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(generated from captions) planting a car bomb in the street,

to me it's ethically the same.

just a question of magnitude and to me it's ethically the same. It's

technology really. What we need to

do is confront our own sins

especially as Catholics and

Australians and Americans and hope

that people in the Islamic

are confronting their baggage and that people in the Islamic tradition

history and people who are misusing

their name. Just like George Bush

is misusing Christ. Who would

bomb? Would Jesus be dropping is misusing Christ. Who would Jesus

napalm? You said before you were

alarmed at how disengaged people in

their country are from what's

happening in Iraq and our

the action in it, how effective do you think happening in Iraq and our complicity

the actions of the Ploughshares

group, the sort of actions you've

taken and the time you might spend

in a monastic sense in a jail, how

effective do you think they are in

engaging that broader population?

I do think it's a spiritual

about why people aren't responding I do think it's a spiritual question

to the war or the ecological

catastrophe we're on the verge of

the very strong possibility that catastrophe we're on the verge of or

nuclear weapons will be used in the

next few months on Iran. Most

people know it's wrong and most

people know it's disgusting but

there's an incredible sense of

resignation in the culture and an

atomisation and so that spiritual

emphasis to me is the most

significant. I'm still working on

my own response as a human being to

this war. I don't think I've

arrived and I'm trying to tell

people, "Be like me," I'm still

struggling. Given there's 1100

young Americans going through

Shannon airport each day willing to

risk their legs, their arms, their

lives their sanity to prosecute

war, what kind of serious lives their sanity to prosecute this

non-violent peace making to resist

that and what kind of price people

will pay? In some ways my family is

being disrupted in the serious

making the same way a lot of being disrupted in the serious peace

military families in Australia are

being disrupted by having their

young men and women sent off to

or Afghanistan. We are parts of young men and women sent off to Iraq

movement movement and will have to or Afghanistan. We are parts of the

pay that kind of price. Here's a

question you may well have asked

yourself in jail or you may yet.

What if there is no God? I think

someone said I'd like to live a

that would be totally ridiculous if someone said I'd like to live a life

there was no God, so I think I

detract on that one. Yeah, God, I there was no God, so I think I might

mean it's an act of faith. It's

completely rational and God, of mean it's an act of faith. It's not

course, is Yahweh, the name that

cannot be spoken, impossible to

define. As soon as you begin

defining God you enter the area of

odolatry. There's the old saying

God created man in his image and

returns the favour. It's an God created man in his image and man

incredible mystery and the mystery

of what we're doing here in the

first place, and we're not going to

be here for long is a big mystery

for everyone. For you you have the

answer, don't you? It's not a

mystery? I believe in God yeah, and

I believe that life will triumph

that might be after a totally I believe that life will triumph and

destroyed ecology and after nuclear

war, but I believe that life will

triumph and that part of living my

life, being fully human is

the systems of death and these life, being fully human is resisting

principalities and powers that put

human life second to profit and

property and power. You don't look

convinced. I don't need to be

convinced. I'm not trying to

convince you. It's been very

interesting to meet you. Ciaron

O'Reilly, thank you. Thank you very

much. Next week on Enough Rope,

very charming genuine star, in fact, much. Next week on Enough Rope, the

Mr Troy Casser Daly. There's three

people in the caravan and I'm

sitting there playing a little tune

and did not know what to do. Just

sing. Went on this tour with him

and it changed my life. I came

a young man instead of a kid and I and it changed my life. I came back

got to see Australia. That's next

week on Enough Rope. If you'd like

to know more about the show,

read transcripts from earlier to know more about the show, perhaps

interviews, here's our website.

We'd love you to check us out and

love to hear from you if you'd like

to suggest a guest. Until next

Goodnight. week, thanks for watching.

