Monday, November 27, 2006
CLAIMS 'WAR ON IRAQ' "HELPED OUT TERRORISTS"
One of the fiercest, most informed critics of the Howard government's involvement in the 'War On Iraq' has turned out to be the SAS major who helped plan the first insertions of Australian special forces into Iraq and Afghanistan.
He is quietly furious that prime minister John Howard broke a "moral contract" with Australia's defence forces, betraying them in so many words, by pushing the Bush Co. mantra for war on Iraq before proof of the existence of WMDs was fully established.
"I think the reasons that we went to war in Iraq were baseless," said ex-SAS major Peter Tinley.
"The Government sent us there under the idea of looking for weapons of mass destruction and they gave us the impression that there was a clear and imminent danger of them being used. We now know through our own tactical search on the ground in Iraq and certainly from the Iraq Survey Group, that that was not true at all."
Tinley is one of only a few senior key Australian planners of the 'War On Iraq' to now demand the withdrawal of Australian troops from the war zone.
"We've had three years of occupation in Iraq and we've got....an estimated 50,000 Iraqi dead," Tinley said on ABC's Lateline.
"We have some sort of moral connection to those deaths and we really need to take a hard look at ourselves and consider what our strategy should be from here."
Major Tinley dismisses the Howard mantras of "We won't Cut & Run from Iraq", saying the withdrawal of Australian forces should be done so that they can establish comprehensive Army and police and emergency services training bases in countries like Jordan, so Iraqis can complete detailed training regimes free from the threat of suicide bombings and the civil war.
"I don't believe that some approximately 500 troops in the south, under British command, are actually the best type of contribution we can make to Iraq," he said.
"Instead of Iraqis getting blown up in queues, looking for a job to serve their country in things such as the police force and the military, we can provide an outstanding service there. That's a good example for what I'm saying about expanding the way we view it....I’m advocating a change of policy which includes the immediate withdrawal of our troops."
Tinley also criticised the near absolute lack of debate in Australia as to what the long-term strategy is for Australia's involvement in Iraq.
"It was morally bankrupt, the whole notion of us being there, so the pretext is wrong. If that's the case, then we need to take good, hard, courageous decisions now to get out and get out whilst we can. This war will drag us in further and further. It's a civil war and the power vacuum that was created as a result of this invasion is clearly at the feet of this Government."
He also believes that an Australian contribution of only 500 troops, when there are 140,000 American troops on the ground in Iraq, is "purely token".
"(500 Australian troops) aren't going to make any difference whatsoever," he said.
Tinley also rejected prime minister John Howard's claims that a withdrawal from Iraq would mean "victory for the terrorists" and would embolden them to attack coalition targets.
"...we created the honey pot, if you like, from which the terrorist organisations from all around that particular region...get their training. We've provided them with a live training range.
"The fact that we have done that, we've in fact helped out the terrorist organisations that would do harm to any of our coalition partners by giving them that opportunity."
But it was on questions regarding the morality of the War On Iraq that Tinley hit the government the hardest, levelling legitimate claims that Australia's defence forces were betrayed by Howard's rush to war, before weapons inspectors had finished their job.
"I think if you set the premise for your pre-emption - and this is what this is, a pre emptive strike on another sovereign nation, regardless of what you think of the despot that led it. If you set that as the premise, then you want to make sure it's conclusive
"In this case I saw no direct actionable intelligence in the areas that we were looking at from Baghdad west all the way through to the Jordanian border and the Syrian and Saudi border. If that was the basis of it then it was wrong."
Major Tinley began planning the insertion of Australian SAS troops into Afghanistan within days of the attacks on New York and Washington DC on September 11, 2001. But he was then pulled off these duties to begin planning for the 'War On Iraq', before the job was finished in Afghanistan.
He said special forces planners that he worked with from the US and the UK all questioned the sparse intelligence for Iraqi WMDs they were given. Not only was there no verifiable, quality intelligence on WMD programs, but they couldn't even find proof that Saddam Hussein still had a quantity of Scud missiles and Scud missile launching platforms.
