Banging on with The Organ

Today, in essential reading for all patriots, Ruperts Organ of Freedom throbs big time with big ideas and larger than life loftiness.

Beginning at Planet Janet we find ourselves once again saving Western Civilisation as she goes suborbital around Muslim Terror. Its Good v Evil from the get go as Ms Janet struggles between maternal feelings toward Western Liberalism and a desire to smash the bastards in the first paragraph. A spoiler warning : close your eyes now  if you dont want to know the result which was ….. Western Liberalism-0; Smash the bastards-1. It was a close run thing though as Ms Janet bravely acknowledges.

So its not easy saying this: it is time we banned Hizb ut-Tahrir.

But it was worth the effort to reach that startling conclusion right up front, because, well, the rest of the article can be spent repeating it. Muslim Terror has met its match. The group will be banned. Problem solved. Its a testament really to the practical can-do attitude of us Aussies, which is a theme also taken up today by Foreign Affairs editor Greg Sheridan.

Australia is a pragmatic country, almost the platonic ideal of traditional Anglo-Saxon empiricism.

Plato, a man who apparently was British to his Birkenstocks, would have no hesitation in endorsing Mr. Sheridans clear eyed assessment of the unique capabilities of the Aussie character. And which Aussie character is the most capable of all? Lets play a little game. See if you can guess. Heres some sentences that Mr. Sheridan prepared earlier.

Howards speech was bold, strong and one of the best he has given on strategic issues.

Howard is wildly underestimated intellectually, even by seemingly careful observers.

Howard chooses to speak in a plain and easily comprehensible style.

Mr. Sheridan isnt just wildly enthusiastic about the Prime Minister, hes in Love – not that theres anything wrong with that indeed non-taxpayer funded fawning at this level can only be applauded. Its the miracle of private enterprise journalism at work.

Its a different kind of support provide by Economics editor Alan Wood who has noticed that the whinging classes have adopted the undesirable view that there has been a housing affordability crisis under the peerless economic stewardship of the Howard government.

There is no housing affordability crisis says Mr Wood, much to the surprise of the thousands of people who cant afford houses. Mr Woods argument goes something like this: House prices are going up but beer is getting cheaper therefore there is no housing affordability crisis.

But his argument doesn’t stop there. He also looks at how much money people are making and compares it with mortgage repayments

But when it comes to looking at the actual dollars outlaid a slightly different picture emerges. While the average wage has risen by almost $850 a month over the past five years, repayments on an average home loan have risen by around $740 a month. More bucks in the pocket, and that doesnt take into account tax cuts.

Generously, Mr. Wood ignores tax cuts, but he also ignores income tax because presumably he is talking a gross average wage increase of $850 a month over that time – and while hes ignoring things hes chosen to ignore the facts as well. Or at least the facts as recorded by the ABS (Table 2), which puts the average weekly earnings in Feb 2002 at $684 and in Feb 2007 at $857 (ie wage growth from $2964/mth to $3716/mth) an increase over the five years of $751 – Seems that Mr. Wood has lost $100 bucks of the average earners wage. If they werent Howard battlers before they certainly are after Mr. Wood has finished with their pay packet.

But its all in a good cause, and Ruperts Organ of Freedom is making it very clear whose firm hand it wants on the helm come the denouement. And Mr. Sheridan? Well he, no doubt is already dreamily contemplating that relaxing post election cigarette.

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16 years ago

Wow. So much confusion packed into the mere six words between platonic and Plato. I got too dizzy to read the rest.

16 years ago

Never mind Patrick. You’ll snap out of it.

16 years ago

Why not just Ban Terrorism?

16 years ago

(I drunk got and what look happened)

Re Greggie’s Realm Defending piece – well this shit just writes itself, albeit with a little judicious subediting and floridly sarky commentary.

“AUSTRALIA is a strong middle power with global defence and security interests that it is prepared to back with military force…
…the 500 Australian combat troops in Iraq…”

About the size of the catering staff needed for the new US Embassy in Baghdad.

“The only specific disadvantage to Australia that Rudd cites is that we have become a greater terrorist target than would otherwise have been the case because of our participation in the war.

And on the plus side Greg?

“If Rudd really believes that, then surely he should withdraw troops suddenly, decisively, with a flourish, a la the Spanish.”

All 500 of them leaving and Iraq then plunging into the abyss right?

“Not only will he sensibly not do that, but he will keep the rest of the Aussie forces – another 900 troops – in the Persian Gulf as part of the Iraq theatre in support of the US-led coalition. Moreover, he is steadfastly committed to maintaining and perhaps even strengthening Australias military effort in Afghanistan.”

Indeed, if Howard’s main MSM cheerleader is not privy to the Opposition Leader’s deep thinking, then who is?

