Leading To War [2008]


How does a government lead its people to war?

How does it communicate to its citizens – and to the wider world – the reasons and rationale for initiating military conflict? 

What rhetorical devices and techniques are employed?

And how is a nation brought to support the profound decision to wage war against another nation?

These are the questions that Leading To War seeks to explore. ...






Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has said his country's intelligence services shared information they had which indicated that France, the United States and Iran were among countries being targeted for attack.

He did not elaborate, but the comments came after 129 people were killed in Paris on Friday by gunmen and suicide bombers in attacks claimed by Islamic State.

"Information has been obtained from Iraqi intelligence sources that the countries to be targeted soon, before it occurred, are Europe in general, specifically France, as well as America and Iran," Jaafari said from the sidelines of talks in Vienna on ending the war in Syria on Saturday.

He said the countries had been informed.

A video of his comments was posted on his website. ... [Ahram - 15/11/15]






Less subtle than Australia, but the same model:  African refugees attacked, shot near Israel border in Egypt  [Daily Sabah - 15/11/15]:

Egyptian police found the bodies of 15 African refugees on Sunday who appeared to have been shot dead in the turbulent area of northern Sinai near the border with Israel, security sources said.

They said another eight refugees had been wounded in the attack.

Ambulances rushed to the scene south of the town of Rafah on the border between Egypt and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

It was not clear who had attacked the migrants or which countries they originated from.





'Accidental' explosion kills 1, injures 3 near Gaza City [Maan - 15/11/15]





Israeli forces overnight Saturday detained 13 Palestinians, six of which were minors, from the Hebron area of the southern occupied West Bank and ransacked several homes during a mass detention raid, local sources said.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that six Palestinians had been detained in overnight raids from the Hebron area for "illegal activity," without detailing specific areas, identities or ages.

Locals reported at least six teenagers were detained. ... [Maan - 15/11/15]





South American composer and singer Caetano Veloso, who performed in Tel Aviv in July with fellow musician Gilberto Gil, publishes a three-page article on the 'occupation, segregation and violence' he witnessed in the West Bank during his visit. ... [Ynet - 14/11/15]





ISIS militant blows himself up, injuring four police in southern Turkey: Reports [Ahram - 15/11/15]







Turkish soldiers killed four Islamic State fighters on Saturday after they came under fire from the militants along Turkey's Syria border, local media reported. ... [Ahram - 15/11/15]






Police have detained four protesters who wanted to walk to the venue of the G-20 summit to deliver a letter to world leaders. ... [Todays Zaman - 15/11/15]





‏@genclikbirligi [15/11/15]:  Türk gençliğinin olduğu yerde Obama rahat gezemez. Kahrolsun Amerikan emperyalizmi!


‏@genclikbirligi [15/11/15]:  Sadece ülkemiz için değil, Filistin'de, Suriye'de,Irak'ta ölen herkes için mücadelemiz.Katil ABD Ortadoğu'dan defol!



Turkish authorities have detained 11 people who staged demonstrations in protest of the G-20 summit meeting near the Turkish Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya.

The state-run Anadolu Agency says police nabbed four protesters who held up placards outside a domestic flights terminal at Antalya airport on Saturday.

The private Doğan news agency said the protesters were members of a left-wing group and held up banners that read: "Murderer US get out of the Middle East."

Seven others demonstrators were detained in Istanbul after protesting G-20 leaders outside the German and British consulates. ... [Todays Zaman - 14/11/15]





US drone strike kills several in Eastern Afghanistan  [Tasnim - 15/11/15]:



At least twelve people lost their lives in a US drone strike in the Afghanistan’s troubled eastern province of Nangarhar on Sunday, local authorities said.

Local officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the aerial attack took place in the Khogyani district of the province, which is located 120 kilometers (74 miles) east of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Sunday morning, and that all those killed in the assault were members of the Taliban militant group, Press TV reported.

On November 7, three people were killed when a US unmanned aerial vehicle pounded Ghani Khel district in Nangarhar Province.

Five people were also killed on September 18, when a US drone struck Nazyan district in the same Afghan province. Afghan officials later identified the deceased as Daesh militants.

The development came only five days after a drone strike against Lal Pur district in Nangarhar Province, situated over 150 kilometers (93 miles) east of the capital, Kabul, left five people dead and two others injured.

In a similar incident, Afghan authorities said 15 members of Pakistan-based Tehrik-i-Taliban militant group were killed after a US drone hit Gomal district in Afghanistan’s southeastern province of Paktika.

