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Christian based service movement warning about threats to rights and freedom irrespective of the label.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"
Edmund Burke
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24 January 2003. Thought for the Week: "Pyramidal organisation is a structure designed to concentrate power, and success in such an organisation sooner or later becomes a question of the subordination of all other considerations to its attainment and retention. For this reason the very qualities which make for personal success in central control are those which make it most unlikely that success and the attainment of a position of authority will result in any strong effort to change the operations of the organisation in any external interest, and the progress to power of an individual under such conditions must result either in a complete acceptance of the situation as he finds it, or a conscious or unconscious sycophancy quite deadly to the preservation of any originality of thought or action."
C.H. Douglas, "Economic Democracy", 1st edition, 1920

BUSH BENT ON WAR AT ANY COST

by Jeremy Lee: A few months ago President George Bush was demanding the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq as a sign that Saddam Hussein was not a threat to world peace. The President would have preferred to invade immediately. But he was running into increased resistance from European nations and a number of neighbouring Middle East countries whose co-operation in presenting a "united front" was needed. So the United Nations, after due process, assembled a large and well-equipped team of inspectors. They had a number of things going for them. Firstly, a bigger and more up-dated bank of detection equipment; secondly, a massive amount of intelligence from previous inspectors and also the surveillance involved in the application of sanctions over the ten years since "Desert Storm" in 1991; and thirdly, the open compliance of the Iraqi regime, who co-operated fully in meeting the requirements of the inspectors.

Perhaps George Bush thought that the inspection team would uncover caches of missiles, nuclear facilities and large-scale laboratories producing chemical and biological weapons. It is no easy thing to obliterate any trace of production facilities for weapons of mass destruction. Factories, roads, storage depots, power facilities, homes and offices for staff, obtaining raw materials, testing, etc., cannot be carried out with no trace. Achieving this in a country whose basic infrastructure – water, agriculture, power generation, sewerage – has been all but destroyed; where all activities are under 24-hour-a-day satellite surveillance capable of mapping any unusual population movements, excavation, building and transport activity; where two-thirds of the country is subject to daily bombing and strafing; where its access to imports and exports is blockaded and ships searched; and where all financial transactions are under close scrutiny; all these make claims that Iraq is a threat to its neighbours, let alone the US and the West far-fetched indeed.

More and more now believe the whole White House campaign to be a "straw-man" propaganda exercise – the building up of an entirely imaginary threat to justify an invasive war with entirely different objectives to those portrayed for public consumption. No doubt to Bush's dismay, the UN weapons inspectors, who appear to have been allowed to wander at will, have so far found nothing. Unlike the situation in the Occupied Territories in Israel/Palestine, Saddam Hussein has allowed journalists from the West to accompany weapons inspectors and to film inspected facilities. The inspectors are emphatic they need more time. Having demanded their access to Iraq, Bush must now be worried that they will complete their task without any fresh discoveries. This would further increase the already massive resistance to war, permanently fracturing the already shaky coalition which Bush claims to have supporting him.

So now he can't wait for a successful completion of the weapons inspection programme and is in the final deployment stage for all-out war. If the inspectors can't find anything it must be Saddam Hussein's fault! Every day that war is postponed is now a danger for Bush's intentions. The anti-war protests round the world get larger by the day. Seasoned military leaders in Europe, America and Australia warn of the follies of an invasion of Iraq.

Israel – one of the interested partners in a potential invasion – is fracturing, with its party squabbles and scandals, its financial crisis and its continued brutalising of the Palestinians becoming more obvious to former friends, desperately needs a massive Middle East diversion from its own exposure, and as a cover for its intention to solve its problems once and for all by pushing the Palestinians over its borders into Jordan. Britain and Australia have already deployed forces to the Persian Gulf, despite widespread opposition on their respective home fronts.

The Australian (14/1/03) said: "... According to a television poll 58 percent of Britons are not convinced Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction represent a global menace .... The poll comes as a further blow for Prime Minister Tony Blair, already faced with the prospect of rebellion from his own cabinet if war is declared. Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short said siding with the US in unilateral action could mean disaster and Britain must not deviate from the UN route ...."

Lenore Taylor, writing from London in The Australian Financial Review (14/1/03) said: "Senior Labor Party members have warned Mr. Blair he does not have the support of the parliament or the country, nor even the full support of his own cabinet for an attack on Iraq not specifically backed by the UN Security Council. Weekend newspaper surveys suggested Labor Party members would quit in their thousands if such an attack took place ..."

Canadian Professor Gabriel Kolko (The Australian, 13/1/03) pointed out: "...The war in Afghanistan has destabilized Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Last month's comprehensive Pew Report on public opinion in 42 nations, which former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright chaired, revealed that anti-Americanism has grown in at least 19 countries since 2000 and that the French, Germans, Turks and Russians – to name a few – oppose a war against Iraq. In South Korea and Pakistan, anti-Americanism has already caused the politics of those nations to change dramatically. Many of Washington's traditional allies fear its belligerent unilateralism as much as terrorism ...."

A number of polls in Australia show a majority opposed to the sending troops to Iraq. I was involved as a volunteer pollster in one of two teams which polled in Ipswich and the Gold Coast in mid December. About 900 people were covered. A clear majority in both areas were against sending Australian troops to Iraq. TIME magazine has been running its own on-line poll, which it stresses is 'non-official' and 'non-scientific'. The question asks, "Which is the greatest threat to world peace? Iraq? North Korea? The US?" They may have been surprised by the hundreds of thousands who responded and are still responding, over 80 per cent of whom replied "The US".


NORTH KOREA

Few will have failed to notice the completely different reaction by the White House to the much more potentially dangerous North Korea. Scott Burchill, Deakin University, wrote (The Australian Financial Review, 14/1/03): " .... It's worth considering President Bush's words ... in light of the lesson that Iraq-North Korea comparison is now teaching the world; if you want to deter the war addicts in Washington, you'd better have weapons of mass destruction and resources of terror. Nothing else will work. "How else can we explain Washington's contrasting approaches to Iraq (which doesn't have nuclear weapons or the potential to acquire them for some years) and North Korea ( which has at least two nuclear devices and wants to build more)? The former is being confronted with imminent war while the latter confronts only diplomatic offences.

"By any measure, North Korea's arsenal represents a much more serious threat to its neighbours, especially Japan, than any danger Iraq poses to the Middle East .... It's an obvious double-standard .... North Korea, for example, is being upbraided for unilaterally withdrawing from the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, while Israel is immune from criticism even though it has always refused to sign it ...."

Bush has a growing series of problems on his hands, much of it of US making. Apart from Iraq and North Korea, he also has the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, now sinking into a permanent state of civil war exactly as it did under the Soviet, with a revived Taliban receiving arms from its East. Casualties will include many US troops. The situation in Latin America looms large, centred on the oil strike in Venezuela, which is denying the US much of its customary oil supplies. Hugo Chavez, the elected President, is under siege, one suspects from a CIA-organised Opposition. So far he has remained in office, and is receiving support from Cuba, and now 'Lulu' da Silva in Brazil.

It is really a battle against Wall Street, the big banks and oil companies Clinton Porteous, writing from Santiago (The Australian Financial Review, 6/1/03) commented: " ... There is no end in sight. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been bolstered with international support from the region .... The United States, which normally relies on Venezuelan oil for about 10 per cent of its supplies, is hurting badly. Its crude oil inventories are at their lowest level since 1975 .... Perhaps the Bush administration is being deliberately low-key after a diplomatic blunder last April when a coup removed Chavez from office for 48 hours. The State Department prematurely released a statement saying it was happy to work with the replacement and shortly afterwards Chavez was re-installed. The US looked far too eager to farewell the democratically elected Venezuelan leader....
The key for Chavez is that the military have remained loyal. He still commands widespread support from the poor .... Although losing about $70 million a day from lost oil revenues, Chavez has access to about $19 billion in foreign reserves, and is prepared to use the troops to break the strike and bring in foreign workers from as far a field as Brazil and Algeria.