"I never saw anything that was newer than 1996 in terms of photographic imagery in relation to Scud missiles...We made the assumption, all the planners did, that there must be something more conclusive and there must be something somebody else knows about that doesn't need to concern us and the rest of country. We know for a fact now that the Iraq Survey Group and our own searches found absolutely nothing throughout the country."
Tinley said he didn't question the lack of intelligence because "as a soldier I was sent to do the planning. Like any good soldier I just did what I was told and I did it enthusiastically."
He described the betrayal of Australia's defence forces by the Howard government as "moral corruption" and said when Australians sign up to the Defence Force, "you put your hand in the air and you make an oath that you will go where your Government sends you. You therefore confer in some way, a moral responsibility for the Government to make sure they send you to a just war."
Tinley said that when SAS troops entered Iraq, there were clear doubts amongst the elite soldiers about the moral case for the war they were about to begin fighting.
"...I did have some quiet conversations in dark corners of tents with young men who were quite unsure about the war they were going into. It was beyond the normal fear that men have when they go into harm's way but we rationalised it. Those men again relied on the moral contract with the Government. They said their moral objection was far outweighed by the fact that they put their hand in the air and they said they would go where they were told to go."
Most members of the Australian Defence Forces now regard Afghanistan as the moral, justifiable war, while viewing the Iraq War as something much less. Even Prime Minister John Howard admitted in Parliment yesterday that "many" in the ADF did not agree with him about the need to first fight the war on Iraq, or to continue it.
"I think we can make a very clear case for Afghanistan," Tinley said.
"If you have a look at it, we did actually leave Afghanistan in undue haste, in my personal view. Evidence of that fact was the fact that we had to reinsert the SAS to help, along with the coalition partners, stabilise the security of the country."
Those comments are key as to why there is growing anger and frustration in Australia's defence forces, and in particular within the special forces.
The Australian SAS is regarded amongst allies as simply the best special forces teams in the world. The swift initial victory in Afghanistan in October-November, 2001, was largely due to the actions of Australian SAS members, who saved the lives of American and British troops on numerous occasions, clocking up hundreds of closely fought battles with Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters.
But they weren't allowed to stay and finish the job, Key war planners, like Tinley, along with hundreds of highly experienced SAS and Australian Army troops were hauled out of Afghanistan to go to work in Iraq by mid-2002.
The decision to back the United States in the 'War On Iraq', and thereby seeing Australian SAS pulled out of Afghanistan before security and a new government was established, is seen widely in military circles as having tarnished the impecable reputation of the Australian SAS, and the Army in general.
They didn't finish the job, and Afghanistan is now beset by thousands of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters, who have re-armed, re-trained and re-grouped when coalition forces pulled out in preparation for the 'War On Iraq'.
"...when you go into a country like that (Afghanistan) and you take out the regime," Tinley said, "you really need to commit yourself to a longer course to actually sustain and get that back on its feet. You don't take on another job like this and expect to be welcomed as the great liberators as they did in Iraq."
Go Here For The Full Interview From Lateline
Earlier Coverage On This Story
Sunday, November 26, 2006
"WATER IS GOLD NOW"
So just how bad has the half-decade long drought become in some farming districts of country Australia?
Thieves are now stealing water, along with deisel fuel and cattle.
From the Sydney Morning Herald :
Water has become so precious in drought-stricken NSW that thieves are siphoning off thousands of litres from farm dams and rainwater tanks.
The dramatic rise in water theft comes after a black market boom in diesel fuel and stolen livestock.
"Water theft is definitely on the increase," said NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Steve Bradshaw.
"These are desperate times and there are opportunists who are taking desperate measures."
Two months ago, water theft barely rated a mention in police crime statistics. But Mr Bradshaw, whose command covers two-thirds of the state, said drought has hit so hard many families are struggling to make ends meet.
Last month thieves got away with 20,000 litres of water from a farm in Manildra, near Orange.
...police intelligence officers believe water is being siphoned from dams in unlocked paddocks and tapped from rainwater tanks that were visible from roads.University of New England rural crime researcher Elaine Barclay said irrigation companies had established teams to investigate water theft.
