Friday, October 25, 2002

This book sold a million copies in Italy. Is it available here?
Stephen Den Beste has everything you need about the UN wrangling.
Iraq owes France and Russia billions of dollars each. If Saddam is deposed, the chance of those debts being paid is nil. Both nations also have made various sweetheart deals for future trade with Iraq which would be worth even more, and those deals will become scrap paper if the US invades.

Therefore the only way France and Russia can hope to be paid is to keep Saddam in power (which Saddam knows, which is why he's made all those deals), and the only way Saddam can stay in power is if his development programs for WMDs are not eradicated, so that he doesn't face coup. From their point of view, the ideal outcome is partially-effective weapons inspections, where the programs continue in Iraq (maintaining Saddam's political support) but they're found and destroyed at a rate sufficient to prevent them from actually succeeding in giving Saddam sufficient military ability to carry out his ambition to form a greater Arabia. What they want is stalemate, a continuation of the status quo. They want Saddam in power without WMDs and want that to continue forever.
They're no more enthused about Saddam getting nukes than anyone else is, but the only way they can win is to dance close to the fire without the fire being put out.

There’s more. This is Required Reading, and There Will Be A Test.

For a bit of prescient writing, take a look at Dean Ing’s Soft Targets. Ing uses a strategy of ridicule to reduce the power of terrorists.
Some thoughts about Harry Belafonte, and Colin Powell.

Belafonte has basically said Powell is a “house nigger”, and wants him gone because Powell agrees with Bush. The reason given is that Powell wants to keep his place “in the white man’s house”. Belafonte does not seem to acknowledge that Powell got where he is through sheer ability and determination. Indeed, if Belafonte’s views of the US government as racist are true, then Powell has had to prove himself over and over.

Now he has gone after Condaleeza Rice, turfing her from the keynote spot at an awards dinner.

It looks like the message is pretty clear: Your ability dos not matter. Nor does your conviction or your value as a symbol of black success. The only thing that counts is that you work for and support a Republican President.

Belafonte would rather have no blacks working in the White House, than have them supporting Bush. If you assume a roughly 50-50 split between parties, this means no blacks in senior policy positions for half of the time. Toeing the line is more important than having any policy input from inside, because no policy that arises from a Republican white House can be good for blacks.

Does anyone else notice that this delivers a monopoly on black policy making to the Democrats? How is this different from corrupt political donations?

More Aussie slang, this time from the indispensable Macquarie Dictionary

shagger's back

(noun) any pain in a person's back, jocularly attributed to the strains of indulging in sexual intercourse.

And may I recommend you scroll down on the “S” page to gaze in wonder at 48, count them 48 usages of “shit”.

John Ray
is a braver man than I.


The implication is, as so many other studies suggest, that it is the African gene pool that is responsible for the lower black IQs.
The only policy implication that I see as flowing from an acceptance of this in a decent society is that we may often have to treat some blacks as we do any other handicapped people -- kindly. On the other hand, a policy founded on the assumption that the differences do not exist -- as “Affimative action” is -- must in the circumstances be a cruel hoax that imposes unrealistic expectations on many blacks, discriminates unfairly against many individual whites and discredits the achievements of the many blacks who can achieve well under their own steam.

There is no doubt John is qualified to talk about psychometrics. He also has some data on IQ differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardim Jews.

As I write, Sydney is blanketed in smoke from surrounding bushfires. Even inside the air-conditioned office, eyes are streaming and people are coughing continuously. The air smells strongly of eucalypt smoke.

Although this is a huge city (60 miles end to end), it is surrounded by very large stretches of bushland. To the south is the world’s second oldest National Park. To the North, Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, almost as big as the “Nasho”. And out to the West is the Blue Mountains Wilderness. Recently World Heritage listed, there are wilderness areas within 50 miles of the GPO that no European has ever set foot in. A few years ago, some abseilers stumbled across a canyon that had trees thought to be extinct for 30 million years. That gives you an idea of the ruggedness of the terrain, and the difficulty that fire crews have in reaching breakouts. Generally, they like to let the fires burn out when it doesn’t threaten property, and this is a good policy once established. First time through, it is spectacular.

