Monday, October 30, 2023

Microsoft buys into AUKUS and Australian surveillance industry


(Above: original image by freepik)
Written by: (Contributed) on 31 October 2023

An announcement that Microsoft was planning joint operations with Australian security agencies has revealed higher level Cold War security provision with the military-industrial complex. It has also revealed even closer diplomatic links between Australia and the United States, and a further escalation of hostilities directed toward China across the Indo-Pacific region. While ostensibly concerned with cyber-related defence and security concerns, the move will affect every level of Australian society, directly or indirectly. 

The planned $5 billion upgrade of Australian defence and security provision with cyber strategy by Microsoft had been additional to the already $9.9 billion allocated for the Redspice program with Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) last year. (1) There is little ambiguity about the planned upgrade: resting on the Redspice program where it was formally noted to be linked to the elite Five Eyes intelligence sharing facilities and the AUKUS defence and security for 'supporting a secure Indo-Pacific region', the new bumper Cyber Security Strategy (CSS) has been primarily directed toward countries considered adversaries; it is intended to be fully operational by 2030 as the 'second pillar' of AUKUS focussed upon 'technology sharing of advanced capabilities'. (2)

Two features of the CSS include: stronger diplomatic links between the US and Australia; and intelligence facilities primarily concerned with more efficient information and technology sharing through the use of AI. (3)

When viewed in the context of the present Cold War with China, an escalation of diplomatic hostilities will obviously occur, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region where Australia provides defence and security coverage of the southern half for 'US interests'.   

The announcement that Microsoft was already planning to increase its computer capacities by about 250 per cent during the next two years, reveals a stepping up of Cold War militarism; it rests upon a rapid uptake of AI. (4) When viewed in the context of the previous Cold War, there are far-reaching implications for Australians, directly by placing the country on a war-footing with China, and indirectly by domestic surveillance and monitoring of the civilian population.

There is little doubt that China remains the focus of US-led militarism sweeping the Indo-Pacific region; what, however, clouds the war-drive is the massive domestic surveillance of civilian populations. (5) Numerous US-led military exercises create fictional enemies in the warped minds of those lurking in the corridors of power inside the Pentagon.

Hidden in the official media releases was reference to 'Microsoft's collaboration with the ASD (Australian Signals Directorate – eds) to enhance cyber security for households and business', which can be viewed as contentious. (6) The previous Cold War was marked by massive domestic surveillance and espionage by those welding class and state power over ordinary citizens. Declassified documents, from the period, reveal civil liberties amounted to very little in those eyes of those welding power. 

Beginning in the 1960s, the US formalised Project X, for example, which was based at the US Intelligence Center and School at Port Holabird, Maryland; the project was designed to 'provide intelligence training to foreign friendly governments'. (7) Various 'lessons' provided for students, by US military officials, included extensive profiling of entire populations: 'they included lessons in creating black, grey or white lists of potential adversaries and in making block-by-block inventories of families and their assets to keep tabs of the population'. (8)   

The extensive use of intelligence agents to infiltrate 'a wide array of groups, including political parties, labor unions, youth and student groups, religious organisations, and publishing organisations', was considered a legitimate way for those welding class and state power to gather intelligence for profiling. (9) Today, there is little need for infiltration agents, the required intelligence can be easily collected from cyber-space and social media.

In fact, several years ago the US National Security Agency (NSA) closed a number of intelligence-gathering facilities because 'the NSA's attention shifted to finding ways to exploit the global reach of Google, Microsoft, Venizon and other US technical powers'. (10)

Studies of the US-led telecommunications interception facilities have concluded that the Echelon system has the ability to sift through millions of messages and select intelligence using 'trigger words' which are then used for higher-level analysis and profiling. (11)

The new CSS facilities also include Microsoft establishing nine 'new data centres in Australia', supposedly for protecting the country from cyber-criminals, while declassified documents from the previous Cold War have revealed US foreign policy and 'co-ordinated counter-intelligence activities world-wide … are conducted against … those who oppose the US Defence Department … during peacetime and all levels of conflict'. (12)  

The latter would appear to have taken priority over the former; the military practice was never discarded, only upgraded through the subsequent decades to the present day. The spies in cyber-space are not elsewhere, but within.

And those who fail to learn the lessons of history, have to repeat them over and over again:

                                          We need an independent foreign policy!

