Australia has a habit of shaming itself on the world stage generally at the hands of the LNP. Kevin Andrews did it Tony Abbott made us a laughing stock and now Peter Dutton’s defence of the AFP raids on the Press have convinced the world we too are like Turkey and Bangladesh. (ODT)Photo: Innes Willox said investors would be unnerved if public servants could access confidential data. (ABC: Jeremy Story Carter)Related Story: Labor should ‘think carefully’ about national security laws in wake of AFP raids, MP says
Australian Industry Group chief says the AFP raids “set back Australia’s reputation internationally”
He is concerned the precedent set by the raids could extend to business
He says the AFP’s reputation has also been damaged
Unless there is a concerted effort by the west to abandon the surveillance state into which we are all being drawn, it is highly likely that the journalism that relies on dissent to expose the great injustices perpetrated by governments, particularly when they hide behind the cloak of national security, will be journalism of the past. It won’t disappear overnight, but will fade slowly over the years, like the democracy it defends.
Retired general called for more aggression towards Isis, as ex-CIA chief David Petraeus reportedly in race for secretary of state
UNSW report claims Australia “putting national security interests ahead of privacy”.
There has been a major break in the decade-long fight to unveil records related to the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of political organizations in the 1960s and 1970s. In recent years, the NYPD has come under fire for spying on Muslim communities and the Occupy Wall Street movement. But decades ago, the NYPD spied extensively on political organizations, including the Young Lords, a radical group founded by Puerto Ricans modeled on the Black Panther Party. The Young Lords staged their first action in July 1969 in an effort to force the City of New York to increase garbage pickups in East Harlem. They would go on to inspire activists around the country as they occupied churches and hospitals in an attempt to open the spaces to community projects. Among their leaders was Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. We speak with Baruch College professor Johanna Fernández, who has fought for a decade to obtain records related to the NYPD’s surveillance of the group. Last month, the city claimed it had lost the records. But this week its municipal archive said it had found more than 520 boxes, or about 1.1 million pages, apparently containing the complete remaining records. We’re also joined by Fernández’s attorney, Gideon Oliver.
The last thing the prime minister wanted to talk about on the first day of the new financial year was the economy. Firmly on his agenda is the existential threat to Australia posed by a “death cult”, and boat people. Both politically more fertile ground than the ballooning debt and deficit he promised to fix but now doesn’t talk about much, if at all.
There in the Great Hall of the parliament, Tony Abbott called on a higher being to safeguard the nation. Sounding more like an American president, or even a preacher man, this was his parting salutation to the members of the shiny new Australian Border Force (ABF): “May God bless you. May God bless your work. May God bless the country you are helping to protect and prosper.” Believers may have been impressed. Australians, however, are sceptical of anything that smacks of Bible bashing. Especially if it has a whiff of opportunism about it.
One of the country’s respected economic commentators, Ross Gittins, is not impressed. Security scare intended to hide economic failure Writing in the Fairfax papers, he sees the national security scare campaign as an attempt to hide an inconvenient truth: Abbott and his treasurer are making a hash of the economy. The evidence is compelling. Sure there are people in our midst who would do us harm, who despise who and what we are, but the threat they pose, statistically, is far less than any of us being involved in a road accident.
Asylum seekers must always be seen as threats, queue jumpers and illegals, and never as desperate human beings, men, women and children.
Abbott’s hyperbole reached a low point – or high point, depending on the view – in his response to last weekend’s three terror attacks overseas. Po-faced, he warned, “As far as the Daesh death cult is concerned, it is coming after us.” “Daesh” is the derogatory Arabic acronym given to Islamic State’s various iterations, IS, ISIL, ISIS. Instead of urging us to be alert but not alarmed, he was giving credibility to the outfit’s delusional claim it was winning everywhere. According to the author of the best-selling book, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, Michael Weiss, this rhetoric is counterproductive. Counterproductive if you actually want to defeat the extremists – but not if you want to appeal to that rawest of voters’ emotions, prejudice and fear.
The newly appointed border force supremo, Roman Quaedvlieg, stuck to the script. Resplendent in his new uniform, he gave resonance to the prime minister’s spiel: “Our utopia, our country, is under constant threat.” A more hysterical warning would not have been out of place as German bombs rained down on London during the Blitz. Nor would the draconian new powers vested in the ABF. Like our spy agencies, its operations will be shrouded in secrecy. Transparency and accountability are always casualties in war, sometimes justifiably. But this federal government is taking it to extremes, and we’re not even at war.