We’re into one of the worst drought on record, and there is no end forecast for months. Fuel buildup has continued, despite hazard reduction burning and last year’s catastrophic fires. There is just too much bush.

This is the earliest start to the bushfire season that anyone can remember. Hopefully we won’t lose any fire fighters, but the odds are that a few will be caught, and someone will have to tell his mate’s wife what happened.




Gareth Parker catches the ABC trying to put words in their guests’ mouth. In slavish imitation of the US media, they’re trying to blame our domestic intelligence services for Bali.

Is it possible they have sniffed the breeze, and are trying to line up further scapegoats if it turns out that it was all about East Timor, a cause rabidly supported inside the ABC?

Thursday, October 24, 2002

John Ray gives his views on the way Leftism is founded on lies.

If their motives were benevolent, it would make no sense to advocate so much misery. If their real motives were, on the other hand, a need for power and a desire to concentrate in the hands of their clique extensive power over the lives of others it makes very great sense indeed.


Blatantly stealing the idea from The Militant Pagan, I’ll have a swing at Greenpeace as well. Their take on the WMD problem leaves plenty of room for two.



What did we learn from the cold war, the disarmament movement of the last three decades, and the intricate history of arms control?


Mainly, that disarmament has never and will never win a war, cold or not.

Mutually Assured Destruction didn't end the cold war. The escalation of nuclear arsenals stopped when the perception of hostility and threat was diminished, buffered by a global perception of the moral and political limitations of nuclear weapons as tools of diplomacy.


No, the Cold war ended because the USSR could no longer maintain parity in an escalating arms race, when they had to spend 12 per cent of their GDP on their military to match the USA’s 2 per cent. It ended because they had a leader who thought he could ease up on domestic control a little, divert spending into consumer goods, and still remain in charge. It ended the day Mikhail Gorbachev said the USSR would not send troops to assist any Warsaw Pact country that wanted to leave the alliance. One thing that did not have any effect whatsoever on Soviet policy was a “global perception of the moral implications of nuclear weapons”. Only one side was responsive to public opinion, and they’re the winners, baby. Does not compute.

We believe that nuclear disarmament by all nations is a fundamental prerequisite of a sustainable future for Earth in the 21st century. It is therefore imperative that the international community - including the Bush Administration -tackle the question of nuclear proliferation and nuclear disarmament in a coherent manner.


The first realistic attempt to remove a nation from the Nuke Squad, and this is a bad thing?

A full-scale attack on the nation of Iraq for seeking to acquire nuclear weapons would be without precedent. The US did not threaten to attack Israel, India or Pakistan for acquiring nuclear weapons.


So we should have invaded? Please be consistent if you expect consistency from others. Should the US have invaded Pakistan? India? No-one?

There are three military strategies available to prevent proliferation: counter-proliferation strikes, nuclear deterrence, and military assault to create a "regime change". All are flawed.


Greenpeace is being up-front: We want you to end proliferation; here are your options, none will work, and we will make your life a living hell just for trying. And we get to stay in the protest business forever. Isn’t that handy?

Military counter-proliferation -- the Israeli strike on Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981 is an example -- may deal temporarily with the technical manifestations of proliferation, yet it raised the very tensions which drive weapons programs in the first place. They're also only as good as the intelligence they're based on. In the case of Iraq, the IAEA dismantled a clandestine programme to obtain nuclear weapons; the threat of a military counter-proliferation response from the US has apparently failed to deter Iraq from further attempts to reinstate the programme.


A “temporary” action that stopped the threat cold for years. Then a bloody great war, that came at the time when even the IAEA says Sammy was within rifle shot of getting a bomb. And now Iraq is back at the table on inspections, but somehow this has nothing to do with the “the threat of a military counter-proliferation response from the US”?

If nuclear deterrence was a viable strategy, it would be working now. In Cold War logic, deterrence would dictate that Iraq -- or any other state -- would be cowed by the overwhelming superiority of the US nuclear arsenal and military machine. This clearly isn't the case.


