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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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24 May 2002. Thought for the Week: "This comes as no great surprise to those of us who have been following the developing story of the World Trade Centre attacks with a properly sceptical mind. Watching George Bush's face, as he was given the news of the attack (before the impartial eye of a live television camera), in a schoolroom in Florida, I was struck by the way his eyes swivelled round to see if the red light was glowing on the camera (it was). "The look of guilt that fleeted across his face recalled to my mind the oral history report by Frances Perkins, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Labor Secretary, who was by chance a witness of the moment when he received the phone call reporting the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. "'Pearl Harbor!?' he exclaimed, as though he had been expecting it somewhere else. She said she had only ever seen that look of profound guilt on FDR's face once before."
From David Irving On Line, May 17th, 2002

THE BUDGET – WHAT A TRUSTY, TRUTHFUL TREASURER WOULD TELL US

by Jeremy Lee
Another Budget: another wave of speculation: another Treasurer's speech under the media spotlight: and another year in which the vast majority of Australians are mystified about the portents. It is now quite within the abilities of the Federal Government to provide every Australian taxpayer with a well-produced, simple Balance Sheet for the nation, with adequate clarification of each statement. Every public company is required to produce one for the scrutiny of shareholders. Every CEO is also required to face up to a shareholders' meeting and to feel the heat over any shortcomings. But Treasurer Costello escapes such public scrutiny and, if necessary, censure.

As Alan Kohler explained in The Australian Financial Review (15/3/02):
".... the excellence of the system for the Treasurer is that he does not have to front a board of directors and, with a red face, run through the excuses before waiting judgement. He and his colleagues in Cabinet and in Treasury are entirely unaccountable, to the point where it seems almost churlish, even irrelevant, to dwell on the subject of the 2001-02 Budget, even though the year in question is not even finished.

Perhaps it is best simply to join the state of constant amnesia, in which the past never exists, and everyone lives for the moment .....So if Treasurer Costello was not a party politician with leadership ambitions, and was simply concerned with presenting a Budget which gave as accurate a picture as possible to Australians, he might have said something like this:

"Mr Speaker, Members of Parliament and Taxpayers of Australia. In presenting this Budget I had better begin by expressing my disappointment that we will be forced to increase direct and indirect taxation by almost $1,000 per taxpayer. This will lift total federal taxation, direct and indirect, to $157.7 billion or, as near as makes no difference, an average $8,000 for each man, woman and child in Australia. Thus, an average two parents and two children will pay just under $32,000 between them. The increase in taxation revenue over last year's estimate is 6% – about twice the official inflation rate. Of course, the taxes you pay to the States, and the rates you pay your local councils are extra to this.
Why do we need the extra money? Blame it on Osama bin Laden. The world changed on September 11 and you must pay for those changes. We must spend more on defence, refugees and border surveillance. In fact, such costs wiped out last year's budget surplus and this year we'll have a deficit of $1.2 billion.
The picture ahead is not the brightest. Extra taxation will have to be absorbed in prices. We are going to have another blowout in our Current Account Deficit to about $2.4 billion a month, or $80 million a day, which will be added to our foreign debt. It's all the fault of the US, which urges free trade on the rest of us while protecting its own farmers and industries. We will still have an illusionary growth in Australia, which we have achieved by altering the Gross Domestic Product criteria so that ALL forms of activity – constructive and destructive – are included. The bush fires in New South Wales over Christmas, the rising crime rate which requires extra law enforcement, the legal requirements of the spate of bankruptcies, and defence and border surveillance are all factored into Australia's' GDP 'growth' in which we are among the world's leaders.
The massive increase in household indebtedness, which has doubled in the last 15 years, is worrying, and there may be some pain if interest rates continue to rise. But the growth in mortgage foreclosures will be added to GDP growth.
The bright side is that our Trading Banks should do even better than at present. We've paid off a lot of Commonwealth Government debt by selling national assets into foreign ownership. But we still need to sell the rest of Telstra. We are confident the Nationals will see it our way when it comes to the point of decision.
Although the Australian Tax Office is one of the biggest institutions in the country we are allocating an extra $1.5 billion over 5 years – about $1 million a day – to 'beefing it up' so that we can catch more tax evaders. Unemployment is an ever-present problem. Again, we have managed to hide its real extent by playing with the figures. Our long-term solution is 'work-for-the-dole'; and we'll add another 8,000 to this category this year.
The one area we WON'T be looking at is the approximate $100 million per day increase in Australia's Money Supply. Mr. John Corzene, formerly of Goldman Sachs, reminded our Prime Minister in June 1996 that this was 'off limits', being the preserve of the private banks – not to be discussed. Pity. A few credits instead of debts from this area would help me become the 'greatest treasurer in the world'; better even than Paul Keating. But the corporates put a lot of funds into the Party balance sheet. So I'm certainly not one to buck the system.
Australians will just keep having to pay the bill for their own National Credit.
All in all, Australia will struggle on this year, with the rich getting richer while the number of poor rises. Not really a pretty picture. But you can be assured the Opposition would be even worse! ....
."


