ARMED DIPLOMACY IN ACTION

With the advent in power politics of novice vain timorous politicians a la Obama driven by ideology and not realpolitik world order has been put at immense risk as diplomacy in our times is no longer the handmaid of a Talleyrand

Writing Saved Marxist Philosopher's Life

WRITING SAVED ZIZEK'S LIFE

 

'Writing saved my life. Years ago, because of some private love troubles, I was in a suicidal mood for a couple of weeks. I told myself: “I could kill myself, but I have a text to finish. First I will finish it, then I will kill myself.” Then there was another text, and so on.'

 

Reply by Kotzabasis

 

No wonder that "texting" saves you from your "suicidal mood" emanating from your perpetual troubling love for Lenin. No "texting" however, will save you from a revolution that eats its own children. It would be wiser, therefore, Zizek, to commit suicide, rather than being eaten, like Thyestes's children.   

ECONOMIC CRISIS IN GREECE CONTINUOUS AS RESULT OF INCOMPETENT RADICAL LEFTIST GOVERNMENT

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Simply put, the crisis is a result of past government over-spending on borrowed funds paid with exorbitant interest rates. A situation that could not be prolonged and would inevitably implode and cascade the country into bankruptcy. Greece therefore had to ask help from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to save itself from absolute poverty.   Thus came into existence the Memoranda, formulated by the EU and the IMF, prescribing how the country could get out of its dire economic straits.

It is a great fallacy to believe that the Memoranda are the cause of the continuation of the crisis. Certainly mistakes were made by the IMF and the EU, but they were not of such proportions as to sink the country deeper into the morass of the crisis. The main cause of its durability, was the refusal of both the governments of George Papandreou and of Tsipras, with the exception of the Samaras Government, to implement quickly and decisively the reforms and economic restructuring that would put the country on the track of economic recovery.

The Greek electorate doltishly committed a gross error in electing SYRIZA, and choosing the quack economic policies of Yanis Varoufakis and the chicanery of his negotiations with the Europeans, that cost the country 100 billion euros. The people in searching for a scapegoat for Greece’s ills, i.e., the architects of the Memoranda, brought onto the government benches a nightmare of incompetence and bungling to manage the affairs of State. As the Tsipras radical leftist government is a synthesis of imbecility, mediocrity, and charlatanism, enshrouded in Marxist dogma. It is totally unfit to pull the country out of the crisis. On the contrary, by staying in power it will continue the dire economic crisis as a result of its total incompetence. Only New Democracy, a Mitsotakis Government, could succeed in ending the crisis, as the Samaras Government began to do so at the end of 2014.      

Neo-Marxist Philosopher Zizek is the Grand Wizard of Ku Klux Klan

By Con George-Kotzabasis  November 23, 2017

I’m hunting you Zizek, not to shoot you but to impound you, to pen you in a zoo, as the last extinct exotic species of neo-Marxism's bankruptcy, for display, to your admirers, the nipple-fed intellectuals, whom Lenin dubbed “useful idiots”, to be used, and I would add, in a Leninist useless philosophy. You are the Lehman Brothers of Philosophy. Easy come, easy go.

Unlike Einstein’s God who doesn’t play dice, you on the contrary, play dice with your Marxist philosophy. On one throw of the dice you stake millions of lives on your aleatory experiment of creating the perfect Communist society. To quote you from your book …Lost Causes, “Better a disaster of fidelity to the Event than a non-being of indifference towards the Event”. Thus the logic of this sentence is that either fidelity or indifference to the Event has an equal chance of being realised. Moreover, the indifferent would be truly in a state of “non-being”, as they would be ‘pogrommed’, eliminated by the faithful. Marxism is a tragic replay of the Spanish Inquisition. And you are its modern Grand Inquisitor. Indeed, Zizek, you are the “imperial wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan. (Not to speak of your colossal revisionism of Marxism; that the establishment of the Communist society is within the DNA of history and inevitable, the outcome of a natural law—nothing serendipitous about its materialisation-- as depicted by its great founder.)

Thus on your transcendental chiliastic disastrous faith toward the Marxist Eden, the die is cast.  

Zizek, enjoy the rest of the day and don’t misuse it, as life is too short. 

`

 

Terrorist Barbarians Inside the Gates of Civilization

I'm republishing this essay that was written few years ago in view of the harder stand that the Turnbull Government in Australia is taking with its terror laws, and rightly ranking security higher, in its confrontation with an implacable and multi-faceted deadly enemy, than civil liberties.

 

 

By Con George-Kotzabasis


A deadly Trojan horse has been placed in the midst of the metropolises of Western civilization and, like Troy, is threatening its destruction. Throughout Europe, North America, and Australia, the belly of this deadly Horse is already bursting open delivering and unleashing a horde of fanatic barbarians on the cities of the civilized world, whose holy agenda decrees the wiping -out of Western institutions and their open, tolerant and free societies, and the genocide of their peoples by the fire of Allah's hell. 

 

This is the nightmare scenario that countries of the economically developed and free world are facing as a result of their humanitarian and generous, but replete with folly, immigration policies that allowed such vast numbers of mostly unassimilable Muslim immigrants with 'exponential' birth rates, to become permanent residents and citizens of their countries. (In the Netherlands almost one third of children under the age of thirteen are Muslim. No wonder that the great Islamic scholar Bernard Lewis argues, that "Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century".) As inexorably, not an insubstantial number of these Muslims of the diaspora will become terrorist - fodder for the likes of bin Laden, as Mohammed Atta, the Western educated ringleader, as well as so many other terrorists who have been also been educated in Western universities, of the murderous group of 9/11 has shown, whose terrorist cell was hatched in Hamburg Germany. This is especially so for many young unemployed Muslims in the West, who have been brought up within the strict confines of their rigid religion and who are therefore psychologically more susceptible to the calls of their fundamentalist imams for a Jihad against the infidels, making them therefore prone to become martyrs in this holy war against them. Hence the terrorist barbarians are not at the gates of civilization but inside its gates

 

September 11 was a wake up call to all governments of the democratic world to the mortal threat that Muslim fundamentalists posed to their peoples. However, despite the exploding sound of this call, only a few governments are willing to recognize this great danger -whose gathering dark clouds teeming with lightning bolts are hovering over the cities of the world threatening their peoples with total annihilation -and stand-up against it. Apparently, only a handful of them have the intellectual capacity, imagination, and historical insight to perceive this great danger, and the resolve and moral mettle to take the necessary relentless measures and actions to prevent this catastrophe of biblical proportions from happening. America, Britain, Australia, Italy, Poland and the thirty other countries who have deployed their armed forces to fight global terror in Iraq under their politically and morally strong and historically savvy leaderships, will be acknowledged and renowned by history as the countries that saved Western civilization from this lethal attack by this horde of fanatically necrophilous barbarians. The no quarter given, relentless retaliation of these governments to this existential challenge of global terrorism to the civilized peoples of the world, will be totally justified by future historians, as has been the stand of those nations who fought against Nazi and Communist totalitarianism and who made the necessary and stupendous sacrifices to save the world from these two regimes of evil in the Twentieth century.

 

DESPITE US ERRORS AN WITHDRAWAL IS UNTENABLE

 

Even if one concedes that serious mistakes have been made by the Americans post March 2003 after the defeat of Saddam, which was part and parcel of the war against global terror, such as indiscriminately disbanding all Iraqi military units, and not dealing with the incipient insurgency of urban terrorists last April by using overwhelming force against it and nipping it in the bud, instead of ceasing their military offensive, as they did in Fallujah, and passing the control of that city to a former Iraqi general, who proved to be completely inept in disarming the insurgents. The strategic goal of the military planners against the insurgency, should have been the prompt and devastating defeat of the insurgents in this city, either by their mass capture or mass annihilation, which would serve as a deadly example to all other insurgents in other hot-bed provinces in Iraq, with the high probability that this would have led to their complete demoralization and surrender, as I had suggested in a previous paper of mine last April, which was sent to the U.S. Embassy in Canberra. (It seems now that the Pentagon is using exactly this strategy, as the capture of Samarra by American and Iraqi forces and the elimination of the insurgents, has shown.) 

 

As the outcome of this erratic implementation of the Pentagon's military plan, by starting an offensive against the insurgents and then stopping it halfway before achieving its goals, Iraq has now become "the crucible of global terror", to quote Tony Blair. This is the glaring fact that all governments who have committed themselves to fight global terror are presently confronting. To turn tail and run now from Iraq would not be merely foolish, it would be the greatest military error against the war on terror, as it would deliver a tremendous victory to the terrorists on a global scale. It would reinforce in the minds of the terrorists, as the withdrawal of US forces from Beirut and Mogadishu had done, as a result of the casualties Americans had suffered in these two cities, by presidents Reagan and Clinton respectively, that America and other Western nations lack the resolve to stand-up to them and fight, and will induce them to be even more lethally aggressive against the 'cowardly' West. Hence the critics and opponents of the war, who blame the Bush administration for exacerbating terrorism in Iraq and call for the US withdrawal from Iraq, are purblind and cannot see that such action would be the greatest error that one could commit against the war on global terror. It would surpass by a great order of magnitude all the mistakes that the Pentagon committed in Iraq. 

 

If indeed the opponents of the war are right, that the US incursion of the country and the overthrow of Saddam has strengthened and intensified terror in Iraq, then the reasonable course for nations who believe that there is no other alternative but to fight and defeat this global menace, would be for these nations to deploy their armed forces in Iraq and inflict a deadly blow on global terrorism, by defeating the insurgents decisively. Or if they are unwilling to spill the blood of their own soldiers, they should at the least support morally and politically the soldiers of the nations, i.e., the American - led coalition, who are brave enough to sacrifice their own lives in the cause of global security and freedom. This would be the wise course to follow, to correct the mistakes of the Americans, instead of aggravating and compounding these mistakes, by running away from Iraq, and in spite of these errors (in all wars errors are made ), to unflinchingly support America in this historic and deadly confrontation with these medieval barbarians, whom only America's military might can defeat comprehensively, among all other nations in the world. 

 

 

 

THE ENEMY WITHIN 

 

But the war against global terror and Muslim fanaticism will not be won, unless the governments who have pledged themselves to fight global terror also deal with and tackle the cunning and deceitful enemy that lies within their borders. To carry out this far from easy task, these governments have to realize that they can no longer be tolerant, on the basis of laws of non-discrimination on religious grounds, to the breeding grounds of terrorism that entangle, ivy-like, the edifices of Western cities, i.e., the mosques and Islamic schools, of whom a minority of, but highly influential, imams and teachers, preach hate against the mores of Western civilization and of their peoples, inciting young Muslims to enlist in a holy war against the Great Satan, America, and on all other nations that embody the cosmopolitan values of Judeo-Greco-Roman civilization.

 

The cardinal question therefore is, how to sterilize and make barren the breeding grounds of terrorism that are ensconced in the cities of the West whose deadly offspring are the enemy within. Since the idea of repatriation and resettlement by means of a monetary incentive for millions of Muslims, who have now made their home in Western countries, is no longer feasible - fathered by that prophet of British politics Enoch Powell, who in his Birmingham "Rivers of Blood" speech on April 20 1968, clearly and ominously predicted the deadly conflicts that would arise between Britons and British citizens of colonial background who had settled in England, and who with prescience had opposed the so called humanitarian immigration policies of both Labor and Conservative governments - one has to consider other lines of action. One of them would be the immediate cessation of funding these mosques and schools by governments, unless the former adopt in their curricula a primary undiluted course of 'no leaks' assimilation for their students to the mainstream culture of the nation that they have chosen freely to live in, and put an end to all 'traffickers' of the disastrous policy of multiculturalism, which with mathematical precision divides a nation. 

 

Another one would be the swift passing of special, indeed emergency, legislation that would make it easier for the police and for the relevant government officials to jail or deport, radical imams and teachers who propagate, either openly or cunningly and insidiously, a holy war against the West. 

 

Furthermore, to attenuate and diminish the high birth rate of Muslim families, governments should introduce a policy of negative incentives, which could stop this high birth rate such as paying to all families of the nation, children’s allowances up to the number of four children. Any children born beyond that number would not be entitled to any allowances. Nor would any allowances be paid to children born from a second marriage, whose fathers or mothers already have four children from their previous marriages. This measure would bring the birth rate as close as it is possible to the common standard of Western societies and to the ethos and aspirations of motivated modern nuclear families. It would also stop the 'racketeering' of phony separations and single motherhoods, whose deliberate purpose is to abuse and defraud the system of family payments, and whose side - effect is, the perennial continuation of voluntary unemployment among this group of men and women. 

 

Undoubtedly, these harsh measures will raise a hurricane of protests from Muslim organizations of the diaspora and from Muslim states. This will be followed by a chorus of international lawyers and of the liberal intelligentzia from the well-heeled countries of the West, who will denounce these measures as brutal and heartless to poor families, viciously racist, and chauvinistic, striking a terrible blow to democracy and opening the way to an authoritarian state and even worse. But this soft potpourri of legal and intelligence gnomes are unwilling to recognize, and it might be beyond their depth, that the grossly mistaken immigration policies of the nations of the West are now coming to haunt them with their destruction. And the only way to prevent this destruction is for the governments of these nations to take tragically severe measures to correct this gross mistake of past governments that now threatens their peoples with extinction, either by weapons of mass destruction or by the upshot of demographics. 

 

DEFEAT OF TERROR LIES IN ITS LACK OF SUCCESS

 

One must recognize that the terrorists are technically educated barbarians, with PC's in one hand and with the distorted fragments of the Koran in the other - who consider it to be the only fountain of knowledge - lacking the open- mind of a universal education; unread in the great writings and literature of all peoples and of all ages; mentally untouched by their rich Arab culture, literature and philosophy; unread in the great philosophical writings of Al-Farabi, who placed rationality above the revealed truth of the Sharia nor in the equally brilliant writings of Ibn-Sina (Avicenna ) and of Ibn-Rushid (Averroes ), who both placed human reason above religion, and of Omar Khayyam, who never believed in Providence or in any other World but this one, valuing the sensual pleasures of this world as the fill to the brim of life. Being ignorant of the existence of this great Arab intellectual treasure, that was an essential element of the cornerstone of Western civilization and of the Italian Renaissance, their minds locked in the fanaticism of fundamentalist Islam and its death-cult, they have no respect for any other peoples' religions except their own. Instead they zealously believe that the followers of all other religions are destined to go to hell and only Muslims will enter the gates of infinite paradise, especially if they are anointed by martyrdom. It is of such stuff that these implacable enemies of Western civilization are made. 

 

Confronting such suicidal fanatics, who fervently believe that the West and its Great Satan, America, are responsible and culpable for all the ills that have befallen upon Muslim countries; determined to destroy this source of evil by chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, as soon as they are in their possession, the political leaders of the West, and especially of America, are deprived of any soft options and are forced to take on the hard option of the "unsheathed sword". 

 

The art of diplomacy, the laudable deliberations of the United Nations for peace making, which could be effective when one deals with a rational foe, are totally ineffective when one confronts an irrational enemy, whose only 'rational' communication, in his hearing, is with God. That is why the academics who teach their students the 'management' of terrorism by a diplomatic demarche as the only rational way to counter and thwart it, rather than war, which is so costly in human and economic terms and without making certain its defeat, are not only starry-eyed, but also debar themselves from the disciplines of politics and of war strategy. Management presupposes and involves rational processes, which to the terrorists is terra incognita, and therefore with algorithmic precision is bound to fail.

 

But wherein lies the answer to this conundrum of how to defeat global terror and its state sponsors? History's edict provides the clear and indefeasible answer to this intricate issue. When a nation fights a swarm of religious fanatics, depriving these fanatics of the ability to launch successful operations against their enemies is the most effective way to defeat them, as the terrorists, being no longer successful in their attacks against the West and in their attacks against the American-led coalition in Iraq, will find the "mouse of doubt" implanted in their hearts (a doubt whose epiphany will reveal to them, that after all they might not be in God's favor) gnawing, slowly but surely, at their belief that they are the instruments of Allah. This, in itself, will compel them to abandon their cause.

 

This is why the successful outcome of the war in Iraq for the U.S. - led coalition and the introduction of democracy to its ravaged people, is of such vital importance. The decisive defeat of the terrorist insurgents will unfold a dawn of a bright future for the people of Iraq, and also commence the beginning of the quick end of global terror.


I rest on my oars:Your turn now.

