The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Can the United States bank on Australian public apathy? > Comments

Can the United States bank on Australian public apathy? : Comments

By Kellie Tranter, published 15/4/2010

War in any form is an abomination. It is not an act of kindness. War rains death and destruction on civilian populations with devastating personal and social consequences.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All
One should commend Kellie for her enthusiastic approach to social responsibility. In this apathetic country generating awareness of any serious subject must be hard work. Using women as the vehicle for change certainly has much more chance of being successful in Australia as they are gaining strength through their increased, or equal importance in the workplace and their awareness of those matters that concern them more they appear to concern our male population, the future, security and family.
In this article, Kellie poses the question “Does the CIA think they can safely count on public apathy here?.
Let me answer that one. Yes. .Apathy has become a predominant characteristic. Used to be called ‘laid back’ and was admired by visitors as quaint. But when you can ask about the motivations for wars and receive the kind of answers that would charm the propagandists such as, ‘weapons of mass destruction’, the domino effect, communist expansion (remember that one), al Qaeda, the safety of Australia or whatever the current phrase is at the time, then you know the spinners have won.
No one even thinks about Turkmenistan and the starving US market for oil and gas needing a pipeline through Afghanistan-Pakistan-India; Iraq with its now US-controlled oil fields and distribution networks; Iran, second largest oil reserves in the world. Now, if you are a cynic then you are forced to ask why is it that an area of the world that has not generated a lot of interest from first world countries for centuries, now has their total interest and attention.
Yes, the faking of legitimacy for war is taxing for governments. But as Kellie said, the truth is slowly leaking out but, as in Australia, if you apathetic, who gives a hoot. anyway.
The 24 hour ‘watch and forget’ news philosophy suits governments everywhere.You need new disasters to generate financial support for military spending and new terrorist threats to keep everyone on their toes.
So long as you don't interfere with the footy broadcasts no one will realise we are part of a war.
Posted by rexw, Thursday, 15 April 2010 12:24:15 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Kellie - okay if you're going to stray into this area you need to take a few reality checks. One of the reasons that the Afghanistan war has attracted little media attention is because Australia's involvement in it is quite small, and the bulk of those in country aren't directly involved in fighting. Its really only the special forces who do the actual tigger pulling, and then not very often. The Department of Defence web site gives a nice run down on the figures. Secondly, the Aus soldiers involved are volunteer professionals, and it is hard for even the media outlets to become indigant or outraged over them being there.
Thirdly, although war is an abomination, sadly there are those in Afghanistan not trained in law or steeped in Western ideals of good government and humanity. Basically what you are saying is why don't we all leave and surrender the ordinary Afghanistan men and women to the mercies of the Taliban.
That's probably a good part of the reason why no one has said much about the war there. The choices are not very good.
All that said, the war certainly has not been going very well but, Kellie, you're going to have to broaden your reading. The list of events you cite are those that are important to you and not the electorate. In particular, if you want to be taken seriously by anyone don't quote Chomsky. Among other very bad choices he was a support of Pol Pot. There is some excelent material on the actual fighting of the war, which shows that at least a year or so ago the situation was dire indeed. There is a Combat Studies Institute and a Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College. Leave it with you.
Posted by Curmudgeon, Thursday, 15 April 2010 2:20:08 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard

I'm French, my country also sent troops to Afghanistan. Just like you I despise the talibans but I don't feel compelled to impose my views on the Afghan people at the price of enormous sufferings in war. Do you really believe one can impose democracy? Do you really think that our democracy is so worthwhile? Are you really convinced that imposing democracy (or 9/11, or any other reason they gave) is the true reason our soldiers where sent there? Just ask yourself why we did not have "en masse" Afghan refugees before the war and have them now.

