IS and the Yezidi

So what is going on for the Yezidi in Sinjar? Why did this massive ‘problem’ fall off the radar after US decision to bomb IS in Iraq and Syria? What do the 200 girls taken by Boko Haram have that the Yezidi don’t in order to make their situation stay on a public radar? Does  our  media  only care about Christians and Jews?

I subscribe to Syria Comment and received this post yesterday. It is a fascinating 26 minute youtube video of an interview with Mathew Barber where Joshua Landis probes the circumstances in Sinjar for the Yezidi with IS fighters and discusses the situation in Mosul for Christians confronted by IS. The nonsensical framed hierarchy of religious fundamentalism is discussed with a focus on the simplistic term of being “of the book”.

Take some time with this its worth it. All you people with free downloads and unlimited spare a thought for those of us who pay exorbitant rates for bytes and think yourself privileged! For others get to a free wi-fi spot now.

 

Brief Post Script: On worthy blogging, ‘pain blindness’, bloody Tony Abbott and his Nazi friends

I have had some time away from my blog to consider where it is going and where it is taking me. Someone said they other day if my blog was about Arabs or Israeli’s they were ‘over that shit’ and we should just ‘nuke them all’ because things would ‘always be fucked over there.

I defended my postings saying the problem I was confronting was this sense that people who were comfortable didn’t care about most things happening outside their own lives until it directly effected them.

They recognised this was the case but maintained their position on ‘nuke em!’.

I then pointed out that mainstream information was pap and lies designed to deceive and maintain that ‘dumbed down’ zone.

They agreed and said they were sick of hearing about IS. They asked if I was writing about Putin.  I told them I had some posts on the Ukraine situation, and said my work was not solely on the Middle East. ( I must remember to put something on Abbot’s disgusting ‘matey’ bullshit with Poroshenko yesterday but maybe it’s enough to give you a link to read Stephen Lendman’s article on Global Research Dec 7th in new window, here. )

I told them I also had some music, I had posted political cartoons that might not be seen oversees and some posts relating to issues for Aboriginals and that I was not solely writing about the Middle East.

I was basically told I was wasting my time because most people didn’t want to read this stuff, especially if it was too long.

Point taken, and stored for further reflection. Like many bloggers I am not writing for ‘followers’ I am writing because I have an interest in  questioning dominant discourse – especially bleedingly obvious lies and propaganda. But the black holes are equally intriguing if not more so.

‘Compassion fatigue’ was a term used to describe the withdrawal of people particularly in the ‘helping professions’ from the pain of others tragic tales. I think that was a very generous term when it was globally used to define populations.

The term I prefer to use is ‘Pain Blind’.

I would still like to catch some ‘pain blind’ readers if I can to provide them with something to think about.

I have also made some blogging decisions;

  • Only re-blog if;

a) Its interesting and not something readily available.

b) Put some of yourself into the repost, why you like it what it says to you etc.

  • Hone your writing skills.
  • Master categories and tags.
  • Chose your battles, write soundly.

 

Israeli Naval attacks on Palestinian Fisherman

Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coastline. Israel has an imposed 6 nautical mile limit to the distance they can fish from the shore. Image by MEMO Photographer Mohammed Asad.

Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coastline. Israel has an imposed 6 nautical mile limit from the Gaza shore on the distance they can fish . Image by MEMO Photographer Mohammed Asad.

This is a daily harassment of people’s rights to harvest food and has a direct link to the monetary gain for Israel in the gas fields off the Gaza shore.
Ask yourself, what does this have to do with Israeli security?
What right does Israel have to impose a 6 nautical mile sea limit?
 Sedwith, 10.12.2014
A direct report below from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights…….

Israeli Naval Forces Escalate Attacks against Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza Sea; 12 Fishermen Arrested, 5 Fishing Boats Confiscated and Fishing Equipment Damaged.

Report

from Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Published on 07 Dec 2014

 

Israeli gunboats stationed in the Gaza Sea chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the limit allowed for fishing and opened fire at them. They arrested 12 fishermen, confiscated 5 boats off al-Waha shore in Beit Lahia town in the Northern Gaza Strip and damaged fishing equipment. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the continued Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip and is concerned over the continued targeting of fishermen and their livelihoods.

