Category Archives: Original people
The people that were there when everyone else arrived
The headline really does not say much in itself, but there is much meaning that one can infer from it.
Firstly if you hear the term ‘Peshmerga’ this is the Kurdish word for ‘soldier’ effectively meaning Kurdish army.
This is the Kurdistan flag:
For the hard line cynic there is the fact that western nations will struggle to accommodate the number of refugees that might flood out of Kurdistan and other areas fighting ISIS (aka IS, ISIL).
So it would make more sense economically for that fledgling oil state to not be conquered, especially my the murderous fanatics of ISIS.
The knowledgeable cynic might also note the USA stayed out of WW2 (for years) by sending military and other supplies to Brittan and its empire to fight Nazi Germany.
A nationalist cynic would likely prefer to lose gun in the middle east than our own troops.
A humanitarian cynic might note that the Geneva convention is being ignored by ISIS and civilians right to live without persecution in Kurdistan (and neighboring areas) is under serious threat.
An cynic aware of current ISIS tactic might note that ISIS are a highly mobile ground force using flat deck utes ( trucks) and SUV’s to transport troops and light artillery and AA, so as such they can strike with remarkable speed, and a civilian’s only real defense is to start shooting to slow the advance.
Geo-politically aware cynics might note that the region of Kurdistan (on the borders of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran) controls significant proportions of Iraqi oil, and what we are seeing is a balkanization of Iraq and to some extent the wider middle east with blurry allegiances (and borders) based on religion, ethnicity and tribal affiliations.
Historically aware cynics would note that Iraq was a state manufactured by Brittan to join together the Kurds ( of mixed faiths) in the north (who had the oil) the Shia ( minority sect of Islam popular in Iran) in the center and the Sunni’s (majority sect of Isalm) in the south where the British could control the flow of oil through the port of Basra.
Cynics who are knowledgeable in the oil trade will know the entire region is full of oil, and the different fresh water sources, oil wells, pipelines, ports and shipping lanes are extremely contentious in term of who controls them.
The energy security of many nations depends on the flow of oil both where its flowing to and where its flowing from. There is reason they call it ‘black gold’.
*this map is from 2013 as Kurdistan began as a state and prior to the formation of ISIS. Borders may have changed and are indicative only as a rough guide to the region. Kurdistan’s first major victory over ISIS just days ago left Kurdistan in control of Mosul an important dam and fresh water source.
It is ironic that the Australian government not only manufactures assault rifles and is willing to give them to foreigners, but not to their own people, who are largely unarmed in their own country.
As a final note the guns are not really a gift, there will be demands for oil from Kurdistan in the future.
Perhaps the fluidity of power struggles is the nature of the desert, the sand itself shifting endlessly in dunes and ergs.
Being that we have three active armed conflicts occurring at the moment (Israel v Gaza, Ukraine v Russia, and finally ISIS v anyone it can find ).
I would seem pertinent to point out multilateral treaties on conduct during war specifically pertaining to treatment of wounded individuals and non combatants, known as the Geneva conventions.
Without being too cynical in the fact that civilian deaths over the last century have proportionally increased relative to military personnel deaths, a set of agreed minimum standards of conduct were accepted in geopolitical struggles.
In a nut shell:
Much of the convention covers who is a soldier or can be treated as such, and given certain protections (such as a right to medical treatment if captured), and obligations (such as to state name rank and serial number) and what weapons and tactics can be employed.
Curiously despite certain weapon being banned, (chemical, biological, nuclear, fuel air bombs) many signatory states keep such weapons in vast quantities and occasionally deploy them.
Importantly mercenaries, snipers and spies have no protections.
Soldiers must have standardized equipment, wear uniforms and have identification and be a citizen of the state they are fighting for.
Civilians must not fight and cannot be killed or mistreated when captured.
Certain locations such as schools, hospitals and places of worship cannot be attacked.
So while it is a diplomatic agreement, breaches regularly occur, with some states being notorious for breaches of the convention.