The Border Force Act is targeting doctors, nurses, teachers and aid workers employed in our detention centres. They face a two-year jail term if they disclose what is happening in these places. That prompted a passionate letter of defiance from more than 40 current and former workers on Manus Island and Nauru. One government adviser explained the need for the information blackout on “context”. The suggestion was that no matter how bad these Pacific gulags are, they are still much better than the conditions suffered by the Rohingyas in people smugglers’ camps.
Such speciousness only gives weight to suspicions that the secrecy is really to hide cruelty lest it swings public opinion. Asylum seekers must always be seen as threats, queue jumpers and illegals, and never as desperate human beings, men, women and children.
The protesting signatories see it very differently:
“We have advocated, and will continue to advocate, for the health of those for whom we have a duty of care, despite the threats of imprisonment, because standing by and watching substandard and harmful care, child abuse and gross violations of human rights is not ethically justifiable.”
Far from being dissuaded by these concerns, the government is looking forward to the Labor Party tearing itself apart over them at its national conference later this month. It keeps the headlines where Abbott wants them, and well away from his abandonment of real and promised economic reform. “It’s politics, stupid,” seems to be the new ruling principle.
Nowhere was this more obvious than the revelation that the Expenditure Review Committee (ERC) of cabinet, chaired by the prime minister, actively considered changes to superannuation tax arrangements before this year’s budget. Labor’s Chris Bowen, a former treasurer, says the department would not have sent four briefings to the ERC unless this was the case. At the time, Joe Hockey was signalling a disposition for changes. He was being urged to it by his own Commission of Audit, his own Financial System Inquiry, and the superannuation industry itself.
Abbott killed it stone dead after Labor announced it would concessionally tax interest earnings above $75,000. Hardly a sock-the-rich move, it would begin to address the huge cost to the budget of these concessions. Never mind the advice, for Abbott it was politics. The prime minister has now gone one step further. His promise not to look for equitable savings in this area is a “never ever”. Repeating the precedent of his election eve undertakings not to do something, he told reporters, “We have made a very clear decision that we aren’t ever going to increase the taxes on super.”
A government serious about repairing the budget would be looking for more than bracket creep to do the job – that is, inflation pushing wage and salary earners into higher tax brackets. In the meantime the budget deficit has doubled, unemployment is rising, productivity is falling and investment is patchy. Gittins has called out Abbott’s bluster in opposition, his claim the Liberals had good management in their DNA. “I thought he had a point,” Gittins writes, “but what we didn’t discover until too late was that he and his chosen treasurer just didn’t have that gene in their bodies.”
Abbott’s reform shyness is born of political weakness, a legacy of last year’s budget disaster and February’s leadership scare. He has been clawing his way back but his government is still languishing in the polls. Wrapping himself in a flag or 10, depending on the occasion, is only working to a point. This week’s consolidation of the past quarter’s Newspolls dramatically shows it would lose government in an election held now. A lot of the media focus is on Bill Shorten’s looming challenges in the unions royal commission and the ALP national conference. But the warrior prime minister is facing two big moments of truth in coming months.
The United States Supreme Court’s recognition of same-sex marriage as a human right has given new impetus to the push for recognition here. A Liberal backbench bill, seconded by Labor and supported by independents, will go into the parliament in August. That will trigger a debate in the Liberal and Nationals party rooms on a conscience vote. Abbott hasn’t changed his views, he says, although this week he refused three times to restate them. He is under pressure from his conservative allies not to allow a free vote, a position that is looking increasingly out of step with the broader community and as such could be politically damaging.
Not making our climate-change sceptic PM’s life any easier is a new alliance calling itself the Australian Climate Roundtable. What must have surprised, if not shocked, the naysayers in the Coalition was the membership of the group. Besides the usual environmentalist suspects, business is throwing its weight behind the need for real action to achieve the stated goal of avoiding a two-degrees Celsius rise in the earth’s atmosphere. The aluminium industry, one of the biggest users of electricity, says it’s time to set climate policy on a path that will efficiently reduce emissions while also enhancing economic prosperity and maintaining industry competitiveness.
