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On Target

1 September 2000. Thought for the Week: "...the IMF could have an enormous influence on the economic (which is to say political) choices of its heavily indebted clients if it chose to do so, for the simple reason that money talks. If the Fund believed, which it patently does not, that economic growth can also result from greater social equality, access to education, health care and other basic services, fairer income distribution, etc., it could perfectly well make such objectives part of its programmes. On the contrary, exactly those countries that have most insisted on maintaining social objectives (for example, Tanzania and Jamaica under The People's National Party) have had the greatest difficulties in coming to terms with the IMF..."
"A Fate Worse Than Debt: the World Financial Crisis and the Poor" by Susan George, 1988

MIS-USE OF ARMED FORCES?

by Jeremy Lee
With a number of major international events taking place in September, obviously including the Olympic Games and also the World Economic Forum at Melbourne's Crown Casino, security is a major factor. There is community concern in New South Wales where a number of country towns will be left without police protection as officers are deployed to Sydney for the Olympics. In Victoria, there will be a major police presence in Melbourne, and all police leave is being cancelled.

All of a sudden the Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill has appeared in the Federal Parliament, raising big questions about the use of the military. Under the Australian Constitution the States are denied the right to raise their own armies, leaving this responsibility to the Commonwealth, which may respond to requests by the States to repel outside invasion (Section 114). The Defence Forces, under the command of the Governor-General, are for the defence of the realm. They are not to be used to control or police the citizens of Australia. That is a matter for the police forces in each State.

Australia has been careful in its constitutional development to keep such powers separated, so that politicians can not accrue to themselves unnecessary power. The proposed amendment, if it becomes law, will allow the Armed Forces to be used as police, with powers to arrest and, if necessary, kill citizens in the course of a police action. Such powers would normally only be possible by the declaration of a state of emergency, in which civil liberties are suspended.

If the Governor-General believes that the international events occurring in Australia in September warrant security concerns sufficient to include the Armed Forces, he should publicly announce a state of emergency for the period, spelling out the nature of the emergency so people know the situation.

There has been a considerable expression of concern throughout Australia at the proposed Amendment Bill, and on August 21st the Attorney-General, Daryl Williams and Defence Minister John Moore, wrote the following letter to The Australian:

"Contrary to media reports, the Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill does not change the circumstances under which the Defence Force can be called out on Australian soil to aid police. State, territory and commonwealth governments have always had the power to request call-out of the Defence Force in Australia in rare situations where police need help to deal with an extreme emergency, such as a terrorist incident. The public would expect no less.
However, there is currently no legislation outlining the process governing call-out by the commonwealth to protect its own interests. Existing legislation governing call-out at the request of a state or territory to protect that state or territory from civil unrest or domestic violence is antiquated and unworkable.
The bill will for the first time set out the commonwealth's call-out process in legislation. It will clarify the state and territory process and include significant safeguards and accountability requirements on the exercise of powers under the bill.
This bill does not allow the Defence Force to break strikes or to quell protests. The bill's powers are not applicable to industrial changes or to matters which can be handled by the police.
The bill requires three commonwealth ministers to be satisfied that police cannot deal with the situation. It also requires the Defence Force to co-operate with the police.
Media reports have linked the introduction of this bill to the need to provide security for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Government has been working on this bill for some time and believes that the measures are desirable regardless of the impending Games."
DARYL WILLIAMS, Attorney-General
JOHN MOORE, Defence Minister, Canberra.

A glaring omission from this letter is any description of the circumstances which might warrant the new powers in this Bill. Is there, for instance, any evidence of subversive terrorism being organised in Australia? Or is there any evidence that outside terrorist forces, too large for the police to handle, may seek a presence in Australia during the Olympics or the World Economic Forum? If so, the public should be told. If not, the most detailed explanation for the introduction of these new powers should be provided to all Australians. Such an explanation was absent in the letter by Williams and Moore.

STOP PRESS
As the above article was concluded, an ABC news report said the Bill was being put on the back-burner. Temporarily? Indefinitely? Australians deserve much more information.


