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16 January 2004. Thought for the Week: "When all the promises of mere traders are perforce broken, when all the praises of mere trade have perforce become a jest, when all that was called practical has turned out to be a practical joke, and all that was called modern is in ruins more useless than Stonehenge - then, there is a real psychological possibility that men may think of things forgotten: of property, of privacy, of piety in the old sense of reverence for the human sanctities; for the family, from the herthstone to the headstone.
GK Chesterton 1933

VALE TWO GREAT AUSTRALIANS
ELMA BUTLER & THOMAS FIELDER

It is with great sadness we report the passing of both Elma Joyce Butler who died on the 31st December, 2003 and Thomas Fielder who died on the 2nd January 2004.

ELMA JOYCE BUTLER
by Betty Luks

The fifth child and second daughter of Charles and Thirza Turner, Elma Joyce Butler was born in rural mid-northern Victoria over 82 years ago. Fate took an early turn in Elma's young adult life, when on a 1938 trip to Melbourne she acquired a copy of the social credit journal The New Times, which she then took home to her father. In time her father went through a radical change in his political understanding and allegiance. Her mother died when she was seventeen and it wasn't long before Elma became the mistress of the Turner household where her amazingly competent talents as a homemaker and hostess were developed and honed. Elma's brother Cedric tells us "In due course Eric Butler entered the Turner scene, his trips to the farm becoming more frequent and he was often found at the kitchen table, tapping away at his typewriter, surrounded by the fruits of Elma's lavish cooking." Even though her looks and talents ensured a competitive field, Eric won her hand in marriage. The calibre and character of the woman is better understood upon knowing that one of the conditions upon which they married was that Eric's work was to come first - and to this Elma agreed. Elma Butler kept her word, she gave her all, her everything, in time, energy, faith and loyal support to her husband and the social credit cause he espoused. The petite, attractive woman with the porcelain complexion belied the energetic and indestructible personality it contained. A hard taskmaster to herself, at times she was impatient with others who couldn't keep up with her. Her brother Cedric said, "Elma Butler asked no quarter and gave none. She went into battle boots and all, and those who underestimated her strength did so at considerable peril."

THOMAS L. FIELDER
by Betty Luks

It was in 1996 that Tom and his son Douglas undertook a pilgrimage to the German prison camp Stalag IVB for Tom to lay to rest the ghosts of the past which, as a result of spending almost two years as a prisoner-of-war in the camp, still haunted him. Tom said memories of the place haunted him for over fifty years until, upon returning, he found the site a peaceful natural birch forest - and the ghosts were then laid to rest. In his book Candle of Light Tom Fielder recalled that although the Second World War, during which he served as a wireless operator in an R.A.F. bomber command, was allegedly ''triggered' to defend the integrity of Poland, the 'victors' in the end (the West) didn't 'liberate' Poland at all - but handed Poland over to the iron grip of a Communist terror regime. As a Numurkah, Victoria soldier-settler dairy farmer, Tom sold his farm to devote more time to continue the outstanding work he had carried out, with the help and support of his late wife Peggy - his childhood sweetheart - through his MEA Tapes. Right to the very end of his life Tom strove to introduce and educate his fellow-Australians to what really went on behind world events and what can be done about it. Tom travelled many thousands of miles over many years, faithfully recording League lectures and speeches delivered by such men as Eric Butler, David Thompson and Jeremy Lee and guest speakers such as Ivor Benson, and Patrick Walsh, and many, many others. He had some hair-raising tales to tell of the time he drove historian David Irving around Victoria on tour. It was written of Tom: "While he has been privileged to make recordings of some speakers of exceptional courage and awesome intellect, and has trod the road of dedication and self-sacrifice in the company of some great Australian patriots, it is at times a lonely, uphill journey, and Tom can be forgiven for wondering, sometimes, if there is anybody out there listening." Well done true and faithful servant.

Other tributes to both Elma Butler and Tom Fielder will appear in the coming January 2004 edition of The New Times Survey. Readers of On Target can purchase a copy of The New Times Survey from the Melbourne Office by sending a cheque/money order to : The Australian League of Rights, G.P.O. Box 1052 Melbourne 3001.Cheques to be made out to: The Australian League of Rights. Single copy-$3, or five copies for $10.


A BLAST FROM THE BISHOP!