Posted by Miso, Thursday, 15 April 2010 3:33:21 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Miso - useful points but not relevent to the argument or the story. The decision to go in was taken some years ago in the aftermath of 9/11 and the first part was thoroughly messed up by the US and others. Basically the whole thing should have been cleaned up and handed over to some group that would at least not mass murder civilians long before now. But it hasn't. However, we are there now, so the question comes down to whether should we make another effort to clean the place up so we can sleep with a clear conscience, or cut and run.
I think the Western powers would be quite happy with a government that was a) able to guarantee some sort of security for its citizens, and b) is not mad. Then they could depart with a reasonably clear conscience. Democracy would be nice but you can't have everything.
Posted by Curmudgeon, Thursday, 15 April 2010 5:12:36 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Excellent article Kellie

(never thought I'd say that :)

Your first link "Afghanistan: Sustaining West European Support for the NATO-led Mission—Why Counting on Apathy Might Not Be Enough (C//NF)" is a devastatingly revealing leak. What a title.

Who said the CIA ever stopped interfering into the domestic affairs of its democratic allies?

Why did a covert US agency (thee CIA) and not some overt US government body (say State Department?) write the report?

Like any Government organisations intelligence agencies serve their political masters - politicisation is unavoidable. Information gathering may be their bread and butter - even collecting opinion poll data. But the insidious leap is if an intelligence agency itself uses information gained to influence democratic countries. For powerful intelligence agencies there are the resources to coordinate political Information Campaigns or worse.

Readers left or conservative may be interested in some background. Proposed covert actions programs, according to cleared US texts, are reviewed and sanctioned by various Congressional and US departmental committees. Covert action proposals are then officially signed off by the US President in what is known as the US Presidential Finding process. Apparently at least 20 such programs migt be running at any one time.

These comment on covert action are based on overt, cleared, US published sources, principally "Executive Secrets: Covert Action & the Presidency" by William J. Daugherty, now an Associate Professor and formerly the CIA's head of covert action administration at Langley.

Could Australia also be feeling the effects of this now established relationship between US Intelligence and Afghan Pro-War spin?

Is there a parallel CIA study being written (or already completed) on Australian public views?
Posted by plantagenet, Friday, 16 April 2010 1:35:45 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Question: " can the US bank on Australian apathy ( sic ) to win the Afghanistan War. " ?

Can pigs fly ? Can Rudd continue to hoodwink the electorate ?

No matter how hard we try, it's the Ozzie psyche to prioritize Life, work, sex and play to a Nationalistic characteristic which espouses " SPORT " as the alpha/omega, meaning of Life ! Sports take precedence over everything else. Unless you are a Territorian from Darwin, where grog dominates everything - including the missus.

Kellie Tranter can rant and rave till the moo-cows come home. It will not change one iota. Since the First Fleeters disembarked on Terra Australis, the pursuit of social happiness rested either in the Pub or playing fields. The Rum rebellion perpetuated and ensured it's survival.

What is the moral ? A neo-luddite or mischievous prima-donna ? A Greenpeace activist, or an extraneous provocateur ? Why now ?

The Peace movement owes it's existence to the unholy Vietnam War ( 1962-1975) Some call it the campus war because it gathered momentum in Colleges around the US, where intellectuals, wannabe's, anti-draft ideologist took to the streets in mass protest. There were a whole host of grievances entwined with the movement which actually began abroad, and eventually Aust. People vented their rage on the Establishment, not because of their opposition to Military conflict, but a smorgasbord of anti-racism, sexism, the draft, political lobbying etc. Their woes turned to violent demonstrations, bloodshed and rioting. Reams have been written on the shameful state of affairs. We will never know the whole truth.

Meantime, the academics, politicians, draft dodgers etc took to the streets in most capital cities in OZ. to vent their pent-up emotions on whom ever would listen.

It didn't stop the Wharfies from boycotting loading HMAS Sydney in Garden Island, delivering vital Helicopters, munitions etc, or University students from giving blood, donations, clothing to the enemy in Hanoi.Nor, rabid Unionist sabotaging the War effort. Worst, they turned their backs on the diggers returning from Vietnam, and threw rotten eggs and tomatoes to show their contempt for
Posted by dalma, Sunday, 18 April 2010 3:00:37 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy