May 13th 2006

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Twilight for Australia's fishing industry?

EDITORIAL: Race riots reveal China's hand in Oceania

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Defence - incompetence and bungles galore

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: A political vacuum waiting to be filled

POLITICS: WA Liberals, Nationals in self-destruct mode

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Darfur tragedy / Not all the world loves a soldier / Judicial politics / When half a glass is half empty

SCHOOLS: Great books trashed by radical teachers

RAILWAYS: A transport revolution for Australia?

ENERGY: US opens new ethanol plant every 10 days

ABORTION: National senator's key role in RU-486 fiasco

FAMILY: Co-habiting couples and child neglect

NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION: Could US-India nuclear deal undermine security?

Chinese slave labour and state-sanctioned murder (letter)

RU-486 abortion drug 'deeply scary' (letter)

Motherhood devalued (letter)

What about jobs for men? (letter)

BOOKS: GENTLE REGRETS: Thoughts from a Life, by Roger Scruton


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Darfur tragedy / Not all the world loves a soldier / Judicial politics / When half a glass is half empty

by Max Teichmann

News Weekly, May 13, 2006
Darfur tragedy

The Darfur atrocities continue on and on, with no sign of respite or solution.

The state of Sudan - protected by China, Russia, and the African Union, who insist that this is their business and not that of the United Nations, let alone the West - is untouchable. ...

Long the main centre in Africa of espionage, terrorism, arms-smuggling and some slavery, and possessing oil resources being exploited by China, Sudan has as little chance of being identified by the United Nations as carrying out genocide and ethnic cleansing, as had Turkey of doing the same with her Armenians.

Only those countries without powerful friends are likely to have such charges laid, and judgements delivered, by Kofi Annan and his colleagues, and his predecessors.

A strong campaign is now underway in the United States to galvanise the US into action, and to call on other nations to combine with her to force Khartoum to stop her ongoing criminal activities and to allow the refugees to return home.

I see no prospect of this campaign having its desired effect, though it may help educate the American people as to the impotence of our international body in preventing even the most transparent state criminality.

Also, there are the totally hostile and obstructive forces in Africa, which make the Western presence in that continent, other than for economic advantage, a total waste of time.

And the ease whereby a prosperous and forward-looking society, as created by the British - i.e., Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) - can be almost literally destroyed within a few years, by local forces who are the darlings of Westerners, including Australian radicals - should sound an alarm bell for social engineers everywhere.

Incidentally, the ever-rising tide of violence, illegality and disease in neighbouring South Africa, points to a similar future dénouement there.

Meantime the BBC and SBS keep churning out student union agitprop about the US or the multinationals being the cause of Africa's woes - woes which date back, at the very least, to the Arab slave-traders.

But when in doubt, stage another rock concert, addressed by Nelson Mandela, or Tony Benn. This is part of the whole King Canute psychology which grips the West - at least the more suggestible or hypocritical parts thereof.

Naturally, the mass media seem to profit from these suffering people, as they do from the death of a poor soldier in Bagdad.

Not all the world loves a soldier

I was briefly in hospital during the Anzac Day period, but a friend of mine who had attended the march had made a short film which he brought in and showed me.

He had earlier spoken excitedly of the remarkable number of people who had attended Melbourne's Dawn Service - the press said 35,000; he thought possibly 50,000 ...

Whatever it was, a remarkable transformation has taken place over a very few years. This is further evidence that ordinary Australians are reappearing to reclaim their history, and their society, and to honour their soldiers, rather than accept any longer the slander and denigration which have been the unofficial state religion, as propagated through the schools and universities, the public media and the lower of our low churchmen.

Those who had been at the Dawn Service and these marchers were, as I could see, more at ease with themselves, their companions and their surroundings than any marchers whom I have seen for a very long time. No hatred, no rancour, no triumphalism, no chauvinism, no nationalism.

How could there be, considering how many countries and their soldiers have joined with Australia, and Britain, in their past conflicts?

It was, as usual, a coming together of past combatants and their families, descendants, and people of like minds. And they in fact are the majority - and it was good to see them reclaiming Australia that day.

The media and the counter-culturalists have no answer to this, any more than they can stop Christians reclaiming their Holy Days.

