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The troops come home, the lies are revealed

Those of us who have argued for so long against Australia's participation in the invasion of Iraq must surely, like me, feel a sense of vindication today. Our own Prime Minister has used the occasion of the departure of Australian troops from Iraq to agree with us.

Rudd says that we didn't look at the intelligence independently. He's right. While Alexander Downer was echoing Donald Rumsfeld's knowledge of the locations of the Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Australian parliament, the truth of the matter was that there weren't any there.

After that we were told we were in the country to capture Saddam. We did, and had him hanged. That was a year and a half ago.

In spite of the accusations of Me-Tooism, a major distinction between Liberal and Labor at the last election was that while Howard was going to 'stay the course' with the Bush crew, Rudd intended to bring our troops home. We elected Rudd.

Now as the twilight of the Bush Administration falls, there's increased talk of a last-minute strike to render Iran incapable of a nuclear attack. Exercises in dealing with the aftermath of low level radiological attacks on cities have been recently escalating across the world, even though it appears the terrorists don't have a nuclear arsenal. US military intelligence has almost mutinied against its government by saying that Iran poses no threat. Meanwhile, Cheney pounds the pavements between television stations, drumming up support for his crusade against yet another enemy.

We know now that we've been badly deceived. Will we allow ourselves to be so badly deceived again?

Howard's duping us into helping invade Iraq should serve as a huge lesson in defining Australia's involvement in other people's wars. We should be satisfied beyond any possibility of doubt that when we go charging into other people's countries we know the truth in what we are going to find.

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The real reason for the Iraq invasion. Blood Oil.

Global oil giants are preparing to return to Iraq after being chased out of the oil-rich country 36 years ago by the late dictator Saddam Hussein, reports said.

Shell, BP and ExxonMobil are all eagerly lining up to tap into the resources of the Middle Eastern nation with a deal due to be signed on June 30, the New York Times said quoting oil companies and a US diplomat.

"The deals ... will lay the foundation for the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since the American invasion, and open a new and potentially lucrative country for their operations," the Times said.

Now we can understand what the war in Iraq is all about as the oil giants line up for their dividend. The world bans blood diamonds - why not blood oil?

Zimbabwe and Iraq

We have in Zimbabwe under Mugabe, a situation in which an armed minority oppresses the majority. By 'oppresses' I mean murders and maims enough people to intimidate the majority into passivity. In China after Tienanmen Square, we have had a similar ongoing situation. In neither Zimbabwe nor China is there a mechanism whereby the rulers have to make application for popular approval, of and for, their continued rule.

There was recently an attempt made by the minority ruling/oppressing China to supply arms to the minority ruling/oppressing Zimbabwe. It was stalled, but may yet succeed, for it does not breach international law.

There is no 'legal' way the majority in any country outside Zimbabwe can send arms to the majority within Zimbabwe which to defend itself against its oppressive minority population. The last time anything remotely like that was tried on a people-to-people basis was in Spain, 1936-39. While the governments of the democracies practiced 'nonintervention', Hitler and Mussolini intervened with a vengeace, giving Franco's fascists the decisive military aid for their final victory.

The Iraq intervention was on a state-to-people basis, with the CoW states toppling the armed minority under Saddam Hussein that oppressed the Iraqi majority.  Oil, not democracy, was the key factor there, and regardless of the outcome, the expense in lives and money means that it is unlikely to be repeated, anywhere.

Fascism has any number of willing international midwives, but democracy is on its own, wherever it struggles to be born.

Related to this is the excellent short piece by Norman Geras on 'The law of conscience and the law of the world', here.

Definitely worth a read in the light of the Iraq intervention experience and the ongoing agony of the Zimbabwe majority.

The wrong Sinatra

"..and put the delightful Kim Jong Il .."

I meant Kim Il Sung, of course, that is the previous King Kim the Elder, not the present King Kim the Weird.

Did you know the Soviets also hoped to occupy the main north islands of the Japanese archipelago? But the landings were a complete fiasco? Sir Max talks about that in Nemesis.

USSR didn't enter war in Pacific until after Hiroshima

Paul Walter said:

"You'd have to admit firstly that it was the Russians who carried the brunt of a savage war – our western contributions were negligible, comparatively"

The Soviet Union didn't enter the war in the Pacific until after Hiroshima - and then only to try and dictate the peace, grab as much of China as they could and put the delightful Kim Jong Il on to the throne in North Korea.

So, no, I don't regard the western contribution to the liberation of the Pacific Rim as being "negligible" nor that of the liberation of Western Europe and North Africa.

This is in no way to belittle the incredible hardships and struggles of the Russian people, but the fact remains the Soviet regime would not have entered the war at all had Hitler not betrayed his buddies in the Kremlin in the summer of 1941.

Also, the Soviets then enslaved Eastern Europe for a half century. Quite apart from what they did in occupied Germany.

So, let's not get too carried away about the value of their contribution. But the Russian people showed at most times immense fortitude.

Rewriting history for the benefit of Nazi Germany

Marilyn Shepherd: "Eliot, the Russians were our allies against Germany, which part of that don't you get?"

The part where you have repeatedly denied repeatedly that the Soviets had the primary role to play in, and responsibility for, the destruction of East Prussian and Sudeten German civilian populations and captive soldiers.

For example, in the "While truth regrows its torn-off limbs" thread you make this statement:

"Eliot, the point is that most of it was not done by the bloody Russians. There were no allies that were any better. (June 13, 2008 - 4:30pm).

In fact it was done mostly by the Soviets overwhelmingly, a point that is concealed by insisting that it was done by the "allies", or insisting it was the responsibility of the "western allies", or that the "western allies" were "no better" in their treatment of the defeated Germans.

To go on insisting that the terrible crimes you refer to are documented in the record as having been done not by Soviet forces, or were "the responsibility of the western allies", is to falsify the record and revise the historical significance of the actions you are describing.

When coupled with your repeated attempts to belittle or minimalise the Holocaust, the two together begin to amount to an historical revision for the benefit of the Nazis - they are portrayed as the victims of the real holocaust which was inflicted on them by the "western allies". Meanwhile, the Jews "escaped".

That's how I understand you. And that is your intention, no?

Turn back the hands of time.

By the same token Eliot, etc.

