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29 January 2003. Thought for the Week: As a result
of the conditions produced by the European War (WWI),
the play of forces, usually only visible to expert observers,
has become apparent to many who previously regarded none
of these things. The very efforts made to conceal the
existence of springs of action other than those publicly
admitted, has riveted the attention of an awakened proletariat
as no amount of positive propaganda would have done."
"Nations are alleged to have waged the first world war,
but the casualties both of life and property fell upon
individuals. There is no such thing as an effective national
responsibility it is pure abstraction, under cover of
which, oppression and tyranny to individuals, which would
not be tolerated if inflicted by a personal ruler, escape
INSANE GLOBAL BRINKMANSHIP
by Jeremy Lee
Tony Walker, writing from Amman (Australian
Financial Review, 23/1/03) made the obvious point:
Peter Hartcher, writing from Washington (AFR, Weekend, 22-23/1/03) pointed out that President Bush has four potential crises to deal with firstly, obviously, Iraq; not only an immediate invasion, but the aftermath, which will destabilize the whole Middle East; secondly, the deteriorating economic crisis within the US; thirdly the position in the Far East, with North Korea not only the possessor of nuclear weapons but also the means of delivering them; and, finally, the probability of further terrorist attacks such as S-11 within the US itself.
It is clear, also, that Prime Minister Howard is exercising enormous and risky brinkmanship. So far a strong war policy has served him well. It appears he is prepared to continue his aggression as a means of keeping himself well ahead of a cautious and divided Labor in the polls. But there is strong evidence that the Australian population is not with Howard on his Iraqi policy The peace movement is no longer a fringe left, environmentalist element. Mainstream Australia is deeply troubled by Howard's current policy. We can be sure that if and when war commences, we will be hit with a barrage of publicity how quick and mercifully the invasion is proceeding; how bravely our boys are performing their duty; how caches of hidden arms are being discovered in Iraq; how many Iraqis are welcoming the 'liberators' with open arms; how successful and how necessary the whole project has been; how lucky we are that the threat has been eliminated; and how thankful we should be that "the coalition of the willing" delayed no longer.
A certain euphoria will emerge for a short time, spurred by relief that it wasn't so bad after all. In such a situation, my suspicions are that Howard and his Coalition will go to the polls, with every chance that a polarized Australia will hail the Caesar of the moment. It is only later that a more realistic picture will begin to emerge, as a minority of independent journalists start reporting on the devastation and the environmental damage. The mopping up will take years. The 'bushfires' from a host of new enemies will require even more resources and 'emergency measures'. The question above all that must finally be answered is whether a few leaders in a cabinet can take their nations into wars of annihilation? Or whether a world, exhausted by destruction and misery can finally emerge through the psychology of "war-as-a-solution" into a new era of peace; where "swords are turned into ploughshares and spears into pruning-hooks".
THE FINANCIAL CRISIS DOGGING BUSH
Writing under the headline GREENBACK'S
WOES ONLY JUST BEGINNING, Corrine Lim (Australian Financial
Review, 21/1/03) gave a stark picture: She dealt with
only one aspect the US Current Account Deficit:
But capital is beginning to flow out as the US dollar slides. Put this in context of other figures. Total United States debt household, business and the three levels of government, local, state and federal has climbed from $US4 trillion in 1980 to $31 trillion in 2002. The total has now passed the previous level of 264% of GDP, which occurred at the start of the Great Depression. United States foreign debt is now $2.8 trillion in 2002, 27% of GDP. With profits falling, bankruptcies rising, millions unemployed and the American dollar sliding, the picture is not bright. And the war will NOT help.
DAVOS ON AGAIN
By coincidence, of course, the high pooh-bahs of the global world are gathering for their annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The Australian (24/1/03) said: "...More than 2,000 of the planet's wealthiest and most influential figures from business moguls to titans of government, have started to converge on this tiny, hard-to-reach Swiss ski resort for the yearly World Economic Forum. "From Bill Clinton to Bill Gates, via Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, movers and shakers from every sphere are flying in to rub shoulders and press the flesh at this six-day talkfest.... "
And this year the conventional wisdom is that terror, security and war are the dominant issues. "Delegates will hear from John Ashcroft, the hardline US Attorney-General, 'how the fight against terrorism will change the world'. NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson will be there, as will war permitting US Secretary of State Colin Powell .... For many, it remains the ultimate networking event." How comforting to know that the global elite have our interests so much at heart!
