... Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition. ...
Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt by Umberto Eco 
Image: @pamelacurr - Refugee rights, detention rights advocate [10/6/15]
@pamelacurr [11/2/16]: Another bizarre disturbing day in DIBP saw 100's babies called up for Admin detention across Australia from 9am to 3pm
Brisbane Times [12/2/16]:
A Brisbane children's hospital is refusing to release a baby being treated for burns suffered while in detention on Nauru until a "suitable" home is found.
The 12-month-old's wounds have healed and she's in a stable condition, however, medical staff won't discharge the girl who's being treated at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.
"This patient will only be discharged once a suitable home environment is identified," a hospital spokesman said in a statement.
The spokesman said it was up to qualified clinical staff to decide when a patient should be discharged.
It's understood the girl is a baby known as Asha who in mid-2015 became the first infant born into detention in Australia to be transferred to Nauru.
The baby suffered the burns when boiling water was accidentally spilt on her on Nauru and she was transferred to Lady Cilento at the end of last month.
Her mother is by her side and the girl's father is being detained at Pinkenba, north of Brisbane, but has been visiting the hospital.
One family's brutal journey to Nauru [The Age – 10/6/15]
A decent human being calls it a "threat".
A fascist calls it an "incentive".
Huffington Post [12/2/16]:
... Speaking on ABC TV program Insiders last Sunday February 7, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was unwavering in his commitment to the offshore detention scheme, but outlined how the government had opened other avenues for refugees to pursue.
He told host Barrie Cassidy, according to a transcript of the interview released by his office:
"We are providing every incentive to the people on Nauru to go back to their country of origin. We're providing them with considerable incentives and assistance to do that. We're providing them with incentives to settle in other countries."
But what are these incentives?
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection told The Huffington Post Australia in a statement that the Government of Nauru’s Refugee Status Determination program gives refugees on Nauru travel assistance "to return home as well as to re-establish themselves following the return".
UN Victory in Assange Case: Decision has big implications for refugees and whistleblowers [Center for Constitutional Rights - 5/2/16]:
... In our briefs to the WGAD, we argued that someone is effectively detained when they are forced to choose between confinement and running the risk of persecution.
That is the precise dilemma faced by Mr. Assange, who would lose the protection of his asylum if he stepped out of the embassy.
The risk of extradition is the 'fourth wall' for the now repudiated claim that he is free to leave the embassy. As a result, it has been years since Mr. Assange has had access to proper medical care, sunlight, or the ability to see his family.
The WGAD's decision in Mr. Assange's case sets an important precedent for refugees.
In our submissions we analogized the situation faced by Mr. Assange to that of asylum-seekers in detention facilities.
States may claim that asylum-seekers held in subhuman conditions are not 'detained' because they are technically free to leave for their home country, but this is a non-choice, since the home country would persecute the asylum seeker.
The WGAD decision could mean that so-called 'open' facilities like the Israeli Holot, deep in an Israeli desert, and the Australian-run center in Nauru are legally equivalent to closed prisons.
This concept of detention builds on arguments already adopted by many sources of international law, including the European Court of Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and WGAD case law.
We expect this decision to be cited in future refugee detention challenges.
The decision is also resounding victory for freedom of expression as it recognizes that whistleblowers and publishers need protection, and acknowledges the coercive effect of an extradition threat. The WGAD announced today that the “Republic of Ecuador granted asylum because of Mr. Assange’s fear that if he was extradited to Sweden, he would be further extradited to the United States where he would face serious criminal charges for the peaceful exercise of his freedoms.”
The decision is a major milestone in the growing international consensus about the need to protect those who promote the publication of truth about government. Last October, the European Parliament voted to protect whistleblower Edward Snowden from extradition to the United States. That same month, the UN envoy charged with safeguarding free speech around the globe issued a report calling on governments to protect whistleblowers and confidential sources rather than punishing them.
The United Nations issued a finding that an Australian citizen has been unlawfully detained without charge for five and a half years, yet our government refuses to accept the finding and take steps to free Julian Assange, the Australian Greens said.
