The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn't - Article by Stephen Gowans

Apparently, the US Left has yet to figure out that Washington doesn’t try to overthrow neoliberals. If Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were a devotee of the Washington Consensus–as Counterpunch’s Eric Draitser seems to believe–the United States government wouldn’t have been calling since 2003 for Assad to step down. Nor would it be overseeing the Islamist guerilla war against his government; it would be protecting him.

There is a shibboleth in some circles that, as Eric Draitser put it in a recent Counterpunch article, the uprising in Syria “began as a response to the Syrian government’s neoliberal policies and brutality,” and that “the revolutionary content of the rebel side in Syria has been sidelined by a hodgepodge of Saudi and Qatari-financed jihadists.” This theory appears, as far as I can tell, to be based on argument by assertion, not evidence.

This article was first published October 22, 2016 at Reproduced here in part. Readers are strongly encouraged to go to the original publication site and read the whole article.

Soros-Linked Voting Machines Cause Concern Over Rigged Election

A U.K. based company that has provided voting machines for 16 states, including important battleground states like Florida and Arizona, has direct ties with billionaire leftist and Clinton crusader George Soros.

The future PrezClint2: Four more years of smirking...

According to journalist Robert Parry, "As polls show Hillary Clinton closing in on victory, Official Washington’s neoconservative (and liberal-hawk) foreign policy establishment is rubbing its hands in anticipation of more war and more strife, including a U.S. military escalation in Syria, a take-down of Iran, and a showdown with nuclear-armed Russia." Doesn't this bother anyone else but me?

Documenting Beaumaris Secondary College tree loss and lack of consultation - Article by Jill Quirk

Photoessay by Jill Quirk. Protest 6.45 am; Location: Beaumaris Secondary School, Reserve Road, Between Gramatan Avenue and Balcombe Road, Beaumaris. Wear red to show anger. Today I took photographs of the scene at Beaumaris Secondary College where 229 trees are scheduled for the chop tomorrow morning at 6.45 a.m. The area is fenced off as a demolition and building site. It looked to me as though a lot of vegetation if not trees has already been cleared and as though a couple of exhibits will be left in isolation for aesthetic purposes as solitary reminders of nature. I’m sorry for the displaced wildlife, especially possums who will no doubt find their way into the gardens of unwelcoming residents. One of the notices on the fence said that they want a new school but retaining as many trees as possible. Who is the new school for ? Current residents or for a large expected influx from overseas?

Protest Monday shocking tree loss in slyly proposed re-build Beaumaris Secondary College

Citizens wearing red - to show anger - at the school site at 6:45 a.m. on Monday, 24 October 2016 will deplore the 229 trees' axing, after Government's secretive, anti-environment prelude to its attack. The State Government knew full well that all of Victoria’s municipal councils would be in caretaker mode when they arranged the present scheme for removing the 229 trees proposed. In that mode, the Council could not take out an injunction. The term of all Bayside City councillors ends today, at the declaration of the poll. The new Council cannot act until it first meets and its councillors have taken the oath, or affirmation, of office. It seems the deadline for lodging an application for that was 2:00 pm yesterday. The work is scheduled to start at 6:45 am on Monday. The Beaumaris Conservation society has a campaign site to retain the Secondary College open space and vegetation.

Population numbers and policy in the Philippines – a history

President Marcos institutionalized a national family planning program by creating a Population Commission (POPCOM) to study the issue and advise on a national policy. The focus of the commission was to decelerate the nation’s high fertility rates, yet consensus on how this was to be accomplished was considered problematic and, at best, unclear. Catholic sociologists brought an increased awareness of population problems and RCC officials started to become involved in the government birth control plan, making no objections and even sat on the POPCOM board. Obviously this concensus did not last. What happened?

Matt Brown 7.30 Report and other dangerous fantasies about war in Syria

The absurdity of Australian news reporting on Syria would be funny if it were not for the disastrous consequences of such reporting for the people of Syria. I happened to see the end of a report from Matt Brown on 7.30 Report on the subject of chemical weapons in Syria. If it depresses me, think how the Syrians feel about our mindless repetition of war-crimes propaganda against Syria's army when that army is the only thing protecting most Syrians from foreign-backed terrorists.

