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15 October 1999. Thought for the Week: "The idea of a long-term strategy on the part of a powerful group of men aiming at World Control is no longer one which can be lightly dismissed as fantastic... and it is becoming difficult to understand the mentality of those who insist that this particular group of men, all associated with banking and finance, acquired such a position by chance.
It is possible now in retrospect to see the key position in the Plan occupied by the financial depression of the 1930's and especially by the policy of the banks in bringing about agricultural depression, with its unavoidable accompaniment of destructive exploitation of the soil, in relation to the 'cure' offered by the financing with astronomical sums of... monopolistic agencies all over the world."
"On Planning the Earth" by Geoffrey Dobbs, 1951
TRUTH - THE FIRST CASUALTY
by Jeremy Lee
The Courier-Mail (24/9/99) gave
the following assessment: "...East Timor has been devastated;
its population either dead or forcibly transmigrated; diplomatic
and other relations with Indonesia frayed to the point of
breaking; Australian troops, with others from the multinational
force, committed to East Timor with no clear time frame and
no clear exit strategy; crisis management defining defence
and security policy and now the Prime Minister is talking
of his 'Howard doctrine'
So how ready is our army? A full-page
assessment by Deborah Snow in The Sydney Morning Herald
(2/10/99) gave a picture:
Another retired Army chief Lieutenant-General John Sanderson, says: 'The sacrifice in Army numbers was part of an overall sacrifice of civilian and military manpower to get more money for [high] technology. But before you go engaging [around the region] you have to build the stuff that you've sacrificed up again. It seems to me we're engaging before we've properly built up that capability to engage."
One Army logistics officer told The Herald: "Soldiers are sorely wanting for good basic equipment. They have not had good boots, they have had inadequate backpacks (which come in a single, non-adjustable size), they do not have proper body armour and they have sub-standard wet-weather gear and sleeping bags "
The immediate crisis engulfing the Army
now is shortage of numbers. Should the Australian force in
East Timor get to the projected 4,500 that would leave no
other troops in a state of readiness for any other contingency
that might arise.
WHERE ARE THE EAST TIMORESE?
We've had all sorts of wild media speculation as to the whereabouts of large numbers of East Timorese. For example, The Australian (4/10/99) under the heading FEARS FOR THE 'DISAPPEARED' 500,000, went on: "Hundreds of thousands of East Timorese have simply disappeared off the face of the earth and humanitarian agencies are desperate to find them...."
We think it very unlikely that the general whereabouts of missing East Timorese is not known to the Defence Department and its intelligence agencies. There are countless stories of atrocities. It is just as certain that there have been atrocities as it is that there has been media speculation and exaggeration. P.P. McGuiness (Sydney Morning Herald, 2/10/99) gave this information: ".... Lieutenant-Colonel Martyn Dunn, the commander of the New Zealand contingent of Interfet, was quoted in the New Zealand Herald on September27 as saying, after having described progressive discoveries of murdered bodies, that the number of people the militia had murdered was not significant and there was no comparison with the slaughter in Kosovo. He added that there was no evidence to back reports that boatloads of East Timorese had been taken out to sea and dumped. In other words, one cannot accept all atrocity stories at face value. While no-one is claiming that everything is sweetness and light, there clearly is a deliberate whipping up of war fever still going on, with horror stories, as always, an essential element...."
THE NATIONAL PARTY SELL OUT
by Philip Butler
Independent MP for Mildura, Russell
Savage, summed up the results of the "hard bargaining" on
the part of the Nationals with their Liberal Coalition partners:
"The positions they (Nationals) have been given have nothing
to do with country Victoria, except for tertiary education...
They have let Kennett ride roughshod over them.
It is obvious that the Nationals are nothing more than transparent Liberals. Where were they when the Kennett machine ran over rural Victoria destroying the municipalities and service infrastructure? Where were they when the Kennett machine flogged off Victoria's assets and prepared the ground for the "co modifying" of its water resources? The Victorian Nationals have sold out the rural communities - just as their Federal counterparts have sold out rural Australia in the push for tariff reductions and the "level playing field". The Nationals had a golden opportunity - supported by the Independents - to place power back in the hands of the electors thereby decentralising government - and most Victorians would have supported them. They have now blown it.
