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In this increasingly duplicitous world in which we live, all is not always what it seems. If you have read Dirty Politics, by Nicky Hager you will know this; if you have not, then for your own sake, you need to.
DP is not the only book that can open your eyes, but at this moment it is current and for New Zealanders it is extremely relevant, because it involves the behaviour of people in power right here and right now (and on the right – as opposed to IN the right).
My point is that if you want to know what is REALLY going on, then sometimes you have to look beyond the sound-bites and the headlines and look at the motivations of the people generating those. It is just a shame that our mainstream media aren’t doing the same thing. And further to that; you might want to wonder why that would be.
A case in point is currently on our TV screens and in our ‘newspapers’. I refer to the huge fuss currently being generated about alleged terror cells operating within Australia and plots by those people to strike at the very heart of Australian democracy. If we are to believe the official line, a group has set themselves up in Australia with plans to kidnap and murder ordinary citizens and unleash attacks upon the Federal Parliament.
This sounds very scary stuff and with just 2000kms of water between us and the Aussies and pretty relaxed travel arrangements between the two countries, that has an unsettling effect upon New Zealanders.
If it is true, then we would have good reason to be nervous. But is it? Are those sound bites we are getting really correct and are we really that close to something terrible happening right here in Godzone or are we simply the unwitting victims of a gigantic hoax?
I realise the concept of a hoax could be a hard sell in New Zealand because we have all seen the footage with scores of armed Aussie cops swarming in and arresting a handful of Middle-Eastern guys – but oddly only managing to charge one or two of them. We then saw a clip of a plane being blown up, which was actually part of a US exercise to show us what happens when a bomb is snuck onto a plane. We could have rather easily worked that out for ourselves without the video clip, but then that would not have imprinted the idea that we are under threat quite as effectively.
I am not naive enough to think there are not people who carry out terrorist acts or that we in New Zealand are totally safe from such events happening here. However I do get suspicious when I see things unfolding at a rapid rate that are sure to quicken the national pulse and have a persuasive effect upon the population as a whole. Sometimes the events that are ‘reported’ to us appear to be just a little too coincidental and/or convenient for those in power to be accepted at face value.
It is well known that the NZ Government has been cuddling up to the USA with increasing enthusiasm over the last six years in particular and to a lesser extent for a long time before that. It is also plainly apparent that Australia’s current Government is also dropping its knickers for them just as readily. And let’s not forget David Cameron in the UK who is also getting embarrassingly familiar with Uncle Sam.
And why should that be a worry? Syria might be a good word to describe why that should be a worry. Obama is ramping up things on that front exponentially and looking more and more like George Dubyah every day. He is also calling for another coalition of the unwitting to destroy ISIS. Apparently Al Qaeda is sooo yesterday now.
So what possible link could this have with the news reports emanating from Australia? Well for one thing, Tony (bad) Abbott is keen to link arms with the Americans and go kick some ISIS butt. However this could be a hard sell to his people after the catastrophes of Gulf War I and II. These days people don’t like sending their sons and daughters away to get killed in ‘foreign’ wars. So what better way to get them onside than to show them the enemy has infiltrated their way of life already and so the whole thing is now very personal to them?
These same ‘reports’ from Australia are also very convenient for the New Zealand Government and here is where the timing is especially interesting. During our recent election campaign Kim Dotcom held a meeting involving Pullitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, with video links from former NSA man Edward Snowden and Wiki Leaks founder Julian Assange in which some very specific and provable allegations were made regarding Prime Minister John Key’s lack of candour regarding the activities of our spy agency the GCSB.
Key had denied flat out that New Zealanders were being spied upon by the GCSB other than in a very specifically targeted way when this issue first arose over a year ago. However following Greenwald, Assange and Snowden’s appearance he realised that even the Kiwi public (who voted him back in by a landslide a week later) were smart enough to realise he hadn’t been entirely frank. He then went on the attack and attempted to justify wider spread surveillance by saying there are terrorists operating in the world and he wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t look out for New Zealanders who might go to the Middle East to be radicalised and trained by Islamic groups. New Zealanders would not thank him if these sorts of activities began occurring closer to home, he reasoned.
It was only a couple of days after this response from Key that our TV screens featured the arrests in Australia and Key was back grabbing headlines and saying, “See, I told you so”. Thank heavens for coincidence, eh? Just the boost an ailing leader needs a couple of days out from an election. There is nothing that brings a country together and behind the incumbent Government than a national catastrophe like the Canterbury earthquake in 2011 or threat of terrorism in 2014, eh?