International Pty Ltd Captioning and Subtitling Closed Captions produced by

changing of the guard. Tonight - based in the region of Kallil. The operations would likely be to provide security reinforcement The primary purpose would be security force and back-up for the Iraqi and also an ongoing training role. rather than the new deployment, But the Opposition says should be homeward bound. the Aussie troops in Iraq to do in Iraq Why are we looking for things much to be done in our own region? when there's clearly so This program is captioned live. welcome to Lateline. Good evening, I'm Quentin Dempster. And later in the program another shot in the history wars, John Hirst. this time from conservative academic That report in a moment. But first tonight's other headlines. Private Jake Kovco's diary reveals about shooting himself a disturbing dream one month before his death in Baghdad. the first person convicted A Sydney man has become under new counterterror laws on Australian soil. of plotting a terrorist attack And condition red - a planned long-range missile test world leaders scramble to avert by North Korea. will move to the Tallil air base, Australia's 450 troops in Iraq south of Baghdad. the al-Muthanna province With control of being handed to the Iraqis, John Howard has revealed the Australian task group will be transferred to Tallil, near the city of Nasiriyah. Mr Howard has also confirmed defence helicopter purchase a new multibillion-dollar the development and declared that he welcomes in Australia. of American military bases From Canberra, Greg Jennett reports.

When a $2 billion defence spendup

announced the Prime Minister is When a $2 billion defence spendup is

brought in to do the honours.

What we're announcing today is the

approval of a $2 billion

of 34 MRH90 helicopters. Defence approval of a $2 billion acquisition

already has 12 of the

European-designed helicopters, the

extra 34 very ordered to overcome

age and safety problems across much

of the military fleet. The Navy's

Sea Kings are mostly grounded.

financially disastrous Sea Sprite Sea Kings are mostly grounded. It's

will never see combat. The army's

Bob Hawks need replacing within the

next decade. These 46 helicopters

will replace the Blackhawk

helicopters. They will also

helicopters. They will also replace the Sea King helicopters and the

first of those will arrive in 2010.

After early deliveries from France

most of the MRH90s will be

most of the MRH90s will be assembled in Brisbane. There are 350 jobs which dependent on the announcement

of this contract. While sharing the

stage with Defence top brass, the

Prime Minister also let it be known

where Australia's troops in

where Australia's troops in southern Iraq will go once their current job

guarding Japanese engineers in

al-Muthanna province is over.

The operations will be likely to be

based in and around Tallil. The

primary purpose will be to provide

primary purpose will be to provide a security reinforcement or back-up

for the Iraqi security forces and

also, an ongoing training role.

Australia already has around 30

troops in the southern city of

Tallil, helping train Iraqi forces.

Clearly, there are pressing

Clearly, there are pressing security issues in our region and clearly,

that has to be Australia's priority.

Tonight, Iraq's Prime Minister has

confirmed his government will be

taking control of the al-Muthanna

province from the coalition next

month. It's the first region to be

transferred back to Iraqi security

since the war, and now that the

announcement's been made in Baghdad,

the Australian Government will give

more details about the switch to

Tallil tomorrow. With a large US

air base Tallil is regarded as a

relatively safe area, but the

relatively safe area, but the nearby city of Nasiriyah has had its share

of violence and civil unrest as

recently as this year. Any

deployment in Iraq is dangerous.

Some areas are arguably more

dangerous than others. The

deployment in southern Iraq

historically have been less

dangerous than in other parts of

Iraq. On the home front, details

Iraq. On the home front, details are beginning to emerge of the scale of

Australia's joint military training

facilities deal with the United

States. A new base in the Northern

Territory will reportedly be able

Territory will reportedly be able to house up to 750 troops, and handle

the new C 17 transport plane,

another at Yampi Sound in the

Kimberley will be used for ship to

shore landings. My understanding is

that all the Americans want at the

present time is to have the

present time is to have the capacity to train. But I don't have any

difficulty with that and I would

imagine it would be warmly

imagine it would be warmly supported by the public. He says US bases

would be fine as long as Australian

sovereignty is respected. It's

something I would warmly welcome.

The media report outlining the size

of the bases says they're being

developed quietly to avoid

developed quietly to avoid offending regional neighbours. Ultimately

these things bite you unless you're

open and transparent during the

process. People start to ask

questions. But Labor does support

the joint US facilities. In Iraq, insurgents have abducted 10 bakery workers in a Shi'ite district of Baghdad. Two US soldiers are also missing, feared kidnapped,

in an ambush south of the capital. The Americans were manning a checkpoint when they were attacked. Local residents say they saw masked men seize two soldiers and kill a third. It's the first time in more than two years that a US soldier has been abducted in Iraq. The first Australian soldier to die in Iraq dreamt of his death in frightening detail a month before it happened. Private Jake Kovco wrote about the dream in his journal, describing in detail how he took out his pistol and shot himself

