Speaking out against Obama wars

Report of the Resistance to the visit by US President to Canberra Thursday 17 November 2011 by Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus.com

Good to be standing for peace with friends outside the Parliament, while Obama was inside beating a drum for war in the Pacific. All in all it was an evocative witness, few in number, good in feeling and dramatically artful.

Related: Barack Obama & Julia Gillard: We accuse you of complicity in war crimes | Greenleft - Humphrey McQueen - Obama’s marines not welcome here | Photos from Peter Boyle | Darwin protest against Obama and bases | Christine Assange speaks at the Canberra Rally

Most of the crowd, and many of the speakers, came from Sydney in a bus organised by the Sydney Stop the War Coalition. We cheered and clapped as they came parading up the hill to the protest area carrying flags and banners and chanting slogans. Chants included "Assange & Manning Ñ let them go! / People have the right to know!" and "From Kabul to Palestine! Occupation is a crime!" (with Congo sometimes replacing Kabul or Palestine).

It was an occasion of excellent public place oratory. In sync with the Occupy movements of the times, we occupied Capital Hill, Australia, and spoke out in dissent, open mike.

We cranked up at about 10.30 am, baked in the sun and went through to about 3 pm. So many different voices, all interesting.

Hooray for Christine Assange, Humphrey McQueen and our Congolese friends! Great stuff.

Here is what Humphrey McQueen had to say.

Here is the "We accuse" statement read out to the rally. Thanks to Jann Dark for getting this drafted.

Thank you to all those who held drones and banners and helped out generally. For me the joy and reward for the effort was to be with courageous and uplifting friends again, friends of good heart and open smiles, speaking out for justice and peace.

I made a good connections with my Nimbin HEMP friends and with Kim Sattler of UnionsACT, Humphrey McQueen and many others. Movement building.

Our witness also revealed a terrible truth about the parliamentary Greens and the US Alliance. The Greens were invited to come speak out against the US Alliance and US bases. None did. Some apologised, but most including Bob Brown's office did not even see fit to acknowledge the invitation.

The terrible truth is that Greens Leader and spokesperson on Defence, Senator Bob Brown, has turned his back on the anti war movement. He reckons a personal relationship with a one term President is more important than his relationship with the ongoing Australian antiwar movement.

As Humphrey McQueen reported, Brown wanted to meet Obama because he reckons Obama is smarter than Bush. There is truth in that. The war agenda of Bush did not deceive Brown, but Obama has shown himself smarter by deceiving Brown about his war making intentions.

As a consequence the corporate media all but ignored our anti US Alliance Speak Outs. We were lost in the Murdoch driven frenzy of Obama celebrity worship. One term PM hosts one term President is the ground zero truth. But here today, gone tomorrow is the nature of celebrity worship and creating distraction the way of the Murdoch media. By contrast the trauma left by the war making of this media endures across generations.

'Twould have been more effective done the SpeakOuts the day before, but how were we to know? Obama arrived in Canberra round midday and after military ceremony at the Austrailan War Memorial he came to the Parliament to be greeted with a military parade of ADFA cadets and a 21 gun salute. Plenty of media and plenty of movement at the front door of the Parliament, however far away.

But on 17 November he came to and left the Parliament by the backdoor and the vast courtyard space between us dissenters on the lawns and the front doors of the Parliament was, apart from a line of cops, empty all day.

The Nimbin HEMP Embassy guys got it right, stayed overnight in billets and camps. Imagine their delight when they arrived in the AAA (Authorised Assembly Area) on Wednesday morning 16 November with their inflatable Big Joint and the "Legalise. Yes we can-nabis!" banner which i painted for them in 2009.

All the major Tv news channels were set up at the lower end of Federation Mall with cameras facing to Parliament House, a backdrop for talking heads. Behind of them an open field, free from all other protesters. The image of that Obama banner was published in the Canberra Times 17 Nov. And elsewhere.

Visit Peacebus.com for photos of the protests in Canberra.



As clearly spelt out in the World Socialist Website this expansion is clearly about U.S. imperialist aims to contain China and is part of a dangerous escalation of tension in the Asia Pacific which risks the outbreak of outright war between the major powers in the future.


Sorry, I think your message was garbled and confused. Keep smokin' them joints but, it won't clarify your mind but it might make you sleep easier.

