Tuesday, November 08, 2005


In my view, both the excerpt below from an article by a prominent Leftist Australian politician and the bipartisan legislation he is referring to show the Australian Left to be much more decent, realistic and responsible than American "liberals" will ever be -- sadly for the whole world

"We are seeing at the moment a strange state of affairs in Australian public life, in which the politicians and the people are in broad agreement both on the nature of the terrorist threat and on what ought to be done about it, while a large slice of the intellectual class is in furious disagreement. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, after Bali I and Bali II, after Madrid and London, most Australian politicians accept that the terrorist threat to Western society in general, and Australia specifically, is real and dangerous. That's why six Labor premiers [State governors] have worked co-operatively with a Liberal Party prime minister to come up with a balanced package of anti-terrorism legislation, one that will give our governments the necessary powers to protect Australia against terrorism, while preserving to the maximum extent the rights and freedoms that make Australia worth defending.

In working co-operatively to defeat terrorism, Australian politicians are doing what the Australian people want us to do. Every opinion poll shows that the Australian people expect us to do what is necessary, within the framework of our democratic system, to stop those who are planning to commit terrorist attacks as well as those who recruit, finance, organise or incite others to do so.

You would never know this from listening to some ABC [public broadcaster] commentary or reading some broadsheet commentators. In the world of Alan Ramsey and Phillip Adams and Michael Leunig, all the world's troubles an the fault of the Western democracies, or a witches' brew of Zionists and neo-conservatives; terrorism is a myth or a trick by George Bush and Tony Blair to divert our attention while they seize the world's oil. This strange disconnect between the people and the intellectual elite is dangerous and damaging.

My view is that Australia is at war - at war with a new form of totalitarian ideology as evil as the fascist and communist forms that the democracies fought during the 20th century. It is a not a war Australia sought, nor a war that we can escape by feeding others to the crocodiles in the hope that they will eat us last.... This week in Canberra, despite all the shouting, we saw a mature democracy at work. When the national interest is at stake, the parties work together to achieve an outcome that both protects Australia from terrorism and protects the safety of Australians".


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