 

This paper was written on

October 9, 2004

 

MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA

Marxism is the Opium of the Intelligentsia

By Con George-Kotzabasis--July 22. 2017

The following is my contribution to a lecture given by Professor Vrasidas Karalis in the Greek Community Centre, in Melbourne, two years ago.

Bravura performance professor Vrasidas! Papaioannou’s head would lift from the grave in approval with a big smile on his face, unlike the skulls of Communism, which according to the ex-Marxist Polish philosopher, Leszek Kolakowski, will never smile again. Papaioannou was a bright star amidst a constellation of co-stars, like Raymond Aron, Ernst Nolte, Ayn Rand, and Hannah Arendt, not to mention others, who had foreseen, identified, and exposed the murderous traits of Communism. However, the cocottes of the ideology of Marxism were able to allure with their bawdy charms and false historical promises nipple-fed intellectuals, whom Lenin had dubbed “useful idiots,” into the ranks of the Communist mirage. Intoxicated by the brilliant form of Marx’s writings they were blind to its toxic content.

The dragon’s teeth spawned by Marx on the cerebral landscape would give rise to the monstrous leadership of Stalin, Mao, and the Althusserian trained ideologues of Cambodia, who would try to build their utopia on Gulag Archipelagos and killing fields. And when Communism would be achieved on these brutal homicidal grounds, then human concerns would take over: man fishing in the morning, playing the flute in the evening and writing romantic poetry in the night. Thus, the Marxian birth of the “all-sided man,” of the “politropos Anthropos!”

Marxism is not merely tragic drama, it is worse: it is kitsch, a pretentious worthless play staged on history. And the wrathful hallucinations and platitudes of Marx became murderous instruments in the hands of the epigones of Marxism.

Presently, a repeat of Marxist omniscience is to be re-enacted in Greece. The Tsipras Government, a politically arriviste, incompetent bungling blend of a withering crop of epigonistic Marxists, pseudo intellectuals, and populist sycophants, are pushing Greece into the abyss of their own “killing fields”. Failure in negotiations with the Troika will lead to the debt default of Greece and return to the drachma, with annihilating consequences to the standard of living of the ordinary people and to a political danger by the rise of dictatorship. Marxism is the opium of the intelligentsia.

\\

 

Is Tsipras and Close Associates Plan to Set-up Marxist Dictatorship in Greece

By Con George-Kotzabasis July 18, 2017

The beginning is the sign”. David Hilbert, German mathematician

In the doom and gloom of the political and economic landscape of Greece, a spectre haunts the country, the spectre of Marxist dictatorship. There are ominous signs that Prime Minister Tsipras and some of his closest associates are working on a sinister secret plan that would prolong their staying in power beyond the date of the expiration of their tenure. There are several signs (they will be identified and explained below) and all of them are showing clearly, like lighted roads that lead and meet at a central junction, that this central square is named dictatorship.

All the latest polls are indicating that the Tsipras government will get a merciless thrashing at the next election, to be held in 2019, at the hands of the electorate, as back payment for the historically unprecedented deceptive promises and prodigious lies that Syriza had told the people, for the purpose of winning the 2015 election. These lies include but they are not limited to the severe cuts in pensions and increase of taxes that Tsipras has introduced, breaking all his promises to the contrary, and imposed relentlessly and with no compunction, even upon the most indigent parts of society. Tsipras, therefore, and his bosom comrades are realising with great panic that their proud slogan of “First Time Aristera” (Left Government) will be transformed into the terrifyingly shameful “Never Again Aristera.” To prevent this from happening, they will not hesitate to extract the most nefarious means from the arsenal of Bolshevism in order to remain in power. And as the game is up for them, politically and electorally, they have nothing to lose by taking these extreme measures, since they are fated to be consigned into the graveyard of history.

Yet this coup d’état of Tsipras will not occur under the rattling of the tanks but under the scratching of the pens. By making changes to the political processes of the country, apparently by abiding with the Constitution, that would open the road toward dictatorship. (Not that he has any moral scruples in using the tanks--after all his ideological kin the Soviet Union, used them in Czechoslovakia--but only because he has no direct control over the armed forces.) However, before he comes to the real McCoy, i.e., the setting-up of a Marxist dictatorship, he will initially postpone or suspend the next election. And to do this he will use a proschema (pretext), a contrived national threat or a real one, such as provoking a military incident with Turkey. Hence by creating a casus belli he will render to himself extraordinary powers, enabling him to suspend normal constitutional processes and govern the country by plebiscite.

What methods will Tsipras use to achieve his goal? Whether he will fabricate a fictitious internal enemy such as an association of so-called right-wing politicians of New Democracy, and even throw mud at its president, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, by implying its association with big corrupt business and bigwig criminals involved in the importation of vast quantities of heroin, or whether he will create a real enemy by provoking a military clash with Turkey, Tsipras will use the rationale, by which he will attempt to convince the people, that in order to fight either of these enemies successfully he must be given the right to make the necessary amendments to the Constitution and hence will call the people to agree to them through a plebiscite. It is hard to imagine, that in conditions of great dangers to the country, in the first case, the importation of heroin, with its deleterious effects upon the wellbeing of Greece’s children, by a so called evil combination of politicians, businessmen, and criminals, or a takeover of the country by a rapacious cabal of right-wing politicians and big commerce and industry, which will profit at the expense of the ordinary people, or the threat of war with Turkey, that it will be difficult for the people to be convinced of either of these dangers and will therefore render to Tsipras the right to make the appropriate changes to the Constitution. Furthermore, the crescendo of violent demonstrations by anarchist extremists of the left, in which the minister of public order deliberately refuses to take a strong stand against this disorder, as todays incidents in the heart of the retail trade centre of Athens shows, whose shops were broken and vandalized, may also be a part of the conspirators’plan that will facilitate them to declare emergency measures or even martial law.

Tsipras therefore is confident that there will be no mass reaction to his moves, and rests this trust on the passivity of the people as well as on the passivity and indifference of the armed forces, which, since the experience of the Junta, stand at arms-length from politics. What other forces therefore could oust Tsipras from power, when all the key posts of government will be held by people of his own ilk?

However, it will not be easy for Tsipras to convince the guardians of the Constitution, the Judiciary, of the necessity or correctness of these changes to the political processes of the country. This is the reason why from the beginning of this year there has been a concerted and vicious attack against the Judiciary by some ministers of the government, and even by the Prime Minister himself, who has stated in public, that the Judiciary is a “hindrance” to some of the policies of his government. And the primo uomo of this attack is the Minister of Health, Polakis, whose cursing cacophonous mantinades (Cretan couplets) against the Judiciary, may sound noetically jarring and stupid but they hide behind them a clever purpose, i.e., to degrade, erode, and weaken its authority. Also, the involvement of the Minister of Defence, Kammenos, in the investigative operations of the police in regards to this huge quantity of heroin that was smuggled into the country by criminals, which is a blunt violation of the separation of powers, i.e., of the Executive, the Judiciary, and the Legislative, has also the same aim, that is, to debilitate the Judiciary and its personnel. All the above are lucid signs of the Tsipras government plot to disparage the judiciary and wear down its authority. The Tsipras government perceives, that the main obstacle to turn itself into a proletarian dictatorship, is a robust and independent Judiciary, that espouses the separation of powers and checks that the actions of government are in tangent with the rules of the Constitution. The conspirators, however, will attempt to make ‘tailor-made’ interpretations of the Constitution to suit their actions which will creepily lead to their dictatorship.

But the most significant revealing sign is the appointment by Tsipras, of the former Chief Justice of the High Court, Vasiliki Thanou, as head of his Legal Office. Mrs. Thanou, is known for her skills as a lawyer as well as for her political credentials of being a left-wing supporter of long standing. She served, with the support of SYRIZA, as interim prime minister prior to the election of Lukas Papadimou in Government. It is obvious that Thanou, will be advising Tsipras on changes in the legal and political processes of the country and on possible changes to the Constitution that would facilitate him to consummate his secret plan. Indeed, she will be knitting, with her skilful fingers, the regal toga that Tsipras will be wearing as dictator of the proletariat. Since her appointment, she launched a vehement attack against New Democracy for its audacity to criticise her appointment.

The question arises with no easy answers. How can one kill the plan of Tsipras at the initial stages of its incubation? But there is an answer, and it comes from an unusual quarter, by which the Tsipras plan will be dead in its first breath: Ancient Greece comes to the rescue of modern Greece, Iphigenia in Aulis: Since it is impossible presently for the Opposition to force an election, the only way that would impel an election is by the resignation of Prokopis Pavlopoulos from the presidency. The reasons for his resignation would be plausible and cogent, that is, that he is unwilling and it is repugnant for him to preside under the fiendish machinations of the Tsipras government to undermine the Constitution, and its attacks against the Judiciary, that would lead to the subversion of democracy. Hence, Pavlopoulos will be summoned to be the modern Iphigenia whose sacrifice would release the storming winds that will sweep Tsipras and his comrades from The Maximou House (The White House of Greece). In this solution time is a crucial factor, and those persons who are close to Pavlopoulos will have to move swiftly and persuade him to accept this summons and go to the Euripidean Aulis, to his rendezvous with destiny. The question is: Will Prokopis Pavlopoulos have the spiritual and moral fortitude and intellectual insight and strength to sacrifice himself for the sake of Greece?

PS There might be within SYRIZA some righteous people. But if they do not oppose this insidious plan of Tsipras, they will suffer the Aeschylian fate. “A righteous man by himself is formidable. But a righteous man conjoined with the wicked perishes with them.”       

 

 

Union Power: The Wings of an Eagle Attached to a Pigeonhead

I’ve “excavated” this essay of mine from the deep-end of my archive in view of the Construction Forestry Mines Energy Union’s, CFMEU, threatening decision to publish the names and addresses of building watchdog inspectors with the aim that their “kids will be ashamed of who their parents are.” This union as king-maker, whose power is unparalleled in the industrial history of the country, which can crown and dethrone leaders of the Labor Party, as it did by appointing Bill Shorten as the federal leader of the ALP, has not the slightest concern that by naming the families of these inspectors puts at high risk the safety of their spouses and children. Moreover, its impending amalgamation with another militant union, the Marine Union of Australia, MEU, will make the CFMEU the power-broker extraordinaire. And increase more its forte to continue to break the rules and regulations of the Industrial Court with total impunity. I hope the readers of this blog will find it to be of a bit of an interest.

 

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following essay was written on April 2000. It’s republished here on this blog as I think it’s still relevant as unions continue to have a strong grip on the Labor Party. And with a possible impending recession in the US that would inevitably effect the Australian economy, a Rudd victory in the coming election will bring the unions exercising their pernicious behind the times influence on the front benches of a Labor government. And hence exacerbate the peril of the economy of the country in conditions of recession. Lest we forget, it was in the UK in the mid-sixties under Labor governments that ‘trade-union-led “wage push” was the driving force behind inflation and subsequent breakdown of Keynesian policy’. Richard Kahn, one of the closest disciples of Keynes, when he was asked about this breakdown of Keynesian policy, he answered, ‘we never thought the leaders of the trade unions could behave so stupidly’. This stupidity was coined at the time in the term of stagflation, the proud creation of the unions. And this doltishness of the unions is alive and well in our times as it’s still fueled by the false Marxist doctrine of class struggle. This is the danger that trade unions could inflict to the Australian economy under a Rudd government. As for Rudd’s “education revolution” by providing students with laptops, the mountain has brought forth a mouse. Australia is already among the top nations that provides computers to its students. But on the quintessence of education revolution which has to deal with its human capital, i.e., its teachers, who have to be selected on merit and ability and on their teaching methods, two burning issues on which the education unions will not budge, Rudd remains silent. He also claims that his government will be a government of “fresh ideas and new leadership”. But after his lustful embrace of me tooism of some major liberal policies during the electoral campaign, Rudd pellucidly reveals that his government will not be a government of “new leadership” but a government of mimicry. 

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The ascendancy of the Labor Party to the treasury benches in Victoria, has churned in its wake a billow of waves of industrial action by an amalgam of union power that threatens to shipwreck the economic vibrancy of the state. The outcome of such fatuous action by the unions will be to induce a flight of investment capital from Victoria to other states, as current and would-be employers of this state would feel too insecure to invest in an environment of industrial turmoil. This is especially so when the Labor government and its leader Steve Bracks are perceived to be irresolute and too weak-kneed to control and rein in this outdated aggression and belligerence of the unions against employers.

The excessive and irrational demands of the unions for a thirty-six hour working week and a 24 percent increase in wages, which if they were successful in obtaining initially in the construction industry and their inevitable flow into some other industries, would have the ineluctable result of throwing thousands of workers among the ranks of the unemployed. This would be a tragic repetition of what happened in the metal industry in the late 80s as a result of excessive union claims, under the then Federal Secretary of the Metal Trades Union, George Campbell—a political stallion of the Left and presently a Labor Senator who is going to be replaced by another stalwart left-winger Doug Cameron who has indisputable credentials of being in the past a real “communist under the bed”—whom the Treasurer Paul Keating accused of having a necklace of 100,000 dismissed metal workers around his neck.

It’s obvious that the unions are afflicted by an innate inability to learn from their past sloppy errors. And like a recurring malady they are bound to contaminate the economy of the country with the calamitous mistakes of the past. The consequences of a repeated mistake, however, are more tragic than the consequences of an initial one and therefore carry a greater responsibility. An action that is performed for the first time is experimental in regard to its consequences, as no one, without the gifts of Tiresias, can predict or foresee whether its results will be benign or malign.  (Not that the unions could be excused for their first error. There was ample evidence of a global scale at the time, and enough forewarnings by eminent economists, that excessive union claims within the confines of global competition would inexorably lead to the flight of capital from regions these claims were impacting upon, and hence to unemployment.) But an action that is repeated deliberately and wantonly in spite of knowledge of its harmful effects in the past is intellectually malevolent and morally culpable.

Whose Culpability is Greater the Union’s or the Government’s

Two questions therefore arise. Is the intelligence of unions commensurate with their powers? Or is it the case that union power is more like the wings of an eagle attached to a pigeon head? If the answer to the second question is affirmative, then one further question is posed, i.e., why then was the political wing of the Labor Party, which is now in government and having the expertise of knowing better about the dire economic effects of industrial unrest to the country nonetheless was unwilling to intervene promptly and decisively to block the irrational and pernicious claims of its industrial wing, which as a government of all Victorians—Premier Brack’s slogan—was committed in doing? Furthermore, why was the government’s immediate reaction to blame the Federal government’s industrial legislation for the ongoing industrial unrest instead of doing something that would have stifled the industrial dispute in its initial stages, for which it had prior knowledge, and using the subterfuge of an excuse that it was constrained by the legislation and could do nothing effective toward its resolution? Both the deputy leader of the government John Twaites and the Minister of Industrial Relations Monica Gould, used this feeble argument, when in fact with the return of the Premier from Davos  the latter forced the union involved in the dispute of the Yallourn power station to return back to work by imposing hefty fines upon its members, hence demonstrating that the government had the power to do something effective to resolve the dispute? Wasn’t it rather, the attempt to shift the blame to the federal legislation, a poor ruse, indeed, a camouflage, to cover its lack of will to intervene timely and decisively and derail the union from its “crashing” course? Yet, the belated action was effective, even if it was done halfheartedly. But what other alternative the government had, at the end of its honeymoon with the electorate, other than to send the stalled fire engines out to extinguish the full blown fire, if it was not to be seen, and impugned, in the electorates eyes, as politically effete and incompetent?

This is a basic characteristic, however, and an irreversible syndrome of Labor governments. To intervene in industrial disputes only when political necessity dictates, i.e., only when these disputes have reached a high point with the potential of harming the economy, and hence would be politically damaging. For organizational and ideological reasons Labor governments are not prone to intervene in the wrangles of their comrade-in-arms with employers, but do so only as a last resort.

This general inaction of Labor governments in industrial disputes is a result first, of a common ideology shared with the unions whose core emanates from the principles of socialism, and secondly, from its constitutional organizational structures that tie the political and industrial wings of the Party into a powerful body and into a compact of consensus that determines the functions of each wing. In conference after conference of the Party, the common and often repeated refrain is that Labor occupies the treasury benches only for the purpose of implementing policies which are discussed and ratified in state and federal conferences in whose conception the unions and its sundry representatives, mainly academics, have a major input. The union’s dominance is illustrated not only in the generation and formation of policies (Its architects generally are academics from the Left, whose intellectual frustration is at a boiling point because their ideas and policies cannot pass muster among other academic luminaries, but who do find a paradisiacal outlet for their “time-stopped” ideas, as well as an adulatory audience among their comrades in the unions, who normally cannot separate the wheat from the chaff of these ideas), but also on the conference floor as sixty percent of its delegates must be union representatives according to the Party’s constitution.