WORLD SHORTAGE OF TIMBER

As the environmental stranglehold is extended throughout the world the latest figures show a growing global shortage of millable timber. In Australia, under sometimes hysterical claims of environmental damage, scores of small sound timber mills with a priceless bank of "know-how" have been forced to curtail their industries or forced out of business altogether. The result is that Australia is now a net importer of milled timber – to the tune of $2 billion a year. Like everywhere else, as the small Australian industries were forced out, the international 'big boys' have moved in.

The Australian (13/5/02) reported: " ....While foreign investment in domestic wood processing is now worth more than $3.7 billion – with big players such as Weyerhaeuser, Carter Holt Harvey and Hancock Timber among recent arrivals – most of this money is used to upgrade plants rather than build new ones. BIS Shrapnel said this meant Australian producers could not harvest and process all available sawlogs. As a result, supplies of softwood would increase faster than the industry's ability to process them, Mr. Neufeld said. An increasing number of sawlogs will be left standing or exported as unprocessed logs, and Australian producers will forfeit value-added benefits...."


WHO MAKES THE MONEY?

Writing about the huge profits once again being made by the Trading Banks, Terry McCrann (The Weekend Australian, 11-12/5/02) responded to an argument put forward by NAB's chief, Frank Cicutto, that his bank only made a profit of $1.20 per $100 in assets: " ....As its chief, Frank Cicutto, pointedly asked: who out there would be happy with a $1,200 return on a $100,000 investment? "Yes (McCrann went on) but the returns to shareholders are high. All the banks are earning about 20 per cent to shareholding capital. But they are only able to do so because of their unique ability to gear that capital – up to $20 of depositor money for every $1 of shareholder capital....." In other words, $20 of "created credit" for every $1 in shareholder capital. It's a licence to print money.

INSURING AGAINST ACTS OF GOD

We've heard of some bizarre insurance claims, such as the young man recently awarded $4 million for striking his head on a Bondi Beach sandbar. But the following takes the cake. It comes from the April/May issue of LEADERSHIP NOW! – the official magazine of the Assembly of God church:
"A woman who broke her arm after falling under the power of God has won $US80,000 from the Long Island, New York church where she was injured. Sophie Reitan received the money in a settlement reached last month with Upper Room Tabernacle Ministries in Dix Hills, reported Newsday. She had sued for $US4 million after being hurt when she attended a women's service in September 1997 and went up to the altar to be blessed. The minister placed his hands on her forehead and she had a religious bodily experience, causing her to fall backward, crashing onto the hard-surface floor, said Attorney Andrew Siben. Reiten needed surgery on her broken left arm ...."

What would, if such arguments are accepted, be the litigation damages in the event of an earthquake, tornado or tsunami? Would Moses have hesitated to part the Red Sea because of possible litigation for "damage to pursuing Egyptian charioteers? As for the "walls of Jericho" As former High Court Chief Justice Sir Harry Gibbs has said: "The right to sue for personal injury should be abolished because lawyers had traded their ethical standards for a culture of litigation ..." (The Australian, 15/5/02).


