Lawyer and partner of Julian Assange, Stella Moris, briefs the International Symposium of Parliamentarians on the latest developments in his case and the impact Julian's continued incarceration is having on their family.
This is a beautiful original song, beautifully performed, with well conceived lyrics describing the importance of Assange, his suffering, and encouraging people to work to have him released.
like a movie
flickering in blue and grey
like a movie
you can’t take your eyes away
here's a man in the nose of a beast
a magic camera on his eye
they're not men he sees before him
just pixels floating by
his eyes narrow on the target
his finger is the boss
seven men go to the dust they came from
underneath his cross
like a movie
and here's a man on an aeroplane
his eyes are warm, his eyes are closed
weary from too much seeing,
from 10 years on this road
they took his son, they took his freedom
took away his space to think
they took his walls and moved them closer
they pushed him to the brink
like a movie
flickering in blue and grey
like a movie
betrayal's only one frame away
and here's a hawk, in front of an eagle
three colours tattooed on it's chest
his eyes are flint, his heart is granite
cos uncle knows what's best
there’s talk of a man who’s said too much
talk of a man who’s sealed his fate
talk of a bounty for the one who brings
his head upon a plate
like a movie
and now here's a man in a tiny cell
his tired face is gaunt and pale
he walks ten thousand steps each day
the santiago trail
his hair is white, the spider’s eyes were black
the mighty web was a thing of awe
he went in deep, he couldn’t come back
but he showed us what he saw
like a movie
flickering in blue and grey
like a movie
dignity will hold no sway
and when the dawn breaks, and the mist clears
you can watch the final scene, if you dare
one man in front of an army, all alone
and his man, what’s he going to do now?
and what about you, what are you going to do now?
are you going to sit there, and keep on watching?
cos if we all got up we could stop this movie
don't you think it's time we stopped this movie?
like a movie
flickering in blue and grey
like a movie
we can’t let it end this way
In this video, BBC journalist Orla Guerin interviews Azerbaijan President Aliyev, assuming that Azerbaijan press and politics are heavily censored, and presses him on that. He denies the accusation, then asks her why Julian Assange has been held inhumanely for years, if the British and western press are so free. The BBC journalist simply won't acknowledge the situation for journalists and the media in her own country, kind of proving the president's point.
In this video, on Friday 26 February 2021, John Shipton, Julian Assange's father, launches the Julian Assange road-show, with an interesting and moving speech on human rights, history, and current trends. The bus you can see behind Mr Shipton, will travel from Melbourne to Canberra, via Broadford, Castlemaine, Bendigo, Albury, Wogga - and other country towns, reaching Canberra within a few weeks, in time for opening of the second session of Parliament. There the road-show members will work with the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Julian Assange, to try to convince the Scott Morrison Australian government to bring Julian home.
Transcript of John Shipton's speech 26 Feb 2021
"This week, Anthony Albanese, the leader of the opposition, made a declaration that ten years is enough. Enough's enough, bring him home. He got it a bit wrong. It's eleven years going on twelve. But it's a great movement in the Australian body-politic when the leader of the opposition makes his position known.
We now have 24 strong members in the cross-party group in the Australian parliament. [Bring Julian Assange Home Parliamentary Group"] in the Australian parliament. (Parliamentary Julian Assange Group formally established)].
In the Bundestag, the parliament of Germany, we have a cross-party group. In the French parliament, we have a cross-party group. In the Spanish parliament, we have over 40 Podemas members supporting. In the UK parliament, we have a cross-party group. The Italian parliament is the first in the European parliaments - the Five Star group - to put before the Council of Europe, a declaration, which the Council of Europe adopted, that Julian was a protected journalist and should be let go.
The chair of the European Rights Council of the Council of Europe, declared that Julian was protected. Nils Melzer, as you know, the [UN Special] Rapporteur on torture, declared that Julian was a victim of torture. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared that Julian was being arbitrarily detained. Every single Western and Russian journalist association have declared Julian a member, and that he ought to be free, and that this persecution must stop.
And, just briefly, a little bit of history: After the horror of the 1945 war, where many many people lost their lives, and many countries were destroyed, the people of the world - that's us - gathered together and established the United Nations. The first president of the United Nations was an Australian - one of us!  In 1948, that president organised the Declaration of Human Rights. The Chair of that was Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1958, the Conventions of Asylum were adopted by the United Nations. In 1973, Australia brought before the General Assembly of the United Nations, the conventions of Human Rights and the conventions of Asylum, which were passed by a huge majority. Then, the Council of Europe, which is solely a human rights organisation ... forty-seven nations - I think forty-two, sorry - forty-two nations adopted into their national legislation, the human rights legislation, integrated into the national legislation.
Now, these are the great achievements of the 20th century. I wish to remind you of that. These are the epoch-making achievements of the people of the world of the 20th century. That's us. When you read the phrase, "crimes against humanity," it's not them, over there, it's us, here, our children, mothers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers, brothers, sisters. The crime against us.
When you read the phrase, "war-crime," equally, that's a crime against us. A war-crime is the murder of a village - like Mỹ Lai, in Vietnam. Five hundred people slaughtered, before the gunner of the helicopter courageously said, "If you keep shooting these people, we'll shoot you." That brought an end to the slaughter. Five hundred people. So, crimes against humanity, and war-crimes, are crimes against us.
Julian's persecution for revealing those crimes is the collapse into barbarity of those nations, those western nations, that were instrumental in putting together the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and adopting it into, and embracing it in their national legislation.
So, it benefits us, as an emblem, of this decline into barbarity, to support Julian. And the benefits then come to us. It's clear. This is our duty. Our noble task is to free Julian. And, consequently, the political bodies that rule us, that supposedly are sovereign, and supposedly obey us, will understand that they cannot pursue, any longer, the crimes against humanity, the war-crimes, and to obey the legislation which is embraced in their national legislation.
Sorry to go on a little bit. It's a heavy subject. But - if I could just ... one more thing: I've travelled the world now - last was in America. And the support for Julian - from "us" - is a winner. The tide is flowing towards "us". And lifts us up, and lifts our needs up, and our needs are that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be obeyed, and our governments stop sneaking around the place, murdering farmers in Afghanistan.
So, thank you, and God bless."
 In fact, Herbert Vere ('Doc') Evatt, was the third President of the United Nations and not the first President, However, "Australian politician ‘Doc’ Evatt was an important contributor in the early days of the UN’s existence. He helped to make sure that smaller nations like Australia had a say in the organisation, and was the President of the UN General Assembly from 1948 to 1949." See "Australia on the world stage -1945: Australia plays a leading role in founding the United Nations" | National Museum of Australia Digital Classroom. 'Doc' Evatt (1894-1965) was also Foreign Minister in the Labor Governments of John Curtin and Ben Chifley from 1941 until 1949.
In the two federal elections of 1949 and 1951, he faced Australian wartime heroine Nancy Wake, standing for the Liberal Party, and just narrowly defeated her on each occasion, the second time by only 243 votes out of 41,600 (0.6%). In 1951 'Doc' Evatt successfully campaigned against the Liberal Menzies government's referendum proposal to ban the Communist Party of Australia. 'Doc' Evatt remained Leader of the Labor Opposition from 1951 until 1960.
Called, "DiEM TV: Another Now with Yanis Varoufakis," this, one of several Varoufakis videos, focuses on how to break up Amazon dot com - but then passes on to how to break up the feudal world order. Varoufakis has unique experience of the global financial-political system, and so he does a good analysis of Amazon's engulfment of the real world and of feudal capitalism. Most interesting is his advice on how to break this behemoth down to size via Lilleputian-style exploitation of the financial system. Part of the video involves Varoufarkis reading from a novel he recently published about a global-democratic revolution after the 2008 financial collapse, Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present. You may or may not hold Varoufakis's communistic value solutions, but his methodology could also play out with many different new kinds of polities. I enjoyed this mixture of Socratic style and Swiftian analogies. You may wonder at his aiming ammunition at Amazon dot com, when his books sell there, but he says his publishers choose to market them there. This does not detract from his analysis. You may also wonder about his understanding of alternative energy resource-limits, but that also should not prevent you from learning from this analysis. Video inside article.
Long Term Effects of COVID (“Long-Haulers”)
"Can the people with COVID suffer long term effects? Including long term effects that affect the brain? Yes. These are the so-called “long-haulers.” And it is not necessarily just people with COVID who have required the intensive care unit."
