Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Violence at Student Protest - Ho Hum (Suprised - NO!) 

Have a look at the RED banner in the photo. Read the bottom line of the banner in the photograph. The banner is owned by the Socialist Alternative.

Now read this.

The ABC headline reads "Students clashed...." and others in the past have read "Protestors clashed....". Every time there's one of these "clashes" the media does NOT report the full story about who is doing or organising the clashing.

Sure there were real honest to goodness, wonderful, idealistic students protesting. Probably they would have been by far the majority.

But you can bet (as the photo shows) there were also those ratbag "rent-a-riot" crew that probably organised the nationwide protest or if they did not organise it they would not be far from the core of organisers helping to facilitate the protest and certainly assisting with the violence.

As we draw closer to the elections, and the inevitable increase in strikes and demonstrations keep an eye out for those Red flags and banners and pay attention to the activities of the "rent-a-riot" organisations that make them.

Get Free $5,000 and a Pension - Have a Baby. 

Are you struggling hard at work so you can afford to provide your kids with the necessaries and to look after them and to bring them up right?

Are you paying $1 in tax for every $1 you earn?

Well, here's good news.

The Running of the Sheep 

Well, for those too sheepish to enter Spain's "Running of the Bulls", the New Zealand town of Te Kuiti will be hosting the first "Running of the Sheep".

It may not have the glamour or danger of angry bulls stampeding through Pamplona, but 2000 skittish sheep running down Te Kuiti's main street has a certain Kiwi charm. On Saturday afternoon, thousands of spectators will line Rora St in the King Country town for the inaugural Running of the Sheep. The event marks the 20th anniversary of the New Zealand Shearing Championships.

Prediction: This idea is HUGE and will propel NZ to the forefront of international attention. The tourism bonus will be massive. Opening a hitherto untapped market, the running of the sheep will be popular with women, teenagers, the elderly and especially those in wheelchairs on downhill slopes.


Recently I blogged this item about a little morning fireside chat the non-biased boys at the ABC had with Mark Latham last week.

The webpage in question has since been dramatically censored !

Gone is the lovely P.R. picture of Mark Latham in the centre of two ABC radio "journalists" with his arms around both - smiles all round.

For our mutual edification please find enclosed (courtesy of the blogger friendly Google cache) the full censored text. Unfortunately that compromising photograph is probably gone for ever unless someone can somehow resurrect it for me. Damn! I knew I should've taken a local copy. It's gone from their server.

This morning Opposition Leader Mark Latham joined David Kilby and Chris Uhlmann on 666 Breakfast.

The chat interview came after a tumultuous day yesterday in Federal Parliament, where Mr Latham led the charge in an attack on attacked the Government over its censure of Australian Federal Police relationship with AFP commissioner Mick Keelty.

It was during this interview that Mark Latham first made reference to withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq before the end of the year.

The interview ranged across Mr Latham's childhood in the housing commission estate of Green Valley (in Sydney's Western suburbs), which helped to develop his political consciousness, and instilled his belief that the road to opportunity is through economic growth.

Mr Latham then spoke of the war against terror, the need to address the root causes of terrorism and his good results in the latest Newspoll.

We also opened the phones to the public, so our listeners could put their questions to Mr Latham. Even Phil Basche, our regular finance reporter, had something to ask!

The interview began with David Kilby playing “Suss the Sting”, where listeners are asked to identify a song from just a small sample. And Mr Latham had the answer…

The new text doesn't have that homey fireside quality about it, and well a picture tells a thousand words... which a missing picture can't.

Update: Thanks to Patrick from the Observation Deck, you can now gaze in fascinated wonder at this:

Your Their ABC

Justice of the High Court Has a Hotline to GOD 

Justice Michael Kirby gets reams of space in the Fairfax press to justify himself:

Even as a boy I knew that Protestant truth had given me a hotline direct to God. Ultimately, I did not need the intersession of bishops and priests. I could speak directly to God.

And there you have it.

MPs Ignored Under the Rule of One 

LABOR MPs are questioning leader Mark Latham's lack of consultation on big policy announcements.

The discontent has appeared following Mr Latham's announcement last week that a Labor government would bring troops in Iraq home by Christmas.

However, it also emerged yesterday in relation to the announcement that Labor would abolish the Aboriginal national body, ATSIC.

At a scheduled Caucus meeting yesterday Mr Latham was told he had not run the announcement past concerned MPs until just before it was made.

I'll Get Rid of ATSIC Says Latham 

Let me, says Latham. No, no I want to do it says Howard. One thing is clear, the waste, cronyism and mismanagement of aboriginal affairs as controlled by ATSIC has little future. Perhaps some new body could emerge that actually does something to assist aboriginees to help themselves.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Pure Populism Identified 

Mark Latham's blatant populism in saying all the troops would be home by Christmas disgusted even Margot Kingston.

I don't know about you, but when I saw Latham say we had to bring our 850 troops home after June 30 "to defend Australia" I was disgusted. Pure populism it was, and I thought Australians would see through it big time, which they have.

I am flabbergasted that Margot has written a sentence that makes sense. My flabber is totally gasted.

Speech Liked. 

Magrot Kingston has posted the entire text of John Howard's speech and challenge to the Labor backbenchers to support the troops staying in Iraq. The speech in general makes damn fine reading:

I invite those who sit opposite, including the Leader of the Opposition, who strongly opposed our commitment to Iraq, to accept that it is possible, in good conscience and with great consistency, to have been an opponent of the commitment to Iraq but equally to believe that the Australian Defence Force personnel should stay there until their job is done.

The world faces, at the present time, a unique challenge to its safety, its stability and its security. The threat of terrorism is unlike any other threat the world has seen. This is not the threat of invading armies poised on borders, ready to roll over those borders and to capture civilian populations and devastate towns, cities and villages; this is a different kind of threat, and it is a threat that requires a different kind of response.

If the world at the present time trembles and shows any kind of equivocation in the face of the threat posed by terrorism, I believe that the world—of which Australia is inextricably a part—will pay a very heavy price in the future. The decision we take on how we deport ourselves over the months ahead will go very much to the reputation and standing of this country in the councils of the world. If we choose to cut and run, if we choose to abandon our friends, if we choose to give the wrong signal to the terrorists, that will not only make the world a less safe place but also damage the reputation of this country around the world.

Thankyou Margot.

Pandoras Box (Let's Take a Peek) 

Many people do not know this but when scientists detonated the first atomic explosion no one was 100% sure of what would happen. Some theories from the best minds suggested a possible uncontrolled chain reaction that would ignite the atmosphere and destroy the world. As you know they decided to lift the lid on Pandora's Box and took a peek anyway.

Just recently it turns out, some experiments were conducted to create a quark-gluon plasma and to discover what the universe was like at the moment of the Big Bang. Essentially they lifted the lid again and simulated a Little Bang.

Before these "Little Bang" experiments began, fears were raised they could destroy the planet, and perhaps the universe, through several mechanisms including the creation of exotic forms of matter known as strangelets.

These worries were worth treating seriously, says Professor Shuryak, director of the Institute for Nuclear Theory at the State University of New York. But he had confidence that a specially convened panel of international experts who concluded the particle collider could be started up three years ago without risking world annihilation were right. "And, indeed, nothing happened," he said.

Aren't you glad they treated those worries seriously. That those splendid chaps on the panel made the right decision on behalf of all six billion of us, and indeed nothing did happen.

Latham's Honeymoon Could be Ending 

Mark Latham thought he'd be on a winner with his appeasement strategy but...

Strong public support for Australian troops to remain in Iraq "until the job is done" has been revealed by the latest Herald poll amid the first signs that Mark Latham's honeymoon with voters could be ending. The divergence between strong voter support for a continued Australian presence in Iraq and Mr Latham's broad position comes as the poll recorded for the first time a fall in his personal approval rating.

More people favor Mr Howard's defiant outlook on terrorism.

Today's Herald poll, conducted by ACNielsen, finds that 61 per cent of the 1403 people polled at the weekend favoured the Prime Minister's formulation that "Australian troops should stay until the job is done".

Monday, March 29, 2004

September 11 Could have Been Worse 

Al-Qa'ida operations chief Khalid Shaikh Mohammed told US interrogators that the 9/11 attacks could have been much worse and that Al-Qaeda was taken aback first by their success and then by the US rapid response.

Afterwards [after 9/11] we never got time to catch our breath, we were immediately on the run," Khalid said.