and the terrible injuries that followed. The distressing evidence emerged during the first day of public hearings into the military's handling of his death last April. Stephen McDonnell reports. Private Jake Kovco had a terrible premonition of his death in the form of a dream and detailed it in his journal. At today's hearing, Counsel assisting the inquiry, Colonel Michael Griffin, said via video link from Baghdad that: Private Kovco's superiors found the journal going through his personal items, after he died on 21 April. There was legal debate today about making the journal public, but his widow, Shelley Kovco, instructed her lawyer not to object and his gruesome vision was read onto the record. Private Kovco wrote: In what seemed to be conflicting evidence, the inquiry heard today that in the moments before his death, Private Kovco and his mates danced to loud music, and he performed some antics which made the others laugh. He'd also written in his journal: Given the hurt and anger over the bungled return of Private Kovco's body, the military board of inquiry today went to some lengths to make his family as comfortable as possible,

keeping them partitioned off and out of sight from the media. The board president also promised that the hard questions would be asked and would be answered. They may have been out of sight, but Private Kovco's family could be heard weeping on the other side of the partition as his journal was read out. The board of inquiry will hear evidence from Baghdad all week. Stephen McDonell, ABC News. A young Brisbane nurse is in a serious condition in a Thai hospital after being wounded in a drive-by shooting. 26-year-old Pam Fitzpatrick was hit in the back of the neck early this morning at a bar north-west of Bangkok. Witnesses say two men on motorbikes fired three shots into the crowd hitting her in the head. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Bangkok, where she is in intensive care. Today in the NSW Supreme Court, Faheem Khalid Lodhi became the first person convicted under the new counter-terror laws

of plotting a terrorist attack on Australian soil. Mr Lodhi faced four terrorism-related counts, including that he had bomb making instructions, a map of the Australian electricity grid and photos of defence sites, all with the aim of mounting a terrorist attack. The prosecution also claimed he had been gathering information on chemicals to build an explosive device. A jury largely agreed with the Crown, finding Mr Lodhi guilty on three of the four counts. The outcome of the case is highly significant, as it is one of the earliest tests of the new counter-terror laws' effectiveness. The ABC's national security correspondent Leigh Sales has spent the last two months covering the trial. After a 6-week trial, a jury deliberated for five days to find Faheem Lodhi guilty on three of the four charges. He was acquitted of plotting to bomb a military site, but convicted of the rest. Outside the court, his barrister had nothing to say. REPORTER: What kind of reaction has your client given? SILENCE The Attorney-General was more forthcoming. I welcome that outcome, but in relation to the penalty,

that's not a matter that it would be appropriate for me to comment on. Some of the nation's most accomplished barristers are involved in terrorist trials like this one

because they're setting such important precedents. Phillip Boulten SC, one of the best defence counsels money could buy, represented Faheem Lodhi, even though the accused was only on legal aid. Lodhi is the second terror suspect Mr Boulten's acted for and, a few weeks ago, the barrister outlined his experiences in those cases in a paper delivered to the NSW Public Defenders conference. The ABC obtained a copy of the paper but didn't report it for fear of influencing the Lodhi jury. In it, Mr Boulten is scathing of the impact the counter-terror laws are having

on the ability to hold fair trials, saying: He particularly criticises ASIO, saying the security agency is misusing its new questioning and detention powers to go on fishing expeditions. ASIO disputes that type of criticism, writing in a recent submission to a parliamentary inquiry that its own interests wouldn't be served by unnecessary questioning of people peripheral to terrorist activity. So far, the practical results of the new terror laws in the courts have been mixed. None of the outcomes have been as emphatic as authorities would have liked. But what the cases are showing is that, despite the controversy surrounding the fairness of the laws, the jury system is prevailing - when the evidence isn't compelling enough, juries aren't convicting. Until the combined raids in Sydney and Melbourne last November, just five people had been charged under the terror laws. Two, Izhar ul-Haque and Bilal Khazal, will face trial later this year. Of the three to go through the system, the first was Zaky Mallah. He was acquitted of two terrorism charges but sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for threatening an ASIO agent. 'Jihad' Jack Thomas was charged in Victoria but was acquitted on a charge of providing support to terrorists. He was convicted of possessing a false passport and receiving funds from a terrorist organisation, but an appeal is pending. And today, Faheem Lodhi was convicted on three counts

