Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blair Inc.

Behold Fiona Capp's review of Blair Inc.: The Man Behind the Mask in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald:

"Few political leaders have provoked as much controversy after leaving office as Tony Blair. Blair Inc. is a combative investigation of the way Blair has gone about 'making himself seriously rich'. The gravest allegation concerns conflicts of interest between his public role as Middle East special envoy to promote economic growth in Palestine and his private commercial interests. The authors argue that Blair's work as envoy has been compromised by his position as an adviser to the bank JP Morgan - whose clients benefited from the two major deals Blair brokered for the Palestinians - and that the Palestinians regard him as Israel's mouthpiece. Overall, Blair emerges as a secretive, self-serving hollow-man. The hostile tone, however, makes it difficult to assess or entirely trust the claims being made."

OK... so Bush's poodle emerges "as a secretive, self-serving hollow man," but the authors of Blair Inc. should have toned down the hostility.

Sure, he may have been complicit in reducing Iraq to the status of a vile, sectarian hell-hole, sending over 500,000 souls to their doom and creating millions of refugees in the process, but hey, that "hostile tone," that's going way too far, guys!

Jeeesus!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

My Problem with Amira Hass

I thought I'd tune in to Phillip Adams' Late Night Live program on 22/4/15 to hear visiting Israeli journalist Amira Hass, "the only Jewish journalist who has lived among the Palestinians, both in Gaza and now full-time in the West Bank." (Amira Hass: An Israeli journalist living in Palestine)

Adams was, of course, his usual blunt self - 'blunt', that is, in the sense that his interviewing style, particularly with Jewish Zionists, totally contradicts the program's claim to be about "razor-sharp analysis of current events [which] puts you firmly in the big picture."

But it's mainly Hass (unexpectedly I might add) that I have the bigger problem with this time around. While sound on the occupation of 1967, I found the following words more than a little problematic:

"In my lectures here in Australia, I'm speaking to you as one settler to another. This institutionalisation of colonial times I see it everywhere here in Australia. Everywhere. And I also say different things to different audiences. So for people who tell me the solution is to dissolve Israel, I say 'Why don't you dissolve Australia?' And just because you got away with most of the indigenous people... and luckily and happily Israel and Zionism did not decimate the Palestinians. So... it's an extension of London. So I see the whites here and your colonialism is still fresh and the thing is how we look at the future and not the past. We cannot undo the past, but the future has to be worked on..."

Now, to take up my razor...

What does she mean by 'dissolve Israel/dissolve Australia'? Typically Adams didn't ask her.

Was this in response to a questioner who had suggested that Israel's apartheid structure be dismantled? That Israel be de-Zionised? That it become a state of its citizens, with equal rights for all, regardless of ethno-religious affiliation, rather than continue to be reserved as the exclusive domain of those Jews who see themselves as belonging to that entity, 'the Jewish people'? That Israel's outrageous, biology-based, apartheid Law of Return be scrapped? That the indigenous people of Palestine, ethnically cleansed in 1948 and 1967, be allowed to return to their homes and land?

 Was she seriously suggesting that there are no differences between Israel and Australia? Typically, Adams didn't ask her whether she saw Australia as an apartheid state (that is, a state based, like former apartheid South Africa and today's Israel, on a raft of discriminatory legislation), and if so, which discriminatory laws made it so. Nor did he ask her whether indigenous Australians were languishing in exile in refugee camps in neighbouring countries, denied the right of return to Australia.

Why was she using the old Zionist whataboutery: You dare criticise Israel? What about Australia?

And when she said, Israel and Zionism (that is, almost 100 years of Zionist colonisation, dispossession, expulsion and occupation of Palestinians) did not decimate the Palestinians, what the hell was she on about? Typically, there was no response, razor-sharp or otherwise, from Adams.

Finally, in saying that we cannot undo the past, was she implying that Israel was set in concrete in 1948 and must forever remain a Jewish state, and that the Palestinian refugees of 1948 and 1967 must therefore remain in exile?

Friday, April 24, 2015

In the Burning Sands of the Middle East

Life can be very confusing and sooo complicated. We're lucky, then, we have Tone around to guide us through its complexities. I mean where would we be without such helpful shortcuts as these?

Climate science=crap
Australia before the White Man=nothing but bush
Australians=Israelis
The war in Syria=baddies vs baddies

What more do you need to know about those 4 issues after that?