"Questions in senate estimates this week confirmed that the Australian government has not made any representations on behalf of Mr Assange, not at any time over the past 6 years. Not once. They pronounced him guilty of journalism our most powerful ally doesn't like, and threw him under the bus," said Australian Greens Deputy Leader Senator Scott Ludlam today. ... [Greens Media Release - 12/2/16]
This is not "waste". It's FASCISM. ---> Water, water everywhere but Nauru detainees missing out, unless they're being waterboarded [Sydney Morning Herald - 12/2/16]
"Detainees have been digging under the compound fence to get to water bottles stacked against the fence." Protests, hunger strikes and no running water in Australian refugee concentration camp on Manus Island - VIDEO - 19/1/15]
5 minutes in ---> "To destroy water in the desert is one of the most vicious things you could do.": All death and no returns = "Successful" US border policy [VIDEO - The Empire's Border Part I - teleSUR - 31/1/16]:
Along the southern border of the United States is a graveyard, where hundreds upon hundreds of human remains are waiting to be found in the sand. They are teenagers, mothers and spouses walking the only path available to them—away from poverty and violence: towards their families, the only place safer and easier to eat. In Part 1 of this two-part series, Abby Martin reveals a catastrophe at the Empire's gates; not only a shockingly high body count, but a humanitarian crisis manufactured by the U.S. government. Sinister tactics, a for-profit prison pipeline, and a court system that looks more like a slave auction than a trial await those who survive. Join The Empire Files on-location to learn how Border Patrol has turned land into a weapon, to take the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors. ...
Rehabilitating fascist politicians is not journalism.
Joint media release with Kevin Rudd - Prime Minister, Mark Dreyfus - Attorney General and The Hon Tony Burke MP - Australian Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship [19/7/13]:
As of today asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia.
Under the new arrangement signed with Papua New Guinea today – the Regional Settlement Arrangement – unauthorised arrivals will be sent to Papua New Guinea for assessment and if found to be a refugee will be settled there.
Arriving in Australia by boat will no longer mean settlement in Australia.
Australians have had enough of seeing people drowning in the waters to our north.
Our country has had enough of people smugglers exploiting asylum seekers and seeing them drown on the high seas.
We are sick of watching our servicemen and women risking their lives in rescues in dangerous conditions on the high seas.
Regional processing arrangements in Papua New Guinea will be significantly expanded and people will be sent to Manus Island as soon as health checks are complete and appropriate accommodation is identified.
PNG officials will assess their claims on Manus Island.
Our governments will expand existing facilities on Manus Island, as well as establishing further facilities in Papua New Guinea.
There is no cap on the number of people who can be transferred to Papua New Guinea.
The Australian Government, in partnership with the PNG Government, will support settlement services for those with refugee status, as safe and appropriate accommodation and services are identified.
We are a compassionate nation and we will continue to deliver a strong humanitarian program.
If the measure announced today and the international meeting on the Convention that has been flagged lead to a significant change in the number of people arriving by boat, then the government stands ready to consider progressively increasing our humanitarian intake towards 27 000 as recommended by the Houston Panel.
There is nothing compassionate about criminal operations which see children and families drowning at sea.
Access to our humanitarian program must be through the international organisations which resettle people around the world, not through criminal operators who have pushed people onto unseaworthy vessels with tragic consequences.
The new arrangements will allow Australia to help more people who are genuinely in need and help prevent people smugglers from abusing our system.
The people smugglers themselves are constantly changing the way they operate and we need to be flexible enough to anticipate and match their actions to avoid the terrible consequences of this trade.
No doubt there will be some people smugglers who now encourage asylum seekers to test our resolve.
Be in no doubt. If people are paying thousands and thousands of dollars to a people smuggler they are buying a ticket to a country other than Australia.
... Human Rights Watch's Brad Adams said there did not appear to be a serious resettlement scheme.
"For two reasons: one, the Australians don't really want there to be much resettlement, at least to countries where people would be happy to go because they think that's going to act as a pull factor. So in a way Australia wants conditions to be as bad as possible. Second, there aren't a lot of countries in the world who are willing to take this burden away from Australia."
Brad Adams said there should be open access to the Manus processing centre but that instead Australia had made a lot of efforts to discourage people from going there.
He said if Canberra was going to subcontract out the job of processing the asylum seekers, it should be providing world class facilities that showed a humanitarian concern for the asylum seekers.
However, Mr Adams said the conditions at the centre were poor and reports continued to filter out about abuse of the detainees.
Mother with DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] deported from O’Hare by Border Patrol, returns and reunites with family [#NOT1MORE - 11/2/16]:
What was supposed to be a long-awaited visit to family members in Mexico became a terrifying ordeal for Lesly Sophia Cortez-Martinez when Border Patrol at O’Hare airport refused to let her back into the country and instead deported her with her two youngest children.
Lesly is a DACA recipient who has been in the US since she was 15 years old and the mother of three citizen children. Over Christmas she applied for and received permission from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to be able to travel abroad with a routine status called ‘advance parole.’