You'd have to admit firstly that it was the Russians who carried the brunt of a savage war – our western contributions were negligible, comparatively. It's certainly true that the Russians were likely to seeking a bit evening-up after twenty-plus millions of their own dying, but we'd hardly put this down to anything aberrant in Marxist theory .

Rather, we'd look to the long and unfortunate history of struggle of the people in that hard, cold part of the world – Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, serfdom, two world wars and a massive civil war, the neglect of the West and the personal aberrations of Stalin, himself a creation of history.

It is little wonder that even the ideals of socialism were adulterated in this sort of environment.

It is indeed convenient to pass off system failure of the totalitarian kind to an aberrant personality type represented in the forms of Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Pol Pot, Pinochet, Mao, but what the historical record actually shows is that, but for Western neglect and even complicity/collusion/exploitation for the most lazy and even selfish of motives, when they had the capacity to choose and act differently , the nasty folk mentioned above might never have got their way.

The latest tragic example of course involves the last generation of history centring around Iraq and Saddam Hussein and the perverted relationship of several big powers, most crucially the duplicitous US/Israel axis.

Now, can we finally inter the obsolete old McCarthyite/Stalinist discourses alibis of half a century ago in favour of a more honest and without tears inventory of ourselves and our motives in our own time?

Rewriting history?

Paul, have you forgotten about the other fronts that were being fought on long before Hitler in his lunacy turned his attentions to Russia?

The Soviets were happy to stay out of the fracas until they had to. Just as bloody well they had to. North Africa, The Battle of Britain, the air campaign, South East Asia to mention a few.

Ice and fire

Am well aware of what you are saying, Scott, but the fact remains that the crucial battles of WW2 were fought from 42 to 44 on the Russian front, (Stalingrad, Leningrad, Moscow, Kursk, Smolensk etc) by such numbers of troops (millions; hundreds of divisions on each side) and quantities of weaponry, as to dwarf any other theatre.

Of demons and wizards

Hmm. Can see previous post here should be in another thread, judging by Eliot's perturbation about Devils at that location. Never mind, am sure the witch hunters will stumble across the latest  Walter heresy eventually.

Ho hum.

Scott: Still got my training wheels on Paul; want it fixed? Gimme a clue about which thread and I'll find out how to.

Congrats  Scott.

Congrats  Scott.

Don't worry it's all sort of unky dory.

 

Allies

Eliot, the Russians were our allies against Germany, which part of that don't you get?

Denial

Marilyn, I think most people would agree that the total number of Jews killed in WW2 was 6 million. I have lost count of the number of times I have requested that you substantiate some of the things you have said, but you never do.

As for your reference to old fools (Dalai Lama), how about that silly old fart Whitlam who still will not tell us the truth about East Timor or what he knew of the criminal actions of his ministers? However, as he is wheeled out at every Labor Convention he is bowed down to.

I suppose you also think that the Iguana affair is a beat-up.

My enemy's enemy is my friend

 "Eliot, the Russians were our allies against Germany, which part of that don't you get?"

Marilyn, I think it might be the part about the Russians attacking Poland with Germany that confuses him. I am sure you have heard about that - or perhaps even the little mass execution of Polish soldiers they did at Katyn wood. About 4500 of them if memory serves correct.

Maybe the Non-aggression Pact they signed with Germany has him thrown. The one they honoured until Germany attacked them.

Allies of convenience springs to mind. Or my enemy's enemy is my friend.

I have no doubt you are familiar with the latter situation.

Got me!

Mate, if memory serves, you were promoting the theory that the boy had been shot from the sixth floor of the Gaza Schoolbook Depository Building...  etc.

The al-Dura killing, which Geoff Pahoff only yesterday earnestly declared a "stomach churning affair", now appears to be a subject for levity and spurious point-scoring.

Says it all really.

Memorials in Russia to America's war dead - and US aid agencies

Michael de Angelos: "My question really was where are our memorials for them - without whom we would not have won the war?"

You'd better take that up with Marilyn. After all, if Australia and the "western allies" were responsible for Soviet war crimes, I suppose she might be interested in us also erecting memorials to Soviet war dead.

Of course, had the Soviets not allied themselves with Nazi Germany to invade Poland, the war wouldn't have happened in the first place.

Maybe a memorial in Russia to Poland's war dead?

By the way? Are there many memorials in Russia to America's war dead? - without whom we would not have won the war?

In fact, the Russians should probably erect a few memorials to American food aid agencies, too, Apart from the massive amounts of US food aid and tractors that went to the Soviet Union during its Communist-engineered famines in the 1920s and aid to Russia during the Second World War, the USA was still sending aid to the USSR as late as 1988.

Maybe a gigantic statue of President Herbert Clark Hoover holding a food bowl up to Lenin's mouth?  Or Henry Ford showing Trotsky a tractor? Explaining the difference between it and an ox?

No?

Marilyn Shepherd: "MEMMRI is a jewish (sic) propaganda machine"

Actually, it's staffed by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Hey? Remember when it was fashionable on the Left to pretend the policies, attitudes and values of Hamas and Hezbollah didn't represent mainstream opinion in the Middle East? Let alone those of the Left itself? And were just the views of an unrepresentative minority of hysterical psychopaths?

Yet today "We are all Hizbollah now", as the "peace activists" say?

De Rigueur of the Modern Anti-Goyist

... and its analysis of the al-Dura killing is sorely wanting in rigour, as I showed a while ago. [12 June 2008 - 10.22]

Rigour? You?

Mate, if memory serves, you were promoting the theory that the boy had been shot from the sixth floor of the Gaza Schoolbook Depository Building across the road by David Ben Gurion who had just tunnelled in from the Negev. Or something.

The saving of backsides

Michael de Angelos: “My question really was where are our memorials for them - without whom we would not have won the war?

Well, if you were, say, from England/Europe you may have a point (before the USSR destroyed the goodwill). I highly doubt it was the reason Australia or the United States eventually won their respective battles. Still, you could argue Russia should think about a memorial to the lend lease program. If nothing else, it'd be a nice touch.

Our memorials to them

"My question really was where are our memorials for them - without whom we would not have won the war? "

 Michael, while your comment was probably done purely in the interests of creating a stimulating debate, it is also a gross simplification.

Hitler had long stated intentions of invading the USSR, but "Operation Barbarossa" was actually delayed by about 6 weeks due to issues in the Balkans and Greece, prompting Hitler to attack these places as well.