"Dexamethasone, a steroid medication, specifically a glucocorticoid. Yes, it can cause anxiety, irritation, psychosis, delirium, sleep disturbance. This is why when we do give steroids, we try to avoid giving them before sleep. When assessing someone’s mental status, or psychiatric state, its important to know what they are normally like at their baseline. Are they acting differently? That’s really what you’re looking for. Steroids are prescribed very frequently, and these side effects, are not necessarily rare, its not like we give steroids and necessarily expect them to have these side effects. It's very hard to put a number on how often these side effects occur because there are so many different medications that can cause these symptoms and so many other factors that can contribute towards mental status changes. So you will never get a concrete number on how often these mental side effects occur, but if I had to put a number, I would say less than 10%, at least based on my experience of giving thousands of patients steroids.
Well, let me start out by saying there are over 30 million documented COVID cases and 1 million deaths worldwide, and over 200,000 deaths in the US. The clinical spectrum of disease can range anywhere form no symptoms to mild symptoms, to pneumonia, to ARDS and shock with multiorgan failure, and death. Because COVID is a new disease, the possible long-term health consequences, are still not well-known. So these long-term effects of COVID, we can call this postacute COVID, defined as the presence of symptoms extending beyond 3 weeks from the initial onset of symptoms. And Chronic COVID is beyond 12 weeks.
But postacute COVID syndrome is not just seen in those who had a severe illness and were hospitalized. In a telephone survey conducted by the CDC among a random sample of 292 adults (≥18 years) who had a positive outpatient COVID test and were symptomatic, 35% said they did not return to their usual state of health 2 weeks or more after testing. And this occurred in all ages of adults.
The most commonly reported symptoms after acute COVID are fatigue and dyspnea. And this is exactly what I’ve been seeing with some of my patients with COVID. This persistence of fatigue, and feeling short of breath. Other symptoms include joint pain and chest pain. In addition to these symptoms, there are cases of patients with specific organ dysfunction, primarily involving the heart, lungs, and brain. This might be a result of the viral invasion, by hijacking those ACE2 receptors in our body, but it can also be related to the intense inflammation and cytokine storm, or a combination of these.
In a study of 55 patients with COVID, at 3 months after discharge, 35 had persistent symptoms and 39 had abnormal findings on chest x-ray or CT scan, meaning interstitial thickening and evidence of fibrosis, meaning scarring. In 2 different studies that were done, they looked at patients with COVID who were discharged from the hospital. At about three months after discharge, about 25-30% of patients had at least some impairment in lung function, as evidenced by pulmonary function tests.
Heart damage, aka myocardial injury, as defined by an increased troponin level in the blood, has been described in patients with severe acute COVID. Inflammation of the heart muscle, meaning myocarditis, in addition to heart arrhythmias, has also been described after SARS-CoV-2 infection. I dedicated an entire video to this topic, so you can check that out for more details. The virus that causes COVID, SARS-CoV-2, can infiltrate brain tissue when the virus gets in the blood. It can also get to the brain by invading the olfactory nerve, which is the nerve responsible for the smell. This is why the loss of smell is a common symptom. Besides the loss of smell and loss of taste, the most common long-term neurologic symptoms after COVID are headache and dizziness. Less common, but still possible, is stroke, brain inflammation, meaning encephalitis, and seizures. In previous pandemics with SARS, MERS, and influenza, some people who recovered from those illnesses had neuropsychiatric issues that lingered for months. So were talking about cognitive health here, like depression and anxiety. And the post-COVID is known to cause “brain fog” and mood swings, this has been reported up to 2 to 3 months after initial COVID" illness. [Source: Partial transcript accompanying the video above.]
The Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) is encouraged by recent statements by the Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon. Marise Payne, following the Australia-U.S. Ministerial (AUSMIN) talks in Washington, where the Minister indicated that Australia has no intention to injure our important relationship with China but instead seeks to ‘make our own decisions, our own judgments in the Australian national interest’. [To better situate the area in question, Candobetter has included a 2014 video about the disputed islands in the South China Sea.]
- No to U.S. pressure for Australia to sail provocatively inside the 12 nautical mile territorial limits around islands in the South China Sea claimed by China
- No to U.S. military fuel and munitions build-ups in NT
- No to an increase in U.S. marine deployment to the NT***
IPAN seeks clarity as to whether the Minister’s comments mean that Australia will resist fully the recent pressure from the U.S. to join them in provocatively sailing naval vessels inside the 12 nautical mile territorial zone around Islands in the South China Sea claimed by China.
IPAN spokesperson Mr Richard Broinowski, former Ambassador, urges the Australian Government to indeed make its own decisions for the benefit of the Australian people and seeks formal confirmation that Australia will refuse to take part in such provocative actions which could lead to incidents which escalate into hostilities.
“The so-called freedom of navigation exercises being carried out by the U.S. and Australia is a furphy, as neither China nor any other countries in the region have threatened interference with the shipping lanes in the South China Sea – and blocking such trade lanes would actually disadvantage China due to its heavy reliance on them for import/export trade”, stated Mr Broinowski.
“Furthermore, taking an independent stance is in the interests of peace and our economy which is very dependent on Chinese trade”, he continued.
IPAN urges the Federal Government to develop a truly independent foreign policy which would clearly involve making ‘our own judgements in the Australian national interest’ and not simply following the political direction of a foreign country.
“Reports indicate that the AUSMIN 2020 talks may commit Australia to accepting a military build-up in the Northern Territory with fuel, munitions and spare parts dumps and possibly long range missiles being established by the U.S. military,” stated Mr Broinowski.
“These AUSMIN talks set the objective of larger deployments of U.S. marines to Darwin and increased war exercises with the Australian Defence Force (ADF). In addition, such activity is tantamount to preparation for war. A war aimed at China would be disastrous for the Australian people and the people of our region”, stated Mr Broinowski.
IPAN urges the Australian Government to pursue an independent foreign policy in the interests of peace in our region and stability for our economy already under stress from the COVID-19 health crisis. Such a policy will resist attempts by the United States to force the Australian Navy into provocative actions in the South China Sea and will reject U.S. military build-ups in the NT, whether fuel and munitions dumps or deployment of U.S. Marines to Darwin.
This video is from Dr Mike Hansen's excellent medical channel, June 16, 2020. Dr Hansen works in Emergency Medicine as a pulmonary specialist and has made a number of highly informative videos on the subject of covid 19.
Transcript for the above video, originally entitled, "Does Blood Type Matter for Coronavirus (COVID-19)?."
People have either blood type A, B, AB, or O.
Are people with blood type O less prone to suffer from COVID-19? And does blood type A make people more prone to COVID-19?
Let me first start out by saying that people of all blood types can get COVID. And people with all blood types can possibly die of COVID if they get the infection.
But, based on several different studies, it looks like people with blood type O have less a chance of getting COVID-19, and people with type A might have a higher chance of getting the infection.
Data from China was the first to show the ABO blood group association with COVID-19 infections.
The researcher Zhao and others compared ABO blood groups of controls from the general population with over 2100 COVID patients from three hospitals in Wuhan.
Across all three hospitals, blood group A was associated with a higher risk for COVID compared with non-A blood groups, whereas blood group O was associated with a significantly lower risk for infection compared with non-O blood groups.
There was another observational study on data from the New York-Presbyterian hospital system, which happens to be where I did my fellowship training. So there, over 1500 people tested for COVID, and they had similar results with blood types.
There was another study done by Andre Franke in Italy and Spain.
In this study, they looked at DNA samples from 1,980 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized for respiratory failure. And the study produced similar results.
But what about the severity of illness?
Does having blood type O, make someone less likely to have a severe illness from COVID, compared to type B, type AB, and type A?
Well, Zhao and others looked at the case fatality rate, and blood group A was linked to higher mortality risk compared to blood group O.
Interestingly, the association of blood type is not explainable by other risk factors, like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Recently, there was a study published by the personal genetics company 23andMe regarding evidence that blood type plays a role in COVID-19.
So if you don’t know, 23andMe is a company that sends out personal genetics testing kits to individuals who are interested in finding out their genetic history and or their predisposition to certain genetically transmitted diseases.
According to their website, they did a study based on over 750,000 people.
Their preliminary results suggest that O blood type appears to be slightly less susceptible to contracting the virus.
But the big question is why?
No one really knows, but there are a lot of hypotheses.
BLOOD TYPE is determined by genetics, and the genes determine the specific proteins on the surface of the cell. These proteins, then have specific sugar molecules that are added to them. They exist in our blood cells and other cell types.
People who are blood type A carry A-sugar-antigens
People who are blood type B carry B-sugar-antigens
People with O blood type have neither A nor B-sugar antigens.