Julian Assange, who promotes Andrew Bold as an emblem of free speech. I think you were supporting him somewhere in there. Maybe you weren't, I was feeling a bit muddled.

I guess by promoting our PM as a one term PM you are actually endorsing Tony Abbott as preferred leader of our nation? Well that might work on Fridays, after everyone has been paid and is enjoying a beer on their boss. But spurning the good work of people like Gillard and Obama, in bringing the criminal war against Iraq to an end, is hardly promoting a more peaceful world.

I think you were trying to support peace, but you don't really make it clear what your position is re Lybia and Syria. I presume you want a withdrawal from Afghanistan, which is fair enough, but I'm still waiting to see a good argument for why the US ought not to have pursued the Taliban in Afghanistan to begin with.

I'm not arguing that Obama and Gillard are saints, but let's give them their credit where it is due. I thank my lucky fucking stars that we had Rudd and Gillard and Swan overseeing the GFC and not Abbott and Hockey. That is my personal position. Gillard represents the right of the Labor movement, but Labor has certainly earned some kudos over the past four years, and it is not at all certain that they will lose the next election.

Meanwhile you say Obama is a one term President. So who are you offering in his place? And let us remember a simple truth. Obama and Gillard reign over capitalist societies. Have you witnessed what the Murdoch press is doing to Gillard here?

You see, to my mind it appears that your bias is right wing if anything, you are supporting the Tea Party aspiring to the Presidency. rather than offer an alternative that will not simply be derailed by the capitalists and the right wing press you are actually doing their job for them.

But you accuse everyone, even the Greens, for whom we have to thank for the Emissions Reduction Scheme and the derailment of the Government's Malaysia solution. Not for a moment am I forgetting all the shortcoming of life in Australia, but I still know who I prefer as captain of the ship. Which captain would you choose? The Mad Abbott? Good grief.

Calling Gillard and Obama one-termers is no endorsement of the Mad Abbott or the Tea Party, just realism.

Neither has delivered on their huge promises. Obama has probably broken more to the American people than Labor has to us.

Your Friday drinking allusion is insulting.

Gillard and Obama bringing the criminal war against Iraq to an end? Beg pardon? Obama approved “surges” in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Gillard says, ‘we’ll do whatever it takes, regardless of the cost, in Afghanistan’.

“The US ought not to have pursued the Taliban in Afghanistan” because they’re none of their business and things are worse now for women, for example, after the US invasion. The Americans are there for precious minerals and because they want the country as a conduit for pipelines. Don’t swallow their ‘promoting democracy’ bullshit.

“Let's give them their credit” for what?

“Labor has certainly earned some kudos over the past four years” – god almighty, have you forgotten their disasters? Continuing the Intervention, the worsening plight of Aborigines, the hollow ‘Sorry’, the house insulation scam, the public building ripoffs - I can’t remember the long list right now.

And you don’t think they’ll lose the next election? Looks pretty sure to me, but our dilemma as a nation is: what are the options? We’re between a rock and a hard place.

“Your bias is right wing if anything, you are supporting the Tea Party aspiring to the Presidency.” – I find that insulting. “Rather than offer an alternative” from Australia? Get real. Doing their job for “capitalists and the right wing press” likewise insulting.

“Derailment of the Government's Malaysia solution” – do you see that having made life more humane for the victims? I don’t. Good try, though.

I assume none of us wants The Mad Abbott on the bridge, but I don’t want Gillard or Krudd or any other Labor hack there, either. So whom?

High time to bring in an electoral system that doesn’t discount votes and keeps empowering the same tired, corrupt, xenophobic, US arse-licking, visionless parties.

Pie in the sky...

At least that was said with a bit of coherence.

The "hollow" apology? It was at least said. We could have had Howard for one thousand years and he never would have said sorry. Labor ought to be pursuing a treaty, and we ought to be pursuing Labor to get a treaty, but I don't hear you mention that.

You mention the intervention. I already said that Gillard represented the right of her party. But in the same breath you mention pink batts, and yet you say you are not a puppet of the right wing press. It was the spending during the GFC that was the significant difference between Australia and their counterparts throughout Europe. And the spending was focused on social infrastructure and green policy. And you promote that as a minus for Labor.

You don't recognise a single Labor plus. Such as the mining tax, the emissions trading scheme, the increase in pensions, the spending on health and education, the investment in green technology, fair work Australia, which overturned Howard's draconian laws. You dismiss all this and think it's hunky dory to do so.

