'Neocons can't have it both ways on Arabs' says Andrew Sullivan, The Sunday Times/The Australian
With the news cycle in a very big spin re the latest terrorist attack in Britain, including a link here
Tuesday July 3, 2007 1200pm AEST
UK terror plot arrest in Brisbane
MARK DAVIS 10:31am | Philip Ruddock confirms a 27-year-old junior doctor has been arrested at Brisbane airport in relation to the UK bomb plots. Slideshow: Bomb plot's Aussie link
we think this article below is prescient. Revealing too that medically trained enemies of the West continue to seek their revenge, or whatever motivates them, over foreign affairs and geo politics of the Middle East, and ongoing ferocious loss of life:
Neocons can't have it both ways on Arabs | The World | The Australian
As Ralph Peters, a former military intelligence officer, explained in the New York Post last Thursday: "We're stuck in Iraq, and it sucks. But were we to leave in haste, far more blood than oil would flow in the Persian Gulf. The disaster in Gaza's just a rehearsal for the Arab-suicide drama awaiting its opening night in Iraq."
But here, it seems to me, neoconservatism begins to devour itself. For the sake of argument, assume the premise about the violent dysfunctionality of Arab political culture.
Now ask yourself: if that's correct, how on earth did neoconservatives ever argue that we could produce a functioning democracy by force of arms in Iraq?
This is surely the self-contradiction at the heart of neoconservatism. [bold added] Even at the maximum surge strength, the US is helpless in the face of an Iraqi civil war that has only just begun, can be fuelled indefinitely by corrupt oil money, and is driven by centuries-old sectarian hatred between Shia and Sunni Muslims and decades of totalitarian trauma. And yet the neocons insist we should plough on, adding more troops, planning on permanent bases for indefinite occupation.
Well, you can't have it both ways. Either Arab culture without autocracy really is what we see in Gaza and Iraq or it isn't. If it is, then trying to build Western-style democracy during a brutal civil war in Iraq is a mug's game.
We have, I think, two options. We can withdraw from Iraq and play the grand regional Shia-Sunni war in the Middle East by proxy. Or we can enmesh ourselves much more deeply and irrevocably in a metastasising conflict. Such a conflict may well breed even more anti-Western terror and run the risk of inserting Americans into an ancient sectarian blood feud.
There are grave dangers in both options and no one should underestimate the risks of withdrawal from a power vacuum we created. But surely the lesson of Gaza and Iraq is that occupation will not transform Arab culture for the better either. It may, in fact, make things worse.
What I guess I'm saying is that if you take neoconservatism seriously as an analysis of Arab culture and the regional conflict in the Middle East, and you are primarily interested in the defence of the West, the case for cutting our losses in Iraq is a very strong one. [bold added]
But somehow the neocons are afraid to follow their argument to its logical and inexorable conclusion. We need to leave. Soon. Or reap a gathering whirlwind.
The Sunday Times"
Sure enough the apparent phone link from Britain terrorists to a doctor here in Qld, which may or may not be significant, has the Big Media in a lather. Even to the extent of parody by crikey.com ezine today 4th July about lack of any real news value. What has got us puzzled is the really shallow lack of psychological insight in most of the gormless media coverage.
By this we mean the Big Media are taking the line of shock, horror that medical people are getting murderously violent. Yet the SAM editor was alive to this potential years ago based on this simple observation - with hundreds of thousands of gruesome deaths (eg Iraq whether from Gulf War #1, sanctions, Gulf War #2, The Occupation, or in Palestine from prison like conditions) who are the ones in society most exposed to the carnage, misery and indeed mass preventable fatalities? Who are most intellectually capable to generate a political analysis of the geo politics behind the blood and gore, at least in some fashion. The medicos obviously. How anyone can think this horror especially the broken bodies of children, won't take its psychological toll and indeed turn at least some from their hypocratic oath is the really bizarre thing, not that it happens.
Indeed it takes a determined ignorance akin to the role of the mainstream media in this disturbing movie, and in the current context ..... Israel's vicious cluster bomblets in the last days of the recent war in Lebanon; or the mass lethality of USA air strikes; or The Lancet report estimating hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq to think the doctors would be whistling while they work.
