World View: Australia Accused of Paying People Smugglers to Take Migrants to Indonesia

Syrian refugees
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This morning’s key headlines from

  • Australia accused of paying people smugglers to take migrants to Indonesia
  • Pakistan shuts down ‘Save the Children’ and threatens other NGOs
  • France’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn acquitted of ‘aggravated pimping’

Australia accused of paying people smugglers to take migrants to Indonesia

The notorious Nauru detention center for migrants
The notorious Nauru detention center for migrants

Indonesian people smugglers who had been on a boat traveling to Australia with 65 people from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar say that Australian authorities prevented them landing on Australian shores, and paid them AUS$5,000 to take the migrants to Indonesia.

This has led to accusations directed at prime minister Tony Abbott that Australia is regularly paying people smugglers to take migrants to other countries. When asked a question about this on a radio show on Friday, he evaded the questioned and alluded to Australia’s tough anti-migrant policies:

What we do is we stop the boats by hook or by crook because that’s what we’ve got to do and that’s what we’ve successfully done and I just don’t want to go into the details of how it’s done because like a lot of things that law enforcement agencies have to do, it’s necessary, it’s difficult and at times I suppose it’s dangerous work, but we do it and we’ve stopped the boats. […]

What the government has done is stop the boats. We have stopped the boats. And we’ve used a whole range of measures. We will do whatever we reasonably can, consistent with the principles of a decent and humane society, to insure that the boats stay stopped, and I am never, never going to apologize.

Indonesian officials are criticizing Abbott’s evasion as unethical. Some Australian officials are pointing out that if the charges are true that the government is paying people smugglers, then it will encourage more people smuggling.

The number of migrants reaching Australia has been sharply reduced in recent years because of tough policies that prevent migrants from settling in Australia. Thousands have been sent to a notorious rat-infested detention center on the island of Nauru in Micronesia. In other cases, Australian naval vessels have pulled the migrant boats out into the sea, or transferred the migrants to Cambodia, under terms of a deal made between the two countries. Australian and Jakarta Post and Guardian (London)

Pakistan shuts down ‘Save the Children’ and threatens other NGOs

Pakistan’s government has shut down the aid organization Save the Children, locked and seized their office building in Islamabad, and gave them 15 days to leave the country.

According to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pakistan clamping down on non-government organizations (NGOs) that provide aid:

We will not allow anyone to work under the table. We will not allow any NGO to work in this country against Pakistan’s interests, culture and values.

He also accused some local NGOs, without naming any, of “taking foreign funding to work on a foreign agenda.” He indicated that they were guilty of espionage.

Pakistan’s campaign against NGOs is believed to have been triggered by the American administration bragging in 2011 that a vaccination program in Pakistan was used as a cover to locate and capture Osama bin Laden. Save the Children says they had nothing to do with that, but since 2011, every foreign aid program has come under suspicion.

According to the US State Dept., “We are concerned about Pakistan’s crackdown on international charitable organizations and other NGOs. … [Several NGOs] have reported difficulty doing business in Pakistan. This has had a significant negative impact on international partner efforts to support Government of Pakistan priorities.” Dawn (Pakistan) and State Dept. and Daily Express (London)

France’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn acquitted of ‘aggravated pimping’

Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) used to be the head of International Monetary Fund (IMF), a position now held by Christine Lagarde, and he once hoped to run for president of France in the Socialist Party, a role taken over by the current Socialist president François Hollande. But all that came to an end in 2011, when a hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, accused him of having raped her in a NY city hotel. ( “2-Jul-11 News — France’s politics in turmoil from collapse of Strauss-Kahn rape case”)

The rape case collapsed because Diallo was evidently a liar, but she made out pretty well anyway, reportedly collecting $1.4 million in a civil case, and now running her own restaurant in New York.

However, that case opened Pandora’s box for DSK, who was next accused by a Paris prosecutor of “aggravated pimping,” meaning that he procured prostitutes for parties in Party, Brussels and Washington.

During the trial, DSK said he attended all these parties but said, hilariously, that he didn’t know that the girls were prostitutes. Here are some famous DSK quotes from the trial:

When asked by the judge about the presence of prostitutes at the sex orgies, the ex-IMF chief declared: “I am horrified at the practice of using prostitutes.”

When quizzed later he said: “Prostitution is an assault on women’s dignity.”

The court also heard DSK comparing prostitutes at orgies to flying fish. “They do exist,” he said. “But you don’t often see them.”

That trial finally concluded on Friday, with the judge agreeing that there was not enough evidence to convict him.

While we’re on the subject of rape, it has become a major international issue recently that the Obama administration has been claiming that 25% of all college girls get raped. These figures are parroted by mainstream media like the NY Times and NBC News, whose reporters are too dumb to even bother to check them out. And I’ve even heard them repeated on the BBC and Al-Jazeera.

These figures on their face are totally ridiculous. No father who actually believed them would send his daughter to a college if he thought there was a 25% chance she would be raped.

Also, imagine the NBC News and NY Times newsrooms, filled with reporters and producers who went to college. If you believe the moronic figures, then those newsrooms must be filled with rapists and rape victims. The same would be true of the White House. If they really believe the figures, then they would have an obligation at least to find out who all the rapists are in their organizations, and get rid of them.

I spent ten years writing a book on gender issues for men, called Fraternizing with the Enemy – A book on gender issues for men and for women who care about men. I researched the whole range of gender issues – divorce, domestic violence, rape, teen motherhood, sexual harassment, child abuse, incest, with an appendix on quotes from feminists that’s well worth reading.

In my book, I quoted Katie Roiphe from her 1993 book about her college experience:

According to the widely quoted Ms. survey, one in four college women is the victim of rape or attempted rape. One in four, I remember standing outside the dining hall in college looking at a purple poster with this statistic written in bold letters. It didn’t seem right. If sexual assault was really so pervasive, it seemed strange that the intricate gossip networks hadn’t picked up more than one or two shadowy instances of rape. If I was really standing in the middle of an epidemic, a crisis, if 25 percent of my female friends were really being raped, wouldn’t I know it?

In other words, if rape were common in college, she would know a lot of rape victims among her female friends, but she doesn’t know any. Once again, if the White House really believes the figures, then they ought to do something about all the rapists working in the White House.

If you actually do the research, as I did, checking many, many sources, then there is no question about the statistics: Only about 0.1% (one-tenth of one percent) of college girls get raped. Even if you make the dubious assumption that as many as 3 out of 4 rapes don’t get reported, the total figure is still only 0.75%. It’s nowhere near 25%. But 0.1% is politically inconvenient for the Obama administration, so they manufacture the number they want, knowing that today’s mainstream media reporters are too stupid to check it out. The Local (France) and France 24 and Daily Mail (London) and Book: Fraternizing with the Enemy (PDF)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Australia, Indonesia, Tony Abbott, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nauru, Micronesia, Pakistan, Save the Children, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, DSK, Christine Lagarde, François Hollande, Nafissatou Diallo, Katie Roiphe
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