1.     Microsoft to spend $5 billion 'turbocharging' AI in Australia, Australian, 24 October 2023; and, Redspice, The Guardian (U.K.), 29 March 2022.
2.     Guardian, ibid., 29 March 2022; and, US trip must send signal of unity, Editorial, Australian, 25 October 2023; and, Australian, ibid., 24 October 2023; and, Killing by Algorithm, Declassified Australia, 21 August 2023.
3.     Editorial, Australian, ibid., 24 October 2023.
4.     Microsoft, Australian, op.cit., 24 October 2023.
5.     See: China 'is right at the top' of US watch list, Australian, 26 October 2023; and, Indo-Pacific still 'top of the list', Editorial, Australian, 26 October 2023.
6.     PM enlists Microsoft for cyber war, Australian, 24 October 2023.
7.     Lost History: Project X, Drugs and Death Squads, Robert Parry, The Consortium Magazine, 31 March 1997.
8.     Army's Project X had wider audience,  The Washington Post, 6 March 1997.
9.     Ibid.
10.   The intelligence coup of the century, The Washington Post, 11 February 2020; and, Compromised encryption machines, The Washington Post, 17 February 2020; and, Crypto AG / Five Eyes, The Millennial Source, 15 February 2020; 'Crypto AG – the CIA', The Daily Telegraph (London), 12 February 2020.
11.   Espionage, Spies and Secrets, Richard M. Bennett, (London, 2002), Echelon, pp. 89-93.
12.   Turbocharging, Australian, op.cit., 24 October 2023; and, Army Foreign Intelligence Assistance Program, Army Regulation 381-20, Section 1.5, Mission and Policy, page 1, (declassified, 15 November 1993).  

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Beware AUKUS expansion


Written by: Nick G. on 30 October 2023

US imperialism wants to expand AUKUS on several levels, neither of which contribute to global peace or to Australia as an independent and sovereign nation.

Opposition to AUKUS has for very good reasons concentrated on the question of Australia acquiring at a staggering cost of at least $368 billion eight nuclear-powered submarines. This is the so-called First Pillar level of the AUKUS arrangements, and involves a tri-lateral agreement between the US, UK and Australia.

It is possible for this level of the agreement to include other nations. As early as December 2022, at the annual AUSMIN talks, the question arose of incorporating Japan into AUKUS, and there were some light-hearted references to it becoming JAUKUS.

More recently, the UK Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee again raised the matter of expanding AUKUS to include Japan in its Second Pillar of “information sharing”, saying that its aim was to eventually invite Japan into the First Pillar nuclear-powered submarine arrangement.

However, Japanese public opinion is unlikely to support such a move.  This was made clear on September 20 by Abe Nobuyasu, a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs and former Director-General for Arms Control and Science Affairs at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In an article for the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network, he cautioned that:

…nuclear-powered submarines would be a very different story for Japan. Unlike South Korea, which has already expressed interest in acquiring such submarines, a significant part of the Japanese population still maintains a strong aversion against anything “nuclear.” Japan continues to monitor radioactive releases from American nuclear-powered warships when they visit Japan. There is a historical precedent of Japan abandoning its civil nuclear-powered ship project after an experimental vessel named Mutsu was found to have released radioactive waste. The residents of Mutsu port refused the entry of the ship, leading to its eventual abandonment in 1990.

With the recent election of the New Zealand conservatives, the focus has shifted to Pillar 2 of AUKUS. 

In 1987 New Zealand was thrown out of the Australia-New Zealand-US (ANZUS) Alliance after Wellington banned nuclear weapons and nuclear propulsion from its territory. However, Pillar 2 of AUKUS relates to creating a shared platform for military expansion as defined in the following areas: 

• Undersea capabilities. Through the AUKUS Undersea Robotics Autonomous Systems (AURAS) project, our nations are collaborating on autonomous underwater vehicles, which will be a significant force multiplier for our maritime forces. Initial trials and experimentation of this capability are planned for 2023. 
• Quantum technologies. The AUKUS Quantum Arrangement (AQuA) will accelerate investments to deliver generation-after-next quantum capabilities. It will have an initial focus on quantum technologies for positioning, navigation, and timing. Together, we will integrate emerging quantum technologies in trials and experimentation over the next three years. 
• Artificial intelligence and autonomy. Trilateral cooperation on artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy will provide critical enablers for future force capabilities, improving the speed and precision of decision-making processes to maintain a capability edge and defend against AI-enabled threats. Early work is focused on accelerating adoption, and improving the resilience of, autonomous and AI-enabled systems in contested environments. 
• Advanced Cyber. In light of the importance of the cyber domain to advanced capabilities, we are focusing our efforts on strengthening cyber capabilities, including protecting critical communications and operations systems. 
• Hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities. The AUKUS partners will work together to accelerate development of advanced hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities. 
• Electronic warfare. The electromagnetic spectrum is increasingly contested. The three countries will work together to share understanding of tools, techniques, and technology to enable our forces to operate in contested and degraded environments. 
• Innovation. Our work on innovation aims to accelerate our respective defense innovation enterprises and learn from one another, including ways to more rapidly integrate commercial technologies to solve warfighting needs. 
• Information sharing. We will expand and accelerate sharing of sensitive information, including as a first priority enabling workstreams that underpin our work on agreed areas of advanced capabilities.