Hence last Monday night on 4 Corners Chris Masters asked a military man in Afghanistan 'will 10 locals killed in error result in 100 enemies?'. It's a straight forward multiplier well understood by the UN for instance. Not for nothing do people refer to 'the spiral' of violence.
By what blindness do our well paid, over indulged journalists/editors ignore such basic consequences of western geo politik foreign policy as a matter of basic human psychology? Is it some kind of willful blindness that the "other" is not also human in every way to ourselves in the West?
One might at least expect these dumb Big Media to have seen this fairly recent movie where the doctor character is positioned as an assassin by the CIA in the Robert Redford, Brad Pitt vehicle Spy Game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia exploiting the doctor's desire for revenge. Script writers are obviously smarter than journalists.
Postscript #2 6.15 am 7th July 2007
A. Well, as the news breaks (from about 3pm July 6th) of more detention and interrogations of medical people here in Australia from ALP Premier press conferences in WA etc our analysis in postscript #1 has itself proven "prescient" (to quote oneself above).
(Why on earth our postscript #1 typeface today first appeared as 16 point when its supposed to be 12 point is just another small mystery of the internet and maybe the junior trainee spooks trawling such things. This has never happened before quite this way.)
B. Another 'gratifying' aspect for SAM news site if such a term is possible in this sad, grim geo politik is that like our post of Sullivan above, both major parties here gave broad defence speeches here eg at the Lowy Institute on Thursday eg ALP's Kevin Rudd Future Challenges in Foreign Policy - MP3, and Defence Minister Nelson prefacing interview here on AM here with summary here
Defence battlelines drawn ahead of election | News | The Australian
and both ended up highlighting the miserable failure in Iraq:
(1) The ALP intentionally by focusing on regional priorities for the future, barely mentioning Iraq except to say it was as bad a result as Vietnam.
(2) The Coalition not intentionally but as a result of the AM interview, where Defence Minister Nelson, having swatted all night and maybe all week for a broad policy, was forced into ducking and weaving a Lillee like bouncer first up about 'Why are we still in Iraq?". You could hear his imperious annoyance at having to account yet again and use up precious oxygen he wanted for his giant defence Mecanno set of assets, ships, planes, tanks etc most of which are not deployed in said Iraq. So unsettled we would say that he defaulted to usual condescending truth that energy/oil security was the motivation for being there. A truth that must not speak its name. Within a few hours he was being repudiated by Treasurer, PM and Chris Uhlmann of ABC was referred to his squandered leadership potential. Ouchy ouch.
By next day Nelson was even repudiating himself!
And the Opposition were making hay.
But it was true, in world attention getting Syrianna (the movie) style that oil underpins the Occupation in Iraq, and for that we give Nelson some credit. Maybe as a medical doctor he was in angst over this whole violent doctors things - and his role in taking so much life as defence minister.
Further we wrote about this on the Matt Price blog story in The Australian yesterday (he pushing the line Nelson's words were an accident, and we were in Iraq for the US Alliance - which Matt is just a semantic way of saying oil again). His blog was fresh and unblotted when we got to it about 8 am yesterday - our comment was censored off when checked last night (?) hence the time to write it here again. Or maybe it's hidden in the 400+ comments there now.
(3) As a result of all this attack on the main flaw in the Govt's broad defence policy re the disaster in Iraq, fiesty penetrating well resourced cyber group Get Up has run a glancing blow on the govt's security credibility: A terrorism victim calling for withdrawal from Iraq, which echoed onto the tv news bulletins last night. Ouch. Here it is:
"Dear GetUp members,
Two years ago I was on a bus that was blown up by terrorists. Three months in traction and six operations later, I'm asking for your help to prevent this from happening to any more Australians.
These recent attacks in the UK have not only brought back some really painful memories, they've prompted me to make a television ad - and we need your help to show it. Please watch my urgent plea here:
I thought going to war in Iraq was supposed to make us safer, not put us in more danger. And now we're hearing it was for their oil. Some of you may have seen me ask John Howard from my hospital bed whether he thought what happened to me was a result of the war in Iraq.
