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to resolve the neurosis of the right wing of Japanese politics over the 1945 conclusion to the war in the Pacific via horrifying nuclear bombs .

In our humble way we simply ask when the Japanese refer to "scientific" whaling "Is this what is really going on here?". Even a child can see it is not.

After watching this annual political theatre for at least a decade now, it becomes clear it's more to do with the proud west's nuclear bomb miracle science. Now Japan's Govt are rubbing our nose in this same false notion of the 'purity of science' resulting in massive loss of innocent life. At least 100,000 people back in 1945, and whales today. Taking their subtle revenge. An irritant on the pages of history. And the Japanese in their conflicted way have got a point.

For Japan to change on whales, we in the West will almost certainly have to change on the triumphalism of Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

This approach is one that the Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett, former Nuclear Disarmament Party Senate Candidate could relate to. As it happens PM Rudd, whether by coincidence or not, did visit the Hiroshima shrine. Did break through the diplomatic impasse with the right wing of Japanese politics. Did succeed in sidelining criticism of the Australian Opposition around that time asserting that Rudd was endangering our most important trade relationship.

Such is the powerful symbolism of Hiroshima. Such is the work of the SAM micro news website too, at least we like to think so.

Belatedly here are the details of the media event today:

Sent: Sunday, December 28, 2008 4:10 PM
Subject: [Greens-Media] Message to Rudd from 100 A-Bomb Survivors ? TakeLeadership to End Nuclear Age
Monday 29 December 2008


Message to Rudd from 100 A-Bomb Survivors - Take Leadership to End Nuclear Age

More than 100 Hibakusha - survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks - arrive in Sydney on the Peace Boat today, Monday 29 December.

Peace Boat is an ocean liner with 1,000 passengers that have travelled to 20 countries to promote the vision of a nuclear weapon free future. Australian Greens nuclear spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam joined the voyage in Auckland.

"The arrival of the Peace Boat is an opportunity for Kevin Rudd to reconsider the role of nuclear weapons in our security policy," said Senator Ludlam.

"The Hibakusha have a detailed letter they wish to deliver to the Prime Minister at Kirribili House," he said.

"The Hibakusha have high expectations of our Prime Minister because he was the first serving Western head of state to visit Hiroshima. Soon after, he initiated the joint Australia-Japan Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament to be chaired by former Foreign Ministers Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi."

"All countries - not only the 9 with weapons - have a stake and a role to play in a nuclear weapon free world," continued Senator Ludlam.

"In 22 days our ally the United States will be led by Barack Obama, the first person to put nuclear abolition on the agenda of a US Presidential race.

"As Obama reverses the Bush regime's effort to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal, Australia should signal an intention to take nuclear weapons out of our alliance. We can show the US how to remove reliance on nuclear weapons by taking them out of our security policy," Senator Ludlam continued.

Jillian Marsh of the Adnyamathnha people will be attending the Peace Boat Day events in Sydney to remind participants of where nuclear weapons begin: uranium mining. Winner of this year's Nuclear Free Future Award for her work against the Beverley Uranium Mine, Jillian is travelling from her country in South Australia to meet the Hibakusha, "I want our story to be told, the way we as Indigenous Australians experience the social and environmental impacts from uranium mining and the nuclear industry."

"These remarkable survivors truly understand the devastation of these hideous weapons. Their message must be heard," Senator Ludlam concluded.

** Press conference 11 am, Terminal, Wharf 8, Darling Harbour - free parking available

** Public Meeting 2.30 - 5pm, Mori Gallery 168 Day Street, Sydney

For more information: Felicity Hill 0417 174 302



* 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 - which is a sloppy mis-spelling of the alleged image owner's website we used - being www.japaneselifestyle.com.au. It's quite a mystery:

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 10:47 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 29 December 2008 8:50 PM EADT
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Nuke weapons road block to a one state solution for Palestine/Israel?
Mood:  sad
Topic: peace

 Image:Mordechai Vanunu.jpg

It's not our struggle (or maybe it is ecology wise?), but self described 'righteous gentile' here has noticed an inconvenient truth from our 6 years doing hack for crusty anti nuclear group Friends of the Earth Sydney 1995-2001.

That's a group that had (in)direct contact with Mordechai Vanunu via their eccentric anti nukes campaigner John Hallam who was also a friend and supporter of Reverend Ray Richmond of Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross (and notice Jewish local Norman Lee father of Ben Lee in the link there donating to Wayside). Mordechai spent time in the backpacker/tourism/entertainment/foodie/red light district when he visited Sydney briefly:

The Sydney connection

While working at the nuclear plant, Mordechai Vanunu became troubled by the implications of his work.  Despite signing security agreements, he took photos of the Dimona plant. He took these with him on his travels.

Visiting Sydney in mid-1986, Mordechai Vanunu joined a discussion group at St John's Anglican Church, DarlinghurstWhile in Sydney he made two momentous decisions.  One was to become a Christian (a major step for someone from an Orthodox Jewish family). The second was to make his photographs public in order to warn the world about Israel's nuclear capacity and the spread of nuclear weapons.

