Or worded slightly differently:
Sound advice, I think, and I'm a bit embarrassed that I hadn't thought of it before now. Don't associate with terrorists and everything will be awesome.
The advice was provided by a nice chap who was commenting on a recent article in The Guardian. The author, Scott Ludlum, was expressing his bafflement regarding our Attorney General's lack of concern that the United States Government had vaporised two of our citizens in a drone attack late last year in Yemen.
According to our nation's top lawyer "it has nothing to do with Australia".
Comments sections on any news article these days are obviously moron-magnets, but it seems this one brought out the special breed of astoundingly moronic individuals who are quite OK with unseen unmanned planes flying overhead and blowing up anything or anyone who, in the opinion of some unknown bureaucrat, is suspicious or "a threat". What exactly they are a threat to seems to be unimportant, as long as some highly ranked person has decided that they are.
I could be wrong, because the mindset is totally foreign to me, but as far as I can tell, the logic of the special breed is:
- if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear;
- if you stay at home and hang around your non-Arab-looking mates, you'll be fine;
- fly to another country and associate with suspicious (as defined by me) people and you are no longer "an Australian";
- we (non-Muslim countries) are at war (seemingly off the books) with all Muslim countries;
- all killings of people by US and allied forces are justified because...terrorism;
- if people who are considered suspicious aren't killed immediately, they might blow something up;
- that something might be a plane or a building or a jumping castle, doesn't really matter;
- if you happen to be in a country like Yemen, you can't really be surprised if you're blown up by a drone;
- blowing up people is OK if you're a goodie;
- blowing up people is not OK if you're a baddie;
- intelligence agencies are omnipotent, know what is good for us and act accordingly;
- you aren't being shot or tortured so just relax and check out the latest funny cats video.
As an Australian citizen, I got used to the fact many years ago that our Government has willingly played the part of a rabid groupie to the United States Government. Like a tiny, undeveloped wimp in the playground, we decided that being best mates with the massive school yard bully was only logical.
Unfortunately the trade offs with such a relationship are inevitable. The runt must, no matter how humiliating or blatantly demeaning, do the bully's bidding in order to stay protected. Man, have we done their bidding.
It is common knowledge to those with a working brain that if you find your self in US or Allied military custody, for justifiable reasons or not, you're on your own. The Australian Government will wash its hands of you and it's citizens will damn you for daring to leave our safe shores.
David Hicks spent 5-6 years in Guantanamo Bay and our Government did nothing to help him. Mamdouh Habib suffered rendition and torture and years in captivity at the whim of US authorities.
There is an endless supply of people in my country who will swear black and blue that they deserved what they got. Even if they weren't guilty of breaking any (real non-retrospective and non-manufactured laws), they were in a place and situation that we didn't approve of, so...it's all justified in the name of fighting terrorism.
I think that is totally fucked and I will never understand that sort of mentality.
Apparently people like me will see the error of our thoughts when the plane carrying someone we know or love or admire on the internet is terrorised from the sky.
If that happens, I would hope I'd be human enough to conclude that torturing and killing thousands of innocent or ambiguously guilty people is not a price I'm willing to concede for the unimaginably small chance that the act of terrorism could have been averted.
But that's just my opinion. Believe it or not, this is not an intended swipe at the United States or its people. It's an expression of complete frustration and amazement that my own country's people are so willing to surrender their human decency just because some dickhead with a suit and tie tells them "everything is awesome".
That list of dot points compiled above might seem a bit ridiculous and hysterical, but I've based them (except the last one) on the following intensely depressing comments: