Posted by: daviemacdonald | July 28, 2014

UKRAINE THE FIGHT AGAINST FASCISM A SERIES #1


#Spain #Ukraine  #Abbott #Donbass #Fascism #Auspol

politicsUKRAINE LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE:

You can follow me on TWITTER escalatorover and also my  Facebook page davie.ewan.macdonald where I have been posting about the  East Ukraine Fight for Freedom

But it’s time to use another avenue to get my messages out its seems so simple to just cut and past but there is always another day…

Those who do follow me on twitter and the Facebook pages will know I have been immensely busy with Political matter and my revolutionary fervor has returned  though never quite as the 16 year old all those years ago

Here is a first of many articles I have written this year to date about the Ukraine posted to my own facebook page.

UKRAINE LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE: Posted to facebook March 24 2014

Defending Democracy Against Fascism 1936

Defending Democracy Against Fascism 1936


The United States France Canada Australia and Great Britain turned their backs on a Democratically elected Republican Government in Spain 1936 For 3 years they blocked aid the a democratic Government and allowed Fascist take over. Hitler was able to test his War machine and Airforce that was later to Bomb London

In 2014 they are doing far worse by giving MILITARY aid directly to a Nazi take over in Ukraine.

The Crimea’s voted to leave. No one voted for the Kiev Coup.

Austria was taken over by Hitler in his Anschluss and was eventually liberated by the Russians. Parallels with Hitlers Nazi Germany taking over Austria is quite the opposite to Crimea voting to join Russia.

The leading members of the Ukraine Government are extreme Nazis

This BBC video give you a look at the Ukraine Galicia SS Division

SO BETTER MANAGEMENT OF TIME...and shorter posts that will  mirror those on Facebook so make it easier to post  regularly

More time is available is more  now the Divorce property settlement  (AFTER 3 AND A HALF YEARS IS now over. 🙂 For the final year March 2013 and to February 2014 I simply had no time for this blog

I ran the final stages of the  matter my self  and thankfully as those who have read my references to the whole matter I am finally rid of one of the most  deceptive thieving human beings ever to set foot in my space who deliberately kept the matter going for years  to attempt some   narcissistic control  and contact albeit via legal third parties.

Posted by: daviemacdonald | January 18, 2014

Peace and Love to All Babylon Must Fall


music#Roots #Reggae #Auspol DENNIS BOVELL HAS been important to the UK reggae scene.

FALL Babylon

He Started with the esteemed Jah Sufferer sound system, then historical band Matumbi’s founder and principal collaborator of Linton Kwesi Johnson, a most important Dub Poet. Those who know mwe will have heard some of my performance poetry.

Dennis an amazing smooth singer with a deep bass.  He played and produced albums for names such as West African Fela Kuti, Londons I-Roy, France Alpha Blondy, and UK Madness.

Roots United IS a band composed by musicians from various other reggae massive bands and here meets the father of the British dub/reggae

THIS IS A SHORT VIDEO OF THE MAKING OF FALL BABYLON



HEAR Peace and Love from the Land that is Africa before white Colonialism and ignorance ignorance.

FALL BABYLON, has a truly Rasta DUB influence dancehall beat. A marvelous song with a gospel taste and FREEDOM, “riddim” that’s gonna we see featured Rankin’ Alpha.

ENJOY THE FINAL TAKE

BELIEVE THIS IS YOU

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Posted by: daviemacdonald | January 14, 2014

REMEMBERING A MEETING WITH MR MANDELA Part 2


Mr #Mandela and the End of #Apartheid and what was the #Abbott role and the Conservatives
Remebering Madeba Lion with no Evans

politicsREMEMBERING A MEETING WITH MR MANDELA Part 2

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of the Australian National University and Foreign Minister of Australia 1988-96, Government House, Sydney, 17 July 2012.

Part 2 is still a lengthy read

One likes to share that we have[I] have read it too.

The following is faithfully reproduced from the original with only the additions of white space, and headings to ease later reference and reading with a couple of annotations here and there.

I promise it is worth the time

Davie Macdonald

Bob Hawke’s particular contribution was to get the Commonwealth to take a leading role on this, beginning by initiating a ground-breaking study, by an expert committee chaired by Tony Cole, who later headed the Australian Treasury, which made clear that financial sanctions were indeed the key to success, and laid all the foundations for their systematic international implementation.

To ensure that this work did not just languish in the Commonwealth bureaucracy, we then followed this up – I had by this time become Foreign Minister – by sponsoring the publication of a highly influential Penguin book by Cole and the scholar and author, Keith Ovenden, called Apartheid and International Finance: A Program for Change, which we ensured was circulated among policymakers worldwide.

ANOTHER HAWKE [LABOR] INITIATIVE 1987

Another Hawke/Australia initiative at the 1987 CHOGM was the establishment of the Commonwealth Committee of Foreign Ministers (CFMSA), in which I became very closely involved over the next few years, chaired by Canada’s former prime minister Joe Clark and including among others from around Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, a future prime minister of India, Narasimha Rao, and president of Tanzania, Ben Mkapa. Its role was to monitor the evolution of Commonwealth policy, including in particular the new financial sanctions, and to develop a strategy not only of relentlessly increasing sanctions but also winding them back to the extent that particular benchmarks of policy change were achieved by the South African government.

FOUNDATIONS OF TREASURED FRIENDSHIPS:

These were years when I and other members of the group consolidated close personal and policy links with the key African National Congress players, particularly Thabo Mbeki, later to become President, and the Mandela generation leaders Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu. The CFMSA was a group that developed a very close internal esprit de corps, and gave me some of my most close and long-lasting international friendships, as well as laying the foundations for some very treasured friendships with key players in post-apartheid South Africa.

THATCHER’S OPPOSITION:

The Foreign Ministers Committee also gave me but also some of my more memorable diplomatic experiences. One was at the 1989 CHOGM in Malaysia, when a major confrontation developed with Margaret Thatcher’s UK government over its then extremely reluctant approach to applying sanctions pressure, with her very newly appointed Foreign Secretary (and later to be Prime Minister) John Major the man in the middle, neither very well-informed about the issue nor any more inclined than any of her other cabinet ministers to take on the Iron Lady.

Things got off to a rather bad start when I suggested to him on behalf of the group that he join us for an informal dinner the night before the formal meetings started, to explore ways of finding common ground, and he replied that he was available, but “did not choose to” have any such discussion.

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of the Australian National University and Foreign Minister of Australia 1988-96,

ROBUST DISCUSSION:

Things got worse when I reported this back to my colleagues, and we had next day – in what diplomatic parlance would describe as a “robust exchange”, and anyone else as a full-scale verbal brawl – some extended exchanges across the table on the adequacy of UK policy.

(Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of the Australian National University and Foreign Minister of Australia 1988-96, DOES INDEED HAVE AN EXPLETIVE ROBUST REPUTATION )

I can’t report that we made much difference to the UK attitude on this occasion, but at least the story had a rather charming sequel. Very soon after the Malaysia meeting, when Major had still only been Foreign Secretary a few weeks, an unexpected resignation elsewhere led to him being appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. I sent him a rather cheeky note saying ……

“Dear John, I know we had our differences in KL, but Maggie didn’t really have to move you that quickly.” He replied with splendid grace: “Dear Gareth, Thank you for your message. I did indeed learn something about the language of diplomacy when I was in KL. Maybe that’s why I am now Chancellor. “

RELENTLESS INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE:

The relentless international pressure for change and the ever mounting internal tension had created all the necessary conditions for change, but there was still need of white political leadership clear-headed enough to grasp the moment.

Listen to Burning Spear  Track From 1987,Part Of The Big Free Mandela Movement.And Some Pictures Of Strongest Artist In Reggae Music.Still Going Strong!

MR MANDELA A CELEBRATION OF ACHIEVEMENTS:

That came at last with succession to the Presidency in February 1989 of FW De Klerk, replacing the ailing hardliner PW Botha. The speech he made to launch the reform process in February 1990 was genuinely historic, announcing as it did the Government’s willingness to enter into serious negotiations on a wholly new democratic and non-racial constitutional dispensation, the unbanning of the ANC and other political organisations, and above all the release from imprisonment, after 27 years, of Nelson Mandela, whose life and achievements we celebrate today.

DE KLERK SEEING THE LIGHT:

Whatever his past may have been, De Klerk saw the light at the right time, delivered in full on the expectations he created, has been an influence voice for peace and reconciliation around the world ever since, and fully deserved the Nobel Peace Prize he shared with Madiba in 1993.

MANDELlA  IN Jail

FIRST DEMOCRATIC ELECTION 1994:
Although in a sense once this breakthrough had been made, the rest was history, the transition process was long and gruelling, and with many ups and downs along the way before the country’s first genuinely democratic election was held in 1994. Not all the government’s actions matched its rhetoric, with particular concern being the outbreak of major violence in major Black townships, with apparently well-founded allegations of overt security force incitement.

The Commonwealth, with Australia again playing a central role, responded by using sanctions again, this time with their lifting as a carrot rather than their application as a stick. Sanctions were in fact progressively lifted as the apartheid system was unwound, non-racial sports administration achieved, a new constitution adopted and elections held. Australia played an active nuts-and-bolts role throughout this process, instituting a $30 million program to help with infrastructure and human resource development, and providing members to Commonwealth and UN observer groups involved in observing and defusing violence throughout the country, and in assisting in the electoral process.

MY FIRST VISIT

I first visited South Africa in June 1991, in the early days of the transition process. It is a trip which has assumed a certain legendary status of its own as a result of a carefully contrived press leak (by old guard forces in the South African Foreign Minister who hated what Australia had been doing to undermine their regime).

ANOTHER ROBUST EXCHANGE:

A highly coloured account was put out of another (putting it gently) “robust exchange” I had with a South African security official who I believed was putting at risk the safety of one of my township contacts during an intended low-key visit to Khayelitsha. The highly critical press reports caused me considerable embarrassment at the time, but seems to have done no harm to my reputation among Black South Africans, those of whom with long memories occasionally say to me “man, you really stuck it to them”.

SANCTIONS WORKED:

What was much more important than that incident in my 1991 trip was the very clear statements made to me by a number of ministers and officials, subsequently confirmed in public statements by the Governor of the Reserve Bank and Finance Minister, and years later in conversations with FW De Klerk himself, that the really decisive factor in creating the conditions for the transition – for the end of apartheid – was the impact of the financial sanctions, from the mid 1980s on, but with much more accelerated impact in the last two years before the De Klerk speech.

The whole process was self-reinforcing in a way that trade sanctions never were and never could have been. Every new financial institution in some part of the world refusing credit, or setting tougher terms, increased the risk for other suppliers still in the field. By 1990 the denial of access to new international capital was dramatically and comprehensively strangling the economy.

South Africa could fund internally growth of no more than 2 per cent a year, but it needed to grow at least 4 per cent or more to create jobs for its expanding population and to maintain existing standards of living. If nothing had changed, the country would have exploded.

AUSTRALIAN LABOR : A PROMINENCE IN THE STRUGGLE

So Australia was, I believe, a prominent and effective international voice on the anti-apartheid issue over many years. The sports boycott conceived and led by Australia was psychologically important in creating a sense of isolation and vulnerability, and the financial sanctions – in their fullest application again a significantly Australian initiative – were profoundly practically important in their economic and ultimately endgame political impact.

A HUMANITARIAN DUTY:


Why did successive Australian governments – at least from the 1970s on – commit so much effort to resolving a situation so little of our making? I think the short answer lies in that instinct for good international citizenship which, despite periodic lapses by various governments (and oppositions) which ought to know better, is part of our national psyche.

The enforcers of apartheid, proclaiming their superiority to others on the basis of race alone, were not just another unpalatable regime, but beyond the civilized pale.