There has been a corner of every ngo heart for the anti nuke/peace activist whistleblower ever since. God/Yaweh bless him.

So anyway .... we greatly sympathisise with the view Israel has become a covert aparthied state, increasingly in the South African pariah sense, with haughty assertions it has earned the right to be so. This is morally wrong as most thinking people understand and a festering sore on the body geo politik.

It tempts fate both in terms of demographic frictions within and close to their own 'borders' and tests western allies like the USA with it's own racial baggage and lessons of such as ML King. It tests Australia who repudiated South Africa under the ultra right, Nazi sympathising SA Govt (how ironic is that, refer Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom) up 1990.

This all suggests a one state solution over time with commonsense and mediation over time and good faith on both sides. Except for one thing. And it's quite probably a game breaker on the one state solution which should worry the whole wide world.

Because it involves an irresistable force of growing Arabic population demographic to immovable object of 100-200 nuclear arsenal that Israel wisely keeps highly discreet (referenced below). And everyone knows how humans have trouble with these situations ending in war, only it could be a war to finish all of us.  

Who really believes short of disarmament treaties with Iran etc and iron clad confidence of USA backers, and a reconstructed Israel polity itself, let alone Hezbollah, Hamas etc, an ethnically diverse country and govt will be trusted with that nuke weaponry? And even those pre conditions won't be enough probably.

It's a big ask. Not inconceivable but just about. This is why we tend to conclude there will always be a two state agenda preserving 'Israel' as we know it for as long as there is always a planet to locate same. And it's with a heavy heart too given the aparthied implications and intractable grievance.

One thing is for sure, not recognising this impasse and not talking about it won't do either. There might be people smarter than we, an Einstien of diplomacy, and not just nuclear physics, out there to help?

We were put in mind of this dismal impasse recently resolving this clumsy censorship (?) or perhaps misunderstanding at centre left New Matilda, keeping similar view off this string. We can be grateful for the line of inquiry, 2nd story here on SAM albeit grim: We came across this referencing to the profound Federation of American Scientists (below) which corroborates exactly this analysis of covert nuke weaponry of USS 'Aircraft Carrier Israel' :

       Excerpt from 160-page secret DIA report, first disclosed and reproduced in Rowan Scarborough, Rumsfeld's War (Regnery, 2004), pp. 194-223.

Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 4:11 PM
Subject: still waiting .... Israel nuke arsenal, Federation of American Scientists

"Israel could potentially have produced a few dozen nuclear warheads in the period 1970-1980, and is thought to have produced sufficient fissile material to build 100 to 200 warheads by the mid-1990s. In 1986 descriptions and photographs of Israeli nuclear warheads were published in the London Sunday Times of a purported underground bomb factory at the Dimona nuclear reactor. The photographs were taken by Mordechai Vanunu, a dismissed Israeli nuclear technician. His information led some experts to conclude that Israel had a stockpile of 100 to 200 nuclear devices at that time.

By the late 1990s the U.S. Intelligence Community estimated that Israel possessed between 75-130 weapons, based on production estimates. The stockpile would certainly include warheads for mobile Jericho-1 and Jericho-2 missiles, as well as bombs for Israeli aircraft, and may include other tactical nuclear weapons of various types. Some published estimates even claimed that Israel might have as many as 400 nuclear weapons by the late 1990s. We believe these numbers are exaggerated, and that Israel's nuclear weapons inventory may include less than 100 nuclear weapons. Stockpiled plutonium could be used to build additional weapons if so decided."



"The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) was founded in 1945 by scientists who had worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the first atomic bombs. These scientists recognized that science had become central to many key public policy questions. They believed that scientists had a unique responsibility to both warn the public and policy leaders of potential dangers from scientific and technical advances and to show how good policy could increase the benefits of new scientific knowledge."

Posted by editor at 8:50 AM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 21 May 2008 2:33 PM NZT
Monday, 21 April 2008
New York Times blows big whistle on Pentagon military 'propagandists' of 2005
Mood:  down
Topic: peace
[New York Times story] 
20 April 2008

A PENTAGON CAMPAIGN Retired officers have been used to shape terrorism coverage from inside the TV and radio networks.


Posted by editor at 7:19 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 21 April 2008 9:40 PM NZT
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Syriana man Bob Baer's prescient comments on W Bush v Iran
Mood:  special
Topic: peace

Two big stories (below) running in the international press this last 6 weeks call up an old article about the original Syriana man we came across trawling a dusty pile of press (copy extracted below, with cute letter in The Australian). It appears W Bush can't rationally convince of a case to attack Iran over WMD after the December intel report and he now is moving to a more business minded model of selling weaponry into a proxy army:

U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work - New York Times 3 Dec 2007

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Bush says committed to [US$20B] Saudi arms deal | Reuters 14 Jan 2008



Posted by editor at 9:26 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008 11:58 AM EADT
Thursday, 10 January 2008
Two F18 hornets crash in Gulf, cost $100M. Meanwhile POTUS* alleges menacing Iranian speedboats, cost zero?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: peace

* From the first episode of the West Wing tv series jargon = President Of The United States. 

