John is a peacenik not a pacifist. Ever since he reached his teen years he has opposed every war Australia has engaged in at the behest of our great and mighty colonial masters, Britain and Amerika. We are currently involved in a modern day crusade in the Middle East to curry favour with them.
We cheer on President Obama as he murders, with drones, those who are opposed to US hegemony. We lock up young men who have committed no crime apart from wanting to go and fight for the other side in the Middle East. We ignore Israel’s murder of Palestinians. We are unmindful of the fact that there is a memorial in Canberra to those Australians who went and fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.
The questions are not simple but if we are to emerge as Australians, rather than as automatons mindlessly and subserviently following our colonial masters, then we should be developing our own foreign policy.
ON LINE opinion – Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate Posted Wednesday, 19 November 2008 Essentially human beings cannot afford war. Nor can we continue to breed like rabbits. The imprint of humans on this planet is getting close to a tipping point which, once reached, will result in massive disruption, destruction, significant loss […]
ON LINE opinion – Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate Posted Tuesday, 17 August 2004 The “War on Terror” is real, frighteningly real, if agents of the State break into your house, terrorise your family, seize your computers or whatever. But realistically this is unlikely to happen to the majority of Australians at the […]
Why do we regard an ultra orthodox Jew as religious, how come a Born Again Christian is righteous, and a devout Muslim is fanatical? Written 2002.
I shot some Muslims mommy. I shot some Muslims dad. We are good… we are always good and they are always bad. Sadam is a bad man mommy and he’s got to go: it is a fact I’m sure of that George Bush told me so. I never question orders. I do just what I’m […]
First Published Union Songs 25/5/2005 http://unionsong.com/muse/unionsong/u299.html Dresden, Cologne Hiroshima, Nagasaki nuclear weapons Bikini Atoll agent orange Vietnam War napalmed children land mines Diego Garcia Chagos Islanders President Allende death squads collateral damage infinite stupidity bunker busters Tora-bora Caves Abraham tanks daisy-cutter bombs depleted uranium Fallujah, Samarra cluster bombs shocking awe Guantanamo Bay Abu Gharib extraordinary […]
First published in Al Moharer Vol. 203 No. 213 1/12/204 http://www.al-moharer.net/moh203/j-tomlinson203.htm I hide in the rubble of your conscience, each bomb you drop implodes your invincibility as rats tire of eating decomposing bodies, then turn and gnaw at your humanity. Whilst maggots invade the ears of the dead your words are drowned in your insensibility. […]
Your new laws applying to members of bike gangs are counter productive. They will not make Queensland a more peaceful place. Locking people up 23 hours a day in solitary is going to do nothing to make Queensland a more peaceful state. It will just turn prison guards into torturers and will make the gang members […]
First published in Green Left Weekly No.606 November 17th 2004 p.21 also published in Al-Moharer No. 202 Vol.13 19/11/2004 http://www.al-moharer.net/mohhtm/j-tomlinson202.htm Don’t speak of rights, justice or oughts we have castrated judges in neutered courts. The only things they guarantee are silence, lying politicians and ASIO’s compliance. In nondescript brick veneered suburbs fearful, frightened half […]
A bayonet is a weapon wi’ a working man at either end. Betray yer country. Serve yer class. Don’t sign up for war, my friend. Don’t sign up for war. Alistair Hulett
Published in New Matilda on December 14, 2005 The Howard-Ruddock ‘We Did It to the Refugees and Now It’s Your Turn’ Acts have been rushed through the Federal Parliament. If you should meet a nice ASIO person, then be alert and very alarmed. If you are questioned, you should state your name address and date of birth. […]
Written circa 2000 In Turkey hunger strikers are dying to draw the world’s attention to the inhuman treatment of prisoners. In Genoa police kill an anti-global protester. In China the authorities step up the rate of executions to show the rest of world they are fit to run the Olympics. The US inflicts the death […]
“Neither Hitler’s concentration camps nor Stalin’s gulag could lay claim to Bertolt Brecht. Perhaps he is now finally being undone, this time by scholars keen to deconstruct him. But then he guessed what his fate might be when he once wrote: ‘I fled the tigers, I fled the fleas; What got me at last – […]
“So we must fly the Rebel Flag, As others did before us; And we must sing a rebel song, And join in rebel chorus. We’ll make the tyrants feel the sting, Of those that they would throttle – They needn’t say the blame is ours, If blood should stain the wattle.” From Freedom on the […]