Without all the other trouble spots on its hands, one suspects the White House would send in its own troops, as it did in Panama, to "restore peace and freedom" (and, incidentally, its own financial and energy interests). But with Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea, where it has 37,000 troops stationed, America may have to watch helplessly as Chavez, supported by neighbouring countries also chafing under debt and poverty, strikes a blow at the chains of Wall Street. The world is poised at disaster-point. The key may well be the growing peace movement round the world, part of which – and an increasing part – is seeking Divine intervention in the cause of Peace. "The inevitable ain't necessarily so!"


ARABS BEWARE, THE TROJAN HORSE IS IN YOUR MIDST!

by Ralph Ellis – YellowTimes.org columnist USA
"One would think that the Arabs, mindful of the last 100 years of history, would be a bit wary of Western intentions, as they become drawn into the "war on terrorism". In what appears to be an eerie reincarnation of the old British Empire, the US is establishing a military presence in many foreign lands that heretofore had none. In Arab countries, since 1990, military bases have been established in Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. A remarkable feat when one considers the rampant anti-Americanism that is supposed to be present in the Arab world.

Undoubtedly, promises have been made, for in today's geopolitical world, no one gives anything for free, certainly not bases for military action. ...Back in 1916, the British, using the promise of independence for the tribes of Arabia, persuaded the Arabs to revolt against the Ottoman Turks. But, even before the fighting had begun, the English and French were meeting to carve up the area as spoils of war. After assisting the Great Powers in driving out and defeating the Ottomans, the Arabs received as their reward 30 years of colonial domination by France and England. The colonial master's vested interest determined borders and, more than hegemony, the imposed suzerainty, allowing them to install and remove puppet rulers on the basis of their unfaltering subservience or lack thereof, especially in the Gulf States... Ironically, Iraq was the first of the Middle Eastern nations under British mandate to gain independence, in 1932. I say "ironically" because, in the current scheme of things, it may also be the first to lose whatever sovereignty it gained back then...
One of the interesting parallels between then and now is the current solicitation of the Arabs for assistance in a war that has Western interests at its heart. One must therefore wonder just what it is that America promised the Arabs this time around. Since neither party is talking, we have to take educated guesses as to just what those pledges might be. Looking at what it is that each of these countries might want, we can arrive at a fair presumption of objectives.

In the case of Djibouti and Yemen, it's easy to speculate that economic aid would be an easy sell to those poor countries. Standing in line at the trough to lap up US foreign aid has always been irresistible for impoverished countries. America can get impecunious nations to do pretty much whatever they want for a few greenbacks. For the others, namely the relatively prosperous Gulf States, there is only one abiding concern – survival of the ruling class. Since 9-11, many Middle-Eastern regimes have been targeted for criticism in the American press, standing accused of sponsoring or "breeding" terrorists. Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt and Iraq have been in the crosshairs of the Israeli lobby with numerous negative articles in the media lamenting, among other things, the autocratic nature of their regimes, regimes that mainly owe their creation and survival to Western Powers. Although many pundits would like to see these repressive governments toppled, wiser heads worry about what may follow. So, as a matter of current expediency, it is almost certain that the US has guaranteed support in thwarting any internal revolution in these countries, at least until near term objectives have been accomplished. They no doubt have told them that having our troops in their countries would help cement that guarantee. But will it?

Saudi Arabia has stated that no matter how badly the Israelis treat the Palestinians, they will not issue a repeat of the 1973 oil boycott. I believe they have been told that such an action would have dire consequences. Could the right wing clamour for taking over the Saudi oil fields, bandied about in Washington for some time, be the straw that has broken the camel's back? Thus, the Arab countries have been totally neutralized and have capitulated to the West. The mighty Oz has spoken but what will happen when Iraq goes by the wayside sometime in March? It is clear that the war on terrorism must be sustained by keeping the drumbeat at wartime pitch. After Afghanistan comes Iraq. After Iraq, who's next?

