ABCwatch

Tim Blair

Ombudsgod

New Criterion

 

 

Saturday, October 19, 2002
 
MUSLIM-ANGLICAN SCHISM

Malaysia's Prime Minister today defied the Anglican Primate of Australia, Peter Carnley.

In the case of terrorist activities, you can never determine where they are going to attack next and of course Malaysia maybe subjected to the same kind of attacks as happened in Bali and in the Philippines, according to Mahathir Mahomed.

His Grace is considering the theology and protocols bearing on the excommunication of Muslims.



 
PRIMATE OUT OF HIS TREE.

The head of the Anglican church in Australia, called its "Primate" for reasons that weren't clear to me until today, is channelling al Quaeda for us.

The head of the Anglican Church in Australia [Archbishop Peter Carnley], has blamed the Bali bombings on Australia's outspoken support for the United States in planning military action against Iraq.

It's not that the Government wasn't warned. We wrote to Mr Howard on the 8th of August in fact, he said. I think it was around about that time that, in fact, the Prime Minister took a more, a moderate approach to the US bombing of Iraq.

To which our Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, in a display of virtuoso sarcasm of which Uncle did not think him capable, replied: If we don't know who did it, then it's pretty hard to know what their motives were and obviously if Archbishop Carnley's Diocese has some information that can assist with the investigation then we would obviously appreciate that information.

Our prattling primate also thought we should take heed of the view he ascribes to many Muslims, that Western culture is "decadent". I know a good Website to help His Grace with his further education.

I've been there, your Worthiness, and I was not convinced.




Friday, October 18, 2002
 
WHAT DO YOU MEAN? You expect a refund on your FABC subscription?

The Friends of AnnaBelle Crabb have laboured mightily, and successfully, to release her from the Gastropod's clutches.

It costs you know.

How long could you listen to Philip Adams without malt whiskey reinforcement?


 
IT'S ALL ABOUT OIL and a right-wing conspiracy.

“The Saudis have funded schools all over the world, and the extreme right-wing of the
Saudi theological establishment has been allowed to run amok.”

And now there’s terrorism – and with the Hawks in Washington it makes for some frightening politics.

Oil, fanatics and fear.


Now there's a definition of "right wing" that doesn't fit on anyone's spectrum.

But, hell, you don't expect the pre-schoolers to call a spade by its correct name if it doesn't come from their dictionary.




Thursday, October 17, 2002
 
A LITTLE GOOD NEWS in an appalling week.

We Friends of AnnaBelle Crabb have had a victory. On Tuesday night young Annabelle was not called back to jump in the mud-filled bath-tub with Philip Adams. A young soul lives on, free to find her way in a naughty world.

The downside of all this is that poor old Margo Kingston has been called back to duty. Tuesday night's performance shows just how corrupted the ex-journalist has been by years and years of stroking Adams' ideological G-spots. The only solace is knowing that all hope for Margo has gone.

The audio of Tuesday's Late Night Live, listening to which Uncle could not bear without the example of what his fellow-Australians have been going through in the morgues of Kuta, was a scarifying experience.

Phil and Margo agreed that, almost four days after the explosion, it was not time to reflect on matters of responsibility and blame: it was "time to feel the pain". Margo thought that trained artists should be called in to interpret it for us.

This didn't stop Phil and Margo going through every possible candidate for the bastards who did the deed, except, of course, al Quaeda (or al Quadia, as Margo prefers) since all communards know that they are a fiction created by the CIA to support US imperial ambitions.

Phil thought it might be drug barons who wanted us to believe it was terrorists. We'll have to wait for a later program to find out why drug barons should want to kill so many potential customers and close down a prime retail outlet.

Margo declared that her Webdiary for the Terminal Herald was going to be "a culture-wars free zone" until all the victims are buried.

That means that she has about three months to reflect on

* why it's OK for her to accuse the Australian defence forces of deliberately murdering the refugees on SIEVX while questioning the existence of Islamist terrorism directed at her fellow countrymen and women.

* why she and her mate Phil should remain attached to their view that it (terrorism against liberal democratic countries) is our fault,

* why, if there is so little evidence to point to those responsible, about 300 000 of her countrymen and women could be signed up tomorrow for the duty of strangling Bashir the duck

* why she should stay in journalism, apart from the fact that the Terminal Herald continues to pay her.

Have you got the stomach for more of this? Uncle went through the entire ten minutes and needs to unburden.

Here is Margo's idea of the political spectrum of opinion on our current difficulties:

From her "enormous" email in-tray post-Bali, she deduces the extreme right among her correspondents think we should support the US in the war on Iraq. The mainstream left, on the other hand, thinks "Howard did it".

What a political spectrum the Terminal Herald has.

Truly Auntie in print!





 
PAINT THOSE BANNERS, FILL IN THOSE FORMS!

