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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

9 July 2004. Thought for the Week: "It was inherent in Douglas's writings that he viewed society as something partaking of the nature of an organism which could have 'life and life abundant' to the extent it was God-centred and obedient to His Canon…Within it (this organism) the sovereignty of 'God the Creator of all things visible and invisible' being absolute, there must be full recognition of the sanctity of human personality, and therefore, of the individual person as free to live his life, and within the body social, to enter into or contract out of such associations as, with the responsibility to his Creator, he may choose. And no person may deny another this relationship to God and his fellow man without committing sacrilege.
This concept, reflecting the ideal of Christendom as the integration of Church and Society which was the inspiration of European civilisation for centuries, involves adherence to a policy in every sphere of social life, economic, political and cultural. This is the policy Douglas termed "Social Credit"."
Eric D. Butler in "Releasing Reality"

'SCANDALOUS' TREATMENT -- UNDER WHAT 'LAW'?

In an ABC radio news broadcast 2/7/04 Saddam Hussein's defence lawyer expressed his outrage because the newly appointed Iraqi regime had brought Hussein before a court in Iraq without the benefit of legal counsel or representation. The lawyer thought it was 'scandalous' that this should have happened, insisting the man has the right to legal counsel and legal representation before a court of law.
This story will unfold as time goes on, in the meantime, there are two citizens of Australian in a Guantanamo Bay prison who have received a very shoddy deal at the hands of the American authorities - and our lily-livered federal politicians have gone along with it. So much for their concern for Australians citizens!

There has been some talk of closing down the prison at Guantanamo Bay and the prisoners being transferred to the U.S.A. Even if this does occur it should be born in mind the authorities set themselves up as 'above the law'; a very serious violation of the principle that neither a king, president nor a prime minister is above the law.
Guantanamo: What the world should know
In the meantime, Michael Ratner and Ellen Ray have written about the treatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and the utter hypocrisy of the American (and Australian) authorities. In the form of questions and answers the following is taken from their forthcoming book, Guantanamo: What the World Should Know: While addressed to Americans it is also of direct concern to Australians. We should care what this all means for the future of the rule of law, and for the building of societies that are based upon the rule of law and not on the dictates of kings or presidents. For nearly eight hundred years, since the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, our laws have insisted that every single human being is entitled to some kind of judicial process before he or she can be thrown in jail.

Ellen Ray: Why should American citizens be concerned about Guantanamo and what is taking place there?
Michael Ratner: Americans should care about what goes on at Guantanamo for a number of reasons.

First of all, the way we are treating the prisoners there is a scandal, an embarrassment to the people of this country and an outrage to the people of the world. That you can take someone and put him in a prison offshore with no legal rights whatsoever for two and a half years is simply inhumane.

Second, our treatment of these people, who are primarily Muslims and of Arabic ethnic origin, should be a cause of tremendous consternation because of the message it sends to the Muslim world. Guantanamo has become iconic in the Arab and Muslim world; it stands for the United States doing wrong and abusing people. If we want to live in a safe world, the message we should send is that we will treat people not like animals but like human beings. Although we should be trying to lessen the anger toward the United States within the Muslim and Arab world, we are not doing that; we are, in fact, doing the opposite.

Third, we should care about Guantanamo because we should care about how others are going to treat our citizens. If Americans -- soldiers or civilians -- are picked up overseas, how do we want them to be treated? Do we want them treated lawfully, in accordance with principles of Anglo-American jurisprudence and international law…We have gone back to a pre-Magna Carta medieval system, not a system of laws, but of executive fiat, where the king -- or in this case the president -- simply decides, on any particular day, I'm going to throw you into some prison. You are not going to have access to a lawyer or anybody else, or even know if there are any charges against you, or if you will ever be released from this prison.
Guantanamo has become our Devil's Island, our Chateau d'If from The Count of Monte Cristo. The consequences of this unilateral abrogation of fundamental law are grave, not merely for the people in Guantanamo and for citizens of other countries, but also for every person in the United States. If we care about civilization and the rule of law and justice, we cannot keep treating people like this...The key point here is that everyone picked up in a war is protected by the Geneva Conventions. No one is outside the law. No one can be treated arbitrarily at the discretion of his captors.

