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Look on…


One cannot gloss over what has happened!

We witnessed the brutal cruelty and destruction of Afghanistan and its people at the hands of the Taliban.

We witnessed the brutal wars on neighbouring countries, ethnic minorities and its own people in Iraq at the hands of Saddam Hussein.

We witnessed the total destruction of civil war in Syria and the devastation of its cities and people.

We continue to see the brutality levied by Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu in Lebanon and Israel on the Palestinian people.

We have seen the brutal acts of terrorism across the world at the hands of ISIS; and ignored the far greater threat to democracy by our own western governments, which use this as propaganda against human rights, their own people and constitutional freedom and democracy.

And while all this has been going on, we have silently witnessed and ignored our own complicit terrorist acts against Yemen at the hands of the Saudi king and president, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, as the West supply the Saudi- led Arab coalition with military arms to systematically bombard and indiscriminately destroy the men, women and children of Yemen.

We witness Trump rattling his lips and sabre against Turkey, Iran and refugees, and like the fake presidential coward and mercenary he is, he acts only in his own inseparable corporate and political interests, to secure his own moribund electorate and hungry games. We witness Morrison and Dutton in Australia, who in all likelihood are far worse as they tighten their demonic grip on democracy and rattle their delusional snake-strung evangelical tongues.

As a result of our own political navel gazing, we have ignored the catastrophic impact ISIS, successive regimes and dictators have had throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world; and on the eve of the latest campaign, this crusade – withdrawn from Syria’s borders and abandoned the Kurds, who not only fought as allies against ISIS, but now face the brutality of Turkey’s foreign policy at the hands of Tayyip Erdoğan, and more genocide to follow.

The Kurds are a people who are familiar with this cruelty and national obsession, as they continue to be demonised and eradicated not just by ISIS, but Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, they have no homeland and nowhere else to go. By now we should be familiar with this systematic pattern of human abuse across our planet, the repeated history glossed over and our part in it. But are we?

The heinous crime of Western countries is to have allowed extremist groups like ISIS, Taliban, dictators and cruel regimes around the world to flourish, while imposing and justifying our own outlandish empires; and now we do it again. We create the vacuum for their success and look on, worse we install and feed these cruel regimes with sick diplomacy and arms. And when we are done we turn our gaze on refugees fleeing from these rivers of blood and cruel regions, lock their people up in prisons, we turn our propaganda machine on the people who flee the tyranny of their oppressors to be subjugated and demonised within and just off our very own shores and borders.

And when that campaign wears thin, the evil eye of Sauron turns on its own people, lighting up domestic fires, demonising the poor, unemployed, students, the elderly, humanitarians, peaceful protesters, our own social and ethnic minorities, those who are sick of this wretched and cruel neoliberal straight jacket, our commercial bombshell.

As the Kurds defend democracy first against neighbouring countries in the region, ISIS and now Turkey, the West once again abandon their supposed allies. Behrouz Bouchani, a Kurd and journalist fleeing from Iran has been imprisoned on Manus and now PNG for the past 6 years, since 2013. He has become the offshore absent conscience of Australian politics. He is one of Australia’s many political prisoners and yet he has committed no crime, broken no law, there has been no charge, no lawful detention or justice. All he ever wanted was to report the abuse, to tell the truth, to live, to be free. He is one of the many. Morrison and Dutton look on.

We like to watch our TV, we witness, we gloss over and we allow this injustice to continue on all fronts, even in our own country, in the absent halls of our own conscience.

Look on…


For sake of the
crusade I learn
to slaughter men,
women and children

For sake of a
godless world
I substitute freedom
for religion

For sake of peace
I keep my mouth
shut, eyes closed
to death and suffering

For sake of
humanity I live
with the knowledge
of shame and doubt

If I could climb a tree
and shake the
mountain, I’d
paint the sky myself

and live without

(AB, 4 July 2019)

Poem first published in Poetry is a Mountain: A Poetry Anthology, 17 September 2019, Kevin Watt (eds), Independently published, San Jose CA, Amazon.
Source: https://allpoetry.com/poem/14593002–Godless-Mountain-by-Barddylbach

Reference: Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani warns of ‘genocide’ in northern Syria, Nick Baker, 15 October 2019, SBS Australia.