Some excerpts from the convention relating specifically to treatment of civilians and prisoners.
The third Geneva Convention (“Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War”) covers members of the armed forces who fall into enemy hands. They are in the power of the enemy State, not of the individuals or troops who have captured them
Prisoners of war MUST be:
- Treated humanely with respect for their persons and their honour.
– Enabled to inform their next of kin and the Central Prisoners of War Agency (ICRC, the International Red Cross) of their capture.
– Allowed to correspond regularly with relatives and to receive relief parcels.
– Allowed to keep their clothes, feeding utensils and personal effects.
– Supplied with adequate food and clothing.
– Provided with quarters not inferior to those of their captor’s troops.
– Given the medical care their state of health demands.
– Paid for any work they do.
– Repatriated if certified seriously ill or wounded, (but they must not resume active military duties afterwards) .
– Quickly released and repatriated when hostilities cease.
Prisoners of war must NOT be:
-Compelled to give any information other than their name, age, rank and service number.
– Deprived of money or valuables without a receipt (and these must be returned at the time of release).
– Given individual privileges other than for reasons of health, sex, age, military rank or professional qualifications.
– Held in close confinement except for breaches of the law, although their liberty can be restricted for security reasons.
- Compelled to do military work, nor work which is dangerous, unhealthy or degrading.
The fourth Geneva Convention (“Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War”) covers all individuals “who do not belong to the armed forces, take no part in the hostilities and find themselves in the hands of the Enemy or an Occupying Power”.
Protected civilians MUST be:
– Treated humanely at all times and protected against acts or threats of violence, insults and public curiosity.
– Entitled to respect for their honour, family rights, religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs.
– Specially protected, for example in safety zones, if wounded, sick, old, children under 15, expectant mothers or mothers of children under 7.
– Enabled to exchange family news of a personal kind. – Helped to secure news of family members dispersed by the conflict
– Allowed to practise their religion with ministers of their own faith. Civilians who are interned have the same rights as prisoners of war. They may also ask to have their children interned with them, and wherever possible families should be housed together and provided with the facilities to continue normal family life. Wounded or sick civilians, civilian hospitals and staff, and hospital transport by land, sea or air must be specially respected and may be placed under protection of the red cross/crescent emblem.
Protected civilians must NOT be:
– Discriminated against because of race, religion or political opinion. – Forced to give information.
– Used to shield military operations or make an area immune from military operations.
– Punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. – Women must not be indecently assaulted, raped, or forced into prostitution.
More info at: http://www.ifrc.org/
What would be the point of wining a war, if your society lost its humanity in doing so?
One of the most difficult problems in trying to explain new things to people is human perception. How do you explain to people what freedom is if they have no idea of what that is. This may sound silly but I’ll attempt to explain how your perception may deceive you as often as it can enlighten you.
For students of psychology and philosophy the following image should be familiar.
After some time you should be able to see a dog. Some of you may be wondering “Why did it take so long for me to see it?”. It does take a while because you brain must search for patterns and attempt to match up those patterns to ones stored in your brain. You have seen a dog before so eventually you recognize the outline of a dog. Your brain effectively draws a line around what is a dog and marks it as separate form all the blobs that are not a dog. In your mind you know what a dog looks like. Without this mental image ( or mental construct) you simply cannot see the dog. Sounds simple enough, until you consider the paradox, if you can’t see the dog until you have a mental image of what a dog looks like, how did you get the mental image in the first place? Sort of like a chicken and egg situation.
It gets even worse when you consider how did you get any mental images or constructs into your brain in the first place? what about hearing, taste, touch.
So now that your brain is a little sore over that concept. we’ll move on a little to when your brain want to see thing that are not there but seem to match a mental image (construct) but it simply can’t be true.
Try not to see the horse.
There is no horse in the picture, but its easy to imagine that there is. So this is now apparently the opposite problem, your brain is compelled to tell you something is there, when on closer inspection it is not.