"Demand creates crime," she said. "Fuel theft on farms has been on the rise since the prices went up. Water is gold now, so it stands to reason."
Central Bank Says Drought Will Slow Australia's Economy
Drought Horror Changing Australians' Views On Global Warming Reality
Saturday, November 25, 2006
PRE-EMPTIVE WAR A "BETRAYAL OF THE AUSTRALIAN WAY"
HOWARD BROKE "MORAL CONTRACT" WITH AUSTRALIA'S SOLDIERS
The truth-telling from Australia's betrayed, furious defence forces now begins.
One of Australia's most respected SAS officers has revealed that teams searching for Saddam's WMDs' regarded their mission as a "standing joke", knowing full well that there was unlikely to be any stockpiles of consequence to be found, and that in the months before the war, the proof of WMDs was virtually non-existent.
There are literally hundreds of Australian defence force personnel who want to tell the truth about what they know of the lies and deceptions spun out by the Howard government to con the Australian public, politicians and defence force leaders into backing the illegal 'War On Iraq'.
You can expect many more Australian defence personnel to know come forward and tell the truth of what they know, and how betrayed many of our soldiers feel about the war.
From the Australian :
The former SAS officer who devised and executed the Iraq war plan for Australia's special forces says that the nation's involvement has been a strategic and moral blunder.Australia's soldiers have a job to defend the people of Australia, the Australian way of life and Australia's honour and respect on the world stage. It is not their job to cover-up or to keep silent about the ways the Howard government decieved the Australian people, and their fellow soldiers into becoming involved in this war.
Peter Tinley, who was decorated for his military service in Afghanistan and Iraq, has broken ranks to condemn the Howard Government over its handling of the war and has called for an immediate withdrawal of Australian troops.
"It was a cynical use of the Australian Defence Force by the Government," the ex-SAS operations officer told The Weekend Australian yesterday.
"This war duped the Australian Defence Force and the Australian people in terms of thinking it was in some way legitimate."
As the lead tactical planner for Australia's special forces in the US in late 2002, Mr Tinley was in a unique position to observe intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program and the coalition's military preparations in the lead-up to the war.
In Iraq in 2003, Mr Tinley served as deputy commander for the 550-strong joint special forces task group that took control of western Iraq.
Part of his command was 1 SAS Squadron, which was awarded a US Meritorious Unit citation for its "sustained gallantry", contributing to a comprehensive success for coalition forces in Iraq.
During war planning with US and British special forces at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in 2002, Mr Tinley says he never saw any hard intelligence that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction.
"When I pressed them (US intelligence) for more specific imagery or information regarding locations or likely locations of WMD they confessed, off the record, that there had not been any tangible sighting of any WMD or WMD enabling equipment for some years," he said.
"It was all shadows and inferenced conversations between Iraqis. There was an overwhelming desire for all of the planning staff to simply believe that the Iraqis had learned how to conceal their WMD assets away from the US (surveillance) assets."
Coalition special forces troops were charged with hunting down Scud missiles and Saddam's suspected WMD arsenals, operating from just west of Baghdad all the way through to the Jordanian border, and between the Syrian and Saudi frontiers.
After the initial invasion, the search for WMD became something of a "standing joke" with neither coalition troops nor the Iraq Survey Group turning up anything of consequence.
"The notion that pre-emption is a legitimate strategy in the face of such unconvincing intelligence is a betrayal of the Australian way," he said.
He said the Government had broken a moral contract with its defence force in sending it to an "immoral war".
The Government's stance on Iraq and later on issues such as the Tampa had gradually allowed fear to become a motivating factor in the electorate, he said.
Mr Tinley said the Howard Government had failed to be honest with Australians about Iraq and "you can't separate the sentiment of the defence force from that of the people".
It is now their duty to come forward and tell the truth. They will lose no honour, nor respect, from the Australian people for doing what they know they must.
