The Guardian November 27, 2002


Readers are invited to submit letters to The Guardian.
Letters may be e-mailed to guardian@cpa.org.au.
Letters of 300-400 words are preferred.


Letters to the Editor:

Fostering fear

Several weeks ago I attended the opening of the International Gay Games 
at the Sydney Football Stadium, and before the ceremony we met at a 
friend's house for drinks. One of the other guests was recounting a story 
about how a Muslim "friend of a friend" had warned them not to attend the 
Melbourne Cup.

"Ridiculous urban myth", I countered, and explained how the Howard 
Government was deliberately fostering this fear in order to pass the 
"Terror Legislation".

"That legislation is vital to protect Australia" he replied, "just look at 
Bali!" At that point I decided to write him off as an ignorant paranoid 
individual, and not worth the effort.

As we were entering the stadium, I quickly realised these were not 
misinformed fears of an individual, but the pervasive view of the 
spectators.

Audible whispers amongst the crowd: "this event is sure to be a target", 
and again  "I heard from a friend of a friend that tonight."

Of course the event passed without incident, and indeed, as a staunch 
republican brought me great joy when the Australian team marched into the 
stadium under a huge Aboriginal flag, and the National Anthem was performed 
by Koori opera diva Debra Cheetham.

At the last minute though, terror did strike. Thunderous bangs were heard 
on the metal awning above our heads. People ducked and screamed  I did 
too. And the first thought that raced through my mind? "We are being 
bombed!"

It was fireworks, being fired from the roof to explode over centre field.

If this is how I reacted, being a person who has so far refused to swallow 
Howard's terror bullshit, I can now better understand the fears of the 
Australian public.

In this climate we must redouble our efforts to spread the truth. We must 
campaign tirelessly against Howard's lies, and the fascistic legislation 
that is currently being considered in Parliaments all around Australia.

The Guardian is an important mouthpiece for that truth, and it is 
incumbent upon all of us to ensure it is distributed as widely as possible.

R Gaudio
Sydney, NSW

Right to feel frightened
I wholeheartedly endorse the letter of Bob Saltis (The Guardian 
13/11/02) and would like to add my little bit of thought.

Never was there a time more than now when The Guardian (and all 
communist party papers throughout the world) are needed.

With the ever-increasing flood of misinformation, disinformation, outright 
lies and propaganda that is pouring from all arms of the capitalist media -
- print, radio and TV  it is no wonder that the vast majority of people 
are confused, bewildered, apprehensive  even frightened. They are swamped 
by the flood of so-called news being directed at them  cleverly 
calculated to have that very effect and make them easier to control.

Regular readers of The Guardian and other such publications are not 
confused or bewildered  they are well aware of what is happening and why.

The capitalist system is collapsing under the weight of its corruption, 
ineptitude and decay, and no amount of frantic efforts by its proponents 
and supporters can save it.

But with the world's super power, with the world's greatest stockpile of 
weapons of mass destruction  including thousands of H bombs, in the hands 
of madmen intent on world domination  then we, all informed and ill-
informed, have every right to feel frightened.

Only the combined efforts of the whole of the world's working class can put 
a stop to the plans of these madmen.

No to any war or military action of any kind.

B Appleton
Killcare Hts, NSW

Anthrax letters a key to 9/11
The revelations made in the program, The Big Picture, recently 
screened on the ABC, revealed some very interesting facts about the origin 
of the anthrax letters.

New processes in determining the source of the anthrax strain point to 
USAMID (United States Medical Institute of Defence), a US army medical 
research base, as the likely source of the anthrax strain used in the 
anthrax letters.

Personnel at USAMID noted that research had been conducted at the base in 
the early '90s on Anthrax. These personnel were later discharged unfairly 
from USAMID.

A letter sent before the 9/11 attacks to the FBI tried to accuse an Arab 
American scientist working at USAMID of terrorist sympathies. This man was 
later interviewed by the FBI, and cleared of any such involvement.

After 9/11, the anthrax letters were traced by the FBI to USAMID, but the 
suspect was not the Arab American scientist, but two scientists with CIA 
connections.

On attempting to gain the CIA's help on the matter, the FBI hit a brick 
wall.

The fact that the letter attempting to frame the Arab American scientist 
was sent before 9/11, and before the anthrax attacks, and that CIA 
connected USAMID scientists are suspected of the crime, not only points 
directly to CIA involvement with the anthrax letters, but with the 9/11 
attacks themselves.

The program, after giving all this information, which logically pointed to 
a US source for the attack, and the likely CIA involvement, instead pulled 
its punches and put forward a theory that it was "a lone madman" working at 
USAMID, and the CIA was protecting him just because he's "someone 
important" and "close to the top".

Doesn't sound very likely now, does it?

