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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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On Target

16 April 2004. Thought for the Week: "Is the West justified in surviving? Does the West retain within itself what alone in life and history ever justifies the survival of anything, and which is ultimately a play of creative force whose test and whose mandate is that it impels men to die for it, not because they wish to die, but because they feel its shaping power so completely that they would rather die than live without it. So long as men identify themselves with that force to the point where they will die for it, it is living and provides that inner certitude, greater and more instant than any idea of reasoning, which holds nations upright as they pick up momentum in the terrifying slopes and turns of history.
The moment that men in masses begin to question that force, at that moment it has begun to die. However long the tremor of its decay may take, time will henceforth be no more than delay. Every civilisation embodies a certain truth to which it gives reality. When that truth, which, in turn embodied in a faith held religiously whether or not it is wholly religious - when that faith loses its power to inspire men, its downfall is at hand.
Whittaker Chambers in Cold Friday.

OUT OF THE DARKNESS

by Jeremy Lee:
No matter how elaborately the truth is concealed, sooner or later it will catch up with the deceivers. President Bush and the liars around him are in desperate trouble. So are Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Australia's Prime Minister John Howard. Too many people are defying the propaganda blanket, and speaking out come what may.

In March 2002 FBI translator Sibel Edmonds was sacked from her job because she had publicly stated that she had had firm evidence that the 9/11 attacks were planned, that they would involve aircraft and that the terrorists in charge were in the country. She passed the warning on weeks before the attack happened. With the evidence in her hand she sued the FBI for wrongful dismissal. United States Attorney-General John Ashcroft used the "state secret privilege" to abort the case. But Sibel Edmonds charges are now appearing in the media.

This has followed a series of hugely embarrassing blunders now confronting the Bush administration. The US chief weapons inspector, David Kay, publicly stated that after exhaustive searches, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This was followed by Hans Blix, Kay's U.N. counterpart, who confirmed that there had never been any WMDs, and that, if the United States had merely waited for the United Nations team to complete its mission, there need not have had to be any war in Iraq.
This was then followed by the revelation in Britain that both the US and the UK secretly "bugged" ambassadors attending the UN Security Council and Secretary Kofi Annan himself.

And finally, a former head of counter-terrorism in three US administrations - Reagan, Bush and Clinton - as well as 'Dubya' has written a book detailing how President Bush was "obsessed" with Saddam Hussein and Iraq from the moment he entered office, looking for any pretext to invade. In the first four weeks after publication it sold 150,000 copies, and is currently selling about 10,000 a day. None of this is likely to help Bush's re-election. Bush has been forced to throw National Security Adviser Coldoleeza Rice to the wolves. She now is being forced to testify publicly in answer to Sibel Edmonds documented charges.


MORE LIES ABOUT THE SO-CALLED IRAQI TAKEOVER ON JUNE 30

The world is being told that the Americans plan to hand over to a new Iraqi administration at the end of June. The constitution is in place and has been accepted. Which hardly explains the upsurge in violence in Iraq, where black-uniformed Shi'ites are now openly confronting US and other troops in brutally violent head-to-head confrontations.
What, of course, we have NOT been told is that the US is 'reserving' certain fields of operation in Iraq for itself. These include:
· After June 30 all reconstruction programmes in the current $18 billion programme (i.e. electricity, water, oil, communications, courts and justice) will be run NOT by the new administration but from a heavily fortified and massively-staffed US Embassy in Baghdad for five years.
· Fourteen (14) US military bases housing 110,000 US troops, will remain indefinitely.
· The Iraqi Army will remain under the command of Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez of the US.
· The US will appoint a National Security Adviser (Condoleeza Rice? Paul Bremer?) for five years.
· Hospitals and health, in contrast to the rest, will be handed over to the Iraqis.
This is why the US is not the most loved of occupiers, despite all the claims to the contrary.

PRIVATISING THE SEA OF DEBT

By a combination of the highest tax levels in Australia's history, and a massive sell-off of national assets, the Federal Government has been able to reduce its own debts significantly. Treasurer Costello will no doubt be crowing about this in the lead up to the Federal Election.
What he won't be so keen to boast about are the unprecedented levels of private debt, much higher than ever before in Australia's history.

