Monday, July 08, 2019


* The US broke the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA - an international legal agreement ratified by the United Nations Security Council) over a year ago, when the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew. 

* Even the Obama administration which negotiated and signed the Iran nuclear agreement violated it. 

* The UN international nuclear agency (IAEA) consistently reported Iran in full compliance with the agreement.

* Other signatories have failed to fully honour it by not countering the effects of the unilateral US economic sanctions against Iran.

* Iran has been very patient and transparent about its intentions all along, and has given deadlines for the other signatories (especially UK, France, Germany) to bring effective relief from US sanctions.

* Iran recently exceeded the stockpiled amounts of nuclear materials because US sanctions prevented its export! 

* Iran’s uranium enrichment to higher levels is for their legal peaceful nuclear programme, still way below the 90% needed for nuclear weapons.

* Iran can reverse these changes when the other signatories honour their commitments to relieve US sanctions.

* Iran has no nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons programme. Israel has nuclear weapons!

* Iran, unlike Israel, has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and is under stringent international inspections.

* Iran has consistently renounced nuclear weapons, and called for a Nuclear Weapons Free Middle East.

* Iran has conventional weapons for its legitimate self-defense and deterrence against long-threatened attacks. 

* If attacked, Iran has had decades to prepare for asymmetrical warfare, and casualties would not be limited to Iran.

* The US must end its unilateral sanctions, economic warfare and military provocations and threats against Iran which are illegal under the UN Charter and international law.

* The other signatories to the JCPOA must act to effectively stop the illegal US sanctions, crimes against humanity.

* Iran deserves empathy and respect as the victim in this situation, and for showing patience and restraint.

* Beware of dishonest news stories and simplistic headlines pushing an anti-Iran bias and lies by those promoting conflict.

* Time for diplomacy and peaceful relations instead of economic bullying and thuggery. No one will win a war against Iran!

Bruce McPhie

July 9, 2019

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AUDIO INTERVIEW with leading Middle East and Asia analyst Dr. Mohammad Marandi, University of Tehran, on what’s really driving US-Iran tensions. 

Background reading on Iran:
Iran. . .

“Defy the U.S. sanctions, ignore the misinformation. 
Everyone should visit Iran!”
I travelled on the amazing two-week Intrepid Iran Adventure
August 25 – September 7, 2018

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Many insightful articles on Iran and other news:
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Friday, June 28, 2019

Shame Australia, shame!
PM Scott Morrison on Iran: we'll 'seriously' consider any US request to join military action
Shame Australia, shame!

The Australian Government would “seriously” consider any US request to join military action against Iran. 

So, Australia would seriously consider participating in yet another war crime of aggression against a country not threatening Australia? Have we learned nothing from our war crimes based on lies in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria...?

Unilateral US sanctions and economic warfare against Iran are already a criminal attack, a war crime, and a crime against humanity. As with any country, Iran has the legal right to defend itself against such attacks.

Australia claims to still support the international Iran nuclear agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - JCPOA), which is obviously a lie, as it also supports the criminal economic sanctions against Iran.

According to all available evidence, Iran has no nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons programme.

Iran has declared it is not seeking nuclear weapons, and has repeatedly called for a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East. Iran’s highest authority Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa (religious decree) banning acquisition of nuclear weapons as illegal. Israel has the nuclear weapons.

Iran still adheres to the international agreement, which the US unilaterally withdrew from a year ago, and Iran calls on the other nations to honour their commitments under the JCPOA, including protecting Iran from the devastating effects of the unilateral US sanctions. Iran is enriching uranium, but to levels way below weapons grade, for its legitimate peaceful nuclear programme.

Iran, like any other country, is developing weapons for self-defense against obvious threats, not to attack Australia or any other country. If attacked, Iran has the means and determination to defend itself with asymmetrical warfare, which would have far-reaching consequences. 

Casualties would not be limited to Iran, and there is the real potential of a disastrous regional or even World War. Contrary to the propaganda, Iran is not the "biggest state sponsor of terrorism" - that would be the USA and Saudi Arabia.

For Australia to engage in any military action against Iran, a sovereign country not threatening Australia, would be a blatant violation of the UN Charter and international law. It would be a war crime of aggression and a crime against humanity. 

