Elephants in the Room
The Paris Massacre – Guerilla Warfare
Terrorism v Tourism
Harbingers of Climate Change or Coincidence
THE ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM
- During recent months, Australians have been exposed to and shaken by activities that are widely reported but the fundamental causes are clearly not discussed and thus remain ‘elephants in the room’. In most situations the common denominator is innate human behaviour. The activities with problems for government are domestic (male) violence (5.8%), radicalism (0.03%) and multiculturalism (1.9%) of the population. The following will hopefully broaden the discussion. (Reference – % of population)
- 5.8% – Women and Safety Survey, ABS, 2005
- 0.03% – Professor Riaz, University of South Australia
- 1.9% – Pew Research Institute, Washington
Domestic (Male) Violence
Despite its prevalence there appears to have been little discussion on the nature of domestic violence perpetrators. Comment below only applies to Australians of Caucasian origin (The Second People). This is a society where moral and probity values are weakening and where partnering or cohabitation is replacing marriage. The National Crime Vctimisation Survey (2005) reported that between 1979 and 1987, 65% of crimes on women were committed by boyfriends or ex-husbands where as only 9% were committed by husbands. It was also determined that aggression was twice as violent among cohabiters as it was among married couples. A fundamental problem is that male cohabiters are prone to seek variation while cohabiting females regard the activity as a prelude to marriage. (Domestic violence in marriage versus cohabitational relationships, Citizen Link, June 2010). A factor apparently not considered is the relationship between male violence and the propensity to watch pornography and X-rated violent movies. This must be clarified.
A News Flash on ABC RN mentioned the increasing prevalence of binge drinking among white middle-class young women. It is a recognised fact that there are social problems among young single mothers in Australia who end up cohabiting with several male partners – domestic violence can then occur. A recent report on child abuse, ‘Australian Statistics on Domestic Violence’, did not differentiate between married and informal relationships but it is an inescapable fact that news bulletins include stories of male cohabiters harming children. (Taking sex differences seriously, Encounter Books, Roads, 2004.)
The human is an omnivorous mammal only ‘recently’ controlled by social custom. In nature, it is a fact that male primates and carnivorous animals will perpetrate lethal violence on off-spring not their own. Have cohabiting male humans totally lost their primal urges? Domestic violence could be reduced if there was a return to more responsible living. This is not possible in our permissive society. This is the elephant in the room.
A month after a Police employee was shot dead by a Muslim youth in Western Sydney, the NSW Government has announced a deradicalisation program directed primarily at young Muslims ‘at risk’. The $47 million package is designed to identify and fight violent extremism. About $15 million will fund teams of experts who will, with cooperation of school staff, seek to identify and ‘detoxify’ young radicals. The Prime Minister has essentially defined the tenor of the program by a public statement that called for rooting out of evil, punishing wrong doers and applying forceful law. Persons of interest will be as young as fourteen.
The policy seeks to determine the immediate cause of radicalisation but there appears to be little effort in seeking out the deeper issues that make the young mind susceptible in the first place. This is an elephant the Government has difficulty with. The deeper issues were spelt out in my October blog where experts indicated that Muslim youth needs to anticipate a life of hope and fulfilment. Currently there is a feeling of exclusion and poor job prospects – these young people do not feel part of Australian society. The current approach of requiring teachers to report signs of ‘radicalism’ is likely to be counter productive and will tend to encourage community resentment according to a Federal Government counter terrorism expert, Andrew Zammit, University of Melbourne.
Throughout history no ruling elite has been able to destroy the human spirit when ideology is combined with a religious faith. Conviction is not destroyed by punishment or incarceration, it is merely driven underground. How many times has the phrase winning ‘hearts and minds’ been uttered in the last century. Examples of survival against persecution where the human spirit prevailed against force:
- Rome, persecution of Christians
- China, persecution of Falon Gong
- Turkey, genocidal activities against the Kurds
- Europe, Catholic and Protestant warfare
The ‘elephant in the room’ is a combination of the Australian Government being unable to sustain a multicultural policy that engenders a sense of belonging and fulfilment among young people, and unable to combat a vocal rump of Australians who are openly hostile to Muslims.