If we had washed our hands of the struggle against them, we would not only have failed in our humanitarian duty, but would have debased the very values which are at the core of our sense of human dignity.
DMacs note (one is mindful of Australian Prime Minister Abbott’s RECENT FREE Arming of the Sri Lankan Navy with Gunboats)

IT HAD TO BE WON:

It’s a fight that had to be won, and I am proud that we played our part in it. And there is no better occasion to recall that fight, and our part in it, than a day like this, celebrating the life and achievement of Nelson Mandela. There is no single person on this planet who could remind us more, by the dignity of his bearing and the humanity which shines through everything he has said and done and is, of what was at stake in this struggle.

Posted by: daviemacdonald | January 12, 2014

REMEMBERING A MEETING WITH MR MANDELA Part 1


politicsMr #Mandela and the End of Apartheid

 

Remembering Madeba

Returning to my Blog

I have neglected this page in the past 12 months whilre I have been away driving my Facebook pages

The North Sydney Labor Party

http://www.facebook.com/NorthSydneyLaborParty/photos_stream

The Labor Environment News Page

http://www.facebook.com/NSWLEAN?ref=hl

and my own where if you go vist you might find all manner of interesting stuff

http://www.facebook.com/davie.ewan.macdonald

So I welcome as I return  with a series of tribute to Madeba.

REMEMBERING A MEETING WITH MR MANDELA Part 1
Mr #Mandela and the End of Apartheid

Some weeks back  I was incensed to listen to Abbott first eulogy to Mr Mandela What rung in my ears was the key platitude was “Mandela was a great man of Africa”

Apart from the racial undertone and then ignoring Madiba was a great citizen of the World I was further incredibly irritated with the FACT the person who Abbott most admires from Conservative Politics who refused to strengthen sanctions against South Africa but further and dubbed Mr Mandela a “Terrorist”

The following morning when listening to ABC Fran Kelly interview former Foreign minister Gareth Evens spoke on the passing of Mandela. What quickly became apparent was the lack of Statesmanship and the ignorance that is held by members of the Abbott Ministry.

It was never made more apparent when you listen to the articulation of Gareth Evans in that interview.

In the process of searching out (and not finding) Abbott”s ROLE as a young man in opposing the Anti -Apartheid movement ……I found the following Nelson Mandella day address 2012 by…….

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of the Australian National University and Foreign Minister of Australia 1988-96, Government House, Sydney, 17 July 2012.

It’s is a lengthy read perhaps not designed for Facebook but then we on this page do not do it the conformative Facebook way by simply posting a link and leaving the rest up to you.

One likes to share that we have[I] have read it too.

The following is faithfully reproduced with only the additions of white space, and headings to ease later reference and reading with a couple of annotations here and there.

I promise it is worth the time

Davie Macdonald

GARETH EVANS MEETS MR MANDELA

Mr Mandela with Gareth Evans

Mr Mandela with Gareth Evans

Of all the meetings with all the leaders and other international figures around the world I have had during all the years of my public life, there is no question as to the one which gave me most pure joy. That was my first meeting with Nelson Mandela, just a few days after his release from prison in February 1990, in Lusaka where he had flown to meet his ANC colleagues in exile.

Partly it was a matter of coming face to face – sitting across a table, just the two of us – with a man who had long been a personal hero to me since my days as an anti-apartheid student activist, and being simply overwhelmed by the personal qualities that so quickly came to be recognized and applauded so universally around the world.

THAT LUMINESCENT SMILE :

Madiba is simply the most impressive and humanly decent statesman I have ever met, or am ever likely to meet. I was captivated then, and have remained captivated since, like so many others – including every Australian he met during those wonderful visits here – by that huge luminescent smile, by his unending charm and grace, the lucid intelligence with which he discussed his country’s transition problems, but above all by that extraordinary, almost unbelievable, lack of bitterness toward his Afrikaner gaolers of 27 years.

But another big part of my joy at that meeting back in 1990 was Madiba’s willingness to meet me, as an Australian minister – and I was one of the very first foreign officials to greet him – to thank Australia for the significant role we had played, despite no pretensions on our part to be a major power, in South Africa’s transformation, and I want to spend a little time this evening tracking back over some of the perhaps now largely forgotten things that we did.

THE AUSTRALIAN STRUGGLE:

My personal understanding of and commitment to the anti-apartheid cause was triggered, as was the case for so many others around the world, by the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, while I was still at school. When I went to Melbourne University a couple of years later, and became intensely involved in student politics in the mid-‘60s, no issues mattered more on our and other campuses than racism: the need to overturn the White Australia policy once and for all, to get some redress for Aboriginal Australians, and to end the scourge of apartheid.

“WHY WONT YOU PLAY WITH US”:

In 1965 I led a student protect against the arrival of the Springbok rugby team, out at the old Essendon airport. We wore rugby jumpers and black face paint and held up placards saying ‘Why Won’t You Play with Us?”. We were pushed back by the police beyond a wire fence, too far away to be actually noticed by those great burly players with shoulders almost wider than the doorway of the plane from which they emerged.
So in my first act of protesting heroism, I jumped over the fence and ran towards the plane with my team of protesters following a little more hesitantly – only to be crash-tackled to the ground by an equally huge policeman, held in an agonizing armlock, and thrown back over the fence. It was at that stage that I decided that the rest of my life was going to be devoted to peaceful protest rather than the more adventurous kind.

BY 1972:

International pressure on the apartheid regime began slowly in the 1960s, with oil and arms embargoes and other sanctions gaining some momentum in the 1970s. The Commonwealth, with the Australia very much in the lead, played a vital role in launching the sports boycott. Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announced in December 1972 that sporting teams selected on the basis of race would not be allowed to enter Australia, and this position was further strengthened by the Fraser Government which supported the UN General Assembly resolution on apartheid in sport in 1976 and became party to the Gleneagles Agreement in 1977.

MALCOLM FRASER STOOD UP …[ TONY ABBOTT WAS 20 years old enough to stand up ]:

While most of my focus will be on Labor Government initiatives, because we were in power at the crucial time, it should be acknowledged that Malcolm Fraser deserves real credit for the political risks he took with the anti-apartheid issue, A DEEPLY UNPOPULAR POSITION IN HIS OWN PARTY ROOM and among conservative voters during the whole transitional period: there is absolutely no doubt that his personal convictions on matters of race, in South Africa as elsewhere, were absolutely genuine and heartfelt.

Given the breadth and profile of the contacts forbidden it is fair to say that Australia – closely followed by New Zealand – suffered more pain with the sports boycott than anyone else. Or at least anyone else than the cricket and rugby mad white South African community: the sense of isolation and deprivation was not in itself enough to bring down apartheid, but it unquestionably played a psychological role.

FURTHER VIOLENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA 1985 [ TONY ABBOTT 28 Dis he speak out ?):

It was not until 1985-86, in reaction to the further cycle of violence and repression then occurring that really wide ranging and substantial economic sanctions were put in place by the international community. The Commonwealth, then European Community, U.S. and individual Nordic countries led the way, each drawing successively on precedents set by the others and so creating a ‘wave’ phenomenon.

BOB HAWKE:

The new Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who very deeply committed to the anti-apartheid cause, became deeply engaged with the issue at successive Commonwealth meetings during this period, and took the campaign forward in a whole new direction at the 1987 Vancouver Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), suggesting that a major new emphasis be placed on financial sanctions as the best way of putting the screws on the South African regime.

As the 1980s wore on the international community had been gradually coming to the realization the sanctions on trade in goods and services, like the sports and cultural boycotts, were going to be insufficient, and that there had to be some real additional discipline in the form of drying up the sources of trade credit and investment funds, and general support through the banking system.

A movement to apply such sanctions had been initiated in city and local governments in the U.S., through the black caucus in the Congress, and pressure on corporate private lenders. But until 1987 this trend did not really have coherence or focus, and no serious analytical work had been done to establish whether a worldwide financial strike could be sustained, and if so what difference this would make to the South African economy.

music

 

 

 

I Finish Part 1 with

JOHNNY CLEGG and MADEBA

Mandella Johnny Clegg

In 1969, British born South African Johnny Clegg formed the first racially mixed South African band, Juluka, with Zulu musician Sipho Mchunu.

Because it was illegal for racially mixed bands to perform in South Africa during the apartheid era, the first album “Universal Men” was banned on South African state owned Radio but it became a word-of-mouth hit.

IN PART 2

BOB HAWKE: APARTHEID AND INTERNATIONAL FINANCE:
ANOTHER HAWKE [LABOR] INITIATIVE 1987:
FOUNDATIONS OF TREASURED FRIENDSHIPS:
THATCHER’S OPPOSITION:
ROBUST DISCUSSION:
RELENTLESS INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE:
DE KLERK SEEING THE LIGHT:
FIRST DEMOCRATIC ELECTION 1994:
MR MANDELA A CELEBRATION OF ACHIEVEMENTS:


On this day Sept 17 1862 they fell to eternal rest “Unsung  Women of the American Civil War”

“Dedicated to the Heroines of the Civil War.” On this day in 1862 75 workers die in explosion at Allegheny Arsenal, Pittsburgh

The unsung heroines of the Civil War, women of a fatal Magazine explosion which shook the city on the afternoon of September 17, 1862, when almost a hundred lost their lives in the Allegheny Arsenal, are at last to be recognised. It was not unusual for children to be employed in munition work. As early as 1812, Colonel of Artillery Decius Wadsworth had written to the Secretary of War, “In the making of musket cartridges, children of 10 12 or 14  years of age can be employed as usefully or even more so than men.” Hired for their small hands and dexterity, children, willingly went to work in the Allegheny Arsenal.

Lawrenceville Armory

The arsenal and Fort had become important to the community socially in the village of Lawrenceville with locals working in the arsenal itself or by supplying the men stationed there with goods and services.   Charles Dickens was a visitor on his 1842 American tour and when visiting Pittsburgh and described the post as a “pretty” Arsenal.

Charles Dickens

With the outbreak of civil war the arsenal rose to high prominence. The manufacture of arms and munitions increased, as did the number of Women boys and girls employed in the manufacturing process. Twelve hundred civilian employees were hired by the War Department to work in the Allegheny Arsenal. The citizens of Lawrenceville and the Arsenal became a natural target for the Confederate Army

It was an uneventful morning. Work proceeded as usual.

In the cartridge room “bundlers” rolled squares of paper into tubes and then tied one end closed with yellow cord. The tube was then filled with a minie ball and gunpowder.

After the cartridges were filled, “pinchers” pinched or folded the open end closed. Arsenal employees were able to roll 1, 500, 000 cartridges every other day. At this moment, cartridges rolled by the women and children of Pittsburgh.

One hundred-eighty-six civilians, one hundred-fifty-six women AND girls and thirty men AND boys, worked here  rolling .54 and .71 calibre cartridges and filling 10-pounder and 12-pounder cannon shells

Off to Work as usual

Catherine Burkhart’s school days were behind her, assuming she had any schooling at all. At perhaps 15, she was a full-fledged member of the wartime work force. On the morning of Sept. 17, 1862, Catherine left the log house that she shared with her mother and set off for work at the Allegheny Arsenal. It was the best day of the month. PAYDAY.

Arriving at work

Another young girl Mary Murphy hung her bonnet and shawl in the tiring room (change room). The arsenal provided young women, not only a chance to serve their country, but economic independence as well. In an era with few employment opportunities for women, a position at the arsenal meant steady, respectable work. As a cartridge roller Mary Murphey made seventy-five cents a day, thirty cents less than men who did in the work. She drew fifteen dollars a month pay, two dollars more than a Federal private received.

A Song along the way

Also early in the day 18 year old  Agnes Davison told her minister, the Reverend Richard Lea, “that she was for the Union and that she would no longer be a secessionist from the government of God.” Agnes and her older sister, Mary, left home that morning for work in the arsenal. As they walked through the streets of Lawrenceville, Mary sang a hymn that the sisters had sung in Sunday School the previous Sunday

High in yonder realms of light Dwell the raptured saints above;

Far beyond our feeble sight,

Happy in Emmanuel’s love. .