What is the significance of this?
This means that the immune systems of people with type A blood develop antibodies for B antigens.
People with type B blood type have antibodies for A antigens.
People with type O blood have antibodies for both A and B antigens.
People with AB blood type will have neither anti-A nor anti-B antibodies.
And here is an interesting fact we knew before COVID.
There are studies showing that people with type O blood have lower levels of proteins that promote blood clotting.
More specifically, people with blood group O have about 25% lower levels of von Willebrand factor (VWF) than those with types A, B, or AB. This is due to increased clearance of VWF from the circulation.
VWF is always involved in the development of clots, so if there is less VWF, there’s likely to be less clotting. So this might explain why Type O blood type means fewer blood clots, and this might at least partially explain why people with Type O overall have less severe disease. Because as you probably know already, lots of people with COVID pneumonia also have blood clots. Also, we know that the SARS-CoV-2 can replicate in cells that express blood type antigens. Such as the cells that form the lining of our lungs, and the cells that form our tiny little air sacs, the alveoli. And the cells that line the inside of our mouth and nasal passageways. This means that when an infected person coughs or sneezes, there's a possibility that they release viral particles that are coated with their blood type antigens. So this is at least a theory from some scientists.
English language version link below, but now appears to be broken:
In this episode of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi speaks to ex-Australian deputy PM Barnaby Joyce about the persecution of Julian Assange. He strongly opposes his extradition to the US, saying this is a matter of Australian sovereignty, and that Julian Assange is no different to the other newspapers that published the same leaks.
Script by Mark Allen of Population, Permaculture and Planning and Michael Bayliss of Sustainable Population Australia.
In midst of an interesting and wide-ranging discussion on the Joe Rogan Experience, Democratic congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard said that if elected president she would drop all charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“What would you do about Julian Assange? What would you do about Edward Snowden?” Rogan asked in the latter part of the episode.
“As far as dropping the charges?” Gabbard asked.
“If you’re president of the world right now, what do you do?”
“Yeah, dropping the charges,” Gabbard replied.
Rogan noted that Sweden’s preliminary investigation of rape allegations has just been re-opened, saying the US government can’t stop that, and Gabbard said as president she’d drop the US charges leveled against Assange by the Trump administration.
(Article by Caitlin Johnson, republished with thanks from https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/05/14/gabbard-says-shed-drop-all-charges-against-assange-and-snowden/.)
“Yeah,” Gabbard said when asked to clarify if she was also saying that she’d give Edward Snowden a presidential pardon, adding, “And I think we’ve got to address why he did things the way that he did them. And you hear the same thing from Chelsea Manning, how there is not an actual channel for whistleblowers like them to bring forward information that exposes egregious abuses of our constitutional rights and liberties. Period. There was not a channel for that to happen in a real way, and that’s why they ended up taking the path that they did, and suffering the consequences.”
This came at the end of a lengthy discussion about WikiLeaks and the dangerous legal precedent that the Trump administration is setting for press freedoms by prosecuting Assange, as well as the revelations about NSA surveillance and what can be done to roll back those unchecked surveillance powers.
“What happened with [Assange’s] arrest and all the stuff that just went down I think poses a great threat to our freedom of the press and to our freedom of speech,” Gabbard said. “We look at what happened under the previous administration, under Obama. You know, they were trying to find ways to go after Assange and WikiLeaks, but ultimately they chose not to seek to extradite him or charge him, because they recognized what a slippery slope that begins when you have a government in a position to levy criminal charges and consequences against someone who’s publishing information or saying things that the government doesn’t want you to say, and sharing information the government doesn’t want you to share. And so the fact that the Trump administration has chosen to ignore that fact, to ignore how important it is that we uphold our freedoms, freedom of the press and freedom of speech, and go after him, it has a very chilling effect on both journalists and publishers. And you can look to those in traditional media and also those in new media, and also every one of us as Americans. It was a kind of a warning call, saying Look what happened to this guy. It could happen to you. It could happen to any one of us.”
Gabbard discussed Mike Pompeo’s arbitrary designation of WikiLeaks as a hostile non-state intelligence service, the fact that James Clapper lied to Congress about NSA surveillance as Director of National Intelligence yet suffered no consequences and remains a respected TV pundit, and the opaque and unaccountable nature of FISA warrants.
Some other noteworthy parts of Gabbard’s JRE appearance for people who don’t have time to watch the whole thing, with hyperlinks to the times in the video:
- Rogan gets Gabbard talking in depth about what Bashar al-Assad was actually like when she met him and what he said to her, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone bother to do before.
- The two discuss Eisenhower’s famous speech warning of the dangers of the military-industrial complex, and actually pause their dialogue to watch a good portion of it. Gabbard points out that in the original draft of the speech, Eisenhower had intended to call it the “congressional-military-industrial complex”.
- Good discussion on internet censorship and the dangers of allowing monopolistic Silicon Valley corporations to control public speech, then later discussing the possibility of breaking up these corporations or treating them as public utilities.
- Rogan asks Gabbard what she thinks happens to US presidents that causes them to fail to enact their campaign promises and capitulate to the will of the warmongering establishment, and what as president she’ll do to avoid the same fate. All presidential candidates should have to answer this question.
- Rogan asks Gabbard how she’ll stand against the billionaires for the American people without getting assassinated. All presidential candidates should have to answer this question as well.
I honestly think the entire American political system would be better off if the phoney debate stage format were completely abandoned and presidential candidates just talked one-on-one with Joe Rogan for two and a half hours instead. Cut through all the vapid posturing and the fake questions about nonsense nobody cares about and get them to go deep with a normal human being who smokes pot and curses and does sports commentary for cage fighting. Rogan asked Gabbard a bunch of questions that real people are interested in, in a format where she was encouraged to relax out of her standard politician’s posture and discuss significant ideas sincerely and spontaneously. It was a good discussion with an interesting political figure and I’m glad it’s already racked up hundreds of thousands of views.
Everyone has my @caityjohnstone/i-permanently-release-all-copyrights-to-all-my-writing-use-any-of-it-however-you-want-9ad929b92d42" rel="nofollow noopener">unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is @caityjohnstone/just-a-note-of-gratitude-to-readers-and-patrons-7df920b5ced" rel="nofollow noopener">entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, @caityjohnstone/who-i-am-where-i-stand-and-what-im-trying-to-do-here-4a113e783578" rel="nofollow noopener">click here.
“Face up to the fact that the Liberal, Labor and Green Parties are not going to move on this issue on anything other than the point of an electoral gun, and conduct ourselves accordingly.” We have to deal with the magic pudding myth which says the world's poor can achieve western standards of living that people living in western countries will be able to more or less maintain their standards of living, that we can maintain our current rate of population growth, and we can protect the environment. It is a lie. You've heard Al Gore talking about climate change and inconvenient truth? Well, this is a convenient lie. It enables environmental groups to duck the population issue, but it is a monstrous and deceitful lie. Researchers who've looked at this say there could be a European standard of living for everyone, with sustainable use of our natural resources, provided the earth's population was no more than two billion. Kelvin also suggests that we ask political candidates if they would support Australia sponsoring a population treaty at the United Nations that committed each country to stabilising its own population. (Speech made at SPA Brisbane Seminar 27 April 2019).
Text for speech: The Political Impasse - Where To From Here?
Speech to Sustainable Population Australia National Conference Saturday 27 April 2019.
My first response to the question “Where to from here” is that we need to seize the high moral ground. Now in the political party which I was a member of for over 40 years, there is a saying “In the race of life, always back the horse called self-interest. It doesn’t always win, but it always gives you a bloody good run for your money”.
And because population stability would serve so many Australians, particularly younger ones, better than rapid population growth, it is indeed very tempting for us to pitch our arguments in that direction. But the population debate is not fundamentally a debate about putting a few more dollars in people’s pockets. It is a debate about values. It is a debate about what kind of world we are going to live in, and what kind of world we are going to pass on to our children.
I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of commentators and social media smart alecs trying to paint anyone who raises the issue of population as racist or selfish. The opposite is the truth, and we should unashamedly claim the high moral ground.
In August it will be ten years since I first advanced in the Federal Parliament two propositions - that the world had a population problem, and that Australia has a population problem.
As that tenth anniversary approaches I have reflected on what has been achieved since then, and the short answer is, not much. There are few signs of a shift towards population stability and sustainability either globally or here in Australia, and the debate about population continues to be dominated by the greed of the political right, and the vanity of the political left.