From a Canadian Correspondent
There has been a lot of Tom Wright around recently. The new Bishop of Durham of the United Kingdom has arrived with a bit of a bang. In a Christmas Day sermon, which was broadcast nationwide by Radio 4, the man who is now the fourth most important bishop in the Church of England (he comes after Canterbury, York and London in precedence) launched a thinly-veiled attack over the war in Iraq on Tony Blair and George Bush as people who "still invoke Jesus to support plans that look much more like those of Augustus", the imperial power of Christ's day. He also criticised Israel's "savage" policies towards the Palestinians, even quoting the words of the Jewish prophet Isaiah about "God himself fighting on the wrong side".

A withering swipe at last generation's theologians
On Christmas Eve, in an article in The Independent, he took a withering sideswipe at "so many of last generation's theologians", including presumably his famous predecessor at Durham, Dr David Jenkins, who were eager to reduce the Christmas story to the status of a myth. That morning, on the programme, he locked horns with the leading Jewish scholar, Geza Vermes, on the significance of Jesus's Jewishness. And on the same day, writing in The Times, he launched a full-frontal assault on what he calls the "shrill secularists" who every year "discover" Christmas is "really" an ancient pagan festival in an attempt to cut Christianity down to size and screen out its revolutionary political implications.
As well as all that, Dr Wright is one of the key members of the international commission recently appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to avoid schism in the Anglican Communion over the issue of gay bishops, to whom Dr Wright is fairly stoutly opposed.

Yes, you can expect to be hearing a lot more of Dr Tom Wright
If his combination of strong stances falls a little oddly on your intellectual template then that merely shows, so far as Dr Wright is concerned, that you are thoroughly immersed in the unquestioning presuppositions of our culture. Which makes you, I am afraid, a part of the problem. "The faddish culture of our day is still clinging to the threadbare pseudo-moralisms of the late Enlightenment world," he told me in a study of towering bookshelves in Auckland Castle, the former hunting lodge which has been the home to the prince-bishops of Durham for 800 years. "The Church has to say, 'Sorry there's a more sophisticated way of doing society, culture, ethics, ethos and so on", said the man who was an Oxford theology lecturer then canon theologian of Westminster Abbey before being appointed to Durham with its long tradition of scholar-bishops.

Dr Wright is probably evangelicalism's cleverest contemporary thinker and communicator. "The way we line up issues owes much to America, where things are still seen along old Civil War fault-lines. You are either a liberal Yankee in favour of gays, abortion and all other right-thinking causes, or you're a Southern fundamentalist redneck who believes in guns, the death penalty and shooting people outside abortion clinics," he said.

But life is more complicated than the Mason-Dixon line suggests. "The position of someone such as Rowan Williams is seen as inconsistent only by those who accept that tick-all-the-boxes package deal. And yet this left/right polarisation is only as old as the French Revolution. It shows that our assumptions are still those of the world of the late Enlightenment and of the Whig idea of history [that we progress constantly to a future better than the past].

"Post-modernity is assumed to be on the 'left' side of the equation, although it re-inscribes empire rather than undermining it, allowing the bullies and the bosses to create facts on the ground to their own advantage. (All those years of Derrida and we still get George W Bush!) But post-modernism flourishes only where we can create our own private spaces, put on our headphones and be in our private world. There's no post-modernism on the West Bank. The lines there are real and drawn in the sand." All of which gives some hint of the package of simultaneous radicalism and conservatism, faith and reason, which constitutes Dr Wright's world view.

It gives non-evangelicals some sense that a philosophical position, rather than outdated homophobia, lies behind the opposition to gay bishops by many in the Church. And it says something about the complex interweaving of religion and politics in the Church of England, which should remain established. Dr Wright believes, partly to "keep alive the rumour of God in society" but also to speak truth unto power. The medieval church excommunicated Holy Roman Emperors over the death penalty "and there are people in Texas today who need to be reminded of that".

Bishop likens Bush and Blair (and by inference John Howard) to white vigilantes
Dr Wright himself has not been coy in this area. Before the invasion of Iraq, and before he became a bishop, he said: "It is horrendous that two leaders of the Western world who profess to be of the Christian faith are the two who are leading us towards war against an Islamic state. It is going to mean the whole of the Islam world will think this is a Christian-against-Islam war. America's notorious support for Israel only exacerbates that." Today he adds: "For Bush and Blair (and Howard…ed) to go into Iraq together was like a bunch of white vigilantes going into Brixton to stop drug-dealing. This is not to deny there's a problem to be sorted, just that they are not credible people to deal with it. The world now needs a UN army in the way that Britain 200 years ago needed to turn its bands of militia in each town into a national police force"….