He said the war on terrorism and the US bombing of Afghanistan completely disrupted their communications network. Operatives could no longer use satellite phones and had to rely on couriers, although they still used internet chat rooms.

"Before September 11 we could dispatch operatives with the expectation of follow-up contact but after October 7 (when the bombing started) that changed 180 degrees. There was no longer a war room or shura and operatives had more autonomy."

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Mark Latham is Out of His Depth 

Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age is as sharp as a tack.

You don't have to be a supporter of that war (which this writer wasn't) to think that placing strains on the Australia-US relationship over the issue of a few hundred troops is not sensible.

... We are talking about some 450 troops, some of them air traffic controllers. Is Latham really suggesting they are vital for home security? This is a stretch! And to say that Howard is putting Iraqi interests ahead of our own is just meaningless hyperbole.

... Both sides will be anxiously awaiting the next round of polls. If Latham takes a knock, his party might be inclined to give him less of a free hand in the future, although it's hard to see how he could be restrained.

If, however, the public endorses the Latham line, this will encourage him into more of the same - to give his stances a populist twist wherever possible. He may or may not get away with that in the longer term, but it could have some unfortunate consequences for the quality of policy.

The ABC is NOT biased! 

Will you get it through that thick conservative head of yours that the ABC is most definitely not biased. Three ABC management reports into itself have clearly said that it is not. Regardless that numerous independent observers have noted a pronounced anti-government (any government) and left-small-l-liberal bias the ABC is NOT biased - got it. Good.

Now please read this. [Update: Damn, they've changed it all!]


via a reader.

Scramjet US Media Hijack 

In the year 2001, on a shoe-string budget, Australia conducted the first ever succesful flight of a scramjet engine. The world's first ever scramjet-powered flight, that supersonically combusted hydrogen and air, at a vehicle-speed in excess of 8,000 km/hour.

Several years later and with massive expenditure and media coverage the US does a similar thing. Sure their craft had wings but they also had the money to afford a rocket-assisted launch from a B-52.

Everyone knows about NASA's X-43a but few people may remember Ray Stalker and his low-budget team from the University of Queensland that made even the US effort at all possible. Years ago, Ray invented the shock tunnels that made the research into scramjet designs practical.

Time magazine even listed the Australian scramjet as best invention of 2001.

Labor Tries A Rort But Gets Kicked In the Pants 

The Labor machine-men thought the money was in the bag and that they had the election for Sydney City Council all but wrapped up. They'd asked their NSW government mates to juggle the electoral boundary (again) to absorb South Sydney Council with a view to reaping a bonanza of developer kickbacks to their coffers. The boundary was duly adjusted and the council absorbed. All was set for a triple bonus for Labor. Power over the rich developed CBD, the undeveloped south laying in wait and party donations from the developers.

When Clover Moore decided to run in the council elections the groan from the Labor apparatchiks and the developers could be heard all over town.

I detest the whole idea of two-party politics at the local council level and I'm no fan of Clover Moore but it was nice to see her win against the apparatchiks.

Another Riot Perhaps? 

Another Sydney teen has been impaled on a fence post. Police would deny that they were pursuing the vehicle. There is no evidence of that at all although the coppers are never too far away in any suburb. Let's hope that the citizens of Blacktown do not riot in response.

He Will Go to Athens 

Ian Thorpe's made a mistake on the blocks in a heat at the Australian team selection trial in Sydney yesterday. As a result he cannot compete in that event in Athens. The inevitable media interest that is sure to follow will be an interesting thing to watch.

Everyone has to follow the same rules otherwise there is chaos, jealousy and favoritism. We're talking about the Olympics here. There is a lot of fame and a lot of money at stake. The difference between first and second is not much. If favoritism is shown to one how does that make the others feel who think they may have had a shot at winning and going to the Olympics. The purpose of a strict adherence to the rules is to prevent all this and to ensure that everyone raises their game to the highest standards. The reason there is such a strict rule on false starts is so that we don't send to the Olympics people who we've invested so much time and money in who will just be disqualified on the day of the big race. We want to have on display at the Olympics the best that we can offer.

But the Rules in sport are NOT what sportsmanship are all about. Aussies love sport and we love good sports. The "fair go" derives in many ways from the learned sense of fairness that we all developed while playing in the school playground or in the back yard at home.

Thorpe should be allowed to go to the Olympics because he is the best swimmer we have. And the "legal" precedent for the lawyers? "Paying the man the mark" (Aussie rules) when he didn't actually hold on to it for all that long; and "Calling the batsman back" (cricket) when it seems unfair to dismiss him and send him back to the pavilion. And then there is the digger's "bugger that!" cock a snook that wins wars.

Thorpe has earned his second chance. Any upcoming sportsman who denies he has earned it may turn out to be a faster swimmer but is no sportsman.

I don't know whether these rules are set in Australia or whether they are international. If international then there's not much we can do (those are the rules), but if the rules are set in Australia by Australians (then bugger the rules) Thorpe will compete at Athens: Australian's won't put up with him not going. And if you can only see a lack of consistency and no logic in this paragraph then you didn't play enough sport with Aussie kids.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Latham Flipback 

Well it was a while coming but we all knew it would happen.

Mark Latham was shooting from his lip when he said Labor would withdraw all Australian troops in Iraq in July and certainly by Christmas. He did not consult with any of his caucus and the government had a field day pointing out the split between his views and those of his shadow ministers.

Labor strategists with more sense have by now had a quiet word with Mark and have administered the correct doses. Now Latham says only about half of the troops will be home by Christmas.

Does Latham have a clear exit strategy from Iraq? How will the ravening Orcs on the Left cope with Latham reneging on his deal to withdraw troops immediately upon election.

Mr Latham has changed his policy three times during the course of the last week," Mr Downer said.

"It is an abominable example of policy making on the run."

He said the shift in policy went to the heart of Mr Latham's credibility and his capacity to make sensible policies.

"I think it's a sad thing for Australia that we have an opposition leader who is managing a national security policy on the basis of complete chaos," Mr Downer said.

I guess the good thing is that this new "policy" makes us only half the target for terrorists that his previous pronouncement did. Al-Qaeda will be distraught.

Update: and all that fuss was for nothing. Howard gives Latham another wedgie.

Syria takes the Latham Bypass on its Road to Damascus. 

In a move that has wrong-footed press pundits, Syria has not asked Mr Latham to be an intermediary between it and the USA. Bypassing Mark Latham they have instead gone straight to John Howard. They want Australia to use its special relationship with the US to help assist them shake off their reputation as a terrorist haven. Syria, until about 3pm yesterday was a terrorist haven, but had looked next door to see what happened in Iraq. They've no doubt said, "We've got a modern resurfaced road to Damascus. No more for us the primitive rocky path of terrorism." [cute, heh! - Ed.].

Hear, hear, sirrah!

SYRIA has appealed to Australia to use its close ties with Washington to help the Arab nation shake off its reputation as a terrorist haven and repair its relations with the US.

Secret talks between the two nations have been under way for months but have become more urgent as rogue nations reconsider their role in allowing terrorists to thrive, in light of the US determination to take pre-emptive military action.

A Syrian embassy will be opened in Canberra in weeks and Australia is considering reopening its mission in Damascus.

Australia's close relationship with Washington, and its much higher profile in the Middle East, have prompted Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara'a and parliamentary speaker Mahmoud Al-Ibrache to appeal to Canberra to help bring their country back in from a US-imposed diplomatic freeze.

Why Mark Latham couldn't have used his relationship with the US President to do the same thing is a mystery...

Looney Tunes Are Back to School. 

The Federal Opposition has announced its plans to support struggling schools.

Good o'!

It includes programs for better resourcing, more male teachers and improving discipline.

The Libs tried that but couldn't get it past Labor or its affiliated teachers' unions. How are they going to get more male teachers? Isn't that what the debate is about? and isn't discipline an old fashioned concept?

Labor Leader Mark Latham has outlined the initiatives at a national meeting of the Australian Primary Principals in Sydney.

Most school principals and school administrators are men. The female dominated teaching profession elects to hire men in these roles. They see it as mere min's work.

He says Labor will give more money to schools in battling communities to recruit and retain teachers and offer them incentives.

To attract more men into the classroom, Mr Latham plans to create more than 4,500 extra teaching places by 2008 and run a campaign at boys in year 10 to 12 to promote teaching.

If there are 4,500 extra places and they are all filled by women, how will that help? A campaign to promote teaching to men would have to be about unwinding the innuendo of child abuse and peadophilia. Stand by for massive pay rises for teachers to thank the unions for their critical support in this difficult time for Latham.