But to get a clearer perspective on the population issue, I prefer to go back not 10 years to 2009, but 50 years to 1969. In the summer of 69 Bryan Adams was playing his guitar till his fingers bled. And I was a teenager getting interested in the environment and politics. My father and I got involved in the campaign to save the Little Desert and the Lower Glenelg River in Victoria from being cleared for agriculture.
That successful campaign saw the establishment of the Victorian Land Conservation Council. It was a time that seemed to me to mark the establishment of the modern conservation movement, not just in Victoria, but in many other parts of the world.
I had a very rosy view of the future. I thought Australia’s pioneers had made a lot of environmental mistakes, but we were learning from those mistakes, and in future we were going to properly protect our unique and beautiful birds, plants and animals.
I had a pretty rosy view about everything else, too. I thought that not only were we lifting our environmental game, but that EVERYTHING would get better.
Yes we were involved in a stupid war in Vietnam, but I thought that that the Second World War and the Holocaust committed on the Jewish people was so wicked and so evil that we had learned from that. That there was an appetite for peace. That war and conflict would become a thing of the past, and things would continue to get better and better.
So what has actually happened in the last 50 years? The world’s population has more than doubled - 3.6 billion back then, 7.7 billion now. Australia’s population has also more than doubled - from 12 and a quarter million then to 25 million now.
The effect of this on the world’s wildlife has been nothing short of catastrophic. The latest WWF Living Planet Report says that since 1970, 60% of the population of all mammals, birds, reptiles and fish has been lost. 60% in less than 50 years!
This is terrible, it is a disgrace, and it makes an absolute mockery of the idea that we’re decoupling growth from environmental damage- that we can continue to grow, and our wildlife won’t disappear. Let me repeat - in the last 50 years our numbers went up by over 50%, and the world’s wildlife went down by 60%.
Co-incidence? Hardly. As has been noted by The Overpopulation Project, the total weight of vertebrate land animals 10,000 years ago was - Humans 1%, Wild Animals 99%. Today it is the Wild Animals that are the 1%. Humans are 32%, and our livestock are 67%.
So in my view there are two aspects to claiming the high moral ground. The first is to focus on this environmental havoc and destruction. Part of this should include being involved in the climate change debate. For example, the 2018 Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report shows total net greenhouse gas emissions went up by 7% between 1990 and 2016. Transport emissions went up by 39%, due to an increase in the number of passenger vehicles by over 70,000 each and every year.
The report explicitly noted that “population growth is an important driver of emissions trends in a number of sectors and sub sectors”.
So Victoria’s rapid population growth of over 100,000 each year fatally undermines all the good work being done by Government Departments and agencies, Councils, business, community groups, families and individuals to reduce our greenhouse emissions. It is indeed pretty hard to reduce your carbon footprint when you keep adding more feet.
We need to cultivate a knowledge and love of the natural world. We should be demanding that environmental education be taught in schools, and that our children are given contact with nature. People will value and protect what they know and love, and the level of ecological ignorance and illiteracy in the year 2019 is frightening.
Dr Harry Recher says we need to act as if other species mattered as much as our own, and accept that we have a moral responsibility to share resources with other species, rather than sacrificing other species for pointless human aggrandisement. The ultimate goal of human societies is not ever more economic activity or the heaping up of endless wealth, but creating communities that allow their members to live good lives.
Dr Recher calls out the failure of the modern environmental movement to address overpopulation. He says that for the most part Australia’s environmental groups fail to discuss population matters, leaving Australia’s population policy to be made by greedy businessmen and politicians lacking in environmental concern. He says we need more discussion of population matters, not less.
I also agree with Dr Freya Mathews, who says that taking biodiversity preservation as the central goal of conservation sets the bar too low. Preventing species from becoming extinct is too modest.
Conservationists want to preserve abundant, wild nature. When we get to the point where our children will only see a platypus or a bandicoot in a zoo or a cartoon, or we’re down to our last few hundred lions and tigers, being restricted to isolated disconnected refuges, more and more of which are gated, high security compounds, then we’ve pretty much lost the plot.
To its great credit, Zoos Victoria has an Extinction Denied Program that includes captive breeding Orange Bellied Parrots. However some of the Parrots can’t get enough feed in the wild to get the strength to fly across Bass Strait to Tasmania, which is Orange-bellied Parrot custom and practice. So Qantas has been flying them across in planes. It feels like life imitating art, where Air New Zealand commercials star a white duck flying by plane across the Tasman.
Now I give full marks to Zoos Victoria and Qantas for their efforts and commitment, but when the birds need a plane to get across Bass Strait, this is not nature in all its beauty and awe-inspiring diversity, these are pathetic splintered remnants of a world we’ve laid waste to.
Dr Mathews says we have to concede that wild animals are, like sovereign peoples, entitled to their territories and ecological estates. The biosphere was shaped by wildlife as much as it was shaped for us and by us, and belongs to them as much as it belongs to us. We have no right to dispossess wild things of their ranges or degrade their environment to the point where it can no longer sustain them.
So we need to seize the high moral ground by focusing on the state of the environment. The 15000 scientists from 184 countries who issued the World Scientists Warning to Humanity in 2017 said we are jeopardising our future “by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats”. They said “By failing to adequately limit population growth, ....humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere”.
One immediate aspect of this, which I encourage you to contact your election candidates and representatives about during this election campaign and indeed beyond, is vegetation cover or tree canopy cover. We need our trees and plants and grasses. It’s not just an environmental question, it’s a public health one. The good news is that drones and satellite imagery and the like enable vegetation cover to be monitored with a degree of precision we’ve never had before. The bad news is that our vegetation canopy cover is declining. So I urge you to contact your political representatives and candidates and ask them to commit to maintaining, and where possible increasing, the vegetation canopy cover in your electorate, on both public and private land. People simply have to stop bulldozing and chopping trees and shrubs down. It has to stop.
The second aspect of seizing the high moral ground is to put population in a global context. Much of our discussion focuses on Australia, as it should, but it seems to me that (a) unless there is action in other countries, no matter what we do in Australia the world is still going to go to hell in a handbasket, and (b) much of our credibility and moral authority comes from taking the global view.
We need to build alliances with like minded people in other countries, and particularly build alliances across religious and ethnic divides.
An important aspect of focussing on the issue of rapid global population growth is that there is a magic pudding myth which is implicit in much of the political debate, including from politicians and activists from the left, who really ought to know better. It goes like this -
The world’s poor can achieve Western standards of living
People living in western countries will be able to more or less maintain their standards of living
We can maintain our current rate of population growth
We can protect our environment.
It’s a lie. You’ve heard Al Gore talking about climate change as an inconvenient truth; well this is a convenient lie. It enables environmental groups to duck the population issue. But it is a monstrous and deceitful lie. In 2010 a group of researchers who studied this question in depth estimated that there could be a European standard of living for everyone, with sustainable use of our natural resources, provided the earth’s population was no more than 2 billion.
In 2013 Theodore Lianos estimated that we could maintain ecological equilibrium, and all have a per capita annual income of $11,000, with a global population of 2.5 billion or less. If the population is larger than 2.5 billion, which of course it is, ecological and social equilibrium requires lower standards of living.
Like the environmental question, there are ways of raising the global population issue in the current Federal Election and beyond. There has been some great work done by Rob Harding promoting the idea of a United Nations Global Population Stabilisation Treaty. This seems to me to have a lot of potential. Indeed it should be much easier to reach agreement around the idea of each country stabilising it’s own population, than to get agreement around emissions reductions targets in the Climate Change talks, where of course serious questions of global equity and historical legacies arise.
I encourage you to contact your candidates and elected representatives, during the election campaign or beyond, and ask them - “Would you support Australia sponsoring a Population Treaty at the United Nations that committed each country to stabilising its own population?”
We also need to talk about fertility. If you think talking about migration is tough, try talking about fertility in a culture that views pregnancy and childbirth as an unmitigated blessing. But right around the world it has to happen, and indeed some countries or communities have had success with “Two is Enough” type campaigns.
After taking the high moral ground through a focus on the environment and global population growth, we need to acknowledge that neither the Liberal Party, the Labor Party or the Greens is going to do anything serious about this issue except at the point of an electoral gun. This is a very hard thing for me to say. I have spent a lifetime in the Labor Party - I think I attended over a thousand Branch Meetings! - and in many ways I still love the Labor Party.
