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Political conjunctions and Blurring definitions

finn | 02.05.2007 03:13 | Analysis | Other Press | Terror War | World

A number of factors have recently formed a conjunction, which provided a new view of a popular ‘reality’. Whenever the flames of the terrorist ‘threat’ begin to wane convenient arrests are made that fan the embers back into flames of concern. Recent police raids in Sydney and Melbourne have resulted in the arrests of two Sri Lankan Tamils; “two men have appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on terrorism related charges,” ran the intro from one media outlet while another ran with, “men face terrorism charges after raids.” I’m sure we all get the drift but it should be noted that assistant commissioner to the Federal Police, Frank Prendergast, went to lengths "to make it clear that these men weren't involved in any possible attacks on Australian soil.” Well then, what?

We all recall the ‘new sweeping terrorist laws’ instituted in Australia after the 9/11 attack in New York! Either geography is not a strong point with ruling Oz conservatives or they are the most frightened, cowering ‘leaders’ in the history of politics. While these two deductions may be accurate the principal reason for instituting draconian laws is revealed in the detention and deportation of activist Scott Parkin and now the arrests of two members of a ‘terrorist organisation’, the LTTE or Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. [An election is looming and Howard’s advisers have recommended against continued demonisation of local Muslims. Not coincidentally a former primer minister, Malcolm Fraser, had just delivered a damning speech (at the ANU) highlighting ‘Muslim bashing’ as a despicable political ploy/weapon of the Howard government.]

Allegations of membership in a “terrorist organisation” require a little analysis, as many consider the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to be a valid rebel organisation fighting for independence in much the same way the ‘terrorist’ KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) fought against the sovereign State of Yugoslavia. It immediately becomes apparent that the LTTE and the KLA are similar secessionist military organisations! However, one group (KLA) was legitimised by the USA and NATO. Confused Oz citizens now face a dilemma as to who exactly to victimise and demonise!

We are faced with a blurred definition of who or what really constitutes a ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorist organisation’. The determining factor seems to be an arbitrary recognition based on the interests and agendas of a particular superpower. In the absence of any clear definitions we could safely assume that a terrorist is an enemy of American interests; the fact that America is the most hated nation on the planet would then cast the vast majority of the world’s population in the terrorist mould. This then presents a further problem in that if the majority is of a uniform view on a subject then that view becomes the dominant reality (democracy at work!) However, the inverse is actually the case, as it is a tiny minority that imposes its values and arbitrary classifications onto the majority (dictatorship at work!)

It could therefore be safely assumed that whatever ‘crimes’ these two Tamils may have committed, the State, armed with its new sweeping laws, will provide Howard with some political mileage and the victims with a taste of the injustices experienced by Australia's most famous victim of political opportunism and manipulation, David Hicks!

However, after eleven long years of Howard’s lies, deceit and unnecessary laws the people may decide they have had enough.


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