The larger and, especially, the more militant unions have such a firm grip in the election of delegates to Party forums, that even ministers and would-be premiers often cannot be elected to these meetings. Many ministers , therefore, who are unable to be elected to conferences on their own authority, resort to “begging” less militant unions to be placed in their delegations as constitutionally the unions have the authority to do so. Hence only as supplicants to the unions are ministers able to participate in conferences. For example, Jim Kennan, the Attorney General in the Cain Government, for many years was a delegate of the Clothing Trades Union. Likewise too, Steven Bracks, the current premier, was a delegate of the same union, who had taken Kennan’s place with the latter’s departure from politics. Other ministers who are not as fortunate to be union delegates attend conferences as visitors and observers without the right to move, or vote for, resolutions of the conference. Hence, ministers and many of their advisers are left out from the formulation and ratification of the Party’s policies. Such is the power and influence of unions in the organizational procedures of the Party, that often they cal “lock-out” important ministers who are not close to their ideological positions, from the highest policymaking bodies of the Party.

Moreover, the grip of the unions is extended to the pre-selection procedures of the candidates of the Party as well as in the choosing and changes of the parliamentary leadership, both in the state and federal domains. Who can forget for instance the telephone call that Paul Keating made, during his challenge of Bob Hawke, to Wally Curren, secretary of the Meat Workers Union asking him for his support in the coming challenge to Hawke for the leadership of the government? And Curren obliging, by forcing those MP’s from Victoria who owed their position in parliament to his patronage, to vote for Keating? This irritated Bob Hawke so much asking who Wally Curren was pretending thus ironically that he himself who had ousted and replaced Bill Hayden with union support was not cognizant of the influence trade union leaders have in pre-selections. As for the branches of the Party they play a superficial role in the pre-selection of candidates as they too in turn are influenced in their decisions by the organizational power of the unions.

Labor Politicians at the Mercy of Unions

Being therefore at the mercy of unions for their parliamentary positions and for the buttering of their bread, labor politicians, with some exceptions, are cast as toadies of the unions. Only the Federal Executive of the Party can intervene can intervene and save a ministerial or a backbencher’s scalp from the tomahawk of the unions. This occurred when John Halpenny, the Secretary of the Trades Hall Council in Victoria. were placed in the number one position on the senate ticket, with massive union support, in the 1988 federal election, relegating the leader of the Senate, John Button, to the second position. And in the election following the one in 1988, some of the left-wing unions were deliberating whether or not to place Gareth Evans, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the second position on the senate ticket. Only some sober heads at the last moment saved the glitterati Minister from the rusty and blood-stained tomahawk of the unions and from posthumous obloquy. (But the power of the Federal Executive is limited, as is illustrated in the present coming election of 2007 in the seat of Coreo, where the current seating member, Gavin O’Connor, is replaced by an assistant secretary of the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions), against the wishes of the Executive.)

It’s for all the above reasons, this congeniality of interests between Labor governments and unions that prevents the former from acting timely and decisively in industrial disputes. And even when they do as a last resort they cannot be impartial in their involvement. The Brack government being captive to the unions has to cater to the latter’s voracious appetite on a number of issues: On the restoration of common law damages for injured workers, which has already being done by passing the relevant legislation in parliament, on the restitution of industrial policy back to the State Government, so the latter can abolish the industrial contracts of the Federal Government, whose aim is to eliminate union dominance in industry negotiations, and to replace them with collective bargaining, hence restoring union coercion and thuggery during negotiations with employers. On these issues and on many others, the Labor government is hamstrung by union power. Whether the former will be able to deliver on these issues will depend on the political climate of the day and on the degree of resonance such a delivery will have upon the electorate.

Steve Brack’s therefore, like a trapeze artist, has to walk on a tight rope whose one end is held by the unions and the other by the community, and perform his balancing act. While gratifying the union claims, with potentially destructive consequences to the economy of the State, at the same time he has to keep its economic robustness, inherited from his liberal predecessor, Jeff Kennet, intact, hence erasing any fears or consternations the community might have about the new industrial course of his government.

It’s with this purpose in mind to win the confidence of Victorians and of some naïve employers that Steve Bracks lately set up a new stage with an old play. His government lacking any originality or lateral thinking in policymaking ransacked the ram shackled spider web storehouse of past Labor policies to bring out the nostrums of “old age”. The summit of “Growing Victoria Together”, chaired by that scion of Labor power, Bob Hawke, was such a nostrum. Imbibing a strong dose of self-deception, Bracks was hopeful that by attracting some old and new celebrities from the industrial club and from business to the summit the public would be hoodwinked and believe that something substantial would come from the coupling of these celebrities. What in fact happened, was that each spokesperson of this divided house of unions and employers, voiced plaintively their complaints and grievances against each other with the result that they were not able to reach an agreement as to how and by what prudent set of actions, they would carry out the growth of Victoria. The rhetorical statement at the end of the summit, spun by the golden threads of the cerebral and literary qualities of Bob Hawke and his wife, respectively, could hardly hide the practical hollowness of the summit. What the latter did was to set up a number of committees to look at a number of issues.  Such as education and training, investment in training, industrial relations, health and wellbeing indicators to measure performance in meeting social goals, infrastructure, the impact of payroll tax on job and wealth creation , and the audit of government services in country communities. It also set up an advisory body to strengthen community input, oblivious of the fact, that while the latter is important it is not a substitute for political leadership. Forgetful also of the fact that the achievement of this laudable “prospectus”, is absolutely dependent on calm industrial relations. And therefore cannot be achieved while the agitated firebrand steam of the unions continues unabated.

Hence, the mountain (the summit) has brought forth a mouse which is at the mercy of the cat’s paws, the unions. Furthermore, as so many of the issues are to be shoved to committees, whose members are deeply divided on the central issue of industrial relations, they are inevitably going to be dealt with in a banal hackneyed manner, since their members will be unable to reach a mutual agreement on the key issue of industrial relations. Hence the summit’s “debris-deliberations” will be proven to be a barren exercise.

The Bracks’ government by its farcical and enervating stand toward the unions and by its populist stand toward the public threatens to throw Victoria into the doldrums as well as empty the coffers of the treasury. This is not a government of substance but a government of images—the images of a dead past. But funeral rites for dead images can be very expensive to the general community, both in terms of tax increases and unemployment. 

I rest on my oars: Your turn now

Marxistoid Economists Consider Historically Bankrupt Radical Left as Saviour of Greece.

In view of the ruinous policies of Syriza, and its completely inept negotiations with the European Union, that since its advent into power two and a half years ago is economically, and politically destroying the country, our two economists, Yanis Varoufakis and James Galbraith, who were so vocal is supporting the Marxist party of Syriza, are presently no longer unanimous in their stand toward it. While Varoufakis is a vehement opponent against Syriza and pours profuse vitriol over its leadership, Galbraith, remains totally numb and tuned out. It is for the above reasons that I'm republishing this article that was written four years ago. I hope the readers of this blog will find it of some interest.

Fair is foul, and foul is fair, /Hover through the fog and filthy air (Witches of Macbeth chanting their cursing ditty)

By Con George-Kotzabasis-- July 04, 2013

In their article published in the New York Times  on June 23, under the title “Only the Left Can Save Greece”, the two politically ‘pinkish’ economists teaching in the University of Texas at Austin, James Galbraith (the son of the famous John Galbraith) and Yanis Varoufakis, argue that neither America nor Europe should fear an ascension to power of the Left wing party of Syriza in Greece on the contrary, they should applaud it, as a government of the left would reverse the defective policies of the European Union that have been so destructive to the Greek polity and to its people as well as to many other European countries.

The two economists were shocked at the closure of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) and denounced the Samaras government for its authoritarian and undemocratic action, of depriving Greeks of a public service of information and entertainment that was invaluable to them. The government however closed the public broadcaster temporarily and planned to replace this cesspool of administrative corruption, opacity, and cronyism, for which each Greek household had to pay a levy of 50 Euros per year, with a new public broadcaster not run by the government but by personnel chosen on meritocratic criteria and professionalism that would upgrade the service provided to Greek viewers and at a cheaper price.  Galbraith and Varoufakis, in their support of this corrupt and inefficiently run public entity  and demand of its reopening, found a kindred political ally in the leader of the Marxist party of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, who had committed himself to re-open with all its personnel intact if he became prime minister. Tsipras’ crocodile tears for the public broadcaster, which in the recent past had condemned as being the mouthpiece of the extreme right, exposed his blatant political opportunism in this U-turn from hate to love for ERT. But they found him also to be an invaluable ally to their economic proposals of how to lift Greece out of the crisis. .

Galbraith’s and Varoufakis’ solution to the crisis springs from the growing of a hundred blooming flowers in the luxuriantly prodigal Keynesian garden. Their package of Keynesian remedies consist of “a kind of European equivalent of America’s post-crisis Troubled Asset Relief program; an investment and job program; and a European initiative to meet the social and human crisis by  strengthening  unemployment insurance, basic pensions, deposit insurance, and the expansion of core public institutions like education and health.” Notice, that all of these remedies are to be financed by  government and taxes from private enterprises. How then government can finance all these things when its coffers are empty and depend on European loans to pay for primal services such as schools, hospitals, and public servants, and when private enterprise has no incentive to function or remain in an unstructured economy that has been for many years inimical to it? And the two economists do not make  a pip about the necessity of private foreign and domestic investments that are the only economically sustainable and viable investments that can initiate growth and economic development that are the sine qua non that will pull Greece out of the crisis. And that these investments can only be made under the incentive  of structural economic reforms that are favorable to private enterprise, and strict fiscal policies that perforce can only be accomplished by hard measures which are inevitably painful to the general populace.

Since neither the political color nor the gray matter of Galbraith and Varoufakis were able to convince serious politicians and economists in the Euro zone, or Greece, of the correctness of their Keynesian mirage as a solvent to the European and Greek crisis, they found in the fiasco leadership of Syriza, of Tsipras, the intellectual salvation of their by now withered flowers of their Keynesian remedy. (This speaks volumes about the value of their proposals in that they found their support and cerebral salvation in the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Greek left.) Tsipras bereft of any tenable economic policies, and rationalizing this vacuity in policy making by populist rhetorical denunciations of the policies of the Samaras government, eagerly embraced the policies of Galbraith and Varoufakis, which ideologically are cognate to his own as a ne plus ultra government interventionist himself, thus giving to his own policies some sort of academic prestige from this 'south of the border' economists that he is unable to get from more serious experts in the profession. (But beggars cannot choose.)

Indeed, the policies of Tsipras have their source in a variegated coterie of Marxists getting their inspiration from the flashing pan of Marxism, as the rising sun of the latter has long ago disappeared from the astral constellation of the universe, never to rise again. Tsipras, as a true believer of the great man, Karl Marx, attended the Marxist organised Subversive Festival of Zagreb in Croatia last March, which was likewise attended by both Galbraith and Varoufakis. Indeed, the former announced with pride his attendance of the Festival, in a lecture he gave to socialists in the German Parliament last week, where the gladiators of the great imperator Karl Marx had gathered together from all over the world and rushed into the arena of the Amphitheatre of Zagreb, with nets in one hand and swords in the other, to fight and slay the wild animals of capitalism, which their predecessors in the socialist camp, even better armed with technological weapons, had failed to slay. Moreover, Tsipras was an aficionado of Chavez and had visited Venezuela last year with the hope of getting financial help  from its president with an implied commitment of making Greece a protectorate of Venezuela, if not the European Venezuela. And yet Galbraith and Varoufakis in their political naiveté write in their article in the New York Times that the Americans have nothing to fear from a Syriza government.

Galbraith and Varoufakis, like the witches of Macbeth cursing the Samaras' government as foul, undemocratic and authoritarian, slavishly implementing the dictates of the European Union, and as economically incompetent, are predicting its downfall while stirring the pot of their quackish remedies which nobody will 'buy' other than Tsipras. Meanwhile, Samaras wisely, assiduously, and decisively is transforming Greece within the short span of one year by an unprecedented series of structural reforms that are increasing competition--Greece is in the 22 position internationally for the first time--reducing the bureaucracy, especially its inefficient part that was an obstacle to investments, and planning to make it more efficient on meritocratic standards, changing the economic milieu by making it friendly to business and investments, and leashing the arbitrary and ruinous power of unions which for many years had prevented foreign investments in the country. Moreover by his virtuoso performance in the negotiations with the European Union and the IMF, Samaras  has blunted some of the austerity measures that have been a major factor in obstructing the re-igniting of the economy and artfully polishing these measures that will put Greece on the track of development. He was able to convince the leaders of the EU to provide Greece with extra funds for employment programs that will materialize by the beginning of 2014, more resources from the European Bank of Investments so they can be ploughed into small and medium sized businesses. He has started building Autobahns that have created 25,000 new jobs and he has enticed the economically hard thinking Chinese government to invest 350,000 million Euros in the port of Piraeus thus making it the entreport of commerce between south-east Asia and Europe. ( The European Council announced that the port of Piraeus will be named as the capital port of Europe for 2015.) Also the Chinese are interested in making more investments in the infrastructure of the country, especially in its railway network by which they will transport their goods into Europe. But the most important and greatest achievement of the Samaras' government up to this moment has been the building, through Greece, of the conduit by the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) that will convey natural gas from Azerbaijan to the heart of Europe. TAP will invest the huge amount of 1.5 billion in Greece and will generate 12,000 jobs by 2014 in the country. This, according to one authority in the energy industry, has been the personal accomplishment of Samaras who in his visit of Azerbaijan and meeting with the Prime Minister of the country three weeks ago, convinced the latter that it would be more efficient and economically cheaper to build the conduit through Greece instead of through Bulgaria and Romania, a project which the international consortium backing it was favorable to win, and lost it only, with the intervention of Samaras. Furthermore, this enormous investment, behind which one of its investors is the global gigantic company BHPBilliton, engenders confidence to other investors that Greece is about to pull itself out of the crisis, and hence, encourages and attracts more investments into the country and thus will increase employment which is one of the major challenges of the government.

The government under the statesmanship of Samaras is determined to pull Greece out of the crisis and not to squander the sacrifices Greeks had to make for the economic, political, and cultural Renaissance of the country. The great, fair achievements of the Samaras government, in an unprecedented short span of time, are depicted and cursed as foul by the two Marxistoid economists, James Galbraith and Yannis Varoufakis. Ignominy, loss of intellectual honor, is of no concern to them.

I rest on my oars:Your turn now 

Thucydides Engendering Philosopher Warriors is Saviour of Western Civilization

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following is a comment of mine in a Seminar held at the Greek Community Centre in Melbourne, on the 16 of March, 2017, whose theme was, “Thucydides as Philosopher-Historian.” 

The teachings of the philosopher-historian Thucydides are taught assiduously and meticulously in the military academies of the Western world, especially in the United States and Russia.

Thus, these academies are churning out—like Plato’s academy generating philosopher-kings—philosopher-warriors. One such military savant is general Petraeus, the vanquisher of al-Qaeda in Iraq; another two, are generals McMaster and Mattis, the present occupiers respectively of the posts of National Security Adviser and of Defence, in the Trump administration. And it is not an aleatory action or chance event but a deliberate choice, on the part of Trump, that he has appointed high military personnel in key positions of his administration: In anticipatory awareness that America could be attacked with bio-chemical, and, indeed, with nuclear weapons, once the terrorists of Islam acquire them. Such an attack would overturn the USA in an instance from democracy into a military dictatorship, as only the latter could protect America and the rest of the West from this sinister existential threat that is posed by these fanatics.

Two Thucydidean fundamental principles in warfare were, “Know thy Enemy” and “Pre-emptive Attack.” Thus Thucydides in the twentieth-first century, will be the saviour of Western civilization.       

Address to the Former Chief Justice of The High Court of Australia

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In view of the prevention of terrorists attacks targeting main public centres in Melbourne during Christmas, I’m publishing the following address that was delivered by me, at the private chambers of Sir Harry Gibbs (former Chief Justice of The High Court of Australia) on December 14, 2002, who as Chairman of The Samuel Griffith Society presided over its annual general meeting.