You say that America's war in Afghanistan is a result of anything except 9/11. Every country has the right to self-defence. The best evidence is that the Taliban were responsible for acts of terrorism, large scale attacks, on American soil. In that situation any country has the right to defend its interests. Of course we know that in Afghanistan there are no easy solutions. I don't purport to suggest that the war there is winnable, or that any good outcome is achievable. But rather than dismiss the war arbitrarily, you ought to say what America ought to have done in response to 9/11. That is what I don't hear.

The war in Iraq was illegal, and it was Obama and Rudd who brought it to an end. There was no good reason to be there, only a host of bad ones. It was not an act of self defence.

And still you are silent on Lybia and Syria. If you want to lay anything at the feet of Obama then lay Lybia at his feet, after all it was he amongst others who initiated months of bombings of civilian targets in Lybia.

But you can't lay everything at their feet. It is the same with Israel. It might be nice to think that one man, one black man, can solve a crisis that has been going on for six decades, but that is only fantasy land. The problems are too deep, they have lasted too long. And they don't have simple solutions. Certainly Israel should lay down their weapons. But Palestine will continue to fight for their homeland. Israel has nowhere to go. It is a lose lose situation. But I guess we may as well blame Obama and Gillard for electing for the status quo, after all, we blame them for everything else.

America had a legitimate reason to attack the Taliban in Afghanistan. If you believe that they did not you at least have to demonstrate what alternatives they had to defend their soil against the acts of terrorism carried out on their home soil.

Ethically, self defence is a justification for force. if someone attempts to hit you you are entitled to take evasive action and use appropriate force to defend yourself. You can argue that the force use din Afghanistan was not appropriate, was an overreaction, but you can't deny that America was entitled to a response.

But really, if we are going to paint Bob Brown as our enemy, and Julian Assange, who beds down with the reactionary Andrew Bolt in his freedom to defame Aboriginal Australia, then I guess I shouldn't be looking for good answers here.

You're a dick head mate it was Al Qaeda that were blamed for the 911 attacks then America asked the Taliban (THE ONES THAT THE CIA PUT INTO POWER) to hand over Osama but the Taliban said they would give him to a international court to be judged then the Americans said not good enough and invaded Afghanistan, where they Killed women children and innocent men and sent innocent men to Egypt and Cuba to be tortured like David Hicks.This war is being fought to make Israel safe This war is being fought to make Israel safe this is not Obamas war He is just a puppet for Israel.
" but you can't deny that America was entitled to a response".So when America arms up Israel to kill Arabs how can you deny that Al Qaeda was not entitled to a response?

Hi Noel - the people of Pakistan who have been killed by the many drone attacks which have greatly increased under the Presidency of Obama must feel really relieved it is a Democrat who gave the orders and not a Republican?

The facts on Obama are this - Obama has just followed Bush's withdrawal deadline in Iraq, he ordered a surge in Afghanistan and the widening of the war into Pakistan. He has being waging a low level war in Yemen and Somalia. He launched a war in Libya. He has not closed Guatenemo. He has ordered the extra judicial killings of U.S. enemies including a U.S. citizen in Yemen. He is now starting a dangerous esculation of tensions with China in the Asia Pacific including by boosting the U.S. presence in Australia. He is currently positioning the U.S. for strikes against Syria and Iran - the last two anti-U.S. regimes in the middle east. Obama is currently undermining the Arab Spring by supporting the undemocratic regimes of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the military Junta in Egypt. This is just his foreign policy agenda before we start on his subservience to Wall St and attacks on the working class in the U.S.

The problem is the U.S. Empire which is out of control. If and when a Tea Party candidate like Palin is elected to the White House - things will be bad, but Obama has only laid the path for further descent of the U.S. into international lawlessness and barbarity.

This does not mean I like the Government of China, Libya, Saddam Hussein the Taliban etc It means I don't believe that self-interested imperial violent wars led by the U.S. and its allies in Australia will lead to peace and democracy - only to further international conflagarations. Afghanistan is a case in point - it is the violent intervention of Imperialist powers which have laid waste to the country - first the Russians and the U.S. in the 80's and then the U.S. again in the last decade. We could go further back and list the earlier British and Russian invasions of that country over the last 150 years. Why don't we try something different to trying to bomb Afghanistan into a "liberated" zone for women! Not to mention that the U.S. openly admits it is now negotiating with the Taliban!!!!!