Economic and social rights of fishermen have been violated by the illegal naval blockade imposed by Israeli authorities on the Gaza Sea.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 18:30 on Saturday, 06 December 2014, Israeli gunboats stationed off northwest of al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia town in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2-3 miles and then surrounded 5 fishing boats boarded by 12 Palestinian fishermen. Israeli forces arrested all fishermen and took them to an unknown destination. They also confiscated the five boats and fishing nets. The fishermen, who are so far under arrest, were identified as:

· Safwat ‘Abdel Malek Hasan al-Sultan (30) and Sa’ed Ziyad Mahmoud Zayed (32); both from al-Salatin neighborhood, who were on a boat belonging to Fahmi Mahmoud Mohammed Zayed. Israeli forces confiscated their boat and fishing nets.

· Mahmoud Mohammed Mohammed Zayed (29) and his brother Ahmed (30), from al-Salatin neighborhood, who were both on a boat belonging to their father. The boat was confiscated and fishing nets were cut and confiscated.

· Mohammed Amin Rushdi Abu Wardeh (22) and his brother Yousif (19); from al-Salatin neighborhood, who were both on the board of a boat belonging to their father. The boat was confiscated and fishing nets were cut and confiscated.

· Belal Abu ‘Odah (23), Mahmoud Naser Mahfouz (23), Sofian Mahfouz (25), Yaser ‘Othman Meqdad (26), his brother Adham (27), and Bahaa’ al-Deen al-Najjar (22); all of them from al-Shati’ refugee camo, west of Gaza City. They were on the board of two boats that were confiscated with fishing nets.

PCHR condemns the continued Israeli attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip, and:

  1. Calls for immediately stopping the policy of chasing and arresting Palestinian fishermen, and allowing them to sail and fish freely;
  2. Calls upon Israeli forces to release the detained fishermen and compensate them for the material damage that might have incurred to them; and
  3. Calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to immediately intervene to stop the Israeli violations against the Palestinian fishermen and allow them to sail and fish freely in the Gaza Sea.

In latest peace plans for Syria, Assad can stay -Al Monitor

Vitaly Naumkin recently wrote this interesting post for Al Monitor-

Posted December 1, 2014 (Translator Franco Galdini)

I was unable to do a direct share so have copied it below. The article shows some real opportunity through some sensible negotiations to get past the US Mantra “Assad must go!”

UN special envoy De Mistura speaks with Assad BBC photo

UN special envoy De Mistura speaks with Assad BBC photo

The UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura appears  to have made some progress, considering a ‘freeze’ where everyone gets to keep their weapons and currently held territory, the Saudi’s are said to have rethought the ‘Assad gone’ precondition,  the Russian Foreign Minister Segey Lavrov has a proposal for talks in Russia.  The plans actually looks like they’re going somewhere……has anyone checked with IS?

Just two questions:

…..Is this what a freeze looks like?

My apologies to the political cartoonist but I do not have the source for this photo. Enough to say whoever did it is brilliant.

My apologies to the political cartoonist but I do not have the source for this photo. Enough to say whoever did it is brilliant.

…..when do the 3 million refugees get to go back home to safety?

Syrian Refugees at Turkish Border

Syrian Refugees at Turkish Border

Article from Al Monitor below in full. (Or visit the site direct: here )

IN LATEST PEACE PLANS FOR SYRIA, ASSAD CAN STAY

A significant number of global and regional players have been forced to reconsider their strategies in Syria with the bloody civil war having morphed into a clash in which the main belligerents are now the most radical jihadists, represented by the Islamic State (IS) and Jabhat al-Nusra, and government forces.