Australia has not yet buried the backlog of prejudice from its Colonial and early Federation past: the multicultural policy is starting to show rents and tears in the fabric as intolerant factions organise anti-Muslim demonstrations. It should not be forgotten that this continent was rediscovered by Afghan Muslim cameleers as well as explorers and graziers.
Australia is now facing a cultural shift as Muslims from the Middle East make their home in Australia – they are here to stay. To place the second great Islamic migration in perspective, the Pew Research Institute has compiled information on the Muslim component of European countries.
According to a Morgan poll, requested by the Q Society (an anti Islamist group) and published in Front Page, New York (Nov. 2013), which indicates Australians have unfavourable views on Muslims, the summarised results are:
- 70% are not better off because of Islam
- 53% want full-face covering banned
- 85% think Islam and terrorism are related
- 96% want Christmas, Easter and ANZAC to remain unchanged
By comparison, the results of a Social Cohesion Survey (Oct. 2015) by the Scanlon Foundation and Monash University also record a negative attitude to Muslims. Results show 5% of respondents have a negative attitude to Christian and Buddhist faiths but 25% show negative attitude towards the Muslim faith. Around 85% considered multiculturalism good for Australia but, on the basis of the survey, Muslims would not have been included.
Among Caucasian Australians, there is a growing concern the Muslim population is increasing too rapidly. The Pew Research Institute has estimated that between 2010 and 2030 the Muslim population will increase by 80% but the non Muslim (mainly Caucasian Australians) will only increase by 18%, i.e. Muslim numbers will increase from 399,000 (1.9%) to 800,000 (2.8%). Growth is expected to slow after 2030. By 2100 the Institute estimates the Muslim population will be 6.5% .
The problem for Australia is that immigrants from the Middle East are totally different from Greeks and Italians (1950s) and the Vietnamese (1960s). The former were Christians and the latter Buddhists; both rapidly merged into the ‘bull dust’. The Middle Eastern immigrants, mainly from Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, are very publicly devout Muslims, it is this obvious outward manifestation that Australians find disconcerting. Doubly disconcerting is the Pew Institute estimate that by 2050 the Australian population will be 31% professed Christian and 30% devout Muslim. This illustrates drift by Australians away from their Christian roots.
Comments by Professor Michael Humphrey, Sydney University, and Professor Riaz Hassan, University of South Australia, confirm the plight of Muslims in Australia. Muslims do suffer from their non-white status and social marginalisation. The practice of fasting, veiling and praying are a challenge to conformity in the public space. Muslim wages tend to be lower than the national average, only 5% earn over $1,000 a week compared with the national average of 11%. Muslims are over represented in NSW jails being 9% of the prisoners but less than 3% of the population. Professor Hassan makes the point that of approximately 500,000 Muslims only 150 have been radicalised (less than 0.03%). Australia apparently has more anti-terrorism laws than any other country.
As Islamic influence increases in Australia, there will be push-back by Caucasian Australians (The Second People!). The situation in Europe provides a sense of the future events in Australia. Multiculturism, as conceived in Australia, never envisaged a competing faith in a Christian country. Competing faiths seldom exist in harmony within the same national boundary. This is the ‘elephant in the room’ for the Government to manage.
THE PARIS MASSACRE – GUERRILLA WARFARE
Why France? France has the highest proportion (11%) of Muslims in Europe. It is well known that many Muslims born after 9/11 have not been assimilated into the French community; they feel rejected and marginalised – a fertile breeding ground for subversion.
The Islamic State prosecutes guerrilla war against the West as well as Arab communities. Guerrilla warfare has several consequences:
- it ties down many more defenders than attackers
- it is more costly for the defenders than the attackers
- the guerrillas will frequently find support and safety within the community under attack
- guerrillas can obtain their objective, if not immediately, then as time goes by
- it is not easy to stamp out guerrilla activity by harsh retaliation since ideological resolve is bolstered by unquenchable faith.