WHY PAY TO GET OUR OWN MONEY?Australia's manufacturing unions have come up with an interesting one. In days of yore, Australians received their pay as cash in a pay packet to spend or take home to their wives. Now, with electronic payments, wages are paid straight into a bank accounts held by "approved" financial institutions who then charge customers for withdrawing the money they've earned. In their Campaign 2003, spearheaded by the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, a demand will be made for $400 compensation for each worker, for the charges thus imposed on their pay packets. It's quite logical, really. In the old days, banks and savings societies competed for the cash in your wage. "Put it in a deposit, and we'll pay you interest on your money, and keep it safe as the Bank of England!" was the call from the bankers. But as soon as cash wages were eliminated, your money was paid straight into your account, whether you liked it or not, and you were now charged whenever you wanted some. Just another little way in which banks changed from providing a service to imposing a penalty. More power to the Australian Workers' Manufacturing Union on this one!
MUGABE TO RETIRE HURT?
An intriguing possibility has been raised over the future of Zimbabwe, now in free-fall towards starvation and chaos. The Australian (14/1/03) said: "Two of the most senior figures in Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party have offered to deliver President Robert Mugabe's resignation to secure a negotiated settlement of the country's deepening crisis." The secret deal put to Morgan Tavangirai, head of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would also give Mr. Mugabe, 78, immunity from prosecution and allow him to go into exile. A government of national unity would then be established to run Zimbabwe until new elections were held in two year's time ...."
Apparently, negotiations are reasonably advanced, with the suggestion that Mugabe is receptive to the proposal. Never let it be said there's no cause for hope! Peace in Zimbabwe? Mugabe in genteel retirement, along with Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein? And of course, Tony and Cherie Blair!
NEW ZEALAND LEADS THE WAYWe also liked the move, sent out to the world across the Internet, which announced the setting up of a team of Weapons Inspectors in New Zealand. This body has sent a communiqué to the US Ambassador, requesting permission to inspect possible sites for "weapons of mass destruction" across the United States. "What's good enough for Saddam is good enough for George" appears to be the logic. Somehow, we don't expect George Bush to fall over backwards in trying to convince the rest of the world he has nothing to hide. But who knows? It's worth a try at any rate.
ONCE UPON A TIME, I TOO BELIEVED
by Betty Luks
When it comes to 'world affairs' Dr. Partington, many a 'believer' has shed his cocoon and grown into one of the "awakened proletariat" whose attention is now riveted on the "springs of action, other than those publicly admitted" to which Douglas refers (Thought for the Week). Certainly Saddam Hussein is a tyrant to his own people and we now face the threat of a Muslim versus Western World War, which includes acts of terrorism. But how were we manoeuvred into such a position? And who will benefit from such a war?
It is reported Saddam Hussein and his henchmen, in an attempt to derail or delay Bush's war plans, listed in the 12,000 page report presented to the UN, each and every government, private and public firm and/or institution that helped Iraq in its 30-year weapons programme. The United States' ruling elite censored the report down to 3,000 pages (see story below). In the 1970s the Australian League of Rights published the Australian edition of Dr. Antony Sutton's summary National Suicide of his three volume series Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development which exposes why 100,000 Americans soldiers were killed in Korea and Vietnam by technology supplied by 'America and her Allies'. Antony Sutton, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution from 1968-73 provided proof of the military and industrial aid to the Soviet Union by way of United States "governments, private and public firms and/or institutions" thereby building up the Soviet Military/Industrial Complex. This Soviet Complex supplied the "weapons of mass destruction" to communist regimes in Korea and Vietnam, whereupon these "weapons of mass destruction" were used against their very own American (and our) soldiers.
Can you imagine such betrayal of one's own kith and kin Doctor Partington? Sutton listed, from authentic Soviet sources, the technical specifications of the ninety-six ships used by the Soviet Union to transport weapons and supplies to Haiphong for use in South Vietnam against the United States and its allies. He compares the figures of American soldiers killed in Vietnam with the amount of US-Soviet 'trade'. As the amount of trade went up so did the numbers of young American casualties! It was not the interests of 'the free world' these young men were defending, although they probably thought so.
