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PNN archive

2005

Australia slides further into the Iraq quagmire
The tragic inevitability of a forlorn hope

By Gavin Gatenby
24 February 2005

John Howard’s decision to double Australia’s ground troop commitment in Iraq was inevitable. The prime minister put off the inevitable for as long as he could, but Australia’s slavish adherence to the American Alliance left him no option but to dispatch more troops to George Bush's mad neo-colonial adventure. His justification of the decision as necessary to stop the Coalition crumbling put a desperate spin on the situation that’s at odds with Washington’s upbeat line on post-election Iraq.

It also signaled that the 450 extra Australian troops will not be the last. A host of other nations that originally committed a few troops to curry favour with the US have already pulled out or will shortly do so, making increases in the Australian contingent, beyond those just announced inevitable (and indeed Howard pointedly did not rule out further increases). READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

The horror! The horror!
Mistah Beckett he vanished

The truth is never pure and rarely simple, as Joseph Conrad knew and the Sydney Morning Herald’s right wing celebrity journalist, Paul Sheehan, should have remembered. Copyright violations by GAVIN GATENBY. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

What makes a criminal in 2005?
By THE BLUE COLLAR BOHEMIAN

10 May 2005
Here we are in New South Wales, filling up the private gaols. Our esteemed Leader, Mr Robert ''Piss-in-a-Jar'' Carr, has boasted there are now 9,000 inmates in the state prison system, something he's apparently proud of. A convict state in 1788 and 217 years later nothing has changed. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

We’re not running out of oil … yet
(but we’re running out of time to prepare for Peak Oil)

Sydney civil engineer MATT MUSHALIK takes a cool, rational, look at the world’s rapidly-approaching energy crisis.
Not a week passes without media reports on rising petrol prices and tight oil supplies. Often the impression is given that we’re dealing with a temporary coincidence of unrelated events and that oil prices will go back to “normal”. Few of these articles analyse the situation in enough detail to explain the root cause – the successive and continuous peaking of oil production in many oil producing countries. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Drug laws are the Trojan Horse of the police state
By THE BLUE COLLAR BOHEMIAN
16 May 2005
The drug test strike by Sydney rail workers on May 11 was yet another example of the level of frustration and disgust with harassment by RailCrap management.
The strike was ''settled'' by the union bosses selling out the strikers by agreeing that testing should continue while they ''negotiated'' to preserve the ''dignity'' of the workers. In other words, a typical gutless sellout by ALP stooges to appease the government. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

 

Will the Sydney Morning Herald tell the truth about oil?
By MATT MUSHALIK
2 June 2005

This week, Robert Whitehead, editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, went on a crusade. The paper presented us with a Sydney-in-crisis that we experience every day: water restrictions, high cost of land and homes, pollution, public transport in disarray, clogged roads, increasing energy consumption, you name it.
But growth must go on, it seems.

It will therefore be interesting to watch whether the SMH will manage to confront us with what is – along with the water resource problem – our most serious limiting factor: declining Australian oil production and the global oil peak. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Dirty power is also poor investment in jobs and the economy
By JOHN KAYE
10 June 2005

A recent suggestion that the NSW state government’s energy white paper would grant Delta Electricity the right to plan for 1,500 MW of new coal power was condemned by the environment movement. And so it should have been, given that this plant will increase greenhouse gas emissions from NSW’s electricity industry by about 18 per cent. Australia-wide, electricity generation contributes about 33 per cent of our nation’s total annual emissions.
Additional coal-fired power generation in the Hunter Valley or elsewhere would be bad news for employment, jobs and the climate. If the same amount of money were wisely invested in clean energy, more jobs would be generated, lower-cost long-term outcomes would be achieved and Australia’s balance of trade could be significantly improved.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

An incident at the Opera House
The mainstream press has ignored the link between the Chen Yonglin defection and the visit to Australia of top Chinese politician, Wu Banggou

By GAVIN GATENBY
12 June 2005

On the evening of Monday 23 May, three days before the Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin walked into the Immigration Department building and requested political asylum, I and hundreds of others witnessed a curious incident at Sydney Opera House. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

By any spin necessary
Why imperialist spokesmen are distancing the London bombings from the Iraq war

By GAVIN GATENBY
10 July 2005

One of the surprises of the London bombings has been the line taken by prominent imperialist spokesmen. Tony Blair, Charles Clarke, John Reid, Condoleezza Rice and John Howard have all been careful to say, or imply, that the bombings were not specifically related to their nations’ invasion and occupation of Iraq.
At first glance, this is a bizarre position, but on further reflection the reason for it is obvious.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Who duped the London bombers?
By GAVIN GATENBY
18 July 2005

