The Sydney Siege and the Governments Duty To Us
Why do we allow the Government to exist, any Government?
We allow it to exist because it provides a level of security and stability that no other human institution can. Within that security and stability we go about our lives, often totally unaware of the dangers that threaten us because often those threats are kept in check by the Government. Many do not commit crime because they fear that they will be caught and punished, those who do commit crime run the risk of being caught and punished. The Government also provides services that we as individuals would find hard if not impossible to carry out, road building and maintenance, financial regulation just to name two of many.
What Government cannot do is protect us from ourselves nor can it protect us from all harm. Most of us do not expect it to do those things, some do. But there are limits to both the Governments ability and authority. The Government is not all powerful, it cannot control the weather or human nature, no matter how much it may desire to do both. It has limits.
But within it's limits it is quite powerful, it can send people to jail, it can fine them, it forces us to drive on only one side of the road. There are many things Government can do. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 we have all known we have an enemy. We know because they told us. The attacks that day were not the first and they were not the last launched against us by Islamists and if you care to look you will see that some of these attacks were carried out by groups and others by lone attackers, inspired by other Islamist attacks. Governments around the world have been given more power, more money and more resources to combat this threat. But on the 15th December 2014 it became clear that both the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government failed in it's duty to protect us. It is this failure that I wish to talk about.
A lone gunman, an Islamist sympathizer, took a cafe full of people hostage and kept them there for 16 hours before he and two hostages were killed. Now crime happens and as I stated earlier the Government cannot protect us from all harm. Unfortunately it seems in this case that we could have been protected and in fact should have been but we weren't.
The gunman was an Iranian who had been a refugee in Australia since the mid 1990's. Iran asked for him to be returned as he was wanted for defrauding $US200,000 from people applying for travel visas when he worked in a travel agency. Australia and Iran do not have an extradition treaty with each other so he was not returned. To be honest Iran does not have the best reputation so it was prudent not to return him. But when it became obvious that had lied in his application to become a refugee, why was he allowed to stay?
How do we know he lied? Because he claimed he was oppressed by the Iranian Government because of his liberal religious views. What became obvious to any who cared to look was that he didn't have any liberal religious views, he was an Islamist. But this was ignored and he continued to enjoy the benefit of our protection.
In 2007 he started writing letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan to tell them their deceased loved ones were murders and pigs. He was arrested and charged with "using a postal or similar service to menace, harass or cause offence". He was found guilty and appealed to the High Court of Australia because he claimed that not being about to write letters such as his was a denial of his constitutional rights!
The High Court of Australia split with half agreeing with him and half not (normally there are seven Justices, but one seat was vacant at the time). So a lower courts ruling, which was unanimously against him was allowed to stand. He received a good behaviour bond. The then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he would review immigration laws. Nothing happened.
He called himself a Sheik, but Islamic groups in Australia said he wasn't. That didn't stop him from one man protests and publicly supporting Islamist causes.
In 2013 his girlfriend was arrested for murdering his ex-wife and he was charged with being an accessory. She was stabbed 18 times and set alight. Bizarrely they were both granted bail!
This year he was charged with indecent assault after claiming to be a faith healer and molesting his clients. Of course he was granted bail!
Now how can any Government be serious in administrating the law when someone commits a serious crime when already on bail for a serious crime and that doesn't result in them being imprisoned?
The New South Wales Government had already changed the law and it is due to come into effect on the 28th January 2015. The Government says that it could not be put in place sooner as personnel needed training in the new laws. How much training do you need to put someone in custody for breaking their bail?
Sadly we already know how this tale ends. But we had chances to stop this or to be more correct two levels of Government had multiple chances to stop this. The Australian Government could have either withdrawn his refugee status after it became obvious that he lied about being a refugee. He wasn't a refugee he was a fugitive. If it was not safe to send him to Iran and no other country would take him, he should have been put in an Immigration Detention Centre. But he should not have been allowed to pretend he was a genuine refugee nor live here. As if that isn't enough they allowed him to become a citizen!
It also failed to keep an adequate eye on his activities even though he was known to be erratic, dangerous and a supporter of Islamist causes. The fail of the Intelligence services is hard to understand, if such an obvious case, even the media was aware of how dangerous he was, is not being watched does that tell us just how many more dangerous people they believe have been allowed into Australia?
The New South Wales Government has also failed. Bailed for two serious crimes simultaneously is not law but anarchy. If we wanted anarchy we could all stop paying taxes and get rid of the Government. We however do not want anarchy. He also obtained guns illegally, where did they come from?
There are those who are saying that this is about mental health, that there is no way of knowing what a particular individual will do, that this isn't terrorism it is simply a crime.
There is no doubt at least in my mind that he had mental issues, but if he was so dangerous then he should not have been walking the streets. Those who want to claim that this is all about mental health seem to want a get out of jail free card. To say that this isn't about his political ideals but that he was simply unstable and needed help. I do not know of any evidence that he was diagnosed with any condition or that he sought help. The only answer is for those who are dangerous, either to us or themselves, be taken into care and removed from the community until they are not dangerous.
I would also point out that terrorism is a crime and that terrorism is the action or attempt of terrorizing people for a political cause or ideal. This event fits that to a tee.
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