Thankfully, Tone's come up with a newie: The Middle East=sand

"In the sands of the Middle East, Australian soldiers fought with skill and determination alongside British troops to capture Jerusalem and Damascus." (Worst of times brought out the best in Anzac troops, Tony Abbott, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22/4/15)

That being the case, the Australian War Memorial's website cannot be allowed to get away with the following any longer:

"Unlike their counterparts in France and Belgium, the Australians in the Middle East fought a mobile war in conditions completely different from the mud and stagnation of the Western Front. The light horsemen and their mounts had to survive extreme heat, harsh terrain, and water shortages." (awm.gov.au)

Hello, where's the bloody sand, AWM? You have until April 25 to fix it, OK? Better get moving!

As for Australian soldiers fighting [up-to-their-undies, or at least knee-deep, through the burning sands of Palestine ie, before Israel made the desert bloom!] alongside British troops to capture Jerusalem,  the following from Roger Ford, author of Eden to Armageddon: World War I in the Middle East (2009) my heretofore trusty guide to boots on the ground in the burning sands of Palestine in World War I, is going to have to revisit this:

"In fact, in keeping with Falkenhayn's instructions, the Turkish defences around Jerusalem were withdrawn during the early hours of 9 December [1917]. The first the British knew of this was a report from two mess cooks of the 2/20th Londons, wandering in search of water, who stumbled into the southern suburbs and upon a party led by the Mayor of Jerusalem, looking for someone to whom he could surrender his city. They declined to accept, and returned to their lines. Next the mayoral party happened upon two sergeants of the 2/19th Londons, on outpost duty, but they likewise declined the honour. Next it came upon two officers from the 60th Division's artillery, who promised to telephone the news to their headquarters but respectfully refused to take a more active part in the proceedings... Finally the mayor made contact with the commander of the 303rd Brigade, RFA, himself out on a reconnaissance mission, and managed to convince him of his bona fides. Lt.-Col. Bayley sent back for additional personnel, and was eventually joined by Brig.-Gen. Watson, the 180th Brigade's commander. Some while later Shea arrived and formally took the surrender in Allenby's name. British troops were henceforth confined to the suburbs, outside the city walls, until the commander-in-chief had made his own entrance. He did so - on foot, with no pomp and little ceremony - on 11 December." (p 359)

Not happy, Roger! Where are our Aussie diggers? And how about a bit of bloody action, mate? I want this passage Toned up, NOW, OK?

As for Australian troops fighting [again through the burning sands]... alongside British troops to capture... Damascus, I refer you to my 13/12/11 post Daley of Damascus, upon the reading of which, I'm sure you'll agree, that that uppity dune-coon George Antonius needs a thorough whipping. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jeremy Jones for UN Secretary-General

Jeremy Jones, the author of a recent Murdoch opinion piece, is described in its biographical footnote as "the director of international and community affairs, Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council; co-chairman of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism; and former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry."  (Bullies, dissemblers & slanderers: BDS movement is a magnet for prejudice, The Australian, 18/4/15)

Now I know what you're thinking. Sure, there's heaps of BS in it about BDS standing for "bullying, dissembling and slander" and being "a magnet for the malicious and a podium for prejudice," and so forth.

But before you dismiss Jeremy as just another Israel lobby grunt out to defend the indefensible, read this:

"If I thought boycotts and related strategies would contribute in any way to peace and justice in the Middle East, or that this campaign would make evildoers suffer, and prompt them to reform, I would back them. If I believed it assisted Palestinians in the process of state-building or improving their human rights position, I would not oppose this. But with decades of working towards these ideals, I am convinced it does the opposite: it reinforces the worst instincts, it rewards obstinance and it inflames tensions."

OMG!  What a surprise!

Honestly, I had no idea until I read the above that, far from being a good Zionist footsoldier, Jeremy was really a fighter for "peace and justice in the Middle East," a dedicated foe of "evildoers," and a true friend of the Palestinians!

Bugger Kevin Rudd! Jeremy Jones has my vote for next UN Secretary-General.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

America's Great White Hope

Now isn't this the BLEEDING obvious:

"A direct line can be drawn from NATO's 2011 intervention in Libya to the turmoil currently engulfing the country; a chastening thought for anyone now contemplating another to tackle the twin threats of Islamic State and mass migration. A bombing campaign helped to dislodge Muammar Gaddafi, empowering the multiple rebel forces - including radical Islamists - who then looted his massive arsenal of heavy weapons and turned the guns on each other, battling it out for their share of the nation's vast oil wealth." (Gaddafi's ouster led to splintered, failed state, Catherine Philp, The Times/The Australian, 18/4/15)

Factor in this week's mass drowning of 700 wretched-of-the-earth, fleeing the mayhem, and the takfiri throat-slitting of others, and the ghastly picture of Libya libre is complete.

So what does US presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton have to say about all this?

Nothing.