Uncle has been inclined to take the view that the legal offence of racial vilification is a gratuitous and expensive way of helping people who are incapable of repartee or a swift right hook, as the occasion demands.

That’s why I thought it dumb to make anti-semitic grub Toben sluice down his Website.

Here are the Toben claims that led Judge Branson of the Federal Court to take action:

1. There was serious doubt that the holocaust ever took place.
2. It was unlikely that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz.
3. Jewish people who are offended by and challenge holocaust denial are of limited intelligence. And –
4. Some Jewish people, for improper purposes, including financial gain, have exaggerated the number of Jews killed during World War II.


That is, the causes of offence, amounting to vilification under the Racial Discrimination Act, were for the most part matters of historical/political interpretation, and not the kind of vile personal racism Toben no doubt practices in private. There is also no doubt the historical event in question generates strong feelings.

The obnoxious Alderman Eldridge of the Wagga Wagga Council was also tried and found guilty of offensive historical talk in various public places by the Equal Opportunities Tribunal following a complaint by the Wagga Aborigines Action Committee in 1995.

And you don’t have to be a corporate body to take action against vilification:

In October 2000 Mr and Mrs McMahon got from the Federal Magistrates Service $1 500, costs and a free punch at their neighbours the Bowmans who had uttered derogatory remarks about the McMahons’ racial background.

I bet they felt better after that.

Now consider these choice words:

The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country, and now, they only take the select choice of other societies, and the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us. And because we are not elitists, we tolerate them.

Of course we know that convicts were a small part of the migrant intake of this country, but it’s the thought that counts here. And the thought is sheer racism.

India, the Asian country which is dominated by the lowest of the low amongst racists.

I bet Indian-Australians really feel good when they read that. And then there’s this general wrap-up (via the Bunyip):

The likeness of Islam and Kuffar is like that of fresh clear spring water and water brought up from the bottom of a suburban sewer. If even a drop of the filthy water enters the clear water, the clarity diminishes. Likewise it only takes a drop of the filth of disbelief to contaminate Islam in the West.

I guess that covers the rest of us.

What these extracts have in common is their source; a publication freely available in print and on the Web in this country. The publication is Nida'ul Islam Magazine which claims a circulation of 4 000, most Australian and mostly young.

The first two extracts above were by brother Keysar Trad, the public face of the Mullah of the Lakemba Mosque. The second was by brother Amir Abdullah.

Do we have to allow these hate-mongers to afflict us, pollute the minds of our impressionable fellow citizens and encourage violence against us?

Not according to the declaration of the UN’s World Conference against Racism held in South Africa last year.

“certain media, by promoting false images and negative stereotypes of vulnerable individuals or groups of individuals, particularly of migrants and refugees, have contributed to the spread of xenophobic and racist sentiments among the public and in some cases have encouraged violence by racist individuals and groups".

Those words are taken from the Conference’s final Declaration, and they’re not far wrong. Last week you might have found the idea of “vulnerability” too limiting for your taste, but after Bali?

HREOC agrees that we just don’t have to take it any more.

“Hate speech is harmful. My paper today rests on this premise, as indeed do the other remedies I will outline in a moment. Hate speech does not have to be targeted if and only to the extent that it is seen to cause another, discrete, separate harm. Hate speech, in and of itself, is harmful” according to Dr Katharine Gelber, at a HREOC conference on racism in August this year.

And HREOC is indeed willing to punish racial vilification, defined by the Racial Discrimination Act as an “ act [that] is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.


The vilification just has to be not in private.

Two neighbours shouting at each other in an otherwise empty street was judged to be not in private. How can a publication be “in private”.

There is a let-out, of course. If you act in good faith and “in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest” or your comment is “a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment”
then you can be as rude as you like.

But I don’t see that protecting brother Trad, let alone brother Amir Abdullah.

So, go for it, bomb-threatened fellow citizens. Ask HREOC to help you fight those who vilify you.

If you’re feeling lucky have a swing at them first. Not that I’m recommending that, of course.




Wednesday, October 16, 2002
 
AL QUAEDA OR THE TOOTH FAIRY?

Senior Indonesian Ministers have repeatedly denied al-Qaeda has established roots here in Indonesia, but now, in the wake of the Bali blasts, those leaders are conceding they may well have been wrong.

Last night, the country's defence minister declared, "I'm sure the al-Qaeda network really exists. The explosion in Bali is related to al-Qaeda.


What would he know!

As the investigation into the Bali attack continues, analyst MJ Gohel, from the Asia-Pacific Foundation, says it is misleading for world leaders and the media to constantly refer to the Al Qaeda group as being linked to every terrorist incident around the globe.

He says he believes the attack in Bali was master-minded without much input at all from the remnants of the Al Qaeda group in Afghanistan
.

How much input do you need? By the standards if Dr Gohel [yes, we are being had on] the resistance networks run by Britain in Europe during the second world war were not really there.