The roundtable includes as a policy tool trade in emissions entitlements and the removal of carbon from the atmosphere – something Abbott has categorically ruled out. Anything that smacks of a carbon tax is anathema to him. It would show his “scrap the tax” as a pyrrhic victory. But when you have the Business Council of Australia, electricity generators, manufacturers and unions all signing up to policies that look beyond the next khaki election, it’s serious.
Adding to the pressure is the announcement from China, one of the world’s biggest emitters, that it is intent on cleaning up its act. Beijing has announced ambitious initial emission reduction targets for after 2020. Apart from praising coal as “good for humanity”, Abbott has had precious little to say on the subject. He’s been too busy scaring the nation with an overblown terror threat to spend any time addressing one the world’s scientists warn is real and increasingly urgent. Urgent, in the sense that a transition to a less carbon-intensive economy takes decades and has to begin now. In case Abbott hadn’t noticed, our future depends on it.
The questionable loyalty of Anthony Albanese
Anthony Albanese broke ranks on Labor’s support for the Abbott government’s enhanced national security measures – but whose interests did he really serve by doing so?
Many Labor supporters therefore breathed a sigh of relief on Sunday when the opposition spokesman on infrastructure and transport Anthony Albanese broke ranks on the party’s support for the Abbott government’s enhanced national security measures.
Albanese became the first senior Labor MP to voice concern about the lack of parliamentary debate on the nevertheless bipartisan decision to participate in the joint military action in Iraq. More importantly, he cautioned that the new counter-terrorism laws had not received enough scrutiny by the parliament and, by implication, from the Labor party.
Albanese’s intervention has been welcomed, at least in some parts of the Labor camp, and certainly by supporters on social media. This small act of rebellion no doubt reinforced Albo’s standing as the darling of Labor’s left (who incidentally still feel they were robbed when their man won the popular vote for the Labor leadership but ultimately lost out to the powerbrokers of the right who used their numbers in the ALP caucus to install their man Shorten instead).
Whatever strategy Albanese has in play, either in trying to keep the disenchanted left in the Labor tent, or making Labor more competitive by wresting the leadership from Shorten, it’s hard to fault his overall motivation. Whatever his personal ambition, Labor’s fiercely tribal warrior exists mainly to “fight Tories” and see his beloved party returned to government.
But if Albo does hold greater ambitions for his party than he does for himself, he’d do well to remember one thing: there’s only one thing voters will reject quicker than an uncompetitive Labor party, and that’s one riddled with the internecine wars that brought down the Rudd and Gillard governments.
Islamic State urges killings as Prime Minister Tony Abbott warns over price of freedom
For a number of days Tony Abbott has been chattering about killing the ‘devil cult’ doing wharever it takes to stop them in their tracks. Like echos words rebound and we don’t like what we hear. ISIL couldn’t give a shit about Australia and Australians then. It does now thanks to Tony Abbott. He has left Australians the world over with a problem not just here. What is he going to do about their security?….Nothing. Malcolm Fraser said he was dangerous.
- Islamic State’s call to arms reveals a sense of vulnerability
- Lock-up-without-charge laws ‘worse than useless’: experts
The Islamic State has urged its supporters to go out and kill Western civilians, including Australians, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott warned the nation would have to sacrifice freedoms for security against terrorism in what he called these “darkening times”.
In a chilling message posted online, the terrorist group called for indiscriminate violence by any means in countries preparing to go to war against its fighters in northern Iraq and Syria.
The statement, attributed to chief Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al Adnani, mentions Australia three times in 11 pages of apocalyptic threats against “crusaders”.
“If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be,” he said.
“Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict. Kill the disbeliever, whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling. Both of them are disbelievers.”
Clearly calling for followers to martyr themselves, Adnani says that if IS supporters cannot obtain a bomb or a gun to kill a Westerner, they should “smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him or poison him”.
Adnani is a top figure in the militant group, having served as offical spokesman and senior leader since it rose to prominence last year.
His exhortation comes just days after police smashed an alleged plot in Sydney to kill random Australians on camera and as world leaders prepare to meet in New York to discuss how to combat the problem of foreigners travelling to Iraq and Syria to fight.
