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Comrade Hillary

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thinking of moving across the ditch? 

Think again.

I must say. I feel vindicated somewhat with my yahoo poll posting a few down after even the Aussies say they have mental problems. That country needs a few thousand psychiatrists to get to work immediately.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:
For too long our politicians and police have turned their backs on a festering problem writes Miranda Devine.

FORGET Clover Moore as the Grinch of Sydney's Christmas. The "Lions of Lebanon" with their Glock pistols and Molotov cocktails have put her to shame this holy season. While the NSW police lock down entire beachfront suburbs, instruct stores to stop selling baseball bats, and apply the full force of the law to pasty-faced nerds with a taste for Nazi literature, they continue to cower from the real hardmen, the Lebanese-Australian criminal gangs of Sydney's south-west who have ruled the roost in this city for at least a decade and now number in their thousands.

So when parents and children attending Christmas carols on Monday night, December 12, at St Joseph the Worker Primary School in South Auburn were abused and spat on by "young men of Middle Eastern appearance", there were no police to protect them. Not even when the sounds of gunshots echoed inside the church, and parked cars were pumped full of bullets. "Police were called by a number of parents and the principal, but they were unable to attend because they were needed elsewhere," said Cardinal George Pell in a statement.

The police were busy that night - Sydney's mini Kristallnacht "night of the broken glass" - as carloads of men drove east from Lakemba and Punchbowl to systematically attack whole streets of parked cars with bats and machetes. Identified by police as being of the proverbial Middle-Eastern appearance - code for Lebanese Muslim, despite the fact many are second-generation Australians - they also stabbed a man, smashed a woman's head with a bat, attacked another woman in a pizza shop and a man who was putting out his rubbish.

They were extracting revenge for the riot the day before on Cronulla beach when a protest against continuing intimidation of beachgoers by thugs described as Lebanese turned ugly and drunken racists attacked passers-by suspected of being "Lebs".

The retaliation from the gangs of the south-west was a calculated show of strength, with victims reportedly being asked if they were "Australian" before being attacked. Over the next 24 hours another three churches in Sydney's south-west were attacked.

With police unable to guarantee safety, Holy Spirit College at Lakemba cancelled its carols service. Other schools in the south-west cancelled concerts and end-of-year presentations or hired security guards.

Thus the lead-up to Christmas this year has been notable for a rash of cancellations of traditional yuletide activities. The North Cronulla surf carnival was called off. As was the Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club's annual Christmas cheer party, and a carols concert expected to draw 3000 people to Coogee beach.

Rather than a problem of race, religion or multiculturalism, Sydney is suffering from a longstanding crime problem. It is a textbook case of how soft policing and lenient magistrates embolden successive waves of criminals, infecting other people who might otherwise have been law-abiding.

The roots of the problem can be traced back to Telopea Street, Punchbowl, in 1998 when a Korean schoolboy, Edward Lee, 14, was stabbed to death because he went to the wrong house for a birthday party and looked at the wrong people in the wrong way. He didn't know that a notorious group of extended Lebanese-Muslim families, descended from the lawless hill tribes of Northern Lebanon, lived in Telopea Street.

When police arrived they were surrounded and intimidated by about 100 people. For two years they seemed incapable of solving the crime, despite at least 20 witnesses.

Lee's mother, Soobin, searching for clues to the death of her only child, went doorknocking in Telopea Street and the inhabitants laughed in her face. His father took to sleeping on top of his son's grave and weeping.

Eventually a youth, who was 15 at the time of the stabbing, was charged with Lee's killing. In 2003, the youth, who had said "f---ing Asian deserved it" after the stabbing, was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in jail. His friend, now-jailed triple murderer Michael Kanaan, received a three-year sentence for being an accessory after the fact.

But Lee's killing had brought unwanted police attention to Telopea Street's criminal activities, which included drugs and car rebirthing rackets. Soon Lakemba police station was attacked with machine-gun fire, death threats were made to police on their radio network and a police car was shot at as it travelled down Telopea Street. Kanaan was acquitted this year of the attack on the police station, which prosecutors said was to teach police a lesson for "hassling Lebanese people". An alleged accomplice skipped bail and was arrested in Lebanon on terrorism charges. No one has been brought to justice over the attack.

The police commissioner of the time, Peter Ryan, talked tough and did little.

Seven years later, the police are still running scared.

Last week, Channel Seven reported it had obtained a police incident report instructing police officers to stay away from Punchbowl Park that Monday night, where a group of men were congregating before heading to Maroubra.

The report said "a direction was given to police about midnight not to enter the area and antagonise these persons".

The Police Minister, Carl Scully, told reporters he defended the decision not to confront the group. Superintendent John Richardson was quoted saying a car crew sent to Punchbowl Park, where 10 cars and 40 men had gathered, was "ordered to withdraw and observe from afar. There was no trouble and sending police in would only cause trouble."