Go To The 'Fourth World War' Blog For A RoundUp Of The Latest 'War On Iraq' News
Australian Troops Are Being Sucked Into Iraq's Civil War
Australian Diplomat, Businessmen Knew Australian Was Going To War On Iraq More Than A Year Before Prime Minister Claimed He Decided To Commit Troops
Iraq Mosques Torched, Worshippers Burned Alive
Howard Has No Regrets About Iraq War - Says He Wouldn't Admit It Even If He Did
US Helicopters Shoot Up Funeral Procession In Iraq
30 Slaughtered As Gunmen Rampage Through Baghdad
Howard Continues The Spin - Withdrawal From Iraq Would Be Victory For Terrorists
Thursday, November 16, 2006
THE RUSH TO GET IN ON THE ACTION OF THE FUTURE WORLD CURRENCY - CARBON TRADING CREDITS
The Australian treasurer, Peter Costello, has sheepishly, but finally, admitted that Australian will join the Kyoto Protocol.
They won't sign up, of course, but they will take part, they will ensure carbon emissions meet Kyoto targets and they will officially acknowledge that carbon emissions are adding to the effects of the climate change inducing reality of global warming.
Only hours before the announcement by the treasurer on ABC's Lateline, Australian prime minister, John Howard was still pretending that he was one tough negotiator when it came to this global warming business, and it was in fact he that was insisting that rapidly growing, mass-industrialised nations like India and China do something about their emissions for the sake of future generations.
It was all pure Howard theatre. China was one of the first countries in the world to join a then experimental carbon credit trading system, more than four years, when Howard was still smirking and snorting about environmentalists and the dreaded Greeeennnsss, mocking them all for having panic fits about something called global warming.
After years of insulting the Europeans over their insistence that the Kyoto Protocol must be taken seriously, and that countries like Australia need to get on board, the harsh reality has well and truly dawned on the money men of the Australian government that they are about to miss out, bigstyle, on becoming part of the new unofficial world currency known as 'carbon trading credits'.
It doesn't even matter anymore whether John Howard believes global warming is a reality, or if he acknowledges that rapid industrialisation using coal as a key energy source (Australia's leading export industry) is adding to the problems. Most of the rest of the world has well and truly left skeptics like Howard far, far behind.
Which is why Howard, five to eight years late, is rushing to catch up.
Australian environmentalists, and climate scientists, are still shaking their heads in disbelief that John Howard has so quickly taken up the mantra of "Something must be done about global warming".
All this comes, of course, after the Howard government spent years trying to block the truth from emerging out of Australia's leading scientific body, the CSIRO, about climate change and the dire long-term environmental, and economic, effects of global warming.
Howard has an agenda, and that agenda is using the reality of global warming to push for the rapid and massive expansion of nuclear power as an alternative energy source.
Australia is already one of the world's leaders when it comes to mining uranium. Howard wants Australia to become the world leader for uranium exports. a market worth, literally, hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.
Austraila's reputation as an international pariah, thanks to a decade of near inactivity on the key issues of climate change, will take many years, and probably a change of government, to shake off.
Short of two or three Australians cities getting bombed, global warming will be a far more important issue at the 2007 federal elections than international terrorism, or the 'War On Iraq'. Howard knows this, of course. He will flog global warming to death, regardless of whether or not he believes it is an economy shredding reality. Most Australians believe, so Howard does too. Now.
Go To Your New Reality For The Full Story
China Blasts Australia Over For Emissions Criticism, Says By Population Comparison Australia Emits Far More Greenhouse Gases Than China
PM 'Not Credible' On Global Warming And Climate Change At APEC Conference
Climate Change Threat As Serious As Weapons Of Mass Destruction
Debunking The Vast Left Wing United Nations Conspiracy Called Global Warming
John Howard To Embrace Carbon Trading At APEC
Bush Loses Australia As Key Player In Opposition To Kyoto And Reality Of Global Warming
The Australian prime minister, John Howard, once said we had to go war against Iraq to stop Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction and to stop him giving such weapons to terrorists.
Now Howard says we have to stay in Iraq....so the United States doesn't look bad.