Writing Nov. 14 in Foreign Policy, James Traub quotes David Harland, executive director of the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre), which operates inside Syria, and his collaborator, Nir Rosen, as saying that “rebel commanders have come to accept that Assad’s departure cannot be a precondition for talks.” Rosen also suggested that the “rebels’ foreign backers, including the Saudis, have begun to reach the same conclusion.” On the basis of his discussion with his interlocutors, Traub contends that President Bashar al-Assad will “not be going any time soon, if at all.”

The heart of the matter is that retaining Assad and his regime is seen as a way to save the Syrian state itself, which could otherwise turn into a new Somalia. Harland succinctly summed up this argument: “Better to have a regime and a state than not have a state.”

The strategic shifts that have taken place in the Syrian theater of military operations, along with the apparent failure of various plans to settle the conflict, have given rise in recent months to some new initiatives by international players that have made a stir in the media. These include the Russian plan for an intra-Syrian meeting in Moscow; the plan by Staffan de Mistura, the UN secretary-general’s special envoy to Syria, for “freezing” hostilities starting in one area; and the plan of local cease-fires developed by the HD Centre under Harland’s leadership. Are the three plans in opposition to each other or can they be complementary? Which one has the best chance of being implemented? Will they lead to the resumption of the peace process that ended with Geneva II?

Moscow’s policy on the Syrian conflict initially stemmed from the need to reconcile the fighting parties. While putting forward its own ideas, Russia only rejected other peacemaking proposals if they began with the mantra “Assad must go.” Although the details of Moscow’s new initiative have yet to be made public, its main elements can be inferred from statements by officials and diplomatic contacts.

At an Aug. 20 news conference, Abbas Habib, coordinator for the Council of Syrian Tribes, had talked about a proposal by Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian deputy foreign minister and the president’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, “to convene a preliminary conference, a consultative meeting in Russia, after which the intra-Syrian conference would move to Damascus, where the tribal sheikhs would also participate.” The sheikhs agreed to this. At the time, Habib stated that the “preliminary meeting could take place in Moscow, and then in Syria in an enlarged format.”

The idea was later further developed. The Russian Foreign Ministry’s official website noted Nov. 20 that Bogdanov had received Qadri Jamil, leader of the Syrian opposition’s Popular Front for Change and Liberation. “An exchange of views [took place] concerning the Russian idea to conduct a consultative meeting of representatives of the Syrian opposition in Moscow, to promote the launch of an inclusive intra-Syrian negotiation process on the basis of the Geneva communiqué of June 30, 2012.”

Shortly before that, on Nov. 7, it became known that the former leader of the Syrian political opposition, Moaz al-Khatib, was scheduled to arrive in Moscow. According to Bogdanov, in Khatib’s talks with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, “the possibility of resuming intra-Syrian negotiations” was broached. “There was a very constructive discussion about the need to move from the Syrian conflict to a political process,” Bogdanov continued, adding “in this regard, they talked about the necessity to reopen intra-Syrian dialogue with the assistance of external players — such as Russia and the US, as well as the main regional countries — Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt.”

It was significant that Khatib supported highlighting two tasks, namely, the fight against IS and reconciliation of the conflicting parties (that is, the government and the opposition). It is important that the Russian Foreign Ministry does not consider the plan for a “Moscow I” meeting to be an alternative to the Geneva process, but a bridge in preparation for Geneva III. This is why the negotiations for Moscow I are expected to be conducted on the basis of the Geneva Protocol.

Russian analysts have concluded that those representatives of the Syrian opposition who have agreed to meet will come to Moscow and compare positions, and then a meeting between them and a delegation from Damascus will take place. It was thus predictable that in talks with Lavrov in Sochi Nov. 26, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem would announce Damascus’ agreement to the Russian plan.

It is noteworthy that Lavrov and Moallem were unanimous in the view that there is no military solution to the Syria conflict. Yet, Lavrov also stated, “There won’t be another Geneva II.” He elaborated further, stating, “If you think that a conference will be announced similar to the one that was held in … January this year with the participation of 50-odd states, thousands of journalists, bright lights, there won’t be such a conference.”

Even as it promotes its plan for Moscow I, Russia continues to support de Mistura’s proposal to freeze the conflict, which is also backed by Syria, according to Moallem’s declarations. Assad had earlier declared that the de Mistura plan was “worth exploring.”

