May 2006 Thought for the Week:
Downer is busily lecturing the leaders of the Solomon Islands on the need to get
rid of corruption in government. Does he mean the Australian Wheat Board variety?
Janis Luks, 2006.
As we have seen, John Howard and Lord Downer are terrific
at casual swagger, although neither has ever heard a bullet go pffwt-pzzz through
the rubber trees. Luckily, they have not had results to bury. But next time we
might not be so easily conned. After the never-ever GST, children overboard, Iraq,
WorkChoices, AWB and now Papua, Howard has lost public trust. The moment we hear
him blather that no decision has been made for war, that everyone is working for
a peaceful solution to the Iran crisis - that's when we know the SAS is already
there. When the shoulders go back, the chin goes up and the lower lip juts out,
you know the Prime Minister is lying.
- Mike Carlton, 22 /4/06, Sydney
OF THOUGHT : PART TWO: ISRAEL LOBBY
In my article "Africans ands Crime" (O.T. 28th April,
2006) I raised the point as a legal hypothetical about whether it would be possible
in principle to draft a statement expressing an "extremist" view (say Holocaust
denial) which could successfully meet section 18 D defence of the Racial Discrimination
Act. It is worthwhile to pursue this line of argument while considering the controversy
generated by the publication in the London Review of Books 23/3/06 by two American
academics. The authors are John Mearsheimer, professor of Political Science at
the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, professor of International Affairs
at the Kenny School of Government at Harvard University. Their controversial paper
is entitled "The Israel Lobby".
The thesis of
these academics is that there is an "Israel lobby" that consists of a network
of Jewish elites in journalism, the media, finance and the machinery of US government
that is essentially controlling US Middle East policy. The lobby has convinced
Americans that US interests and the interests of Israel are identical. Thus the
US gives more military aid and direct economic assistance to Israel than any other
nation. Since World War II Israel has received $US 140 billion (in 2004 dollar
terms) in direct economic and military assistance. But, the authors argue, Israel
is not of particular strategic importance to the United States. The authors say
that "Israel is a liability in the war on terror and the broader effort to deal
with rogue states."
The authors then state:
"The US has a terrorism
problem in good part because it is closely associated with Israel, not the other
way around." Rogue States in the Middle East "are not a dire threat to vital US
interests, except inasmuch as they are a threat to Israel." And: "The relationship
with Israel actually makes it harder for the US to deal with these States. Israel's
nuclear arsenal is one reason some of its neighbours want nuclear weapons, and
threatening them with regime change merely increases that desire." Worse, Israel
"does not behave like a loyal ally
Israel has provided sensitive military technology
to potential rivals like China, in what the State Department Inspector-General
called 'a systematic and growing pattern of unauthorized transfers'.
to the General Accounting Office, Israel also 'conducts the most aggressive espionage
operations against the US of any ally.'" Mearsheimer and Walt reject the idea
that the Holocaust gives Israel a blank cheque to do what it likes in the Middle
East and towards Palestinians. They quote a revealing passage by Israeli leader
David Ben-Gurion told to Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress:
"If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural:
we have taken their country
We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago,
and what is that to them There has been anti-semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz,
but was that their fault? They see only one thing: we have come here and stolen
their country. Why should they accept that?"
The authors say that the creation
of Israel "involved acts of ethnic cleansing, including executions, massacres
and rapes by Jews, and Israel's subsequent conduct has often been brutal, belying
any claim to moral superiority." Then a long litany of statistics are quoted;
for example during the first intifada the Israeli Defence Forces encouraged troops
to break the bones of Palestinian protesters with truncheons, and up to 29,900
children required medical treatment from such beatings.
The authors then go
on to detail how the Israel lobby operates, being based upon Jewish power in the
US. This material is of lesser importance for my essay. Nor do I wish to assess
whether what the authors have said, which I have quoted is correct. I am not an
expert on the Middle East history and cannot make an informative comment. As a
civil libertarian my chief interest is freedom of speech. What I want to explore
is whether two Australian academics could have said the same things which Mearsheimer
and Walt have said and survive our "system". Keep in mind my remarks made in my
article "Africans and Crime".