New Zealand Nationals leader and Prime Minister Chris Luxon has confirmed that New Zealand is looking to join Pillar 2. If Japan and South Korea also join Pillar 2, it will mean an expanded development of war capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

The other area of AUKUS expansion is outer space. We have already commented on US plans for expansion of AUKUS to include the space domain. On October 27, further details emerged of these plans, namely a redrafting of US Space Command’s Joint Publication 3-14 (JP 3-14): Joint Space Operations.

This includes more clearly establishing the fact that SPACECOM and the other combatant commands will conduct “offensive and defensive space operations” during conflict, using “direct or enabling” capabilities against adversary space assets — that is, spacecraft on orbit, terrestrial control stations and/or the data links between them. It also details SPACECOM’s area of responsibility (AOR) in joint operations.

The new JP 3-14 introduces the term “astrographic” to describe SPACECOM’s area of responsibility, which starts at 100 kilometers (54 nautical miles) above mean sea level.  It says that SPACECOM’s AOR is “defined by altitudes rather than a nations’ borders or latitude/longitudinal coordinates.”  It stretches into “exgeosynchronous” orbit — that is, beyond about 36,000 kilometers (about 19,000 nautical miles) above mean sea level. 

Another change in the new JP 3-14 is the avoidance of the terms “space control” and “counterspace” in acknowledgement that space control “implies ownership,” which could be read as counter to the UN 1967 Outer Space Treaty. Euphemisms are the first refuge of the dishonest and it is of some concern that the US is now prepared to ditch terms which over many years have been used as code for offensive space operations and the weaponry to support them.

It is in this context that the new agreement signed between Albanese and Biden on October 26 needs to be seen. The two countries have signed a Technology Safeguards Agreement that will create more opportunities for US space companies to launch space vehicles from Australia. Underscoring the military implications is the design of the agreement – it seeks to protect sensitive US space launch technology and data. According to the online US Breaking Defense in a comment on the Biden-Albanese meeting:

The US Space Force is keenly interested in the capability to launch military payloads from Australia and the wider Southern Hemisphere.

Most spacecraft are launched eastward to take advantage of the speed boost provided by the Earth’s rotation, and the closer to the equator — where the Earth’s surface spins the fastest due to the laws of physics — the launch takes place, the bigger that boost. Australia is not only fairly close to the equator, but also launching eastward from the continent allows easier orbital insertion over China.

Any plans for the expansion of AUKUS run counter to the objective of an independent and peaceful Australia. 

They need close and careful scrutiny by all who refuse to see further surrendering of Australian sovereignty to the US war machine.


Free Palestine! The National Liberation struggle of the Palestinian people is just!


Written by: CPA (M-L) on 28 October 2023

The massive offensive by Hamas forces, with numerous rockets, the breaking through the Israeli prison fence and the entry of Palestinian fighters into seven Israeli-occupied areas of Palestine on Oct 7, is the just reaction of a people who, for decades, have been suffocating under Israel’s murderous grip. 

It is an act produced by the ongoing crime of the Israeli-Zionist-settler state against the Palestinian people.

The crime is the transformation of the Gaza Strip into the largest prison in the world. Israel's fascists have driven Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants into conditions of unbelievable poverty and misery through a 16-year blockade. The Israeli state is displaying its brutal dictatorship and its moves towards implementing a "final solution" of the complete annihilation of the Palestinian people in its massive bombardment of houses, and apartment, hospital and other civic buildings in densely populated areas, heightened by its ‘total blockade’ of food, water, medicine and fuel.

The crime is continuous encroachment of Palestinian land by settlers of the Israeli occupiers with the effective blessing of all Israeli governments - "left-wing", "centrist", "right-wing" and in recent years "far-right" and openly fascist parties. The new crime of forcing abandonment of north Gaza under fierce bombardment strives to extend and consolidate land seizures.  

That crime, continuous, now accelerated and fascist, is ultimately directed at the expulsion of Palestinians from their land through the 1948 war of conquest, the 1967 war, repeated lesser wars and ‘incursions’ that led to the occupation of most of Palestine and the suffocating control of the rest by the fascist-Zionists of Israel, on behalf of and dependent on arms and funding by the USA.

The US has done all it could to plant a watchdog state in the Middle East to dominate the region and, to provide a platform for interventions to ensure its superiority in this crucial - geopolitical and economic-energy – crossroads.

Given the characteristics of Hamas, its illusions about some of the reactionary regimes in the region and its connections with others, this attack is also linked to Palestinians’ efforts to blow up the Biden administration's promotion of agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, by which the US strives to further "degrade" the "Palestinian issue".

