Saturday, 27 June 2009

In the Navy

Tomorrow, the US warship USS Essex will arrive in Cairns for a week.

In its own breathless way, the Cairns Post describes the USS Essex as “the biggest warship ever to berth at Cairns Port”. Wow!

In the military news, USS Essex is described as an Amphibious Assault Ship, lead ship in the US Navy’s only forward deployed Amphibious Ready Group, and serves as the flagship for Combines Task Force 76, which is stationed in Okinawa.

In 2005, the ARG spent an unscheduled eight-months on “surge deployment” to North Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism.

Essex Sailors will be instrumental in accomplishing a primary goal of Exercise Talisman Sabre ‘09, which is to train Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Australian Deployable Joint Force Headquarters as a designated, combined task force.

On 17 June, the USS Essex loaded 1,400 Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, make the floating population of about 3,000. Two other ships, the USS Denver and Tortuga, will join the Essex, and they're all heading south to Exercise Talisman Sabre, near Rockhampton. It's costing more than a quarter billion dollars of consumable fuel, weapons and equipment (that's $43 million Aus, and US$212 million). It is all about making sure that Australian military forces can “plug in” to the US war-fighting machine and kill on request anywhere in the world as a loyal deputy. Did you know we've been fighting in Afghanistan for eight years now?

By the time this massive event makes it to the ABC, the story lost any military analysis. The issue is merely defined as a “$10 million boost to Townsville’s economy” that had to be foregone because Townsville’s Port is extra busy. In Cairns, apparently, we’re not that busy at all, and local tourism boosters are falling over themselves predicting huge, even awesome spending by drunken US Sailors.

Jeremy Blockey of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce says the ship is carrying around 5,000 and it is estimated it will inject as much as $12 million into our economy.

"If you wanted to equate it to aircraft arrivals, it would be about the same as about 12 absolutely full jumbo jets coming in," Blockey said. Presto Chango, the US military are tourists, just like anybody else.

By the time the story gets to the Cairns Post, Jeremy reckons the visit is worth up to $14 million (based on a very sophisticated analysis that each sailor will spend between around $400 a day for ten days, yet they're only in Cairns for a week - and in its editorial the warship visit is described as a “welcome blessing at a quiet time in a tourism town”.

Exercise Talisman Sabre was mentioned once in the lead article, and once in the editorial, but was not described or explained any further.

Local peace activist Bryan Law is part of a group that will demonstrate it's objection to the US military presence.

"We’ll have an organising meeting at our place on Saturday afternoon, and will carry out our usual citizens' inspection on Monday," Bryan says. "We’re due to leave for Talisman Sabre on Tuesday. We have a busy few weeks ahead."

56 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Montgomery said...

Trust Jeremy Blockey (Mayoral aspirations?) to see nothing but the money.

Nick said...

I hope someone invites me on board. Last time I visited a US naval vessel (in the 70's), I was treated to a very nice meal in he mess (Turkey !) and some excellent hooch on the top deck, but maybe times have changed...

By he way, if a Chinese( the liberators of Tibet), French or Japanese navy ship were to visit Cairns, will there be protests by these same group of people ?

colinwhodares said...

To bryan law , would you protest if an indonesian warship pulled into harbour ,sailors got off and murdered your family , you goose ,thank god america has our back !you are just a serial ego driven protester !

Syd Walker said...

I get the impression some people in the Chamber of Commerce would welcome the arrival in Cairns of a fleet of Vulcan Space Invaders, as long as came with juiced up credit cards.

Anyhow, good onya Bryan.

What the hell is the bankrupt USA doing sending warships it can't afford to places where there's no conceivable reason for sending them, other than what dogs do when they piss on posts?

Cairns Resident said...

Sure, Sure 400 dollars seems so logical. We might spend 100 to 150 a day. Were not loaded with money. 400 dollars a day for 10 days we'd have absolutly no money left to even spend on anything. payday for us isn't every week or by your count every 2 days. Its not logical. 10 days = 4000 dollars. :p

nocturnal congress said...

So if the sailors spend up big and behave themselves, then the tourist operators will all scream for the marines from Guam to come here on regular R & R. I guess we have to wait and see.

Constance Lloyd said...

I guess with the currency conversion rates added to the mathematical mix, the $A400 seems attainable.

colinwhodares said...