But as Greenpeace said above: “They're also only as good as the intelligence they're based on”. What’s the chances Saddam is getting the full and accurate picture from a general staff that faces the very real risk of being denounced and imprisoned for suggesting that the Glorious Army might not be up to the job? Deterrence works only if He Who Is To Be Deterred believes that the other guy will attack. If that belief is not in place, whether through poor intelligence, underestimation of the opponent, or just plain lunacy, then deterrence fails. What Greenpeace will have you believe is that deterrence was and end to itself, a result. It is not; it is a stopgap measure taken when there is no chance of an acceptable military or diplomatic outcome.

< blockquote> Can the US successfully disarm Iraq by invading the country, taking over its infrastructure, and placing a puppet regime in power? Possibly.
Possibly? They can’t even bring themselves to admit that a US victory is even probable. They prefer inaccuracy, so they don’t appear to be waaarrrmongers.

Will a regime change bring peace to the region and deter other states or agents from pursuing weapons of mass destruction? Of course not. Quite the opposite.


How could it be otherwise? Drive across Iraq like it’s a crack house, the rulers get thrown in the scorpion pit, their Swiss accounts confiscated. Oil drops to US$12 per barrel, food shows up in shops, elections are held. Prosperity rises, refugees return. Can’t see any warning signs there for neighbouring dictators. What about you Gorbachev? Anything to add?

To Iran, the lesson of an invasion on Iraq will be to ensure the swift development of its own weapons of mass destruction, and to develop them while America is focused elsewhere.


A US satrapy next door? Doesn’t scare me in the least!

President Bush has said that the real issue in Iraq is not the acceptance of UN weapons inspectors, but verifiable disarmament. This is true. The problem is the enormous inconsistency of such a statement coming from the possessor of more then six thousand nuclear warheads.



The US and the other "official" nuclear weapon states have legal obligations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. They should be leading by example.


Shame they can’t come right out and say it: the US must disarm and/or accept weapons inspections in order to have the moral authority to impose disarmament on Iraq. Read that sentence again, just to get an idea of the truly monstrous world view that could try this on.

The case against these weapons must be a moral one, not a strategically convenient one.


Cause you know that Saddam; he’s one moral dude. You get the drop on him in the ethics debate, and he’s likely to plumb give up!

Pressure from other Arab states as well as western countries is clearly important, particularly as a contribution to a more effective and positive US Middle East policy.


The US is not moral enough, but Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen are.
Solving the Palestinian issue is a necessary prerequisite for any movement by Israel to join negotiations on weapons of mass destruction in the region. The


No problem there. The Israelis stayed out of the last one, despite have their citizens killed and their nation attacked. I don’t see them moving on this one, unless of course, someone was to hit them first. Greenpeace may not like pre-emptive strikes, but do they have a problem with retaliation as well? So leave the Palestinians out of it.

Thirdly, containment followed by engagement. Continued pressure on Iraq must include a comprehensive approach to the problem of the proliferation of nuclear technology and know-how, particularly but not exclusively from Russia. There must be a containment of the feasibility of the weapons programme. But there must also be a containment of the ambition behind it. Furthermore effective measures need to be taken to stop the spread of weapons usable material ,and technology, thus further reducing the threat.


What a good word is “containment”. We could contain them by restricting their access to the technology to make biological agents. But that also means no domestic drug industry. We could contain their ability to make nuclear devices, but that would mean no manufacturing, machine shops, blood labs etc. I know of no way to contain ambition while the person still has breath and the means to achieve that ambition. Short of imprisonment or death that is. And judging by the total absence of suggestions on how to achieve ”containment”, neither does Greenpeace.

Ultimately, what we need is a new theory of deterrence when it comes to nuclear weapons. At its root, deterrence is and always has been a matter of perception: the perception of threat, imagined response, and a close calculation of exactly what either of two combatants believe they can get away with.


One of the reasons deterrence comes undone is when one of the actors adopts a different morality to the others. For instance, would Saddam trade the nuking of Basra for the control of the Saudi oil fields? My guess: he already has the plans drawn up. Will the US trade Cleveland for Baghdad?