De Mistura has outlined three main points: “One is the need to focus on the real threat of terrorism as defined by the resolutions of the Security Council. Second is to reduce violence … Three, through the reduction of violence, try to reach as many people as possible in Syria and outside Syria who have been suffering due to this ongoing conflict; and through that, hopefully facilitate it and use that as a building block in the direction of a political solution.”

The city of Aleppo was designated as the first site where the freeze would be enforced, because it is, in de Mistura’s words, “a symbol of culture, of multi-culture and of religious and historical heritage in Syria.” It seems, however, that of no less importance in the selection of Aleppo is that there are no radical jihadist groups there. In accordance with the plan of the UN special envoy, all units based in the city — the government’s and the opposition’s — not only would retain control over the territory they hold, but they would also get to keep their weapons.

This is one of the main differences between the de Mistura plan and the local cease-fires implemented in the past, such as, for instance, the one in Homs in February that some opposition forces interpreted as a surrender of their positions to the regime. Herein lie some of the contradictions between the freeze plan and the Harland cease-fire plan. It is certainly no accident that de Mistura has stressed that the “concept of a ‘freeze’ [is] different from previous cease-fires,” as it provides “a new way for approaching the de-escalation of violence.”

As for the Harland plan, David Ignatius commented Nov. 4 in The Washington Post on the leak of a document setting forth a proposal to enter into a series of local cease-fires. Here, too, it was assumed that they would later lead to a process of political reconciliation. Some experts believe that there was no leak and that the authors probably gave the document to the media to draw attention to it. The plot thickens, as after that Harland gave Traub, writing for Foreign Policy, a detailed account of the project. As the document itself remains undisclosed, Traub does not cite it, but explains the main points. According to him, the plan is supported by the Syrian authorities and could, in the long term, lead to “an end to the war, a comprehensive reform of the constitution, and internationally-supervised elections.”

Hegel argued that “history is cunning, [and] that human actions do not have the consequences that those who perform them intend.”​ It is to be hoped that the German philosopher’s sarcastic observation will not apply to the fate of the plans designed to save the troubled Syrian state.

 

“Home grown” Islamophobes

This is one really disgusting case of anti- Islam far right propaganda that is ill informed and bundles every Muslim into an IS basket. This guy needs to be stopped. I’ve put his photo on the far right of my page because that’s exactly where he sits.

Mike Holt- Patriot and CEO of RestoreAustralia

Mike Holt- Patriot
and CEO of RestoreAustralia

I first heard about this when a ‘campaign’ to prevent the labelling of food with the certified “Halal” logo was successful in having the logo removed from the companies product. Apparently they had received ” so many tweets and e-mails” asking them to do this they weighed up their potential financial losses through

a) failing to secure an Emirate Airline inflight food contract

b) Loss of sales via a ‘home based’ product boycott,

They company the small South Australian based ‘Fleurieu Milk and Yoghurt’ company  bowed to pressure. The campaign has resulted in a “number of businesses” speaking out about on-line abuse over halal products and threats have been investigated by police related to the Byron Bay Cookie Co. over its halal certified biscuits. See full Smart company article here in new window

I have cut down my blogposts recently in order to complete a selection of stories I have been writing but cannot put this one off! My initial information came through a small business support site email, SmartCompany.com,au

A writer from the site, Kirsten Robb,  provided a further posting today from SmartCompany saving me some trouble researching this further. The person who told Ms Robb his group  is “indirectly responsible for the recent spate of social media campaigns against ant halal certified Australian companies” is CEO of “the Queensland-based anti Islam lobby group- Restore Australia”.

Without finishing her article I did a quick search, Mike Holt CEO Restore Australia: and found this………………….

