Hoo-roo Reds   30/3/2004

Posturing, delusional, conceited beyond apology…Ron Rosenbaum nails the modern Left in this regretful essay in the New York Observer.
Thanks to Tim Blair.
Recently I saw the strangest documentary, a film with a title that sounds like a Woody Allen joke: Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary. It’s a New York Film Festival pick and well worth seeing, just for the example of willed, obtuse blindness on the part of the secretary when she claims that she was insulated from all the terrible things happening during the war. But even Hitler’s secretary—unlike Heidegger, unlike the knee-jerk anti-American Left—feels the need to make some gesture of dismay at her “blind spot” in retrospect. But not the know-it-alls of the Left, who have never been wrong about anything since they adopted Marxism as their cult in college. What would the harm be in admitting that one didn’t know as much at in college as history has taught us now?
But noooo … (as John Belushi liked to say). Instead, we get evasions and tortuous rationalizations like the Slavoj Ziz^ek zigzag: This extremely fashionable postmodern Marxist academic will concede the tens of millions murdered by Stalin, etc., but it’s “different” from the millions murdered by Hitler, because the Soviet project was built on good intentions, on utopian aspirations; the tens of millions dead were an unfortunate side effect, a kind of unfortunate, accidental departure from the noble Leninist path that still must be pursued.

And here’s a killer for that next inner-urban dinner party:

Goodbye to paralysis by moral equivalence: Remind me again, was it John Ashcroft or Fidel Castro who put H.I.V. sufferers in concentration camps?

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Alternative news   29/3/2004

Finally, we’re beginning to get some background reports on the war on terror that are not predicated by a commentator’s political indoctrination 30 years ago or some failed public service bum with an axe to grind.
Fresh, quality information that could be interpreted as vindication for the WOT has been appearing in the past few days in Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian.
First, there was Saturday’s intriguing break that Syria has been sounding out Australian diplomats in a bid to win back US favour.

Secret talks between the two nations have been under way for months but have become more urgent as rogue nations reconsider their role in allowing terrorists to thrive, in light of the US determination to take pre-emptive military action.
A Syrian embassy will be opened in Canberra in weeks and Australia is considering reopening its mission in Damascus.

Shades of Gadaffi’s overtures to Blair.

Today the Oz publishes transcripts of interrogations of al-Qa’ida operations chief Khalid Shaikh Mohammed that show preparations for the 9/11 and more widespread terrorist attacks on the US began much earlier than anyone had realised and were intended to be even more devastating.

“The original plan was for a two-pronged attack with five targets on the east coast of America and five on the west coast,” Khalid told interrogators.

As well, another report in The Australian suggests it may have been all about oil after all.
That is, as suggested by this blog yesterday, oil in the hands of the United Nations.

AN investigation into the United Nations oil-for-food program in Iraq is to name more than 200 people, including British and European politicians, businessmen and senior UN officials, who may have profited from Saddam Hussein’s regime.

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Reading matters   

Free Book 1:
I’d read about BookCrossing, the worldwide fraternity of literature liberators, but my first encounter was not until last night. A Geelong member left three Bookcrossing-branded novels at the office front door and they were picked up by a colleague returning from dinner. I selected the most apt title, Deadline, by Tom Stacey (seeing that was what I was in the process of meeting) and hope to read it in the next couple of days and release it to the wild in BookCrossing style. Anything that encourages story telling is fine by me and I like the way a humble paperback’s progress can become an enthralling tale in itself.

Free Book 2:
Gary North at Lewrockwell.com has written an extensive piece on Mel Gibson’s Passion movie and how the movie represents heavy armory against the barbarians in the culture war.
I argue in my book that the media’s war on The Passion of the Christ has been systematic and increasingly frantic. It is part of the overall culture war that is being waged by the Left on America specifically and the West generally.
He refused publishers’ demands to soften his attacks on media and Hollywood so is offering the manuscript free on the Net for the next day or so.
It downloads in Acrobat from his site.

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yeah, that too   

The Australian wasted some space this morning correcting a quote it attributed to National Party Senator Sandy McDonald saying “Syria is a country that has been a bastard state for nearly 40 years.”
It should have read “Syria is a country that has been a Baathist state for nearly 40 years.”
Wish they’d explain the difference.