Citing police and MI5 sources, The Mirror.co.uk, a mainstream British internet publication, has now admitted the probability that the four London bombers were in some way duped by a master bomber . This theory has been widely reported internationally (for example by the Sydney Morning Herald, 18 July 2005).
In the Mirror’s scenario the master bomber cynically tricked his team into thinking that when they pressed the button, they were setting off a timing device that would give them sufficient time to leave the target area. Instead, they pressed the buttons, detonated the bombs and killed themselves as well as their victims. ...
There are considerable problems with the version of the dupes scenario publicized by the Mirror. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Taking down the wrong man at Stockwell tube
Was the “armed team” ordered to kill Hussain Osman because he knew too much?

By GAVIN GATENBY
20 August 2005

Either the highly-trained firearms team was actually composed of psychopaths so eager to actually kill somebody that they collectively threw away any opportunity to exercise judgement on whether Osman/de Menezes presented a danger to the public or we must conclude that they were under orders to kill the subject regardless.
And the only logical reason for killing Osman is that whoever arranged the killing knew that whatever Osman might have said under interrogation would lead to the conclusion that the “failed” 21/7 bombings and possibly the 7/7 bombings were false flag operations. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Double whammy
Peak oil and climate change

By MATT MUSHALIK
2 September 2005

While we still struggle to learn about and understand the magnitude of human tragedy inflicted on the Southern US by hurricane Katrina, especially around New Orleans, it now becomes clear that the world is facing a double whammy: climate change and peak oil happening at the same time.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

"You got the wrong Texan"
Pictures of the Sydney demonstration against the arrest and pending deportation of US anti-war activist Scott Parkin

12 September 2005
On a few hours notice about 120 demonstrators assembled outside the Sydney Headquarters of the Federal Police at 5.30 pm. SEE THE PICTURES >>>

Use your brain Morris, take the train
Oil’s inexorable decline must drive Sydney public transport reforms
By MATT MUSHALIK and GAVIN GATENBY*
29 September 2005
History will record that the Carr Government’s greatest failure was that it squandered the opportunity to make timely preparations for “peak oil”. Few Australians are familiar with this phenomena, but its ramifications will seep into every aspect of political and social life in the coming years.
For a whole decade state cabinet ignored a sincere and increasingly strident warning from oil industry experts: the maximum possible level of world oil production was imminent and would be followed by inexorable decline. It remains to be seen whether the Iemma cabinet will face the issue squarely or remain in denial.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Bob Carr joins the Millionaire Factory
By THE BLUE COLLAR BOHEMIAN
28 October 2005
Back in the days of Tito's Yugoslavia, Milovan Djilas wrote of the ''New Class'' – Communist Party officials and bureaucrats who used their positions to create a privileged elite of paladins [themselves] who felt no need to extend socialist obligation to their own circumstances. For his exertions Comrade Djilas got to see lots of the Big House. Everyone at the trough hates a killjoy. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

DON'T BE SILENCED!
• Defend civil liberties • Defend Muslims • Bring the troops home
Sydney rally and march, Saturday 5 November 2005

It was the first opportunity to protest against the draconian "anti-terrorist" and sedition laws introduced by the Howard Government, and possibly the last before the new laws make such expressions of dissent illegal. SEE THE PICTURES>>>

Cop-rophilia
By The Blue Collar Bohemian
17 November 2005

The assault on Adam Houda by Stebbing is emblematic of the future under the Howard-Ruddock police state. Police abuses will be hidden behind a smokescreen of secrecy, lies, extra-judicial murder of "escaping terrorist suspects", and a climate of fearmongering and moral panic that makes it impossible to take seriously the idea that the ''rule of law'' is of any purpose other than the subjugation of democratic activity and resistance to government abuse of power. Along with the new industrial laws, every avenue of dissent will be criminalised as terrorism, sabotage, subversion and sedition. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

The black history of November 11s
By The Blue Collar Bohemian
20 November 2005
The portentious date of November 11 has passed us again, 125 years after the hanging of Ned Kelly, 87 years after the bogus Armistice of 1918, and 30 years on from the dismissal of the Whitlam Labor government. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Race riots – let’s be honest, John
By PETER ELLIOT
15 December 2005

 Did anyone notice how hard John Howard tried to distance himself from the fact that the violent attacks that occurred at Cronulla were evidence of racism?  Why? Well, because if any serous analysis was undertaken of the unprecedented – in recent times – outbreak of mob racism, one would have to find that one of the main culprits would in fact be the current Prime Minister and his government. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

Rally against Racism
Sydney, Sunday 18 December 2005

The rally started at Town Hall Square at 1.00 pm
Approximately 7000 people marched down George Street to Belmore Park where a concert was held. Organised by the National Union of Students on about four day's notice, mostly by email, the event was the first large-scale response by progressives to the Howard Liberal government and white supremicist-inspired anti-Lebanese and immigrant riot at Cronulla beach a week before. SEE THE PICTURES >>>

 

2004

Bring the troops home!
International day of action against the war in Iraq
Sydney, Sunday 20 March 2005
VIEW OUR PHOTO GALLERY ...