OPEC must be broken and once the Iraqi oil fields are in hand, Saudi Arabia and Iran are the last of the majors in the way. One can only imagine the clandestine meetings taking place between our Israeli-leaning government and their friends in Israel. Just like the infamous Sykes-Picot agreement that betrayed the Arabs in 1916, will there be a Bush-Sharon agreement that will betray them in 2003? I wouldn't bet against it. So, Arabs beware! Once the near term goal is accomplished of solidifying Israel's supremacy by toppling Iraq, the Trojan Horse will open its belly and disgorge an onslaught to overthrow the rest of its enemies. What good will any of these promises be then? Rule Americana here we come!

Raff Ellis is a retired former strategic planner and computer industry executive. He has had an abiding and active interest in the Middle East since early adulthood and has travelled to the region many times over the last 30 years.


PETER LEWIS PLANS OWN PUBLIC MEETINGS

Peter Lewis MP is planning a series of meetings to inform the South Australian public of what the aims of the Constitutional Convention will be. Included with this edition to South Australian On Target subscribers, is a list of where and when the planned series of meetings will be held. Mark your diaries and make plans to be there!

The Constitutional Convention has been put back to June instead of April 11th (Adelaide Advertiser, 6/1/03). Postponing the convention now allows Peter Lewis to conduct his information tour with more than 25 meetings scheduled for regional centres. South Australians will do well to heed Dean Jaensch's warning and make sure they stay on top of what is brought forward 'for reform' as part of the agenda of the Constitutional Convention ("Reform highjacked by major parties", Adelaide Advertiser, 19/12/02). Dr. Jaensch made some telling points:
* What seems to be missing are any proposals which would erode the ability of the two major parties to control the parliament.
* There is already an agenda item which covers the accountability and transparency of government. But why not extend this to the political parties themselves as they dominate the parliament and the government.
* Why not discussion at the convention about whether parties should be internally democratic and fully accountable, especially in terms of the way they receive and spend big buckets of money?
* The agenda requires an examination of the "role of the parties in the Legislative Council". Why not in the House of Assembly? He asks: Is the Council the only focus because it appears, in the foreseeable future, to be out of the control of the Labor and Liberal parties?
* Why are there ministers in the Legislative Council when the government is formed in, and is responsible to, the House of Assembly?
* What should the members of parliament put first – party line, conscience or their elector's opinion? And of course there needs to be a concerted effort to ensure Citizen's Initiated Referenda is placed high on the list. We could have done with CIR in order to have vetoed the politicians' sell-out of our Electricity, Water and Ports to multinational corporations.
* With CIR we could stop any further sales of our assets. Bear in mind, Local Governments (as trustees for the people) are also rich in assets such as parks and gardens, community centres, swimming pools, etc., etc. Don't imagine governments 'gone bad' and hungry multinationals haven't looked enviously at these assets!

Letters to editors, seeking information, making submissions: For more information or for sending in a submission contact: Constitutional Convention, PO Box 464, Adelaide, 5001. Phone: (08) 8204 1310; Fax: (08) 8204 1336; E-mail: convention@agd.sa.gov.au; Website: constitutionalconvention.sa.gov.au

Take up pen and/or keyboard and join the battle for freedom in South Australia! Make sure your letters are sent to all South Australian newspapers. Make sure you attend the Peter Lewis organised meeting near you!


DR. FRED TOBEN TO APPEAL FEDERAL COURT DECISION

On September 17th, 2002, a Federal Court of Australia judgment found against the Adelaide Institute website – and Dr. Fred Toben was ordered to remove certain items that were considered to be offending against the Racial Hatred Act. He complied. However, he is now appealing against that verdict before the Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia. Put simply, the main reason for this appeal rests in his attempt to retain his right to freedom of speech. It is as basic as that. Those who have followed Fred Toben's battles will know he represented himself at that Federal Court and according to the judgment "did not offer a valid legal defence" (Australian 26/11/02).