US comments on this paper by leading Jewish
intellectuals have been that the paper is anti-Semitic and non-scholarly. Harvard
Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, a leading defender of Israel has said that
the paper is "trash" and could have been written by "some of the less intelligent
members of Hamas." (The Weekend Australian 1-2/4/06 p.13) Professor Marvin
Kalb of the Kennedy School said that the paper failed to meet basic academic standards,
and contained among other things, factual errors. (The Australian 31/3/06,
p.9) Democrat Congressman Jerrad Nadler said that the authors' thesis was "preposterous"
and that the authors were saying that there were "Jewish conspirators under every
bed and controlling every major American institution."
Jewish writer Eliot
Cohen said in The Washington Post that the two authors were "anti-Semitic".
(The Australian 6/4/06, p.1) According to this writer accusing Jews of
"disloyalty, subversion or treachery
of participating in secret combinations
that manipulated institutions and governments
even if true, this would be anti-Semitic. As well it is anti-Semitic to "systematically
[select] everything unfair, ugly or wrong about Jews as individuals or a group
and equally systematically [suppress] any exculpatory information." This is a
strange critical standard. It admits that there could in principle be unfair,
ugly and wrong things done by this group, but vilifies critics who may state these
"truths" without also balancing the view by giving exculpatory information. That
seems to beg the question at issue in this debate. Mearsheimer and Walt appear
to be saying there is no such exculpatory evidence. Why in any case can't an author
attempt to balance a one-sided debate by giving a purely negative critique without
attempting to dilute the point of the criticism by throwing in a few good deeds?
Michael Ledeen in the National Review Online said that the academics should be
"punished". He said, " "The Israel Lobby" should dissuade rational Harvard and
Chicago donors from giving any further money to the Kennedy School or the Chicago
political science department." (The Australian 6/4/06 p.1)
Let me see if I have got that right: punish two whole departments
because of the sins of two academics? In any case, according to Ledeen it is in
the "grand tradition of anti-Semitism" to say that the Israel lobby has manipulated
American foreign policy. Okay, but does that mean that it is not true? Whom should
I believe? Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic (The Australian
3/4/06, p.11) raises a number of questions about the factual accuracy of Mearsheimer
and Walt's paper and concludes that the paper is "nonsense scholarship". He says:
"Their paper is not research in any serious sense, although its academic paraphernalia
are intended to lend it an undeserved seriousness." What then is "serious" research?
The Financial Times, surprisingly enough has come to the defence of
these academics. "Moral blackmail - the fear that any criticism of Israeli policy
and US support for it will lead to charges of anti-Semitism - is a powerful disincentive
to publish dissenting views." (The Australian 3/4/06, p.9) Columbia University's
Mark Mazower, also writing in the Financial Times, observed that criticism
of Israel is taboo in the US. To illustrate this absurdity he pointed out (The
Australian 6/4/06, p.11) that the US Jewish watchdog, the Anti-Defamation
League "last year levelled a similar charge at a faculty in the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem." He went on to conclude: "There is something peculiarly Kafkaesque
about the idea of an American Jewish watchdog monitoring Israel for anti-Semitism,
yet once the mechanism and mindset exist, this is where the logic of vigilance
leads: anti-Semitism may be found anywhere
Slaves to the System?
It seems inevitable then that if the two academics were Australians and published
this paper in Australia they would be convicted under Australia's race hate laws.
Like Professor Andrew Fraser their remarks would be found not to be balanced and
proportionate. Their academic defence would fail because there would be any number
of hostile academic expert critics happy to bury them. J.S. Mill argued in "On
Liberty" that freedom of expression is our most fundamental liberty. Without
it, we are no more than slaves, however much bread and circuses the system permits
us to have.
These debates clearly show that we are slaves. So what are we
going to do about it? As I have suggested it is about time that we pursued a "race-hate"
case through to the High Court of Australia. Professor Andrew Fraser's case, as
I have said in my previous paper, is an excellent test-case. Professor Fraser,
a legally trained person, has refused to apologise and no doubt will next face
the federal Court of Australia. The outcome is predictable. If this outcome occurs
let us all encourage him to appeal to the High Court of Australia.
A 'SMART CARD' JOHN? BUT NOT AN ID CARD?
When is a National ID Card not
a National ID Card? That's when, my Orwellian students, your 'leader' says it's
a "biometric access card".
Let there be no mistake, John Howard in obedience
to his underling-bosses from the evil Mordorrean realm of the IMF and WB is testing
the waters and has proposed a 'smart card' for those who will want access to Medicare,
welfare and tax benefits by 2010.
The card would include a computer chip with
biometric information and photograph, and is 'designed to reduce welfare and identity
fraud, and protect against terrorists'.