As for Gillard being better than Abbot - so what! Once again tell that to 6000 people rotting in gulags otherwise known as detention centres. Tell that to the workers at Qantas who have had their right to strike removed under "Fair Work Australia". Tell that to people denied their rights under the intervention. Tell that to anyone who believes selling uranium to India - a nuclear armed state almost constantly at war with Pakistan is a bad idea.

etc etc etc

Noel - I refuse to settle for the "lesser of two evils". The role of the left is not to settle for the (arguably) slightly less crap version of corporate rule. Kudos schmudos. A pox on ALL there houses.

And yet I wrote an article deriding Gillard for changing policy on exports of uranium. No-one else has bothered to mention it.

By laying all the blame at Obama, by stirring up dissent against the left, however bereft of direction they have become, you simply do the work of the right for them.

You didn't reply to my statement that individuals and nations have the right to act in self defence. You don't even bother to discuss what America ought to have done in relation to the Taliban. Your silences are as loud as your criticisms.

And you talk as if Obama actually has some choice he can exercise. Most of his options are decided long before he comes to the table. And if he doesn't act decisively, if he is not seen to act decisively, his defeat at the next election is assured, the election of a tea party candidate is assured. You lay all of these acts of war at the feet of Obama, but that is like blaming him for Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.

The President is a puppet of powers that he can only bargain with, that he can only try to make deals with.

Your arguments about Gillard are the same. The umpire is still out in relation to Qantas. If the workers are no longer on strike, neither is the company. You make it seem like it is easy business governing a country. Tony Abbott would like nothing better than for Gillard to open the doors of the detention centres. I am not suggesting that she would do this in any case. But nonetheless. Prior to the 2001 election Beazley had a substantial lead over Howard, he was a shoe in to replace him as Prime Minister. And then came Tampa. Whilst you have the Murdoch press persecuting Labor at every turn they have little choice but to follow a middle path. I have already said it is a far from perfect path. But I don't see revolution happening any time soon. In the absence of revolution I see working to make a difference within the structures we have a valuable course of action. It may not achieve everything, but it isn't without hope.

Whitlam was sacked by the Governor General and the Queen, but he was also sacked by the media, by big business, and in the end, by the people. It is our job to engage the people, to make them think, to make them question, to ask questions and demand better answers, but simply railroading everything that is done by quasi-left parties doesn't do much but help out the right, in my erstwhile opinion.

You sound like a megaphone for the Labor Party here and I don’t know what for Obama. Your deriding Gillard over uranium doesn’t mean a thing.
Leave the poor, fragile directionless left bumble on unchallenged for fear of getting the worse option is what you’re saying.
Worse than the Labor mess in NSW? Worse than the Labor environmental rampage in Queensland? Worse than the despicable Labor policy in the NT? Worse than the Labor infighting in SA?
Ignore all that to stick with the devil we know? You’ve got to be kidding us.
I’ve been a leftwing voter all my life and my heart breaks at this Labor incompetence, corruption, shambles and backroom conspiracies. You’d probably call it realism.
I’m no strategy expert so don’t know what America ought to have done about the Taliban. But the experts would have found ways other than the ones used if there had been the central political will. Afghanistan needs to be captured for its riches, is what it’s all about.
If most of Obama’s options were as immutable as you suggest, why did he take the job? Why did he bellow out all the good things he would do?
He’s an even weaker puppet than his neocon (I consider them fascists) forerunners because he’s more manipulable.
“Like blaming him for Israel's occupation of Palestinian land” - don’t be rediculous.
“The President is a puppet of powers that he can only bargain with, that he can only try to make deals with.” – Truest sentence in your post. So why is he in the job? If I were American, especially an African American, I would be livid.

Whilst the US continues to target the Taliban for their actions against America on their home soil they will pursue the Taliban wherever they hide, which includes in Pakistan or anywhere else they are provided with a haven for their activities. So far no-one has denied Taliban responsibility for 9/11. So unless we are going to say that a person or a country may not act in self defence, then America has every right to persecute this war against the Taliban. The only other argument is that they have exceeded the force necessary to prosecute their goals against the Taliban. That may be true, or it may not be true, but at best it is a guess whether or not they have exceeded th eforce they may legitimately employ.

The only other arguments are that they had no right to seek redress against the Taliban.

Or that people do no have the right to self defence.

I find either of these arguments difficult.

