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John Passant

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September 2014
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My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
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Terror, permanent war and hysteria

First it was an increased terror alert. Two days later it was the deployment of troops to help the fight against Islamic State. On Thursday, just four days later, it was 800 police raiding homes in Sydney and 70 in Brisbane to stop ‘planned terrorist’ activities.

End result? One person has been charged with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act. The evidence? A phone call from one of the Islamic State barbarians urging Australian followers to kidnap people off the streets in Sydney and Brisbane and behead them, wrapped in an IS flag. A few others may be charged on Friday. I understand two have been charged with minor offences and are on bail.

There is not enough evidence to convict a dead dog as yet, but the raids aren’t about protecting us. They are about creating hysteria. We are re-entering the period of permanent war. Fear is king. The Abbott government is terrorising us. Our rulers are importing the terror they export to Muslim and other countries.

The ‘enemy’, the ‘other’ is supposedly both external and within. It is a common ploy of our rulers. Over white Australia’s history the threat has been variously the Chinese, the yellow peril, the Russians, the Germans, the Japanese, the Reds, immigrants, refugees and of course the founding ‘enemy’, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. It unites ‘us’ all, boss and worker, against the other and helps the bosses set their agenda. That agenda includes the West’s terrorism worldwide to subdue the peoples of rebellious countries and impose the market for the benefit of Western capitalism.

Muslims in Australia today are, for the capitalist class and its politicians, the perfect other, the perfect target, the manufactured representation of both home-grown and overseas terror and terrorism.

They are the decoy for neoliberalism and the West’s permanent global war.

It is no accident that on the same day this happens Drear Admiral Scott Morrison releases details of the ‘success’ of turning back the refugee boats. The government is playing to what it perceives are its strengths – war, national security and asylum seekers.

It is also no accident that as Australia begins to catch up with the rest of the Western world and enter permanent economic crisis the government is giving us permanent war.

Some Australians will respond with fear. Some, bless their hearts, will see through this 3 card trick.

This is despite the Labor Party ‘Opposition’ walking lockstep with the Government on the war and anti-terrorism measures. They are disenfranchising the majority of Australians who oppose going back into Iraq.

The hysteria around terror might reduce opposition to the war, at least in the short term. It might distract from the anger people have about the rotten Budget, at least in the short term. But the Budget attacks are so great and everywhere there will be reminders of what the bastards want to do, when we visit the doctor, go to public hospitals, attend University, help look after our disabled relatives, that the anger won’t disappear in a sea of nationalist war and anti-terrorist fear mongering.

This war may well be like the previous invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan – disguised defeats for the West. Many people intuitively know that, which is why they oppose this latest lunacy in Iraq.

As well as stoking fear, the arranged spectacle of ‘terrorist’ arrests is an attempt to provoke Islamophobia. There is an audience for this and ordinary Muslims are likely to be attacked in the streets for the crime of being Muslim.

The ALP’s grovelling response to going to war in Iraq and the ‘terrorism’ arrests shows that Labor is bankrupt. We need to build a movement and ultimately a political party that not only gives voice to the voiceless but argues for a new society, a democratic one which ends war, racism and poverty and produces goods and services to satisfy human need.

Let’s start by building an anti-war and anti-Budget movement to stop the war on Muslims and the war on the poor.



Comment from Richard Heggie
Time September 19, 2014 at 8:27 am

Hi John

Yes – the confluence of events seems suspicious. The government, at the very least, has been opportunistic in taking full political advantage of the circumstances.

There is a key lesson to take away from the background behind yesterday’s terror raids and arrest. It would seem that a person in Sydney received a telephone call from a high-ranking ISIL member in Iraq/Syria, exhorting him to perform and video the public beheading of a random person in Martin Place. Truly a most evil act of terrorism.

The question we should ask however is “How will airstrikes and military intervention against ISIL lessen the risk of such acts of radical ideology?” Any thinking person with a modicum of understanding of human nature would conclude that the use of state-sanctioned violence will only increase the likelihood of radical individuals retaliating with violence themselves. Acts of terror are the easiest means for inflicting violence within the capability of individual radicals.

A balanced level of law enforcement and security surveillance/vigilance is required in the interests of a safer society. Each and every individual would need to embrace the core values and ethics of compassion and understanding for all humanity before societies could become ‘perfectly safe’. Not likely to happen soon. The interim objective is to achieve a level of balance commensurate with the threat – and which does not overstimulate fear, distrust and racial tension (especially Islamophobia) or overly encroach upon the civil liberties of people.

I heard one academic commentator saying yesterday that Australia’s police and security forces seem ‘well served’ by the current laws of surveillance and apprehension. The ‘success’ of the raids last week and yesterday (and indeed going back many years) tends to support this view. Perhaps the proposed laws to extend police powers will not pass parliament next week – but I do not hold out much hope of that.

War against ISIS is not the answer. We cannot bomb an idea or ideology out of existence. It is astounding that political and military strategists continue to ignore the lessons of previous western military intervention in the Middle East. It has been dismally unsuccessful, killed hundreds of thousands of people (combatants and civilians) and in fact been the driving force to produce the angry, radicalised members of ISIS and other power groups (even the so-called ‘moderate rebels’) that we see now. Why will this intervention be any different?

Comment from Ross
Time September 20, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Excellent article John. Remember a little while ago Nth Korea were the demons ? Then it was Iran and Syria. Iran is now in the fold for a while with Saudi Arabia on the outer.

China and Russia were once in the fold until they began the BRICS development bank.

We have actually betrayed our US alliance by trading directly with China in Yuan but now anger Russia China’s ally against the West.

It was the Petro $ in 1971 that has propped up the US $ and allowed the US Fed to dominate the planet with their fiat money.

This is all coming to an end and that’s why they want war.

The West wants to play nuclear chicken ,hoping that Russia and China will blink first. I think they are planning a limited nuke war to bring about their New World Order.

The stakes cannot be higher because they are all MAD.