Ellen Ray: But the Pentagon claims it is treating the prisoners at Guantanamo well, that it is a model institution, that it is respecting the prisoners' religion, providing Muslims with prayer rugs, the Koran, and "culturally appropriate meals."
Michael Ratner: This is not at all true. There are many different levels to consider in the abuses suffered there. First, there is a psychological level. People, as far we know, have been (and are still being) rounded up and taken to Guantanamo from all over the Islamic world, where they are put into wire-mesh cages for observation. They are isolated from each other and repeatedly taken into separate interrogation booths-trailers, really. A critical psychological issue is that these people have no idea if or when they are ever getting out. For all they know, each time they are taken out of their cells they may well be put up against a wall and shot. The Red Cross has said one of the most psychologically devastating things happening to people in Guantanamo is the notion that they have reached a dead end, that there is no way out. The psychological harm is horrendous. In fact, one of the threats employed to make prisoners in Iraq talk, even after they had been subjected to abuse and torture, was to threaten them with going to Guantanamo, because everyone understood that there was little or no chance of ever getting out of there. About one in five of the prisoners have been put on antidepressants, psychotropics, and other drugs. In addition to hunger strikes, there have been more than thirty suicide attempts.
Guantanamo is like Dante's ninth circle of hell. The temperature is often 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and of course the prisoners have no such thing as air conditioning. The place is infested by scorpions and banana rats. The detainees sleep on concrete floors, with no mattresses; the toilet is a hole in the ground. It is a horrific situation from a physical, psychological, and legal point of view.
Unfortunately, we have very limited information as to precisely what is happening at Guantanamo, and there will always be dangerously cynical arguments about whether certain conduct is literally torture or whether it is simply cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. But both are abhorrent and contrary to the Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions. We don't have any real observers in Guantanamo. The Red Cross goes there, but its people cannot examine the interrogation rooms, which are separate and secret.
The Red Cross has made clear that their inability to speak publicly on this issue should not be taken to mean that torture is not happening there.

Ellen Ray: What effect does the administration's attitude toward torture have on the people committing, allowing, condoning, or averting their eyes from it?
Michael Ratner: The legal memos to the president and from the Justice Department regarding the Geneva Conventions and the War Crimes Statute, which makes criminal serious violation of the Geneva Conventions (particularly with regard to treatment of prisoners), demonstrate that, at least since the war in Afghanistan, the administration was planning to treat prisoners inhumanely. Moreover, the memos indicate that the administration feared criminal prosecution for doing so. The condoning of outlawed methods of interrogation by those at the top obviously affects the people who practice those techniques.
We have to be aware that allowing Americans to engage in torture corrodes the moral fabric of our society. To the extent that a civilised society remains in this country, and to the extent that we have any remaining values, they are seriously endangered. Guantanamo represents everything that is wrong with the U.S. war on terrorism. The Bush administration reacted to 9/11 with regressive and draconian measures worthy of a dictatorship, not a democracy. They imposed the very measures they condemned in other countries: -
· indefinite and incommunicado detentions,
· refusal to justify these detentions in court,
· disappearances,
· military commissions,
· torture.
It was a descent into barbarism.
The practices at Guantanamo spread to Iraq and other U.S. detention centres around the world. The U.S. government has obviously lost any moral ability to challenge such actions when taken by other countries. It has endangered people all over the world, not only by its own conduct but giving its imprimatur to inhuman treatment, which will embolden other countries to do likewise.
It has taken a thousand years to secure human dignity and basic rights for all. The struggle to do so is marked by moments like the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, the Habeas Corpus Act in 1679, the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, the Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention Against Torture. The United States has now treated these landmarks of human progress as naught. Of course, there has never been complete adherence to these documents, but rarely, if ever, has there been such open, notorious, and boastful violation of fundamental protections as at Guantanamo.
But this is not to say that I am pessimistic about the chance of returning to sanity, enlightenment, and the rule of law. For the last few years, we have been in a long dark tunnel with no fresh air and no light. The president and his cohorts, who have brought us to this state, are in trouble: trouble in Iraq and trouble in Guantanamo. That even the Supreme Court appears to think so is a cause for optimism. We are at the beginning of what will be a long struggle to repair the damage that the government has inflicted on us all.


TERMS OF REFERENCE - REPUBLIC INQUIRY

For those actionists working on the 'republican' issue, the following information has come from one of our actionists.
Terms of Reference
(a) the most appropriate process for moving towards the establishment of an Australian republic with an Australian Head of State; and
(b) alternative models for an Australian republic, with specific reference to:
(i) the functions and powers of the Head of State
(ii) the method of selection and removal of the Head of State, and
(iii) the relationship of the Head of State with the executive, the parliament and the judiciary.
Phillip Bailey, Acting Secretary, Senate Legal & Constitutional Committee. (02) 6277 3494