As we move toward a globalisation of civil society, we need to build a world-wide moral deterrence against the possession of nuclear weapons. The cornerstone of any state's claim to moral authority, and any leader's, must be based on their accountability to civil society. They must abide by global agreements for the global good, they must conform to the most global definitions of acceptable behaviour.


Civil society might include an undertaking not to torture, imprison and kill political opponents. If someone wants to strut the stage of “global” civil society, wouldn’t facing regular fair elections seem to be the passport? Otherwise, well, anybody could declare themselves to re representing some group or interest, with no way of checking. And that would be a Bad Thing.

The ability of a state to exert its will upon the world community should be measured in its demonstrable commitment to the common benefit of that community. The authority of its leaders, at home and abroad, must rest in a new, global and inclusive definition of the public trust.


But not on its level of democracy, its foreign aid budget or it’s funding of the very bodies that make up these “inclusive definitions”.

Any state thinking about acquiring nuclear weapons would have to be deterred by the strength of global repugnance


Nuclear weapons are now as bad as smoking.

Any leader driving a state in that direction must know that they will face a credible worldwide outrage,untainted by hypocritical inconsistencies, and with a moral authority that will be daunting to their futures as leaders, domestically and abroad. This moral outrage needs to be effectively backed by agreed obstacles and sanctions that can be applied in an impartial and objective manner.


Nothing like global outrage to send the right message to the Emperor For Life. “El Presidente! The Quakers are here! You must flee!”

It is evident that the Bush Administration is unenthusiastic about the use of multilaterialism in general and the United Nations in particular as tools for conflict resolution, preferring instead to use its military power to ensure that its strategic objectives are met.


Now let’s bit see the same hand this time. Military goals are accomplished by what means? Anyone? Carthage, you’re awfully quiet back. Stop talking Mussolini!

A world in peril needs world leaders, accountable to the needs and moral imperatives of our common future.

But not, it seems, accountable to voters.

It’s not about ooooiiiillllll. It’s about Prrroooooteeessst.

Looks like it's fixed. My powers have been restored!
another test. Help!
test post. Is blogspot working?

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

You'll go round this joke a few times, same as I did.

Pessimist: "Things couldn't be worse."
Optimist: "Oh yes they could!"

From Junius.
Please take note of the updated link list. More will be added, as and when I get to it. Enjoy.
This from the always-reliable Best of the Web.
No Further Comment
The Columbia World of Quotations lists this epigram, from a Sept. 10, 1995, article in the New York Times: "Celebrity distorts democracy by giving the rich, beautiful, and famous more authority than they deserve." The aphorist is none other than Maureen Dowd.


A selection of Australian words can be found at the National Dictionary Centre. Today’s choice is lair:
Vulgar, showy

giving rise to “lairise”, and my personal favourite “mug lair”.

Virginia Postrel, aka The Dynamist, has a look at the US coverage of the Bali attacks, and regrets their inability to notice the Australian death toll. I can't find any permainks, so go to the "Bali Cont'd" post.
Thanks to Samizdata for directing me to the wonderful TradeSport site, where you can not only trade futures on sporting fixtures, but can do the same on political events.

Most particularly, you can speculate in Saddam futures. With real money.

Tex is back on deck. Go check in while he plays Customs agent to Richard Neville’s drug mule.
THIS WILL BE NEWS TO THE GUN NUTS.

That noble Band of Brothers, the Australian National Union of Students, has again blessed us with their clear-sighted analysis of why some loon decided on Monday that shooting his classmates was preferable to doing his homework.
the increase in violence on university campuses could be very seriously attributed to the policies of the Howard Government.

The only reason this nutter didn’t have bigger guns is because Howard got them out of the community.
It is not just their disgusting policies which are destroying lives of university students, lumping them with massive debt and forcing students to work two, sometimes three, part-time jobs

Those are debts that only cover a fraction of their education costs, and only has to be paid back when they start earning a higher wage. In a system conceived and introduced by the ALP.

But you know what’s coming, don’t you? What Rough Beast slouches our way?
also its current position on foreign policy.

