Simon Black’s weekly chronicle of the absurd. From Black at sovereignman.com:
You lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
The issue of war crimes in Afghanistan renders the Australian government morally compromised in serving as America’s cheerleader, Finian Cunningham writes.
Nearly five months after publishing an explosive inquiry into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan committed by Australian special forces, it is becoming clear that the Canberra government has no intention of bringing any of the perpetrators to justice.
Last November, the long-awaited internal investigation known as the Brereton Report was published which found that dozens of Australian special forces had been involved in unlawful killings of Afghan villagers and detainees, including children. The report limited itself to 39 murder cases, suggesting that the real number of war crimes committed by Australian troops is much larger. They were deployed as part of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan along with several other NATO and non-NATO nations.
When the Brereton Report was released, there was a lot of handwringing and shame expressed by Australian public figures. However, an Office of Special Investigator set up by the Australian government for the purpose of bringing criminal prosecutions against military members appears to have been sidelined. Indeed Australia’s newly appointed defense minister Peter Dutton and his aides have recently begun a media campaign indicating that, as far as the Brereton Report goes, it will be of no consequence in terms of holding military members to account.
Would you be willing to risk your job to challenge your profession’s reigning orthodoxy? From Dr. Albert Louis at lewrockwell.com:
This originally appeared on Orthomolecular Medicine News Service.
It’s a very bizarre state of affairs when, as a doctor for over 30 years, I suddenly find myself completely isolated from people I know, and from humanity. In this situation, there seems to be no way to help with healing or caring or treating, because I have been expelled like a priest excommunicated from the church. I have been cancelled.
This happened because I was not conforming to the religion of medicine. I said things that were against the perceived modus vivendi. I was immediately suspended and completely and utterly cut off, as if I were a dangerous, evil person.
This sense of doing wrong eats into your guts. It is like you have done some kind of severe sin, where you have done something so bad and so awful, that you can never be recuperated or saved because you’ve gone against absolute authority.
Now, this authority is determined and written by AHPRA, the medical board of Australia which produces the code of behavior. 
This code of behavior was not something I had contradicted in public. I hadn’t attacked or injured a patient. I had posted on Facebook statements which were inimical to the system, because I criticized issues about the system which were not good.
Looking outward into the world beyond medicine, I have learned that the best companies are run with their employees feeling a group spirit, where the team is heard, understood, and appreciated.
Americans should be asking the same question as Australians: is Afghanistan really worth the price of our souls? From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
The much-anticipated report on potential war crimes by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Afghanistan has been released, recommending 19 current or former soldiers be investigated for up to 39 murders.
Not combat kills. Not accidental kills. Not non-combatants killed by disputable decisions made in the heat of battle. Not civilians killed due to recklessness or carelessness on the part of Australian forces. Murders. Of non-combatants who died for no other reason than happening to live in a region the US power alliance has seen geostrategic value in keeping militarily occupied for 19 years.
The information about atrocities perpetrated by Australian forces in Afghanistan has taken many years to emerge, was fought tooth and claw with attacks on whistleblowers and journalists, and surely only touches on a tiny fraction of the war crimes which have been perpetrated and covered up with the investigation finding that “the criminal behaviour of a few was commenced, committed, continued and concealed at the patrol commander level”.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, ADF Chief Angus Campbell describes a “self-centred warrior culture” in Australia’s Special Air Service which “was embraced and amplified by some experienced, charismatic and influential non-commissioned officers and their proteges, who sought to fuse military excellence with ego, elitism and entitlement,” leading to acts of horrific brutality.
“In this context it is alleged that some patrols took the law into their own hands: rules were broken, stories concocted, lies told and prisoners killed,” says Campbell.
“The Brereton report also found evidence that junior soldiers were required by their patrol commanders to shoot a prisoner to achieve their first kill, in a practice known as ‘blooding’,” SMH reports.
Troops “carried ‘throwdowns’ – foreign weapons and equipment such as pistols, small hand-held radios and grenades to be placed with the bodies of enemies killed in action for the purpose of taking photos,” reports SMH. “This practice eventually was used for the purpose of concealing deliberate unlawful killings.”
