Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Mr Mundine, stop harming kids if you want them to go to school!

(Above: Twiggy Forrest and Warren Mundine.  Image Flickr Commons)

 Written by: Lindy Nolan on 30 November 2023

Before the Referendum, Warren Mundine revealed plans to completely crush or assimilate First Peoples, to silence them, and provoke their allies to hit out blindly.  

Alongside Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Coalition politicians and former prime ministers, Mr Mundine is a self-serving spokesperson for far-right corporations. These corporation know strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and language stands in the way of their profits from Aboriginal lands.

Mr Mundine identified four fronts of ongoing corporate attacks – accountability, education, economic participation and social change.   

On education, Mr Mundine particularly targets absenteeism among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school students. 
Who wouldn’t support action on Indigenous school absenteeism? According to Mr Mundine, Yes campaigners didn’t care about it. “Imagine,” he said, “if they devoted all that energy into getting Indigenous children into school!”  
He condemns teacher unions and supports welfare cuts to families of school avoiders. 
Regrouping against a nationwide attack 
Let’s ignore Mr Mundine’s clickbait insults, and turn the heat on a punitive agenda which has already betrayed those young people, their families and their communities in the Northern Territory. Because Mr Mundine and his faction aim to roll it out nationwide. 
Even in a post truth era, we start with facts. The rate of school refusal among First Peoples, particularly in remote communities, is sobering. It’s a symptom of young peoples’ despair and trauma, not the cause. 
The bipartisan fifteen-year NT Intervention ended in July 2022.  
It shut down successful school programs involving community members overnight. It slashed all commonwealth funding to communities on Country, where children were healthiest and safest. It introduced Basics Cards (which are still enforced) and refused to authorise their use in community run stores, forcing people into towns to buy food hundreds of kilometres away.  
Gradually it forced people off Country into overcrowded towns and regional centres, setting children adrift.  
Yolngu law man Yingiya Mark Guyula was a cross-cultural educator in schools and Charles Darwin University as Senior Lecturer. As the Intervention bit, he was chosen by the Yolngu Nations Assembly to stand successfully for NT parliament. 
His election pamphlet listed the Intervention’s many deliberate attacks including, “the abuse of our children’s minds” by offering English-only instruction and narrow curriculum. “Schools are making our children dumber not smarter,” he wrote in 2016. Labor governments supported the attacks. 
Only Elcho Islanders fought and won against this educational and cultural disempowerment, though some communities gradually clawed back language programs.  
Now John Howard and Tony Abbott stand alongside Mr Mundine, and bleat about the NT as a failed state. Their Intervention is the biggest cause. They want its carnage to roll out nationwide, including in education. 
Remote communities in WA were also systematically closed down in the same time frame as the Intervention began across the border. 
Making it personal 
It costs money to properly support school refusers. Instead, Mr Guyula pointed out the Intervention systematically cut welfare payments to families who couldn’t get their kids to attend. 
When Mr Mundine speaks of fixing poor school attendance, this is what he means. 
Underpinned by massive government funding, elitist private schools cherry pick children with particular skills or from prominent, wealthy or even politically active families. It they don’t attend regularly there’s support. But if they continue avoiding school, they’re booted out. 
In contrast, the vast majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people attend obscenely under-resourced state schools. Remote schools, once the showplaces of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth empowerment now face constant threat of closure and loss of staff members.  
Most people easily understand that cutting family welfare harms the children it’s supposedly helping. It’s the opposite to positive support proven to increase attendance, through rich and relevant culture. Community-run initiatives like access to a school swimming pool also assist.  
Covid disruption and fear caused ongoing spikes in school refusal, not just in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, where it was already alarming.  
Many of us know young school refusers among family, friends and neighbours. Parents and guardians know there’s no quick fix. It requires kindness, slow patient work, and understanding of the individual and collective importance of education. Working from this personal base, we can show the flaws in Mr Mundine’s solutions.  
Respect for teachers also grew dramatically during Covid. In NSW parents overwhelmingly refused to condemn teachers strikes. They told media cameras teachers deserved pay rises and workload reductions. We need to build on this! 
Who is our strength?  
The First Peoples’ phrase “Nothing about us without us” means self-determination.  
Across these lands, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders led by elders embrace language learning more deeply each year, especially on Country, assisted by language centres.  
Hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are teachers who live and breathe education. Many are active leading unionists. When Warren Mundine attacks teacher unions, he tries to kick aside these Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers. 
Instead, they are our experts. We need to promote their presence in every community.  
Get kids back to school! 
Dump failed policies 
Reverse cuts to remote schools 
Culture and language alongside English 
Listen to teachers not politicians and media personalities 
Support students and families 


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Opposition to Zionism is not anti-Semitism.

 Written by: Nick G. on 27 November 2023

Ever since international solidarity with the Palestinian resistance to Zionist aggression against Gaza emerged after October7, the Zionist lobby and its supporters have charged their opponents with anti-Semitism.

The Zionist lobby knows well the effectiveness of this charge. As one group of Semites (the term originally included Palestinians and other Arabs, and Akkadians, and Phoenicians), the Jews had been attacked by Christians for their alleged involvement in the crucifixion of Christ and barred from most employment and professions throughout Europe. Pogroms attacked Jewish communities over hundreds of years before Hitler elevated ethnic cleansing into wholesale genocide. Thus, from the late 1800s on, anti-Semitism was promoted by some, and opposed by others, as a specific form of hatred of Jews.