INTERNATIONAL BACKLASH ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AND "WOMEN'S BUSINESS'

Among other international forums the annual get-together of women dealing, under the heading "Human Rights", with the place of women in society, abortion, feminism, work, wages and the family was, for many years dominated by a strident, well-organised femininist coterie. In recent years there has been a swing in favour of the traditional family, pro-life and acknowledgement of distinct differences between the sexes. The backlash has included a lot of leadership from the Third World, where women do not see feminism as being among their top priorities. The following article is from our sister publication, the Canadian On Target (July/August, 2000):

"'Motherhood, Bibles on feminist blacklist at United Nations' is the heading of an NP report, June 6. Its subhead is 'Federal Agency provides $98,000 for survey of rightists'. Here are excerpts:
"United Nations - A federal funding agency has paid for a study aimed at helping feminist organisations strategize against 'pro-life and pro-family' lobbyists at the Beijing + 5 conference on womens' equality under way this week at the United Nations.
Among the transgressions of the targeted groups are not following proper procedures at a meeting, wearing buttons reading 'Motherhood', lobbying governments and carrying Bibles.
A 40-page paper entitled 'Right-Wing Anti-Feminist Groups at the United Nations', produced by some academics at the Institute of Feminist Studies at the University of Quebec in Montreal, describes lobbying tactics of conservative groups and recommends to womens' organisations 'ways and means of responding'....
The project received a three-year, $98,000 grant from the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Council of Canada.

'Right-wing anti-feminist groups have developed multiple strategies for participating in United Nations meetings,' the study states. 'These groups seem to have made important gains on the international scene.' "The paper came about because feminist groups had expressed unease at the presence of 'right-wing, anti-feminist groups' at the United Nations, the introduction states ...." (end of quote)

A number of traditional, pro-life womens' groups in Australia have also been working conscientiously and with self-sacrifice in international forums to counter the feminists. It looks as though their persistence and faith is being rewarded.


NEW ZEALAND STUDENTS AND THE THREE R's

University of Canterbury academics are complaining their students cannot read, write or even spell properly. Responding to a questionnaire, 150 academics said they regularly found poor grammar, careless spelling, an inability to read significant amounts of material, and a lack of critical skills in their students. Canterbury's dean of undergraduate studies, John Freeman-Moir, explained they could not insist on higher entrance procedures or some kind of proficiency test before students were accepted into university.
"Current legislation did not allow universities to exclude students because they were ill-prepared. Raising entry standards would not be realistic under the current funding regime."
Where have we heard this before? The Press, Christchurch, August 16th, 2000.

THE MEANS AND THE ENDS

by Betty Luks
When we talk or write about an 'economy', what are we talking about? The word economy is derived from two Greek roots: Oika, house; and nomos, rule. The 'economy' therefore, is about the regulation of a house; it is about the order in the use of the goods of a house. We could define domestic economy as 'the management of domestic affairs'. But what about a nation's economy? We would then be talking about managing the affairs of a nation - we would be talking about a political economy.

You will judge whether the management is good or bad by what you believe to be the purpose of a nation and its systems and institutions. If you believe, as does the present Labor Party, that the purpose of a production system is to 'make work' (they continually push for 'full employment'), or, if you believe what the Liberals believe, that the system is not only to 'make work' but also 'make profits' (especially for the money power and the multi-nationals), then you would say that the economic affairs of the nation are in reasonable order.

Both parties regard labour as an end of production. If they considered labour as a means of producing and the goal, the end of economic activities, the satisfaction of human needs, they would formulate policies to attain those ends. What if you believed that the system was meant to serve Mankind? Then you would have to say that the present system is managed very badly.
But what is 'good' management?

When can the management of the affairs of a small or large home (the family or the nation) be called good?
Surely the answer to that question is: they are good when they attain the results for which they were intended!

The true end or goal of the production system should direct the means, instead of which, it is the money power that now controls and directs the ends and the means. The true end of a production system, the goal aimed at, is the satisfaction of human needs. Hunger, thirst, weariness, bad weather, illness, ignorance, create for man the need to eat, drink, clothe himself, find shelter, warm himself, rest. These are all human needs. Food, drink, shelter, clothing, wood, coal, water, bed, health remedies, teaching books - these are all necessities that must be present to fulfil the needs. To join those necessities, those goods, to needs - that is the goal, the end of economic life. How that is achieved is another matter.


