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19 December 2003. Thought for the Week: "The thief comes to destroy and to kill, but I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly."
"Peace on Earth to all Men of Good Will"
A TUMULTUOUS TWELVEMONTH
by Jeremy Lee
Back home, Australians were being treated to a $15 million advertisement campaign, urging us to "be alert but not alarmed". It was childish stuff! The weapons inspectors found nothing. Opinion polls showed big majorities unconvinced that Iraq posed a threat to the world, in Britain 58 per cent, and even higher in Australia. By the end of January a massive build-up of forces in the Persian Gulf made it clear that, weapons of mass destruction or not, war was the plan.
In honour of globalism and "free trade", Australia started moves to destroy one of its oldest and most stable industries - the cane industry which had been a chief exporter for over 100 years. In response to the biggest monthly trade deficit in our history in December, the Government issued this incredible statement: " The Federal Government said strong imports were a sign the Australian economy continued to outpace the rest of the world "
A former President of the Liberal Party, John Valder, started a movement "Liberals Against War". But the Liberal Party whip kept a tight gag on parliamentary members. Nobody knew what individual members really thought. A former Australian Ambassador to Iraq, Rory Steele, pointed out that any military invasion of Iraq would be the easy part. It was likely to be followed by "the mother of all messes". His statement was prophetic.
Prime Minister Howard, forgetting all the principles he had supported while in opposition, declared that the decision whether Australia went to war was his alone. 150,000 dignified, peaceful demonstrators from across the political spectrum marched through Melbourne in mid-February. The first news broke (not in the national media) that there was a behind-the-scenes struggle to replace the US dollar as a world currency, particularly as a payment for oil. Saddam Hussein's decision to move from dollars to Euros was seen by many as the real reason for the impending war.
Malaysia's Dr Mahathir continued to be a thorn in the world's conscience by pointing to uncomfortable truths. Speaking at the Non-Aligned Forum he said: " If we care to look back, there was no systematic campaign of terror outside Europe until the Europeans and the Jews created a Jewish state out of Palestinian land. It is the struggle of the Palestinians to regain their land that has precipitated, first conventional wars, then civil protest and violent demonstrations ." Nobody cared to listen to that sort of 'political incorrectness'.
In Australia, a super-performing Telstra decided to try its hand at globalism. It invested heavily in the Hong Kong telecommunications industry, and got its fingers badly burned, to the tone of almost $1 billion, by one Li-Ka Shing. In mid-March a slightly tearful George Bush let us in to the personal side of his outlook. He prayed daily for guidance, wisdom and strength. He prayed for his troops and for innocent Iraqis. He prayed for peace. This must have been balm to the souls of men, women and children in Iraq who knew what was going to happen when Bush pressed the button.
By the end of March the war had started. The world was treated to a panorama of pyrotechnics as the most deadly bombs in human history were dropped by wave after wave of aircraft on Baghdad. In England a few more courageous members of the Cabinet resigned in protest. In Australia, not one Minister or backbencher stepped out of line. Even before the final assault on Baghdad disturbing stories of concocted evidence about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction were emerging. But in the glorious euphoria of imminent victory, who cared?
By mid-April the world was treated to pictures of Saddam's statues being toppled in Iraq. Both Bush and Powell had changed their reasons for war from eliminating weapons of mass destruction to "liberation'. US leaders assured their rapt audiences that the Iraqis would welcome their liberators with open arms. Paul Kelly, writing in The Australian, said: " Howard wants the image of celebrating Iraqis, not mothers weeping over dead children, to frame this conflict in history's lens and Australia's memory ." He was to be disappointed.
As the smoke gradually cleared from a flattened Baghdad, one building stood, unmarked and un-looted, in the rubble - the Ministry of Oil! All this set the scene for a euphoric announcement from the President of the most powerful nation on earth, standing on the deck of a US aircraft carrier, that the war had been won! As he was to discover, it hadn't really started.
In Australia another sensation started with an accumulation of media venom against the nation's head, Governor-General Peter Hollingworth. He had hitherto been virtually invisible as the Prime Minister bustled in to take over the bulk of his functions, buzzing like a bee from war to sport. Wherever the television cameras gathered, there was John Howard. From the moment the campaign started, Hollingworth was doomed. If past omissions weren't enough, trumped up charges were portrayed as "allegedly proven". The office itself was stripped of dignity.
