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.
“August already. I haven’t got my head around July yet. Must have missed it. And so the year zips by. Pity some individuals and institutions don’t zip by and disappear over the horizon never to return, creeps who treat us like mugs as if we can’t see through their lies and corruption and stupidity.
“In a line-up of morons, Barnaby Joyce wins the jackpot (attacked Four Corners for exposing serious water theft by cotton growers and officialdom and he’s the water minister!). Cotton should never be grown here anyway.
“He’s followed closely by the fellow who blamed his mum for turning him into an Italiano, which shows he’s not fit to be an MP. He’s not on his Pat Malone. We should be marching in the streets about the incredible powers given to Dutton as super cop in charge of a range of secretive outfits which have outrageously repressive laws at their disposal.
“Few Australians seem to know or care that without a Bill of Rights we have absolutely no protection, especially with Dutton in charge. Turnbull made the announcement against a backdrop of heavily armed masked commandos. Pathetic and childish at one level, but deliberately creating a nasty atmosphere.
“We’re just the patsies, surrogates for the ones yanking our government’s strings to play Little Brother for Big Brother. Have you counted the number of senior US military figures popping in to Canberra recently? And what do you know, on cue a terrorist plot has turned up.
“So here we are tightly tied to a country going down the tubes that if allowed, will bring us all undone. ‘Liberal’ America isn’t worth two bob, while conservative America with Trump at the helm is off the planet ideologically. Uninformed, abysmally ignorant, venal, insular, who believe implicitly in ‘American exceptionalism,' ignoring startling statistics about how little Americans know about world geography and history.
“US author William Hawes pulls no punches when he says that America’s political leaders are ‘mentally unfit for office, unable to listen, take advice or think rationally.’ They are not simply anti-intellectual and religious and economic extremists, but are ‘seriously unhinged’ and represent a danger for everyone. It beggars belief that these aggressive cretins accuse North Korea of ‘threatening world peace’.
“I know I’ve talked about Syria many times, but the statistics continue to appall me. At least 475,000 dead, 5 million driven into exile, another 6 million internally displaced and 11 million forced from their homes into wretched living conditions and near famine and with ancient Christian peoples fleeing for their lives. Two of Syria’s greatest and oldest cities, the once beautiful and prosperous Damascus and Aleppo, pounded into ruins by massacres and airstrikes. If this isn’t wickedness I don’t know what is.
“And that is just the tip of a monstrous iceberg. After overthrowing Saddam Hussein in 2003 and Qaddafi in 2012, the fighting and killings continue, while yet another humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Yemen.
“‘They make a desert and call it peace,’ said Calgacus of the Romans he fought in the first century, just like the current military crop who claimed ‘victory’ over the battle for Mosul, where more than 40,000 civilians died with Mosul a heap of rubble. The world should be outraged, but isn’t.
“ Meanwhile the Americans spend $600 billion every year on the military, are $20 trillion in debt, run $800 billion trade deficits and seem incapable of fixing their health care system, reform their tax code or fund an infrastructure programme, and are gearing up to fight more wars. And we help them.
"Next cab off the rank, Venezuela. From the moment Chavez was elected, the US Empire worked around the clock to destroy his revolution. Chavez died and the Empire never let up. After a fake referendum, America’s propaganda mill is churning out lies that President Maduro is no longer its legitimate president. When it’s all about oil. Venezuela has the largest known reserve of oil in the world, which Venezuela controls and uses for the benefit of its people. But the vultures are circling.
“Somewhere in Washington DC, politicians, generals, spies and oil company executives from ExxonMobil are plotting to create more chaos, more destabilisation and how to pull off a coup d’etat. And it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference who is president. Nothing gets in the way of the Empire’s foreign policy objectives, especially when we’re talking about oil. ‘The United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles’, trumpeted Trump, with the danger he is preparing for a full-scale military intervention.
"A positive from the recent Paris climate agreement. Trump was isolated and the US was left out in the cold, a 19-1 standoff over the most important issue of our time. It’s hard to disagree with filmmaker James Cameron when he says that humans have a nasty habit of letting market forces dictate our future. ‘Market forces have put us into runaway climate change and resource depletion and all forms of environmental collapse and the sixth great mass extinction which, if we don’t change, could be a slate-wiper for the planet.’
“Our wildlife is dying out due to habitat destruction, toxic pollution and climate change, when our lives depend on the plants, animals and micro-organisms of Earth to maintain a liveable climate. Assuming we survive a climatic catastrophe, the next big question is ‘can we prevail in a world where machines that we’ve built are as smart or smarter than we are?’ No time to waste.