6 July 2001. Thought for the Week: "When Christ said, 'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's', He gave to the State a legitimacy it had never before enjoyed and set bounds to it that had never yet been acknowledged. And He not only delivered the precept, but He also forged the instrument to execute it. To limit the power of the State ceased to be the hope of patient, intellectual philosophers and became the perpetual charge of a universal Church."
Eric D. Butler, Melbourne, 1956
ESCALATING CHAOS TO OUR NORTH
by Jeremy Lee
The charges against ExxonMobil, filed by the International Labor Rights Fund, allege there was widespread suppression and torture by the Indonesian troops who were guarding the installations, and that ExxonMobil built barracks and provided other infrastructure for the troops. It is reminiscent of the earlier situation in Angola and now Sierra Leone, where international oil companies, oblivious to the fighting and starvation round them, paid mercenaries to guard their operations. In the case of Angola, Cuban troops were brought in, staying for many years.
Describing the suit, The Weekend Australian (23-24/6/01) reported: " .... During that period Mobil Oil, which has since merged with Exxon, provided logistical and material support to Indonesian troops, including building barracks where elite military units carried out torture, and provided excavators used to dig mass graves ....."
It is simply another case of multinationals ruthlessly carrying out their operations across the world, oblivious of the misery they are causing in the process.
THE PEOPLE-SMUGGLING RACKET
Meanwhile, as Australia grapples with the increasingly tortuous issue of illegal boat people, the evidence is emerging of a highly organized people-smuggling cartel. The Weekend Australian (23-24/6/01) said: "Two main crime syndicates are dominating the people-smuggling trade from Indonesia to Australia, reaping personal fortunes of tens of millions of dollars for a handful of bosses, according to Indonesian and Australian investigators. The syndicates have effectively divided the people trade to Australia into two regions and have developed elaborate organizations to counter heightened police operations....."
The report went on to describe how Indonesians had identified 22 leading figures in the trade, including five key bosses. One had compiled at least $40 million from the racket by arranging illegal entry into Australia. One Australian immigration official trying to unravel the system was forced to leave Indonesia after death threats. Under the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, Australia is one of only 10 resettlement nations, according to Paul Kelly writing in the same issue. The others are Canada, Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the US. Australia's acceptance rate is the highest in the world. Governments round the world are spending $10 billion trying to determine refugee status. Overall there are now 22 million refugees in the world.
AUSTRALIA AND THE UNITED NATIONS
The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign
Affairs, Defence and Trade has now produced its final report
on "Australia's Role In United Nations Reform". The Committee
of 18 members from the Senate and the House of Representatives
started its deliberations on November 15th, 1999, taking submissions
from the public over the following year. It was asked to consider
and report on:
The Report, a lengthy tome of over 300 pages is much too long to analyse in On Target. It is a mixed bag, generally endorsing the raison d'etre and the expansion of the United Nations. However, there are one or two pluses, and some definite minuses. The Committee recommended against the establishment of a permanent UN Standing Army, with the retention by Australia of the right to consider each peace-keeping operation on its merits. On the other hand, the Committee endorsed the establishment of an International Criminal Court, and called for Australia to ratify the proposal.
Four members of the Committee dissented,
recording their reasons in a dissenting report. They were:
Mrs. Deanne Kelly, MHR; the Hon. Geoff Prosser, MHR; Dr. Andrew
Southcott, MHR; and Mr. Andrew Thomson, MHR. In their reasons
for dissent, these four said "Dissenting members have several
concerns about the proposed International Criminal Court.
These concerns are the implications for Australia's domestic
criminal justice system, Australia's sovereignty, the potential
for politicization of the ICC and the effect this may have
on United States unilateral action against terrorism."
What will be the status of decisions of the ICC? Will they be binding or persuasive? This appears to be a puzzling contradiction. The Australia Acts of 1975 and 1986 abolished the Privy Council as a court of final appeal for Australian courts. Although the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is no longer part of the Australian legal hierarchy, and its decisions are therefore persuasive only, the proposed ICC and its decisions would appear to constitute binding precedent in Australian common law by virtue of the ICC's paramountcy over any Australian investigation or prosecution. We find this paradox unacceptable...... Ratifying the ICC represents a surprising excursion into law making based on notions outside the normal constitutional arrangement, as reflected in Chapter III of the Constitution. This profound shift in the operation of our domestic court system requires long debate before any such move could be contemplated ...."
The dissenters went on to point out that a number of recent military actions - notably NATO's invasion of Kosovo and the US invasion of Iraq - had not been endorsed by the UN Security Council, and were illegal in international law. This led to the question, was international law for some but not for others? By far the most comprehensive dissenting report was from Senator Brian Harradine, who objected in a well reasoned and lengthy report to a number of aspects that had not been covered; the abject failure of a number of UN peacekeeping missions; the corruption being uncovered in UN refugee officials' complicity in illegal immigration rackets; the general corruption in UN agencies; and the attack on values inherent in the demand that Australia ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Rights Against Women.
