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The Forum > Article Comments > The war on terrorism goes a step too far > Comments

The war on terrorism goes a step too far : Comments

By Daryl Melham, published 22/9/2005

Daryl Melham argues anti-terrorism laws in Australia have gone too far.

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Sorry to break in, but if it means that there is a worry about the fear of terrorism turning our country into a fascista democratica, you could be right on the dot, Darryl. An example recently concerns school curriculums deciding to negate the importance of literature as a subject.

Indeed, this could suit both Howard and his mentor Bush right down to the ground as well as Tony Blair, especially the rotten records of both the Brits and Yanks in the Middle East since WW1

Earlier in current Gulf War Two, Tony Jones on Lateline had an interview with an Iraqi Shia who had left Iraq to get away from Saddam's Sunni Baathists, but surprisingly predicted to Tony Jones, that none of the Iraqis would ever welcome the British with open arms owing to the way they had been treated when they refused to accept the India-style Dyarky democracy that the Brits were trying to land them with. The result was the British calling in the RAF and bombing the Iraqi rebels with mustard gas killing ten thousand.

So it seems the Iraqis like other Middle East Arabs have long memories, and it is doubtless the reason our present powers that be would rather have our young ones not be told about them.

Indeed, it is a fact of history also, that it is really good literature that can really expose the shortcomings of our pasts - so necessary to plan for a better and fairer future.
Posted by bushbred, Thursday, 22 September 2005 1:37:43 PM
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Nice comments Bushbred! Indeed Winston Chirchill also advocated bombing the Kurds from the air with mustard gas. "It would cause a lively fright amongst the natives".

The most cursory examination of history over the last 200 years would futher show and leave no-one in any doubt whatsoever that these anti-terrorist laws have nothing to do with saving lives and everything to do with preparing the apparatus of the state to deal with the coming economic tidal wave.
Posted by Jellyback, Thursday, 22 September 2005 3:00:11 PM
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I disagree with Daryl Melham’s politics and I don’t share his concern about the Government’s anti-terror policies and proposed policies. I would not have commented except he posed an interesting question and made what I believe is an unfounded and unfair statement.

The question is “Were they supporting the enemy?” in reference to an anti-Iraq war involvement in 2003. Will demonstrating bring prosecution down on the heads of demonstrators/political dissenters? The demonstrators concerned made up a minute percentage of Sydney’s and Australia’s populations. There were certainly not enough of them to make any difference to the Government’s resolve. So why would they fall foul of proposed terrorism legislation? Demonstrations are merely a nuisance – an immature expression of conspicuous passion – look at me; I care; aren’t I good! Nobody cares about demonstrators, except for a feeling of contempt (in this particular case) for people objecting to Australia helping to bring down one of the cruellest dictators in history.

The statement was “By targeting and alienating Australia’s Muslims, the government is ….”. If Mr. Melham is referring to decent Muslims in general, the only fitting retort is, rubbish! The fact is that the only terrorists Australia is currently concerned with clearly identify themselves with Islam. It would be wrong for ordinary Muslims to be targeted, and to suggest that the Government is in any way culpable is arrant nonsense from an Opposition backbencher who knows he will never have to make any important decisions himself in government.
Posted by Leigh, Thursday, 22 September 2005 3:23:13 PM
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I agree Bushbred. There seems to be enough evidence to suggest that the RAF did use mustard gas on the Iraqis in 1920h, see http://www.ccmep.org/2003_articles/Iraq/041903_our_last_occupation_gas.htm . Its not so outlandish because it was widely used up to 1918 in WW1. Just looks like a case of the victor rewriting or suppressing the records to alter history.

Turning to Daryl's piece given the complexity and large amount of fine print in the Federal Government's terrorism proposals it requires the opposition - the ALP - to analyse the proposed legislation and make its defects (some seem obvious) known to the general public.

The more likely scenerio is that the ALP Premiers (at the Federal-States Anti-Terrorism Meeting Caneberra 27 Sept) will basically rubber stamp the Governments Proposals. Opposing terrorism laws is indeed seen as being "soft on terrorism" due to public fears being boosted by the Governments terrorism scare advertising campaign - just see all the adds on TV now.

After 27 Sept it will be a fait accompli that Kim Beazely (with his record) and thus the ALP, will agree with the legislation (with some cosmetic objections). In any case Federal Labor has played its cards so poorly that the Senate will not cause a review anyway - so the proposals will come into law.
Posted by plantagenet, Thursday, 22 September 2005 3:41:47 PM
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Plantagenet,

Thanks mate for your substantiation, actually I got mine from an essay by Dr Aileen Keating former Australian journalist in the Middle East, and published in Dissent a tri-yearly magazine recommended by the School of Humanities, Murdoch University. WA.

PS Also trying to get the real truth out, mate, does not always make you popular.

Also thanks to Jellyback, hoping there are many more of us, but me I'm going on 85, but still firing like Black Jack McKewan, leader of the old Country Party. Never vote for Labor, and never for the Libs, the way they are all carrying on, especially about bi-lateralism, been wondering these days who is worth voting for.

Cheers'

George C, WA - Bushbred
Posted by bushbred, Thursday, 22 September 2005 4:57:03 PM
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Brushy..85 ? good on u mate.. keep it up.

<<Under the guise of being tough on terrorism, the government is bringing in divisive and flawed laws and compromising our justice system. By targeting and alienating Australia's Muslims>>

The Victorian government already imposed divisive laws with the RRT2001 and since then the Muslim community contributed to alienating itSELF by attempting to silence 2 pastors engaging in free speech which was not in any way attempting to stir up hate.

We have Islamic groups in Melbourne who wish to see us under a Caliphate, and we have been promised that 'Melbourne' by name will be attacked.

I think that most don't realize there is in fact a war going on, but its not the battlefield type. It is a clash of civilizations. Incompatable ones at that.

We are not Arabic speaking because of specific battles at specific places, at specific dates which saw Europe saved from Ottoman domination on the one hand, and Moorish on the other.

Human nature being what it is, will always seek to rule others, specially those not like themselves. So, I don't mind a few protective laws which assist the authorities to keep us safe.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Thursday, 22 September 2005 5:19:05 PM
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