Just lots of enthusiastic local pyromaniacs who happened to blow up railway tracks when the BBC broadcast "the white mouse is coming to dinner" or some such nonsense.

They just happened to have visited Britain in the recent past where they happened to have undertaken some recreational activities involving explosives and heavy blood-letting.

If "Dr Gohel" is as well-informed as he claims he should be arrested.

If he is as ignorant as I think he is, why does Auntie give him space?





 
IF IT QUACKS....

This is the insouciant response from the head of Jemaa Islamiya (or "Islamaya" if you're Philip Adams), Abu Bakar Bashir to questions about his links with terrorism.

"My message to the foreign minister is to come here and bring the evidence.

"Don't just accuse verbally like a child, ask him to come here and bring the evidence and face me.

"As a Foreign Minister, don't be too emotional, don't be like a duck following America.

"He has to have his own stand, so if he accuses me of involvement in terror please come, bring the proof because the accusation needs evidence."

Bashir is one of those odious creeps who preaches hatred, teaches hatred, sponsors killers and then stands back and says "look, no hands".

It may go down with the village idiots but governments that are committed to protect their citizens just have to make it clear;

Jail this man, pull apart his networks, or we are not your friends.

You can listen to him tonight on Auntie's Foreign Correspondent, 9.30pm AET.





Tuesday, October 15, 2002
 
AUNTIE'S BALI BOMBING SITE.


 
EATING CROW AND PRETENDING IT'S TURKEY.


 
MORE ON DAVID BROCK, the communards' Prozac.

But as Frank Rich observed in a New York Times essay, "By his own account, Brock has lied so often that a reader can't take on faith some of the juicier newsbreaks from the impeachment era in his book." Actually, for anyone with first-hand knowledge of the targets, it's not just the juicier newsbreaks that are problematic in Brock's book. There is virtually nothing believable in what he has written, as I have reason personally to know.

Find the rest of David Horowitz's piece here.





 
GO, OLD GIRL! Auntie counter-attacks as the best means of defence.

Yes, the communards are already sick to death of all this good press for the war against terror and they're doing something about it.

David Brock is a former Right-wing reporter who was a central player and True Believer, during many of these smear operations during the Newt Gringrich Era. He wrote the book "The Real Anita Hill" but had a complete change of heart when he found himself unable to discredit the reputation of Hilary Clinton, a project he'd been paid a $1 million advance for. Instead, he wrote 'Blinded By the Right', an intriguing concept and book for this particular point in time.

Very appropriate for "this particular point in time", boys and girls. Not only is "The Right" an evil bunch of pricks, but here we have a fearless authority on the subject who's just turned down $1 mill to tell us about it.

The trouble with trying to discredit Hilary Clinton is, it's already been done. And the sleaze keeps coming (from Ombudsgod).

In January 1996, she was forced to stand before a federal criminal grand jury to answer questions about how some billing records that had been missing for several years reappeared in the offices of her law firm. For a while there was speculation that she would be indicted.

By the way, what was his advance on Blinded by the Right ?

Hell, I was just asking!

And when do you broadcast "LEFT CLUELESS". Even more appropriate for this particular point in time.



 
WERE AUSTRALIANS the target in Bali? Auntie's intellectual titans on the Breakfast crew asked themselves yesterday morning. Where did they go for the answer?

To Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for The Independent Newspaper of course.

Where else would you go, the south east Asian correspondent of a newspaper?

Don't be dumb.



 
SCHADENFREUDE. You can now listen to Scott (it's all about OIL) Burchill being shown to be the mewling infant he is.


 
QUIGGERS, QUIGGERS, QUIGGERS! What are you doing?

John Quiggins' first response to the Kuta massacre was to remind us of recent road deaths in NSW. A reader took him to task for implying moral equivalence between the two ways of getting torn to shreds.

This is John's response:I had thought about including a disclaimer about moral equivalence, but decided it was unnecessary, given that the point of the post was to say that we should take some time to think about grieving families before rushing on to the issue of how to respond.

To be absolutely clear before going on, there is no moral equivalence between a car crash (usually the result of negligence or recklessness) and a terrorist murder. I fully support our government in its determination to hunt down the killers in Bali and those who armed and financed them
.

In important respects, fighting terrorism is very like fighting road deaths. With determination and sacrifice we can make progress, but final victory is at best a long-term aspiration.

So our response to road accidents should be to hunt down those who make and service cars?

John, you're trying to nuance us into your own functional pacifism. It's not working.



Monday, October 14, 2002
 
AUNTIE'S SARCASM. Tonight Australia's leading proponent of the view that Indonesian Islamist terrorism was the fabrication of a US Government driving for world domination will be conducting an enquiry into the Kuta Beach massacre.

Even if it were television you wouldn't see Philip Adams blush.