This Report on Australia's Role in United Nations Reform is worth reading for a number of reasons; firstly, that for the majority of politicians, the impact of international treaties and conventions on Australia's Constitution is the last thing on their minds; but secondly, for the fact that there is now a minority who are prepared to consider Australia's sovereignty - a welcome improvement on a few years ago. The dissenters obviously need congratulating for their views. But they should be asked whether they will take their dissent as far as voting against their parties in the House if they have an opportunity to do so.
It also raises questions: is the whole thing just a 'public face' operation, which will have little effect on Australia's ultimate decisions? Many suspect, with good reason, that many areas of our foreign policy are not subjected to sufficient parliamentary scrutiny, and that there is no mechanism to test the constitutional validity of the international commitments we are making. Those who made submissions to the Committee will have received their copies of the Report. It will probably cost those who wish to purchase a copy the usual high price the Government has developed the habit of charging. But it's certainly worth getting. ISBN 0 642 366446
THE CHURCH RENDERING UNTO MAMMON
by Betty Luks
An Anglican Church minister working with street-kids and drug addicts was then asked to speak. He agreed, and when it was explained to him why the invitation was at such short notice, his comment was that "probably the reason the Salvation Army fellow backed out was because they received such large funds from governments".
After reading the 5-page feature article "Inside the Collection Tin" in The Weekend Australian, 23-24/6/01, the reasons for the back away became clearer. "...With an unquestionable reputation for helping the poor, the aged, the homeless and others in need. The Salvation Army wins twice as much funding as any other church-based charity in addition to the millions raised from Australians each year." In their "war against poverty and sin" the 30,000-strong membership of the Salvation Army has amassed net assets of over $1billion and a total investment portfolio of $300 million.
The money raised last year by the Red Shield Appeal amounted to more than $40 million. "But," as the Weekend Australian went on to report, "God's work has also become very big business. If the Salvation Army were a company, it would sit comfortably in Australia's top 200. Split into two territories, one centred in Melbourne and the other in Sydney, it ... has a healthy annual income nestling at about $350 million."
Not only that, the Weekend Australian explained, "In the next month one of the Salvation Army's two Australian territories will choose a new investment house to handle a $150 million parcel held in cash, shares and long-term deposits with instructions to look offshore as well as locally to earn the best returns. Its second territory also has a similar amount invested."
The high-fliers who give the Salvation
Army 'sound' financial advice
In their 'war against poverty and sin' do the hierarchy ever ask themselves why there is so much 'sin and poverty' in a land literally flowing with 'milk and honey'? The World Bank described Australia as the richest nation in the world with natural assets far outweighing any other nation. 'Australia' may have the assets, the know-how and the natural resources, but most Australians don't get access to it. If Mammon was put in its place then maybe the Churches wouldn't have so much 'sin and poverty' upon which to war!
The incontrovertible truth is the present financial mechanism is a usurious system and all who use the money created by this system are partakers of 'usury' with its awful consequences. We were told we cannot serve God and Mammon. Therefore, if we are to serve God faithfully, Mammon must be put back in its place - that of a servant! And as the organised Churches claim to speak in the 'name of God', isn't it time they inquired into why, and then explaine to their followers why usurious Mammon rules and not God?
BASIC FUNDSlowly, but ever so surely the Fund is being filled. Some very generous contributions have come in over the last week or so, and again we say a humble 'thank you'. In a way, it is 'a money vote of confidence' from our supporters to the League and the work accomplished. The total has risen to $42,795.80. We are now on the way to filling the last third of the appeal.
LEAGUE JOURNALS TO GO ON TO CDOn the drawing board is the big task of placing all the League's journals onto CD. This means all the journals published over the last 40 to 50 years. It will put the material into a more permanent form and make the material available to anyone with a computer. The task will begin with the On Target weekly commentary. A most sincere thank you to the team who have been sorting and collating the journals for the next stage of the project. It was a huge task performed by a dedicated team of voluntary supporters. Where would the League be without such people? In fact, they are the League. Wherever League supporters are - from the eastern coastlands to the western-most parts of the continent - they are voluntarily working away accomplishing all sorts of tasks and projects under the banner of the Australian League of Rights. You know I mean you when I say thank you!
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The following letter was sent to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald in reply to an article written by two gentlemen from the B'nai B'rith attacking the League of Rights. As yet it has not been published.
Sir, I sometimes wonder if I really do live in the same country and speak the same language as some of the critics of the Australian League of Rights. Journalist Paul Sheehan rightly quoted me as saying the League "has no prejudice against anybody" a quote to which Messrs. Gold and Apple of the B'nai B'rith Anti-defamation Commission took exception ("Shadowy racist group is still in a league of its own", SMH, 15/6/01).