This created casualties and equipment damage for the Germans, but also lost them six vital weeks. Those six weeks would likely have resulted in the capture, or at least surrounding of, Moscow - with crippling effects on the Soviet ability to wage war. What would have happened then ... who knows?

By the time of the Soviet attack the Germans had forces tied up in Western Europe and Africa. While some in the German command viewed Africa as a sideshow, the Western allies did not. It tied up a lot of German resources, including (initially) at least two complete Panzer Divisions plus air support and all the logistical needs.

The escalating Allied air raids on Germany prompted the gradual withdrawal of large parts of the Luftwaffe from offensive operations into a purely defensive role. 

The point of all this drivel is that the German loss is not down to the actions of any one country. It was the result of a very foolish over-extension of capabilty. Germany simply did not have the industrial capacity to fight a war on (eventually) three fronts - the Western, Italian and Eastern fronts.

If the UK had been knocked out of the war in 1940, it is very likely that Russia would have fallen in 1941. But they weren't.

Similarly, the Kursk Offensive may have suceeded if Hitler wasnt spooked into withdrawing some units to Italy. But this is all getting into unknown territory.

The West could not have won without Russia, and Russia could not have won without the West.

Each country remembers its casualties, and that is how it will remain.

I cringe with fear of censorship

Eliot Ramsey: “There are well funded Arabic lobby groups in the USA, Australia and the UK. Immensely well funded lobby groups, in fact.”

There are immensely funded lobby groups in all areas of social interaction. A necessary and important function of democracy, really. Think of the chance (for the lobbying interest) to have a clear position heard and all that. Not to mention the physical impossibility of having a politician hearing the personal views of every single elector.

No politician, and I do mean not one, ever knocks back a call from the most powerful lobby group of them all: mess with them as a politician, and they'll politically kill you quicker than cyanide – and they're only going to get bigger, a lot bigger. They've got themselves knee deep in insurance, banks, financial products, market products, sponsorships, commercial partnerships, and the list goes on and on. Check them out if you dare.

Richard: Yep, they're gonna rule the world ...

Many thanks

I am aware there are memorials for the Russians who died in WW2 although necessarily the ones mentioned.

My question really was where are our memorials for them - without whom we would not have won the war?

Particular

What particular audience? Do you mean Goyim? Surely not? [12 June 2008-11:12pm]

Hello Geoff Pahoff. Surely not? — indeed!!

I mean, quite simply, a racist audience.

Eliot, Bibi started Hamas

Eliot, I am so tired of your tripe.   You go and read something and remember that Bibi helped to start Hamas because they didn't want to deal with Fatah and Arafat and they then switched sides again and decided to deal with Fatah after Hamas were elected.

Rabid Goyism Exposed and Condemned

My understanding is that the Hebrew for 'propaganda for goyim' is in fact palestinefacts.org. [10 June 2008-11.44pm] 

This article [article hyperlinked from article in palestinefacts] is what might charitably be characterised as low-tabloid, ... But yes, it certainly does not "pretend to be an academic treatise". It's patently a propaganda tract with a particular audience in mind, ... [12 June 2008 - 10.22pm]

What particular audience? Do you mean Goyim? Surely not?

Fact

One of the hyperlinks [on the palestinefacts.org article concerning the al-Dura killing] is to an article entitled 'Who Really Killed Mohammed al-Dura?' This article has a tabloid tone but is reasonable fair comment given that it does not pretend to be an academic treatise. It, in turn, has a hyperlink to the home page of the Masada2000 site. My reading suggests that this site is run by or connected to a Kahanist group and I said so the first time I saw it.

The link labelled "Who Really Killed Mohammed al-Dura?" is in fact to the masada2000.org article on the al-Dura killing. This article is what might charitably be characterised as low-tabloid, describing Palestinian leaders as "filthy, ugly, stinking, murdering, diseased Arab Moslem Nazi butchers."

But yes, it certainly does not "pretend to be an academic treatise". It's patently a propaganda tract with a particular audience in mind, and its analysis of the al-Dura killing is sorely wanting in rigour, as I showed a while ago.

In this instance, therefore, palestinefacts.org has failed the Pahoff test of "accuracy and academic rigour" in referring readers to such material as somehow authoritative.

False consciousness

Paul Morrella: "Michael de Angelos, there isn't an "all powerful Israeli Lobby" censoring debate. The suggestion is ludicrous. It would be the most debated political subject on the net."

This is not as straightforward as it seems, apparently. A former academic at UTS once explained to me that the lingering influence of "bourgeois" class-based perspectives "distorts" or "mystifies" all political discussion or debates, and so any discussion which includes such "bourgeois" perspectives is inherently unfair.

The only real way for a "fair" discussion, he said without batting an eyelid, was to confine all debate within paramaters of an "historical materialist Marxist" framework.

Then it would be "fair" because all that conflicting, false-consciousness and class-based 'distortion" would no longer "cloud" one's understanding.

I laughed a whole 30 seconds, slapped him on the back and offered him a beer.

Then I realised he was being serious.

Paul Morrella: "Now how Jerry Falwell recently turned up being named as part of the Zionist Lobby still amazes me."

See above. Was Jerry a Marxist? No. Therefore...

Marilyn, I need your help

Marilyn Shepherd: "Eliot, we are all capable of reading for ourselves without your help."

You should try, then. 

And while you are at it, you could help me read about how "Hamas disowned that charter years ago". Do you have a source?

The Motherland, or The Mamayev Monument in Volgograd

Michael asks: "But where are the memorials for the millions of Russian who died assisting us to win WW2?"

The largest free standing statue in the world, The Motherland, or The Mamayev Monument is a statue in Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd, Russia commemorating the Battle of Stalingrad.

The beat of the global drum

Angela Ryan: “This becomes treason when the activity is clearly in the negative interests of the people of that country. And war and national security makes one consider high treason issues.”

There can only be treason if there's nationalism. Nationalism, in the real world, evaporated around the time of swing music. The isolated society has little chance of surviving into the future. That includes the last holdouts in the Middle East. The issue of it (Middle East) becoming Chinese, Russian, American influenced is not of major importance.

Richard: It might affect the dancing, though. I've never thought of such a timestamp, Paul. Could that be an adjunct to the rise of radio and the gramophone? Nationalism eroded by broader cultural horizons? Ethnomusicologically entrancing notions...

the beat of a different drum.