"This past week the Howard Government had some legislation changes to the Sex Discrimination Act that were talking about 12 scholarships - the truth is you need more than 12 scholarships - you need thousands," he said.

And if all the scholarships are taken up by women?

He also revealed plans for restorative justice systems in schools and a code of behaviour agreements for students to sign at the beginning of the year.

Restorative justice systems in schools? What? Back to the '90s. Heaps of jobs in a brand new victim industry.

Pre-school document signings for students. How very Marxist. Kids signing their confession statements. Not worth the Coke and ice-cream stained paper they're written on.

Koffi Annan on Trial Before the ICC ? 

The extreme Left of politics would like nothing better than to throw Bush, Blair and Howard down before the International Criminal Court; that star chamber that was set up with the support of the UN. If that is the plan, then why do they exclude Koffi Annan from their list of prosecutions given Annan's admission today of his own and the UN's failure to prevent the millions slaughtered in Rwanda?

The United Nations' secretary-general, Kofi Annan, has admitted he and the international community could and should have done more to stop the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Mr Annan was speaking at a memorial conference, attended by survivors, to mark the 10th anniversary of the massacre.

A decade after Rwanda's genocide, the UN has admitted that it was to blame for failing to stop the slaughter.

The method of killing, by machetes and clubs, was horrific. It was murder on a nightmarish scale.

The answer is that the naughty US was not involved. Maybe they could use that as an angle...

Bush Snubs Latham? 

Labor bother boy Mark Latham together with an entourage (as Mark once said, "a conga line of suckholes") of Labor shadow ministers, is off to the US to talk about heaven knows what with heaven knows whom. Since this article mentions that he will NOT be meeting George W. Bush why is he going? and who will he be meeting?

Why isn't he meeting George W? Could it be that his minder's overtures for a meeting with the leader of Australia's most powerful ally were rejected? Was this because of Latham's reckless "arse-licker" slur against John Howard for supporting the US alliance? or could it be because he slandered the President saying he was "the most dangerous and incompetent president in living memory".

What if the decision was entirely Latham's? What if he went at great taxpayers' expense to the US and he chose not to visit the most powerful leader in the most powerful country in the world, an important trading partner? Wouldn't this be another snub to Bush? Is it a reckless demonstration of pride and pique being unwilling to meet George Bush to discuss issues (even other than the war) that are of great importance and mutual benefit (free trade, law, regional security, etc..)?

US Says Latham's Policy Makes Us a Prime Target 

While the words were carefully crafted, there was little doubt that Mr Schieffer's masters in Washington were endorsing the ambassador's blunt warning this week that there would be "very serious consequences" for the US-led coalition in Iraq and US security policy if Mr Latham were elected and kept his promise.

Iraqi President Pleads with Latham to Stay. 

The incoming head of Iraq's fledgling democracy and head of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Iraq has pleaded with Mark Latham to reverse his hard line on helping Iraq through its transition to democracy.

We need Australian troops to help save the Iraqi people," said a spokesman for Mr Barzani, who heads the Kurdistan Democratic Party and takes over as governing council president next week.

Clarke May Have Lied Under Oath 

TOP Republicans in the US Congress sought today to declassify two-year-old testimony by former White House aide Richard Clarke, suggesting he may have lied this week when he faulted President George W Bush's handling of the war on terror.

"Mr. Clarke has told two entirely different stories under oath," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said in a speech on the Senate floor.

The Republican said he hopes Clarke's testimony in July 2002 before the House and Senate intelligence committees can be declassified. Then, he said, it can be compared with the account the former aide provided in his nationally televised appearance on Wednesday before the bipartisan commission investigating the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Echoes Through Time 

"They'll all be home for Christmas." Now where have I heard that before?

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer has offered Mr Latham a weekend briefing on why the Government wants Australian troops to remain in Iraq well beyond Christmas.

Mr Downer says Mr Latham has not spoken to his department nor to Australian Defence Force officials before saying that he would like to bring the troops home before Christmas, providing certain steps are complete in Iraq.

Mr Downer says last December Mr Latham said he would make no decision on Australia's role in Iraq until he had been fully briefed.

"But he hasn't been briefed, so according to his own judgment he still doesn't know enough about it," Mr Downer said.

"He'd [be] quite right. He doesn't know enough about it.

"He wants to be the prime minister of our country and he's making policy on the run in this way on national security issues."

Update 1:
Labor via it's foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd was as recently as a few months ago urging the Government to "put its shoulder to the wheel" to help rebuild Iraq. Now, everything's changed because Mark Latham can see some votes in being at odds with the government by demanding an immediate withdrawal.

Update 2:
For the first time since he took over as Opposition Leader, senior Labor figures have expressed concern about Mr Latham taking "unilateral" decisions without proper consultation with his front bench.

Update 3 :
Whether he means to or not, Mr Latham is doing what the terrorists want. It has become increasingly clear their two-pronged strategy is to fracture the unity of coalition forces, and intimidate voters in democratic nations. Their highly selective choice of targets - the UN and Italian headquarters in Iraq, Iraqi civilians who co-operate with the coalition, and finally an anti-terror government on the eve of an election - shows their aim is to make Western democracies fold. On Tuesday, Labor folded. Indeed, Mr Latham has gone further than incoming Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who is prepared to stay in Iraq under UN command.

Indeed, implying that any attack must be blamed on the government and then declaring publicly that a Labor government would disengage from the War on Terror sends two very dangerous signals.

Update 4:
A Bolt goes straight to the target. Bullseye.

Another Retrial Ordered ? 

The verdicts in the trials of the entire gang that repeatedly raped two girls may be overturned and new trials ordered. Why?

Two jurors went to have a look at the park where it happened.

They also did some sort of experiment to test the evidence they'd been hearing.

I'm not a lawyer so can someone tell me why this is reason to let this gang of animals walk.

I can understand why hearsay is a problem and to some extent why certain types of media coverage could prejudice some aspects of a case.

But, if a juror has knowledge of parkland, shrub, tree, road, suburb or country where an offence took place surely this is a good thing.

Justice Mason indicated that the court would consider more explicit directions for juries - including whether "additional steps should be taken to ensure jurors do not make private inquiries". He said this should cover experiments inside and outside the jury room...

Just hypothetically, if the evidence presented in a court case implied that an offence occurred in a park adjacent to a major highway and the result of the verdict for some reason depended upon that, would it be a perversion of justice if one or all of the jurors knew that the highway was in fact a small one lane dirt track and that therefore the evidence they were hearing was a crock? Would it matter if they knew this prior to the case beginning or found out for themselves during the trial? Why would it matter?

The only thing I can think of is that in this case there is no reason to overturn the trial but it may be overturned as a matter of principle. The jurors disobeyed the courts instruction. The court will be worried that jurors may disobey other instructions and perhaps in another trial situation go on the internet and find out that a person being tried for an offence had been convicted of several other similar offences. Can someone tell me why that would be a bad thing.

Update: Regarding the legal fraternities restriction on "...experiments inside and outside the jury room..." does this mean that if a defence lawyer said that his client ran on foot for 527 metres and went the distance in 20.5 seconds it would not be permitted for the jury to use pen and paper to prove to each other that the evidence was a crock?

Thursday, March 25, 2004


Islamists are running advertisements that are appearing on blogger's sites for which the bloggers get paid.

There is currently a brilliant campaign underway to siphon money from the Islamists of the House of Saud back to the right places (i.e. to righteous bloggers).

Every time a visitor to the blogger's site clicks on one of the Islamist ads the Islamist has to pay for that click and the money goes to the blogger who owns that site.

The campaign is being driven by mypetjawa who noticed the ads appearing in the blogspot ads atop his site. If you see those ads in blogspot banners, click on them and help support Blogspot.

GO TO MYPETJAWA NOW and click on the links - it's for a good cause.

One place that has the ad almost permanently is Aaron's Rantblog. You'll find it halfway down on the left navigator entitled: "Understanding Islam" right next to the "John Kerry" ad which you might also want to click on.

Latham Takes a Hard Line on Iraq 

Mark Latham's uncompromising stance has unnerved senior Labor figures and provoked claims by the Government he was giving succour to terrorist groups. "He's locked a Labor government ... into bringing the troops home by December," a forceful John Howard told parliament yesterday. "Not only is that unhelpful to the people of Iraq ... but it does send a very bad signal to the terrorists in Iraq, and it sends a very bad signal to our allies." Labor believes it has the Government on the defensive over national security in the wake of the Mick Keelty affair, and with two-thirds of voters worried that Australia is a bigger target for terrorists. But Mr Latham's hardline views on withdrawing troops from Iraq is at odds with other senior opposition figures in Britain and the US - leaving him open to suggestions he is taking an unnecessary political risk.

