LaRouche's CEC a Key Factor
In Australian Election
by Allen Douglas
Now that Australia's next Federal election has been set for Oct. 9, the hot phase of the election is under way, and, in a race too close to call, the campaigns of Lyndon LaRouche's associates in the Citizens Electoral Council, may well determine its outcome. Already, the CEC has helped shape the political environment for the election, to the decided disadvantage of U.S. Vice President Cheney's friends downunder.
Australia is presently governed by the Liberal Party/National Party coalition ("the Coalition") under Liberal Prime Minister John Howard. The main opposition is the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the country's other major party, now led by Sydney MP Mark Latham. The election will be decided by margins of only 0.1% to 2% in some 15 races for the House of Representatives, in a number of which LaRouche's associates have mounted high-profile campaigns, with radio and TV ads, hundreds of lawn signs, and tons of printed material. With 106 candidates for the House, the CEC is running by far its largest campaign ever, and has issued millions of pieces of campaign literature, with another million or more still to go. Though the party is variously blacked out or libelled by the Rupert Murdoch-dominated major media, its breadth of candidates for both the House and Senate across Australia's six states and two territories make it the fourth-largest party in the country, outside of the Coalition, the ALP, and the Green Party. Terrified of growing support for the CEC by an electorate disgusted by the Coalition/ALP embrace of free-market globalization, the establishment has promoted the Greens, now polling 6-9%, as their tame opposition to the "majors."
The Australian election has international significance, coming only three weeks before the U.S. election on Nov. 2, and given that Howard is a close ally of Cheney/Bush and Britain's Tony Blair. Australia is one of the "Three Musketeers" of the Iraq War, along with the United States and United Kingdom, which Howard has even surpassed in his "war on terror," the rationale for a fascist police state. He has passed an astonishing 30 "anti-terrorism" laws over the past two years, many of them carbon copies of Hitler's Emergency Decrees of 1933. The ALP, while now nothing to brag about, does have a proud, nationalist history, which occasionally surfaces, as in Latham's pledge to pull Australia's troops out of Iraq by Christmas—a huge blow to the Cheney-Bush perpetual war plans.
Under Australia's complex "preference" voting system, a voter makes his first choice, and then numbers secondary "preferences" for other parties or independents. In a close race between the "majors," such as now, where the ALP needs only to pick up eight seats to take the government, these secondary preferences determine the outcome. In almost all the 15 marginal seats, CEC candidates, who have drawn as high as 7-9% in recent state elections, are preferencing the ALP.
Shaping the Environment
Perhaps even more important in this election than the growing electoral muscle of the CEC, is the way in which the party has shaped the political environment, as an adjunct to LaRouche's own impact in the United States.
Beginning mid-2002, the CEC began an intensive campaign against the barrage of fascist police-state laws which Howard was mounting in ostensible response to 9/11. The party took out ads in two of the nation's largest daily newspapers, the Age in Melbourne, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, and the Canberra Times, documenting that the proposed "anti-terrorism" powers were identical to those seized by Hitler following the Nazi-lit Reichstag Fire of Feb. 27, 1933. Among other things, these laws allowed the Army to shoot and kill Australian civilians, and allowed the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), Australia's FBI, to "disappear" civilians indefinitely.
The CEC's campaign was triggered by that launched in the United States by LaRouche in his webcast of Jan. 3, 2001, when he forecast that the new Cheney-Bush Administration, or the synarchist forces behind it, would orchestrate "terrorist" provocations to bring the United States into a police-state, in order to deal with the worst financial collapse in history. LaRouche's bold opposition to Cheney's war against Iraq, spurred opposition to the war-and-fascism agenda of the Cheney-led neo-cons from among initially terrified institutional layers.
Similarly, in Australia, Howard's ruthless "anti-terrorism" campaign was a juggernaut sweeping all before it, until the CEC stood up to challenge this "downunder Cheney." Through what LaRouche was doing in the United States, and through the direct impact of the CEC's organizing, crucial institutional resistance coalesced against Howard.
The most recent of the CEC's anti-police-state ads, of June 14, 2004, signed by some 80 prominent Australians, was typical of the campaign. The ad proclaimed, "Enough of this fascist legislation.... We do not want Australia to be turned into a carbon copy of Hitler's Germany." In a clear response, The Weekend Australian of June 26-27 ran a remarkable cartoon showing Howard giving a Nazi salute to a group of also-saluting "Howard Youth."