(Oh! Our beloved leaders always
have our welfare as their primary concern! Don't they. Why those naughty terrorists
might attempt to gain access to the health and welfare systems and expect free
treatment themselves! Why, they may even want a 'face' job.)
the attempt by the Hawke Labor Government to introduce a national ID card in Australia
in the mid-80s? At the time, such a system was fiercely opposed by the Liberal
Party, including the now Prime Minister, John Howard, on the grounds of infringement
Now Howard serves another master - and it is not the Australian
He is firmly entrenched within the globalist power structure and has
completely changed his stance on ID cards and the accompanying biometric database
recording control system.
"You have to put that
against the right all of us have to expect of our Government that it takes all
reasonable measures to protect us against the behaviour of terrorists."
proposed Australian ID card agenda is the identical twin of the British ID card
agenda. The overall movement is global and it is one being implemented right under
people's noses, piece by piece in a stealth, stepping stone like fashion. In
addition to changing the rhetoric surrounding the card, the compulsory nature
of it is also being coated in Orwellian doublespeak.
"It will not be compulsory
to have the card," Howard is quoted as saying. But, "It will be necessary for
everybody who needs a card to apply for one."
(Read anyone wanting access
to the health system through Medicare, and/or jobless and on the dole, and/or
pensioners receiving a pension - you are the first 'cab off the rank' in this
imposition of a national identification system. If you don't submit to this Orwellian
system - you don't eat and you don't get access to the health system!
number of upgrades could see the card used in all aspects of life in the two countries.
The ID systems in Britain and Australia equate to lifelong surveillance and an
end to life as a private citizen.
WILL IT TAKE FOR REAL AUSSIES TO MOUNT A FIGHTBACK?
It is way past time
Australians of all political persuasions put aside their differences and through
their coming together and wisely targeting their massive political vote ensured
John Howard is soundly trounced in the 2007 federal election.
Watson of Infowars wrote, 27/4/06:
Plans are being considered by the Scottish
Executive to issue ID cards storing details of every aspect of Citizens' lives.
Hundreds of thousands of Scots have already been issued with the Citizens' National
Entitlement Card - a microchipped card that carries the holder's name and photo.
The cards are used to access free bus or coach travel, but there are plans to
link them to a central database. This would give the Executive access to such
details as people's travel movements, gym visits and reading habits. There are
fears that the system could be expanded to include other information such as NHS
records and benefits payments.
nation that fought for centuries for freedom and independence. Scotland, birthplace
of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, two huge and heroic icons of Freedom,
may now have every one of its citizens registered, monitored and controlled like
prisoners - unless the Scots also unite and take a stand.
Ian Wilson LL.B.
I go through periods of near despair when I feel that the
legal system has collapsed under the fetid weight of political correctness. But
I was delighted to see that a Supreme Court judge has rejected claims made by
a Pakistani-born gang-rapist that his Muslim culture made him believe that he
had the right to rape girls he considered "promiscuous".
As I understand the
matter, whatever criticisms can be made against Islam and the Koran, the idea
that this faith permits the rape of "promiscuous" women is not correct. Islamic
people are very clean living, sexually conservative and such a view is inconsistent
with their faith. The rapist would be as unclean as the promiscuous women.
Islamists in Australia were silent in rejecting and condemning argument when it
has been used. I find this surprising when they are quick off the mark to hit
on the head any insults and critiques of Islam (which for a civil libertarian
is fair enough). Quoting a famous redhead, I ask: "Please explain."
THE OLDNESS OF THE HUMAN RACEby
Political correctness exists even in the "hard" sciences such
as biology. The "African Eve" theory holds that humanity, Homo sapiens,
arose in Africa about 100,000 years ago. The theory is based upon alleged laboratory
evidence about hypothetical rates of change of mitochondrial DNA. The theory is
used to make Africa Eve the mother of us all, and to show that human races are
only recent, so that race cannot have much biosocial importance.
theory is the position of the great anthropologist Carleton Coon who argued that
human races are quite ancient and that race does have a biosocial importance for
human behaviour. Scientific evidence, rather than political speculation supports
Carleton Coon (see: R.G. Klein, "The Archaeology of Modern Human Origins," Evolutionary
Anthropology, vol.1, 1992, pp.5-15 and "Anatomy Behavior, and Modern Human
Origins," Journal of World Prehistory, vol.9, 1995, pp.167-197).
cite but one piece of evidence against the "out of Africa/recent origin theory":
Swanscombe Woman, a fossil discovered in Kent is dated to between 230,000-435,000
years old. This is the earliest known English human fossil remain. The cranium
capacity is al least 1,270cc, which is about average for a European woman. Before
the age of political correctness had too deeply set in, anthropologists had concluded
that she was human: Homo sapien.