TURKISH PM ON ISRAEL'S TREATMENT OF PALESTINIANS

by Hanoch Marmari https://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/434727.html
ANKARA - Israel is not contributing to the peace process, it is killing women and children indiscriminately and destroying Palestinian houses, and there is no way to describe such actions except as "state terrorism" says Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an exclusive interview with Haaretz. It was his first interview with a member of the Israeli media following growing tensions in bilateral relations between the two countries, sparked by Israel Defense Forces operations in Rafah. The interview in Erdogan's office comes a week after the Turkish prime minister met with Infrastructure Minister Joseph Paritzky and asked him:

'What is the difference between terrorists who kill Israeli civilians, and Israel, which also kills civilians?' Turkey and Israel are bound by strong and ongoing relations. In your view, has there been a recent change in attitude on the Turkish side, or by the Turkish government, with regard to Israel?
"First of all, regarding our relations with Israel, they must be understood on several different fronts. One is the relationship between the governments, and the other is between the peoples. And another way of looking at our relations would be through our political, economic, trade and social ties. "When we look at relations on the level of the peoples, we cannot even conceive of any problems. As far as the Turkish side is concerned, there are no problems here. It isn't even on our agenda. There might be different evaluations by some individuals or some marginal groups, but as far as the Turkish government is concerned, our view with regard to the people of Israel is very objective.
"But at the level of the government, we are in favor of the peace process being regenerated, and the government of Israel has not contributed to our efforts to do so. Why am I saying this? I would have wished that a government, a cabinet, would not decide to carry out an assassination, because governments should never put aside the law."

You have recently defined three kinds of terrorist activities: Personal terrorism, institutional terrorism and state terrorism. Do you think that Israel is practicing a form of "state terrorism"?
"I'll be very sincere and open in sharing my observations with you. When you look at the structure of what has happened, how else can you
interpret it?"

Do you think that there is a fourth way of looking at terrorism - that there are countries that support institutions or individuals who are terrorists? "Of course I can."

You recently met with quite a few Middle East heads of state, and several Arab leaders have visited Ankara. Maintaining close relations
with Israel puts Turkey in a unique position in our region. How do you view the actual Turkish position in the Middle East?

"Historically, we have played an important role in the Middle East. There was a period of cold relations for a while, there was a gap in the relations. We have closed that gap. While doing so, we wanted to act as a mediator for peace in the Middle East, to serve as mediator between Israel and the other countries of the Middle East. We brought this up in every meeting we had. I hope to be able to continue in this."

According to news reports we've heard today, you are going on a first visit to Iran at the end of the month. Are you considering a visit to
Israel, as you promised a few months ago, or will you invite Prime Minister Sharon to Ankara?

"I had a meeting with your minister of energy [Infrastructure Minister Paritzky] and explained to him what I had in mind in regard to this visit. Regarding my visit to Iran, all the ministers involved have already visited there, and the Iranians have also sent their counterparts here. So it became a process in which I had to find time to visit there myself. My counterpart, Iran's first vice-president who serves as their prime minister, has visited here and I haven't reciprocated his invitation until now. It is only correct to analyze these relations symmetrically, be it with Iran or Israel.
"But I was in the midst of planning to send my foreign minister to Israel and Palestine [sic] when all these incidents occurred. According to the plans, my visit should have taken place after my foreign minister's visit to Israel. We don't have a problem in terms of going [there] or receiving [Israeli] guests."

So are we going to be honored with your visit sometime in the near future?
"First we need to rearrange my foreign minister's visit, and then we can plan the next steps. After all, the president of Israel came and was our guest here. As far as Turkey is concerned, we do not have a problem with this issue."

The special relations between Israel and Turkey are unique in another sense - the close relations between the Jewish state and one of the greatest Islamic states are, and should be, a model for the way in which common ground can bridge over differences and diversities. Do you think that these relations will survive the actual crisis?
"If the parties are sincere, yes. The relations are strong enough to overcome the difficulties. We should never forget this. Our forefathers, at their strongest time in history, opened up their hearts to the Jews who had been driven out of Spain at the time of the Inquisition and opened up their hearts and homes to the Jews. Jews were the victims at that time. Today, the Palestinians are the victims, and unfortunately the people of Israel are treating the Palestinians as they were treated 500 years ago. Bombing people - civilians - from helicopters, killing people without any considerations - children, women, the elderly - razing their buildings using bulldozers. When I explained all this to your minister of energy, his response was 'only a friend can be this sincere and talk this openly.'
"You see, both history and geography force us to speak out on this matter. When we get to the roots of our mutual history and when we analyze the geography, we have to be honest with each other and talk about our concerns. There was a terrorist attack in Turkey on the 15th
of November. I took all the relevant ministers with me, and we personally visited the chief rabbi of this country, just as I visited all the injured Jewish citizens of my country - one by one - in their hospital beds. Because I could not have discriminated against them. They are all my citizens, the Muslims and the Jews and everyone else. I am the prime minister of all of them, not only of the Muslims. I was the first prime minister who ever visited the chief rabbi in the history of Turkey."