The German variant of the fascist movement that began in Italy under Mussolini, took anti-Semitism and anti-Communism as its targets. Hitler often spoke of them in the same breath as “Jewish Bolshevism”. The National Socialist Program of 1920 clearly stated its intention to deny citizenship to Jews and people of Jewish descent, and five years later, Hitler’s Mein Kampf further developed his racial hatred of Jews as a people inferior to the Aryan “master race”.  

There was nothing hidden or concealed about Hitler’s intentions towards the Jews. As his Nazi Party grew in strength, world leaders were asked by Jewish organisations to take a stand against anti-Semitism. Many were affected by the disease themselves or were afraid to alienate those in their electoral bases who were anti-Jewish. Only one leader made a public condemnation of anti-Semitism,
and he was the head of a country which had a long history of hatred of Jews and of pogroms against their communities.

Stalin’s forceful denunciation of anti-Semitism

On January 12, 1931, Joseph Stalin replied to an inquiry from the Jewish News Agency in the United States:

In answer to your inquiry :

National and racial chauvinism is a vestige of the misanthropic customs characteristic of the period of cannibalism. Anti-semitism, as an extreme form of racial chauvinism, is the most dangerous vestige of cannibalism.

Anti-semitism is of advantage to the exploiters as a lightning conductor that deflects the blows aimed by the working people at capitalism. Anti-semitism is dangerous for the working people as being a false path that leads them off the right road and lands them in the jungle. Hence Communists, as consistent internationalists, cannot but be irreconcilable, sworn enemies of anti-semitism.

In the U.S.S.R. anti-semitism is punishable with the utmost severity of the law as a phenomenon deeply hostile to the Soviet system. Under U.S.S.R. law active anti-semites are liable to the death penalty.

J. Stalin
January 12, 1931

Not one other leader of the so-called “democracies” denounced anti-Semitism so forcefully. Indeed many did not at all.

Despite knowing of Hitler’s desire to cleanse Germany (and Europe) of Jews, and knowing of the existence of concentration camps, they refused to condemn Hitler.

On the other hand, and knowing of Hitler’s plans for war and his “final solution” of the “Jewish problem”, Stalin had Pravda publish his reply to the US Jewish News Agency on November 30, 1936 so as to provide leadership on this question among the Soviet people.

Anti-Semitism not an issue for Menzies.

This stands in marked contrast to people like Robert Menzies. As Attorney-General in the Lyons United Australia Party government, Menzies admired Hitler’s government for its suppression of the workers’ movement, and ignored its growing record of anti-Semitism. In 1933, he had acknowledged the “barbaric and medieval persecution” to which Jews in Europe were “apparently” being subjected, but the following year he unsuccessfully attempted to exclude Czech Jewish Communist Egon Kisch from entering Australia on an anti-fascist speaking tour. 

Whilst still Attorney-General (and Minister for Industry) he toured Europe from April to August 1938, and included Nazi Germany on his itinerary. Persecution of Jews was in full swing (it was only three months before the notorious Nazi pogrom known as the Kristallnacht) yet all he could talk of was how wonderful was Hitler’s leadership.

Addressing the Australian Women's National League in Melbourne in October after his return, he said “If you were Germans, you would take off your hats to Herr Hitler, who does really rule Germany and is not a figurehead. He has produced results. He has been able to bluff and the other nations have not been able to call his bluff.”

The Melbourne Argus, Nov. 15th, 1938 said “In his recent visit to Germany he (Mr. Menzies), had been impressed with German industrial efficiency and with the attitude of responsibility of the big industrial enterprises to the welfare of their employees and their children.”

Reporting on the same speech by Menzies, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying “The dictator in Germany had been guilty of unspeakably bad things, but there were also points in the dictatorship that Australia could learn from. He had been impressed with German industrial efficiency.”

On July 17, 1939 in Perth, Menzies said “If Herr Hitler were to be considered fairly and dispassionately, it must be admitted that he had done remarkable things for his country.”

A woman shouted an interjection: “Concentration camps, my God!”

Menzies replied that he regarded it as a cardinal rule to be fair to one's opponents. In other words, the woman should be fair to Hitler!

Following the death of Lyons in April 1939, Menzies became UAP leader and Prime Minister. In September, he announced as his “melancholy duty” that as a consequence of the UK declaring war on Germany, Australia was also at war.

But at this stage it was a “phoney war”, with no real action being taken by the US and France to stop Hitler. That lasted for eight months until May 1940, when Germany invaded France. Up until this point, Menzies was still defending Hitler. 

“I have a great admiration for the Nazi organisation of Germany. There is a case for Germany against Czechoslovakia. We must not destroy Hitlerism, or talk about shooting Hitler,” he told Parliament (Hansard, April 22, 1940).

Zionism has inherited the spirit of anti-Semitism

It is all very well for the heirs of Menzies and their look-alikes in the Labor Party to decry anti-Semitism, but they do so only as a defense of Israel as an imperialist enclave within the Middle East.

When the Israelis engage in Nazi-like suppression of the Palestinians, they are silent. 

When Israel established itself through terrorist violence of the Haganah, and of the Irgun and Stern gangs, Zionism fully embraced a racist ideology of conquest and suppression. As early as 1895, Theodor Herzl had proclaimed that “The superiority of Jewish colonial rights over the rights of the indigenous Palestinians has always been the hallmark of the Zionist movement.” He had the Nazi concept of lebensraum (the right of conquest for seizure of living room) before Nazism existed and made it its own. It still manifests itself in Israel’s illegal seizure of Palestinian territory following the Zionist state’s creation in 1947, and in its state-supported invasion of the West Bank by so-called settlers who impose their will by way of anti-Palestinian pogroms.

