Let me preface this by noting my own opposition to offensive violence in all forms; whether committed by soldiers on behalf of governments, individuals or extremist groups.
I strongly oppose the ongoing war in Iraq. I equally oppose violent attacks by extremist religious groups within Iraq. I also oppose violence committed by drunk individuals, and have repeatedly put myself at risk to prevent such violence occurring.
So, to anyone who wants to claim I’m on ‘the terrorists team’, here’s a big up yours (┌∩┐) in advance. I’m not on any ‘terrorist team’ but I’m certainly not joining YOUR team either.
I’m on a team which de-escalates conflicts.
Rather than further isolating at risk people in our society, I want to give them reason to join us.
Only if we break the isolation can we prevent extremist groups radicalising at-risk people. Only if we know who is at-risk, if we build relationships with them, can we help them.
If we fail to achieve that, then no matter how many of our rights we hand over to the intelligence services, we will never feel safe. Continue reading Speaking truth to power – on Zaky Mallah, Steve Ciobo & QANDA
That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.
The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.
At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals.
It’s about the intersection of what is ideal and what is ‘politically achievable’. Continue reading It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).
Australia has deployed members of an SAS regiment to Hereford, England, in advance of deployment to Ukraine.
This is in addition to 190 Australian Federal Police already committed to ‘Operation Bring Them Home’, a reference to MH-17 victims.
That’s a lot of Australian lives at risk amidst a civil war on the opposite side of the globe. I sincerely hope none get caught in the cross fire. But what if one does?
How are the SAS meant to respond then?
The Dutch Prime Minister has rightfully cautioned of the need to “weigh the geopolitical ramifications” any deployment will have, noting “this is not an area where this would remain without consequence”.
The Netherlands have committed to send 40 unarmed investigators, and are considering an additional 40 under an agreement signed with Ukrainian President Poroshenko.
But agreements signed between the Ukrainian President and Foreign Ministers of Australia and the Netherlands have yet to pass the Ukrainian Parliament, which is in disarray after the governing coalition collapsed two days ago.
This means neither Dutch nor Australian forces can legally deploy on Ukrainian soil until after the Ukrainian parliament next sits on Thursday, July 31. Continue reading Australian SAS heading for Ukraine #100daysofblogging #Day54
Tony Abbott today said ‘multi-national forces’, including forces from Australia, should be sent to Ukraine.
I hate to say I told you so, but I did. I’m not even stretching the truth. Don’t believe me?
The video evidence is here, flick to 6:00 and watch for yourself.
This whole thing is playing out in a way that stinks of political opportunism. Tony seizing the opportunity to beat the war drum. Maybe he hopes stoking ‘nationalism’ will help him recover from embarrassingly low polls. Or maybe he’s just an idiot.
The last thing global politics needs right now is more western interventions or foreign troops on Ukrainian soil. Or unwelcome foreign troops on anyone’s soil actually, which such forces would definitely be, in the Donetsk Republic. Continue reading Abbott wants Australian forces in Ukraine. #100daysofblogging #Day50
My first thought this morning was “Fuck. This can’t be real”.
But it was. Almost 300 civilian lives lost after Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 was shot out of the sky as in eastern Ukraine. Who shot the plane down remains unclear.
Immediately, I could hear Tony Abbott beating the war drums in my head.
I knew he would blame Russia. I knew the media circus would come out accusing Russia before long too. Fear sells, and what’s more scary than a Russian aggressor?
Who cares about establishing the facts first, right?
Strategically, it makes no sense for the separatists in Eastern Ukraine to shoot down this plane. There is no ‘strategic win’ for them in this situation. It also makes no sense for Russia, what could they possibly have won by blowing up this civilian aircraft?
Continue reading Who downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17? #100daysofblogging #day46