STRAWS IN THE WIND: by Max TeichmannNews Weekly
Immigration - who cleans up? / Copping payback / To be or not to be? / Terrorism as ideology
, July 30, 2005
Immigration - who cleans up?
A proposal to clean up the Immigration Department, foreshadowed by the Palmer Report, together with administrative personnel changes at the top, as announced by the PM, are way long overdue.
We will see whether the basic departmental culture, as described by Mick Palmer, viz.
, the arrogance, denial, secrecy, and, only too often, covering up, is reformed. And the defective communications skills - and I don't
mean PR and fawning on the media.
But, ensuring that facts and requests flow from top to bottom, and vice versa, without the interposition of outside pressures, or insiders with their own ideas of what should happen - whether that
real clean-up is allowed to proceed through the bureaucratic Shadowland which immigration has become since Al Grassby's time - is another matter.
My first contacts with immigration were in the 1970s, the minister being Ian McPhee, who was, I thought, a very good minister. Still, it was possible for flunkeys down in the system to take him for a ride, as they did, and the people further up the ladder to cover for them. Even McPhee couldn't be everywhere at once.
In those days, the media weren't into digging out many migratory injustices per se
; they didn't want to embarrass their mates inside. Nor do they now, but rather use miscarriages of justice or neglect of proper procedures as weapons against ministers and their staffs, provided
these are Liberals.
But as for proposals for systemic reform, or ending the departmental culture, which produces these dysfunctions, look elsewhere for ideas.
For his part, Mr Palmer has advised against a Royal Commission.
The Immigration Department underwent a profound change - I would say suffered a body blow - when it was attached to what is called Ethnic Affairs and Multiculturalism.
The simple, fairly transparent procedures of realising our immigration goals and programs were contaminated and are now almost fatally distorted by special interests, which lodge, as of right, in the bowels of these two additional semi-bogus political organisms.
Conditions for entry are vague, because people still argue as to what multiculturalism is or does; while ethnicity is whatever you say it means.
Given this ideological promiscuity, Tourism, Education, Aborigines, Kultur (viz.
, the arts, film and the public media), churches, psychologists, carers of every shape and kind, student unions, universities, developers wanting more people to fill more new suburbs with more little boxes and poker machines, hosts of New Age lawyers and academics who have helped make their professions rueful laughing stocks, have got on board. Then
there are the good old NGOs and civil libertarians.
Immigration departments throughout the world have suffered from these flocks of giant cuckoos multiplying in their nests, the Americans quite grievously since 1965.
Such unlovely troikas, such word-salad factories, where multiculturalism and ethnicity have fomented social strife, political division, alarming measures of corruption and, in some cases, crime, which, like terrorism, thrives on chaos and divided communities; have degraded the justice systems and, very often, the police; and have left administrative systems in disarray.
In every case, when things go wrong, as they must
, immigration systems get the blame, no matter which the country. The same has happened here.
Were the multicultural and ethnic affairs departments and associated industries, which resemble ATSIC more closely than any other instrumentalities which come to mind - were they to be separated from Immigration and subjected to the same kind of inquiry to which ATSIC and the Immigration Department have been exposed - many
things would change for the better, and Immigration return to doing the job which it once did so well, before Whitlam and Grassby.
There have been some good ministers and bad ones. Most of the really bad ones were, sorry to say, Labor - although a number of these appeared to enjoy their incumbency, indeed, to find their labours very rewarding.Copping payback
Amanda Vanstone is probably copping some of the payback for leading the final clean-up of ATSIC, and there is little doubt that she has been let down by some of her bureaucracy. Howard understands this and may take the opportunity to consider big changes, possibly not
to the taste of his opponents. Meanwhile, the media just babble on.
I didn't want to raise false hopes about meaningful reform or public exposure of "Multicultural and Ethnic Enterprises" by our Liberals. For one thing, too many of their wives, daughters and unambitious male relatives reside within these magic structures, deriving not only lucrative livings but status and identity from what are basically unserious and wasteful activities.
So, many left-liberals would fight like tigresses defending their young and many choice bones, were conservative leaders to do what most people would want them to do.
Our Liberal New Classes would say: he who taketh away my party membership ticket steals trash; but he who would threaten my sheltered workshop is my enemy.
No different from Labor, really.To be or not to be?
Tony Blair, leading off in the debates arising from the London bombing, terrorism generally, and Iraq - parts of which we are allowed to read or hear of in Australia - said that:
- Terrorism is a worldwide activity, and Muslim terrorism is now the centrepiece. But, specifically, the contest is not a clash of civilisations but of ideas - for we are confronted by an ideology, with global reach and global ambitions.
- Terrorist fundamentalism is an aberration, a perversion, a deformity of Islam: an audacious campaign to take over all Muslims, whether they like it or not. Their ruling elites, their secular societies and philosophies, and the people attached to these, must be eliminated or silenced. And replaced.
