Friday 23 November 2007

New leadership needed to stop terror

CairnsBlog contributing writer Sid Walker, shares his views on why you are meant to be afraid.

This election reminds me of the election of Tony Blair and ‘New Labour’ in Britain a decade ago.

A popular, youngish, evidently very bright yet ‘conservative’ Labour leader faces up to a Tory machine that has previously won a string of elections and was starting to look invincible. This time, what was hard before suddenly seems easy. Instead of a relentless Conservative onslaught, the Government implodes, looking tired, sleazy and well out of time.

A smiling Labour Leader, previously given a wink and a nod by Rupert Murdoch in person - is promoted as preferred national leader by more than half the Murdoch media. I can imagine it now... he raise his arms in triumph on election night. At long, long last! Labour is back in national Government! Well done Tony/Kevin!

In Britain, Blair in Government looked good in a number of policy areas for some time. But, with the benefit of hindsight, we know the tawdry way his leadership concluded.

By the end of his time as Prime Minister, Blair’s achievements were overshadowed by sinister aspects of his administration. He acted as though this was unfair, but must know why he came to be hated so widely, in his own country - let alone in the countries he helped destroy. His malfeasance was so dreadful – out of character, really, with the essential decency the man displayed in other policy areas. It was as though he got completely of his depth c 2001 and became progressively more beholden to malign influences that pushed him towards deceit and war - forcing him to serve as mouthpiece for lines he must have known were lies.

Blair’s willingness to join wars based on blatant falsehoods, his ever-deepening bias towards the Zionist cause in the middle east and his willingness at home to legislate for a police state – these are the things he will be most remembered for in the long run. He will be remembered with contempt.

Ten years on, Kevin Rudd seems to be coming to power in Australia in eerily similar circumstances. He leads a ‘reformed’, rather conservative Labor Party. He has Murdoch’s nod. Unlike the reviled Latham, this is a man some powerful people indeed have decided to tolerate – if not support – at least for the time being.

On foreign policy, with the sole exception of committing to a withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Rudd’s Labor offers little change to existing policy. Australia, we are given to understand, will continue to play a role – albeit, perhaps, somewhat less gung-ho than before – in the Anglo-block that’s become a serial offender for unprovoked murderous acts against Israel’s unofficially-nominated, yet very obvious, hit list.

Labor has pledged to remain part of the occupying forces in Afghanistan – an invasion/occupation based on lies every bit as vile as those which pole-vaulted ‘the west’ into Iraq 18 months later.

As for the ‘war on terror’, Labor will presumably continue this charade (controversially, I believe the 'War on Terror' is mainly a succession of false-flag operations perpetrated by min-named ‘intelligence agencies’ that operate outside of any meaningful public accountability – glued together by a well-orchestrated media-driven narrative and constantly refreshed by the mass participation of conformist politicians).

The rash of Australia’s 21st century anti-civil liberties laws… rushed through the Parliament in a series of manufactured panics about the perils of ‘homegrown Islamic terrorism’, will presumably remain on the statute books.

Australia under Labor may become a kinder, more decent, more civilized country. I truly hope it does. At long last, some progress on climate change is imaginable. That alone is reason to preference Labor over the Coalition when voting on Saturday.

The things, however, that were most sordid about Howard’s term in office are “unmentionables” in the mainstream media and will doubtless stay that way.

Labor under Rudd will probably accommodate the undeclared evil in our midst. The ‘real’ Axis of Evil, I believe, extends from the Military Industrial Complex, through our mis-named and unaccountable western ‘Intelligence Services’, to the biased, highly centralized and increasingly despised mass media. This forms the matrix within which political parties and individual politicians find themselves embedded. They operate on a pre-set stage, in a tragicomedy with limited scope for improvisation.

In Blair’s case, the matrix led to his complete corruption. Others – like Michael Foot in Britain, and Mark Latham in Australia - never got a real chance of success.

At the time of writing, it seems probable that Rudd will get a go. In less than 24 hours we head to the polls. Bookies and pollsters agree the ALP may is likely to win a remarkable electoral victory - a victory few expected until recently. We’ll therefore find out how he copes over time with the matrix of war, deceit and manipulation – and how it copes with him.

Here is a suggestion for Mr Rudd that seems, to me, utterly reasonable - yet I’d be flabbergasted (and highly impressed) if he ever takes it up.

To combat terrorism, Australia surely needs a full and thorough public inquiry into the one terrorist incident that has occurred on Australian soil? Agreed? If so - how about an Inquiry into the 1978 Hilton bombings?

Despite a unanimous vote in the NSW Legislative Assembly in the early 90s, when John Hatton (an independent precursor to Peter Andren) shamed both the major parties into supporting the call for a Royal Commission, to this day there has never been an inquiry. One of the victims, former NSW policeman Terry Griffiths, has long demanded this. Thirty years is a long time to wait for a semblance of justice.

Hatton was outfoxed, because although the NSW Parliament called for an inquiry, both parties knew the Feds would refuse. And they did.

Labor was in Government in Canberra at that time. Labor’s leaders in the '90s were apparently unwilling to risk embarrassing the ‘intelligence services’, despite indications of their complicity in the murder of Australian citizens. The media showed no interest in following up.

Will Rudd get on top of the ‘State Security’ racket - more powerful now than it was a decade ago? Can he? Would he be able to do so – even if he showed sufficient awareness of the issues and an inclination to display unprecedented political bravery?

On the radio this morning, I hear Kevin Rudd talking chirpily about the need for a "hard line approach" when it comes to the ‘War on Terror’.

I agree. We do need a serious ‘anti-Terror’ policy. Mass atrocities perpetrated against innocent people are the antithesis of decent behaviour.

The first step to a serious ‘anti-Terror’ policy – from now on at the very least - is to commit to holding open and thorough public inquiries in the event that Australia ever again suffers terrorist incidents. Indeed, this should be legislated. It’s too important to leave to governments of the day, governments that are easily subject to blackmail and/or other forms of coercion and treat the public interest and due process with contempt, as long as the mass media lets them get away with it.

Now that would be New Leadership.


Anonymous said...

Not my intended take-home message, anon.

The opposite of kleptocracy is not apathy.

As Jefferson said: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".

Anonymous said...

sid, surely eternal vigilance means more than kicking at the shins of tall men. If you don't like the course of the nation, then offer alternatives. Nothing is more petty than whining about all that is wrong, and offering no alternatives...
I thought I got your take home message pretty clearly...

Anonymous said...

Oh well said, sid. Yes, even some of us dedicated Laborites have some concerns. Can Rudd extricate Australia from the matrix of evil the US neo-cons have woven? Can he halt some of the excesses of neo-conservatism and free market ecnonomics? Will Rudd's "war on terror" only deliver more infringements on our liberties as it did under Howard?
I don't know the answers sid, but rest assured there are many of us who are AWARE of these issues and prepared to have party input.

Anonymous said...

sid is right again too. The corporate media have sided with Rudd and the Labor Party this election, largely I think because of the AUSTRALIA'S RIGHT TO KNOW campaign. The ALP has been the only party to commit itself to reforming freedom of information, free speech, protection for whistleblowers etc. in response to a concerted campaign by Australia's media bosses. Actually the ALP has quite a good policy there on line. They need to ensure however that State ALP Governments follow suit.