But these days of weeping o’er,

Past this scene of toil and pain,

They shall feel distress no more,

Never, never weep again. .

Every tear is wiped away,

Sighs no more will heave the breast;

Night is lost in endless day,

Sorrow, in eternal rest.

On September 17, 1862, at around 2 in the afternoon  a series of powerful explosions ripped through the U.S. Army Arsenal in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, just as many of the girls working there had left their benches to collect their wages.

There were then 3 rapid explosions.

People  crowded into the streets after the blasts to see  dense columns of black smoke that rose from the burning buildings .The people of Lawrenceville were the first to reach the arsenal. The men of the village joined the Arsenal workers in fighting the fire.

Lawrenceville’s new fire engine, which had arrived from its manufacturers only five days before, was pulled by hand through the streets of Lawrenceville to fight its first fire.

The men fought desperately to put out the fire and rescue victims from the inferno. Their work was made more hazardous by the 125, 000 cartridges and 175 rounds of field ammunition, (the day’s production) which continued to explode for hours as the Arsenal buildings burned.

Lawrenceville Fire House

For  two days family members visited the Arsenal trying to identify the dead. It was difficult as many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition. One woman was identified by her false teeth; another by a piece of dress that remained un scorched. In many cases there were no bodies. Several victims had been torn apart by the explosions and body parts were found throughout the arsenal grounds.

One young girl’s finger, all that was found of her, was identified by her ring. A foot found outside the gate was recognized by its shoe. It was even harder to give names to those who were trapped inside. The fire was so hot that everything burned, and all that the rescuers found of the women were piles of white ash surrounded by the steel wire of the hoops they had been wearing.

In some parts, where the heat was intense, nothing but the whitened bones, could be seen, while in other places large masses of blackened flesh were visible amidst the smoke. The firemen reached the ground at an early hour, and rendered valuable assistance in putting out the flames and removing the dead bodies. The building was one story high, was built in two apartments, divided into halls and rooms, with an open space in the centre, like a court. These rooms were numbered from 1 to 15, but only 8 of them were occupied by the employees. In these 8 rooms the number employed was  as follows:

No. 1…………26 girls. No. 13………..30 girls.

No. 3…………22 girls. No. 14…………24 girls.

No. 4…………26 girls. No. 7………….25 boys.

No. 5…………10 girls.

No. 12…………13 girls.

Total……..176

Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire fighting today

51 YEARS LATER in 1913 A  memorial was finally erected

On the inscription it is written

Tread softly, this is consecrated dust,

forty-five pure patriotic victims lie here.

A sacrifice to freedom and civil liberty,

a horrid memento of a most wicked rebellion.

Patriots!

these are patriots’ graves,

friends of humble, honest toil, these were your peers.

Fervent affection kindled these hearts,

honest industry employed these hands,

widows’ and orphans’ tears have watered the ground.

Female beauty and manhood’s vigour commingle here.

Identified by man, known by Him who is the resurrection and the life,

to be made known and loved again

when the morning cometh..

The causes of the explosion was never known and there were many suspicions of this and that. What we do know they were all Working class Heroes Heroines.

Every last Woman and Child.

*as far as I have been able to ascertain only 3 men were killed in the blast.

Blues Concert Lawrenceville today

Posted by: daviemacdonald | September 14, 2012

Her Rights at Work Dr Anne Summers Lecture


Dr Anne Summers Lecture “Her Rights at Work” shines light on political persecution of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The Human Rights and Social Justice lectures are not only  relevant to Australia but often to the World. This lecture though not a typical Human right topic as mentioned by Dr Summers it will have resonance with all concerned about universal suffrage and the rights of women. I think it is relevant in respect of the struggles of women especially in this centenary  year of the  Lawrence Textile Strike in which women led and united dozens of immigrant communities. with This post is a follow-up to that I posted 3 days ago “The Political Persecution of Australia’s First Female Prime Minister” Credit for the title  goes to Dr Anne Summers.

For Context Dr Anne Summers has been for over 40 years an

1  Author

2 A Journalist

3 An Activist

4 A Writer of a book  referred in my previous post that will hear referenced in the introduction as being relevant today  2012 as it was when  first published in 1975; that book is “Dammed Whores and Gods Police.”

Below I believe is the cover of the original Anne Summers Pelican( published by Penguin) in 1975 an voted one of the top ten books of the past 40 years by The Australian Sociological Association that remained in print for over 33 years!

and  a more recent cover Published as Penguin.

The Leader Julia Gillard of the Australian Government has come under the  relentless withering fire of misogynist attack.

The relevance to this post today  and I will embrace the Greens in this is that if the Tory Liberal Coalition were to be elected the environmental social justice reform, investment in education health and protection of the environment  movement will be setback 10, 20 years and the outcome for the Australian Political Landscape catastrophic. From the point of view of the environment  much of the hard work regenerating the landscape protection of endangered animals and species of flora will be undone for ever while at the same time the conditions of all working people will be severely reduced.

We must not allow this to happen and I believe we progressives (Labor members labor friends) are certainly on the way back. We have people to “winback” and I also refer to people who of the political centre who voted for the Tory’s in the last Federal election. I do really belive we will indeed win the next election!! Its is our hands not theirs

So please watch Anne Summers address that clearly shines light on the Political and COWARDLY persecution of our Prime Minister Gillard and the entire constitutional Office of THE Prime Minister and THE function of the Australian Parliament!

Please sit back and take note of this address by Dr Anne Summers who incidental has worked with 2 of our previous Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. You have the advantage unlike the attendees on the night of the address of being able pause, take note, playback to  the important message  in this lecture.

Posted by: daviemacdonald | September 11, 2012

The Political Persecution of Australia’s First Female Prime Minister


Time to stop !!!!! #Abbott and the unmitigated #misogynist relentless abusive attacks made on our #Prime Minster #Gillard and the Office of the Prime Minister.

Do I agree with everything our Prime Minister states No. Do I agree with every policy detail of the Government No I don’t !

Julia Gillard on a school visit

But the offensive and often pornographic images of the Prime Minister must stop. Men must take a lead against the cowards perpetrating this rubbish.

Is this Man really of the belief he should run the Country

We hear daily from the Tories call that their role is to hold the government to account!!

This is not what an opposition to Government is for!

It is there to contribute to, critique and assist the process of  an ‘alternative government’—which would form government if the existing government were to lose the confidence of the House, or of the people at an election. That election might occur at any time. Consequently it is no good for the Opposition to constantly oppose the Government at every turn disputing costing while they hide behind a mask of saying in respect of their budgeting “we will reveal that closer to the Election”.  This is simply not good enough and it is not what is required by our system.

If the Opposition is considered and constituted  to be essential for the proper working of Australia’s democratic system of government and it is an essential component of the structure of the House they must have plans and their costings on the table.

The opposition is there to contribute to, critique and assist the process of good government and make sure there is balance in the democratic system. So we have Noddy saying No to everything. This is not assisting Good Government; nor is it representing the interest of those who voted for the opposition effectively. This is their plan for Australia

So how is the house supposed to operate like this?

Two key components are the Leader of the House Anthony Albanese and Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne

They are  responsible for ensuring that government business proceeds with minimal delay or disruption. The Leader of the House determines the order in which the items of government business will be dealt with, in consultation with the Prime Minister and other Ministers, and after negotiation with the Manager of Opposition Business.

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese

Albanese and Closing the Gap

Leader of the House is responsible for ensuring that government business proceeds with minimal delay or disruption,the order in which the items of government business will be dealt , in consultation with the Prime Minister and other Ministers, and after negotiation with  the Manager of Opposition Business.

Christopher Pyne Manager of Opposition Business

Pyne at the despatch box

The  Manager of Opposition Business has the responsibility, in consultation with his leader and colleagues, of negotiating with the Leader of the House matters such as the allocation of time for debates, and the order and priority of consideration of items of business. There is normally a good deal of co-operation between the parties in arranging the program of the House. The point of this is to ensure the proper working of Australia’s democratic system of government for all Australians.

and another thing if you carry on like that Davie Mac will sort you out

The Opposition, its Leader Abbott and Christopher Pyne are clearly acting against the best interests of Australia’s Parliamentary institution and the Australian people. When do we know when Pyne last negotiated anything of importance with Anthony Albanese?

Our First Female Prime Minister

Julia Gillard came under a relentless attack over some trumped-up accusation regarding as personal relationship and a role she played in the setting up of a Trade union fighting fund. Below in “Her Finest Hour” you will hear how she refers to herself as simply  a 50 year old Woman. What she was too modest to say is that she is a woman with the heart of a Lion.

This Video of her Press Conference was for the “true believers” and not for all those bleating defeatists that have been given too much oxygen in recent times. Yes we have are internal differences but Left Centre or Right we may and do have reasons to disagree but in a disciplined ALP we keep our unity and focus on neutralising the Tory Attack Dogs.

Her Finest Hour

Sit back and enjoy 42 minutes and 37 seconds of pure guts and determination from our Prime Minister with this link. I say a woman to be admired on this day and her finest hour

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3573785.htm

In contrast see these 2 videos of the Leader of the  Tory Opposition Leader Tony Abbott who stumbles when asked some tough questions by  Leigh Sales in a recent interview on the ABC 7.30 report  Abbott maintains the carbon price and mining tax are to blame for economic uncertainty in Australia while also responding to the style of language and the nature of speech used in parliament by the opposition

To illustrate further I have included an interview on Commercial TV Channel 7 #Lisa Wilkinson Here in this interview just a day later Abbott had a choice to look dumb dumber or dishonest. He obviously thought dishonest was a better look.

At the end of each interview you can see the anger in his eyes …worth noting in respect of his history of abusive and threatening behaviour

On his website Abbott claims to post transcripts of his public interviews; however if you go to his site today you will not find any of these interviews

Just for good measure here is a third interview where again he is less aggressive bit still he avoids key questions this time in response to a broad criticism of the opposition in Parliament made by opposition back bencher and ex Leader of the Liberal Party  Malcolm Turnbull who said…..

“The last 2 years [Opposition in Parliament Question time] almost entirely focused on People Smuggling and the *Carbon Tax” *Price on Carbon

Abbots response “We are not a Stalinist Party”

BUT as we know he won’t allow a free vote by the Parliamentary Liberals on anything especially climate change and LGBTI.

Misogyny and our Prime Minister but first…hear Heart of a Lion

Misogynistic and Gender bias should not be part of the Parliamentary process!!! So Misogyny? LETS RUB  IT OUT

Anne Summers writes exposing the The Political Persecution of Australia’s First Female Prime Minister

In the preface to the article Anne Summers wrote the following on her blog.

I have compiled this material, not to titillate nor to reward the people who have generated it, but because I felt it was important that we ordinary citizens and voters be aware of the obscene and offensive material that is circulating about our prime minister and our governor-general. As I say at the end of the speech, we have to stop this and each of us as individuals can say: It Stops with Me.

“On Friday 31 August I delivered the 2012 Human Rights and Social Justice Lecture at the University of Newcastle. I chose as my topic: Her Rights at Work. The political persecution of Australia’s first female prime minister. Like many other Australians, I have been disturbed by the double standards that are seemingly applied to Julia Gillard by the Opposition, by the media and by many ordinary people.

But in the course of researching this topic I discovered that Gillard is subjected to far worse than mere double-standards. There is an entire industry of vilification, much of it sexually crude, all of it offensive and designed to undermine her authority and thus her legitimacy in the role as Australia’s first female prime minister.

I felt that I could not argue this case without displaying at least some of the material that I was referring to.

I recognise that it is very confronting and that not everyone will want to look at it.

So here we have “Her rights at work”

Here are 2 links to an article in 2 versions of  the article written by Anne Summers.

Version 1 is a vanilla version where the content of the type of attacks is toned down and the appalling images some by Larry Pickering are not included.