Mr. President,

I’m aware that the issue I’m raising is not directly related to the charter of our society. But because our way of life, our values and the lives of our citizens are under threat by a deadly network of fanatic terrorists, and because these values are written and reflected in the Australian Constitution, our society as a defender of the latter, cannot avoid from being embroiled in this war against terrorism and its state sponsors. As in all wars, beyond the human and material mobilization of a nation, the moral and spiritual mobilization of its people is just as important, if not more important. I strongly believe that in the latter mobilization, our society can play a significant and important role.

Recently, there has been a cravenly and ignominious attempt to disarm the country of its strength from effectively confronting this terrorist threat. A secular and sacred chorus have sung an ode in praise of disloyalty and pusillanimity, as the best means of defence against terrorism. Four former prime ministers (Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke and Keating) a Governor General (Bill Hayden) and a motley of religious prelates, disseminated their nihilistic wisdom to the people of this country, as to whether Australia should support the United States in a war against Iraq. Their pronounciamento of No to War, was remarkable for its poverty of thought, for its lack of historical insight, and for its richness in levity. In the latter case this was demonstrated bizarrely by Mr. Keating, who in a tongue-in-cheek interview on channel 10, stated that while we should keep our important alliance with the USA, we should not support the latter in its war against Iraq. In his own inimitable words, he remarked, that a “clever nation—read a clever government under his premiership—could have its-own-cake-and-it eat—too.” Such a proposition is of course based on the assumption that the other party, in this case the USA government, is so stupid, that it would be willing to fall victim to Mr. Keating’s con-man diplomacy and would gratify his penchant of having his cake-and-eating-too.

But despite the lack of seriousness and frivolity of these ideas, propagated by this prominent group of court-jesters, it would a mistake to underestimate the great damage these ideas would make on the moral fibre and on the fighting spirit of the country. It is for this reason that this sophistry of these intellectual usurpers, must be countered and exposed for its spiritual and moral bankruptcy. It would be a historical and political folly to allow these political and religious romantics, the nipple-fed intellectuals of academe, and the populist media, to monopolise, dominate, and debase the debate on the war against terrorism. I believe that our society can play a pivotal role in counter-balancing this monopoly and exposing the brittleness of the arguments of this caricature of statesmanship.

Mr. President, I’m aware of the paucity of the material resources of our society. But this should not be a reason why the wealth of its intellect, imagination, and moral mettle, should lay fallow in these critical times.                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blog posts : "politics"

Union Power: The Wings of an Eagle Attached to a Pigeonhead

I’ve “excavated” this essay of mine from the deep-end of my archive in view of the Construction Forestry Mines Energy Union’s, CFMEU, threatening decision to publish the names and addresses of building watchdog inspectors with the aim that their “kids will be ashamed of who their parents are.” This union as king-maker, whose power is unparalleled in the industrial history of the country, which can crown and dethrone leaders of the Labor Party, as it did by appointing Bill Shorten as the federal leader of the ALP, has not the slightest concern that by naming the families of these inspectors puts at high risk the safety of their spouses and children. Moreover, its impending amalgamation with another militant union, the Marine Union of Australia, MEU, will make the CFMEU the power-broker extraordinaire. And increase more its forte to continue to break the rules and regulations of the Industrial Court with total impunity. I hope the readers of this blog will find it to be of a bit of an interest.

 

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following essay was written on April 2000. It’s republished here on this blog as I think it’s still relevant as unions continue to have a strong grip on the Labor Party. And with a possible impending recession in the US that would inevitably effect the Australian economy, a Rudd victory in the coming election will bring the unions exercising their pernicious behind the times influence on the front benches of a Labor government. And hence exacerbate the peril of the economy of the country in conditions of recession. Lest we forget, it was in the UK in the mid-sixties under Labor governments that ‘trade-union-led “wage push” was the driving force behind inflation and subsequent breakdown of Keynesian policy’. Richard Kahn, one of the closest disciples of Keynes, when he was asked about this breakdown of Keynesian policy, he answered, ‘we never thought the leaders of the trade unions could behave so stupidly’. This stupidity was coined at the time in the term of stagflation, the proud creation of the unions. And this doltishness of the unions is alive and well in our times as it’s still fueled by the false Marxist doctrine of class struggle. This is the danger that trade unions could inflict to the Australian economy under a Rudd government. As for Rudd’s “education revolution” by providing students with laptops, the mountain has brought forth a mouse. Australia is already among the top nations that provides computers to its students. But on the quintessence of education revolution which has to deal with its human capital, i.e., its teachers, who have to be selected on merit and ability and on their teaching methods, two burning issues on which the education unions will not budge, Rudd remains silent. He also claims that his government will be a government of “fresh ideas and new leadership”. But after his lustful embrace of me tooism of some major liberal policies during the electoral campaign, Rudd pellucidly reveals that his government will not be a government of “new leadership” but a government of mimicry. 

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The ascendancy of the Labor Party to the treasury benches in Victoria, has churned in its wake a billow of waves of industrial action by an amalgam of union power that threatens to shipwreck the economic vibrancy of the state. The outcome of such fatuous action by the unions will be to induce a flight of investment capital from Victoria to other states, as current and would-be employers of this state would feel too insecure to invest in an environment of industrial turmoil. This is especially so when the Labor government and its leader Steve Bracks are perceived to be irresolute and too weak-kneed to control and rein in this outdated aggression and belligerence of the unions against employers.

The excessive and irrational demands of the unions for a thirty-six hour working week and a 24 percent increase in wages, which if they were successful in obtaining initially in the construction industry and their inevitable flow into some other industries, would have the ineluctable result of throwing thousands of workers among the ranks of the unemployed. This would be a tragic repetition of what happened in the metal industry in the late 80s as a result of excessive union claims, under the then Federal Secretary of the Metal Trades Union, George Campbell—a political stallion of the Left and presently a Labor Senator who is going to be replaced by another stalwart left-winger Doug Cameron who has indisputable credentials of being in the past a real “communist under the bed”—whom the Treasurer Paul Keating accused of having a necklace of 100,000 dismissed metal workers around his neck.

It’s obvious that the unions are afflicted by an innate inability to learn from their past sloppy errors. And like a recurring malady they are bound to contaminate the economy of the country with the calamitous mistakes of the past. The consequences of a repeated mistake, however, are more tragic than the consequences of an initial one and therefore carry a greater responsibility. An action that is performed for the first time is experimental in regard to its consequences, as no one, without the gifts of Tiresias, can predict or foresee whether its results will be benign or malign.  (Not that the unions could be excused for their first error. There was ample evidence of a global scale at the time, and enough forewarnings by eminent economists, that excessive union claims within the confines of global competition would inexorably lead to the flight of capital from regions these claims were impacting upon, and hence to unemployment.) But an action that is repeated deliberately and wantonly in spite of knowledge of its harmful effects in the past is intellectually malevolent and morally culpable.

Whose Culpability is Greater the Union’s or the Government’s

Two questions therefore arise. Is the intelligence of unions commensurate with their powers? Or is it the case that union power is more like the wings of an eagle attached to a pigeon head? If the answer to the second question is affirmative, then one further question is posed, i.e., why then was the political wing of the Labor Party, which is now in government and having the expertise of knowing better about the dire economic effects of industrial unrest to the country nonetheless was unwilling to intervene promptly and decisively to block the irrational and pernicious claims of its industrial wing, which as a government of all Victorians—Premier Brack’s slogan—was committed in doing? Furthermore, why was the government’s immediate reaction to blame the Federal government’s industrial legislation for the ongoing industrial unrest instead of doing something that would have stifled the industrial dispute in its initial stages, for which it had prior knowledge, and using the subterfuge of an excuse that it was constrained by the legislation and could do nothing effective toward its resolution? Both the deputy leader of the government John Twaites and the Minister of Industrial Relations Monica Gould, used this feeble argument, when in fact with the return of the Premier from Davos  the latter forced the union involved in the dispute of the Yallourn power station to return back to work by imposing hefty fines upon its members, hence demonstrating that the government had the power to do something effective to resolve the dispute? Wasn’t it rather, the attempt to shift the blame to the federal legislation, a poor ruse, indeed, a camouflage, to cover its lack of will to intervene timely and decisively and derail the union from its “crashing” course? Yet, the belated action was effective, even if it was done halfheartedly. But what other alternative the government had, at the end of its honeymoon with the electorate, other than to send the stalled fire engines out to extinguish the full blown fire, if it was not to be seen, and impugned, in the electorates eyes, as politically effete and incompetent?

This is a basic characteristic, however, and an irreversible syndrome of Labor governments. To intervene in industrial disputes only when political necessity dictates, i.e., only when these disputes have reached a high point with the potential of harming the economy, and hence would be politically damaging. For organizational and ideological reasons Labor governments are not prone to intervene in the wrangles of their comrade-in-arms with employers, but do so only as a last resort.

This general inaction of Labor governments in industrial disputes is a result first, of a common ideology shared with the unions whose core emanates from the principles of socialism, and secondly, from its constitutional organizational structures that tie the political and industrial wings of the Party into a powerful body and into a compact of consensus that determines the functions of each wing. In conference after conference of the Party, the common and often repeated refrain is that Labor occupies the treasury benches only for the purpose of implementing policies which are discussed and ratified in state and federal conferences in whose conception the unions and its sundry representatives, mainly academics, have a major input. The union’s dominance is illustrated not only in the generation and formation of policies (Its architects generally are academics from the Left, whose intellectual frustration is at a boiling point because their ideas and policies cannot pass muster among other academic luminaries, but who do find a paradisiacal outlet for their “time-stopped” ideas, as well as an adulatory audience among their comrades in the unions, who normally cannot separate the wheat from the chaff of these ideas), but also on the conference floor as sixty percent of its delegates must be union representatives according to the Party’s constitution.

The larger and, especially, the more militant unions have such a firm grip in the election of delegates to Party forums, that even ministers and would-be premiers often cannot be elected to these meetings. Many ministers , therefore, who are unable to be elected to conferences on their own authority, resort to “begging” less militant unions to be placed in their delegations as constitutionally the unions have the authority to do so. Hence only as supplicants to the unions are ministers able to participate in conferences. For example, Jim Kennan, the Attorney General in the Cain Government, for many years was a delegate of the Clothing Trades Union. Likewise too, Steven Bracks, the current premier, was a delegate of the same union, who had taken Kennan’s place with the latter’s departure from politics. Other ministers who are not as fortunate to be union delegates attend conferences as visitors and observers without the right to move, or vote for, resolutions of the conference. Hence, ministers and many of their advisers are left out from the formulation and ratification of the Party’s policies. Such is the power and influence of unions in the organizational procedures of the Party, that often they cal “lock-out” important ministers who are not close to their ideological positions, from the highest policymaking bodies of the Party.

Moreover, the grip of the unions is extended to the pre-selection procedures of the candidates of the Party as well as in the choosing and changes of the parliamentary leadership, both in the state and federal domains. Who can forget for instance the telephone call that Paul Keating made, during his challenge of Bob Hawke, to Wally Curren, secretary of the Meat Workers Union asking him for his support in the coming challenge to Hawke for the leadership of the government? And Curren obliging, by forcing those MP’s from Victoria who owed their position in parliament to his patronage, to vote for Keating? This irritated Bob Hawke so much asking who Wally Curren was pretending thus ironically that he himself who had ousted and replaced Bill Hayden with union support was not cognizant of the influence trade union leaders have in pre-selections. As for the branches of the Party they play a superficial role in the pre-selection of candidates as they too in turn are influenced in their decisions by the organizational power of the unions.

Labor Politicians at the Mercy of Unions

Being therefore at the mercy of unions for their parliamentary positions and for the buttering of their bread, labor politicians, with some exceptions, are cast as toadies of the unions. Only the Federal Executive of the Party can intervene can intervene and save a ministerial or a backbencher’s scalp from the tomahawk of the unions. This occurred when John Halpenny, the Secretary of the Trades Hall Council in Victoria. were placed in the number one position on the senate ticket, with massive union support, in the 1988 federal election, relegating the leader of the Senate, John Button, to the second position. And in the election following the one in 1988, some of the left-wing unions were deliberating whether or not to place Gareth Evans, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the second position on the senate ticket. Only some sober heads at the last moment saved the glitterati Minister from the rusty and blood-stained tomahawk of the unions and from posthumous obloquy. (But the power of the Federal Executive is limited, as is illustrated in the present coming election of 2007 in the seat of Coreo, where the current seating member, Gavin O’Connor, is replaced by an assistant secretary of the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions), against the wishes of the Executive.)

It’s for all the above reasons, this congeniality of interests between Labor governments and unions that prevents the former from acting timely and decisively in industrial disputes. And even when they do as a last resort they cannot be impartial in their involvement. The Brack government being captive to the unions has to cater to the latter’s voracious appetite on a number of issues: On the restoration of common law damages for injured workers, which has already being done by passing the relevant legislation in parliament, on the restitution of industrial policy back to the State Government, so the latter can abolish the industrial contracts of the Federal Government, whose aim is to eliminate union dominance in industry negotiations, and to replace them with collective bargaining, hence restoring union coercion and thuggery during negotiations with employers. On these issues and on many others, the Labor government is hamstrung by union power. Whether the former will be able to deliver on these issues will depend on the political climate of the day and on the degree of resonance such a delivery will have upon the electorate.

Steve Brack’s therefore, like a trapeze artist, has to walk on a tight rope whose one end is held by the unions and the other by the community, and perform his balancing act. While gratifying the union claims, with potentially destructive consequences to the economy of the State, at the same time he has to keep its economic robustness, inherited from his liberal predecessor, Jeff Kennet, intact, hence erasing any fears or consternations the community might have about the new industrial course of his government.

It’s with this purpose in mind to win the confidence of Victorians and of some naïve employers that Steve Bracks lately set up a new stage with an old play. His government lacking any originality or lateral thinking in policymaking ransacked the ram shackled spider web storehouse of past Labor policies to bring out the nostrums of “old age”. The summit of “Growing Victoria Together”, chaired by that scion of Labor power, Bob Hawke, was such a nostrum. Imbibing a strong dose of self-deception, Bracks was hopeful that by attracting some old and new celebrities from the industrial club and from business to the summit the public would be hoodwinked and believe that something substantial would come from the coupling of these celebrities. What in fact happened, was that each spokesperson of this divided house of unions and employers, voiced plaintively their complaints and grievances against each other with the result that they were not able to reach an agreement as to how and by what prudent set of actions, they would carry out the growth of Victoria. The rhetorical statement at the end of the summit, spun by the golden threads of the cerebral and literary qualities of Bob Hawke and his wife, respectively, could hardly hide the practical hollowness of the summit. What the latter did was to set up a number of committees to look at a number of issues.  Such as education and training, investment in training, industrial relations, health and wellbeing indicators to measure performance in meeting social goals, infrastructure, the impact of payroll tax on job and wealth creation , and the audit of government services in country communities. It also set up an advisory body to strengthen community input, oblivious of the fact, that while the latter is important it is not a substitute for political leadership. Forgetful also of the fact that the achievement of this laudable “prospectus”, is absolutely dependent on calm industrial relations. And therefore cannot be achieved while the agitated firebrand steam of the unions continues unabated.

Hence, the mountain (the summit) has brought forth a mouse which is at the mercy of the cat’s paws, the unions. Furthermore, as so many of the issues are to be shoved to committees, whose members are deeply divided on the central issue of industrial relations, they are inevitably going to be dealt with in a banal hackneyed manner, since their members will be unable to reach a mutual agreement on the key issue of industrial relations. Hence the summit’s “debris-deliberations” will be proven to be a barren exercise.

The Bracks’ government by its farcical and enervating stand toward the unions and by its populist stand toward the public threatens to throw Victoria into the doldrums as well as empty the coffers of the treasury. This is not a government of substance but a government of images—the images of a dead past. But funeral rites for dead images can be very expensive to the general community, both in terms of tax increases and unemployment. 

I rest on my oars: Your turn now

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Greece: What to Do with Missed the Mark Politics of Pasok and the Democratic Left?

By Con George-Kotzabasis May 3, 2013

The Samaras’ Government, like Atlas on his back, is carrying and attempting to transform and move Greece’s awesome heavy burden of unprecedented economic insolvency, since the ending of the Second-World-War, onto the stage of economic recovery and development. By succeeding in this most difficult enterprise it will also justify the positive, against the negative, economic remedies formulated in the second Memorandum by the European Union (EU), the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the so called Troika, for the purpose of saving Greece from economic catastrophe, and thus simultaneously enhance the credibility, and indeed, the survival of the EU as an institution of crucial influence and guidance in world affairs.