- And, as terrorist fundamentalism is an open-ended and essentially destructive and tyrannical ideology, the West - its institutions, its values and its sites of power and legitimacy - must be undermined and its supporters deterred, prior to final destruction.
A lunatic dream, you might say; but then so was Nazism and Maoism. Our Western intelligentsia still
sip from that latter dirty cup, Maoism.
Those Western countries and ele-ments therein who seek to encourage secular or democratic values in Muslim countries, or move to actively protect them, are enemies, to be attacked now
in their heartlands, using pro-fundamentalist elements within the heartlands.
These processes are now underway, and we call them urban terrorism. These are not in reality responses to poverty or historical injury, but rather a movement driven by giant ambitions and nourished by envy and covetousness, and a vehicle for legitimising an enormous potential for sadism.
The ideology, and psychic turmoil within Islam, was well underway long before Iraq and, as Blair said (in a passage omitted in most of our Australian reports), it would not change the threat, or the continuing terrorist challenge were Coalition troops to leave Iraq or Afghanistan
- which they in any case plan to do.
We will still have the choice of helping to stop the mobilisation of reluctant peace-loving Muslims into the ranks of our enemies, domestic or international ... or just look the other way and gradually surrender all freedom of choice. As many Western Europeans did, and the British Left have wanted their government to do.
Any withdrawal, in an atmosphere of undignified haste or the smell of victory for the fanatics, would
in fact change the nature of our problems with Islam, as against what Mr Blair said.
It would give international terrorists an enormous fillip, produce political collapses in many of the neutral or friendly Muslim states, and - this is really the local radical hope - enable what is now the demi-monde
of Western democracy to weasel their way back into office.
Once in, they would resume their suicidal appeasement/collusion policies, internationally and domestically, of any one who carries a big stick. Or a fistful of dollars and the hope of becoming a collaborator. The Capo stage comes later.Terrorism as ideology
Apropos of the extraordinary party-political debate going on here as to whether we have anything to worry about, here are a few observations.
As to the connections between Islam here, foreign Islamic countries and terrorism - and the long association of the Labor Left, it is sometimes possible to speak from memory, memories presumably shared by many others.
The Libyans were perhaps the first to pump money into here and into the islands, financing local Muslims in various ways. Radical Islamic newspapers and groups sprang up. The sentiments were anti-Israel, anti-Jewish and anti-Anglo-American. Gadaffi was also doing this right through Africa - a friend of Uganda's Idi Amin and struggling with three or four other Muslim countries for control of the Palestinian radicals and their terrorist wings.
ASIO was unable to penetrate these front organisations or even to read their newspapers, for they had no appropriate language or cultural skills. A number of friendly intelligence services, with their own people resident here, in fact had to provide what was quite important information and warnings, for this
was a terrorist time.
The Egyptians, alarmed at the prospect of their young people here being recruited, established a consulate-general in Melbourne, where there were 15,000 local Egyptians.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have poured money into Australia - especially the former - and a mass of schools, mosques and organisations are in debt, and in many cases have arisen, as a result of the sponsorships of certain extremist Muslim countries. Such nations support, or actively help terrorist organisations - as did Afghanistan under the Taliban, and Pakistan before Sharif. Iraq was well
represented in Australia.
These Muslim states were, and many still are, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, anti-Anglo-American and in many cases anti-Christian. For them there is no such thing as a free lunch, so money put into countries like Australia and the lavish hospitality that they offer selected visitors, politicians, journalists, clerics, etc, from the West, should not be mistaken for generosity.
Most of the Western visitors/sympathisers who thereby meet influential people, make deals and contacts - and return to speak well of countries which too often were or are dictatorships, religious tyrannies, and avowed enemies of the democratic world - understand all this.
It should be stressed that the aims of these outside Muslim states were not primarily terrorism or espionage here in Australia; it was, and is, to mobilise and indoctrinate the Muslim young, the vehicle being radical, politicised religion in temporary alliance with the useful idiots, viz.
, the greedy, envious, anti-Western local Left.
This alliance is still holding. Until the idiots have served their purpose.
As a result of past refusals to operate proper immigration laws, or to investigate who was doing what in their Islamic community, Britain, according to their police, now have 3,000 young Muslims who have been trained in Pakistan or Afghanistan as terrorists, but live in England. The English have a problem ... as do the Europeans.
When this English revelation was put to air over CNN, a woman panellist from an intelligence faculty said, "Britain has a problem. This is bad news. And it is bad news for America."
Most Muslims here, or in Britain - indeed, in most Muslim countries - want nothing of this violence and fanaticism, but in fact depend on us
to help them and protect them from the thugs and dysfunctional ones in their midst.
Trying to force the Coalition to give up and leave the people to their fates is no way of helping the Muslims of this world. As for those who try to protect and not so quietly lionise Australians who freely chose to train to kill fellow-Westerners, if necessary Australians, and to help the return to power of the Taliban and Saddam's people - there is a word for them that we all know.