To all cairns locals and others ,everyone is free to come here ,that is what is great about australia ,ps cairns catch up !

Thornton On Spence said...

What is wrong with the serial protestor Bryan Law? This man obviously has a serious problem. Do Cairns and Australia a favour go and have your peace protest in North Korea or Iran right now.
Without the US Navy patrolling the waters of the world these crackpot and irrational Nations would be making themselves well known to Mr Law and friends.

Bryan Law said...

Dear Thornton, U R 100% correct. I have a serious problem, in that I am constitutionally unable to love money so much that I would do anything for it. So when you, Jeremy Blockey, the Ultimate Party bus, and the Tropical Babes (“sexy ladies Amber and Natasha all the way from Melbourne, Victoria” how tropical) all suggest Cairns should bend over and take it up the bottom line for US militarism, my answer comes back as “not on your Nellie mate”!

Colinwhodares, but who doesn’t know very much, wants to know how I’d feel if an Indonesian ship pulled up in Cairns and murdered my family. I’d probably feel like the families of the Balibo five, you know, those Australian journalists murdered in East Timor with the consent of the Australian government. One reason they’d feel that way is because Indonesia is a great deal more strategically important to the US than is Australia, and if Indonesia got into a conflict with Australia – well the US knows which side its bread is buttered on.

Exercise Talisman sabre is about the US and Australian forces invading another country and bombarding/over-running their cities. Its purpose is to standover other countries in the world so that scarce resources can be dug up, cut down and shipped to the west to maintain us in luxury while the poor starve. We’ve been fighting in Afghanistan for 8 years, and the situation is far worse now than it has ever been before. Pakistan is crumbling, and millions of displaced persons are living (and dying) in camps that provide Al Quaida with a steady stream of recruits.

Many Australians, and many Cairns residents it seems, are willing to live with that as long as there’s a dollar in it for them. I can’t go along with that.

I expect to have a lot of interesting discussions with US troops on Sunday and Monday, and I expect they will know a lot more about what’s going on in the world than most of the Cairns population. I’ll be encouraging them to put a high value on their lives, and to stop taking orders from greedy corporations like Haliburton and General Electric.

On Tuesday I’m going to Shoalwater Bay, where about a dozen fellow Christians nonviolence activists will be risking our lives and safety to stop these obscene war-games. Why don’t you join us Thornton?

colin riddell said...

If you hate the almighty dollar so much , how do you survive , and go to shoalhaven , pine gap ,and other locations bryan?

Bryan Law said...

I don't hate the dollar colin - I just don't worship it, and I put boundaries around what I'm willing to do for one. That's why I find it easy to spend money in a worthy cause instead of clinging to it in the hope it breeds.

Money - you can't eat it, and you can't take it with you!

nocturnal congress said...

I dare say the "sexy ladies" will also be out in force tomorrow.

colin riddell said...

bryan I know all that , where do you get your dollars , easy question ?

Bryan Law said...

Well colin I work part-time, my wife Margaret works full-time. I've had some inheritance money, and Margaret has had some family money. We don't get any welfare, and we live quite simply. Is that what you want to know?

Syd Walker said...

I'm very glad to hear it nocturnal. The sexiest ladies always used to attend peace demos. They usually wore rainbows, had piercings and smelled nice. :-)

Colin, now that you've harrassed personal information out of Bryan, would you care to publish your own tax returns on CairnsBlog, so we can all discuss any rorts you may have been up to and whether you're bludging off taxpayers?

nocturnal congress said...

I only work part-time. Yes, a person can live quite simply here in the warm climate.

Bryan Outlaw said...

Bryan Law puts "boundaries" about what he'll do for a dollar. Obviously that "boundary" includes useful, productive work for society. Him and his bludger buddy Syd have nothing but bad to say about anyone. That's what comes from too much free time.

It's the American defense largess towards Australia that allows us to have a whole host of socialist benefit programmes that don't exist in the USA. The welfare you mates collect, the free health care, and the free spray paint Bryan uses on signs he doesn't like all comes due exclusively to the American defense alliance. Without it, we'd be speaking Japanese and/or paying big bucks defending ourselves. Which we couldn't do with hopeless layabouts like Bryan & Syd.