“Can you just imagine Osaka bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri in their cave at al-Qaida central, just inside or just outside Afghanistan, saying to each other: well, we did have those infidel kangaroos high on our terror target list when they were in Iraq but now that theyre only fighting us in Afghanistan, where we are, and supporting our enemies throughout the Persian Gulf, well give them a free pass and not send any more terrorists after them.”

You wanna go back and read what you wrote about Rudd and “specific disadvantage”, Greg?

“This de facto endorses one of the key innovations of the defence update: the elevation of the Middle East as an area of central strategic concern for Australia.”

Why? We’re thousands of kilometres away, have no stake in their various bloody and confusing ancestral and religious quarrels and import only 15% of our oil from there and through various third party cut outs. Sure, some crazies from and/or inspired by what’s going on there may try to kill us for being a COW player but it’s a fart in the wind compared to our annual driving, boozing, smoking, drugging and freak Xmas tree light accidents toll.

“Indeed, the media, as usual, has forgotten that for several months after the Iraq war, when the Howard Government had withdrawn Australian troops, Rudd was urging it to better live up to its legal responsibilities as an occupying power in Iraq.”

Support for basing troops abroad and living up to legal responsibilities are not the same thing Greg and it is very naughty of you to elide over this.

“Further, Rudd says he will match the Howard Governments commitment to a real 3 per cent increase in defence expenditure, and perhaps more, until at least 2016.”

Hopefully this increase will be for pay, other much needed personnel support and boring but necessary logistics stuff and not for more complex hardware with a very narrow mission profile and an immense supply chain.

“…he will have a navy based on big ships and with strong expeditionary capabilities…”

Seems I spoke too soon. Big ships on an expedition to where?

“ enlarged and hardened army, and an air force technologically superior to any in the region.”

OK, that sounds good. I’ll go with that. Except for the vague and pretty certainly tendentious use of ‘hardened”.

“He will be a regionalist with globalist tendencies and capabilities.”

And I’m straight except when I’m not. Seriously, exactly what the fuck does mean Greggie? That’s the kind of Delphic line you overpaid pundits should be decoding, not making up in the first place,

“Every dolorous statistic he quoted was true and alarming. But his only commitment was to increase aid and spend his first term in office auditing the regions needs. Nothing very revolutionary about that.’

Well Greggie, your bum chum Howard has had what 11 years now? to do something more than that. To Howard’s credit, he has effectively sent in peacekeeper and aid to civil power forces and resources that have done an excellent job of plugging various dykes. But the dykes, and the pressures building up behind them, are still there.

“Howards speech was bold, strong and one of the best he has given on strategic issues.”

So where’s the link then so we can read it for ourselves? You haven’t quite grasped some of the more valuable features of this intertubes thingy have you Greggie?

“The defence update was certainly the best written such document – or at least its first two chapters, which provided its overview – in many a year.”

Nor Greggie do you seem to have understood that reading the tail-wagging, handlicking executive summary is not the same as reading and cross-checking the whole bloody report. This is why posterity will remember I. F. Stone and not you.

“The most important sentence in Howards address was this: We have abandoned the narrow, misguided and ultimately self-defeating nostrum that our force structure should be determined only or even mostly for the defence of Australia narrowly defined: our coastline and its near approaches.”

Why is that a bad thing? Whenever Australians have been threatened or attacked abroad, it’s been our police and intelligence work in co-operation with local authorities that has either averted the attack or brought the attackers to justice. I really can’t see an F-35 sniffing out a new terror attack among Asian metropoli or bringing a Bali bomber to trial.

“Howard rejects the little Australia approach embodied in the now hopefully forever entombed defence of Australia paradigm.”

Dunno about you Greggie but I’m not real keen on the idea of burying the concept of being able to defend the homeland at y’know home on favour of prepping for punchups in distant countries of which we know little. And I sorta suspect much of middle Australia feels the same way.

“This certainly reflects the evolution of Australias strategic needs from the 1999 intervention in East Timor through to the war on terror.”

No it doesn’t. Expeditionary forces will overcome terrorist cells in neighboring nations how?

“Howard chooses to speak in a plain and easily comprehensible style (he will never claim that simplicity is his talisman).”

For a professional and now it seems wildly overpaid communicator, you’ve come up with one seriously syntaxed out and rather ambiguous sentence there Greggie boy.

“He can tell you which biography of Australias greatest soldier, John Monash, is best and why.”

I’ll bet you a bottle of 20 year old Glenfiddich Gran Reserva he can’t.

“More important, he can tell you why Monash was a figure of global importance.”

Make that two bottles. Sir John was a clever, skilled, educated, humane and gifted man who was very good at pretty much everything he turned his hand to. But if he had died of blood poisoning from a broken toe while pulling his boots at Hamel, WW1 would still have ended pretty much the same way, just maybe a week or two later.

