Australians oppose Dick Cheney’s visit


Cheney, Halliburton, and US military casualties in Iraq, cartoon

By Pip Hinman in Australia:

Cheney is not welcome!

16 February 2007

US vice-president Dick Cheney, about to visit Sydney, is not welcome.

Cheney is visiting Australia to meet with the Howard government in Canberra, and will address a meeting of supporters in Sydney on February 23 at 9.30am at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Rocks.

Cheney’s visit comes at a time when the Bush government faces increasing isolation — internationally and domestically — for its war and occupation of Iraq.

The routing of the Republicans in last year’s mid-term elections, and Bush’s recent announcement to deploy more than 20,000 extra troops to Iraq has increased that isolation.

Cheney, a former CEO of Halliburton, one of the key corporations to profit from the US war and occupation of Iraq, still receives handsome kick-backs from the war profiteering corporation.

Cheney represents the most corrupt and brutal aspects of the Bush administration.

In the US, his approval rating has plunged to just 16%.

Cheney has been outspoken in advocating torture in US prison camps like Guantanamo Bay [see also here].

He has argued for US government endorsement of practices such as “water boarding”, which involves almost drowning the prisoner, outlawed during the Vietnam war.

Australia is one of the few US allies left in the “coalition of the willing” countries that signed on to the Iraq war in 2003.

Since then, many countries have pulled their troops out of Iraq, or are making plans to.

Britain and Australia are exceptions.

The continued incarceration of David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay underlines the Australian government’s support for the US-led war drive.

PM John Howard has approved Hicks’s trial in the sham military commission in which evidence obtained under torture is accepted.

Cheney’s visit is an opportunity for the anti-war movement to increase the pressure on Howard to bring Hicks home and withdraw the troops from Iraq.

While Australia’s contingent is small — some 1400 troops — it is nevertheless politically significant and reinforces the Australia-US alliance, which has always been an alliance between war criminals.

The ALP has called for the troops to leave Iraq.

The NSW Labor Premier Morris Iemma should use Cheney’s visit to forcefully reiterate this position.

Socialist Alliance is helping organise a “welcome” for Cheney in Sydney and Canberra.

It’s a crime that while David Hicks has been illegally incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay for five years, this war criminal, with the blood of 650,000 Iraqis on his hands, walks free.

Until we break the Australia-US war alliance, the world’s peoples will be vulnerable to the dangerous whims of the warmongers such as Cheney, Bush and Howard.

Pip Hinman

Pip Hinman is an activist in the Sydney Stop the War Coalition.

From the Sydney Stop the War Coalition site:

RALLY: 5.30PM THURSDAY FEBRUARY 22, SYDNEY TOWN HALL

PROTEST: 8AM FRIDAY FEBRUARY 23 @ SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, CNR ESSEX ST & GEORGE ST THE ROCKS

(Cheney will be giving a speech inside the hotel at approx 9.30am)

See also about Cheney and the Libby trial.

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2 thoughts on “Australians oppose Dick Cheney’s visit

  1. *the dangerous actions of Dick Cheney’s son-in-law, Philip Perry*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:54 am (PST)

    The Cheney family is — wall to wall – a bunch of crooks and unethical
    people (except for the minor grandchildren, but give them sufficient
    time and opportunity and they will undoubtedly join the family “firm”).

    As the Washington Monthly reveals
    in
    its current issue, [Cheney son-in-law, Philip] Perry has spent the
    past few years at the Department of Homeland Security obstructing
    federal and state regulation of the nation’s chemical industry,
    which still remains vulnerable to a devastating terrorist attack —
    and which has paid millions of dollars to Latham & Watkins, the
    Washington law firm where he [Philip Perry] has been a partner and
    lobbyist, earning as much as $700,000 a year. (Having just resigned
    from Homeland Security last month, Perry could soon return to
    Latham, thus completing his third circuit through the revolving door.)

    Perry’s crowning achievement in the months before he quit the
    federal government is a set of laws and regulations that permit
    chemical manufacturers to decide whether and how to improve the
    notoriously lax security at their plants.>>

    But the true scandal of Perry’s career in government and law is
    less about blatant nepotism and more about corporate cronyism.

    Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy to KNOW that Cheney’s
    son-in-law has done everything he could to keep the nation’s chemical
    plants VULNERABLE to terrorist attack?

    Yeah, even at the same time Republicans are foaming at the mouth and
    warning us about how much the terrorists want to attack us here in The
    States, Cheney’s son-in-law is responsible for helping to make such an
    attack more likely to succeed.

    I truly do not know whether today’s Republicans are more likely
    sociopaths, psychopaths, or just plain criminals. Maybe they are just
    plain STUPID; that’s the kindest conclusion I can come to.

    In an interview with the Washington Monthly, Sen. Frank
    Lautenberg, D-N.J., furiously excoriated the Bush administration for
    coddling its corporate friends. “*In order to please their cronies
    in the chemical industry, the Bush administration is willing to put
    the health and safety of millions of people at risk*,” he said of
    Perry’s handiwork.

    Not only does New Jersey SHARE New York City’s notoriously vulnerable
    port areas along the Hudson River and its outlets to the Atlantic, but
    the central part of NJ is filled with vulnerable chemical plants —
    perfect targets for terrorists. New Jersey has passed laws and
    regulations to protect those chemical plants, but Cheney son-in-law Phil
    Perry has seen to it that federal government regulations override New
    Jersey’s laws and make New Jersey LESS safe — yes, LESS safe.