The September 11 attacks were carried out by 19 hijackers affiliated with al-Qaeda, nothing to do with Afghanistan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijackers_in_the_September_11_attacks

I have selected just this short passage from the link provided above:

"Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi were both experienced and respected jihadists in the eyes of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden. Mihdhar and Hazmi both had prior experience fighting in Bosnia, and had trained during the 1990s at camps in Afghanistan.[4] When Bin Laden committed to the September 11 attacks plot idea, he assigned both Mihdhar and Hazmi to the plot.[5] Both were so eager to participate in operations within the United States, that they obtained visas in April 1999.[6] Once selected, Mihdhar and Hazmi were sent to the Mes Aynak training camp in Afghanistan. In late 1999, Hazmi, Attash, and Yemeni went to Karachi, Pakistan to see Mohammed, who instructed them on Western culture and travel; however, Mihdhar did not go to Karachi, instead returning to Yemen.[5]"

Afghanistan was the home of Al Qaeda, supported and protected by the Taliban, that does not mean that they were limited to Afghanistan, or only had resources and bases there. Nonetheless it was identified as the ground on which a legitimate war could be fought that would undermine the terrorist operatives working from there. Also Osama bin Laden was believed to be in Afghanistan, and as the head of the Al Qeada organisation he was a greatly desired target of the American led operation.

My point is not to condone everything that America does, but in this instance it does seem to me that the US had legitimate cause to enter Afghanistan. Let us remember that the Taliban is hardly a democratic or representative group. The Afghan people do not support the Taliban any more than they support the Americans.

But how do you achieve self determination there after decades of military conflict? That is why America remains long after bin Laden was found in Pakistan, where he looked less like the leader of a terrorist cell and more like a peaceful, law abiding citizen. America has legitimate reasons to be in Afghanistan. It's role now is to secure a long term peace in that region.

I was opposed to the war in Iraq. If America waged war against Iraq I would oppose that just as vehemently. I was against the European and American attacks on Lybia.

But I think we are better off focusing our energies on areas of real concern, otherwise we risk undermining our position when it really matters. If we are against every conflict irrespective of it's nature we alienate people who otherwise might be drawn to our cause.

Afghanistan, and the Taliban, was up to its neck in its support for terrorism in the region. i think this is an irrefutable fact.

In light of this the actions of America can be understood, at the very least.

So, if there were found to be an al Quaeda cell in the Snowy Mountains that had planned an attack on the US, it would be legitimate for the US to bomb everyone the length and breadth of Australia to smithereens?

Popular support for the horrible Taliban is growing - I wonder why?

Noel - the U.S.A. did not have the right to invade and occupy Afghanistan because of crimes committed by the Al Qaeda - they should have used international law and policing to target the small group of terrorists who committed this crime. Instead they used the attack to justify expanding their military presence in a geopolitically important part of the world. This is how other Governments have tackled terrorism in so many other settings, as yet I believe that killing people in the name of politics is a crime which should be tackled - its just I think its a crime when Al Qeada does it or when a state does it.

Yes Alqaeda had bases and a presence in Afghanistan - but lets not forget that most of the Hijackers came from SAUDI ARABIA, who remain a close ally of the U.S. This is despite the fact that Saudi Arabia is still exporting a virulent brand of Wahidism radical Islam around the world.

Noel - how many people have to die in the name of self-defence - 30,000 Afghan civilians so far


Noel - you do not address my point that if the war is justified by the evilness of the Taliban (and they are evil) then why is the U.S. now negotiating with them!

Noel - nor do you address my point about the historical context of the war - that this is just the latest imperialist venture against the people of Afghanistan - and like all previous ones it will only lead to more suffering for the people of Afghanistan. The fact Afghanistan is a mess does not justify them staying indefinitely!

I can understand the U.S. actions - Afghanistan borders Iran and China and is close to the Russian sphere of influence. It is also a crucial gas pipeline route as well as having future potential for mineral extraction.

To accept the U.S. justification of self-defence as a basis for the war on terror is naive to the extreme. The same justification was used in Iraq and is being used today in Somalia and Yemen. It was used previously in Korean, Vietnam etc etc

War is terrorism - it does not solve terrorism. News flash it doesn't seem to have stopped radical islam in its tracks just yet!

Certainly, if Australia had a tyrannical government like the Taliban harbouring and promoting international terrorists whose intent was to attack the American mainland then I would expect they would take such action.

