We Stopped the Boats Didn’t We?


copyright Des Pensable 2016

This story is fiction set in Australia a decade from now.

I was sitting in my apartment in Perth reading a newspaper article, that was discussing the Australia’s Conservative government’s claims that their latest policy to minimize illegal immigrants to Australia had worked. Global Warming was well advanced and we were seeing 1.8C and had no hope of staying below 2C.

All the tropical countries including our neighbours to our north were suffering food and water shortages and Climate Change had displaced over 100 million people around the world. Australia took almost none of them.

The new government had decided to grant food aid to Indonesia and other countries on the strict condition that they stopped any desperate Climate Refugees from leaving their shores seeking haven in Australia as we were already said to be overcrowded. They had recently reintroduced a white Australia policy.

A few pages later I noticed a small column stating that a Broome fisherman had seen an explosion on the horizon whilst fishing in a boat several km off shore and fearing some ship was in trouble, headed towards the location of the explosion only to be stopped by Australian Border Patrol officers on a US naval patrol boat. They had declared the area an operational ‘NO GO’ zone.

The fisherman returned to his port to be met by another two Border Patrol officers advising him to keep quiet about what he had seen or his fishing licence would be revoked. He ignored their warning and told the local police and a reporter on the local newspaper.

The reporter had asked the authorities why Australian Border Patrol officers were aboard a US vessel patrolling Australian waters and whether there had been an explosion or ship in distress. They claimed that there were no reports of any maritime incident and No US vessel with Border Patrol people aboard.

They stated that one of the fisherman’s friends had tipped them off that he had been drunk whilst fishing alone and risked an accident. They had cautioned him to stay sober and work safely.

I was curious and suspicious that there was more to this incident than reported. After tidying up my affairs at home a few days later I flew up to Broome asked around and eventually met the fisherman who didn’t wish to talk as his fishing permit had been revoked for three months.

After a couple of beers I managed to talk him into taking me for a paid tour up the coast as he was still licenced to take out tourists for a run. He was sensitive about my camera and mobile phone stating that he didn’t want anything recorded. So they were stashed in a sealed metal can while we motored out to sea.

I discretely told him that I was interested in the Government’s statement that they had stopped the boats coming using their Food for Suppression campaign as it was called in the media.  He didn’t say much as we motored out to sea about 10km. Then he pointed out to sea.

“I was about here when I saw the explosion. It was right on the horizon in that direction possibly 15 km away. I headed towards it and was stopped about half way there.”

As luck would have it, there was another explosion on the horizon. I had seen these before it was a missile. The faint vapour trail was still visible.

“It was just like that one.” he said. “Do you believe me now! “ he shouted as we headed off towards the area.

“Do you mind if I take a picture”. I asked. He agreed and retrieved my mobile phone took several pictures of the smoke and mailed it off to several friends with and explanation about my location, why I was there and what I had seen.

We made it there just as the US naval patrol boat arrived. There were people and bodies floating in the water wearing life jackets. We were ordered to stop and two Australian uniformed Border Patrol officers came aboard. They wanted to see any cameras and mobile phones and confiscated them, then ordered us back to port.

I asked what we had done wrong and why they were ordering us around but got no answer. We were met on the dock by another four officers and taken to the local police station where we were arrested for fishing without a licence and resisting arrest. We were not allowed to speak to anyone, handcuffed and hooded, then flown by private plane somewhere.

I was placed in a small cement cell not high enough for me to stand and several hours later the interrogations started by Border patrol men and plain clothes men with US accents. I asked what I was charged with but received no answer.

I was questioned over and over again for 48 hours straight. What was I doing there with the fisherman? What had I seen? I started by telling them I was just a tourist but eventually admitted that I wanted to verify the fisherman’s story in the newspaper out of curiosity.

What I didn’t tell them was that before I visited the fisherman I had visited an ex-serviceman who had flown armed drones in the Middle East. He had told me that the Border Patrol had hired some from the US Navy and were using them to spot refugee ships.

The next thing that he said confirmed my worst suspicions. A drone pilot and good friend of his had told him that he was offered a contract to stop the refugee boats using drones armed with missiles. He had refused but said others were not so fussy.

I wrote a story about this before I went to visit the fisherman and sent it to several sources within Australia and overseas to be opened if I disappeared for more than a week.

On my second week of captivity the story was out in the social media. Australia was using armed drones to stop refugee ships landing in Australia. Indonesia leaked that several ships had eluded them and they had wondered why they never heard from them again.  A whistle blower confirmed the story and the US Navy refused to confirm or deny they were involved.

The Australian Civil Rights Commissioner demanded to know what had happened to me. After questions were asked in parliament it was revealed that I was charged with espionage, stealing National secrets and endangering Australia’s reputation. I was nominally in gaol for a minimum of 15 years without trial as seeing what you are not supposed to see was a National Security issue.

Eventually after a year of fighting in and out of parliament I was released on the condition that I said nothing to the media. I was not allowed to tell what I had seen. I was told that the fisherman had been released months ago and had drowned in a fishing accident. I resolved not to go fishing in the near future.

The most ironic part of the whole experience was just before I was released one of the senior Border Control officers said. “We stopped the boats didn’t we? You’ve gone and fucked our best policy yet.  Now we’ll have to use our submarines and they’re a bloody lot more expensive to run.