“Much of Howards political and intellectual formation took place in the context of the last great ideological struggle: the Cold War.”

It’s not your mummy and daddy’s war anymore.

“These two factors give Howard an appreciation of the military role Australia has often played in its history…”

Why yes, now’s certainly the time to send several battalions of rugged, semi-feral ANZAC shock troops abroad. But where?

“…and of the degree to which Australia can be buffeted by global forces.”

He learnt that from reading military history and growing up during the Cold War?
Is there no end to our leader’s talents?

“The logical consequence of that insight is that Australia needs to help shape those global forces in its own interests.”

And if I try to piss without unzipping, my trousers will become damp and smelly.

Australias security will continue to be shaped by global trends, as it always has been.”

Hang on, I’ve worked out how this zipper thing works.

” Australians have always understood intuitively that our security can be deeply affected by distant events.

Oh right, up for closed, down for open.

“However, just as we must not mistakenly construe Rudd as a narrow regionalist, neither should we conflate Howard into a pure globalist..”

Now where exactly is the urinal? No that’s not a urinal, that’s a lesser inverted pundit barrel roll. Never mind, it’ll do for now.

“…or who sees the work of the Australian Defence Force to be merely a superior division of the US defence force.”

I always thought we were more like the US’s Gurkhas, albeit a bit more chippy about our worth than Nepal. And you wanna watch it with the “superior” references Greggie otherwise some USMC, Rangers or Delta Forces personnel may micturate in your Fiji Water the next time you go Iraqside.

“…to become much more intimately involved in the affairs of the South Pacific.”

Still a fucking mess though. All Howard’s applied is a bigger band-aid than the last Government.

“While Howard naturally has a shot at Labor, and Rudd naturally has a shot at the Government, their passages on the South Pacific are almost interchangeable. Both recognise fundamental Australian interests and responsibilities.

Cept Howard’s now had 11 years not just to recognise the Pacific but to introduce himself, feel right at home and then suggest how we can help remodel the place. But all thats been done so is a Portloo and a pair of handcuffs dropped off in the back yard with a post it note asking em to keep the noise down. IThis needs even more of a serious structural approach than the indigenous issue. No votes in it though but very necessary to sort it out in the long run.

“Howard and the defence update explicitly name the need for the ADF to be able to function effectively on the Australian continent, in our immediate region and in more distant operations.”

Why dont we just buy a ginomous Swiss Army Knife instead?

In other words, Howard the globalist is committed to the ADF being able to provide for the direct defence of Australia, is committed to a huge hands-on role in the South Pacific, is committed to the ADF being able to operate alone or as the leader in its own region and is committed to it operating in seamless alliance with the US globally.

There goes the next tax cut.

Howard and Rudd may be rhetorically facing in opposite directions, but they are standing side by side.

Metaphorically speaking.

To be fair, I can see Ruddy being just as gung-ho as Howard when it comes to triangulation of the electorate.

There is an immensely welcome recognition by Howard of the dimensions of modern terrorism: Terrorism can have a strategic effect. A particularly severe threat would arise if terrorists were to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

Wot, like from Iraq? Or maybe from our sorta COW ally Pakistan perhaps?

These speeches and documents mean, really, that this has been a pretty good week in Australian strategic policy.

Especially if youre an intellectually bankrupt pundit who forgot to pick up his Metamucil this week.

There is robust political argument, but deep strategic congruence, the sign of a perfectly healthy, mature democracy.

When I say that both the PM and the leader of Opposition should agree with eachother to agree with me, thats democracy.

Have your say …

Why, I believe I will Mr Cardigan.

Disclaimer: I agree with some defence/security things Howard has done and I disgree with others. And I don’t hold out much hope for Rudd to be any better or worse. But I am quite disgusted by eGregious’s ineffable cocktail of threadbare platitudes, smarmy second-guessing and frantic analilingus. Not to mention he’s also a piss poor writer just on a technical level alone. I can only assume he has stashed away in button down mode, some negatives of Rupert wearing his cardigan and not much else.

Time to reread Michael Frayn’s “Towards The End Of The Morning” I feel. Like “What Makes Sammy Run”, it is less and less a savagely satirical novel and more and more a “how to” manual.

I shall lie down now with a cold compress on my forehead while listening to Eno’s ‘Music for Airports’.

16 years ago

Beautiful Nabs.

Don Wigan
Don Wigan
16 years ago

Absolutely priceless, Nabs.

16 years ago

Luv ya work nabs.

16 years ago

Hooray for dick jokes.

16 years ago

Thanks y’all for the compliments. But I was shitfaced when I wrote it and any praise should be forwarded to the Aberlour Glenlivet Distillery Co. Ltd., Speyside Scotland.