but acquitted on a fourth. Clearly, the jury has been able to separate the issues and consider which of the facts they find support the prosecution's case beyond a reasonable doubt and to reject those that they don't, so, overall, I think, we should be very encouraged by the way in which the jury system is working. But Andrew Lynch, the director of the terrorism and law project at the University of NSW, says it's too soon to judge the overall effectiveness of the counter-terror laws. Only time will tell with further cases - I think three is still quite early. Faheem Lodhi will be sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court next week. Leigh Sales, Lateline. Details have emerged in the United States of an alleged al-Qaeda plot, three years ago, to release cyanide gas in the New York subway. US intelligence is reported to have received information that a terrorist cell was within 45 days of attacking the underground network. The subway was placed on high alert in February, 2003, but the attack was called off. The revelations are contained in a new book by investigative journalist Ron Suskind. Tonight's 'Four Corners' program has uncovered documentary evidence which further implicates East Timor's Prime Minister in the arming of secret civilian militias. An interior ministry memo obtained by the ABC matches the names of a civilian security team with the serial numbers of automatic military weapons. While in East Timor today, emotions were running high

as three policemen shot dead during last month's rioting were buried. From Dili, Anne Barker reports. Mourners chanted prayers as the coffin of one man was lowered into his grave in Dili's Santa Cruz cemetery. Pascoal Hornai de Carvalho was one of 10 policemen shot dead last month when rival army officers opened fire in an apparent revenge attack. He and his colleagues had just surrendered their weapons and were being escorted to safety when they were gunned down. Hundreds of people crammed around the grave site.

Among them - Australian Federal Police and United Nations officers. His grief-stricken family and friends are demanding justice for his murder. The army should never have shot anyone who was unarmed. This is the same cemetery where, 15 years ago, scores of protesters were shot by Indonesian troops. Now, once again, it's become synonymous with the massacre of unarmed East Timorese. The United Nations has launched a criminal investigation into the killings and says it will stop at nothing to find those responsible, even if it goes to the top of East Timor's leadership. I felt very strongly that incident has to be investigated immediately. The document obtained by 'Four Corners' purports to be a memo written to the then interior minister, Rogerio Lobato, matching 30 names with the serial numbers of weapons. The memo says Minister Lobato asked a local border patrol commander to arm these former resistance fighters to form a private army.

The commander said the orders came right from the top, but Prime Minister Alkatiri denies any involvement. I never had one gun in my hand. I am not police, I am not armed force, I am Prime Minister. A check of the weapons held by the militia shows they match the serial numbers on the memo. Anne Barker, Lateline. Suspicions are growing that North Korea is about to launch a long-range missile. The United States and Japan have told Pyongyang that severe consequences would follow a test firing. Canberra has also been quick to react. The North Korean Ambassador to Australia was called in to hear warnings that North Korea was making a grave mistake. North-East Asia correspondent Shane McLeod reports from Tokyo.

Taking things to the brink has been

a hallmark of North Korean

diplomacy. In 1998 it test fired a

long-range ballistic missile that

sailed over Japan before crashing

into the Pacific. Six years on, it

could be about to do it again.

The North Koreans themselves

The North Koreans themselves decided in 1999 that they'd place a

moratorium on this kind of testing

and we expect them to maintain the

moratorium. The United States

believes this is the lung bad for a

bigger missile with a longer range,

making enough to reach the West

Coast of the US. It now believes

the missile has been fuelled - a

process that's difficult to reverse.

That means a launch maybe imminent.

From bases in Japan it's stepped

From bases in Japan it's stepped up its surveillance effort. Japan's

government is also worried about a

launch. In Tokyo the Cabinet met

launch. In Tokyo the Cabinet met to consider the threat. TRANSLATION:

