September 12, 2003


Attention, Americans! John Shovelan has decided that you are losing faith:

Despite the military campaigns, overt and covert, Americans are losing faith that terrorism can be eliminated, with 24 per cent now fearful that they will be injured or killed in a terrorist attack, up from 15 per cent shortly after the September 11 attacks.

So why isn’t Shovelboy rushing home to Australia? Doesn’t he share their concern, or is he a believer in the war on terror?

Posted by Tim Blair at September 12, 2003 04:16 AM

John Shovelan can stuff a sock in it. We're NOT losing faith (except for the LLL and the Democrats - but they never had any to begin with).

Of course, you'd never know that listening to our goddamned so-called media. Screw them, and John-baby too.

Never forget.
Never forgive.

Posted by: Barbara Skolaut at September 12, 2003 at 05:01 AM

Some people believe we are still vulnerable and probably will be attacked again. I don't see this as giving up and admitting anything. I see this as realistic. Only a fool would believe the US could never be attacked again.

I am for doing whatever it takes for as long as it takes to wipe these terrorists out, destroy their support networks ... crush them. I haven't stopped believing we can eliminate them.

I know we will. It won't be fast or easy. It's a new type of war and we're going to make some great mistakes before it's over. One of those mistakes will result in allowing ourselves to be attacked again.

To admit this is not defeatist. It's realistic. Our security agencies need to be revamped more than they have been. They are still not sharing info..

I see a grim determination in people I know and work with to keep going. We are in a marathon and not a sprint. We understand that.

I find it remarkable that we haven't been more influenced by the steady drone of all the negative reports in our media. The media is still banging the drums of: defeat, bad war, what did we do, imperialism, work with the UN, quagmire, etc.. The media won't be happy until we *are* defeated.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at September 12, 2003 at 05:09 AM

And if we are losing faith in the WOT, what then?

Do we:
a) Come home, hide under the blankets and hope the bad guys will just go away?
b) Kill the bad guys ASAP, and eliminate the source of our fear?

Posted by: fred at September 12, 2003 at 06:01 AM

Gee, Tim, until this morning, I wasn't one of those Americans who is losing faith, but upon reading that article, now I am.

Should I be losing faith in God, too? I mean, it's bad for Americans to be so religious, too, right?

I probably should do that, too.

Tim, Shovelan can't return to Australia. He hasn't written his bitter, "Can you believe what arseholes they are?" article yet, like those two Brits have done.

Posted by: Meryl Yourish at September 12, 2003 at 06:24 AM

Oh, yeah. I'm so-o-o-o fearful.

What a load of crap this twit is shovelan...

Posted by: mojo at September 12, 2003 at 07:19 AM

Probably he doesn't spend much time hanging out in the Midwest or the South (Well, except for The People's Republic of Ann Arbor and a couple like that). The fuse may be burning low, but we're still mad as hell, and folks like him best not get in the way while we take care of business. Sure, I expect those rat bastards (may they be killed by women and buried upside down wrapped in pigskin) will try more attacks, and some of them may succeed. All that means is that we'll not worry quite as much about "collateral damage" as we try to wipe their sorry asses out. Does he really want that? I figure one more spectacularly successful attack on American soil and we drop the nice guy attitude. I hope we don't have to, but . . .

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at September 12, 2003 at 07:19 AM

So Osama is "taunting" me with his little videotape of uncertain vintage? Taunting? Why, I thought he was going to sink me in a sea of fire. Taunt away.

There are always people who will give up. There will always be people who just want it all to go away. But I have served with a lot of soldiers who are delighted to carry the battle to the enemy and don't much care who the fucking enemy is.

If I were a militant Mohammedan, I would stick to taunting too.

Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at September 12, 2003 at 08:16 AM

[faux french]"Go away, silly infidel, or I shall taunt you some more"[/faux french]

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 12, 2003 at 10:35 AM

My God, that rush of inspiration I got when I read Mark Steyn's column today was ACTUALLY the total of faith? HOW COULD I NOT KNOW?!

Posted by: Aaron Watson at September 12, 2003 at 10:44 AM

John Shovel'lins' consistently mournful dispatches from Washington have been a low-light for The World Today for ages. Whatever it is, it depresses him. For his sake and ours, please bring him home where the prozac is at least on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Posted by: Craig Mc at September 12, 2003 at 11:32 AM

Shoevelhead Shovelan's negativity and defeatism is outrageous. He has no understanding of the psyche of people under attack. I suppose if he had been in London during the Blitz, he'd be urging the British to surrender to Germany.

His biassed reporting is a disgrace. We should be grateful he wasn't being interviewed by Linda (Sister Sneer) Mottram!

Posted by: Rob (No.1) at September 12, 2003 at 11:33 AM

And if this poll showed that less Americans were "still fearful" instead of more, it would be "Americans still unrealistic about threat, arrogant, over-confident..."

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 12, 2003 at 12:21 PM

Wow. I didn't know I was losing faith until he told me.

I don't think terrorists can be completely eliminated, but they can be knocked down to a size such that they will no longer be able to hurt us much. I'm more worried about the U.S. gov't giving up on Iraq and pulling the troops out. That would be a real failure that would go down in history.

Posted by: david at September 12, 2003 at 12:26 PM

9/11 according to the ABC:

Announce that even as the United States mourns again, the man 'held' responsible for the attacks, Osama bin Laden, has emerged from his hideout (who saw him? Shovelen?) and released video footage, obviously through the local Video Ezy or Blockbuster.

Play Osama's fine words translated into English: 'Those who are afraid of climbing mountains, then they will live in pits and holes.'

Mention how President Bush is 'using' the 9/11 anniversary to press Congress for increased powers to 'monitor and hold suspected terrorists and their sympathisers' and to impose the *gasp* death penalty.

Cut back to Osama bin Laden praising 'the "loyalty, sincerity and magnanimity and courage" of the suicide hijackers'.

Cite completely unsourced 'research' showing that despite 'overt and covert' military campaigns, Americans are losing faith that terrorism can be eliminated.

Give up now, stupid Americans with your monitoring powers, your death penalty and your military campaigns.

The man in the mountains is the winner. He and his loyal, sincere, magnanimous and courageous terrorists.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 12, 2003 at 12:47 PM

Not sure where his figure came from. Ran across
this today. Note the dates on the 34% in fear of their lives. Old stuff.

Posted by: Ken White at September 12, 2003 at 12:57 PM

We're not losing faith we're going to be attacked, we're gaining faith.

Terrorism will never be eliminated, but it can be controlled.

Posted by: Sandy P. at September 12, 2003 at 01:16 PM

I could not find a source for Shovelan's figures. However, the Fox News link that Ken kindly posted says the following:

The poll, conducted September 9-10 by Opinion Dynamics Corporation, finds that 32 percent of Americans are worried about a terrorist attack happening near their home or work place, up 12 percentage points from one year ago.

If the number of people who thought that there was a chance of a terrorist attack near them had increased from 20% to 32% in one year, would it be valid to say that these people are "losing faith that terrorism can be eliminated"? I think so. The numbers reflect a belief that the chance of terrorism within the US is increasing.

It will be interesting to see if Fox News stands equally condemned as Shovelan for reporting this.

Posted by: Geoff at September 12, 2003 at 01:45 PM

No Geoff, because Fox did not selectively use one set of statistics without providing the whole picture.

Instead, they informed their audience that 55 percent of Americans think the United States is winning the war against terrorism — up from 36 percent one year ago.

Did you see that in the ABC story? Of course not. It doesn't suit their agenda.

The ABC mischievously - and insultingly for their supposedly intelligent audience - provided only the fear of terror attack statistic.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 12, 2003 at 02:28 PM

That Osama video was a lark. How hard is it for him to open up his yapper and talk on the video about current events? How about holding up a newspaper or something? What was the problem - did the video battery run out? Was the microphone faulty? Did he have a sore throat - too many goat hairs in there from the session last night?

