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Archive for the ‘terror’ Category

Address to former Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In view of the prevention of terrorists attacks targeting main public centres in Melbourne during Christmas, I’m publishing the following address that was delivered by me, at the private chambers of Sir Harry Gibbs (former Chief Justice of The High Court of Australia) on December 14, 2002, who as Chairman of The Samuel Griffith Society presided over its annual general meeting.

 Mr. President,

I’m aware that the issue I’m raising is not directly related to the charter of our society. But because our way of life, our values and the lives of our citizens are under threat by a deadly network of fanatic terrorists, and because these values are written and reflected in the Australian Constitution, our society as a defender of the latter, cannot avoid from being embroiled in this war against terrorism and its state sponsors.

As in all wars, beyond the human and material mobilization of a nation, the moral and spiritual mobilization of its people is just as important, if not more important. I strongly believe that in the latter mobilization, our society can play a significant and important role.

Recently, there has been a cravenly and ignominious attempt to disarm the country of its strength from effectively confronting this terrorist threat. A secular and sacred chorus have sung an ode in praise of disloyalty and pusillanimity, as the best means of defence against terrorism. Four former prime ministers (Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke and Keating) a Governor General (Bill Hayden) and a motley of religious prelates, disseminated their nihilistic wisdom to the people of this country, as to whether Australia should support the United States in a war against Iraq. Their pronounciamento of No to War, was remarkable for its poverty of thought, for its lack of historical insight, and for its richness in levity. In the latter case this was demonstrated bizarrely by Mr. Keating, who in a tongue-in-cheek interview on channel 10, stated that while we should keep our important alliance with the USA, we should not support the latter in its war against Iraq. In his own inimitable words, he remarked, that a “clever nation—read a clever government under his premiership—could have its-own-cake-and-it eat—too.” Such a proposition is of course based on the assumption that the other party, in this case the USA government, is so stupid, that it would be willing to fall victim to Mr. Keating’s con-man diplomacy and would gratify his penchant of having his cake-and-eating-too.

But despite the lack of seriousness and frivolity of these ideas, propagated by this prominent group of court-jesters, it would a mistake to underestimate the great damage these ideas would make on the moral fibre and on the fighting spirit of the country. It is for this reason that this sophistry of these intellectual usurpers, must be countered and exposed for its spiritual and moral bankruptcy. It would be a historical and political folly to allow these political and religious romantics, the nipple-fed intellectuals of academe, and the populist media, to monopolise, dominate, and debase the debate on the war against terrorism. I believe that our society can play a pivotal role in counter-balancing this monopoly and exposing the brittleness of the arguments of this caricature of statesmanship.

Mr. President, I’m aware of the paucity of the material resources of our society. But this should not be a reason why the wealth of its intellect, imagination, and moral mettle, should lay fallow in these critical times.                

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Suspicion toward Muslim Women Hidden behind Veil of Victimisation

The following is a would be reply to Dr. Shakira Hussein’s talk at Readings in Carlton, on March 15, 2016, with the title “From Victims to Suspects”…, which I was not allowed by the chairperson to elaborate, as she considered my questions hostile and uninteresting towards Muslim women.    

In the mad world of the Taliban, ISIS, and suicidal Islamist terror, it is not difficult for sane people to become “paranoiacs”.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

You are attempting to hide suspicion behind the veil of victimisation whose presumed agent is Islamophobia. The real agent, however, is your own religion that classifies women in comparison to men as second–rate beings.

As long as Muslim women cannot attain true femininity and banish the burqa and the hijab, symbols of their absolute bondage to Muslim male supremacy and its sex morals, they will have a cloud of suspicion hanging over them. As most Muslim men, if not open supporters of Jihad, are at least justifying the actions of Jihadists, since they believe unswervingly that all actions, no matter how atrocious, against the Great Satan America and all other Western Nations that are in league with it and are responsible for all the ills that have been fallen upon Muslim countries, are justifiable. A very thin line separates justification from Jihad and it takes only one step to be on the other side. And since Muslim women are submissive and docile to their men, they have to abide to the beliefs and actions of the latter. Hence, potentially, they can become active participants in this Holy War against the West. Hence, there are solid grounds for suspicion.

Only Muslim women who have the moral and intellectual fortitude, like the brave and great Somalian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to renounce and liberate themselves from the rigid tenets of the Koran can remove the shadow of suspicion that are enshrouded in. And no professed adherence to Multiculturalism and human rights can bail out either Muslim men or women from this suspicion. What human rights would the devotees of the Koran give to the offspring of Satan? And don’t reply to me with the platitude that you can make distinctions among the people of the Western world. For how can you distinguish good infidels from bad infidels?