Before and after that ad, the CEC distributed enormous quantities of literature outlining the global strategic danger of depression, war, and fascism, including: 150,000 copies of its April 2004 New Citizen newspaper, featuring an exposé of the synarchist/fascist roots of Prime Minister Howard's Liberal Party; 50,000 copies of a New Citizen Extra, "Say No to Fascism in Australia!" with the bombshell that Howard's father had been a member of the fascist New Guard militia in Sydney in the 1930s; and 70,000 copies of LaRouche's three Children of Satan pamphlets, with Australian introductions exposing the neo-cons' apparatus downunder.
In this environment, a series of extraordinary events took place, beginning with the sudden resignation on March 11, 2003 of one of Australia's top intelligence analysts, Andrew Wilkie of the elite Office of National Assessments. Wilkie charged that Howard had lied in order to drag Australia into the war on Iraq; he quit in an attempt to stop that war, the only high-level analyst in the "Four Eyes" intelligence alliance of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, to do so. Others stepped forward with similar charges of Howard bending or suppressing crucial intelligence for political ends.
Then, on July 17, 2004, John Valder, a respected former president of Howard's own Liberal Party, and once a Howard supporter, charged that "Bush, Blair, and Howard, as leaders of the three members of the coalition of the willing, inflicted enormous suffering on the people of Iraq, and, as such, they are criminals," and should be tried for war crimes. Valder is now coordinating a campaign to attempt to unseat Howard in his own district of Bennelong in suburban Sydney, where Howard's opponent, in addition to the ALP candidate, is Andrew Wilkie.
Next, on Aug. 9, forty-three retired former defense officials and diplomats released an unprecedented statement, in which they charged, "We are concerned that Australia was committed to join the invasion of Iraq on the basis of false assumptions and the deception of the Australian people." The statement was coordinated by former Chief of the Defense Force Gen. Peter Gration, who had signed the June 14 CEC ad. Gration's signature on the CEC ad had caused a firestorm of protest against both him and the CEC from the pro-Howard Murdoch press. Shortly after the "Group of 43" statement, Howard was pummelled yet again when retired defense bureaucrat Mike Scrafton, after three years of terrified silence, charged that Howard had lied in the notorious "children overboard" case of November 2001, when Howard claimed that political asylum seekers had thrown their children overboard in order to force their rescue by Australia's Navy. Howard used the made-up incident, just days before the 2001 election, to foster his "tough on immigrants" campaign—a stance widely credited with winning him the extremely close election.
By Aug. 23, Howard was forced to release a detailed rebuttal of opportunistic, but accurate Labor Party charges that he had lied to the public on 27 different occasions. The following day, the nation's two largest daily newspapers, the Age in Melbourne and the Sydney Morning Herald, ran a prominent article by one of the country's leading Mont Pelerinite think-tankers entitled "Fascist Australia," which charged that the reason many Australians—including an astonishing 55% of youth—are convinced that the nation is plunging into fascism, is because of the campaigns of the CEC.
The Jabotinsky Lobby
At almost every turn in the CEC's campaign against Howard's drive for war and fascism, its most outspoken opponent has been Australia's "anti-defamation lobby," whose most prominent members are: the Anti-Defamation Commission of B'nai B'rith (ADC); The Review magazine (formerly Australia/Israel Review, AIR) and its parent body, the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), led by Melbourne "tax minimization" lawyer Mark Leibler; and neo-con Michael Danby, the former longtime editor of AIR, and now an ALP Member of Parliament. The founder of AIR/The Review was Robert Zablud, a devotee of the Jewish fascist Vladimir Jabotinsky. Then-AIR] editor Danby lauded Zablud as the "organizational genius" behind the magazine, noting that his vision of Judaism had been inspired by "his mentor Zeev Jabotinsky," whom Danby called "a much misunderstood centre-right Zionist ideologue." The chairman of the ADC is the LaRouche-hating Privy Councilor Sir Zelman Cowen, who from 1968-77 chaired the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom (AACF), an arm of the CIA-funded Committee for Cultural Freedom (CCF), exposed in LaRouche's Children of Satan III pamphlet, The Sexual Congress for Cultural Fascism.