Dr. Toben sets out what happened: "As a teacher I conflicted with those who wished to introduce into the English syllabus 'Holocaust'-related novels, but who would criticise my teaching of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". When we established our 1998 Internet presence (Adelaide Institute), Australia's media received an impulse from Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, who called our website a 'hate site'. Australia's Jewish community spokesperson, Zionist Jeremy Jones, used this as a pretext to initiate local action, and he took us before the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. I was found guilty under the Racial Hatred Act for spreading anti-semitism, 'Holocaust' denial, et al. The pattern used in these proceedings followed the precedent set by the Ernst Zundel case in Canada, and elsewhere. On September 17th, 2002, a Federal Court of Australia judgment found against our website – and I was ordered to remove certain items that were considered to be offending against the Racial Hatred Act. This we did.
Decided to appeal
However, we are now appealing against this verdict before the Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia. The main reason for this appeal rests in our attempt to retain our freedom of speech. It is as basic as that. In 1999 I was arrested and spent seven months in a German prison for the material we have on our website that is hosted by an Australian server. My attempt at discussing with a public prosecutor the German legal situation led me to be arrested in that prosecutor's office. Ironically, only two years before that, in 1997, I had an informative discussion with him in that same office, without anything happening then. During my 1999 German imprisonment I penned the following: If you deny me my freedom to think and to speak, then you deny me my humanity, and you commit a crime against humanity. Truth is my defence.

Australia is following the German legal pattern by proscribing the free expression of ideas. I wish to oppose this by mounting an effective challenge so that we retain the Common Law rights to free speech. Australia does not enjoy the US First Amendment protection where only actually expressed physical incitement is a criminal matter, but not critical talk. We are fighting this case to safeguard our humanity from an attack that attempts to reduce our minds to slavery, as prevailed in the former Soviet Union, and now in Germany, Switzerland and France - where every life's whim had to be seen through the ruling oligarchies' eyes of post-war new political elites in these countries, such as France, Germany and Switzerland.

The issue now before the Australian court is not whether the 'Holocaust' happened or whether Jews/Zionists can use it to hide behind and deflect legitimate criticism of their behaviour and censorship attempts - especially their oppressive behaviour towards the Palestinians. Whether one believes in the 'Holocaust' or not is now irrelevant in this case because there is now a much larger issue at stake. Our struggle is a global struggle for human freedom against those who thrive on enslaving the minds of the people of the world."

Appeal funds to
For our February 25th, 2003, Appeal to the Federal Court of Australia, please send your cash or cheque to: Toben Defence Fund, PO Box 1137, Carlton, Victoria, 3053, Australia. Direct electronic transfer can be made to: Toben Defence Fund, National Australia Bank, 271 Collins Street, Melbourne, 3000, Australia; Account Number: 083.170.54878.5499


SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

The first CSC for the year will be held Wednesday, January 29th, 2003, at the Lithuanian Club, 16 East Terrace, Bankstown. There is ample parking at the Club, situated only 600 metres from the Bankstown Railway Station. There are nearby facilities for a meal before the meeting. The cost of your attendance is $4 per person. The guest speaker is Mr. Kenneth McCauley and he will speak on "The Labor Movement – National Versus International".

CELEBRATE AUSTRALIA DAY AT BOTANY BAY NATIONAL PARK: There is no charge for attendance, but there is a Parking Charge of $6. This is a family day beginning at 11am. The venue is an ideal picnic and barbeque area, located 200 metres from the gate of the Commemoration Flat. Proudly sponsored by the Friends of Europe and the Australian Heritage Society (NSW). Historical material will be on display. For further enquiries phone between the hours of 9am-9pm: 0421 310514

APPOINTMENT OF LEAGUE OFFICIALS: We are pleased to announce Mr. Maurice Shaya has accepted the responsibility of Assistant State Director in New South Wales. Mr. Louis Cook of Numurkah has accepted the responsibility of State Director in Victoria. We thank them both for taking on the responsibility of League assistance and service in New South Wales and Victoria.

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