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  1. David Bruce

    I remember the Vietnamese boat people after the fall of Saigon and the (eventual) Australian response. Why have we changed so much since the 1970’s?

    Is it because the Vietnamese were Catholic or Buddhist? I wonder…

  2. mark delmege

    No David the conservatives backed them cos they were collaborators and Labor didn’t cos they were collaborators.
    BTW the Image is fake.

  3. Jon Chesterson

    Hi Mark, the image is not fake, it is Yamouk camp in Damascus as cited, the link article in text (7th line) attributes another well known picture of men carrying out dead children to be in Aleppo. Some mistake this picture for that attribution. Here is the UNRWA link reporting on Palestinian refugees – https://www.unrwa.org/crisis-in-yarmouk

  4. mark delmege

    nope its fake Jon just have a close look. I have had this discussion elsewhere.

  5. Jon Chesterson

    Mark – If so, it has been photoshopped as you intimate, then it is a matter best taken up with the UNRWA. It matters not to the legitimacy, content and spirit of this article, which I don’t think you are challenging.

  6. mark delmege

    It looked fake to me and I had a professional photographer look at this image years back and he assured me that it was photoshopped. As for the article I kinda agree with your sentiments. I wasn’t going to comment of the details but it is important. Had Carter and Brzezinski not armed the Mujahideen in Afghanistan there probably wouldn’t have been a Russian invasion – no al qaeda and no Taliban either. And Afghanistan might have become a normal progressive Muslim state in the modern world. Much the same happened in Iraq Syria and Libya.

  7. wam

    When this topic comes up my brain wont let me far past the hypocrisy of wounded knee, bud dajo and.the most outrageous decision by mountbatten in india, as the pinnacle of my atrocities.
    The solution is simple god musy be a woman. That is attainable with the green, white and purple.

  8. RosemaryJ36

    We cannot undo history and it seems we still do not learn from it.

  9. Zathras

    So who was it that trained and used the Afghans to fight the Russians by proxy under the assurance that they would help rebuild the country after the Russians left but then abandoned them after the USSR collapsed – the event referred to as “the Great Betrayal?”

    Who sponsored Saddam Hussein in the overthrow the Iraqi Government for the sake of protecting their own oil interests and likewise overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran for the same reason, leading eventually to the rise of militant Islam?

    The same people once negotiated funding the conversion of North Korea’s nuclear reactors to “light water” to prevent the creation of weaponised material in exchange for providing oil and gas infrastructure but later reneged on that deal too.

    Now they have abandoned the Kurds to their own fate, likely for the sake of private commercial investment interests held in Turkey. Apparently it’s the eighth time they’ve been betrayed.

    There’s a fairly obvious pattern to be seen here and things get much worse when they interfere in those regions and they create new generations of enemies every time.

    If there’s an “up side” to this I’d like someone to tell me what it could possibly be.

  10. Josef

    The upside is The Military industrial complex benefits, Private military contractor, the logistic suppliers and the weapon makers need insignificant people to test weapon system effectiveness.
    The U.S is either the world’s most inept Superpower, every time picks the worst possible solution to any problem or is deliberately inflaming tensions and destablising the world.
    Pretty sure America doesn’t work for Americas interest’s anymore they gave up most of there sovereignty with the Federal reserve act. A hand full of bankers now control every countries economy via the fractional reserve system where they can create money out of Thin air. If i did that i’d be in jail of years for fraud.
    Corporate Serfdom, Slavery 4.0 now with a thinly veiled illusion of freedom.
    It worked great in WW1, 2. and the cold war The banking elite bankrolled both sides. Profited from all the increased production and sold to both sides.
    We can’t be far off ww3 and if we aren’t they’ll fix it

  11. Jon Chesterson

    16 Oct 2019 – 9pm: Heather Ring said, ‘From a young Kurd, living in Iran: I am one of the lucky Kurds, yet I have – directly or indirectly – experienced all of this suffering’.