 
BERNARD SLATTERY WRITES I enjoy your piercing snipes at the good ship ABC and all the cultural commissars who sail in her. But I thought you might have balanced the commentary a bit with your thoughts on the splendid Mark Trevorrow production on Sinatra. I thought it was the best locally produced progam I'd seen on the ABC in years.

Uncle strives for balanced commentary.Here's what I think about Sinatra.

He makes me puke. If I had the choice of spending my wedding anniversary with Sinatra or Auntie I'd choose Auntie every time, even though only one of them's dead.

Thanks for the suggestion, but.


 
THE BUNYIP has a stomach strengthened by his foul diet.

Uncle would need a week to face the letters column of the Henny Penny (it's Monday good God there must be a crisis in capitalism) Herald. Bunyip has browsed there and regurgitates for our inspection the first "We deserved it" letter. Yuck!

The twisted sister behind it is a former lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney. In the communications faculty of course.


 
VIVIAN SCHENKER (Radio National Breakfast again) is having a hard time coming to grips with the idea that there is an Al Quaeda network.

What if it's really someone else? How can you be sure it's not other dissidents? Motormouth on overdrive.

"I don't think it's the Mormons killing people in the southern Philippines" responds the talent (Larry Johnson, former State Department terrorism expert) barely containing his exasperation.

Poor Auntie. Even she gets embarrassed sometimes.


 
GOT THAT RIGHT!

On this morning's Radio National Breakfast Auntie's pet hard-line Marxist, Scott Burchill, was called in to repeat the lesson that -I know you've already got this by heart -

It's all about OIL!

But, this time, in what Uncle predicts will be a trend towards more cautious promulgation of communard views, he was joined around the virtual table by two others: an energy expert, and a US commentator whose introductions I missed.

The result? A total, blood-spattering, massacre.

The scene: Burchill recites the catechism; the US needs the oil for economic reasons. High prices are hurting. Bush can't afford to let the French and the Russians get control of Iraq's gigantic oil reserves. Ergo, War! Not for security reasons, because the US supported Saddam before Kuwait.

Problem 1. The US oil industry has never liked sanctions. (A problem if you think Bush a puppet of US oil). You want to cut oil prices, the cheapest way is to lift sanctions.

Problem 2. The Bush Republicans were critical of sanctions pre-September 11th. What changed on September 11th? You haven't noticed?

Problem 3. The positions of the French and Russian sanctions-busters have been guaranteed by the US.

Problem 4. The Iraq oil industry has good relations with US oil, seems to prefer dealing with them, and will need US capital and know-how to develop, on top of what the French and Russians have to offer.

The Burchill solution? Well, the US actually wants to stop oil getting too cheap, not good for oil company profits I presume, so it needs the control more than the oil.

You can see why it's better to let your pet commentators perform solo.


Sunday, October 13, 2002
 

THOUGHT you'd like to know that Christopher Kremmer is now using Auntie's pulpit to proclaim the Australian media to be the "handmaidens of the imperial West."

Our media are just defending an unjust and doomed status quo.

I get the feeling that this program should be framed and put on the mantelpiece. After today even Auntie's communards may think twice about promoting their ideology so openly.

Later: In case you were wondering, this program was put together for Auntie by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, which is nothing of the sort. It is the public face of the media teaching operation of the University of Technology, Sydney, with the agenda set by a combination of undergraduate leftism and the old Auntie hack Chris Nash. Thus do the communards disclaim responsibility for their control of Auntie's agenda.



 
RIGHT NOW you can listen to a seminar on Radio National explaining how the events of September 11 2001 have corrupted journalism.

Did September 11 dull journalists' critical faculties?they ask.

It seems the opposition to US action on Iraq is not as unanimous as the program's producers would wish.

Ahmad Shboul thinks that September 11 had nothing to do with Islam, and equates the level of President Bush's rationality with that of bin Laden.

Gregory Pemberton finds the Herald's commentary reflects the writers' views on Vietnam. He thinks the balance of views favours caution about taking on Iraq, and is surprised that the Labor Party has not taken a strong position against the US action. He compares this with Calwell's "courageous" anti-Vietnam stand in 1965.

Christopher Kremmer is continuing as I write.

No audio on demand; no transcript.


 
ON SECOND THOUGHTS...

The USA will not dare to carry out the threat made by the US Ambassador for Indonesia Ralph Boyce, who plans to evacuate the embassy staff to the USA or even close the US Embassy in Indonesia, according to Salim Said, a political commentator in Jakarta yesterday.

“From a public relations point of view, Indonesia is capable of neutralizing the US plan to attack Iraq,” said Said.

Give the man a job with Auntie.





 
A MINUTE'S SILENCE for the Aussies, yet to be counted, killed in Bali.



Followed by a loud SHRIEK to wake the Auntiques of the Australian left who must think they are imagining it all.