Assad to Swiss TV: Fighting terrorists is the way to protect civilians in Aleppo

During an interview on 19 October 2016 with Swiss TV SRF 1 TV Live, President Bashar al-Assad stressed that protecting civilians in Aleppo necessitates getting rid of the terrorists. He said, “Of course, it’s our mission according to the constitution and the law. We have to protect the people, and we have to get rid of those terrorists in Aleppo. That’s how we can protect civilians.” He added that it goes without saying that the way to protect the civilians in Aleppo is to attack the terrorists who hold the civilians under their control and are killing them. Full transcript inside:

The private life of echidnas: USC-led research

Little-known habits of the iconic native animal illustrated on Australia’s five cent coin have been unveiled in new research led by the University of the Sunshine Coast. A study led by USC Lecturer in Animal Ecophysiology Dr Christofer Clemente has offered new clues to the movement habits of the short-beaked echidna. One of the findings, published today in an article on ‘The private life of echidnas’ in the Journal of Experimental Biology, is that each animal could be responsible for aerating up to 200 cubic metres of soil each year – a function critical for soil nutrition.

Hillary Campaign Operatives Admit to Starting Anti-Trump Riot that Shut Down Chicago Rally

Article by Joseph Jankowski: An undercover video produced by James O’Keeffe’s Project Veritas shows Hillary Clinton campaign operatives admitting to starting the riot that occurred back in March after the Trump campaign canceled a Chicago rally over security concerns.

Project Veritas was able to infiltrate the private political consulting company Democracy Partners and its contractor the Foval Group which have ties to the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton Campaign.

According to Foval Group founder Scott Foval, “The campaign (Hillary Clinton campaign) pays the DNC, DNC pays Democracy partners, Democracy Partners pays the Foval group, Foval Group goes and executes the shit on the ground.”

What Scott Foval means by “shit on the ground” is the agitation that starts disruptions and places bad press on whichever Trump or Pence event they decided to hit.

President Assad's wife first interview in eight years

People will be interested to see this interview with the Syrian president's wife, someone we do not often hear about in western media because she looks and sounds too good to suit its propaganda. In March 2011, Vogue magazine called Asma' al-Assad (née al-Akhras) "A Rose in the Desert". The same magazine smeared her years later as the wife of a war criminal. Asma' al-Assad has an English accent and British citizenship because she born and lived in England. Dr Bashar al Assad, now the president of Syria, met her when he was studying eye medicine in London in the 90's, and married her after he became the president. She was at the time contemplating going to Harvard as a post grad in banking finance. She drives alone in dangerous areas of Syria, meeting widows and orphans of the war, and the mothers of soldiers killed in action (known as 'martyrs' in Syria). She describes in detail the problems of injured soldiers and how she tries to assist. Her children attend school in Syria. She says she has received offers to leave Syria with her three children to a safer area (Gulf, Europe...) with her income guaranteed, but she did not think that would help Syria and she recognised these offers as a trick to undermine Syrian morale. Arabic MSM of the Gulf has carried many false rumors about the Assad family fleeing to Iran and Russia, meeting Russian submarines in the Mediterranean, that the Assads are divorcing, that their children hate them etc. Asma' al-Assad notes the biased treatment of displaced and wounded children in Syria in its almost exclusive reporting only of those who are in the areas occupied by the so-called 'rebels', ignoring the many deaths of soldiers in the Syrian Arab Army and that the majority of Syrians live in government held areas that the so-called 'rebels' constantly target.

BBC Interview: British MPs dangerously deluded, uninformed, biased on Syria and Russia

Dr Marcus Papadopoulos was interviewed by BBC News about 'russophobia' in Britain and policy in Syria . Speaking very clearly, Papadopoulos gives a history of British resentment of Russia, dating from the Crimea and thinks that Britain is acting in part out of a feeling of being left-out in the region. Islamist terrorists in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria are the only ones benefiting from this British ignorance and bias. It should be remembered that those Islamic terrorists that the west is backing, pose a huge threat to the people of Britain. The US-led coalition in Syria is not acting legally.

US Bringing World to the Brink of Nuclear War

What's happening in Syria has been going on for over five years and it's not a civil war.