Mr Abbott, who will fly to New York on Tuesday for the United Nations sumitt, made a special address to Parliament on national security and warned the “delicate balance” between freedom and security would have to be recast.
“Regrettably, for some time to come, Australians will have to endure more security than we’re used to, and more inconvenience than we’d like,” he said.
“The delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift. There may be more restrictions on some so that there can be more protections for others. After all, the most basic freedom of all is the freedom to walk the streets unharmed and to sleep safe in our beds at night.”
Mr Abbott welcomed Labor standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the Coalition on the terrorism threat, saying “it lets our enemies know that they will never shake our resolve”.
But Islamic State appears determined to test that resolve. Its threat against Australians is the most concrete yet.
Adnani’s statement is troubling as it tells followers they need no further approval of a Muslim cleric or from within the hierarchy of the Islamic State.
This is distinct from the approach of al-Qaeda, whose late leader Osama bin Laden maintained a tight, centralised control over violent activities. It also differs from the protocol of some previous plots in Australia, such as the plan to attack Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney, which was thwarted while the plotters were awaiting the sanction of a cleric.
Adnani calls US President Barack Obama a “mule of the Jews” and US Secretary of State John Kerry an “uncircumcised old geezer”.
The statement threatens not just to beat back any military campaign in Iraq and Syrian but also to go on the offensive, even if it takes generations.
“We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted,” it says. “If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.”
A spokewoman for Mr Abbott said counter-terrorism agencies considered the statement to be authentic.
“Australian agencies regard the statement issued today by ISIL calling for attacks against members of the international coalition, including Australians, as genuine,” she said.
“ISIL will claim that our involvement in this international effort is the reason they are targeting us, but these people do not attack us for what we do, but for who we are and how we live.”
Former British Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair gave his backing to President Barack Obama’s strategy to overwhelm IS with military force.
“The president is absolutely right to take on [ISIL] and to build the broadest possible coalition,” he said.
“We’ve got absolutely no choice but to do this, and not just in order to destroy the onward march of [ISIL] but to send a very strong signal to the other terrorist groups operating in the region. We intend to take action and see it through.”
In his address in reply, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten laid out why Labor backs war against IS.
“Labor recognises that sometimes there is simply no alternative,” Mr Shorten said. “Put plainly, we cannot negotiate with ISIL because there is nothing rational about what they seek to do. ISIL and their like wish only to do harm, to spread the bitter hatred that fuels their genocidal intent.”
Mr Shorten said he rejected the charge that Australia’s engagement in Iraq had made the country more of a target for terrorists.
“Then he said with a look of concern that we had to raise our level of public alert because of David Irvine …Brilliant!!!”
“There are people with the intent and the capability to mount attacks,” he said. So what is new about that? We have always known that. You only have to go back and have a look at some of the news broadcasts of 2001 and 2002 to see that. There is no logic for this public alert.
So if we look at the man and where it’s coming from the Prime Minister Tony Abbott.It smacks of political skulduggery. Our existing security organisations engaged in fighting terrorism are highly trained, well equipped and properly briefed. They have had over a decade to train and prepare. They are the ones who will maintain a vigilant presence and foil a terrorist plot, not you or I. They don’t need a nervous public overreacting, spreading fear and uncertainty, peering curiously at Muslim women dressed in the hijab; people who are simply going about their normal business.
As a cynic I believe it’s a dumb plan by a political party and its leader to strike fear into the heart of the Australian community. However not all of us are it’s a cruel plan the kind of plan a student political bully might go for if his ranking in the polls was lagging
The terror threat level has just been raised in Australia from medium to high — but Bob Ellis isn’t buying it.
It’s interesting what the Liberals think is a popular thing to do. Spending a billion looking forever, fruitlessly, for bits of a downed plane. Spending a hundred million looking for bits of bodies on a downed plane and ‘bringing them home’. Inviting Protestants, Buddhists, Jews and Muslims into a Catholic cathedral to speak before a crucified Christ. Going to war, again, in Iraq if the guys who lost the last two Iraq Wars ask them to. And, lately, a Terrorist Red Alert.
There may be ‘inconvenience’ at football finals, we hear, and airports, as if the ‘terrorists’ would go anywhere near such places. The last terrorist outrage at a sporting event was the kidnap and murder of some Israeli weightlifters at the 1972 Olympics, which set back Arafat’s PLO by fifty years, and no-one has done any such thing since then; you don’t kill sporting heroes, you don’t do that. The last terrorist incident on a plane was the Underpants Bomber, and full-body imaging makes it hard for that cock-up to be repeated.
