Created: Wednesday, 19 October 2005 Written by MaxWhile anxious Iraqis vote for a rigged constitution seen by few outside the fortified U.S. Green Zone, Amerikkka’s GWB plans to “cut and run” while “staying the course”, Monstralia’s JWH drives another nail into the coffin of “our way of life”, and Max Gross goes ape-shit:
Hey, what was that loud bang? Oh, right, yet another historic milestone to highlight the division, torment and death inflicted upon Iraq by the U.S. occupation. And more civilian bystanders blown away by overwhelming U.S. firepower, demonstrating shock, awe and utter disdain. As in Vietnam, G.I Joe can’t tell friend from foe.
All thanks to GWB, the U.S. presidense who doesn’t read, relies on his oily cronies for advice, thinks “god” is showing him the way forward, and prefers to holiday rather than govern. Hell, the country can run itself, right, George? “Free market” mechanisms are preferable over government action, at least domestically. Sure, New Orleans can fix itself, with a little help from no-bid Halliburton contracts!
Meanwhile, Iraqis continue to fall victim to a combination of terrorism, violent crime and military excess that no phoney constitution can allay. In a recent Security Council report, United Nations chief Kofi Annan revealed that more than 80 per cent of the 1,100 bodies brought in to Baghdad's Forensic Institute in July bore evidence of violent deaths. That’s quite a tally for one month, without Saddass Hussein to blame. And still no reliable power supply or drinking water (Iraq needs $15 billion just to repair a system water system crippled by sanctions, U.S. bombing and neglect). Thanks George: the new Saddam!
And far from nobbling “terrorism”, CIA analysts reckon that the brilliant Bushnik idea of diverting focus from Osama bin Hiding by attacking Saddass Hussein has turned Iraq into a far more effective training ground for Islamic terrorists than Afghanistan ever was. What could be more convenient? Iraq is more central to the Arab world and provides hands-on experience in urban bomb-making, kidnapping, assassination and conventional attacks on military targets. Don’t y’all feel a lot safer knowing good old boy Dubya managed to achieve all that on our behalf? Alert but not alarmed? Relaxed and comfortable? How about CONNED!
Meanwhile, hundreds of Guantanamo Bay prisoners, illegally imprisoned by the Bush regime, are being sent to countries notorious for their systematic use of torture as the Liar-in-Chief continues to spurn international and domestic law by engaging in “extraordinary renditions” and disappearances. The U.S. holds secret captives in stalwart bastions of democracy and freedom like Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt, Thailand and good old Afghanistan! Hell, the Bushies planned this vicious bullshit from way back. In a memo to President Bush, dated January 25, 2002, old Gonzo (then-White House counsel to GWB and now U.S. Attorney General) urged that Amerikkka opt out of the Geneva Conventions for the invasion of Afghanistan. one of two reasons he gave the Presidense was that opting out "substantially reduces the likelihood of prosecution under the War Crimes Act." And hence, the reason the Yanks oppose the I.C.C.
History and instinct tells us that it is the code of justice, of civilised behaviour, that maintains you are NOT deprived of liberty, you are NOT penalised, if you haven't broken the law. If that isn’t the very essence of a civilised, free, democratic society, then what the fook are we doing in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Well, what we’re doing is helping the Bush regime maintain its bloody foothold in the oil-rich Middle East. Yup, the Bushniks know what they’re doing all right. More or less. But they certainly took on more than they bargained for when they opened that can of worms. And just like GWB, our very own JWH Rodent PM’s cruel policies have placed Australia in clear breach of its international human rights obligations in our persecution of asylum seekers and refugees. And we're supposedly the "good guy's in this unholy global fuck-up.
The Rodent has declared his inhuman “Pacific Solution” success. As so it is, if the goal was to imprison traumatised asylum seekers in isolated concentration camps, to humiliate, oppress and torment helpless individuals and families fleeing from despotic regimes that we as a nation were ironically condemning at the same time. And all this government-inflicted misery despite the fact that the vast majority of victims of the Rodent’s “solution” have been declared to be genuine refugees and granted asylum! Are we alert yet?
