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An open letter to ABC Radio National

By Mark Delmege

I really don’t understand how you people see things. The US was a large part of the reason why Libya was destroyed and a large part of the reason why Syria is such a mess. The wars (regime change efforts) against both countries created the waves of refugees into Europe and the deaths tens or hundreds of thousands, and along the way emboldened terrorism in the region and across the world.

Yet you criticise Russia for trying to end the terrorism and instability.

And Trump, to his credi,t says he wants an end to this too. He wants stability and friendly relations with Russia.

What’s not to like about that?

Obama and Clinton both supported arming terrorist groups. There is no doubt about this. France, Germany and the UK were/are willing partners with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar in this. I’d argue it is a joint criminal enterprise. These are the facts of recent history.

We know this even if you people are afraid to say so. It’s why we don’t trust you lot (ABC AM/PM, Adams etc) anymore.

It’s why journalists are seen as liars and why you have so little credibility.

Trump, for all his faults is not a racist. He has received awards (note plural) for his inclusiveness from people like Jessie Jackson. At one of his recent rallies he held a rainbow flag and said how he would protect LGBTI and Q people.

He is against Muslim fundamentalism and I see his rise as an end to the USofA alliance with Muslim Brotherhood types. This is a good thing.

Yet you belt away establishment imperial lefties and others don’t seem to see the wood for the trees.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a supporter of four on the floor US style capitalism, but I can appreciate that some good might come of a the Trump presidency

When are you people going to understand that more of the same – as in Obama’s foreign policy – is a recipe for further disaster?

We know that when you and (and the SBS) ran White Helmets and AMC videos and reports that they were bought and paid for propaganda productions – groups that are aligned with terrorists in Syria – and paid for with Western money – this is war propaganda and I can’t believe that your people don’t know this. As far as I understand this is illegal to do – yet you do it. Why? Is this subservience to Empire? Are you directed by Government or do you not have the intelligence to know better?


Editor’s note: the ‘Your Say’ section provides an opportunity for our readers to have a say on any issue that is important to them. This does not mean that The AIMN fully or partly endorses the views or opinions we publish from our readers.


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  1. Steve Laing

    I don’t thing anyone here will disagree with you regarding Americas foreign policy disasters under either side of politics, but hoping that a man who can’t lie straight in bed will somehow produce global stability is optimism at its most worrying. To claim he is not a racist because he knows a few black people, and that he will stand up to extreme Islam (by denigrating every moderate Muslim), reveals a deep misunderstanding of how radicalism starts. Moreover his attitude to the biggest threat to mankind, climate change, is blitheringly incoherent.

    But I respect your right to have your opinions, and I congratulate AIMN for publishing them.

  2. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Mark Delmege,

    I support anybody who protects human life and their quality of life. So, I find it baffling that you are so pro-Trump before he has shown what he is capable of as POTUS, although we have a good idea going by the collection of regressive ultra-neoliberals that he has selected as his advisors.

    I’m perfectly happy for America and Russia to be buddies but not with thuggish Trump and Putin as their leaders.

    Signed by a proud Left Feminist who hates Neoliberalism, Authoritarianism and Paternalism everywhere.

  3. Deanna Jones

    Have you heard the shitty things he says about women? He is a self disclosed perpetrator of sexual assault against women and has openly and unashamedly perved on girl children.

  4. Pilot

    And this ladies and gentlemen is why a bigot, racist and fascist idiot was voted president elect of the US. Too many people were all too ready to forgive his unforgivable actions of the past and swallow his absolute racist, sexist, bigoted, fascist tripe!!

    Blame it on Radio National??? Good bloody grief!!

    Proudly written by a former, now unemployed Australian worker and PROUD unionist who thinks of his community and Country before the wants of the rich and greedy!!

  5. John Richardson

    Sadly, I don’t think any political leader of any country, including our own, would hesitate to condone crimes against humanity, if those responsible for advising them suggested that they should do so.

    Putin’s great crime is to show the West that there might be real & unpleasant consequences to its criminal behaviour, other than those it had campaigned to achieve. Not only doe he have the courage to think & act independently, but he has the muscle to stand-up to the West’s serial bully-boys. But never forget that Putin is also pursuing Russia’s national interests in everything he does.

    For anyone interested in understanding the fundamental differences in approach to foreign policy adopted by the great powers, in particular the US & China, try getting hold of a small tome called ‘My War With The CIA’ by former Cambodian Prime Minister Norodom Sihanouk & Wilfred Burchett (your views about the alleged ‘threat’ that China represents might change, whilst what you’ve suspected about the US all along will simply be confirmed).