consider the threat. TRANSLATION: If North Korea were to launch a

missile, then Japan and the US

missile, then Japan and the US would need to discuss the issue and take

severe measures. Meetings in 2002

between Japan and North Korea's

leaders resulted in an agreement to

end missile tests, with the

possibility of another looming

possibility of another looming Japan and the US are lining up together

and the US are lining up together to warn of the consequences. Less

clear is the position of Russia,

China and South Korea, who are all

involved in 6-party talks on the

north's nuclear programs. Japan is

threatening sanctions if North

threatening sanctions if North Korea presses ahead with a test. It's

making a similar threat over human

rights abuses. The question is

whether those sanctions can be

effective when North Korea's main

economic partner is China. Some

analysts believe the north is

analysts believe the north is taking things to the brink because leader

Kim Jong-il wants the US to pay

Kim Jong-il wants the US to pay more diplomatic attention. If it

proceeds with a launch, the chances

are he will get his wish. Japan has won its first significant vote at the International Whaling Commission in 20 years. Now environmental groups are concerned that Japan has the numbers to begin chipping away at the ban on commercial whaling. With the details the ABC's Sarah Clarke reports from St Kitts. It was the victory Japan had been hoping for - a declaration that gives the pro-whaling camp a majority at this commission meeting. This is an achievement, big achievement. Anti-whaling countries might see this as a ending - this is the beginning of a new time for the blue sea. Japan and other pro-whaling nations hope this may move the commission to overturn a 20-year moratorium on commercial whaling. But Australia says the victory is symbolic and the ban is safe for now. They can call it a win on paper, but it doesn't change anything at the IWC, it's no - it doesn't move us any closer to a resumption of whaling, and that's the crucial policy goal for the Australian Government. Environmentalists see it as a major setback and Japan now has the majority for the first time in 20 years. This is a sad day for whales. It's a real wake-up call. It's a wake-up call to the fact that we need to do more within the IWC, but we also need to take action outside the IWC. Earlier, Australia successfully blocked Japan's attempt to abolish the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, delivering the anti-whaling camp its fourth victory at this meeting. Australia is still claiming a victory for conservation at this IWC meeting, but all eyes will now be on Japan to see if it can maintain its majority support. Sarah Clarke, Lateline. There's been another shot fired in the history wars tonight, with a prominent Melbourne conservative academic taking fellow conservative historian Keith Windshuttle to task for downplaying Aboriginal deaths in colonial Australia.

Speaking at the Sydney Institute to promote his new book "Sense and Nonsense in Australian History". Dr John Hirst also advanced a new approach for dealing with the problems plaguing Indigenous Australia. Dr Hirst wants commissioners appointed

to supervise Aboriginal communities. Tom Iggulden reports. It was entitled 'The History Wars Continued' and historian John Hirst pulled no punches in taking on some on his side of politics.

The louder shots in the war were fired three years ago when historian Keith Windshuttle challenged what he called "the black armband view of Australian history" - namely that Aborigines were slaughtered en masse in the decades following white settlement. Tonight, Dr Hirst described Dr Windshuttle's book on the subject as "unconvincing" and "unhelpful". To put an end to the exaggeration and guesswork in the matter of Aboriginal deaths, Windshuttle determines not to count an Aboriginal death unless he has credible documentary evidence for it. He will count the bodies one by one, and the answer he reached in his book was 118 - which he has now revised to 120. A group of convict bushrangers is not going to kill Aborigines and then enter the fact in their diaries. The two historians might disagree on the numbers, but Dr Windschuttle would probably have agreed with Dr Hirst's argument tonight that the Aboriginal debate had been hijacked by guilty liberal consciences. I call this the 'Liberal fantasy view of our origins'.

It claims that the conquest could have been done nicely. We are all beneficiaries of the conquest of the Aborigines.

It used to puzzle me how people could enjoy all the benefits of modern Australia

and yet, denounce their ancestors for seizing the land from the Aborigines. The worse they made their ancestors appear, the better they seem to feel.

And that, he said tonight, has led to well-meaning but wrong-headed policy decisions since the 1970s. The aim of policy in the last 30 years seems to have been to produce an Aborigine who is a cross between a hippy and an accountant. LIGHT LAUGHTER Since Aborigines cannot manage the paperwork, the running of Aboriginal affairs falls necessarily to whites. And the housing cooperatives and other communal self-governance initiatives now found in Aboriginal communities ignore what Dr Hirst says are traditional Aboriginal values. We know how the obligations of kin work - there is a great deal of sharing, but only with kin. There is not a general ethic of sharing. Hence, the Aboriginals were least suited to run their affairs

through cooperatives, which were imposed on them from the 1970s. An Aboriginal girl in the check-out of a community store is expected to let her uncles and aunts pass through without paying. Part of the response, Dr Hirst says, is that we first need to end the history wars. does little, in his view, The size of the Aboriginal slaughter to inform today's policy debate. the fray on both sides, And, unlike many who've joined to advance a view of his own Dr Hirst tonight was bold enough in remote Aboriginal communities. on how to deal with endemic problems He's proposing of bureaucrats removing the current regime Aboriginal communities comply with whose job it is to make sure