Get ready for another Latham backflip.

Latham continues to weaken the US alliance:

The United States has urged Opposition Leader Mark Latham to reverse his plan to pull Australian troops out of Iraq, calling it short-sighted and an invitation to more terrorist attacks.

US Ambassador Tom Schieffer told The Age that Mr Latham's comments "could have very serious consequences beyond Australia". Such a move risked damaging the US alliance and could assist terrorists accomplishing larger goals, he said.

In a couple of months Mark is off to the US to meet with officials there. Will Bush receive him? What would they have to talk about? Latham has very loudly and publicly slandered the US President as "the most dangerous and incompetent president in living memory". Just as loudly, and just as publicly, he called the PM of Australia an "arse licker" for fostering close cooperation between the US and Australia.

The problem with rhetoric like this is it paints him and the ALP into a corner from which it will be hard to get out without getting covered in Red paint.

Islamists Target German President 

German President Johannes Rau won office on a landslide platform of not supporting the War on Terror and anti-Americanism. The German and French governments have consistently taken the line that the US is overplaying the threat from Islamic terrorists.

Rau cut short his visit to Africa upon learning Islamic terrorists planned to assassinate him in Djibouti. Rau said that he "didn't want to let terrorists dictate his travel plans".

Rau did allow the terrorists to dictate his travel plans and high tailed it back to Germany because of his concern for his fellow travellers. Discretion is the better part of valor.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

John Pilger Says Redfern is Under Seige 

John Pilger is seriously disturbed. He is disturbed by the 300 or so citizens of Redfern being oppressed "under a kind of seige".

"There are something like 60 police interventions a day in Redfern," Mr Pilger said.

Mr Pilger did not say if there is some causal link between the criminality of the locals and the necessity for 60 "interventions" per day.

"Most kids can't walk to school without some kind of police contact or being arrested or harassed or whatever... what is certain is that part of Sydney is under a kind of siege."

Mr Pilger also did not mention that most citizens can't walk through Redfern without eventually being bashed, raped or robbed.

Housing Company manager Peter Valilis said: "We have blocked up that building so our women are not afraid to walk around here. Women are being raped here all the time so we have decided to remove a crime scene."

Perhaps this terrible seige at Redfern is a reason why Mr Pilger has been advocating for the Iraqi Resistance to kill Australians.

Leftist extremists have been slithering toward Redfern since the recent riots there. One of the riots much publicised.

After the riot: "Reporters noted the malign presence among the Aboriginal crowd at Redfern of Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative and the Marxist Spartacist League, quick to exploit the poor and distressed for ideological sport."


The UK Opposition Party Leader, Michael Howard, has a different strategy to that of Mark Latham and the ALP. It is a strategy of defiance.

Howard's message is that terrorists cannot manipulate Britain to repeat the "Spanish effect", whereby an opposition won by seeking to separate itself from the US - in effect, to procure a better deal from the terrorists.

"If the terrorists hope they can gain their ends by perpetrating in Britain a similar outrage to that in Spain, their wickedness will be in vain," Howard told a News Corporation conference in Mexico. His comments reflect an unspoken reality - that toppling Tony Blair via a massive strike on Britain would be the prize for the jihadists.

"Whatever my disagreements with Tony Blair, any government that I lead will not flinch in its determination to win the war against terror where it has to be fought," Howard said. "It would be a terrible thing indeed if last week's murders in Madrid led the terrorists to conclude that attacking America results in retribution but attacking Europe results in victory. We cannot buy ourselves immunity by changing our foreign policy."

Howard confronted the issue at the heart of Europe's agony -- that the war on terror has to be won side by side with the US. There is no other way. A separate peace would never work and it is folly to think that it would (as many Europeans do). Appeasement would usher in a new dark age.

Meanwhile, Latham and the ALP's rhetoric continues to weaken Australia's links with its strongest allies. They continue to plan a withdrawal from the Coalition and from the War on Terror. Maybe they will succeed and buy for us an uneasy and short respite, as Spain has done for itself.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Mufti Speaks Out 

Just a few short weeks ago, according to media reports, Australia's Grandest Mufti Sheikh Hilaly appeared to praise the deaths of 3,000 American civilians going about their business in New York on September 11. He called the attack "God's work".

The controversial Mufti also appears to have lent support to Arab suicide bombers in an inflammatory sermon during a Middle East lecture tour.

While in the Lebanon, the Mufti met with the leaders of banned terror group Hesbolah. I wonder what they spoke about?

Working the Australian media today on behalf of his constituency, the Mufti condemned Israel's attack on the leader of terrorist group Hamas saying:

"Israel cannot justify the assassination of the Palestinian Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and his killing was not in the interests of the Israeli people.

And lending support to suicide bombers is?

Mr Trad [You again!- Ed] said Muslim Australians, many of whom he said would contact their local MPs to express their discontent, were shocked and outraged by the attack.

I don't remember a flood of outrage or even much empathy being sent to MPs after the Bali bombing in which 88 young Australians were burnt to death or blown apart.

":4:141: Believers, do not choose the infidels rather than the faithful for your friends. Would you give God clear evidence against yourselves?"

- via reader John Devlin.

Decadent Western Underpants 

The imman Sheikh Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud, who has been named as an alleged recruiter of an informal network of Sydney-based jihadis was interviewed by the media in the backyard of his Sydney suburban home. In the online edition of the Hobart Mercury you can see the Sheikh airing his dirty laundry to the media under his Hills hoist. But check out the sexy blue undies hanging on the line. Wonder whose those are?

The News Limited story says:

The spiritual leader of all four men in the spotlight is Sheikh Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud, who has been named as a recruiter of an informal network of Sydney-based jihadis in a French counter-terrorism dossier prepared from interviews in Paris with Brigitte.

and then goes on to put an obvious legal disclaimer at bottom of the page that I will reproduce too. (Heck all their lawyers say they have to do it, I'd better put it on too.)

He is not alleged to be a member, or supporter, of any terror groups or causes.

Australia Accepts More Refugees 

The excoriating publicity here and abroad that emanates from the ALP, Greens and the Extreme Left regarding Australia's refugee policy would give the impression that Australians are racist to the core and that we do not welcome refugees and other immigrants. Surely the impression that the ALP tries to promote is of a paranoid and xenophobic Liberal Fortress of Australia. And yet the truth is as usual very different. Australia's current immigration intake under the present government is about as high as it has ever been. Australia's policies on illegal arrivals has seen the number of rickety boats arriving each year drop almost to zero, saving many young lives. Further erasing the pariah-image that is much favored by the ALP, the Federal Government just announced a 50% increase in the already large number of refugees that Australia continues to welcome.

The Resurgence of John Pilger 

One would have thought that willing on the enemies of one's country and allies to kill your fellow citizens would be the end of your career as a journalist but no, John Pilger has risen to new and very fashionable prominence with yet another spray-painted column in the SMH today.

Pilger believes himself a dissenting voice, representing the views of a great many Australians. Anyone who is critical of Pilger's open calls for the death of Australian troops is "frightened of informed, alternative opinion".

Monday, March 22, 2004

The Many Contexts of Kayser Trad 

Willie Brigitte, the terror suspect deported to France last year, was planning an attack "of great size" against the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor, in Sydney's South-West or other targets in Australia.

Today, Keysar Trad, spokesperson for the Grand Mufti of the Lakemba Mosque, which is located not far from the reactor, made a ludicrous statement to the media today to say that Brigitte's statements were made in the context of "interrogation" and "marijuana". Previously Keysar Trad has defended the Mufti after the Imam called for Jihad against Israel and met with the leaders of Hesbolah. Keysar claimed the Mufti's remarks were taken "out of context".

With the reactor about 20 km away from the mosque, you'd think he would show some concern. If not for the many ordinary Australians that could have been affected by such an attack then at least for those he does care about.

The Lakemba Mosque is holding elections in June or July. Isn't it about time that they elected officials who take the threat of terrorism seriously?

Meanwhile in the nearby Haldon Street prayer hall the imam Sheik Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud presides. Zoud has been named by Brigette as the chief recruiter of Australia's jihad network.

