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The State of Fear

By John Hargreaves 27 August 2014 69

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I read a book recently by Michael Crichton called the State of Fear in which the theory of that state of fear was described. It is the notion that a government (or ruling body/dictator) keeps the community under control by creating a monster that only they can protect against. The Australian example in the 1950s was the “Reds Under the Beds” scare. This elected the Menzies government.

The Australian forward defence policy in the 1960s and 70s was based on this philosophy. We had to go overseas to stop the advancing communists, who were charging down the Indo-Chinese Peninsula. This was manifested in our involvement in the Vietnam War.

The weapons of mass destruction lie was another perpetrated by the US in the middle-east and its involvement, with our support, should be partly responsible for the religious based strife currently raging there.

On a local level the Cronulla riots was used by anti-Muslim interests to further this fear of Islam. It faded away for a while and was roundly rejected here in the ACT. It’s back.

The current federal Government is using this fear to show how tough it can be in the anti-terrorists stakes. It has used the notion of boat people to further this fear of people coming in their hordes to our shores and has mounted a thinly disguised military campaign against a few hundred people at a time.

Now we are seeing the state of fear philosophy being used to describe the kids being trained as locally grown terrorists. A Sydney daily paper had a sensational article on this very subject only today.

I don’t like this theory and philosophy. It is scary.

It whips up hysteria and then comes up with a strategy to fix the problem it invented.

I think we may be being taken for a bit of a ride here.


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TFarquahar 6:01 am 24 Sep 14

Really John? You are in need of some serious help. The photo in your article is probably of you peering out your window seeing what the naughty Libs are up to.

Are we being taken for a bit a ride now with two police officers stabbed and a young IS supporter shot dead outside a Melbourne police station? Should they have held hands with him and sung Kumbaya?

IS has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is used by them in a very powerful and cynical way to provide warped ideology that drives impressionable young men and women to commit horrific acts of violence. But it is all OK as they are doing it in the name of Allah.

We should not refer to IS as Islamic State. It has nought to do with Islam. Imbecile State, Idiot State, both much better names.

Scoff at the Liberals and their motives behind current security events if you will.

I am glad that the Libs are in power at the moment. God knows what you would do John.

John Hargreaves Ex MLA 8:49 pm 01 Sep 14

justin heywood said :

watto23 said :

….. People of catholic persuasion hang out together and do business together….

They do? Late at night, like in the movies, with some kind of chanting and maybe Tom Hanks lurking somewhere in the background? Is there kind of like a secret handshake?
I feel ripped off. I have long been a (non-believing) catholic and long-suffering occasional churchgoer*, but NEVER once have I been offered a good business deal because I’m a catholic. Not once! Those tyke b#=stards!

watto23 said :

But its ok for extremist catholic/christian beliefs to exist here, because they happened to get here first? .

There are enclaves of extremist catholics here? Tell us more Watto!

watto23 said :

….. So far we’ve caught a handful of people.

Well the ‘handful’ is about 60 Aussies extremists currently killing in Allah’s name, and per capita we’re world class in exporting home grown terrorists.
As opposed to catholic ‘extremists’, sum total of zero.

watto23 said :

Accepting muslims into society and not labelling them all as terrorists would go much further to preventing terrorism than spreading fear around society.

Damn straight it does Watto. But tolerance works both ways. You rage against intolerance and wild claims made against Muslims, yet you yourself do EXACTLY the same thing against catholics. Doesn’t exactly strengthen your case.

My view of multiculturalism is that we should eliminate the word “tolerance” which means putting up with something you don’ like, and replace it with something like acceptance and embracement. This is not to mean that we should replace what we have but accept that others can add to our cultural being.

justin heywood 6:38 pm 01 Sep 14

watto23 said :

….. People of catholic persuasion hang out together and do business together….

