Thursday, November 10, 2005

Howard has increased the Risk of terrorism

Repost from Anarchist Age Number 667

"The Prime Minister vindicated by the arrest of terror suspects in Melbourne and Sydney" hardly. Those Australians who doubted the PM's sincerity when they questioned the timing of his release of information into the public arena that Australia faced the prospect of an imminent terrorist outrage, have egg on their faces, I doubt it. I distinctly remember how John Howard, his brow furrowed, told Australians that he didn't want people who threw their children overboard in this country. Four years later, it's commonly accepted that no refugee threw their children overboard and the great majority of asylum seekers involved in that incident now live in Australia.


I distinctly remember the PM telling the world that Australia couldn't wait for the UN to make up its mind about whether Iraq should be invaded, because the Baath Party, led by Saddam Hussein, had weapons of mass destruction at their disposal. Nearly 3 years later, those elusive weapons have still not materialised.

Whether the terror suspects that have been arrested and charged were involved in something as innocent as a discussion group or whether they were, as he has been extensively reported in the media on the verge of committing a terrorist outrage, is a matter for public conjecture. It's up to the courts, not the PM, the Victorian and NSW Premiers, their Chief Police Commissioners or the media to decide these men's innocence or guilt. [It's not even up to the courts when the courts have to do as the parliament say i.e. draconian laws.]

Currently, both the view that these men were arrested by the thought police for they were thinking or the community has been saved from a terrorist outrage by a group of potential suicide murders, is legitimate. [No both views are not legitimate mate, this is rubbish because these people are being used as scapegoats to bolster support for the Coalition of the Killing's resource wars in the Middle East, otherwise the law would never have been made DRACONIAN.] If the judiciary is able to hold its nerve, despite the current political and media barrage to convict these men before they have faced their accusers in court, the community will find out the outcome in due course. [No not really because Draconian laws means that the outcome, my friend, is bent, all you are getting is the DRACONIAN OUTCOME.]

Unfortunately, the next group of people who are arrested under the new batch of terrorist and sedition laws won't be so lucky. [You mean it gets worse?] They will be able to be secretly detained and interrogated with minimal judicial intervention and no media scrutiny. They can have what few rights and liberty they enjoy stripped away from them, their lives and the lives of their families and communities destroyed, because some faceless bureaucrat in ASIO believes they pose a potential threat to the community. [Well actually it can't get much worse than solitary confinement for anyone because that in itself without any other mistreatment is torture.]

The removal of rights and privileges, checks and balances that have existed for generations will not make the community safer as John Howard keeps telling us, but will create a climate of angry disillusionment and isolation among sections of the Australian community that will increase, not decrease, the possibility of a home grown terrorist outrage.


Irrespective of the state of perpetual fear that the Howard government is fostering in the community, irrespective of the draconian authoritarian legislation that is being pushed through Parliament, irrespective of the total capitulation of the Federal Opposition, ultimate political authority rests in the hands of the people, not the government of the day or the State. The Federal government can pass whatever legislation it likes, whether it is able to enforce that legislation is a different matter.

Governments normally rule through community consensus, not by force. Those that resort to force, sow the seed of rebellion among the people they rule. Whether the Howard government is able to implement its legislative agenda is not determined by its ability to push its legislation through Parliament, but whether it can convince people that the curtailment of their rights, privileges and freedoms is in their best interests. Governments that stop listening to the people they rule, who believe they know what is best for them, create a culture of dissatisfaction and resistance within the communities they rule.

A government's legitimacy is determined by the cultural consensus it is able to create within the community for its political program. Once a significant minority rejects a government's legitimacy, its ability to impose its political program on them by exercising the monopoly on force governments enjoy, is compromised. It seems the Howard government has bitten off more than it can chew; the resistance to Howard's ideological wet dream is not just limited to a disenfranchised minority, it is extending into his own party room.

The instability that is being created by his four pronged attack on the Australian people by the passage of his Industrial Relations (Destruction), anti-terrorist (Dissent), Welfare to Work (Slavery) and media ownership laws, will escalate as the Howard government tries to implement its legislative agenda by threatening to bankrupt and imprison those that oppose these laws.

Whether the corporate sector and his political supporters have the nerve and stomach to wield the big stick that he is threatening to use and put the significant gains they have made over the past 20 under threat, or whether they sacrifice Howard on the altar or economic and political expediency, is another matter.


How convenient, on the very day the Howard government introduced its Industrial 'Destruction' legislation into Parliament, the Prime Minister breathlessly tells the Australian people that he has just received information that the country faces an imminent terrorist outrage. Ho hum, I wonder if the people who passed on the information that ASIO has passed onto the Prime Minister, has come from the very same people that told the Prime Minister that Australia had to invade Iraq because the Baath Party has 'weapons of mass destruction' at their disposal.

John Howard hasn't much of a reputation when it comes to telling the truth. When you consider his core and non core promises, the children overboard fiasco and his never never a GST saga, any sane rational person isn't going to take much notice of the boy who has learned to call wolf whenever he doesn't want people to pay close attention to what he is doing. If we faced a potential terrorist outrage, you'd think he'd do something about it, instead of recalling the Senate.

First, he is responsible for creating the conditions that have increased Australia's risk of becoming a terrorist target, then he uses that potential risk to divert the public's attention from legislation that will wipe away from the gains made through over 100 years of community and workplace struggle. Talk about Machiavellian; Machiavelli was an amateur when compared to our beloved Prime Minister.

Howard may think he can fool most of the people most of the time, but there is no way he is going to fool all of us all the time. There are terrorists living in Australia, they wear suits, appear on television during the evening news and use the spectre of terrorism to bolster their political position. They push legislation through Parliament that does more damage than any terrorist outrage could ever do. The Industrial 'Destruction' legislation that is being lobbed into Parliament by the Prime Minister with the adroitness of an SAS soldier throwing a hand grenade into a bunker, will eventually maim and kill thousands of Australians.

Yes Virginia, politicians do exist who will use all the means at their disposal to deflect the fourth estate's attention from the main parliamentary game. Fortunately for the country, there are an increasing number of Australians who have learnt to ignore the boy who's called wolf once too often, and have their eyes firmly on the only game in town the Industrial 'Destruction' legislation - that has been introduced into Parliament by a government that has deserted its constituents in favour of corporate Australia.

Read more at:

By Joseph Toscano posted 10 November 05

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