George W. Bush defending the "interests of the free world" Geoffrey? Not bloomin' likely!
"If terrorism is a form of warfare, and war terrorizes, then what exactly is the War on Terror?" Yellowtimes.org January, 2003
HAVE YOU HEARD?
A worldwide survey was conducted by the UN last month. Only one question asked: "Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the world ?" The survey was a huge failure: In Africa they didn't know what 'food' meant. In Eastern Europe they didn't know what 'honest' meant. In Western Europe they didn't know what 'shortage' meant. In China they didn't know what 'opinion' meant. In the Middle East they didn't know what 'solution' meant. In Australia they didn't know what 'please' meant. And in the USA they didn't know what 'the rest of the world' meant.
MEL GIBSON CLAIMS 'FORCES PLOTTING AGAINST HIM'Actor and director Mel Gibson, reported to be a devout catholic, has commenced production of a film, The Passion, which is a story based on the New Testament accounts of the life of Jesus Christ and the film will be shot entirely in Latin and Aramaic (Sydney Morning Herald 17/02/03). This news would be of interest to Christians worldwide and the film could prove to be as widely viewed as the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings movies. Yet Mel is claiming that such a project and such a subject has brought "out a lot of enemies". Not only have his "bank accounts been trawled", he complains his 85-year-old father "was approached" (threatened?...ed) and charities which he supports have been "investigated because some people were upset about his film". Now who on earth would be so upset about a film of the life of Jesus Christ?
WHAT BUSH AND HIS CRONIES ARE HIDING
Canadian journalist Firas Al-Atraqchi, B.Sc (Physics), M.A., writing for YellowTimes.org, claims US authorities handed over to the United Nations a censored version of Iraq's documented report on weapons research and procurement and he explains why.
"When Iraq handed UNMOVIC its 12,200-page report on weapons research and procurement, it knew fully well that the US would seize the document from the UN and proceed to censor it. Why the censorship? "Weapons proliferation," we are told. While that is partially true, Iraq hinted early on that its massive document would list each and every government, private and public firm and/or institution that helped Iraq in its 30-year weapons programme. The US had to remove the document from the hands of the international community because it contained vital information that could undermine the current administration. The other permanent members of the UN Security Council did not object much to this US move because they knew that their names and their firms also helped arm Iraq.
Iraq's desperate bid to ward off war
How does the current Bush administration know Iraq may or may not be lying? They have in their possession documents detailing all sales and support given to the Iraqis in the bio-chemical weapons domain. They have invoices and spreadsheets of everything that was shipped from various US departments and federal institutions to Iraq directly and indirectly (through US allies Egypt and Saudi Arabia). However, these documents also have the final approval of the CIA, who, under George Bush Sr., encouraged ties with Iraq. Does it not seem the least bit ironic that the US was funnelling bio-chemical information to Iraq up until 1990, the year Iraq invaded Kuwait?
The German daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung
has claimed that it has obtained a copy of the Iraq document
and will soon publish a list of these suppliers. The list
purportedly includes Hewlett Packard, DuPont, Honeywell, Rockwell,
Tectronics, Bechtel, International Computer Systems, Unisys,
Sperry and TI Coating, the US Departments of Energy, Defense,
Commerce, and Agriculture.
The list of arms suppliers
An examination of current US moves in the UN Security Council and the relationship between Iraq and the US during the 1980s will provide telling reasons."
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
Peter Lewis has given South Australians a once in a lifetime opportunity to change governance for the better in South Australia. But we must play our part to ensure it comes about.
A Parliamentary Steering Committee has been appointed to oversee the Constitutional Convention (CC).
The Steering Committee has appointed a Panel of Experts, including specialists in constitutional law, to prepare a Discussion Paper on reform. This Paper, we understand, is now available for public comment.
Visit the CC's website www.constitutionalconvention.sa.gov.au and download the Discussion Paper, or write requesting a copy.
A series of public meetings will be held in country centres and metropolitan Adelaide commencing on Kangaroo Island February 3rd and ending with a meeting at Morphett Vale, March 1st, 2003.
All the issues already identified in the Discussion Paper will be discussed and debated plus any others you should raise.
