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Who's Pushing Foreign Influence in Australia? - PAUL MALONE

This article was first published at John Menadue - Pearls and Irritations

by Paul Malone, 26 March 2020 

In seeking to target foreign interference in Australia, the Federal Government has two countries in its sights, but it’s not just the Russians and Chinese who play the interference game.

Chevron is a major US energy company operating Western Australia’s Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects and Australia’s largest onshore oilfield on Barrow Island and managing a one-sixth interest in the North West Shelf project.

It’s also Australia’s sixth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, dumping 13 million tonnes a year, according to the latest available report from the Clean Energy Regulator.

And in polluting our atmosphere it’s also breaching undertakings it gave governments in order to get approval for the giant Gorgon LNG operation.

The problem is that Gorgon gas is 14 per cent CO2. To get approval for the project Chevron promised new technology which would see the CO2 injected into the earth to be stored in a deep reservoir. But on 18 September last year the Western Australia Environment Protection Agency reported that no carbon dioxide had been reinjected up to December 2017.

No prosecution has followed. How did Chevron get away with such a breach?

Good Lobbying, good government contacts, a bit of influence here, a bit of pressure there.

Read more: Who's Pushing Foreign Influence in Australia? - PAUL MALONE

Parent Category: Spirit Content

50 Years in Jail for Whistleblowing on the ADF

David McBride is the Australian military lawyer who blew the whistle on war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. He leaked documents and information to the ABC, which published the story in what has come to be called The Afghan Files. The leaking of this information led to raids on ABC offices by Australian Federal Police. Most recently, an investigation by ABC's Four Corners program uncovered footage of what appeared to be Australian soldiers murdering unarmed civilians, adding further weight to the claims made by McBride. He is now facing charges that could carry a sentence of 50 years in prison for revealing the truth of what Australian troops are doing in Afghanistan. The Australian people have a right to know the truth and the brave stand by David McBride should be applauded and defended. 

We publish below an appeal and fundraiser by David McBride to help raise funds to fight this important legal battle.   

My name is David McBride. I am facing 50 years in prison for blowing the whistle on the Australian Defence Force's unethical, harmful and highly politicised leadership. As I continue to fight these unjust criminal charges, I am asking for your support to access expert legal representation.  

For the past 19 years, Australian troops have been fighting a war in Afghanistan. After all this time, there still seems to be no end in sight. In 2011 and 2013, I served in Afghanistan as a military lawyer to the Royal Australian Regiment and Australian Special Forces respectively. When I joined the Australian Defence Force, I swore an oath to fight for Australian values.

Over my two deployments, I became increasingly concerned that the war was dictated by politics rather than the best interests of Australians and Australian soldiers. I saw the government putting increased pressure on Australian soldiers, knowing that this pressure could risk their lives. I saw people in leadership avoiding tough decisions because their political careers were more important than people’s lives.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Through the Yellow Looking Glass: Australia's China Wars

The original source of this article is Global Research and was published on 22 November 2019

by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

This year, China as “Intimidating Monster” has become the popular motif in Canberra circles.  Australian government members Andrew Hastie and Senator James Paterson have become vigorous moral, if hollow enthusiasts.  Their criticism of China has led to the revocation of visas to the country, something that has given reason to flash their plumage for the Australian electorate.  How dare China do what Australia has done a countless number of times to those they do not regard as passing a character test?

Senator Eric Abetz, chair of the Senate foreign affairs committee, has accepted the findings of an independent China tribunal that genocide is being committed against the Falun Gong.  “Genocide – in relation to Falun Gong – is something that might be an appropriate description.”  The brush, suggests the senator, is broad, including “Buddhists, Uighurs, house Christians and indeed criminals”, all of whom have been targets for organ harvesting.  

A somewhat different perspective is offered by Paul Keating, the last Australian prime minister to have the vision bug and see Australia as something a bit better than a spacious annex of US power.  He proved to be in fine tongue-lashing form on Monday.  Speaking at the Australian newspaper’s strategic forum, he suggested that, “The Australian media has been recreant in its duty to the public in failing to present a balanced picture of the rise, legitimacy and importance of China.”  The China image being preferred was one of “side plays dressed up with cosmetics of sedition and risk.”

