ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

March 2011



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Will the US war criminals invade Libya?

Nothing is off the table so long as the Libyan government continues to threaten and kill Libyans.

So said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a speech on Monday. Just to make sure you hadn’t missed the point, Clinton also said that the Obama administration would continue to explore ‘all possible options for action.’

Maybe the US will invade. Maybe. There are just a few obstacles. The main one is that the Libyan freedom fighters might resist the invaders. In an article in Socialist Worker in the UK here’s how Libyan revolutionaries put it:

We are against any foreign intervention or military intervention in our internal affairs, said Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga in Libya’s second city Benghazi last Sunday. This revolution will be completed by our people with the liberation of the rest of Libyan ­territory.

Libya is not Iraq in 2003.   

Libyans are liberating themselves. They are tasting their own freedom  freedom created through their struggles and sacrifices.

While the revolution has yet to completely overthrow the Gaddafi clique, why would people who are emancipating themselves trade that in for servitude under US arms and the rule of its puppets? 

Second, the Arab people aren’t fools. They know the US state is their enemy. They know the history of their region and the unqualified support American capitalism has given to friendly dictators.

They know the process of the US rehabilitating Gaddafi was all about furthering American economic and political interests at the expense of freedom and justice for Libyans.

And therein lies a real problem for US imperialism. The Arab masses understand its role. They know. 

They know the lies, the double dealing, the  support for mass murderers, the snake oil about democracy while arming tyrants. They know.

They know there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They know the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had nothing to do with democracy, of weapons of mass destruction, of justice.

They know that Gaddafi was the West’s friend, just like Ben Ali and Mubarak were.

They know that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen,  Bahrain’s Shiekh Hamad Ben Isa, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Jordan’s King Abdullah to name a few, are America’s friends.

They know that Israel is the armed wing of US imperialism in the region, a vicious and brutal regime committing genocide against the Palestinians and war crimes against the region. They know the US supports this racist regime to the tune of $3 billion military support annually, support used to kill Palestinians and others and imprison the people of Gaza.

They may not know that over a million Iraqis have died as a consequence of the US invasion. They may not know that Obama’s drones have killed more innocents in Pakistan and Afghanistan than George Bush did in 8 years in power. They may not know that tens of thousands of women and children have died as a consequence of the US invasion of Afghanistan.

But they know the US is a brutal bloodthirsty regime whose interests are profit not people. They know that if it invades it will do so to try and stop their revolution from ‘getting out of hand’, from empowering the Libyan masses.

They know. And they will resist. They will destroy Gaddafi and US imperialism in their country.

Readers might also like to look at Libya – no to intervention; yes to revolution.



Comment from Magpie
Time March 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm

John and readers,

The result of my research on the Wisconsin conflict:

Comment from Cal
Time March 2, 2011 at 4:23 pm

John – Israel does not ‘imprison’ Gaza. They are separate entities. Both Egypt and Israel have security to prevent terrorists entering their country. There are no Israeli’s in Gaza.

Did you lock your door this morning John? Have you ever locked your home? Do you have a fence? If so, why? Are you not acting like an Israeli by ensuring possible threats do not enter your home and cause harm or damage?

Your logic is that the people of Gaza, which is a separate entity, have unfettered rights to enter another country without any security checks, health checks or passports or Visas?

Is that the Socialist Alternative policy – that every person has the right to move to any country, any home, any place, without restraint?

Comment from Cal
Time March 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm

What happened in Palestine in 1948 was a war between two ethnic/national groups about a piece of land. A typical ethnic/national fight, the like of which humanity has unfortunately witnessed innumerable times. To refer to this as genoicde creates difficulties. Was there an intent to annihilate the other group? On the Arab side, certainly yes, and anyone who reads Arabic or has access to the propaganda of the time will have to agree.

Incitement to genocide is, according to the Convention, part of the crime of genocide, as we all know. But the intent was not translated into action, because they lost the war. On the Jewish side, there were voices that advocated what we would now call ethnic cleansing, not with the intent to annihilate the Palestinian Arab population (the term Palestinians was not then in use) but with the intent to settle Jews instead of them, and thus cause grave physical and mental harm.

Benny Morris, and others, have shown that the official Jewish leadership was in two minds, and issued contradictory orders.

Part of the Arab population in what was to be come Israel were evicted; example: Ramlah/Ramle. Part fled as civilian populations do in times of war – in this case, some in the expectation to return after victory, some simply in panic and fear of the Jews who were presented, in Arab propapganda, as devils in human form, and some beacuse they were forced by Arab commanders to do so; examples – the area around Mishmar Haemek, Beersheva.

Others were asked by the Jews to stay, and refused: Tiberias, Haifa, Jaffa. Part were simply left alone, or were offered to stay, and did: Galilee, part of the Jaffa Arab population, part of the Haifa Arab population, and the same in Lod/Lydda.

In part, it depended on the local Jewish commanders: thus, to give just one minor example, a Jewish commander who hailed from South Africa gave an order to the inhabitants of E-Rameh in the Lower Galilee to get out; a command car with an officer sent by the commander of the “Front” (Brigadier Moshe Carmel), by then ensconced in Nazareth, threatened to shoot the other officer if he did not rescind the order. But another officer managed to evict, brutally, the inhabitants of another large village, Hunin, in the Upper Galilee. Does all this amount to ethnic cleansing a la Kosovo? Was there an intent to annihilate a group as such by eviction/deportation/expulsion?

