Friday, May 26, 2006

Cindy Sheehan hits Melbourne - part 2/3

A woman carrying a large banner, along with her 5 year old daughter, arrived and sat beside me at this point. I photographed her banner and overheard her telling others to watch the 9-11 conspiracy movie Loose Change, and how somebody offered people a 1million dollar reward to prove 9-11 was real and nobody has been able to claim the prize.

Next in the line-up was Green's senator Kerry Nettle:

Thank you very much for the invitation to come and be a part of whats gonna be 7 days of activism in Melbourne. I had the great fortune of hearing what Cindy and Dr Ishmael had to say in Sydney 2 days ago. As well all know, Iraq's a mess. 3 years on from the illegal and immoral invasion, the horrible consequences that we all spoke about are obvious to everybody. The death squads trained and funded by the coalition, and let loose by the interior ministry, are roaming in Baghdad.
And US troops are continuing to kill civilians. Last week, the conservative US congressman John Mertha, spoke of a Pentagon investigation into a massacre by US marines in Hadatha, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. He said that the investigation showed that a squad of US marines had killed civilians in cold blood....

To the white house, this is just another set of unfortunate statistics. To their families and their friends, its another reason to hate the occupying foreign troops. We don't know exactly how many people have died in Iraq, but we know that it is many many thousands. The Brookings institute in Washington, in their latest estimate, suggests between 44,000 and 98,000 civilians have been killed since the invasion.

Kerry then rattled off more statistics, about the horror.
Blamed the occupying forces. But there's hope.

"Its a horror that will continue, it is clear, until the invading forces leave Iraq. And its a fact that governments around this world have been forced to accept by their people. One after another, George Bush's allies have fallen. First Spain, then Por
tugal, the leaders of Poland and Ukraine have both been replaced and have pulled the troops out. South Korea has started to pull the troops out and now Italy's new government plans to pull its 2900 troops out by the end of the year [LOUD APPLAUSE]. That will leave Australia and the UK as the major partners of the US in Iraq.

We all know Tony Blair is a dead man walking. He is a political zombie killed by his governments involvement in the war in Iraq. And that leaves John Howard as the last ally standing. Insulated from the political fallout by Australian troops being Iraq's mo
st peaceful provence, although that appears it may be changing, John Howard has continued to follow George Bush, and now hes sending more troops into Afghanistan. He has said that Australian troops will stay in Iraq when the Japanese leave - his initial justification for them being there."
After continuing to point out Australia's involvement in Iraq, the AWB scandal and Private Kovco's death, Kerry Nettle focussed in Iran:

"According to the media reports in the United States and the United Kingdom, the Pe
ntagon is planning for war, and they are asking themselves questions about when and how to attack, not if to attack. The same coalition of think tank hawks, neo-conservatives and Israeli lobbyists are building the case for now. Just last week the Israeli PM Ehud Olmert claimed that Iran was just months away from building an atomic bomb. Now this is despite all credible evidence, showing that any program to construct nuclear weapons, if one exists, is years perhaps a decade away from success. Last month, the United States deputy director of national intelligence, says Iran is some years away from developing a nuclear weapon. And the US national intelligence estimate said 10 years...

The extent to which this propaganda for war is building internationally, is demonstrated by the furor in the United States, when a recent claim that Iran intends to legislate forcing Jewish people in Iran to wear yellow badges. Our PM participated in this propaganda when he was in Canada and the US last week where he told a press conference th
at if it was true, he would find it totally repugnant, and echoes obviously, the most horrible human genocide in the worlds history. We now know that this claim that was quickly repeated and circulated throughout the North American media, we know that it is not true and the newspaper that published it has apologised. The claim was denied by the Iranian government and by Iranian MPs including Jewish MPs. The source of the claim, the Financial Times revealed this week, was somebody called Amir Taheri, he is an Iranian exile and a former supporter of the former Shah of Iran. He is now a US columnist, hes been calling for regime change, been opposing talks with Iran, and he is somebody who is honoured by the neo-conservatives in the United States."

Senator Nettle then said that regime change must come from within Iran, and foretold further doom and gloom if an attack on Iran occurred. Then she called the US hypo
critical, because it holds most of the world's nuclear weapons, and is backing Indian nuclear ambitions. Another 5 minutes of anti-nuclear ranting included this quote.

"The Greens are opposed to nuclear power in any shape or form. We don
't want to see it in the US, the UK or Israel."

She then talked about UN sanctions, diplomacy etc. And then this bit of analysis:

"There is no doubt that the neo-conservatives have their eye on oil-rich Iran, and have had so since the Reagan ero, but we can't wait until the bombing starts. We need to mobilise support now, against an attack on Iran. And the Greens certainly want to work with all Australians to mobile the community against war in the middle East."

After Kerry sat down, up came Dr Salam Ismael, an Iraqi doctor with lots of gruesome photos to display on the projector, who wants to show the horror:His credentials:

After showing gruesome injuries and amputations, in true Al-Jazeera style, he showed a few statistics that he put together himself from his own observations:

Those American scum shot this innocent wall to pieces .. you bastards !