  6. Keith


    A lot of people would be aware that the US has been involved in action of a questionable nature in South America.
    Many would believe that Howard, Blair and Bush stuffed up badly in Iraq.
    The Russians have stuffed up in the Crimea; and now we have the appalling situation in Syria.

    Wars, and the threat of wars bring no credit to anybody.

    In relation to Trump, some American papers are suggesting that he is using his position at present for financial gain, Argentia, Taiwan, and financial interest in keystone pipe line which is causing huge civil unrest. Whether fake news or real I’m not sure.
    But, in relation to climate change; Trump couldn’t give a stuff; we are getting closer to a point of no return.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Saudi Arabia has long relied on purchases of arms from NATO countries and the US. Now it has expressed interest in Russian missile boats, patrol ships near the sea area, medium landing ships and patrol ships. There are other serious developments as well, sources say.

    The Saudis are allegedly negotiating the acquisition of operational-tactical missile complexes “Iskander-E” and may have confirmed readiness to begin pre-contract negotiations about the purchase of several divisions of C-400s. In preparation for the next visit of Saudi King Salman, the Russian Federation is expected to prepare a package proposal for about $10 billion. This proposal will provide for the supply of aircraft and munitions as well as several types of defense systems of various ranges.

    In addition, in 2016 Russia will concentrate on supplying arms to countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Indonesia, Malaysia) and the financially strong countries of Africa (Angola, Uganda). According to a senior source in the government, even if some of the negotiations fail, the arms exports are expected to yield about $14-$15 billion in 2016.

    During the last meeting of the Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation with foreign countries, held in late October 2015, Vladimir Putin said that the portfolio of orders of the enterprises of the Russian defense industry exceeds $50 billion. He called for even more active promotion of their products in regional markets.

  8. Kaye Lee

    In 2011-2015, Russia held a 25-percent share of the total arms sales market, surpassed only by the US with 33 percent. The Russian military industry has sold weapons to 50 countries, and India was its main client receiving 39 percent of all Russia’s arms transfers.

    Indian armed forces are undergoing massive modernization that requires obtaining state-of-the-art military high-tech and hardware. Over the past few years, India has purchased a huge amounts of arms from Russia, most notably Ka-226T and Mi-17V5 helicopters, and naval and ground-based weapons systems.

    India’s flagship aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, first commissioned in the Soviet Union in 1987 as the Baku, then relaunched in 2008, was handed over to India in 2013. Its 34-strong air group comprises Russian-made MiG-29Ks, and a navalized version of the highly reliable MiG-29M fighter jet.

    During the Indian PM’s visit to Moscow in December 2015, it was revealed that India’s military had approved the purchase of cutting-edge S-400 air defense systems, among other arms deals estimated at over $7 billion in total, according to Russian media.

    SIPRI’s study says China and Vietnam have been procuring mostly Russian-build military-use engines, air defense systems and combat aircraft as well as ships and submarines.

  9. Kaye Lee

    The point of the previous two posts was twofold…

    Russia and the US are both introducing a shit load of weapons into the world each year and have a significant economic interest in the industry continuing to do so.

    Look at the countries mentioned that Russia is supplying….Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, India. We are also spending $400 billion over the next 20 years. That’s a lot of weapons coming into our part of the world.

    Worrying about the PR unit behind the White Helmets is the least of our concerns.

  10. Kyran

    With respect, Mr Delmege, I am confused by your article.
    In the various conflict zones around the middle east, over 500,000 lives are lost annually, the vast majority of which are civilians. Between these regimes, they have now institutionalized the bombing of hospitals, schools and aid convoys.
    The various ‘conflict zones’ have produced tens of millions of people fleeing in the greatest refugee crisis since the second world war.
    SIPRI and Amnesty International reports suggest that global military expenditure was worth about US$1.711 trillion in 2014.
    As Ms Lee has alluded to, the top 10 exporters are;
    Exporter  Global share (%) 
    1. USA 31
    2. Russia 27
    3. China 5
    4. Germany 5
    5. France 5
    6. UK 4
    7. Spain 3
    8. Italy 3
    9. Ukraine 3
    10. Israel 2
    The top ten importers are;
    Importer  Global share (%)
    1. India 15
    2. Saudi Arabia 5
    3. China 5
    4. UAE 4
    5. Pakistan 4
    6. Australia 4
    7. Turkey 3
    8. USA 3
    9. South Korea 3
    10. Singapore 3
    I must also confess to confusion with regard to Australia’s ranking at #6 in the ‘importers’ category. Bearing in mind we have placed orders for planes and submarines that are unlikely to be active in the foreseeable decades, we must be buying a heck of a lot of ‘consumables’. They would be the bombs and bullets we can use to create more refugee’s. Yay, Stralya. We may yet need tiny to shirtfront putin, as we won’t have ‘hardware’ anytime soon.
    However, I digress. Notwithstanding that corporate global media has well earned trust issues and should be read in the context of ‘propaganda’ rather than ‘news’, I am still left confused. This humanitarian crisis is man made and all of the monsters involved, whether they be the manufacturers who make and sell the bombs or the governments and terrorists who facilitate the delivery of their misery, are complicit in its creation and continuing perpetration. The inescapable fact is that these are monsters. I, for one, couldn’t give a flying phuck as to what flag they fly, or how good their balance sheet looks. They are monsters.
    Is the purpose of your article an attempt to say one may be a nicer monster than any other? All of these megalomaniacs have restricted and reduced the very rights they claim to be protecting in their own countries, whilst blowing the beejeesus out of civilian populations in other countries. For what? To make the world safer?
    Please tell me I have completely misunderstood your essay.
    Thank you for the post. Take care

