With presidential elections imminent Scott Hamilton looks at the role of Australian 'security forces' in East Timor.

East Timor’s Fretilin party has revealed that Australian troops stopped a convoy of its election campaigners at gunpoint and threatened to kill one of them last week. The convoy of Fretilin vehicles was on its way back from an election rally in the eastern town of Gleno on March 26 when an Australian army vehicle appeared. Australian troops brandished their guns at the Fretilin campaigners, and the driver of one car was pulled from his vehicle, trod on and had a gun placed to his head. When the driver attempted to protest, the Australian holding the gun shouted ’Fuck you. I’ll kill you’.


David Hicks's conviction is a ludicrous political stitch-up. We will never accept it, writes Mark Kelly.

David Hicks is the first person from Gitmo to be tried. There is no obvious procedure for trying people, nor for meting out the sentences handed down from any trial. Hicks is unique, however, in the fact that he is the subject of a significant campaign with majority support in his homeland to have him returned.


It's easy for the Australian and New Zealand left to call for troops out of Iraq. Scott Hamilton says we should be looking a little closer to home.

It is strategically located, rich in oil and gas, with a long and tragic history of invasion and colonisation. The latest chapter in that history began this decade, when the United States and some of its allies organised an invasion. George Bush and his deputy sheriff John Howard argued that the country had become a failed state, a magnet for terrorists and a threat to its neighbours.


Dave Walters reports from San Francisco on the US midterm elections.

The US electorate - usually a minority of the American people, since less than 50 per cent of the citizens here ever vote - has set up what at least can be considered a massive opinion poll consultation: Americans want the US out of Iraq. They also tend not to like the ‘in party’, the Republicans, for various reasons - corruption, sexual scandal (this, by US standards, can mean almost anything, such as cheating on one’s spouse) and numerous other political peccadilloes.


Mark Kelly reviews the relationship between Australian Capital, imperialism and the labour movement.

Over thirty years ago, in 1975, Australia made Papua New Guinea independent. Following the withdrawal of Australia from Vietnam in 1973 and the granting of human rights to Aborigines in the 1960s, this represented the completion of a shift, of which the Whitlam administration was clearly chronologically the expression and not the cause, away from the racist colonialism which had been a clear part of the Australian essence since the notion of Australianness had been invented in the nineteenth century...


The brutal Israeli assult on Lebanon is a direct result of the failure of the US plan for the Middle East, writes Noah Bassil.

Horrific images of the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of Israeli-US military force in Lebanon and Gaza are a reminder not only of Israel’s disregard for civilian casualties in its role as the "strong man" of the Middle East but also of the failure of the US project of "refashioning" the region.


Condemning Israel is not the same as anti-semitism, writes Marcus Strom.

Mel Gibson's anti-semitic rant while drunk and under arrest will not come as a surprise to anyone who has seen The Passion of Christ. The film, which has grossed more than $US620m at the box office, repeats the lie that Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ, the Christian and Muslim saviour-cum-prophet. And while Mel Gibson's views on Judaism may be reprehensible, what is most shocking about them is that they express a view held by many conservative Catholics.


Demonstrations against Israeli aggression were the largest Arabic-Australian mobilisation for years, writes Caine Grennets.

Demonstrations were held in Australia's state capital cities on July 22 against Israel’s war on Lebanon and on the occupied Palestinian territories. The largest by far was in Sydney, called by more than 50 groups under the umbrella of the Australian-Arabic Committee for Solidarity with Palestinian & Lebanese People. Between 15,000 and 20,000 people assembled at Town Hall, spilling out to fill not only the square, but across all lanes of George Street.


Caine Grennets reviews the latest work by Palestian film director Rashid Masharawi. Waiting is set around the refugee camps of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

The day after Israel bombed the beach in Gaza, killing three children and seven adults enjoying a family picnic, and wounding forty others on 9 June, the Sydney Film Festival premiered the Palestinian road-movie, “Waiting”.