Why Australia is a US ally, from Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
The new president-elect of Bolivia, Luis Arce, has told the Spanish international news agency EFE that he intends to restore the nation’s relations with Cuba, Venezuela and Iran. This reverses the policies of the US-backed coup regime which immediately began closing embassies, kicking out doctors and severing relations with those nations after illegally seizing power last year.
Arce also spoke of warm relations with Russia and China.
“We are going to reestablish all relations,” he told EFE. “This government has acted very ideologically, depriving the Bolivian people of access to Cuban medicine, to Russian medicine, to advances in China. For a purely ideological issue, it has exposed the population in a way that is unnecessary and harmful.”
Arce expressed a willingness to “open the door to all countries, the only requirement is that they respect us and respect our sovereignty, nothing more. All countries, no matter the size, who want a relationship with Bolivia, the only requirement is that we respect each other as equals. If that is so, we have no problem.“
If you know anything about US imperialism and global politics, you will recognize that last bit as brazen heresy against imperial doctrine.
Australia wages all out war against germs and germ restriction violators. From Alan Hamilton at off-guardian.org:
On at least 3 or 4 occasions in the past week we’ve had to smash the windows of people in cars and pull them out of there so they could provide their details – because they weren’t telling us where they were going; they weren’t adhering to the chief health officer’s guidelines, they weren’t providing their name and their address.”
Shane Patton, Victorian Chief Police Officer 04/08/2020
On Saturday 5th of September a national day of protest occurred in cities around Australia against the unnecessary and draconian lockdowns that have been occurring across the country and which are still occurring in Victoria. Similar protests have occurred in cities around the world, most especially in Europe.
These protests are a legitimate and rational response to despotic and often unconstitutional laws that unscientifically characterize every member of society as a bio-security risk to everyone else. They are also a protest against law enforcement bureaucracies that identify responsible, civic-minded citizens as criminals if they dare to question such laws or even worse, step out of their homes in defiance of the lockdown to register their dissent.
The Australian protests occurred peacefully and without incident in most places, including Brisbane where I participated. But it was not the case in Victoria where a State of Disaster has been declared due to the ‘extraordinarily high’ number of active Covid cases there.
On the eve of the nationwide protests, mainstream news reported on the harrowing state of affairs in Victoria which was suffering from hundreds of active cases but, as it turns out, had only 20 people in intensive care suffering from covid-related illnesses. This is in a state of 6.35 million people that has 58 metropolitan hospitals and 69 rural hospitals and District Health services.
Aussies are starting to protest Covid-19 totalitarianism. Good for them. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Social unrest surged Saturday across Melbourne and Sydney, as hundreds of protesters took to the streets, defying arcane coronavirus lockdowns that have been in effect for nearly five weeks following a spike in virus cases and deaths.
Anti-lockdown groups gathered at the Shrine of Remembrance, a war memorial in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, with some demonstrators wearing no masks, holding signs, and were heard chanting “freedom” and “human rights matter,” reported Reuters.
Australia has some of the most stringent coronavirus restrictions in the world.
It’s never easy for those who consistently tell the truth. Australia had produced three such heroes. From Rick Sterling at consortiumnews.com:
They span three generations and give their country reason to be enormously proud, writes Rick Sterling. All have depended on freedom of the press, which is now at stake.
Australia has produced extraordinary journalists across three generations: Wilfred Burchett (deceased in 1983), John Pilger (80 years old but still active) and Julian Assange (48 years old, currently in London’s Belmarsh prison).
Each of these journalists made unique contributions to our understanding of the world. Although Australia is part of the Western world, each of these journalists exposed and criticized Western foreign policy.
Wilfred Burchett lived from 1911 to 1983. He was a farm boy and his experience in the Depression shaped his dislike of oligarchs and preference for the poor. He went to Europe trying to volunteer for Republicans in the Spanish Civil War but that did not work out. Instead, he assisted Jews escaping Nazi Germany.
Wilfred Burchett. (From the cover of his autobiography, “At the Barricades.”)
Burchett became a journalist by accident. Having seen the reality in Germany, he started writing many letters to newspaper editors. One of the editors took note of his fluid writing style and intensity. They contacted him to ask if he would like to report for them. Thus began a 40-year writing career.