The Scene: angry loner at home, cleaning guns. Are you talking to me? You must be, because I only want to see a real and lasting end to the Israeli occupation . These seven handguns? I need them because Howard is backing the US against Iraq. The tinfoil wallpaper is to block the CIA spy rays.
Howard has played the politics of divide which has left Australians feeling isolated and scared, contributing to [Monday morning's] tragic events

Oh yeah. Divided into the 61 per cent that support him, and the 18 per cent that go for the Other Guy.

So their idea is that a Malaysian student came to Australia, enrolled in University, bought his seven handguns, registered them, and decided to take five of them along for a show-and-tell that went horribly wrong, and all because of Federal Government education and foreign policy.

Who did he kill?
They were Steven Chan, 26, of Doncaster, and Xu Hui (William) Wu, 26, a Chinese national and resident of Hong Kong who was a neighbour of the man charged.

Note, no education officials, University staff or other obvious targets of someone driven by anger at policy. He went after fellow students and his teachers.

The NUS also seems to be out of touch with their own membership, who have a better handle on who is to blame. They have also neglected to mention anecdotal reports that the killer was known to be frustrated at his lack of English, and an inability to communicate in class.

In fact, the guy actually pulling trigger gets a pass from the NUS here. He doesn’t rate a mention, because the NUS considers him just another helpless victim of politics.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Required reading today is Andrew Sullivan on Anti-semitism and the war.

Can we get the Left to nominate those countries where a terror attack will not be construed as having something to do with Israel? Or is the theory that anything that involves Muslims automatically is about Israel. The assumption is that at least one of these groups is incapable of thinking about more than one thing.

Let’s watch the response of Margot Kingston and Phillip Adams to the release of the report into the SIEV-X sinking. They demanded an inquiry, they got it, and according to a leak to The Australian:
THE report of the children overboard inquiry, to be released tomorrow, is expected to clear the Australian Defence Force of any blame in relation to the Siev X sinking and 353 asylum-seekers dying.

My prediction: the cries of whitewash and cover-up will ring throughout the land. Dark conspiracies will be hinted at; Inquiring Minds Want To Know.

These clowns have beaten everyone to the punch, and are already demanding a judicial inquiry. Should that fail to reach the proper conclusion, you can be sure they will want a Royal Commission. People like this accept no outcome that varies with their idea of Revealed Truth. It is easier for them to believe in conspiracy than incompetence. Particularly their own.

READY? LET’S BEGIN.

The Independent has published a decidedly unflattering profile of Prime Minister John Howard. To be honest, it reminds me more than anything of a note passed around about the teacher. There are few actual lies, but spin, distortion and slant are presented in abundance.

Appearances, while deceiving, are still vitally important to policy:
He has scant charisma and no commanding presence; his eyebrows are unruly, his voice an irritating whine. Visitors seduced by images of a diverse, progressive nation are startled to find it run by a grey man who belongs in the 1950s.

Of course, had he been a bronzed Adonis with the voice of George Clooney, that would have been included as well. Yes.
Why did he sabotage a republican campaign that wanted a modern, self-confident country to stand on its own feet?

Apart from upholding every election promise he made, including holding a Constitutional Convention on the issue, and not speaking out as Prime Minister against the Republic he did not want.
Why does he feel so threatened by the arrival of penniless people with beards and burqas?

Threatened enough to increase immigration intakes form those very areas.

The Independent has always had a flexible definition of leadership. Howard is bad because
Howard reflects the views of the majority of the electorate.

Unless it is on defence issues like Iraq or the size of our refugee intake, both of which Howard is out of step with the majority.

[Howard] regained the leadership in 1995 and won an election the following year, defeating Labour's Paul Keating.
Keating had paved the way for Aboriginal land rights, championed an Australian republic and forged close ties with Asian neighbours. He was a clever and cultured man; Howard, by contrast, has made a virtue of his ordinariness.

A “clever and cultured man” who also neglected to apologise to Aborigines, was responsible for the instigation of present immigration policy, and led his party to the greatest defeat in Australian electoral history. Cultured men always say “two blokes and a spaniel will never make a family”.
Is Howard racist? Not exactly. He feels more at ease with his own kind and he is not someone who naturally embraces cultural diversity.