  11. Kaye Lee


    Over the past 12 months the Government has committed around $13.1 billion to new capabilities to strengthen our Defence Force.

    These have included:

    1,100 locally built Hawkei protected vehicles and more than 1,000 trailers to strengthen our land combat capability. The Hawkei will improve protection for soldiers and enable them to operate in high‑risk areas.
    A new Australian Defence Force Pilot Training System, which includes the acquisition of 49 Pilatus PC-21 aircraft and seven Flight Simulators.
    An upgrade to the next generation of military communications for the Australian Defence Force to support the deployment of operational headquarters and enable access to Defence’s strategic networks.
    Two additional Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft to bolster the Royal Australian Air Force’s existing fleet of five.
    Four additional Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance and response aircraft.
    New Austeyr EF88 rifles (the enhanced F88) and advanced ancillary devices to improve effectiveness for soldiers involved in close combat and their immediate support elements.

    From September 2015….

    A surprise 41.5 per cent jump in government spending on defence equipment helped Australia’s economy grow by 0.2 per cent for the three months to June.

    ABS data shows government spending on defence equipment in the December quarter last year was worth $1.7 billion (a 41.4 per cent increase on the previous quarter), then $1.4 billion in the March quarter this year (a 14.1 per cent decrease), then 41.5 per cent last quarter (worth $2 billion).

  12. Miriam English

    Mark Delmege, your list of flights of paranoid fantasy is too long to argue with. I hope to hell nobody believes such inflammatory crap. That you mixed a little bit of genuine facts in with it makes it even more dangerous. You need to get back on your medication.

  13. Kyran

    As an aside, Mr Richardson’s reference to “fundamental differences in approach to foreign policy adopted by the great powers, in particular the US & China” reminded me of articles written earlier this year regarding China’s announcement of a $60 billion loan and aid package to African countries (which was additional to their previous commitments). The loans and grants have kicked in and major infrastructure projects are now underway. Many of these projects had been ‘stalled’ for up to seven years, having been promised money (much of which was by the US) which never arrived.
    There is no suggestion that there are no strings attached and it would appear that the Chinese investment in Africa, which has been ongoing for at least a decade, is considered likely to get them ‘preferential treatment’ in accessing many of the ‘natural resources’ on that continent. This is not to suggest, for a second, that China doesn’t have its own horrific problems with weaponisation, power grabs, denial of human rights, etc. If anything, it is reminiscent of their approach to the Vietnamese all those decades ago. They fed them first, then got them to fight!
    Bearing in mind the greatest threat to our region at present is global warming, would it not make more sense to start developing regional assistance packages now, as a matter of national security? Wouldn’t it make more sense to configure our military forces with a view to regional assistance rather than regional control (assuming we ever get a military force capable of controlling our neighbours)?
    The frequency and severity of ‘natural’ disasters has been increasing for some time. Going through ASEAN with such proposals would, IMO, serve us better in terms of security than building up orders for toys, the very purchase of which exposes us to increased threats.
    If such programs improved the infrastructure and conditions of our neighbours, not to mention addressing some of our own needs, we may all feel it a little less necessary to blow the crap out of each other.
    By the by, Ms Lee. Didn’t that “upgrade to the next generation of military communications for the ADF” get stalled? For some reason I seem to recall our ‘leaders’ got spooked when they realised the Chinese were supplying some of the components. No, not the uniforms. The Chinese have already ‘stitched up’ that deal.
    Take care

  14. bobrafto

    yea Mark

    As the whatisname senator said of the protestors at parliament, they are bong sniffing, moss munchers.