First published Al-Moharer 1/11/2004 Vo.13 No.198. http://www.al-moharer.net/moh198/j-tomlinson198.htm also by Green Left Weekly 3rd November 2004. p.25. Issue 605. also by Synaptic Graffiti Collective 20/4/2005 http://scart69.net/synapticgriffiti/Pages/can yourecall.html Awarded the monthly Westender Bent Books Poetry Prize for November 2004 I remember that smell, from when I was a good German. I had a lovely uniform, with lightening […]
The river’s fast it’s wide and deep It’s filled with tears the children weep. I stopped on the West Bank awhile long enough to see angels smile. The stones thrown were meant to test The bullets fired ripped through my chest. Travelling to West Papua I tried to raise the Morning Star. Kopassus fired on […]
When we came down the stair today We saw a gun that wasn’t there It wasn’t there again today That’s why we must blow Saddam away. Written 2003
Written 14/3/2002 not published At 8.25 am the Parliamentary and News Station of the ABC reported that the Israeli Army had ordered its troops to stop inscribing numbers on the arms of the 1000 plus Palestinian prisoners it had seized when it invaded refugee camps on the West Bank. The decision to stop the practice […]
Please remember all those that coppers kill, we are bashed, maimed and shot for a copper’s thrill. We’ll remember every mother’s son and while we do that, they haven’t won. Written in 2007 not published
I may not be a poet, I’m a wordsmith without words I want to beat the ploughshares into swords. I’m a peacenik not a pacifist. I stand with the oppressed, I side with the distressed, I struggle for the poor and the homeless; and I hate the dogs of war. Written 2002.
Published in New Matilda, 24th Jan 2006 https://newmatilda.com/2006/01/24/giving-comfort-enemy/ The Australian government late last year passed legislation making it an offence for citizens to give comfort to the enemy. This is presumably because they believe they are not the enemy. Yet, it has been a reasonable libertarian position that the government is the enemy of democracy. I […]
Let moron war on moron while we find peace in no man’s land
Home of the Brave! Land of the Free! Going round the world spreading misery. Written 2003.
Written in 2008 not published My name is truth; but you may know me as justice, honour or even common sense. I don’t know your individual names – there are just too many of you to remember. You didn’t listen when I told you they had decimated the Bison you ignored me when I spoke […]
We’ll decide who buys our wheat and the manner in which they buy. We’ll decide who we will bomb and the manner in which they’ll die. And by the way, we didn’t know, we didn’t know that it wasn’t so. We never heard the children’s screams. Saddam Hussein was the one it seems who took […]
In Iraq the Yanks are back. Democracy, I suppose, is what they’re going to impose. Democracy…. dictatorship…. do not let your sweet lips slip. Written in 2003.
Unpublished comment written in 2012 It’s reassuring to know that conservative parliamentarians have extreme learning difficulties and that creating a reasonably progressive and humane alternative is a surmountable task. For some time now I have been concerned that building a political platform that was capable of attracting sufficient support to attain power was slipping out […]
unpublished comment 2012 Julia Gillard has refused to apologise to the wife of Mamdouh Habib despite the fact that: AUSTRALIA’S intelligence watchdog has called on the federal government to apologise to the wife of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib, for not keeping her informed about his welfare and circumstances. The recommendation comes in a […]
ON LINE opinion – Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate Posted Tuesday, 17 July 2007 Dr Mohammed Haneef was detained for questioning under Australia’s terrorism legislation following his second cousin’s being implicated in an attack on Glasgow’s Airport terminal building and failed car bomb attack in England. An old mobile phone SIM card, Dr Haneef […]
Written in 2005 not sure if published George Bush recently warned that if Iran resumed its nuclear power program he could not rule out the use of force. He has this year also threatened Syria and North Korea. Australian Labor and Liberal politicians nod approvingly. However when a man disguises his face whilst holding an […]
Written 2001 In the good old days the good ole boys fought the war to end all wars leaving lasting memories of fighting in a trench of rotting flesh – and stench. World War II – fighting anew Cain and Abel slaying each other and killing father, daughter, mother. Buchenwald, Dresden, London, Warsaw Ghetto, the […]
Written 2001 Peace will cost the earth. War protects home and hearth. All war is good, but peace is bad. Happiness makes you sad. Women are never raped in war. We know what we’re fighting for. Nuclear arms can hug a child. Cluster bombing is really neat. Terrorism can be fought from 20,000 feet. Land […]
“Is that the truth or is your News Limited?”
