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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Collateral damage in Aboriginal Australia

Let's start putting together what the Howard Government is saying and doing about its 'initiative' on the State of Emergency into the Aboriginal communities of this nation. Almost immediately the plan was referred to as one of Shock and Awe: a fitting reference to the U.S. military doctrine of rapid dominance written by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade which was so memorably implemented in the bombing of Baghdad.

If we had not had the modern phrase Shock and Awe to fall back on we probably would have used the word the Germans used for their technique of Blitzkrieg: the purpose of which was to avoid the stagnating tit for tat attrition of trench warfare.
Trench warfare is what so many people feel they have been in with the Howard Government as they have slogged away to build a better life in Aboriginal Australia while the Howard Government snipes at them on Mabo and Native Title, on funding cuts and refusals, on the autocratic abolition of ATSIC.
Miss Eagle suggests that, from the words of Generals Howard and Brough with a few comments inserted by Brigadier Abbot, we start building a picture of Collateral Damage. This is a term for incidental damage during a military campaign. While this definition has relevance to the Howard Government's state of emergency, perhaps an even more relevant usage of the term comes from the IT community where it is used to refer to the denial of service to legitimate users when administrators take blanket preventative measures against some individuals who are abusing systems.

So let's begin the list:
  • Loss of control over decision making by Aboriginal people in Aboriginal communities
  • Lack of Aboriginal involvement in consultations regarding their well-being
  • Loss of Aboriginal and and control over that land which has been hard won
  • Invasion. How many have there been? First settlers, squatters, miners, the military are coming
  • Invasion of privacy at community and personal level

Please send your additions. Miss Eagle apologises that she won't be able to moderate comments for a few days as she goes out of blogging range to immerse herself in the matters of rural communities.