The CIA spy agency regularly uses drones for airstrikes and spying missions in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border.

Washington has been also conducting targeted killings through remotely-controlled armed drones in Somalia and Yemen.

The US says the airstrikes target members of al-Qaeda and other militants, but according to local officials and witnesses, civilians have in most cases been the victims of the attacks.

The United Nations says the US drone attacks are “targeted killings” that flout international law.






The Afghan government should reject a new law that permits indefinite detention of security suspects without trial, Human Rights Watch said today.

A September 2015 amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code, imposed by presidential decree, allows Afghan authorities to detain for a renewable one-year period anyone suspected of “crimes against internal or external security,” or believed “likely to commit such a crime.” ... [Media Release - 15/11/15]





Days before Pakistan's powerful army chief was due to visit Washington for talks on regional stability and fighting militancy, General Raheel Sharif engaged in thinly veiled criticism of the nuclear-armed country's civilian government.

A terse statement from the army's PR wing underlined the tension between Pakistan's military and its civilian government, just as the United States prepares to receive Sharif weeks after the prime minister held talks there.

After top generals met to review a major crackdown on extremists, the Pakistani military said it would be "undermined" if the government did not take "matching governance initiatives". ... [TOLO News - 15/11/15]




Ukrainian military fire 42 mines on Donetsk airport overnight - DPR source [TASS - 15/11/15]





Eight people including seven Afghan migrants died earlier this week when a helicopter registered in Ukraine crashed in eastern Slovakia, the interior ministry in Bratislava said today, updating a previous toll. ...  [New Indian Express - 15/11/15]






12 Bahrainis jailed for life, stripped of citizenship over bombings [Daily Star - 15/11/15]:


A Bahraini court Sunday jailed 12 Shiites for life and stripped them of their citizenship after convicting them of bomb attacks against police in the Sunni-ruled kingdom, a judicial source said.

The defendants were behind six bombings that targeted police patrols between 2013 and 2014, the source said, citing the verdict.

The prosecution had charged the group with "attempting to kill policemen... bombings, (and) possessing explosives to terrorize people and endanger lives".

Their acts were "serving a terrorist objective," it said.

An Indian and a Bangladeshi were also jailed for one year, and ordered deported after serving their sentences, for forging the registrations of mobile phones used in detonating the bombs.

The two were not aware that the phones would be used for bombings, prosecutors said.

Bahrain in 2013 passed a law allowing for those convicted of "terrorist" crimes to be stripped of their nationality.

The country's main Shiite opposition group, Al-Wefaq, said recently that at least 187 people have lost their citizenship under the law.

The Gulf country, home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, has witnessed unrest since the repression of a protest movement launched in 2011 by members of the Shiite majority demanding political reforms.







A federal appeals court says a U.S. citizen detained in Yemen since 2010 on suspicion of having links to al-Qaida can't get access to more documents about his arrest from the FBI or CIA.

The federal appeals court in Washington on Friday has upheld a lower court ruling that the agencies complied with Freedom of Information Act requests from Sharif Mobley.

Mobley claims FBI agents and other U.S. personnel interrogated him while in custody. American officials say Mobley traveled to Yemen in 2008 to join a terror group.

Mobley grew up in New Jersey. The appeals court said the agencies' record search was adequate and that they could withhold documents containing classified information.

Mobley faces a possible death sentence on charges he killed a hospital guard while trying to escape. [Register-Herald - 13/11/15]






Pentagon says drone strike "targeted and likely killed a top leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Libya"  [CBS - 14/11/15]





The second international meeting held in Vienna to discuss how to push forward with the political settlement of the crisis in Syria concluded its activities on Saturday evening.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US State Secretary John Kerry, and UN Special Envoy on Syria Staffan de Mistura held a joint press conference following the meeting, in which Lavrov announced that the participants in the meeting have agreed on the main steps to launch the dialogue before January 2016, stressing that the Syrians themselves are the ones who will determine the nature of their future state and will conduct the political process.

He pointed out that there was common consensus on the lists of the terrorist groups that must be combated, and that Jordan was approached to help devise a unified list of terrorist organization and present it to the Security Council for approval. ... [SANA - 15/11/15]




United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria




US Department of Defense [14/11/15]:



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

Bomber, attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven strikes in Syria:

-- Near Al Hawl, four strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions and wounded an ISIL fighter.

-- Near Ar Raqqah, two strikes destroyed an ISIL building.

-- Near Mara, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

Strikes in Iraq

Attack, ground-attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

-- Near Beiji, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units.