Ninety-three years of bombing the Arabs

By GAVIN GATENBY
20 August 2004

In Iraq, few days pass without the US Air Force bombing civilian targets. In a high-profile atrocity in May, a bunch of trigger-happy fly-boys shot up a village wedding in western Iraq, killing 45 guests including many children, and a Baghdad singer loved by millions, but these things happen almost daily in towns like Najaf, Samarra and Fallujah, and in other places too far from public gaze to warrant media attention.

The explanation – on the increasingly rare occasions that one is given – is always that these are precision strikes against “terrorists” (newspeak for resistance fighters), but the injured that reach the hospitals and the bodies that turn up in the town morgues are largely women and children.

The explanations don’t play well on Arab Street where they’re received as confirmation of the persistent anti-Arab bias of the West – a view that is essentially correct. READ THE FULL ARTICLE ...

An incident in Ramallah

By RIHAB CHARIDA
2 September 2004


Last night I was sitting in a bar in Ramallah having a drink with a friend that I met here. He too had only been here for less than two weeks. It was a nice atmosphere and we were both talking about the western media and its lack of real reporting. We agreed that no article we had read, or documentary we had watched, accurately portrayed the situation here.

And then, in the midst of good conversation and drinks, a bomb exploded just outside. It was the first time Charlie or I had heard or experienced anything like this. READ THE FULL ARTICLE ...

Nothing good ever came out of Scotch College, until now ...


This speech was given by Melbourne-based popular novelist SHANE MALONEY to an assembly of boys
at Melbourne's exclusive Scotch College in August 2001. Although it circulated by email, it has only recently been published. Maloney had been invited to conduct some workshops on writing (which he did) and then to speak to the larger gathering (he was given no guidance on what to speak on). Needless to say his speech caused quite a stir, with some of the teachers and boys being very indignant.

(POSTED: 6 September 2004
)

When I first received an enquiry about my availability to come and talk at this school, I was naturally reluctant. After all, this school has little to recommend it in the eyes of the wider community. Historically it has been simply a machine for the transmission of inherited privilege. (At the height of the Great Depression, for example, when many Australian families hardly knew where their next meal was coming from, Scotch College was the largest private school in the British Empire).

It is a place where boys from middle class backgrounds are sent to improve their material prospects and to reproduce the values of their class, or where the boys of insecure parents are sent to fulfil the distorted ambitions of their fathers. READ THE FULL SPEECH


End the Lies!

Australian troops out of Iraq! John Howard out!
Rally and march
Sydney, 3 October 2004
With the Australian federal elections just six days away, the anti-war movement rallied in all the Australian state capitals, as well as regional towns. These photos are from the Sydney rally, which began at 1.00 pm at Sydney Town Hall followed by a march to Belmore Park, next to Central railway station. VIEW OUR PHOTO GALLERY ...

Dispossessed all over again
Australian Palestinian RIHAB CHARIDA is travelling in Occupied Palestine

After spending nearly two months in the West Bank the pull towards my village was growing stronger, especially after being detained twice and threatened with deportation.

It has been shocking to witness what Israeli colonialism has done to the land of the West Bank, yet inspiring to see what it has not been able to do to the people. The land: divided, exploited, exhausted, tortured. The people: imprisoned and controlled yet united, defiant and beyond control.

What has to a large degree been more shocking and difficult to witness is the occupation of Palestine. The Arab character of Palestine 1948 has been completley erased, replaced. READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>

The December 1934 assassination of Sergei Kirov
A tale for our times

By Gavin Gatenby
30 November 2004

Seventy years on, the killing of Sergei Kirov casts an eerie light on the events of 11 September 2001, the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the “war on Terror” and the state-sponsored hysteria surrounding the shadowy figures of Osama bin Ladin and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Kirov was shot to death on the 1st of December 1934, certainly on the orders of his mentor, Joseph Stalin. His assassination was a textbook “false flag” operation and certainly did more to divert the current of human history into regressive channels than the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Both in its style of execution and its ramifications it set a benchmark for the cynical manipulation of the public and the falsification of history.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE >>>