KENNETT FINDS UPPER HOUSE REFORM TOO HARD
One of the key demands in the Independents' "Charter for Good Government" is the reform of the election of Legislative Councillors. They are demanding that the Legislative Council be elected along the lines of the Federal Senate. This could mean we would see more independents and minor-party candidates in the Upper House. This would most certainly break the stranglehold the Coalition has had over the House for the last seven years.
However, Kennett is baulking at this
reform claiming it was not an issue at the recent elections.
He omits to mention that when first elected to Parliament
he campaigned against forced amalgamations of councils and
municipalities, using the numbers in the Upper House to defeat
the ALP's legislation, but when in power he was the driving
force behind forced amalgamations. He assured the electors
when in opposition, "no municipality would be forced to amalgamate"
unless it was agreed to by a binding referendum.
The breakdown of the election result show: Liberal 27, ALP 24, Country Party 13 and one Independent.
The ALP agreed to support the Country Party (not in Coalition) on three issues, one of which was the reform of the Upper House. The right to vote for the Upper House was widened to include all Victorians 21 years and over; previous, to this, only property owners (houses and/or land) to prescribed values, or those educated to a certain level, had the right.
The Independents should be encouraged and canvassed on other reforms. Queensland's and West Australia's Constitutions cannot be changed without a Referendum, but the other States have no such safeguard. Victorian actionists - it's over to you.
COMMODIFYING OUR WATER RESOURCES
by Betty Luks
At the same time, multinational companies have aggressively taken over most sections of the world's food chain. They are now poised to concentrate on the takeover of the world's water resources. The publication "Soil and Health" (Sept-0ct1999) spells it out for us.
The chemical company Monsanto - typical of the strategy adopted by the multinationals - having positioned itself as an agricultural company through control of the commercial seed supply, the first link in the food chain, now wants to control water - the very basis of life. The crisis of pollution and depletion of water resources is viewed by Monsanto as "a business opportunity".
For Monsanto "sustainable development" means the conversion of an ecological crisis into a market of scarce resources. Robert Farley of Monsanto explains, "The business logic of sustainable development is that population growth and economic development will apply increasing pressure on natural resource markets. These pressures, and the world's desire to prevent the consequences of these pressures if unabated, will create vast economic opportunity. When we look at the world through the lens of sustainability we are in a position to see current and foresee impending resources market trends and imbalances that create market needs. We have further focused this lens on the resource market of water and land." (Emphasis added - Ed.)
According to Robert Farley: "What you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies, it is really a consolidation of the entire food chain."
Since water is as central to food production as seed is, and without water life is not possible, Monsanto is now trying to establish control over water. During 1999 this multinational conglomerate plans to launch a new water business, starting with India and Mexico since both these countries are facing water shortages. Non-government Organisations currently spend around $300 million for water development projects in India and Mexico alone and the need is growing at 25-30 percent a year in rural communities. The Indian Government spent over $1.2 billion between 1992-97 for various water projects while the World Bank spent $900 million. Monsanto is pushing for the diversion of this public money from public supply of water to establishing its own water monopoly in these countries.
Dr. Vandana Shiva observes in the article,
"A more efficient conversion of public goods into private
profit would be difficult to find. Water is however too basic
for life and survival. The right to water is the right to
life. The privatisation and commodification of water is a
threat to the right to life... Water is a commons and must
be managed as a commons. It cannot be controlled and sold
by a life sciences corporation that peddles death."
JUST SAY "NO" TO THE WTO!A seven-day campaign against the World Trade Organisation is being planned to coincide with the third Millennium Round Meeting in Seattle, USA, in November 1999. The No to WTO, organised by the Seattle-based Network Opposed to the WTO, hopes to bring together 100,000 people.
League actionists need to make every effort to write to their Federal Member and insist that Australia's interests and national sovereignty be safeguarded by our representatives at this meeting. For the internet enthusiast: To take part in the wider campaign 'No To WTO" between November 27th and December 3rd contact Network Opposed to the WTO - People for a Fair Trade Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE FOLLOWING LETTER
appeared in The Australian Financial
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|