Coco Fuentes on Mon, 30 Dec 2002 10:39:19 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Suspicious Minds - Australia's Contribution to the War on Terror

Suspicious Minds ? Australia?s Contribution to the War on Terror

A new Australian Federal government National Security Public Information campaign, commenced on Saturday 28th January. 

It exhorts Australians to ?Be alert, but not alarmed.  Together, let's look out for Australia.? 

This campaign informs us: 

 ?Terrorism has changed the world, and Australia is not immune.? 

?But the way of life we all value so highly must go on. Australians are friendly, decent, democratic people, and we're going to stay that way.? 

 ?Our security agencies have been upgraded and are ready to detect, prevent and respond to terrorism. All of us can play a part by keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.? 

My curiosity prompted me to visit the site.

?Suspicious behaviour? seems to be the  key message of this communications campaign. But after wandering around the site for a while, I was no closer to discovering of what exactly this ?suspicious behaviour? might be.

But there was more. My browser of choice is Opera 7. In Opera, it looked like poorly conceived and too-quickly slapped site. That?s when I started to get suspicious. What is this mad rush to publish all about anyway? 

And that was when I became alarmed.  I started to suspect that this was part of the build up for the likely war with Iraq.  

Why else would Australia rush to join the rest of the English speaking world in a sweaty lather of nationalism and paranoid psychosis?  
So I thought some more.

?How can I help?? 

?If mental illness is now encouraged by the government, should the behaviour of the mentally ill and homeless still be regarded as suspicious?? I asked myself. 

 ?They certainly don?t seem very friendly, decent or democratic, with all their strange smells and shouting in the night?, I replied to myself. 

?And, they do an awful lot of loitering around strategic infrastructure like freeway flyovers and multistorey inner city buildings,? I conjectured further. 

?What to do? What to do?? I clutched my head and muttered. 

And pushed my shopping cart off into the descending darkness beyond. 

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