Read more: Through the Yellow Looking Glass: Australia's China Wars

Parent Category: Spirit Content

$750, a cultural high, and a system in crisis

This is an edited version of an article first published in Vanguard on 13 March.

Since then, multiple failures in communication and preparations for Covid-19 have seen experts shredding the government’s credibility. On Sunday 14 March, the federal chief medical officer even stated it was okay to shake hands, contrary to all expert advice.

South Australia is leading in its decade long preparations for such a crisis, while there are so few kits available in NSW, staff at pop up clinics are copping threats and abuse for refusals to test. The human meaning of the shortage of Intensive Care Units and ventilators is the grief a woman on TV on March 15, like many elderly Italian people, just diagnosed and refused treatment after her husband died.

The media focus on supermarket shortages ignores this underlying reality. Capitalist boards were already having virtual meetings while schools, TAFES, construction sites and other workplaces brought together concentrations of workers.

Demands are growing for governments to provide ongoing support for casual workers, small businesses, including the hard-hit arts’ sector. But corporations must be forced to look after their workers too! And banks to offer debt repayment holidays. Some of this may happen in the coming days. Governments want to hand over our money to corporations. It’s time to nationalise them under workers’ control. Qantas workers don’t need the boss and his board! They have the expertise to ensure essential maintenance and run the show when the Covid-19 crisis ends.

by Louisa Lawson

Two nights back Scott Morrison excelled himself. Was he channelling U.S. President and B grade actor, Ronald Reagan’s homely TV addresses, or perhaps a cat smiling after a banquet of small native animals? Utterly unconvincing as a human being and leader. He didn’t even choke when he said scientists are part of the Covid-19 response. But his approval rating went up.

Here’s a PM who ignored pleas to lift Newstart to people so poor they have to choose between food and medicine, feeding their kids or themselves. Now he flings them $750 with an order to spend it now. First capitalism tramples them, then says, “Be patriotic! You can save the economy.” And nothing to come afterwards. Maybe they’ll buy a tent, to have it confiscated by the police. Job done!

The media will pick over the $17.6 billion bones of the stimulus package. Whether it temporarily holds back deep recession or total collapse, for this writer, that $750 sums it up.

So does the $8.8 billion spent by the Reserve Bank to prop up the stock market the day after. Yes folks, that’s taxpayer money buying stocks. The contrast couldn’t be clearer.

Read more: $750, a cultural high, and a system in crisis

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Democracy is under attack! Support the IMARC protestors!

Tomorrow, 12 March 2020, protestors arrested blockading the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne will once again face court. It comes at a time of increased police intimidation of protest participants. Spirit of Eureka has issued this statement in support of the IMARC protestors and against the attacks on democratic rights in Australia.

Democracy is under attack! Support the IMARC protestors!

Spirit of Eureka wishes to express our support and solidarity with those facing trumped up charges and police intimidation as a result of participation in the popular protests against the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) held in Melbourne in October last year.     

Hundreds of peaceful protestors blockaded and protested the conference which was attended by delegates representing some of the biggest and worst mining and fossil fuel companies in the world, such as Rio Tinto, BHP, Adani, and Newcrest Mining just to name a few. It is corporations like these that are directly responsible for the environmental vandalism and climate crisis the world is facing today.

Motivated by the urge to see a more equitable, just, and sustainable world, protestors felt compelled to confront those people and corporations whose unhinged desire for ever larger profits at any cost is to blame for the devastation of the planet and our futures.  

For exercising their democratic right to protest, they were met with hundreds of militarised and armed police, who proceeded to indiscriminately attack the peaceful protestors with batons and pepper spray, and to arrest anyone they could get their hands on. 

Make no mistake. The militarised police were acting as a direct agent in the service of the mining and fossil fuel corporations, and of the governments that do their bidding. The unprovoked and indiscriminate violence was a direct act of class war. 

Read more: Democracy is under attack! Support the IMARC protestors!

Parent Category: Spirit Content