Andrew Lund
Sydney, NSW

Who really planted the bomb?
The TV and newspapers splashed Amrozi, supposed Indonesian terrorist, 
grinning, laughing and waving his arms around with laughing 
interrogators.

This is so out of character for someone being interrogated for a bombing 
offence that could mean a death sentence, as to be unbelievable, unless he 
was high on drugs, tablets or injections.

He had all the marks of a happy drunk or someone on ecstasy tablets or 
injected with hallucinatory drugs.

A Jakarta government source said Amrozi "was hooked up to 220 volts, given 
a cup of scopolamine, and 30 minutes later was ready to swear he was George 
Bush".

The US and Australian Governments and their media are doing all they can to 
blame Muslims for the Bali bombing, to demonise Muslims as a way of 
popularising the war on Iraq.

Who really planted the bomb? Who gained?

Vic Williams
Perth, WA

Why do we need spy planes?
John Howard says that a "Free Trade" agreement between the greatest 
economic power on earth, the USA, and Australia, might result in a "billion 
dollar" bonanza for Australian farmers. Might, is right.

Howard's current economic policies have already resulted in a billion-
dollar bonanza for Boeing Corporation. Boeing have just sold four spy 
planes to Australia for three and a half billion dollars. Senator Hill took 
delivery at Boeing.

These spy in the sky planes, which are a bit out of date, are not "pie in 
the sky". They have been paid for by the Australian people. Doesn't 
Australia share all intelligence from the US spy in the sky satellites, as 
a result of their free occupation of intelligence gathering bases on 
Australian soil, e.g. Pine Gap?

Why do we need spy planes? The sale has been kept very secret from the 
Australian people, but, maybe, the truth will out.

Denis Kevans
Wentworth Falls, NSW

I was in it
The people of Indonesia are protesting against the invasion of their 
homes by ASIO and Australian police in Australia.

The one-time "Spice Islands" have a long history of rebellion against the 
Dutch colonialists who ruled Indonesia for more than 300 years. Indonesia 
now has a population of over 200 million.

Their revolution of 1926 did not succeed. Its leaders, including Sarjohno, 
Secretary of the PKI (Communist Party), trade unionists and militants were 
exiled as political prisoners to a dreaded malaria infested camp in the 
Dyul River.

Some came to Australia during the war against Japan but were sent to 
detention centres in Cowra and Liverpool, NSW.

I was privileged to meet some of them and participated in the great 
movement here to help liberate Indonesia from colonial rule. Boycotts, 
strikes and militant actions for Indonesian independence were led by Jim 
Healy, Waterside Workers, E V Elliot, Seamen's Union, Hughie Grant, 
Boilermakers' Union and many more.

Workers employed by Qantas refused to repair the Dutch Catalena flying 
boats at Rose Bay. Asian seamen left-ships at Australian ports and refused 
to take munitions for the Dutch colonialists who attempted to reoccupy 
Indonesia.

In 1949 the independent Indonesian Republic was established in Java, free 
from Dutch rule.

This revolution was suppressed by General Suharto in 1965 in a savage 
bloodbath and murder of more than half a million people.

In spite of the anti-Asian statements of John Howard and Defence Minister 
Hill, the people of Indonesia will continue their historic mission started 
in 1926 and 1949.

Phyllis Johnson
Padstow NSW

Unemployed written off
At the COTA International Maturity Matters conference in Burswood Perth 
Kevin Andrews MP minister for Aging, called for people not to retire at 55. 
What an oxymoron. Many mature underemployed people are forced out of the 
workplace early. They are ignored when they apply for jobs even though 
their qualifications are superior. They rarely even get an interview.

Our Under employed People's Union (UPU) WA members are fed up of being 
forced to chase jobs all over when there is no hope of them getting work.

They merely have to go through the Centrelink process that reduces them to 
distress and often sickness, even suicide. Just look at the suicide 
figures!

John Hewson said at the COTA conference that the Government was way behind 
in their policy on employment matters. They had nothing in place to prepare 
for the future when baby boomers retired. That is why they are calling for 
people to work until they are 80!

No one at the conference spoke about the present problems of people who had 
generally worked since they were 15 and were now forced out of their jobs, 
left to become victims of Centrelink policy orchestrated by Howard's team 
of black shirts.

Today's mature underemployed people are written off, filed and forgotten in 
the too hard basket by a government devoid of any understanding of the real 
issues that face people today.

Howard's ministry team suffer from "Scotosis" -a hardening of the mind 
against unwanted wisdom by repressing questions that may lead to a deeper 
insight into problems.

The consequences of scotosis is community fear and terror for all but the 
ruling class. Government policy on terrorism endorses fear and terror. It's 
back to the dark ages! Back to the 1930s and the blackshirts!

Mary Jenkins
UPU WA Inc
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