Typical was the anti-defamation gang's response to the CEC's June 14, 2004 ad against a Howard "anti-terror law," which, among other things, proposed to recognize as an offense against Australia, "an offence triable by a military commission of the United States of America." The law cited the Nov. 13, 2001 order by President Bush which set up the torture chambers of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, in order to legalize such procedures under Australian law. Ignoring the fact that Howard was sanctioning torture, ADC chairman Dr. Paul Gardner attacked the CEC as promoting "conspiracy theories, many of which have an anti-semitic flavour," while the executive director of AIJAC and chairman of the editorial board of The Review, Dr. Colin Rubenstein, claimed the CEC was a "political cult." Danby demanded that the Parliament's Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (of which he is vice chairman) investigate the CEC for alleged financial irregularities (the Committee rejected Danby's demand). His call to investigate the CEC was not surprising: He brags about his "key role in winning support" to pass "tougher anti-terrorism legislation"—Howard's fascist laws. The self-proclaimed pro-human-rights anti-defamation lobby has otherwise been either silent about, or even, like Danby, supportive of Howard's fascist laws. In fact, AIJAC invited Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has called to legalize torture, to keynote its recent 30th anniversary gala.
Although the anti-defamation gang has long been hysterical about the CEC because of the latter's ties to LaRouche, they are also afraid of late that high-profile CEC candidates will cause some of their assets to lose their seats, as in hard-fought races in the states of Victoria and Queensland.
Danby himself is terrified that he may lose his suburban Melbourne (Victoria) seat of Melbourne Ports, which he only holds by a small margin, and where he is opposed by the CEC's Aaron Isherwood, as well as the Liberal and Greens candidates. He has been visibly destabilized by the CEC's presence in his electorate, and most recently cancelled his appearance at a campaign event, when he heard that the Australian LaRouche Youth Movement was present. And, when Isherwood put out a leaflet all over his electorate asking if Danby "still thought the fascist Jabotinsky was much misunderstood," ADC chairman Gardner and the Australian Jewish News jumped to his defense, claiming that the CEC engages in "anti-semitic tactics." Denying Jabotinsky's extensive history as a supporter of Hitler and Mussolini (Israeli founder David Ben Gurion once denounced him as "Vladimir Hitler"), the AJN described him as merely "a Zionist activist who founded the Betar movement and demanded the creation of a Jewish army alongside those of the Allies, to fight the Nazis." Melbourne Ports is one of only two seats where the CEC will preference the Liberals ahead of the ALP.
In Queensland, ADC ally and National Party Senator Ron Boswell in August attacked the CEC in Parliament, using a wildly lying 2001 "ADC Briefing Paper." Boswell is terrified that his National Party ally in the seat of Dawson, De-Anne Kelly, who is being opposed by the CEC's Jan Pukallus, may lose her seat because of Pukallus.
Election Rigging? The Terrorism Factor
As in the United States, many in Australia are holding their breath in fear that some kind of 9/11 incident may be orchestrated to tilt the electoral outcome toward the alleged "tough on terror" incumbent. There is certainly a precedent for this in Australia.
In 1954, Australian Liberal Party Prime Minister Robert Menzies, and John Howard's hero, was expected to lose the Federal election to the pro-national-banking ALP. As the CEC documented in its April 2004 issue of the New Citizen, the pro-fascist Menzies, a luncheon guest of honor of Nazi financial wizard Hjalmar Schacht in the 1930s, had been the synarchists' wartime choice to replace British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and to make a deal with Hitler, which would have led to Nazi world rule. As the election approached, Menzies and his just-established secret police, ASIO, orchestrated the defection of a Soviet diplomat. Amidst an ensuing Royal Commission investigating Soviet espionage, a media "Red scare," and Liberal Party charges that his ALP opponent "Doc" Evatt was a Communist sympathizer, the "tough-on-Reds" Menzies was re-elected by a whisker, even though he lost the popular vote.
Is a similar election-rigging now under way? On Sept. 9, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia was hit by a massive car bomb, which killed 9 and wounded 182. Due to the bomb-proofing of the Embassy, almost all the casualties were Indonesians outside. However, it was the first time that Australia had been directly targetted by terrorists, and Australian police and security officials have stated that a second attack against Australian interests has been planned, probably also in Indonesia.
Then, on Sept. 13, a group calling itself the Horror Brigades of the Islamic Secret Army claimed that it had kidnapped two Australians in Iraq, and would execute them within 24 hours, unless Australia withdrew its troops from Iraq. Though no Australians have been proven to be kidnapped as EIR goes to press, these events are widely acknowledged in Australia to have given Howard, at least momentarily, an edge on the ALP. With the race now too close to call, thoughtful observers are asking what else might Dick Cheney or his synarchist controllers be planning, to aid their stooge Howard?