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If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (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
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Will Tony Abbott condemn Western barbarism in Iraq?

 

When Tony Abbott condems the murder by the West of the 1.5 million Iraqi civilians who died as a consequence of the US led invasion in 2003, then we can ask Hizb ut-Tahrir to condemn Islamic State barbarism.

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Comments

Comment from paul walter
Time October 9, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Our chance and Buckleys.

Never let the ruth get in the way of a good story.

Comment from Kay
Time October 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

Well, we know for sure that Hizb ut-Tahrir refuses to condemn ISIS barbarism! It is this sort of TV performance that helps turn Australians against Islam, and against Australian Muslims.

As for Abbott, who knows…. I think it would be difficult to estimate the number of Iraqis killed by the US invasion, versus the number who would have continued to die and flee had Saddam Hussein continued in office. Regardless, I think it is obvious to all, including the US, that the 2003 invasion was an abject failure on all fronts, except that it removed Saddam Hussein. Hence the US’s reluctance to go back into the Middle East now.

Comment from John
Time October 10, 2014 at 7:58 am

Actually they have condemned ISIS barbarism. Google it. They just are not going to join in the Islamophobic clamour that all Muslims apologise for ISIS. Western barbarism is much worse but we see no recognition of this let alone apology from Western leaders let alone Westerners.

Comment from John
Time October 10, 2014 at 8:02 am

Ross, my technological failures know few bounds. I think I accidently removed one of your posts. Feel free to re-post if you want.

Comment from Kay
Time October 10, 2014 at 8:56 am

Well, I had a bit of a look at their web site. I can see much criticism of the West/US, but did not see any actual condemnation of ISIS barbarism. There was also a lot of ‘fairy land’ stuff about Allah providing some paradise on earth for Muslims, but no clues as to how this might be financed.

Have you a link to the article you refer to?

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Saddam Hussein had plastic surgery clones. I was well aware of this before it was reported in the media. One night I switched on the TV and the Hussein I saw was definitely NOT HIM.

I agree with some of Kay’s comments, but I think that Obama, Abbott and Cameron are all eager to join the fight in the Middle East. They have just been tiptoeing around the general public because they know most of us are against it. I have no doubt that the UN has simply ordered the western nations into the fray to bring some corporate and anti-religious agenda to fruition.

I think the more extreme Muslim leaders are also creating a situation in Australia which could lead to civil unrest. Although they make a couple of good points, their attitudes are inflammatory.

Comment from paul walter
Time October 11, 2014 at 4:38 am

Lorikeet is bit more circumspect than some. She has a healthy gut scepticism of globalisation and perhaps guesses that so much of all of what goes on there goes back to oil and geopolitics.

Kay, they would have produced workable nations decades ago if they had gained some benefit from the oil theived off them and if the West had valued establishing democracy above thievery.

Comment from Kay
Time October 11, 2014 at 6:46 am

Paul

The US is one of the world’s largest oil producers – we have just been to Alaska and seen the Alaskan oil pipeline there – producing around 40% of its own needs locally. The other main suppliers to the US are Canada (15%), Saudi Arabia (13%), Mexico & Venezuela (20%) and Africa/Nigeria (10%).

This helps explain the close relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia, but as you can see, claims that US involvement, especially in more recent decades, is all about oil, are completely without foundation.

As for the UK, it was self sufficient in oil by the 1980s, but now gets much of its crude from the Americas (4%), Africa and Norway (71% of imports). Only about 2% comes from the Middle East.

As for Europe – most of its oil comes from the North Sea, plus some from Libya, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, although Iran, the world’s 4th largest proven oil reserves, still exports to Europe.

Who is now buying Middle East oil? Mainly China. It gets around 50% of its imports from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, and Iraq, plus Angola and Russia. China is the biggest importer of Iran’s oil, plus Iran’s oil is also being bought by countries like Japan, India and South Korea. Who buys Iraq’s oil? Mainly China.

After the ‘oil crisis’ of the 1970s, most western countries introduced long-term programs to source their crude from countries outside the Middle East. So claims that the West’s interventions in the Middle East are all about oil are clearly completely out of date!

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 11, 2014 at 7:20 am

Yes, Paul, but the western nations don’t even need the oil. I have been reliably informed that we have trillions of litres of shale oil in South Australia alone. Everybody wants to use up everyone else’s resources before using their own. Likewise the USA is fairly well resourced. I’m sure I also read somewhere that there are vast amounts of LNG at the bottom of the world’s oceans.

I think capitalists are also more able to access cheap labour in certain countries, and are therefore financially exploiting the people for their own gain. The same happens in the clothing industry, for example. They won’t want to tap into Australian oil until the UN and its global union group have driven down wages and working conditions in western nations.

