Sunday, October 12, 2014

In which the pond maintains a healthy fear of the fear-mongers ...

(Above: the last refuge of scoundrels?)

Peace, perhaps a peace beyond understanding, has come to the Sunday tabloids this weekend.

The slurring snail has a child on the tree killer front page, the Sunday Terror has a child with weight problems, and the Solar Feral features a boy wonder.

It was as if a fever had passed, and it's impossible not to suspect it had something to do with the news that the 800 cops or so deployed in a fine flurry of hysteria had produced ... a toy sword ...

It was one of the most frightening, powerful images to emerge from counter-terrorism raids across Sydney last month. 
As one man was charged with conspiring to behead a random person in Sydney's CBD, police removed a sword in an evidence bag from a Marsfield home. 
But the owner of the menacing item has revealed that it is actually a plastic decoration common in almost every Shiite Muslim household. (Sword removed in counter-terrorism raids a common plastic decoration, owner reveals)

And so on. No need to replicate the rest of Rachel Olding's story.

Was there any sheepishness arising?

In the wake of the raids, it was widely reported that AFP officers had confiscated a sword for forensic testing, with some stories picturing the ceremonial sword sealed inside a federal police evidence bag. In the context of an alleged plot to "behead" a random victim, ordered by one of the most senior Australians serving with Islamic State forces, Mohammad Ali Baryalei, the sword appeared to be a weapon. 
The Daily Mail Australia linked it directly to the beheading plot under the headline: "Was this the lethal sword terror cell planned to use to behead an innocent victim on a Sydney street?" 
The Daily Telegraph set the beheading plot claim beside the discovery of the sword. 
Many articles by Fairfax Media described the sword as large and curved with a gold handle and engraved with Arabic writing. Police did not explain to the media at the time that the sword was plastic. 
In the article "Sword taken from duplex", News Corp's Courier-Mail directly linked the object with the threat of beheadings: 
"More than 1m long, the sword was carried from the home in a federal police evidence bag (right). Police believe its owner was one of at least 15 men plotting to kidnap an Australian from the streets and decapitate them." 

What's interesting is that Olding doesn't provide a link to the Currish Wail's story, and yet if you google the text (or a part of the text) the only references that turn up are to Olding's story, and various Fairfax outlets that picked it up, like Farm Weekly.

Did Olding get the quote wrong?

Did the Currish Fail quietly and surreptitiously delete the story, and remove it from the record?

What's going on with the mainstream media?

Eventually there was some sort of kick back, as in Birmingham's Call that a sword? This is a joke.

But here's the kicker in that piece:

...absolutely nobody anywhere was giving as much prominence to the truth of the plastic sword as they had to its original, scarier manifestation ...

Uh huh. To the point where now an interested observer can't even locate on the full to overflowing intertubes one of those original scarier manifestations ...

The Snail has been much in the wars of late, its behaviour ranging from the despicable to the pathetic:

As noted by Crikey, here, the epic Fail came out with a mealy mouthed, half-baked, half-arsed apology for its despicable behaviour in the matter of a front page, previously recorded by the pond:

What reprobates, what hypocrites, what reptiles ...

Now the pond's not going to recycle that wretched, ill-considered front page again, but in the past few weeks, the plods and the tabloid media have done themselves no favours, and curiously also done Tony Abbott no favours as he pretends he's not about fear mongering and Islamophobia and red cards and red flags and it's fear, fear, fear for Australia ...

After the binge comes the hangover, and what a binge it was ...

Now the pond has no doubt that there are fundamentalist Islamics who would like to make a point about Australia's current intervention in foreign lands, but the ostentatious display of police power, for - to date - very little reward, is only likely to increase the contempt in which the plods, the media, the Abbott government, and the rabid right wing ratbags urging them on are held ...

We've all been through the various stages of a project, and we seem to have zoomed through enthusiasm to panic and search for the guilty, only to reach shock and horror.

What do you know, here's what's top of the digital page today:

Faux indignation, shock and horror from rags who only recently went feral about a toy sword ...

Time to catch up on a couple of Moirs, and more Moir here, with his latest effort rewarding the click.