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Kofi creamed?   28/3/2004

For the dreamers of this world who think shiploads of workers taxes and endless gabbing will solve all problems, Kofi Annan is the nearest thing to a secular saint.
But it seems St Kofi could soon appear in a much less holy light. From The Age’s Roger Franklin:

If all pillage was as easy to explain, the UN might not today be facing what is shaping up as the biggest scandal in its history. This time it’s not about cutlery and baked hams, but at least $11 billion, depending on who is doing the counting – or rather, the guessing, since the UN has been disinclined to investigate.
Whatever the sum, it vanished from the UN-administered Iraq Oil for Food program, and those at the centre of suspicion are not lowly bureaucrats but a tight cluster of high-up insiders centred on the office, family and inner circle of Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself.

Trouble is, who ya gunna call to bust the UN? Or as Lisa Simpson asked: “Who will police the police, Daddy?”
Homer: “D’oh, da Coast Guard?”

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Told you so   26/3/2004

In the memorable words of ancient Aussie Rules commentator Mike Williamson, I TIPPED THIS!
In the wake of the Spanish election fiasco, I suggested there could be similar pre-election pressure for Australia to squirm from our Iraq commitments.

With an Australian election due later this year, the left will be hoping for a similar anti-Iraq expression at the polls here, I opined.
They want to be careful, though. Push it too hard and they can be accused of playing into the hands of terrorists, virtually inviting the barbarians to mount an attack.

This week Lacker Latham, apparently without consulting shadow minstry colleagues, vowed to drag Australia’s troops out of Iraq by Christmas, should Labor win the election.
My prediction was on the money it seems.
Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun today:
By promising to bring our troops in Iraq home by Christmas if he wins the election, he made us exactly the tempting target for al-Qaida that Spain was before the Madrid bombings.
Didn’t Latham learn anything from that outrage, which killed more than 200 commuters? Surely he isn’t so hungry that he will risk even the lives of his countrymen to scare up more votes?
Before this month’s Spanish election, Spain’s Socialist Opposition also promised to withdraw its country’s peacekeepers in Iraq if it won power. Just as Latham has here.

The Australian’s editorial was also scathing:

HOW could Mark Latham get himself into such a tangle on the issue of
Australian troops in Iraq? This was not the time – less than a fortnight after the devastating terror attack in Spain – to send out a signal of weakness and division to our enemies.
This was not the time to abandon an effectively bipartisan approach that agreed our troops were in Iraq until their job there was done. And this was definitely not the time to make national security policy on the run.

Even the blind intellectual’s pin-up girl, Michelle Grattan, was uncharacteristically critical in the Labor-luvvin Age:

Mark Latham has now waded deeply and riskily into the politics of the US alliance, and whether he’ll win or be winged is up in the air.
By his promise to bring Australian troops home by Christmas Latham has, probably inadvertently, dramatically elevated as an election issue Australia’s presence in Iraq.
By implication, and certainly without intending, he has put the issue of what Australia is willing to do for the alliance on the agenda too.

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A piece in his time   

Holy cow, the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition has had Viagra with his Weeties. Lacker’s got the idea the solution to terrorism and general international tension is a spot of mattress pounding. Dunno how he thinks all those millions of wannabe martyrs came about.

So, it’s up to me and other life-loving, babe-rooting socialists (like my fellow Don Juan in Spain) to stop this pointless “war on terror”.
Of course, tightarsed Tories will say that this is deserting the joint, and the problem will continue to grow. But that’s crap.
Let’s face it, at the end of the day, not getting your dick wet is the cause of all violence in the world. This is especially so in the case of terrorism. (People talk about “root causes”, but actually it’s more of a “no-root” cause, isn’t it?)
When these shat-off chick-phobes see that we Aussies value rooting far more than shooting, they’ll realise that they too are mightily out of touch with their sexuality. And when they finally shrug off their shag-shackles and go the tonk freely with their spunky doe-eyed babes, they will understand that all that jihad shit was just a big fat wank.
Then – and only then – will there be peace in our time.