...my policy is to be part of a coalition that does not leave Iraq in circumstances where it is seen as a defeat for the West and a boost for the terrorists. That is the most important responsibility I have at the present time.So what is the 'War On Iraq' now then? Some frigging marketing campaign?
When more than 500,000 Australians (out of a population of 20 million) marched in opposition to the (then upcoming) illegal invasion of Iraq in early 2003, Howard infamously said all these people - including thousands of World War 2, Korea and Vietnam War veterans - were giving "comfort to Saddam".
We know now, of course, that at the same time as Howard was making these despicable comments, he was ignoring repeated warnings from Australia's intelligence agencies that an Australian corporation had been (and were continuing to) funnel bribes totalling some $300 million to the regime of Saddam Hussein.
That's a lot of comfort.
Australia has some of the most brilliant anti-terrorism and military intelligence minds in the world. But Howard clearly doesn't pay much attention to their reports, or briefings.
If he did, he would know that the 'War On Iraq' is already being widely viewed as a defeat for the West and "a boost for terrorists" across the world.
Does he really believe that the 'War On Iraq' is going to be resolved in a way that can be seen as some great victory for the West?
Yes, he clearly believes that this is how history will view this fiasco.
So what else does Howard have to say about the 'War On Iraq' these days?
Pretty much the exact same guff he was spouting back in February, 2003.
Here's Howard on November 11 this year :
"...if the coalition leaves Iraq, in circumstances where it is viewed by the rest of the world, and particularly by terrorists, as a defeat, that will have enormous and negative ramifications for the prestige and the authority of the United States in the world."Here's Howard on February 20, 2003 :
"...if the world walks away from this (war), the damage to the authority....of the United States will be huge."So, if the United States walked away from an illegal invasion of Iraq in February, 2003, the damage to the "authority" of the United States would have been "huge".
Now he claims if the United States (and Australia) leaves Iraq, the damage to the "authority" of the United States will have "negative ramifications".
The "authority" and "prestige" of the United States was damaged when it became clear only weeks after the invasion of Iraq that there were no WMDs, just as Saddam Hussein and United Nations weapons inspectors said.
The "negative ramifications" Howard so fears have been piling up for more than two years, as Iraqi, Iranian and Al Qaeda fighters armed with homemade bombs took on the greatest military force in the world and destroyed hundreds of American tanks, trucks and Humvees, killing thousands of mostly unarmoured US and British troops.
Howard is clearly living in a fantasyland if he truly believes that the Coalition can leave Iraq with its "authority" and "prestige" intact.
He is deluding himself and he is attempting to delude all Australians.
For the record, a few paragraphs below you will some more Howard fantasyland quotes from the first six months of 2003. A period during which he was being briefed and fed reports telling him (if he had bothered to actually read them) that the Iraq War was not going to work out the way he was dreaming it would.
Of course, Australia's intelligence agencies - like those of the United States, France, Germany, Israel, Russia and United Kingdom - foresaw the rise of the Iraqi insurgency before it became an exploding reality, and repeatedly warned the leaders of Australia, the UK and the United States that Iraq would become a live-field training ground for Al Qaeda terrorists should the war continue beyond the end of 2003.
Our children, our grandchildren, will be living with the legacy of The War HowardBushBlair Had To Have.
Considering this terror-laden legacy, it would be honourable of John Howard to start telling the truth about the 'War On Iraq' instead of continuing to spout the kind of twaddle that makes senior ranks of Australia's Army and intelligence services cringe every time they hear him opining on this incredibly damaging fiasco.
Howard's attempts to continually spin the the reality, and the generations-long blowback we can now expect from the 'War On Iraq', would be laughable, if it wasn't so utterly, horribly tragic. For the people of Australia, and the people of Iraq.