Trad said he was casually acquainted with Sheik Zoud, the spiritual head of the Haldon St prayer hall in Lakemba, Sydney, whom he described as "passionate".

Brigitte, now in Paris's Fleury-Merogis prison, has told French investigators about alleged terrorist activities in Sydney by Australian-based terrorists. Australian and French authorities are trying to verify his statements.

He has claimed a terror network, at least in an informal sense, is operating in western Sydney and is charged with recruiting people for jihad operations against non-Muslims.

He has named several people and the man he claims is at the centre of the operation and who is believed by French investigators to be connected with some of the most evil terrorists in the world.

Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud, the imam who presided over Brigitte's wedding to Melanie Brown last August, has been named as the chief recruiter of Australia's jihad network.

In Sydney yesterday Sheik Zoud denied he was the "chief recruiter".

"I have no part in it," he said.

A Peek Inside the Pressure Cooker 

Today in parliament Mark Latham's lid lifted just a bit. He revealed just a little of the fire that we know still burns deep down when he called Alexander Downer a "rotten lousy disgrace". We know that Mark can do better than this, but isn't it exciting waiting for the boiler to explode. And it will - sooner or later.

NZ Opposition Ahead In the Polls 

Tired of political correctness gone mad, NZ voters have taken a shine to NZ Opposition Leader Dr Don Brash who now leads Helen Clarks government by 10%.

TONY EASTLEY: So why are your opponents saying that you're playing the race card in New Zealand?

DON BRASH: Well I guess that's the only thing they can think of. The reality is, I am playing the very reverse of a race card. I am saying all races should be treated equally and fairly, and where injustices took place let's pay compensation.

Tired Old Germaine 

Germaine Greer used to send my indignomometer off the scale. Almost every word she spoke or wrote would irritate. Over the years my reaction to her ravings reduced to a half-sad chuckle as I realised that she is just a business woman (and has been all along) looking for the latest opportunity to make a buck. The calculated misanthropy of this article is such a tired old formula that one wonders that it still sells. Her recent, marketing ploy shocked some and for a while caused some irritation in this Gnu Hunter but plainly it too was pure and unsubtle media manipulation and did not get the publicity (and revenue) she would have once expected.

Dinky the Dingo is Australia's Most Trivial Person 

"The search was for Australia's most trivial person, and in the end it turned out to be not a person at all, but a dingo," she said.

Italy is Now a Bigger Target 

The 250,000 (maybe 2,000,000) protestors that marched in the streets of Italy today have perhaps heightened their country's threat from a terror attack by making it seem like a Madrid-style bombing could effect a change of government in Italy, as it has done in Spain.

Al-Qaeda, and Islamic extremists generally, buoyed by their success in Spain, must be looking around for the next country to split from the Coalition of the Willing. At the moment due to the large size of the protests it looks like Italy may be next.

Like Spain, most Italians opposed their government sending 2,600 of its troops to Iraq and the opposition say that if they get into government they will withdraw Italian troops from Iraq. They will also take Italy out of the Coalition of the Willing.

Italy is not due for elections again until 2006 but Prime Minister Berlusconi is in all sorts of trouble over allegations of impropriety and he has hinted that he could call a snap election in the next few months. If Italy does go to the polls early, watch out for another Madrid-style attack on the eve of the election.

Australia is not likely to go to the polls until later this year. The Australian opposition parties (Labor, Greens & Democrats) have in similar fashion to Spain and Italy created the general perception (and pushed by the media too) that if there is an attack it will be "Howard's fault". If the opposition wins power, they are pretty much pre-committed to withdrawing Australian troops from Iraq and may also withdraw from the Coalition of the Willing (given Latham's "arse-licker" comment and his anti-Bush rhetoric this would be hard for him not to do). Polls indicate that the Australian election may be a close contest.

European Parliament Elections: June 13th 2004 or later
Australian Federal Elections: Latest February 2005.
Japan: July 2004 (only a half-"senate" election)
Poland: October 2005.
UK: 2006
On researching this further it turns out there are quite a lot of countries in the Coalition and many that have committed troops. Italy is the 3rd largest contributor by numbers. Spain was sixth. But none of the listed countries other than Italy has 2,000,000 protestors marching in the street with such apparent anti-government feeling.

Given the demonstrated effect of the terrorist bombings on the Spanish elections, opposition parties and peace protestors in Western democracies need to be careful what signals they are sending by their actions.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Digger Versus Pilger 

Warrant Officer Joe Day, of Broadford Victoria, has returned to Iraq for a second tour of duty. Again putting himself in harm's way in defence of our freedom and what he believes in.

Meanwhile in Australia, the likes of John Pilger are openly advocating that Day and his mates will soon be dead.

TONY JONES: Can you approve in that context the killing of American, British or Australian troops who are in the occupying forces?

JOHN PILGER: Well yes, they're legitimate targets.

Joe Day just published the first Australian account of the main ground war in Iraq. He fought with US Marines tank units on the frontline in the advance to Baghdad as part of a defence exchange program. He has returned to Iraq to assist with that countries transition to democracy. The transition is being resisted by an insurgency of which John Pilger vigorously approves.

Must See TV Very Uncomfortable Viewing for Australia 

It what is sure to be described as "must-see" television a BBC documentary filmed by a British convicted criminal will be "very uncomfortable viewing" for Australia, the ex-con said. These few facts you have read here may guarantee total success for the TV program. It is likely to win many awards and receive much aclaim. It may even be treated in academic circles as "fact" - like the movie "Rabbit Proof Fence".

British reporter David Akinsanya, who made his name with TV programs about his own tough life in British institutions, said of the film: "As a black man [Nigerian] I feel I am treated better in Britain as a stranger than Aborigines are treated in their own land."

The program, This World, will be syndicated globally and will be "very uncomfortable viewing" for Australia, he said.

"I am doing this story as a black man and white Australia might not like what I have found because, looking from the outside, it doesn't look good."

Don't make documentaries from the outside, David. Look from the inside and make a real documentary.

UN Wrongdoing Possible? 

Kofi Anan says it is "highly possible" that there was widespread wrongdoing in the UN-run programme that supervised Iraqi oil sales under Saddam Hussein. The UN Sanctions against Iraq were a "peace" initiative as an alternative to war. The "Food for Oil" programme was meant to alleviate some of the hardship for ordinary Iraqis. Instead, oil vouchers worth millions of dollars were given to pro-Saddam activists in the West like vocal British MP and anti-war campaigner George Galloway in return for media and political support.

Annan has been under pressure from Iraqi leaders as well as [Colin] Powell and other U.S. officials to investigate accusations of kickbacks and the siphoning off of funds by former President Saddam Hussein from the multibillion-dollar U.N. oil-for-food program.

We are concerned, deeply concerned that money that was supposed to be going to help the Iraqi people was diverted by Saddam Hussein, once again demonstrating the nature of the regime," Powell told reporters during a stopover in Kuwait. "That money was not used for food or health care or clean water. It was used for palaces and debauchery," Powell said.

Bob the Bridge Builder 

NSW Premier Bob Carr has invited an Imam from the US to speak with him and Cardinal George Pell. The Imam will also deliver a lecture to be given in Sydney on April Fools Day.

Speaking in the US the Imam said: "The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets."

The Imam also said that the Madrid bombings made it more urgent that President Bush admit America's fault for the world's problems before there could be any hope that the endless supply of Muslims prepared to die for their cause would go away.

Imam Feisal said the bombing in Madrid had made his message more urgent. He said there was an endless supply of angry young Muslim rebels prepared to die for their cause and there was no sign of the attacks ending unless there was a fundamental change in the world. Imam Feisal, who argues for a Western style of Islam that promotes democracy and tolerance, said there could be little progress until the US acknowledged backing dictators and the US President gave an "America Culpa" speech to the Muslim world.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

We Should've Guessed... 

Spokesperson for the Victorian Peace Network that helped facilitate today's worldwide coordinated protest is Pamela Curr (Greens candidate for Brunswick Victoria). The organiser is David Spratt, 20 year member of the Labor Party, who spat the dummy with Simon Crean and resigned over Iraq.

The contact address for the Victorian Peace Network is:

Suite 2,
Victorian Trades Hall Council,
54 Victoria Street,
Carlton South
Vic 3053.

In what must be a complete coincidence the address of the Refugee Action Collective is:

Victorian Trades Hall,
Cnr. Victoria & Lygon Streets,
Carlton South,
VIC 3053

It's a veritable nest in there.