The beheadings that have allegedly been carried out on American, British and French captives have ramped all of this up to fever pitch. If they are true (and they might well be – but then they just as easily, might not be); they provide plenty of motivation for the citizenry of the USA, UK and France to wage war on Islamists.
So now we have two South Pacific Governments that stood to gain from an imminent threat of terrorism in their own back yard, plus two Europeans and the USA who could be ramped up to attack these alleged militants and blow them to Kingdom Come.
There will be many who won’t want to accept this suggestion of mine, but to those of you who think I am even madder than usual, I ask you to indulge me for a moment and try this exercise:
What sort of people do you think are the easiest scapegoats to put up before an undeniably racist population such as that in Australia? - Answer – people of Middle-Eastern appearance and who practice a religion that has also been given a bad rap by its more fanatical adherents – people whom most of the true believers disown.
Those same people are sure to arouse racist reactions among the more red-necked Kiwis too, many of whom are unable to separate the good Muslims from the bad ones. If I had a dollar for every Kiwi that accused Ahmed Zaoui of being a terrorist I would be a wealthy man today. Zaoui was an Afghani asylum seeker who came to New Zealand to escape the horror that was being perpetrated in his birth country and had an incredible uphill battle against ignorance and racism before he was finally accepted into this country.
Distasteful epithets such as ‘towel heads’ and the like are thrown about with wild abandon in both countries and it is fair to say that probably a larger proportion of the population view Muslim as a synonym for terrorist. So if you want a scapegoat in either country an alleged member of an Islamic terrorist group is probably about as good as they come.
But why, you might ask, would our Governments want to frighten us like this simply so they can go and secure their supplies of oil?
Well, I believe it goes way beyond oil. We are seeing a growing trend towards our freedoms being muzzled. In the recent New Zealand election Darren Watson’s excellent song, Planet Key was banned by the electoral commission from the airwaves – and from sale!!! Yet John Key’s biography was allowed to be released at the same time and sold freely. Key’s Government is currently, along with Obama’s and Abbott’s trying to push through the TPPA. This is an allegedly harmless trade agreement that is in all our best interests, and yet neither the public nor the opposition parties in any of those three countries are allowed to see what is in it. So if it is in all our best interests why all the secrecy?
In New Zealand Key is also trying to ‘reform’ our Resource Management Act so that big businesses have less need to consider the environmental impact of their actions and he is also going to make major changes to our employment laws to take even more rights away from an already seriously disenfranchised workforce.
Those of us who have read Dirty politics are aware that members of the wider group of National Party advisors and hangers-on have attended events in the USA where they have been radicalised by groups like the Tea Party and trained in methods of controlling the public and the flow of information to them. Examples of this training have been seen with the New Zealand Government over the past few years. For example every time they were accused of doing something dodgy they would initially claim no recall of it, then when that became impossible to uphold they would emphatically deny it and when even that became impossible to maintain they would then attack and ridicule their accusers.
Another of the tactics used by them has been to distract people with something that will scare them. If you can scare the people enough you can get away with murder (sometimes literally). Look at the number of freedom restricting laws that all of the five countries I have mentioned have been able to pass into law and justify in the name of the ‘war on terror”. Mention the likelihood of a random bomb attack in your back yard and that is bound to frighten people and give you the ‘justification’ to limit their freedoms ‘for their own good.’
So to summarise; I am not saying these guys in Australia are not terrorists nor that they did not have a dastardly plot in mind. Nor am I saying the beheading videos are staged and phoney. But what I am saying is don’t take all this stuff at face value. Think about it. Question it. We know these leaders are liars and charlatans, but they of course don’t lie all the time. However they lie often enough for us to be very careful about which of their utterances we believe.
All of these people have motives for what they do. Frequently those motives are in their own best interests and not ours. Coincidences are rare and in politics almost never happen. Ask yourself who stands to gain if we believe this stuff and look out for what follows. As sure as God made little green apples moves will soon follow to further restrict our freedoms.
Three of these Governments are Tories and one is so beholden to big business that it might as well be. So you have to ask yourself who are the real terrorists?
As Woody Guthrie once said in his classic ballad, Pretty Boy Floyd, “Yes, as through this world I've wandered I’ve seen lots of funny men; some will rob you with a six-gun and some with a fountain pen”