The League does not have a prejudice against anyone... in the true sense of the word! Prejudice contains the meaning of 'a judgement or opinion formed without due examination'. Methinks the gentlemen in question need to examine their own prejudices. Prejudice in this day and age is the 'mob-psyche' - the irrational force of 'public opinion' backed by hostile emotion against anyone who dares to challenge it - the 'politically correct' opinion. This 'public opinion' is formed by the endless repetition and suggestion to which we are all subjected through the different types of media and the political and educational systems. Such mob-psyching is as old as civilisation, but was formerly limited by the range of the human voice.
A prejudiced opinion is not the genuine
opinion formed by the individual after thinking through the
emotional, superficial and sloganish aspects of anything,
nor is it that common thinking which arises from a centuries-old
common culture founded upon generations of common beliefs,
such as those of traditional Christianity. In over 50 years
the League's objectives have never changed and have been written
up for all to examine, think through and judge accordingly.
As a Christian based movement it does uphold the Trinitarian
Constitutional Monarchy, with its systems of de-centralised
power and insists on the importance of individual freedoms
As National Director, and on behalf of the many supporters who know and respect Eric Butler, one of the founders of the League, I do take exception to the gentlemen in question accusing Mr. Butler of supporting the Nazis in WW2 ("... which have their genesis in Butler's wartime support for the Nazis..."). Eric Butler served his nation during WW2; he was on active service in the islands north of Australia, later he was an instructor at the Canungra Jungle-Training Camp in Queensland. He was honourably discharged at the end of the war and many years later had his military service medals presented to him by Bruce Ruxton of the Victorian RSL.
I believe Messrs. Gold and Apple owe Eric Butler an apology and pray their prejudices are not so entrenched they cannot find it within themselves to do so. Yours faithfully, Betty Luks, National Director Australian League of Rights, June 24th, 2001
THE IRISH AND THE EUROPEAN STATE
by Antonia Feitz
Showing both their own cravenness and their contempt for the democratic process, some leaders of other European countries admitted their people would have similarly rejected the Treaty. Unfortunately for those people, their constitutions didn't require their governments to consult them by a referendum. This proves that the formation of the European superstate is being done with little if any popular support. It's being imposed from the top down.
The Irish Attorney General, Michael McDowell, has come out strongly supporting Ireland's national sovereignty. He's the fourth Cabinet Minister to do so. At the Gothenburg meeting the Irish finance minister, Charlie McCreevy, described the referendum result as a "healthy development". Can anybody imagine the likes of Costello championing our sovereignty? Clearly the Irish don't trust the Eurocrats and McDowell has warned Brussels that it won't be easy to make them change their minds. With a bit of Irish luck, a second referendum might just infuriate them enough to deliver an even stronger rejection.
PORNOGRAPHY AND VIOLENCE
by Antonia Feitz
What were the changes?
Common sense would suggest there is
a link but liberals consistently claim it has never been proved.
Irving Kristol pointed out the absurdity
of the it's-not-been-proved line.
And guess what? When the police arrested him they found a large number of pornographic videos and magazines. One video and one magazine were called, "Fist F***ing". In his police interview the man agreed that the brutal practice he indulged in was his sexual fantasy. And he agreed that he had re-enacted what he'd seen on the videos. What decent human being would ever conceive of such a thing?
Read is right: the onus of proving no
link between violent sexual crime and pornography lies squarely
with those who claim there is no link. While disliking censorship
Read said, "Commonsense dictates we have gone too far and
some restrictions need to be put in place." Indeed. The fight
to update Australia's draconian censorship laws was never
intended to protect such filth.
WEST AUSTRALIA'S STATE WEEKEND
Saturday, August 11th - 35th Annual Seminar
& Dinner for the Australian League of Rights
SCHEDULE for Australian League of Rights
Tour July/August 2001 with speaker Mrs. Betty Luks, National
SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S STATE WEEKEND - August 18th
The Seminar theme is: "Centenary of the
Federal Commonwealth". Venue: Christ Church Parish Centre,
O'Halloran Hill, South Australia. Commences: 10am. Admission
$12 per person.
Speaking on "The Port Arthur Massacre", Wendy Scurr & Andrew McGregor will be doing a series of meetings prior to the SA Weekend. At this stage meetings have been arranged for Melbourne, Horsham, Nhill and Apsley in Victoria; Pt. Pirie in South Australia.
QUEENSLAND SEMINAR TAPES
The following tapes are available on
speeches made at the very successful Queensland seminar of
the Australian League of Rights:
COST: $5.00 per tape, including postage. Money, with order, from: CVA TAPES, PO Box 987, Inverell, NSW, 2360.
"On Target" is published by the Australian League of Rights, Box 1052. G.P.O. Melbourne 3001.