Ben Gurion wanted to have as few Arabs as possible in Israel, but he never initiated a policy that would lead to that result; a majority of the military commanders opposed this. Some didn’t, and expelled Arabs . In the few cases where Arabs had the upper hand, nothing remained of the Jewish villages (Gush Etzion, Kalia).

There is a difference between conflict and genocide, John. Kashmir is a conflict, not a genocide. Sri Lanka could have become a genocide, but didn’t, it remained a bloody, horrible conflict. Chechnya is a frightful conflict, that could, and did, almost become a genocide, but caused many thousands of casualties.

In Palestine/Israel there were two massacres: Deir Yassin, with more than 100 victims (no one has exact figures), committed by a Jewish group; the medical Jewish convoy to Mount Scopus, with 46 doctors and nurses, committed by Arabs.

Neither was a genocidal act. These were massacres, though compared with Kashmir, for instance, or Zimbabwe, or the mass murder in Hama in Syria in 1982 (some 10,000 civilian dead), or Chechnya, they pale into relative insignificance – however, if we are humanists, we have to deal with every case like this, whether we talk about tens, or hundreds, or thousands; they were live people who wanted to live. But one has to keep proportions, nevertheless.

Israeli invasions of the Lebanon in 1982 and 2006 were incursions causing a large number of civilians casualties, on both sides, but mostly on the Lebanese side; you can argue until you are blue in the face, as to who was responsible, and where right and wrong are. But people were killed – a conflict. Conflicts can, and sometimes do, deteriorate into genocidal situations; genocidal situations can, and sometimes do, become conflicts. Conflicts can, sometimes, usually, mostly – be settled.

Genocides have to be prevented, stopped. There is a difference. The 1948 war was a conflict. It could have become a genocide, on either side. It didn’t.

In a conflict situation, we very rarely have a back-and-white picture. In the Arab-Israeli conflict, both sides are absolutely right, and both sides are dead wrong.

To say, as some have implied, that Israel is an illegitimate entity, means in fact that as it is illegitimate it should be somehow abolished, which of course is a genocidal statement, because it means that the 6.2 million Jews there should be either killed, or expelled (or both).

Comment from Ross
Time March 2, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I suppose it all depends upon your flavour of despot John.The despicable one one you know or the Western imperialist one, offering demockracy in the poisoned chalice of false freedom.

We know exactly what the fascists will do.They will set up a new despot of their own choosing, one just like Saddham but Saddham wised up and got out of control.

Mubarak got weak at the knees and would not back an invasion of Iran,so he had to go.

Who is next?

Comment from John
Time March 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Calling for the abolition of Israel is not a genocidal statement because it is arguing for a one state solution – where all who want to, Jew, Palestinian, Christian etc can live. it is a call for an end to Zionist apartheid regime. It is to all for a rainbow nation. It was only eh defenders of apartheid who argued that a rainbow nation would mean they would be slaughtered. it didn’t happen because it was a fantasy, a concoction designed to justify racism and apartheid. I suggest you read Ilan Pappe.

To get back to the thrust of he article – why did or does the US support dictatorship after dictatorship in the Middle east. Because They serve its interests, just as Israel does.

Comment from Ross
Time March 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Cal,”Israel does not imprison Gaza,they are separate entities.” Go for an organised tour with Ken O’Keefe.He’ll show you the daily atrocities perpetrated by Israel on the Palistinians.Walk in their shoes Cal.

Oh, I forgot. Palistinians don’t feel pain like their genetic superiors.They are different from us,perhaps even a bit sub-human.No one will notice a bit of culling for the greater good.

God’s chosen people of Zion and a lot of Christians do see themslves as being superior.The meek shall inherit poverty born out of the fascist sword of oppression.

John Pilger by the way John,sees the USA turning fascist very quickly.Another 911 and they’ll be there.

Comment from Camkwaut
Time March 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm

OK, so the borders dropped, they all live in peace? You do realise that the Koran specifically refers to Jews as despicable, pigs, apes and that Allah will relish in their destruction?

I suggest you put down the communist manifesto for 5 minutes and read another book – the Koran. That bilous, hate-filled ‘holy scripture’ that every muslim is to live their lives to. Might give you a bit of perspective.

Islam. Hating Jews since the 7th century AD.

Comment from John
Time March 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Live in harmony? Yes, just like the different people’s did after the rainbow nation of South Africa triumphed over the exclusivist and racist apartheid regime.

Ever read the bible? Maybe some of Matthew’s comments about Jews and their supposed responsibility for killing Jesus is of the same bilious hate filled ilk.
Funny then that in some Muslim countries, before 1948 and the genocide committed against the Palestinian people that was the establishment of the state of Israel, Jews lived in peace with their Muslim bothers and sisters.

But hey, live in that bizarre little world that categorises people by the writings of the 7th century or the first century if you want. The drivers for the revolutions in North Africa are the demands of people for food and freedom, justice and jobs.

The Egyptian revolution was built on the back of a few years intense industrial struggle and in the last few days of Mubarak’s regime massive strikes. in Tunisia it was the state run union movement calling workers to strike that sealed Ben Ali’s fate. I think the Communist Manifesto has more relevance today than ever before and in fact the revolutions, incomplete as they are in North Africa, show it.

If they spread and deepen, that has the potential within it to liberate Palestine and those Jewish people imprisoned in their cage of racism and apartheid.

Write a comment