To achieve its attempted crushing of the Palestinians, Israel has imposed the Warsaw Ghetto writ large upon Gaza. Announcing a “complete siege” of Gaza two days after Hamas’ attack on Israel, the latter’s defence minister, Yoav Gallant, was straightforward about his view of Palestinians. “There will be no electricity, no food, no water, no fuel, everything will be closed. We are fighting against human animals and will act accordingly.” When the Palestinians stage their own Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the Israelis stage their own Nazi demolition of the ghetto they have imposed.

It is one thing to slander the supporters of the Palestinian resistance as anti-Semitic. It is a blindness to the spirit of anti-Semitism that lies at the heart of Zionism and its supporters.

This is the Nazi-like spirit that infuses the comments of Israeli Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu who said that dropping a “nuclear bomb” on the Gaza Strip is “an option”.

Eliyahu, a minister from the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, said that “one of Israel’s options in the war in Gaza is to drop a nuclear bomb on the Strip,” Daily Times of Israel reported.

Speaking a radio interview, Eliyahu also “voices his objection to allowing any humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

“We wouldn’t hand the Nazis humanitarian aid,” the minister said, adding that “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.”

The far-right minister also said that the Palestinian population “can go to Ireland or deserts, the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves.”
He added: “Anyone waving a Palestinian or Hamas flag shouldn’t continue living on the face of the earth.”

Again, the same spirit infuses the comments by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu following the events of October 7. 

In describing the war he had unleashed as a “holy mission”, he said: “You must remember what Amalek has done to you, says our Holy Bible”. His words are reference to a text which goes on to read: “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass,” (1 Samuel 15:3). 

According to George Browning, former Anglican Bishop of Canberra Goulburn, “This statement frighteningly tells you all you need to know about the mindset and intention of Israel’s vengeful Prime Minister, and of the future that lies ahead for all Palestinians in the lands of their birth.”

Nothing gives the lie to charges of anti-Semitism directed at supporters of the Palestinian resistance more than the involvement of non-Zionist Jews in the rallies and demonstrations. A disciplined approach to anti-Semitism has been a hallmark of the organisers of pro-Palestinian marches and rallies, and they have welcome the presence of Jews with their anti-Netanyahu slogans of “Not in our name”.

The courage of the young Jewish boy who spoke at the Sydney school student strike for Palestine, and the welcome afforded by the Palestinian organisers points in the best possible way to a future in which Jews and Palestinians, and Hebrews, Muslims and Christians cooperate in the creation of a singular, secular state from the River to the Sea.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Factors of Production in Contemporary Australia


Written by: (Contributed) on 26 November 2023

A recent Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) poll has revealed a large-scale reaction to the Australian corporate-led agenda of pushing their profits to the detriment of basic workers' rights and attempting to undermine and vandalise the Closing the Loopholes Bill passing through Canberra. The findings, together with other additional information, provide all trade-unionists with data to strengthen their bargaining power at all levels of industrial relations in workplaces across Australia.

In early November an ACTU-commissioned survey conducted by Essential Research found two-thirds of voters from a sample of 1216 voters within fifteen marginal seats that they regarded big business of possessing too much power; they also supported labour hire casual workers in the struggle for same-job-same-pay legislation. (1) The poll followed similar findings with an earlier survey conducted by SEC Newgate Mood of the Nation where nearly half the 1600 voter sample expressed the view that the Australian corporate sector were not behaving in an ethical manner when dealing with workers' issues. (2)

The results of the two surveys reveal the reaction taking place against decades of economic rationalism which enabled the business-classes to strengthen the role of capital against organised labour; the result was enrichment of the corporate sector, with little benefit for the working class. Decades of liberalisation, de-regulation and privatisation foisted on governments through international financial institutions controlled by the US, had removed barriers to wealth creation solely for the rich.

The role of capital, as a basic factor of production, was strengthened over labour, the other factor. Information, readily available in the public domain, has revealed the problem.

Over twenty years ago an eighteen-month project commissioned by the elite US National Security Council (NSC) intelligence service, concluded that economic globalisation 'will not lead to a general well-being … because the gap between rich and poor … both between countries and within them … is growing'. (3) The findings, while subsequently subject to classification, were leaked to a Spanish language media outlet without comment from Washington.

Similar studies also conducted years ago showed how wealth accumulation accelerated under globalisation; the rich were quick to expand their wealth. A study conducted in 2005 concluded that in 1980 the income of the advanced, industrial countries was eleven times larger than the rest of the world; by 2000 it had increased to 23 times larger. (4) Global inequality grew at a rate of 2.4 per cent in the decade before 1980, afterwards it had an annual rate of 3.9 per cent into this century. (5)

In fact, by 2020, it was established the richest one per cent of the world's population had already grabbed two-thirds of the US$42 trillion of new wealth; the remaining 99 per cent acquired the other one third. (6)

With such inequalities commonplace it was hardly surprising that the ACTU-commissioned survey also found that, 'Australians don't trust big business and they see through the lies they have been peddling simply to protect their profits'. (7)

Against the backcloth of vast economic power wielded over the working-class, it was noted that business groups had already spent millions of dollars opposing proposed government legislation designed to create a more favourable industrial relations arena: the Closing the Loopholes Bill at present passing through Canberra deals with same-job-same-pay procedures and wage theft, which remains rampant across Australia. (8)

Elsewhere, information emerging about wage theft, has revealed how the Fair Work Ombudsman has already recovered $17.7 million on behalf of 7,242 underpaid workers in the care industry during the past financial year. (9) An official media release from the department noted, 'increases in civil penalties and the proposed criminalisation of wage theft would act as a deterrent'. (10) No wonder the business-classes are campaigning against the proposed legislation; it effectively challenges the power of capital and the abuses of their power over entire workforces.