A JUST AND LASTING PEACE? UNLIKELY!

Yasser has already capitulated in public one more time. Just a few weeks ago he was shouting and screaming "Never, Never...the Palestinian State must absolutely be declared September 13th and nothing can change this." But a few public threats from Clinton and Barak, and a great deal of out of sight squeezing and bribing, and Arafat has already changed his tune again. Camp David was only recessed by Clinton. And the Israelis are desperate to get Arafat's signature on their document of "final peace"...for they intend to insist for decades to come that what Arafat signs does indeed "end the conflict" and they know very well that what he is endorsing is far beyond their past wildest Zionist dreams.

For those who think the Clinton/Barak extravaganza now likely to be celebrated on the White House lawn during September with Arafat, a few Arab big-wigs, and the Washington Ambassadorial corps as props...for those who think this is "the final peace", well they don't know very much about the history of the Middle East. This is but one more "peace deal" in a lengthy line of Western concoctions stretching back to the "Paris Peace Conference" of 1918, now known as "the Peace to end all Peace".

What will likely be taking place soon in Washington - just in time to help propel Al, Joe, and Hillary back to town in higher offices as well as to allow outgoing Clinton to claim a historical legacy other than that of impeached, disbarred, philanderer - is one more tortuously imposed arrangement that the Arabs will be expected to swallow, however bitter the taste. Indeed, the deal itself is so rancid and deceptive it could well lead to a case of political poisoning, making those who eat from it sicker and weaker in the years ahead.
Or maybe a better analogy is steroids that athletes take knowing they will get temporary help to win the immediate event, but at the cost of threatening their basic health just a few years down the road.

The Palestinians will wake up in the years ahead, after all the hoopla of extravaganza moment, only to find that they cannot now even visit 80% of what was their country not that long ago - they are now "separated" from it. They will find themselves imprisoned in a deformed and pockmarked Statelet administered by a miserably corrupt and repressive Authority", everywhere surrounded by the Israeli army at new "border crossings", internally infiltrated by the CIA, cut up into more pieces than ever before, and divided from each other as never before. They will find that all the nice words put on paper and heralded so loudly in front of the world's cameras will ring more and more hollow as the realities of their lives and circumstances unfold.
And they will find that the tens of billions given to Arafat and neighbourhood client regimes who helped bring all this about will be squandered and stolen and turned against them one more time.


WHY WE HAVE ALL BECOME SUICIDE BOMBERS

Understanding Palestinian Terror by Dr. Eyad Sarraj* first published August, 1997:

"All in the name of peace we were humiliated, even arrested and tortured by Palestinian forces to protect the peace. Our Authority was turning against us... Our officials were driving in big cars and building big villas. They have VIP cards and cross the check posts like human beings while we are left to rot." A few weeks ago I said that the struggle of Palestinians today is how not to become a bomb and that the amazing thing is not the occurrence of the suicide bombing, rather the rarity of them. The BBC interviewer appeared to understand. I was shocked because it is our understanding that the world out there will never understand. And who on earth in their right mind would understand terror and the killing of innocent people?

Why do Palestinians kill themselves and Israelis in such an horrific way at the bus stop or in a crowded market? Do you really care to know? Well, let me try and explain.
I believe it is an act of absolute despair and a very serious stage of the seemingly perpetual conflict. Since the uprooting of the Palestinians in 1948 triggered by Irgun Jewish terror under the leadership of Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin, we have tried every thing. We have tried Nasser and Arab Nationalism, only to be invaded in 1956 in our second homes in the refugee camps. It was only because of the Russian threat to bomb London and Paris, and the resolve of American president Eisenhower that ended the Israeli occupation. We have tried the United Nations and its Security Council, which by the way have made excellent resolutions on our behalf. For example Resolution 194 calling on Israel to allow us to return to our homeland, but to no avail. So we kept wandering around, between airports and refugee camps, waiting for a hero or an earthquake. All we wanted was to go home.