However this type of evidence is flushed
down the memory hole in the indoctrination of our university students, who are
expected to abandon race and create the UN universal chocolate coloured raceless,
placeless globo-citizen. Forgetting the past is the first step in forgetting who
THE FALL OF
A RING BEARER
Writing in the 1990s (Behind
the News) on the downfall and fate of one rich and powerful man named Robert
Maxwell, that very wise political commentator, the late Ivor Benson, observed:
"A complete social and political history of the 20th century could be unfolded
out of the personal drama of Robert Maxwell, alias Jan Ludvig Hoch. Everything
was there: the ubiquitous Jew, eternally wheeling and dealing, the Soviet Union
and its KGB, Israel and its Mossad, the Western judicial system showing signs
of cracking under the strain, Socialism as a weapon of political deception and,
most important of all, corruption in business and politics."
But, he insisted,
all this was only part of the explanation; another part will be found inside the
minds of those who so eagerly fell into step with Maxwell: their moral vulnerability.
"The rich and powerful today are worshipped as dispensers of the good things of
life," said Ivor Benson, "and attract people as a honey pot attracts bees. In
other words, an appetite for material advantage tends to prevail over all those
considerations. Powers of judgement are disabled and the sense of duty to the
*The preference for
money (i.e., the benefits and worldly power it brings) in terms of personal advancement,
above all other considerations, is the root of all kinds of evil." New Testament.
AND OTHERS WERE
TAKEN ON TO MOUNT DOOM
Reporter Stephen Pizzo,
News for Real, 5/4/06 listed four American politicians he has watched rise
to power, become corrupted and then watched them fall from grace.
"It's a pattern now so familiar that even during the darkest days
of the last decade, I never doubted that Tom DeLay, too, would eventually self-destruct
just like the political supernovas that went before him. During the years I spent
interviewing politicians, I left every single one of those interviews pondering
a single question: Why on earth would any normal person lust for such an office?
The answer to that question also explains why things are such a mess all the time.
Herein lays the fatal flaw in modern democracy -- as a rule, "normal" people don't
run for public office. Normal people understand the corrosive nature of achieving
public figuredom. Normal people understand the dangers of flying close to the
*klieg lights of fame. (*Klieg light: carbon arc lamp that emits an intense light
used in producing films.)
and absolute power?
It's so dangerous because it plays on the most superficial
of human emotions. First comes fame and public adulation. Then the unquestioning
allegiance of sycophantic hangers-on. Finally there's "specialness"
treated differently than everyone else. Better. Much better. At first, it's exhilarating.
Then it's intoxicating. At first you appreciate it. Later you come to expect it.
Because you are no longer like everyone else. You are special. Soon, the need
to retain this special status dictates what you say, what you do, even what you
claim to believe. (After all, if you were special, would you voluntarily go back
to being ordinary?)
There's a term in Washington that such folks aspire to:
player. If a political colleague tells you, "You're a player," that's high praise
in D.C. I remember when I first heard that term. It was after a book I co-authored
on the S&L (Savings and Loans
ed) scandal came out in 1989, and everyone on the
Hill was reportedly reading it. A D.C. political consultant told me I was a player.
It means you have pull. It means you can shape and influence events, make things
happen. But players in national politics come in various sizes.
small players -- mostly first-term members of Congress. There are major players
-- people like Ted Kennedy and Speaker Dennis Hastert -- who have been around
a while and have accumulated chits. Then there are megaplayers.
have figured out how to accumulate so much power that they scare the hell out
of everyone else. They are to politics what mob bosses are to organized crime.
They can make or they can break. Small players quake in their presence. Major
players are jealous of megaplayers and plot and scowl at them -- but only behind
Tom DeLay was a megaplayer
DeLay, Democrats Dan Rostenkowski and Jim Wright and Republican Newt Gingrich
were megaplayers. Each of them choked upon the ring of power. Each of them slipped
it on for what they believed to be all the right reasons. None of them could take
it off once they felt the rush. And it destroyed them.