    And I agree with Miriam you should get back to bong sniffing.

  15. Jexpat

    You almost had me up until the point where you asserted that “Trump is not a racist.”

    Folks might also take note that Trump is asuredly NOT on the ‘peace bandwagon’ in the Middle East.

  16. Michael Taylor

    I agree with a bit of Mark says and I appreciate him submitting it. Given that most of our readers hold different views to Mark I’d say that it took a bit of guts in doing so.

    I don’t agree with his opinion of Donald Trump, however, and I don’t believe he will be a good president. But I heard the darndest thing the other day: 52% of people polled thinks he should be given a chance before condemning him as a bad president (not those words). I thought it’d be much lower, but Americans after all are a very patriotic lot.

  17. paulwalter

    Am releived to know others are fed to the guts with the ABC as Volkischer Beobachter propaganda apparatus. Those of us old enough to remember would recall the ABC as once being a place where facts were precious.

    Mark is gulled by Trump, who exploited the dreadful US election situation in the way Abbott did here, but there is much that is commendable, but consider the eliminated real alternative to both Trump and Shortenish Clinton, Bernie Sanders.

  18. mark delmege

    Not really paulwalter. Trump is an outsider and the insiders will do all they can to swamp him. Which is why he has to appoint insiders. Do I trust – hell no – did I say that here on in any of my other posts?
    My point is that the ABC is a lie machine. They use Western propaganda as news. The US destroyed Libya and has tried to destroy Syria. And though I didn’t say so in this post what is happening is not a civil war but a war sponsored by outsiders – among them the US who have armed trained and sponsored terrorists. Terrorists in other places they are said to be at war with. Terrorists who in other places have attacked western targets. The result of these ‘interventions’ has been to create waves of refugees into Europe and have as a result changed – destabilised – those countries.
    Kaye Lee and others don’t want to admit it but Obama has been a willing accomplice in these events. His efforts in the Middle East can be seen as an alliance between the USofA and Muslim Brotherhood types. Trump has called for an end to this. Which I support. He has also called for an end to the emerging cold war with Russia – I support this too. Saying Trump is opposed to all Muslims is ludicrous but he has stated his opposition to fundamentalist Muslims. Obama on the other hand had no trouble backing the head choppers when it serves a purpose.
    In my opinion people confuse talking points from the failed Democrat candidate with reality and facts. Trump has called for an end to the open door policy of illegal immigration into the USofA. As someone who does not believe in open borders I see the sense in this. Thousands of economic migrants streaming into the US every week is no way to run a country and no way to protect the working poor there. Its not racist to say this. Neither is he anti gay marriage nor anti gay and he has received awards for his inclusive policies towards coloured people from eminent black people. It’s worth remembering that Bill Clinton did actually build a Wall on the Mexican border – is he racist?
    Trump from what he has said is an American Nationalist. Fair enough and he obviously got enough votes for arguing that position. Obama in an internationalist – he clearly identifies with the global wants of the US (and International) elites before his own country – as can be seen from his pushing for the TTIP and TTP. Its a legitimate argument anyway and frankly I would feel better if an Australian Government took a nationalist approach here rather that the two party subservience to international capital.
    Clearly the propaganda peddled by the likes of the ABC is effective – and has most people here fooled into believing what they do – otherwise they wouldn’t have written the stuff above.
    Most people don’t follow these events closely and just go with the flow of what impressions they get from MSM. Its why White Helmets propaganda is so effective and why so few people question what is placed before them.
    On one level I see little difference between any US president of my lifetime. But there are minor differences and some (only some) of those coming from Trump might be better than what has gone before.

  19. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    mark delmarge,

    I support a reduction of economic migration to Australia but support asylum seekers.

    I oppose TTP and TTIP for Australia and America.

    I oppose American Expansionism and Globalism.

    I support building bridges between America and Russia so that another Cold War can be dissolved.

    Just because I may share several of Trump’s selling points before the election, does not mean I believe he will deliver upon his word without causing a lot of hurt to ordinary people inside and outside of America.

    That doesn’t make me a milksop leftie which you seem to take pleasure in denigrating. It makes me sensible and a world citizen with my eyes open to Trojan horses like Trump and his corporate mates.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Do you think Russia also provides arms to dubious people mark? No comment on that?

    Lebanese Hezbollah field commanders in Syria say they are receiving arms directly from Russia. They also allege there is an increasing cooperation between Russia and the Islamist militants as well as Iran. The news comes on the heels of Russia’s announcement it is ready to deliver S-300 missile systems to Iran.