WE MUST OPPOSE GATS

by Peter Davis
No doubt your readers are aware the entire crew of the vessel "Yarra", tied up at Port Pirie, have been dismissed and the intention of the Canadian Shipping Lines (CSL) is to employ a cheaper overseas crew. Later this year the federal Government intends to ratify the General Agreement on Trade in Services. This Agreement has already been signed by our Minster for Foreign Affairs, or Prime Minister, and simply needs the assent of Parliament to be ratified. Our community needs to know that what is happening in Port Pirie is a minor example of what lies in store for Australia.

The consequence of the GATS is that Multinational companies, like CSL, will have the legal right to bring in foreign workers and to displace Australian jobs. Under the Agreement, the free flow of services (jobs) and capital (money) to the most 'efficient location' will occur. It is inevitable that in our nation of high pay rates, workers' compensation, insurance claims, etc., there will be major inflow of cheap overseas labour displacing thousands of Australian jobs. It is critical that our people learn of this Agreement and that we instruct our Federal Members of Parliament to oppose this Agreement, thus protecting Australian jobs.

Note: Peter Davis is doing his bit – have you instructed your Federal Member of Parliament to oppose this Agreement?


ANOTHER ISSUE – 'COUNTER TERRORISM' BILLS

by Geoff Muirden
There are real dangers in the way the budget is receiving attention in the Parliament and media, and the ALP is the 'hero' for challenging the budget. All of a sudden they are 'virtuous', making political capital out of their 'concern for the poor people', etc. Sleight of hand. This is a diversion of attention away from the 'terror bills' and the way the ALP tried to sell us out by agreeing to 'amend' them so they are 50 percent Stalinist not one hundred percent Stalinist, whereas, anyone who had a love for liberty would reject them as intolerable.
The enemies of freedom have no intention of giving up and during this 'diversion' are doubtless working out worthless 'amendments' that will preserve the spirit of the terror bills, which will be presented as if they were 'acceptable'. This political sideshow should not numb our concern and awareness of the dangers.

SEPTEMBER 11th – LAWMAKERS SEEK HIJACK REPORT PROBE

Associated Press journalist Ron Fournier, May 16th, 2002, reveals there are calls for tough inquiries after the White House admitted President Bush was told a month before September 11th, "Osama bin Laden's terrorist network might hijack American airplanes."

White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer admits, "Some law enforcement agencies were quietly put on alert last summer based on the information given to Bush during a regular intelligence briefing while he was on vacation at his Texas ranch the first week of August." In the article Fleischer claims general information about the threats, was passed on to air carriers but admitted the information "did not include specific and detailed warnings." But, a "spokesman for the trade group that represents the country's major airlines, Michael Wascom of the Air Transport Association, said: 'I am not aware of any warnings or notifications in advance of September 11th concerning specific security threats to any of our airlines.' (emphasis added).

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (remember, he was the politician who received the 'anthrax dusted' letter through the post), has called on Bush to release to congressional investigators the entire briefing given him by intelligence officials, and to release a recently revealed FBI memo from its Arizona office that warned of suspicious activity by Arabs at US flight schools.

If information had been acted upon, outcome may have been different
Mr. Fournier quotes Sen. Richard Shelby, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as saying on NBC's Today programme: 'There was a lot of information, I believe and others believe, if it had been acted on properly we may have had a different situation on September 11th.' Shelby also questioned why the White House waited so long to acknowledge Bush's knowledge of the hijacking threat. According to the report, Shelby also suggested he may demand that the White House release the top-secret CIA briefing received by Bush, and the FBI memo.

A former FAA security chief, Billie Vincent, has asked why, if law-enforcement agencies had been notified of a possible hijacking threat, they didn't do more to increase security. The revelations have "created a politically charged atmosphere in which every White House statement about pre-September 11th threats was subjected to new scrutiny."
If readers remember, Fleischer, was asked by reporters just hours after the twin tower attacks whether 'there had been any warnings that the president knew of'. He replied, 'No warnings.' Peppered with questions, Mr. Fleischer sought to play down the development.