But these parties, until further notice, are all about suppressing and killing off this issue by any means or devices they can come up with. We need a non-racist party that takes a firm line on population and migration. That is why I have joined the Sustainable Australia Party. It has no time for racists or racism. It believes in the non-discriminatory migration policy. It is a party of the centre. Unlike populist parties of the right like One Nation, it believes in strong action on climate change and to protect the environment. It believes in strong gun laws. It believes in action to tackle indigenous disadvantage.
But it doesn’t accept the trebling of Australia’s migration program which started about 15 years ago. We want to return the program from the 200,000 per annum it is now to 70,000, which is where it used to be - in the Whitlam years and the Keating years it was actually lower than that.
So in conclusion - the question I was asked to answer was “where to from here?” First, seize the high moral ground with a focus on the environment and global population issues. Second, push elected representatives with challenging but not unreasonable asks like maintenance of our remaining vegetation cover, and support for a global population treaty. And third, face up to the fact that the Liberal, Labor and Greens Parties are not going to move on this issue at anything other than the point of an electoral gun, and conduct ourselves accordingly.
And as for the question this Forum asks - “what future do we want for Australia?” - the future I want is one in which my children, and their generation, have the same job security and opportunity we had, and can afford a post secondary education and a house with a garden and the chance to see owls and platypus in the wild the way we could. Oh, and the Orange-bellied Parrots can fly across Bass Strait without a boarding pass.
An impressive video that misses almost no aspect of what the growth lobby is doing to this country, and backs up its criticism with some interesting new policies, some of them drastic - but the situation is drastic. Matt Bryan for Hughes
"Algorithms seem to me, at this point, the closest thing we have to demons." (Douglas Rushkoff) Douglas Rushkoff is a highly stimulating speaker with a comprehensive but original view of the problem of internet tyranny. He approaches it as a problem of monopolies and corporations in the context of economic growthism, which he argues is unsustainable and ultimately destroys companies because it costs them too much. He recommends long-term business models, which aim to support their participants. He notes that family businesses tend to do better and last longer because they have this model, rather than the growth model. In his lecture he is able to travel across several disciplines, back and forth, and to tie economics to society and soil degradation. He makes concrete and inventive recommendations. This is less about internet censorship than about the destruction of local markets and the sidelining of entire populations. Rushkoff is the author of multiple books, but in this video, he talks about a 2016 publication called, Throwing rocks at the google bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity.
The Black Alliance for Peace joined activists from peace organizations based in the United States to embark as a delegation to Venezuela to uncover the truth. They are reporting to you on march 15, 2019, the day they were supposed to fly back to the United States. While American Airlines refuses to fly to Venezuela because of so-called danger, this delegation found the embattled country pleasant and safe.
Learn more about the U.S. intervention in Venezuela: https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=https%3A%2F%2Fblackallianceforpeace.com%2Fnewsletter%2Fbapheadstovenezuela&v=SvN-8VvmLZg&event=video_description&redir_token=2iBNPSrsrcVHCMnrD6-emVCYAkt8MTU1MjgzNDU2MUAxNTUyNzQ4MTYx
This program from Press tv Iran is interesting and useful in bringing us up to date. Iranians know a thing or two about oil production and the oil market. The issues of peak demand and peak production are very hard to estimate and no-one here pretends to have the answers, but a number of factors are canvassed, including US President Trump. As usual, however, in such programs, population growth and economic growth are skirted around. Similarly, increasing efficiency among OECD countries is taken as a given, and increasing consumption among 'developing' countries is also taken as a given. The elephant in the room is, of course, when does peak demand meet peak production.
The global demand for oil is predicted to be rising at least for the few coming decades.
The projection stems from several factors. One of the major reasons is the expectation of a drastic rise in the number of vehicles on the roads.
Economic Divide caught up with Dr. Ali Shams Ardekani to discuss the future demand of oil. He should know a thing or two about the oil industry. He serves as the President of the Iran Business For Future.
He is the current head of the energy commission for the Ministry of Oil, Planning and Development and the Ministry of Industry and Mining in Iran. People across the world are getting more and more mobile. They are expected to use more cars for transportation and also trucks for transiting consumer goods as fast as possible.
ABC 7.30 Report last night aired part one of its three-part population special, which included me as the economist. While I will reserve judgement until the final two-parts have been aired, my initial gut reaction is disappointment. The main problem I see with it so far is the ABC has inferred that a population of more than 40-million mid-century is inevitable rather than a direct policy choice. Nowhere did The ABC clearly show how the federal government massively increased Australia’s immigration intake from the early-2000
ABC 7.30 Report last night aired part one of its three-part population special, which included me as the economist.
While I will reserve judgement until the final two-parts have been aired, my initial gut reaction is disappointing.
The main problem I see with it so far is the ABC has inferred that a population of more than 40-million mid-century is inevitable rather than a direct policy choice.
Nowhere did The ABC clearly show how the federal government massively increased Australia’s immigration intake from the early-2000s:
Nor how immigration is the defacto driver of Australia’s population increase – both directly as migrants step off the plane, as well as indirectly when they have children (then counted as ‘natural increase’). This was made explicit by the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Migrant Intake Australia report, which showed that Australia’s population would barely increase without immigration:
While the segment at least didn’t include spruiker ‘demographers’ like Liz Allen or Peter McDonald, it instead replaced them with another cookie-cutter demographer from ANU. One wonders why Bob Birrell wasn’t contacted, who has been a strong critique of Australia’s ‘Big Australia’ Program:
Finally, the spokesperson for Infrastructure Australia (IA) claimed that “population growth is an opportunity” – conveniently ignoring that IA has issued several recent stark warnings about infrastructure failing to keep pace with population growth, as well as ignoring IA’s own recent projections showing that living standards in both Sydney and Melbourne will be crushed as their populations surge to 7.4 million and 7.3 million by 2046:
Again, while I will reserve judgement until the final two parts are aired, I am not hopeful that The ABC will analyse this issue correctly and actually inform debate.
Here is the Unconventional Economist, Leith van Onselen's talk at the Sustainable Australia Party venue.
Professor Bob Birrell  calls for better planning to stop over-development, sustainable population policy reform at a Sustainable Australia Party event. "Net overseas immigration is completely dominating the figures." The politicians tell us, "We just have to get used to it, and the way we're going to deal with it is to throw literally billions at it ... and ... eliminate suburbia." "That's what they say. But rezoning and high density doesn't actually work. The houses are too expensive. The reason is site costs. The more people the more demand for housing. If you increase the opportunity for housing on the same site, the site values go up higher.... It doesn't work." "Nor does the high rise 'solution'. You know there are tens of thousands of these being completed. When we checked the 2016 census, what we found was, that in the two areas of greatest density, CBD and South bank, only 5% of all those appartments were occupied by families with children. Well, what are we going to do about it? We have to deal with high NOM (Net Overseas Migration), it's not inevitable - and this is the key point. The high levels of NOM at present are due to government policy or government non-policy. They are a deliberate consequence of government policy. Not inevitable. For example, overseas students. It is a fact that the biggest source of growth in Net Overseas Migration in Melbourne is overseas students. There are more overseas students coming in on a student's visa each year than are leaving holding a student's visa. Okay, we don't object to students coming here for an education. the problem is that, once they get here and complete their education, they can stay on, more or less forever. Our governments have deliberately encouraged them to do so. By providing, as of right, a two year stay here, with full work rights - even if your degree is in cultural studies - and, when you've done that, you can get another student visa. Or you can become a tourist, or you can get a working holiday visa, or you can apply for a 457 temporary visa. Or you can apply for a permanent entry visa. And, as a consequence, a big chunk of overseas students are just spinning out ... over the years. So, we can change that and that would have a major impact. There are many other areas we could change. I'll just give you one or two to finish, which you may not know about. You've probably heard a lot about 'regional policy' - 'maybe we'll put people in the bush, rather than let them stay in Melbourne or Sydney. Well, currently, there's a program near 30,000 visas strong for state and regional sponsorship. The problem is that these visas do not require people to actually stay in the states or regions that sponsor them. They very quickly move off and they end up in Sydney or Melbourne. Or, consider this, and I'll finish on this note, consider the policy on spouses. [...] what happens in Australia is that you can sponsor a spouse at the age of 18 and you do not have to show that you have a job or an income which will enable you to sustain that spouse. I'm not kidding you. This is the situation. Compare that with Europe. Most countries now, you've got to be at least 22 before you sponsor a spouse, and you've got to prove that you have the funds to support that spouse. I could go on. There is massive potential to bring down the numbers. [...] We have to get the numbers down if we are really coming to grips with Melbourne's crisis of overdevelopment. I'll just leave you with one final thought, and that is that at least public opinion is moving in the right direction. [refers to TAPRIS study] Some 54 % of voters now believe that immigration should be reduced. The polls this year are putting the numbers in the 60%, so the potential is there. May I wish [Sustainable Australia Party] the best in mobilising it."