Government regulations burdensome and complicated with commissioners. rather than Aboriginal leaders, It would be these commissioners, who'd be accountable housing, health and social problems. for ensuring improvements in paradoxically involve Powerful commissioners would in their own affairs Aborigines more closely face to face, without paperwork. because they would deal with them will not come The salvation of this ancient people through bureaucratic devices. It is the commissioners on their activities who would report to headquarters for making improvements. and be held responsible How would they do that? How would they be different to of civil servants the sort of current regime going in and out? an office. Well, they wouldn't have I think that's the - they would have a 4WD and they'd have a laptop, and they would have a wireless as it were, and they would live on the road, a number of Aboriginal communities, so that they would be staying with and getting to know them well to trust them and for the people coming with this person, and knowing that if they did a deal be delivered on. then, it would really should also be given special powers, Dr Hirst says the commissioners welfare benefits. such as the ability to remove cut off from welfare, He says if young Aborigines were and training programs. they'd be encouraged into work going to be sustained Traditional way of life isn't and the kids are petrol sniffing. of the dads are drunk through that. Somehow we have to break And my notion would be say a larger country town that Aborigines would go to

or provincial centre an Aboriginal hostel, where there'd be where there'd be other Aborigines,

whom they knew where there'd be people of encouragement and support and there would be a lot to their communities - for them to travel back regularly and also to go back. to send money back perhaps probably have to be non-Aboriginal, Dr Hirst says commissioners would although, he says,

Cape York communities he's watching Noel Pearson's leader can make a difference. to see whether a strong Aboriginal Tom Iggulden, Lateline. that a portrait The New York Times is reporting Gustav Klimt, by the Austrian impressionist, for a painting. has fetched the highest price ever of Adele Bloch-Bauer - The 1907 portrait sugar industrialist - the wife of a Jewish was sold for $183 million. by Mr. Bloch-Bauer's niece, The painting was owned Maria Altmann.

against the Austrian government She won a court battle to reclaim the painting, which was stolen by the Nazis during World War II. News of the sale has stunned the art world. It's an incredibly beautiful object, number one. probably his greatest portrait - It's considered number two. the greatest portrait by Klimt, I think the fact in the National Gallery in Austria that it's been hanging for some 60 years - makes it iconic. and is known to everyone, Ronald S Lorder, The American cosmetics magnate, for a small New York museum. purchased the painting which closed in the red. To the markets now, The All Ords lost 62 points, weaker commodities prices dragged down by and falls in resources stocks. sliding more than $2. Rio Tinto led the decline, shedding $0.63. BHP Billiton also fell,

Woodside Petroleum Oil and gas producer closed lower. ended the day in negative territory. And, all the major banks and the Nikkei are lower. In the region, both the Hang Seng in early trade. In London, the FTSE is ahead both gold and oil prices retreated. On the commodities markets, against the US dollar. And the Australian dollar is weaker It's currently buying US$0.7382. Now, to the weather. for Brisbane. A few showers in Sydney and Perth. A shower or two in Hobart. Some drizzle

the other capital cities. But fine tomorrow in And that's all for this evening. Lateline's stories or transcripts If you'd like to review any of you can visit our website at night, so please join him then. Tony Jones will be back tomorrow Goodnight. International Pty Ltd Captioning and Subtitling Closed Captions produced by

This program is not subtitled

in its American colonies. sailed to crush the rebellion In 1776, a British force

from New York. British Redcoats evicted the Rebels seemed tantalisingly close. Outright victory the British were in trouble. But a year later, to the Rebels at Saratoga. An entire army surrendered against the British. the French to join in the struggle This crucial victory encouraged had been fought at sea, If the American War of Independence it would have been no contest. almost no ships fit to administer. The Americans had an admiralty, but had a huge navy, The British, in contrast, to rule the waves for granted. years, took their ability and, at least in the war's early devised a bold strategy - General Sir Henry Clinton, The new British commander-in-chief, an invasion of the south by sea, hoped-for Loyalist heartlands. intended to penetrate to Britain's a sinister new phase. The war was about to enter

of the south, In the clammy swamplands British Redcoats faced the kind of terror in a hostile area that Americans encountered in Vietnam