So ... Easter was rushed through as fast as possible, and Anzac Day described from the safe distance of the Channel 7 and Channel 9 choppers which don't hesitate to drown out any ceremony, any solemn address.

But with the death of Private Jake Kovco, we have seen the intended media revenge for having to show some respect - and affect some patriotism - on Anzac Day.

A feeding frenzy of the most loathsome and self-revelatory kind broke out, with the dregs in a profession already held in deep disfavour, forcing their way into the innermost private life, the most secret place, of a grieving family and a dead soldier who can't answer back. And doing all this, chequebooks in hands.

Why so disgusting? First, the frantic war of the "ratings", i.e., advertising receipts. Second, to "get Howard", or the Government, or Brendan Nelson - anyway, to gouge a few votes for the swill-bucket revanchists. Third, to go back to the permanent occupation of slandering the defence forces and whoever are their leaders.

This constant tactic of singling out the little man, the ordinary soldier, and hopefully of splitting off his family to set them off against the oppressive officers and cynical politicians dates back to the dream of 1917, the time when the communists helped turn the Russian soldiers against their officers.

Our media time warps are stuck in 1917 and history is retailed by Sergei Eisenstein. But the world now is not the world of 1917; nor was the Russia of 1917 or 1921 at all like Eisenstein's cinematic agitprop.

But this pathetic strategy of our left-wing journos has been seriously misfiring. The friends of Frank Sinatra were greatly relieved to rush off to Beaconsfield, Tasmania.

Here, the tragedy of the trapped miners was being used as a platform to advance the cause of ... the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Bill Shorten! The next electoral ambulance off the rank.

Have our media midgets lost all shame, all sense? Apparently so.

Judicial politics

Anyone with any lingering doubts as to the efficacy of our Victorian judicial instruments, the kind of Bracks' Government appointments thereto, or any queries as to the way Aboriginal matters are being handled here - politically and judicially - will surely have all cynical doubts with such matters laid to rest with the elevation of "long-serving magistrate" Paul Grant to be a County Court judge and the new president of the Children's Court of Victoria.

Melbourne Herald Sun reporter Norrie Ross gives us his curriculum vitae, or a part thereof:

"Mr Grant has been a magistrate since 1988, Deputy Chief Magistrate since 2003 and Supervising Magistrate for Koori Courts since 2004. He has been a member of the Metropolitan Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee, Health Services for Abused Victorian Children Advisory Group, the Victorian Child Death Review Committee and the former steering committee for the establishment of Aboriginal Community Justice Panels." (Herald Sun, April 2006).

We will look forward to his judgements and legal reasoning with avid interest - especially in matters Aboriginal, for his various committee memberships are of a judicial standing which a Denning or Owen Dixon, or our Law Lords, would surely kill for.

When half a glass is half empty

The debate now proceeding in the United States, concerning the obvious shortcomings of the Coalition's second-stage Iraq achievements, is concerned more and more as to whether the US sent enough troops to do the job.

Pretty obviously, they didn't. Colin Powell thought so and said so, from early on, but was overruled by President Bush, acting on the advice of his military chiefs.

America did in fact have these extra troops available, so why weren't they sent?

I think it was fear, dating back to Vietnam, of casualty rates which the Democrats and the New York-based media would immediately seize upon as grounds for pulling out, irrespective of what was at stake.

CNN started counting soldiers killed from day one - staged endless ceremonial beat-ups, etc., in their political wars against the Republicans, passing off all these antics as "in the public interest".

Recalling the casualty rates of earlier conflicts, and many current ones, the US rate is surprisingly low; but the anti-Bush campaign would have proceeded in any case - no matter what field of action, domestic or international, in which the Bush Administration were to be engaged, casualty rates or no casualty rates.

But spin-doctors in Washington seemed to think it was worth taking a chance to win a war half-cocked.

What the Left in Europe and America, and for a time here, have done, has been to either stop their countries responding to real outside threats, even incursions, altogether - or, failing that, to prevent their government from winning, i.e., sabotage the efforts of their defence forces.

This has happened in Iraq - and I've little doubt but that the US military were over-influenced by essentially political considerations.

We here must resolve never to fall for such blackmail. Either we go in fully potent, or not at all; otherwise, we are exposing ourselves to indefensible risk.

  • Max Teichmann


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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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