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Author Archives: Stuart Rees
Responses to the mayhem caused by the destruction of Beirut will have much in common with the aftermath of Covid 19: long term recovery from devastation coupled to an opportunity to build societies so different from those which preceded the … Continue reading
Politicians, defence strategists and media enthusiasts for the armed forces will use words from the Defence Strategic Update proposal to spend $270 billion on weapons for the military. Via the language of non-violence, it is also valuable to convey other … Continue reading
Australia identifies with and supports US democracy, yet values and dominant modes of thought in America have produced a form of governance so dysfunctional that Australians should question their assumptions about the two countries’ similarities.
A healthy civil and democratic society depends on citizens’ ability to weigh up diverse views, to re-frame issues and to consider the dangers when powerful people make claims without any obvious evidence.
In response to Israel’s intention to annex up to 30% of the West Bank, respect for truth by all the parties involved, Israeli, Palestinian, US, European and Australian, has been replaced by calculations about the benefits of deceit.
Over six thousand kilometres to the north of Australia, a dangerous pandemic is spreading and needs to be contained. President Duterte of the Philippines is consolidating his dictatorship with an Anti-Terrorism Bill which defines terrorism so broadly that free speech … Continue reading
Authoritarianism as a way to govern has been embraced in democracies and by dictators. It rests on assumptions that leaders know best, dissent should be suppressed, democracy derided, free speech stifled, control made effective by violence and secrecy.
In relation to Israel’s decades of military occupation of Palestinian lands, a cowardice spreading pandemic has infected Australian politicians and public servants. Recent symptoms are evident in the Australian government’s submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that an investigation … Continue reading
The notion common humanity presupposes regard for respect, dignity, tolerance, thoughtfulness, generosity and support for non-violence. Recent attacks against the Assistant President of the NSW Upper House, Moslem Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane, displayed none of those qualities.
New words and phrases, lockdown, self-isolation, flattening the curve, have been coined to explain ways to cope with Covid-19. Language to promote the traits of a post corona society is also needed.
The raiding of supermarket shelves shows the influence of capitalism at its worst: competition, selfishness, exploitation by the successful raiders at the expense of those who could not compete or decided not to.
Sickness and deaths from the corona virus present challenges to save lives, but could also prompt discussion about different ways to live.
The operation of Copyright Laws amounts to a giant con, a legal farce and an opportunity for corporate greed.
The world is being asked to believe that cruelties and illegalities amount to a feasible Trump plan for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
After five years of procrastination, the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor has announced an investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. From Palestinians’ perspectives that may sound encouraging, but the rules of … Continue reading
In the 15th century, King Henry VII of England established a Court of Star Chamber. Operated by Privy Counsellors and judges, it developed a reputation for arbitrary power leading to cruel and unusual punishments. There was no due process and … Continue reading
On November 21, the Zionist Federation of Australia awarded the Jerusalem Prize to the Prime Minister for his friendship and support of Israel. Scott Morrison used the occasion to praise the Israeli government and repeat his attacks on the deliberations … Continue reading
While in Washington, the Prime Minister witnessed President Trump speaking about nationalism, patriotism, the treason of traitors and the irrelevance of international treaties, his latest flag waving endorsement of American sovereignty as the entitlement to do what it likes.
In June at the National Press Club, the bosses of News Corp, Channel Nine and the ABC spoke about press freedom. David Anderson, Managing Director of the ABC said, ‘Press freedom is proxy for public freedom.’
In early August, two events cast a shadow over Australia’s democracy. The US Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) met in Sydney to fight to ‘protect the future.’ The High Court ruled that the government may restrict the right of public … Continue reading
The Trump/Kushner Israeli/Palestinian Peace Plan, ‘the deal of the century’, was presented in a workshop held in the Manama Hotel, Bahrein on June 25. The authors emphasised economic proposals not political considerations, but their deal had a more sinister … Continue reading
On June 26 at the National Press Club, media bosses demanded greater protection for whistleblowers and journalists, yet in the treatment of journalist /whistleblower Julian Assange, mainstream media have colluded in slander promoted by the US, UK and Australian … Continue reading
Hong Kong’s autonomous, free status, One Nation Two Systems agreement is at risk of disappearing. The Hong Kong legislature had proposed extradition laws which would make residents and foreigners who live there or who might be travelling through the … Continue reading
In relations with China, Australia’s support for human rights faces a demanding test. Human Rights Watch reports that in areas of free expression and political participation, oppression in Hong Kong has increased to the worst level since the 1989 Tiananmen … Continue reading
Bernie Sanders, US Democrat candidate for the Presidency has caused controversy by criticising what he calls the cruel, racist policies of the government of Israel towards Palestinians. But it’s time that such comments were seen as not unusual, even … Continue reading
Julian Assange faces extradition to the United States to face a grand jury’s secretly concocted charge of ‘computer intrusion’ to obtain and reveal classified information. Reaction to Assange’ arrest shows powerful people protecting establishment interests, which, over centuries, have involved … Continue reading
In denying the American/Palestinian poet Remi Kanazi a visa to enter Australia, what on earth was the Australian government thinking? What stereotype assumptions about the word ‘Palestinian’ influenced that decision?
Fear, deceit, racism, illegalities and foreign interference contributed to Britain’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union. The referendum outcome resulted from a giant con trick, a democratic absurdity which should never have been taken seriously.
If an individual is repeatedly labelled ‘unusual,deviant,criminal, possibly a terrorist’, that person’s guilt of something reprehensible begins to be taken for granted.
Bahrein soccer player Hakeem Al-Araibi has Australian residency, has lived here for four years but has been held in a Thai prison for sixty days. He was arrested in Bangkok because an Interpol Red Alert warrant indicated that he was … Continue reading