And so they took Ned Kelly and hanged him in the jail, For he had fought single-handed although in iron-mail; And no man single-handed can hope to break the bars, It’s a thousand like Ned Kelly who will hoist the flag of stars. John Manifold
Unpublished letter to the Courier Mail written in the aftermath of what Yanks call 9/11 Dear Editor After the bombings of the World Trade Centre, American commentators claimed the world had changed forever. Unfortunately, the desire for retribution, the threatening of small impoverished nations, the refusal of many countries (including our own) to accept people fleeing […]
Written when watching the run up to the Olympic Games in China I saw the flame of peace surrounded by the dogs of war I watched left-over athletes reliving past glories I thought about the repression in Tibet and asked what are they running for and what are they running from? Perhaps they’re trying to forget […]
Written 2003. They now tell us that Operation Enduring Freedom was a success. Well I’d hate to see a failure. Though in one sense, I suppose, it was a success: the Americans got the freedom and the Iraqis did the enduring.
Written 2002 Go on home Yankee soldiers We don’t want your bloody war it’s a war against the poor. Go on home Yankee soldiers. Go on home. You can stick your new world order. You can shove your law and order. Go on home Yankee soldiers. Go on home. We want the war to cease. […]
May every Israeli soldier die a slow and painful death, may this day bring Zionism’s final, dying breath. May Mossad’s Gestapo holocaust in Palestine and Lebanon, which is shattering the fragile ceasefire, and imposing its own brand of Nazi style state terrorism with its US supplied killing technology, be emasculated by everyone’s common sense. May […]
“The poor tell us who we are, The prophets tell us who we could be, So we hide the poor, And kill the prophets.”
A Mosad officer orders the assassination of a Hamas leader, an American B52 pilot drops cluster bombs on Afghanistan, an Arab extremist orders planes to fly into the World Towers, a World Bank official approves a dam which will displace 10,000 peasants, an American President continues the blockage of Iraq which has already killed half […]
First published by Union Songs 16/10/2006 http://unionsong.com/u422.html also published by Al-Moharer 15/11/2006 http://www.al-moharer.net/moh249/tomlinson249.htm also published in New Community Quarterly Vol.4 No. 3, Spring. p.30 They say Pine Gap’s top secret but we know where it is. They say Pine Gap’s a defence base but they won’t say who it’s protecting from what. They say Pine […]
Published in Right Now (human rights in Australia law magazine), Issue 2, December 2007 The saga of Dr Mohammed Haneef’s 12 days detention for questioning under Australia’s terrorism legislation, following his second cousin being implicated in an attack on Glasgow Airport in England, has become widely reported around the world. On 1 August 2007 an […]
You speak of law and order and we get a police state.