Examples of guerrilla warfare are:
- Malaya – The Emergency – unusually this Chinese fighting force was virtually destroyed
- Afghanistan – The Taliban – this force has revived after American withdrawal
- Vietnam – Communist Insurgency – guerrillas prevailed and Americans were forced to withdraw
- Gaza – Hezbollah – long running battles with Israel
- South Africa – African National Congress – ultimately gained political power
- Ireland – Home Rule- Irish won independence from Britain
None of the above closely reflect war with the Islamic State in terms of political objective. In this situation there are two guerrilla variants: first, the hardline fighters in Syria and Iraq and those who have returned; second, the young Muslims – the ‘fertile ground’ – comprising those with empty and marginalised lives in France, Australia, elsewhere in Europe and America. A young French woman, after the massacre on 14 November, wept into the microphone “What has happened to us?” What has happened is the unthinking neglect by the French Government resulting in the lost ‘hearts and minds’ of a large section of the Muslim population. Australia is in the same predicament. In a comment on ABC RN (16 Nov.) Senator Marise Payne, Minister of Defence, is the first politician who (to my knowledge) has used the term ‘hearts and minds’. Until France can provide an inclusive sense of domicile for young Muslims, a fertile ground for insurrection will grow and strengthen. Raising the drawbridge and lowering the portcullis will achieve little since the home grown enemy is within. The same applies to Australia.
Whether the Islamic State is destroyed is up to the military and the politicians but, as in the Malayan Emergency, it would need to be total. Currently Western powers are in Austria discussing a negotiated political settlement, as with many negotiated settlements following guerrilla warfare all parties sit at the ‘table’. Would Islamic State have a seat at the ‘table’?
Following the Paris bombings on the 13th November the Australian Prime Minister addressed Parliament on the 24th November. There appeared to be an ‘elephant in the room’ omission. For Australia the future ‘enemy within’ (leaving out those adult fighters who wish to return) will be the disaffected and marginalised children of appreciative Muslim immigrants. The speech alluded to “young minds need assistance” but the problem may be the Australian people might lack the enthusiasm to fully win over the ‘hearts and minds’ of young Muslims and provide them with a rich and rewarding future. Young minds are susceptible to radicalisation because what is on offer is more attractive than their long term future in the suburbs of Australian cities.
TERRORISM V TOURISM
Following the downing of a Russian airliner, an ABC RN comment caught my ear. Russia was sending 44 aircraft to pick up about 11,000 stranded holiday makers and Britain was sending 14. This was a major airlift. The holiday capacity of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea is boggling – there are 62,000 rooms (minimum 124,000 guests) – and is responsible for 33% of Egyptian tourist trade. Small wonder there is such reluctance to attribute the disaster to terrorism.
HARBINGERS of CLIMATE CHANGE or COINCIDENCE
A juxtaposition of natural events could be considered coincidence or there could be a more sinister interpretation. How relevant is the information below to the imminent Paris Conference on Global Warming? The apparently unrelated events are:
- Another case of meningitis encephalitis caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri has been identified. This parasite thrives in fresh water. North-west Queensland graziers have been instructed to chlorinate all water from lakes, dams, creeks and bores prior to domestic consumption.
- The BOM has announced the Sydney minimum winter temperatures are the highest ever recorded.
- South-eastern Australia for the past six months has been under the influence of an El Niño. The sea surface temperature in the central Pacific, at 2.4 *C above the average, is the highest ever recorded. The Southern Oscillation Index, a measure of the intensity of the El Niño at minus 21.3 for October, is among some of the lowest recorded. (Qld. Gov. Dept. of Science.)
- For a large area of south-eastern Australia which should be experiencing hot dry El Niño conditions, the region is having unusual widespread heavy rain from Southern Ocean ‘lows’ that are bringing rain from the south east, that is, the Tasman Sea. This is unexpected.
Individually these events are unusual but combined, over a common time frame, there could be a sinister significance.
It is incredible that a month after the announcement on the 99-year lease of Port Darwin to Chinese interests the Labor Party has, at last, raised the matter of due diligence with the Government. This is an amazing situation. The Secretary of Defence, Denis Richardson, has mentioned Government is maintaining a watching brief but the silence on informed comment is deafening.
Darwin Port is well placed to service the planned multi-million dollar oil and gas activity in the Arafura and Timor Seas. Prior to the Port acquisition the Landridge Group acquired a 31% controlling interest in Westside Corporation for $178 million (Aust. Bus. Review, July 2014), coal seam LNG will be exported to China through Gladstone. Is Darwin about to become and oil and gas hub controlled by foreign investors?