What ‘terrorists’ often attack is suburban trains (London, Madrid, Tokyo), and they do it for the obvious reason that they can bring suitcases, backpacks, shopping bags on to them, can leave them on shelves or under seats and detonate them remotely.
Curiously, this particular Red Alert makes no mention of this. It’s in part because it’s impossible to police. If random electronic searches hold up four trains each morning and nothing is found, and five school buses, the Government falls.
If the government is serious, they must do random searches on every opening night a politician goes to — the Wharf Revue, The King And I, the Bob Dylan concert. They must upend, disrupt and inconvenience every political party conference. Labor’s conference in Sydney Town Hall, which had a pro-Gaza demonstration next door, could be entered by anyone, and observed from the gallery upstairs. Carr, Shorten, Plibersek were at it, Clare, Rees, Firth, Robbo, Albo, Faulkner, any one of whom could have been seized at gunpoint and beheaded on Facebook. So could a similar cast at Neville Wran’s funeral in the same crowded venue.
Abbott’s biking and Iron Man events must be discontinued, clearly. Joe Hockey’s visits to his Queensland farm must be overflown by vigilant thumping helicopters. Julie Bishop’s visits to Geneva must be accompanied by armed motorcades.
Do we believe any of this? Well, no, we don’t. The reason is that the terrorists’ resources are limited, and the people they want to terrorise aren’t living here in Australia. People wanting to set up a Syria-Lebanon-Iraq-Egyptian caliphate are not going to bomb Newcastle Town Hall. They are not going to kidnap and behead Peter Hartcher. They are going to concentrate their efforts round Mosul, Baghdad, Samara.
The ‘terrorist virus’ theory the Liberals are trying on lately – that young men, infected in Syria by beasts who want to overthrow Assad, will come back here and blow up a cricket match – lacks what Poirot would call
“… a believable motive, ’Astings. What do they ’ave to gain by doeeng zat?”
They have a lot to lose — their lives, their intimacy of their young wives, the love of their children, the suburban contentment of their mothers, cousins, old grandfathers. Why would they do it? What lost homelands would they liberate in Strathfield, Logan, Collingwood? Why would they do it?
And why haven’t they done it already? Muslim Afghans have been here since 1830, Muslim Pakistanis, Indonesians, Somalians for twenty, twenty-five years. And the last terrorist attack on our soil was by Martin Bryant, an Anglo-Saxon, in 1996, and the one before that, the Hilton Bombing, in 1978, was contrived not by terrorists but ASIO.
Oh, similar things do happen here. Bikie gang wars, Underbelly assassinations, suburban ‘incidents’ where the crazed fathers of kidnapped children shoot it out with the police. But nothing of the kind we know as ‘terrorist’ – the Bali bombing, the Tube train massacre – on our soil since the Battle of Broken Hill in 1916.
How much money will this nonsense cost us? Where’s it coming from? The shelved GP co-payment? What? And what evidence is there for alarm? None, evidently. Apart from two young men who are about to go to Syria to fight, as Obama advises, against ISIL.
Abbott, caught in a moral tangle as usual, says going to war with ISIL is a criminal offence if boys from Logan do it, but an heroic act if Diggers do it and it won’t endanger Australians at all — we won’t provoke the ‘terrorists’ by going to war with them.
And he won’t go to war unless the Americans tell him to — the Americans who got it so right last time, destroying six million lives, and causing ISIL while they were there. He’ll consult the Americans, but not the Australian people. And he’ll body-search Australians at football finals in case they’ve got atomic weapons up their clackers.
Dare we call this excessive? Deluded? Hyperbolic? Demented? Wasteful of, ho ho, the taxpayers’ money?
More Australians have died from backyard pool drownings in the last five years than ‘terrorism’ in the last hundred, on our soil. Fifty times as many from funnel-web spider bites. Twenty times as many, each day, from cigarettes. Four times as many, each week, from road accidents.