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Underground beauty   25/3/2004

Message from Woodsie, who’s doing the spruiking for owners of the mesmerisingly chatoyant Virgin Rainbow opal. Dunno about Slattery, but around here flattery will get you anywhere.
G’day Slatts and gidday members of the intelligenzia who like me get our kicks at Slattsnews. Hands up all those who sit quietly in front of your VDU and ogle this site – but have never crept up and chalked on the board? Go on – do it! It feels great. It is your democratic right to get up like me and make a complete goose of yourself – right Slatts? So don’t be shy.
On great shyness – if you wonder what the bloke who discovered the rarest Belemnite crystal black opal ever – looks like – here’s a link to some new shots of him and his toy, as well as his humble rathole aka Home Sweet Home 4500 square feet of it underground. Pity he didn’t give us a cheesy grin! He is soon to be a millionaire when the tender for the VR closes. Hands up who’s making a bid! See the lucky bloke
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X-rated Margoyle   24/3/2004

Habib’s got me cackling like a chook on a bong by passing a Mangled Kingston column through the the Pornolizer.
Sample:
The battle is deep throated. Howard’s behaviour last week has given Latham the farting opportunity to become a ballbusting winner on national security, using the wanking most effective weapon there is against Howard – his lack of candour. He’s now got proof most Australians accept that Howard also shafts his top officials blowing the spewing truth, barfing Latham to aardvarked credibility…
Hey, it makes a little more sense now.

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Picture perfect   23/3/2004

Can’t resist a visual giggle, so master of Photoshop forgery, Jamie of Aussie View, has been added to the blogroll.
Visit him, he’s slick.

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Yassar, you’re next   

Can’t you just imagine the slimy little kid-murderer cowering in his bunker, his scabrous sphincter twitching at the spectre of Israeli armaments turning him into a thousand bits.

More than 2000 enraged protesters marched to Arafat’s headquarters, chanting for revenge. “We sacrifice our souls and our blood for you Sheik Yassin,” they screamed.
The crowd knocked on the gate of the headquarters and demanded to speak to the Palestinian leader. Arafat remained holed up inside, apparently fearing that he too might be targeted by Israel.
“He is like a man who was hit on the head because they killed Yassin and now they could kill him,” said an aide to Arafat, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He feels his turn is next and he is sad and worried.”

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Good news   22/3/2004

My Consolidate Minerals stock is chugging along nicely. In the wake of rising oil prices the market today has followed Wall Street’s lead and plunged. The All Ordinaries is down 30 points. Yet Consolidated has continued its upward trend to gain 2c to $1.20. AMP is showing bullet-proof signs, too. It’s jumped 5c to $5.43 after sinking to $4.40 last month on news of lousy deals in London.

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Fizzers   21/3/2004

Protests to mark the first anniversary of the Iraq war have been a flop in Australia with only a few thousand nationally turning out to demonstrate.
Only about 5000 protested nationally against the campaign that rid the world of a tyrant, put a nation on the road to democracy and forced another despot to clean up his act.
Worldwide, attendances were barely a tenth of those who protested against the war a year ago, drawing mainly the extreme leftwing of the anti-war movement.
Interest in Australia was so low that neither the Sunday Age in Melbourne or any of the News Limited Sunday papers bothered with reports. The Sydney Morning Herald’s web site devoted one paragraph to the news that an estimated 3000 protesters took to the streets in Sydney.
It was left to the ABC to deliver the bad news to the left that interest is waning in their anti-war cause.
The national broadcaster reported some 3000 people turned out in Sydney, chanting “End the occupation, troops out” and carrying an effigy of Prime Minister John Howard, a staunch supporter of the war.
Last year some 200,000 protested against the war.
Journalist John Pilger ensured the RWDB fact-checking machine will be whirring overnight with his claim to the Sydney rally that thousands of American soldiers are sick or dying due to uranium-tipped bombs dropped on Iraqi cities.
“By every meaning of the word terrorism the invasion of Iraq was a massive act of terrorism,” Pilger said. He refrained from urging the crowd to attack Australian service personnel, an action he endorses if carried out by terrorists in Iraq.
In Melbourne, 2000 people heard from the father of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks and the executive officer of the Victorian Council of Churches, Maureen Postma.
Brisbane’s rally attracted about 500 people, who heard from speakers including the ALP’s national president, Dr Carmen Lawrence.
ABC’s Hobart office didn’t bother filing a crowd estimate, reporting simply that “Tasmanians gathered in Hobart’s Franklin Square for a silent vigil and march.”
The news wasn’t much better from overseas for the anti-war crowd.
The left-leaning, “alternative voice” Inter Press Service News Agency noted that organisers were “clearly disappointed with the turnout estimated by the police at no more than 25,000″ in London. An organiser told media representatives that one reason for the low turnout was that “the weather isn’t great.” More than a million demonstrated in London last before the war last year.
An estimated 120,000 protested across Japan, including two rallies in Tokyo that each drew about 30,000 people, the Kyodo news agency said.
In Greece, around 10,000 protesters marched toward the US embassy in Athens which was protected by hundreds of riot police. But the numbers were well down on the some 100,000 who marched against the war last year.
Fox news reports that protesters filled more than a dozen police-lined blocks in Manhattan, calling on President Bush to bring home U.S. troops serving in Iraq. Mayor Michael Bloomberg (search) estimated the crowd at about 30,000, but organizers said later that number had grown to more than 100,000.
Organizers estimated up to 2 million people demonstrated in Rome, and 100,000 in London, but police in those cities gave estimates of 250,000 and 25,000, respectively.
About 500 protesters clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines capital, Manila.
Those hitting the street weren’t all rabid Bush, Blair and Howard haters.
Many of the US demonstrations were accompanied by smaller gatherings of Bush supporters. In Los Angeles, marchers passed by several dozen people who lined one Hollywood block, waving flags and chanting “Four more years.”
“We believe in George Bush. We believe in what he’s doing,” said Gary Beck, 48, who was visiting from Tampa, Fla.