-- Near Kisik, one strike suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.

-- Near Ramadi, nine strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 16 ISIL buildings, two ISIL weapons caches, two ISIL tunnels, six ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL light machine guns, an ISIL rocket rail, two ISIL sniper positions, five ISIL vehicle-borne bombs, an ISIL staging area, two ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL command and control nodes, an ISIL supply cache, an ISIL tactical vehicle and three ISIL bed down locations and suppressed an ISIL fighting position, cratered three ISIL controlled roads, denied ISIL access to terrain and wounded an ISIL fighter.

-- Near Sinjar, six strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL light machine gun, seven ISIL vehicles, and wounded an ISIL fighter.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed four ISIL weapons caches.






A grim discovery has been made in the Iraqi town of Sinjar as Kurdish fighters who claimed victory over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, entered the war-torn community and found at least one mass grave containing the bodies of Yazidis.

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters said they dug up bones, hair and personal items, evidence of what they said was ISIL brutality.

Hussein Haffoun, an adviser to the Kurdish regional government, told Al Jazeera that the grave found by the Peshmerga contains 76 bodies, including that of young women. ... [Al Jazeera - 15/11/15]





'Syrian' passport found in Paris a fake, picture did not match name [CBS – 14/11/15]




‏@wikileaks [14/11/15]:  Saudi: #Syrian state must be destroyed to avoid revenge for what we've done to them




Paris massacre of 1961 [Wikipedia]:



The Paris massacre of 1961 was a massacre in Paris on 17 October 1961, during the Algerian War (1954–62).

Under orders from the head of the Parisian police, Maurice Papon, the French National Police attacked a forbidden demonstration of some 30,000 pro-National Liberation Front (FLN) Algerians.

Two months before, the FLN had decided to increase its bombing in France and to resume the campaign against both pro-France Algerians and the rival Algerian nationalist organization, the Algerian National Movement in France.

After 37 years of denial, in 1998 the French government acknowledged 40 deaths, although there are estimates of over 200. …



@Marodriguez1971:   Escapan de los mismos que ahora matan en Europa ...





@Chara_fc [14/11/15]:   A young man gestures after disembarking from a dinghy at a beach on the Greek island #Lesvos ...




‏@SantiPalacios:   An Afghan man and a boy disembark safely from their boat on the Greek island of Lesbos. Nov 14.





@SantiPalacios:   A Syrian family covered with thermal blankets walk after they arrived from Turkey at the Greek island of Lesbos





A three-year-old refugee boy drowned early Saturday near the Greek island of Chios after the engine of the boat his group was sailing in exploded, the Greek coastguard said.

The explosion threw the boat occupants into the water as it lay immobilised in shallows east of the island, the coastguard said.

Fifteen other people were rescued, including two that required hospitalisation, it said.

An 18-year-old was arrested as a suspected trafficker. ... [ENCA - 14/11/15]




Estonia adopts Australia's cruel and inhumane policy of indefinite detention for refugees - including pregnant women and babies
[Guardian - 14/11/15]




15 November.  Day of the Imprisoned Writer.



“later that night

i held an atlas in my lap

ran my fingers across the whole world

and whispered

where does it hurt?

it answered




Warsan Shire





Behrouz Bouchani – detained on Manus Island [Guardian - 15/11/15]:


… Bouchani has twice been moved to Chauka – the notorious solitary confinement block at Manus constructed of shipping containers and distant from the main detention centre – each time for three days.

He was also jailed during the hunger strike earlier in the year that was put down by force when PNG police rushed the intransigent compounds.

“I took many pictures and film and wrote stories … on the hunger strike. In Foxtrot we have the strongest protest because we were very united, determined and peaceful. The immigration were watching me so close because I was very active.”

He was held for eight days inside Lorengau prison before being released without charge.

“The only crime I committed in their view was reporting. This was the only reason I was given for my imprisonment when I came out of the prison. I was asked to stop my activities.” ...



Australian, Nauru authorities and Facebook try to crush refugee children's attempt to communicate with outside world


Free the Children NAURU [15/11/15]:

Facebook want the identity of the administrators of this site (because it breaches their rules to create a page with a false name). I am one of the adult moderators and myself and one other adult have had no choice but to provided our identity to Facebook.

 The children administrators in Nauru can no longer access this page as they cannot provide their identities for fear of dire repercussions from Australian Border Force and the Nauruan Police.

Facebook is illegal in Nauru and the smartphones from which they have managed this page are considered contraband in detention.