And Michael, you really need to learn the difference between "its" and "it's". Embarassing.

Margaret Pestorius said...

Peace by Peace suspects the War Ships coming to Cairns on Sunday may NOT be Tourist Ships after all.

It's said they are carrying bombs, bullets, missiles and guns.
And that they are involved in wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

So we are having a
CITIZENS INSPECTION of the USS ESSEX and USS TORTUGA 12.30 pm Monday


You can come as early as 12 to help us set up and hand out leaflets. We have leaflets that encourage sailors and marines to access GI rights networks.
We have 10 inspection coats. We will make a collage and speak about the issues regarding the wars.

BRING

Photos and short new stories that document current military bombing of Pakistan and Afghanistan. We'll make a collage and tell those stories of civilian devastation.

MEET

End of Abbott St in Whart St right next to the old Yacht Club Site [ironic isn't it] - at the end of the new path and lovely landscaping.

At least one of us will insist on inspecting the warship

Brian Outlaw's Right Hand said...

To Brian Outlaw (Brian Law's stalker -note the possessive apostrophe) Thank God for the Socialists eh? Let's not start with the excesses of your mate John Howard or the current heir, the pompous Malcy. We all know their form from the past ten years - AWB Scandals, invading countries for reasons based on lies, children overboard, millions promoting your government.... shit like that...Now of course they are tilting at windmills trying hard to remember their recent neocon halcyon days by attacking the government over a ute. They're a bloody joke just like you.

Bryan Outlaw's mum said...

Has anyone seen my little Outlaw? He's a drug addict and registered sex offender - and he shouldn't be out at night, in case he exposes his tiny penis again in public.

colin riddell said...

syd , well actually I wont put my tax info on line in case you steal my identity , but my situation is nearly as bryans , bought and sold 5 properties in the last 7 yrs.
I work as a security guard at times , call centre work at times and my wife works
I have at times "bludged of the taxpayers" as you call it, I have a few medical issues, and am not working at the moment , as for "harrassing bryan" I find it hard to believe anyone could "harrass " him hhaa, as for me being involved in rorts not guilty your worship.what about you?

Syd Walker said...

Colin, perhaps I misunderstood the reason for your comments to Bryan. if I did, I apologize.

I do dislike what seems to be a push, by some of the commentators on this blog, to de-legitimize political activity on the basis of employment status / receipt of welfare. Bryan in particular seems to cop repeated (and evidently baseless) slurs about this, often from the infamous Outlaw. I think it indicates a nasty, anti-democratic mindset.

Myself? I run the odd Ponzi scheme and I have a contract with the North Korean Government to bring peaceful, harmonious civilization to the western world, paid by results. I organize email scams, have over 500 bogus accounts with Centrelink and I give cultural advice to the Russian Mafya. The rest is confidential. All this from my kennel in Myola. Now you can see why I campaign for better bandwidth in rural and regional Australia (that's a freebie).

I also have a nice small greenhouse emissions footprint. How's yours?

colin riddell said...

No syd was not offended , I would ask that of any protester,that seems to be able to go anywhere they like to protest ,nothing personal bryan.
I actually like some of his protesting , not to shy myself , it is just persons that protest against our allies crap me off. If they protested against ,china and everyone else that murders opponents/citizens as well I would admire them , but they seem to attack our allies more than the other murderous regimes !
As for ship now in port what a sight , just came back from there ,wow and I said to a marine I saw "welcome to australia" and he thanked me , I Did not say piss off you murdering mongrel.

Syd Walker said...

"to a marine ... I Did not say piss off you murdering mongrel."

I think that's very wise Colin. No use starting a brawl on the Esplanade. That would be like World War Two in FNQ, all over again.

The Chamber of Commerce is probably right. Take their money and smile. After all, these guys might be carrying nuclear, chemical and/or biological weapons (although they'd never 'confirm or deny' that to 'allies' such as the Australian public).

Best to leave upsetting them to experts such as Bryan Law, who gets special in-house training in how to be non-violently annoying.

Nick said...

I'm with you Colin.

By all means, demonstrate against the Americans, but be consistent and demonstrate against countries like China Russia or Zimbabwe, when they trample people's rights.If you have some spare time, how about a trip to the Iranian embassy ?

Similarly, I think it's fine when people take the piss out the Catholic Church. But would they dare to do the same with some other religions . Now that would take some courage...