How, in your view, can a country protect itself from terrorism?
"It is not the problem of only one country. Terrorism is an international phenomenon. We have to establish a joint plan to fight terrorism. The intelligence agencies of various countries should be in real cooperation with each other. If a mutual platform to fight terrorism can be established, we can achieve some results.
"But while doing so we must never forget one thing: We have to take on this challenge, fight this struggle, within the framework of human rights and the supremacy of the law. Saying `I am the strong one, so I can name anyone I want as a terrorist and anyone I want as a criminal and just kill them and go' - that mentality is wrong.
"We have to be in solidarity if we want to serve global peace. We have to go hand in hand; humanity does not want to see anymore bloodshed or death. All those responsible [for the bloodshed] are losing their credibility with every passing day. You must have followed at least as much as I did what kind of reactions the pictures of the abuse in Abu Ghraib prison received...
"I would like to send `Shalom' to all the citizens of Israel, especially the ones who have emigrated from Turkey."


HOLDING CORPORATIONS ACCOUNTABLE

www.corpwatch.org.
The airwaves and newspapers were full of news about the torture of Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. CorpWatch helped expose a little reported fact: Two private military contractors, CACI International of Arlington, Virginia and Titan of San Diego, California supplied at least four of the interrogators and translators involved in the incidents. On May 14 the Op-Ed page of The New York Times called on the president to, among other things, "[b]an private contractors from American military prisons."

THE STREET SPEAKS

Iraq's UN-Backed Government is Made Up of CIA Pawns by Patrick Cockburn, Independent U.K. 10/6/04.
Iraqis are highly sceptical that the US occupation will end… and predict worse fighting to come if real power is not handed over. There was no echo yesterday on the streets of Baghdad of the optimism on display in New York as the UN Security Council voted unanimously to endorse a sovereign Iraqi government. Few people expected a reduction in violence and many said they feared it would get worse.
"We Iraqis are rejecting this decision because it will turn Iraq back to the British occupation period," said Haidar Mahmoud, a shopkeeper. "At that time there was an Iraqi government but it was just a puppet."
Iraqis from both the Shia and Sunni communities repeatedly said that they longed for the violence to end but they not believe that the US would hand over real power. The US will keep 138,000 troops in Iraq after handover. Many Iraqis said that the new interim government was not representative of them. Bassam Najam, a middle-aged driver, said: "In one sense the Americans are transferring power but only to their own agents. The new government members are all pawns of the CIA."

Tariq Ali: Doubts about the return of sovereignty to Iraq are expressed at every level.
We have received a report that at a public meeting in Perth, West Australia, convened by the Economics Department within the University of West Australia, Tariq Ali (author of "Bush in Iraq: the recolonisation of Iraq"-- available from the League Book Services --) insisted it was the people of Iraq who were fighting against the occupation of their country. While they hated Saddam Hussein, and were glad to see him go, they did not want to be an occupied country. Asked how long he thought the interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi would last, Tariq Ali replied, "About a fortnight." He reminded his audience Iyad Allawi was trained by the CIA.
Obviously there are many Iraqis who do not see him as 'one of them', but more like a 'plant of the CIA'.


PROTESTS PROMISED AGAINST NEW U.S. BASE IN OZ

Taken from Neil Baird's email: Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC)
Peace activists have attacked the Federal Government's support for yet another United States military base in Australia and pledged to organise protests against the base if it goes ahead. "Australia already has too many US military facilities on our soil. We do not want another one," Dr Hannah Middleton, spokesperson for the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (AABCC) said in response to Australian Defence Minister Hill's announcement in Singapore of an in principle agreement with the United States that could see thousands of US army and airforce personnel training in Australia. "This will have major negative economic, social and environmental impacts without any benefits for Australia's defence and security," she said.

Senator Hill claims the new base will "enhance mutual capability, ensure interoperability and to assist a critically important ally". "This is simply Government spin for the gradual fusion of the Australian Defence Force into a de-facto arm of the United States military," Dr Middleton said.
"The decision is another step in the militarisation of Australia which we simply cannot afford. Australia's current military budget is already a staggering $55 million a day. At the same time Prime Minister Howard claims we cannot afford Medicare. Nor apparently can his government afford to upgrade public schools, cut university fees, support childcare, tackle poverty or create jobs. Yet the diversion of only two weeks' military spending - about $600 million - to public hospitals would overcome most of their critical shortages," she said.

