Published in Overland Issue 210 Autumn 2013 Uncategorized Editorial Jeff Sparrow When Statesmen gravely say ‘We must be realistic’, The chances are they’re weak and, therefore, pacifistic, But when they speak of Principles, look out: perhaps Their generals are already poring over maps. We go to print almost exactly on the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, a historic crime that perfectly illustrates Auden’s point, given the unctuous, oily rhetoric of that time cloaking all the war’s most grotesque atrocities in the vocabulary of humanitarianism. This edition of Overland contains much terrific writing – in the essays, as well as the stories and the prize-winning poems in the Overland Judith Wright competition. Our contributors focus on the most pressing issues of the era, from environmental crisis to the resurgence of fascism, and from the war on terror to the oppression of Tibet. Collated under the one cover, these essays paint a picture of the massive challenges facing our generation. The problems can seem overwhelming, especially since, in many instances, no obvious solutions present themselves. Then again we are past the time for comforting illusions. A decade ago, our leaders proclaimed a new kind of politics, even as they confidently hitched their principles into the service of lies. Today, in the wake of Iraq (and, after it, the GFC), we hear less of the rhetoric of interventions and civilisational clashes, precisely because the politicians of today feel so much weaker. That’s a good thing, as anyone who looks at the record of Iraq will know. But it does foster a broader perception that alternatives to the status quo are in short supply. Today, there’s a chance for the Left to rearticulate its own principles, to outline a way forward not based on crisis and violence. But that means beginning with the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be. That’s what this edition’s about. Jeff Sparrow Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland. More by Jeff Sparrow Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 7 February 2023 Aboriginal Australia Victoria police back down, is this a case for defunding? Crystal McKinnon and Meriki Onus After three arduous years, Victoria Police have today withdrawn their charges against two organisers of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest. Whilst we welcome their decision, we note that their mediocrity gave them no other option. Emboldened by their state-sanctioned impunity, Victoria Police’s ineptitude hit a dead end. Pigs cannot fly. First published in Overland Issue 228 6 February 20237 February 2023 Aboriginal Australia Winaga-li Gunimaa Gali: listen, hear, think, understand from our sacred Mother Earth and our Water Winaga-li Gunimaa Gali Collective To winaga-li, Gomeroi/Kamilaroi people must be able to access Gunimaa. They must be able to connect and re-connect. Over 160 years of colonisation has privileged intensive agriculture, grazing and heavily extractive water management regimes, enabled by imposed property regimes and governance systems. Gunimaa and Gali still experience the violent repercussions of these processes, including current climate changes which are exacerbating impacts, as droughts become longer, floods and heat extremes become more intense, and climatic zones shift, impacting on species’ viability and biodiversity.