You make it sound like the Taliban are an innocent and harmless bunch of friendly bodies freely elected to govern Afghanistan. That makes me worry. If we think that bodies such as the Taliban are our friends, then I guess we are simply on different paths. I am opposed to all tyrants everywhere. But I only choose to attack those tyrants when they threaten my sovereignty. This is exactly what the occupy movement stands for, opposing the tyranny of the wealthy, but by non violent means.

The hands of the Taliban are dirty. If you think they are worthy of praise then praise them openly, don't hide behind attacks against American imperialism.

You know I'm not praising the Taliban, you're just smearing me. Or you're naive and don't understand what I'm writing. Or I haven't been clear enough.

They were probably the worst catastrophe ever to hit Afghans from out of their own midst, but I'm wondering whether the western invasion hasn't damaged them more.

So if we had a tyrannical government that neither I nor most other Australians had put there, it'd still be alright for the US to bomb all of us to smithereens.

You're confused, man.

In response to Flowerpower, you make good arguments, but the arguments are only sound if their basis is factual. At the end you write, "War is terrorism - it does not solve terrorism." And so you disregard self defence as a reason to wage aggression against a foreign power.

Let's be realistic. The Taliban seized an opportunity provided by the Russian invasion of Afghanistan to take power once they left. They have supported and succoured the Al Queda terrorist strategies. Please correct me if you deny that this is true. But you yourself admit that the Taliban is evil. That much we can agree on. Correct, we do not attack a country just because it's government is evil. But you talk as if, had not 9/11 occurred, America would have strategically invaded Afghanistan on some other pretext to obtain a strategic international advantage. In a way this is a denial of what actually occurred. America was attacked, and those images of that attack are still fresh in everyones mind. I know that America is an imperialist country. I am sympathetic to some of the views of Al Queada in their grievances against imperial America. But I do not condone their attacks upon US soil. The Taliban is the umbrella beneath which Al Queda worked. Afghanistan was it's launching pad. Even if this is not so, or was not totally so, America had a right to exercise a military strategy there based upon self defence. It was attacked, it had to act.

You are wrong to state this this war is simply a progression of all the wars in Afghanistan, except in so far as Afghanistan was able to become a home for terrorism because its sovereignty had already been undermined. I am hopeful that sovereignty will be returned to Afghanistan. But the way is forward, not back.

It is not the same as Vietnam. The US viewed Vietnam as an international threat because it furthered the reach of communism in Asia. It was not threatened directly by Vietnam. It was never attacked by Vietnam or by anyone inside Vietnam. It had no cause to wage that war. Likewise with Iraq. The lie of weapons of mass destruction was just a lie, and was known to be a lie prior to the launching of that war. Let's call for the heads of Bush and Blair and Howard on that one.

You ask how many civillian casualties must there be in such a war? Such questions, as you know, can never be answered. America is a careless and blood thirsty nation. I don't doubt that. Just look at the two most heinous war crimes ever committed, Hiroshima and Ngasaka. We know America knows no bounds. I am not arguing against that. My argument is with calling Obama and Gillard war criminals, when they are the least of the worst. My argument is with calling all war unnecessary, when some war is justified in the name of self defence. I have already argued that war engaged as a matter of self defence ought to be equal to, but not greater than, the task of achieving the end of protecting one's own sovereignty. It's a philosophical position. Do you or do you not agree that a nation has a right to act in its own self defence? That is the question.

If you accept that America had a legitimate right to self defence, the only question is whether the extent of the action taken in Afghanistan was warranted. But if you deny that it had a right to self defence, then we have a political and philosophical difference. Perhaps it is naivety. But that has still to be demonstrated. I am however happy for the discussion. Dialogue is the way towards truth.

This article began with support for Julian Assange amongst others. I have also been criticised now for espousing Labor views. What I have actually done is stood up for good policy when and where I have seen it.

The intervention strategy was not Labor policy. It is something they took over. It was initiated by Howard, when he sen tin the army and also an army of public servants to intervene in Aboriginal affairs. Howard's heavy handedness in this issue is well known. What is less understood is that aboriginal communities face certain difficulties, and what ought to be remembered is that the intervention was originally a result of fears for the safety of children in many of these communities. Sending in the army was wrong. The heavy handed tactics of Howard were wrong. The continual disabuse of the Antidiscrimmination act is wrong. But that does not mean that NOTHING SHOULD BE HAPPENING.