Yet when she arrived, Border Patrol ignored her deferred action status and the permission granted by the other agency within the Department of Homeland Security. Agents held Lesly and her children inside O’Hare airport, refused to review the emergency filings of her lawyer, and ultimately deported her back to Mexico.
The community pressure and legal support moved the agency to reconsider its mistake and allow her to return afterall. For the past week, supporters have been emailing Ricardo Wong, field director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, demanding #handsoffLesly when she comes back.
Today she and her children arrived at O’Hare and after screening were able to reunite with her husband and eldest son.
Yet their case is still not closed. ICE did not detain Lesly but they did put her in deportation proceedings. Lesly and her attorney will continue to fight her case in court, with the support of the community.
But her lawyer and other supporters want to see her case closed and say it raises broader questions as to how DHS is functioning.
“When relief is granted by one agency it should be respected across the board,” explains her lawyer Mony Ruiz-Velasco. “DACA recipients across the country are looking to DHS to clarify that this will not happen again.”
Lesly herself expressed her gratitude to supporters who she credited with her ability to come back to her family and home. “This is why we have to organize and be together. We have to protect each other when they violate our rights.”
Israeli forces shoot, injure 3 youths during West Bank clashes [Maan - 11/2/16]
A delegation from the European Parliament was prevented by the Israeli authorities from accessing the blockaded Gaza Strip this week, the delegation said in an official statement.
The authorities gave no justification to explain the refusal at the time.
The delegation group reportedly arrived in Jerusalem on Monday and had arranged to travel to Gaza on Wednesday in order to evaluate EU-funded reconstruction in the war-torn enclave.
Chair of the delegation, Irish MEP Martina Anderson, in the press release said: "The systematic denial by Israel of access to Gaza to European Parliament delegations is unacceptable. The European Parliament has not been able to access Gaza since 2011.
"This raises questions: what does the Israeli government aim to hide? We shall not give up on the Gazan people," Anderson said. ... [Maan - 11/2/16]
Over 40 Palestinian homes, structures demolished in Jordan Valley [Maan - 11/2/16]
Israel's coloniation of Palestinian territory in the occupied West Bank is widely recognized as a moral, legal, and political disaster for the peoples of the Middle East.
Despite this, becoming a colonist in an Israeli settlement is relatively easy.
In fact, it’s as easy as logging on to the website of the country’s local RE/MAX franchise and checking out the abundant housing listings in illegal colonies like Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim, and Givat Ze’ev. ... [The Intercept - 12/2/16]
A Darwin real estate agency has defended a section on their residential tenancy application forms requiring applicants to state whether they are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, a refugee, and what languages they speak at home other than English.
LJ Hooker Darwin and Palmerston is the only agency in the Northern Territory to ask these questions, and said the information was necessary in order for them "to provide the best service to the community". ... [ABC - 11/2/16]
@AllanJClarke [11/2/16]: Passionate and emotional stories of aboriginal children lost to child welfare system on Parliament House forecourt
@AllanJClarke [11/2/16]: Grandmothers from across the country have flown into Canberra to protest high Aboriginal child removal rates.
@AllanJClarke [11/2/16]: The Lebanese Muslim association (LMA) making lunch for the Indigenous grandmothers against removal protestors.
A rally and "march for justice" for Aboriginal boy Thomas "TJ" Hickey is to go ahead in Sydney after organisers reached an agreement with police. ... [ABC - 12/2/16]
N.Y. policeman convicted of manslaughter in shooting of black man [Reuters – 11/2/16]
The city of Cleveland has billed the family of Tamir Rice $500 for the ambulance ride to the hospital after the 12-year-old boy was fatally shot by a Cleveland police officer in November 2014.
This comes less than two months after a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Timothy Loehmann in Rice’s death.
The claim filed Wednesday is "against the estate of Tamir Rice in the amount of Five Hundred Dollars, which is past due and owing for emergency medical services rendered as the decedent’s last dying expense."
In response, Rice family attorney Subodh Chandra said, "That the city would submit a bill and call itself a creditor after having had its own police officers slay 12-year-old Tamir displays a new pinnacle of callousness and insensitivity." [Democracy Now - 11/2/16]
Federal Grand Jury examines death of Eric Garner [Democracy Now – 11/2/16]
An ambitious plan to end hostilities in Syria with verifiable results within a week, revive the Geneva-3 peace talks, and immediately begin delivering humanitarian aid to civilians has been unveiled in Munich, Germany after talks including the US, Russia, and the UN.