I remember the reaction in the Muslim world about some fairly harmless cartoons...

Jude Johnston said...

The irony is that it is because our fathers allied themselves with the Americans, Brian et al can protest against them.

Alison Alloway said...

Nick, Muslims view Mohammed very differently from the way we Christians view Jesus Christ. The Dutch (?) cartoonist who drew the offending cartoon of Mohammed would most certainly have known this. Holland has had a sizeable Muslim population for many years.
Just because it is acceptable in the Christian world to profane and debase Jesus Christ, doesn't mean other religions should follow suit with their own prophets.

Bryan Outlaw - The Only Voice of Reasaonableness said...

Syd, you don't seem to understand that you have to work for democracy. I know Australians have had our freedom "gifted" to us, unlike the Americans and others who fought and died to protect their freedoms. Americans I'm quite sure would be the first to support Bryan Law's right to protest.

What others point out however is that with freedom come responsiblity. Bryan Law does nothing constructive or useful in the judgement of the community. He's often at "protests", but won't stick his neck out to inconvenience himself. Him and his sidekick hippie Margaret expend effort to attract attention to themselves, instead of any possible ligitimate issue that might be buried in their 1960's rhetoric.

And unlike legitimate protesters, who take their medicine like an adult, he's now engaged in wasting thousand of dollars fighting a vandalism charge he encouraged by inviting the media. If he'd be a man and pay his fine, many would be more tolerant. But to be such a dickhead child and continue to kick and scream, his motives are clear. Just like the six year old screaming at Cairns Central, it's a pathetic attempt to say "look at me". Sand and pathetic.

That's the difference between a community activist with integrity and the unwashed loser that is Bryan Law.

Think On This said...

Alison Alloway
There are Billions of people in the world. It doesn't matter what you say, do, or feel, - there will always be someone who will be offended by it. It is not possible for it to be any other way.
In parts of the world, if you profane or debase Jesus Christ, you will be killed. In other parts of the world if you praise Jesus Christ, you could also be killed. Do the same thing somewhere else, it will be a good joke.
Same thing for every religion or belief.
In a lot of countries in the world there is very limited access to a worldwide perspective, due to limited media access. In a number of countries, this is created by the Government, because by limiting media access to the population, they hope to maintain control of the minds of the people.
This can lead to some narrow-minded opinions and bigotry. It also allows a Government to more easily mobilise and indoctrinate its citizens, to its own ends, if required.
You can never please, or appease, everone. I wish you could!

Bryan Law said...

Three Myths that Mislead.

First is the personal attack, based on lies quite freely made up, that aim to discredit the messenger without ever acknowledging the message (hello Mr Outlaw). Hence I’m a welfare bludger (even though I work and don’t get welfare). Then I’m supposed to be wholly negative and abusive. Colin riddle implies that I would say “piss off you murdering mongrel” to US troops (reality is I talk with US troops about the advocacy group “GI Rights” which extends legal and personal support to troops experiencing difficulties in their service).

The reality of war is that front line troops are commonly abused, lied to, and put at risk by nefarious and incompetent commanders who gain personally and politically from war, but need someone else to fight it. I remember when this was part of the ANZAC fabric (the misuse of Australian troops by English generals) and it re-surfaced in PNG during WW2, and Vietnam. Peace by Peace puts human rights at the very centre of ALL our actions. So when our critics tell lies about us instead of addressing the issues, I’d like it if people made them stick to the issues and respond to what’s happening in the ugly, murderous wars Australia is now engaged in.

Bryan Law said...

Second is the way people pretend some kind of moral equivalence between the US, China, Iran, North Korea etc, and make the claim that any fair-minded peace activist would somehow spend equal time condemning them all. The reality is that I’m an Australian citizen, and Australia does not play any role in fighting wars on behalf of China, Iran etc. When was the last time a North Korean warship visited Cairns? In reality, we are preparing to fight wars against those countries with our allies, the US.

I could mount a pretty decent argument that since the beginning of the 20th Century the US has killed more civilians, and destroyed more civilian infrastructure through the waging of aggressive war that any other country on Earth. If I started my count from 1965 there isn’t any question at all. So as an Australian peace activist my job is to do everything I can to keep Australian policy and action “right” and “peaceful”. This means approaching the US alliance with some independence and candour – factors largely missing today from our political life.