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, 27/3/04) under the heading WE'RE MORE IN DEBT THAN EVER BEFORE, said: "A Christmas spending spree by Australians has pushed the average household debt to $97,650 …. Households borrowed an extra $31.2 billion (i.e. during the year - ed.) bringing Australia's total household debt to $742.6 billion. The level of debt in every household has risen almost 18 per cent in the past year to the highest level on record …."
What a record! It only needs to be added that at a modest interest rate of 5.5 per cent, the average Australian household pays $100 a week in interest. If the lenders knocked on every front door in Australia each Monday morning, and asked for a hundred dollars to meet this week's rent there would be a revolution within a week, and quite a few justifiable homicides.
One result is the findings of a Senate Committee Report just released, which tell us that four million Australians are living in poverty - in the richest per-capita country in the world!


THE COMING FEDERAL ELECTION

When it will be is anyone's guess. It's got to be before Christmas. An educated guess might suggest that it won't be long after the May Budget. The process of pork barreling has begun in earnest. Tax-cuts and other goodies will be handed out by Santa Howard and Tooth Fairy Costello.
A leading article by London's Economist claimed that the Australian economy looked suspiciously like that in the US just before the bubble burst: "…. Australia is sometimes described as a Cinderella economy, transformed from a poor scullery maid to a glittering princess. Look closer, however, and the Australian economy is not Cinderella, but America's ugly sister…."

The reason's given? Australia's current account deficit has swollen to 6 per cent of GDP, even bigger than America's. Australia has a negative savings rate and the biggest household debts on record. All this will be hidden before the election - if possible. After that, whoever gets in, watch out for the roller-coaster ride!


NO SUCH THING AS FREE TRADE

The following article by Mr. John Spoehr, was taken from The Adelaide Review March 2004. Mr. Spoehr is Executive Director of the Centre for Labour Research, University of Adelaide.

Prime Minister John Howard has agreed to a trade deal with the United States that puts Australia's wider trade interests at risk and poses a particular threat to South Australia, writes John Spoehr.
"Having followed the Bush Administration into Iraq on the basis of flimsy evidence about the existence of weapons of mass destruction, it should come as no surprise that the Howard Government has so willingly entered into a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. It has done so knowing that it risks damaging Australia's trading relationships in Asia. This is the fear of long-time adviser on trade to successive federal governments, Ross Garnaut, who argues that the FTA breaks World Trade Organisation rules and will fuel protectionist sentiments in Japan and Europe. Garnaut sees no benefit in a bilateral FTA with the US, arguing that, "it is hard politically for the US to accept clean free trade with Australia, except in the context of multilateral "free trade".

A bilateral agreement with the US, according to Garnaut, would be "damaging economically for Australia" as it "compromises such central agricultural interests as grain, meat and sugar". Furthermore, he suggests that, "analysis has never revealed large enough net economic benefits to Australia". This is hardly a flattering endorsement.

Until recently Australia was committed to multi-lateral approaches to trade negotiation, building on the processes set in train by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Frustrated by opposition to the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) and stalled multi-lateral trade talks, the Bush Administration has revealed it is totally pragmatic when it comes to trade. The Howard Government has once again backed its favourite ally.

The US model of "free trade" - we give the fox permission to roam among our chickens!
This new strategy of bilateralism appears to be designed to intensify pressure on other countries to conform to the US "free trade" model -- a model where the US is free to trade with you but you are not free to trade with the US. The free trade agreement between the US and Australia is a bit like giving a corporate fox the freedom to roam among the free range chickens -- the contest is one-sided and the outcome is messy but predictable. The US is one of the largest economies in the world with annual GDP of about US$9,300 billion. As we enter the 21st century, it is the most politically and economically dominant nation. Australia, on the other hand, is a relatively small economy with annual GDP of about US$400 billion. It has little independent sway on the global political stage. Australia is a relatively small market for the US, representing around 1.6 per cent of total US exports. Australia is far more dependent on the US than the US is on Australia.

Australia's exports to the US of about US$8billion represent around 11 per cent of total Australian exports. The odds of Australia extracting net gains from a free trade agreement (FTA) with the US was always going to be constrained by the massive power differential that exists between the two countries and the relative influence of their domestic corporate lobbies.