Despite reservations about the disposition of the Hamas leadership, the depth of the preparation of the attack and the response of the occupiers, and, above all, the lack of those ideological and political elements of a communist orientation that could bring victory to the armed struggle, these developments show that, even if they don’t have the leaderships they are due, the people reject their chains! 

The Palestinian people have taken their armed struggle to the heart of the Israeli-Zionist settler state, exposing their own determination and rejection of genocide, while exposing the inherent weakness of their fascist-occupier. Oppression and fascist genocidal extension of their occupation continuously build and rebuild the Palestinian struggle for National Liberation, while exhausting the occupiers’ forces.  

This development multiplies the complications of the Middle East. The region has become a red-hot tangle of contradictions. Significant rearrangements have been taking place. Simultaneously with the events in Gaza, the Turkish bourgeoisie has bombed areas of Iraq and Syria for the umpteenth time, while its drones have been shot down by US forces based in the Kurdish areas of north-eastern Syria. Iran and Saudi Arabia, mediated by China, are trying to find ways to coexist (hence Biden's intervention), while Yemen continues to suffer the long-standing back-breaking war by Saudi Arabia and its allies. Internal contradictions in the Arab world have been tightened by several notches at once. 

The United States, joined by the European Union, accomplices and pillars of fascist-Zionist-settler Israel, and enablers of its crimes against the Palestinian people, issue statements of support and talk about the "right of self-defence" of the occupiers. The Australian government can’t echo US statements fast enough. Grovelling to the USA in supporting Israeli genocidal efforts, the Albanese Labour government continues - shamefully for every progressive person - the support of the Zionist-Settler state that has characterised every Australian government throughout the shameful history of Israeli settler land theft, dispossession and fascist-occupation.

Progressive people all over the earth, the oppressed peoples of the planet, are with the Palestinian David versus the Israeli-American Goliath. They are with the Palestinian people struggling to live with dignity in a free homeland against their fascist-Zionist conquerors who have been murdering them in every way and by every means for 75 long years!

The CPA (M-L) calls on all progressive organizations, every progressive collective, every progressive person, to defend, broadly and massively, on the street and in every corner of the country, the just cause and rights of the struggling Palestinian people to their national liberation.

The GPS system: military use and US strivings to maintain domination


Written by: (Contributed) on 28 October 2023

Revelations that the US is urgently seeking to upgrade their dual-use Global Positioning System (GPS) intelligence facilities has emerged due to significant factors, including competition from China and the Russian Federation together with other systems controlled by those usually associated as US allies. 

Serious questions about the effectiveness of the US-led GPS system and defence and security provision appear to have arisen. An insight into the US position, furthermore, can be found amongst studies from the previous Cold War which reveal the nature of US foreign policy toward China in the present Cold War.

During mid-October a media release from Washington found its way into a mainstream Australian outlet. It announced that fears had been raised about the centrality of the US-led GPS, which for fifty years had been a world leader in global navigation, geo-location and time services. (1) Planning has already taken place for the system to be further upgraded with a fleet of satellites to enable 'non-military devices more precise co-ordinates in more indoor and hard-to-reach spaces'. (2)  

Non-military users of the GPS rely upon the facilities for a multitude of household items including clocks and timing devices, smart-phones and other smart-devices, and road-users with location finding. The gadgets are a dominant feature of everyday life in Australia.

What was not divulged, however, was that the GPS is dual-use technology, closely linked to sensitive US-led intelligence facilities. It is, therefore, not surprising to note the GPS was established for use in 1973, coinciding with the official opening of intelligence facilities based on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and Pine Gap in Central Australia; other linked facilities included the opening of Silvermine near Cape Town in South Africa with arcs within the Southern Ocean Defence Plan, from Argentina to South Africa, to Diego Garcia, to Pine Gap. (3) Pentagon controlled, it transformed the nature of intelligence-gathering. (4)

While the system has been fully operational since 1995, the US Space Force have now taken control of the system, while still inside the Pentagon. (5)  

Present-day military planning to upgrade the GPS has also included maintaining the original radio frequencies for gadgets, 'to avoid making billions of dependent devices obsolete'. (6)

Studies of the military-uses of the GPS have revealed widespread surveillance and monitoring facilities: the Pine Gap facilities have been noted as possessing the ability to work as a 'multi-purpose vacuum cleaner … sucking electronic signals 35,000 kms into space and feeding them into the enormous computer complex at Pine Gap … unwanted data is sifted out by computers on the ground'. (7) 

The Echelon system has provided the basis for sifting through masses of basic intelligence data and selecting only those items required for higher levels of analysis and profiling. (8) It was working overtime during the pandemic.