The use of force, or even the threat to use force in an unprovoked attack, is against international law, which Australia claims to respect. Australia has a bad habit of following the US into war crimes. It must not be allowed to add Iran to its list.

The Australian people really must wake up, and speak up against the ongoing war against Iran. If not, they will share responsibility for the disastrous consequences which will inevitably follow. 

Those conspiring to get into a war with Iran must be restrained. It is time to end the sanctions, reverse the rhetoric for war, and give diplomacy and peace a chance.

The Australian Government should be condemned for even entertaining the thought of attacking Iran. 

Australia must unequivocally inform the US government that Australia will not participate in any military action against Iran. Australia should also end its support for the brutal economic sanctions and economic warfare against Iran and the Iranian people.

If not… Shame Australia, shame!

- Bruce McPhie
July 28, 2019

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

American Herald Tribune
Will the Australian Government Join in a "Nuremberg Class" Attack on Iran?

My response:

History would suggest that "Canberra" will do whatever it's masters in Washington dictate, willingly or subserviently. Australia long ago gave up its independence and sovereignty to be a colony of the warmongering USA. Sadly, this is bipartisan.

War Crimes R Us!
Are Australians, who once proudly stood up for the battler against the bully, ok with this?

Have we learnt nothing from our war crimes based on lies, including in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria? Have we sold out our humanity, integrity, empathy, common sense and self-respect, to side again with an aggressive bully? Do we even understand any of this, given the misinformation peddled by the corporate-State ‘news’ media? 

Or will we finally wake up and stand up against the corrupted politicians and irresponsible media recklessly leading us into yet another war of aggression? Iraq déjà vu – but warring against Iran will be so much worse, including for ‘us’!

For such a long time, we have been deliberately drip-fed lies and false narratives about the world, and Iran, so that now what most people believe is actually the opposite of reality.

Iran is not the country destabilizing and warring against the world, or the leading "sponsor of terrorism" - that would be the USA and its allies. 

Iran does not have a nuclear weapons programme, according to everyone except the deluded warmongers. Even the current uranium enrichment (fully one year after the US walked away from the international agreement regulating it) is way below weapons grade and is for legal peaceful purposes.

Iran has no nuclear weapons, and has stated it has no intention of having nuclear weapons – although the aggressive actions of the US might excuse them if they decide to change their mind. Israel has the nukes, but we are not allowed to talk about that. And the US is the only country so far to have ever used them.

Iran has stated it will not be the first to attack.

Actually, the USA has already been the first to attack, by withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and imposing sanctions and waging economic warfare against the country and people, with disastrous results. 

But if Iran is militarily attacked, does anyone seriously think Iran would not respond? 

Iran can use asymmetrical warfare with devastating consequences. Iran is literally surrounded by enemy targets, on land and water. Imagine the fallout if Iranian missiles were to hit Israeli nuclear weapons?

Does anyone think a war against Iran, including the current economic warfare, will have casualties only in Iran?

How about giving up the long-term, illegal ‘regime change’ plan, ending the sanctions and economic blockade, and giving peace and diplomacy a chance?

Wake up people, before we sleep walk into disaster!

- Bruce McPhie 
June 26, 2019       

Need an antidote to the corporate-State 'news' media? 
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Monday, June 17, 2019

Rest in Peace 
John Brant Ellis 
December 3, 1929 - June 15, 2019

A life well-lived, 
his legacy will live on

I have been dreading getting this news for a long time, but nothing really prepares for the deep sadness and sense of loss when it finally comes. 

Long-time friend, comrade, activist for peace and humanity, John Ellis will never be forgotten by anyone privileged to have known him. 

His life's work will continue to serve future generations thanks to his vast and unique collection of photos and documents recording the struggles for a better world, now preserved forever in the Melbourne University Archives. 

My sincere condolences to John's family, friends and especially to Dianne, his faithful partner and carer to the end.

Sadly, today’s world is not yet blessed with the peace and justice John devoted his whole life to achieving, but his example must motivate the rest of us to keep struggling for it, with the same positive energy and inspiration shown by the remarkable John Ellis. 

