The Nonsense about Asylum Seekers
This is not going to be another Asylum Seeker rant. It’s going to be a cold hard look at some facts.
Fact 1. In 2002 Iraq was a country ruled by a dictator. It was stable and no one was letting off any bombs there.
Fact 2. The Coalition of the Willing (USA, UK and Australia) went into Iraq in an armed invasion in 2003 against the wishes of the United Nations and trashed the place.
Fact 3. They had a plan for the reconstruction of Iraq after the invasion which involved keeping the army as a force and paying them as a force. They didn’t abide by their plan and pissed off the Iraq Army.
Fact 4. The place was an armed camp and had lots of arms dumps all in the control of the army. The cheesed off the army who knew where the arms were. The invading forces did not.
Fact 5. Iraq was a peaceful place with all religious denominations and sects co-existing peacefully together before the invasion (as an adjunct to the Saddam dictatorship). After the invasion and the lack of a plan, sides were taken and violence started, particularly against, but not limited to the soldiers of the invaders.
Fact 6. After five years of war, unrest and bombings, people decided to leave Iraq and seek asylum elsewhere. Notably – but not limited to Australia.
Fact 7. John Howard didn’t like the people leaving Iraq and transiting Indonesia to come to Australia fleeing from Iraq and Afghanistan, he didn’t give them a choice in invading their country but claimed the choice was his about who came to Australia and the way they came.
Fact 8. Howard politicised the people coming to Australia with the ‘Children Overboard’ affair in 2001 before the 2nd Gulf or Iraq War.
Fact 9. After the incursion into Iraq and the trashing of the place by the coalition of the willing, Asylum seekers started in ever increasing numbers to come to Australia.
Fact 10. The two closest places to Indonesia which are Sovereign (had to get that word in – its all the rage nowadays), Australian territory are Christmas Island and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.
Fact 11. Christmas Island is less than 250 nautical miles from the Southern coast of Java. At 9 knots a fishing boat could reach Christmas Island from Indonesia in just over a day.
Fact 12 The Ashmore and Cartier Islands are about the same distance from Indonesia as Christmas Island is but the coastline of Indonesia which faces Australia is about 3,000 kms.
Fact 13. The destination of choice for Asylum seekers and their boats is either Christmas Island, if leaving from the West of Indonesia (Java), or the Ashmore (reef) and Cartier Islands which is in the East.
Fact 14. The way to stop boats coming to Australia (read Christmas Island and Ashmore Reef) is to really excise them from Australia. In other words, give the islands to Indonesia. That is a very impractical suggestion, but no more impracticle than turning boats around on a three word slogan.
For the record I don’t agree with the Coalition Asylum Seeker Policy and I didn’t agree with Labor’s last policy stance either.
The fact of the matter is that this is a very difficult policy area.
The fact of the matter also is that invading other people’s countries illegally creates refugees.
And hence the so called problem we have with so called “Illegal” Asylum seekers.
The most unfortunate thing we have at the moment is a very immature Government who seeks to cover their policy stance with silence. They were just as immature in Opposition and obstructive as well.
As unfortunate, was the stance of the Labor party who allowed them selves to be wedged by the Liberal National Coalition.
Instead of saying that the problem was caused in large measure by John Howard and his completely immature Foreign policy, which resembled Victorian “Send a Gunboat Diplomacy”, they chose to follow the coalition line of stopping the boats.
In reality the only thing that will stop refugees fleeing other countries for safety in the aggressors’ country is to stop the use of war as an arm of diplomacy.
IT NEVER WORKS!
It is time for Australia to own up to the fact, that in large part, this country is part of the problem (along with Britain, and especially the USA) and not anywhere near a solution to this problem.
So we have to use armed conflict as a completely LAST resort in our dealings with the rest of the world.
We have to be careful what chemicals we sell to countries which may want to create mayhem, we have to be careful who we sell arms to in the world. We have to strive for peace by talking rather than by aggression
We have to be prudent and cautious, not reckless and stupid in our dealings with others.
We have to be mature in our dialogue and respectful of others in the world who may be different to us.
This is explained so well by an episode on a train in Japan when I was visiting for business. Our Japanese host was reading a book on the way to work. I asked him what the subject was? He answered the Imperial negotiations between Japan and the USA, which in part (my thought) led to the entry of Japan into the 2nd World War.
Being in Japanese he was reading it from the back. I said to him you are reading it from the back. He replied no, you read your books from the back.
I admit to feeling a bit of a fool. But it was a good lesson in thinking. Japanese culture and writing has been around for a long time. Who is to say that it is any less than Roman script?
Likewise who is to say that democracy as practiced by “The West” is any better than other secular or non secular forms of Government the world over.
Asylum seekers are the result of a crass and immature Foreign Policy and a “Whoah” mindset, led by people bought up on the boys own paper and false notions of Statehood.
The use of differences to mould people to a view about people seeking asylum for legitimate reasons, (caused in a large part by the warmongers), are disingenuous and downright childlike. No one likes you in the playground stuff.
But it works, it always works when the use of words and their form are crafted in such a way to deceive and manipulate.
Such are the actions of the 12 long years of John Howard and the long 30 days and counting of the Abbott government.
Rest assured children there will be a lot more to come, rorts and all.