UPDATE:
Tim Blair, as expected, is all over the great non-attendance. And commenters there explain how Pilger’s latest lie came about:

DU tipped artillery shells are used by the US forces in some anti-armour/anti-tank weapons. That is well-known, as is the fact that DU poses no significant radiological hazard. If it’s low level of radioactivity could possibly be harmful, variations in natural background radiation from place to place would pose even more of a risk.
It is possible that the US also uses DU in highly specialised “bunker-busting” bombs. I am not aware of any but it is a possible use.
However, Pilger is claiming that there were “uranium-tipped bombs dropped on Iraqi cities” and implying that this was a routine practice. That is an outright lie. He is also claiming that “thousands” of American soldiers are sick and dying as a result. That is another outright lie.

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Selective history in practice   20/3/2004

Alan E. Brain has been doing a lot of clicking and counting at the National Library of Australia’s web site to come up with a disturbing finding.
Alan accessed the library’s web archive, Pandora, to see how balanced was their coverage of the Iraq war.
Of the 4638 hits his search of “Iraq & Saddam” returned, Alan reviewed the first 1000. Of these, about 300 plus were political analysis and commentary. Of that 300 plus, he found two that were neutral, neither pro- nor anti- war, but dispassionate analysis of alternatives.
The rest in an archive intended for the elucidation of present and future generations, were all anti-Bush, anti-War, anti-American.
This is fucking well disgraceful and heads ought to roll. In fact, if it is at all possible, prosecution of those responsible should be undertaken.
I’ve fired off a please explain to those in charge at the library, but will not be satisfied with a glib white-wash.
Unless they give an undertaking to impose political balance in their archiving practices I intend to take it to the relevant minister.
I don’t mind if their archives on Iraq contain the mad ravings of Margo Kingston, the treacherous lies of Pilger, the plagiarised utterances of Adams; but I expect them to be countered by a roughly equal number of viewpoints from the other side of politics.
And that clearly displays the difference between us rationalists and the dumb, unconfident in their convictions, moral relativists: we can handle all sides of the debate, because we know truth will win; they can’t because they don’t want truth, only ideology.

To paraphrase the theme from one of the great TV shows:
“Who do you think you are kidding, Ms Listings?”

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Incompetence exposed   19/3/2004

Everyone likes to see a smug arsehole get his comeuppance. Red Kerry O’Brien copped his last night on the 7.30 Report from US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage:
KERRY O’BRIEN: But it’s just over three months away from that handover now and no-one can agree on an election date even for an interim government in Iraq.
They can’t agree on how the vote should be conducted and the UN’s position on that is far from clear?

RICHARD ARMITAGE: I think while you slept, others were working, Sir.

And:
KERRY O’BRIEN: Are you comfortable with the way America brought forward the date of its political handover to Iraq to June 30 and the strong perception that the deadline was dictated more by President Bush’s need to reduce the weight of a potential political millstone from around his neck leading into your own presidential election rather than consideration for Iraq?

RICHARD ARMITAGE: Well I think the way you put that I’d have to respond with an eight-letter word.
The word of course would be ‘nonsense’.

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Is good news news?   17/3/2004

I’ll be interested tonight to see if this survey is carried by the wire services. Bet it doesn’t make the ABC news.

The survey, for several international broadcasting organisations including the BBC, found that 57 per cent of Iraqis considered that life was better now than under Saddam.
Only 19 per cent of those questioned said it was worse, while nearly a quarter (23 per cent) said it was about the same.

