Howard's End: Show Us The Evidence!
From having no intelligence information whatsoever of terrorist plans to attack targets in the U.S. the West has now moved, in just four days, to being so absolutely certain of the perpetrators than it forms a posse alongside Sheriff George Bush to take the world towards war. Maree Howard writes.
To name just a few of today's war activities - a state of emergency has been declared in the U.S., 30,000 military reservists have been called up, coalitions are being formed to allegedly strike Afghanistan from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and from islands in the Indian Ocean, U.S. missile cruisers are moving from their home ports in Japan and British war ships are now passing through the Suez Canal into the Indian Ocean.
No intelligence information fore-warning of the attacks? Hold on a minute!
German police confirmed Friday that an Iranian man phoned U.S. police from his deportation cell to warn of the planned attack on the World Trade Centre.
The lower Saxony Justice Ministry confirmed the story that the man made the calls but said he was not believed.
Justice Ministry spokesman, Frank Woesthoff, said the man phoned America several times but he refused to give further details.
However, Woesthoff did say that the U.S. Secret Service had not told the Justice Ministry about the calls it received from Langenhagen prison until after Tuesday's attacks.
The Hanover daily newspaper Neue Presse reported that the "29-year-old was dismissed as mentally unstable when he gave the warning of a terrorist attack to occur this week."
Was this man treated as just another nutter making a hoax call? If so, then it has parallels to the U.S. intelligence failures surrounding Pearl Harbour which I wrote about last week.
It is totally pointless having human intelligence, the man in the trench coat as Helen Clark now says, if it is not listened to and acted upon. Those failures contributed to both the First and Second World Wars.
The U.S. is in dire need of intelligence information with offers of help to track down those responsible coming from around the world.
But that creates its own Catch-22 situation because other nations will seek to shape the war response against terrorism to suit their own ends.
Nations like Russia, India, China and Israel can provide significant intelligence and foreign language skills and they have an enormous wealth of knowledge in dealing with dissidents, militant groups and counter-intelligence methodology.
But that comes with a price. By pin-pointing groups like Palestinians or Chechens, nations such as Israel or Russia can manipulate the war response in order to combat their own enemies.
Israel radio, for example, has reported Ariel Sharon in his conversations with Colin Powell, comparing Yasser Arafat to Osama bin Laden.
Suddenly, the whole world started beating the drums against Osama bin Laden, Arabs and Afghanistan.
I ask the simple question. If we are to go to war show me the solid evidence you have which supports that course of action?
Not speculation, not allegations, not whimsy - I want solid evidence. Then, and only then, will I support you.
We've had a number of "Arabs" studying to be pilots in Florida and Germany. Isn't that what globalisation is all about?
But no, immediately they are named as suspects and the Arab world is condemned by angry people, even in New Zealand, attacking one race.
Can we now understand how the Jews felt in Germany from 1933 onwards. God help the Chinese students studying in New Zealand if the Chinese government does something while their students are studying here.
The behaviour of some New Zealanders is a disgrace.
A young girl of Muslim descent - she's been here since she was four months old - phoned talkback radio on Saturday night and alleged that she was so disturbed by what a relieving teacher said about Arabs in class that she picked up her books and walked out.
It's about time that the Education Ministry followed Australia and issued new directions and circulars about racism to all teachers.
Some global politicians, like Tony Blair, are even starting a manipulative fear campaign. Blair says we must now beware of "loose nukes."
I'm now expecting politicians like Tony Blair to come out and say "Of Course we can fix the world but you'll have to lose some of your freedoms for us to do it."
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Let's face it, the world hasn't been a stable place for many years. Bombings, atrocities and mayhem have been the order of the day. Some have been committed by nation state against nation state while others have been internal.
Throughout the last 40 years of upheaval the UN has been pretty well useless.
But now, the American people are being warned by their President to expect a long drawn-out war.
I don't blame Western people at grass-roots level because their reaction to last Tuesday's atrocities on American soil is normal for a people who have tolerated global human rights abuses over a long period of time so they can wear a cheap pair of running shoes or drive cheap cars, using cheap petrol.
Consequently, through "irrational exuberance" the world's financial systems are in a state of collapse with billions of dollars being pumped into global economies by central banks.
That's not new, of course, it's been going on for at about 12 months with Scoop stories telling people about the perilous state of the global economy as far back as last October.
Traditionally, share markets go into "crash mode" in September and October anyway without tragedies like the World Trade Centre and Pentagon terrorist attacks.
It might be prudent to buy-in a few more stocks of the imported foods like tea, coffee, sugar and flour - and keep your petrol tank full. And don't forget toilet paper and sanitary products. All this is common sense anyway in the event of a natural disaster.
Over the last few years people in the West have continued on their merry way spending and borrowing like there's no tomorrow.
How were they to know. When U.S. mainstream media have programmes called "The World in a Minute" is it any wonder that people are not properly informed about global financial and geo-political issues?
In fact, the Internet news services have been the fastest with the most in depth stories during most of this crisis and its aftermath. And people across the world are talking to each other via email. I suggest they're not convinced by mainstream media and the politicians.
Clearly, people the world over see the attack on the United States as a tragedy. But some foreign governments will look to turn it into an opportunity to solve many of their own problems and promote their own ideology. And that's the trap.
Couple the U.S. tragedy and war potential with the way the Aussies are now feeling about New Zealand because of the Air NZ fiasco and our tourism and export economy is looking none to bright. Even so, a lot of expat Kiwi's will now be looking towards home.