Bryan Law said...

Third is the idea, completely without foundation, that the US guarantees our freedoms and civil liberties, and we would “all be speaking Japanese” without Big Brother and his big stick. The reality is that most civil rights in the west spring first of all from Magna Carta and Habeas Corpus, limits placed on the Divine Right of Kings to imprison folk without trial. The Bush administration in the US suspended Habeas Corpus in Guantanamo Bay, and Obama has not yet fully brought it back.

I studied the pacific War at Uni, and the kinds of policy decisions made by Britain and the US between WW1 and WW2 were the most racist dribble aimed at containing and keeping subordinate Japan. Remember this was the time of “white Australia”. Ask yourself what might have happened if Australia had conducted then the kind of diplomacy and trade relations we conduct now with Japan. The Pacific War would have been avoided.

Finally on this point there have always been citizens’ movements in Britain, Australia and the US which have protected and advanced civil rights. Eureka stockade, trade unions, suffrage for women, Aboriginal rights, human rights. People have won these freedoms and advances through struggle, organisation and sacrifice by the strong-hearted. Anyone who claims they are a free gift from a foreign country does the greatest disrespect to those who went before us, and left for us the legacy of a democratic Australia rising out of a penal settlement.

Bryan Law said...

Come and join us! 12.30 pm, cnr Wharf and Abbott St today. Lay claim to your democratic heritage. Make clear your opposition to war. Stand up for what you believe in. It's not as hard as you might think, and it offers hope for the future.

Plus if you act now, you'll get a free set of steak knives, and probably win a Nigerian Lottery.

Cheers
Bryan

colin riddler said...

brian lawlessness ,see I can play with your surname also you fool !
I have met big useless protesters like you , that care more about themselves than the supposed protest , as outlaw said earlier take your medicine from desleys crew ,you loved the camera on the days you defaced their property , and no I won,t join you in your barefaced grab for attention on the local news .

Thornton On Spence said...

So Bryan how many of the Troops as you refer to them were you able to educate with your extensive knowledge of Worldly matters and your Christian beliefs? Did they in fact even care about your presence....I am sure not!!! You just carry on with your illegal grafiti. Try spray painting their ship and challenge them with a subpeona.
I hope the US Navy enjoy their stay in this City and realise we are not all feral like you.

Alison Alloway said...

I agree absolutely Think on This. The actions therefore by the Dutch newspaper was deliberately provocative, but in keeping with the general Western media actions of the time in demonising the Muslim religion. You don't have to lecture me.

nocturnal congress said...

I wandered down and had a gander at the ships. Couldn't help but notice all the baby faced US sailors walking up to the CBD. Average age must have been about 19I reckon.

Alison Alloway said...

Bryan, you are right about how the Japanese were put down in Australia prior to WW11. In many places they were denied basic rights similar to aborigines. It is a part of our history which has been well covered up. Perhaps the time might be ripe for some student of modern history to do a thesis on it!

america is great said...

Just returned from the wharf ,were channel seven were lined up along with the cairns post to witness the mass demonstration brian lawless organised ,well there was 11 of them in white coats ,which is apt considering his juvenile attempt to embarrass our allies !
He and his motley crew were laughed at by bemused residents !wonder how the media were lined up before the throng launched their offensive ? tipped off by mr me me me

Nick said...

Alison,

It was a Dutch film-maker, who had his throat slashed by a Dutch Muslim, because of perceived insult of Islam. It was also a Dutch Muslim MP (from Somali descent) who had to go into hiding after denouncing the Muslim faith. She objected to many facets of the Muslim faith like forced marriages, rape in marriage, female circumcision and the general inequality of women( and many moderate Muslims would agree with her).

It was a Danish newspaper that published the cartoons.It was no deliberate attack on Islam, it was about suicide bombers.

Do you condone murder and bomb attacks as a reaction to the right of free speech in the Netherlands and Denmark ?

I can assure you that many Christians feel offended and hurt when people insult their faith, but they don't resort to violence at the slightest perceived insult.

The tension that has developed in the Netherlands between Muslims and non-Muslims is from the last 10 years. Most of the Muslims I am referring to here are 3rd generation Dutch from Moroccan descent,who have embraced a radical extreme version of the Muslim faith.