Almost half (49 per cent) of those questioned said they believed the invasion of their country by coalition troops was right, compared with 39 per cent who said it was wrong.
Meanwhile, a separate poll of British people yesterday suggested that a slim majority (48 to 43 per cent) continued to support Britain’s involvement in Iraq.

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Teacher tirade   16/3/2004

Reckon John Howard and Brendan Nelson will have this little quote tucked away for the election campaign:

“The greatest obstacle to progress in this state’s schools is the leadership of the NSW Teachers Federation. It is a serial offender when it comes to opposing high standards, basic skills and accountability. It has tried to obstruct every effort by the Carr Government to move in this direction. The federation is locked in a time warp, practising the education beliefs of the 1970s.”

– Mark Latham, quoted by Christopher Pearson.

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London calling   

Hmmm, has my dabble on the market been picked up by clever lads in the City?
Consolidated Minerals Limited (“Consolidated”) (ASX: CSM, AIM: CNM, FSE: CMN) today announced a 15 per cent share placement to UK institutional investors to accommodate strong investor demand for its stock in the UK market.
The placement, to UK-based institutions, comprises 20.5 million shares at an issue price of A$1.23 (£0.50 at A$2.4636 = £1) per share to raise A$25.25 million (£10.25 million), and was arranged by London-based Numis Securities Limited (“Numis Securities”) and independent investment bank RFC Corporate Finance (“RFC”).
After the issue of the placement shares, Consolidated will have on issue 174.6 million shares, 12.5 million listed convertible notes and 4.5 million unlisted options.
Consolidated’s Managing Director, Michael Kiernan, said the placement would further augment the Company’s institutional shareholder base.
“There has been strong demand for stock in the UK following our first half profit performance and the positive outlook for our Australian manganese and chromite operations based on continuing strong market demand, particularly in China,” Kiernan said.
“This placement will enhance Consolidated’s financial position and our ability to move quickly to take advantage of future project opportunities, as well as underpinning internal growth plans including our planned manganese expansion, ongoing exploration and iron ore development initiatives,” he added.

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Leave a tip   

Anyone for dessert?

cafe.jpg

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Looking up his date   

Someone please get The Australian’s guest columnist, Doug Bandow, a calendar.
Doug’s ignoring or trivialising the deaths of thousands of barbarians’ victims by claiming that involvement in the overthrow of Saddam puts you front and centre in bin Laden’s firing line.
Or is he? Doug seems a tad confused:
The failure to establish a link to al-Qa’ida voided the promise that Saddam’s overthrow would weaken Islamic terrorism.
Doug then goes on to — guess what? — establish an al-Qa’ida link to Saddam’s overthrow:
To the contrary, turning Iraq into an unstable allied protectorate garrisoned by the US and allied states created both a new battleground with, and a new grievance for, terrorists. Blow-back to America’s friends as well as the US seemed inevitable.
Doug now loses it. It, being Australia’s place in time and space:
Australia was the first target, with the Bali bombing.
Er, the Bali bombing was on October 12, 2002. Subsequent blame-hurling by barbarians justified the murder of 88 Australians on the grounds of our support for East Timor’s liberation.
The invasion of Iraq kicked off on March 20, 2003.

UPDATE:
The brilliant Melanie Phillips refutes the argument that Iraq involvement is the main driving force behind al-Qaeda’s attacks:
Months before the Iraq war, al Q’aeda issued a stream of pronouncements listing Turkey, Spain, Italy and Vienna for attack — because these were once Muslim fiefdoms and are now ‘occupied territories’. Radical Islamists refer in their sermons to the 15th century loss of Muslim Spain to Catholicism— which is why the Madrid attack had such resonance.
These are people for whom historical defeats have the same salience as current events. So Osama bin Laden has even blamed Britain for destroying the Ottoman empire after World War 1. The purpose of the jihad is nothing less than to re-establish the Muslim empire which once stretched across much of the globe.
This means al Q’aeda’s sights are set on Africa, Asia, India and China as well as large chunks of Europe. This is why it has supported Islamist terror in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other Asian provinces of the former Soviet Union; or in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, or against India in Kashmir.
For al Q’aeda is waging a war of religious conquest. Its fundamental aim is to purge the world of heretics and infidels, whom it defines as anyone who doesn’t uphold the Islamic faith as laid down by itself.

UPDATE 2:
Still believe that by high-tailing it out of Iraq and leaving fledgling democratisers to the barbarians, the west will somehow become terror-proof?
Read Hitchins in Slate and Feel. Very. Stupid.

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