    “I think it would be fair to say that there are three main sources of the Islamic State’s weapons in Iraq and Syria: Soviet-designed weapons that have proliferated since the collapse of the Iraqi Army in 2003; U.S.-made and Soviet-designed weapons that were issued to Iraqi security forces post-2003 and were subsequently captured by the Islamic State,” he said, and “mostly Soviet-designed weapons bought or captured from other armed groups operating in Syria.”

    “Kaye Lee and others don’t want to admit it but Obama has been a willing accomplice in these events.”

    You have no idea at all of what I think about America mark. They have done some bad things and some very good things. Your hatred of them has made you suspect evil at every turn. I will tell you what really troubles me….your absolutely uncritical belief that everything you read from the Russian and Syrian press is gospel, that Putin and Assad are blameless, and that every aid agency in the world is a propaganda unit for the west, including MSF.

  21. Vacy Vlazna

    The valid point Mark is making is that mainstream media.. and specifically the ABC and SBS have lost their journalistic integrity when reporting on the Middle East and thereby deceive the public and I add, do their bit to incite Islamophobia here. The public deserves the truth, deserves to know the obscene breadth of US imperialistic spread of suffering so that we can challenge our governments complicity in same and stop the consequent horrors the people of Syria, Yemen Libya Iraq Afghanistan and Palestine are dealt.

  22. jim

    But only Syria can make “barrel bombs” we all know that right!. Besides you need aircraft to launch them right! Wrong,ISIS has them and launches them from the ground.

  23. Kaye Lee

    What is your source for that jim?

  24. Biggyd81

    Spot on Mark I personally love the term Syrian ‘Rebels’. Oh Al Quaeda and the like are our friends now?? Good one Obama! The West doesn’t care about civilians at all they are all about regime change and oil and the almighty dollar, or should I say US petrodollar.

  25. jimhaz

    [Yet you criticise Russia for trying to end the terrorism and instability]


    Global share (%) 
    1. USA 31
    2. Russia 27

    US GDP = 18,561 b
    Russia GDP = 1,267 b

    So Mark what percentage of Russian GDP is involved in external arms trading relative to the US?

    Internally, Russia spends 5.4 % of its GDP on defence, whereas USA spends 3.3%

    So on both counts Russia is clearly the far greater warmongerer. The higher the percentage of GDP involved in baby killing, the more corrupt the governmetn will be.

    Anyone who thinks Russia is not at least 3 times as bad as the USA is a fool. However, that said, I’ve never been convinced that there has not been a conspiracy of cold war pretense for a few decades now – making both sides equally criminal. Russia plays the Bad cop and the US the Good cop. I would say the US has fallen under the “regulatory capture” syndrome which is getting too cosy with those one is supposed to be regulating and then doing illegal deals – something we have seen across all western governments around the world of both sides. Perhaps one of the US terms of the arms trading agreement included the cessation of the USSR.

    As I have no evidence for that theory, follow the money as per the global share of defence spending.

    Russia has never stopped playing the bad cop, and Putin in reinstalling the bad cop scenario in terms of dictatorial behaviour. No surprise at all that he supports Assad, being another bad cop dictator.

  26. Michael Taylor

    Mark, I heard something similar on an American radio station a couple of months ago. I can’t remember the amount of money set aside, but it was something like 80 million pounds for a British firm to produce propaganda.

  27. mark delmege

    I’m not surprised Michael. We are deluged with b/s.
    The US did a US$400m appropriation to social media campaigns too. I guess people like Bellingcat would be on the payroll somewhere.
    And surprisingly much of the tweeter traffic urging people to flee into Europe via Turkey from Syria (I presume) came from Australia. If I can ever find the analysis review I will post it here. My uneducated cynical guess would be that this was a govt program as some sort of load sharing effort.
    And when you get National Leaders on TV quoting Social Media as proof about some issue or another – when they have billions invested in the best intelligence sources – we must understand that its b/s.

    MY cousin fronts a (Syrian minority) refugee support group in the UK. Amongst his donors are Hunt Oil and Shell. I’m not sure if it is guilt money or if they are hoping for a payoff in the years to come. I don’t mind adding that he was a supporter of the invasion of Iraq and is a former BBC and Murdoch reporter.

  28. Kaye Lee

    There is no question that all sides are involved in their respective propaganda campaigns. It is a soft power tool against Assad but it is also used to counter the very professional media presence of ISIS.

    I do not disagree with that at all and there is far better proof of it than the links you provide mark. Where we disagree is that you think it is only one side doing it.

    You may be interested in this article which gives better information about the UK propaganda effort.

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