Any controversy surrounding the use of the GPS system by the Pentagon for regional surveillance can be easily clarified by the fact the main satellite position was placed over Borneo in Indonesia, at the end of the First Island Chain of the US Island Chain Theory (ICT) and its regional defence and security provision. (9) The island chains represent areas of access and egress into the Asia-Pacific region, which the US have used in an attempt to restrict China's ability to enhance their diplomatic presence and influence in the most dynamic sector of the global economy. (see diagram)

ICT was conveniently shelved at the end of the previous Cold War, then suddenly revamped and directed toward China with the onset of the present one.

The island chains have also been subject to US military planning for their Pacific Deterrence Initiative with networks of precision-strike missiles along the first island chain, costed at $27.4 billion; integrated air missile defence systems have also been planned for the second island chain. (10) The US are clearly planning for military hostilities and ‘real-war scenarios' against China, more likely than not, in the Indo-Pacific region.

Fears, however, have arisen within Pentagon circles that competition from both China and Russia have presented a credible challenge to US-led supremacy with their own GPS.

China's Beidou system, for example, has grown in recent years to have 46 operational satellites which provided global coverage in 2020; the US, by contrast, has only 31 operational satellites. (11) The Beidou system, furthermore, is based on at least thirty precision-enhancing monitoring stations on earth and claims to pinpoint users' locations accurate within several cms. The service also offers ‘basic two-way communications capacities'. (12) Other competitors including Russia and the EU, likewise, already have facilities which offer global coverage. (13) Japan and India have also developed technology for more localised uses in the northern Asia region as part of main US-led systems. (14)

In conclusion, the balance of forces is swinging away from the traditional US-led hegemonic position in the Indo-Pacific region; hidden within Australian defence budgets from Canberra, nevertheless, lies information relating to the extra burden placed on Australian tax-payers to fund US-led military and security provision for ‘US interests' together with wholesale interference with our domestic and everyday communications:

                   We need an independent foreign policy!

1.     US's GPS system at risk of losing top position, Australian, 17 October 2023.
2.     Ibid, and, Wikipedia: List of GPS satellites, detailing that on 15 August 2023, the system had about half of its satellite system officially ‘retired', together with a further two lost while being launched.
3.     Wikipedia, Diego Garcia; and, Maritime Operational and Communications HQ., Front Page, The Star (South Africa), 10 March 1973; and, Security in the Mountain, The Star (South Africa), 17 March 1973.
4.     The CIA and the cult of intelligence, Victor Marchetti and John D, Marks, London, 1976), page 121.
5.     Australian, op.cit., 17 October 2023.
6.     Ibid.
7.     The Secrets of Pine Gap, Willian Pinwill, Australian Penthouse, October 1979, pp. 62-68; and, The Falcon and the Snowman, Robert Lindsay,        (London, 1981), Chapter 34, pp. 237-249.
8.     Espionage, Spies and Secrets, Richard M. Bennett, (London, 2002), Echelon, pp. 89-93.
9.      Secrets of Pine Gap, ibid; and, Diagram – Island Chain Theory.
10.   See: US to build anti-China missile network along first island chain, Nikkei., 5 March 2021; and, US Indo-Pacific Command proposes new missile capabilities to deter China, RFA., 5 March 2021.
11.   Australian, op.cit., 17 October 2023.
12.   Ibid.
13.   Ibid.
14.   Ibid.


After the referendum, we cannot fight blindly


Written by: Lindy Nolan on 23 October 2023

The enemies of First Peoples have announced their strategy and tactics. Over coming days, weeks, months and years, allies of First Peoples must be ready to join the fight with the clear eyes of truth. 

Years ago, a dear friend said, “We live very different lives Lindy.” She grew up in La Perouse on Botany Bay shores, but her kinship links spread southwards along Yuin land to towards Lake Tyers in Victoria, west into the headwaters of the Snowy River, and north along the coast to her mother’s People. None of those links, she says, is a full stop.  They flow further with connections to all those who make up the First Peoples of this continent and its islands. 

Each day my friend stands for unity and for justice despite ongoing trauma.

Saturday 14th October remains a time of deep grief for the great majority of First Peoples and their allies. But the pain is deeper for those on the front line of the enemy’s attacks. Its offensive has already begun. 

It means allies who have the privilege to live comparatively comfortable lives on stolen lands must stand strong, to show First Peoples they are not alone.

We cannot fight blindly. Non-indigenous people made up the vast majority of combatants in the referendum battle.  We have both the luxury and the ethical obligation to begin summing up the lessons that led to its defeat. 

We need to set aside our own grief and anger and blame, and look with clear eyes at what went wrong.

From the past to the future

The first Aboriginal resistance to invasion began on Bidjigal land and lasted 20 years. It then spread to every corner of what is called Australia, holding back safe settlement on average between ten and thirty years.