    1- Was born in 1987. In that year, Saddam Hussein’s govt in Iraq was involved in his genocide campaign that ends up killing 182,000 Kurds. He used Western weapons.

    2- In 1988, Saddam’s forces used chemical gas against Halabja, a Kurdish town, killing 5000 in a matter of minutes.

    3- By 1990, thousands of Kurdish villages in Iraq, including my birth village, would be razed to the ground.

    4- In 1991, millions of Kurds including my family fled on foot to Iran. We walked for 7 days.

    5- We stayed in Iran for months in a tent. We returned in 1991 for a safe-zone provided by Western powers.

    6- In mid 90s, I lived through a four-year civil war that killed thousands of people in northern Iraq.

    7- In 2003, Iraq was invaded. We in the north, witnessed a little bit of the violence that mostly ravaged the south and center of Iraq.

    8- In 2014, ISIS came and killed thousands of us. Took thousands of our women as sex slaves.

    9- We defeated ISIS, with the help of US airpower. We lost thousands of others in the process.

    Now ISIS is gone, Turkey is killing Kurds in Syria.

    When will Kurdish suffering come to an end?

    [Copied and dropped with kind permission]

  12. New England Cocky

    @Jon Chesterton: @1, 2 1988: The CIA protected and funded Saddam Hussein from the beginning until he slaughtered the Ba’arth Party leadership and seized control. I have sighted documents alleging that the CIA provided “everything” at that time, so presume that ‘everything’ included the genocidal death gases used against both the Kurds and Marsh Arabs with such deadly effect and likely produced by US chemical corporations.

    @7 2003: The first invasion of Iraq by the USA (United States of Apartheid) left the Iraqi Ministry of Oil (name?) completely untouched. Later evidence has shown that the Iraq Invasion was for the benefit of US multinational oil corporations to access the huge proven and unproven oil reserves in Iraq.

    The deliberately lying propaganda “Weapons of Mass Destruction” (WMD) cited by Shrubya Bush was a figment of CIA imagination for the benefit of the oil corporations and US NE military industrial complex. Really they were “Words of Mass Deception” for which neither the US government nor its covert arm the CIA were held responsible. All this was known by and ignored by US MSM.

    There is very little doubt that being Deputy Dawg for Trumpery is a dangerous occupation as shown by the present treatment and betrayal of the Kurds.

  13. Jon Chesterson

    @New England Cocky – Never had any doubt about both US intervention in Iran and Iraq. And both Syria and Yemen would be connected. Until the world is no longer dependent on oil for fuel, just a lubricant and other smaller demand-user industries, countries like US and many others both in and outside Middle East will stop at nothing to unseat all these sovereign states or each other; and those that fail to look after their own people or exploit them will always give the US and its allies an excuse, a cover to go in or provide military weapons to do their disgusting business on their own people, or set nations against each other – The divide and conquer rule. The most vulnerable of all are and will be refugees, those who have no country to call their own and represent them such as the Kurdish peoples, those poorly represented and the poorest, and this will always be so.

    At the heart of all this is human and corporate greed, a capitalist system that feeds and facilitates this, and one nation too powerful to control or govern itself responsibly or in the interests of its own people, let alone allowing others to do so. US is probably the most abhorrent and deceitful government and nation on earth or at least given its power, influence and impact, and there is a lesson here for all of us including sycophant dog licking Australia. Follow America and the world turns bitter and sour, America will not change until it has to, both externally or from within; possibly not even when the planet gives up on us. The wealthy elite and powerful will simply protect themselves under corporate and military supremacy and what’s worse will no longer have need of excuses and propaganda to so.

    Written on the walls of psycho-history.

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