They do? Late at night, like in the movies, with some kind of chanting and maybe Tom Hanks lurking somewhere in the background? Is there kind of like a secret handshake?
I feel ripped off. I have long been a (non-believing) catholic and long-suffering occasional churchgoer*, but NEVER once have I been offered a good business deal because I’m a catholic. Not once! Those tyke b#=stards!

watto23 said :

But its ok for extremist catholic/christian beliefs to exist here, because they happened to get here first? .

There are enclaves of extremist catholics here? Tell us more Watto!

watto23 said :

….. So far we’ve caught a handful of people.

Well the ‘handful’ is about 60 Aussies extremists currently killing in Allah’s name, and per capita we’re world class in exporting home grown terrorists.
As opposed to catholic ‘extremists’, sum total of zero.

watto23 said :

Accepting muslims into society and not labelling them all as terrorists would go much further to preventing terrorism than spreading fear around society.

Damn straight it does Watto. But tolerance works both ways. You rage against intolerance and wild claims made against Muslims, yet you yourself do EXACTLY the same thing against catholics. Doesn’t exactly strengthen your case.

watto23 11:48 am 01 Sep 14

aussie2 said :

John, et al. We are not being taken for a ride at all. The reality is our ‘citizens’ or at least those who live here and choose our way of life, some are extremist enough to want to see a Caliphate in Australia. This is very real! So many of our folk have gone before us and defended this country to permit our heritage and in maintaining the western Christian ethos etc-whatever you want to call it. Then we get these OTHER FOLK, who by world standards are very violent, and want to make our world, their world! Generally speaking these folk hated their own country and want to import their beliefs here. And we were silly enough to do so. You really need to get out a bit and see for yourself, oh and by the way, I read that there are WMDs out there too.

But its ok for extremist catholic/christian beliefs to exist here, because they happened to get here first? This is the issue, most of the fear mongering comes from those of other beliefs, who basically feel threatened because of their own insecurities. I have no issues as do many others if muslims, buddhists, hindus etc want to to what they want here, as long as it doesn’t break any laws here. This weird notion of not integrating into society is ridiculous. People of catholic persuasion hang out together and do business together. So why can’t other religions. There is no proof that there is wide spread extremism with muslims in Australia. So far we’ve caught a handful of people.

IMO antagonising and victimising a group of people just makes it more likely to breed hatred and thus more terrorists. Accepting muslims into society and not labelling them all as terrorists would go much further to preventing terrorism than spreading fear around society.

aussie2 7:15 pm 31 Aug 14

John, et al. We are not being taken for a ride at all. The reality is our ‘citizens’ or at least those who live here and choose our way of life, some are extremist enough to want to see a Caliphate in Australia. This is very real! So many of our folk have gone before us and defended this country to permit our heritage and in maintaining the western Christian ethos etc-whatever you want to call it. Then we get these OTHER FOLK, who by world standards are very violent, and want to make our world, their world! Generally speaking these folk hated their own country and want to import their beliefs here. And we were silly enough to do so. You really need to get out a bit and see for yourself, oh and by the way, I read that there are WMDs out there too.

Masquara 3:03 pm 31 Aug 14

Erm, John Hargreaves, what should said newspapers call an Australian-born man who goes to Syria, leaving Australia for the first time, and beheads people, other than a “home-grown terrorist”? What is your objection to the term? How is it “whipping up hysteria” for a newspaper to state these facts, when an Australian spokesman for IS is calling for a “caliphate from the Middle East to Australia”?

miz 1:20 pm 31 Aug 14

While there is no place for racism in the terrorism dialogue, you cannot escape the cultural issues involved.
Personally I think it’s almost impossible for people to have any clue about the difficulties of sudden cultural adjustment if you have been living in Canberra, the most Anglo city in Australia, over the past decade or so.
Rather, ask someone who grew up in, say, Revesby, formerly a solid Aussie battler suburb, but where these days you are glared at by strangers if you wear a tank top at the mall (because is shows your shoulders).
If you are Australian, you must accept that others too have rights. This ethos cuts both ways.