Top answer, Richard – you guys are quick on your feet today.

Ethnomusicology

Did you, perchance used to read Ian Warden of the Canberra Times in the old days Richard?

Fiona: Richard is a mere babe, Scott - but I certainly read and enjoyed Ian Warden.

Richard (added later):   I hadn't, Scott, until tonight (thanks), and now am keen to find more.  Love the way this man's mind works.

The great Republican escape

Michael de Angelos: “Just as the drug and private health companies are the most powerful backers of the Bush government, followed by the oil companies, so do Israeli lobby groups wield similar power, and use it .”

Like the power it wielded pre 2000 election? Back then it ran pretty much to script. Bush being conservative was accused of having anti-Semitic friends, and of course the closet Nazi in the family – as generally happened to most conservative leaders in both the United States and England (back then it was old school conservatives attacking "Jew Hollywood"). Hell, the Dems even ran with Lieberman to shore up the base.

Now how Jerry Falwell recently turned up being named as part of the Zionist Lobby still amazes me. This is the same Jerry Falwell on the anti-Semitic Nixon tapes. My opinion is and has always been the same: For western socialism, those Floridian Jews just weren't grateful enough.

About the time I noticed a change of old positions was during the attacks on Albright. It wasn't just lunar right getting in, they'd been joined at the hip by lunar left – a mutual position that lasts to this very day. The con job will become apparent after the easy victory by the extremely mediocre John McCain, thanks in no small part to a demolished Democrat support base. Just like with all left-wing causes, the best fighting is between themselves.

The secret influence that nobody can name

Michael de Angelos, there isn't an "all powerful Israeli Lobby" censoring debate. The suggestion is ludicrous. It would be the most debated political subject on the net.

But where are the memorials for the millions of Russian who died assisting us to win WW2?

The Russian memorials are to be found in Russia, no doubt. Are there American memorials in Russia?

When one group has an undue influence in attention to their plight, then of course they end up wielding more power and using it.

Would you like to share with us where the "undue influence" is to be found?

Distraction

One side has no interest in an honest discussion. On the contrary. They have made up their minds and only want what confirms their world views.

We all know people like this.

Anyway, good to see some discussion of the Real Issues of this lengthy and intractable conflict.

MEMMRI is a jewish propaganda machine

Iran is not attacking anyone, has never attacked anyone and MEMMRI is a propaganda machine for Israel.

Eliot, we are all capable of reading for ourselves without your help.

Yeah, well, he would say that, wouldn't he, governor?

Geoff Pahoff: "You can see the attempts to smear sites, writers, groups that are perceived to be pro-Zionist on the flimsiest of excuses."

My favourite for this treatment is the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) which is avowedly anti-islamist and which documents the more outlandish, hysterical and racist  content of typically state-controlled media in the Middle East.

Whenever I refer to something it exposes, like this Iranian News Channel IRINN TV report of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest threat to wipe Israel from the pages of history, for example, the referenced material itself is typically rejected as not credible evidence because it is displayed at MEMRI - as if that excuses what they do at IRINN-TV!

The other website that gets this treatment is honestreporting.com - which is pro-Israeli and exposes examples of anti-Israeli bias in western media.

Again, the site itself is attacked as "dishonest" and "biased"  as if that somehow excused the examples of anti-Israeli bias it reveals.

So, when you refer to an item like this exposé of a faked BBC "eye witness report" of some incident involving Israeli "brutality", the exposé itself will be discounted on the grounds that it was reported by a pro-Israeli site.

The recent decision to cut and run

Those supporting the calls to cut and run from Iraq, presumably because there's no point in our continuing to assist Iraqi security forces there, might be interested in this.

A dossier of secret files outlining the threat from al-Qaeda and the status of Iraqi security forces were left on a train, the British Cabinet Office was forced to concede last night.

Marked "secret" and contained in a bright orange folder, the papers were left behind on a commuter train travelling between Surrey and Waterloo stations in London.

The al-Qaeda document, apparently commissioned jointly by the Foreign Office and Home Office, was classified "UK top secret" and was so sensitive that each page was numbered and marked: "For UK, US, Canadian and Australian eyes only."

The Times of London reported last night that one file is believed to be a seven-page report titled "Al-Qaeda: risks and vulnerabilities" and which analyses activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, while the other assessed the strength of Iraqi security forces.

The document on Iraq, commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, contained a damning assessment of the capability of Iraqi security forces.

So, Kevin knows full well the consequences that will flow from running away from Iraq? Leaving 900 Australian non-combat personnel behind?

While he's boosting troop levels in Afghanistan?

What do Muslims, Jews and Christians think of each other?

In a joint BBC World Service - Sydney Morning Herald poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries, 52 per cent said conflicting interests were the primary reason for tensions between Islam and the West, compared with 29 per cent who thought religion and culture were to blame.

Of all people surveyed, twice as many (56 per cent) believe "common ground can be found" as those who see violent conflict between Islam and the West as inevitable (28 per cent).

While the world's problems are seen as fundamentally political and economic in nature, most of those polled in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe also blamed intolerant minorities for stirring up tensions. Australians in particular (80 per cent) were inclined to this view.

But it is worse elsewhere. In Indonesia, most (51 per cent) see violent conflict between Islam and the West as inevitable. People in Egypt (43 per cent) and Germany (39 per cent) agreed.

In only one country, Nigeria, did most people (56 per cent) believe that tensions primarily arise from "differences of religion and culture", but a sizeable minority also agreed with the proposition in Kenya (39 per cent) and the US (38 per cent).

Muslims are slightly more prone to see violent conflict as inevitable (35 per cent, compared to 27 per cent for Christians and others).

And even among Muslims a 55 per cent majority worldwide saw politics, not religion or culture, as the cause of tensions between Islam and the West.

According to a news report today, In the Muslim world, President George W Bush is more disliked than Israeli leaders, and there is widespread belief that the US is using the war on terror as a cover for attempts to destroy Islam.

Yet, in a separate study of 15 countries, majorities in the United States, France, Britain and Russia -- but not in Germany or Spain -- expressed favorable views of Muslims.

Majorities of Indonesians and Jordanians -- but not Egyptians, Pakistanis or Turks -- expressed favorable views of Christians.

Hostility toward Muslims is much lower in Great Britain, the United States and Canada than in other Western countries surveyed.

