Issue Number 24

July 2010

  • Israel's Gaza siege: a crime against humanity
  • Cuba: reforms strengthen revolution

International News & Analysis

By Marce Cameron

As all Cuban schoolchildren know, July 26 is the anniversary of the 1953 attack on the Moncada military garrison in Santiago de Cuba that launched the Cuban Revolution. The young rebels, led Fidel Castro, had hoped to seize the garrison, liberate its weapons and call upon the Cuban people to rise up against the US-backed Batista dictatorship.

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – Two months after the April 20 explosion on a BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico triggered the greatest environment disaster from a single incident in US history, the oil keeps gushing. Along the shoreline encompassing the US Gulf states, oil creeps up further and further from the gusher itself.

By Kim Bullimore

Israel announced on June 17 that it would “liberalise” its three-year siege of Gaza, allowing more categories of goods to enter the blockaded territory. Non-essential items such as tomato sauce, snacks, mayonnaise and cosmetics will now be allowed in.

By John Pilger

London – How do wars begin? With a “master illusion”, according to Ralph McGehee, one of the CIA’s pioneers in “black propaganda”, known today as “news management”. In 1983, he described to me how the CIA had faked an “incident” that became the “conclusive proof of North Vietnam’s aggression”.

By Eva Golinger

Caracas – A revealing report published in May 2010 by the FRIDE Institute, a Spanish think tank, prepared with funding from the World Movement for Democracy (a project of the US-based National Endowment for Democracy, NED), has disclosed that international agencies are funding the Venezuelan opposition with a whopping US$40-50 million annually.

Australian News & Analysis

By Hamish Chitts

Less than a week after the UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran on June 9, the Australia government is planning its own unilateral punitive measures.

By Jon Lamb

In a surprising turn of affairs, the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) confirmed on June 18 that it was commencing two separate investigations in relation to the death in custody in 2004 of Palm Island man Mulrunji Doomadgee. A report released by the CMC noted that it will investigate compensation claims made by previously exonerated officer Senior Sergeant Ch

By Kerry Vernon

About 200 male Afghan asylum seekers who have had their asylum claims suspended were taken to the re-opened Curtin air base detention centre in Australia’s remote north-west on June 19-20, ABC News reported. Over a 1000 asylum seekers were once held in this remote location by the previous Howard government.

By Kerry Vernon

The federal Labor government is increasingly rejecting Afghan refugees – at a rate of more than 40%, compared with only 5% a year ago, according to a report in the June 17 Australian. More than 220 Afghans had been denied “in the last month or two”, said immigration minister Chris Evans.

By Jorge Jorquera

To the surprise of many, in April the Australian Education Union took an apparently firm and principled stand against the use of school test data, namely the federal National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests, for ranking schools on the My School government website.

By Shua Garfield

Australia’s population, currently 22.4 million, is predicted to rise to 35.9 million by 2050, according to the Australian Treasury Department’s Intergenerational Report 2010, released by federal treasurer Wayne Swan on February 1.

By Andrew Martin

Hundreds of rail workers in Townsville and Redbank struck on June 8 against the Queensland government’s plans to privatise the rail network. The strike involved workshop staff of both regions and freight train drivers in Townsville.

By Allen Myers

From the amount of fuss being made about it, some people might conclude that the Labor government’s Resource Super Profits Tax proposes important changes in the tax system. Such a conclusion would, however, be a mistake. The RSPT has more to do with the approaching federal election than it does with taxation.

Revolutionary Socialist Party federal election candidate Van Rudd, June 25, outside newly sword-in Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s electorate office in the south-western Melbourne suburb of Werribee. ABC News Online reported the same day: “Former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s nephew says he now has more reasons for fighting Julia Gillard in her seat at the next election.

By Kathy Newnam

On May 29 around 150 people took to the streets of Sydney as part of the campaign against the abortion charges brought against a couple in Cairns. The rally was organised by the Women’s Abortion Action Campaign (WAAC) and was chaired by WAAC activist Margaret Kirkby. There were contingents at the rally from Melbourne, Brisbane and participants from Adelaide and New Zealand.

By Owain Jones

June has been the deadliest month ever for Australian troops occupying Afghanistan. On June 7, Sapper Jacob Moerland, 21, and Sapper Darren Smith, 25, from Brisbane-based 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment, were killed by an improvised explosive device and another soldier was shot and wounded in the arm on June 16.

Views, Discussion & Debate

By Jorge Jorquera

I’ll begin with two preliminary remarks. First, football here refers to the sport played with your feet, not those codes where the primary limbs used are the hands. Some of these hand-codes are known in a handful of the 195 nations of the world as football. Australia is one of these, where the term soccer is used instead for football.

We stand for the transformation of human society, from its current basis of greed, exploitation, war, oppression and environmental destruction, to a commonwealth of social ownership, solidarity and human freedom, living in harmony with our planet’s ecosystems.

By Allen Myers

“Socialism sounds like a great idea, but it’s not really feasible. At least in the developed countries, workers are too brainwashed by the system, and the ruling class is just too powerful to be overthrown.” That is not a precise quotation from any specific person, but socialists frequently encounter arguments to this effect.

By John Percy

Thirty-five years ago the monstrous US (and Australian) war against the people of Vietnam finally came to an end. On April 30, 1975, Vietnamese forces entered Saigon.

In Their Own Words

But expect more

“America has never experienced an event like this before.” – US President Barack Obama on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

More equal than you

“The US is a big and important market for BP, and BP is also a big and important company for the US.” – BP chairperson Carl-Henric Svanberg.