In this call to national salvation three politically and ideologically disparate parties 0f New Democracy, Pasok, (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) and the Democratic Left (Demar) decided to form a coalition government whose main goal was to keep Greece within the European Union and salvage the country, with the financial help of the latter, from economic bankruptcy that would have devastated the standard of living of the major part of the population and would have brought a proud nation to the status of indigence and economic despair for at least a generation. The two leaders, of Pasok and Demar, Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis, respectively, seeing the prodigious dangers the country was facing, raised their height to these dire circumstances and wisely decided to stand hand in hand with an ideological opponent, that is, the liberal conservative party of New Democracy and its leader Antonis Samaras, for the purpose of saving Greece from this imminent catastrophe. Hence the two leaders of the left put their ideological reputation and the future viability, and, indeed, the existence of their parties at immense risk by their decision to support a government led by Samaras, their erstwhile conservative opponent, and tie themselves and their parties to the fortunes of the latter, that is, whether the Samaras’ government will succeed or not in pulling the country out of the crisis and start the economic development that is so vital in overcoming the terrifying economic difficulties that Greece countenances at the moment.

There are grounds to make one believe that Greece economically and politically might be at a turning point. The Samaras government after succeeding in convincing its European partners, in exceedingly difficult negotiations, to provide the funds Greece needed, to ignite its economy and place the country on the path of development, under less onerous terms of the bailout than the initial ones the Europeans were demanding. This was a great success and a great achievement of the government and demonstrating at the same time its virtuoso skills in the art of negotiations.

The government announced last month that it had beat its budget targets for 2012. Finance Minister Stournaras claimed that the government was close to achieving a primary surplus—the budget surplus before taking into account payments on the debt—this year that would deliver, according to the mutual agreement of the parties, a further package of help from the Euro-zone.  Employment statistics also showed, that within the span of the last two months the number of workers hired exceeded by nearly nine thousand the number of workers dismissed for the first time since the crisis. Furthermore, the recapitalization of the banks was on track and bound to be consummated in the next few weeks and the spigots of liquidity were therefore ready to be opened that would provide the private sector the funds for investment. Last week, the president of the National Bank stated that levels of liquidity are progressively established and 10 billion Euros could flow into the real economy. And already 50% of one thousand of small and large private enterprises announced that they were preparing to start investing within the current year. The internationally renowned telecommunications company Nokia is planning to establish a branch in Athens that would employ hundreds of highly skilled technicians and could become a magnet that would attract other foreign corporate giants to the country and thus by their presence would provide a continuous economic confidence for the country’s future. The Task Force of the European Commission last week issued favourable reports that the Greek economy was about to be re-ignited although it warned the government that small businesses had been dried of funds and their future operations were at risk. Also the credit ratings agency Moody’s estimated that Greece would have a positive rate of growth in 2014, after five years of negative growth.

Thus we see that there are ample encouraging signs that Greece might be at the crucial point of overcoming the crisis. It is most important therefore that the two parties, Pasok and Demar, that support the Samaras government, must first take note of these auspicious indices and that the current measures of the government are putting the country on the axis of economic development, and second, must not jeopardise this favourable situation by rigidly sticking to their parties position on other issues, such as labor relations and on the restructuring of the public sector, which are contrary to the overall current policy of the government and could endanger the economic progress the latter is making in overcoming the crisis.

The coalition partners must become fully aware that their political viability is tied up not with the sacred ideological position these parties hold on a variety of issues, contra the neo-liberal position of New Democracy, and pushing these toward their consummation, at this critical juncture whose primary goal is the salvation of the country, is a most imprudent diversion from the main goal. On the contrary, their political future is tied up with the success of the Samaras government in pulling the country out of the crisis. The electorate will not remember them and will not elect them for being pure to their ideological position but for their pragmatic support of a neo-liberal government that saved Greece from economic oblivion and mass poverty. In the event the Samaras administration fails in this complex immensely difficult and great task would likewise totally discredit and everlastingly condemn and cast to political oblivion both Pasok and Demar for their support of this failed government, no matter how favorable the former have been on other minor issues, in comparison to the major issue, that are dear to the hearts of the many. Their responsibility to the country and to themselves therefore lies in their pragmatic assessment of the policies of the government beyond ideology as to whether they are better placed to extricate the country from the crisis.

It is for this reason that in this process of the Renaissance of Greece, under the wise and strong leadership of Antonis Samaras, the cohesion of these partners in the salvation of the country is of unaccountable importance. Thus for Pasok and Demar not to miss the mark is to realize that the failure or success, in this uniquely historical venture of saving Greece, will determine their political viability in the future and not their ideological hues on secondary issues.

I rest on my oars:your turn now

 

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Functional Government a Prerequisite for Handling Crisis in Greece

I'm republishing the following short piece that was written on June 20, 2012. As events have shown since then  it was the unity of the tripartite government of New Democracy, Pasok, and the Democratic Left, that was set-up post-election, in regard to the policies to be followed with its negotiations with the European Union that has kept Greece within the union and has given the country a new opportunity to overcome the crisis. There are favorable signs that Greece under the strong and resilient leadership of Antonis Samaras the miracle of an economically resurgent Greece is about to unfold. 

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The present position of Evangelos Venizelos the leader of Pasok that the government to be formed on June 18 must include Syriza in a coalition of other parties so that it can presumably deal more effectively with European leaders in regard to the necessary modifications of the Second Memorandum, is to repeat the stupendous error of the Democratic Left, under the pusillanimous leadership of Fotis Kouvelis, when it too had placed the same pre-condition after the May 6 election. The present profound crisis of Greece needs a functional government with united policies and realistic and decisive leadership that can pull the country out of the crisis and not a government of factions whose deep differences of how to handle the negotiations with the European Union would inevitably lead to intestine fights and to the collapse of such government that would seriously exacerbate the crisis. Thus the pleading for a wider coalition as Venizelos proposes will result with mathematical precision to a dysfunctional government irretrievably incapable of handling the crisis.

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Greek Professor Disparages Newly Elected Government



The play is the thing/Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King Hamlet

By Con George-Kotzabasis


A brief ‘playful’ reply to Professor Varoufakis’s post on his blog of the 18th
of July followed by his guilt-ridden counter-reply.


Why are you associating, even thinly, this ‘ponzi’ scheme that was consummated between May 2009 and January 2011 with the newly elected tri-partite government of Antonis Samaras? Why are you
‘carpingly’ searching to find faults in the present government and crave to be the Italian submarine commander to torpedo
and sink the Elli (in the 1930’s an Italian U-boat sunk the Greek
cruiser Elli in the harbour of Rhodus), the Samaras’ government, in the midst
of its Herculean and admirable efforts just began to salvage Greece from its
present tragic predicament? Is it because all you are concerned with is that
with the failure of government you will be able to illustriously tell your
friend Yannis Stournaras (the present Finance Minister), I told you so!


Professor
Varoufakis says,

When a scandal surfaces it is the government
and justices of the day that have a duty and obligation to investigate. Mr
Samaras and his cabinet have a golden opportunity to confirm your trust and
hope in them. Will they take it?

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Presence of U.S. and Western Troops Underpins Survival of Afghans From Blitz of Taliban

By Con George-Kotzabasis --A short reply to an American Liberal

The better question is, in my opinion, how many Afghans want the U.S. out and how many of them want the Taliban back in? That is where the “real argument’ lies. The fact is that there is a substantial number of Afghans that can only survive by the presence of U.S. and Western troops at this particular political and military juncture of the country.

 To consider that this “flexing of its muscles” by the United States is for “empire” and not an ‘aggressive’ pre-emptive attack against an irreconcilable deadly foe is to be stuck in the rut of conventional leftist unimaginative thinking.

 The Iraq Surge was not only quantitative but al;so qualitative. It was completely a new strategy that used the means of war imaginatively and remorselessly against the insurgents as well as baiting the latter with monetary incentives to switch sides or disarm. In war one has to use all means at one’s disposal creatively to subdue an enemy. In the toppling of the Taliban on November 2001, the CIA saturated the Northern Alliance with caches of money, military equipment, and intelligence that defeated the Taliban within forty days without any American troops fighting on the ground.

 

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Democrats Strategic Misperception of the War in Iraq

The following article that was written on June 2007 illustrates how wrong the critics of the war in Iraq have been.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The Democrats after seductively saying “I do” to the war bride of President Bush in their nuptial bliss to her four years ago, are wishing now that their bliss has been transmogrified into the difficulties and ugliness of war to dump and replace the old ugly hag of war with the beautiful “maiden” named “political solution”. Now that the war is showing its true changeless nature and its ugly features, the “teddy boy” Democrats, too timorous and panic-stricken to face its monstrous mien are scrambling before it and running to hide under the maiden’s bed sheets. Having lost once their hearts and minds to the goddess of war Minerva, presently they are losing their hearts and minds to retreat and ignominious defeat since they consider that a military solution in Iraq is impossible. Hence their current vehement opposition to President Bush’s new strategy in Iraq.

Politically buoyed by the unpopularity of the war and the massive opposition to it by Americans, that led the Democrats to capture both houses of Congress in the November elections, they have chosen to turn themselves into populist leaders, in these dangerous times that have been forged by the fire and ashes of September 11, and hence they have become turncoats to their historical, political, and moral responsibilities to the future of America. Instead of leading from the front they are leading from the “tail”, pushed by the populist wind.

While President Bush is seizing the chances of winning the war by their “forelock”, to paraphrase Friedrich Nietzsche, with his quantified and qualified Surge, i.e., new rules of engagement, the devastating use of the means of war against the insurgents, and tackling the “forays” of Iran and Syria in Iraq, the Democrats are deflating their surge of honor and political and strategic nous into the fizzling balloon of populism. The fierce indomitable adventurous spirit of Moby-Dick’s captain Ahab, who would “strike the sun if it insulted him”, that is the spirit of America, is transformed by the Democrats and the besotted with defeatism “speakeasy” media, into a romantic misadventure. Their romance with a political solution in Iraq is no more than a political misadventure at the expense of the vital interests of America and its people.

America is at War

America in the aftermath of September 11 is not involved in a skirmish with the holy warriors of Islam, but in a global war against them. The attack on the twin towers in New York by the suicidal fanatic recruits of Islam, has however redefined the meaning of war. The decisive existential battles of the West against the fundamentalists of Islam are not to be fought behind Maginot Lines and by panzer divisions against clear-cut enemy lines whose combatants are easily identified, but among civilian populations where the terrorists live, are nurtured and hide and are indistinguishable from, and from where they launch their cowardly stealthy murderous attacks against civilians and on the military forces that try to protect them. Moreover, these suicide bombers with belts of death around their bi-gender waists clad in civilian clothes, are “identified” mostly only after perpetrating their murderous actions and not before. Also, this foreground of the terrorists has a concomitant lethal background of fifth columnists that reside as citizens and blend with their more moderate co-religionists in the countries that are waging war against global terror. Lastly, the overt supplying of arms and finance by rogue states, such as Iran and Syria, and covertly by the so called cultural fronts of other nations, such as Saudi Arabia, is a crucial element in fuelling the deadly actions of the global jihadists as well as “oiling” the world-wide Wahhabi Madrassas and Mosques that are the breeding grounds and cradles of Muslim Saudi “bastard” fanaticism. Taking also in consideration that in the near future these war-martyrs of Islam would be possibly armed with weapons of mass destruction, and, indeed, with nuclear weapons, which they would unhesitatingly use against the infidels of the West, since in their warped minds this is decreed by their Allah, this would be the ultimate greatest danger to the survival of Western civilization.

It’s all the above factors that have redefined the meaning of war and its combatants. The war that is waged by the jihadists against America, the sole superpower, and the “infidel” West, is the most “economical” war that one could ever fight, i.e., with box cutters and Saudi “subsidized” tickets on air flights. The “wealth” of fanaticism needs only to be armed with the poorest of war means to subdue and slay the wealthiest military power on earth, America. The holy warriors, making the most of their shadowy existence, have only to be armed economically with the most nondescript but lethal weapons, to bring about havoc, fear, and immeasurable destruction among civilians in the major cities of the West. Their arming with weapons of mass destruction and nuclear ones will bring the Islamist Armageddon in the metropolises of Western civilization.

This is the tragic reality that the latter will be facing especially because many of its political elites, academia, and media are afflicted by a poverty of thought, imagination, and historical sense, that is making them deaf to the reverberating hoofing sound that is send forth by the galloping Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with their unsheathed scimitars aiming to behead Western civilization. In America itself, the indigence of cognitive power among many of its politicians and cultural and media elites makes the country powerless, despite its military supremacy, to confront this great danger that would engulf and drown America itself in this Mohammedan made deluge.

The Democrats, especially, lacking Churchillian mettle and wisdom, are morphing themselves into political eunuchs, impotent to mobilize the American people behind a winning military and political strategy, presently attempted by general David Petraeus in Iraq, that will deal a decisive mortal blow to this irreconcilable and tenacious enemy and thus defeat the infamy of global Islamist terror sooner than later. They are totally unaware of the elementary lesson of history that instructs that when one confronts an irreconcilable remorseless enemy, whom no diplomatic demarche, no matter how refined and clever, will ever induce him to negotiate, as is the case of the jihadist and his divinely ordained grievances, it is wise to destroy him while he is still weak and before he becomes stronger.

Hence, the Democrats' search for a political solution, without the backing and relentless use of military power, is not only most unwise, but also a mortal political sin. The speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and the leader of the Senate Harry Reid, will be immortalized by being quartered in Dante’s Inferno for their political sins.

I rest on my oars:your turn now

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Dilemma of Backing Militaristic Regimes in Tribal Muslim Countries

By Con George-Kotzabasis—A short reply to:

The subterranean world of Pakistan’s Byzantine politics

 By Bruce Haigh Online Opinion Australia

 It’s completely unpalatable to the hors d’oeuvres tastes of the left-leaning intelligentsia in this country and elsewhere, who are disgusted with U.S. foreign policy, to realize and acknowledge that America is involved in a long war with an invisible determined, malicious and lethal enemy fighting him on many shifting-fronts in a war without borders. Nor does it acknowledge that only America, with all its fault lines, can defeat ultimately this fanatic Islamic threat that has placed a “gestating” nuclear ticking bomb under the foundations of Western civilization. Nor does it perceive that many Western governments and their peoples do not see the holy warriors of Islam as a great threat and consider this to be America’s war--just another page of its imperialistic interests and goals—which makes it hard for the U.S. to find solid allies in this war. Moreover, this dearth of solid allies is more prominent in Muslim countries which, although they might feel threatened by al Qaeda and its multiple affiliates in the Muslim world, for religious and political reasons cannot commit themselves fully behind America. Hence, it follows that in Muslim countries there are no many horses for courses. As the diplomatic-political course is limited and only one or two horses have a chance to ‘win the race’. That is why the U.S. cannot find and back another more politically favorable horse that could win the race since no such steed presently exists and perforce is compelled to chose one from those available.

Bruce Haigh’s argument clearly implies the latter, although he loathes admitting it openly, otherwise he would have named the winning horses in contrast to the “losing” ones, according to him, of President Musharraf and the deceased Bhutto. But was the American initiative of backing Musharraf and Bhutto a losing policy? The policymakers of the Bush administration were aware--Bruce is not—that in a country such as Pakistan the ‘military horse’ is the only force of stability. And it often has to rule the country by decree and the suspension of democratic liberties as a safety measure, otherwise the country could fall in the anarchy of tribal warfare and ultimately in the lap of the Islamic fundamentalists.      

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The Poverty of Western Strategies in the Age of Godly Inspired Terror

In the beginning was the deed… ‘war’. As strife is the fate and glory of mankind, to paraphrase the illustrious philosopher Heraclitus

The following text, written on July 3, 2007, is a slightly modified reply To Colonel Dr. David Kilcullen, the Australian advisor to General David Petraeus commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, on his paper New Paradigms for 21st Century Conflict, published on June 23, 2007 in Small Wars Journal blog.

By Con George-Kotzabasis

 

In the sad “roll call” of the heavy casualties that your brave soldiers are sustaining as a result of the initial mistakes of the occupation, your paper is most encouraging and sanguine with its fecund and rich crop of ideas and its attempt to “split the atom” of the conduct of war in the age of godly inspired global borderless anarchic terror. As you correctly point out, all the paradigms of past wars, in an era when one is fighting a shadowy not easily identified enemy clad in civilian clothes and not less frequently in women’s, with a deadly belt around their bi-gender midriffs, and whose mode of warfare is not to fight its foes openly and directly but stealthily, are completely obsolete. This is why the “ancien regime” of war paradigms must be overthrown, since the line of their success has reached the end of its tether.