What you have to do in Big Scare politics is make the people believe you. Believe you, Tony Abbott. And one of the ways you do that is behaving as if you yourself believe it. And unless there are full-body searches of every foreigner at the Crown Casino, or The King And I, or the Melbourne Cup, or the corridors outside ICAC, no-one will believe you believe it.
Abbott says, ‘Carry on with your lives as usual’, and ‘Look, look, the terrorists might be strapped with bombs at the next Grand Final’ simultaneously.
What an oaf he is. What a creepy, Americanised, frantic fool.
What a Chicken Little-in-Chief.
Missouri Passes Strict Anti-Abortion Legislation; Rejects Similar Law Protecting Unarmed Black Teens
Legislators also rejected an amendment to the law that would have called for a “five-minute cooling off period” before cops gunned down unarmed black teenagers on Missouri’s city streets. Lawmakers expressed concern that the amendment would sow confusion among “them negras,” and create an atmosphere of disrespect in cities where all white police forces lorded over majority black neighborhoods.
“We just can’t take away an officer’s right to choose,” said Jeffrey Jingo, a state senator from Bigot Bluffs. “If we let young black males freely roam our streets without showing them who’s boss, then all hell could break loose. I mean, you saw what happened in Ferguson, right? The last thing we need is all them colored folks thinking they enjoy the same civil rights as respectable members of our community.”
Legislators pointed out that Missouri cops feel threatened by unarmed black males, who might hurt them in some way
More police at airports to slow things up Our airports will look and feel like Heathrow it will insure anger levels do rise. If anybody complains they won’t just be warned they will be taken aside and prevented from flying simply because your quick tongue offended security. Industries like jewellery will find onboard luggage will be banned and therefore lose what ever insurance cover they have. As to be insured their merchandise must travel with them at all times. If that’s not bad enough what about our education industry. Students from Indonesia, India,Malaysia & China will be checked coming and going more so than even Australian citizens. They already pay more than anywhere else for a fifth rate degree. The increased training drills alone of the AFP increase the chances of plastic explosive being left behind or gone missing. The prevention of people going on and coming on holiday will increase just because some over excited security . Abbott will blame the economic consequences of this change on his imaginary increased terror. Who is going to want to go to the MCG or any major event.
However there is a plus for Christopher Pyne an increased presence of police and security for politicians visiting university campuses. Student leaders can be apprehended before any visit why to diminish the possibility of lone Wolf terror. Student meetings will now be even more closely monitored. Topics up for discussion & lecture topics carefully watched. Waleed Aly and his wife dismissed on National Security grounds. and Andrew Bolt will smile.
The social media and campaigns like March against the government can be conveniently silenced as a possible vehicles for the internal radicalization of Australia. Lone Wolf radicals can be found anywhere, previously regarded as criminals not part of any terror group but now they can be redefined as terrorists. This government can use this argument for any nefarious means and will get ASIO support why? Increase any government department’s budget for any reason it’s in the nature of the beast to substantiate the reason for the increase. There’s little or no reason you will find any department to justify it’s budget reduction . The next government would have some difficulty in doing so as well . Besides Bill Shorten playing politics seems advised to support Abbott in this. They are brothers in arms on security. Obviously the polls are telling him scare mongering is good.
If all of this extra surveillance does not happen none needs to ask why?Why was this announced so publicly in the first place? Why is the normal goings on in daily life been called on to be treated as suspicious what was once thought of as single acts of crime being raised to an acts of terror. School burnings, phone threats, union action can all now be redefined. Join ASIO’s newly formed dad’s secret police, put your sunnies on and go dob in a neighbour.
The stronger terror assessment scenario painted by ASIO seems rather odd. Irvine chose to speculate publicly about the threat alert needing to be raised to the second-highest level, ostensibly however before giving any formal advice to the government.
Based on ongoing assessments, either a threat is likely to occur or it is not. If so, why the delay in advising the government? If not, why prematurely raise a “worst-case” scenario? Citizens remain stuck in terror limbo.
All the National Security precautions in the US didn’t stop 9/11 or the Boston marathon. Any incidents that have been interrupted in the US were by accident and an alert public. Australia has just experienced a near miss not at the hands of terrorists but at the hands of the AFP creating a dangerous moment during a drill at an airport. How would Abbott have explained that away?