Official facts and figures about the Australian workforce, for example, reveal a third were born overseas; despite continuing problems of shortages of workers only one per cent of employers, however, were keen to offer higher wages to attract suitable personnel. (11) It is, therefore, not particularly difficult to establish how wage theft takes place: many new workers from overseas originate from countries where trade-unionism is dangerous and activists are targeted by para-military organisations, they are reluctant to challenge Australian employers; language difficulties, likewise, present a challenge. Australian employers appear only too keen to exploit the vulnerable sections of the workforce. (12)

And, finally, there is the whole issue of tax evasion; data released by the Australian Tax Office has shown that during the 2020-21 financial year, 66 very wealthy Australians, who had amassed over one billion dollars, paid no income tax, not even the Medicare levy. (13)

The sooner the Closing the Loopholes Bill is passed, the better!

Dealing with massive tax evasion should then also become a government priority. Workers pay income tax all their working lives, while unproductive employers bludge on the system!

1.     Big business has too much power: voters, Australian, 14 November 2023.
2.     Voter rage against corporate ethics, Australian, 7 November 2023.
3.     Hunger does not subside and slavery returns, Granma International (Havana), 24 June 2001.
4.     How globalisation fuels poverty, Socialist Campaign Group News, (Westminster, London), July 2005.
5.     Ibid.
6.     Survival of the Richest, Oxfam publication, 2020.
7.     Big business, Australian, op.cit., 14 November 2023.
8.     Ibid.
9.     Pay a priority for work adjudicator, Australian, 10 October 2023.
10.   Ibid.
11.   See: Skills shortages proving chronic, Australian, 5 October 2023.
12.   See: $50m to combat 'systemic' exploitation of migrants, Australian, 5 October 2023, which has provided evidence that Canberra is aware of the problem of exploitation of vulnerable workers and unscrupulous employers.
13.   Rich should pay their share, says Smith, The Weekend Australian, 11-12 November 2023.

Zionist State Of Israel Always Dependent On Imperialist Powers

 Written by: Ned K. on 25 November 2023

The theoretical founders of the political Zionist movement in Europe from the 1880s were well aware that their desire for a region in the world for exclusively Jewish people was dependent on the support of the imperialist powers. 

One of the theoretical founders, Herzl, was acutely aware of this. He realized that the Zionist movement needed to paint a picture of a Jewish state that would enhance European imperialist expansion and that colonization needed to be presented as spreading of "progress, civilization and well-being".

Herzl opposed the "spiritual Zionism" of Ahad Ha'am, who only wanted to form a spiritual homeland in Palestine, not necessarily a distinct state of Israel.  He envisaged scattered Jewish agricultural colonies spread "harmlessly" across Palestinian land.

Herzl criticized this as being based on the "false principle of successive infiltration". Herzl said infiltration will always end badly because it would not enable the "influx" of European Jews. Only a Jewish state of Israel could do this.

Herzl's "Society of Jews" would "negotiate with the sovereign authorities of the territories in question, and it will do so under the protectorate of the European powers, if they find the arrangement to their liking".

The "sovereign authorities" were the Ottomans and then the British imperialist power.
Nowadays it is US imperialism and its supporters including the Australian Government!

In the Introduction to Maxime Rodinson's book, Israel A Colonial Settler State?, Peter Buch quotes Herzl as to what he foresaw as the value of a state of Israel in Palestine

"If His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could undertake to regulate Turkey's finances. For Europe, we would constitute a bulwark against Asia down there, we would be the advance post of civilization against barbarism. We would remain in constant touch with all of Europe, which would guarantee our existence".

The language used by Herzl way back in the late 1800s which frames Israel as the "advance post of civilization against barbarism" is similar to how the current Zionist leaders frame their vicious genocidal attack on the Palestinian people.

The world-wide protest movement in support of the Palestinians is an aspect of the international situation that was not present in Herzl's time. The power of the people will defeat Zionism and its imperialist backers.


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Pilbara Train Drivers Take industrial Action Against BHP


Written by: Ned K. on 22 November 2023

About 400 train drivers in the Pilbara voted to take industrial action in pursuit of higher wages and better conditions. The train drivers transport iron ore from BHP owned mines to the coast for export to steel corporations in other countries, including China.

The industrial action started with train drivers banning the use of BHP's mobile app fr rostering.

The industrial action is significant. It is the first industrial action in the Pilbara region of this magnitude for 15 years. It comes at a time when last financial year the mining industry made a staggering $304 biillion in profits. In the last decade mining industry wages have gone up by 22% while in the same period mining industry profits went up by 200%.

These figures show that even though wages may be higher than in many other industries, they are low when compared with the surplus value and profits of BHP and other mining corporations. The latter come from the toil of mining industry workers like the 400 train drivers in the Pilbara.

The industrial action by the train drivers is occurring as the Labor Government's Closing Loppholes Bill crawls through the federal parliament.

The key element of the Bill is to prevent corporations like BHP using labour hire workers to cut wages by labour companies paying labour hire employees far less than the going rates paid to directly employed workers.

Like most Bills that go through parliament generated from workers through their unions, there are qualifications and limitations for the bosses' side.

