Prime Minister Tony Abbott Proposes Stripping Citizenship
Australia (2-22-15) — 1984 is beginning to look like the good ol’ days. Torture (“We had to know what they were THINKING!” -G. Bush-) and extraordinary rendition are no longer enough in our march toward collateral damage and LOVE for Big Brother. Obedience in insufficient. Now, even LOVE is insufficient. We must rid ourselves of those pesky double-ungoodthinkful thoughts that so disturb our leaders because they are now defacto crimes and are being treated as such by the ‘authorities’ who, naturally, want to protect us from ‘terrorists’…this would include those who haven’t actually DONE anything visibly illegal, but are suspected of ‘wanting’ to or at least sympathizing with those who do. Buying an airline ticket or announcing a pending wedding date to a suspect groom is now enough to land you in prison to do hard time…even in America where 1st Amendment principles (in theory) are held sacred and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Conceivably, Bin Laden’s shoe shine boy could end up doing hard time–or worse.
Admittedly, there are some pretty bad actors out there–even in Australia. They relish shocking the world’s conscience, alarming all and antagonizing virtually every sentient human being. Unfortunately, management by crisis historically has not brought out the best in American sensibilities or its allies. Witness the WWII interment of Japanese-Americans (complete with the looting of their property, home, and bank accounts) or the McCarthy hearings of the early 50’s. Mischief is once again afoot in the guise of totalitarian midnight door knocks/battering and the monitoring of every communication, transaction, purchase, movement.
Enter Tony Abbott, Australia’s prime minister seeking to bring safety/security to his homeland at the expense of civil rights and fundamental liberties. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s security statement, centered on the threat of the IS “death cult” today carefully avoided wrecking the bipartisan stance with Labor on measures to fight terrorists. Apparently, in an era of state sponsored terrorism, extraordinary renditions, and collateral damage, ordinary governments bridle at the competition. Saudia Arabia can behead miscreants with abandon, American drones can destroy entire wedding parties, U.S. helicopters can cut down photojournalists with 50-caliber machine gun fire while sneering at the victim’s dead/wounded children. Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, etc. can strap down the condemned for real time experiments in how to clinically terminate their lives with injected but questionable poisons as they writhe, sometimes gasping for breath for over 40 minutes. Water boarding is defended as a ‘humane’ form of torture, or at least “effective”. But now that the bad guys are using the internet to proselytize/recruit–well, the velvet gloves are coming off!
“We have seen on our TV screens and in our newspapers the evidence of the new dark age that has settled over much of Syria and Iraq,” said Mr Abbott, standing in front of six Australian flags at the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Canberra.
He said: “There is no grievance here that can be addressed; there is no cause here that can be satisfied; it is the demand to submit — or die.” [The irony here just won’t quit!]
The Prime Minister reproduced the thoughts of many Australians who believe citizenship “is not a one-way street” and said Australians battling with Islamic State forces “have sided against their country and should be treated accordingly”, though it’s not certain where such boundaries (if any) lie. Presumably, since even helping set up a website or remonstrating over the grievances many Islamic people harbor is enough to get you thrown into an American prison, even the hint/suspicion of insufficient love for Big Brother will result in our Australian cousins being stripped of either their citizenship or their right to be acknowledged as having it.
“Those who come here must be as open and accepting of their adopted country, as we are of them. Those who live here must be as tolerant of others as we are of them,” opined the Prime Minister. The irony of such ‘acceptance’ appears to have eluded the Prime Minister. “No one should live in our country while denying our values and rejecting the very idea of a free and open society,” he said. i.e. Terrorists should not reject our ‘values’, but we, ourselves, may accomplish the same end by government fiat. We may condone, collectively, what we condemn individually. The imprimatur of government washes away all sins–even the stain of torture. The question of what the point was in beating the Nazis only to become just like them is never asked. Any good Nazi of that era would have argued they too were fighting ‘terrorists’ (or Jews according to them…another Semitic people).
Mr Abbott said amendments to the Australian Citizenship Act would revoke or suspend Australian citizenship in the case of dual nationals.
Australian nationals could be denied “some of the privileges of citizenship” if they are “individuals involved in terrorism”.
These could include restricting the ability to leave or return to Australia, and access to consular services overseas, as well as access to welfare payments. The Prime Minister argued these measures would prevent possible ‘terrorists’ getting the benefit of the doubt. These measures include the legislation for the storage of metadata — material taken from the private communications of individuals — for two years, a move urged by intelligence agencies. Mr Abbott said (referencing killerMan Haron Monis) : “It’s clear that in too many instances the threshold for action was set too high — and the only beneficiary of that was the Martin Place murderer himself.”
“For too long, we have given those who might be a threat to our country the benefit of the doubt. The perpetrator was given the benefit of the doubt when he applied for a visa. He was given the benefit of the doubt for residency and citizenship. He was given the benefit of the doubt at Centrelink. He was given the benefit of the doubt when he applied for legal aid. And in the courts, there has been bail, when there should have been jail,” Abbott continued.
The Prime Minister ended with a pledge to the public: “I can’t promise that terrorist atrocities won’t ever again take place on Australian soil. But let me give you this assurance: My Government will never underestimate the threat. We will make the difficult decisions that must be taken to keep you and your family safe.”
That’s right–a country with the strictest gun control laws in the world now is destined to become a giant concentration camp for its own citizens (with the U.S. and Britain following close on its heels in this regard) if they reject or are insufficiently sympathetic to its “values”. What’s truly at work here is akin to the mystery alien object beneath the sea in a movie that starred Dustin Hoffman–THE SPHERE. ISIS and its minions has become a malevolent mirror reflecting our own fears, aggression, violence, injustice and state sponsored terrorism. The more we target it, the stronger it becomes and the greater our own peril. We must leave 20th century thinking (e.g. MAD: the Mutually Assured Destruction of the nuclear arms race in the cold war) behind. We are NOT going to be able to kill our way out of this war. We are not going to prevail by being the more powerful terrorist. ISIS understands this and has beaten us at our own game. Our leaders, unfortunately, are engrossed–as most generals are–in fighting the last war. The enemy we must defeat is not without, but within.