(For those who may not know, the Victorian Trades Hall is the home of Victoria's peak union body whose unions are closely affiliated with the Labor Party.)

Update: this old Bulletin article has more on the VPN:

The Victorian Peace Network (VPN) is a coalition of of about 40 diverse affiliates. The VPN has an office in Trades Hall in Melbourne, paid organisers and a web site at www.vicpeace.org. The site offers advice on how to start a peace network, downloads of posters and an e-petition. There are numerous essays on the war. Last week, an email went out urging people to go to Bourke Street mall to dress up in body bags. The Medical Association for Prevention of War and the Federation of Community Legal Centres needed bodies and bags. "Multix 240 litre liners are ideal," read the email.

Bashir Threatens Madrid-Style Bombings for Australia 

Obviously encouraged by the spirit of appeasement he senses in Australia and the West generally, Bugsy Bashir is threatening dire consequences for Australia. If Australia is successful in its attempts to lobby the Indons into keeping him in prison then says he, in a thinly veiled threat, we'll be getting a Madrid style bombing.

Bashir said the Australian Government was a US lackey. "I don't know if what was done in Spain could also happen there (in Australia). But what is clear is that the steps taken by the Australian Government (in Iraq) have already damaged the Australian people."

Coordinated World Wide Protests 

Simple folk like the Gnu Hunter, could be excused for thinking that the Greens political party was about the environment, but it's so much more. Take Pamela Curr, Melbourne Greens candidate, for example. Pamela helped in the opening of a new branch of the Socialist Alliance by giving a speech to the tens of people who were there. The same meeting was addressed by Toma Hamid, member of the Worker Communist Party of Iraq (Australian branch) and by a number of other distinguished speakers including Brenda Hunter from Radical Women and Tim Gooden, Geelong branch secretary of the Democratic Socialist Party (you know: Resistance, Books Not Bombs, etc. etc.).

Curr thanked the Socialist Alliance for inviting her, pointing out that the invitation, like the formation of the alliance itself, showed the increasing ability of the left to work in a united way around issues of common agreement.

And how true that is. Pamela herself is working around issues of common agreement at the moment as frontperson in the media and facilitator in Melbourne for the coordinated worldwide rolling Peace Protest.

She's a tireless worker ever eager to push the anti-Howard cart. At the Trades Hall a year or two ago she gave a speech about SKA-TV's film of the earlier violent Easter protest and breakout at the Woomera detention centre.

Prior to the screening, Refugee Action Collective spokesperson Judy McVey, the Greens' Pamela Curr and Steve Jolly from the Socialist Party spoke. Andrea Maksimovic from No-One Is Illegal, the group that initiated the Woomera action, also addressed the meeting.

...The film also showcased a spectacular and inspiring march dominated by red and rainbow flags, banners saying “Welcome!” and other political messages in Arabic and English...

With all her Greens party commitments it's a wonder that she's never far from Trades Hall and the member organisations of the Socialist Alliance which maintain very close contact with the other socialist organisations around the world.

As you know, some of the affiliated parties of the Socialist Alliance, like Resistance, the ISO and other organisations, which organise the often violent demonstrations around the country, have the stated goal of overthrowing our political system in favour of their own one (that same one that has been tried and tested in the USSR, China, Cambodia and so on).

Today, across the world, they and Pamela will help in anti-government protests beginning first in New Zealand and Australia and then rolling on through Asia and around the world in succession, to kickstart a day of international protest.

Participants in the protests will no doubt be quite chuffed to know that they will work in a united way around issues of common agreement with Pamela, the Greens and the Socialist Alliance. The rallies will be addressed by hard left Labor party president Carmen Lawrence, former Office of National Assessments analyst and now Greens candidate Andrew Wilke and disgraced journalist John Pilger.

John Pilger is on record as approving attacks on US and Australian troops in Iraq to kill them and drive them from Iraq.

TONY JONES: Can you approve in that context the killing of American, British or Australian troops who are in the occupying forces?

JOHN PILGER: Well yes, they're legitimate targets.

They're illegally occupying a country.

And I would have thought from an Iraqi's point of view they are legitimate targets, they'd have to be, sure.

TONY JONES: So Australian troops you would regard in Iraq as legitimate targets?

JOHN PILGER: Excuse me but, really, that's an unbecoming question.

I've just said that any foreign occupier of a country, military occupier, be they Germans in France, Americans in Vietnam, the French in Algeria, wherever, the Americans in Latin America, I would have thought, from the point of view of the local people - and as I mentioned, be they Australians in Australia - if Australia had been invaded and occupied by the Japanese, then the occupying forces, from the point of view of the people of that country, are legitimate targets.

Friday, March 19, 2004

It's Just a Matter of Time... 

A 30-metre asteroid was expected to pass just 43,000 kilometres above the Earth's surface today, the closest encounter ever recorded, the US space agency said. [How close did it come? The Earth is about 13,000 kilometres wide and the moon is about 400,000 kilometres from Earth - Ed.].

There is no danger of collision with the Earth during the flyby, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said. The asteroid's closest approach will come today at 2208 GMT (0908 AEDT) over the southern Atlantic Ocean, it said.

The asteroid, designated FH 2004, should be visible with binoculars or small telescopes in most of Europe, Asia and the Southern Hemisphere, scientists said.

FH 2004 will be the closest flyby on record, beating the small rock dubbed 2003 SQ222 that passed 88,000 kilometres above Earth in September.

Do you think Australia's involvement in Iraq made the Earth a bigger target? :-)

Breakfast At My House 

After reading this irresponsible story I'll definitely be having bacon and eggs for breakfast tomorrow [especially after reading about that asteroid just missing the Earth].

This guy should start a blog, maybe called The Bacon Blog.

Hmmm, bacon...

Kev Gillet's On A Roll 

Kev Gillet makes some salient points about media and public reaction to the Spanish Election.

As Bush tries to get a democracy up and running in Iraq every left wing intellect and fool are trying to pull it down. Well, you had better start hoping he pulls it off. A democracy in the middle of the cauldron that is the Middle East is what the world needs and extreme Moslems dread. Holy Moses, they are thinking, if these people are educated and have a vote, we'll never get a look in. They are fighting to maintain their power over the illiterates.

Al-Qaeda is a group of crazy people, says mufti. 

The Grand Sheikh of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and Heard Island has gone on a marketing offensive. The Sheik of Scrubby Creek's stocks plummeted after recent bad press. When regulators looked set to introduce legislation to bring about market reform the shareholders demanded action.

Sheik Hilaly also today made a declaration he did not support the actions of terrorists.

He allegedly made inflammatory remarks about the September 11 attacks at a sermon he presented in Lebanon and this week wrote to the prime minister and other politicians to clear up the "kerfuffle".

He said he used such a high level of eloquence and poetry in his sermons it could not be properly translated into English. "I can understand why some people would mistranslate my comments because to them they cannot understand my high level of expression and they might feel that my words might have some ambiguity for them," he said.

But when asked if he would be more careful in choosing his words in the future, Sheik Hilaly said: "Of course mate."


Two days ago Andrew Bolt wrote this column about Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian.

Today the President is in serious condition after he and his vice president were shot.

I don't know enough about the politics of that region but as far as world affairs are concerned this could be as bad and as serious as it gets.

Pure Drivel 

Where do you start critiquing this sort of drivel. It would take you hours to sort through all the twisted logic and then it would take days writing a reply in terms simple enough that Wedbdiarists would understand. One could start immediately on Margo's implied proposition that the Fairfax empire is the sole fountain of truth battling the evil Black-Murdoch cabal but that's a relatively minor point compared to the rest of the stuff in the pile.

Please have a read, if you don't mind risking a brain infarction, and in the comments give me an idea where the starting point is to begin pulling apart this tripe.

Did al-Qaeda Win the Spanish Elections? This silly question is being asked by billionaire Rupert Murdoch's and Conrad Black's media outlets all over the world in blazing headlines. For some strange reason, the billionaires aren't happy that the Socialist Workers' Party won the elections in Spain, and are trying to portray the outcome as cowardice on the part of the Spanish public.

Also, have a read of what Margo calls a "rip roaring critique" from one of her tame alleged Liberal voters. The letter supports her in almost everything she writes about including her opinion of John Howard.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

A Vote for the Greens is a Vote for the ALP 

Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown has given his strongest indication yet that Labor is close to winning Greens preferences at the next federal election. Senator Brown has annointed Opposition leader Mark Latham as the "Prime Minister in waiting" at the conclusion of Mr Latham's fact-finding tour of Tasmania's forests...