Hostilities in Syria could come to a halt within a week after confirmation by the government of President Bashar Assad and the opposition, according to an official communiqué from the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) meeting. ... [RT - 12/2/16]
US A-10s bombed city of Aleppo on Wednesday, shifted blame onto Moscow – Russian military [RT - 11/2/16]
Russian warplanes destroyed almost 1,900 targets in Syria over week [SANA - 11/2/16]
In Canada, Ban applauds country's commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees [UN Media Release - 11/2/16]
Outgoing French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has criticized the US for lacking the commitment needed to resolve the Syrian crisis and for its “ambiguous” policy contributions.
“There are ambiguities, including among the actors of the coalition ... I'm not going to repeat what I've said before about the main pilot of the coalition,” Fabius told reporters Wednesday.
“But we don't have the feeling that there is a very strong commitment that is there,” he added. ... [RT - 10/2/16]
Conditions for Iraqi troops up to them, New Zealand parliamentary committee told [RNZI - 11/2/16]:
Iraqi troops are engaged in the training being provided by New Zealand and Australia despite their poor living conditions, the Defence Force says.
A report from the US Defence Department last year revealed the Iraqi troops were living without power or running water. The report said the conditions were having an impact on morale.
But Vice-Chief of Defence Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short today told a parliamentary select committee the training was still effective.
The conditions were the result of limited funding, partly due to corruption within the Iraqi defence forces, and the conditions of the Iraqi troops were a matter for them, he said.
"There's a point where you do leave it to that nation and what they can do and want to do."
The Defence Force was working with the Iraqi Army on the ground to improve their systems, Air Vice-Marshal Short said.
"We're comfortable enough that the training and changes we're making are significant."
New Zealand troops in Taji, in northern Iraq, did have electricity and running water, although there was some hardship for them living in 40°C temperatures and having to be in full kit and carry weapons.
Also in the select committee today, Labour Party defence spokesman Phil Goff questioned why Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee had recorded a satisfaction rate at just 50 percent with the advice he received.
The 2015 defence annual report shows the minister's satisfaction with the quality of policy advice from the Defence Force and Ministry as well below the target.
But Mr Goff said he had every confidence in the Defence Force.
"[Mr Brownlee] didn't want the portfolio, he hasn't engaged with them, he hasn't done his homework, doesn't identify with them. That makes him, I think, a poor choice for the portfolio."
Air Vice-Marshal Short said the rating was given not long after Mr Brownlee took over the defence portfolio, and the Defence Force had since changed the way it communicated with Mr Brownlee.
Prime Minister John Key later said the welfare of the Iraqi soldiers was a matter for their government, and they did not raise it with him when he visited Taji last year.
However, the government had spoken to Iraq about the making sure the money and supplies provided reached their intended destination.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [11/2/16]:
Anbar: Flying has continued in the sky of Heet district west of Anbar and shelling has targeted neighbourhoods in the district especially Iskallat and Bakir areas, casualties resulted unknown......
Anbar: News sources: A helicopter owned by the army has shelled mistakenly the government army elements north of Ramadi resulted in 13 deaths of the elements.......
Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded near a traditional restaurant in Sheik Omar area in the middle of Baghdad today morning killing a person and wounding 5......................
Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded in a traditional market in Latifiya nahiya south of Baghdad today morning killing two persons and wounding 7......................
The Parliament Speaker's Office has refused to accept a proposal submitted by the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to investigate the recent tension and killings in the Cizre district of the southeastern province of Şırnak.
On Feb. 9, the HDP submitted a proposal to investigate the recent alleged killing of dozens of people who were unable to leave the basements of two buildings for more than 20 days, despite being injured.
Despite the fact that the proposal was signed by 23 HDP deputies, the Parliament Speaker's Office refused to accept it on the grounds that it was “rude and hurtful” and said that the HDP should resubmit it after revising the problematic sections.
An HDP deputy has claimed that the bodies of 27 more people who were purportedly killed in a military operation have been retrieved from the basement of one of the buildings in Cizre's Cudi neighborhood, which has been under a curfew for almost two months.
There have been intense clashes between the Turkish security forces and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the district which, along with curfews, have paralyzed the daily lives of locals and led to many civilian deaths.
The security forces conducted a large-scale operation in Cudi on Sunday in which many buildings were hit via tank and artillery shots. ... [Today's Zaman - 11/2/16]
Bombs continue raining down on Syria and Iraq
US Department of Defense [11/2/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Fighter aircraft conducted one strike in Syria:
-- Near Manbij, a strike destroyed an ISIL structure.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 13 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Albu Hayat, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Kirkuk, a strike destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL tunnel.
