March 25, 2003



So now an Australian cameraman has been killed by people most Australian commentators and many politicians said did not exist members of Iraq's al-Qa'ida connection.

Ansar al-Islam, the group that killed Paul Moran, operates in northern Iraq in an area not controlled by Baghdad. It has been trained by al-Qa'ida, funded by al-Qa'ida and includes Arab al- Qa'ida operatives in its number.

All of this has been on the record for months. Yet the Australian debate has been infused by such irresponsible cynicism, and such an ill-informed but pervasive assumption that all these threats are exaggerated or even invented, that Ansar al-Islam one of the most obvious connections between Iraq, terrorism and al-Qa'ida has been almost totally ignored in the debate.

Professor James Lindgren writes:

Since much of the anti-war Australian press thinks that there is no Al Qaida/Iraq link (and therefore no need for Australia to send troops to Iraq to prevent future Bali-like massacres), it must confuse them greatly when an Australian news reporter is killed by an Al Qaida group in Iraq--indeed, the very Al Qaida group that supporters of the war have been pointing to as one reason to go into Iraq. In fact, it's the very same Iraqi Al Qaida group that was formerly reported as the probable source of the Ricin discovered in England and France.

When supporters of the war would mention the Al Qaida terrorist training camp in Northern Iraq, they would be derided.

And they probably still will be. With the anti-war crowd, we're not exactly talking rapid assimilation of information.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 25, 2003 11:50 PM