And as for poor bloody David Hicks, languishing in Amerikkka’s Guantanamo gulag, an Australian adviser to the judges in the international case against Slobodeath Milosevic reckons the alleged Serbian war criminal is getting a fairer trial than David Hicks can ever hope to receive. Even former U.S. prosecutors have admitted the process is rigged and corrupt. Hells bells, it took the Yanks more than three years of imprisonment and torment before Hicks was finally “formally” accused of conspiracy to attack civilians, attempted murder of coalition forces and aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan. Um, but who attacked whom?
It was U.S. forces who attacked Afghanistan, not the other way round. It is the U.S that continues to blow away innocent Afghanis (four policemen shot dead today, and since 2001 some several thousand Afghans slain “by mistake”, mostly in Yank air strikes). As ugly a mob of religious nutters as they were and remain, the Taliban did NOT attack the U.S. And Hicks was apparently caught not fighting on a battlefield but waiting at a bus stop! A luckless, soul-searching Aussie, probably sold into Yank hands by greedy local warlords who will say and do anything for a buck. And the PM just puckers up for the Shrub.
So roll up, roll up, folks, to become Aussie citizens: the Rodent and his menagerie of bum-sniffers and suck holes will look after you! Sickening to realise that Australia is the only nation on earth to allow its citizens to remain trapped and tortured within the Bush regime’s military system of kangaroo courts. Hell, even that sycophant Brit PM Tiny Blur got his own people out of Guantanamo! But he wanted to. The Rodent does not. Ah yes, just whisper the magic words “terrorist threat” and the world is yours. Are we alert now?
The irony – oh, so much of it abounds! – is that, like George W Bush, John W Howard’s anti-terror talk is mostly rhetoric. Better still, at a recent U.N. summit, nobody was able to even define what “terrorism” is!
The $1 billion that taxpayers had outlaid on the Iraq diaster could have been better spent hunting Osama or training hundreds more police and spies. The U.S. bill for the war has topped $US 204 billion, currently costing about $US5.6 billion ($A7.5 billion) a month. Yup! Military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and vast tax cuts for his millionaire mates have put the Bush regime deep in debt. one can imagine the eventual backlash.
Here in Monstralia, after years of warning TV-addled Aussies to be "alert but not alarmed", its suits the Rodent – like Bush - to keep stirring the “terrorist” possum to keep people nervous about the prospect of an attack here. Oh, it’s quite a trick!
So, while a suspected American member of Al Qaeda threatens attacks against Melbourne and our Federal Police Commish Mick Keelty reckons that around 60 suspected “Islamic extremists” are operating in Australia, our “terror alert level” just sits there like a dead wombat rotting in the middle of the road. And stinks as much too. Are we becoming alert yet, hmm?
Our Federal Attorney-General Phil Buttock says there is no reason to change Australia's threat levels because the threat doesn’t mean that it is “anything more than rhetoric." Well, I guess he’s an expert on the subject of rhetoric, true. But he claims visiting peace activist Scott Parkin was a threat to our national security?! Hell, what does that make Osama bin Laden?!
Ah, but there we have it at last, like the gagging of parliamentary debate, glaring confirmation that the Rodent’s so-called new anti-terror laws will be used to silence critics, not stop terrorists.
Looks like political pressure from Washington was behind the decision to abuse spy agency ASIO's powers and arrest Parkin, whose six-month visa was cancelled on the ludicrous grounds he is a potential risk. Parkin was here for three months on a tourist visa, holding peace workshops and participating in anti-war protests. He suddenly became such a threat that it took up to six federal police and Immigration Department officers to arrest him at a Melbourne cafe. He was locked up in solitary, charged about $130 a day for his detention, deported, and is banned from returning to Australia for three years. Welcome to Howard’s Reich, Scott! Are we becoming any more alert now, hmm?
Scott’s real “crime” of course was that he has helped expose Bush crony Halliburton’s lucrative no-bid Iraq contracts and subsequent fraud and overcharging practices at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. Halliburton, the largest recipient of reconstruction contracts in Iraq, has received $18 billion and seen their revenues increase 80% between 2003 and 2004. They has been accused of more fraud, waste, and corruption than any other Iraq contractor -- from allegations of overcharging $108 million for fuel and $24.7 million for meals, to confirmed kickbacks worth $6.3 million. Halliburton is also the only Iraq contractor currently under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice. No surprise to learn the Bush regime has granted Halliburton the lion’s (vulture’s?) share of post-Katrina Hurricane reconstruction contracts. No surprise either that even 90-year grannies are being locked-up for daring criticise god’s chosen: the world’s most dangerous idiot: George W Bogus.