This leads to another issue we want to see patterns even if they are not there. Sometimes even a vague hint at a pattern send our pattern recognition into overdrive to try to make the rest of the pattern fit the mental image we have, even if it become a stretch in places.
Try covering the face and looking again. Not so convincing now, look at the’ feet’. Some patterns we a greatly drawn to, one is faces, this is called Pareidolia ascribing patterns where the patterns are either random or are not describing what you want to interpret them as. As much as you look it and might want it to be, it is not a woman made of stone.
Summary so far, if we have no mental construct of some thing we cant see or imagine it, if something matches a mental construct we might think it is what it is not, and if part of something matches part of a known important pattern we tend to ignore the parts that don’t match and focus on the parts that do.
A relatively common phenomenon from the past is the experience of native people having first contact with Europeans on 16 and 17 century wooden ships. From the accounts of the native people, they did not perceive the huge thing on the ocean as ship, often they were perceived as giant birds. And it was not until the natives actually saw the ships up close they realize they were huge wooden boats. Their mental construct did not allow for boats to be so large.They believed such a boat was not possible and therefore must be something else, a huge bird seemed more likely but equally surprising. For the original people of Australia they perceived white skinned people as undead or ghosts because in their experience the only people with white skin were corpses.
So an entirely possible conversation in Australia at one time could have been this:
Uncle, you have to come to the beach, some undead men climbed off a giant sea bird and offered us stale food.
It’s an omen son, and not a good one.
That was when Australia looked a bit like this.
I’m sure seeing this map is firing a few pattern recognition circuits in your brain, but remember when this map was an accurate guide to peoples and borders, there was no Melbourne or state borders.
Part of this is cognitive dissonance but part is attempting to deal with concepts so new and so alien, the mind struggles.
So sorry for jarring you mind around but hopefully it will help you more clearly understand the ways your own eyes can fool you and why it happens. You may recognize it happening outside the area of visual phenomenon and you’d be right to analyze carefully.
Freedom sounds great, but what does it actually look and feel like? Would you even know if you had it?
The firs steps towards a new middle eastern nation are being taken today, with Kurdistan beginning sales of oil to Turkey. The Turks have been paying quite high prices for oil lately, so there is at least one satisfied customer but the economic price is just one part of the cost to consider. Iraq is clearly not happy as they feel it is their oil. Kurds might argue Iraq only ever existed (and was created) so that the British could get control of oil and have it delivered to the port of Basra.
The geopolitics of oil now have new factor in the complex equations of diplomacy. If Turkey Joins the EU there will be an oil state on the doorstep of the EU. Could a pipeline from Iran to Europe now be more feasible. Will Kurdish people flood to the newly cemented state?
Just like a new service station opening up in your town or city there are always flow on effect. Everything in the Middle east just got a little more interesting.
Good Luck to the Kurdish people.
Where is Kurdistan?
Kurds already control a region in Northern Iraq, but may want significant parts of Turkey, part of the border region of Iran and even some of Syria and Armenia.
With access to the oil trade some of these wishes may be fulfilled, but like any transaction is there a willing seller, and what will be the price?
Contact Michael Gravener
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2013
Where DID the playgroup GO?
Federal funding disappears in full view of Minister Jenny Macklin.
Darwin, NT, April 4, 2013– Two years ago, April 2011 Jenny Macklin, the Minister of FAHCSIA, which includes Indigenous Affairs visited the remote Aboriginal community of Balgo, WA.
As a result of that visit she announced that $264,000 would be granted to the community through the Wirrimanu Aboriginal Corporation (WAC), for the purpose of developing a community women’s initiative playgroup which was being fully sponsored and supported by the BoysTown Charity for over 2 years at a cost of approximately $100,000 per year. Research suggests that early intervention in the form of playgroups play a vital role in the social and cognitive development of a child as they progress through the early years of their life and the entering of the schooling systems.