Setting the example of an astonishing lack of nerve, the Premier, Morris Iemma, told Sydneysiders to stay away from the beach for safety and then cancelled his Christmas media reception which had been scheduled for last Wednesday night. He appeared in every media appearance like a rabbit frozen in the spotlight, perhaps frightened of alienating Lebanese Muslims in his electorate of Lakemba.

That Iemma's electorate is at war with former premier Bob Carr's former electorate of Maroubra is a handy synchronicity. It highlights the ALP's long-term culpability in creating the monster that is plaguing the city, its history of ethnic branch-stacking and "whatever it takes" tactics to shore up support in the heartland electorates of the south-west, its policy of spin and cover-up which is at last coming undone.

As one passenger last week told taxi driver Adrian Neylan, who has chronicled the violence on his weblog, "the gangs have won".

Indeed they have, but the recent display of official cowardice in the face of the criminal gangs of Sydney's south-west is just a taste of the way Sydney has been run for a decade.

Thinking of going to the pub for a quiet one?
5:45 p.m. You’ll just stop in the bar for a quick one after work.

6:10 p.m. Just one more beer to relieve the stress. I mean, it was a pretty rough day. Goddamn boss was riding your ass like a cheap pony.

6:31 p.m. For an adult your size moderate drinking is two to three drinks a day. And moderate drinking prevents heart attacks. Might as well give your heart a little extra kick.

7:11 p.m. Those beers are making you sluggish. Have a Beam and Coke to pick you up a bit, then you’ll head straight home and catch Seinfeld.

7:45 p.m. Fuck, missed the first half of Seinfeld. Might as well have one more Beam and Coke, the last one was pretty weak.

8:21 p.m. Hey, there’s the guys! They want to do a shot. If you don’t they’ll think you’re a pussy. Nothing wrong with a quick drink with the guys.

8:35 p.m. Goddamn tequila! Need a brew to wash that one down. What a great buncha guys. You yell, “Who’s buying the next round, ya buncha pussies!”

8:55 p.m. You’re buying the next round. Wild Turkey 101 is just the thing to trump their fucking tequila. Beer back, of course. You won, man! Who are the pussies now?

9:32 p.m. Your buddy from work buys you a drink. Can’t turn down a drink, it’d be mean.

10:02 p.m. Gotta buy your buddy a drink back. Don’t want to be a cheap ass. This is what life’s all about, man, brotherhood. You order a couple Long Islands just to show him you’re a good son of a bitch.

10:29 p.m. Cocktail waitress asks if you want another, you look into her big blue eyes and yes, yes, you do want another.

10:50 p.m. Man, this is the greatest fucking time ever! You can’t leave now, you’re the goddamn life of the party. That girl playing pool definitely gave you the goddamn eye. Might get lucky tonight, by God. Have a round to steady your nerves, old boy, then into the breach. Go right up and introduce yourself, smooth as hell, you good-looking motherfucker.

11:30 p.m. You could have sworn she was giving you the eye. Goddamn whore. She didn’t look nearly as hot when you got up close anyway. That hurt you, man, that got you right in the heart. Have a shot of Beam and a couple beers to take the sting off. Plenty more fish in the sea. You could write a poem about this kind of pain, maybe you should ask the waitress for a pen. Maybe you’ll write her a poem too. She’d love it!

12:01 p.m. Old acquaintance says he’s going to Europe next week. You buy a round to say bon voyage. Maybe you’ll go with that crazy bastard. It would be awesome. Find someone to watch the dog and, shit, there you are, bumming around the Continent with your buddy. Never liked him much, but he’d probably be cool as shit in France. Bet the girls are nicer there too. That whore!

12:20 a.m. You have another beer because your goddamn songs haven’t played on the goddamn jukebox yet. Who the hell loaded that fucker up with the Dead? Fucking hippies! You find that fucker and you’ll punch his ass right back to Woodstock.

12:40 a.m. Goddamn foreigner at the bar talking down the good ol’ U.S. of A! Gave that bastard something to think about. World peace? They want world peace? Fire up the goddamn Enola Gay, baby!

1:09 a.m. Fuck the boss! That motherfucker! You’re a fucking poet, that 9-to-5 shit is just getting in the way of your art! Gonna have another Beam rocks, and if the boss man don’t like it, he can shove his measly job up his ass. You’ll tell him that too. Say it right to his fat face.

1:40 a.m. Last call? Already? You’re just getting started! What bullshit. Man, you got to move to New Orleans where you can goddamn drink like a man. Better order a couple because you know your goddamn roommate found the PBRs you hid in the vegetable crisper. Fucker! Gonna call in sick tomorrow, for sure. Fuck the boss! Hey, that girl don’t look that bad. Maybe she has some booze at her house. Hey, baby! Hey! Ah, fuck it.

2:25 a.m. You pass out in front of your TV.
Go for it.

Hey yamis,

Check your PM in-box at Pandasport.

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