The recent FTA struck between Australia and the US reflects these dynamics plus the added complication of it being election year in both Australia and the US. The big corporate lobby groups have been working around the clock to ensure that the FTA advances their industrial interests, or at least doesn't harm them. US agricultural interests appear to have done particularly well, as the complaints from the Australian sugar industry confirm. The FTA has not been the sweet deal that Australian sugar growers had hoped for. The industry sought an increase in the US sugar quota to enable it to export more sugar to the US . Their US counterparts successfully lobbied the Bush administration to maintain the quota at 87,000 tonnes. Australian growers could have reasonably expected a better outcome, but not in an election year.

The US looks the clear winner from the FTA deal
The FTA struck between the US and Central America saw the Central American sugar quota to the US rise by about 40,000 tonnes. Having made no gains but equally no losses from the FTA, Australian sugar growers are seeking a $600 million sweetener from the Howard Government. It looks like free trade might be very costly in an election year. With no gains for Australian sugar exporters from the deal, the US looks to be the clear winner from the FTA. Through the noise of the sugar industry lobby, the Howard Government is arguing that the FTA is an historic victory for Australian industry. The Bush Administration sees it as a victory for the US, creating unparalleled access for US firms to Australian markets.
The rhetoric from both sides suggests that each player is a winner. Both can't be right.

Press releases issued on the FTA by the Howard Government and the Bush Administration provide the usual positive spin, big on the benefits of the deal but sparing on the detail. The problem is that the devil is always in the detail.
Past experience of FTAs struck between the US and other nations and regions suggests there is good reason to fear that Australia will be the loser from an FTA with the US. This is particularly so given the subservient relationship the Howard Government has with the Bush Administration. The Howard Government is very likely to have given far too much ground to the Bush Administration on such key issues as:
· investment policy,
· access to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS),
· local content in broadcast media
· and competition policy.

Already a side agreement has been struck as part of the FTA committing to the sale of the remainder of Telstra.
These are issues of great consequence for Australia - and especially South Australia, which has suffered greatly from the retreat from sensible levels of industry protection. A recent study by the Productivity Commission on the impact of tariff phase-down on Australia's regions found that SA experienced a net loss of employment in tariff-sensitive manufacturing industries.

US can tender for all Federal Government contracts
SA stands to lose even more employment as a result of the FTA, which will accelerate tariff reduction in Australia. Under the FTA with Australia, the US has been given the capacity to tender for all Federal Government contracts. It appears this may be extended to State government procurement. To achieve this, the Howard Government is likely to use its National Competition Policy payments to SA as leverage.
The FTA provides US firms with the capacity to get a stronger foothold in the provision of services to Australians. They will intensify pressure on governments to outsource service provision as a "requirement" of competition policy. In SA, this could lead to US-based firms gaining a foothold in the running of our public education and health systems.
In a State with a shrinking local media focus, South Australians should be concerned about the implications of the FTA for local content.

While the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade states that the FTA protects local television content requirements, US trade officials claim the new agreement provides "important and unprecedented provisions to improve access for US films and TV programs over a variety of media including cable, satellite and the internet".

An ageing state such as SA should be concerned about the prospect of escalating pharmaceutical costs. The inclusion in the FTA of an independent review of PBS drug listings creates an avenue for US companies to hold up the listing of rival products where these might threaten US pharmaceutical interests. Tom Allen, a member of the US Congress, warns that the proposed changes to the PBS "... could tilt the admirable balance Australia has struck between manufacturers and consumers".

Just 500 corporations control 70 per cent of world trade
The ideal of "free trade" may sound a noble pursuit but it obscures the harsh reality that trade negotiation is a grubby process of political trade-offs forged between political elites and large corporate interests. The latter are a relatively small group wielding enormous economic and political influence. Trade analyst John Madely has observed that just 500 of the world's largest transnational corporations control 70 per cent of total world trade.

Just six transnational corporations (TNCs) control about
· "... 85 per cent of world trade in grain
· eight TNCs account for between 55 to 60 per cent of world coffee sales
· seven account for 83 per cent of world trade in cocoa
· three account for 80 per cent of bananas".

