Saturday 14th of December 2019

ye olde flim-flam shoppe .....

11 September 2006



’Ambassador and Mrs McCallum, ladies and gentlemen, we gather here this morning on the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States and indeed on the entire world that values individual liberty and freedom on the 11th of September 2001. We gather both in remembrance and reaffirmation. We remember those from many nations, including Australia who lost 10 citizens in the World Trade Centre and was, several years later, to suffer even greater losses in the terrorist attacks in Bali, but also the other nations who lost citizens on that fateful morning. 

It reminds us, of course, that although the attack took place on American soil and was designed deliberately and calculatedly to do great damage to the people of the United States, it was an attack on values that the entire world holds in common. And that is why, in gathering here this morning, we do so not only in remembrance of those who lost their lives, we honour those who risked their lives, and in some cases lost their lives trying to rescue those in both the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre. 

But we also gather to reaffirm our commitment both as friends and allies of the people of the United States but also as citizens of the world, to maintain the fight against terrorism.  Terrorism is the enemy of all people of goodwill. It is the enemy of all of the great religions of the world; it is a blasphemy on Islam for the name of Islam to be invoked to justify terrorism. It is also the enemy of all the value systems that are important to Australia and the United States.

And speaking here, I know on behalf of all of my fellow Australians, and I know also on behalf of all of you, we think particularly of the losses and suffering of the people of the United States on the 11th of September 2001. And all of us, I know in our different ways and our different approaches, rededicate ourselves to maintain the values that are universal values of individual liberty and dignity, of freedom of association, of freedom of religion and freedom of thought. And in reaffirming our commitment to maintain the fight against terrorism, we do so in the belief that those universal values will in the end, because they represent the truth of mankind's existence, they will in the end triumph.’

meanwhile, from downtown wherever-istan …..

‘Were I to take my life in my hands this weekend and visit Osama bin Laden's hideout in Wherever-istan, the interview would go something like this. I would ask how things have been for him since 9/11. His reply would be that he had worried at first that America would capitalise on the global revulsion, even among Muslims, and isolate him as a lone fanatic. He was already an "unwelcome guest" among the Afghans, and the Tajiks were out to kill him for the murder of their beloved leader, Ahmed Shah Massoud (which they may yet do). A little western cunning and he would have been in big trouble.

In the event Bin Laden need not have worried. He would agree, as did the CIA's al-Qaida analyst in Peter Taylor's recent documentary, that the Americans have done his job for him. They panicked. They drove the Taliban back into the mountains, restoring the latter's credibility in the Arab street and turning al-Qaida into heroes. They persecuted Muslims across America. They occupied Iraq and declared Iran a sworn enemy. They backed an Israeli war against Lebanon's Shias. Soon every tinpot Muslim malcontent was citing al-Qaida as his inspiration. Bin Laden's tiny organisation, which might have been starved of funds and friends in 2001, had become a worldwide jihadist phenomenon.

I would ask Bin Laden whether he had something special up his sleeve for the fifth anniversary. Why waste money, he would reply. The western media were obligingly re-enacting the destruction and the screaming, turning the base metal of violence into the gold of terror. They would replay the tapes and rerun the footage ad nauseam, and thus remind the world of his awesome power. Americans are more afraid of jihadists this year than last. In a Transatlantic Trends survey, the number of them describing international terrorism as an "extremely important threat" went up from 72% to 79%. As for European support for America's world leadership, that has plummeted from 64% in 2002 to 37% this year.

Bin Laden might boast that he had achieved terrorism's equivalent of an atomic chain reaction: a self-regenerating cycle of outrage and foreign-policy overkill, aided by anniversary journalism and fuelled by the grim scenarios of security lobbyists. He now had only to drop an occasional CD into the offices of al-Jazeera, and Washington and London quaked with fear. The authorities could be reduced to million-dollar hysterics by a phial of nail varnish, a copy of the Qur'an, or a dark-skinned person displaying a watch and a mobile phone.’

The Weekend's 9/11 Horror-Fest Will Do Osama bin Laden's Work For Him

a little perspective .....

‘Terrorism's main goal is to scare a society into altering their political values, and the way they live. Knowing that, why do Republicans and their supporters try so hard to ensure the terrorists succeed in their goals and objectives?

By trying to instill a pathological fear of terrorism into the American population, Republicans and their supporters are doing all the work for bin Laden and the ever growing number of al Qaeda franchises. The Republicans and their supporters are hoping to scare people into voting for them, but that political strategy makes their goals and objectives the same as bin Laden's. Just whose side is the Republicans and their supporters on? Are they for or against the United States and the American people?’

Whose Side Are They On: Republicans & Supporters Helping Terrorists Win One Political Ad At a Time

which brings us to bushit & co …..

‘Five years after the worst terror attack in US history, President George W. Bush said the war against terrorism is "the calling of our generation'' and urged Americans to put aside differences and fight to victory.

"America did not ask for this war, and every American wishes it were over,'' Bush said. "The war is not over - and it will not be over until either we or the extremists emerge victorious.''

Bush, in a televised evening address from his Oval Office in the White House, staunchly defended the war in Iraq, even though he acknowledged that deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the September 11 attacks that killed nearly 3000 people.’