But our story was getting worse and we grew bitter as we heard that a Jew from Poland would be declared a citizen of our country - a country now called Israel. We were told that officially we were stateless with undefined nationality. So we went to universities. We believed then that Jews were so clever because they were educated. We were told that Jews controlled the world with their education. They are doctors, lawyers and scientists, never beggars or boxers. In twenty years many of us became university graduates and we were in every university. We had some pride.

Some of our educated people formed the resistance movement. They believed that the Arab countries would never fight Israel, and that we had to force them to fight. Fatah with Yasser Arafat was born. They forced the Arabs to fight by inviting Israel to attack Egypt in 1967. In the course of six days the Arabs were defeated again but worse. This time we lost Gaza and the West bank, Egypt lost Sinai, and Syria lost the Golan. In a sudden stroke our fate was sealed and we had to live under Israeli military occupation for thirty years. Do you know what does it mean to live under Israeli military occupation? Do you really care to know?

Let me tell you a few things. . You are given an identity number and a permit to reside. If you leave the country for more than three years in succession, you lose that right to residence. . When you leave the country on a trip, you are given a laissez passez, a travelling document, valid for one year and it tells you in its recording of your particulars that you are of undefined nationality. . Israeli occupation means that you are called twice a year by the intelligence for routine interrogation and persuasion to work as an informer on your brothers and sisters. No one is spared. If you are to be a member of a political organisation you will be sentenced for ten years. For a military action you will be sentenced to life.

To survive under the Israeli occupation you are given the chance to work in the jobs that Israeli do not like, sweeping the streets, building houses, collecting fruit or harvesting. You will have to leave your home in the refugee camp in Gaza at 3 am, go through the road blocks and check posts, spend your day under the sun and surveillance returning home in the evening to collapse in bed for a few hours before the following day. We simply became the slaves of our enemy. We are building their homes on our villages, and we clean their streets.

Do you know what does it do to you when you have to be the slave of your enemy in order to survive. No you will never know how painful it is unless your country is occupied by another force. Only then will you learn how to watch in silence pretending not to see the torture of your friends and the humiliation of your father. Do you know what it means for a child to see his father spat at and beaten before his eyes by an Israeli soldier? Nobody knows what happened to our children. We don't know ourselves except we observe that they lose respect for their fathers. So they, our children, the children of the stone as they became known, tried the Intifada - the Uprising. Seven long years our children were throwing stones and being killed daily. Nearly all our young men were arrested, the majority were tortured. All had to confess. The result was every one suspected that all people were spies. So, we were exhausted, tormented and brutalised. What else could we do to return to our home? We had almost forgotten that and all what we wanted was to be left alone.

What else could we try? Oh yes, peace. When the news came that Arafat had signed a peace treaty in Washington we were jubilant. At last we thought we were to get rid of that miserable life of military occupation, at last. So we had hope. We could not believe our eyes when there were no more curfews and we could actually spend our evening on the beach or wander in streets which were now ours after eight o'clock at night. We were ecstatic. We even had elections and we had a parliament, so we were told. Then came Binyamin Netanyahu. He refused to meet Arafat and was clearly forced to shake hands in obvious disgust. He refused to free our prisoners, to have a safe passage for us to move between the West Bank and Gaza. He even surrounded our towns and villages with his tanks and arrested our policemen.

Then he went after our holy places and opened a tunnel under our holiest Mosque. Tens of our children and also Israeli soldiers were killed because of that tunnel, but he went on insulting us and driving out our sanity. Arafat called for patience and we were patient, then Netanyahu started to build settlements in Jerusalem and drive the remaining Palestinians out. Settlers in Hebron spat on our prophet and called him a pig. All in the name of peace we were humiliated, even arrested and tortured by Palestinian forces to protect the peace. Our Authority was turning against us to please Netanyahu. Our officials were driving in big cars and building big villas. They have VIP cards and cross the check posts like human beings while we are left to rot.

I've told you a few things. Now do you understand why we have turned into suicide killers?