 Although Bob Birrell's publications in demography are very well known, his qualifications are much greater: Bob Birrell (PhD Princeton – Sociology) was Reader in Sociology and the founding director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University. He was the joint editor of the demographic journal People and Place (with Katharine Betts) from 1993 to 2010. His appointment with Monash University finished in 2014. He has been a consultant and advisor to successive Australian governments on immigration policy, most recently as part of Coalition Government’s Evaluation of the General Skilled Migration Categories, published in 2006. His research covers Australian history (A Nation of Our Own – Longman 2005), Australian education policy, urban affairs and immigration practice and policy. His most recent international publications include, ‘Media Effects and Immigration Policy in Australia,’ in Gary Freeman, et al., Eds, Immigration and Public Opinion in Liberal Democracies, Routledge, 2013 and ‘Migration: the Australian experience,’ in Sasha Bangalay and Delphine Nakache, Eds, Immigration Regulation in Federal States, Springer, 2014.
[Video inside] An internationally acclaimed film of Paga Hill community’s fight for justice from the illegal eviction and demolition of their homes in downtown Port Moresby has been banned from screening today at the PNG Human Rights Festival. It is known as 'The Opposition Film'. See trailer and details of showings here. There is a lot of Australian involvement in this disgraceful powerplay, including NSW court system and Australian developers. However, what is happening in PNG is also happening to Australians, who mostly fail to realise that they are also being treated and exploited like a 'developing country'.
“The ban highlights the lingering limits on free speech in our country and the continued attempts to censor our story of resistance against gross human rights violations” , claimed Paga Hill leader Joe Moses, the main character in The Opposition film who had to seek exile in the United Kingdom after fighting for his community’s rights.,
“This censorship comes as a deep disappointment for my community who have suffered greatly over the past 6 years.”
The Opposition film tells the David-and-Goliath battles of a community evicted, displaced, abandoned – their homes completely demolished at the hands of two Australian-run companies, Curtain Brothers and Paga Hill Development Company, and the PNG state. What was once home to 3000 people of up to four generations, Paga Hill is now part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit ‘AELM Precinct’ which will take place this November.,
Mr. Moses continued, “We appreciate the PNG Human Rights Film Festival for choosing to screen The Opposition film at their Madang and Port Moresby screenings.”
“It is shameful that our government continues to limit free speech and put such pressure on our country’s only annual arts and human rights event. How does this make us look to the world leaders who will be coming here for the APEC meeting in November?”
Under the theme “Tokautnau long senisim tumora" (Speak up today to change tomorrow) the mission of the PNG Human Rights Film Festival includes “We are all born free and equal in dignity and rights” and that the international and local human rights films “promote increased respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights in Papua New Guinea.”
Paga Hill youth leader Allan Mogerema, who also features in the film stated, “The right to freedom of speech and freedom of press is provided for under Section 46 of the PNG Constitution. By banning our story, the PNG government is in breach of our Constitution and our rights as Papua New Guinean citizens.”
As a Human Rights Defender, Mr. Mogerema has been invited to the 2018 Annual Human Rights and People’s Diplomacy Training Program for Human Rights Defenders from the Asia-Pacific Region and Indigenous Australia organised by The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP) and The Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP) to share his story of the illegal land grab, eviction and demolition of his community.
“The film has already been screened in settlements across PNG and at the Human Rights Film Festival’s Madang screenings. No matter how hard they try to censor us, our story continues to live, and our fight for justice continues to thrive", continued Mr. Mogerema.
"No matter how long it takes our community will get justice!”
. Dame Carol Kidu is also featured in The Opposition film. Initially an advocate for the Paga Hill community, Dame Carol turns her back on them by setting up a consultancy to be hired by the Paga Hill Development Corporation, on a contract of $178,000 for three months' work. In 2017 she launched a legal action in the Supreme Court of NSW to censor the film. In June 2017, the court ruled against Dame Carol's application.
. "I was scared for my life": Paga Hill activist seeks asylum in the UK, ABC Pacific Beat, 11 August 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/radio-australia/programs/pacificbeat/i-was-scared-for-my-life:-paga-hill-activist-seeks/8796558
. Papua New Guinea land activist vows to battle for his people from Britain, 8 August 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-papua-landrights-police/papua-new-guinea-land-activist-vows-to-battle-for-his-people-from-britain-idUSKBN1AO1GD
. Aid to PNG without justice is no help at all, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 June 2017, https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/aid-to-png-without-justice-is-no-help-at-all-20170609-gwoeq4.html
. Port Moresby settlers evicted to make way for Australian-backed development 'abandoned', Sydney Morning Herald, 10 June 2017, https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/port-moresby-settlers-evicted-to-make-way-for-australianbacked-development-abandoned-20170609-gwodh2.html
. Constitution of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, https://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/ELECTRONIC/44016/70625/F868019216/PNG44016.pdf
Interview begins around 9.40 minutes into the show.Gung-ho interviewer, Bart Chilton, apparently hoping to recommend investing in Australian stocks, found out that Australia's economy is about as diverse as Uganda's and Ethiopia's, that it consists of holes and houses, and that Australian governments have stupidly marketised energy, making costs too high for Australian manufactures. "Energy and telecommunications are both being disastrously mishandled." Banks and mines dominate the Australian stock exchange, which reminds Keen of when they dominated the Japanese stock exchange - just before the 1990 bubble burst, with no important banks situated in Japan anymore. Our stock market is trivial compared to our bond market. Dr Keen also mentions the , which is worth a look.
This little-known documentary contains rare and compelling footage of Greek villages and Greek partisans during World War 2. It also interviews male and female partisans who survived a series of international betrayals. In 1940 Mussolini attacked Greece from its colony of Albania. The attack was repulsed and the Greeks conquered one third of Albania in their counter attacks. At the time, Greece was Britain's only ally against Nazi Germany in Europe. (France Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Luxumbourg had all been conquered.) Four years later, Britain savagely turned on the same heroic Greeks who had resisted the Italians and subsequently fought against their Nazi German-allied occupiers. It was only possible for the British to succeed because the communist ELAS-Partisans trusted the Greek Communist Party (KKE).
After they landed in October 1944, the British pretended to arrest former Greek collaborators and saved them from furious Greek crowds in Athens. The former collaborators were 'imprisoned' in a hotel overlooking the central Athens. During one of the protests by Athenians against the British, the 'arrested' former collaborators opened fire on the Athenian crowds, killing many.
This provoked a ferocious fightback against the British by the ELAS-Partisans. So fierce was their fight that the British were forced to get reinforcements from the Italian front and from Belgium, where they were fighting the German Ardennes offensive. However, the communist Greek KKE, under Stalin's orders, then agreed to completely disarm and return to their homes in the suburbs of Athens and elsewhere. This was under the pretext of recognising the British puppet forces as the legitimate national Greek army.
In the suburbs of Athens many former ELAS fighters became victims of gangs of former collaborators. Many ELAS fighters were imprisoned by the British and their puppets.
In 1946 those ELAS fighters who had fled to the mountains, and many more, who had escaped from Greece, restarted the civil war against the Greek dictatorship. From 1946-1948 the ELAS partisans (who had changed their name to the Democratic Army). With heroism and brilliant leadership, they outfought superior numbers of government forces, with many from the government forces defecting to the Democratic Army. However, the Greek Government started to overcome the Democratic Army, now with the aid of United States military 'advisors' and the CIA, and from the same source, the provision of war planes capable of dropping napalm, a fearsome new weapon of the time. The Democratic Army was further hamstrung by instructions from the KKE leadership to engage in conventional warfare rather than guerilla warfare, thus enabling the government to more effectively use its numerical and logistic superiority against the Democratic Army partisans. The fighting ended in 1949, when the last of the Democratic Army partisans fled across the border into Albania. From Albania, many were granted 'exile' in the Soviet Union.
Oksana Boyko (pictured right) in US vs UN? Ft. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations her Worlds Apart interview of Sunday 24 June, generally discussed how the United Nations should handle conflicts between the United States and Russia its two most powerful members . The discussion included at least two issues which are of concern to this site, candobetter.net : 1. Border control in the United States and Europe, and 2. Syria.