-- Near Mosul, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint, seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL assembly area.
-- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL bunker and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Albu Hayat, one strike struck inoperable coalition equipment, denying ISIL access in support of coalition operations.
... Carter said numerous countries recently answered his call for more resources, including Australia, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada. ... Defense Ministers Unanimously Support Objectives [US Department of Defense - 11/2/16]
What's "growing" is the awareness of an emotionally manipulative campaign to minimise and confuse the coherent and explicit demand to CLOSE THE CAMPS.
Thankfully - despite the best efforts of the political, media and human rights establishment - it appears to be backfiring.
There's a backlash growing everyday against you @TurnbullMalcolm. Australians are sick of cruelty over human decency. LISTEN. #LetThemStay
"tweeted" by @Kon__K [11/2/16]
Napoleon said 'Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.' ---> @AlyciaGawthorne [12/2/16]: Bondi Beach, Sydney Gorgeous babies for refugees! ... <--- But GetUp and the ALP's pro detention #LetThemStay campaign has moved beyond cynical, and into the realm of exploitative!
Tory pro detention unions place full page advertisement in anti refugee, red baiting Murdoch Press ---> @xBorderOps [11/2/16]: @GetUp, all #nobusinessinabuse unless it's their mates at @unionsaustralia. #LetThemStay
ABC, Lateline [5/10/15]:
... HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: As the nation's largest investors, superannuation funds are aware of their clout and some say it's better to use that influence on a company's governance and behaviour for change than to divest.
DAVE OLIVER, ACTU SECRETARY: We want more accountability to the large companies that we are investing in in regards to what's happening with these supply chains.
HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Australian Super is the biggest industry super fund in the country, managing retirement savings of many of Australia's union members. The ACTU secretary, Dave Oliver, is a director.
DAVE OLIVER: I am aware that there's more transparency in the way that these companies are investing, and in doing so, that is changing some of the behaviour. And I don't see it being mutually exclusive. We can use the power of the funds and the investment to actually change behaviour, at the same time still deliver a good return for our members.
LIZ THOMPSON: That might be fine if we were talking about, like, you know, a jeans factory with some occupational health and safety issues and underpayment of workers. It's not appropriate for a concentration camp. You can't make a concentration camp better; you just need to close it. Our demand is that, you know, it's very easy for these investors to screen out concentration camps the way they screen out tobacco. Just do it.
@xBorderOps [12/2/16]: Hi @AMES_news & @MDA_qld, will your Connect consortium be involved in any transfers to Nauru? #LetThemStay
All aboard the bipartisan ship [Overland - 11/8/15]:
... Welcome to Australia director Brad Chilcott has publicly supported a policy of turn-backs in breach of the principle of non-refoulement.
In advance of the ALP conference, which he attended as a delegate for the increasingly inappropriately named left faction of the party, Chilcott called for the ALP to ‘neutralise’ a divisive debate by ‘closing the ocean route to Australia’.
This, from the leader of an organisation that takes its motto from the national anthem: ‘For those who’ve come across the seas.’
Writing in The Australian, Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds makes a more reluctant argument for the same conclusion: that organisations supporting refugees should embrace the opportunity for bipartisan consensus by abandoning active support for the principle of non-refoulement:
Although we may not like turnbacks, it is clear the policy is here to stay. Now we and other advocates for the rights of asylum-seekers must look beyond this aspect of the policy and concentrate our efforts on implementing a genuine regional framework, which we have long called for.
As NGOs have taken on major government contracts for refugee and asylum-seeker services, such as the $19m contract Save the Children currently holds with the detention facilities on Nauru, these organisations have become structurally invested in maintaining government control over asylum seekers.
But liberal humanitarians are more deeply invested in government control over asylum seekers than can be explained by any direct financial benefit.
They may disagree with right-wing conservatives on how many refugees should be accepted, or the details of how those who are turned away should be treated, but they share the premise stated by John Howard during the Tampa crisis: ‘We will decide who comes here and the manner in which they come.’ ...
Any publicity is good publicity for this crowd and their $200 lunch as UNHCR Australian branch refers queries about regional human rights atrocities against refugees to their Bangkok office.
Where's the money going?
UNHCR in Jordan excitedly promotes expensive, militarised border control techonology as it creeps into mainstream ----> @And_Harper [8/11/15]: Rest of world is now waking up 2 what we are doing in #jordan w @IrisGuard @CairoAmmanBank @Refugees #innovation
UNHCR's new biometrics system helps "verify" 110,000 Myanmar refugees in Thailand [Media Release - 30/6/15]
12 February 2016