The peril of traveling as a pillion passenger

July 18th, 2005

In an article about the report from the Royal Institute of International Affairs (which also goes under the name of Chatham House) written by Paul Wilkinson and Frank Gregory, two academics specialising in terrorism have found that:

“A key problem…is that the Government has been conducting counter-terrorism policy shoulder to shoulder with the United States, not in the sense of being an equal decision-maker but rather as a pillion passenger compelled to leave the steering to the ally in the driving seat. There is no doubt that the situation over Iraq has imposed particular difficulties for the UK and for the wider coalition against terrorism.”
“Riding pillion with a powerful ally has proved costly in terms of British and American military lives, Iraqi lives, military expenditure and the damage caused to the counter-terrorism campaign.”

The UK’s Foreign Secretary has come out saying,

“I am astonished Chatham House is now saying that we should not have stood shoulder to shoulder with our long-standing allies.”

Is the role of Foreign Minister/Secretary deliberately given to an idiot or is this just a coincidence?
We have Alexander Downer here here here here here here here here here here and here.

The UK has Jack Straw.

Evidence of HoWARd’s rhetoric believed to be with WMD’s

July 13th, 2005

"If you imagine that you can buy immunity from fanatics by curling yourself in a ball, apologising to the world for who you are and what you stand for and what you believe in, not only is that morally bankrupt but it’s also ineffective because fanatics despise a lot of things and the thing they despise most is weakness and timidity,"

This is HoWARd’s statement, but is it based on evidence or is it empty rhetoric?

Professor Robert Pape from the University of Chicago is the author of a new book, Dying to Win. This book provides the first data-based analysis of suicide bombers.

"From Hezbollah in Lebanon to Hamas on the West Bank to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, every group mounting a suicide campaign over the past two decades has had as a major objective – or as its central objective – coercing a foreign state that has military forces in what the terrorists see as their homeland to take those forces out. The presumed connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism is misleading and may be encouraging domestic and foreign policies likely to worsen America’s situation and to harm many Muslims needlessly."-Robert Pape

Then we find this data.

"The most important admission of the Department of Defense report is that historical data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the United States."

Former president Jimmy Carter, some years after he left the White House, was unambiguous in his concordance with the above and below sentiment

"We sent Marines into Lebanon and you only have to go to Lebanon, to Syria or to Jordan to witness first-hand the intense hatred among many people for the United States because we bombed and shelled and unmercifully killed totally innocent villagers, women and children and farmers and housewives, in those villages around Beirut. As a result of that we became kind of a Satan in the minds of those who are deeply resentful."

Scarily we see a high level of education and opportunity in almost half of the suicide bomber profiles.

"[…] operating on the blithe assumption that the suicide terrorists were all poor, young Islamic radicals. In fact, 42% have post-secondary educations, and they’re part of concerted campaigns with coherent goals." – Robert Pape

Nowhere is there evidence that states that we (the west) are targeted because we are weak and timid.
If this were the case then homeless shelters and women’s refuges would also be targeted.

I’m not with HoWARd or Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said –

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid."

HoWARd – redundant rhetoric from a redundant time.

Applying the “Costello principle”

July 12th, 2005

Recently treasurer Peter Costello postulated that if you are not an expert on a specific subject, despite your public standing, or your formal qualifications in another discipline or your thoughts as a citizen, your comments should not impress other members of the community.
His arrogant quote was:

"Archbishop Aspinall is entitled to his opinion, but he is not an industrial relations expert. When an Anglican archbishop speaks on IR, he has every right to speak but his views on IR shouldn’t be given any special weight I don’t believe because of his theological training"

Well Peter LLB(Hons)BA, by applying your own principle let’s just all ignore you this year and last year. You are not qualified in theology, demography, sociology, social anthropology, social psychology or youth work so get the qualifications or be deemed irrelevant.

I’m starting my "Costello principle" by ignoring the following piece of pious, patronising, pap justifying his address to the Hillsong Conference this year.

"[…] My job was to bring a greeting and to welcome the crowd on behalf of the Australian Government. You know, we think events like this are important, frankly, to see young people, without any drugs, partaking in music, hearing great biblical truths I think is a good thing actually. I think it strengthens our society and it builds on values which are important for our society."

Image from here

We have measured, statesman-like responses, and then we have Kim…

July 9th, 2005

“This brutal, indiscriminate, unforgivable attack on innocent people going about their daily lives is a mark of the depraved character of the people who carried it out.” -HoWARd

“What happened today again testifies to the fact that all of us are doing too little to unite our forces effectively in the struggle against terrorism.”-Putin

“It is important, however, that those engaged in terrorism realise that our determination to defend our values and our way of life is greater than their determination to cause death and destruction to innocent people in a desire impose extremism on the world. Whatever they do it is our determination that they will never succeed in destroying what we hold dear in this country and in other civilised nations throughout the world.”-Blair

“The war on terror goes on. I was most impressed by the resolve of all the leaders in the room. Their resolve is as strong as my resolve. And that is we will not yield to these people, will not yield to the terrorists. We will find them, we will bring them to justice, and at the same time, we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate.”-Bush:

“These terrorists are subhuman filth who must be captured and eliminated and we condemn them and their evil.”-Beazley

Yes the terrorist bombings in London are barbaric and yes they are unjust, but Kim’s dehumanising hate speech will not help. Anger is a part of the grieving process, however, hate is not useful.
Hate scares people and Kim’s hate scares me.
Hating has very little hope of resolution. It usually just becomes more entrenched and pervasive.
Hate mixed with power is dangerous. It can create a climate in which the powerful feel they can dehumanise and degrade other humans with impunity. Once a society dehumanises someone it can do anything to them.

If Kim “the-opposition’s-offering-of-candidate-to-oust-HoWARd” Beazley is serious about being Prime Minister of Australia one day then he needs to employ a more measured, statesman-like response.

Image from here

Contact therapy

July 4th, 2005

I am so pleased that Barnaby Joyce has bouncer on his resume.
He’s going to need to draw on everything he learned from Griff at the Wicklow Hotel in Armidale to best the undesirable elements of this government that is out to alter his opinions.
Members of the Ministry of Alteration Tony Abbott and Mark Vaile were seen waiting around the back of Parliament House, one with a phone book at the ready and the other waving an auctioneer’s hammer.

Alexander Downer will no doubt need little persuasion to chase Barnaby down…

Image from here