Saturday, August 11, 2018
A folk love song from late summer of 1966 about the life of young romantic soul love (and how to avoid the death of love that Hemingway described in his 1920s novel about "the lost generation.")
Oh, come young girl
Sit close to me
Underneath the cherry tree
I did notice
That you were the one for me.
The sun it also rises
But now it remains above
For you and me together
Will Sing of the Life of Love.
O, your hair
The wind it blows
And atop I place a rose
And your lips
They stir my soul
Like the feelings from a poem. (chorus)
Oh, we'll journey
Far and wide
And perceive all side by side
Joined in motion
Never shall we hear the hound. (chorus)
Monday, August 6, 2018
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.
"June 24, 2018
"I hope you’re all OK in these extraordinarily difficult times. I’ve lived through the Great Depression, WW2, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cold War and its aftermath, the Cuban missile crisis and god knows how many military incursions, takeovers and coups but I cannot remember a more fraught time than this.
"It’s hardly news that Trump is a coldhearted, capricious weirdo who shoots from the hip, but since his meeting with Putin in Helsinki, anti-Trump/anti-Russian hysteria has reached dangerous new levels with ‘proof’ of Russian interference in America’s ‘democratic institutions’ and talk of treason. Not only bullshit but total hypocrisy.
"Americans might suffer from amnesia but the Russians do not. They remember all the foreign invasions and attacks on its sovereignty. Even before the Bolsheviks won their revolution during the bitter civil war, the Allies sent troops into Russia with the intent of installing a more ‘acceptable’ government. By 1919, the US was giving direct military support to Admiral Kolchak’s White regime, but as prospects for victory faded, US troops withdrew in 1920, not by orders from the top, but because the ordinary soldiers were fed up and wanted to go home.
"In 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union before the US entered the war, Roosevelt and Churchill forged an alliance with Stalin, although their real intent was spelled out by Harry Truman, then a US Senator, ‘if the US saw the Nazis were winning it should give them a helping hand’, so once Germany was defeated, thanks to the Soviet Union, communism had to be dealt with. The US exempted key Nazis from prosecution for war crimes and used them to help overthrow the Soviets. One of its earliest actions involved Ukrainians (a close ally of the Nazis) parachuting them back into the Soviet Union to create mayhem. They failed, but it showed how the current furor over Ukraine is simply a replay of an old story.
"Post WW2, Germany was ‘managed’ by two new international agencies, the IMF and the World Bank, as part of an expanding US-style capitalist empire, while the Soviets were becoming increasingly concerned at the mounting crisis over Berlin, NATO, and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a direct warning from Washington. In response, Moscow ramped up its own nuclear programme and the US retaliated by encircling them with military bases armed to the teeth with nuclear aircraft and missiles. Cold War One.
"Russians also remember the promise made by Bush Senior to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand during negotiations for the unification of Germany, but it did, right up to its borders, a major reason why the Russians moved back into the Crimea. And they remember that it was Washington who helped install the drunken fool Boris Yeltsin who encouraged an avalanche of dodgy Western investments and hedge funds to walk in and create a corrupt oligarchy that bled the country dry while Soviet citizens were reduced to poverty.
"But how many Americans know about Washington’s malign influence on foreign elections, at last count more than 81. If Washington doesn’t like the result, it ‘moves in’ and installs some murderous psychopath sympathetic to the Military/Industrial Complex. With a massive $US1 trillion defense budget at its fingertips, it needs an enemy to justify such a grotesque sum, with Russia the constant, at the epicenter, and with other hate figures coming and going according to ‘need’.
"Iran is a useful second fiddle. You would reckon that only the unhinged would contemplate such a potential catastrophe. But not here in Australia in the Land of the Grovel, where we agree with all of Washington’s demands, happy for Pine Gap to play a crucial role in its war games, the most important base outside the United States. In 1975, Pine Gap played a major part in the constitutional coup that ousted the Whitlam Government.
"Julian Assange remains on a knife edge with Ecuadoran President Moreno visiting London with the assumption he is about to cut a deal with British authorities to withdraw his asylum protection. Sweden dropped its sexual assault investigation last year and the only criminal charge is a 2012 arrest warrant for ‘failure to surrender’ to UK’s bail conditions, an offence carrying a prison sentence of up to two years, but UK authorities refuse to give a guarantee that Assange will not be extradited to the US where he will be thrown to the wolves and eaten up. But the Turnbull government couldn’t care less.
"Or about Timor Leste, one of the world’s poorest nations. When an ASIS agent blew the whistle on our government’s illegal bugging of East Timor’s cabinet room to advantage Australia in negotiations over boundaries and oil, ASIS Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery were charged with conspiracy. The case will be held in secret and not allowed to be reported because Australians might be reminded about our shameful behavior towards the tiny struggling nation that sits right on our doorstep.
"There again, whether the case would be reported fairly or reported at all, is far from certain in our shrinking narrowly-based media landscape, which is about to get even more shrunken with Nine Entertainment’s takeover of Fairfax Media. Nine gets 51% of the deal and all the power and Fairfax gets sweet FA. A sell-out by the Fairfax board and a national disgrace. PM Turnbull allowed it to happen, while former PM Paul Keating slammed the sleazy carve-up, declaring Nine had the ‘ethics of an alley cat with no moral compass’. Balanced reporting of current affairs and the news? In your dreams.
"The ‘White Helmets’ are back in the news, darlings of the West extolled as ‘heroes’ and ‘saviours’, when they’re anything but. The name was ‘created’ by a shadowy New York-based PR mob ‘The Syria Campaign’ that was pinched from an Argentinian rescue outfit, the Cascos Blancos. The ‘White Helmets’ are not independent, apolitical or unarmed, but are funded by Western governments and Israel and only work in areas controlled by the armed opposition, mostly Nusa/Al Qaida, sometimes carrying weapons but always celebrating terrorist victories and assisting in executions and always supporting the overthrow of Assad.
"Amongst all the rottenness, some sweet news. A miracle when British divers found all twelve plucky Wild Boar soccer club members and their wonderful coach crouched on a ledge deep inside the flooded cave in Thailand’s north, but the effort to get them out was a truly global operation of courage and co-operation, with Thai’s Navy Seals playing a major role, along with our two locals, Dr Richard Harris who sedated the boys, and vet Craig Challen. All of them true heroes who achieved the impossible. Viva!