I wished the Australian public had had the courage to get rid of the psychopaths in the government a decade ago but perhaps their inaction, their fear and willful blindness told another more sinister story.

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Read the real story about the Australia’s Refugee shame in 2016 below

The worst I’ve seen – trauma expert lifts lid on ‘atrocity’ of Australia’s detention regime

German Study: TTIP Trade Agreement Will Cost Australia and Canada More Than $100 Billion Each Year Within a Decade

climate-change happens quickly

Des Pensable copyright 2016

There has been little discussion anywhere about how the massive USA- European TTIP trade agreement, (the sister agreement to the TPP) will affect Australia and Canada. That is perhaps because it will affect them adversely and the pro-trade politicians and US aligned media are keeping quiet about it.

One German Study was quite candid about the TTIP. There will be winners and losers. The biggest winners will be the USA and the UK and the biggest losers will be Australia and Canada. I’ll bet that’s a surprise!

Australia will lose the equivalent of 7.41% of its GDP growth which roughly equates to about $106 billion per year. Canada will lose about 9.48% of its GDP or about $153 billion per year in 2012 US dollars. I’ll bet most Australians and Canadians don’t know that!

The German study suggested countries outside the TTIP would lose 250,000 jobs. Presumably Australia and Canada will be hard hit losing tens of thousands of jobs. In addition to these losses Australia will lose about 39,000 jobs and Canada 58,000 jobs from the TPP.

In another study looking at different scenarios by the Petersen Institute in the USA, Australia, Canada and the USA would do the best if they all join the  ASEAN economies in an Asian Free Trade deal.

Everyone gains from this except it might mean the USA has to share world hegemonic economic power with China as a duopoly. As one analyst states It’s highly unlikely that the defence neoconservatives in the US government would wish to share power with China.

They see the TTIP and TPP as strategic parts of their geopolitical struggle to maintain US world transnational corporate hegemony. This could lead to an economic cold war between a US corporate aligned TTIP/TPP trade block and the China/Russia BRICS trading block. That would have negative consequences for everyone in the world.

Both the TTIP and TPP have only a few chapters that are specifically about trade, the rest are about restructuring all the counties internal structures to make it more amenable to control by the US /European transnational corporations.

We know that TTIP and TPP will affect every aspect of people’s lives through privatisation of government assets and changes in local health and environmental laws. Countries will not be allowed to make any laws that override the TPP laws.

It takes away the power of your elected political representatives in the future.  This takes away every country’s independence and sovereignty. All will truly become dependant vassal states of a massive USA/ European transnational corporate hegemony.

The people of the USA are also losers in these trade deals. The US people will lose jobs like when they signed the NAFTA agreement. It’s believed they lost 700, 000 jobs offshore in that deal. They will undoubtedly suffer greater inequality, more poverty and more corporate owned debt chaining them to ever worsening economic slavery, and of course less personal freedom.

There is another IMPORTANT factor that will substantially change all economic scenarios including the TTIP and TPP. Neither of these trade agreements mentions Global Warming.

This is said to be the biggest threat to our civilisation the world has ever known yet it is not mentioned in these treaties. The Paris Climate Change agreement was all about mitigating the potentially catastrophic effects of Global Warming.

The TPP has raised warning flags that it could have disastrous effects on efforts to mitigate Global Warming around the world. EVERYTHING our industrial world produces uses fossil fuels in its manufacture and fossil fuels in its transport.

International trade is mainly by sea trade which uses bunker fuel. This is environmentally the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel which already accounts 3-4% carbon pollution (more than the whole of Australia) and a large proportion of the world’s sulphur and nitrogen pollution. These gases are the prime cause of Global warming and ocean acidification.

World trade is expected to double in the next 20 years. More TPP/TTIP trade logically means the use of more fossil fuels, more environmental pollution and faster and more serious Global Warming threatening the world and YOUR family’s future. This has been CONFIRMED by a recent US sustainable development study.

In addition to the increased Global Warming from increased trade, the ISDS clauses within both the TTIP and TPP agreements create a private corporate legal system that can kill Global Warming mitigation. Both Australia and Canada are seriously at risk for hundreds of billions in costs here. Canada already knows the serious risks of the ISDS from the large number of ISDS claims from the NAFTA agreement.

The world is currently at a turning point. Global Warming threatens everyone’s future and the TTIP and TPP will add extra threats.

We have to VERY seriously consider whether the TPP and TTIP, which will cost us jobs, increase Global Warming, hamper our efforts to mitigate it and create new corporate controlled trade blocks that have the potential to create a new cold war with China / Russia aligned states is in the world’s best interest or not. Is it in YOUR best interest?

If we decide that it’s not in OUR world’s best interest then we must mobilise EVERY EFFORT to make sure these dangerous TTIP and TPP agreement are not ratified but instead placed in the dust bin of history where they belong.  Decide soon or forever rest in peace!

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Other similar stories by the author that relate to this story.

The Dangerous Relationship between TPP/TTIP/TISA, US Dollar and Global Warming

Will Malcolm Turnbull Use the ISDS in the TPP to Sell Our Souls to the DEVIL ?

The TPP/TTIP Agreements Mean More Global Warming and a World Trade War