How did spears, nulla nullas and boomerangs have such success against the world’s most powerful economic, scientific and military power?  

Bidjigal man Pemulwuy struck the first blow, leading clan alliances of Bidjigal, Dharawal and Dharug. They fought from Botany Bay’s wetlands and high rocky cliffs, to Sydney Town, to Parramatta and many places between.

At Brickfield Hill near what became Sydney’s Central Station, they approached apparently peacefully. A sudden attack, and they disappeared without injury into sunset’s blinding light, where no amount of 18th century firepower could make them visible.

Ground chosen by the enemy

That pattern to strike where the enemy was weak and they were strong was repeated again and again across continent for 150 years.  

When their enemy attacked, they retreated. When their enemy retreated, they attacked. They never fought on ground that suited their enemy. 

The referendum, with all the good will and immense effort in the world, did the opposite. The decision on First Peoples lives was handed to non-Indigenous people. Most were indoctrinated, told half-truths, lied to or empowered to vote in ignorance. In some places and cases vicious racism was let loose. This was ground where the enemy held strength.

Yet 5.5 million still voted yes. That’s no small number. Some who voted no, both First Peoples and allies, will join other campaigns and battles, when First Peoples’ ground is safe and solid and their enemy is disadvantaged.

Victory from defeat

Pemulwuy was killed in 1802 and his son Tedbury in 1810. Pemulwuy’s decapitated head was sent to England, and lost. But his spirit, and of all those who resist in their myriad of different ways, live on. 

On October 14, a long battle ended in defeat. It’s harder and crueller, but we can learn more from defeat than victory. 

The enemy has declared war on multiple fronts. We must deny them the capacity to ever fight on such favourable ground again, where those who don’t know truth in all its fullness or those who act in irrational fear or with malice can so easily be used. We must find ways to disrupt their unity and build our own. 

We must look beneath the surface to those who benefit from the far-right push of Abbott, Dutton, Mundine and Price, the giant corporations which stood on both sides in the referendum, which used it to divide. They are still coming for Aboriginal lands.


Friday, October 20, 2023

Dan Duggan - a shameful anniversary


Written by: Nick G. on 21 October 2023

Today marks the first anniversary of the jailing of US-born Australian citizen Dan Duggan.

He was seized by Federal Police officers at the insistence of our US rulers who want to extradite him to face charges in the US. The charges relate to training he undertook of Chinese pilots.

Even assuming the extradition process is legitimate, Duggan could have been kept in home detention, or in a minimum security facility close to home. 
But no, such is the power of the US over Australian politicians and police that he was thrown into the harshest possible environment - a maximum security gaol where he has been held for long periods in solitary confinement. 

Only three hours after he was scooped up by Australian Federal Police on Oct. 21, 2022, a Friday, Dan Duggan was on his way to Bathurst Correctional Centre. He would find himself not just in maximum security, solitary confinement. But in a dry cell.

“A dry cell is one with no toilet or running water. Placement in a dry cell may be suitable for an inmate suspected of concealing contraband within a body cavity or an inmate who has refused to supply a urine sample. No inmate is to be placed in a dry cell for more than 24 hours,” Corrective Services NSW website states. 

Dan should not have been in a dry cell. And he should not have been in a dry cell for two days, nobody should be. These are just two of the first breaches of Dan’s human rights that have been perpetrated on him. Dan remained in Bathurst for about five days until he was transferred to Silverwater. During this time his lawyer Dennis Miralis did not know where he was. His wife and children did not know where he was. Yet Dan had not been charged with any offences in Australia. He has no history of violence. This is what the system can do in Australia. This, apparently, fulfils our extradition treaty with the US.

The state apparatus under capitalism – the judicial system, police, gaols, armed forces – is the coercive, violent expression of capitalist state power. In Australia, that means state power in the service of US imperialism. Its economic, political, diplomatic, cultural and military control of Australia is manifested everyday. Just think of Assange, of AUKUS, of US bases throughout the country, of Murdoch’s media, of war preparations against China, of repetition of US assurances that Israel can do what it likes to the Palestinian people.

Today, Dan Duggan will have been locked up in his own country, in maximum security solitary confinement on the say-so of the United State government for 12 months. This is a horrific breach of Australian sovereignty and a nightmare for an Australian family of eight.

The #DanDuggan Twitter (X) page, supported by his family, pulls no punches:

While Dan has been tortured and has his rights as an Australian citizen stripped away by a government that has bent its knee too far to its US ally, his family has suffered cruel and unusual punishment.