It's War For Civilisation: Bush

in the meantime …..

“The clandestine U.S. commandos whose job is to capture or kill Osama bin Laden have not received a credible lead in more than two years,” the Washington Post reports. “Nothing from the vast U.S. intelligence world…has led them anywhere near the al-Qaeda leader.”

hardly a surprise given bushit’s wrong-footed fixation on Iraq & Iran ….

peaceful wars, US style.

From our ABC

US fuelling terrorism, Syria says
Syria has accused the United States of fuelling extremism and terrorism in the Middle East, giving the cold shoulder to American praise over a foiled attack on their embassy in Damascus.

Syria's embassy in Washington unusually issued a statement, assailing US policies.

"It is regrettable that US policies in the Middle East have fuelled extremism, terrorism and anti-US sentiment," the Syrian statement said.

"What has happened recently in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Iraq is exacerbating the fight against global terrorism.

"The US should take this opportunity to review its policies in the Middle East and start looking at the root causes of terrorism, and broker a comprehensive peace in the Middle East."


Gus: of course the US denies its policies are to be blamed for the trouble... "our little wars are performed to create peace..." it said hypocritically, adding "and if you don't like it, shove it."

Spinning 9-11

Watch as Junior Bush explains that the interrogation techniques used in secret CIA prisons are "within the law" because "lawyers have looked at it". 

Sick to the stomach at the buffoonery of a chumped-up chimp?

Watch Keith Olbermann deliver a ripping monologue, Who has left this hole in the ground?, where he recalls a 1960s episode of The Twilight Zone to compelling effect.

A useful hint for J.Winston Howard, from ‘Daily Show’ Digests Latest Bush Puzzler. If there have been no Severe Tropical Cyclones since Larry, surely our PM can take the credit for protecting us?

From Guardian - BBC did not know of 9/11 film's link to religious right.

... The film's director, David Cunningham, is active in Youth With a Mission (Ywam), a fundamentalist evangelical organisation founded by his father, Loren Cunningham. According to its publications, the group believes in demonic possession, spiritual healing and conservative sexual morality. ...

remembering 911 .....

on the mark TG .....


War now, pay back later...

From the New York Times

Maximum Security

Published: September 10, 2006

SINCE 9/11, Judge Richard Posner has been a strong proponent of redrawing legal lines to allow for greater executive power in the service of aggressively responding to terrorist threats. Posner thinks we don’t appreciate the gravity of the danger we face; he compares this moment to the outset of World War II. When news broke last winter that the National Security Agency was eavesdropping on domestic phone calls and e-mail messages, Posner was one judge who wasn’t interested in whether the president had the authority to order such snooping. He moved right along to proposing his own legislative fix (you haven’t heard the details because it didn’t catch on).

Posner’s new book, “Not a Suicide Pact,” is characteristically hawkish. Written in hopes that “the Supreme Court will be convinced by the assessment and shape the law accordingly,” the argument is that courts should be pragmatic (always Posner’s North Star) and give greater weight to the interests of national security than they have in the past four decades. In illustration, Posner weighs the costs and benefits of different outcomes in cases involving detention, interrogation, radical speech and privacy. As he concedes, there are a lot of “imponderables” to be pondered, and the conclusions he or any other judge might reach about them are “inescapably subjective.” Readers either will or won’t share Posner’s predilection to trust the government in dire-seeming times; there is certainly much to be said on the other side.

read more at the [|NYT]
Gus: What this judge does not seem to gauge is the more you attack people's rights, the more people are going to resent your actions. One may win a few battles but in the end, victory is flimsy at best, elusive on average... Yes, there are a lot of “imponderables” to be pondered, Mr Posner... But as a government tightens the screws and flaunt the laws of human rights, it creates more bad-will, first by the destruction of one's own ethics, and second by creating a more powerful opposition to the force used, also fuelled by the "injustice" of it all. It's like solving little problems by creating larger ones... Unsustainable, unless you believe that terrorism can be licked by tomorrow.

Question of resurgence

From the NYT

Al Qaeda Chiefs Are Seen to Regain PowerBy MARK MAZZETTI and DAVID ROHDE Published: February 19, 2007

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 — Senior leaders of Al Qaeda operating from Pakistan have re-established significant control over their once-battered worldwide terror network and over the past year have set up a band of training camps in the tribal regions near the Afghan border, according to American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.


Gus: So where is this problem coming from?

1) Are we (the anti-Bush people) going to to be blamed for not fully supporting the US policies thus weakening its effect?

2) Is Pakistan able to do its bit considering that its president is ruling over a fundamentalist powder keg?

3) is the tactics used by the US fully efficient in changing hearts and minds in a region where things are complicated and based on Sharia laws?

4) is the US getting brickbats from having "turned-coat" on a former ally — the Taliban?

5) Can the might of the US defeat every "terrorist" — every where, any time?

6) If Osama was dead, why keep the illusion alive?

7) How long do we have before we give up in Afghanistan, or is the petrol too precious?

8) Is there any other way to solve the problem in Afghanistan than war?

9) Is war in Afghanistan not really a war but an unrest?

10) How come were not able to win the psychological warfare? Are our ideals so far removed from what people want? is it due to male dominance? And due to beliefs that are erroneous, like ours, but extremely ingrained?