  1. DP - I have a question. ISIS is doubtlessly well funded. It has money and arms and rockets and bombs to spare etc.

    So where do these come from? Surely it can't be from those bastions of freedom such as the Saudis, or the UAE, or Dubai - long supported by the West?

    Tell us it ain't so!

    1. Well you answered that question yourself Anon, though you might ask who buys and uses the smuggled oil and who manufactures and sells the weapons, and why sanctions are but a dream, and who thought handing expensive American shit over to a phantom army would turn out well, though as they're also handing left over gear to US cops to terrorise the black population, who'd be surprised by anything in this crazy fucked up world ... but undoubtedly the most perplexing and ridiculous thing happening at the moment is the way the Americans are trying to tippy toe through a proxy war funded by both sides of the Islamic fundie split, Shia v Sunni - and the whole tribal thing, and think they're going to come out winners, while the first victims are the Kurds, caught out by Turkish intransigence ...

      As for state beheadings in the street, wahhabist, women hating, George Bush loving, George Bush loved Saudi Arabia and its cultivation of fundamentalism around the world, don't get the pond started, or we could be here all day ...

    2. ISIS is a myth built on a small scale guerrilla outfit with a massive PR spin operation. War Nerd on Pando has excellent cut through the rubbish on this topic.

    3. Ms Pond
      On a recent backpack tour of rural Turkey we came across a small ruined village. On asking around, it was apparently a Greek village which was abandoned after WWI (the war to end all wars). I was unaware of the ethnic cleanising of Greeks by the Turks between 1919 - 1922 (Hunt the Pontic Genocide) I was aware of the "disputed" (such a nice word Julie) Armenian ethnic cleansing but did not know that "up to 1.5m Greeks were dispossesed". Turkish locals were somewhat embarrased to discuss.
      So the Turks have a "history" of not really being friendly towards their smaller neighbours.

    4. Yes and you even discreetly called the Armenian genocide 'disputed', though it has to be said the Greeks didn't do badly either when both sides played at massacres during the 19th century
      Like every other empire the Ottoman was a truly dismal experience for many people.
      Sounds like a great trip though.

  2. The News Ltd return to banality headlines: does that mean they've abandoned the War on Terror, or is it merely a respite? The plastic sword saga, starring 800 plods and spooks and countless Murdoch photoshop front pages, has shown the whole thing to be a farce.

    But the climax of the week (even if Hunt's Walruses won the battle for stupidity) had to be Abbott complaining to Jones about the need to end all this hate-mongering. It is surely beyond parody, even if Cathy Wilcox gave it a very good go.

    1. Excellent link GD, the pond might run that because it will drift down in the Wilcox gallery, and it says everything that needs to be said about the week gone by ...

  3. Hi Dorothy,

    "But the owner of the menacing item has revealed that it is actually a plastic decoration common in almost every Shiite Muslim household."

    Note that the owner was Shiite, who are viewed as Apostates by the Sunni ISIS followers and executed by them whenever they are captured by this "death cult" (trade mark pending).

    That the federal police and security agencies can't even tell the difference between Sunni and Shiia when engaging in widely publicised raids indicates just how lacking in "intelligence" this whole farce has become.

    Currently this government aided and abetted by the MSM are giving a master class in how NOT to enact a counter terrorism programme.

    Stupid and dangerous


  4. Hi Dorothy,

    "But the owner of the menacing item has revealed that it is actually a plastic decoration common in almost every Shiite Muslim household."

    Note that the owner was Shiia, who are viewed as Apostates by Sunni ISIS and are executed whenever they are captured by this "Death Cult" (trademark pending).

    That the federal police and security agencies can't even differentiate between Sunni and Shia shows how lacking in "intelligence" this whole farce has become.

    This government aided and abetted by the MSM are giving a master class in how NOT to run a counter terrorism programme.

    Stupid and dangerous.


    1. Not only pig ignorant but as they demonise all Islamics, the moderates get caught in the squeeze, and at that point you get anger, and abuse, and anger at the abuse, but if you wanted a master class in stupidity, eating humble pie with a parrot who helped turn Cronulla ugly is surely some kind of peak ...

      Turn minds? More like turn stomachs ...


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.