Further, this drip-feed of vague warnings is being packaged by policymakers with a hyper-legislative insistence on introducing another round of “tough” terror laws. While some measures appear justifiable – such as up-to-date powers to suspend passports – many others do not. Some proposals remain decidedly inconsistent with past recommendations by watchdogs like the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor. We seem to be stuck on a rinse-and-repeat cycle to keep terrorising ourselves. The more immediate hazard is pointless overreaction and political exploitation of public fears. The build-up of these kind of tensions have had a track-record of leading into knee-jerk and totally counter-productive policy initiatives – like the unnecessary Iraq invasion of 2003. That had no clear national security benefit and contributed to much of this latest mess.
This type of “alert and alarm” scenario tends to lead in a couple of directions: it either creates wider public paranoia or greater public scepticism. Neither is particularly helpful for an effective, sustainable and clear-eyed counter-terrorism strategy.
In short, IS is a nasty piece of work, but it is not a global game-changer The instinct to “do something” and heroic calls to strong vigilant action might be good politics. However, such heavy-handedness is a careless and unhealthy national security stratagem. The good news is that the threat of foreign fighters is both manageable and marginal.Another bottom line is that these Australian foreign fighters do not represent the wider Islamic community – IS is keen to kill all Muslims who they deem to be “infidels”. (This makes many calls for “community” solutions by the overwhelming moderate Muslim majority in Australia overly simplistic and stupid. This is not a clash of civilisations as Andrew Bolt would have us believe. Australian citizens still have more chance of being killed by bee stings or car crashes than by a rare, albeit conceivable, home-grown terrorist attack.
Interestingly, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger recently warned that traditional state-based threats remain a much more serious and long-term security headache.
” I consider Iran a bigger problem than ISIS. ISIS is a group of adventurers with a very aggressive ideology. But they have to conquer more and more territory before they can became a strategic, permanent reality.”
We are being scammed by Abbott who has quid pro quo arrangement with ASIO the AFP and security forces who will gain extra funding. Abbott get’s press to attack his negative standing in the polls.
We are being scammed at the expense of the Australian Muslim community and the increased possibility of further radicalization.
Very funny if it wasn’t serious this will be happening somewhere near or to you
ORLANDO-Citizens of the “Sunshine State” were left stunned this week after federal law enforcement agents took time off from drug-interdiction duties long enough to round up a group of miscreants in central Florida’s Osceola County. In a shocking deviation from the norm, federal agents participated in a well planned and effective sting operation that netted around a dozen members of a white supremacist group, “The American Front.”
Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted from January 8th of this year because I am feeling too damn lazy to write today. Besides, I have to repair a leaky toilet before it falls into the crawlspace and releases hundreds of giant hostile scorpions from the depths. I have not bothered to check on the status of any of these morons, but knowing Florida they are probably still walking around free and are planning on hopping the next Greyhound to Murphy-if they can read, that is.
15,000 paid FBI informants spy on the American Muslim Community. Is entrapment likely?
47 asylum seekers remain in indefinite detention with no reason required. ASIO files remain a secret due to reasons of “National Security”. Abbott has told us scrutiny of Australian citizens will increase some will be detained. Will the reason for detention also remain a secret due to National Security? Watch this and be the judge is this our TEAM AUSTRALIA ? ASIO OR FSB Watch this video
Abbott told Radio 2GB recently: “Everyone has got to put this country, its interests, its values and its people first, and you don’t migrate to this country unless you want to join our team”.
In truth, in Australia today, some people are really departing from the core Australian values of humanity, diversity, fair go, liberty and inclusiveness. They are not the values of the well-off, privileged, elite, middle-aged men of Tony Abbott’s Team Australia.
That is coming from Tony Abbott who grew up as an English Catholic migrant in a very Protestant and highly prejudiced Australia. The song ” Catholic dogs stink like frogs” still rings in my ears and I’m sure in his.The state school bullies always challenged us to a fight on the way home from school. We were ‘Micks”and that was enough. Maybe that’s why Abbott took up boxing as a young man in the same way young indigenous and Lebanese men took up the sport. Self-defense or was it to fight his way into some elite Team Australia in his mind?
“Abbott must have known what it was like to have his faith pilloried and made the subject of public scorn. He also felt the pull of political Catholicism in the movement of an Italian migrant named Bartholomew Augustine Santamaria, whose anti-Communist views often translated into divisive positions on domestic and international politics, which many Catholics abhorred. That did not stop Abbott from sitting beside Santamaria’s deathbed during the latter’s final hours.”