Journo checks facts, finds 4000+ doctors in Aleppo, not 15

An egregious example of western misreporting on Syria has been a rash of articles focusing on 'rebel' complaints about how few doctors there are in Aleppo, for instance: Hugh Naylor, "The last few doctors still in Aleppo sent a letter to Obama pleading for help", Washington Post, August 11, 2016. (Actually referring to eastern Aleppo, held by terrorists.) Journalist Eva Bartlett decided to verify the situation by going to Aleppo herself. She reports what she found in a Crosstalk interview, "White Helmets, really?". Inside this article is the text of her comments and the video. See also, Eva Bartlett: "Western corporate media 'disappears' over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors"

Video and Speech notes: Donald Trump Responds To False Harassment 13 October 2016

Anyone who has not watched a Donald Trump speech will be stimulated by his unusually direct characterisation of the mass media, the Clinton campaign and the US 'government cartel'. As an alternative media source, we continue to publish Trump's responses to the mass media accusations against him, since the western media gives such an unbalanced representation of the two candidates for the US election 2016. If they're going this hard to keep him out of politics, there must be something good about Trump.

Trump denies accusations by Ms Zervos

The Australian and American mass media have failed to give fair coverage to Donald Trump's responses to Mrs Clinton's smear campaign, so we are publishing them here. "I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years. To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life. In fact, Ms. Zervos continued to contact me for help, emailing my office on April 14th of this year asking that I visit her restaurant in California." (Donald Trump)

The deadly racism of the ‘anti-racist’ liberal imperialist - article by Neil Clark

When it comes to hypocrisy, the pro-war Western ‘liberal’ is in a class of his own. While professing opposition to racism, the pro-war liberal is cheerleader for the most dangerous and deadly form of racism in the world today - contemporary US/Western imperialism. Article by Neil Clark, first published at

A racism that is scarcely reported, but which has laid waste to entire countries and killed millions - and which now threatens to drag us into potentially catastrophic military confrontation with Russia.

Trump: Demand for New York Times retraction, October 12, 2016

We note that the NSW upper house has passed a motion by Greens MLC Jeremy Buckingham condemning Donald Trump and endorsing a description of the him as a "revolting slug", thus perpetuating a shameful campaign by the United States' mainstream media. This article contains a letter from Donald Trump's lawyers in response to the libelous article published by the New York Times October 12, 2016 entitled "Two Women Say Donald Trump Touched Them Inappropriately."

Bernie Sanders speaks against open borders - ' A Koch brothers proposal'

"[Raising immigration and open borders] would make everybody in America poorer. You're doing away with the concept of a nation state and I don't think there's any country in the world which believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right wing people in this country would love is an open border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for 2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don't believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create the millions of jobs." (Bernie Sanders)

Bay Street's Manchurian Candidate - Justin Trudeau the Perfect Dummy for Corporate Ventriloquists

A year ago, like a herd of buffalo being stampeded toward a cliff, people in my neck of the woods were convinced that "we must get rid of Harper" in order to "save the environment." When I asked such people what it was that Harper was doing that was so damaging to the environment, they all spewed the party line. "He's stripped the country of all environmental regulations." It came out like a programmed response. However, when I asked them to give me a specific example, without exception, no one could tell me. No one could name a single one of those environmental "regulations".

Joe Toscano: Defend And Extend Public Housing - new Campaign

We encourage you to join us in a campaign which, if supported by you, has the potential to force the state government to abandon its plans to privatise the public housing sector. This campaign is being co-ordinated by Public Interests Before Corporate Interests (PIBCI and is endorsed by PIBCI, Friends of Public Housing – Victoria and the Wednesday Action Group. We expect many more organisations to endorse this campaign over the coming weeks. Let us know if you wish to endorse the Defend and Extend Public Housing campaign: Send mail to Defend and Extend Public Housing

Russia & Syria in the Trump & Clinton 2nd Presidential debate

Here are excerpts from transcripts of Trump's and Clinton's references to Putin and to Syria in the context of the 2nd US presidential debate (Trump vs Clinton). There is complementarity between the Putin references and the Syria ones. We have put the moderator input in black, but Trump in red and Clinton in blue. We think people will find them interesting and get the sense of Trump being better on Syria and Russia than Clinton, by a mile, therefore less likely to start WW3. The debate was less real responses to questions or to the other candidate's arguments than a platform for each candidate. Readers may also be interested in a link to many on-line polls about the debate, collected here: The majority of these polls place Trump squarely as the winner of the debate, whereas Foxnews and one or two others placed Clinton as the winner. The comments under these polls are often interesting to read. We have also embedded the full debate inside the article.