The full article on the Bishop of Durham's public statements was too long for this edition of On Target, but because we regard it as important - Truth speaking to Power - we will publish the rest next week.


FEELING A DRAFT ANYONE?

Young Australian males take note
Readers will remember the reports we have made from time to time on the Alaskan Permanent Fund (APF). The APF was set up to distribute to each and every citizen of Alaska a dividend cheque from the government royalties earned by the commercial exploitation of the state's oil resources. The dividend cheque is paid annually and it was previously reported that in one year each family of four would have received around $8,000. The following article discloses the attempts by the Federal Government to tie the payments to a 'draft registry'. George Bush wants more 'cannon fodder'.

Sean Cockerham of the Anchorage Daily News 27th December 2003 wrote:
"Alaska men between 18 and 25, stand at attention: Selective Service registration will now be a requirement to get a Permanent Fund check. Starting Jan. 1, state law will demand that Alaskans be listed with federal Selective Service to get the dividend. The state plans to forward information from the dividend applications to the federal government, which will automatically register the eligible Alaska males who haven't already signed up. Under federal law, men are supposed to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of turning 18. Failure to register is technically punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000. But a lot of people don't do it. The state Legislature and the U.S. government wanted more Alaskans on the list, which the military would use to draft troops. There hasn't been a draft in the United States since 1973.

Members of the Alaska Libertarian Party argue that the state shouldn't be aiding a federal effort to force Alaskans into the military. "A lot of people aren't going to like it," predicted Alaska Libertarian Party chair Scott Kohlhaas. Word of the new requirement doesn't seem to have spread. Rob Hartley, a guidance counselor at Dimond High School in Anchorage, said he hadn't heard about it and doesn't think word has filtered down to the students either. "No, I would seriously doubt that they know about that," Hartley said.

The Legislature passed the law two years ago. It also included requirements, which went into effect in July, that Alaskans be registered with the federal Selective Service in order to get a state job or a state student loan. Then-state Rep. Lisa Murkowski, who is now a U.S. senator, sponsored the bill. In other states, federal officials have urged state legislators to make Selective Service registration a requirement for getting a driver's license. But they came up with a better idea in Alaska, said Debby Bielanski, acting director of the regional Selective Service office in Denver. "When they looked at Alaska, they felt the most efficient way to reach the greatest number of people would be through tying compliance with Selective Service to the Permanent Fund dividend," she said. Nearly every Alaskan applies for the annual dividend check.

The state sent out $1,107 checks (cheques…ed) to about 600,000 Alaskans this fall. That's about 94 percent of the population. But when it comes to registering with the Selective Service, Alaska could improve, according to federal officials. In Alaska, 76 percent of 18-year-old men registered last year, according to the Selective Service. Men are supposed to remain registered until they turn 26 years old. Eighty-eight percent of Alaska males had registered prior to their 26th birthday. Some states, such as Arkansas and Delaware, report almost perfect compliance. Alaska might get close by tying it to the dividend, according to Selective Service officials.

Here is how it will work
There will be a new line on this spring's dividend applications that reads: "by submitting the application I am consenting to register with the U.S. Selective Service system if required by law." The state will then pass on information to the Selective Service for automatic registration. The bill unanimously passed the Legislature in 2002. Murkowski, the sponsor, said at the time that some Alaskans might not realize there is a federal requirement. "This is particularly timely in view of the attack on America on September 11th and the resurgence of patriotism and service to protect our freedom and way of life in our country," Murkowski wrote in her sponsor statement for the bill.

Kohlhaas, the Libertarian, said he talked to lawyers in hopes of blocking Murkowski's law but hasn't found effective grounds for a legal challenge. He said he is opposed to the idea of a draft registration in general. "Because we are Libertarians and Libertarians believe that you own your life. It's a life ownership issue," Kohlhaas said.