In practice, the most powerful countries and corporate interest groups are able to preside over trade negotiations, knowing that they have the political and industrial muscle to dominate the markets they seek to enter. Occasionally, wider community interests prevail in the trade and investment debate, ensuring that labour and environmental standards are considered and that a "fair" rather than "free" trade agenda has some prominence. The supporters of the free trade agenda argue that mechanisms such as tariffs, quotas and subsidies insulate domestic industry from competitive pressures, fuelling inefficiencies. Government assistance to industry is seen as penalising consumers by denying them access to cheaper imported goods and services. Critics of free trade point out that advanced industrial economies like the US and Australia owe much of their early industrial development to tariff protection and other forms of industry assistance. They argue that it is difficult to envisage how any nation might achieve a level of industrial success and diversification without industry protection.
They also highlight the hypocrisy of industrialised countries like the US and Australia that have developed mature industries behind tariffs and quotas and now expect less-industrialised countries to do otherwise.

Downward pressure on wages and conditions
What can Australia learn from previous free-trade agreements involving the US, like the North American FTA and the US/ Singapore FTA? The lessons are sobering. One of the most perverse impacts of FTAs is the way in which they can place downward pressure on the wages and conditions of working people. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has done just this, resulting in a flight of capital from the US and Canada to the sweat shops of Mexico. This has left thousands out of work in the US and Canada while rewarding the low-wage and environmentally hazardous industrial landscape of Mexico.

Increasingly FTAs are being used to lock nations into the sale of public assets or to prevent them from nationalising assets. The FTA struck by the US and Singapore in 2003 contained a commitment to the sale of SingTel and ST Telemedia. No doubt this was the inspiration for attaching the sale of Telstra to the US/Australian FTA. Governments normally have the capacity to acquire private assets to meet public interest objectives. This practice is barred by NAFTA. If a similar clause is in the US/Australian FTA, failed outsourcing and privatisation projects could never be reversed. The sovereign right of elected governments to act in the public interest would be undermined."
Sources: Garnaut, Ross (2002) "An Australian United States free trade agreement", Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol 56, No 1. Madeley, John (2000) Hungry for Trade, Zed Books, London.

SUICIDE BY FREE TRADE
As a P.S. to the above article commentator Pat Buchan is 'sounding the alarm' in the USA on the very same matter -- 12th April, 2004
"They are calling it "the jobs issue." For 43 straight months, manufacturing jobs have disappeared. One in six has vanished since Bush took his oath. Now Americans are alarmed over reports of the outsourcing of white-collar jobs. It is an issue on which the presidential election could turn.
And what has been the response of the candidates?
Kerry is denouncing executives who move plants overseas as "Benedict Arnold CEOs," and Bush is echoing his father's rants against "isolationism and protectionism." (As are Howard and Downer in Australia…ed).
"Some politicians in Washington want to build a wall around the country and to isolate America from the rest of the world," said Bush in Ohio. "The old policy of economic isolationism is a recipe for economic disaster. America has moved beyond that tired defeatist mindset ..."
Both candidates and both parties seem clueless about what is going on and what to do about it. For Bush Republicans and Kerry Democrats both backed NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, and MFN for China…"

Both bankrupt of long-term solutions
What did Mr.David Tang chairman of the Shanghai Tung say at the Melbourne World Economic Forum, September 2000? (As reported in On Target 20/10/00).
"…I wouldn't concentrate on the rest of the world's companies selling to Asia. I would watch out, if I were you, about the WTO… I've never understood why you want to engage us - we've got fantastically low labour (costs)"… China's going to completely devastate your whole labour force…"


NOW IT IS AMERICA'S TURN

Nearly sixty years ago Eric Butler wrote that "as a result of the Pacific War, China was being developed and modernised by huge loans from Jewish financiers in America, (just as they helped build up the Soviet Union…ed) working in close collaboration with their financial allies (in China) the Soong family… There is little doubt that China with her teeming millions… is ideal for the Jewish-inspired planners to build up into a powerful force in world affairs. The last has not been heard of China."
The major role played by the Jewish financiers and revolutionaries in communizing the Soviet Union, leading to the deaths of millions of innocents, is now well known. What is not so well known is their influence in the communizing of China.
Look up https://www.paulnoll.com/China/History/history-China-Noll-part2.html for the story: "The key man in China, from the Soviet Union, was a Jew. Mikhail Markovich Borodin (1884-1951); a Soviet advisor; he was originally named Mikhail Gruzenberg. A Riga, Latvia Jew; he worked as the chief adviser from the Soviet Union to communize China."
Just like the British Empire before her, America is now being brought to her economic and financial knees - her debt now tops US$32 trillion. Once she has served the One Worlder's purposes, she will be chewed up and spat out and left desolate. Any chance of the Americans realizing what fate awaits them?

