I’m going to be taking a break from blogging over the next few weeks (Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn, the Annunaki are angry and ZOG has demanded I attend some important meetings in Tel Aviv), so this will be one of my last posts for a while. When I get back I may (or may not) publish an interview with Propagandhi (or maybe some other band).
In the meantime…
The ‘Australia First Party’ (to be precise: Brendan Gidley, Terry Cooksley and Jim Saleam) has published online a statement on ‘The Liberal Party And Its Satellites’. It makes for interesting reading, presenting AF’s perspective on the recent history of the far right, and documenting the antics of its chief rivals, especially the ‘Australian Protectionist Party’. The APP’s efforts are denounced by AF on the basis of their being unable or unwilling to escape the gravitational pull of mainstream politics–especially the Liberal/National Coalition–and as compromised by Christian Zionism; fair dinkum nationalists are urged to stick with Dr. Jim. (Other nominated satellites are the ‘Christian Democratic Party’, ‘Fellowship Of The Round Table’, ‘One Nation’, ‘Australian Christian Nation Association’, ‘Australian Defence League’ and ‘Q Society’.)
While AF’s ruling triumvirate provide a potted history of groups on the far right and their inter-relationships (mainly focused on Sydney), they make one especially interesting reference to a group in Melbourne they call ‘Men in Black’, and a campaigning group called ‘Defend and Extend Medicare Group’, established in mid-2003 and terminating at the time of the 2004 Federal election. Tony Abbott, Australia’s next Prime Minister, denounced the Group as comprised of anarchists and communists and such, his denunciation being a feature of several articles published in the Murdoch press at the time (Radicals ‘seize health debate to panic public’ / Government accuses DEMG of having anarchist agenda, Charles Miranda and Keith Moor, The Daily Telegraph / Herald Sun, December 5, 2003; PM accuses Labor MP of anarchy link, Keith Moor, Herald Sun, December 6, 2003; Health activists on file, Keith Moor and Charles Miranda, Herald Sun, December 6, 2003; Activists reject ‘extreme’ tag, Keith Moor and Charles Miranda, Herald Sun, December 8, 2003). My vote for best line in the reportage goes to Keith Moor (PM accuses Labor MP of anarchy link): “Acting Prime Minister John Anderson yesterday accused Labor frontbencher Martin Ferguson of supporting a bizarre activist group controlled by an anarchist.”
Asked in Federal Parliament a series of questions regarding the DEMG, in early 2004 The Mad Monk (then Minister for Health and Ageing) denied the existence of any investigation. A subsequent article in The Age (Inquiry on health group dossiers, Paul Robinson, December 13, 2003) states that “The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security will be asked to investigate whether the Federal Government used police and intelligence agencies to discredit a campaign to defend Medicare”.
The Inspector-General made the obvious conclusion.
Speaking of ASIO…
ASIO gets more power to snoop
May 19, 2011
ASIO will be able to engage in industrial and economic espionage as well as spying on groups such as WikiLeaks on behalf of Australia’s two foreign spy outfits, under one of the most significant widening of its powers in a decade…
ASIO eye on WikiLeaks
May 23, 2011
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard’s department has revealed that WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, were the subject of Australian intelligence reporting last year as the government anticipated the whistleblower website would spill ”highly sensitive and politically embarrassing” secrets…
Terrorism very real: ASIO chief
The Sydney Morning Herald
May 26, 2011
THE killing of Osama bin Laden was a symbolic victory but will not diminish the terrorist threat to Australia, even as the dangers posed by cyber espionage and cyber theft continue to grow, the head of Australia’s most powerful spy agency says…
There is Much More to Say
…What are the likely consequences of the killing of bin Laden? For the Arab world, it will probably mean little. He had long been a fading presence, and in the past few months was eclipsed by the Arab Spring. His significance in the Arab world is captured by the headline in the New York Times for an op-ed by Middle East/al Qaeda specialist Gilles Kepel; “Bin Laden was Dead Already.” Kepel writes that few in the Arab world are likely to care. That headline might have been dated far earlier, had the US not mobilized the Jihadi movement by the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, as suggested by the intelligence agencies and scholarship. As for the Jihadi movement, within it bin Laden was doubtless a venerated symbol, but apparently did not play much more of a role for this “network of networks,” as analysts call it, which undertake mostly independent operations.
The most immediate and significant consequences are likely to be in Pakistan. There is much discussion of Washington’s anger that Pakistan didn’t turn over bin Laden. Less is said about the fury in Pakistan that the US invaded their territory to carry out a political assassination. Anti-American fervor had already reached a very high peak in Pakistan, and these events are likely to exacerbate it.
Pakistan is the most dangerous country on earth, also the world’s fastest growing nuclear power, with a huge arsenal. It is held together by one stable institution, the military. One of the leading specialists on Pakistan and its military, Anatol Lieven, writes that “if the US ever put Pakistani soldiers in a position where they felt that honour and patriotism required them to fight America, many would be very glad to do so.” And if Pakistan collapsed, an “absolutely inevitable result would be the flow of large numbers of highly trained ex-soldiers, including explosive experts and engineers, to extremist groups.” That is the primary threat he sees of leakage of fissile materials to Jihadi hands, a horrendous eventuality.
The Pakistani military have already been pushed to the edge by US attacks on Pakistani sovereignty. One factor is the drone attacks in Pakistan that Obama escalated immediately after the killing of bin Laden, rubbing salt in the wounds. But there is much more, including the demand that the Pakistani military cooperate in the US war against the Afghan Taliban, whom the overwhelming majority of Pakistanis, the military included, see as fighting a just war of resistance against an invading army, according to Lieven.
The bin Laden operation could have been the spark that set off a conflagration, with dire consequences, particularly if the invading force had been compelled to fight its way out, as was anticipated. Perhaps the assassination was perceived as an “act of vengeance,” as Robertson concludes. Whatever the motive was, it could hardly have been security. As in the case of the “supreme international crime” in Iraq, the bin Laden assassination illustrates that security is often not a high priority for state action, contrary to received doctrine…