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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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On Target

25 June 1982. Thought for the Week: "It is a catastrophe when evil triumphs, but it is an even greater catastrophe if it compels the just to injustice in order to combat it. Unless the world returns to moral conscience, to the value of the spirit and its primacy over force, power is only a source of destruction."
Paul Tournier

THE FALKLANDS AND LEBANON

Thankfully, the Falklands are now back in British hands. Setting aside for the moment the British Foreign Office intransigence that goaded Argentina to invade in the first place, the conduct of the war itself has maintained Britain's reputation for cool efficiency on land, sea and air. Realistic efforts to minimise casualties - particularly civilian casualties - were maintained within overall objectives that were pursued in a determined manner. The setting up of sanctuaries in Port Stanley under Red Cross supervision even before the final assault were a tribute to good British statesmanship. Our only regret is that Lord Carrington and nameless Foreign Office compromisers were not required to serve at the front during hostilities!

The conduct of the Falklands set-to was in marked contrast to the messy and vicious Israeli invasion of the Lebanon where the huge preponderance of civilian casualties - the aged, defenceless women and children - as well as the huge destruction of homes and property were apparently of no account to the invaders. But the Israeli 'cause' however it is interpreted has lost further international support for every physical gain in Lebanon.

An article in The Courier-Mail (Qld) June 13, 1982, expressed sentiments that would have been unthought of a year or two ago. Headed "How Long Can Begin Get Away With It?" the article said:
"....It is believed now in Washington that no one can control Israel as long as Mr. Begin is running it...As Israel's major ally the U.S. has had to put up with a long series of actions, ranging from the annoying to the perfidious, in the holy name of Israeli security. No U.S. President can control his own destiny as long as this special U.S. relationship exists with Israel... .Under Mr. Begin, Israel has apparently become the classic cause of the man who was asked what he wanted and who replied, "I want more."
The indignities, which Mr. Reagan has had to bear - as did his predecessors Carter and Ford - are numerous. None was more galling than the apparently deliberate lies Israel told the U.S. when the tanks first crossed the Lebanese border to secure, Israel said, a 40 km. buffer zone. This "buffer" zone is in the suburban streets of Beirut and no one in Washington corridors of power is prepared to accept the Israeli line that it was all Syria's fault that the war escalated. When it comes down to it, no one is prepared to accept either that the shooting of Israel's Ambassador to London last week was more than an excuse for Mr. Begin to mount a long planned invasion.
U.S. intelligence sources told their Israeli counterparts that all the information they had had indicated the London gunmen were opponents of the Palestine Liberation Organisation - or opponents of its more moderate wing led by Yasser Atafat. British Secret Service investigations have borne this out, according to highly placed British sources... Mr. Begin had ordered Beirut bombed once before - with a subsequent 900 or more casualties against the pleas of the U.S. He also ordered the attack against the Iraqi nuclear reactor, using U.S. supplied aircraft. For a time the U.S. held up deliveries of F-16 and F-15 assault jets but the Jewish lobby in the U.S. went to work with its usual breathtaking efficiency. The lobby is so successful because most Americans of all persuasions fervently believe in Israel's right to exist. It is this right, and all the emotions attached to the prolonged torture of the Jewish people in Europe, which has often clouded the U.S. view of the Middle East.
But the good guys versus bad guys (Israelis versus Arabs) analogy is starting to pall, largely due to Mr. Begin's intransigence. One of the turning points came last week when U.S. newspapers published reports that Israel had sold two squadrons of U.S.built Skyhawks to the Argentine to continue its war against Britain - a war in which the U.S. is firmly Britain's ally. Israel - with South Africa and Libya - is a well-known international arms dealer. The oppressive regime in Guatemala, for example, is armed exclusively by Israel since the U.S. cut off aid because of the appalling human rights record of the government there. If the reports that Israel has sold two squadrons of Skyhawks to Argentine are true, the issue becomes more complicated…"


THE TRANS-SIBERIAN GAS PIPELINE

On Target referred earlier this year to the belated attempt by the Reagan Administration to stop credits to the USSR for the Siberian pipeline. Once Western Europe is dependent on Soviet gas, its defence and economic freedom are enormously compromised. Canada extended the USSR a loan of $600 million at 10% interest in January of this year, specifically for this project.