A Citizen's Initiative has been set up
Kohlhaas is trying to go after the draft at the ballot box. He and others collected the 6,352 signatures needed to get an anti-draft citizen's initiative placed on the Anchorage citywide ballot for the April municipal election. The initative, if passed by Anchorage voters, would create a task force "to study the effects of making residents of the Municipality of Anchorage exempt from registration with the Selective Service System and how that may best be accomplished, and to issue a report on its findings and conclusions." Mayor Mark Begich would have to write Selective Service officials and advise them that Anchorage wants its citizens exempt from registration until the task force report is done."

Reporter Sean Cockerham can be reached at scockerham@adn.com.


U.S. JUDGE RULES TROOPS WERE JUST GUINEA PIGS FOR ANTHRAX JABS

The following news item was released just before the Christmas break - did you read about it in your national newspaper?

"The Pentagon has suspended compulsory vaccination of US troops against anthrax after a federal court judge ordered the military to stop treating its personnel like "guinea pigs". US District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that the mandatory inoculations, administered to more than 900,000 troops, violated a law passed in 1998 prohibiting the use of experimental drugs on troops. A spokesman for the Justice Department, which represented the military in the case, said the Pentagon would instruct medical personnel at US military facilities around the world to temporarily halt the vaccinations while it reviews the ruling.

Australian troops had already refused the vaccine
Earlier this year 52 Australian troops were flown home from the Persian Gulf after they refused to have the vaccine because they were concerned about possible side-effects. This was despite the vaccination being voluntary for Australian forces.

Lawyers representing US soldiers say the shots have sickened hundreds and caused a handful of deaths. In his 33-page judgement, Judge Sullivan ruled that the anthrax vaccinations violated a law passed by Congress in the wake of concern that similar inoculations may have led to illness among veterans of the 1991 Gulf War.

What has Defence Minister Robert Hill got to say about the matter now? Australia's Opposition defence spokesman, Chris Evans, said yesterday the Defence Force should review its policy in light of the US judgement. Defence Minister Robert Hill and the Defence Department would not comment. Australian Defence Association executive director Neil James said the vaccine was "a reasonably dangerous injection". But he said the issue was almost irrelevant with Saddam Hussein's capture. "The most likely user of anthrax.... was the regime of Saddam Hussein. That regime no longer exists, so the threat's gone," Mr James said.


ENTANGLING AMERICAN ALLIANCE WITH ISRAEL

From Mark Dankofs web site
"Mark Dankof's America"
More Americans are 'waking up' to the fact they are being hoodwinked. The American Neo-Conservative War Party, in firm control of both major political parties in the United States, is getting increasingly and obviously more desperate. The transparent desperation comes in the wake of plummeting opinion polls about Mr. Bush's preemptive war in Iraq. This in turn is related to brewing public discontent over:-
· Provably false pre-war intelligence estimates
· Skyrocketing war bills
· A steady stream of young American deaths in what is demonstrably now an urban guerrilla war in Baghdad
· The ongoing public exposure of the crooked character of no-bid contract awards and accompanying war profiteering by the President's friends in entrenched places like Halliburton Oil and Bechtel
· Insane suggestions by key Administration advisors that an expansion of the pre-emptive war doctrine may soon include Syria and Iran.

The desperation is also due to the increasing inability of Mr. Bush and his Israeli-affiliated advisors to quash the free flow of information in an Internet age.

They have lost control of the disseminated news
Where once the denizens of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, National Review, and The New Republic could insure a mainstream Left-Right War Party consensus on American Empire and Israel through the control and manipulation of disseminated news, their Information Monolith has become an increasing casualty of citizen accessibility to responsible domestic and international data and op-ed pieces which shed light upon what was an aura of darkness.

The Emperor's new clothing
The most recent example of the shedding of light and the absence of the Emperor's clothing occurred this week in two articles covering a story with the potential to sear the War Party even further. The British Guardian's November 22nd story by Jamie Doward and Jessica Hodgson entitled, "Pentagon Bankers May Bail Out [Conrad] Black: 'Ex-Presidents Club' [Carlyle Group] Ready to Throw Lifeline to Embattled Telegraph Owner," and Justin Raimondo's Antiwar.com op-ed piece entitled, "Conrad Black and the Corruption of Empire: The War Party - They're Thieves As Well as Liars," both reveal the ominous triangular alliance of Mr. Bush's Neo-Conservative Chicken Hawks with military-related contractors and the ever-present Israeli Lobby at a time when a trusting consensus in the President and his preemptive war policies is coming apart like a cheap suit.