The Bill provides that where the host employer (eg BHP) is covered by an Enterprise Agreement and engages labour hire through a labour hire company, an application may be made to the Fair Work Commission for a "regulated labour hire arrangement order". If the order is made the host employer has to pay the labour hire workers not less than the rate of pay applying under the enterprise agreement.

If the Bill becomes law, it does not apply in the first three months of labour hire. The Bill does not apply to what is described as "genuine service contractors". In the mining industry this will mean that where mining companies like BHP use other multinationals like Sodexo, Compass or Civeo or ISS to provide support services such as cleaning miners’ quarters or providing their meals in the mining site canteen, these workers will still be subject to cheaper labour rates than if they were directly employed by the host mining company.

Despite the conditional nature of the Closing Loopholes Bill, it is still a win through years of struggle by the working class against labour hire wage swindles. 

The ACTU in their excellent research paper "Digging a Hole: Mining Boss myths about the Closing Loopholes Bill" estimates that about 600,000 labour hire workers will be better off if the Bill becomes law.

As with all gains won through workers’ struggles, the bosses will try and claw back and find ways around the new laws. 

However the Pilbara train drivers’ collective action and the example they set to other workers is what the bosses fear most. It is when workers organize to defend and extend their interests that those bosses like BHP become most alarmed.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Will US base new Typhon strike weapon in Australia?

(Above: Typhon missile launcher.  Photo: US Army)

Written by: Nick G. on 21 November 2023 

According to a US report last Saturday, the US plans to deploy a new long-range missile launcher in the Indo-Pacific next year.

Known as Typhon, the land-based system is designed to launch Raytheon’s existing SM-6 missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles to hit targets between the Precision Strike Missile’s (PrSM’s) planned 500-kilometer range and the 2,776-kilometer reach of the future Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW).

US Army Pacific commander Gen. Charles Flynn did not identify where the Typhon launchers would be based, but told reporters that he does not anticipate needing foreign government permission to deploy the interceptor if they have already signed off on HIMARS.

Australia signed up to HIMARS, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launcher, when it agreed on January 5 this year to purchase 20 of the launchers from Lockheed Martin for an estimated cost of $558 million. The Hong Kong-based Asia Times reported on the purchase agreement under the heading Australia to point America’s HIMARS at China. The Chinese mainland could not be reached from Australia, but Chinese naval and commercial shipping are obvious targets.

HIMARS was on display and used by US forces in the recent Talisman Sabre Exercises in Queensland. American 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Battalion, Specialist Juan Jimanez said “It’s good for you guys to see how we operate and shoot. It gets the excitement going, so when you do get them, it’s like, ‘Alright, let’s go play’.”

Sadly, that would appear to match the child-like enthusiasm of Defence Minister Richard Marles for any new US weaponry. 

Would Australia need to give permission to the US for it to base its Typhon launchers here?

Australia is the only country in the region to have signed off on HIMARS.  So too has the regime in Taiwan, but they are not really within the region, and their HIMARS will be pointed at mainland China. Singapore has also signed up, but is further from the South Pacific island nations whose relationships with China are threatening US domination of the region.

The supply chain for the missiles to be launched from HIMARS vehicles and from the Typhon is not regarded as reliable, particularly given the deployment of HIMARS in Ukraine where it is regarded as having passed all tests against the invading Russians with flying colours and where the demand for missiles is insatiable.

So, not only has Australia had to purchase the launch systems from US manufacturers, it has had to agree on a program to produce missiles domestically, partnering domestic firms with US defence contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.  

The deployment of the Typhon, if indeed Australia is the country that the US believes it does not need to seek permission from, is another unwelcome betrayal of our sovereignty and a further hold that the US has over the capacity we are meant to have for independent decision-making.

Should one or other of the rival imperialist powers seeking to dominate our region provoke an armed conflict, any use of US missile launch systems from Australian soil will immediately see us at war and a target for the opposing imperialism.

An independent and peaceful Australia should not lend itself to the war games of competing imperialisms.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

How Secure Are Australia's Defence Bases?


(Above: Wilson Security guard at Watsonia barracks.  Picture: Angie Basdekis

Written by: Ned K. on 20 November 2023

There are many military bases in Australia. There are air force bases, army bases, navy bases, rocket and missile bases, signal bases and proof ranges and training bases. Since September 11, 2001 when Al Qaeda operatives used planes to target the twin towers in New York, security measures at defence bases and domestic and international airports have received more attention and resources from successive Australian Governments. 

The growing rivalry between imperialist powers of the USA, Russia and China have added to the Government's determination to ensure that Australian military bases are secure and adequate to facilitate military operations required by the US - Australia Alliance and now AUKUS commitments. These commitments successive Australian Governments have entered in to suit the needs of the USA in particular in its military operations on a global scale. 

The Australian people support Australia having Australian military bases which are secure and adequate for the defence of Australian independence and peaceful neutrality. 

It is ironic that as Australian Governments talk more and more about the need to increase the country's defence and national security, they have handed over the operation of security services at all defence bases to foreign owned multinational corporations!

There was a time before the frenzy of outsourcing of government services in the 1980s and 1990s when military base security services were owned and operated by Australian government departments.

Now military security services and airports are almost entirely in the hands of Wilson Security, MSS Security, Securecorp, Secom and Certis

Wilson Security is owned by the Hog Kong Kwok family who also provide security services to the Chinese Government.

MSS Security is owned by an Indian multinational security company SIS Group Enterprises.
Securecorp is owned by multinational Guardforce Group with headquarters in Hong Kong.
Secom Group is Japanese owned.

Certis Group which is a major player in airport security in particular is Singapore owned. 