BUSH 'SEIZED THE MOMENT' – SO DID HOWARD

Whatever happened on that fateful day in September 2001, there is no doubt George Bush and his cronies 'seized the moment' to activate their plans for an agenda the American people – and the rest of the world – have not been 'briefed on'. The agenda includes shoring up their oil interests around the Caspian Sea – and using the armed services of the USA, Britain and Australia to do so!

I am reminded of Tim Fischer's (former National Party politician) comment at the time 'flak-jacket Johnny' imposed draconian gun legislation on the Australian people after the Port Arthur massacre. Howard, had "seized the moment," said Tim. Just as Howard continues 'to seize the moments', by attempting to impose further draconian legislation upon the Australian people. Of course, says little Johnny! It's all part of the on-going 'war on terrorism'!

The reality is something else again. "The main dynamic of war is capitalism" wrote former international banking representative Lawrence Dennis in The Dynamics of War and Revolution. "Capitalism requires incessant industrial expansion to mop up the excess capital created by debt-fuelled economies. When the bankers create money out of thin air, and then lend it at interest, more money must be created to pay back the loan plus interest. War is just another means of perpetuating this usurious system.

War Lords of Washington's plans before WWII
The ghastly truth that another US president, F.D. Roosevelt, also knew America was going to be attacked, and did nothing about it, will be hard to accept by freedom-loving, patriotic, Americans. Colonel Curtis Dall, former son-in-law of the USA's wartime president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was privy to many of the secret manoeuvres that went on inside the White House and the State Department at the time.

Colonel Dall stated: "This attack (on Pearl Harbour) was not only provoked but welcomed by the International Banking Cartelists and their agents working within the higher echelon of government within the United States. It was fully known – well in advance with enough notice to have averted the catastrophe..."

Renowned historian Dr. Harry Elmer Barnes wrote on the matter
"In reality, the responsibility for the Pearl Harbor surprise attack, from the Chicago Bridge speech of Roosevelt on October 5, 1937, to the appearance of the Japanese bombers over Pearl Harbor about 7.55 on December 7, 1941, is crystal clear and cumulative to all those who know the facts whether or not they are willing and courageous enough to set them forth... The path to war is also straight, save for the switch which began with the economic strangulation of Japan in July, 1941, when it had become very likely that Hitler could not be provoked into an act of war in the Atlantic. Throughout, the architect and maestro of the bellicose design was Franklin Delano Roosevelt."

The September 11th tragedy has all the earmarks of another set-up
Freedom loving peoples hope and pray there are enough loyal Americans with the guts and tenacity to continue to search out the truth of the matter.

Further reading: Economic Democracy especially the chapter on The Delusions of Super Production by C.H. Douglas. The Dynamics of War and Revolution by Lawrence Dennis.
Books available from League book services.


THE MIDDLE EAST ACCORDING TO ROBERT FISK

The following is taken from an interview by Marc Cooper of the L.A.Weekly. Fisk was interviewed whilst on tour in the USA.

L.A. Weekly
In your public speeches, you have been suggesting that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might turn into something as apocalyptic as the French-Algerian war of four decades ago – a horrendous war that took well over a million lives. Are things that dark?