John Hargreaves Ex MLA 10:43 am 31 Aug 14

Masquara said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

The beauty of Canberra is that we have a diverse multicultural population who reject cultural violence in the main. We have only had a couple of really minor issues here. One of the ways this has been achieved is the absence of “communities of ethnic origin”. All ethnic groups are scattered across the city and this allows proper integration and the adoption of the nice bits of difference and allows people to be proud of their heritage without being criticised for it.

For years we were told that terrorism was “our fault” because it was “disaffected poor people in the Middle East” and we should take account of their feelings. Guess what? University educated, affluent young Londoners are doing the beheadings. And don’t compare this with ethnic conflict at street level in Melbourne. I don’t think there is a record of any Australian Greeks beheading children in that context.

Maybe not but I can tell you from living there in the 1960s, there was ethnically based violence between the Greeks and the Turks in Coburg and Brunswick. I see isolated incidents even now from reports to me from friends living there.

Masquara 9:31 am 31 Aug 14

nazasaurus said :

So what do you call the war crimes and atrocities (committed by both sides) during the Greek war of independence around a century ago ? Then there was the holocaust – gassing and burning of millions of ppl in Germany less than 70 years ago. Your selective take on history and lumping of all people ” in the Middle East” shows your ignorance of the geopolitical history of the region.

Care to comment on my actual point – the fact that it turns out we are dealing with affluent, educated Londoners here, when we were told Islamist militancy was our fault because poor oppressed farmers were getting their just revenge on us?

rosscoact 8:12 am 31 Aug 14

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

dungfungus said :

justin heywood said :

So to summarise then,

– troubles in the middle east that have incredible complexity and a historical background stretching back decades, if not centuries, can all be attributed to America. Simple really. Apparently things were just dandy before the Americans got involved.

– troubles in Australia; well we don’t have any real problems in Australia – it’s all a beat up – but if we do, then obviously they are the fault of the conservatives (who only just got into power).

– We have learned from several of John’s previous posts about the dangers of Catholicism, but any fear of Islam is fabricated and used to manipulate the ignorant.

It seems that all we need to do is see sense and vote for John’s party, and everything will be be OK.

The book the OP refers to is total fiction which isn’t declared.
I would suggest to John that he read some factual reference books such as “The Geopolitics of Emotion” by Dominique Moisi.
On the subject of Saddam having WMDs being a lie, I am surprised how everyone seems to have forgotten that Saddam was building a super artillery cannon that could fire shells (as big as a VW Beetle” to anywhere in the Middle East.
He also fired SCUD missiles with chemical warheads into Tel Aviv did he not?
Next thing Johno will be saying 9/11 didn’t happen.

Clearly you do not understand what WMD means.

Btw, Iraq had zero of them and the western world illegally invaded and has caused the Islamic States success there.

Yes, Bush, Blair and Howard must be very proud of what they have done for the people of the region. Stupid, stupid men.

HenryBG 7:48 am 31 Aug 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

The beauty of Canberra is that we have a diverse multicultural population who reject cultural violence in the main. We have only had a couple of really minor issues here. One of the ways this has been achieved is the absence of “communities of ethnic origin”. All ethnic groups are scattered across the city and this allows proper integration and the adoption of the nice bits of difference and allows people to be proud of their heritage without being criticised for it.

This is a very important point, but I’d like to just correct you – we don’t have a “multicultural population”, we have a population with a diverse range of ethnic origins. “Multiculturalism” is really the formation of non-integrated communities, which is the thing that has served Australia’s larger cities so very very poorly.

The reason a certain group of people feels targeted is the failure of multiculturalism: non-assimilation leads to conflict with the broader community’s values, hence the concept of “Team Australia”.