Version 2 contains the unexpurgated R-rated version of her speech. Please be aware it contains foul language confronting images displaying Pickering’s Gutter rated rantings and images

I thought I would include something briefly about Anne Summers recent life I confess for the sake of speed to post this article I have just refered to others research in 1970, Summers and other WLM members squatted in two derelict houses owned by the Church of England, turning them into the Elsie Women’s Refuge to provide shelter to women and children who were victims of domestic violence.

Anne received a postgraduate scholarship to do a PhD, which she used to write the book in 1975, ‘Damned Whores and God’s Police’ which looked at the history of women in Australia.

In ‘Damned Whores and God’s Police’ ( I’m fortunate my House mate has a copy) Anne Summers set out to explain barriers to women’s participation in  society. I am told very firmly  it was an important contribution  women’s modern-day emancipation.

She was offered a position to work as a journalist on the National Times, where she wrote an investigation into NSW prisons which led to a royal commission, and to her being awarded a Walkley.

From 1986 to 1992, Anne Summers lived in New York, becoming editor-in-chief of “Ms.” magazine. Later was appointed a political adviser to Labor Prime Minister, Paul Keating, until 1993, heading the Office of the Status of Women during this time.

Dr Summers was then appointed editor of the “Good Weekend” magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. In 2003 Anne Summers wrote  a new book new book, “The End of Equality” . I mention these two books not to suggest I have read them I haven’t (honestly they would not be my cup of tea) but I mention them to bring some context to her blog post “Her rights at work” and  if you wanted to explore her work further .

I must also add that I am a very chuffed London Lad that Dr Anne Summers is one of my Facebook friends. I shudder to think what she might think of my grammar, sentence construction etc. But then again it might not be too bad 🙂 I’m just a bloke after all and a man who like many of us battle within ourselves decades of society conditioning and instilled gender bias 🙂

Posted by: daviemacdonald | September 4, 2012

BURNING SPEAR at Midnite( A matter of Peace Revolution and Music)


BURNING SPEAR a matter of Peace

Today a musical journey

I WANT TO TAKE YOU FAR AWAY….

about…..

The Rastafari movement:

It’s a matter of Peace Revolution Fighting oppression and MUSIC.

From an early age I was drawn to Reggae music having been drawn to the path by originally through Motown in the early 60 then avant-garde for a white working class boy.  Quickly through Bluebeat (Prince Buster), Ska Shing-a-ling then Reggae (Bob Marley) and now Roots and Raga Music

Rasta” Perhaps A most misunderstood SocioReligious Movement .

It is also not one of submission while waiting for the “promised land” but of Resistance to oppression.

Women play their part: Queen Ifrica is a smooth  reggae singer and deejay from the hills above Montego Bay Jamaica. She is the daughter of ska music legend Derrick Morgan and her style ranges from the music of protest  “Serve and Protect” below v to straight forward “everyday boy meets girl” she performed in Far Away above ^ With her haunting melodies, clear sound and fluid delivery, Queen Ifrica creates timeless Roots Rebel music

Let me introduce you to Rebellion the Recaller who is an artist from Gambia, Africa, who is exciting producers and crowds around the world. Rebellion’s powerful voice combines astonishingly versatile melodies with the rhythms of his profound lyrics into another unique Reggae Rebel style.

The music of this deeply spiritual soul is inspired by a message of understanding, peace and dignity

The Rastafari movement

The Rastafari movement encompasses themes such as the spiritual use of cannabis and the rejection of western society, called Babylon (from the metaphorical Babylon of the Christian New Testament).

It proclaims Africa (also “Zion”) as the original birthplace of all mankind, and from the beginning of the movement the call to metaphoric repatriation to Africa has been a central theme.

Jamaican roots reggae singer and musician known for his Rastafari movement messages. BURNING SPEAR named after a military award given by Jomo Kenyatta, the first Prime Minister and President of an independent Kenya

“Rocking Time” Garance Reggae Festival 2011

Rasta also embraces various Afrocentrism and Pan-African social and political aspirations, such as the socio-political views and teachings of Jamaican publicist, organizer, and Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey (also often regarded as a prophet by Rastas)

Rastafari is not a highly organized structured religion; it is a movement and an ideology. “I and I” is used instead of “We”, and is used in this way to emphasize the equality between all people, in the belief that the [Holy] Spirit within all people makes them essentially one and the same….

Black Power

Samuel Jackson Actor 3 from right

On the Political front there is much discussion about the “back to Africa Movement” This was to cause no little disagreement between the original Black Panther Party and the Cultural Nationalists like the Non Violent Student co –coordinating committee.

Panthers like Bobby Seal (Book: Seize The Time who I’ve had recent contact), Eldridge Cleaver (Soul on Ice) and Huey P Newton   were to have difficulties with this internally.

The Panthers organised social programs that helped destitute African-Americans, feeding poor black and white  young children in the community before they headed off to school. They also infamously patrolled the Police as they cruised around in the black and whites with the Panthers in tow with their guns sticking out of the car windows on show.

Bobby Seale Huey P Newton

Tommie Smith (gold), Australian Peter Norman (silver) and American John Carlos (bronze). As the US national anthem the Star Spangled Banner played, both Smith and Carlos, who were already wearing civil rights badges (as was Norman) and black socks without trainers, raised their black glove-clad fists and performed the ‘Black Power’ salute, which at the time wasn’t just associated with support for improved civil rights for African-Americans but with the militant Black Panther Party.

Australian Peter Norman Tommy Smith John Carlos

I digressed but one might be interested to know that Reggae owes as much to its existence to the Jamaican community in New York as to Jamaica which at the time of its birth was inclined more to Calypso music with artists like Cy Grant The Blue Beat Label was born in New York.

Black Nationalism

Some black “Nationalists” even went so far as to have discussions in the 60s with Lincoln Rockwell the US Nazi Party Führer with a view to create a Black State within in the United States. Its was said that Garvey met with prominent KKK members in the 1922 to discuss black being moved back to Africa.

Rasta’s claim believe that they are the real Children of Israel. Rasta reggae is peppered with references to Zion; among the best-known examples are the Bob Marley songs ‘”Zion Train” and “Iron Lion Zion”

 

Marcus Garvey

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

Marcus Garvey created the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), represent the largest mass movement in African-American history. Proclaiming a black nationalist “Back to Africa” message, Garvey and the UNIA established 700 branches in thirty-eight states by the early 1920s.

Likewise Rastafari developed among poor Jamaicans of African descent who felt oppressed and that society was apathetic to their problems. Marcus Garvey political leader was driven to making black people economically equal with white and  was a keen proponent of the “back to Africa” movement. Though this movement did run into headlong disagreement with the Black Panther movement in the US who opposed the concept of back to Africa but that paradise is not to be Zion but here and now (in case of the Revolutionary Black Panther Civil Rights movement in the US).

Marcus Garvey however had believed that one day on the continent Africa would be crowned a new prophet; and the Bible, served as “the Holy Writ for our Negro Race.” He stated very clearly that “as we pray to Almighty God to save us through his Holy Words so shall we with confidence in ourselves follow the sentiment of the Declaration of Rights and carve our way to liberty.”

Important to note Women do take their part in the Rasta Movement here is Queen Ifrica

For Garvey, it was no less than the will of God for black people to be free to determine their own destiny. The UNIA  took as its motto “One God! One Aim! One Destiny!” and looked to the literal fulfillment of Psalm 68:31: “Princes shall come out of Egypt: Ethiopia shall soon stretch forth her hands unto God.”

This was by co-incidence believed to be Haile Selassie I Emperor of Ethiopia born 1892.

Ethiopia

Hallie Selassie came to power in a Royal Coup in 1916 and ruled for almost 60 years but after losing favour of the people was overthrown by the Derg a highly educated group of Low Ranking (Communist) Army Officers in 1974.

Mengistu Haile Mariam slowly came to the fore and took over the leadership in 1977 Interestingly Mengistu received Military training in the USA and while there experienced racial discrimination which led him to hold a strong anti-American sentiment…..

Conflict arose in Ethiopia with the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) which seized power in a US engineered Coup in 1991 …… Though [rigged] elections were held in May 2005 Ethiopia has been under the dictatorship of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who died 2 weeks ago. New elections are not planned until 2015. But I digress from the main point of this article.

Rastafarians:- the Religion

Rastas are monotheists, worshipping God whom they call Jah. Jah is the term in the King James Version of the Bible Psalms 68. Rasta’s see Jah as being in the form of the Holy Trinity,

There are three main groups of Rastafari

“Nyahbinghi are pacifists though a paradox is they are named after Queen Nyahbinghi who took refuge in forests spanning modern Congo, Sudan and Uganda. There in an act of daring and defiance she established a mass guerrilla army who fought against British and German colonialists in the 19th century.

“Bobo Ashanti” who with tightly wrapped turbans around their dreads (Hair). They adhere closely to Jewish Religious Law as they are the true children of Zion and Israel.

The third Group are

“Twelve Tribes of Israel” and the most secular that are able to worship in any church of any denomination not unlike the Bahia of Iran.

The culture does not encourage mainstream political involvement, however in the One Love Peace Concert on April 22, 1978, Peter Tosh ex of the Wailers made political demands including decriminalising cannabis. He did this while smoking a “spliff”, then a criminal act in Jamaica.

Bob Marley led both then-Prime Minister Michael Manley (Peoples National Party) and opposition leader Edward Seaga (Labor Party) onto the stage; and a famous picture was taken with all three of them holding their hands together in a symbolic gesture of peace in what was a very violent election campaign.

One of the UK’s top reggae bands in the 1980s. They were distinctly different from Jamaican reggae acts, in that they wrote songs that dealt with the issues surrounding the experiences of black youths [and white growing-up in the UK.

In one of the numbers you will her a warning about the causes of the events that were to unfold in the London Riots 2011 In this Video recorded in 2010 listen to some sweet Reggae Music very much old style. Listen out for some classic “shing a ling” and “ska”

In 1996, the International Rastafari Development Society was given consultative status by the United Nations:

More Expression through Music

Burning Spear:

One of the current Rasta exponents is Winston Rodney Burning Spear who incidentally has his own Youth Centre in Jamaica Where the rules are Discipline Respect and Love: I’d like to think mine in London had in 1974 to 1982 embraced the love and tolerance aspect more

Here is a younger Winston Rodney, Burning Spear Paris 1988

“Are we going to work today?”

Derajah and Donkey Jaw Bone:

Derajah an artist from Kingston met the Donkey Jaw Bone  band in Paris December 2007 in Paris, while they were on the lookout for an outstanding Jamaican voice.

The band, which has its own studio near from Paris and preserve a Roots Reggae vibe, which is typical of the Golden years of the 70s. In France, roots reggae is – relatively – up and well alive with other better known artists like Alpha Blondie Jamaican foundation artists get the recognition they deserve, and French reggae lovers are working hard to keep the legacy alive. I consider  Donkey Jaw Bone One of France‘s finest roots bands.

Finally it’s Midnite:

Of all currently my favourite Reggae Rasta band This band’s music follows in tradition with the roots reggae bands of 1970s Jamaica but with a very heavy contemporary heavy rhythm section.  The Drummer is simply amazing and in a 3 and half our set the excerpt is taken from he “don’t” miss a beat. The lyrical portions of Midnite’s compositions are characterized as the “chant and call” style which gives their music a spiritually intense and an overtly Rastafari movement feel.

The lyrics are centrally focused on the plights of the oppressed, the inherent faults of the current political, economic and social settings on a global scale. The band was started by Benjamin brothers Vaughan (vocals) and Ron is always smiling on bass and he organises the set.

This is the except taken 1 hr 20mins into a full  3hrs 17min 11sec set of Roots Rasta Reggae

Peace and Love to all:!!  enjoy Smooth Heavy Roots Reggae Groove Live at the Northwest World Reggae Festival 2011.