Antonio Guterres attempted to put all the arguments by proponents of open borders and they were all effectively rebutted by Oksana Boyko. At one point in the discussion, after she stated that the United States as well as European countries, have the right to control their borders Oksana was accused of listening to Fox News, that is the station which features Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and other outspoken advocates for the effective control of the United States border with Mexico. The video, embedded below, is easily worth the 28 minutes of your time required to watch it.
Later in the program Oksana Boyko put to Antonio Guterres that the United Nations should oppose the United Sates' schemes to partition Syria and preserve Syria's territorial integrity. 
 The partitioning of Syria is also supported by the group Australians for Kurdistan. The group absurdly maintains that, with up to 20 U.S. military bases in Syria's Kurdistan (acccording to RT on 1 Mar 2018 and other sources) the YPG (an acronym for "People's Protection Units") is building a communist or anarchist society which is also a beacon of women's liberation. The convenor of "Australians for Kurdistan" is John Tully. In Hitler of the Middle East (6/2/18) | Tasmanian Times, ostensibly an attack on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Tully smears the popularly elected President of Syria, as "the Syrian dictator". Nowhere in his writings does Tully show any concern for the fate of Syria, including the 80,000 soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army, amongst the 400,000 citizens of Syria, who have been killed in the war against Syria since March 2011 in which which Erdogan has been complicit. That would come far closer to justifying Tully's emotive likening of Erdogan to Hitler than any of his actions against Kurdish secessionists in recent years.
There is in fact a Middle Eastern nation that is in fact in control of a vast, undeclared stockpile of nuclear weapons. This nation does have the capability of deploying those weapons anywhere in the region. It is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its arsenal has never been inspected by any international agency. But this nation is not Iran. It's Israel. (James Corbett)
The Transcript below has been republished from https://www.corbettreport.com/israelinukes/
DONALD TRUMP: I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. In a few moments I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating US nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction.
When President Trump announced that the US was going to de-certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and reinstitute sanctions on that country, one of the reasons he cited for that move was the presentation of “new” evidence from Israeli intelligence showing that the Iranians had lied about its nuclear program during the negotiation of that deal.
TRUMP: Last week Israel published intelligence documents long concealed by Iran conclusively showing the Iranians regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: A few weeks ago, in a great intelligence achievement, Israel obtained half a ton of the material inside these vaults. And here’s what we got; 55,000 pages. Another 55,000 files on 183 CDs. Everything you’re about to see is an exact copy of the original Iranian material
Theatrical props and dramatic rhetoric aside, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent presentation on the “Iranian nuclear deal” in fact contained no new information.
That Iran had explored a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003 has been known and admitted for years. That they have an archive of this information is not a violation of the Iranian nuclear deal completed in 2015. In fact, if anything, Netanyahu’s presentation actually proved the exact opposite of what was intended: Namely, that Iran is abiding by the terms of that treaty and is not covertly pursuing any nuclear weapons activity. That’s why they had to go back to 15 year old information and present it as if it was something new and revelatory.
But here’s the real head-scratcher in this new round of propaganda over the Iranian nuclear non-threat: There is in fact a Middle Eastern nation that is in fact in control of a vast, undeclared stockpile of nuclear weapons. This nation does have the capability of deploying those weapons anywhere in the region. It is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its arsenal has never been inspected by any international agency. But this nation is not Iran. It’s Israel.
This is the story of the real Middle East Nuclear Threat. You’re watching The Corbett Report.
Hand-wringing over Iran’s nuclear program is nothing new. It became a mainstay of western political discourse after an Iranian dissident revealed the Iranian government’s plans for a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz in August 2002. But the surprising fact for Americans and others around the world who get their information from the corporate mainstream media, is that Iran’s pre-2003 nuclear weapons program has long been known and admitted. Since 2003, when the program was scrapped, not a single piece of evidence has been presented (not even by Netanyahu or the Israeli government) that the Iranian government ever pursued anything other than what it said it was pursuing: a nuclear energy program.
Not that that fact has ever stopped Netanyahu from using any opportunity to use cartoon-level propaganda tactics to convince the world otherwise:
NETANYAHU: In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium. The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium. And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way there.
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Ladies and gentlemen, what I told you now is not based on secret information. It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They’re online.
So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?
The red line should be drawn right here. Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. Before Iran gets to a point where it’s a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.
Each day, that point is getting closer. That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that’s why everyone should have a sense of urgency.
Of course, Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons and Netanyahu’s Wile E. Coyote bomb and red line warnings bore no greater semblance to reality than the cartoon propaganda surrounding Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction.” Not only did the IAEA repeatedly confirm that Iran never diverted any nuclear material into any military program, but even the US intelligence community itself conceded that Iran was not trying to build a nuclear bomb. Most remarkable of all was Mossad’s own assessment that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”
As I detailed earlier this year in “We Need to Talk About the Iran Protests,” fearmongering over Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program was the basis for an extraordinary series of measures against the country in recent decades. These measures included “NITRO ZEUS,” a full-scale military cyberattack against Iran the best-known element of which was Stuxnet, the military-grade cyberweapon co-developed by the United States and Israel that specifically targeted Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz.
Iran’s non-existent nuclear program also provided the pretext for sanctions aimed at crippling the country’s economy, including the de-listing of Iranian banks from the Swift Network connecting the world’s financial institutions.
The fearmongers even went so far as to plant evidence of nuclear weapons involvement on Iran to further justify these attacks.
But the great irony is that there really is a nuclear armed nation in the Middle East. It is not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It does not allow inspections of its arsenal. It does not even officially acknowledge its stockpile of nuclear weapons. It has even resisted the push for an international treaty recognizing a nuclear-free zone in the middle east. And that country is Israel.
Sometimes ranked as the world’s sixth largest nuclear superpower, Israel actively pursued a nuclear program from the time of its inception as a state in 1948. By the late 1950s, they had begun building a reactor and reprocessing plant at Dimona with British and French aid. And by 1967, a classified CIA report estimated that Israel would be capable of producing a nuclear warhead in “six to eight weeks.” Shortly thereafter, it is believed, Israel began producing and stockpiling a nuclear arsenal.
OLENKA FRENKIEL: It was the young Shimon Peres, back in the fifties who negotiated a secret deal with the French to buy a nuclear weapons reactor like theirs. But while Dimona was going up, intelligence reports reached Washington that Israel was building an atom bomb.
Despite claims that Dimona was for peaceful purposes only, Israel’s leader Ben Gurion was summoned to Washington. President Kennedy feared an arms race in the Middle East and demanded inspections. But when inspectors finally entered the plant in May 1961 they were tricked. They were shown a fake control room on the ground floor. They were unaware of the six floors below where the plutonium was made.
PETER HOUNAM, Freelance journalist: Well this was something of great pride and almost a legendary story in Dimona, according to Vanunu. When the Americans came they were completely hoodwinked. All the entrances including the lift shafts were bricked up and plastered over so it was impossible for anyone to find their way down to the lower floors.
FRENKIEL: After Kennedy’s assassination the pressure on Israel was off. His successor Lyndon Johnson turned a blind eye. Then In 1969 Israel’s Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon struck a deal, renewed by every President to this day. Israel’s nuclear programme could continue as long as it was never made public. It’s called “nuclear ambiguity.”
The term “nuclear ambiguity,” in some ways it sounds very grand. But isn’t just a euphemism for deception?
SHIMON PERES, Former Prime Minister of Israel: If somebody wants to kill you, and you use a deception to save your life it is not immoral. If we wouldn’t have enemies we wouldn’t need deceptions. We wouldn’t need deterrent.
FRENKIEL: Was this the justification for concealing the floors of the plutonium reprocessing areas from the Americans, the inspectors, when they came?
PERES: You are having a dialogue with yourself, not with me.
FRENKIEL: But that’s been documented in a number of books.
PERES: Ask the question to yourself, not to me.
FRENKIEL: I mean, is it not true?
PERES: I don’t have to answer your questions, even. I don’t see any reason why.
FRENKIEL: Ambiguity is a luxury unique to Israel. Today the country’s an inspection-free zone, protected from scrutiny by America and her allies.
SOURCE: Israel’s Secret Weapon
Although estimates vary, it is now believed that Israel has somewhere between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads, and that it possesses the capability to deliver these warheads to Iran.
The existence of this stockpile, while known to governments around the world for decades, was only revealed to the public in 1986, when The Sunday Times published photographic proof and a detailed account of Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program. That story was provided by Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at the Dimona facility, who spent decades behind bars for his part in revealing this truth to the world.