These multinational corporations' primary concern is not the security of Australia, Australian defence bases and the workers and military personnel inside those bases.

Their primary concern is maximizing profits. 

In 2015 for example, Wilson Security's Kwok family were caught shifting profits to the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands through a shelf company Wilson Offshore Group (BVI) Holdings.

The Security Officers employed at the defence bases work long hours for low wages with high workloads. Most are on base Award rates of pay. They also get swindled out of leave entitlements and overtime payments by the way their employers construct the rosters over lengthy roster cycles. 

Sub-contracting is also a common feature of security services at the Bases.

Trawling through Facebook posts by angry Security Officers indicates that these workers have had enough.
They expect more from Governments who tell the public day in and day out how important defence is at the moment. 

Their demands for higher wages and better conditions and ultimately to be directly employed as government Security Officers will be supported by the people. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip continue (2006-2023)

 Written by: Fouad Baker DFLP on 17 November 2023


The comrades at the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) have asked political parties everywhere to publicise their statement on Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip. We are more than happy to oblige - eds.

Foreign affairs Department at the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine 2023/11/16 

Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip continue (2006-2023)

To the political parties in the world,

The barbaric Israeli aggression supported by Western colonial countries, especially the United States, which has been continuing since the eighth of last October, was not the first. Rather, it was preceded by many wars on the Gaza Strip, resulting in tens of thousands of martyrs and wounded, in addition to the systematic destruction of homes and infrastructure. 

Wars and aggression are an inherent feature of the Israeli entity since its inception, which masters committing massacres and crimes against defenseless civilians, using the latest products produced by the Israeli and Western killing and destruction machine against residential neighborhoods and civilian facilities, in an area with the highest population density (the area of the Gaza Strip is 365 km2 and it is more populated (2.2 million people)). 

During a period of 17 years (i.e. from the start of the unjust siege on the Gaza Strip from 2006 until
2023), Israel launched (12) wars against the Strip, including (6) destructive wars. The number of martyrs during these wars reached more than 4,300 martyrs, in addition to about 19,500 wounded, 2014 was the bloodiest and most brutal year, not to mention the massive destruction... while the number of Israeli deaths did not exceed 136 dead and about 4,000 wounded.

1) Shattered Illusion 2006: 277 Palestinians were killed and 1,167 wounded in Israeli raids that continued for three months. 
2) Hot winter 2008: 125 Palestinians were killed and large numbers of wounded over the course of five days of bombing. 
3) Battle of Al-Furqan 2008 – 2009: 1,430 Palestinian martyrs were martyred, including about 400 children and 240 women, 5,400 wounded, in addition to the complete or partial destruction of more than 10,000 homes. 
4) Battle of the Shale Stones: About 180 Palestinians were martyred, including 42 children and 11 women, and about 1,300 others were injured. 
5) The battle of the eaten storm: 2,322 martyrs and 11,000 wounded were killed, and Israel committed massacres against 144 families. 
6) Battle Cry of Dawn: 34 Palestinians were killed, and more than 100 others were injured 
7) Battle of Saif Al-Quds: About 250 Palestinian martyrs were killed and more than 5,000 wounded.

The Gaza Strip is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories and it is not possible to create any kind of geographical or political separation between them. These territories are a single and unified territorial unit, and any dealing with them in a partial manner is an attempt to divide the Palestinian land with the aim of striking the unity of the Palestinian people, which we will fight. In order to dedicate it as a major issue in the central trinity: the unity of the land, the people, and the cause. 

What must be emphasized repeatedly is that what happened on October 7 is an extension of what was happening before that date in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the city of Jerusalem in terms of criminal practices against the Palestinian people. Therefore, the battle of “Al-Aqsa Flood” comes in the context of responding to the massacres and crimes committed against our people in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and in the Gaza Strip, whether daily killings, arrests, theft of land for the purposes of settlement, the demolition of homes, the burning of entire towns, the storming and destruction of cities and camps, and the terrorization of those who are safe, are in response to the occupation’s aggression against the land and the sanctities. Therefore, we say that there is no solution to our national issue without recognizing that occupation and settlement are the basis of the issue.

The aggression is not against a faction or party, but rather against all the people, with all their parties and political and social components. It is a systematic aggression, even genocide, against an entire people, for women, for children, for the sick, for the elderly, for everything that is alive and moving on the land.

The Gaza Strip is an Israeli and Western aggression, targeting the Palestinian people across all of Palestine, especially since the number of martyrs in the West Bank has exceeded 500 martyrs since the beginning of the year, including about 200 martyrs since October 7, which is the bloodiest year for the Palestinian people. In the West Bank and Jerusalem, which confirms that the main problem is the physical presence of the occupation and its settlers. 
The United Nations and its resolutions consider the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem to be Palestinian lands occupied by Israel. All international law charters allow persecuted peoples to resist the invaders. The Palestinian people have the right and even their duty to resist the Zionist occupier, and the legal, political, moral and humanitarian duty of the international community is to support the people’s resistance. The Palestinians who struggle to liberate their land do so to enable them to freely exercise their national rights away from occupation, subordination and colonialism.

The Occupation and settlements are the main root of the problem, and any solution that does not take into account the national rights of the Palestinian people will be a reason for reproducing conflicts in Palestine in Palestine and the region. 

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) calls on all parties of the world and its political and popular institutions to condemn the war of extermination pursued by the Israeli enemy against the Palestinian people, to take punitive and deterrent measures against Israeli war criminals, and to exert pressure on Western governments that support the aggression to stop their partnership in killing and crimes against civilians of the Palestinian people and to work from In order to stop the series of crimes against humanity. 