Australia must Protect itself from Home-Grown Terror

In view of  the siege in Sydney by an Islamist terrorist and its tragic end by the killing of two hostages, I’m republishing the following paper that was written on September, 2005. 

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The anti-terror laws proposed by the Howard government, have brought in their wake the civil libertarians’ nightmares – that these laws will destroy civil liberties, freedom of speech and assembly, and eventually and irreparably erode the values of our democratic state. The nightmarish shadow of ASIO and its spooks will forebodingly spread and pervade all parts of our society, and no institution or person will be safe from the horrid intrusions of its ghostly agents. Hence, according to the libertarians’ ‘apparitional’ thinking, the offspring of these laws will be a police state.

But how real are these ugly images -read as concerns of the civil libertarians -beyond the tarot cards of their predictions, and what is the probability that they could change the democratic fabric of our society so drastically resulting in people losing their civil liberties? It’s in the adversarial response of the critics to these proposed anti-terror laws, that the answer to the above question lies.

The point d’appui upon which the critics of these laws rest their case is fear. But a one-sided fear – the fear that these laws will deprive us of our freedoms – that totally disregards the other greater fear posed by the terrorists, which will deprive us of our lives. Thus, the libertarians’ protection of freedom is the protection of the freedom of the dead.

Let us however be more gentle with their claims, and attempt to examine them historically and rationally as they stand. They claim that the anti-terror laws will be implemented in an unfettered and shadowy way – without oversight or legal scrutiny by parliament or any other relevant authority – by ASIO and other security agencies against suspect terrorists and without the latter having recourse to the normal judicial processes that are part and parcel of a just state. They also claim, that these laws “can be used to deal with a range of issues beyond terrorism” and hence open the backdoor to a police state. Furthermore, they are unprecedented in their sweep, such as “preventative detention of suspects”… stripping them of their citizenship and deporting them, “legal powers akin to wartime than peacetime”. John North, the President of the Law Council says that “these laws may bring us in danger of capitulating to terrorists, because they would have achieved their objective”. Maybe we should capitulate to weakness and not pass these laws and hence get bombed, which is the ultimate objective of the terrorists. This seems to be less of a danger to Mr. North. And they assert that there is no certainty that these laws will be effective in preventing a terrorist attack in Australia.
(The quotes above are from Cameron Stewart, The Australian, 17 September 2005.)

This is no more than an ardent attempt by the civil libertarians to demolish the rationale and effectiveness of these laws by employing, as above, subterfuge, legal and philosophical abstractions and scarecrows to make their case. They are unwilling to use concrete historical evidence to make their argument (maybe because such evidence would have been detrimental to their claims) or reason, since the premise of their position is founded on the emotion of fear.

IN TIMES OF WAR LAWS MUST CHANGE

All democratic nations in times of war in the past had to pass legislation that enforced censorship and the detention of suspects propagating and promoting seditious action. And the laws issuing from such legislation had to be applied rigorously against any suspects who could organise themselves into a fifth column within a country at war. But the historically conclusive evidence is that in democratic societies as soon as the war ended, these laws ceased to apply and once again society returned to its former normal state. Undoubtedly, during the application of these laws, mistakes and indeed, abuses were made and some individuals apprehended or incarcerated were entirely innocent. But the scale of the operation and application of these injunctions were so great that it would have been impossible to execute them without making in some cases mistakes and errors of judgment. No human action on any gigantic scale, as for example in war, can ever be error-free. To expect that one could achieve one’s goals on such a wide range without human fallibility playing an acting role, both in the mental and moral spheres, is to expect a play about the Fall of Man without any human actors, but only angelic ones, in it.

The human condition is a state of irremediable imperfection. But despite this grim fact, the evolution of human nature has not stopped at its amoebic stage. In the irreversible Darwinian process of the survival of the fittest, the human species had to continuously develop new and more perfect means for its survival. Although these means were far from perfect in a divine sense, they were good enough for its earthly existence. The anti-terrorist laws are in this category of ‘good enough’.