First published on the Synaptic Graffiti Collective website http://scart69.net/synapticgraffiti/Pages/spreadingdemocracy.html also published in New Community Quarterly Vol.3 No.1 p.37. I heard George Bush’s “State of the Nation.” It filled my heart with agitation. I know he’s dyslexic, I know he dissembles I can think of some things he closely resembles. He said he’s spreading democracy Guantanamo […]
Dear Senators, I wish to make this following submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee Inquiry into the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Bill (No 2) 2005. The submission consists of two articles the first has been published at On line Opinion http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=100 the second has been submitted for publication to another publisher. The triumph […]
*Dedicated to peace and the hope that Margaret Hassan taken hostage in Iraq will be freed. She wasn’t. First published Union Songs 11/11/2004 http://unionsong.com/muse/uionsong/u240 Hostage maker, hostage taker the life blood of our war. Hostage maker, hostage taker what are we fighting for? Is it to protect the lies we told before the war? To […]
Takeshi, Yannick and Karl Greetings from Australia I apologise for including colloquial (slang) expressions in the article. I will try to explain what I meant. George Monbiot (when he wrote): rightwing movements thrive on their contradictions, the leftwing movements drown in them. Tea Party members who proclaim their rugged individualism will follow a bucket on […]
Plip plop, skip slop look at me I’m imposing democracy. Slip flop, hip-hop, flip flop me I’m forcing people to be free. Hip-hop, slip slop, flip flop me I’m bombing people out of poverty. I’m bombing people out of poverty. Can’t stop, won’t stop, silly me sending the evil ones to eternity. So the good […]
Politics in the Pub at The Elephant and WheelbarrowHotel, Fortitude Valley 3/3/2003 Tonight I wish to put forward six propositions: War waged by nation states is more violent than non-State terrorism. War waged by nation states often sustains violence for decades. Terrorism is the crime of the relatively powerless. War is the crime of the […]
Written on 20 March 2003 The United States and Britain have already stepped up the bombing of areas of Southern Iraq in their unilaterally imposed ‘no fly zone’. They do not have sufficient decency to wait until their unilaterally imposed deadline for war expires. In relation to the coverage of the war the western press is, […]
Discussion at Politics in the Pub, Sea View Hotel Shorncliffe, Queensland 11/3/2003 A few weeks ago I was asked by an ex-student if I was writing lots of antiwar poetry I replied “No; essentially because the rationalisations for war coming out of the Bush/Blair/Howard orifice were so surreal that I was reduced to satire and analysis.” […]
Written in 2005 not published. Amerikan globalisation wants to fill the valleys of third world poverty with the mountains of rotting garbage from the first world. Amerikan militarism wants to smother the third world’s anguished cries for freedom by dropping bunker busters and daisy cutters manufactured in the first world. Amerikan indifference wants to obliterate […]
Written in 2002. President Sharon declared suicide bombers “guilty”, those who fund attacks on Israel “guilty” and those who stay silent about terror attacks in Israel “guilty”. But this is from the man who: assassinates Palestinians from Apache helicopters, has the Israeli Army bulldoze Arab houses, authorises Mossad to deploy car bombs in Ramallah and […]
ON LINE opinion – Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate Posted Monday, 19 October 2015 The more spooks, spies and spivs we employ to spy on our and other citizens the outcome, in terms of the safety of our citizenry, is diminished. The number of ASIO operatives employed in Australia has doubled in recent years. […]
Paper given at “Windows on the World” conference of the Community Development Society, World Congress Centre Melbourne, 21-24 July 1996 Much of what is called “Community Work” in the 1990s is aimed at getting the populous to conform to the desires of the powerful: landlords over tenants, government departments over welfare agencies and welfare agencies […]
It’s a war on terror from forty thousand feet. Dropping bombs is pretty bloody neat. You don’t see faces in the street. Who cares if it ends in our defeat……. We can fight again somewhere else. Written in 2002.
Bin Laden is my brother- the Red Army Faction my friend- Bader Meinhoff my cell mate- not because they’ve killed and maimed but because we share a concern for humanity. You may not appreciate our solidarity. You may deny our rationality but each of us dared stand with the underdog.