NARRATOR: On October 5th, 1986, The Sunday Times announced they had evidence to prove that Israel had become the world’s sixth biggest nuclear power, having developed their arsenal beneath the Negev desert at Dimona. Photographs like this were given to the Sunday Times by a former technician at Dimona, Mordechai Vanunu.
Mordechai Vanunu’s family, Moroccan Jews, settled in the Negev in the early 60s, inspired by the idea of being a part of Israel. Vanunu did national service in the army. Then, while he worked at Dimona he began studying philosophy. He became active in student politics. He opposed Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Vanunu came to believe that Israel’s nuclear development program was immoral. He left Damona and, eventually, Israel itself.
Vanunu arrived in Sydney armed with photographs he’d taken inside Dimona. Here, he turned his back on Judaism and became a Christian. He met Oscar Guerrero, a Colombian journalist who urged him to sell his secrets to The Sunday Times. His evidence was processed at a local photo shop. Vanunu talked openly about what he’d done.
It’s said that by the time Vanunu arrived in London on September the 12th, 1986, Australian intelligence had already alerted MI6 and the CIA, and Mossad—Israeli intelligence—had already begun questioning his family in Israel. The Sunday Times disguised their informant and moved him from place to place for protection. But in Leicester Square one day, Vanunu met a blonde who called herself “Cindy,” a beautician from Florida. Meanwhile, Oscar Guerrero, eager to profit from what he knew, turned to The Sunday Mirror. Vanunu’s photograph appeared on page one. Vanunu began to despair. At this point, Cindy was able to lure him to Rome to sp end the weekend with her at her sister’s apartment. Not once did Vanunu suspect that Cindy was a Mossad agent and that this was the beginning of a plot to kidnap him.
In Rome, the tactics of the Mossad agents changed dramatically.
MEIR VANUNU: In the apartment, two Israeli agents attacked him and bit him and strangled him really hard. And then chained him, injected drugs [in]to his body. And later on he woke up in a small cell on a boat. The boat went to Israel for a few days and he arrived to Israel on the 7th of October, 1986.
Vanunu was assumed dead until he turned up weeks later in Tel Aviv. Vanunu himself, on his way to court, gave the first clue of what had happened to him. Scrawled on his hand was the message “Vanunu was hijacked from Rome, Italy. 30.9.86. BA 504.”
But a key element of the story is missing from the handful of documentaries that acknowledge Israel’s nuclear stockpile. Namely, that these weapons were not merely developed by Israeli scientists working in isolation, but with the aid of a nuclear smuggling ring that helped develop and advance Israel’s arsenal by stealing important nuclear technologies from their “ally,” the United States. These rings and their activities have been known about and even investigated by the FBI for decades, but largely kept secret from the public.
It has fallen to researchers like Grant F. Smith of IRMEP.org, author of Divert!: NUMEC, Zalman Shapiro and the diversion of US weapons grade uranium into the Israeli nuclear weapons program, to piece together the story from the documents that have been released. On The Corbett Report in 2012, Smith revealed the name of one of the high-powered Israeli officials who was at the heart of a plot in the 1970s to smuggle 800 nuclear triggers from the United States.
GRANT F. SMITH: In terms of the FBI uncovering a multi-node network, this one happened to be centered in California. MILCO was a company that was incorporated in 1972 by a man named Richard Kelly Smyth. He was discovered sending 800 krytrons, which are dual-use items that could be used to trigger nuclear weapons. When he was discovered doing that, he skipped bail in the mid-1980s and disappeared until he was picked up by Interpol in the early part of 2000.
And so the story is interesting and explosive, because after multiple attempts and denials we had a document release in which the key contact, or one of the key contacts that Smyth was meeting with to set up sales in Israel was none other than Benjamin Netanyahu. And so the document—which I’m kind of holding up right here for the people who are on video—actually names Benjamin Netanyahu as being an employee of Heli Trading Company, which was the node in Israel that would receive Ministry of Defense requisitions that they would pass on to MILCO.
And so the interesting thing about this, of course, is the high-profile nature of Benjamin Netanyahu, [and] the fact that the smuggling ring ring leader has been identified as Arnon Milchan, a person any American knows for his movie productions such as Pretty Woman and other favorites, who is running this and who a recent book has named as being a top economic espionage fly a spy for LAKAM, who worked under Benjamin Bloomberg and Rafi Eitan. But the FBI documents that we published on July 4th related to an antiwar.com story which was really short and direct. And its core focus was on the fact that in a period when Netanyahu was building himself up as a leader in the terrorism industry—hosting major conferences, having just returned from his studies in the United States, hosting major conferences in the Jonathan Netanyahu Terrorism Institute, named after his brother who was killed on the Raid on Entebbe.
Here’s a person who was supposed to be working as a furniture company executive, and yet these documents which are very credible because of what they were—which is testimony from Richard Kelly Smith after he was returned his exile overseas and finally forced serve a prison sentence. These were the statements he made to an FBI agent in a district attorney office when they debriefed and wanted to know what the extent of the nuclear technology smuggling network was and—boom!—there’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
Benjamin Netanyahu. And now this unindicted nuclear smuggler is lecturing Iran about a 15 year old, long-acknowledged nuclear weapons program that never produced a single nuclear weapon.
Even more worryingly, Israel’s nuclear knowledge has not only helped to arm its own nation, but actually helped to proliferate nuclear weapons to Pakistan through the so-called Khan network. One of the men who helped to transfer the nuclear triggers used in the construction of the Pakistani bomb was Asher Karni, an orthodox Jew living in South Africa who had been a major in the Israeli army prior to emigrating to Cape Town. Upon his arrival there in 1985, he began teaching Torah at the local synagogue and educating Jewish youth, encouraging them to relocate to Israel.
In 2004, U.S. authorities arrested Karni for his role in supplying the nuclear triggers and in 2005 he was sentenced to three years in prison. It has never been officially explained why this Israeli citizen and former Israeli military officer was interested in helping proliferate nuclear technologies to Pakistan.
But perhaps the greatest irony of all is that it is Iran who has been arguing for decades that the Middle East should be a nuclear-free zone. The idea was first floated by the Shah in 1969, and was first formally proposed by Iran in a joint UN General Assembly resolution, but the idea failed to garner any support. The idea was again raised by then-Iranian President Ahmedinejad in 2006 and yet again by then-Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki in 2008, but these calls to banish nuclear weapons from the Middle East have not even been acknowledged by the west, let alone seriously considered.
Now more than ever, the prospect of a nuclear-free Middle East seems the only way to prevent a nuclear conflagration that threatens to draw in the world’s superpowers, and yet the idea is being ignored by Israel and its staunchest ally, the United States.
Why does Israel refuse to declare its nuclear weapons stockpile? Why do they refuse to sign on to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty?
Why do they refuse IAEA inspections of their nuclear facility?
Why did they kidnap and imprison Mordechai Vanunu for 18 years for providing the proof of this nuclear program?
And perhaps most importantly, why does the United States, the only country who could single-handedly force NPT compliance from Israel, still refuse to even admit the openly-acknowledged status of Israel as a nuclear power?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for these questions to be answered by the teleprompter readers on the nightly news.
Still, as even many in the mainstream are now admitting, Netanyahu’s presentation on Iran’s nuclear non-secrets are a cheap display of political theatrics. The only thing he ended up doing is underlining the point that Iran, unlike Israel, fully cooperated with the IAEA, lived up to its obligations as a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and pointedly has not violated the 2015 nuclear deal.
And now that the United States has allowed the Israeli tail to wag the American dog once again by de-certifying that Iranian deal without valid cause, negotiators in North Korea and elsewhere will be watching, reminded yet again that a promise from the American empire isn’t worth the signed agreement it’s written on.
Video inside: Tom Duggan lives in Damascus, Syria. This week he covered the Jaishal Islam (Saudi supported) terrorist group leaving Douma, Syria. He reports, "We were expecting between 3000 and 8000 hostages to be released. We got less than 100. Where did they all go? They had been held for between four and six years. Jaishal Islam submitted the names of these people, their ID numbers, and the Syrian Government, in good faith, accepted the release of the terrorists in exchange for the hostages they claimed to have. This is a huge example of genocide, but the UN has not even acknowledged it." Up to 8000 Syrians slaughtered or starved by Jaishal Islam, which the Syrian Government has been fighting, and, meanwhile the United states posing as an 'exceptional' state, is threatening to attack Syria, which will draw Russia and probably China into war, on the basis of a completely unproven allegation that the Syrian Government used 'chemical weapons' against its own people. Duggan knows there is a high risk of Damascus being attacked by the rogue 'exceptional' US state, but he has decided to remain there.