That the Australian government has deliberately chosen to inflict such pain and trauma on an Australian woman Saffrine Duggan and her and Dan’s six children Molly 18, Finn, 17, Rory, 17, Jack 10, Hazel 8 and Ginger 6 is beyond shameful. Labor came to office promising better, kinder government  and almost immediately granted a bridging visa to the Murugappan family including the two young girls born in Australia, releasing them for years of government sponsored torture and trauma. Yet it has turned around six months’ later an incarcerated Dan Duggan, on the back of an unproven and disputed US indictment for events that took place outside the US 12 years ago. Since then not one government agency has been in contact with the family to offer any help. You, the taxpayer, are paying for Dan’s incarceration but the government won’t offer a single one of your cents to helping this family.  Once a week, Dan’s kid’s make the 90 minute drive to Lithgow’s brutal, unwelcoming gaol where they are searched and prodded, sniffed by dogs and moved through up to a dozen security doors. They spend maybe an hour - if they are lucky - in a tiny glass encased room watched constantly by guards. Is this how Australia's politicians, the shadowy bureaucrats who advise them and other decision makers in the security apparatus want their kids to be treated? Is this the Australia that you want to live in?

No, we want to live in a free and independent socialist Australia where Australians determine the direction of the economy, the content of cultures, and exercise the fullest capacity for independent decision-making in matters of foreign policy.

We stand with Dan Duggan and demand his release and protection from the vengeful processes of US extradition.

We stand with Assange on the same basis.

We stand with persecuted whistleblowers David McBride and Richard Boyle.

Unite to protect our rights and liberties!


Thursday, October 19, 2023

Palestinians just struggle demands support!

 Written by: CPA (M-L) on 18 October 2023

Hundreds of thousands around the world rallied in the streets of more than 90 cities demanding Israel immediately ends the genocidal bombardment and barbaric blockade of Palestinian Gaza.

The relentless carpet bombing and cutting off power, water, food and medicines into Gaza has left more than 3,500 Palestinians dead with numbers of dead and injured continuing to rise as Israel continues to pound Gaza and threatens military invasion and annihilation of Palestinians.  Israel bombardment is targeting schools, hospitals, Mosques and Churches housing fleeing refugees from north Gaza.

Gaza is an open air prison of displaced and dispossessed Palestinian refugees evicted from their homes and country by the colonial Zionist Israel state with the full support of western imperialist powers.  For 75 years Palestinians have fought for their liberation, resisting Zionist Israel’s ruthless oppression and occupation, backed by US imperialism.

Israel would never be able to maintain and escalate its brutal colonial occupation, expansion of settlements, the Gaza blockade, murdering thousands of Palestinians, without full political and financial backing from U.S. imperialism, pouring nearly $4 billion in military aid every year into Israel.  Since 1948 at the establishment of Israel state and brutal eviction of Palestinians from their homes and country, the US has given Israel more military aid than to any other country.

Israel is a vitally important strategic economic and military base for US imperialism in the Middle East with huge oil and gas reserves in the Mediterranean sea bordering Gaza.  The ordinary people of Palestine and Israel are hostages of the US and Zionist colonial and imperialist domination.

World Wide Solidarity
Solidarity with Palestinians struggle for national liberation is galvanising globally. The long struggles of Palestinians for national liberation resonates strongly with millions of people, especially those living under the heavy boot of colonialism and imperialism. 

Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People identify with the Palestinian people’s shared history and experiences of dispossession, oppression, discrimination, and in their long struggle for self determination.

In Australia, since the start of Israel bombing of Gaza nearly 2 weeks ago protest rallies have been held in many Australian cities.  On the weekend of 13 – 15 October thousands joined protest rallies across the country in most cities, and heard passionate and powerful speeches by Palestinians, First Nations peoples, Moslems, Jews, Christians and many others.  

More rallies will be held on the weekend of 21-23 October.

Many peoples'organisations are releasing statements and petitions condemning Israel.
Australian Palestine Union Solidarity Statement

Reports from around the country ...

Brisbane - Meanjin
Thousands marched through the streets of Brisbane on 13 October.

Canberra - Ngambri

Canberra held one of its biggest rallies attended by approximately 300 people.  For a city populated largely by public servants and politicians it was a significant and militant protest.


Sydney- Gadigal

Despite threats, thousands rally in Sydney for Palestine
“We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.” Yoav Gallant, Israeli “Defence”
Minister defence-minister

After the Opera House sails and Australian Parliament displayed Israeli flag colours, NSW Premier
Chris Minns used media outrage about smoke flares and anti-semitism to undermine further Palestinian protests in Sydney.

Despite threatening potential protestors with new NSW anti-protest laws, more than 6000 came in defiance.

A speaker from Palestine Action Group told them, “For 75 years these horrors have been inflicted
upon us. This did not start last weekend. This has been ongoing for seven decades.”