"I believe Mark Latham is the Prime Minister in waiting," Senator Brown said. "I think he's got new things to say, I think by coming [here] today there is a generational change occurring in politics." Asked if he would urge his supporters to vote one Green, two Labor, he said: "Let's see the policies."

Yes, let's.

Now for the Carrot. Voters Rewarded - Temporarily 

Spain has fed the crocodile which has for the moment decided to stop advancing but still sits there smiling at them:

A group claiming to have links with al-Qaeda said today it was calling a truce in its Spanish operations to see if the new government would withdraw its troops from Iraq, a pan-Arab newspaper said.

In a statement sent today to the Arabic language daily al-Hayat, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed 201 people, also urged its European units to stop all operations.

The Grand ANZAC Mufti Bats For Australia 

It seems that when he got back to Australia the mufti had a conference with his senior executives around the board room table and decided that a new marketing strategy would be wise given falling sales and the recent bad press that he's been getting. Gone are the bad old days when the Sheikh could tour the world, and speak out of context. Instead the Sheikh is under pressure to speak in an Australian context and these are the results:

Islamic spiritual leader Sheik Taj el-Din Alhilaly today warned Muslims around the world a terrorist attack on Australia would be stupid and reckless and would only harm the faith.

The warning came as a statement attributed to al-Qaeda threatened "America's lackeys", including Australia, with attacks similar to those in Madrid last week.

The statement singled out Australia, Japan, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as possible terrorist targets.

Today, Sheik Hilaly issued a statement condemning all acts of terrorism.

Bugsy Bashir Behind Bars Again? 

Bugsy Bashir, alleged naughty boy and spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, the organisation that perpetrated the Bali bombings, has been mouthing off lately about Australia. Maybe he'll wish he had waited a little while because:

The Australian Government is offering to help Indonesia bring new charges against the suspected leader of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI). Radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir yesterday threatened the United States and its allies with destruction. Australia is now offering to help Indonesia keep him in jail.

Al Qaeda Hit List 

A statement attributed to al-Qaeda has threatened "America's lackeys" with attacks similar to those in Madrid last week, singling out Japan, Italy, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Pakistan, an Arab daily reported today.

Tell It Like It Is Miranda 

The Prime Minister, John Howard, did miscalculate this week, and no amount of spin from his loyal ministers can hide that. He was wrong to censure the Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty, for telling Channel Nine's Sunday program: "If this turns out to be Islamic extremists responsible for this bombing in Spain, it's more likely to be linked to the position that Spain and other allies took on issues such as Iraq."

For one thing, the public is always more likely to trust a police officer than a politician on security issues. For another, our support for the United States, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else, was always going to make us a more attractive target for Islamic terrorists. That is an obvious fact which Howard would be foolish to deny. But it is also unavoidable. - Miranda Devine, SMH

Update: Miranda says: "Aside from religious bigotry and ancient grievance, there is no logic to al-Qaeda's attacks..."  I think she is wrong on that point. The timing and outcome of the Madrid bombings and Spain's withdrawal from the Coalition of the Willing should put paid to the notion that there is no logic in their madness in regard to strategy. Underestimate these guys and we could lose.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Chilly NZ Relations 

Kev Gillet agrees that friendly rivalry is fine, and notes a distinct chill that has come over Australia's close friendship with NZ.

Hit Me I Dare You! 

Australian boxer Robbie "The Bomber" Peden was in a spot of bother fighting in the ring when a gift came his way and with a ferocious knockout punch he snatched victory in a world-title elimination bout in California.

Peden could not believe his eyes late in the fifth round when his opponent, the short-priced favourite American Nate Campbell, taunted him. Campbell, cocky after controlling most of the fight, stood in front of Peden, his arms by his side, and taunted the Australian to take his best shot. Peden did. He unleashed a powerful upper-cut and the American, struck in the jaw, hit the canvas. The referee counted Campbell out and the fight was over in a stunning upset.

"It was time for him to go to sleep," said Peden, who was given little chance by bookmakers to win the fight.

Peden compared Campbell's unusual challenge to Christmas.

Sophistry Is No Answer 

There are now so many people vehemently denying that being a member of the Coalition of the Willing makes your country a more immediate target for the al-Qaeda fruitcakes that the ordinary bloke in the street must be now be firmly convinced that there is some larger issue to worry about.

Why pretend when pretending just makes it look so much worse and gives ammunition to the Left to continue their nutty anti-Howard, anti-Bush, anti-USA rhetoric.

Of course we have been in more immediate (short-term) danger than we would have otherwise. In the same way that a front-line soldier is in more immediate danger than a well-wisher watching him on the TV back home.

The terrorist threat has not materialised just because of Madrid. It did not materialise just because of Iraq. We lost 88 people in the Bali bombing long before the Iraq War. The risk (of just being Western) has and will always be there. And we have the small extra risk of being in the Coalition. If al-Qaeda could hit every Western Country they would - but they can't and they haven't because they have been thwarted until now by the actions of the Coalition. They selected Madrid and chose the style of attack to suit the resources they had available at the time in a place (a Coalition Country) where they thought it would do them the most good (on the eve of an election, where 90% of people are against the war, the polls are neck and neck and an opposition party says that if they win they will withdraw support for the War on Terror). With 20/20 hindsight Madrid was a prime "low-cost, high payoff" investment.

The long-term solution to terror requires that we participate in the War on Terror. It is a war that we must fight. We are in much more danger long-term by not fighting but we will have a small amount of extra short-term (immediate) danger if we do fight.

Al-Qaeda is not going to specifically target Iceland or Luxembourg unless that's the best they can do. However, they will target Iceland or Luxembourg if for any reason they think that it will do the extremists' cause some good.

Since the War on Terror began after September 11th 2001, there have been far fewer terrorist attacks than ever was the case in decades. Spain has been the exception but the scale of the Madrid attack was not a 9/11 and it was of the size and type that we had seen time and again in the decades way prior to September 11. The perpretrators have been caught and as time goes by the US and coalition are dissolving the network of terror: isolating their money supplies, breaking their chains of command, eroding their support base and catching their leaders. The pressure is causing reforms. Libya which so openly supported terror has now rolled over and given up its WMD and has vowed to stop sponsoring terror. After the invasion of Iraq, Syria, Iran and others have toned down their rhetoric and activities.

The War on Terror has to be fought. Because the rest of the world sits back and waits for the Coalition of the Willing to do all the work, this makes the Coalition members the prime targets for al-Qaeda to try and split the coalition. Divide and Conquer. Spain has just been divided from the Coalition at least indirectly by terrorist action. To pretend that this was just a random act understimates the enemy which we cannot afford to do.

We also cannot afford to give gifts of political ammunition to the Lefties by pretending there is no risk when anyone can see there is.

Latham Lacks Depth 

Prime Minister John Howard has warned voters that the Opposition leader is incompetent when it comes to economic matters.

Labor leader Mark Latham has tried to play down an $8 billion superannuation mistake.

Mr Howard and his senior ministers have ridiculed the Labor leader after he used the wrong term on the indexation of aged pensions in his superannuation policy announcement.

The gaffe committed Labor to an additional $8 billion and Mr Howard describes Labor's pension bungle as economic amateurism.

"It is an illustration that there is a lack of depth, a lack of competence, a lack of understanding of some of the fundamental issues relating to the operation of the economy," said Mr Howard.

Mr Latham says it was an error with no financial consequences.

"It wasn't a budget announcement that we were making, it was a statement of the status quo that had the wrong set of words and that's been corrected," he said.

Attempts to Stifle Discussion 

University campuses are about the free exchange of ideas, right. An invited speaker will be politely heard and polite, forceful discussion will ensue, correct?

In reality speak at a university campus and express anything other than the prevailing, accepted wisdom these days and you will be booed, hissed and shouted down. Mr Tony Abbott encountered this again when he spoke at a university and aired an alternative view to the prevailing, accepted and correct wisdom.

Aborting a foetus is not morally identical to deliberately killing a living human being, but it's not just removing a wart or a cyst either. "Even those who think that abortion is a woman's right should surely be troubled by the fact that 100,000 Australian women choose to destroy their unborn babies every year." Two hecklers were escorted out by security guards during the speech. His comments also prompted a protest chant of: "Get your morals off our bodies."

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Tim Blair Is #007 

In BlogRunner's list of the most influential reporters and bloggers on the world-wide-web, guess who comes in at #007?

