A lot of the Aboriginal mothers out around Uluru have personal experience of the Stolen Generation, a state-sponsored crime for which Howard still refuses to apologise. Little wonder they are terrified and panicking:
Some families have already fled the first community to be targeted, Mutitjulu at Uluru, but the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, blames "liars" who have something to hide from police and military personnel for terrorising people and spreading hysteria.Credibility is a bitch, isn't it? On the basis that anything the government denies must be true, here's Howard:
"The reason people are scared there at the moment is because people are putting around that the army are coming to take their children away, that the army is coming in to shoot the dogs and the Government is going to take away their money and make them sit there and do what they're told," Mr Brough said...
Lesley Taylor, one of the Territory's most experienced child abuse workers, said: "They are scared stiff … This is creating very stressful environments that could lead to even more children being at risk."
Sixty to 70 communities will be targeted, and small teams of police, military and government officers will begin arriving today to audit people's needs. They would be replaced by teams who would stay to meet those needs, Mr Brough said. Public servants will oversee the programs, with a manager in each community responsible for what happens.
"There's no reason to flee, it's quite the reverse. People are going there to help, going there to save and protect, they're not going there to scare people and steal children."Righto. But surely the standard government policy on sexually abused children dictates that they must be immediately removed from their parents? Make no mistake: children WILL be removed from their families. And who is going to decide on that action? Howard's chosen few, come from afar.
Meanwhile, out in the hot desert sun...
Mutitjulu leader Bob Randall said the community was waiting to see what happens next.As this week's Bulletin says, it is all rather theatrical.
"It appears to be high security, all we are doing is waiting to see what happens but we all think this is a terrible way to go about it, I mean this is heavy stuff," he said.
"It is quiet as always, this is always a quiet little community.
"We haven't seen anything different yet but we are expecting something to happen today."
"Well, you just had that terrible running-on-the-spot feeling," says Howard. "You put a lot of effort and a lot of resources into the dysfunctional character these communities, I watched what Noel Pearson was doing in the Cape and it made a lot of sense."The view from abroad is a little different, as one might expect. South Africans take the Aboriginal perspective (how novel) and see the intervention as 'a land grab':
Indigenous leaders presented a letter bearing more than 90 signatures to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Mal Brough on Tuesday condemning the plan, which involves Canberra taking control of leases on Aboriginal land for five years.Funny how Turner's voice is not being heard in the Oz media, isn't it?
Pat Turner, who was once Australia's most senior Aboriginal bureaucrat, said Howard's conservative government was trying to reverse hard-fought indigenous land rights.
"We believe that this government is using child sexual abuse as the Trojan horse to resume total control of our land," she told reporters.
And I am just going to quote Howard's ridiculous Hurricane Katrina analogy here because I am sure I will be coming back to it soon:
"Many Australians, myself included, looked aghast at the failure of the American federal system of government to cope adequately with Hurricane Katrina and the human misery and lawlessness that engulfed New Orleans in 2005. We should have been more humble. We have our Katrina, here and now. That it has unfolded more slowly and absent the hand of God should make us humbler still."Notice the "five year" lease-grabbing, which will just take us through the next election comfortably. Cynical? Moi?
What a fucking blatantly transparent farce. Shame on all those who refuse to call it for what it is: a desperate election stunt from a morally bankrupt racist who truly doesn't give a fuck.