Australia, being at war, has no other option but to take these less than perfect hard measures that have a high probability of protecting its citizens from a home-grown terrorist attack. However, the premise upon which any wise legislation or enactment of laws rest, is that these laws must be commensurate to the threat (s) that emanates from illegal action. For example, if there is a spate of housebreaking, parliament has to legislate the appropriate, but not too-harsh laws that could deter this criminal activity from occurring – by jailing the culprits for a short time. If on the other hand, like New York few years ago, when a spate of robberies and murders were occurring which posed a greater threat to the residents of a city than housebreaking, the government would have to pass harsher laws, if it seriously wanted to prevent these ‘deadly muggings’ from happening, such as those with the ‘zero tolerance’ passed by the former mayor of New York, Guiliani. Furthermore, because of haphazardness and uncertainty, which is the shadow of all human action, one can never be sure that any laws passed will be completely effective in deterring people from engaging in illegal activities. Nonetheless, despite this ineradicable element of chance that is implanted in all laws, no government can eschew or excuse itself from the responsibility of taking the appropriate punitive measures that have a high probability of being successful against criminal conduct. (A clear example of this were the zero tolerance laws that were enforced in New York. At the time there was a volcanic eruption of protests from civil libertarians that these laws were inhumane, unjust, and ignoble, and that they would be totally ineffective as a deterrent to crime. Their success however, in substantially diminishing crime within a short time, proved its critics to be totally wrong.)

This indeterminacy and unpredictability of all human laws, unlike the physical laws of gravity, in regards to their success against lawbreakers, is moreover augmented, to the highest degree when a government has to legislate laws against a ‘consortium’ of religious fanatics whose mode of operation has the speed and randomness of quicksilver and whose goal is the destruction of civilised society by the barbaric and ruthless use of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear ones, against it. The legislators of these laws that could forestall such lethal terrorist attacks must be aware that all such attacks in the eyes of these fanatics are ‘pushed’ by the breath of Allah. Hence, the most impossible action(s) fantastically imagined, in the context of such apocalyptic fanaticism, becomes an alarming reality. Muslim fanatic terrorism, has no rational concrete political or social goals, despite its propagandistic pronouncements to the contrary, which are merely a fig-leaf of their real intentions, but only the eschatological goal of destroying decadent Western civilisation. In such circumstances, laws that could be effective against criminal activity would be totally ineffective against zealots who are guided solely by the laws of God. Hence, one of the most fundamental elements of law, the deterring factor, is completely useless against these fanatics. And this is the reason why the government has to legislate a new generation of laws that would have a chance to be effective against god’s outlaws.

In the passing of such legislation however, one has to make a distinction between hardcore terrorists and would-be terrorists. The latter have not reached the point of no return of the fanatics. And either because of fear of what would happen to themselves or to their families, they could be constrained by laws, from entering the gates of hell of active terrorism. This is why the anti-terror laws must be composed of both a ‘safe-haven’ and a ‘purgatory’: a safe-haven for those Muslim fundamentalists that can be promptly rehabilitated, and a purgatory for those inveterate and pathological fanatics, whose ‘rehabilitation’ can only be accomplished, if ever, inside the gates of Infinite Paradise.

To the raw suspect recruits of would-be terrorists, the applied laws must have provisions that they are not going to be treated too harshly, thus leaving them an opening, a safe-haven, to rescue themselves from the relentless squeeze of the vice of the law that would apply to the hardcore fanatics, either as suspects of being active terrorists or as suspects who propagate and incite terrorism – as some of the fundamentalist imams and teachers in Islamic schools do among their followers. To these imams and mentors who actively or by intent engage in seditious activities and the incitement of a holy war against ourselves and our allies, who are also waging war on global terror, the purgatory of deportation, detention, and imprisonment should remorselessly apply. This is where the deterring factor of the law lies against these votaries of fanaticism -in the concrete rigorous harsh application of the laws against them and not in their abstract state as a threat.

This clear distinction of how to deal with the hardcore fanatics in contrast to their greenhorn recruits, has the great potential to sever the association of the latter from the former, and hence ‘dry’ the pool from which the fundamentalist mentors of a holy war against the West get their recruits. And by ‘deporting’ and ‘clinking’ their perfidious activities the government will effectively disable them from continuing to be the incubators of terror in this country.

The government must not be constrained by any ‘legal-niceties’ or illusions in the enactment of the anti-terror laws. The latter must correspond to the great threat that external and home-grown terrorism pose to the country. And the curtain has fallen on all discussions, deliberations, and debates about the causes and ideological roots of terrorism. When someone is ready to stab you to death, you don’t restrain his action by parleying with him about the causes that made him an assassin. This is the time for action. The government must take no heed of the animadversions and subterfuges of the civil libertarians. All their assertions are no more than a marivaudage, a sophisticated banter, about this grave and deadly serious issue. In its enactment of these anti-terror laws, it must be solely governed by its historical duty to ordain this imperative legislation to protect Australia.