Capitalists will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to grab all the cash, which is also driven by the superannuation industry. The UN and various world leaders are aiding and abetting them on a continuous basis.

A good war enhances their Population Control agendas; makes money from uniforms, vehicles and munitions; while maximising income from fuel. There’s nothing like a good war in the Middle East to push up oil prices.

Like many other parts of the world, most Middle Eastern people are poor. If they were able to live with more democratic processes in place, they would not need to join extremist groups.

In my experience, most dangerous group members contain victims of sexual abuse, social misfits, offspring of drug addicts and alcoholics, and people with mental health problems, sometimes caused by exclusion and discrimination.

Comment from Kay
Time October 11, 2014 at 10:10 am

Lorikeet

“Capitalists will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to grab all the cash, which is also driven by the superannuation industry. The UN and various world leaders are aiding and abetting them on a continuous basis.”

Again with your obsession about superannuation – and the dastardly UN! I challenged you to explain how the superannuation industry is leading to the demise of the world, but so far, no explanation. As I said, if you really cared about lower income workers, you should be directing your efforts towards getting the government to treat their superannuation saving efforts more favourably – at the moment, the Coalition is removing superannuation assistance for lower income workers.

As for the UN – if I had any criticism, it is that the UN is just a well-paid talkfest that does little of any value. You seem to attribute the UN with the most remarkable powers!

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Kay, I gave you an explanation of the links between the UN and the superannuation system on another of John’s blog posts.

If you think lower income earners are being treated unfavourably by the Abbott government, why are you such a strong Coalition supporter?

Whenever the government contributes money to superannuation for low income earners, it is putting more money into the hands of the very capitalists who are already screwing them over so they can do it a bit more.

I am not the one obsessed by superannuation. I am one of the people who would like to get rid of it again over time. This would be of much more use to individual governments and people on low to average incomes.

Claims that western nations have no interest in wars over oil are uninformed. Once you more fully understand the UN’s agenda and the true nature of the superannuation model, you will see that all of the western leaders will support anything that empowers capitalists. I would suggest getting out of bed very early and listening to the messages being delivered by the UN on the ABC. Then see if there isn’t a concurrent supporting announcement being made by Tony Abbott or one of his goons within 1 or 2 days.

In case you missed it, the UN supports war in the Middle East. The IMF supports the crushing of Australian workers, low interest rates and a stunting of housing values.

Comment from Kay
Time October 12, 2014 at 8:39 am

Lorikeet

There is nothing in your post to explain your opposition to superannuation – just your ill-informed bias against superannuation, and some conspiracy theory stuff about the UN. And already in Australia, there are hundreds of thousands of self-funded retirees, in many cases from lower income earners, who have used their brains, initiative and the superannuation system to give themselves a comfortable retirement lifestyle. This is a fact! With further improvements to the superannuation rules to favour lower income workers, even more of these workers can realistically aspire to a comfortable retirement – as opposed to the barely-covering-the-essentials government funded option.

“…why are you such a strong Coalition supporter?” Clearly you have not digested my posts in the past. I am NOT a strong Coalition supporter!!!! I voted Labor all my life until I swapped to the Coalition part way through Howard’s period of government. I came to realise the benefit to ALL voters of good economic management, and all the noises made by Labor smelled of irresponsible economic management – as proved by the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd years. Now, although I disagree with much that the current Coalition is doing, it is the only group that is even trying to reduce Australia’s debt!!! And what is the point of wasting billions of dollars purely on interest payments to foreign countries? So, the Coalition is, in my humble view, the best of a very bad bunch at the moment. And yes, I am FAR less happy with Abbott/Hockey than I was with Howard/Costello, and I think Hockey’s first Budget was a disaster that attacked the poor but left the rich unscathed! But I refuse to vote for any party that is fiscally irresponsible – end of story.

“I would suggest getting out of bed very early and listening to the messages being delivered by the UN on the ABC…” I am usually up in time to see Al Jazeera and the BBC, before the ABC24 breakfast program even starts. That puts a better balance on the ABC’s consistently left wing interpretation of events and its pushing of a left wing agenda. I watched the CBC in Canada every day I was there (Canada’s version of the ABC) – a much more balanced view of world events than the ABC – they actually interview both right wing and left wing guests. How refreshing – you get to see BOTH sides of events.

“Claims that western nations have no interest in wars over oil are uninformed.” That is not what I said. All countries are interested in stable worldwide economies, such that their economic arrangements can continue to prosper. But what I clearly did show was the fact that the US no longer relies upon oil from the Middle East (except, to some extent, from its ally, Saudi Arabia), and the West in general has little need for Middle East oil. I put these actual stats against the claim often made that the US continues its interventions in the Middle East purely to protect oil supplies, including from Iraq. Clearly this is incorrect. In fact, I’m sure the West could find a replacement for ALL Middle East oil if the circumstances required it – just like they adjusted after the 1970s ‘oil crisis’.