The   new regime of paradigms must have as constituent parts the art of diplomacy, political virtuosity, and military might. But its parts will not have equal value. The enemy we are engaged with is not a rational enemy, but an irrational one of whose fighting fervor and suicidal attacks emanate from his perceived special relationship with his God. Hence, he is not prone to listen to the calls of “earthly” reason, since he only listens to the calls of an “afterlife”. He cannot be pacified by diplomatic and political concessions or by economic rewards, and he will accept the latter only as a respite that will enable him to build his forces for future attacks. Nor will he be “contained” in his aggressive actions by the threat of overwhelming military force, and indeed, not even by nuclear deterrence, as a rational actor would. In such a conflict, diplomacy and politics will play an auxiliary part to the primary and vital part of the military. And in this “unholy” trinity, it will be the military that will be calling the shots. If in past, more transcendental philosophical times, the goal was for philosopher-kings to rule, in our, more down to earth and dangerous times, it will be soldier-savants in the major part that will determine the strategies and the course of war.  Political elites will have the important quest and duty of (a) bringing together a notable alliance of nations against the jihadists and the states that support them, (b) supplying their military the material and spiritual wherewithal to wage war, and in the case of America, the Commander-In-Chief by exercising his constitutional right wisely in his selection and appointment of the best commanders on the ground render to them the freedom  and the discretion to use the appropriate methods and armaments, that will defeat the enemy, as it’s the vocation of soldiers to wage and win wars not the politicians, and (c) along with the media, will have the historical responsibility to unify their people behind the great and Herculean task of their armed forces.

The primary and pivotal role that the military will have in this conflict rises from the nature and characteristics of this, unarguably, long war. First, the latter is not only global but also borderless. Strategically, it’s the ultimate absurdity when the terrorists or insurgents can find safe haven by crossing the borders of the country where they are waging war, that the nations that are engaged in war with them should continue to respect the national sovereignty of nations that allow their enemies to enter and use their own territories as safety zones and conduits of military supplies. (The strategic mistakes of the Vietnam War and the Cambodian sanctuary must not be repeated.) Those who are fighting them must pursue them over the border and destroy them. If international armed outlaws can cross the borders of sovereign nations then the lawful nations who are trying to apprehend them and punish them, have every right to cross these borders too. And the commanders on the ground will decide when to do so on the spot and expeditiously without being obstructed by the dilatoriness of political and legal deliberations. The nations that ostensibly are against terror, must sign a covenant with those nations whose armed forces are engaged in war against it, that they will allow these forces to cross their borders whenever their commanders on the ground consider this to be necessary.

Secondly, because of the simplicity in launching their lethal attacks-it takes only a “girdle” to spread havoc-this is an anarchic terror with no central command to plan its attacks. Every ordinary humdrum fanatic can find few brothers in their desire to pursue the seventy-two virgins. The Islamist fanatics like bin Laden and Zawahiri are not leaders in control of their forces, but sorcerer’s apprentices who have released the genii of terror without being able to control its actions that politically and strategically would have maximum impact. This is illustrated by many examples, the latest ones are Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon, and the terrorist group in Palestine who hold the British correspondent and who refuse to obey the orders of Hamas. And, indeed, this anarchic element of terror could be its Achilles’ heel. As strategically commanders who lose control of their troops are bound in the end to lose the war.

Of course, as you correctly point out, their leaders will use even these random actions of the terrorists in their propaganda to influence people in the West. And it might be true that their propaganda is on the winning side, but this not due to their cleverness but to the fact of the openness and transparency of democratic societies of whose political, media, and public response is so predictable. This multi-celled terror whose cells are spread in many parts of the world, both in Muslim countries and in the Muslim diaspora that has flooded the West, can only be dealt effectively by military and special forces led by their commanders on the ground improvising the best tactical responses and techniques that will cower and destroy this cellular body of terror. It’s therefore the nature and the long duration of this war that makes the paramountcy of the military the sine qua non for the defeat of this global menace.

THE BOOMERANG OF TERROR  

Moreover, psychologically and strategically, it’s of the utmost necessity to transplant the fear of terror into the hearts of the terrorists themselves. As only this boomerang of terror can defeat terror. This can be accomplished, as I had suggested six years ago (This proposal was sent to the Whitehouse on November, 2001), by setting up a covert global operational plan that will enlist the best active and non-active soldiers from an international pool and deploy them as hit squads. This clandestine group of transnational condottieri will aim at the elimination of the jihadist leaders as well as the religious radical preachers, wherever they happen to reside in the East or in the West. In my opinion it’s a stupendous folly while your soldiers are fighting the insurgents and terrorists in the foreground of battle to allow your “rear” to be inundated by a proliferation of fanatic recruits that are sired in rabbit numbers in the background of the Mosques and the madrassas which continue to supply the ranks of the terrorists with new recruits in greater numbers than you can eliminate them. The unanswerable as yet question is whether the leaders of Western civilization will have the mettle and sagacity to use uncivilized methods and means to defeat this barbaric horde, whose eschatological goal is to put an end to civilized life. One must be “brutally unsentimental’ as to the use of the instruments of war, to quote Roy Jenkins from his magisterial biography of  Winston Churchill, as the latter  was in the use of poison gas in the First World War.

Finally, your concept of  “anthropology”, that sheds like a beacon its light upon the turbulent sea of terror, searching not only for the causes of this turbulence but also for the social, civil, and political unrest and repercussions upon people who breathe this terror day and night, and how the counterinsurgency should address them, is most interesting. And it’s cheering and heartening to see that your new tactics to clear and hold and isolate the insurgents from the civilian population show some positive signs in the al Anbar province. I would only couple it with its other half “anthropotheology”, since this martyr’s terror is mainly fuelled with the fire of Allahu Akbar.

I also agree entirely with our confrere in this discussion, Hawkwood.

Well done, Dr. Kilcullen

Delenda est Carthago                          

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Menagerie of Multiculturalism Can only Give Rise to Internal Conflict

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The writer of this article does not make a distinction between perceived and real threats. And like an alchemist he transforms real threats into perceived ones. The Muslim internal fundamentalist threat is not imaginary but a real one. And as such, it inevitably raises the hackles of hostility of most Australians.

 One should give therefore “the good old Aussie finger” to all the shallow cultural and political analysts, like Professor Robert Manne, who are unable to make a serious contribution to the complexities that rise in a society that has a “menagerie” of different cultures in its midst, that ultimately are bound to clash with each other.

 

 

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Don't Overplay the Fiddle of Legal Process When Civilization is Threatened with Burning

I’m republishing the following piece for the readers of this new blog.

 By Con George-Kotzabasis

 

A brief reply to: This Time We Were Lucky. This Time…by William Rees-Mogg in The TimesOnline July 2, 2007

Luck is a scarce visitor in the affairs of mankind and in the Age of Terror one scarcely would expect it to come the second time around.  Sir William argues in his article, in the aftermath of the failed attempts of the terrorists in London and Glasgow, that “the danger will become greater” and therefore we need new laws to protect ourselves. He also contends, that there are serious flaws in our culture that hinder us from fighting effectively against this external and internal foe.

 

As always Sir William pens his thoughts with wisdom and one would be a fool not to take them seriously. If the danger is going to be greater in the future, as he correctly points out, then the present “gaps” in our legal system must be closed. That means that the old regime of laws which are completely inadequate against religiously inspired terror must be overthrown and replaced with a new regime of laws that will apprehend and convict terrorists not on “solid evidence”, as he argues, which in the murky and shadowy world of terror is a will-o’-the-wisp search, but on reasonable suspicion.

 

Furthermore, our culture is flawed because of our mutual respect for other cultures, for our tolerance, generosity, care, and kindness that we continue to exercise ceaselessly in these most unkind of times generated by the atrocious actions of the terrorists. It’s therefore necessary that we harden some of the soft features of our culture that prevent us up till now to take on this great and long challenge posed by global terror. By a set of stronger measures and imaginative concepts that will have a chance quickly and decisively to subdue this portentous danger that arises from an irreconcilable and undeterred enemy, who having been bred in the madrassas and Mosques has been anointed with his suicidal fanaticism. Western governments therefore will have to counter-generate the moral fortitude that in the legislation of these new laws the latter will make the most “unkind of cuts”, that is, deny suspects of home-grown terror of a spate of legal processes that normally apply in peaceful times but should never apply in times of war.

 

This is more urgent than ever because of the logic of this war. If unarguably the latter is going to be a long war with a remorseless, immoral, evil enemy who is not open to negotiation or to political or economic rewards and whose goal is the accomplishment of his godly mission, one does not have to be a prophet to foresee that with the inevitable further development in technology and its easier accessibility by people, the holy warriors of Islam will soon be armed with weapons of mass destruction, and indeed, with nuclear ones. And boosted by their religious fervor will unhesitatingly use them against the infidels of the West. Hence, these jihadists in civilian clothes with their deadly belts around their bi-gender, and indeed, teenage midriffs, will open the door to Armageddon.

 

Politically and strategically it’s always prudent to defeat such an enemy, by using against him both overt and covert overwhelming force, while he is still weak and before he becomes stronger. The question however is, whether the political leaders of Western civilization will have the wisdom and mettle to use “uncivilized” means and methods to defeat such a mortal foe.                       

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2007 Annus Mirabilis for President Bush

The following was written in early 2007. It is republished here in view of the current unfolding of the Arab Spring.

 By Con George-Kotzabasis

 Pleasingly it is people like Keith on Online Opinion who can see through the fraudulent, antiquarian, and full of hatred contentions of Dr. MacQueen against the Bush administration. MacQueen in parading all the past negatives of the Iraq war he deliberately misses and does not acknowledge the present positives that have issued since the new Bush strategy of the Surge implemented by the capable and savant-general Petraeus. The chances are that these positives will serve as the foundation stone upon which a democratic Iraq could arise, and in turn would serve as an example for the rest of the people of the Middle East to imitate.

 As I predicted in a paper of mine on December 2006, the year 2007 would be the Annus Mirabilis for President Bush in regards to the Iraq war.

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Union Power:The Wings of an Eagle Attached to a Pigeon Head

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The following article was written on April 2000. It’s republished here on this blog as I think it’s still relevant as unions continue to have a strong grip on the Labor Party. And with a possible impending recession in the US that would inevitably effect the Australian economy, a Rudd victory in the coming election will bring the unions exercising their pernicious behind the times influence on the front benches of a Labor government. And hence exacerbate the peril of the economy of the country in conditions of recession. Lest we forget, it was in the UK in the mid-sixties under Labor governments that ‘trade-union-led “wage push” was the driving force behind inflation and subsequent breakdown of Keynesian policy’. Richard Kahn, one of the closest disciples of Keynes, when he was asked about this breakdown of Keynesian policy, he answered, ‘we never thought the leaders of the trade unions could behave so stupidly’. This stupidity was coined at the time in the term of stagflation, the proud creation of the unions. And this doltishness of the unions is alive and well in our times as it’s still fuelled by the false Marxist doctrine of class struggle. This is the danger that trade unions could inflict to the Australian economy under a Rudd government. As for Rudd’s “education revolution” by providing students with laptops, the mountain has brought forth a mouse. Australia is already among the top nations that provides computers to its students. But on the quintessence of education revolution which has to deal with its human capital, i.e., its teachers, who have to be selected on merit and ability and on their teaching methods, two issues on which the education unions will not budge, Rudd remains silent. He also claims that his government will be a government of “fresh ideas and new leadership”. But after his lustful embrace of me tooism of some major liberal policies during the electoral campaign, Rudd pellucidly reveals that his government will not be a government of “new leadership” but a government of mimicry. For John Howard there is still a good chance that the minders of Kevin Rudd, couple of days before the real poll, will be telling him that the only bad news is that there is no good news.    

 

The ascendancy of the Labor Party to the treasury benches in Victoria, has churned in its wake a billow of waves of industrial action by an amalgam of union power that threatens to shipwreck the economic vibrancy of the state. The outcome of such fatuous action by the unions will be to induce a flight of investment capital from Victoria to other states, as current and would-be employers of this state would feel too insecure to invest in an environment of industrial turmoil. This is especially so when the Labor government and its leader Steve Bracks are perceived to be irresolute and too weak-kneed to control and rein in this outdated aggression and belligerence of the unions against employers.

 

The excessive and irrational demands of the unions for a thirty-six hour working week and a 24 percent increase in wages, which if they were successful in obtaining initially in the construction industry and their inevitable flow into some other industries, would have the ineluctable result of throwing thousands of workers among the ranks of the unemployed. This would be a tragic repetition of what happened in the metal industry in the late 80s as a result of excessive union claims, under the then Federal Secretary of the Metal Trades Union, George Campbell—a political stallion of the Left and presently a Labor Senator who is going to be replaced by another stalwart left-winger Doug Cameron who has indisputable credentials of being in the past a real “communist under the bed”—whom the Treasurer Paul Keating accused of having a necklace of 100,000 dismissed metal workers around his neck.

 

It’s obvious that the unions are afflicted by an innate inability to learn from their past sloppy errors. And like a recurring malady they are bound to contaminate the economy of the country with the calamitous mistakes of the past. The consequences of a repeated mistake, however, are more tragic than the consequences of an initial one and therefore carry a greater responsibility. An action that is performed for the first time is experimental in regard to its consequences, as no one, without the gifts of Tiresias, can predict or foresee whether its results will be benign or malign.  (Not that the unions could be excused for their first error. There was ample evidence of a global scale at the time, and enough forewarnings by eminent economists, that excessive union claims within the confines of global competition would inexorably lead to the flight of capital from regions these claims were impacting upon, and hence to unemployment.) But an action that is repeated deliberately and wantonly in spite of knowledge of its harmful effects in the past is intellectually malevolent and morally culpable.

 

 

Whose Culpability is Greater the Union’s or the Government’s?

 

Two questions therefore arise. Is the intelligence of unions commensurate with their powers? Or is it the case that union power is more like the wings of an eagle attached to a pigeon head? If the answer to the second question is affirmative, then one further question is posed, i.e., why then was the political wing of the Labor Party, which is now in government and having the expertise of knowing better about the dire economic effects of industrial unrest to the country nonetheless was unwilling to intervene promptly and decisively to block the irrational and pernicious claims of its industrial wing, which as a government of all Victorians—Premier Brack’s slogan—was committed in doing? Furthermore, why was the government’s immediate reaction to blame the Federal government’s industrial legislation for the ongoing industrial unrest instead of doing something that would have stifled the industrial dispute in its initial stages, for which it had prior knowledge, and using the subterfuge of an excuse that it was constrained by the legislation and could do nothing effective toward its resolution? Both the deputy leader of the government John Twaites and the Minister of Industrial Relations Monica Gould, used this feeble argument, when in fact with the return of the Premier from Davos  the latter forced the union involved in the dispute of the Yallourn power station to return back to work by imposing hefty fines upon its members, hence demonstrating that the government had the power to do something effective to resolve the dispute? Wasn’t it rather, the attempt to shift the blame to the federal legislation, a poor ruse, indeed, a camouflage, to cover its lack of will to intervene timely and decisively and derail the union from its “crashing” course? Yet, the belated action was effective, even if it was done halfheartedly. But what other alternative the government had, at the end of its honeymoon with the electorate, other than to send the stalled fire engines out to extinguish the full blown fire, if it was not to be seen, and impugned, in the electorates eyes, as politically effete and incompetent?

 

This is a basic characteristic, however, and an irreversible syndrome of Labor governments. To intervene in industrial disputes only when political necessity dictates, i.e., only when these disputes have reached a high point with the potential of harming the economy, and hence would be politically damaging. For organizational and ideological reasons Labor governments are not prone to intervene in the wrangles of their comrade-in-arms with employers, but do so only as a last resort.