The globalised business agenda for overpopulation and open borders

Growthist corporations, their peak bodies and other similar organisations have long pushed for a big and continuously growing population in Australia. They have been crowned with success in the past ten years, but will always want more. Towards this, they are in the business of breaking down national borders and national resistance to being overcrowded.

Population stampedes: Why does Soros push open borders?

In Australia ordinary environmentalists have seen a rising resistance to the protection of our natural environment from the very people they thought they could rely on – The Australian Greens and various big environmental NGOs. There has been a similar strange distancing from representing the economic and social interests of ordinary Australians. Among spokespeople for the Greens, this resistance has manifested as a militant effort to support Lib/Lab policy of massive population growth through planned and commercial immigration by conflating refugees with ordinary immigrants, and calling any attempt to reign in immigration "racist". Currency speculator, George Soros, was long suspected to be the source of this creeping political confusion.

Economics and witchcraft in the ALP and elsewhere

Dr. Andrew Leigh MP is a former Professor of economics at the ANU and is now the Labor member for Frazer. During his university career he was awarded the Economic Society of Australia's Young Economist Award which is given to honour that Australian economist under the age of forty who is deemed to have made a significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. He has published over 50 journal articles in the disciplines of economics, public policy and law, and over 100 opinion pieces. His research findings have been discussed in, amongst others, the Australian, the Australian Financial Review, the Christian Monitor, the Economist, New York Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, Time and Washington Post. He has also written a number of books, perhaps the best of which is titled Battlers and Billionaires, which weaves together vivid anecdotes, interesting history and powerful statistics to tell the story of the growing inequality in this country. It is not as hard hitting as Thomas Piketty's book Capital which has a similar theme but a different conclusion, arguing that increased growth will not prevent the spiral into global inequality. Andrew's book on the other hand tells us that inequality can fuel (economic) growth, almost implying that the end justifies the means.

Editors experiencing connection problems with Telstra - problem solved

Update: Problem appears to have been solved. Today 12 October 2016, after about a week, a Telstra tech arrived at our front door and inspected the wiring inside front gate and house. He said that everywhere outside our house checked out, so it must be inside. In fact, it seems that our numerous long telephone extension cords were too old. So we probably cannot blame Telstra this time. We replaced the old cords and the problem seems to have gone away.

Refugees in Syria - a little known history

Prior to the war Syria hosted millions of refugees from other US-NATO interventions in the region, especially from Iraq. There is also a huge population of Palestinians in Syria since the creation of Israel. More came from the surrounding countries during subsequent displacements. In 2016 UNRWA-registered Palestinians in Syria numbered 560,000 according to the United Nations of which 450,000 remained in Syria. They have their own special status there, receiving free housing, education and health-care like Syrians. All these refugees, who are entirely the result of continuous foreign interference in this region since before the first world war, with many changes of borders and renaming of countries there, have been placed in danger, along with the Syrian-born population, by the US-NATO attempts to dismantle the government by supporting so-called 'rebels' in the pretence that these 'takfiri' (fundamentalists) are fighting for 'democracy'.

US policy in Syria places world at risk - Australians must inform themselves

Mimi al-Haram (aka 'Syrian Girl')'s shows a very thorough understanding of the conflicts within and from outside Syria and an ability to transmit the complexity in ways that make it possible for most of us to quickly grasp the issues. Her new video, embedded inside this article, explains just how unreasonable, dishonest and merciless the US-NATO policy is towards Syria and the Syrian people. If the Syrians or the Russians had responded in kind to America's acts of aggression on the last day of the ceasefire of the third week of September 2016, it is not hard to see how this action could be taken by the US and its allies to escalate the conflict much further, even to the point of an all-out nuclear war.

Statement requesting retraction of the Rights Livelihood Award, given to the White Helmets

The following statement is made on behalf of the U.S. Peace Council and others:
- We respectfully request that the members of the Rights Livelihood Award committee review their award of this prestigious award to the organisation known as the White Helmets.
- We believe strongly that this award has been given in error, perhaps because not enough evidence was presented to the committee. We ask the committee to consider the following, documented, and supported evidence:

Russian Foreign spokesperson rebukes US envoy to UN

"The world has seen nothing more barbaric in modern history than Iraq and Libya done the Washington way.” (Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova). The original source of this article is at published September 26, 2016


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