It’s worth remembering that very few countries signed up for a policy of non-integration, aka “multiculturalism”, and those countries have declared the idea a total failure:
Germany:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/17/angela-merkel-german-multiculturalism-failed
England:
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-12371994
France:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/05baf22e-356c-11e0-aa6c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3BujS4GNR
Sweden:
http://rt.com/news/sweden-riots-multiculturalism-not-working-598/
Holland:
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/2219/netherlands-abandons-multiculturalism#

At some stage (and Australia is always a couple of decades behind the first world, so it will be a few years yet) we will need a parliament of actual grown-ups who are prepared to articulate a rejection of the failed “multiculturalism” concept and implement policies that prevent communities that reject Australian society from establishing themselves in Australia.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 7:10 am 31 Aug 14

dungfungus said :

justin heywood said :

So to summarise then,

– troubles in the middle east that have incredible complexity and a historical background stretching back decades, if not centuries, can all be attributed to America. Simple really. Apparently things were just dandy before the Americans got involved.

– troubles in Australia; well we don’t have any real problems in Australia – it’s all a beat up – but if we do, then obviously they are the fault of the conservatives (who only just got into power).

– We have learned from several of John’s previous posts about the dangers of Catholicism, but any fear of Islam is fabricated and used to manipulate the ignorant.

It seems that all we need to do is see sense and vote for John’s party, and everything will be be OK.

The book the OP refers to is total fiction which isn’t declared.
I would suggest to John that he read some factual reference books such as “The Geopolitics of Emotion” by Dominique Moisi.
On the subject of Saddam having WMDs being a lie, I am surprised how everyone seems to have forgotten that Saddam was building a super artillery cannon that could fire shells (as big as a VW Beetle” to anywhere in the Middle East.
He also fired SCUD missiles with chemical warheads into Tel Aviv did he not?
Next thing Johno will be saying 9/11 didn’t happen.

Clearly you do not understand what WMD means.

Btw, Iraq had zero of them and the western world illegally invaded and has caused the Islamic States success there.

nazasaurus 8:28 pm 30 Aug 14

Masquara said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

The beauty of Canberra is that we have a diverse multicultural population who reject cultural violence in the main. We have only had a couple of really minor issues here. One of the ways this has been achieved is the absence of “communities of ethnic origin”. All ethnic groups are scattered across the city and this allows proper integration and the adoption of the nice bits of difference and allows people to be proud of their heritage without being criticised for it.

For years we were told that terrorism was “our fault” because it was “disaffected poor people in the Middle East” and we should take account of their feelings. Guess what? University educated, affluent young Londoners are doing the beheadings. And don’t compare this with ethnic conflict at street level in Melbourne. I don’t think there is a record of any Australian Greeks beheading children in that context.

So what do you call the war crimes and atrocities (committed by both sides) during the Greek war of independence around a century ago ? Then there was the holocaust – gassing and burning of millions of ppl in Germany less than 70 years ago. Your selective take on history and lumping of all people ” in the Middle East” shows your ignorance of the geopolitical history of the region.

farnarkler 3:49 pm 30 Aug 14

Nope I wasn’t aware of the other incidents mentioned. Still, none of them involved CHOGM so no memorial rubbish bins I’m guessing.

Masquara 3:22 pm 30 Aug 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

The beauty of Canberra is that we have a diverse multicultural population who reject cultural violence in the main. We have only had a couple of really minor issues here. One of the ways this has been achieved is the absence of “communities of ethnic origin”. All ethnic groups are scattered across the city and this allows proper integration and the adoption of the nice bits of difference and allows people to be proud of their heritage without being criticised for it.

For years we were told that terrorism was “our fault” because it was “disaffected poor people in the Middle East” and we should take account of their feelings. Guess what? University educated, affluent young Londoners are doing the beheadings. And don’t compare this with ethnic conflict at street level in Melbourne. I don’t think there is a record of any Australian Greeks beheading children in that context.