 

This general inaction of Labor governments in industrial disputes is a result first, of a common ideology shared with the unions whose core emanates from the principles of socialism, and secondly, from its constitutional organizational structures that tie the political and industrial wings of the Party into a powerful body and into a compact of consensus that determines the functions of each wing. In conference after conference of the Party, the common and often repeated refrain is that Labor occupies the treasury benches only for the purpose of implementing policies which are discussed and ratified in state and federal conferences in whose conception the unions and its sundry representatives, mainly academics, have a major input. The union’s dominance is illustrated not only in the generation and formation of policies (Its architects generally are academics from the Left, whose intellectual frustration is at a boiling point because their ideas and policies cannot pass muster among other academic luminaries, but who do find a paradisiacal outlet for their “time-stopped” ideas, as well as an adulatory audience among their comrades in the unions, who normally cannot separate the wheat from the chaff of these ideas), but also on the conference floor as sixty percent of its delegates must be union representatives according to the Party’s constitution.

 

The larger and, especially, the more militant unions have such a firm grip in the election of delegates to Party forums, that even ministers and would-be premiers often cannot be elected to these meetings. Many ministers , therefore, who are unable to be elected to conferences on their own authority, resort to “begging” less militant unions to be placed in their delegations as constitutionally the unions have the authority to do so. Hence only as supplicants to the unions are ministers able to participate in conferences. For example, Jim Kennan, the Attorney General in the Cain Government, for many years was a delegate of the Clothing Trades Union. Likewise too, Steven Bracks, the current premier, was a delegate of the same union, who had taken Kennan’s place with the latter’s departure from politics. Other ministers who are not as fortunate to be union delegates attend conferences as visitors and observers without the right to move, or vote for, resolutions of the conference. Hence, ministers and many of their advisers are left out from the formulation and ratification of the Party’s policies. Such is the power and influence of unions in the organizational procedures of the Party, that often they cal “lock-out” important ministers who are not close to their ideological positions, from the highest policymaking bodies of the Party.

 

Moreover, the grip of the unions is extended to the pre-selection procedures of the candidates of the Party as well as in the choosing and changes of the parliamentary leadership, both in the state and federal domains. Who can forget for instance the telephone call that Paul Keating made, during his challenge of Bob Hawke, to Wally Curren, secretary of the Meat Workers Union asking him for his support in the coming challenge to Hawke for the leadership of the government? And Curren obliging, by forcing those MP’s from Victoria who owed their position in parliament to his patronage, to vote for Keating? This irritated Bob Hawke so much asking who Wally Curren was pretending thus ironically that he himself who had ousted and replaced Bill Hayden with union support was not cognizant of the influence trade union leaders have in pre-selections. As for the branches of the Party they play a superficial role in the pre-selection of candidates as they too in turn are influenced in their decisions by the organizational power of the unions.

 

Labor Politicians at the Mercy of Unions

 

Being therefore at the mercy of unions for their parliamentary positions and for the buttering of their bread, labor politicians, with some exceptions, are cast as toadies of the unions. Only the Federal Executive of the Party can intervene can intervene and save a ministerial or a backbencher’s scalp from the tomahawk of the unions. This occurred when John Halpenny, the Secretary of the Trades Hall Council in Victoria. were placed in the number one position on the senate ticket, with massive union support, in the 1988 federal election, relegating the leader of the Senate, John Button, to the second position. And in the election following the one in 1988, some of the left-wing unions were deliberating whether or not to place Gareth Evans, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the second position on the senate ticket. Only some sober heads at the last moment saved the glitterati Minister from the rusty and blood-stained tomahawk of the unions and from posthumous obloquy. (But the power of the Federal Executive is limited, as is illustrated in the present coming election of 2007 in the seat of Coreo, where the current seating member, Gavin O’Connor, is replaced by an assistant secretary of the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions), against the wishes of the Executive.)

 

It’s for all the above reasons, this congeniality of interests between Labor governments and unions that prevents the former from acting timely and decisively in industrial disputes. And even when they do as a last resort they cannot be impartial in their involvement. The Brack government being captive to the unions has to cater to the latter’s voracious appetite on a number of issues: On the restoration of common law damages for injured workers, which has already being done by passing the relevant legislation in parliament, on the restitution of industrial policy back to the State Government, so the latter can abolish the industrial contracts of the Federal Government, whose aim is to eliminate union dominance in industry negotiations, and to replace them with collective bargaining, hence restoring union coercion and thuggery during negotiations with employers. On these issues and on many others, the Labor government is hamstrung by union power. Whether the former will be able to deliver on these issues will depend on the political climate of the day and on the degree of resonance such a delivery will have upon the electorate.

 

Steve Brack’s therefore, like a trapeze artist, has to walk on a tight rope whose one end is held by the unions and the other by the community, and perform his balancing act. While gratifying the union claims, with potentially destructive consequences to the economy of the State, at the same time he has to keep its economic robustness, inherited from his liberal predecessor, Jeff Kennet, intact, hence erasing any fears or consternations the community might have about the new industrial course of his government.

 

It’s with this purpose in mind to win the confidence of Victorians and of some naïve employers that Steve Bracks lately set up a new stage with an old play. His government lacking any originality or lateral thinking in policymaking ransacked the ram shackled spider web storehouse of past Labor policies to bring out the nostrums of “old age”. The summit of “Growing Victoria Together”, chaired by that scion of Labor power, Bob Hawke, was such a nostrum. Imbibing a strong dose of self-deception, Bracks was hopeful that by attracting some old and new celebrities from the industrial club and from business to the summit the public would be hoodwinked and believe that something substantial would come from the coupling of these celebrities. What in fact happened, was that each spokesperson of this divided house of unions and employers, voiced plaintively their complaints and grievances against each other with the result that they were not able to reach an agreement as to how and by what prudent set of actions, they would carry out the growth of Victoria. The rhetorical statement at the end of the summit, spun by the golden threads of the cerebral and literary qualities of Bob Hawke and his wife, respectively, could hardly hide the practical hollowness of the summit. What the latter did was to set up a number of committees to look at a number of issues.  Such as education and training, investment in training, industrial relations, health and wellbeing indicators to measure performance in meeting social goals, infrastructure, the impact of payroll tax on job and wealth creation , and the audit of government services in country communities. It also set up an advisory body to strengthen community input, oblivious of the fact, that while the latter is important it is not a substitute for political leadership. Forgetful also of the fact that the achievement of this laudable “prospectus”, is absolutely dependent on calm industrial relations. And therefore cannot be achieved while the agitated firebrand steam of the unions continues unabated.

 

Hence, the mountain (the summit) has brought forth a mouse which is at the mercy of the cat’s paws, the unions. Furthermore, as so many of the issues are to be shoved to committees, whose members are deeply divided on the central issue of industrial relations, they are inevitably going to be dealt with in a banal hackneyed manner, since their members will be unable to reach a mutual agreement on the key issue of industrial relations. Hence the summit’s “debris-deliberations” will be proven to be a barren exercise.

 

The Bracks’ government by its farcical and enervating stand toward the unions and by its populist stand toward the public threatens to throw Victoria into the doldrums as well as empty the coffers of the treasury. This is not a government of substance but a government of images—the images of a dead past. But funeral rites for dead images can be very expensive to the general community, both in terms of tax increases and unemployment. 

 

I rest on my oars: your turn now                                              

 

      

    

  

 

                                    

 

 

 

 

 

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Not Caution but Decisiveness will Win the Day

By Con George-Kotzabasis

A short reply to: Caution Needed with Libya  By Steve Clemons

The Washington Note March 18, 2011

To call for caution when one is entering the field of battle, is to show how out of depth one is in matters of war. Now that the U.S. and its European and Arab allies, with the backing of the UN, have decided and are preparing to cross swords with Gaddafi, what is needed is a resolute, clear, swift, and decisive strategy to crash the Gaddafi forces in a series of prompt and sudden attacks. However, before they do that, the U.S. and its allies should make a threatening declaration addressed to the Gaddafi loyalists and mercenaries, that if they refuse to abide to the conditions as set up by the United Nations, then they will be totally destroyed by the arms of the Coalition. As I’ve argued three weeks ago, such a threat has more than a great chance to force the Gaddafi loyalists to abandon the dictator and hence lead to the collapse of the regime without the Coalition forces firing a shot.

My strong belief is, that if the U.S. and its allies ultimately deal a coup de main with their overwhelming power to the Gaddafi loyalists in the event they persist fighting the Opposition forces, they will melt like butter under the heat of the Coalition’s ordnance.

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The Destruction of Gaddafi's Command Centre a Unique Opportunity to End the Bloodshed

By Con George-Kotzabasis March 22, 2011

The fleeing of Gaddafi and his high military echelons from his compound in Tripoli that contained a military command and control facility provides a unique opportunity and a propitious moment to Coalition strategists to bring the ceasing of hostilities and the triumph of the Opposition over the Gaddafi regime. Since it is more likely than not that the field commanders of the loyalist forces of Gaddafi are no longer directed in their operations from a command centre and acting on their own initiative, the Coalition, in the context of the destruction of Gaddafi’s military group outside Benghazi, should make the following declaration addressed directly to the field commanders, whose forces are still deployed against the Opposition: to immediately stop all military action against the latter and thus save themselves from the fate meted out to their colleagues outside Benghazi. The declaration should also clearly state that all the commanders and their troops who abided by this demand of the Coalition and the National Transitional Council will be given general amnesty and will be immune from any prosecution in the future that could be brought against the criminal deeds of the Gaddafi regime.

Also, it is of the utmost importance, that the demand of the Coalition for the ceasing of hostilities by the field commanders, does not seem to be a demand for surrender or laying down their arms, which would be completely repugnant to the pride of military commanders, but merely a truce, which moreover would provide to the latter the opportunity to consider their switching over to the Opposition from a tottering and disappearing regime. And the abandoning of the Yemeni government by its generals and their joining the protestors, should be highlighted as an example.

Hic Rhodus hic salta

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Egypt: Which Side will the Dominoes Fall?

By Con George-Kotzabasis ( The article was written on February 08, 2011, and published on the same date on my blog Nemesis.) 

Swallowing victory in one gulp may choke one.

Egypt, not unexpectedly for those who have read history and can to a certain extent adumbrate its future course, as one of the offsprings (Tunisia was the first one) of the rudimentary Democratic paradigm that was established in Iraq by the U.S. ‘invasion’, has a great potential of strengthening this paradigm and spreading it to the whole Arab region. The dominoes that started falling in Iraq under a democratic banner backed by the military power of the Coalition forces are now falling all over the Arab territories dominated by authoritarian and autocratic governments. The arc that expands from Tunisia to Iran and contains all other Arab countries has the prospect and promise of becoming the arc of Democracy. But Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty in physics also and equally applies to politics. For one cannot predict, especially in a revolutionary situation, and more so, when it is combined with fledgling and immature political parties that is the present political configuration in Egypt as well as of the rest of the Arab world due to the suppression of political parties by their authoritarian regimes, whether the dominoes will fall on the side of Democracy or on the side of Sharia radical Islam. This is why the outcome of the current turmoil in Egypt is of so paramount geopolitical importance. And that is why the absolute necessity of having a strong arm at the helm that will navigate the presently battered State of Egypt toward the safe port of Democracy is of the utmost importance. Contrariwise, to leave the course of these momentous events in the hands of the spontaneous and totally inexperienced leaders of the uprising against Mubarak is a recipe of irretrievable disaster. For that can bring the great possibility, if not ensure, that the dominoes in the whole Arab region will be loaded to fall on the side of the extremists of Islam. And this is why in turn for the U.S. and its allies in the war against global terror, it is of the uttermost strategic importance to use all their influence and prowess to veer Egypt toward a Democratic outcome.

One is constrained to build with the materials at hand. If the only available materials one has to build a structure in an emergency situation are bricks and mortar he will not seek and search for materials of a stronger fibre, such as steel, by which he could build a more solid structure. Presently in Egypt, the army is the material substance of ‘bricks and mortar’ by which one could build a future Democratic state. It would be extremely foolish therefore to search for a stronger substance that might just be found in civil society or among the protesters of Tahrir Square. That would be politically a wild goose chase at a time when the tectonic plates of the country are moving rapidly toward a structural change in the body politic. The army therefore is the only qualified, disciplined organization that can bring an orderly transitional change on the political landscape of the country. Moreover, the fact that it has the respect of the majority of the Egyptian people and that it has been bred and nourished on secular and nationalist principles, ensures by its politically ‘synthetic nature’ that it will not go against the wishes of the people for freedom and democracy, that it will be a bulwark against the extremists of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that it will be prepared to back the change from autocracy to democracy, if need be, with military force and thus steer the country away from entering the waters of anarchy and ‘permanent’ political instability that could push Egypt to fall into the lap of the supporters of Allahu Akbar.

The task of the army or rather its political representatives will be to find the right people endowed with political adeptness, experience, imagination, and foresight from a wide pool of political representation that would also include members of the old regime who will serve not only for their knowledge in the affairs of state but also as the strong link to the chain of the anchor that will prevent any possibility that the new political navigation of the country will go adrift. The former head of Egyptian Intelligence Omar Suleiman will play a pivotal role in this assembly of political representation which will not exclude members of the Muslim Brotherhood. What is of vital importance however is that this new political process will not be violently discontinued from the old regime. While room will be made to ensconce the new representatives of the people to government positions, this will not happen at the expense of crowding out old government hands. The only person that will definitely be left out will be Hosni Mubarak and some of his conspicuous cronies. And Mubarak himself has already announced that neither he nor his son will be candidates in the presidential elections in September. The call of the Tahrir Square protesters to resign now has by now become an oxymoron by Mubarak’s announcement not to stand as president in the next election. Further it is fraught with danger as according to the Constitution if he resigns now elections for the presidency must be held after sixty days. That means a pot- pourri of candidates for president will come forward without the people having enough time either to evaluate their competence nor their political bona fide and might elect precipitatingly without critical experience and guidance a ‘dunce’ for president, an Alexander Kerensky in the form of Mohamed Al Baradei, that will open the passage to the Islamic Bolsheviks. To avoid this likely danger I’m proposing the following solution that in my opinion would be acceptable to all parties in this political melee.

The Vice President Omar Suleiman as representative of the armed forces, to immediately set up a committee under his chairmanship that will comprise members of the variable new and old political organizations of the country, whose task will be to appoint the members of a ‘shadow government’ whose function in turn will be to put an end to the protests that could instigate a military coup d’état , to make the relevant amendments to the constitution that will guide the country toward democracy, and to prepare it for the presidential elections in September. The members of this shadow government will be a medley of current holders of government that would include the most competent of all, Ahmed Nazif, the former prime minister, who was sacked by Mubarak as a scapegoat, and of the old and new political parties that emerged since the bouleversement against Mubarak. The executive officer of this ‘government in the wings’ will be Vice President Suleiman, who, with the delegated powers given to him by the present no more functional president Mubarak will be the real president during this interim period. Finally, the members of this shadow government will have a tacit agreement that their political parties will support candidates for president in the September elections who were selected by consensus among its members.

The ‘establishment’ of such a shadow government might be the political Archimedean point that would move Egypt out of the crisis and push it toward democracy.

Hic Rhodus hic salta

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The Bombing of Milosevic should Apply to Gaddafi's Genocide of his own People

The principle of non-intervention, very convenient in itself, and very appropriate to a given circumstance, becomes very little better than an absurdity, when regarded as an absolute and when it is desired to apply it under conditions widely different. This principle is a matter of judgment , when to set it aside, and when to apply it. Charles Maurice Talleyrand   

By Con George-Kotzabasis 

 The United States and its allies must ensure that the revolt of the Libyan people against the autocratic, corrupt, and nepotistic regime of Muammar Gaddafi is not drowned in blood by the latter’s draconian response to it, and is crowned with the establishment of democracy and freedom, thus fulfilling the wishes of the Libyan people. President Obama has the total and unswerving responsibility, as the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, to steer and pilot the vessel of democracy with its Libyan passengers, that is presently going through the dangerous straits of autocracy whose shoals are threatening it with wreckage, into the safety of its democratic moorings, by been actively engaged in this libertarian, and, indeed, strategic goal.

In the critical situation that besets Libya to indulge in ‘nuanced’ considerations as to whether or not the U.S. should engage militarily in the country, is to indulge in political and strategical onanism. The tracasserie, the turmoil in Libya requires the immediate application of the bombing of Milosevic against Gaddafi’s militias and mercenaries by U.S. airpower to prevent Gaddafi and his sons from genociding their own people. Any procrastination of action and political and diplomatic quibbling on the part of the Obama administration as a substitute of providing an expeditious and strategically prudent resolution by U.S. military action in favour of the revolt of the Libyan people against the brutal and nepotistic regime of Gaddafi, will be deemed by history as a dereliction of duty by the United States as the pivotal power of rational world order. 

  

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The Balkanization of the European Union a Blessing in Disguise?