200 years later. And the war here would be fought with brutal savagery. French against British, white against black, brother against brother. Just before Christmas 1778, a British expeditionary force of 3,500 men moved down the South Carolina coast towards the mouth of the Savannah river. Britain counted on support from Loyalist allies amongst Americans, who were believed to be eagerly awaiting them on shore. Some of them, however, had already been wiped out. On an island at the mouth of the Savannah river, there had been a community of 200 runaway slaves. as potential agents of the British Georgia's white Rebels saw them

and on March 25 1776, disguised as Indians, a group of Rebels, allies, landed on the island. together with some genuine Indian

The ruling council of Georgia's Rebels had issued an order to - "Destroy all those rebellious Negroes upon Tybee Island or wherever they may be found." The black community posed no military threat. What happened next was symptomatic of the wider conflict to come - a war without mercy. GUNFIRE The black runaway community on Tybee Island was crushed. As the British expedition moved closer to Savannah, it sailed past the island. There was no sign of a welcome. But the brutality of the slave owners meant there were plenty more potential allies on the mainland. "I have been whipped many a time on my naked skin, "sometimes till the blood has run down over my waistband."

For slaves like David George, the war brought the hope of liberation. And the British used the slaves to undermine white southern opposition. The Loyalist governor of Virginia, the Earl of Dunmore, had issued a martial-law proclamation - "I do hereby further declare all indented servants, Negroes or others appertaining to Rebels,

"free that are willing and able to bear arms, they joining His Majesty's troops as soon as may be." # Never, never gonna give up # Never, never gonna give up... # "All men are created equal," America's Declaration of Independence proclaimed in 1776. But thousands of slaves believed it was not going to apply to them and rushed to join the British. Some of the slaves who couldn't get to British ships to join Dunmore's Ethiopian regiment formed runaway communities. And David George, priest of one of the first black Baptist churches - "There will be better days ahead, my people. I assure you there are better days ahead." When Sugar Bluff Church was founded over 200 years ago, it had no building to worship in. The man who helped found it was David George - whipped slave turned preacher. I have seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt. I have heard their cry by the reason of their task masters. For I know their sorrows and I come down... "I continued preaching at Silver Bluff till the church, constituted with aid, increased to 30 or more, "and till the British came to the city of Savannah." Come to a land that's flowing, that's right, my people, that's flowing with milk and honey. Can I get a witness? Praise the Lord! The news that a British force was about to reach Savannah spread like wildfire amongst the slaves, and created alarm among the slave owners who supported the Rebels. As I retrace the British route, I talked to Dr Frank Robertson who worships at Silver Bluff

and has written a book on David George's role in its origins. Well, David George, if his action was any indication as to what... most individuals felt about the war, it was probably a welcome event. He saw it as an opportunity for freedom. It's an impossible question, but what would you have made of it? I would probably have challenged what was being said and espoused in this great Declaration of Independence. Why were those same things not being extended to me as an African-American? What effect do you think seeing the British fleet here would have had on African-Americans? It caused some celebration and some hope for those who had been enslaved in America during the colonial period. On November 1 1778, the British launched what appeared to be a frontal attack on the city of Savannah. But it was only a diversion. The real attack came from the rear, along paths through swamps like this on the outskirts of Savannah. A local slave showed the invaders the way and it was a brilliantly successful manoeuvre. Over 80 Americans were killed or wounded and another 450 captured. The British lost just 3 men killed and 10 wounded. This was not the army of blunderers and nincompoops that we see in simplistic accounts of the war. The British force now seemed to be unstoppable. It moved north, took Augusta, and on the 3rd of March 1779, defeated an American force from South Carolina, at Briar Creek. The comparatively small British Army then headed for Charleston until the threat of a larger American force led them to move back to Savannah. Suddenly, the British trapped over there in the town began to look very vulnerable. After the American victory at Saratoga, the French seized the opportunity to humiliate the British and entered the war. Now a huge French fleet, 22 ships commanded by Admiral D'estaing, of the line and 10 frigates,

anchored just beyond that bend, river, some of its ships sailed right into the Savannah and began to bombard the town. and opened fire from there. Other cannon was sent ashore, the British and Loyalist defences. of cannonballs that pounded This is just one of the thousands from land and sea. the British received a hammering During the siege of Savannah, would come to the city's rescue, apprehensive that the British Navy But Admiral D'estaing was through Savannah's notorious swamps. and he decided on an attack