One thing’s for sure here Downunder: John W Howard PM is a mean, tricky, lying weasel. Sorry if that sounds like the soon to be criminalised “ill will” on my part, but I’ve always felt miffed at blatant liars that piss on my head and call it rain. Besides, thought I’d better get that in before the Rodent’s anti-democratic “anti-terror” legislation kicks in… (And don’t expect the Labor Party to ride to democracy’s rescue… its policies are just more road-kill under the wheels of the Rodent’s dictatorial Mac truck).
And, in the face of the PM's assault on civil liberties – our “way of life”, in fact - it looks like Australia doesn’t even have a "terrorist human infrastructure" to warrant such laws. According to Christopher Michaelsen, doctoral scholar at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at ANU, there is little evidence of a significant radical Islamic faction within Australia's relatively small Muslim community. The new head of ASIO Paul O’Sullivan recently dismissed suggestions that some 800 “extremists” were living here who would be motivated to commit London-style bombings. So much for Keelty's assessment.
Evidence that Australia lacks a "terrorist human infrastructure" is also available from the trial of Brit-born Muslim-convert Jack Roche. Roche was convicted of terrorism-related gobbledygook in June 2004 and sentenced to nine years jail. Asked about possible recruitment efforts, he admitted he had "put out some feelers" but that it was "a very difficult task" because "nobody in Australia was interested at all".
Terrorism? Not while the bloody cricket’s on, mate. You’re more likely to get bit by your neighbour’s crazed pitbull. As for extremists, look no further than the Howard government and its pathological political ideologues (Whew!).
What’s likelier here than backpack bombers are more incidents like July’s broad daylight murder by Brit cops of an innocent Londoner who was wrongly targeted as a “terrorist suspect”. Authorities not only lied about the circumstances surrounding the poor bugger’s slaying, they also tried covering it up. Mini-Me Howard’s own shoot-to-kill legislation is being snuck in under the radar. Define “terrorism” again? Define “suspect”? Define the “way of life” the PM's repressive laws are supposedly about protecting? Anyone? Are we becoming a little more alert yet?
“John Howard’s complete lack of interest in most off-shore matters was a frequent source of amusement and concern on onA (Office of National Assessments) while I worked there. Time and time again important issues were not assessed because the judgement was made that Howard would not be interested. on many other occasions assessments were returned from his office unread – this being readily apparent because only those reports that his advisor knew his boss would be interested in were marked up with annotations and highlights and sent through to him. Howard seemed only interested in issues that were linked directly to his political self-interest and the term of his government. Longer-term matters in which Australia might have been more active, such as addressing the causes of global terrorism, were given scant attention.”
- Andrew Wilkie, AXIS OF DECEIT
Yes, government secrecy IS they key to this phoney “war on terror”. And naturally the Rodent is growing increasingly antsy about leaks. How can he keep spinning his lies and distortions if the truth keeps dripping out here and there?!
It was because of leaking that we first heard of infighting in the intelligence community culminating in the blocking of intelligence to our forces in East Timor. Leaks exposed government lies in the “children overboard” affair. And after the invasion of Iraq, leaks revealed specific pre-war doubts about WMD, Australia's unsavoury role in prisoner interrogation, and the impact of the invasion on inflaming terrorist recruitment.
Thank Dog that, despite a cowed and politicised public service, right-minded leakers continue to expose the truth behind the Rodent regime’s lies, liars and lairs. But the mendacious midget’s goon squads have been busy too. Opposition questioning last year revealed that between 1997 and early 2004, there were 111 Federal Police investigations into suspected leaks. From 2000 to 2004, the pursuit gobbled up nearly 33,000 police staff hours. Look out John Stanhope!
As the rabid Rodent tosses peanuts in aid at the 3 million Pakistanis made homeless by last week’s earthquake in Kashmir, as he chortles Mr Burns-like over his regressive, exploitative workplace “reforms” and greedily continues to gnaw his way through the viscera of Australia’s rotting body politic, this is Max Gross for Xenox News, adding up milestones, lubricating whetstones, and mulling over Vanstone.