I grew up in the Netherlands and lived and worked with many Muslims in the 70's. As a society, the Netherlands (and Denmark as well) bent over backwards to accommodate our Muslim new-comers and there was a great deal of mutual respect and tolerance.

It is not as if these people were ever being suppressed or held against their will.We did not invade their territories or steal their resources.

What has developed is that this tolerance is now increasingly being met with intolerance. There are calls for the banning of pork and alcohol, Dutch girls are called whores, because of the way they dress and behave (gang rapes, not dissimilar from the ones that took place in Sydney are being explained away, because the victim"was asking for it") while Muslim girls are being "guarded' by male relatives and get attacked if they go out with non-Muslim boys or refuse to be forced into arranged marriages.

Then we have groups of Moroccan youth singing anti Jewish slogans like : Gas all Jews" at soccer matches.It is not strange that Dutch people react to this and object to their free and tolerant society being dragged backwards by extremists whose mindset is set in the Middle Ages.

Many of these people are stuck in a time-warp and would be considered as extremist in their countries of origin, which have developed a more moderate and modern attitude over the years.

You might have access to all sort of alternative news services and blogs and read books to get your information. My knowledge on this is first hand, by having lived in and regularly visited these places.

While you are suspicious about the main stream media (and with good reason), you seem to be very "uncritical" about the type of information you receive from your other sources.

Alison Alloway said...

Nick, I try to talk with as many people as possible living inside the various countries.

I have spoken with Moroccans living in Holland...they tell me there is rising fanaticism because of anti-Americanism and also because of poverty and marginalisation in Holland.

Not all Muslim countries have forced marriages or circumcism of women. In my own studies of the Qu'uran, I can't find any references there whatsoever to circumcism.

I also grew up with Muslims. There is a small but significant population in Mareeba...and no, they are not all Albanians. There was never any problems with the group.

Before you lecture me on discrimination of women Nick, I would remind you I am in my 50s, so have lived through some of the worst elements of discrimination towards women in my own country. Having a natural interest in feminism, I have been following womens movements around the world, in particular the Afghani Womens Group RAWA.

Dutchie said...

Nick, thanks for setting the record straight about the cartoon being Danish, and issues facing not only Holland but many other countries in the EU, even though this discussion hasn't got much to do with the initial topic...

Nick said...

"I have spoken with Moroccans living in Holland...they tell me there is rising fanaticism because of poverty and marginalisation in Holland."

Indeed, but how are the Dutch to blame for that ? Muslims of Turkish descent have integrated and prospered very well. The opportunities and support have always been there, yet some groups do better than others.

"Not all Muslim countries have forced marriages or circumcism of women. In my own studies of the Qu'uran, I can't find any references there whatsoever to circumcism ".

That's exactly my point. And people object to those type of practices being introduced into a modern, secular society ,all in the name of Islam, especially when they have nothing to do with Islam.

"Before you lecture me on discrimination of women Nick, I would remind you I am in my 50s, so have lived through some of the worst elements of discrimination towards women in my own country."

I wouldn't dream of lecturing you on feminism , Alison. I am also in my 50's and my mother was and still is a staunch feminist.

I think it is fair to say that the Dutch, with the Scandinavians, were in the forefront of the struggle for gender equality.
This is precisely why people object to backward practices being re-introduced in the Netherlands.People do not want Sharia law and intolerant, extremist beliefs in their society.

Theo van Gogh said as much and paid with his life. Ayaan Hirsi Ali said as much and received death threats. Read some of her writings, as it might give you a different perspective.

Finally, as Dutchie pointed out, this is totally off-topic, but I'll gladly continue this debate elsewhere.

As far as protests go against the American ships. There was a navy vessel from NZ in town recently. NZ troops are also in Afghanistan, but I did not see any protests. I did not see any protests when Australian navy ships returned from active duty either.There was also a French navy ship in town a while ago. The French are also involved in Afghanistan (and let's not mention the Rainbow Warrior !), yet not a protester in sight. Do I spot some inconsistency here ?

Alison Alloway said...