The 3 days trip through the Middle East by President GW Bush is underway.  Is that irony I detect in the "Iran cannot be trusted" intro in the Sydney Morning Herald today as regards W Bush's own track record?

Iran a threat to world peace: Bush

6:22am |
US President George Bush says he sees a historic opportunity for Middle East peace as he begins a tour of the region, but warns that archfoe Iran cannot be trusted.

There seem to be some Big Media PR gambits under way too, defined in the broader sense, if you include the Pentagon as 'the world's biggest media organisation' to borrow the words of Lee Rhiannon MP.

A curious coincidence of story timing is being run through the general media regarding this 'non story':

U.S. F-18 fighter jets crash in Persian Gulf - CNN.com

FA-18 Hornet breaking sound barrier (7 July 1999).jpg

The value of these things is about US$37M each in 2003 (sold to the Spanish) as per the wikipedia entry on the 'units' and it surely is very embarrassing on the eve of GW Bush grandstanding trip regarding competence and prestige as leader of the free world.

This happened 'last Monday night' (according to CNN presumably Persian Gulf/Washington time?)..

Just prior to this the other story that came through was some kind of incident involving Iranian speedboats allegedly buzzing 3 US navy warships/frigates. But the cranking up of the speedboat story only really happened this week AFTER the F18 crash.

Image:Persian Gulf map.png

We wrote about the speedboat story on our own micro news website

 Tuesday, 8 January 2008 Pentagon-Bush Republican regime playing Iranian politics in New Hampshire?
Mood:  incredulous

which curiously crashed off the cyberspace, first time ever after a year. Maybe the host service is doing some upgrades. One wonders. It's a US host server.  We got the highest number of hits for a story ever in a day (about 800) - drawing some threads together about

1. warnings of Robert Macnamarra in Fog of War about getting your facts wrong like the infamous Tonkin affair in the Vietnam War in 1964;


 Picture via wikipedia "Chart showing the US Navy's interpretation of the events of the first part of the Gulf of Tonkin incident." Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, the 1964 resolution of the US Congress that precipitated the buildup of US forces in Vietnam

2. potential interference in politics of New Hamshire primaries literally to vote later that day, when combined with documented Oct 2007 record of dispute between Obama and Clinton on how tough to be with Iran.

We worried this timing evidenced a very good opportunity for the Republicans to sew dissension in the Democrats and ramp up their pro Iran war rhetoric as GW Bush is promoting today, as per abc AM this morning: 

 US fabricated warship harassment footage, Iran says ABC AM 10th Jan 2008

Who ever is telling the truth, USA or Iran, this is fertile area of PR posturing because there is a whirlpool of lost credibility in all things Middle East it seems 9th Jan 2008:

Growing doubt over Bush's Middle East peace bid

We notice the AM story today virtually echoes our speculative story yesterday this time with the Iran government calling the accusations of their speedboats buzzing the US ships as "clumsy fabrication" to create tension in the region on POTUS W Bush's visit. This claim of fabrication has resonance given the W Bush massive credibility gap on non existent WMD in Iraq.

And for instance the infamous Mission Accomplished PR stunt on the deck of an aircraft carrier regarding the invasion of Iraq:

CNN.com - White House pressed on 'mission accomplished' sign - Oct ...

Did the speedboat thing really happen, scrambling the White House situation room like a scene from episode 22 series 1 of the West Wing tv show (broadcast 1999-2000, US pilot down in Iraq policing the no fly zone):

If it did happen is it a beat up anyway, of no great danger or intrigue?

Are the two stories above connnected re loss of expensive military hardware/loss of face versus alleged speedboat menaces? Is the temporary crash of our news website? Or all just random?

Is the western media showing selective lack of interest about the 'trivial' loss of $100M of military hardware, while treating as gospel the menacing speedboats the Iranians deny outright? Is it a Republican PR gambit on different levels? They do have form.

By the way big human error accidents like those pilots tend to happen when people are under extraordinary and confusing pressure. Is that the legacy of this W Bush presidency in the military services? Dysfunction?


Postscript #1

Crikey.com.au today 10 Jan 08 cross reference this post about a horrific mistake involving a naval US missile from within Iran territorial waters. The link is to a body called the "Iran Chamber Society" with an article dated 2004:

On July 3, 1988, USS Vinceness shot down Iran Air Flight 655 (IR655) killing 290 innocent civilian from six nations including 66 children.


A decidedly more hawkish, defensive blog is also referenced with the view its all about Iranian politik seeking domination of their region. This comes across pretty lame considering the USA's own famous empire building particularly in Iran back to the 1950ies with cynical overthrow of the Mossadeq government. 

Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq
Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq

Posted by editor at 1:49 PM EADT
Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008 10:20 AM EADT

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