My response to Tanya

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Posted by David Chibo ( on January 29, 2002 at 11:35:28:

In Reply to: Cracks begin to appear in the Labor Party posted by David Chibo on January 28, 2002 at 23:35:31:

Hi Tanya,

Although the ALP greatly dissapointed me and lost my vote during the last election, I am very impressed by your stand on this issue from the attachments you sent me and I look forwad to continuing to struggle to free the refugees.

What appears to be missing in this entire issue is the strategy we should use in freeing the refugees.

We should appeal to the average warm-hearted Australian who's fear regarding this issue is that we'll be swamped by our neighbours who will take our jobs.

When we state 'Free the Refugees' the average Australian's answer is usually,
"We can't solve the entire world's problems."

With an economic downturn and low job security they feel justified in supporting the current government's policy.

What we need to do is place the burden of responsibility on the Australian people's shoulders.
We should point out that the root cause of the refugees is War. War that is usually waged by the Superpower(s) and supported by our government.

It's no coincidence that the majority of refugees are from Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam.

These three countries have each been through wars that our government supported.

Vietnam - "All the way with LBJ" was the catch cry and it took 3 million Vietnamese, 55,000 Americans, 500 Australians and a divided and devastated country before we left.

Iraq - We supported the U.S. in bombing Iraq's civilian infrastructure and then we took it further by supporting 12 years of sanctions that have according to a 1999 UNICEF report been responsible for the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. We currently have 3 navy vessels patrolling the Gulf ensuring that ships with vitally needed foods and medicines aren't allowed to enter Iraq.

Afghanistan - Our unwavering support for the war on Afghanistan in which 3,767 innocent civilians in Afghanistan have been killed between the dates of October 7, 2001 and December 6, 2001.

Our support for wars that devastated these countries means that we are morally responsible for the orphans and widows who have fled as a result of our actions.

The key to winning the average Australian's heart and mind is to educate him about the root cause of the refugee problem.

Then explain that we either support the U.S. in its wars and take responsibility for cleaning up afterwards, OR don't support the U.S. wars in the first place which will mean that we aren't morally obliged to take in their refugees.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

I leave you now with a statement Jimmy Carter made after reading Tolstoy's War and Peace;
...the course of human events, even the greatest historical events, is not determined by the leaders of a nation or a state, like presidents or governors or
senators. They are controlled by the combined wisdom and courage and commitment and discernment and unselfishness and compassion and love and idealism
of the common ordinary people.

Kindest regards,
David Chibo

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