- WELCOME GUS DUR -
Indonesian President Wahid is visiting Australia. As an Australian, acting on behalf of that proportion of Australian people who welcome him, I extend the keys to our country.
There are a number of journalists who fancy themselves as opinion makers. I have read weighty opinions that "Wahid must soon fall". I do not believe that those journalists have the influence on the Australian public that they hope. I trust that Indonesian people do not think (because of the position those journalists hold, employed as they are by oligopoly media organizations) that they speak for the Australian people. I do not believe that to be true. Wahid is fighting to control the military, he is not a criminal.
Regrettably our politicians kowtow, impressed by the personal power of the President of Indonesia. They also do not represent the opinions of the greater mass of Australians.
Australians do not kowtow. We wish the Indonesian people well on their journey to self realization by democracy. We would like to help, but recognize the difficulties that can result.
We have no need for treaties. If a neighbour were unjustly invaded, we would come to their aid and would need no treaty. If a neighbour unjustly invaded another, no treaty would cause us to not side with the victim.
Nations do not become great by living on largess. They become great by having their citizens dealing as individuals with the citizens of other countries as individuals.
President Wahid was chosen by the Indonesian people using the Indonesian political system.
If he is replaced, Australians and Indonesians will want to know that the process was legal and reasonable. Being an ineffective leader is not an impeachable offense. If it were, most nations in the world would impeach their leaders.
- ECHELON -
The English speaking nations (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, NZ) risk building a worldwide cabal against themselves if they allow ECHELON to continue in it's present form.
It is the notion that Anglo countries co-operate because they share a common language and culture that incites international suspicion & antipathy.
There is also the suspicion that US corporations are "cheating" by obtaining commercially sensitive information. This is a xenophobic conclusion that no amount of logic or denial will obliterate, because it "explains" the why of the huge concentration of wealth that is occurring in the USA, (not, regrettably, in Australia) without having to resort to uncomfortable notions like corrupted, overtaxed or inefficient politico-government systems. (which is why it doesn't happen in Australia).
ECHELON must be reviewed. The legitimate security concerns of the participants could be satisfied by national security ministries.
An even more interesting idea would be to privatize ECHELON. The implications of competing multinational corporations that deal in the discovery and trading of data and national secrets should add a certain amount of spice to international intrigue. Likely competitors might be Reuters, Surete, MI5, ASIO, . . Mossad??? Perhaps an international data market, with LME (London Metals Exchange) like market of exclusive insight on regional/national secrets?
Hollywood would have a ball. Perhaps with Nicole Kidman's (ex?) hubby as star?
In any event, ECHELON in it's present incarnation has probably reached it's "use by" date.
Time To Metamorphose.
- MILOSEVIC -
The payment of US$1 billion for delivery of Milosevic to UN authorities is a shameful act. Shameful for the bribed & the bribees.
It was wrong of Bush to follow Clinton's play.
Because constitutional safeguards were smashed, Yugoslavia could become ungovernable. At the very least, the sanctity of it's constitution has been broken.
It would be better if our heroic, intrepid and stalwart
leaders were to bring Idi Amin or Papa Doc or the Burmese or Pakistani
Juntas or Suharto to trial. (But no, some of them are protected because
they are Muslim, others were granted amnesty by France etc.)