In March 1974 the American columnist Paul Scott pointed out that Occidental Petroleum, headed by long time Marxist Armand Hammer, had the contract for opening up the Siberian fields. An article to hand from the Washington Post, syndicated in the Weekly Guardian (UK) on February 28th, 1982, adds some revealing facts. It was written by Dan Morgan, (author of the hard hitting "Merchants of Grain".) It said:

"The 25 billion Soviet natural gas pipeline, a project opposed by the Reagan administration, is destined to benefit not only European consumers, but also major multinational oil companies, including U.S. based Exxon, which have signed up for large volumes of the gas under agreements reached with the Soviets....Exxon, Shell of the Netherlands and Britain's B.P. are busily planning to add their share of the new Soviet gas to the pool they use to supply industries and homes in West Germany.
The stake of the oil multinationals in the pipeline project adds a new dimension to the unresolved tensions within the Reagan administration.... U.S. officials warn that the pipeline, the largest single East-West business deal in history, will drastically increase European dependence on Soviet energy, and will provide Moscow with $10 billion a year in hard currency....
"Reagan has absolutely no reason to forbid this business," said Wolfgang Oehme, chairman of Exxon's Hamburg based German subsidiary.... "We are working within the framework of a German government assessment that this project is good for Germany," said an Exxon spokesman in New York City.... Mobil appears to be the only major oil company operating in West Germany opposed to the deal. Officials of that company have declared that the pipeline is not necessary and have said that its completion will undermine Mobil's efforts to develop non-Soviet natural gas reserves in the North Sea and West Africa.
On February 15th the supervisory board of Ruhrgas, a huge West German utility in which the oil multinationals have a 65 percent equity interest gave final approval to the Soviet gas deal.... Ruhrgas has signed up for half of the new gas. Another quarter of it will go to a company called Brigitta, jointly owned by Exxon and Shell. Two other companies, Thyssengas and Gelsenberg, will each get 10 percent. Exxon and Shell each have a 25 percent interest in Thyssengas, while Gelsenberg is wholly owned by B.P…One of the strongest backers of the East-West trade ties is the industrialist Otto Wolff von Amerongen, head of the West German chamber of commerce and a member of Exxon's board of directors. Mannespann, the huge West German steel company that has a contract to supply wide diameter pipe for the Siberian gas line, owns a 7 percent interest in Ruhrgas, the largest German purchaser …MEGAL, the major pipeline transporting Soviet gas from the Czechoslovak border to the West, is jointly owned by Ruhrgas and the French national gas company...."

"Merchants of Grain", by Dan Morgan, now available from all League offices. Price: $9.00 posted.

THE GUARDIAN WEEKLY (U.K.) May 30th, 1982
"A confidential study prepared for the Soviet leadership has outlined a near disastrous decline in the Soviet Union's ability to feed itself. The study, made available in Moscow, provided figures that showed a tenfold increase in Soviet food imports over the past decade, staggering levels of mishandling of agricultural equipment and direct losses of harvested crops due to negligence and lack of storage or drying facilities.... for the period l966-70, the Soviet Union had to import 15 million tons of food, mainly grain and meat. From 1976 to 1980, food imports rose to 80 million tons."


THE EXTERNAL AFFAIRS POWER AND THE STATES

"There is no doubt about the Commonwealth (External Affairs) power in wartime. But apparently the extent of the defence and foreign affairs power could be questioned in peacetime." - Russell Schneider, in The Australian, June 19th.

Mr. Russell Schneider is the only political commentator whom we have read who has put his finger on the political peril of abuse of the external affairs provision of the Australian Constitution, in order to over ride both Constitution and the sovereignty of the States. We have known for quarter of a century, or more, that this was coming, and we have warned of it over the years. Mr. Schneider comments that this possibility (overturning the States' powers by the High Court) "is already beginning to dawn on people in Brisbane and Perth." We earnestly pray that this is really so.

Mr. Schneider also comments that: "it is not inconceivable that the new legislation (upholding of the Racial Discrimination Act) might be challenged. Again, we earnestly pray that it is. This question has been thrown into sharp focus by the prodding of Mr. John Cain by the Socialist Left (Communists) of the Victorian A.L.P. in order to have imposed in Victoria anti-nuclear shipping bans (and others). Such bans by a State over shipping are almost certainly unconstitutional, and could be over-ridden by the Commonwealth.

As Defence is at stake, Mr. Fraser, a good "gut" politician knows he would be on a winner if he could bring on a Federal election on this issue. We think that John Cain knows it also. This, in turn, has also brought into sharp focus the limits of the powers of the High Court, particularly with respect to the "external affairs" power of the Australian Constitution. The position now is that there will be two new appointments to the High Court, as Sir Ninian Stephen has resigned to become the next Governor General, and we suffered the sad loss of Sir Keith Aickin. Mr. Schneider is quite right; the appointments could decide the shape of the nation for many years to come. The late Senator Ivor Greenwood, a former Attorney General stated that the High Court would soon have to rule on these issues.

© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159