THE VERY BEST OF JOHN HOWARD
THE IRAQ WAR - THE FIRST SIX MONTHS
"....our goal is to make certain that the weapons that Iraq now has, chemical and biological and a capacity to develop nuclear weapons, are taken from Iraq." - January 23, 2003
"..if as a consequence of that military action the current regime disappears, that circumstances in Iraq could well be a lot better, I’m certain they will be a lot better and that in a relatively short period of time the situation could stabilise in the way that it did in Afghanistan." - February 7. 2003
"I think there’s a very big connection between Iraq and North Korea and the connection is this, if the Security Council and the world community can’t discipline Iraq it has no hope of disciplining North Korea." - February, 16, 2003
"Iraq must be disarmed. We cannot afford to allow a rogue state like Iraq to retain chemical and biological weapons. Others will do likewise. North Korea will not be disciplined by the world community if Iraq is not disciplined." - March 14, 2003
"I have no doubt at all in my mind, and many would agree with me, that the Iraqi people will suffer less if Saddam Hussein is removed." - March 17, 2003
"...we don’t have any quarrel with the ordinary people of Iraq, we don’t want to inflict any avoidable pain, injury or death on them. We do have a big quarrel with the regime because it’s the regime that has defied the world in relation to its chemical and biological weapons. We mustn’t lose sight of what this is all about." - March 20, 2003
"....on the scale of suffering I have believed for a long time that the people of Iraq will suffer less if he’s gone than if he’s left there." - March 21, 2003
"...it is a very tyrannical regime and once it’s gone the people of Iraq will I’m sure have a much better life." - April 2, 2003
"...if Iraq had disarmed and fully cooperated, then I don’t think people would have been arguing on its own for regime change." - April 2, 2003
"...getting rid of the regime and thereby ensuring that Iraq does not retain chemical and biological weapons or a capacity to develop them in the future, that is the goal....I would say victory once the regime is gone." - April 6, 2003
"...we won't be making a significant peacekeeping contribution....I'm not talking about a period of 12 months or two years...we certainly don't intend to have a significant army of peacekeepers." - April 10, 2003
"...the same thing with the civilian casualties. Of course there were. But you have to put that in the balance against the tens upon tens of thousands who have died in different ways as a result of this regime." - April 13, 2003
President Bush estimated months ago that more than 30,000 civilians had died as a result of the US-Australian-UK led invasion of Iraq. The Iraqi Healthy Ministry estimated earlier this month that more than 150,000 civilians had been killed.
"It was inevitable that when you topple a tyrannical regime and you took the lid off, it was inevitable there was going to be a period of some upheaval..." - April 16, 2003
Two years and seven months have now passed since Howard predicted "a period of some upheaval."
"...it was a remarkable military victory, and a great tribute to the American military leadership." - May 2, 2003
Howard : Defeat Of Coalition In Iraq Will Spoil US Reputation
Howard : "By All Means Let Us Talk To Syria And Iran"
Bribing Saddam - The Greatest International Scandal In Australia's History
The brave and supremely confident words of Corporal Ben Novak, a 27 year old Oz-Brit (dual citizenship). He was a Royal Marine and he died in Southern Iraq last Sunday, along with three other Royal Marines on the Shatt al-Arab waterway outside of Basra.
Corporal Novak had been in Iraq for just one week.
His mother said Ben was "so proud to be a Royal Marine. He would wear that uniform whenever he could."
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Warns Australians About Dangers Of Becoming More "Anti-American"
By Darryl Mason
Rupert Murdoch, head of News Limited and one of only a handful of Australians who have ever renounced their Australian citizenship purely to make more money, said in a speech tonight that the United States is guilty of taking Australia "too much for granted".
During his speech at the first American Australian Association dinner in Sydney he said "America takes Australia too much granted....the best way to keep a friend is to be a friend."
He said the United States "should not come calling only when in need."
He also lectured Australians about what he believes to be a rising tide of anti-Americanism in this country, admitting that a lot of this sentiment is a result of the 'War On Iraq' he so fervently backed.
“I am well aware that the Iraq war was and is unpopular among many Australians," Murdoch said.Incredibly ironic, of course, because it was his media empire that so relentlessly and ruthlessly promoted the need for a 'War On Iraq' through 2002 and the first few months of 2003 and undeniably helped to pave the way for it to become a reality.
And it was his newspapers in Australia that so consistently savaged those who tried to warn that attacking Iraq would lead to exactly the kind of bloodshed and destruction, carnage and monstrous death tolls that he now recognises as helping to spread anti-Americanism through Australia, Europe and the UK.