Before you click I advise turning your volume down as you will leap from your seat from the sound of bad taste country renditions sung by Mr Holt blaring from your speakers! He’s “been travelling and wandering, searching all these years and (he’s) only just figured out why you cried them tears…..”

http://www.restoreaustralia.org.au/about-mike-holt/ 

Some clicked links on the site and I discovered another site called http://islam4infidels.com Restore Australia is “the public face” of the Foundation for National Renewal, a not-for-profit registered organization with about 100 members. Lets hope it stays that way.  I also discovered more fear mongering anti Islamic propaganda like the Team Australia v Team Terror comparison, “Proof” that Halal registration funds Muslims “The money generated by this fee (tax, for that is what it really is)….is helping fund the terrorism islam is waging against our civilization”. Mosque busting, a new draft constitution download here and…… why do I waste my time?

On the anti halal certification front

..we need to understand that halal certification has become a many tentacled octopus, reaching into virtually every area of our lives. Farmers are being forced to pay a halal certification fee for the grass the animals eat. Then a fee for the animals to be transported in halal certified vehicles. In many cases, even the drivers must be muslims now, as they are the only ones who are trusted by muslims to maintain the halal conditions. Slaughter houses pay. Packaging companies pay. Food processors pay. And finally, WE pay……

They then link you to this site for ‘Proof’ http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/joe-kaufman/can-buying-food-contribute-to-terrorism/  Thanks Mr Kaufman for your helpful US Zionist propaganda insights and glad you were beaten at the recent US midterm election in Florida.

By the way Holt was also a One Nation Qld candidate only has 107 likes at last count, admitted that’s more than I have for this blog but I’m not running a religiously intolerant campaign that spuriously changed a Small food companies marketing strategy.

He provides an Halal Certification Presentation…..Mosque busting support and if you want to leave Islam without fear of recrimination his arms are wide open….Perhaps you could get him to come along and talk at your next Barbie!

 

Among his achievements, Palestine- the unmentioned Gough Whitlam stance.

Today the visionary Gough Whitlam, PM of Australia 1972-1975, died at the age of 98.

Much will be written about his legacy as the greatest Statesman Australia ever had on the world stage.

His government’s achievements in sweeping social change and reform through implementation of government policy is unsurpassed in Australia. He changed the way Australia though about itself………

  • Abolished conscription
  • Vietnam troop withdrawal
  • Reduced voting age from 21 to 18
  • Introduced equal pay for women and other policies to support womens rights (see here)
  • Engaged with China as first Western leader (in opposition)to do so.
  • Recognised China
  • Free tertiary education (thanks Gough!)
  • Universal health insurance (Medicare)
  • Universal Childcare reform
  • Death penalty abolished
  • Anti-discrimination laws introduced
  • ‘No fault’ divorce
  • Aboriginal land rights recognised for the first time.

All this and more in such a short time………..

The one black mark that remains about the Whitlam government was their complicit silence on Indonesia’s take over of  Timor Leste in 1975. Despite this Gough has a legacy of significant social reform in this country.

One area that will get no press mention and where Gough held a position completely contrary to PM’s (Liberal or Labour) before him or since, is his stance on Israel/Palestine. Something highly significant  that has not been mentioned in any of the long lists of sustained achievements by the great man of Australian politics.

Perhaps it is best left to the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs to enlighten us on his position on Israel with a section of the article from 2007 by Dr. Colin Rubenstein, (Nov. 14th 2007) “A Distant Affinity: The History of Australian-Israeli Relations” (full article here)

…..It is generally agreed that, despite a solidly pro-Israeli record up until that point, the election of an ALP government under Gough Whitlam (December 1972-November. 1975) marked a sharp departure in Australian policy toward Israel and Arab-Israeli issues. The Middle East was not a matter of controversy during the campaign and did not feature in the platform of either major party. Whitlam, speaking to Jewish gatherings during the lead-up to the campaign, emphasized his fraternal ties with the ruling Israeli Labor Party and friendship with leaders such as Golda Meir and Yigal Allon, and received a majority of Jewish support.[52]

In office, however, the Whitlam government moved farther from the United States and closer in its foreign policy to the nonaligned movement, where condemnation of Israel was the norm. Although Whitlam described this policy as “even-handedness and neutrality,” such neutrality was a far cry from the sort also proclaimed by his conservative predecessors.