He continued, “And what did the world do, when faced with images of the apartheid brutality in the
West Bank? Gaza has been under blockade for 16 years. What did the world do in years past? With
every single war on Gaza? The asymmetric death toll, Palestinians dead in their thousands?

“Because you cannot keep a people locked up, chained, subject to brutality and occupation and the
indignity of the military violence that Israel subjugates us with every single day, and not expect that
would somehow come crashing down.”

Beyond endurance
Professor Peter Slezak, the son of holocaust survivors and for decades a voice for sanctions on Israel,
said thousands of Jews are protesting in New York chanting ‘Not in our name’.

“It’s not anti-Jewish to protest the crimes of the state of Israel,” he declared.

“It was a desperate breakout from a concentration camp by the people of Gaza,” he continued,
saying this so-called ‘unprovoked’ attack came after the decades of attacks by Israel. “The world only
pays attention when Israelis are killed and Palestinians resist,” not when the opposite is true.

Professor Bezak said life in Gaza “is beyond endurance. What did Israel or the world community
expect? How can you trap over two million in Gaza, half of whom are children in the one of the most
densely populated places on the planet?

He condemned the officially stated Israeli policy, of keeping Gazans at starvation level, but still alive,
that Israeli leaders mockingly describe as ‘putting Palestinians on a diet’.

In one attack, “Israeli snipers lined up on a barricade and shot nurses, disabled people in wheelchairs
and hundreds and hundreds of unarmed civilians.”

There have been four military invasions since 2008. 70 percent of the population of Gaza are on humanitarian aid, 40 percent are unemployed, ten percent of the children under five have stunted growth due to malnutrition, 60 percent of Gaza’s school children are anaemic and 90 percent of the water in Gaza is unfit for human consumption.”

Current Israeli leaders have publicly abandoned the so-call two state solution

Al Jazeera gives the hourly toll of new horrors.

The Palestine Action Group speaker concluded, “My message to politicians is Palestine will be free!
And a day of reckoning is coming that a genocide was being perpetrated AND YOU DID NOTHING!
And that shame will live with you forever.”

Melbourne - Naarm

Justice and equality for all “from the river to the sea”. In Melbourne, on Sunday 15 October, 15,000 rallied and marched through the streets of Melbourne CBD calling for an end to bombing of Gaza and the blockade, end Israeli occupation and the slaughter of Palestinians.

The rally heard passionate and powerful speeches from Australia’s First Nations people,  Palestinians, Moslems and Jews.  Gary Foley, a veteran leader of the First Nations people told the rally that the First Nations people have stood in solidarity with Palestinian people and their liberation for a long time.   He linked the Australian First Nations people’s struggle for land rights and self-determination with the Palestinian struggle against Israel colonialism and imperialism.

Nasser Mashni representing Australians for Palestine Advocacy Network, expressed his heart felt thanks to the thousands who came out in support of the Palestinian people.  He said it was gratifying to see so many from people’s organisations at the rally.  Mashni, son of Palestinian refugees evicted from their Palestinian home during the 1948 Nakba, pointed out the hypocrisy of the successive Australian governments and the media, silent  for decades whilst thousands of Palestinians were being killed.  Mashni told the rally to be proud for standing on the side of justice with the Palestinian people, and not be intimidated. 

The large crowd enthusiastically welcomed a young Jewish speaker who condemned the occupation of Palestine and compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto.  Other speakers included representative of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Samah Sabawi (Palestinian poet and writer), Women for Palestine, Janet Rice (Greens) and socialists.  Speakers called for end to apartheid, and justice and equality for all “from the river to the sea”. 

The rally marched through the streets of Melbourne chanting “Free, Free Palestine”,  “End the blockade and bombing of Gaza”, “Israel, USA how many kids did you kill today” and “In our thousands, in our millions we are all Palestinians.”

Statement by the Australian Jewish Democratic Society (Melbourne -Naarm))
“We recognise that Israelis will never truly be free until Palestinians are also free; that for Israelis to be safe, there is no option but to achieve a robust political resolution with Palestinian that demands painful concessions on both sides, including recognizing the reality of the other´s permanency.”

Adelaide - Kaurna

In Adelaide about 4,000 people attended the biggest Palestinian rally for a long time.  The rally marched from Parliament House onto North Terrace and to Victoria Square.

Imad Mahmoud called on Australian federal and state governments to stop being complicit in Israel's ongoing violent occupation of Palestinian territories.
"If there was no ongoing occupation, there would be no violence and you know that," he said.  "If there was no daily brutal oppression there would be no violence and you know that.
Mike Khizam from Friends of Palestine group said only the people's movement in support of Palestinian people in Gaza could prevent Israel from escalating their aggression into a catastrophic war throughout the Middle East.
Another rally is planned for next Sunday 22 October.