However, in every Muslim country surveyed, overwhelming or near unanimous majorities expressed negative views toward Jews.

The figure reached 99 percent in Jordan, 98 percent in Egypt and 94 percent in Pakistan. Twenty-eight percent of Jordanians and 22 percent of Egyptians volunteered that "Jews" were to blame for bad relations between Muslims and the West, although Jews were not mentioned in the question.

Given the almost hysterical levels of anti-Semitic gibberish pouring out of state-controlled media in practically every Middle Eastern and Central Asian Muslim nation, that's hardly surprising.

However, one has to be mindful always of the difference between the governments in those regions, and the views of their populations.

Fare thee well all sides

Hi Fiona, I can see you understand the issue that greatly concerns so many in the academic world – and if people knew how such then affects and effects policies and world events and excuses for them in swerving popular opinion such as for wars. The current faculties with their reduced funding and staffing are ripe targets, as is a universal history curriculum by education ministers. I note UK now sponsors two children from every school to go to "study " the Auschwitz site, yet for Brits the Boer war camps would be far more relevant and the Irish starvation policies, go to a museum there etc and for us probably the Cambodian genocide is the most relevant after our own here that some call genocide. For British children to learn about the Russians killing off of the Orthodox church and middle class and then the deliberate famine genocide caused in Ukraine – why limit it to just one minority group's suffering? Why limit it to just one event in history when genocides and ethnic cleansings are the one thing history is rich in! Imagine Phoney non-Catholic (hahah) Tony organising tours of Spanish Inquisition sites or even Guernica. History must be studied as a whole by those who see only a glimpse of it in a short moment of education, otherwise it is just propaganda.

When troops come home it is indeed usually the time the "First Casualty of War"starts to heal and regrow limbs. Sometimes these are powerful when things like truth commissions and war crime trials start. Note we never have anyone walking for civilians, nurses, resistance fighters etc killed in wars in our ANZAC day march, yet we even have scouts who never served marching. This makes it a militaristic celebration along MIC lines rather than a realistic consideration of the sacrifices of war and a salute to those who made them, our defenders both in and out of uniform.

But, while truth regrows its torn off limbs, it is such a shame that the soldiers and civilians cannot. And consider little Ali, the boy who has no limbs and no family due to the Iraq war if you want an image of the civilian suffering.

There is no high tech burns unit in Iraq – but our soldiers (when the US actually agree to pick them out) and US soldiers, are rushed to stabilisation and then Germany and then home for the repeated skin grafting. An Iraqi doctor came over and gave a speaking tour describing what resources the locals have for treating burns – practically zero, and zero staff now. This is also what makes the civilian wounds in Gaza so heartrending when one considers the water, electricity and medicines and food needed for them and how they have all been shot down by the Israelis to punish everyone. These are the war crimes that the world ignores, the genocide that schools can watch happening now instead of going back 60 years to a totalitarian regime. Democracy does it too, with impunity from other democracies. How will history record it? Like the Warsaw ghetto, will the Gaza ghetto get there moment in film 60 years later by the same people who may have stopped it?

When the troops come home consider the injuries of the invaded peoples. Remember the million plus figure bandied around as a probable death figure by the Lancet. Consider that in most death events there are 5 to 10 times as many injured. Depending upon whether the weapons are projectile or thermal one either gets limb amputations or severe burns, always head and often all together. Add use of napalm (third generation version much perfected for those who want to be tricky about whether it was used or not) and flechette weapons (which may even be used now in some terrorist events considering the injuries) and these injuries are horrendous .

People here seem to think it is them and US regarding the Israeli / Jewish vs. Palestinian Christians and Jews issue.

It is not.

It is a simple matter of principles that were reinforced by events of the Second World War when those troops came home. And the message learnt from holocausts is that they can happen and will happen and if one concentrates on just one group one misses that point . Never Again has to apply to all groups, not just European Jews. The lessons from visiting Auschwitz is to be aware of that, and the message from visiting other sites is that it can happen even by our own governments and people if we are blinkered morally or politically. So if we really believe in Never Again for all, not just European Jews, then we must examine what is happening in Palestine/Israel right now. Otherwise it is all racism and spin and that is the greatest insult to throw back upon anyone who suffered under the Nazis’ cruel regime.

Flechette shells, the weapons of ruthless war. That is how a Reuter’s photographer was killed recently in his jeep (marked “Press”) by a tank. He even filmed the muzzle turning to them and firing. His body was sliced through to his seat by the flechette blades while he was filming a tank shelling homes in Gaza.

Ed O’Loughlin describes such and his sadness at all the tragedy in his farewell piece that that the SMH didn't publish – something to be aware of. Is our media failing to cover the news there in an unbiased manner? Do we have persons watching for bias on one side and not the other? Guess what, the BBC has and it aint for Palestine. How can people be aware if the very events are not covered evenly?

Never Again for anyone means proper news coverage, it means accountability immediately. It means we do not even wait for the troops to come home from occupation duty.

No wonder some people have trouble seeing the whole picture. Would you believe Benny Morris' accounts? As a Jewish Israeli historian of repute who once said something to the effect of "the problem was we didn’t clean them out when we could" in his description of what went on under the shadow of wars there one sees real genocide and ethnic cleansing . Read his accounts and then transpose Jews for non-Jews and consider if it is still ok.

If it were Jews in ghettos and Germans bombing them from above daily with state of the art deadly powerful ordinance, tanks flechette shelling civilians anywhere and deliberately cutting off their water and bombing their power stations, bulldozing their food crops, and shutting them in and cutting off medical supplies and food is that ok? Just like the Jewish and communist Polish resistance: they used violence in their pathetic homemade occasionally damaging resistance against the all powerful military occupation. Is that German response then OK? Why is there no movie made about the Gaza resistance now? Not many Palestinians in Hollywood, are there?

I think genocide can only occur when empathy is suppressed, usually by a racism that people are not even aware of and normally would fight against.

When the troops come home is when Sun Tzu lines can be dropped – unless one is planning more wars in the near future or wants to continue to feed into the military complex industry – probably THE most powerful and influential lobby group the world has ever known.

Holding the politicians and the think tanks and the media responsible and accountable for the lies they peddled in order to do the deceit that was needed to persuade a population for war will damage the profit margins for the war industry and threaten the ability to trick again for the next war. Let us see who dares support the Kucninch impeachment articles, not the senators from Boeing – as Jackson used to be called – nor the likes of Newt.