Fouad Baker 

Contact us: 
Telephone: 0096176927214 

Palestine will live!

 Written by: Alice M. on 16 November 2023

 The Palestinian people’s protracted struggle for self-determination and liberation is inspiring people the world over.   

Centuries of oppression, from slavery to Palestine today, show that the oppressed will resist, organise rebellions and revolutions for freedom, national liberation and class struggle.  

Struggles against colonial, capitalist and imperialist oppression, exploitation and plunder, ebb and flow, take different forms, depending on the conditions and the relative strengths between the oppressed and their oppressors. 

But the resistance and fight for freedom can never be crushed.   Zigs zags and setbacks in struggle are learnt from and strengthen the conscious mass resistance. New generations of revolutionary fighters, steeled in the fire of protracted fight for liberation, advance the struggle to a politically higher level.
Every act of Zionist Israeli oppression, massacre, dispossession and genocide only strengthens the Palestinian people’s resolve to live, organise, resist and fight for liberation and freedom.
For every Palestinian child massacred by the fascist Israeli state hundreds of new resistance fighters are born (and rise) every day.  
Every Israeli massacre and brutal occupation of Palestine expands and strengthens the world wide support for Palestinians and isolates the fascist Zionist state and its US imperialist backers. 
Crisis for Zionist Israeli state and world imperialism
The barbaric brutality of Israel in Gaza and the West Bank and the resolute struggle of the courageous Palestinian people is igniting worldwide outrage and sharpening the political and social crises of capitalism and imperialism.
The naked genocide in Gaza, the massacres, the violent expansion of settlements and barbaric apartheid, the imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, many of whom are children, is exposing the reality of 75 years of brutal repression and occupation by the Zionist Israeli fascist state.  
Political crisis in Zionist Israel is intensifying. The colonial/capitalist state of Israel is riddled with internal colonial, class and social conflicts and irreconcilable contradictions. It is only the Zionist chauvinism and whipped up fear of Palestinians that prevents the artificially created state from imploding.  No longer is Israel’s ruling class able to conceal from the world, and its own people, 75 years of violent dispossession, brutal colonial occupation and slaughter in Gaza and the West Bank.  
More Israelis are questioning their government’s claims of peace and security for the Jewish people, demanding the resignation of the Netanyahu government, an end to the siege and slaughter in Gaza and an end to the expansion of Zionist settlements into the West Bank.  Some are calling for a one democratic secular state for Palestinians, Jews and Christians as the only solution to the conflict.
Thousands of Jews are joining global protests in solidarity with Palestinians, condemning Zionist Israel and the US.  Hundreds are occupying government and politicians’ buildings and offices chanting “Not in Our Name”, refusing to leave and getting arrested.   
  • 75 years of Palestinian suffering and resistance is exposing the impotence of the United Nations, under US control and domination, unable to condemn, let alone stop the Zionist state’s colonial brutality
The Australian Labor government has exposed itself as a lap dog of US imperialism, complicit in Israeli genocide. Australian people from all walks of life are outraged with the subservient Labor government for refusing to support a ceasefire in Gaza.  They demand the government immediately calls for a ceasefire, an end to Israeli slaughter and for an independent foreign policy ending the subservience to US imperialism.  More parallels are being made between the dispossession of Australia’s indigenous people and the people of Palestine.  The organised working class is taking action banning Israel’s shipping lines and refusing to handle weapons bound for Israel.
Massive world wide support for Palestinian liberation is widening the gulf between the masses of the people and the imperialist, capitalist and reactionary ruling classes.  Huge public pressure is forcing governments to condemn Israel and move away from western imperialism.
Unions, port workers and seafarers are slapping bans on Israeli shipping lines and refuse to handle weapons bound for Israel.  
In the belly of the US imperialist beast, powerful mass opposition to US support for Israel is intensifying the political, social and economic crisis of that country.
Amongst the people there is growing distrust of the bourgeois monopoly media peddling lies and propaganda.
Israeli genocide in Gaza backed by the U.S. is exposing and isolating the US-led imperialist world order of plunder, oppression and exploitation. 
Worldwide the tide of anti-colonial and anti-imperialism is raising political consciousness.
US imperialism – main pillar of the Israeli fascist state.
For 75 years, since the “Nakba” catastrophe and the creation of the settler Zionist Israel state in 1948 the US has supported Israel’s violent expulsions and dispossession of Palestinians from their homes.  For 75 years US has funded and armed Israel’s brutal expansion and occupation of Palestinian territories, arming the Zionist settlers against Palestinians.   
For 75 years trillions of dollars of most advanced hi-tech weaponry, missiles, rockets, tanks, drones, military cyber intelligence, the colonial Israel state and its US – led western imperialist powers have been thrown against the Palestinian resistance, but still cannot crush the heroic Palestinian people’s struggle for national liberation.  
Without the immense financial, military, economic and political support from the U.S. the Zionist colonial state would not be able to maintain the brutal colonial occupation, expansion, repression and barbaric apartheid system in Palestine.
The US, and its lackeys, veto every attempt in the UN to pass even the most inconsequential and non-binding resolutions mildly criticising Zionist Israel’s horrendous crimes against the Palestinians.
Since 1948 the US has gifted Israel $3-$4 billion each year in military and financial aid to help maintain Israel’s violent occupation and expansion of settlements into Palestinian territories. In recent years the entire US aid to Israel has been for its military occupation and suppression of Palestinian resistance.  The IDF is heavily dependent on military aid from the US and western imperialist powers.
From its foundation in 1948 the Zionist Israeli state has been a vital geo-political, economic and military base for US-led western imperialism in the resources rich Middle East and West Asia region.
Until recently, the US has maintained its imperialist dominance in the region, rich in oil and gas reserves.  1,525 billions of gallons of still untapped significant gas reserves borders the eastern Mediterranean coast of the Gaza Strip. The West Bank sits on rich gas and oil reserves.
However, the US is now facing challenges to its regional domination from the wealthy and powerful Arabic states and China’s expanding investments and influence in the Middle East and West Asia.
The increasing opposition to US imperialism by the people of the region continues to weaken the US supremacy.
Zionism is a reactionary chauvinist ideology of colonialism, capitalism and imperialism created in 19th century Europe to establish a separate Israeli state exclusively for the Jewish people.  In 1948 the establishment of Israel in Palestine led to the brutal eviction of Palestinians from their historic homeland of hundreds of years.  Centuries of antisemitism, fuelled by the ruling classes, and the WW2 Nazi Holocaust, created fertile ground for the spread of reactionary Zionist ideology exploiting and seizing on the horrendous experiences of traumatised Jewish people.  Many progressive and communist Jews strongly opposed Zionism from its inception.  During and after WW2 powerful Zionists and US imperialists flooded Jewish communities with anti-communist and anti-Soviet propaganda.
Colonial Israel’s aim is to expand Israel by expelling Palestinians from Gaza and West Bank into Egypt’s Sinai desert.
In our millions we are all Palestinians
Despite blanket capitalist monopoly media support for Israel and the demonisation of Palestinians, ordinary people are mobilising in their millions in all corners of the world.    
Across Australia, from Darwin to Hobart, Perth to Sydney, in many regional centres and communities, tens of thousands join rallies calling for a ceasefire and an end to Israeli genocide and occupation.   With every intensified massacre on Gaza and West Bank the rallies swell in numbers and calls for a Free Palestine.  Palestine flags fly from people’s homes, and in some local councils.  
Workers and Unions in solidarity with Palestinians

