Friday, July 06, 2007

Something different

Interrupting the usual programming is a video clip brought to us by GetUp, who have produced a political TV advertisement featuring Louise Barry, an Australian injured in the 2005 London bombings.

She writes:
Two years ago I was on a bus that was blown up by terrorists. Three months in traction and six operations later, I'm asking for your help to prevent this from happening to any more Australians.

These recent attacks in the UK have not only brought back some really painful memories, they've prompted me to make a television ad - and we need your help to show it. Please watch my urgent plea here:

I thought going to war in Iraq was supposed to make us safer, not put us in more danger. And now we're hearing it was for their oil. Some of you may have seen me ask John Howard from my hospital bed whether he thought what happened to me was a result of the war in Iraq.

I did not think then that two years later we would be still be in this position, where I feel compelled to ask Mr Howard the same question. Yet here we are - our military presence is not making the Iraqis any safer; it is not making Australians any safer. Why, exactly, are we there then?

I want to help the Iraqi people, but not at the end of a gun. Our involvement in the violence in Iraq will only lead to more violence. Why can't we instead spend the money on reconstruction programs?

I'm no expert, but I do know something about the real cost of terrorism. Please, help me tell this to the Prime Minister.

Thank you,

Louise Barry
Survivor, 2005 London Bombings
GetUp member

And here is the Getup video clip:


Anonymous said...

While I am certainly no fan of John Howard, I think this ad is disgusting. Why doesn't she blame trhe actual murderous Muslim extremist thugs who actually planned and did the attack for the sole purpose of killing her? Why do so many people continue to make apologies for Muslim terrorists as if they are justified in their suicide missions. This ad is basically a recruiting ad for those wishing vengeance on the west. So who is to blame for the 9/11 attacks since they took place prior to Iraq? Is it safe to blame the actual Muslim extremists or is it not politicall correct these days to blame anyone apart from the US, Uk and Australian governments?

Paul Martin said...

Why doesn't she blame the actual murderous Muslim extremist thugs...

1. I don't think it's appropriate to place 'Muslim' with 'extremist thugs' as the two are contradictory. The extremist thugs are no more Muslim than the bombs dropped on Iraq are Christian. Why slander the 99.99% of peace-loving people because of the actions of a few?

2. I'm going to be arrogant enough to presume to know Louise Barry's mind and that she probably does indeed blame the extremists for what happened to her and many others on that fateful day. I imagine she thinks about them each and every day. That's not the point, which is that our government took us into an illegal war, for immoral purposes and blatantly lied about the reasons and the risks. One of the blatant lies was that it would reduce the risk of terrorism and make our lives safer. Clearly that has not been the case.

Now that the public attitudes against the war in Iraq are making the government's position less and less tenable, the government has had to come out and announce that the reason for staying is the actual reason they've denied all along. It's only proper that individuals and groups take the government to task.

Anonymous said...

The 9/11 attacks which killed many Australians as well happened prior to Iraq so what was the reason for those attacks? I think it's inane and insulting giving justification to suicide bombing attacks. These guys are psychotic cowardly murderers. They hide behind Islam as some sort of justification for their actions. It's like saying that the Port Arthur killer had reasons for what he did. Who cares? He killed people and there can never be any justification. Also, 98% of the killings in Iraq are from Muslim extremist groups, death squads that go from village to village killing innocents, suicide bombing attacks and insurgent soldiers. Why isn't anyone mentioning the millions that Saddam and his henchmen killed including thousands of Kurdish women and children? They don't seem to matter because they can't blame the US for it. I am sorry but I have no time for any Muslim extrmists pushing their cause for independence and the destruction of Israel (most Muslims want the Jews kicked out of Israel dead or alive) by killing others.

Paul Martin said...

Anonymous (a first name or nom de plume would be nice, to differentiate you from other any other anonymous), I think you're missing the point. You're raising a whole bucket of issues that are not being addressed, and I don't know if they can ever be addressed. Certainly not in one go.

We could also raise the Christian extremism of George W. Bush, or the terrorist activities of the Coalition of the Willing, or the 160,000+ civilians who have died in Iraq (compared to 2900 on 9/11), that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and many other issues. But they're not the point either.

The point/s were raised in my previous comment. Governments are - or should be - accountable to the people who elect them.

Anonymous said...

Call me Bob. What I object to is Getup using the sympathetic figure of Louise Barry who suffered horrendous injuries for the sake of scoring political points. It's like Howard using footage of a hostage being beheaded by Muslim extremists to further his cause in Iraq. It's disgraceful and this ad is the beginning of the end for our society if this continues. Yes, I agree with you that the government needs to be accountable and after 9/11 and Bali bombings in which many Australians were killed and which both happened prior to an invasion of Iraq, I wanted a government who had the guts to take action and not just lie down like a dog while innocent Aussies were being killed. I was in Toronto during 9/11 and I can tell you, I was hoping that some decisive action would be taken and not have a weak government that gets trampled on by pathetically cowardly terrorists who think by killing themselves and others they will be rewarded at the pearly gates by 72 virgins. Pleeeeeease! Islam is not a religion but a cult and political and ethical movement.

Paul Martin said...

Briefly, Bob:

1. Louise Barry has chosen to promote this cause herself, and joined with GetUp. I consider it a worthy cause. You may or may not agree, I'm cool with that either way.

2. The government has spent many, many millions of dollars promoting its dubious causes and no grassroots organisation can compare financially. Consequently, these grassroots organisations who don't have billions of tax dollars at their disposal have to find effective means to counter the official propaganda.

3. For every fanatic Muslim, there is a fanatic Jew, Christian, Hindu, whatever. Fundamentalism is everywhere. So are moderates.

4. If fundamentalism is thriving in Iraq, it is thanks to US intervention there.

5. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

Anonymous said...

"5. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."

So a Muslim suicide bomber that blows himself and 100 other Muslims including women and children at a crowded Baghdad market are freedome fighters? I see, with that sort of logic, terrorism will continue to thrive both here and abroad.

Anonymous said...

Are these freedom fighter as well?

All for a good cause, I guess.

Anonymous said...

"4. If fundamentalism is thriving in Iraq, it is thanks to US intervention there."

Also, fundamentalism has been thriving for decades not only in Iraq but in all Islamic nations. Just look at all the suicide bombings since 1948 when Israel was formed. Israel is the size of one-fifth of Tasmania and yet all Islamic nations 1000 times bigger than Israel want it destroyed and to take over the land. Pathetic really.

"3. For every fanatic Muslim, there is a fanatic Jew, Christian, Hindu, whatever. Fundamentalism is everywhere. So are moderates."

I haven't seen any Rabbis blowing themselves up in crowded markets or trains.

Paul Martin said...

Bob, you're obviously passionate about the broader issue, and you're entitled to be. With respect, I think your passion is clouding your perspective of what this post is about. I'm not going to dwell on the broader perspective because what my original post is about is holding the current government accountable for its failed policies. There are many other political forums that are better suited for a broader discussion.