Comment from Kay
Time October 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

John

You said earlier in relation to Hizb ut-Tahrir that: “Actually they have condemned ISIS barbarism. Google it.”

I replied that I could not find any condemnation of ISIS on its site and asked for a link to support your statement. I am once again requesting a link.

Comment from John
Time October 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

Can’t even do your own research? Oh dear…

Comment from Kay
Time October 12, 2014 at 11:28 am

John

Can’t support your own statement? Oh dear…..

Comment from John
Time October 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I think there are 2 issues here. One is the stereotyping of Muslims so that they have to apologise for all atrocities Islamic fanatics undertake, and the other is your inability to do proper research. Not my problem.

Comment from Kay
Time October 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm

No, actually it is really quite simple! You made a statement. You said:” Actually they have condemned ISIS barbarism. Google it.” I looked fairly carefully at the site and could find zero condemnation of ISIS barbarism. I was prepared to concede I may possibly have missed the reference, and requested that you to support your statement by providing a link. Your reluctance to do so, combined with all the red herrings you are now throwing around, strongly suggests that you are unable to prove that what you said was correct. It really is that simple!

Thankfully the group’s extremist views were discredited on Lateline the following night, when the former president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils pointed the flaws in their rhetoric. He also supported the dropping of bombs on ISIS targets: “As far as I’m concerned, if people are busy beheading other humans, if they’re busy trying to kill people who don’t believe in what they believe in, I think that there has to be some action”.

The tirade by the representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir on Lateline did all Australian Muslims a great disservice, and fed into whatever anti-Muslim sentiments already exist in the community. It just showed you can’t expect a sane debate with fanatics. The comments during the following Lateline program (quoted above) at least helped to reassure Australians that there are indeed moderate Muslims who see murder and atrocities for what they are – murder and atrocities. The former president also reminded viewers that the US and UN fought to defend Bosnian Muslims against the genocidal onslaughts of the Serbs.

No one expects Muslims to “apologise for all atrocities Islamic fanatics undertake,”. But we do expect all decent people, Muslims and non-Muslims, to CONDEMN ANY atrocities undertaken by anyone anywhere! It appears Hizb ut-Tahrir will not do that. It should have been easy for the group to condemn the ISIS atrocities (if their site in fact supports that view, as you say), but then go on to point out the role the US invasion played in the current instability in Iraq. But Hizb ut-Tahrir simply played right into the hands of Tony Abbott who would like to ban the organisation’s existence. Very clever! It just proved Tony Abbott had a valid point. Don’t forget, the ABC invited the group’s representative onto Lateline so as to discredit Tony Abbott’s comments, but it resulted in the opposite outcome.

Comment from Lorikeet
Time October 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Oh dear, despite all of her reading and television viewing, Kay still cannot even grasp the links between capitalists, the superannuation system and the UN.

I watch the Al Jazeera news hour. I think Kay must forget what is said by UN leaders, and then doesn’t realise that Abbott/Hockey parrot the same stuff within one day or so.

We have a AAA credit rating, but must crush the welfare system.

We are forced into a war in the Middle East, so we can waste further funds to bring down the Australian economy, while further empowering capitalists.

In the next 2 years, Australia will have the highest level of unemployment in the Asia/Pacific.

If there are people who still cannot see that the signing of various international agreements are sending Australia backwards, I give up! I am throwing in the towel!

Comment from paul walter
Time October 12, 2014 at 11:38 pm

I’d just add to Lorikeet’s comment re shale.. more attention to and investment in renewable technologies, as well as an attempt to have western countries shifted away from a life style that threatens sustainability could help.
But the fossil fuel oligarchy here and elsewhere is so powerful.

As for apologies..When I see Benjamin Netanyahu pologise to the Gazans, or Dick Cheney as to the rest, THEN I’ll look about any apology due from Hizbut Tahrir.

Comment from Kay
Time October 13, 2014 at 7:51 am

Paul

Who has asked Hizb ut-Tahrir to apologise? No one!

The issue is the condemnation of ISIS’s barbarism. That is NOT an apology. It appears most people, including most Muslims, do condemn ISIS’s barbarism – but not Hizb ut-Tahrir. Only ISIS itself can APOLOGISE for its excesses – and that is not going to happen!

Actually, this morning on the ABC, a spokesman from the Interfaith Centre of Melbourne, noted that Saudi Arabia deals with its radicals by requiring them to have an in-depth education about the teachings of the Koran – as opposed to the ignorant ravings of jihadist preachers. Apparently this is a quite successful program.