Didn't convince me one bit that he is still alive and kicking but the media fell hook line and sinker for it though.

Posted by: Rob at September 12, 2003 at 03:18 PM


You raise a good point. The Fox News report did mention that "55 percent of Americans think the United States is winning the war against terrorism — up from 36 percent one year ago".

However, there's no mention that the ABC report and the Fox News report were using the same set of statistics. The figures are different, so there's nothing to suggest that the ABC is "mischievously" providing only one statistic just because the Fox News report has more statistics.

That said, it's interesting that the poll demonstrates an increase in both the belief of winning the war on terrorism, and in the belief of the likelihood of a terrorist attack on the US.

The Fox News report opines that:

Even so, half say the reason there have been no additional attacks since 9/11 is due more to terrorists still "planning" future attacks rather than because "government security measures are working"

and cites the pollster's analysis:

The sheer complexity of the issue with many groups and countries involved makes it harder for people to associate 'winning the war' with a sense of personal safety.

So there seems to be a view developing, despite the progress made so far, that terrorism cannot be eliminated, that there are increased chances of terror attacks on home soil.

Shovelan mentions this towards the end of his report. Despite the change in US foreign policy since September 11, the polls show that US citizens are increasingly more fearful of a terrorist attack.

Tim's post seems to be more of a "boo hiss" at someone who merely mentions anything negative, irrespective of the 'sheer complexity of the issue' as described above.

Posted by: Geoff at September 12, 2003 at 04:22 PM

The "Man in the Mountains?" Well, so the good old Assassins are trying to making a comeback?

Now I that know where the images of those Virgins are coming from I can offer Osama's buddies a word of advice: please indulge your opium habits as much as you can and then some. Hopefully you will die miserable death without our expanding ordnance and manpower to get you.

As for the fear of terrorism: there is a finite probability that I will be hit by meteorite while driving to go shopping. Never stopped me yet.

Posted by: Katherine at September 12, 2003 at 04:46 PM


I think Tim's point is the propensity of the ABC to spin stories to its own agenda which John Shovelen does so boringly again and again, so I guess I'm booing and hissing as well.

The statistic they tack onto the end of the report is simplistic and unsourced.

Interestingly, here's what commentators in Europe are saying via Bjorn Staerk.

Posted by: ilibcc at September 12, 2003 at 05:22 PM

Once again the ABC has demonstrated its modus operandi - make sure all stories, no matter what the source date, fits in with the agenda.

If you look carefully enough, it is posible to find an anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Christianity angle in any story.

And Shovel-shit is not alone in this. He is at the end of a very long line of openly biased undergraduate-socialists who see it as their role to educate us (the other 95% of the population) to their leftist views.

The news department serves a useful role in all areas of Australia (especially in rural areas), the drama and entertainment areas of the ABC likewies - but the Current Affairs department should be disbanded.

The very thought of a taxpater funded enclave of left leaning trendies providing "opinion" pieces such as this, conducted by the sneering, innuendo-laiden commentary of "Mistress Sneer" the host, is outrageous.

Close down the ABC's Current Affairs section and many of the ABC's most outrageous excesses would disappear - and people like Mottram, Shovelin and their ilk would be forced to get "real jobs" - which they would no doubt be unable to do.

Posted by: The GOP Elephant at September 13, 2003 at 12:30 AM

Americans have a more realistic view of their chances of being subject to another terrorist attack -- how does that make us "fearful"? Actually it tends to make us 'madful' - to coin a new word.

Posted by: rabidfox at September 13, 2003 at 12:54 AM

What it means is that we think it might get worse before it gets better.
That's a surprise?

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at September 13, 2003 at 01:31 AM

this asshat doesn't know what he's talking about. i wasn't even fearful about terrorism ON SPETEMBER 11, 2001! i was just incredibly pissed off. step on a fire ant's hill sometime, you'll see the same reaction to an attack.

Posted by: samkit at September 13, 2003 at 12:21 PM