(The following letter from Australian anti-war and Latin American solidarity activist Joan Coxsedge—who is also a former member of the Victoria state parliament--originally appeared in an Australian-Cuban solidarity group’s newsletter)
"After weeks of disasters, where to start? Certainly to express anguish for the victims and their families, but also fury at our appallingly biased media and the way Abbott and Bishop have used the downing of MH 17 to launch a political point-scoring anti-Putin tirade without a smidgen of proof, while absolving Israel from its brutal treatment of Palestinians.
"From the minute we learned that the Malaysian airliner had crashed, Moscow was put in the frame with Washington unleashing round after round of unfounded accusations and insinuations, swiftly picked up by the western corporate media and faithfully echoed by our lackeys here.
"A `free' press indeed, free to lie on behalf of powerful vested interests. Russia is guilty. End of story. If you believe otherwise, keep your mouth shut! No capacity to look at the role of Kiev and Washington, but still the questions keep coming, questions we know will never be answered.
"Why did Ukrainian air control re-route the Malaysian plane 200 kms north from its usual flight path plunging it smack in the middle of a war zone? The Russian government has also released satellite photos showing the presence of Ukrainian BuK anti-aircraft missiles in locations that could have brought the airliner down and provided documentation that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet rapidly approached the Airliner prior to its downing. It is certainly true that Russian separatists have ground-to-air missiles of the type that the U.S. supplied to Afghanistan during the Russian invasion, but these missiles can only attack low-lying aircraft. They cannot reach a height of 33,000 feet.
"And then there's the weird story of Carlos, the Spanish air traffic controller working at Kiev's tower who was following MH 17 in real time and tweeting like mad that the missile was fired by the Ukraine military under orders from the Ministry of the Interior run by the notorious Andriy Parubry working alongside U.S. neo-cons and neo-Nazis. Carlos has disappeared and his friends are desperately searching for him. And the timing. A coincidence that the downing happened two days after BRICS, an acronym for a grouping of countries--Russia, China, Brazil, India and South Africa--set up to challenge major trade accords and the power of the IMF and World Bank, announced it was bypassing the US dollar?
"If you're not outraged at what is happening in Gaza than you bloody well should be. People need to be reminded that Israel was formed by the ethnic cleansing of more than 750,000 Palestinians who were brutally driven from their homes and sent to refugee camps, stealing half their land, whittled away over the decades through illegal Israeli settlements, now less than 20%.
"More than 800 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's latest onslaught, most of them women and children, and many thousands wounded, as missiles indiscriminately rain down on a defenseless people sheltering in schools, houses, mosques and hospitals, with Gaza's borders blockaded by land, sea and air, as water supply turned off and reservoirs destroyed.
"A book on Israeli military psychology should devote an entire chapter to sadism, illustrated by a recorded message demanding that hundreds of thousands of people should leave their already-targeted homes for another place equally dangerous ten kms away. Israel is a nation run by demented thugs twisted by beliefs forced into their heads by psychotic teachers. How else can you explain the actions of young Israeli killers who abducted Abu Khdeir and forced him to drink gasoline before buring him alive or why it was considered acceptable to fire missiles from a ship off the coast killing four young boys playing on the beach as they ran for safety.
"Is it any wonder that a senior official from Medecins Sans Frontreres (MSF) has described its work among the 1.8 million besieged Palestinian refugees akin to being in an open-air prison where they patch up prisoners in between their torture sessions. He asked: `At what point does MSF's medical activities in an unacceptable situation like Gaza become complicit with aggression and oppression?'
"Since 2010, MSF has run a post-operative clinic in Gaza City where 80% of patients suffer from severe burns. But his voice of outrage is drowned out by the propaganda that erupts each time Israel is attacked for its war crimes. Israel obeys only Israel because it controls the US veto and walks with impunity across the world stage. The US House of Representatives recently voted unanimously to give unqualified support for Israel.
"The federal government is about to vastly increase ASIO's powers claiming they haven't been upgraded since the 1970s, which is rubbish. In the first post 9/11 package two parliamentary committees responsible for the bills received between 200-300 submissions from around Australia and yet they only allocated a couple of days for a select few to appear at public hearings for some perfunctory questioning about legislation that was altering some of the most basic tenets of our criminal justice system by removing the right to silence and presumption of innocence.
"In total more than 20 `terrorism' laws have been passed since the twin towers collapsed, once again supported by our Labor Party comrades with `safeguards' which aren't worth the paper they're written on. These are fascist laws that criminalized dissent, with more in the pipeline.
"Thank god for Cuba which continues to give us hope. This week we celebrated their marvelous July 26 revolution and were delighted that Cuba has received some positive publicity here over its excellent adult literacy program called Yo Si Puedo, Yes I can. Under Cuban guidance, in the form of Havana grandmother Lucy Nunez, Aboriginal residents of Wilcannio, Bourke and Inngonia have been encouraged to attend classes through a `mass campaign' approach pioneered in the early days of the Cuban revolution.
"More than six million people from 28 countries have learned to read and write through Yes I Can, but it's a first for Australia, where to our deep shame, about 65% of Aboriginal people are `functionally illiterate', with their young supplying almost half the juvenile prison population. Viva Cuba!"