Why do people like Murdoch and Australia's prime minister John Howard continually insist on calling it anti-Americanism when it should be more honestly defined as anti-Bushism?
Australians on the whole do not hate Americans. American tourists are not regularly abused or attacked on the streets of our cities. It is President Bush, and his odious doctrine of pre-emptive war and global domination by military force, that infuriates so many Australians.
"...I am well aware that not every Australian sees the current American administration in a favourable light," Murdoch said. "But wars end. Administrations come and go.”
Administrations do come and go, and Murdoch's incredible media power in the United States and Australia usually ensures he gets exactly the kind of administration he wants, for the benefit of his business and ideological interests.
"The Australian people must not allow their perfectly legitimate doubts about one policy or one American administration to cloud their long-term judgment...Australians must resist and reject the facile, reflexive, unthinking anti-Americanism that has gripped much of Europe...Australian sentiment is thankfully nowhere near Europe's level of hostility, but it could get there. And it mustn't."
Well it won't, as long the United States doesn't insist on smashing sovereign countries based on a filthy pack of lies and distortions.
Murdoch was in Australia to launch a $50 million Centre for United States Studies at the University of Sydney. He said the centre will be valuable to the United States because it will
"raise awareness, dispel myths, groom new leaders...."
It will be extremely interesting to see just what "myths" the Centre for United States Studies tries to dispel.
Here's what Australian PM John Howard had to say about Australians and anti-Americanism :
"While anti-Americanism seemingly finds a ready outlet in every age, we should not pretend that it is cost-free. For some, a bit of armchair anti-Americanism may be nothing more than a mild indulgence. But … be careful what you wish for."
Armchair anti-Americanism? What about wheelchair anti-Americanism? Or toilet seat anti-Americanism? Do you have to be sitting comfortably in an armchair to spout of anti-Americanisms?
Did Howard actually consider what effect the possibility of him pushing forward on committing Australian troops to a war on the other side of the world, agaisnt a nation that did not threaten us, might actually have on the locals?
Of course he did. But he did it anyway.
And he regrets nothing. Just like Rupert.
Go To 'Your New Reality' For More
Some background on the American Studies Centre from the Melbourne Age :
Mr Murdoch was horrified by last year's Lowy Institute poll showing that the only countries generating less positive feelings about the US than Australia were Indonesia, the Middle East, Iran and Iraq. It found that of the 39 per cent of Australians who felt negatively towards the US, almost all thought Australia paid too much attention to Washington's views.
Mr Murdoch raised the issue with the American Australian Association, which led to the idea of creating a US Studies Centre, to be based at Sydney University with a $25 million commitment from the Federal Government.
Guests at last night's dinner included former prime ministers Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser, Andrew Peacock, Frank Lowy, Sol Trujillo, James Packer, Mr Murdoch's son, Lachlan, and Lachlan's friends Collette Dinnigan and Baz Luhrmann.
The dinner, for which guests paid up to $35,000 a table, also raised money to support a fellowship program for Australian and US postgraduate scholars to study in both countries.
Sydney University Wins Bid For US Studies Centre
Australia Is Not America
Friends In Need : Howard, Murdoch Stand By US
Australian American Studies Centre Installed By Murdoch's Demand After Shock Poll Revealed 39% Think Negatively Of US, And Fear US Almost As Much As they Fear Iran
Kazakhi TV reporter Borat has challenged Australian PM John Howard to show his true strength.
Funny, yes, but this is definitely something no Australian wants to see broadcast on television.
If Howard takes up the Borat challenge, let him do it away from the cameras, if that's possible for Australia's most infamous media whore.
From news.com.au :
...Borat has questioned whether Prime Minister John Howard has the balls to govern Australia.
Borat threw down the weighty challenge to Mr Howard at the Australian premiere of his mockmentary Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan in Sydney last night.
"In our country it is not the man with the most votes who wins, it is the man who can suspend the heaviest weight from his testes satchel," he said...
