Chapter 23 ...looking back

What has gone before these pages was written at the time and finally put into book form in the last century, 1997.

Today as I prepare to place this chapter of my life on the website we have moved on to the dawn of 2006.

In twelve years the world has changed. It has become a world in chaos, where life is the currency of religious zealots, where men who view themselves as statesmen ignore the wisdom of collective opinion, where the same men are driven just as Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin were by self evaluated ability that leads countries into inextricable positions of disaster.

The technological age has grown so fast that today's achievement is old hat a year later. Children are wed to the ubiquitous mobile phone, running up telephone accounts that many don't relate to. Television, ipod and miniaturised music technology that allows downloading of thousands of tunes to be transferred to a recorder no bigger that a pack of cards.

As I write a new era of super aircraft descends into Brisbane; the A380, that can carry up to 800 commuters. Gone is the Supersonic Concorde, after a fiery crash shortly after leaving Paris Airport. Tragically it was debris on the runway that led to the demise of one of the world’s success stories. Gone the Berlin Wall, the Communist state of the Soviet Union and in it's place the misplaced religious fervour of fanatical Muslim belief. Gone too are Bill Clinton who will be remembered for his affair with Monica Lewenski. Paul Keating finally frog marched Bob Hawke from the Prime Ministership, only to carry political correctness to new heights. The Liberals went through a musical chairs leadership crisis in 1995 choosing Alexander Downer as leader and passed over John Howard. Downer failed to make a dent in the armour of Paul Keating and he too passed on. Peter Costello declined the invitation to take over and finally the party resorted to the least desirable candidate. Thus began the rise and rise of the man 'born to lead’ the Australian people, the enigmatic John Howard.

In the intervening ten years we have witnessed the meteoric rise and fall of a political comet that shone promised to send shock waves through the established order of Australian politics, but foundered on the greed graft and naivety of two carpetbaggers and a political virgin. With the ball at her feet Pauline Hanson was the darling of the masses, but contempt for and ignorance of the people who were her support led to her ignominious downfall.

In a pinpoint election that saw the duplicity and corruption of judicial manoeuvring finally hand a controversial mandate to George Bush junior, stylises as George W, the seeds of a new dawn were sown. Only this dawn was to be blood red, not a golden era.

The most spectacular collapse of all was the brilliantly executed fall of the iconic twin towers of New York . The most powerful country in the world had its defence lines shot to pieces laying bare the invincible Americans.

Revenge was swift when the ebullient George W set out to depose of Saddam Hussein and rescue Iraq from the 'evil forces' thus building his justification on the 'mass weapons of destruction'. He suckered in to join the Coalition of the Willing, Prime Minster Tony Blair and follow the leader strong-man John Howard, chaffing at the bit to become a world statesman.

Many saw and still see the war in Iraq as a lie and the innocent slaughter of thousands of American servicemen and Iraqi civilians. Bush has named many Muslim nations as the 'axis of evil', but failing to understand that imposing your standards on others equates exactly the same from another's perspective. Ordinary people believe that the premise for war and the execution were the outrageous whims of men with visions of grandeur and history. Iraq stands today as a miserable exercise, promoted as success by virtue of fooling the masses with saturation news coverage.

England, Indonesia, Australia, France, have become targets of a new form of terrorism that had its origins in Japanese philosophy. In an age of smart bombs and military precision, nothing compares with the raw crudeness of seizing fully fuelled up American iconic airliners, cutting throats, manning the controls and then flying these now lethal projectiles into two 1000 foot towers in central New York. If this was not ramming the message home then for good measure the Pentagon was targeted and partly destroyed. Heroism prevented the same bitter pill for Capitol Hill. And all this from the protector of freedom and the benchmark for all that is right and proper that must be emulated at the behest of Uncle Sam.

Recent times have seen the strategic political bombing of tourist destinations that sends messages of fear and terror to those who are seen as friends of America and George Bush in particular.

The rise of enclaves of Muslims around the world is a worry to those countries that have for centuries largely retained their hereditary origins. In 1988 I was accused of racism for trying to prevent the sale of Australian land to foreigners. In 1996 Pauline Hanson was branded a racist for suggesting that they turn the boat people around, give then medical supplies and send them on their way. From 2000 onward the Howard record in relation to detained immigrants is not far removed from some of the worse hell holes of World War II. Yet in spite of the discrimination, the incarceration and the inhumane treatment a la Vanstone/Howard/Ruddick, do you ever hear the word racism? No! The hypocrisy is over-whelming. People no longer matter, politicians whether on the home or international front do not hear, do not care and deliver that which requires no skill or responsibility.

One has only to think back and question the integrity and brutal honesty of an Enoch Powell or those who held to the White Australia policy. The alternative is what we are living today.


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