DON'T FORGET THE USA/AUSTRALIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT INQUIRY

We have been advised, Members of the Senate Select Committee are:
Senators Boswell, Brandis, Conroy, Cook, Ferris, Harris, O'Brien and Ridgeway.
Terms of reference are: To examine impacts of the agreement on Australia's economic, trade, investment and social and environment policies, including, but not limited to, agricultural, health, education and the media.

Closing date for submissions is 30/4/04. Submissions to be sent to:-
Secretary, Senate Select Committee on the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the USA, Suite S1.30.1, The Senate, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 or email FTA@aph.gov.au
It is to be noted: Submissions are protected by parliamentary privilege and will be published unless marked as confidential. Persons making submissions must not disclose them without the prior approval of the Committee. The unauthorised release of submissions is not covered by parliamentary privilege. If possible send submissions of computer disk (include hard copy) or email, otherwise on A4 paper in black ink.


IMPORTANT AUDIO TAPE NOW AVAILABLE

The Adelaide CSC hosted guest speaker David d'Lima at the April meeting. David spoke on "Sex Education in the Schools". Children in South Australian State Schools have been exposed to morally bankrupt sex education for many years. But in 2003 a far worse attack upon their welfare surfaced when 15 State Schools began trialling the controversial "Shine" sex education curriculum. David revealed why many parents were outraged by the package and why the Labor Government has been forced to reconsider its approach. Mr. David d'Lima, J.P., B.Th., Dip. Ed. David, a member of Festival of Light, has served in a full-time 'faith' capacity since 1994
The message was taped by the Mayo Tape Library. Readers can obtain a copy of the address by ordering from Mayo Tapes, Box 6, Hahndorf, S.A. 5245. Price $6.00 posted.

WORKING TOGETHER TO PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY

From Philip Benwell MBE, National Chairman, Australian Monarchist League

"Ever since the defeat of the Republicans at the Constitutional Referendum of 1999, the purpose of the Australian Monarchist League has been to confront and defeat republican ploys, whether they stem from a State or Federal Parliament - such as the Senate Inquiry into a Republic - or from the media as evidenced by the several recent phone polls.
Whilst recognising that Republicans have the right, under our Constitutional Monarchy, to express their views, we resent the extreme bias of the media and we dispute the use by republican politicians of public resources to promote an agenda for constitutional change, particularly following the rejection of this issue by the People in 1999.
From its inception, we opposed the Senate Inquiry into a Republic established by the socialists who dominate the Upper Chamber. We requested people to put in submissions objecting to the Inquiry and opposing a republic and I am pleased to be able to advise that out of the five hundred odd submissions received, the majority were against a republic. This means that whatever decisions the Inquiry makes (or have already made because all the sitting members are republicans!) is nullified by the submissions.
In January we sought the assistance of supporters to respond to the phone poll organised by Channel 9 on the question "Do you want an Australian Republic" resulting in a 61.5% NO vote.
This week we hurriedly requested people to respond to yet another phone poll, this time by Channel 7 which was promoting the question of an Australian Republic and even though the Australian Republican Movement were actively involved in this poll, they were again defeated with 52% of the callers voting NO.

We have a Constitution which made Australia the best country in the world
We will continue to defeat republican initiatives, provide we are all prepared to stand up and be counted. Whilst we do not have the media with us and whereas our support in the Parliaments is limited, what we do have is a Constitution which has made Australia into the best country in the World in which to live. Furthermore, unlike anywhere else, including the United Kingdom, the Australian Constitution denies the Parliament total Authority and places control of Constitutional Change in the hands of the People."


NATIONAL WEEKEND

Early notice so that supporters can organise their schedules - in order to set aside the time to attend. The National Weekend will be held over the 8th, 9th and 10th of October, 2004 and we want to encourage as many as possible to make the effort to get to this year's events. It will be held in Albury, NSW at the same venue as last year - The Hume Inn Motel, 406 Wodonga Place, Albury, NSW 2640. Phone: 02 6021 2733 Fax: 02 6041 2239.
More time will be allocated for socialising with folk from other regions and States. Mr. Wally Klinck of Canada will be one of the guest speakers and a number of League projects will be 'launched'. The theme will be based on celebrating the seventieth anniversary of C.H. Douglas's visit to this great land of ours.
Looking forward to your company at the National Weekend in early October!
© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159