We have already seen the apparently Cheney (and interesting how much official level blame from insiders is levelled there at present) driven pre-war propaganda about Iran, such as:

  • weapons supply (remember the debunking of the IED lies) and
  • insurgent and unrest blame(remember Maliki nexing this with this commendation the next moment to Iran for increasing stability in Iraq) and
  • the current Neocon think tank nuclear weapons programs (nexed by USA IC report and the AIEI repeated refuting of such ) and
  • the obfuscation of uranium enrichment as a sin (when it is perfectly lawful in the NPT to energy grade) (note the EU stooge nations going along with the so called Security council)
  • the bizarre attempt to make a Hormuz Straits incident into an attack run etc (and note how the probably primed media under certain control groups jumped straight on to that one and ran it, more loss of credibility – no surprise).
  • the Masden allegations that Cheney’s parallel command structure was involved in the airbase and nuclear bomber event (note the missing bomb is yet accounted for, nor interestingly the missing flight time, nor the civilian flyer who disappeared).

I am sure others can think of more events.

One thing about Gates is I think people are naive to think he is for the Fallon view as it is he who pushed him out, he who has appointed new command to the air force; dual loyalty positions abound under his guard at the top levels. What did go on at the critical airbase meeting in Iraq on Bush's way to APEC on the weekend of the missing nukes being media leaked (just look at the incredible eminence of power present at that moment in a western Iraq air base) and the time of the Israeli fully fuelled bombers flying for Iran direction (or from the Iraqi air base?)? We do not know the original flight departure, just that homeward was over Turkey, but turning and hitting Syria randomly for some chutzpah retrieval instead. No more Turkey flights methinks next time. I think those who want a permanent Israel would be foolish to continue this belligerence towards Iran when it suits US-Saudi Empire purposes to remove both. And Gates is said to be loyally under (Operation Bramble Bush time) Bush 1, no friend of Israel methinks, from outside analysis only, of what happened during his time and since and to his son and their plans/planes.

And when the troops come home from Lebanon, Iraq, etc and me mates in the UN zones?

What of terrorism action there? What of terrorism action that politically benefits neocon / Anglo empire purposes? Do we examine those events? Rarely even reported in the media.

Note all the time any reference to Prince Bandar (plus Jordan persons) and Cheney's alleged terrorism cabal with Sunni radicals in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq is not taken up and investigated (remember the US law about terrorist assets? – all of Cheney’s and Bandar's assets taken by the US state – what a glorious result that would be for the anti-terrorism laws and taxpayers) yet the information does have credibility and political and covert integrating logic. The journalist (Hersch) breaking the story was respected for previous accusations that were found to be true, but received little coverage and no international investigation.

And silence in both the world media that we get to see and the US criminal investigative machinery about the alleged funding / training / supplying of terrorist groups within Iran, using minority groups to destabilise the government, but causing horrible civilian traumas. This is standard black ops techniques and even discussed in Perkins’ Confessions... book . (THAT should be on all history reading lists, methinks.

Wars make a lot of money and threats of war make more as stable economies can continue in a pyramid scheme to beef up these carrion feeders using taxes. In the USA, the actual government is tightly interwoven with this industry due to the national security impetus and the drive for privatisation as a model. Trouble is the same industry then sells to US future threats and hence the whole thing is nationally stupid but financially gold making to the MIC.

Some say the Israeli lobby is not something to be worried about. It is, just as it would be if it was a Saudi lobby or a Turkey lobby or a Palestinian lobby or a Chinese lobby or a Communist lobby or a Catholic lobby that had power and access and paid up members from the government who take presents(bribes) like funded tours etc and huge campaign funding .and presenting loyalty and service medals from other nations to members of our government (Howard). Also if such were interwoven with media assets in democracies and such influenced reporting about their issue. when spy cases involve such, when other nations’ interests are pushed ahead of that government's people, when funds for other nations are pushed or when war for other nation's interests etc.

This becomes treason when the activity is clearly in the negative interests of the people of that country. And war and national security makes one consider high treason issues.

As our troops come home we might consider whether Howard sent us to war on the basis of lies in support of an international conspiracy involving media, certain western governments’ groups and military lobby groups and think tanks. Did Howard and the PM office and NSA know, as the Dowling Street and other dics show the Brits knew, that the evidence would be cooked up for an attack upon Iraq and there was no real threat to ..America / Australia? Have we been deliberately lied to and deceived by a government and cooperating media in order to wage a war of aggression for the aims of hegemony, oil control and Israeli security and military industry profits as seems to be the full picture?

Try the treason test on the lobby groups we know about and on the actions of our government and media.

Cheers

Fare thee well all for a little while, have to examine elsewhere.

I know all are well-meaning in their own way about their own passions. I have had a reassessment from reading here since starting about bigotries I carried from childhood. I hope others can also reconsider the "why" of what they think.

Beware dear children, I tell them, the propaganda tools of the war machine and how it uses all .

Cya soon, gawd willing. And planes flying safely .

Evidence

Any information source that makes any attempt at accuracy and academic rigour is attacked as propaganda or even linked to racists and extremists if it perceived to be pro-Zionist. No attempt is ever made to provide evidence of this of course. Merely the slur is left hanging in the breeze like farm vermin. That is enough. 

Except considering who penned it, this might have been an extraordinary statement.

It wasn't "any information source" that I criticised, of course, but rather specifically palestinefacts.org.

And the above writer knows the site to be "linked" to racist/extremist sources. He knows because there is a page on palestinefacts.org that was the subject of dispute between him and myself not long ago, a page to which he linked in support of a contentious theory he had been retailing here.

The palestinefacts.org page in question lists prominently in its list of "sources and additional reading" (third down) this page from the masada200o.org website.

In the course of our dispute, I had critiqued the material at the masada2000.org, and for my trouble was then maligned by you-know-who for "linking to a racist site", i.e., to one of the 'authorities' cited by the authors of the palestinefacts.org material to which he had linked.

Richard, between those who parrot received half-truths and factoids, and others who deliberately muddy the waters, your worst fear may be on the button: There's no way forward in this topic.