Who's been top blogger in terms of output and referrals for the last 3 days? An Australian blogger!

This is amazing because on Margo Kingston's BlogJam (where Tim Dunlop gets to "surf the net and suggest political web logs and articles you might find interesting") Tim Blair's site didn't get a mention. Obviously Mr Dunlop and Margo's readers won't find that sort of thing very interesting.

The Hard Left Network 

Around the world, the network of hard-line socialists (Resistance, the ISO, Socialist Alliance, etc.) and others are facilitating a protest one year after the commencement of hostilities in Iraq. The proudly stated goal of this collection of ratbags is to overthrow the current systems of democratic government in all Western countries. This is why they are so keen to assist the Islamofascists. "Resistance", the youth arm of the Democratic Socialist Party, brought you the "Books Not Bombs" fiasco of last year. The adult organising it ran for NSW parliament on that party's ticket. "Resistance" masquerading in its cover as a collection of school kids was successful in mobilising hundreds of high school (and in some cases primary school) children into a violent riot in the streets of Sydney. The press lapped it up and sprayed the demonstrations all over the front pages but didn't tell their dirty little secret about who the organisers were. The organisers fronted the TV media and not one reporter asked any tricky questions like: "Didn't I see you run for NSW Parliament recently?" or "Aren't you a member of that party whose aim is the complete overthrow of our current form of government?".

"Resistance" and the other hard-line socialists are the real McCoy here, we are not talking about the likes of the Left of the Labor Party. They facilitate all forms of dissent with a view to "radicalising" young people through constant and often violent contact with police. The aim is to recruit new radicals to their goal of overthrowing society.

Their modus operandi is to provide marshals, leadership, organisation tools, artwork, printers, etc. to legitimately concerned people and let those people do the actual work of protesting (viz a viz the school kids in last years protest). It is a very successful means of operation.

There is no doubt that the majority of the protesters will be legitimate well meaning people but it is sad to see their efforts being exploited so ruthlessly by those organisers in the background.

The Far Left are not just interested in peace protesters, refugee activists, unionists or environmental movements. They go anywhere they can cost-effectively whip up anti-Howard, anti-government feeling. They do the organising, facilitating, printing, doing artwork, etc... SMH columnist Miranda Devine attended a demonstration in Redfern just after the riot and she wrote about how she noticed the familiar artwork and printed posters of the Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative and the Marxist Spartacist League and how some in the press know them as "rent a riot".

It continues to amaze that the media does not fully expose the activities of the likes of the Refugee Action Collective which organised the often violent protests at Detention Centres. Or, Green Left Weekly which you see being sold in the street by pimply unwashed youths. Green Left Weekly was set up by a group of socialists and was launched pretending to be about the environment but is actually across the spectrum of anti-government, anti-Western activism. You'll be surprised who's face you see when you visit the website.

The RAC Crew shamelessly operates out of the peak union body's Victorian Trades Hall in Melbourne.

If an ordinary Joe can find this on Google why can't the professional journalists put the stories together to expose their manipulation.

Monday, March 15, 2004

The Counter Argument to the Left 

It is an inescapable fact that nations participating in the Coalition of the Willing have made themselves bigger targets than they would otherwise have been. This does not mean that Islamofascists will not target other Western targets if they see a chance, we are all infidels.

With 20/20 hindsight the choice of Madrid as the latest target for terror may well have been inevitable.

For social and political reasons the leaders of governments in the Coalition have downplayed the risk of participating in the War on Terror.

The Left made mileage from this risk and from the reluctance of government to acknowledge it.

The Spanish were perhaps the ideal next target with up to 90% of the population against the Spanish government's participation in the War on Terror.

The result of the election was likely to be close but still favored the government.

The Left of politics had successfully marketed, the now self-fulfilled prophecy, to the electorate that Spain could be attacked as a result of its stance in Iraq; that if an attack happened then the fault would lie with the government's policy.

With the Left of politics saying it would withdraw from the War if it won government, the attack was on.

This is not to say that the Left or anti-war protestors in any way condoned such an attack but it is a direct consequence of their policies and actions.

The real fault is with the Islamofascists that seek to overturn our way of life and impose their religion on the West. However, if the Left seeks to confine blame to the Right of domestic politics then by their own logic they would be equally culpable.

Spanish to Withdraw From the Coalition of the Willing? 

I guess the first step the new Socialist government in Spain will take will be to withdraw from the War on Terror.

This will be another signal to the terrorists that they are pursuing a winning strategy by bombing civilians.

Update: As it is written, so it shall come to pass. Spanish president elect, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, says he will withdraw Spain's 1,300 troops from Iraq.

Is the Coalition of the Willing a Target? 

Mark Steyn makes little sense when he has a go at (of all people) Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty for pointing out the bleeding obvious. That member countries of the Coalition of the Willing are more likely to be victims of muslim extremist terrorist attacks. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to work out that the commissioner speaks the obvious and simple truth.

"The reality is, if this turns out to be Islamic extremists responsible for this bombing in Spain, it's more likely to be linked to the position that Spain and other allies took on issues such as Iraq," Mr Keelty told the Nine Network's Sunday program.

"And I don't think anyone's been hiding the fact that we do believe that ultimately one day, whether it be in one month's time, one year's time, or 10 years' time, something will happen."

For sound social and political reasons the leaders of countries that are allies against terror may want to play down the risk, but that's not the commissioner's job. His job is to objectively weigh the risks. Pretending that there is no risk is not going to help it go away. Equating the commisioner's remarks with those of a peace protester is just sophistry.

Are we more at risk for being in the Coaliton? Too right and bloody proud of it. Is a soldier in battle more at risk than a civilian back home watching him on TV? Of course, but who is the one that stands against the enemies of freedom, the couch potato or the digger?

The appeasers on the Left of politics have made mileage from the risk but so what? What's the alternative? To run, hide, pretend the extremists aren't there and do nothing; leaving the risk up to others or the USA on its own. Making a disingenuous argument that we're not at risk is only going to help the appeasers in the long run. Let's make a proud stand and don't be caught out in sophistry.

Steyn is mistaken if he believes Islamic extremists are irrational in their choice of targets. Their leader's world view of politics and religion may be wrong but they're not stupid men. The quickest way to lose against an enemy is to underestimate him.

The ENTIRE Western world is at risk from Islamic extremists. Sweden or Spain it makes no difference, but a chief political goal of the extremist will be to attack first those members of the coalition countries who it thinks can be split from the coalition. Divide and conquer. If they can set off a bomb in Sweden or other "neutral" Western countries for extra publicity they will do that too but they will be trying for targets where they can do the most political damage.

Spain could have been selected for, among many other reasons, the fact that about 90% of the population did not agree with joining the coalition of the willing. The Madrid bombings came a few days before the Spanish elections. Al-Qaeda's video release, claiming responsibility, came almost on the eve of the election.

There is no doubt that the Madrid bombings would influence many voters of the "stick your head in the sand" variety that believe "the government got us into this". There is no doubt also that the bombings might provoke a backlash among those Spanish (and Europeans) who are sick to the teeth of being targeted by extremists that think murdering civilians at random is the way to achieve their political goals.

Update: The Socialists have won the Spanish election. Not so irrational those bombers in their choice of target...

Sunday, March 14, 2004

The Butler's Views on Triviality and Mediocrity 

Richard Butler takes every opportunity to parade his opinion as fact and cannot keep his political opinions to himself even when sworn to do so as Governor. Today he takes a swipe at the media.

TASMANIA'S Governor Richard Butler last night told of his work as a journalist and implored the media to uphold taste and decency when reporting the news. He said journalists had to be very careful their opinions did not masquerade as facts, which led to triviality and mediocrity.

So that's what happened to journalism...

Speaking to Australian journalists he reserved his ire for international journalists and demonstrated good taste and decency by thinly veiled political references and sliding from there to pure anti-Americanism.

He condemned what he described as the "profound failure" of journalists who allowed people to believe that the invasion of Iraq was because of Saddam Hussein's involvement in September 11. "That is untrue," Mr Butler said. "I submit to you that it is a deep failure and should cease." Mr Butler said it was shocking that after the US invasion of Iraq it was not possible for American journalists to write anything seen as unpatriotic.

 More posts by the Gnu Hunter:
 September 2003
 October 2003
 November 2003
 December 2003
 January 2004
 February 2004
 March 2004
 April 2004
 May 2004
 June 2004
 July 2004
 August 2004
 September 2004
 October 2004

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?