July 5th 2008

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The real China the West prefers to ignore

EDITORIAL: Lessons of the equine influenza (EI) inquiry

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Two big unknowns for the Rudd Government

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Emissions-trading a "bureaucratic indulgence"

EQUINE INFLUENZA: AQIS responsible for EI outbreak, says report

INTERNATIONAL TRADE: Rudd's scheme for an EU-style Asian community

GLOBAL TERRORISM: Australians supplying arms to Colombian guerrillas

POLITICAL IDEAS: Champion of the humane economy - Wilhelm Röpke

OPINION: Why the Howard Government fell

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: Abortion damage to women ignored by inquiry

EUTHANASIA: Doctor-assisted suicide halted... for now

EDUCATION: Environmental jihadists terrorising our children

SCHOOLS: Teaching grammar: the blind leading the blind

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Masculinity under attack / Denying global warming deemed a crime against humanity / Ireland defies European Union

Small business and farmers should make more noise (letter)

Renewable energy? (letter)

BOOKS: THE REVOLUTION: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul

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Australians supplying arms to Colombian guerrillas

by John Miller

News Weekly, July 5, 2008
Australian are reportedly selling arms to drug-trafficking Colombian guerrillas, reports John Miller. The question is — could they also be importing arms into Australia for would-be terrorists?

Australian arms dealers are reportedly supplying Russian- and Chinese-made machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades and missiles to drug-trafficking Colombian guerrillas.

Evidence of these shipments came to light in March this year when the Colombian government retrieved some 11,000 text documents from computers seized after a bombing raid on a camp run by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The rebel leader Raúl Reyes was killed during the raid (Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2008).

The documents, which were verified in Europe by Interpol, also clearly demonstrated the link between FARC and Venezuelan tinpot dictator, President Hugo Chávez.

Chávez, is currently the rallying point for anti-American revolutionaries around the world. Full of bull and braggadocio, he is the current leader of Latin American leftists who wish to twist the "Yanqui" tail.


In response, the United States has rebuilt its carrier-based Fourth Fleet. According to some progressive and liberal US websites, this is a hysterical overreaction to developments south of the border and beyond. To some it conveys the impression of gunboat diplomacy.

However, Chávez appears to be in cahoots with Iran and China. In addition, recent evidence suggests that his government has long backed the drug-trafficking FARC guerrillas.

Wall Street Journal writer Mary Anastasia O'Grady reports that the captured documents demonstrate that FARC is held together by two common threads, firstly the globalisation of the armed struggle and the second is a propaganda war.

Little need be said about the propaganda war, for it follows a familiar line of communist-derived revolutionary tactics, especially claiming that it has a humanitarian agenda. This line has been pushed assiduously by Hugo Chávez.

As FARC has been crumbling in the face of more determined Colombian government military activity, the captured documents show Chávez was trying to keep the armed struggle alive.

However, on or around June 5, the Colombian government announced that it had captured a Venezuelan National Guard officer carrying 40,000 AK-47 assault-rifle cartridges, believed to be en route to the FARC.

Over the same weekend, Mr Chávez surprisingly urged FARC to end its four-decade struggle against the Colombian government — a truly remarkable utterance only six months after he had called for FARC to be recognised as a legitimate insurgent force.

Chávez went on to declare on national television that the guerrilla war was history and that furthermore "at this moment in Latin America, an armed guerrilla movement is out of place".

Nevertheless, in terms of financial support, Chávez had been prepared to offer $250-$300 million and some creative money-making schemes involving the sale of Venezuelan oil and channelling the profits to the Colombian guerrillas. There was also a contractual arrangement in prospect.

The captured documents also show that, in January 2007, FARC rebels recorded that a Venezuelan general had informed them that arms from abroad could be brought in through the Venezuelan port of Maracaibo and that, by September, the shipments were ready to flow.

Of particular interest is a direct quote in one of the documents. "Yesterday, I received two Australian arms suppliers," one rebel wrote to the high command, "thanks to a contact made through Ramiro [a Salvadoran]." The Australians "offer a very good price on all we need".

The list included 50-calibre machine-guns; sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and missiles. The statement went on to say, "All of these materials are made in Russia and China", and that the shipments would take a month or so "to arrive in Venezuela".

Are our Australian authorities aware of the activities of these Australian arms suppliers? Was this a shady offshore deal? Were the individuals concerned of South American background? And, most important, could they be importing arms into Australia for would-be terrorists?

There are laws in place which prevent Australians joining armed mercenary groups, and we have some fairly stringent legislation limiting weaponry that can be sold in Australia.

From the description given by the FARC document, it would appear that we have some jet-setting citizens with access to Russian and Chinese weapons being used or intended for the notorious Colombian guerrillas. It certainly merits more coverage in our media and interest by the Australian Federal Police.

They could start by looking up the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network web-page (www.venezuelasolidarity.org) which acts in conjunction with the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS) and displays all the usual leftist anti-American propaganda.

The ACFS is an old-fashioned communist front organisation, a hangover from the halcyon days of the Cold War and regrettably attractive to South American migrants who have suffered from tyranny in various countries.

— John Miller is a former senior intelligence officer.

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