Posted by: daviemacdonald | August 31, 2012

Australia’s High Tide and Green Grass Olympics


High Tide and Green Grass

After the Olympics there was much ballyhoo about the lack of success our Athletes achieved at the Olympics. Much of the discussion out pouring was done from ignorance, arrogance and stupidity. As I will highlight below. This took a little time to put together but fortunately with the ParaOlympics now on it remains topical.

music“Experts were so stressed about the results I thought these Guys are all going to have a break down. Some days later going through some old records  I came across a  Rolling Stones recording of 19th Nervous Breakdown from the Album “High Tide and Green Grass” The video is right at the end of this post

You’re the kind of person

You meet at certain dismal dull affairs

Center of a crowd, talking much too loud

Running up and down the stairs

Well, it seems to me that you have seen

Too much in too few years

And though you’ve tried, you just can’t hide

Your eyes are edged with tears

You better stop, a-look around

When you were a child, you were treated kind

But you were never brought up right

A-you were always spoiled with a thousand toys

But still you cried all night

I thought I had missed with this article  given that last Wednesday our young people returned home and this Thursday the Para Olympics began I decided to set out my thoughts on Australia’s Olympic results and put some perspective to it.

football and other sportThe key endeavour of any activity be it sport or otherwise is not so much to measure by the “winning”  but by the courage of participating and often handling the terrible disappointment of the so-called “failure” Why is it we Australians have to be so ungracious in defeat?

The young people who we in Australia seem to think failed us so miserably  might have been your boy, daughter or teenager or if I were younger brother sister…or someone else’s son or daughter. Yes we are talking young  teenagers or very young adults who just have to be the best they can and we should be proud.

So stop people and reflect on how your attitude is to your own sons and daughters who you probably manipulate into sports that you failed in and attempt to reverse your lack of success in life or sport  through them.

Jump for Joy

So to you I say “FUCK YOU”!!

football and other sportThese Young  Australian  Athletes need to be recognised for the achievement of what they have done measured against  their goals line not yours. Can you imagine the damage you are doing to their self-respect? So shut up and run away to YOUR Mother.

LAST WEEK Our Olympians had their welcome Parade through Sydney. I thinks it’s high time for the armchair experts to put a sock in it and face up to the fact that world is a smaller place today and more countries are competing  for a piece of the Gold Medal cake that is not much larger than Montreal in 1974.

Candidly what I want to say as a summary of my piece to-day again is “Shut the Fuck Up” While you ponder your position if like me you didn’t see the opening ceremony here it is.

Did we export our sporting secrets?

We did not export the concept of the Australian Institute of Sport any more than it’s been stolen from us. Our coaches haven’t been stolen  any more than coaches from other countries especially from the old Soviet Union and the GDR (East Germany) saw opportunities to not only gain well paid employment but were driven by a love of spreading  an interest  in their sport to the World.

As a coach of over 38 years my principle interest has always been the development of the game I and love my young charges first, the sport of their endeavour actually may come second and then and only then that of the Country that happens to be mine. Jingoism is the least important and should be cast into the same dustbin of history as that of the organisers of 1936 Olympics.

If I helped in a small way produce players who played for Arsenal or Gillingham and not my beloved Millwall did that matter? Absolutely not!  If it was that they might play for England one day and not my Motherland Scotland would I have cared? NO!

A coach’s first love; equally is his or her sport and his charges. That’s what matters and the spreading of the love for that game or sport worldwide. This applies also to Art and Culture but that is another discussion however they part of the diaspora.

Coaching is all we care about

Think about this for a moment It’s interesting when we win its us when they fail its them

There is much ignorance being spouted about  “their” failure  and the allegation our system and “our” coaches have been nicked is bullshit. It’s been all over the TV the Radio and in the media including this piece below.

I will address directly an article I saw recently in the Global Mail headlined .

Which To Fund: Olympic Gold For The Few; or Fitness for The Masses?

Great question: premise is wrong !!

http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/which-to-fund-olympic-gold-for-the-few-or-fitness-for-the-masses/331/

 

“Amid the great achievements of Australian athletes in London, the medal tally is short of the forecast haul. The 2009 Crawford Report urged funding for more sports, for more people, rather than the back-a-winner formula that has brought Australia disproportionate success for the past 32 years”

The last part of the statement “the back-a-winner formula” is only correct if you view some data bits and not the whole Data set.  The result and therefore the statement is falls skewed.

To understand the reality today we have to look a little deeper I don’t mean challenge the Crawford report but challenge the hysteria and nonsense  being  given oxygen. One of those people is Dr James Connor.

We need be sure analyse how and what we have done and  where we have been  if we are to progress and not (supposedly) slip further behind the World…However if we do slip behind so what!

The main driver of concern should be “sport and participation for all” not just an [able-bodied] elite. Will we bellyache if our Para Olympians are not so successful in past years or will we be whingeing about that too? Because as is the Olympic movement the Para Olympic movement will encompass more and more nations. Indeed it will be that other people with disabilities from other lands and cultures who today have less access to good health care, prosthetics, equipment and the like might prove more “successful” than Australia.

Will we behave in the same way as we say we should do today over the able Olympics and deny exporting our “training secrets, prosthetics or specialise wheel bearing for wheel chairs?  No we will behave as we all know we should and spread the knowledge? Yes  we should be proud to be part of Olympic Gold For The Many and  Fitness for The Global Masses.

If you absorb that last paragraph and reflect you will understand one hopes just how idiotic you have been. We need to remember not all athletic and sporting prospects develop at the same time. So actually have a range of other issues to overcome the unforeseen injury, the stage fright and paralysis of fear of failure. We are after all talking about young people. All who participate should be commended for the gallant attempt and it might just be they achieved a Personal Best!

Can we ask for better?

The selection can be very subjective and the gift of picking talent is an inexact science.  Perhaps the finding of *Valerie Borsov may raise a question or two as it was mooted [in the West] that the Soviets had identified a particular  physique need to win the 100m. It turned out in fact this was just really Cold War rhetoric.

Whatever the truth of that about Borsov if we improve facilities in for example our Public Schools and use that as the premise to uncover talent  the medals will return; bronze is good enough and so what if its 4th or 5th? Perhaps we need to record those results in much the same way we have become finite with finishing times calculated in 1000th of a second.

For those who don’t know at the Munich Olympics Borzov won the 100 m sprint with ease in a time of 10.14 seconds and complted the double with Gold in 200m. In response the 100m favourites [the Americans] had promised they would beat Borzov. However, with three Americans in the final Borzov easily won again.

A picture, featuring Borzov winning the 200 m heats at the 1972 Summer Olympics was selected for the Voyager Golden Record and later launched into space aboard two Voyager spacecraft in 1977. However, the Americans won the 4×100 relay with the Soviets taking second place.

Borzov’s repeat time in Montreal though only winning Bronze, the performance of East Germany; a country of just 16 million caused the AOC to reflect on our  Montreal results and to consider creating a similar system of sporting excellence here in Australia . Let’s repeat that….., the performance of East Germany; a country of just 16 million caused the AOC  to reflect on our  Montreal results and to consider creating a similar system of sporting excellence here in Australia

So NO Mr Connor  the AIS was not an Australian creation but a concept  WE imported.

Who is Mr or to give him his correct title Dr Connor ? I will get to that in a few lines

The Canberra-based Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) was established as a direct result of the dismal performance at the Montreal Olympics, and now has an annual budget of about $200 million.

A breakdown of the original sports might be interesting. What expertise we have exported, imported or failed at. 3 of the sports were not in 1974 in the Olympics which is a point of interest ( and 2 still aren’t.  I could go into more forensic detail today but with the huge number of sports now at the AIS to give a blow-by-blow account of all would probably take until the next Olympic in RIO. The Original sports:

Basketball: The sport experienced rapid growth in the late 1980s as young people became more interested in American culture  however by the mid and late 1990s  the popularity went into sharp decline and its recent lack of success is more due to that than any exit of coaches.

Gymnastics: Was the preserve of the Soviets and East Europeans!  With the collapse of the Soviet Union we imported their coaches later to be followed by the Chinese.

Netball: This is not an Olympic sport and while we are successful in the Commonwealth we just about keep our noses in front of New Zealand a country with a much smaller population. A country that incidentally has provided us with our current Wallaby coach. We have no coach exports here

Soccer: Has generally always looked to Europe with the occasional South American for its key coaches. Imported coaches are disproportionately represented at all levels as are managers in the current “A” League  and its predecessor . These imports drive the progressive coaching techniques and again it isn’t Australia or the AIS system.

As our most engaged sport proportionately we do not perform well on the world stage…and there are reasons for that which is now tied to how the Game is administered in Australia.  But that is for another discussion but the system is not exportable nor is it wanted by anybody. Even at a State level especially in the ACT the game is very poorly managed.

For a short period in the mid-90s we were certainly a source of inexpensive prospects for overseas teams…but no longer. Our pathway schemes are a failure and no more so than in the ACT where geographically we should be producing a finer crop of youngsters.

Swimming: We may well be exporting a very little our coaching prowess with a couple of coaches however we should have a decent  pipeline off our own as it is inevitable that coaches need replacing.  The get stale lose interest or simply retire. This excuse for poor performance does not stack up and it maybe the talent at this point is simply not as good. It may be the coaches we have are in fact doing an exceptional job…who knows for sure anything different.

Those few who have gone abroad are generally in the twilight of their careers. It should be remembered that our geographic position is to our swimming advantage than for example with the Europeans with their very long winters. Our overall results measured against Europe still reflect this. For Australia our development of this sport rising a 5 pm in an Australian Winter is vastly easier than that in Northern East European Countries or for Canada and the Northern reaches of the USA.

Tennis: We have hardly excelled at Tennis in the years since the 80s so there is little to discuss here.

Mo Farrar When did Australia win the 5000 or 10000

Track and Field:  Honestly have we ever done comprehensively well at this except for the occasional “Golden Girl or Boy” or occasional marathon Runner.

Weightlifting:  Was always the preserve of the Soviets and Eastern Europeans and Australia was not at the forefront of this except for a single weight division at the Sydney Olympics, otherwise we have relied on imported coaches competitors from the Southern Republics of the old Soviet Union.

So to more nonsense:

So who is Dr James Connor who not only has managed to sell himself as an expert to the Global mail but as I understand it has been or wanted to be interviewed on ABC Radio.

He describes himself as a senior lecturer in the University of NSW’s school of business with a “special interest in the funding of elite national sports programs, and the cloning of Australia’s elite sports” “Strategy” tops his list of the reasons for Australia’s poorer-than-expected showing in London.

Drawing on the article and knowing his sport is Hockey I decided to take a bit of a “stick” to Dr Connor

Says Connor…..

“Generally speaking the rest of the world has finally cottoned onto what we’ve been doing for the last 25 years — so that every one of them is copying the Australian Institute of Sport. So the Chinese in particular, the Americans, Team GB copied exactly the system that we employed since setting up the AIS in terms of elite funding, elite support, sport science, the whole-of-athlete approach to getting gold medals. And because we have lost that competitive advantage, we are back in the pack again.”

Well if you believe that and as I pointed out earlier if we want to kid ourselves we WILL fall further behind as that statement ALONE is just rubbish as I will reveal. It is important to do so lest we invest tax payer dollars in based on a false premise. It needs to be nipped in the bud.

Connor goes on…

……the torrent of Australian coaching and sports science talent that has leached away overseas as other nations have sought to capitalise on those with inside knowledge of the Australian rise at the Olympics since the turnaround prompted by the embarrassment of Montreal.

Mr Connor the world is a smaller place, other countries are developing, in spite of facilities like the AIS; athletes like the young Gold Medallist from Trinidad and Tobago shine through. He was not coached by an Australian nor for that matter was Usain Bolt or the rest of the Jamaican 100m relay team or Mo Farra.

Says Connor….

“Our sports scientists and coaches are now training everyone else on the planet. When you look at for example, the Chinese swimmers, there is a whole cohort of Australian coaches and support staff.

