Gerard Henderson in the Sydney Morning Herald (thanks to Jean-Luc) explains why the Australian “peace movement” is largely just a dhimmi appeasement movement:
Stand by next Saturday for what has been called a “Global Day of Protest Against the Occupation of Iraq” – to be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and elsewhere.
In Sydney the protest gig is being organised by a group calling itself the Stop the War Coalition. Advertised speakers include Australian expatriate journalist John Pilger. In other words, on March 20, the self-proclaimed anti-war movement will be in action again. . . . Recently he was asked by Green Left Weekly whether he thought “the anti-war movement should be supporting Iraq’s anti-occupation resistance?”
Pilger replied unequivocally: “Yes, I do. We cannot afford to be choosy. While we abhor and condemn the continuing loss of innocent life in Iraq, we have no choice now but to support the resistance, for if the resistance fails, the Bush gang will attack another country.
“If they [the resistance] succeed, a grievous blow will be suffered by the Bush gang.”
Clearly, with respect to Iraq, Pilger is not supporting an anti-war position. Rather he is barracking for one of the combatants in a two-sided conflict.
This was confirmed when Pilger was interviewed by Tony Jones on the ABC TV Lateline program last week. This time he extended his comments to include the Australian Defence Force members in Iraq.
Let’s go to the tape.
Jones: Can you approve the killing of American, British or Australian troops who are in the occupying forces?
Pilger: Well, yes; they’re legitimate targets. They’re illegally occupying a country. And I would have thought, from an Iraqi point of view, they are legitimate targets. They’d have to be, sure.
So Australian troops you would regard in Iraq as legitimate targets? – Excuse me. But, really, that’s an unbecoming question.
No, it wasn’t. The transcript reveals that it was Pilger, not the interviewer, who introduced the concept of a legitimate target at this part of the conversation.
Sure, earlier on, Pilger had conceded that “a resistance is always atrocious; it’s always bloody; it always involves terrorism”. . . .
The stakes have always been extremely high in Iraq – and this will be even more so if the perpetrators of the Madrid bombings are proven to be linked to some Islamist groups.
As William Shawcross says in his new book, Allies (Allen & Unwin, 2004), “If the US-UK led effort to create a better system of government in Iraq fails”, the men who carried out the September 11 attacks in the US and the UN headquarters in Baghdad “will have won a terrible victory”.
He could have added Bali to this list. Some of the members of the resistance in Iraq have no agenda other than to defeat the “infidels” – that is, Western society. The same can be said of the September 11 and Bali murderers – and, perhaps, the Madrid assassins as well.
Pilger advocates a victory for the resistance because he wants the “Bush gang” to be defeated.
Yet in a recent issue of New Statesman, Pilger claimed that there was no difference between George Bush and his Democratic Party challenger, John Kerry, and further exaggerated his case by claiming that “the truth is that Clinton was little different from Bush, a crypto-fascist”.
So Pilger wants to see the defeat of the “Bush gang” and, if it comes to this, the “Kerry gang” as well. Even if this results in a defeat for democratic forces, including within Muslim societies.
This is what some – but not all – of next Saturday’s demonstrators will be marching for.