*Dr Eyad Sarraj - Palestinian Psychiatrist, Chairman of the Commission of Citizens Rights and Physician for Human Rights Awardee. Dr. Sarraj was himself arrested three times last year by Arafat forces, tortured and threatened with death. Last year Dr. Sarraj was featured on MER-TV speaking at Georgetown University. (c) MER MID-EAST Realities https://www.MiddleEast.Org ... MER@MiddleEast.Org


LETTER - THE JOY OF LIVING IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY

"You have to have a job, so you can make money, so you can buy a car, so you can drive down to the supermarket, so you can buy some food, which is trucked in from a regional distribution centre, which bought it from a company that cooked the food with ingredients it bought from a wholesaler who sourced the ingredients from a wholesalers' market, which sells produce trucked in from individual farms, one of which is located 150 kilometres from the supermarket.

"You have to have a job, so you can make money, so you can buy a house, so you have somewhere to drive home to from the supermarket with the food, so you can pay bills to the local council for the rest of your life, so they can get rid of the rubbish (inorganic and organic) that comes from the food you bought at the supermarket, so people can live in more compact spaces without having to accumulate rubbish, too much of which causes disease, and so developers can subdivide larger blocks and rip people off blind by selling them smaller houses on more compact blocks, so they can buy themselves bigger blocks and build bigger houses, so councils will still pick up the rubbish from more food they bought home from the supermarket in their bigger cars.

"You have to have a job, so you can buy furniture to sit on, plates and cutlery with which to eat the food you bought from the supermarket, but as the type of cutlery you use depends on the type of food you have, you have to drive to the department store to buy cutlery sourced locally and internationally in a number of colors and styles, so you have a choice, so you can match the decor in your home to represent your individuality, so that people whom you invite into your home to share meals with you get to know the unique person you are.

"You have to have a job, so you can make money, so you can buy a microwave oven to cook the food you brought home from the supermarket in the car, which is assembled locally and manufactured overseas, so an economist has evidence to support the theory of globalisation of trade and markets which is used by politicians as an excuse for the economy doing badly, so if you lose your job it's no one's fault or responsibility."
Elizabeth R. Skringar, Caulfield North The Age, (22/8/2000).

Elizabeth Skringar of Caulfied North in Victoria, has given us a word picture of the grinding treadmill we are now on, it is called 'the global economy'. But, she does not understand the money system. Elizabeth receives money in return for her labour - she does not make it. If she did she would be in trouble with the Law for counterfeiting. It is the banking system that makes money. The production system distributes money in the form of wages, salaries and dividends.


'FULL EMPLOYMENT' AT ALL COSTS

by Betty Luks
Tim Colebatch economics editor for The Age is typical of the 'full employment' at all costs mentality so prevalent today. The sub-heading "Sometimes we forget that keeping people in work should be the No.1 goal" sums up what I mean (22/8/2000). Would someone please tell the man Australia produces and exports enough food to feed another 60 million people. What does not seem to register with these people is that every time a ship leaves our shores laden with grain, etc., it is taking the equivalent in nutrients, minerals and water from our soils. What do we get in return? Money? And how much of that production is subsidised by the taxpayer?

The South Australian Parliament's "Economic and Finance Committee" is conducting a lengthy investigation into government's industry assistance in the State and the Adelaide Advertiser warns alarm bells are ringing loudly. It seems the State Government assistance to industry in the past ten years could top $1billion and that is nearly twice the amount revealed in a parliamentary report. These figures, broken down into jobs created (we must have 'full employment'), means that it has cost South Australian governments (read taxpayers) as much as $30,000 for each job created. To what companies is this money being given and on what terms?


SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

No meeting in September - Due to the anticipated Sydney Olympics' congestion there will be no meeting in September.

NATIONAL WEEKEND

September 29th-30th, 1st October. Plans are under way for the National Weekend to be held from Friday, September 29th (Dinner); Saturday, September 30th (Seminar); through to Sunday, October 1st (Divine Service and Action Conference). Please mark your diaries NOW. Guest speakers include Mr. Jeremy Lee and Dr. Ziema McDonell. Dinner and Seminar to be held at The Victoria, Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Divine Service & Action Conference to be held at 'Runnymede', Panton Hills, in the C.H. Douglas Memorial Hall.
© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159