ROBERT FISK
I think we already have reached those depths. If you go back and read the narrative history of the Algerian war, you'll see it began with isolated acts of sabotage, a few killings of French settlers, followed invariably by large-scale retaliation by the French authorities at which point, starting in the '60s, the Algerians began a campaign against French citizens in Algiers and Oran with bombs in cinemas and discotheques, which today translates into pizzerias and nightclubs in Israel. The French government kept saying it was fighting a war on terrorism, and the French army went in and erased whole Algerian villages. Torture became institutionalised, as it has by the Israeli authorities. Collaborators were killed by Algerian fighters, just as Arafat does so brazenly now. At the end of the day, life became insupportable for both sides. At Christmas, Ariel Sharon called French President Chirac and actually said, We are like you in Algeria, but "we will stay". And it's quite revealing that Arafat himself keeps referring to "the peace of the brave". Whether he knows it or not, that's the phrase De Gaulle used when he found it necessary to give up Algeria. For those who have watched this conflict over the years, it sometimes seems confounding what Ariel Sharon is thinking strategically. If one accepts the common view that Arafat has been a reliable and often compliant partner with the Israelis, what does Sharon think he has to gain by undermining him and opening the door to the more radical groups like Hamas? Remember that when Arafat was still regarded as a super terrorist, before he became a super statesman – of course he's reverting back now to super terrorist – remember that the Israelis encouraged the Hamas to build mosques and social institutions in Gaza. Hamas and the Israelis had very close relations when the PLO was still in exile in Tunisia. I can remember being in southern Lebanon in 1993 reporting on the Hamas, and one of their militants offered me Shimon Peres' home phone number. That's how close the relations were! So let's remember that the Israelis do have direct contact with those they label even more terrorist than Arafat. In the cowboy version of events, they both hate each other. In the real world, they maintain contact when they want to. As to Sharon, I was speaking with [former Palestinian official] Hanan Ashrawi last week, and she made the very good point that Sharon never thinks through the ramifications of what he's going to do, beyond next week or the week after. That's what we are seeing now. In that regard, Sharon has many parallels with Arafat. When I had the miserable task of living under Arafat's awful regime in Beirut for six years, you could see that Arafat also would get up in the morning and not have a clue as to what he would be doing three hours later...

L.A. Weekly
Your critics accuse you of being a mouthpiece for Arafat. But in your public talks you openly disdain Arafat, calling him – among many other things – a preposterous old man.

ROBERT FISK
I'm more than disdainful! More than disdainful. I always regarded him during his time in Lebanon as being a very cynical and a very despotic man. Even before he got a chance to run his own state, he was running 13 different secret police forces. Torture was employed in his police stations. And so it was easy to see why the Israelis wanted to use him. He was not brought into the Oslo process, and he was not encouraged by the Americans, and his forces were not trained by the CIA so that he could lead a wonderful, new Arab state. He was brought in as a colonial governor to do what the Israelis could no longer do: to control the West Bank and Gaza. His task was always to control his people. Not to lead his people. Not to lead a friendly state that would live next to Israel. His job was to control his people, just like all the other Arab dictators do – usually on our behalf. Remember that the Arab states we support – the Mubaraks of Egypt, the Gulf kingdoms, the king of Jordan – when they do have elections, their leaders are elected by 98.7 percent of the vote. In Mubarak's case, 0.2 percent more than Saddam! So Arafat fits perfectly into this lexicon of rule. He's confronted with the choice of either leading the Palestinian people or being the point man for the Israelis.

L.A. Weekly
So does Arafat now, for his own cynical reasons, encourage or support the suicide bombings inside Israel as the Israelis insist he does?

ROBERT FISK
Arafat is a very immoral person, or maybe very amoral. A very cynical man. I remember when the Tal-al-Zaatar refugee camp in Beirut had to surrender to Christian forces in the very brutal Lebanese civil war. They were given permission to surrender with a cease-fire. But at the last moment, Arafat told his men to open fire on the Christian forces who were coming to accept the surrender. I think Arafat wanted more Palestinian "martyrs" in order to publicize the Palestinian position in the war. That was in 1976. Believe me that Arafat is not a changed man. I think that if he ever actually sees a wounded child, he feels compassion like any other human being. But he's also a very cynical politician. And he knows that Sharon was elected to offer security to the Israelis. And Arafat knows that every suicide bombing, every killing, every death of a young Israeli, especially inside Israel, is proof that Sharon's promises are discredited. On the one hand, he can condemn violence. He can be full of contrition. And in the basic human sense, he probably means it. But he also knows very well that every suicide bombing hits at the Sharon policy, and realizes how that helps him.

L.A. Weekly
Is this current phase the endgame for Arafat? Or his 10th life?

ROBERT FISK
Actually, both Arafat and Sharon are in danger. Throughout Arafat's life, the more militarily weak he becomes, the stronger he becomes politically. Equally, you might say Mr. Sharon has thrown his entire military at the West Bank, but he is not achieving the security he promised. Further, one day we will have to find out what has happened in the Jenin refugee camp, with the hundreds of corpses – some of which disappeared, some of which appear to have been secretly buried. That will further damage Sharon. So as he becomes stronger militarily, he weakens politically. Way back in 1982, Sharon said he was going to root out terror when 17,500 Arabs were slaughtered during three months in Lebanon. And here we are again.