Not backed up. No evidence.
Howard derides intellectual "elitists" – which means anyone who champions liberal principles. He himself extols the old-fashioned Australian values of mateship and "the fair go", but – it seems – only for white Anglo-Celts.

Actually, Howard derides the self-appointed, unelected elitists. Those who think informed peoples cannot take other than approved directions. Those who deride plain speaking and clear morals as “ordinariness”, and make a virtue of inaccessibility and arrogance as “principled leadership”. In short, journalists working for The Independent .

That cultured man Paul Keating once gave his political tip for how to treat intellectuals: "kick them in the teeth, then tell them what they want to hear". Howard's major sin is not in disobeying these types; it is ignoring them.



Thanks to Uncle at ABC Watch for the link.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Five men meet to plan a robbery. They take care to never speak on the phone, never meet is a public place. Only the leader and deputy know the target, and all the details. They may or may not be getting outside funding and technical assistance, but that is only known to the leader. The fact they know each other is not known to the police. Some of the group are not known criminals.

On the day of the robbery, they meet at a new location, possibly a hotel room. There, the leader explains the final details of the robbery, and details each member’s role. They do not leave each other’s company for the next several hours as they rehearse and refine the plan.

Finally, the group leaves the hotel and makes their way to the location of a freight yard which, unknown to the police, is handling the movement of a large number of high-end microprocessors. The group shoots five security guards and a driver. They make their getaway without being seen by any survivors.

Are the police to blame? Was there a failure of intelligence?

Just as it is axiomatic that “anyone can kill anyone”, police will also tell you that perfect crimes take place all the time. They are committed by persons unknown to police, and often they are virtually untraceable. Any cop will tell you that for prevention they rely on slip-ups, sellouts, informers, mistakes and surveillance. But everyone of these involves some link to the perpetrators. If the security of the gang is tight, they make no mistakes, and the members are not previously known, then there is no way for police to prevent the crime. The focus switches to detection and apprehension, because that’s all that is left.

To expect any security force to prevent a crime prior to commission is a tall order. Add good gang security, low levels of required technical expertise and unlimited targeting opportunities, and it becomes an impossibility for all intents and purposes.

Now consider that the Bali bombing took place in a third world country, with poor identification procedures, no border control, endemic corruption of law enforcement and public officials, and may have been committed by outsiders travelling to Indonesia just for the attack, and leaving after. In a country where Australian security agents stand out in race, language, even height. Where political sensitivities reduce the ability to run operations and informers.

Now do you see that even asking the question “Where did Australian security fall down?” is orders of magnitude more complex than anything Greens Senator Bob Brown might consider?

Two people dead and eight wounded in a shotgun attack in a Melbourne University. A suspect is in custody. More as I can get it.
UPDATE: News here, and here.
Always read the Comments sections. Robert Crawford picked up an interesting contradiction in the statements from Abu Bakar Bashir iin this article fromThe Age
From Robert:
"He says sorry Aussies if you follow U.S. policy you will get bombed, then says it was the CIA? Great argument."
Assume he's insane and it makes much more sense.

In Right Wing News.

A want to hammer this point home. Last week, Phillip Adams said:
It is now my sad duty to say... I told you so. As expected, Washington is spiralling out of control - and Australia has as much to fear from its powerful friend as it does from its putative enemies.

“As much to fear” from the USA as our “putative” enemies.

This was published on the same day as the putative Bali bombs. Today, given the chance, Adams has not deigned to mention the attacks, nor apologise for getting it so wrong, not offer a word of sympathy for the families of the victims.

There can be no greater example of the wilful blindness of Adams and his followers. There is no enemy greater than the US President, and his cabana boy John Howard. Nothing has happened since Vietnam, and there are no issues greater than replacing the governments of Australia and the USA which are, after all, as illegitimate as that of Iraq.

The Australian need to call this fool to account.

Phillip Adams makes me want to puke. In his first column after the greatest peacetime loss of life this country has ever seen, his Lordship says ….. not a word. Not a mention of a hundred or more of his fellow Australians incinerated, hundreds more burned and scarred for life. Doesn’t rate the smallest acknowledgement. Because Adams wants to concentrate on the Real Enemy: Prime Minister John Howard and immigration policy.