    ———————————————————-
    **The press’s warped priorities*

    It cares more about Mary Cheney’s gayness than it does about the
    dangerous actions of Dick Cheney’s son-in-law, Philip Perry. *
    /
    by Joe Conason/
    /Salon.com
    /
    /Feb. 16, 2007/

    Did you hear that Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter is having a baby?
    Of course you did — and so did everyone else — because over the past
    two months, the controversial pregnancy

    of Mary Cheney has
    been noted and debated on every almost every significant news outlet in
    America.

    When Wolf Blitzer opened up that touchy topic during an interview on
    CNN, the vice president
    responded with his
    trademark snarl. Mary Cheney seems to resent questions about her
    personal life, too, except when she is promoting her book

    or marketing Coors beer.

    Embarrassing as the contradictions between his gay daughter and his
    homophobic party may
    be, however, the vice president should be grateful that the mainstream
    media hasn’t turned the spotlight on his son-in-law.

    The man who married straight daughter Liz Cheney is a sharp conservative
    lawyer
    named Philip Perry. Like his wife, who serves as deputy assistant
    secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, Perry has held a series of
    high-level patronage appointments in the Bush administration. Not long
    after his father-in-law took office in 2001, President Bush appointed
    Perry to the third-ranking position in the Justice Department; from
    there he moved to the top legal position in the Office of Management and
    Budget and later became general counsel to the Department of Homeland
    Security, with intermittent stints in the private sector.

    But the true scandal of Perry’s career in government and law is less
    about blatant nepotism and more about corporate cronyism.

    As the Washington Monthly reveals
    in its
    current issue, Perry has spent the past few years at DHS obstructing
    federal and state regulation of the nation’s chemical industry, which
    still remains vulnerable to a devastating terrorist attack — and which
    has paid millions of dollars to Latham & Watkins, the Washington law
    firm where he has been a partner and lobbyist, earning as much as
    $700,000 a year. (Having just resigned from Homeland Security last
    month, Perry could soon return to Latham, thus completing his third
    circuit through the revolving door.)

    Perry’s crowning achievement in the months before he quit the federal
    government is a set of laws and regulations that permit chemical
    manufacturers to decide whether and how to improve the notoriously lax
    security at their plants. Last fall, with Perry overseeing the
    legislative process, Congress passed a feeble bill
    that
    was supposed to force reform before a disaster occurs. The hardworking
    Perry made sure that the bill was rendered even more toothless when he
    and his staff set up the regulations to enforce it. Those rules include
    a special provision designed to frustrate vulnerable states such as New
    Jersey from passing stronger regulations, which will be preempted by the
    weak federal law.

    *In an interview with the Washington Monthly, Sen. Frank Lautenberg,
    D-N.J., furiously excoriated the Bush administration for coddling its
    corporate friends. “In order to please their cronies in the chemical
    industry, the Bush administration is willing to put the health and
    safety of millions of people at risk,” he said of Perry’s handiwork.*

    Or as Art Levine himself put it in his article: “A flippant critic might
    say the father-in-law has been prosecuting a war that creates more
    terrorists abroad, while the son-in-law has been working to ensure
    they’ll have easy targets at home. But it’s more precise to say that
    White House officials really, really don’t want to alienate the chemical
    industry, and Perry has been really, really willing to help them not do
    it.”

    Meanwhile, as Perry was preparing to leave his sinecure and return to
    the private sector, he came under severe criticism from within the
    government as well. On Feb. 13, Comptroller General David Walker, one of
    the more independent-minded officials in the capital, reported to
    Congress
    that Perry had purposely frustrated every effort by the Government
    Accountability Office to monitor the Department of Homeland Security —
    which is widely regarded as a wasteful, ineffective, lobbyist-infested
    disaster.

    Does that strike you as an important story? Obviously the security of
    the chemical industry is a matter of critical importance, perhaps even
    more urgent than a lesbian pregnancy in the Cheney family. (I should
    admit that I may be biased on the subject, because the Nation Institute
    Investigative Fund, which I
    recently joined as director, helped to finance Levine’s research last
    year.)

    Someday the potential damage done to national security by Philip Perry
    may cost us very dearly, as another penetrating article in the
    Washington Monthly
    by
    terror expert Stephen Flynn explains in grave detail. Hundreds of
    chemical facilities across the country are inadequately protected, which
    Levine proved when he casually infiltrated
    one
    of them, and the most dangerous could kill tens of thousands of people
    if blown up by terrorists.

    .

    [NOTE FROM ME: If one or more of the chemical plants in NJ were to
    be blown up, MILLIONS would die. Densely-populated New Jersey and
    its densely-populated neighbor New York City would be affected, so
    that would cause harm and, maybe, death to millions.]
    .

    Yet so far the mainstream media has more or less ignored this story of
    public peril and corporate influence, despite the added frisson of the
    Cheney connection. Lesbian baby gossip is so much juicier, so much
    easier to report, so much simpler to sensationalize — and so much more
    fascinating for the Washington press corps, whose priorities are as
    warped and trivial as the tabloid culture they now emulate.

    Read this WITH LINKS at:
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2007/02/16/perry_security/

  2. Pingback: Dick Cheney in Japan and Australia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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