This is just untrue

Connor again….

The same for cycling in the UK. So there are lots of people who were part of our system on the inside and knew what the tricks were, and now they’ve been poached by someone else.

This is rubbish. Yes there are 2 coaches but the roots of all the cycling teams lay with the advanced in bike design and training programs developed by the East Germans. The East Germans were the masters in their day of the technology and it the technology that gave Team GB the marginal edge in London 2012 not the coaches in isolation I refer to the The Wattbike, designed and created in Nottinghamshire, was developed with British Cycling to measure the power generated by an athlete and, unlike any other indoor cycle machine at the time, mimic the experience of riding a bike on the road.

The machines have been used by British cyclists, including Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton, since 2007, but the rowers, sailors and even heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Ennis, trained on them in the build-up to London 2012. This is the edge we lost

Team GB (Cycling)

One of the arguments you hear from the sporting elite is that this is horrible, that we have to have more money so we can keep them here. But, you know, that is just not how it works. In the real world you can’t just keep people locked away at an institute or somewhere just because you want to keep their knowledge.”

Dave Brailsford  the performance director 48 is Welsh not Australian and it is he who is credited with “professionalising” cycling, securing funding to pay competitors rather than having them train after work.

He focuses on the “aggregation of marginal gains”, examining almost every detail, down to the pillows used by cyclists.

Other key staff include sports psychologist Steve Peters medical doctor and psychiatrist, described by Brailsford as “the best appointment I’ve made”…is a Brit.

The Team GB Sprint coach a German Jan van Eijden is a double World Champion in sprint and team sprint  and part of the team built around Keirin gold medallist Victoria Pendleton

Yes there are Australians but only 2 out of a team of 12 Head coach Shane Hutton, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, acts as a mentor for other coaches and Road race specialist Rod Ellington works for Team Sky with Brailsford in the Tour de France, and has been described by top sprinter Mark Cavendish as “the best coach in the world”.

Do we lose Coaches?

On Connor’s list …..is the long-vexed issue of trying to pick the sports and competitors most likely to win Olympic gold and favouring them with the bulk of the public funding from the Federal Government’s Australian Sports Commission (ASC).

On the ASC says Connor….

“The ASC tries to pick the sports that are going to get the best results and they fund them disproportionately to other sports. “

And if they fail to deliver, like swimming in these Olympic Games, then it looks like we’ve done very poorly and we get the  picking-the-winner problem.”

The Perhaps there is some truth in this but it isn’t born out by the results and sailing is an example The real truth is critics like Connor try to argue that in just 4 years since Bejing a sporting collapse has occurred. Well it hasn’t and further there is no evidence that if it had it is because we have exported our experts or fallen behind. One of the problems with western culture is that we see time as linear It isn’t its cyclic so just as the seasons pass so does the baton of success falter. Cricket our number one Australian game is testimony to this.

It is more the case other countries are investing and identifying talent that perhaps may otherwise not have been seen and developed in the past.

In Football this is also true as the smaller African, Sub Saharan and countries like Korea and Japan are having an increasing contribution to the World Game. No more so is this evident than in Footballs with ever-increasing influx of African and Afro British players into the Premier League.

Today they emerge with players in the English Premier League, BundesLiga (Germany), LaLiga (Spain), Serie A (Italy)etc.  Only a few coaches predicted that 30 odd years ago and they have in recent times about the emergence in more recent time of China…and India.

Johnny Warren

This coaching jingoism needed to be dealt with in the World game which is why the late Johnny Warren canvassed that Australia needed to join the Asia pathway to qualify for the World Cup as we otherwise wouldn’t develop. That we are going backwards in the FFA run game here has more to do with Frank Lowy being out of touch as anybody who knows me knows I have expressed for a decade that the Game here is poorly run and is not something for export coaches included.

Sport Without Boarders.

As coaches we want to see “our” sport embraced by all of  the planet and not kept in a vacuum so we can pat ourselves on the back to say “Job well done”

The Premier League is interesting from another aspect with the representation of Scottish Managers.  Yet one would never argue the historical weakness of the domestic game in Scotland was due to the managerial and coaching staff going south!

I have a theory about all this ballyhoo and that is; people like Connor  are like the same type of parents I’ve seen as a coach who would often spend a lot of time with their “chosen” children pushing them to succeed in an area that they the parent happen  to value and then put the children on display. For them it’s not about the child. The parent might get involved in the child’s activity in some capacity, to be seen as selfless and helpful and to be admired by others as devoted parents; they will even tweet blog about it …..but ask the children and he or she would tell you later that ‘Dad or Mum’ got involved but he did it for himself. “It was never about me.”

Dr Connor please take a rain check!

The History of it all:

Australia’s efforts to cast off the dejection of the 1976 Montreal Olympics in which Australia was left at 32nd on the medal table embraced the programs of the East Germans. Those like programs saw Australia lift to 15th on the medal table for the 1980 Moscow Olympics  but those results need to be put into perspective.  They are the games that were boycotted for example by the US. SO we had to do well. We finished 14th at Los Angeles in 1984 (I was an Australian by this time) 15th at Seoul in 1988 and in 1982 got into the top 10 nations in Barcelona. This is where we finished in 2012!

For Interest BELOW are the results of Australia’s AIS Olympic results since 1984 coupled with the contribution from the AIS.  The contribution from the AIS is far from compelling and contradicts Dr Connor’s premise . The rise in competition standards of other new nations is contributing to Australia  finishing down order in the individual events This is now a key reason for the lessening of our total Australia medal count e.g being pushed down from Gold to Silver to bronze to 4TH to 5TH and so on.

As I wrote earlier we are just being pipped out of a place in the top 3. That’s all !

What do those in the know say?

Rob Fildes, president of Athletics Australia, says the competition has intensified as developing countries have actively joined the race.

“There are a lot of new countries, such as Ukraine and Kazakhstan, putting a lot of money into their sport and that includes things like coaching,” he says.

“There are coaches who leave Australia and there are coaches who come to Australia. That is the way it is these days”.

Australia’s gold medal-winning sailors were coached by Ukrainian Victor Kovalenko, the basketballers take orders from an American Brett Brown and the divers benefit from the guidance of former Chinese Olympian, Hui Tong.

Peggy Liddick may have become an Australian citizen this year but the gymnastics coach came here via the United States, where she landed medals.

Incidentally the area off the old Soviet Union would have achieved  151 medals with 41 Gold /24 Russia today. They too have exported coaches

Another question is whether having Australians travel to other countries to gain exposure to fresh methods and approaches is a problem.

Matthew Favier came back to Australia this year after a stint in Britain and says he believes that “the experience has made him more valuable to Australia”.

The Wallabies are coached by a Kiwi 🙂

This is what we should be focused on the Camaraderie of the Olympic Spirit

For interest and some reference below are the Australian Olympic Medal Standing since 1984

1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles

Finished  fourth  behind the United States, China and Soviet Union

AIS  7 medals with 33 athletes and competed in four sports winning 5 silver 2 bronze medals.

*In 2012: Australia won 38 medals finishing in 7th place!! With 7 Gold 

 increase of elite Athletes world-wide  This is important as it can be 1000ths 100ths or just a second or two or three of a second between 1st and 3rd  even 4th 5th or 6th It should also be accepted the world is a smaller place with more countries competing.

1988 Olympic Games Seoul

15 (10 in 2012)

118 AIS athletes won 6 medals competed in 13 sports and won 1 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze.

Australia: Won 3 Gold, 6 Silver, 5 Bronze.

AIS /Australia ratio = 6/14

1992 Olympic Games Barcelona

Finished 10 ( same 2012)

139 AIS athletes competed in thirteen sports.Won 3 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze.

Australia: Won 7 Gold, 9 Silver, 11 Bronze.

AIS /Australia ratio = 14/27

1996 Atlanta Olympic Games:

Finished 7

207 AIS athletes competed in thirteen sports and won 4 gold, 7 silver and 17 bronze.

Australia Won 9 Gold 9 Silver 23 Bronze

AIS /Australia ratio = 28/41

2000 Olympic Games Sydney:

Finished 4 (6 ahead of 2012)

319 AIS athletes competed in nineteen sports and won 8 gold, 11 silver and 13.

Australia Won 16 Gold, 25 Silver, 17 Bronze.

AIS /Australia ratio = 32/ 58

2004 Olympic Games Athens:

Finished 4

289 AIS athletes competed in competed in twenty sports and won 10 gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals

Australia Won 17 Gold, 16 Silver, 17 Bronze.

AIS /Australia ratio = 32/50

2008 Olympic Games Beijing:

Finished 6

263 AIS athletes won 7 gold, 9 silver and 7 bronze medals

Australia   Won 14  Gold, 15 Silver 17 Bronze.

AIS /Australia ratio = 23/46

UK    Won   19 Gold, 13 Silver, 15 Bronze.  Total 47

2012  London:

Finished 10 (same as 1996 but secured 8 more medals in 2012 )

AIS athletes ? At time of posting results not available In any case nationwide I think it would be quite healthy to see more of a contribution from around the country.

Australia    Won   7 Gold   16 Silver 12 Bronze          35

UK               Won 29 Gold  17 Silver 19 Bronze          65

There are other measurements of success:

Medals  v Gross Domestic Product  v Population  v Team size.

Actual Rank GDP Pop Team size
USA 1 66 47 5
China 2 54 73 1
GB 3 40 20 13
Russia 4 36 34 8
South Korea 5 43 31 15
Germany 6 55 35 19
France 7 58 36 23
Italy 8 57 40 24
Hungary 9 14 8 17
Australia 10 44 11 30
Japan 11 70 50 21
Kazakhstan 12 28 28 14
Netherlands 13 46 19 20
Ukraine 14 18 44 29
Spain 15 56 46 47
Brazil 16 71 67 54
Cuba 17 11 18 16
New Zealand 18 20 4 35

So in terms of GDP we are not doing very well …is that because we export our coaches or techniques?  No!!

So to finish thought it appropriate to include the Closing ceremony which like the opening at the time of this post I have yet to see.

The  Commonwealth Games table is also worth a passing look

1982 Brisbane  107  39 Gold  39 Silver  29 Bronze

37 AIS athletes = 12 gold, 12 silver and 7 bronze medals.

1986 Edinburgh 121 = 40 Gold  46 Silver  35 Bronze

75 AIS athletes = 19 gold, 16 silver and 17 bronze medals.

1990 Auckland 162 = 52 Gold  54 Silver  56 Bronze

87 AIS athletes = 25 gold, 25 silver and 27 bronze medals.

1994 Victoria 182 = 87 Gold  52 Silver  43 Bronze

87 AIS athletes = 35 gold, 16 silver and 15 bronze medals.

1998 Kuala Lumpur 198 = 80 Gold  61 Silver  57 Bronze

138 AIS athletes = won 34 gold, 29 silver and 21 bronze medals.

2002  Manchester 206 = 82 Gold 62 Silver 63 Bronze

168 AIS athletes  = 44 Gold, 23 Silver and 33 Bronze

2006 Melbourne 222  = 84 Gold  69 Silver 69 Bronze  Gold  Silver  Bronze

AIS Data not available

2010 Deli  177  =  74 Gold  55 Silver  48 Bronze

AIS Data not available

Here are the Rolling Stones from the Album High Tide and Green Grass: Track 19th Nervous Breakdown

Posted by: daviemacdonald | August 5, 2012

“Syria a History” of Iran the Next War ?


politicsSyria False Flag  We have heard it all before in Iraq!

It has taken perhaps 4 weeks to pull this post together . Probably it would make more sense to post little by little to remain engaged in the Syria Debate ? However it is what it is and as I research one aspect so I stumble upon another. Those who follow me on twitter @escalatorover will know I am daily active researching and debunking the regular myths around the whole affair: I have regularly exposed false orchestrated Free Syrian Army You tube video, pictures of alleged Government  massacres (that the Christian churches Catholic and Orthodox refute). Some of these pictures have originated either from Libya 2011 or from the Lebanese Civil War and Iraq in one notable case 2003 and in others are simply “photo-shopped”.

So too understand where we are today we need to understand where we have been in History

Kuwait 1990

In October 10, 1990, a female who provided only her first name, Nayirah. In her emotional testimony, Nayirah stated that after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital, take the incubators, and leave the babies to die. Though reporters did not then have access to Kuwait, her testimony was regarded as credible.

Today we are subjected to a constant barrage about women children being massacred by the Syrian Arab Army or Local Militias

stupidIn her testimony she stated:

I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital with twelve other women who wanted to help as well. I was the youngest volunteer. The other women were from twenty to thirty years old. While I was there

I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the babies on the cold floor to die.It was horrifying.

In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah’s last name was al-Ṣabaḥ and that she was the daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States.

It was also revealed the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton, which was in the employ of Citizens for a Free Kuwait, had arranged the testimony. It turned out that she had taken acting lessons on request of the CIA

Importantly  of course she had never worked at the Hospital.

Libya 2011

In March 2011 the Director of Amnesty International (Kathy Jackson Look alike) Genevieve Garrigos announced to the World in 22 February 2011 that Gaddafi was systematically committing mass murder of Libyan people 3 Months later she admitted that there was no evidence of this and that she had been relying of reports that were unverified. Only very recently have we beemn told by Media reporter their information is also unverified.

Toward the end of the Libyan War (first phase) while Sirte was under concentrated and continual air attack for almost 3 months nobody from Main Stream Media (MSM) or Amnesty International or the UN raised any concerns for the civilian population nor did they ever report from the Government forces side.

War on Civilians US. EU. NATO. UN. Double Standards Every Picture tells a Story

People flee Allepo? No Sirte Libya August 2011

NTC barrage Sirte August 2011

NTC Rebel Tank Sirte 2011

Sirte 3 months of NATO Bombing

Sirte October 2011

Red Cross enter November 2011

Today in Syria we are being again fed with a mass of white noise from pro-Western  MSM  using unverified reports from “activists” who have stated they have no intention of any dialogue with the Government.

Any close examination of the video evidence available on YouTube gives weight to the falseness and absurdity of the propaganda being peddled by the Free Syrian Army .

A typical example of History distorted! Hama 1982. 

To understand the time in context it is when there was conflict between Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

It is the time of the Shatila and Sabra massacres It is a time when the world was eyeing the entire area.

So the notion that a town that today has only a population of 310,000 then suffered a massacre of 40,000 with 15,000 missing whilst no one noticed is quite absurd.  On normal battle related ratio 5-1 wounded to dead this indicates the casualties to be between 200,000 to nearly 300,000

The Hama population in 1995 was 244,000 in 2004 312,000 and today the highest estimate is 350,000. I continue further down on Homs and its history of unrest

A Bastion of Peace? The United States

The US has a history in which they have only had 16 years when they have not been at War either externally or internally.  From the Indian Wars  to the Civil War to the Mexico War to the Spanish-American War of 1868 they have concocted lies to justify their aggression. In fact since the Revolution the United States has only had a period of 16 YEARS where it has not been involved is a War externally or internally.

In more modern times this has included the Bay of Pigs Cuba and Operation Northwoods. Author James Bamford, “A Pretext For War”, in his book reports on 2005  CIA declassified “Operation Northwoods” documents revealing that in 1962 the CIA was planning to stage phony terrorist attacks on the US and blame it on Cuba to start a war.

Other falsehoods have included Bay of Tonkin Vietnam, US overthrow of Lebanon Government in 1958 to Iraq 1990 and in 2003  under the pretext of WMDs . You will recall this is also  when Colin Powell presented to the UN with  what he then believed (but not now) video and photographic as evidence of Iraq’s ability to produce and stockpiles WMDs

UN filed a report on “Crimes in Syria”: 

Recently  early July  the UN filed a report on “Crimes in Syria”:  Let’s look at it briefly. This was an investigation by  a panel of 3 investigators led by Paulo Pinheiro, a Brazilian professor. None of these investigators have been to Syria. They  stated  in the report it was based on 369 interviews (victims witnesses defectors  & other people  with “inside knowledge”  They went on to admit most of the interviews were by phone only and a few in person with people who had already fled the country.

This is not unlike the previously video above “Humanitarian War the initial Amnesty International report given by Genevieve Garrigos on Gaddafi crimes in Benghazi This is the report she was later to retract as an error as it too was based on victims witnesses defectors & other people with “inside knowledge”

Middle East 1970

books, reading and poetryA short History of Syria 1947 -1976

Syrian History is complex yet simple:

It had a period of  “Democracy and “independence” with an imposed Monarchy of from  1947  to 1949. In 1949 there was a Coup led by General Adib Shishakli  who was born in  Hama  who overthrew the Monarchy.

Adib_al-Shishakli

In 1954 there was another revolt led by the Communists and Ba’athist Socialists.   When the revolt reached its peak, Gen Shishakli fled to Lebanon and  then to Brazil.

A democracy was formed but remained free of a Monarchy. By 1957 the Syrian Communists had become the main single party political force. In response the Syrian Baathists sought Union with Egypt then led by Nasser to create the UAR (The United Arab Republic) led by Major Salah Jadid .  A certain Captain Hafiz al-Assad   was on the “revolutionary” committee.

General Salah Jadid

In 1961 there was another military coup in 1961 and the Union with Egypt and the UAR was dissolved. Nazim al-Qudsi, who led the first post-UAR government. Jadid and other Officers were forced to retire from the Syrian Army for their Nasserite loyalties. Jadid remained away from public view, but as second secretary of the Ba’ath Party, he kept allies in the top posts in Government and the army.

Hafez_al-Assad

In another Coup Jadid  returned and Hafez al-Assad was appointed defence minister and though many of the inner circle were  Alawite  3 were Sunni including  Abd al-Karim al-Jundi, who  was appointed security chief  thus giving the regime a sectarian character. Several were military men, and all belonged on the Baath Party’s left-wing.

The next period was one of some confusion but Syria moved to have closer ties with the Soviet Union and pursued hardline policies towards Israel and “reactionary” Arab states especially Saudi Arabia, calling for the mobilization of a “people’s war” against Zionism and pursued a rigorous socialist transformation of Syrian society which was then as it is today a secular society.

However it was in this period the Baath Party replaced parliament as law-making body and all other parties were banned including the Communists.

However support for his regime declined sharply following Syria’s defeat in the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel captured the Golan Heights, and as a result of the troubled internal conditions of the country.

The Minister of Defense Hafez al-Assad, protested “adventurism” of Jadid, and demanded a normalization of the internal situation by adopting a permanent constitution, de socialising  the economy, mending ties with non-Baathist anti socialist groups, the US and seeking an alliances with conservative Arab states including Jordan and Saudi Arabia while still excluding the Communists.

The Black September

In 1970, when conflict erupted between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Jordanian army, Jadid sent Palestinian troops of the nominally PLO-run Palestinian Liberation Army, based in Syria into Jordan to assist the PLO. The events ignited conflict between Hafez al-Assad and Salah Jadid in Syria when On September 15 1970, King Hussein declared martial law in Jordan.

The next day, Jordanian tanks (the 60th Armoured Brigade of the Jordanian Army) attacked the headquarters of Palestinian organizations in Amman; the army also attacked refugee camps in Irbid, Salt, Sweileh, Baq’aa, Wehdat and Zarqa.

Arafat later claimed that the Jordanian army killed between 10,000 and 25,000 Palestinians.

King Husein and Yassar Arafat

As King Hussein dealt with threats by both Palestinian refugees in his country and invading Syrian forces, the king asked “the United States and Great Britain to intervene in the war requesting the United States attack Syria. Transcripts of diplomatic communiques show that Hussein requested Israeli intervention against Syria.

politicsGreat Britain U.S. involvement  In Black September  and U.S.S.R response.

The U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet positioned off the coast of Israel, near Jordan. At the beginning of September, U.S. President Richard Nixon sent an additional carrier task force and the Marine assault ship USS Guam to supplement the 6th Fleet. Two Royal Navy aircraft carriers arrived in the area of Malta as well. By 19–20 September, U.S. Navy concentrated a powerful force in the Eastern Mediterranean.

USS Kearsarge amphibious assault ship

According to the official U.S. version the goal was to protect American interests in the region and to respond to the capture of about 50 German, British, and U.S. citizens in Jordan by Palestinian forces. The Soviets claimed that the goal of U.S. shock grouping was in taking control of the West Bank of the Jordan river to support the upcoming Israel invasion into the neighbouring territories of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

To protect Soviet interests in the area and to assist Syria, the 5th Mediterranean Squadron of the Soviet Navy was increased to over twenty surface warships and six submarines. By mutual agreement with Syria, Soviet landing troops were ordered to engage with any U.S. landing and assist in securing Syria’s sovereignty  and border with Israel.

1970 Soviet Helicopter Carrier

Soviet Kirov Cruiser

On 19–20 September U.S. landing ships entered Haifa (Israel )outer harbour and prepared for disembarking: U.S. Marines made  ready for a first phase helicopter landing . However, after the Soviet landing ships made for *Tartus, the preparations for disembarking were quickly cancelled.

The 82nd Airborne had been alerted on the Sept.15. On the 19th they boarded their C-141s at Fort Bragg. They were to complete an Air drop in to the Amman Airport, secure and hold position for the heavier units to be brought in by air. Within minutes after the first C-141s became airborne the mission was aborted and all returned to Pope AFB/Fort Bragg.

U.S. Forces remained on alert in the area throughout September and October. However, the tensions gradually decreased starting from 23–24 September.

In November 1970 Jadid had tried to dismiss Assad over the debacle of the Syrian Military intervention in Jordan his continued anti-communist stance and increasing appeasement to the US.  Unfortunately for Jadid the hand of the CIA was already at work.

This work by the CIA culminated in Assad’s “Corrective Movement” of November 1970 when he led a Coup against Jadid and seized power. Though Jadid had the support of most of the civilian Baath apparatus, Assad position of  Minister of Defence gave him control of the State military machine In 1969, Assad removed all  Jadid loyalists from the Ministry of Defence and Army,

In the unfolding crisis the Syrian communists and other leftists aligned itself with Salah Jadid.

The result was Assad launched a coup against Jadid and Nureddin al-Atassi the Prime Minister.  Both were arrested and both without trial were gaoled. Jadid remained in prison 23 years until his death in 1993 and Atassi until his in 1992. Assad was installed as President initially for a 7-years and The Ba’ath Party nominated a 173-member “People’s Council”.  The Ba’ath Party took 87 seats with remaining seats divided among “popular organizations” The Communist were banned and excluded

Yom Kippur

In 1973, Syria and Egypt launched the Yom Kippur War to recover territories lost to Israel in 1967 This resulted for Syrian army being forced from the Golan Heights. Today Israel continues to occupy the Golan Heights.

In early 1976 intervened in Lebanon with over 40,000 troops to prevent the Maronite Christians from being overrun, in the Lebanese Civil War. Syria remained until 2005 partly as a deterrent against Israel.

*Russian Base at Tartus

Tartus has been a base for the Russian (previously Soviet Mediterranean squadron since 1971) and is part of a leasing arrangement made as a deal to offset Syrian debts to Russia Russia’s largest and most important military base in a foreign country is the Black Sea Fleet base in Sevastopol, Ukraine.

To deploy beyond the Black Sea, Russian warships based at Sevastopol must pass through the Bosporus Strait, which was militarised by NATO-member Turkey in 1982.

Russian Landing Craft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Turkey provocatively claimed the right to close the Strait at its discretion in peacetime as well as during wartime. Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, the Bosporus was deemed an international shipping lane. Hence as Russia’s only Mediterranean base, that makes Tartus a vital strategic asset beyond the Black Sea and the Bosporus.

So you can see the internal crisis in Syria has clear threats to regional and World Peace.

We have learned today August 3  that Putin had given orders for “Marines ” to depart to Syria; though I did tweet this over a month ago “Russian Blue  Hats” were to be deployed. So it has been known for some time and so should surprise no-one

Russian Marines

 

Russian Troop Carrier

 

Russian Amphibious Armour

1916 – 1958 Greater Syria

French Foreign Legion Homs

In reference to Lebanon I’ll take a step back to 1916 and The “Sykes-Picot Agreement”. It was agreed after the expulsion of the Turks at the end of the First “Great War” the French would occupy Greater Syria which included and what is known as today as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. In 1920 under a League of Nations mandate the whole area was ceded to France.

In 1932 the French moved their military academy from Damascus to Homs, and it remained the only military academy in Syria until 1967 The French colonialists created a unit of Special Forces in which the Alawites were given privileged positions.

States of the French Mandate

The Homs Military Academy played a major role in the years following Syria’s independence in 1947, as many of its graduates went on to become high-ranking officers in the Syrian Army, many of them taking part in the series of coup d’états that were to follow. An important example was Hafez al-Assad who became the president of Syria from 1971 – 2000 Until 1967 it was the only military academy in Syria.

After WW11 in 1946 the French were kicked out of Syria which then was declared an independent republic and was settled for the next 3 years until defeat in the Arab Israeli war of 1948. In 1949 there were in quick succession 3 military Coups and by 56 there had been total of 7 in just 6 years of independence.

In November 1956, as a direct result of the Suez Crisis (the failure of Great Britain and France attempting to size the Suez Canal after Nasser nationalised it) Syria signed a co-operation treaty with the Soviet Union (the Largest Soviet State was Russia). This provided a foothold for more progressive (socialist) influence within the government in exchange military equipment and support in engineering expertise and health services.

Suez 1956 in Pictures “An Unprovoked attacked on Egypt by UK France and Israel”

Suez Map 1956

UK News Headlines 1956

British Centurion Tank Lands

Israel Launch Attack Suez 1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only heated debates behind the scenes between Soviet Deputy Foreign minister Andrei Gromyko who became world-renowned for his extensive knowledge of international affairs and for his negotiating skills (unlike Kofi Annan) and the US at the United Nations (of which Syria was an original member) lessened the threat of World War!

Gromykp with Nikita Khrushchev

Andrei Gromyko was Soviet foreign minister (1957–85)

Syria’s political instability during the years after the 1954 overthrow, the parallelism of Syrian and Egyptian policies, and the appeal of Egyptian President Gamal Abdal Nasser’s leadership in the wake of the Suez Crisis created support in Syria for a Union with Egypt.  On 1 February 1958, Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli and Nasser announced the merging of the countries, creating the United Arab Republic .

Syria and Turkey Always an uneasy relationship

This relationship increased the strength of Syrian military and their access to more technological weapons  worried Turkey, they feared  Syria might attempt to retake Hatay province.         Turkey started massing its troops at the Syrian border. During this standoff, leftists gained more control over the Syrian government and military. This is still a matter of dispute between Syria and Turkey today and it is the area the Turkish fighter recently shot down took off from before entering Syrian airspace. SEE a  previous post   “Play it again Sam” Syria Turkey and the “Gleiwitz” option 

Uprisings and Outside interference and the next war …next

Iran 1953

Patriot of Persia

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état  was the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran and Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953 Mosaddegh.  In 1951, Iran’s oil industry was nationalized with near-unanimous support of Iran’s parliament in a bill introduced by Mossadegh who led the nationalist parliamentarian faction.  Iran’s oil had been controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC), now known as BP

The Coup was  orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States . Though not for detail here the path to the overthrow of  the Iranian (democratic) Government by the United States  was followed in the same way in Libya 2011 and was attempted in Syria today.

CIA’s declassified documents and records show that they paid some of the most feared mobsters in Tehran to whip up and stage pro-Shah riots in August 1953.

Others were armed and brought into Tehran in buses and trucks, and took over the streets of the city.

Key elements  in the armed forces were persuaded to stage the coup which  saw the imposition of The Shah Pahlavi as an absolute Monarch who relied heavily on United States support to hold on to power until his own overthrow in February 1979.

Mosaddegh was arrested, tried and convicted of treason by the Shah’s military cour  and remained in Gaol for the rest of his life.  His supporters were imprisoned or executed. Mosadedegh was treated at his trial little better than the German Generals tried for their parts in July Plot to assassinate Hitler.

Mossadegh fights back in Court

Such is the commitment of the United States to democracy  and little wonder why the Iranians are not that keen on the US especially when you also recall the US and British sponsored  Saddam Hussein’s war on  Iran from 1980- 1988 causing further foreign policy “Blowback”

Hama

The town of Hama in particular was a “stronghold of landed conservatism and of the Muslim Brothers,” and “had long been a redoubtable opponent of the Ba’athist state. The first full-scale clash between the two occurred shortly after the 1963 coup, in which the Ba’ath party first gained power in Syria. In April 1964 riots broke out and  Muslim insurgents put up “roadblocks, stockpiled food and weapons.” After a Ba’ath militia man was killed, riots intensified and rebels attacked “every vestige” of the Ba’ath party in Hama. Tanks were brought in to crush the rebellion and 70 members of the Muslim Brotherhood were killed, with the organisation being driven underground.

In 1979 the Muslim Brotherhood undertook guerrilla activities in multiple cities within the country targeting military officers, government officials.

Throughout the first years of the 1980s the Muslim Brotherhood and various other Islamist factions with an emphasis on “sharia law and rejection of Shia Islam” staged hit-and-run attacks against the government and its officials, including a nearly successful attempt to assassinate president Hafez al-Assad on 26 June 1980, during an official state reception for the president of Mali. When a machine-gun salvo missed him,. Surviving with only light injuries, al-Assad’s revenge was swift and merciless: only hours later a large number of imprisoned Islamists were executed in Tadmor Prison

The events of the Hama “massacre” began on 2 am on 3 February 1982”.

To understand the time in contextof then current events  it is when there was conflict between Israel, Lebanon and Syria. It is the time of the Shatila and Sabra massacres in Lebanon by the Falange Christian Militias and the South Lebanon Army whose sponsor were the Israelis. It was a time when the world was eyeing the entire region so nothing like the idea of 30 to 40,000 killed in Hama is quite absurd

A Syrian army unit searching the old city “stumbled on the hideout of the local Muslim Brotherhood guerrilla commander, Abu Bakr and were ambushed and “roof-top snipers”  killed 20 – 30  of Syrian soldiers.

Abu Bakr who then “gave the order for a general uprising” in Hama. Mosque loudspeakers used for the call to prayer called for jihad against the Ba’ath, and hundreds of Islamic insurgents rose to attack the homes of government officials and Baath Party leaders, overrun police posts and ransack armouries. By daybreak of the morning of 3 February some 70 leading Ba’athists had been slaughtered in much like the recent brutal images of the Free Syrian Army you can find on You Tube today.  Abu Bakr and the Islamist insurgents and activists proclaimed Hama a “liberated city”, urging Syrians to rise up against the “infidel”

According to author Patrick Seale in his book  “Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East”

“every party worker, every paratrooper sent to Hama knew that this time Islamic militancy had to be torn out of the city, whatever the cost…”

The military was mobilized, and president Hafez al-Assad sent his Brother Rifaat’s amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge  and his special forces (Saraya ad-Difa a paramilitary force) elite army units and Mukhabarat   Military Intelligence agents to the city.

Before the attack, the Syrian government called for the city’s surrender and warned that anyone remaining in the city would be considered a rebel.  Besieged by 12,000 troops, the fighting in Hama lasted for three weeks – the first week “in regaining control of the town,” and the last two “in hunting down the insurgents.”

Syria Christians today: [Also see link to “Play it again Sam” Syria Turkey and the “Gleiwitz” option]

As evidence mounts that foreign Islamists are fighting alongside Syria’s increasingly radicalized rebels, Christians in Aleppo and elsewhere are taking up arms, often supplied by the regime.

“We saw what happened to the Christians in Iraq,” Abu George, a Christian resident of Aleppo’s Aziza district told GlobalPost. “What is going on in Aleppo is not a popular revolution for democracy and freedom. The fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army are radical Sunnis who want to establish an Islamic state.”While the 30-year-old shopkeeper said he had not received any direct threats from Syria’s Sunni Muslim rebels, he fears a repeat of Iraq’s sectarian blood-letting. The exact number of Christians in Aleppo, a city of three million people, is not known but estimates vary between 200,000 and 250,000.

Christians are caught in a conflict few can predict the outcome of – while Assad’s regime has been portrayed as tyrannical by many, some have suggested that at least it protected religious freedom and allowed minorities like Christians to live in peace.

Many fear how the landscape of Syria will change if radical Islamists take over and decide to bring in Sharia law, the moral and religious codes of Islam, which might threaten religious liberties.

Since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, the UN Human Rights Council estimates around half of Iraq’s 1.4 million Christians have fled the country, driven out by nearly a decade of church bombings, kidnappings and sectarian murder.

Writing in The New York Times August 4 , Kapil Komireddi warns of “civil disintegration and ethnic cleansing”:

A churchgoing Syrian told me that he used to see himself primarily as “Syrian” and that religious identity, in political terms, was an idea that never occurred to him — until an opposition gang attacked his family earlier this year in Homs. “It’s a label they pinned on us,” he said. “If their revolution is for everyone, as they keep insisting it is, why are Christians being targeted? It is because what they are waging is not a struggle for freedom, and it’s certainly not for everyone.”As Saudi Arabian arms and money bolster the opposition, the 80,000 Christians who’ve been “cleansed” from their homes in Hamidiya and Bustan al-Diwan in Homs Province in March by the Free Syrian Army have gradually given up the prospect of ever returning home.

The rebels’ conduct has prompted at least some Sunnis who had supported the rebels and once-wavering Syrians to pledge renewed loyalty to Assad. Many who once regarded the regime as a kleptocracy now view it as the best guarantor of Syria’s endangered pluralism.

A Sunni shopkeeper in the impoverished suburb of Set Zaynab, which was partly destroyed in the clashes last week, no longer supports the rebellion. “I wanted Assad to go because he is corrupt,” he said. “But what happened here, what they did, it scared me. It made me angry. I cannot support the murder of my neighbors in the name of change. You cannot bring democracy by killing innocent people or by burning the shrines of Shiites. Syrians don’t do that. This is the work of the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia,” he added, referring to the ultra conservative Sunni sect.

Christians arm

According to USA Today

Since 2003 about 50% of Iraq’s Christians have fled the country, taking refuge in neighboring Countries including  Syria, but interestingly not Turkey, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari

July 5 declared  “that al Qaeda members were going into Syria to carry out terror attacks”.

Zebari went on: “We have solid information and intelligence that members of al Qaeda terrorist networks have gone in the other direction, to Syria, to help, to liaise, to carry out terrorist attacks.”

We have been told for months that it was the Government troop firing on civilians Here is yet another picture of an FSA sniper Anyone from a military or special forces background that this position is not for engaging the Syrian Arab Army.  If it were with just breeze blocks for protection… a few rounds from a heavy machine gun, RPG or HE Tank or Artillery shell would blow this “position” to “Kingdom Come” No this is a loop (the slit) cut for firing on civilians.

FSA sniper fires on Civilians

The history  sounds too familiar. But again the US stands in reality behind what is going on in Syria today with Turkey flapping around on the sideline promoting others to do its dirty work while NATO WEAPONS are supplied to the Al-Quada and Islamist Rebels .

FSA with Belgian NATO FN Rifle

The US has still not learned the lesson of promoting its interests by arming Islamists as it did in Afghanistan and thus causing a terrorist blowback across the world. This time the threat to world peace is increased.

IN 1956 AND 1970 WE CAME CLOSE TO

 THE END

link in picture

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