by Humphrey McQueen
Refugee Rally Canberra – Tuesday 8 September
I went to the refugee rally, driven there mainly by revulsion at the hypocrisy that pervades the mainstream responses. The invasion of Iraq started the chaos and now they want to solve it by bombing Syria as well. Meanwhile our allies, the Turks and the Saudis, are busy bombing anybody but ISIS. I am surprised that the Zionists haven’t joined in with attacks on Gaza and Iran.
The rally was a fair size, not so many in the middle-aged groups and all very middle-class – could not see a union official let alone anyone off a building site – no surprise there given the university and church base of the Action Committee. The most powerful speaker was a young mother from the Love Is The Way group who occupy ministerial offices etc – militant Christians. That activism came through in how she retold her response to three-year old on the beach, as did everyone else to the point of tedium.
After eight speakers, the meeting ended with nothing we would recognise as politics. It was like an episode from Fawlty Towers on the principle “Don’t Mention The War”. So the current catastrophe exists as if born out of the Assad dictatorship rather than the key fighters for ISIS are out of the secular Saddam Army. How the US created ISIS was explored on an SBS doco recently. Did this reality penetrate the platform? Not in the least.
And let us not go back any further to the French-British agreement to carve up the Ottoman Empire for its oil and how everything since has aimed to keep ‘Democracy Safe for Big Oil’.
No speaker remembered that while this government is crying poor mouth about taking in more refugees it had agreed to ramp up its spending to extend bombing from Iraq to Syria. Rule one of warfare is that air power can take territory but only land forces can hold it. There is no sign of anyone putting boots back on the ground. In addition, the air strikes are the best recruiting driver of recruits to ISIS.
Another sub-theme from the platform was that the source of the problem was ‘dictatorship’, presumably the Assad regime. There is no justification for propping up thugs and monsters just because what follows is worse – as it has proved to be in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Syria – and would be in Iran. On that argument, the old horrors would be perpetual – and when the break-out came it is likely to be several times more vicious.
Moreover, the proximate source of the chaos has not been the secular dictatorships of Iraq or Syria but the plutocracy in Washington, which is imposed on a electoral ‘democracy’ for the dominant race, the Apartheid of the old South Africa and today’s Zionist Zealots.
To top off the mindlessness came the beatification of Angela. Let’s concede that what she has been saying in the past few days is preferable to anything spewing out of the lot here. But let’s not forget that, as the servant of the Frankfurt financiers, she broke the back of the Greeks so that they cannot look after their own people let alone cope with the being on the frontline of the seaborne refugees. Let her show ‘compassion’ for the Greeks whom her ilk have impoverished. Let’s not forget that her government has backed the US campaign against Assad to open the door for ISIS.
When it came to suggesting what to do next, the class and gender bias of the movement came to the fore: take a friend for a cup of coffee and explain why you came to the rally. No hint of ‘Meet a mate at the Tradies for a beer and talk over why Transfield is the common enemy of construction workers and internees.’
As for removing the drivers behind the outpouring from Syria, the suggestion that there must be a political solution rather than a military one is worse than wishful thinking. As US Secretary of State George Schultz said about the misnamed peace process over the Zionist Entity: ‘The shadow of the gun must always be cast over the negotiating table.’ We need that brand of pessimism. At other times and places, both sides have exhausted themselves in their slaughters and after decades have drawn lines in the sand. But we have a long way to go before that happens in the Middle East. Whatever the mix of military and political factors that one day will end the disasters, we can be sure of one more thing: outside armed interventions will continue to make everything worse.