Smears

Fact: The PalestineFacts.org article about the Mohammed al-Dura affair is carefully written, truthful and accurate. It has since been completely vindicated so that even the most determined of the "Israelis Eat Palestinian Children" Brigade dare not take on the account on its merits. They are reduced to fouling the waters with increasingly desperate and screechy efforts to discredit not only the article but the entire PalestineFacts program.

Fact: The article links a dozen other sites on the same subject of varying interest including some they are extremely valuable. Bear in mind that the PalestineFacts article was among the earliest to take on and attempt to expose the truth about this stomach churning affair. Now there would be hundreds of sites that could be linked, many with substantial bodies of research and solid evidence.

Fact: One of the hyperlinks is to an article entitled "Who Really Killed Mohammed al-Dura?" This article has a tabloid tone but is reasonable fair comment given that it does not pretend to be an academic treatise. It, in turn, has a hyperlink to the home page of the Masada2000 site. My reading suggests that this site is run by or connected to a Kahanist group and I said so the first time I saw it.

I am not a friend of Kahanists. I believe them to be extremist and racist and the Kahanist MK was once expelled from the Knesset under Israel's strict anti-racism laws. However this should be put in perspective. When I say "extremist and racist" I would put them on a par with Australia's One Nation party at its peak. The Kahanists are not even in the same class as, say, Hamas or IJ, of course.

Fact: PalestineFacts is a huge site with a vast number of hyperlinks to ranges of material, much of strong interest to anyone wanting a background in accuracy on these complex and propaganda-ridden issues. Of course more than one reference should be consulted where possible. Naturally PalestineFacts is not infallible. But it is an honest and serious effort and like most such sites is often vigorously attacked by those with some kind of an axe to grind with the concept of truth.

Fact: The site appears to be lacking resources and needs some basic maintenance and update. A number of the hyperlinks are broken and there is much more modern material that could be linked. But to seek to discredit the whole site based on one hyperlink (of a dozen) from one article (of thousands) to one article that has a hyperlink to an unattractive site is disgusting and one should seriously question the motives of someone who does this.

Fact: There has been no attempt here to discuss the real issues. Indeed whenever the Israel/Palestine subject comes up there is always someone too willing to throw around furphies like this in order, I will suggest, precisely to avoid a debate on the real issues. The Al-Dura affair? Pallywood and the manipulation of the Western media? The overarching willingness of the Western, especially European media and others to always accept and spread without any scrutiny the worst about Israel, "The Lobby", and so on, while ignoring anything that debunks these ugly stories? You will not find that discussed here. No chance. You can see for yourself how any attempt at such a conversation is killed. The techniques that are employed.

You can see the attempts to smear sites, writers, groups that are perceived to be pro-Zionist on the flimsiest of excuses. The attempts to distract. Like here. A link to a link to a link, for chrissake. While at the same time ignoring the naked, blatant and viciously racist of most of the "anti-Zionist" sites dripping in blood libels and lies. Or even using them as authority.

This is why there can be no worthwhile debate on this whole issue. Not here. One side has no interest in an honest discussion. On the contrary. They have made up their minds and only want what confirms their world views. Like all fundamentalist and intolerant religions, such as the ratbag left, you can see for yourself how angry they get if they perceive their pinhole worldviews are challenged.

Oh, that lobby group!

Michael de Angelos: "There are well funded Israeli lobby groups in the USA ,Australia and the UK"

There are well funded Arabic lobby groups in the USA, Australia and the UK. Immensely well funded lobby groups, in fact.

Other lobby groups, like OPEC, have sizeable Arabic state membership, including absolutely ferociously anti-American and anti-Israeli member states.

Other influential lobby groups in the USA, Australia and the UK include the Catholic Church.  Then there's the EU and China lobby groups.

Then there's the United Nations - one vast anti-Israeli lobby group.

But, oddly, you never hear that much concern about the Catholic lobby any more or the Arab lobby or the EU lobby or the China lobby.

Wow! That's terrific news, Marilyn

Marilyn Shepherd: "Hamas disowned that charter years ago."

Readers interested in the Hamas Charter, also known as the Hamas Covenant, can find a copy online here at the Palestine Centre website.

I wonder why they don't take it off-line? Now that it's been "disowned"?

Oh, well...

Hamas's insistence on the physical extermination of Jews worldwide has always been a bit of an obstacle to peace with the Jews. That, and the demand that Israel be converted into an Islamic Republic.

But now that the Hamas Charter is "disowned"? Years ago, in fact?

Well, that creates a whole new ball game. It perhaps means the Jews in the future Hamas Islamic Republic would live on the same basis as other, non-Jewish people under Hamas control.

Oh, wait...

Lobby groups

You are being disingenous, Paul Morrella, by stating :

"The idea of an all powerful "Israeli Lobby" censoring dissent is absolutely ludicrous."

There are well funded Israeli lobby groups in the USA ,Australia and the UK. They would be mad if they didn't have them! Why wouldn't they? Nor is the internet of any influence in this particular case - it's the access they are afforded to power and those who weild it that counts.

Just as the drug and private health companies are the most powerful backers of the Bush government, followed by the oil companies, so do Israeli lobby groups wield similar power, and use it . They are also over-represented in pushing the plight of Jewish communities' woes in the past.

They have every right to do this: the Hollocaust is a tragedy that should never be forgotten but it should be remembered that that horrific period claimed a multitude of others - gypsies, political prisoners, homosexuals - a whole raft of other groups.

Indeed, when the Allies freed those who were left in the various death camps, prisoners who had been housed there for criminal acts in Germany  (some quite petty) were actually transfered to normal jails by the allies (as though they hadn't suffered enough!). And that included at the time so-called "sex offenders" like homosexuals.

Museums like the privately funded Jewish Museum in Sydney are a positive thing - I've been several times and it's a moving experience. I've had many members of my family on one side who disappeared without trace.

But where are the memorials for the millions of Russian who died assisting us to win WW2? When one group has an undue influence in attention to their plight, then of course they end up wielding more power and using it.

It's human nature. It's also human nature for groups like the Palestinians to fight for their rights. As it is now, Israel is the mid-east bully backed by billions of dollars from the USA. No other country receives such financial help.

Nor do the powerful Israeli lobby groups speak for all Jews, rather for a political right view of Israeli politicians and their backers who use their power to label any criticism as anti-Jewish and perpetuate the myth of those of their own who oppose them as "self hating Jews". These lobby groups are an anathema and they cause problems rather than help.