John Hargreaves Ex MLA 12:39 pm 30 Aug 14

dungfungus said :

farnarkler said :

John, whilst Australia has been incident free (the Holsworthy Barracks plot didn’t eventuate) from terrorists (the Sydney Hilton bombing was a one-off), the authorities have been far more alert than pre 9/11. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, however, I do agree that the current government is far more verbose about it. Let the security services go about their business and keep it low key in speeches.

As previously stated, the Holsworthy Barracks plot was detected and foiled by ASIO.
You have neglected to mention other terrorist acts in Australia before 2001 which include:

1972 bombing of the Yugoslav General Trade Agency in Sydney;
1980 assassination of the Turkish Consul-General in Sydney;
1982 bombing of the Israeli Consulate and the Hakoah Club in Sydney
1986 bombing at the Turkish Consulate in Melbourne.

Any comment?

from your list the most recent was 1986 – 28 years ago. You might like to include the shoot of Arthur Calwell in 1961…

I don’t have a problem with being alert and proactive, I just have a problem with singling out a part of our community for over the top attention. Clearly you haven’t had experience of the tensions in Melbourne between the Greeks and the Turks in the 60’s, the issues with the Vietnamese in Footscray in the 1990s let alone other issues in Sydney and Brisbane.

The beauty of Canberra is that we have a diverse multicultural population who reject cultural violence in the main. We have only had a couple of really minor issues here. One of the ways this has been achieved is the absence of “communities of ethnic origin”. All ethnic groups are scattered across the city and this allows proper integration and the adoption of the nice bits of difference and allows people to be proud of their heritage without being criticised for it.

John Hargreaves Ex MLA 12:32 pm 30 Aug 14

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

As to who the enemies of Team Australia are John, I am sure you are not that naive.

Plenty of well educated Australians, don’t want to be part of Team Australia. In fact give me a mosque over a catholic church next door any day.

By all means prosecute and catch all the terrorists we can find, just don’t persecute people and call them terrorists when they are not.

Absolutely. Thank you for this. Succinct and spot on

bundah 9:31 am 30 Aug 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

I don’t say that Irvine was wrong in how he identified the real threat, I challenge his right to do so. It is the job of those we vote for and hold accountable. It should have been Abbott’s or Morrison’s call. I disagree with the notion that people such as Irvine should make statements about policy. And my views are shared. check the Canberra Times Op piece today.

It appears, from your posts, that you have a very narrow view as to who should and shouldn’t be allowed to make statements through the media re particular issues. Clearly that’s “old school” thinking and times have changed for the better IMO.

dungfungus 8:40 am 30 Aug 14

farnarkler said :

John, whilst Australia has been incident free (the Holsworthy Barracks plot didn’t eventuate) from terrorists (the Sydney Hilton bombing was a one-off), the authorities have been far more alert than pre 9/11. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, however, I do agree that the current government is far more verbose about it. Let the security services go about their business and keep it low key in speeches.

As previously stated, the Holsworthy Barracks plot was detected and foiled by ASIO.
You have neglected to mention other terrorist acts in Australia before 2001 which include:

1972 bombing of the Yugoslav General Trade Agency in Sydney;
1980 assassination of the Turkish Consul-General in Sydney;
1982 bombing of the Israeli Consulate and the Hakoah Club in Sydney
1986 bombing at the Turkish Consulate in Melbourne.

Any comment?

dungfungus 8:33 am 30 Aug 14

HenryBG said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

I don’t say that Irvine was wrong in how he identified the real threat, I challenge his right to do so. It is the job of those we vote for and hold accountable. It should have been Abbott’s or Morrison’s call. I disagree with the notion that people such as Irvine should make statements about policy.

The police give their opinions on crime, the ambos give theirs on some aspects of road safety, and the director of ASIO gives his opinion on national security.

All seems perfectly normal to me.

If you want to be concerned about Irvine, it would be far more profitable to analyse the use of supposedly terrorism-related legislation to carry out activities that are entirely unrelated to any aspect of counter-terror investigations or policing.
*This* is where the danger lies for all members of “Team Australia”.

What exactly are these activities you refer to?

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