Okinawa: "The Governor of Okinawa has said the US bases on his island brought a major increase in the crime rate. It has increased levels of prostitution, drugs, alcoholism, rape, sexually transmitted diseases, abuse of women and children and other social problems. The new base will lock up huge areas of our territory and contaminate it with unexploded ordnance. There are also major dangers of pollution from repairs and maintenance programs and from weapons firing," she continued.
"There is not a US military base in the world that has not resulted in soil and/or ground water contamination from toxic chemicals in munitions, fuel, paint and thinners, greases, heavy metals, acids, PCBs, oils and solvents.

"By signing up as a front line collaborator with the US military, the Howard Government is putting all Australians in danger.
"Australia does not have to be a cog in the US military machine. An independent, made-in-Australia policy for reduced military spending and respect for the sovereign rights of nations to independence, equality and self determination is a better way to defend Australia," Dr Middleton concluded.
For further information, contact: Dr Hannah Middleton on (02) 9660 7562 or 0418 668 098
Denis Doherty, AABCC Co-ordinator on 0418 290 663


BASIC FUND

The Basic Fund figures are climbing thanks to our loyal supporters right across the nation. The figure has reached the total of $42,340.60. We are getting there! Thank you one and all.

QUEENSLANDERS NEAR MOOLOOLABA TAKE NOTE

Under the heading of "Community Events" the following notice appeared in the local Daily Mercury newspaper. 'Abolish State Governments Conference': 10-11th July, 2004. Abolition of State Governments & creation of regional & strong Local Governments discussed. Interested?
Phone Charles 5442 1589 or email constitution@national-renewal.org.au Just what the Fabians have been pushing for-for years. Could be worth checking it out. Let us know what happened.

SYDNEY CONSERVATIVE SPEAKERS' CLUB

Dates for your diary:
Thursday, July 29th - Dr. Edmund Dafesh, "Iraq Today".
Thursday, August 26th - Annual General Meeting & Roy Gustard's, "Books Worth Reading".
Books will be on display as usual by the Heritage Book Service. Should you want a certain book, it can be ordered through the Heritage Book Service, P.O. Box 6086, Lake Munmorah, 2259, or Phone: (02) 4358 3634.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S STATE WEEKEND

Date for your diary: Don't forget the State Weekend to be held over 21-22nd August 2004. The venue for both days will be The Public Schools' Club, 207 East Terrace, Adelaide. Notices of speakers, etc., will soon be available. The messages will be taped by Mayo Tapes and available for sale. A wide selection of books, audios and videos will be available for sale. Come early and browse.

NATIONAL WEEKEND

League supporters will be thrilled to know Jeremy Lee, along with social crediter Wally Klinck of Canada will be speakers for the New Times Dinner and Seminar at the National Weekend. We commence with the New Times Dinner on the Friday evening October 8th and go through to Sunday 10th October 2004 -- around lunchtime to allow folk to get away reasonably early for the trip back home. Come on now League supporters, let's make it one of the very best weekends - ever. Great speakers, good friends and wonderful fellowship. What more can we ask for? See you there!
Venue for all the functions will be The Hume Inn, 406 Wodonga Place, Albury, 2640.
For your accommodation reservations book in early by phoning: (02) 6021 2733.

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS

"TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE" by Tim Priest and Richard Basham:
Former policeman Tim Priest came to our attention through an article he wrote for Quadrant Jan.-Feb. 2004, "The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia". His wrote of his own experience 'on the beat' which confirmed that the rise of Middle Eastern organised crime in Sydney will have an impact on our society unlike anything yet seen. But the corruption and decay is much deeper than that and along with co-author Richard Basham he exposes the truth about the New South Wales Police Service in "To Protect and to Serve". The 'spin doctors' are not just working amongst politicians, they are in all institutions and systems, as this book helps to reveal. The authors claim that with crime spiralling out of control, plummeting morale among the rank and file, the police service in NSW is on the point of collapse. Truly a 'wake up call' for us all. Price: $40.00 posted.
"WHY OUR SCHOOLS ARE FAILING" by Kevin Donnelly. Mr. Donnelly's book is a good read, as long as the reader is aware he approaches the subject from a neo-'conservative' Left-Right position. There is the Left, there is the Right and then there is Truth. $25.00 posted.
"THE DISASTER ROAD" by Jean Wallis. Mrs Wallis exposed the deliberate and sustained assaults on the traditional values-system that was once at the core of Australian education. Copies of this little masterpiece are still available. (Read it along with Donnelly's book.) $18.00 posted.
© Published by the Australian League of Rights, P.O. Box 27 Happy Valley, SA 5159