Rank and file unionists are organising members, holding meetings and passing resolutions in solidarity with Palestinian unions.  Union members of AMWU, MUA, HECSU, NTEU, ANMF, CPSU, UWU, AEU and others join Palestinian solidarity rallies with their union flags.
The Victorian Trades Hall is proudly flying the Palestinian flag next to Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Eureka flags.
In Naarm (Melbourne) 400 unionists and community members blocked trucks in the Port of Melbourne carrying ZIM shipping containers for over 2 hours.  Melbourne school students are organising a walk out during school hours on 23 November, protesting the genocide of Palestinian people and calling for a ceasefire.  The school students are supported by parents and teachers
In Sydney hundreds of jetskiers flying Palestinian flags converged on the waters of Sydney Harbour opposing Israel ZIM shipping line and in solidarity with the Palestinians.
Recently over 250 rank and file members from many unions met at the Victorian Trades Hall to establish a Unionists for Palestine network.  Members of Australian and Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) addressed the meeting explaining the history and background of the 75 year-old Palestinian liberation struggle.  An APAN spokesperson and union member called for the mobilisation of the union movement in support of the Palestinian liberation struggle and Palestinian unions.  She explained the history of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaigns and the anti-apartheid movement against South Africa.
Assistant secretaries from MUA and AMWU pledged their unions’ support for the Palestinian struggle, invoking the militant industrial actions by Australian workers and their unions during the South African anti-apartheid campaigns. 
Jews Against Zionism
More Jewish people are seeing through the Zionist and imperialist lies and propaganda.
More speak out and condemn the Israeli Zionist genocide, calling for a free and secular state for Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Moslems.

Several groups of young Jews, some religious, invaded and chained themselves inside the Minister for Defence, Richard Marles’ Electoral offices, demanding the Australian government withdraws economic, military and political support for Israel’s occupation and genocide.  “I condemn the use of Jewish grief and trauma as justification for committing genocide against another people.” said one of the young Jewish spokespeople during the occupation of Richard Marles’ offices.
For a free, democratic and secular country
The two state solution is not viable for either the Palestinian or Jewish people.  Palestinians have the right to return to their historic homelands and live as equals with Jews, Christians and Moslems in a secular, democratic and free Palestine.  This hope and vision for a just future for Palestinians and Jews is expressed in a popular chant “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free”. 
Solidarity with Palestine
The Australia people can take action to assist Palestinians to end colonial and imperialist genocide and occupation
Close Pine Gap and all US bases in Australia.  Pine Gap, the US controlled military intelligence base in central Australia is one of the biggest US military intelligence bases outside the US. Pine Gap military intelligence is used by the IDF in its military and surveillance operations in the genocide on Gaza, occupation and military repression of Palestinians.  The IDF and Israel’s fascist intelligence spy agencies use Pine Gap for extensive surveillance of Palestinians in occupied territories, in the precision guided missile attacks and drone strikes.  The indigenous Arrente people of Central Australia fought against the establishment of Pine Gap US military installation on their country and land.  
End the US-Australia alliance – isolate and weaken US imperialism.  Demand Australia condemns the occupation and violent repression by the Zionist Israeli state.  Adopt an independent foreign policy upholding the rights of peoples to independence and self-determination.
Support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign
Oppose US imperialism the source of oppression, exploitation and imperialist wars
Power to the people!  
For 75 years of fascist and imperialist brutal repression and dispossession, and the Palestinian people still refuse to give up their struggle for national liberation.  They will continue to inspire the people of the world and overcome all obstacles to win their liberation and freedom.