I rest on my oars: your turn now.

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Defeat Not Degrade ISIS Correct Strategy

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Brief reply to: An Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) First Strategy

By Robert Bunker Small Wars Journal August 30, 2014

One has to make a clear distinction between real existent hostility (ISIS) and potential hostility (by other uncertainly defined actors), so one has to be decisive in one’s choice which hostility to confront first. Robert Bunker is correct in stating, “an Islamist state has to be considered more dangerous than a secular autocratic state.” The latter is “ideologically bankrupt” whereas the former because of its “spiritual ideological component” has “a very real expansionist potential” and therefore is “more dangerous.” According to this logic therefore, one has primarily to confront and ELIMINATE this danger emanating from ISIS and not merely weaken the latter for the purpose of maintaining it as a force that would prevent other forces inimical to the United States from filling the “political and institutional vacuum” left by the decimation and total defeat of ISIS. First, ISIS in its short reign, other than verbally and ceremonially as true believers of the Koran, has hardly established a “political and institutional” framework that with its ousting would be occupied by other belligerent and hostile forces. The area upon which its so called Caliphate was established, from which thousands of people fled to save their lives, will once again, with the total defeat of ISIS, revert back to its original occupiers, Syrians, Kurds, and Iraqis, who with the exception of Syrian supporters of Assad, the latter two groups are hardly enemies of the USA.

The defeat of ISIS by American airpower and by forays of its Special Forces and its allies of Kurds and Iraqis on the ground will be a decisive blow to all Islamist terrorists, including those of al Qaeda. And it will put an end to the flow of its recruits from internal and external sources. I would suggest therefore that to achieve this great victory one must adopt the strategy that will defeat and eliminate ISIS and not the strategy that will degrade and weaken it.

War on Terror: Issuing from Culture of Fear or Danger of Ominous Attack

I’m republishing the following article that was written on November 2011

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The respectable and cerebrally sharp Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former National Security advisor to president Carter, mounts an intellectually and strategically disrespectful argument, in the Washington Post on March 25, 2007, that the war on terror has created a culture of fear in America, and has a pernicious impact on American democracy and its psyche, and on US standing in the world. He contends, that the war in Iraq, could never had gained the congressional support it got, without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Further, that terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare. And he caps his contention by stating, that the war on terror “defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies”, and also creates a “sense of a pervasive but otherwise imprecise danger”.

It’s apparent that Brzezinski’s points are instigated by his experience of the Cold War era and Soviet communism–of which he was an exemplary acute observer and had identified clearly the dangers emanating from Soviet expansionism–and it’s precisely for this reason that are completely inapplicable to the undeclared “Hot War” that fanatical Islam is waging against the USA and the infidel West generally. To replicate the policies that were successful in eroding Communist power and finally casting it into the waste bin of history and apply them to an “ unidentified”, shadowy, religiously inspired fanatic enemy is not merely a lapse of historical nous but a totally inept and faulty strategy against such a foe. The fact that Communism was a limpidly identified enemy and precisely dangerous, was the cause that united the countries of the West and rallied them to stand behind the leadership of the USA. In contrast, it’s precisely because our present “presumed enemies” are lacking a “geographical context” that makes them nationally unidentifiable and hence an “imprecise danger”, is the reason that disunites Western countries and makes them reluctant, if not inimical, to stand behind the American leadership and strategy against global terror. Moreover, a false and unimaginative sense pervades many European countries that they are not equally endangered by global terror, like the USA is, and that they can wriggle themselves out of this danger by not engaging in the war against it and indeed, by appeasing the Islamic fundamentalists.

Further, Brzezinski’s psychology does not pass muster with the 9/11 portentous event. The latter was not, as he argues, the “psychological linkage” between its “shock” and the “postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction” that led to war and which “had gained congressional support”, but the reasonable reaction of the Bush administration, or for that matter of any historically responsible administration, to a future ominous and more devastating attack by terrorists armed with WMD, and indeed, with “portable” nuclear weapons, supplied by rogue states such as Saddams’, on the United States. The war on terror, therefore, did not create “a culture of fear in America” (E.A) as he contends, since this fear was an instinctual fear on the part of Americans of the great danger hovering over their lives in the aftermath of 9/11. This was illustrated by the fact that nearly ninety percent of Americans initially supported both wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and this was the basic reason why it was also almost unanimously endorsed by congress. Hence, Brzezinski’s contention that this culture of fear had a pernicious impact on American democracy and on America’s psyche is baseless. Not to mention the fact that a culture does not spring up like a crop at the first droplet of rain. His culture of fear therefore is nothing else but a figment of his exuberant imagination.