I can always tell when
a megaplayer has been corrupted by his power. They develop a relaxed swagger and
a permanent, condescending smirk. When I see that smirk, I recall Euripides' warning:
"Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first deprives of their senses."
in national politics, manifests itself as abuse of power, arrogance, a sense of
entitlement, contempt for the rule of law and corruption. So, Tom DeLay is history.
But even as I type these words, I can hear in my mind the rumble of feet as GOP
(Grand Old Party, i.e., Republican
ed) Big Players frantically search for DeLay's
dropped ring -- lusting after the very power that has corrupted and destroyed
most of its most recent bearers."
Stephen Pizzo is the author of "Inside Job:
The Looting of America's Savings and Loans," which was nominated for a Pulitzer
DID TOM DELAY RESIGN?
According to The
Washington Post DeLay's decision to resign may have more to do with the news
that three days earlier his former deputy chief of staff, Tony C. Rudy, pleaded
guilty to conspiracy and corruption charges, telling federal prosecutors of a
criminal enterprise being run out of DeLay's leadership offices.
is only the latest of DeLay's top aides and associates facing legal issues --
many of whom are also powerful players in the GOP infrastructure. From a recent
Ari Berman article in The Nation following DeLay's indictment for money laundering:
"Three individuals, eight corporations and two political action committees (PACs)
connected to DeLay have been indicted as a result of the probe.
addition, the government's top procurement official, David Safavian, was arrested
in September for obstructing a criminal investigation into uber-lobbyist Jack
Abramoff, a close DeLay ally. Abramoff himself is under criminal investigation
for defrauding Indian tribes and was indicted for wire fraud in Florida in a separate
According to a Time interview
of DeLay's proudest accomplishments, the K-Street Project, is essentially a campaign
to, as John Nichols put it "formalize links between campaign giving, lobbying
A more detailed explanation of his tactics:
1995, DeLay famously compiled a list of the 400 largest PACs, along with the amounts
and percentages of money they had recently given to each party. Lobbyists were
invited into DeLay's office and shown their place in "friendly" or "unfriendly"
columns. ("If you want to play in our revolution," DeLay told the Washington
Post, "you have to live by our rules.") Another was to oust Democrats from
trade associations, what DeLay and Norquist dubbed "the K Street Strategy."
DeLay's House. DeLay's Republican D.C. machine.
They built and fortified
it with the money he brought in. The great majority of them voted for the "DeLay
Rule," custom-tailored for Majority Leader DeLay to avoid stepping down even after
indictment. The current Republican membership of the House ethics committee was
hand-picked to provide protection for DeLay, and the old membership was purged.
He's their guy. Their rule rests on his machine. They can run, but they can't
His political action committee had donated money to 241 out of 246 Republicans
in the House, he installed a patsy as Speaker of the House, "but," writes The
Nation's John Nichols, "DeLay's crudest dismantling of democracy will be little
mentioned today, just as it was barely noted at the time that he brought the hammer
down." DeLay's hooks, it turns out, weren't only in the pay-to-play system of
legislating, they were an integral part of Bush's 2000 election "victory."
responding to the Florida Supreme Court's decision to allow a recount that, "I
hope this misguided ruling will be vigorously challenged," DeLay did just that.
He sent operatives to Florida to create a phoney riot that cowed the canvassing
board into stopping that recount, effectively sealing the victory for Bush.
better to explain the workings of this chapter of contemporary conservative D.C.
politics than the New York Times' David Brooks: 'The real problem wasn't
DeLay, it was DeLayism, the whole culture that merged K Street with the Hill and
held that raising money is the most important way to contribute to the team.'
DeLay's resignation and cowardly flight is a major victory for all Americans,
but DeLayism is alive and well."
it time Australians took a closer look at the lists of those who finance the mainline
party machines in this country?
YES indeed!!! Men are tired to disgust with
TOLD YOU SO
by James Reed
Here is another
one from the "we told you so department". A small article in The Australian
(30/3/06, p.5) has the headline: "Unis seen as Entry Factories".
A study published
in the Australian journal People and Place by Michael Baas says that Indian
students often called Australian universities "PR factories" - permanent residency
factories. Universities offered cheap courses geared to meeting migration requirements.
The study found that Australian universities supported the PR model.
have said before that universities have become - under the guiding hand of our
traitorous governments - intellectual whores. Our heritage and a future for our
children, has been abandoned in favour of making a few bucks. Bring on the day