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The legal order rests on a decision not on a norm…The exception could not be subsumed under legal concepts and all order was based on the sovereign’s decision. Norms only applied in a normal situation. Carl Schmitt

 

The ancient Greeks had an aphorism: oothen kakon amiyes kalon, there is nothing bad without some good in it. The possible breaking up of the European Union (EU), its Balkanization, in the aftermath of its ominous economic crisis and the questionable future existence of its common currency, the euro, may be a blessing in disguise: it might bring in its wake the ‘defeat’ of its implacable internal enemy who in the form of a Trojan horse is threatening Europe not only with suicide bombers but also, most portentously, with Islamization.

The economic historian Niall Ferguson cogently argues that “the sovereign debt crisis that is unfolding…is a fiscal crisis of the western world.” Banks and financial institutions are exposed to the sovereign-debt of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain and to a cascade of government deficits, 14.3 per cent of GDP in Ireland, 12.6 per cent in the UK, 11.2 per cent in Spain, and 9.4 per cent in Portugal, respectively. And all this ill-advised government spending in the past is punching the euro against the ropes. Moreover, concern about the solvency of European nations could lead to an implosion of the euro. And the EU indebtedness could be similar to the sub prime mortgage crisis of the U.S. that almost led to the financial collapse of the latter. Also, the two speed economies on the belt ways of Europe have contracted employment in Greece and Spain while increasing it in France and Germany. European governments therefore are seeking different solutions to this problematic economic crisis that is gravely threatening the downgrading of their peoples standard of living and their general well being.

Germany, the powerhouse of the EU, is seeking a “deeper political and economic integration,” in its enamored quest to build a European super state. But Great Britain—which never abandoned its own national currency, the pound sterling—will vehemently oppose the transfer of any new fiscal powers to the inamorata of Germany, the EU headquarters in Brussels. That alone could trigger a severe split within the EU encouraging other countries to revert to national currencies than give up even more sovereignty to the Brussels bureaucracy. In Italy, Berlusconi’s anti-European coalition partners are considering a contingency plan to pull out of the Euro zone and re-establish their own currency, the lira. “Nor would it be a real solution for the EU to amend its basic treaties to create a permanent stabilization mechanism for sovereign-debt crisis. It would be a self-fulfilling prophesy, virtually guaranteeing that it will be used repeatedly,” to quote John Bolton, the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. The economic imbalances within Europe have become too great, particularly regarding productivity differences. In order to correct them, including the scourge of over-indebtedness, some countries would need to devalue their own currencies.

But such solution is not available for countries that substituted their own currency with the euro; therefore these countries will be overcast by the bleak clouds of economic austerity imposed by the savants of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the only feasible solution to drag these countries out of their economic woes. But as we have seen in Greece, Ireland, and Spain these clouds will bring a torrent fraught with danger demonstrations that will not only exacerbate the economic crisis but will also foster political instability that could seriously fracture the democratic structure of these countries and bring to the political proscenium of Europe ‘uber-nationalist’ authoritarian governments. And paradoxically, the democratic ethos of the demonstrators that led them to the streets to defend their living standards and freedom from the embrace of the gaunt figure of austerity could give birth to the unwanted child of authoritarian government. European cosmopolitanism or rather multiculturalism will be forcefully replaced with virulent nationalism, since this is the corollary, and indeed the unconscious desire, of the mass demonstrations and the unseen force that could change dramatically the political landscape of Europe.

The first incipient signs of such change on the political configuration of Europe are already becoming visible. In France, President Sarkozy is forcefully expelling the gypsies and is calling Muslim prayers “in the street unacceptable,” following his predecessor Chirac who banned the burka from public places; while support for Marine Le Pen of the National Front has risen to 33 per cent in recent weeks reflecting a trend all over Europe of anti-migrant sentiments and economic fears. In Germany, Chancellor Merkel has called multiculturalism kaput, and politicians of the right are calling for a stop to migration particularly from Muslim countries. In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi is sharing power with the anti-migrant Northern League. And in the Netherlands, anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders popularity is sky rocketing and whichever parties end up in government will have no choice but to adapt their policies to those of Wilders or risk losing voters.

 

The Danger of Europe’s Islamization

All the above indicates that the European masses under the economic pressure of the fiscal crisis are circling the wagons not only to defend their standard of living but also their national heritage from the incursions of intransigent Muslim migrants to change the culture and mores of their countries. And it is not the first time in history that an economic calamity has given birth to extreme nationalism. What is unique in the present situation in Europe is that it is actually threatened both economically and nationally by a twin menace of austerity and sharia law. So there is no need of contriving an imaginary enemy, a scapegoat, as the Nazis did with the Jews. Thus, the economic doldrums have a great potential to give rise to the drum beats of belligerence against European Muslims who will be seen more and more as the internal implacable enemy, especially when its holy warriors in the wild chase of the seventy-two virgins will continue their serial murdering activity of detonating bombs in the cities of the Western ‘infidel’ world.

That this Muslim inundation of Europe is empirically-grounded and not fictional is exemplified by the demographics of individual countries of the European continent. In Germany, Britain, Greece, and Switzerland 5 per cent of their population are Muslim; in Austria, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and in Sweden, is 10 per cent; in Denmark, Luxemburg, Norway, Serbia, Slovenia, and Spain, is 4 per cent; and in Italy, 2 per cent. With a Muslim birthrate that is almost thrice as large as that of indigenous Europeans and with a total number of Muslims in the European Union in 2007 of 16 million, it is estimated that by 2015 this number will double.

This is the ‘unassimilated bomb’ that harebrained and un-imaginative politicians by their past immigration policies have planted under the foundations of European culture and civilization that cannot and will not be defused presently by conventional political nostrums contrived by ordinary politicians. (Only Enoch Powel, the British politician par excellence, had the insight to cast his eloquent thunderbolts many years ago against governments that had espoused these totally wrong policies of immigration and would predict Cassandra like, as he did in his “rivers of blood” speech in 1968, the consequences of these fallacious policies.) The call is for extraordinary nationalist politicians of the caliber of Bismarck and Cavour to tap this coming nationalist fervor of Europeans and unite it against the internal Muslim foe.

There are no easy solutions to the problem as most European Muslims are citizens of the countries they are living in. It cannot be solved, because of the economic crisis, by monetary blandishments, i.e., by paying Muslim families a sum of money to return permanently to the countries of their origin. Nor can it be solved by legislative measures of expulsion under the present respective Democratic constitutions of European countries since Muslims are citizens of the latter and Democratic nations cannot expel their own citizens. It can be partially resolved by a stringent legislative enactment that applies to the social security payments of families; by restricting child endowment remittances up to the limit of four children and hence bring the birthrate of Muslims to that of indigenous Europeans. Families or ‘apparently’ single mothers who break that limit will lose their right to claim remuneration for children above that number. I say ‘apparently’, guardedly, because many Muslim men who are polygamous are using fraudulently the ‘single mother’ as a technique to enlarge their social security payments. Such enactment will be a levy on polygamy and will affect mainly Muslims who use a religious precept to ‘pickpocket’ the pockets of taxpayers. Thus, European governments by putting a hefty ‘price tag’ on cum while not resolving the problem they might lessen it.

 

The Necessity of Hard Policies to Prevent Europe’s Islamization

It must be obvious to all governments with welfare services by now, especially Europe’s, that Muslim migrants who comprise a major part of the unemployed of their countries and are economically and socially dependent on welfare payments deliberately employ child bearing as a means to increase the amount of money they receive from the public treasury. Thus child bearing has become for them a ‘surrogate’ for real employment and an income by other means. In such a situation government policies that seek to get people off welfare dependency are bound to fail since the incentive of finding employment and increasing their income has become inutile as already the ‘lucrative production’ of babies has already fulfilled this goal of higher income for the unemployed Muslims. Hence, the first generation of Muslim migrants have accomplished by Allah’s will to live in relative comfort in comparison to their original domicile not by the sweat of labor but by the sweat of the seraglio. No wonder that Muslims feel superior as a result of their religion toward kafirs since they were able to transfigure the European infidels into milking cows, whose hard work and taxes keep many Muslims off the production lines and ‘on’ their kept Muslimas.

European governments perforce have to put an end to this ‘stipend of Allah’ for libidinous and profligate procreation that is given to Muslims, which not only disincentivizes them from finding employment, but also holds them back from assimilating into their new habitat and to European mores. Governments therefore have to place the Muslim birthrate onto a Procrustean bed and cut it to the size and contemporary norm of Europe’s native population. Moreover they have to suspend permanently all government grants for the building and maintenance of Mosques and Islamic schools unless the latter have a clear and absolute secular curriculum for their pupils. They also have to make illegal forced marriages and make it a criminal act for parents who carry it out and hence thwart this imported primitive and barbaric practice of honor killing in civilized Europe. Also, they have to banish the wearing of the burka and the hijab in all public places which not only discriminate between the chastity of European and Muslim women, as the symbolic value of wearing them is that Muslim women are purportedly sexually purer than indigenous European women, but which also could be used as a cover by suicide bombers in their murderous attacks on European cities. Lastly, and this doesn’t exclude other measures, Muslims who are citizens of European nations would forfeit their citizenship if they hold dual citizenship or if they were involved even lightly, either in deed or ideologically, in promoting and funding jihad against the ‘infidels’, and which in effect in both cases would make them liable for deportation.

The above harsh measures will make a lot of Muslims most unhappy to continue living in European countries since they will feel rejected and unwelcome by the majority of the respective populations of those countries, and by being no longer able to practice some of their reverent traditions and ideological beliefs, these two factors might induce some of them to repatriate back to their own countries. However, the implementation of these harsh policies will entail a radical transformation of the ‘praxiology’ of European governments and a new ‘virtu’, to use Machiavelli’s term, for their politicians. In such critical conditions of jus vitae ac necis, a verdict on life and death for Europe, politicians in power will have to govern by the rules of Carl Schmitt’s “state of exception.” They will have to rule by decision based on the desires of the majority of the electorate that will be explicitly expressed through a national plebiscite. It will thus be government by plebiscite and rule by decree exercised by authoritarian regimes. In such an emergency state inevitably certain venerable democratic principles will be suspended, as it happened in the American Civil War when President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus. And as Carl Schmitt impeccably argued, “Every norm presupposes a normal situation, and no norm can be entirely valid in an abnormal situation.” And for internal peace the state “is compelled in critical situations to decide also upon the domestic enemy.” These most wise quotes encapsulate the tragic events that issued from the disintegration of the Weimar Republic when its mediocre and timorous politicians refused to take the harsh measures that could have saved it. And it would be most imprudent for contemporary European politicians who face a formidable, duplicitous, faceless internal and external enemy not to become wise by the dangers suffered by others, to paraphrase Niccolo Machiavelli.

Thus the denouement of the economic crisis in the European Union threatening it with dismemberment may give rise to a savior who will salvage it from its ultimate catastrophe, the Islamization of Europe.

I rest on my oars: your turn now

 

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Leaders Made Up on the Roll of the Dice

By Con George Kotzabasis

The folowing is an extract from my book Unveiling The War Against Terror, written on September 24, 2003. 
                                                   

There was always a lurking suspicion that Gareth Evans' projection on the firmament of Australian politics as Foreign Minister was not propelled by the force of egregious merit but by the force of the "roll of the dice", as played in the numbers game of the "witless men" of the Labor Party. This suspicion was confirmed by the former Minister himself, by his intellectually tasteless and insipid, not to say brutal and banal, Hawke Lecture, mocking and deriding American Foreign Policy in the bombastiloquent, colorful, and jesting terms of a court jester. Obviously, your Chairman was more concerned with entertaining and beguiling his audience than enlightening it, although one must admit, that enlightenment cannot burst forth from an 'eclipsed star'.

His “hors d' oeuvres”,  to quote him, was the most eclectically bitter anti-Americanism one could taste. It was either the reaction of a prima donna who had been shunned, or of a political guru whose advice and pearls of wisdom were not allowed to trespass the corridors of power. After a litany of syndromes of medical and clinical psychology, which are so alluring and beloved by the progressive intelligentsia, after an array of run-of-the-mill accusations against the Bush Administration, such as "current enemies used to be friends" etc., which seem to reveal more the caliber of his diplomatic and political acumen, than the fault lines of the Administration's foreign policy, and after his crude and brutish metaphors, such as "the top dog on the global block" (one can only ask about such a literary creation, was it an outcome of a syndrome of deprived imagination?), oblivious of the fact or shuffling it away, that it was this "dog" who saved the world from the twin miasma of Nazism and Communism, and that it will be the same dog who has the means and will to defeat global terrorism. At the end of this drivel, although he concedes that all these accusations might be "unfair", he nonetheless does not abstain from the ignominious temptation to make a 'big fair' out of them.

The English essayist Chesterton observed, "where is the best place to hide a leaf? In a tree.” Mr. Evans, apparently observes, where is the best place to hide a truth? Paint it in the colors of failure. The truth about global terrorism is that you cannot defeat it without also fighting the rogue states that directly and indirectly support it. It is therefore preeminently a two front war. And Iraq was a quintessential part of this strategy. Furthermore, only one nation in the world has the technological and military power, and will, to defeat global terrorism. The free nations of the world depend on America's triumph in this deadly contest with the terrorists. And as in all critical contests, there have to be tradeoffs between independence and dependence. Your Chairman would have known this, since he reads Isaiah Berlin.

This is the truth that the liberal intelligentsia is so abhorrent of and runs away from. All the accusations against the Howard Government's erosion of Australia's independence are, therefore, grossly erroneous and lack historical insight. As for his criticism of pre-emption, your Chairman completely disregards the fine distinction between pre-emption as an option,  which is applicable to a world that is under discontinuous threats, and pre-emption as a doctrine, which is applicable to a world that is under continuous threats, as presently posed by the terrorists. And as for his hypocritical statement of standing with America, "but when we were needed on the big issues, we were always there", one is tempted to ask, is global terrorism not a big issue?

Lastly, all his expatiations about international rules and laws that bring order in an anarchic world are totally inutile. Only when peoples and nations abide by these rules and laws, can the latter be effective. The trouble is that neither the terrorists nor the rogue states are prepared to submit to such a legalistic regime. Recent examples of this are Rwanda, Serbia, Kosovo, and Iraq.

All the colorful bubbles that your Chairman presented in the guise of serious arguments in his lecture, will not survive the Aeolian winds that erupted on September 11.Your Chairman, for his own reasons, is a fugitive from reality. History has shown, that in hard times only the “hard men” can prevail. The wets and the wimps are cast aside. Alas, one can only summon the squatter diplomat, Gareth Evans, to "remove his belongings" from the domain of Talleyrand.

I rest on my oars: Your turn now

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Limits of Imagination Transformed into Limits of Power

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Steve Clemons and Ben Katcher are using the ‘shamanistic’ art, the art of a conjurer, to turn the limits of imagination into “the limits of American power.” The “aborted attempt” of the Obama administration to “persuade the Israelis to enact a “settlement freeze”,  has nothing to do with US power limits but with lack of imagination and political insight on the part of Obama and the State Department not to foresee the political implausibility of trying to impose such a doltish demand on the Netanyahu government. It’s a dismal failure of policy and not a limit of American power as Clemons and Levy in their conjurers’ role aver.

As for Daniel Levy’s ”asymmetries of power,” WigWag’s post is instructive and unassailable in its historical logic. All defeated nations in wars were due to asymmetries of power.

 

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Bring Afghan Tribal Chiefs into the Loop of the Poppy

By Con George-Kotzabasis

There is a great possibility of replicating the success of the Iraqi Surge in Afghanistan with the following economic-political-military strategy: To shift the estuary of the stream of revenue from narcotics from the Taliban’s and narco-lords’ mouths to the government mouth with the aim to feed the hungry mouths of the tribal chiefs of Afghanistan. That is, to nationalize the poppy industry and make the tribal chiefs of Afghanistan the direct equity holders of the income that accrues from the production of opium. Such a policy will create a powerful self-interest and lead to an Iraq like Tribal Chief’s awakening that will be more widespread and potent than the Iraqi one, since it will mobilize the whole country, through its tribal chiefs traditional political potency, against the Taliban and the narco-lords. Thus U.S. forces will not have to go to a wild goose chase of serendipity to get “their lucky break.” By bringing the tribal chiefs into the loop of the poppy, U.S. and Coalition strategy will place a noose around the neck of the Taliban and its al-Qaeda confederates.

This idea was floated by me in a paper of mine on October 2008

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