By the end of May we had learned that Britain was being faced with a new European Constitution which would strip all vestiges of national sovereignty from the oldest constitutional monarchy in the world. And Britishers were being given no say in assenting or otherwise to the new proposals. In Australia, Treasurer Costello - surely the most self-satisfied paragon of economic correctness we have seen - assured us that Australia was the most stable and dynamic economy in the world. He forgot to mention that a growing proportion of Australians were being shunted to the sidelines.
The last national census told us: " . 12 per cent of men aged 25-44 years - in their prime income and family formation years - were not in full-time work and living on less than $21,000 p.a. Indeed, 20 per cent were living on less than $16,000 p.a. and showing disastrous marriage and divorce statistics. There were 850,000 children living in 435,000 no-income families ."
By the middle of the year the situation in Iraq had settled into what was quite obviously a classic guerilla war. Far from being beaten, Hussein's troops had kept their heads down during the aerial bombardment, only to emerge when US troops, completely untrained for policing activities, became vulnerable to swift hit-and-run tactics, aimed at daily casualties and sagging morale. Bush, Blair and Howard came under increasing scrutiny, in which their integrity suffered seriously.
Inside the US the cost of war was experienced in a serious financial crisis affecting over half the States. California headed the list, going into technical bankruptcy, during which, under the peoples' right of recall, the Governor was forced to declare an interim election. In the Middle East more and more attention was being focused on the grotesque Berlin-type wall being erected by Israel, annexing traditional Palestinian lands beyond the "Green Line" - the 1967 borders seen by many as the starting point for dialogue.
The Housing Industry Association in Australia issued a statement that housing had now moved beyond the reach of the majority of young Australians. This highlighted the possibility of a future Australia where the population had been dispossessed. The political parties, to nobody's particular concern but their own and the media's, went through a welter of blood-letting. First the Democrats and then Labor, stabbed each other in the back to their heart's content. Had Howard not been so dominant in the Coalition, the same thing would have happened, as an obviously-chafing Peter Costello eyed the leadership enviously.
A bigger ripple occurred at the end of August when Pauline Hanson and David Ettridge were jailed for three years without parole. Even Hanson enemies were shocked at the savagery of the sentence - worse than many rapists and child molesters. The disproportionate influence of Jewish interests over both major parties in Australia became obvious when two Labor backbenchers were gagged in Parliament - prevented from voicing some sympathy towards the Palestinians. Simon Crean was chided like a small school boy, and pulled into line.
News broke in early September that the June quarter had presented Australia with its biggest current-account-deficit in its history - $12.6 billion. During the period exports were lagging behind imports by $6 million each hour. "Ho hum" said most Australians as they reached for another foreign-owned beer - while Costello told us it was a sign of "confidence". Meanwhile, figures on Iraq's debt showed it to be ten times worse than Argentina's.
In November, to the relief of most and the consternation of a few politicians, Pauline Hanson and David Ettridge had their sentences overturned on appeal.
As we moved towards the end of the year a momentous decision was made - the National Party changed its name to "The Nationals". If anyone thought this meant a change of fortune for the limping, compromising, dog's-tail former Country Party, they didn't say so. John Anderson made it clear his party would support the sale of Telstra, despite majority opposition by Australians at every poll..
All this was symptomatic of a spiritless, listless Australia, going through the motions of democracy and representative government without any intention of making it a reality. It was a dismal year. We can only hope and pray it gets better in 2004.
THE BARBARIANS WITHIN THE GATES
by Eric D. Butler
The following article is republished at this particular time of the Christian calendar for the sake of the younger generation of readers; it first appeared in On Target April, 1995. Eric Butler, the first National Director of the Australian League of Rights, with the loyal support of his wife Elma, spent his life travelling around this vast land of ours warning his fellow Australians they were at war, not necessarily a military war, but a psycho-political war, and that the enemy was within the land and in positions of great power and influence and they were intent upon the destruction of the nation and its heritage. The message Eric presents is timeless in the sense that the truths it encapsulates are for all men and apply to each and every generation.