"Our current premier can carry a car battery for almost eight seconds ... how long can (John Howard) suspend from his?"
BUT THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT WANTS TO TOSS THEM OUT
The Australian media rarely has a positive story on Aborigines. Which seems remarkable when you consider that Aborigines have survived and thrived for more than 60,000 years or longer, in some of the harshest environments in the world.
The ancient knowledge of the Aborigines has much to offer the Australian government now panicking over an horrific combination of widespread drought, massive crop failures and unprecedented water shortages.
Obviously, the Aborigines were doing something right for those centuries of centuries.
You would think that such a world rarity of vital ancient knowledge would be a treasure trove of information for the Australian government struggling now to deal with the end fatal results of two hundred years of land-clearing, river diversions and the near ceaseless logging that has wiped away more than 90% of Australia's ancient rainforests and woodlands.
But you'd be wrong.
Many Aborigines are thriving still, despite the overwhelmingly negative victimisation and stereotyping served up by most Australian media. It is their own fault, a seemingly endless stream of dull-headed 'opinion makers' inform us, because too many Aborigines reject Western culture and 'civilisation'. They don't want to step into the 21st Century, apparently.
There now seems to be a few very good reasons why this resistance is essential to the survival of their race.
New studies show that many Aborigines have a far better shot at a longer, healthier life once they turn away from Western processed foods, alcohol-fuelled leisure and inactive lifestyles.
The example to support this argument is rarely mentioned in the Australian media.
Welcome to the Aborigianl paradise of Utopia.
From the London Times :
Researchers have found such clear indicators of the wellbeing of the people of Utopia — a 1,160 square mile (3,000 sq km) former cattle station in the red desert dust north of Alice Springs — that policy-makers are having to reconsider the worth of an ancient Aboriginal way of life that rejects much of comfortably off Australia’s eating, working and leisure habits.At least, until the Australian government comes to try and force them from their traditional lands and into the cities.
Yet those healthy traditions may be under threat. Ministers in the Howard Government have declared small Aboriginal communities to be unsustainable and argued for their closure and the removal of inhabitants to enlarged townships. There, they suggest, better services could be provided.
In Utopia’s 16 tiny settlements — known as outstations — infants are fed the blood of kangaroos hunted by their relatives. Old women catch and cook big goanna lizards. People wander the spinifex grasses and dig out succulent honey ants and witchetty grubs for eating. Women make batches of Aboriginal medicines from desert plants, relying on ancestral recipes. Not many people smoke, and only a few drink.
Many in Utopia spend the bakingly hot days in rough shelters, alongside dogs. Houses are often crowded and dirty. Most struggle to pay for food and petrol from the single store. Yet these people are 40 per cent less likely to die prematurely than other Aboriginals in the Northern Territory.
According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, their health approaches — and even exceeds in crucial respects — that of white Australians long expected to outlive Aborigines by 15 to 20 years.
Lennie Jones, a senior elder, is certain of the source of his community’s health: “Out here, we live on bush tucker. Old fellows and kids still hunt. We don’t have white tucker.”
Another, Albert Bailey, whose 76 years represent longevity unusual among Aborigines, says: “In the big communities the young fellows get on the grog all the time. Here we stop ’em. We stay on the land of our grandfathers, always.”
Sometimes it pays to listen to those who know more than you do, particularly about a land as vast and resource-wealthy and bush food-rich as Australia.
If you ever get the chance to go on a 'Bush Tucker Tour' in Australia with an Aboriginal guide, don't pass it up. To take a walk through what seems like fairly barren scrub, and then to learn that there is a rich variety of food in the form of berries, roots and leaves all around you is to see the country through new eyes.
They mystery of how Aborigines managed to survive for so long in the harsh climates of Australia becomes clear when you learn just how much food and water there is to be found, when you know what you're looking for, and you know where to look.
As for dealing with the drought, at least in the decades to come, there is a simple and clear truth in what an Aboriginal elder in the Blue Mountains told me, a few years back :
"If you got the trees, the rains will come. More trees, more rain, it's always been this way."
Go Here For The Full London Times Story