Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Taxman Cometh

The Strategy Page describes the kind of levy that tax-exempt NGOs in the Third World are eminently familiar with.

October 20, 2004: Chaos continues to be the norm in the Palestinian areas. The only real government there consists largely of the foreign aid organizations, especially those run by the UN and Red Cross. The aid officials, by supplying food and other necessities to most of the population, are largely immune to the terrorist violence. However, the terrorists, who are now largely Islamic radicals, expect the aid organizations, which are run by non-Moslem foreigners, to pay a form of "tax." This they do in providing food and other good for terrorist members, and jobs for some terrorists. The muscle in the Palestinian areas is provided by various terrorist militias.

Payments to terrorist organizations can be accepted in kind. The Command Post has a roundup of the kowtowing a reporter must demonstrate to keep his life -- and keep covering a story. John Martinkus, from the left-win Australian television station SBS was kidnapped in Iraq, but won his freedom by demonstrating, via Google search, how unremittingly anti-American he had been. He pointed out that he had, among other things, been a human shield and had produced films excoriating the US military.

Martinkus was in Iraq to film another documentary for SBS, which has run an undeclared jihad against the United States and the liberation of Iraq.

Not so undeclared, actually. Just before the war to topple Saddam Hussein, the then SBS deputy chairman, Neville Roach, publicly begged “journalists . . . in every article, every editorial, every report, (to) highlight the murder and mayhem that our nation is about to release”.

So frenzied has its demonisation of this war since become that SBS this year twice showed a French "documentary" – The World According to Bush – that claimed US President George W. Bush was a religious crazy, "idiot" and "political whore", who was conned into attacking Iraq by a handful of "calculating" Jews, even while secretly pocketing pay-offs from their Muslim enemies.

So terrorists let Martinkus go. He attributed his own survival to their reasonableness:

"I was not hurt and treated with respect once they established my credentials as an independent journalist who did not support the occupation," the SBS filmmaker told Reuters.

"These guys, they’re not stupid. They are fighting a war but they are not savages - they’re not actually killing people willy-nilly. There was no reason for them to kill me," he told reporters on his arrival at Sydney airport last night. "There was a reason to kill (British hostage Kenneth) Bigley, there was a reason to kill the (two) Americans (kidnapped with Bigley). There was not a reason to kill me."

This kind of exaction, either in money or kind, has a name. It's called dhimmitude, or if you prefer, protection. English is a wonderful language in that many words can be found for one thing. 'Reasonableness' is the way strongarm men have always chosen to put it.