The effects of this new policy became most apparent during the 1973 Yom Kippur  War when Australia failed to condemn either the Egyptian and Syrian attacks that launched it or the Soviet airlift of arms supplies to the Arab combatants. However, once the United States began to airlift arms and supplies to Israel, the Australian UN representative, on instructions from Canberra, condemned both airlifts with a particular emphasis on America’s. Even before this, there had been repeated one-sided condemnations by Australia in the United Nations of all Israeli reprisals for terrorist and cross-border attacks, but silence about anti-Israeli aggressions.

In a meeting with predominantly ALP-affiliated Jews called to clear the air, Whitlam apparently became angered by hostile questioning. He equated Israeli responses with terrorism, said an Israeli reprisal raid on a PLO base in Lebanon had been “not only a mistake, but a crime,” and cited the growing Australian Arab community becoming “more articulate” as a reason to change Australian policy. Most controversially, he referred to those present as “You people”; asked about the failure to condemn the Arab attacks that had launched the war, he responded: “You people should realise that there is a large Christian Arab community in this country.”

Under Whitlam, Australia also voted for a resolution equating Zionism with racism at a UN women’s conference in Mexico, though it voted against the equivalent resolution in the UN General Assembly. Whitlam later approved the establishment of a PLO liaison office in Canberra and became embroiled in scandals involving the acceptance of Arab loans to Australia and the ALP. In the 1974 Khemlani affair, Australia sought to borrow $4 billion from dubious Arab sources, repayable as a lump sum after twenty years. Even more controversially, during the 1975 election campaign Whitlam secretly approved a scheme to obtain a substantial sum, often said to be $500,000, from the Iraqi Baath Party to help fund ALP campaign expenses. It later emerged that the man at the center of the Iraqi loans affair, ALP activist Bill Hartley, had also written to Yasser Arafat seeking PLO funds for the party. Approaches for funds also were reportedly made to Saudi Arabia.

Following his highly controversial dismissal by the governor-general and subsequent loss of an election in 1975, Whitlam continued to maintain that his stances were justified by the existence of the growing Arab community in Australia. He also criticized Australian Jewish leaders for having “blackmailed” him, and implied that Israel dominated U.S. foreign policy and that the international media was monolithically pro-Israeli”.

What the article fails to mention of course, is that the reason for seeking the money through Khemlani was because the hostile Senate continuously blocked supply to the incumbent government. Gough needed the $4 billion to ostensibly buy ‘back the farm’, to buy back our mining resources from foreign ownership. He did not succeed and his now historic “dismissal” eventuated.

The media Whitlam spoke of is the Murdoch press, a player in his rise and a key player in his demise.
RIP Gough

 

Take the Political Compass Test. Where do you stand?

A friend put me onto Bill Mitchell’s Blog. I was told, Bill is an economic genius…. Modern Monetary Theory, macroeconomic reality  …..”you’ll really like him”.

I have a distinct avoidance of economics but I know I should find out more, it’s just that anything with $ sign in front makes me go weak at the knees…… from fear!

Well, he does seem to really know his stuff and I will need to read more of it, but in small doses so I can absorb. Bill writes about other things and is a really interesting guy and for Economics buffs you probably can’t go past his site.

Direct from his ‘About’ page Bill is “a Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. He is also a professional musician and plays guitar with the Melbourne Reggae-Dub band – Pressure Drop. The band was popular around the live music scene in Melbourne in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The band reformed in late 2010.

You can find music and other things on his Home Page.

I found his link to this little ‘Political Compass Test’ and here’s my results.

Yes there I sit in the bottom left hand corner. Exactly where I chose to sit in class.

My 'Political Compass' Test Outcome 19/10/2014 Economic Left/Right -9.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -8.97

My ‘Political Compass’ Test Outcome 19/10/2014
Economic Left/Right -9.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -8.97

There’s an analysis and you’ll also be able to compare political leaders, though the field is incomplete. It’s really interesting to see Netanyahu closer to Al-Assad than either would like to think!

I will leave you to link and play.