Alex Mitchell’s Weekly Notebook – Why the Mad Monk is building a climate of fear

According to the Mad Monk, aka Prime Minister Tony Abbott, every single Australian is now a potential target of the “death cult”, i.e. ISIS, ISIL, IS or Daesh.
There could be a bomb attack on any crowded venue in our capital cities at any time, he says.
Australians should place themselves on a war footing to face any ISIS (read Muslim) attack on “our way of life”.
At the same time, we are asked to join “the war on ice” to fight the illegal drug which is sweeping cities and towns and laying waste to our children.
Abbott also has a police-led national task force investigating ice as well as two royal commissions combatting the scourges of paedophilia and domestic violence.
He is also spending more than $1 billion on tourism to attract overseas visitors. No, I agree, it doesn’t make any sense: on the one hand he says Australia is a 24/7 terrorist target and its communities are saturated with drugs, child sex abuse and domestic violence and on the other he is inviting tourists to spend a carefree holiday here.
Abbott, aka Sir Nope, Nope, Nope, is spinning the twin horrors of ice and ISIS to build a climate of fear for his re-election. Will it work and should anyone be afraid?
No, Australians should go en masse to the next federal election and chuck him out along with Christopher Pyne and Joe Hockey.

The end of America?

Seventeen billionaires or multi-millionaires are vying for the US Republican Party nomination to be the next US president. If any of them win the White House, the decline and fall of the USA as an imperial power will be a decade away.
If the Democrats regain the White House, America’s economic and social implosion will be delayed by 20 years.
In short, the fate of the US as the 21st century’s imperial leader is already decided, but whether it will implode in 10 years or 20 years will be determined by whether Republicans or Democrats win the White House in next year’s presidential election.
A majority of the Republic candidates have received support from the Tea Party and the crazy wing of the Republican Party. Those who have enjoyed Tea Party backing include: Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker.
Donald Trump is the candidate for lumpen reactionaries who hate women, gays, blacks, Hispanics and Jews.
I confess that I am notorious for making apocalyptic predictions but this time I feel that I’m on the money. The economic, political and social signs are too imperative.
In the recent past, US election candidates like Barry Goldwater, Governor George Wallace, (“Bombs Away with”) Curtis Le May, Dan Quayle, Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot were considered prime-rating nutters but they seem almost sane compared to the Republicans in the 2016 race.
I will be parking myself by the television to watch America’s polity fall into an armed and inflammatory abyss – courtesy of Rupert Murdoch’s global pay TV network. Future historians will record his pre-eminent role in whipping up the social and economic divisions that drove the US empire’s collapse.

Moral retreat

There’s no mystery about why moral philosophy has been abandoned as a beacon of enlightenment in contemporary Western society. It is simply too embarrassing: its application would shame the vendors of such policies as “turn back the boats”.
Moral philosophers of the Christian persuasion, i.e. St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, invented the “law of the just war” (jus bellum iustum) and for centuries it has allowed monarchs, despots, politicians, generals and bishops to send millions of citizens to their death in wars at home and far away.
The last time that the “just war” banner was unfurled over the killing fields was in World War II when the Allies successfully demonised the Axis powers – “Krauts and Japs” – as sub-human demons who had to be exterminated for the good of the world and peace.
It worked. Pacifist opposition to the war was minimal and Nazism/fascism was defeated in Europe and Asia.
But the “just war” doctrine floundered and died with the atomic bombing of Nagasaki at 11.02am on 9 August 1945, three days after the bombing of Hiroshima.
World opinion was massaged to “accept” the Hiroshima atrocity on the grounds that it would “shorten the war and save lives”. But Nagasaki can claim no such defence: it was a war crime, pure and simple.
More than 70,000 civilians were killed immediately when the city was consumed by a huge and terrifying fireball. Thousands died later – with no medical help – from radiation poisoning and their dreadful injuries.
Japan’s fascist rulers surrendered on August 15 after which the US censored everything about the war’s pitiless end and blocked publication of radiation studies. A sweeping propaganda offensive blotted Nagasaki’s destruction from memory and public consciousness.
When the 70th anniversary was commemorated, ABC-TV thoughtlessly ran a story concentrated exclusively on a chemical warfare plant on an island off Nagasaki as if to say, “The atomic bombing was bad but the Japs were a pack of bastards too.”
They were indeed. But the ABC report by Matthew Carney neglected to say that the US, Britain and Australia also developed and used chemical weapons in WWII. Testing on Australian servicemen began in 1942 in North Queensland at Townsville, Innisfail, Proserpine and on the Atherton Tablelands.
There was a pathetic – and ultimately unsuccessful – attempt to turn the US-led invasion of Vietnam into a “just war”. More recently, the Pentagon, the British Foreign Office and Tony Abbott have shied away from claiming the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are “just war” projects and in the late 1990s British Prime Minister Tony Blair cynically struggled to cover his Kosovo bombing offensive with “just war” blessings.
These days the imperialists don’t even bother to make the case for “just wars” when they bomb cities, invade countries and send drones on assassination missions.
The “enemy” is defined as a “death cult” and the physical extermination of its supporters is the sole objective. Oh, to be a God-serving Christian and woe to be a God-serving Moslem.

Internet jungle

I find myself in trans-global affinity with Peter White of Derbyshire who wrote recently about his awkwardness with Facebook and Twitter. He decided to employ the websites’ routines to his daily life with surprising results.
“Every day, I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel, what I have done the night before and what I will do for the rest of the day.
“I give them pictures of my wife, my dog and me gardening and on holiday, spending time by the pool.
“I also listen to their conversations, tell them I ‘like’ them and give them my opinion on every subject that interests me … whether it interests them or not.
“And it works. I already have four people following me: two police officers, a social worker and a psychiatrist.” (Letters to the Editor, The Oldie, August 2015)


  1. You are right on the money, Alex, as regards the atrocity of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
    I was on a cruise just over two years ago and the Americans at dinner the night before we called at Nagasaki were giving the usual justification, specifically linking it to Pearl Harbour, i.e. uncritically accepting it as a revenge attack. A number of Australians politely put them right and pointed out that Darwin’s first day of bombings involved as many planes as in the Pearl Harbour raid – but we didn’t make a big political issue of it and as you know were told little for years. People who win wars don’t end up in the dock in war crimes trials.
    Yes, the chemical weapons testing, on Australian troops in tropical North Queensland should be better known, even though the victims who suffered long-term effects (not officially acknowledged as from this cause) are not around any more.

  2. Nagasaki was “Give it to the bastards now that they have no defences, let’em have it.”

    Alex, you been keeping up with the growing disillusionment following ALP getting into bed with Scott Morrison, changing the rules re defined superannuation benefits?

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