L.A. Weekly
I heard some contradictory notions in your talks regarding the US. I can't tell if you are just plain sarcastic about the American role in the Middle East, or if you are merely disappointed.

ROBERT FISK
I'm way past being disappointed. I am very sarcastic. And deliberately so. A week ago, I wrote in my newspaper that when Colin Powell goes to Israel and the West Bank, we shall find out who runs US policy in the Middle East: The White House? Congress? Or Israel? On an ostensibly urgent mission, Secretary of State Powell – our favourite ex-general – wandered and dawdled around the Mediterranean, popping off to Morocco, then off to see the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, then he went to Spain, then he went to Egypt, then he went to Jordan, and after eight days he finally washed up in Israel. On an urgent mission! If Washington firefighters turned up that late, the city would already be in ashes. As Jenin was. It was generally hinted at on the networks, in the usual coy, cowardly sort of way, that Powell wanted to give Sharon time to finish the job, just as he got to finish the job in '82 in such a bloody way. And now Powell arrives and we see the two sides of the glass. On the one hand, he quite rightly goes to inspect by helicopter the revolting suicide bombing in Jerusalem where six Israelis were killed and 80 wounded. But faced with the Israelis hiding their own activities, where hundreds [of Palestinians] have been killed, Powell does not ask to go to Jenin. Why? Because the dead are Palestinians? Because they are Arabs? Because they are Muslim? Why on earth doesn't he go to Jenin? Powell is not being evenhanded. American policy never has been. It's a totally bankrupt policy. No wonder the Europeans are saying, "For God's sake, we have to play a role in the Mideast now." ...


LAUNCESTON CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 29th, in the Max Fry Memorial Hall, Gorge Road, Trevallyn, commencing at 7.30pm. Principle speaker will be Mrs. Wendy Scurr, an eye-witness to the Port Arthur massacre. Accompanying speakers are Mr. Andrew McGregor, former officer Victoria Police, and Mr. Stewart Beattie, gunsmith from Wagga Wagga, NSW. Speakers will present new information not discussed before in a public forum. Admission $5.00, supper is included.

SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

The next meeting for the Sydney CSC will be held on Wednesday, May 29th, 2002. The speaker is Mr. Mark Wilson. Subject: "Europe's Disenchantment with Immigration". A previous speaker at our Club, Mark Wilson has conveyed a great knowledge of the political situation in the UK and Europe. Due to unforeseen circumstances Mr. Leon Gregor, originally listed for the evening, is unable to attend, but will speak at a later date this year. The meeting will be held at the Lithuanian Club, 16 East Terrace, Bankstown. There is ample parking at the Club, situated only 600 metres from the Bankstown Railway Station. The cost of your attendance is $4.00 per person.

ADELAIDE CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

Guest speaker for Monday, June 3rd, meeting will be Port Lincoln's Mayor Peter Davis. The title of his address is "What Big Money is Doing in Port Lincoln". The venue is the Public Schools' Club, 207 East Terrace (cnr. Carrington), Adelaide. We encourage our supporters to make every effort to get to the dinner meeting. Dinner is from 6.30pm, $16.50 for a two-course meal, served with tea/coffee. The public address commences at 7.30pm. To make bookings by Thursday, May 31st, please phone: 8395 9826.

TOOWOOMBA STATE WEEKEND, MAY 25th-26th, 2002

Queensland's State Weekend will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 25th and 26th, 2002. The theme for the seminar is "The Unnecessary Tragedy: Suicide". Guest speakers will be Mrs. Fanita Clark of the White Wreath Association; Mr. Derek Tuffield of Darling Downs Lifeline; Pastor David Blair of Toowoomba City Care, and Mrs Betty Luks of Australian League of Rights. We are pleased to have Mr. Phillip Butler as the guest speaker for the Dinner on the Saturday evening. We do hope to see many Queensland supporters at the functions.
© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159