It's like you think you wave a magic wand or kiss it and it gets better, whatever that "it" is, whether it's the bombing of the twin towers or the raping of innocent children, whether they are black or white does not matter. But solely targetting Aboriginals in this instance does, and did, seem to me to be wrong.

I support Labor's Mineral Resources Rent Tax, another achievement that will draw to its culmination this week.

I actually wrote an article for Indymedia, but it was not really news, and so, I presume, was left on the drawing board. It was an argument against libertarianism.

Julian Assange stands for liberatarianism. I think that some of these attacks against left parties (not all, but some) are driven by the same thinking. Libertarisanism stands for freedom. Julian Assangem, for example thinks that it stands for freedom of speech, but it can be used really to promote any old freedom you care to name, so I am going to post that article here, even though it is not necessarily the best place for it.

"Libertarianism is the proposition that we are agents of free will. Libertarians promote freedom.

Particularly you will hear libertarians promote freedom of speech as a right that humans ought to enjoy. If you like, the internet is an expression of this libertarian view. We are each singularly responsible for our own views, and each of us has the right to express that view, free from persecution or censorship.

Recently Julian Assange founder of Wikileaks has supported the rights of Andrew Bolt, right wing journalist and self-styled evangelist of the conservative view, to disparage Indigenous Australians who are not 100% “black.” In doing this, Assange promotes an individual’s right of free speech over and above other rights, such as the right to be free from persecution or harm, or the right to be free from defamation, as the case may be.

In this article I want to promote the view that Libertarianism is misguided, that there is no such thing as the right to “freedom of speech,” or any other right for that matter. Rights are things that we fight for, and are enshrined in law and protected by the courts. But rights come hand in hand with responsibilities. There are no sacred rights, no first order rights, no rights that trump other rights. All rights have to be negotiated, and diligently applied.

Libertarianism states that all of us have free will, and are responsible for our actions. It is a very right wing approach to the idea of justice and desert. Forgive me if I am wrong, but the idea of “direct democracy” springs from this same philosophy, that is, that each of us freely makes decisions and is responsible for our acts. This is what the establishment wants us to believe. And the media is able to control what people are likely to express through “direct democracy” or any other form of democracy. As long as we make people singularly responsible we don’t have to worry about social justice at all.

Libertarianism promotes property rights and intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights make the cost of medicines too expensive for poor countries to afford. Private property ensures that the minority control wealth.

There are other dangers. Civil libertarians promote the rights of the criminal over the rights of the victim. Often they will promote the rights of the paedophile over the rights of the child. There is a place for crime and punishment. But according to libertarians there is no crime and there ought to be no punishment.

Libertarians promote the notion of free will. Most philosophical texts will argue that there is no such thing, or if there is such a thing, it is a thing that is rarely realised or exercised. But libertarians want us to be free in all of our actions. There should be no public scrutiny, no social justice. They are against police because they do not acknowledge crime. Indeed the one crime they might acknowledge is when someone is deprived of their freedom. So they are for no censorship of the internet, even when child pornography is available. Child pornography, according to libertarians, is a small price to pay for internet censorship.

But it is the right wing that controls what you see and hear, even on the internet. It is the resources people have at their disposal that determine the extent to which they can exploit the internet for their own purposes. And the biggest furphy of all is that the internet is somehow free. Libertarians condone hate crime, such as the inauspicious right wing nonsense of Andrew Bolt. And his opinions are trumped up as truth. This is the truth you will find on the internet. If the internet was capable of changing the world how did we end up in Iraq? If social media was capable of changing the world why is the rest of the world allowing the suppression of the occupy movement?

Libertarians know that those with the most to hide have the most to lose. They do not innocently promote these “freedoms,” they use these “freedoms” for subterfuge. If you aren’t fighting for it it probably isn’t worth having.

Courts of law are not the enemy. The state is not the enemy. The greatest enemy of truth is ignorance. The greatest impediment to freedom is private property. But freedom has to be fought for, and it also has to be protected. The most important protection is protection from itself. When freedom is used as a tool for persecution, as in the case of Andrew Bolt’s defamation of Aboriginals, then we can think ourselves lucky to live in a land where there is a functioning law system, however imperfect.