"We have seen earnest and well meaning Christians seeking in various ways, including street walks and open air services, to attempt to bear witness to their Christian Faith against what is often described as "the gross Materialisms" now dominating so much of man's life. The reality is, of course, that what could once be described as a Western Christian Civilisation, with its roots deep in the Greco-Roman Civilisation, now lies in almost complete ruins.
A feature of every dying Civilisation is that the great majority do not even know that it is dying. How can we expect the products of a secular humanist training system, misnamed as an education system, to understand that a Christian Civilisation is dying when they know little or nothing about that Civilisation, or how it grew out of a revelation which over time completely transformed man's relationship to government, to art, to every aspect of man's activities.
What was once described as a "liberal education", a term generally used before the First World War, was designed to produce what was called a "Christian gentleman", one with a broad knowledge of history, philosophy and the arts. Modern education is increasingly designed to produce what might be described as "technical barbarians" who can be slotted in to some narrow specialist activity in what is euphemistically described as "the work force". The policy of "full employment" rather than self-employment is used to drive mothers from the home and to deny them their most creative role, the nurturing of the future generations of the nation.
The basic tragedy of the situation is that the well-meaning, appalled by the growing violence, the sheer vulgarity of events such as the display of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Phillip as nudes on a Canberra park bench, or a New York publication depicting a business-suited Easter Bunny crucified on a taxation form, fail to attempt to come to grips with the basic evil threatening Civilisation.
The author of Social Credit, C.H. Douglas, related the comment of one Christian theologian, who said that many of the better publicised sins of man were but like pimples on the skin compared with ultimate sin: the robbing of the individual of his most divine attribute, creative initiative, by the use of centralised power, thus driving him down the scale of life. Man was not made for the system
The philosophy undergirding the modern mass production system, imposed by a financial system, which generates increasing debt, is blatantly anti-Christian with its insistence that the individual exists to serve the system. Christ insisted that 'the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath'.
It is true that a spiritual revival is urgently called for, but such a revival can only take place when the individual is genuinely free and secure. Christ, the Son of God, claimed that He had come that man might enjoy the life more abundant. He taught that man should pray that God's will be done on earth as it was in heaven, and that God the Father should make available the bread, the physical basis of life.
One of the central features of the Christian revelation is the stress on the importance of love. The practical application of the doctrine of love produces a specific Christian culture. But how in today's world can such a culture be sustained when every child is taught that the main aim in life is to be highly successful in competitive living, that his value can only be measured in his survival value in the struggle for power. A sick society does need ambulance workers, but well-meaning and basically decent people can exhaust themselves in never ending ambulance demands unless they devote some of their energies towards grappling with that evil which produced the Crucifixion.
Christian Civilisation is being crucified by the policies of the Anti-Christ. The resurrection of that Civilisation requires that professing Christians carefully heed the warning that Faith without works is Death. The modern barbarians have long since breached the walls protecting Civilisation; they are now firmly established inside the gates, often invited in by those who should have inspired campaigns of resistance to keep them out.
It was during the first modern revolt against a Christian State, the French Revolution, that the term, "The treachery of the clerics" became widely known. It was the treachery of Judas, which preceded the Crucifixion. The resurrection of Christian Civilisation can only take place by facing the reality outlined by the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, that there is spiritual wickedness in high places, and that it is futile to look for effective Christian leadership from those who have established themselves in those high places."
THE GREAT NEWS - WAS FOR ALLby Betty Luks
During the year preceding WWI, United States lawyer, engineer and theologian Charles Ferguson was sent on a mission by his government to find out how "big business" stood in relation to the State in the principal European countries. He wrote that at the time he had access to the best sources of information, and, as a result of his enquiries, he was firmly convinced 'that the sway of irresponsible finance has become intolerable to the world' and the business system of the United States must make a quick choice between regeneration from within and militaristic discipline from without. As an engineer he realised the enormous potential productive power of the emerging industrial nations - a productive power which he saw was social in its origins - would have to be harnessed and directed to the good of all - not just a privileged few - or it would lead to disastrous consequences for all nations.
THE GREAT NEWS OF WHICH HE WROTE
At the time Ferguson wrote: "If sociology had really become a science, and if its adepts were furnished with some measuring device - dynamometer - by means of which one could register the amount of nervous force that a nation habitually spends in producing goods, and on the other hand, the amount it spends in deciding who shall enjoy them - it would then be possible to definitely fix the rank of the several countries in the scale of civilisation. For the country where people care most for the advancement of the arts and sciences, and least for an exact distributive justice, is the richest and the strongest for peace or war - and excels all other in intellect and liberal generosity of spirit.
This is a practical truth. It is the pith (the most essential or most vital part) of the solution of the social problem. It has been expressed in perfect form in the New Testament and has been amply illustrated in the rise, from time to time, of many splendid cities; but it has generally eluded the clergy and the legal profession and it still awaits disclosure to the ordinary intelligence of mankind.
But privilege can have no peace and no continuing dwelling-place within the jurisdiction of the modern business (industry, commerce) system, because the inner law of that system, the law by which it lives or dies, is not arbitrary but intrinsic, not static but dynamic. The heart of the matter is not property or ownership but the correlation and direction of creative powers - through credit-centres, at which men assemble, not their assurances but their adventures, not their timidities but their affirmative and creative faiths.
The system of industry and commerce is poisoned and paralysed and has fallen into fevers and convulsions of war - because the credit-centres have been inverted and have worked a kind of suicide of business - subjecting the masters of arts and enterprise to the holders of securities. This inverted capitalism has ransacked the corners of the earth to find the places where life is cheapest.
In countries of high political traditions
(remember this was written nearly eighty years ago
England, France, the United States - the democracies have
stormed the polls and the parliaments, to get laws passed
for justice and the raising of the standard of living; but
the practical effect of these endeavors to make men dear,
has been the export of capital to the communities and countries
where men were cheap. (Today it is known as Multinational
Economic Rationalism, or the New World Order
We must accept the axiom that the credit-centres should be operated with primary consideration for the producers The serious obstacles to the solution of the social problem are all merely spiritual, psychological."
Taken from "The Great News" by Charles Ferguson republished in 1915.
Clifford Douglas in "Credit Power and Democracy" emphasised the point: "Centralised financial credit-control will break up this civilisation." Why? Because "no man, or body of men, however elected, can represent the detailed desires of any other man, or body of men."
THE RELIGIOUS QUESTION
How do we get people to look at what is essentially a 'religious' question when they are so disillusioned with the religious institutions? Where does the individual find some sense of Order to Life, which is, in effect, synonymous with his own spiritual (psychic in the Greek) health?
Solzhenitsyn refers to the same thing when he writes: "The strength or weakness of a society depends more on the level of its spiritual life than on the level of its industrialisation If a nation's spiritual energies have been exhausted, it will not be saved from collapse by the most perfect government structures." The kernel of the problem - the disorder is a symptom of an underlying cause!
Although the values associated with the power of money are, for many, irresistibly attractive, the individual wanting a better world than that which he is at present experiencing, will need to draw on and remain true to values of a radically different kind. He will need to look past the symptoms of this sick unto death civilisation, to the causes. With his changed attitude to life, with a 'religious' attitude to life, he will come to realise, wherever there is persistent disorder, it follows, just as surely as night follows day, that there, in the disorder, is the evidence of the violations of the laws which are applicable to human nature.
The maxim, "what you sow is what you will reap" will become brilliantly clear to him. He will 'see' in his 'mind's eye' that all existence is subject to immutable laws of cause and effect and he will learn there can be no order in the world except that which arises out of actions in harmony with these immutable laws of cause and effect. He will then 'know' there are Laws which are encoded in human nature just as they are everywhere else in the Universe.
A CALL FOR IRAQI REPRESENTATIVES
The news that Washington plans to transfer power to an Iraqi provisional government by mid-2004 is of interest. But the Bush administration's plan for the transfer is meeting with resistance. The plan proposed virtually ensures that U.S. officials and their handpicked Iraqi Governing Council members would be able to shape future political developments in Iraq by having input on the makeup of the national assembly and the provisional government.
What is of further interest is that the most significant resistance was delivered by way of edict by the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most prominent Shi'a religious leader in Iraq. This religious leader does not accept the proposition that U.S. and Iraqi Governing Council members should have such strong influence over the makeup of the national assembly.
Al-Sistani insists, "No one has the right to appoint the members of the constitutional assembly. We see no alternative but to go back to the people for choosing their representatives."
According to Erich Marquardt - https://www.pinr.com
10/12/03 -Washington is worried such 'democratic' elections
"could lead to a constitution with strong religious undertones,
possibly threatening the secularism of Iraqi society."
The call for an Iraqi 'representative' government sounds more like a Western demand, certainly not what we are led to believe could be expected from a predominately Muslim nation. What goes on here? South African-born journalist Ivor Benson offered an answer - Behind the News, Nov/Dec, 1991- by drawing on the work of Berkeley University Professor of Persian and Islamic Studies Dr. Hamid Algar - "Imperialism: A Study".
"Developments in the Middle East since 1979," Benson wrote, now make clear "the gulf between Western power-wielders and Islam's 'fundamentalist' leaders is far deeper and wider than any that ever separated Western capitalism from Marxist-Leninist communism. One reason for this is that 'fundamentalism' "is not exclusively an Islamic matter; it concerns the exercise of political power - how and by whom."
Benson prompted his readers to undertake the labour of learning and putting together the facts, by first informing them "the vital issue involved has to do with the powers of reason, and how will-power relates to reason issues of universal interest and importance. Indeed, Benson thought, it was a kind of Islamic 'fundamentalism' which could trigger a corresponding revolutionary change in Christianity and other religions as now taught and practised.
Shi'i development in Iran without parallel
in Islamic world
By the end of the 18th century the newly emerging Qajar dynasty was able to gradually impose its rule on Iran, then known to the western world as Persia. But the new kind of ulama, radically changed by its experience in the period of political disintegration, which now confronted the Qajars, was able to challenge the autocracy of future rulers. This change within the religious class, can be considered under two headings: theory and practice.
On the eve of the rise of the Qajar dynasty, there was taking place among the religious class an important debate on a seemingly technical matter which also had the greatest political consequences. By reason of its far-reaching implications, the matter gave rise to two entire schools of thought within Shi'ism which came to be known as 'akhbari' and 'usuli'.
The key to the 'usuli' position is quite simple: It is the principle of the utter inseparability of the religious and the secular, if the religion is to be real. In other words, as the 'usulis' would argue, the entire system of government, including the legislative, judicial, financial, etc., must be manifestly in harmony with religion as taught. This did not mean that the religious class wished to usurp the functions of government; all it meant was that it believed that it must be able to understand exactly how the state was being governed; knowledge of a kind it must have before it could legitimately marshall mass sentiment against rulers.
In a modern Western context, this would mean that churchmen, if they are to shoulder their religious responsibilities, must be able and willing to exercise their powers of reason on all aspects of social existence, including the judicial and financial.
Only practice and experience can supply
In 1826 when Muslim inhabitants were being persecuted in territory seized by the Russians, a 'fatwa' was issued calling on the Shah to go to war against Russia. When he hesitated to do so, he was warned that he would be removed 'and another dog put in his place'. Such was the power of a religious class which the masses had come to regard as their true representatives.
It is true to say the revolution in Iran was lead by a leadership class which is socially and historically inseparable from the population, from its own people. It relied for its strength on the preservation of countless strong and close-knit communities, each one socially and politically organised around its mosque.
BASIC FUNDWe remind our supporters, the League is a non-profit service-movement and relies heavily on the Annual Basic Fund to meet its running costs and projects, please give generously.
MELBOURNE HEADQUARTERS AND THE ANNUAL HOLIDAYS
League folk are reminded the Melbourne headquarters will be closed for the annual Christmas/New Year break from Friday 19th December 2003 through to the Monday 12th January 2004. Postal orders will be attended to during that time, so why not order some books for your holiday reading?
We wish one and all every good wish for the Christmas/New Year Season and look forward to resuming our work with you in the Year A.D.2004.
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