The politics of exclusion and marginalization has been historically the core of this country for 200 years. Assimilation is now Abbott’s required path to be recognized as a part of ‘Team Australia’. New arrivals are expected to drop what they can of their foreign dress,customs,food and religions. In the recent past they resisted and were allowed to be themselves. The 70’s and 80’s supported Multiculturalism. Abbott’s family must have been one with their affiliations with Catholicism & DLP. So why is Abbott asking today’s minorities to give up their legal rights as a ticket of entry to some Disney Team Australia?
Abbott’s a Papist not a Protestant the Vatican and Rome came before Australia he hasn’t changed. This applies to 8 other of his cabinet ministers who claim to be practicing Catholics with principles not attuned to the public.. Abbott’s mindset grew out of the DLP a movement accused of siding with dictators and very anti-socialist movements. If for one minute Abbott and his ahistorical advisers gave some consideration to the fact that over 40% of 500k Muslims were born here and had a history in establishing this country. They grew up here and didn’t fly or sail here on a ten pound plan like the Abbotts. Every major wave of Australian migration has included persons of Muslim heritage.They are Australian and were here before he was born. If he ha any intelligence he’d realize there isn’t much Christian about any Team Australia.
Australia was and is a nation of bullies trying to define & protect their turf from anyone they perceive as outsiders. Did anybody see the movie ‘Wake in Fright’ it’s worth seeing and portrays a not too pleasant but realistic view of Australia from a newcomers perspective. This turf protection is usually directed at people sufficiently different in the wrong way and for reasons beyond their control with little tolerance for the difference.
After WW11 Italians, Greeks, Germans, Dutch, Poles and Yugoslavs arrived in their thousands these ‘new Australians’ supplanted the Irish Catholics at the bottom of the ladder where they’d been since colonisation and BW ( before wogs) . They had their own schools, football teams, clubs and moral princiles . Mixed marriages were frowned on and even divided families. Shit if a wealthy protestant girl wed a catholic she was abandoned and the Catholic church did not recognize the marriage. Jobs weren’t equally available to all. Catholics were very much Public Servants whilst Protestants were the Business Barons Squattocracy and politicians. However to the new arrivals anybody who spoke native English was Australian giving young Abbott the opportunity to rise above these traditional prejudices.
” By the ’90s, European migrants had moved up a rung, as Vietnamese and Lebanese refugees took their place. Irish Catholics, astonishingly, had reached the apex of power: Paul Keating as prime minister, William Deane was governor-general and Gerard Brennan was chief justice of the High Court. Around then the term “Anglo-Celtic” became common, conferring a retrospective respectability on the once-despised Bog Irish”
“But as historian Patrick O’Farrell warns us, ‘Anglo-Celtic is “a grossly misleading, false and patronising convenience, one crassly present-oriented. Its use removes from consciousness and recognition a major conflict fundamental to any comprehension not only of Australian history but of our present core culture.”
The idealized culture that Abbott insists exists and all migrants should strive to be part of if they want to live here his Team Australia is an idealization of some monocultured Australia of the past. The only reason the division between Catholicism and Protentism deminished was because of the influx of migrants and multiculturalism. The Knights Dames & the Union Jack are a core part of Abbott’s dream his fantasy of joining the elite,it’s so Camelot. Only by acknowledging previous inequities can we hope to understand the current hierarchies, and engage usefully with contemporary issues such as today’s intolerance towards the current influx of Lebanese, Afghan,Sudanese and other new Muslim arrivals. To deny these conditions is to deny Australia.
“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”said George Bernard Shaw. Team Australia means Team Anglo- Celtic .Anglo-Celtic has become a glib collective term for Old Australia — a polite way of saying White Australia BW ‘before the wogs’.
In truth, however, in Australia today, the people who are really departing from the core Australian values of humanity, diversity, fair go, liberty and inclusiveness that multicultural policies represented are the well-off, privileged, elite, middle-aged men of Tony Abbott’s cabinet. Who want us to be more like them. Maybe they can run a Top of the the Town Festival to show Lakemba how it’s done.
JOIN OUR TEAM MR ABBOTT WE ARE AUSTRALIAN