Our rights have been trampled upon in Melbourne with the occupy protest. But those rights are something that are not given to us by libertarianism, they are rights that have been fought for over time, the right to protest, the right to march, the right to speak and be heard. Many of these rights have been won by the union movement, and again we can thank the strong influence of the union movement on the Labor Party for the fact that it has not capitulated totally to the right in these, the darkest days of capitalism before its fall.

Libertarianism is dark and dangerous. In the name of freedom it threatens all of our freedoms, and denies social justice to the most vulnerable. Freedom of speech does not protect the rights of the vulnerable, only people working together in a social movement achieves that, and that is the very antithesis of libertarianism."

Haha don't put words in my mouth that I haven't said.

If Australia had a corrupt and tyrannical government that housed and protected and supported terrorists that bombed third parties indiscrimminately, if that was the case, I would quite understand that that government might be attacked. I would probably join forces with the invasion to get rid of such a bad - a very bad - government, and I would be glad for the help. I don't support terrorists. Do you?

Australia has a corrupt and tyrannical government that housed and protected and supported terrorists that bombed third parties indiscrimminately they are called America.
Noel when will you be joining forces with Al Qaeda to invade Australia just so I can go on Holidays overseas because I know it is the innocent civilians that die in these attacks and not the people who deserve it.

P.S thanks for the help just make sure you give it to Johnny Howard too.I don't support Terrorism either

Article here from the World Socialist Web on the possibility of a U.S. army base on the Cocos Islands which is Australian territory in the Indian Ocean


Jimbo, thanks for the heads up, you agree that Al Queda was responsible, you agree that they were in Afghanistan, you agree that the Taliban was complicit in harbouring them. And you resort to name calling. I must be doing something right.

G'Day Noel as you have said before "Haha don't put words in my mouth that I haven't said" I think I said "it was Al Qaeda that were blamed for the 911 attacks" that is different to "agree that Al Queda was responsible" all I know is that America and Israel have teamed up before to stage a event to shift the blame on someone they want to attack like when Israel and America tried to set up Egypt for attacking the USS Liberty in 1967 read more here. http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/ussliberty.html
Or The Gulf of Tonkin attack did not happen.The US Government lied to the American people to start the Vietnam war!
And lets not forget weapons of mass destruction in Iraq
Did the same happen with 911 I don't know ( and you don't either)All I know is Al Qaeda copped the blame and the American Government has lied to go to war before and will do it again .

But lets play your little game and say Al Qaeda did do it.Israel have been slaughtering Palestinian People for decades and America have been giving arms to Israel through Aid funded projects if Al Qaeda who fight for Muslim people attacked America why do they have no right to self defence and America does?What do you think would happen if Iran armed up Al Qaeda? there would be a good chance Iran would get bombed by America right! and I would say you would agree with this action(Not trying to put words in you mouth) you can't have it both ways Noel.Just like Israel can have illegal Nuclear weapons and Iran can't this is all double standards and is what pisses off the Arab world, and rightly so.
"Let's be realistic. The Taliban seized an opportunity provided by the Russian invasion of Afghanistan to take power once they left.. They have supported and succoured the Al Queda terrorist strategies. Please correct me if you deny that this is true"Noel you can help correct this who made the Taiban?Who trained Osama in Afghanistan when he was fighting the Russians? was it not the American CIA?So who would you blame for the rise of these people?Noel you might want to read some facts on who put the Taliban into power
Now let's all sit back and watch America attack the the new Libyan government that it put in power in 10years or so

Noel just face it the wars in the Middle East are only happening because of Israel. Now we have Christians fighting Muslims, while the Israeli Zionists sit back and laugh while rubbing their hands together,take a good look around and see what is happening, Israel was put there to cause trouble in the Middle East and had nothing to do with the Jewish people, the Zionists use the Jewish people as a excuse, Israel was made through Terrorism, Israel are the real Terrorists of the world

Did your feelings get hurt by the name calling Noel?If they did then whats the go with your name calling?"Sorry, I think your message was garbled and confused. Keep smokin' them joints but, it won't clarify your mind but it might make you sleep easier"Looks like your a double standard type of person,your a joke mate!

Terrorism what does this word mean?The Australian Oxford Dictionary says-The use of violence and terror to coerce a government.Just like America did in Vietnam, Afghanistan,Iraq and now maybe Iran.Flowerpower could be right all war is Terrorism.

Look forward to your Brainwashed reply Noel LOL

At last someone sees what is going on well said Jimbo