All stops must be pulled out for this campaign. League supporters, we urge you to please make every effort to participate. You are invited to make submissions about all the issues listed and also those not listed but of concern to you. Hundreds of letters need to also be sent to the Steering Committee members (four Labor politicians, four Liberal politicians and Independent Peter Lewis) so as to reinforce your submission. Among the questions listed is the following most important one: "Should South Australia have a system of initiative and referendum (Citizens Initiated Referenda) and if so in what form and how should it operate?"
The schedule of events is as follows:
It is a long and tortuous path from the forming of the Steering Committee to what South Australians finally get and nothing is sure or can be taken for granted. While there are many sound proposals, CIR is the key one and we must pull out all stops to ensure South Australians really do have that mechanism in place. But it is only going to happen if you play your part.
What's to be done? Make your submission to the Constitutional Convention. Write to each member of the Steering Committee to reinforce what you have submitted to the Convention. Write to each member of Parliament to doubly reinforce your submission. (Ring Parliament House and ask for a list of members and their contact details if in doubt.) Attend the Constitutional Convention public meeting nearest to where you live to have your say. Do your level best to recruit others to the campaign. Write letters to newspapers and get onto talk-back programmes to stir up interest, participation and action.
SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBThe next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 26th, 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. Keysar Trad (Executive Director of the Lebanese Muslim Association). His subject will be "Iraq and the Middle East". Mr. Trad is an excellent speaker who will explain the implications of the pressure on Iraq.
ADELAIDE CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUBAdelaide supporters please note the February meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 18th. Guest speaker will be Port Lincoln mayor, Mr. Peter Davis. The title of his address is "What the Big Money is doing in Port Lincoln". Port Lincoln is a town of significant size and geographically unique. He tells us the problems of power and water supplies are increasing at the same time as the growing population. He will tell us of the future hopes and plans for the region which may involve some large business investments. Peter's address will commence at 7.30pm. A Two-Course Dinner will be served (from 6.30pm) for $18 per person (new caterer) and Dinner bookings must be in by Thursday, February 13th. Phone/fax: 8395 9826/7.
BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS
NOW AVAILABLE NEW EDITION OF "HITLER'S
WAR" BY DAVID IRVING
"Terrorism and War" by Howard Zinn. The author is one of America's most articulate historians. He explores the growth of the American Empire, as well as the long tradition of resistance to militarism within the United States from the socialist party in WWI to the opponents of military intervention in Afghanistan (and possibly Iraq?) today. Zinn was a bombardier during WW2 and has spent decades contrasting the rhetoric governments use to justify military conflict with the harsh and horrible reality of the impact of war, especially on the civilians who are increasingly the victims.
"Germs: The Ultimate Weapon" by authors William Broad, S. Engelberg and J. Miller. Bio-terrorism is the subject of this book and the authors say bio-terrorism is a more effective weapon of mass destruction than the hydrogen bomb! Definitely not light reading, this book explains 'germ warfare' has its origins in a laboratory and the 'bio-bomb' capable of wiping out whole cities can be transported in a brief case! Readers will learn of the Soviet Union's biological weapons programme, with the rows and rows of silos filled with anthrax germs and the efforts of such states as Iran, Iraq to recruit the scientists who created these horrors. An alarming but an authoritative and timely book. $35..00 posted from all League Book Services.
"Pawns in the Game" by Commander William Guy Carr. He was a distinguished Canadian and author of seven books, "Pawns in the Game" being the best known. This book is a classic exposure of the international conspiracy. After his retirement from naval services, Carr toured Canada warning his fellow countrymen of the dangers of this unchecked push for world power. His book remains in the category of 'essential reading'. Price $18.00 posted from all League Book Services.
"Water's War: privatisation, pollution and profit" by Vandana Shiva. In Water's War the author uses her remarkable knowledge of science and society to analyse the historical erosion of communal water rights. Examining international water trade, damming, mining, and aqua-farming she exposes the destruction of the earth and the disenfranchisement of the world's poor as they are stripped of their right to a precious common good. She reveals many of the most important conflicts of our time, most often camouflaged as 'ethnic' wars or religious wars, such as the on-going Israel-Palestinian conflict, are in fact conflicts over scarce but vital natural resources. Water's War celebrates the spiritual and traditional role water has played in communities throughout history, and warns that water privatisation threatens cultures and livelihoods world-wide. Price $50.00 posted. Available only from the Australian Heritage Society, PO Box 163, Chidlow, WA, 6556.
|© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159|