Nick, the Moroccans I spoke with were very Westernised. I don't know how Holland handles poverty, but poverty is a perfect breeding incubator for unrest. Australia has largely avoided much of this because of our welfare state.
I'm going to end my conversation on this and with you. I have spent many years studying the Middle East, made many contacts, spent thousands of hours speaking with Muslim people around the world, made some very dear friends in Iraq, acquired a good library on the Middle East and am planning to do a tour of ME countries.
I am one of the very few Australians who has taken the time and effort to be well informed, however you have trivialised my opinions and views in a boorish and supercilious manner at all times. Goodbye.

Syd Walker said...

Alison, I think FNQ is fortunate to have your obvious expertise on issues to do with the Arab and Muslim worlds.

It would be nice to think Jim Turnour regularly draws on such expertise from within his electorate - so he doesn't just parrot handed-down talking-points from the 'Rudd Labor Government'.

After all, the clever Japanese could build a robot to do that - and even make it look like Noddy.

Alison Alloway said...

Syd, I actually applied for a position as Electorate Officer with Jim Turnour, but did not get the job. However, I was able to speak with both Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan about the fate of Iraqi refugees. I was very close to Kevin Rudd when I raised the issue and was pleasantly surprised to see a rapid display of emotions on his face. (Unlike Swan who has cold eyes.) Rudd displays emotion. He took about two minutes before replying that he was aware of the dreadful human cost of the Iraq war and that if elected as Prime Minister he would try and do something. Julian Burnside whom I also spoke with on the same subject told me that "the Rudd Government are keeping the lines of communication open on refugees, and that is the difference between them and the previous Government."
I was pleased to see that Rudd has permitted a couple of hundred Iraqis "who helped the Australian troops" to migrate to Australia.
It isn't much, I know, but I like to think I may have had some bearing on that. I guess we just do what we can. I believe one day Australia will be asked to "cough up" big for our share of war reparations for Iraq. The tragedy is, we only had one politician in Australia speaking out against the illegal war...Bob Brown.

Nick said...

Alison,

It is a petty you get offended when people don't agree with you.

What is really weird is that you think I have trivialised your opinions and views somehow.I have done no such thing, but as a self-proclamed expert on Muslims and the Middle East you obviously don't tolerate any dissent.

The Moroccans I was talking about are very Westernised too. In fact they were born in Holland.

I don't know where you get your information from re. poverty in Holland, but the welfare system in Holland makes Australia look like a third world country. No poverty in Australia ? How blind are you ?
You don't have to look very far...

Maybe you should broaden your mind a bit and expose yourself to a few different opinions. have you read Ayaan Hirsi Ali yet ?

Goodbye and enjoy your blissful ignorance...

colinwhodares said...

Gee Allison you were doing ok until you called bob brown a politician, I cannot get the sight of him in canberra leaping over the top of fellow pollies to shake the hand of dubya bush , talk about a two faced cur , he lost me for good that day , it would have done billy slater justice , all that AFTER he bagged him before his visit , weirdo that bloke !

Alison Alloway said...

Colin, the sycophancy of Australian politicians towards the American President is galling to say the least. However Bob Brown did speak out against the Iraq War.
The one thing I admired about Maggie Thatcher was that she demanded and received equality with the American President.

colinwhodares said...

Alison this is what I was talking about -By Terry Cook and Mike Head
25 October 2003
The Greens are neither genuine opponents of imperialist war nor of the criminal policies of the Bush administration. That is why, after making his limited protest, Brown rushed to shake Bush’s hand, later boasting that he “got a double handshake”.
He looked like the biggest bum kisser of all time!ps I liked maggie t , one tough woman/leader.

Alison Alloway said...

Hehehe Colin. I never liked Thatcher much. I was just impressed how she stood up and demanded and got equality with Raegan. I am friendly with a retired couple here in Cairns who were members of the same Conservative Party branch in London as Thatcher. Their opinions of Thatcher have just surprised me...they despised her and cannot say a single good word about her! An odd thing...Thatcher was developing Alzheimer's when she was leader of the Conservative Party. Raegan of course also had the first stages of Alzheimer's while in office. Scarey stuff!

Syd Walker said...

I think the more humane treatment of refugees has been one of the clearest and most positive differences between the Rudd Government and its predecessor.

If you helped achieve that, Alison, good on you. You scored a win.

Alison Alloway said...

Syd, I like to think I may have had some input.

Bryan Law said...
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