Today it would appear after much effort by many concerned people, who informed the Department, that nothing has changed. No development has occurred for this important work. BoysTown stood aside, Sept 2012, for WAC to take on the development of this community Women’s initiative. The $264,000 does not appear on the annual financial accounts, yet Canberra bureaucrats insisted that WAC have been running the service since October 2011 and under the full view of their Departmental staff.
Where did tax payer’s money go? What has Minister Macklin, the fund giver, and her team done to address what became such a personal issue for her? Where is the accountability measures for responsible use of federal grant funding? More importantly where did the essential services of early intervention programs go for severely disenfranchised Aboriginal children in the community of Balgo?
Young Babies and their Mums need this program NOW otherwise another generation of the community’s children will be lost.
# # #
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Michael Gravener at 0408115352 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Lateral Love
Richard Heinberg’s recent Museletter 237, “The Fight of the Century,” includes a curious point about criminalization: “. . . It will increasingly be up to households and communities to provide the basics. . . This is a strategy that will . . . in many cases be discouraged and even criminalized by national authorities.” The question is whether such localization can survive our political leadership. Yet the localized economy is probably one of the few self-evident proposals for a future that seems to have a rather slim number of options.
The illegalities of the “localized” life begin with the fact that many of the changes that need to be made to house design, in our post-nearly-all-materials world, are in fact illegal, if not strictly criminal. Here in Canada, one cannot legally build or inhabit a house that does not have conventional plumbing and electricity, for example. And the insurance companies have their say: a house will not be insured if it is heated mainly by wood. To be respectable, one must use our declining fossil fuels, it seems. In fact, insurance companies now look for all sorts of certification, most of which cannot be considered related to alternative approaches, but all of which are expensive.
The same problem of illegality applies to many other activities, even if these are just common sense. Localized agriculture, as I learned first-hand a few years ago in Ontario, is increasingly plagued by pointless rules related to processing, packaging, labeling, and similar issues, to the extent that small-scale farmers are simply forced out of business. Much of this is done in the name of “health,” but such farmers do not have the ability to set up the required laboratories and other equipment that would make their businesses compliant with these ever-expanding regulations.
‘m sure farmers’ markets are dismally inefficient at times, lacking the economy of scale that makes the supermarket chains such a delight for the average consumer. But a truck driver here in Canada once pointed out to me that the cost of sending those large vehicles back and forth from Ontario to California or Florida is just not going be feasible as time goes by: for each truck, every trip costs hundreds of dollars.
Even living off the land is largely a criminalized activity, and “protecting the wilderness” does not have a great deal to do with it. Hunting and fishing rules are so designed that, with the exception of native people, the only people who can engage in these activities are those who are rich enough not to need the food that is thereby supplied. The rules could easily be modified to suit those who are genuinely dependent on the food, but such modifications are rare. Why should a Newfoundlander be arrested for shooting an occasional caribou to feed his family, when a wealthy “sports” hunter can come from outside and take that same animal?
If there is any pattern to all these restrictions, it is that money is constantly directed away from the individual and into the faceless companies, institutions, and government departments that now dominate our lives. If Daniel Boone were alive today, he would be spending his years drifting from one form of incarceration to another.
So, yes, Heinberg is quite right in saying that the localized economy is one of the more practical alternatives to the economic problems that politicians are now stumbling through. But I still think I should get a 10-percent discount on every socially-aware book I buy, since I never read that last chapter, “What We Must Do.” The key sentence is inevitably, “We must encourage our political leaders to . . . .” Unfortunately our political leaders do not respond positively to those who do such “encouraging.” If anything, they are more inclined to lock up such people.
UN report shows the huge quality of life gulf between white and black Australians – The Stringer – Independent News, Investigative Journalism
Black fella, white fella
Doesn’t matter, what colour…
Unfortunately this is just a song and seems to not reflect the current reality.
Without further ado, I present the link:
The original people are are showing their wisdom here.
They have the document that proves their rightful claim to the land. So the spirit of law and more importantly the point of law is on their side.
As we all know, technically correct is the best kind of correct.
Well guys if you don’t get traction on your claim, get a commercial lien perfected, that will help.