Monday, October 30, 2006

No 'resignation', the sheikh must be removed. Now.

According to press reports, the mad fanatic al Hilaly has asked to be placed on 'indefinite leave'.

That is not good enough.

The Muslim community is being hugely ill-served by the Lebanese Muslim Association, owners of Lakemba mosque where the crazed addresses are being delivered.

They must demonstrate clearly that his views are repugnant to mainstream Muslims and remove him. Immediately. With no further discussion or dithering.

Anything less is unacceptable.

Hand wringing and complaining about Muslim-bashing is feeble, weak, if they won't take this action to promote the true story. They have the opportunity to demonstrate to the non-Muslim community that these stone-age opinions are those of a tiny minority of fanatics. That they are not the opinion of the vast majority of Muslims. That they are not a correct interpretation of Islam.

They can do that by removing permission for him to use the mosque. With immediate effect. Do not allow him to 'resign' or take 'indefinite leave'. They must no longer allow him to use the mosque. By doing so they demonstrate their rejection of the madman and his extreme opinions. By not doing so they encourage Australians to believe they agree with his views, that his views reflect Islamic thinking.

That is as insane as the mad sheikh's ravings!

The wider Muslim community leaders must get together as a matter of extreme urgency and dismiss him as Mufti of Australia & New Zealand. The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that such a meeting is being discussed, but discussing it is simply not good enough.

Even worse, the president of the Lebanese Muslim Association is quoted as saying: "This will take time to resolve and we are not going to be rushed or pressured into making a decision. The Mufti's comments are embarrassing and we regret that he made them, but the issue of his future standing has to be worked through."

No, no no! The issue isn't in any doubt. His views are unacceptable to the Australian community, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. He must be removed, he must be seen to be removed. At the earliest possible moment.

From that strange parallel universe...

They live in a different world don't they. A strange parallel universe where black is white, wrong is right, it's all someone elses fault.

We've just had BushW again repeating his mantra "The US doesn't do torture" for example.

Now Karl Rove, the man known as 'White House political guru' and 'presidential adviser' other words the brains behind BushW (pause for hysterical laughter)...has come up with another doozie.

According to reports: "...Karl Rove blasted Democrats for even suggesting the US withdraw from Iraq, saying the US can't leave one of the world's largest oil reserves in terrorist hands."

Dontcha just love it!

Who the hell caused the terrorists to go into Iraq! Who jeopardised the oil reserves! Terrorists weren't there until the invasion and the monumental cock-up of the situation since.

Take a bow Mr Rove. Acknowledge your key role. You were a vital part of the cabal that caused the disaster.

He went on to say: "More sacrifice is going to be required." The report doesn't tell us exactly who he's volunteering to do the sacrificing. But you can bet your life - like too many literally are - that Mr Rove and his cronies aren't about to be doing much personal sacrificing.

By the way, the same report gives more support to my firm belief that the US is rapidly moving to 'declare victory and withdraw' (which I posted on Wednesday).

A statement yesterday from BushW and Iraqi Puppet Prime Minister Maliki outlined three goals: speeding up the training of Iraq's security forces; moving ahead with Iraqi control of its forces; making the Iraqi government responsible for the country's security.

Declare victory and get the hell out of there as quickly as possible. Mission Accomplished and anything that goes wrong after that is the fault of the Iraqis.

That's the plan.

The full AP report is here

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"Declare victory and withdraw"

It seems quite clear to me that the US is planning for Iraq what Senator George Aiken urged President Johnson to do exactly 40 years ago.

In October 1966 the Senator urged Johnson to “declare victory and withdraw” from Vietnam.

The noises now coming from various US politicians seem to be suddenly moving in that direction.

In spite of reports that the training of the new Iraqi army – America having disastrously disbanded the original army! – is going well enough to hand over to them, a report by Lt. Col. Nick Demas paints a very different picture.

The colonel’s soldiers, most of them inexperienced reservists from Maryland, had been tapped to serve as advisers to the Iraqi army. Bush has touted such advisory teams as key to the US strategy for stabilising Iraq and bringing American troops home. Lt Col Demas and his troops expected some of the best instruction the army had to offer. His report says: " In my 28 years of military service, I have never seen such an appalling approach to training. Nowhere else in the army system would this have been acceptable." His soldiers received only a few hours of instruction in Arabic, Iraqi culture and advising foreign forces.

However, whether the Iraqi army is ready or not, victory will be declared, Bush and his poodles Howard and Blair will claim they stayed the course, saw it through until the job was done, didn’t cut and run.

They will wash their collective hands of the devastation they have caused, the civil war, the ongoing carnage, the likely break-up of the country into three.

The Iraqi government will then be blamed for what happens in the future.

Foreign forces need to be withdrawn, of that there is no doubt. But to leave without taking responsibility for causing the disaster is dishonest in the extreme.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

W's parallel universe.

President Bush yet again proves that he lives in some strange parallel universe.

He pushes through a law that allows non-American citizens to be detained indefinitely, to be subject to harsh interrogation, for CIA secret prisons to be operated overseas, for people to be labelled enemy combatants and outside the protection of the Geneva Conventions.

Then comes the surreal "As I've said before, the United States does not torture. It's against our laws and it's against our values."

Mr President, you've just passed a law that makes it one of the US' values. That brings it within your laws.

What you've done, yet again, is to change the things the US has traditionally stood for.

And he went on: "This bill spells out specific recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes in the handling of detainees so that our men and women who question captured terrorists can perform their duties to the fullest extent of the law."

Alleged terrorists, Mr President. Alleged. You've declared them guilty before they've even been detained.

Note "can perform their duties to the fullest extent of the law."

The law has been changed to cover what they've been doing. Do something illegal, change the law, now it's legal.

This is not what America should be about.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

David Hicks

Just reading an update on David Hicks, held in Guantanamo now for almost five years without trial. It isn't new but I was reminded again about the non-existent link with justice in the whole sorry issue.

I fully supported the international, legal decision to invade Afghanistan and remove the Taliban, because of their practical support for terrorists. (The lack of planning what to do after the inevitable victory is another story altogether).

However, the Taliban were the government of the day - Hicks was captured fighting for the government of the day against invading armies. That makes him a prisoner of war and he should have been treated as such. As the awful Ruddock and Howard have said on several occasions, he committed no crime under Australian law.

But in the surreal, bizarre world the current American regime has created, Hicks, a prisoner of war, is charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes and attempted murder.


The UK and Australia, to their neverending shame, go along with this and the rest of the world looks the other way.