Rest-In-Peace John Ellis.
- Bruce McPhie

We always enjoyed meeting on my annual holiday from Vietnam
(Melbourne, November 2008)

                    Opening night of Speak Out! exhibition, 2006

A moving tribute for John Ellis by Peter Love on the Labour History website.

John Ellis
By Peter Love

Our long-time comrade and radical activist John Ellis has died at home with Diane by his side.
It’s said that you’re not dead ‘till you’re forgotten. If so, it’ll take a long time for John to go. We remember his memoirs of a busy life as a PKIU workplace activist in Flinders Street and later at Hawthorn where he printed many ‘foreigners’ for anti-war and other campaigns. Like many printers he was fiercely proud of the skills his trade conferred and the dignity that accompanied it, all of which was embodied in their union and all that it stood for.
John was associated with CICD in Melbourne from its earliest years. He attended many of its demonstrations and functions, camera in hand, capturing the event for us all. Political activism and photography were bound together in John’s life. When recruiting me as his apprentice for labour movement photography he told me how he came to it. He and his comrades at anti-war marches were irritated by ASIO agents taking photographs of all their activity so John decided to turn the tide and photograph them. Apparently ASIO was annoyed.
For most of his industrial and political activism, John always carried his camera. Over the years he amassed a remarkable collection of images and, to his enduring credit, kept them in reasonable order. It is through John’s work that we have clear, engaging shots of demonstrations, marches, speeches and songs, sometimes by very famous singers. 

John’s sense of history, which attracted him to the Labour History Society where he maintained long-term membership, encouraged him to accept the offer from Melbourne University Archives to take his collection into their archives. They also helped him to arrange the photos into a coherent order with John’s comments on the images. As such, they are now the best collection of radical and labour movement photographs in the country. They stand as an enduring testimony of his devotion to the movement as well as a legacy for us all to embrace.
In his youth, John took an interest in music, toying with various instruments, as many of us do, until he eventually settled for choral singing with the Victorian Trade Union Choir. Before that, he was already very keen on political music. He was captivated by Paul Robeson and all that he represented. Pete Seeger was another of his favourites who he sought out on a trip to the USA, along with other campaigner for peace. 

He enjoyed both the singing and the comradeship of the choir, where he made several deep and enduring friendships. I recall one occasion where he collapsed during a choir performance at Trades Hall and as the Ambos wheeled him out of the lift on a gurney, he handed me his camera and commanded me to get the ‘decisive moment’ as he was carried off. I obeyed and still have the image.
There’s a lot to be said about John Brant Ellis but one thing stands out. He was a thoroughly decent, interesting and engaging comrade. It was always good to be in his company and, now, to rejoice in the memory of it.

Read more, including details of John's photographic collection and public Comments:

About John

"John Brant Ellis was born on 3rd December, 1929 in Melbourne. He was educated at Albert Park Primary School and South Melbourne Technical School. Upon leaving school he completed a six-year apprenticeship to Hand and Machine Composition (Linotype operator). From 1951 till 1955 he held various typesetting jobs in Melbourne and Kalgoorlie as well as having a twelve month break on an overseas trip.

John had first become interested in photography when his mother gave him her precious bellows-type Kodak camera to take overseas in 1951..."

That's just the beginning. 
Learn more about the remarkable life of John Ellis:

Honouring John Ellis

On Sunday 3 April, 2016 the Campaign for International Co-operation and Disarmament (CICD) paid tribute to the work of John Ellis as campaign activist and photographer in the cause of peace, honouring him with Life Membership.

University of Melbourne Archives
One of Australia's largest research archives, our rich and varied collections are available to all. 
Search: John Ellis Collection

John at work on the Herald Gravure Printers' Intertype Fotosetter, circa 1980s

Outside the White House, Washington, 1993

Arrested at Northern Territory Jabiluka uranium mine, 1998

Victorian Trade Union Choir in support of Maritime Union of Australia, Webb Dock, 2001

Protest against sale of Queenscliff High School site, 2001

Musique playing on board the Queenscliff Ferry, 2011

Photographing posters at home

Speak Out! photographic exhibition, 2006 - John and Dianne

John and Dianne