Which is probably just as well considering what she's already said:

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared a laugh with a television news reporter moments after hearing deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had been killed. 'We came, we saw, he died,' she joked when told of Qaddafi's death by an aide in between formal interviews." (Clinton on Qaddafi: 'We came, we saw, he died' Corbett B. Daly, CBS/informationclearinghouse.info, 21/10/11)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Setting the Bar Too High

"Beijing has raised the bar for fresh talks with the Dalai Lama - requiring him to defer publicly to contentious historical claims. China has published a new white paper on Tibet, which demands that if negotiations were to resume about his return after 56 years of exile, he must first make 'a public statement that Tibet has been an integral part of China since antiquity'." (Beijing sets bar too high for Lama, Rowan Callick, The Australian, 18/4/15)

Outrageous! Completely unacceptable! A demand not to be contemplated. 

But Israel's demand that the Palestinians give up on their homeland and concede that it really belongs to 'the Jewish people' - based again on some obscure, antique connection (formulated hyperbolically these days as 'Israel's right to exist' as a Jewish state) - now that's a different matter.

Unlike the Chinese demand, however, our Zionised msm pundits and scribblers invariably find Israel's demand not only eminently reasonable, but the Palestinians' acquiescence in it absolutely essential if peace is ever to come to the Holy Land.

And that's why you'll never see a headline like Tel Aviv sets bar too high for Palestinians.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

RIP Eduardo Galeano 1940-2015

The great Uruguayan journalist, historian and writer Eduardo Galeano, author of The Open Veins of Latin America and the Memory of Fire trilogy, passed away last week. Needless to say, Galeano had no trouble passing the Palestine test:

Si yo fuera palestino
If I were Palestinian (2009)

Desde 1948, los palestinos viven contenados a humillacion perpetua.
Since 1948, the Palestinians have been condemned to live in never-ending humiliation.

No pueden ni respirar sin permiso.
They can't even breathe without permission.

Han perdido su patria, sus tierras, su agua, su libertad, su todo.
They have lost their homeland, their lands, their water, their freedom, everything.

Ni siquiera tienen derecho a elegir a sus gobernantes.
Even the right to elect their own government.

Cuando votan a quien no deben votar, son castigados.
When they vote for whom they shouldn't, they are punished.

Gaza esta siendo castigada.
Gaza is being punished.

Se convertio en una ratonera sin salida, desde que Hamas gano limpiamente las elecciones en el ano 2006.
It has become a dead-end mousetrap since Hamas won the 2006 elections fairly.

Algo parecido habia occurido en 1932, cuando el Partido Comunista triunfo en las elecciones de El Salvador.
Something similar happened in 1932 when the Communist Party won the elections in El Salvador.

Banados en sangre, los salvadorenos expiaron su mala conducta y desde entonces vivieron sometidos militares.
The people atoned for their misbehavior with a bloodbath and lived under military dictatorships from then on.

La democracia es un lujo que no todos merecen.
Democracy is a luxury deserved by just a few.

Son hijos de la impotencia los cohetes caseros que los militantes de Hamas, acorralados en Gaza, disparan con chambona punteria sobre las tierras que habian sido palestinas y que la occupacion israelita usurpo.
The homemade rockets that Hamas combatants, cornered in Gaza, shoot with sloppy aim at formerly-Palestinian lands currently under Israeli rule are born out of helplessness.

Y la desesperacion, a la orilla de la locura suicida, es la madre de las bravatas que niegan el derecho a la existencia de Israel, gritos sin ninguna eficacia, mientras la muy eficaz guerra de exterminio esta negando, desde hace anos, el derecho a la existencia de Palestina.
And desperation, the kind that borders on suicidal madness, is the mother of the threats that deny Israel's right to exist with ineffective cries while a very effective genocidal war has long denied Palestine's right to exist.

Ya poca Palestina queda.
Very little is left of Palestine.

Paso a paso, Israel la esta borrando del mapa.
Step by step, Israel is wiping it off the map.

Los colonos invaden, y tras ellos los soldados van corrigiendo la frontera.
The settlers invade, followed by soldiers who retrace the borders.

Las balas sacralizan el despojo, en legitima defensa.
Bullets shot in self-defence consecrate the plundering.

No hay guerra agresiva que no diga ser guerra defensiva.
No aggression fails to claim its purposes are defensive.

Hitler invadio Polonia para evitar que Polonia invadiera Alemamania.
Hitler invaded Poland to prevent Poland from invading Germany.

Bush invadio Irak para evitar que Irak invadiera el mundo.
Bush invaded Iraq to prevent Iraq from invading the world.

En cada una de sus guerras defensivas, Israel se ha tragado otro pedazo de Palestina, y los almuerzos siguen.
With each of its defensive wars, Israel swallows another piece of Palestine, and the feast goes on.