Tony Iltis

Foreign journalists are not welcome in Nauru. This is because of the erosion of rule of law and national sovereignty that has occurred as a result of the tiny and impoverished nation's government hiring out the island as a location for one of Australia's concentration camps for refugees.

The point of locating the camps on remote Pacific Islands is so that the deliberate ill-treatment of refugees — which is what “deterrence” means — can happen out of sight and beyond the meagre protection of Australian law.

Some things are recurring in the Israel-Palestine conflict. One is that the Israeli version of events is generally the direct opposite of reality. Another is that Western politicians and media uncritically accept the Israeli narrative.

A third recurring feature of the conflict is that the most compelling evidence contradicting the Israeli version events is the body count.

Russia followed the lead of Western powers on September 30 and began direct military intervention in Syria – using the same form (air strikes) and the same declared enemy, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Russia's campaign, aimed to shore up the beleaguered regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, will also target the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and other armed groups fighting the dictatorship.

Russia's entry into the fray has dramatically heightened tensions between Russia and the West and further complicated the already confused, multi-sided conflict in Syria.


Funeral in Cizre of civilians killed by Turkish state.

The Turkish right wing takes winning elections seriously.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is so serious about achieving the result it wants in parliamentary elections on November 1, it is pushing the country to civil war.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced on September 9 a novel approach to stemming the flow of refugees from Syria: bombing the country.

He also announced plans to accept a further 12,000 Syrian refugees on top of his government's miserly quota, but was quick to dispel any hopes that Australia might be abandoning its status as the Western world's leading abuser of refugees. Abbott told ABC Radio National on September 10 that Syrian refugees being held in the Australian-run concentration camps in Nauru and Manus Island would not be released.

Rojava, the Kurdish-majority liberated zone in northern Syria, is the location of a unique experiment in grassroots, participatory democracy.

It is undergoing a profound social revolution that emphasises social and economic equality, ecology, religious tolerance, ethnic inclusion, collectivity combined with individual freedom and, most obviously, feminism.

It very quickly became “Border Farce”.

Within hours of the Australian Border Force — Prime Minister Tony Abbott's paramilitary amalgamation of the Customs Service and immigration department — announcing on August 28 that they would be joining the Victorian police and privatised public transport operators in Operation Fortitude to check the visa status of “anti-social” elements on the streets of Melbourne, hundreds of protesters had gathered at Flinders Street Station and social media had exploded in outrage.

On August 25 the Melbourne Magistrates Court dropped terrorism charges against 18-year-old Harun Causevic, who had spent 120 days in maximum security solitary confinement for the alleged “Anzac Day terror plot”.

In April more than 200 police were deployed to arrest five Melbourne teenagers. The mainstream media unquestionably repeated police allegations about the plot, allowing politicians to talk and act as if its existence were an established reality.


The only thing unclear about Abbott's likely response to a request to join the US air war in Syria is how many flags Abbott will stand in front of when he makes the announcement.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied reports his government lobbied the US to formally request for Australia to extend its involvement in the US-led air war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — and bomb targets in Syria, not just Iraq.

“The only cost-effective way to stop illegal immigrants trying to storm through the Channel Tunnel is to set up a machine gun and take out a few people,” Steve Uncles, the extreme right-wing English Democrats' candidate for the post Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, wrote in an August 4 Facebook rant.

“[T]hat would stop it very quickly and immediately cut dead this tactic … who has got the guts to do this in our politically correct society?”

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