Russian Memorials

Michael asks: "But where are the memorials for the millions of Russian who died assisting us to win WW2?"

Two of the better known memorials are in Berlin, Germany in Treptower Park and the Tiergarten Park.

Russian Memorials II

Michael asks: "But where are the memorials for the millions of Russian who died assisting us to win WW2?"

Paul rightly suggests that there are memorials to Russians in Russia. Examples include the Piskaryovskoye cemetary in St Pertersburg, Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow and Mamayev Kurgan in Volgograd (formerly known as Stalingrad).

There are also memorials in other eastern European countries where Soviet soldiers served, including one in Slovakia and one in Estonia - the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn - that was the subject of some controversy last year.

Russian Memorials III

Michael asks: "But where are the memorials for the millions of Russian who died assisting us to win WW2?"

Further to previous comments, memorials to the USSR's role in WWII can also be found in Belarus. There are also 12 former-Soviet cities that were granted the status of 'Hero City' for their 'outstanding heroism' during WWII. The cities on this list include sites in what are today Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. In the Russian capital, Moscow, soil from each of those cities lie alongside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWII.

The never ending war

Richard:: “I haven't picked up on the Holocaust stuff and if I haven't I apologise. Holocaust denial is quite rightly an unconsidered opinion base on Webdiary. Interested in where you detected this.. I try to be on the lookout.”

I don't think anyone has posted denial of the Holocaust on this thread. The allegation I've read (more than once) is that Jews use the Holocaust as an excuse for bad deeds upon others. There's never any proof given (I've never witnessed any) that Jews use this as an excuse for "apparent gains". Maybe I'm wrong, and someone can correct me, who knows? All I can say is that it has not happened to date.

The idea of an all powerful "Israeli Lobby" censoring dissent is absolutely ludicrous. This particular subject would be the numero uno dissent subject on the net. There are literally tens of thousands of sites pro and anti Israel. Everybody gets more than their fair share of "voice" on the subject.

Richard: Geoff was being facetious re an Israel Lobby, methinks. As for the quote, Paul, I've amended as that was mine. Thanks, though, was worrying.

Impossible so far

 It seems yet again to be nearly impossible for anything to do with Israel to be discussed on this site without everybody attacking each other, and not listening.   There may be some of us, Geoff, who are indeed neutral and very keen to figure this out. 

My only point Richard is that you are wasting your time here. Please let me explain.

  • This was supposed to be a thread about Iraq, specifically Australia's involvement in the Iraq war. As so often happens it is hijacked by the usual little gang of obsessives who seem to spend most of their time waiting for half an opportunity to start bashing Israel and Jews. This is done within a couple of days of the thread opening. The usual demented propaganda is rolled out. The "Israel Lobby"  is killing discusion. The "Jews" are being "pandered to". Israel is a criminal state that should never have been allowed exist. And so on.
  • "Facts" are tossed around like melting snow flakes. The Arabs have never attacked Israel. The Arabs were just defending their territory. Palestine was an Arab country taken from them by a racist political movement. The Israelis are being manipulated by some all powerful cartel (involving foreign Jews) who control the press, banks, media, business, the US ... [Here take your pick]
  • The usual nasty allusions to the Holocaust are made. This is obligatory for this gang. They just can't leave the subject alone.
  • Any information source that makes any attempt at accuracy and academic rigour is attacked as propaganda or even linked to racists and extremists if it perceived to be pro-Zionist. No attempt is ever made to provide evidence of this of course. Merely the slur is left hanging in the breeze like farm vermin. That is enough. 

And you seriously expect a "conversation" founded on this? Come on Richard. There is nothing worth discussing here, so far. Not with these people. There is not even anything new. This stuff is not just decades old. It is centuries. The one thing I always find remarkable is that the people who spread this stuff seem to think it has influence. It has none of course. I could go on to explain how  it is regarded in the circles they seek to attack. But I awould risk infringing the site's moderation rules.

Richard: OK point by point as best as I can at this hour (1.30 your time):

* I deliberately, perhaps provocatively, left the thread intro open to a suggestion that our participation in Iraq was a segue to an ongoing conflict with Iran.  In such conditions discussion about Israel is entirely appropriate.  Perhaps I took a risk, but I figured it was worth it in an attempt to get us talking about the problem instead of screaming our opinions at each other.

*  It seems that either "side" of the issue considers that the "facts" thatt the other side are using are proactive propaganda.    It's become the most standard form of repudiation, IMHO.

^  I haven't picked up on the Holocaust stuff and if I haven't I apologise.  Holocaust denial is quite rightly an unconsidered opinion base on Webdiary.  Interested in where you detected this.. I try to be on the lookout.

*  See my second point

This is a great group of people, Geoff, that you (these days) occasionally drop in and out of if something regarding Israel arises.  As you'll have seen if you've read the Henson debates (which since you haven't participated you may have not) you might find that contentious issues are debatable with a level of respect for each other.  We've spent a lot of time lately comparing our points of view and assessing each other as people.  Sorry you haven't been here, but unless you had you're barking up the wrong tree, at least mostly.

I ask you to consider giving things a fresh go Geoff.  You are perhaps a little behind the times in your assumptions about the people here.   All are open to having their opionions persuaded, at least I hope.

Again I reiterate that I am entirely neutral on this subject,   My only assertion is that unless it can be resolved we're in deep shit very soon.  I'm not talking on a Webdiary level, but a global one.

It's going to take a less cut-and-dried debate if we're not going to fall into an Apocalypse. Can we ar least agree on that?

Getting muddy, ready for bed, but I hope you understand where I'm coming from.

Bah, humbug

Anybody new coming to this and starting at the last post would be scratching their noggin trying to figure out how it was all relevant.

Both sides huffing and puffing, "can't talk to these idiots" but you still do.

Come on, you love this stuff.

Reminds me of a bunch of "bovver boys" squaring up after a Pommy soccer match.

Me, I'm a Millwall supporter and our motto is "Nobody likes us and we don't care!"

out wiv yoor bruvvers

So, Scott Dunmore, you follow the notorious London wharfies of legendary ill-repute. You must be over the moon re Euro 2008 on SBS - delicious stuff.

Back to thread. Will just say well done, Richard.

Many will be following the discussion, if not actually participating because of its aggressive tone, but they will sift the wheat from the chaff and draw their own conclusions.

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