I did not think then that two years later we would be still be in this position, where I feel compelled to ask Mr Howard the same question. Yet here we are - our military presence is not making the Iraqis any safer; it is not making Australians any safer. Why, exactly, are we there then?
I want to help the Iraqi people, but not at the end of a gun. Our involvement in the violence in Iraq will only lead to more violence. Why can't we instead spend the money on reconstruction programs?
I'm no expert, but I do know something about the real cost of terrorism. Please, help me tell this to the Prime Minister.
Survivor, 2005 London Bombings
(4) We are pretty used to being censored by The Pompous/Big Media - even as we effectively scoop them on psychological insight into Arabic medical personnel reacting to a miserable history -
We were also censored off the Trioli talkback on Wednesday after being near first in the queue pre 9am and waiting 30 minutes. We wanted to address the land clearing vandals reported in the SMH -(see immediately preceding story) so we resorted to type back radio submissions
- she is "haughty" which is true, and
- that she is being "duchessed" having admitted a dinner in Government House by the National Trust which has always been a pseudo ALP Left qango;
- that the article below by SAM on the clearing issue is 'doing the ABC's work for them ....again'
Now we see Stateline last night here in NSW with Quentin Dempster pretty much running our story last night . But even he can't do a very good job though he knows the issues - dwelling on the views of the disastrous Jeff Angel dirctor of Total Environment Centre who was the peak 'green' representative on the state native vegetation committee from 1997 to 2003 and ongoing (?), when about a million hectares (of 80M ha state) was cleared and yet he still saw fit to pander to the ALP in 2002 in the SMH proximate to the next election that Carr was the 'greenest premier in the history of Australia'. Yeah right. Betrayal of duty and trust for those that know.
Angel over the same timeline also cut a deal with Lake Cowal cyanide gold mine to receive money for his group and cronies for greenwashing projects up to $6M direct from revenue of the gold mine to the outrage of the Green Party and independent groups like Rainforest Information Centre.
In around 1997 we attended a meeting of 6 or 7 green groups where Angel proposed to tradeoff land to be cleared by farmers in the Southern Mallee of NSW, land that had outstanding native title claim by Aboriginal traditional owners, not to mention intrinsic environmental values. (The native title case all the way to the High Court was eventually lost, but we didn't know that at the time.) Talk about racist. [Time permitting we will pull the file out soon.]
Over the same time line Angel's group with maybe 750 members gazumped all the much bigger groups like The Wilderness Society with maybe 5,000 NSW members to entrench 20 year logger 'resource security' in a "peace deal" with govt and industry paving the way for woodchippers in southern NSW that continues to kills 2-3000 trees every day including pristine areas of East Gippsland like Goolengook. Majestic Goolengook fed through the Eden chipper in NSW that Angel kept open in alliance with Bob Carr in breach of an election promise of 1995.
And Angel is hopeless at modern media presentation - ugly to see on tv, and choked speaking voice so much so that Trioli recently told him on air to drink water (!) not realising (she from Victoria) it was his normal voice, Angel is the perfect ALP patsy to keep in his position with Iago's technical ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth. And that's why the NSW environment movement is broken and our natural environment is doomed under this ALP government - Jeff Angel's faustian deal by with corrupt ALP, probably the worst environmental leader in Australia's history.
So why did Dempster's show dwell on him next to Reece Turner of TWS on the panel last night on tv? Dempster is an acolyte of Angel's group TEC, and probably recognises this real politik power game, and has done several public events for him pushing him forward at the expense of the true independent environment movement like Chipstop in the south and the Green Party or The Wilderness Society. The corruption of the ALP infuses most aspects of NSW life even into the Establishment green groups desperate for grants and profile at the expense of the sacred environment they are honour bound to protect, and certainly the Big Media.
Angel's real legacy - a choked, dishonest, hobbled green movement served on a platter to this 12 year old ALP Government, fiesty mid level campaigners cut off at the knees after a year or two, corrupt grants, mediocre pandering spiced with the odd criticism to cover his backside.
In short Milo Dunphy was right about Angel being a wholly unsuitable person to lead the green movement and the fact Dempster promotes him is shameless and immoral.
Posted by editor
at 1:51 PM NZT
Updated: Saturday, 7 July 2007 11:03 AM NZT