The story is fraught with implications. Lord Conrad Black, the recently deposed CEO of Hollinger International, Inc. and continued owner of the British Telegraph, was forced to step down at Hollinger after pocketing $7.2 million in unauthorized pay, not including millions in payments to Black's front companies for "management services." Hollinger's stockholders are demanding a company investigation. The Security and Exchange Commission is also involved.

But far more than Conrad Black's criminal exposure is involved in the Hollinger affair, whose newspaper portfolio includes the Likudnik Jerusalem Post. Justin Raimondo reminds readers at Antiwar.com that Chief Neo-Con adviser to George Bush and Israeli asset, Richard Perle, is a Board Member of Hollinger and the head of Hollinger Digital, the company's venture capital arm---which in turn has invested $2.5 million in Trireme Partners, a subsidiary seeking to cash in on defense contracts and the Homeland Security buildup. Hollinger International also invested $14 million in an outfit called Hillman Capital, whose managing partner, Gerald Hillman, is not only a Perle partner at Trireme, but a fellow colleague at the infamous Defense Policy Board.

It is this latter American national security conclave where the interests of defense contractors and assets of the Ariel Sharon regime in Israel intersect in the Pentagon board's individual and collective membership. As Raimondo puts it, the Hollinger media combine is a ". . .particularly muscular tentacle of the Neo-Con media octopus....its demise would mark a great setback for the War Party."

There is a corollary to this truism: the demise of Hollinger would not simply be a setback for the agitprop tentacles of the War Party, but a potential takedown of much more than the personage of Conrad Black. Who else might go down, criminally as well as politically, and what might be the subsequent implications for the credibility of American, Israeli, and British national security and banking elites if the takedown occurs in the light of day? Key chessplayers with concealed hands may be attempting to arrange the pieces on the board to insure that the answers remain hidden in the darkness.

The infamous Carlyle Group, linked to Bush and Bin Laden family investments, American defense contractors and oil consortiums, central bankers and Likudniks, has now stepped forward to indicate a possible interest in rescuing Hollinger International. The November 22nd Guardian story quotes a Carlyle source as indicating that:
1) the sum of the arrangement would be a removal of Conrad Black from management, but not his equity stake;
2) a Carlyle investment sum that could be as much as a 40% ownership of Hollinger; and
3) a provision for Carlyle to name new members to the Hollinger Board of Directors.

Black must be rejoicing in a proposed arrangement which allows him to keep the dough, stay on this side of the law and jail, and maintain the protective covering of a management umbrella comprised of heavyweights John Major, George Herbert, Walker Bush, James Baker, Frank Carlucci, Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle.

One suspects that Mr. Black's membership in the secretive, globalist Bilderberg group, mentioned in the Guardian account, would also remain intact. What does not remain intact is the credibility of Mr. Bush and his top advisors about the moral and political rationale for war in Iraq. Especially problematic for the President - and for the Israeli Lobby's agents in both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the American government - is the exposure of a widening breach in the electorate generally, and on the starboard side of the political spectrum in the United States specifically, when it comes to the questions of Oil, Empire, and Israel as legitimate grounds for the expenditure of American lives.

The vetting this week of the deeper implications of a Carlyle-Hollinger International, Inc. business partnership simply heightens this developing gulf, much to the chagrin of both George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon. William Kristol's The Weekly Standard, William F. Buckley's National Review, Joseph Farah's pro-Israel Internet site World Net Daily, and the tel-evangelists of the Dispensational Christian lobby will continue to march to the drumbeats of more pre-emptive war, more military intervention, and more death on behalf of oil pipelines and Sharon's occupation policies on the West Bank and Gaza.

But other winds on the American Right have begun to blow in the opposite direction. These winds gather with increasing speed and resolve, in a desire to restore the Old Republic while avoiding planetary apocalypse and American policy paths designed to revisit the tragedies of the Roman and British Empires past. They include Patrick J. Buchanan's The American Conservative; Clayton R. Douglas's The Free American; Jon Basil Utley's Americans Against World Empire; Eric Garris's Antiwar.com; LewRockwell.com; Robert Higgs's The Independent Review; and the powerful, yet theologically reflective essays of Catholic commentator Joseph Sobran.

The plot thickens. Stay tuned.

" Mark Dankofs own web site is "Mark Dankof's America".

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