Further he sublates to use a philosophical term, he assimilates the terrorist who is a real entity into a “technique of warfare”. Averring that terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare. Who then is the enemy? Is he a disembodied being who uses this technique?  Can one separate an enemy from the war technique he uses? And is the US led coalition in Iraq that is trying to deprive the terrorists of the wherewithal of this technique, i.e., factories that manufacture car bombs and IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices), not fighting an enemy? The fact is that the terrorist who is the mortal enemy of civilians knows only this technique and uses it effectively and lethally to achieve his goals, in the case of fanatic Muslims, against the Great Satan America and the infidels of the West.

He also states that the war on terror has tarnished the US standing in the eyes of the world. But is this surprising when so many people in the world, and especially in Europe, wrongly believe and presuppose that it was American policies toward the Middle East and ultimately its “adventurism” in Iraq that fomented and increased global terror? What people under such gargantuan misconception would be congenial to US involvement in the war against global terror? And especially when US actions are perceived to be unilateral and lack the backing of other major nations and the UN? Is it conceivable that under such misperception–not to mention the serious tactical errors committed on the ground in Iraq by US strategists in the aftermath of Saddam’s defeat that justified to a certain extent the wrath of the critics of the war–that America would not have eroded its standing and tarnished its reputation? Besides, who would expect that a powerful nation such as the USA, especially being the sole superpower, in conditions of world peace when nations are not threatened by another superpower and are in no need to be protected by the US as in the past, would have the respect and affection of the rest of the world and not the enmity and hostility that rises from the curse of envy against the great and the powerful?

By all historical standards the war against global terror in the wake of 9/11 was fully justified and prescient in its aim to prevent a future ominous and much more devastating attack on the United States by terrorists, who would use weapons of mass destruction and indeed nuclear ones in their irreversible goal to destroy the Great Satan. And if America could be attacked so easily by al Qaeda and its affiliates then European nations that are saturated with Islamic fifth columnists and activated jihadists would be sitting ducks.

It’s this great existential threat to America and Western civilization that has prompted the US to mobilize its military might and its brave soldiers in a long war against global terror. But in spite the clarity and awareness of the Bush administration about the real stakes of the war, it made a grave psychological error with devastating consequences to its overwhelming public support of the war by deflecting the invasion of Iraq which was quintessential to the defeat of global terror to the issues (a) of finding the elusive weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and (b) building democracy in Iraq. When these two issues had apparently foundered and were at the same time associated with the difficulties the US led-coalition countenanced in suppressing the insurgency, the war ineluctably lost its popularity among the US electorate, and reached the levels of unpopularity of the Vietnam War. The American electorate didn’t give a damn about whether WMD would be found or not, everyone believed at the time that Saddam was in possession of them, nor had they a modicum of interest in building democracy in Iraq. What they were concerned with was their security, and on this basis they were prepared undeviatingly to support the war both in Iraq and Afghanistan and to endure the pain and sacrifices that it would entail. This was the stupendous blunder that the Bush administration had committed. By substituting the war in Iraq as an essential part of global terror with building democracy in Iraq, it lost the support of the American people in the face of the arduous and tough difficulties of the war.

However, notwithstanding the serious errors of the Bush administration its original war plan to fight al Qaeda, its affiliate bodies, wherever they raise their hydra’s head, and the rogue states that support them, remains historically unblemished and is a tribute to the strong leadership of the triumvirate of Bush, Blair, and Howard. This was a historic decision, to stand up and fight the religious fanatics that threatened the viability of Western civilization and its freedom. And not to fall to the historically and politically naïve and supine blandishments of the nipple-fed liberal intelligentsia that terrorism and its state sponsors, like the Soviet Union, could be contained or that their Allah anointed grievances could be negotiated. It’s for this reason that the judgment upon Bush, Blair, and Howard, not to mention the indomitable, but so maligned by the media, Vice-President Cheney, whether their stand against global terror and their involvement in the Iraq war was right or not, will be made by history and not by political opportunists and leadership pretenders, such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and our own, Kevin Rudd.

I rest on my oars:your turn now.