Written in 2003 George Bush justifies his attack on Iraq as necessary to: prevent Iraq attacking another country, get rid of weapons of mass destruction, and disarm that country. Well Mr Bush you are the leader of the United States of America. Should the US attack Iraq this would constitute an attack on another country. […]
Written in 2009 but not published. Some of my best friends are Jewish but none of them are Zionists. Israel’s attack on the people of Gaza is not a war it is a pogrom – the killing is too disproportionate; no sane person would glorify it by suggesting it is a just conflict. It is […]
Published in Lawyers’ Weekly, 27 July 2007 http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/articles/23/0C04E923.asp The principles of modern democracy are rapidly being undermined by laws that place ministerial discretion above due process On 2 July Dr Mohammed Haneef was detained for questioning under Australia’s terrorism legislation following his second cousins being implicated in an attack on Glasgow’s airport terminal building and a […]
First published Al-Moharer 1/10/2008 http://www.al-moharer.net/mohhtm/tomlinson264.htm also published on the same day on Union Songs website. http://unionsong.com/u568.html Chorus: Our great and glorious friend, in the war without any end, I see through the haze as I sing in praise of our great and glorious friend fighting the war without end ignoring the message we send. Though […]
First published in Union Songs 11/7/2007 http://uionsong.com/u500.html I’m old enough to remember when a rendition was the singing of a song and old enough to remember when we knew right from wrong when clusters referred to gems not bombs when the Bushes were places that birds hid in when collateral damage meant you’d lost assets […]
Written circa 2004 unpublished I have tried to articulate a critique of what I observe happening around me. But that is not enough. I have acted when I could to the extent that it would not jeopardise my capacity to continue to criticise what I witness. But I know that this is not enough. I […]
Blue Mountains Union News 26/2/2106 http://bmuc.blogspot.com.au also Brisbane Peace group 26/22016 They are raising our military spending to two per cent of our GDP they are going to raise the money from the likes of you and me. They’ll have to cut back pensions and unemployment benefits they have to cut back education and increase […]
Science is a one way street down which man blindly wanders encountering faces coming the other way.
First published in Al-Moharer Vol. 248 11/9/2006 http://www.al-moharer.net/mohhtm/tomlinson248.htm Also published in New Community Quarterly Vol. 4 No.3 Spring p.27 I heard the call to arms it seems it penetrated all my dreams when I heard the anguished screams before the bullets fired. I declared myself against the war it made all the generals sore peace […]
What do we want? War! Would you like increased Health spending? No!!! We want more money spent on war and Defence Would you like increased spending on Education? No!!! We want more money spent on fighting Terrorism and blockading Iraq! Would you like increased Welfare spending? No!!! We […]
First published in Green Left Weekly under the title “Hearts and minds”, 28/8/2004 p22 In Iraq the Americans are winning the hearts and minds – again. A week ago they batonned a man senseless he refused to remove a poster from his car: the poster was a picture of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al Sadr. Were […]
Written just before the Second Gulf War 2003 but not published. Dear Editor The Courier Mail It is clear that Iraq does not want a war but the US and Britain do. The obvious solution is to let Britain fight America. Dr. John Tomlinson Deagon
Fundamentalists have a ❂ Belief in truth The Truth and righteousness Fundamentalists have a ❂ Bi-polar view of the world Good ❂ versus Evil Fundamentalists have a preference for ❂ Revealed over ❂ discovered truth Fundamentalists have an Intolerance of ❂ ambiguity ❂ confounding ideas ❂ opposition Their dislike of opposition often leads to ❂ […]
ON LINE opinion – Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate Posted Thursday, 3 August 2006 We sometimes refer to a person as being an authority on some aspect of human existence. This is usually because most informed people regard their writings in a specific area of study as truly insightful. John Rawls on ethics, […]
Written in 2003 not published. The United States of America now claims it wants to internationalise its operations in Iraq and to do this in a way that allows the US to maintain supreme authority. This is code for the US desire to have the member nations of the United Nations help pay for the […]
On the 11th of September 2001, I had been watching videos and drinking red wine. I was about to go to bed, I stopped the video and my TV reverted to the ABC where they reported that a plane had just flown in to the World Towers Building. At first I thought I was watching […]
I would like to call them murderers but if I did they would haul me before the courts where some fool would make an example of me the prosecutor would suggest I endangered the security of the realm engaged in treason abetted my country’s enemies caused unrest insulted those who are born to rule upset […]
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