The teenage administrators of this page have taken a great risk and I am in awe of their courage and commitment when most around them are broken and have no spark in them left to light the fire of change. One teenage girl in particular has been awake for 30 hours reading all your messages of hope and feels remiss that she is unable to respond to them all. The world will know who you are when you're free Lil One.

On behalf of the children and the adults in detention on Nauru, thank you all for your messages of love and hope.

The children created this page as they feared they were forgotten and your overwhelming support has proven otherwise. May your words carry them through the days ahead.

The children had so much more they wanted to share with you and I'm hoping this issue can be resolved so they are able to do so. The adults moderating this this page, can post what the children send us, but we cannot manage the high volume of trolls or respond to the overwhelming number of messages of hope and support.

We have managed to change the settings so that you will be able to see the posts but not comment or message (for the time being). Facebook may shut down the site as we cannot provide the real names of the administrators.

If this is the end of this page, please do not let it be the end of your conviction for all the children and adult asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru to be free to live their lives in safety and dignity and with most of all, freedom. Write to your local MPs, attend protests, write to the children, send gifts, do not forget them.

Again, truly heartfelt thanks from me, in the past 18 monthsI have not heard joy in the children's voices as I have in the last 30 hours, that's your doing.

A final word from Lil One:

15/11/2015 1:09:37 am: We feel so bad after getting this all loves from u but unfortunately we can't share our stories and we can't contact to you anymore. We feel very upset because the people who are giving hopes and we can't be in contact anymore and we can't share our stories more. We back to our old life by being shut our mouths and don't communicate with anyone out of the world.


But little does she know, the email for this page is still active for now, so if you would like more information on how to send letters, gifts or phone credit to the children, please email freethechildrennauru@gmail.com, if that doesn't work, try naururefugees@gmail.com

And we may be able to continue with just editor access. Here's hoping!





About David Malouf Day of Imprisoned Author Lecture:



... David will speak about how the digitally connected world and cultural changes towards a more global society has created a need for writers to reform the way they express themselves in public and private discourse, and the pressures and constraints this has on freedom of expression. ...




They should go back to where they came from:   Queensland Senator Ian MacDonald says what the entire Australian political, media and human rights establishment think



Freedom for the 501s:  Kiwis hold vigils outside various houses of Parliament across Australia


Iwi n Aus [14/11/15]




3 News [14/11/15]:


... The Nation asked if New Zealanders should be deported from Australia for 30-year-old cannabis convictions and raised the case of Ko Haapu, 34, who is reported to be in maximum security Casuarina Prison near Perth because of his links to the Rebels motorcycle gang.

The former lance corporal, who is also known as Ko Rutene, served in Afghanistan and earned three medals of honour.

Mr Macdonald said he did not know the details and Haapu would only be deported if he had been convicted of a serious crime with the bikie gang or had associations with them that were not conducive with him remaining in Australia.

"The minister just doesn't willy-nilly deport people because he doesn't like the colour of their hair," he said. [MacDonald has a point here.  A far more common factor is the colour of their skin and/or religious beliefs.]

He says "I don't think you'll find too many" cases of New Zealanders deported for cannabis convictions or for shoplifting.

"If you give me the details I will follow them through".

Mr Macdonald says New Zealand is Australia's best friend and "the nation we love above all others". ... [Patently untrue.  That honour goes to Israel - followed by the US.]





On Christmas Island.   At the site of the memorial to those who lost their lives seeking asylum, people laid tributes for Fazel at a service held for him.

Vale Fazel may your sad and tragic death inspire others to continue their fight against the policy of mandatory detention.  Refugee Rights Action Network WA [14/11/15]




Kurdistan 24 [12/11/15]:


... “There's no doubt that the Australian government is in hot waters for its treatment of refugees. The rough and slow processing of the refugees in these detention centres are highly criticized by the UN and other Human Rights organizations. Most Australians are ashamed of their government,” Roza Germian an Australian-based Kurdish journalist told K24.

"There are very little information about what goes on inside the detention centres, due to the high levels of secrecy. Whistle-blowers could face up to 2 years in jail for releasing any information about what's going on inside these facilities,” Germian added.

While activists are demanding transparency from the government, Australian Federal Police agencies are investigating the cause of Fazel Chegeni’s death.

“This story once again hits very close to home. We know the journey that Fazel had to take to get to this point because we too have had to take this journey. To know that the same country that embraced us with peace and safety is now the reason so many other of our refugees are dying in their care is absolutely heartbreaking,” Tara Fethi [Adelaide Kurdish Youth Society] told me.





15 November 2015