This week he asks his friends Hugh Mackay and aboriginal activist Faith Bandler to tell him how bad things are. He refers to his own emails as some kind of representative sample of public opinion for or against. Suppositions about events that did not take place become indicators of bigotry. Thirty years of non-racial immigration becomes:
few years ago that we started to extricate ourselves from the shame of the White Australia Policy in which, like South Africa with apartheid, we'd enshrined bigotry in legislation.

History can be ignored:
And here's a problem for Australia and for the federal Government's spin doctors. If we join the US in bombing the hell out of Baghdad, we'll create vast numbers of new refugees. And, inevitably, some of them will seek refuge in our country.

Perhaps they will. But we know they will also return in far greater numbers. Spin-doctoring is not restricted to Governments.

The Eville powers of Prime Minister John Howard know no limits:
will the PM get away with it once more by manipulating fears and bigotries? Will he get away with it because he's managed, in a few short years, to create an Australia in his own image?

Remember, this is “getting away” with things that either have not, can not or will not happen.
In conclusion, an observation. Like many Australians, I thought we were a member of the UN. Apparently not. We're a member of the US.


God.

UPDATE: Memo to self: read Alan Anderson before fisking Adams. Try this choice sample:
Or will the PM get away with it once more by manipulating fears and bigotries? Will he get away with it because he's managed, in a few short years, to create an Australia in his own image?
Now that's not fair, Phil. You were short and bald long before John took over.

That's got to sting.

Level-headed Herald journo Paul Sheehan quotes Stephen Van Evera, a security scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:
"I think the al-Qaeda threat is very serious. They're very skilful. They combine high patience and training capacity and motivation. We're in a struggle to the death with these people. They'd bring in nuclear weapons here, if they could. I think this could be the highest threat to our national security ever: a non-deterrable enemy that may acquire weapons of mass destruction.

He’s right. War to the death.

WELL, THAT WAS WEIRD.

The Pod People have snatched Robert Manne, replacing him with someone who can write about Islamofascism for a thousand words, without once blaming anyone other than the swine setting the bombs.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Tex is heavily involved in watching motorcycles drive around in circles, so it falls to me to conduct the weekly Hugh Mackay cavity search.

I expected some facile pretence at understanding Bali, and I wasn’t disappointed.
We want to believe that such a vile act can be attributed to people we have already identified as "the enemy". We need to know that this is the work of someone we have already learnt to recognise as the embodiment of evil. We especially don't want to discover that it was some random act, carried out by an independent band of fanatics with a local political agenda.

Simple logic, I would have thought; the overwhelming majority of terror attacks are carried out by right wing Islamic fundamentalists.
So Osama bin Laden is the name on everyone's lips, even before the rescuers have finished their grim task of searching the Bali rubble for human remains. It's as if we need this to be the work of Islamic extremists; we would be curiously reassured to learn that it was part of a cohesive global strategy devised by al-Qaeda.

Yo Hugh! Get a clue! Osama bin liner has made it very bloody clear how he feels about our invasion/protection of East Timor:
The criminal Kofi Annan spoke publicly and put pressure on the Indonesian government, giving it a 24-hour ultimatum to (accept) the secession of East Timor or face the dispatch of troops to impose it by force

And this was done with the backing of the UN, with little assistance from the USA. In other words, we did everything the way the anti-US Left wants it done. If it turns out that this was a payback for our role there, I want a full retraction from Mackay.

The silliest thing in this week’s s-bend clog is that Mackay asks the predictable question:
But it would not be wrong to ask ourselves this: what is it about Western society and culture (and US foreign policy, in particular) that attracts such hatred from the margins?

Without noticing that he had already answered it earlier:
There are many Islamic fundamentalists who want nothing less than the overthrow of what they see as our morally bankrupt, permissive, decadent, materialistic society. They will stop at nothing in their struggle to bring this about, since they believe they are obeying the divine will

There's your easy answer: they hate us and want us dead. Period.

Could this be the start of Hugh’s drift into the warblogger camp?

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