September 13, 2003


Talk about your beat ups:

Intelligence given to Australia before the Iraq War warned that the terrorist threat would increase if military action was launched against Saddam Hussein, contradicting repeated assertions by the Prime Minister.

The SMH would have us believe this singular report -- the Prime Minister obviously also received intelligence that action against Iraq would decrease the risk of global terrorism -- exposes Howard as a liar:

However, in an address to the nation on the eve of the war, Mr Howard said the exact opposite: "Far from our action in Iraq increasing the terrorist threat, it will, by stopping the spread of chemical and biological weapons, make it less likely that a devastating terrorist attack will be carried out against Australia." It was a stand he and his ministers often repeated in the weeks leading up to the war.

Key words: “against Australia”. Here’s the SMH’s evidence of terrorism’s increase:

Since the war, terrorists have flocked to Iraq to launch a wave of attacks on US forces and the United Nations. There have been attacks in other parts of the world while al-Qaeda and Taliban forces are having a resurgence on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

I’m driving from the Victoria-NSW border to Melbourne today. I’ll let you know if I spot any increase in terrorism directly related to the removal of Saddam.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 13, 2003 09:40 AM

Lets do a sweep and guess how many speeding tickets Blair picks up in Victoria.

I say 3.

Posted by: Scott Wicksteni at September 13, 2003 at 01:27 PM

I take it the Bali attack was just a warning then?

Posted by: mo skrilla at September 14, 2003 at 06:58 AM

Whats with the SMH? They are soooo pro-terrorist.

Posted by: Jonny at September 14, 2003 at 06:58 AM

Oy, why can't the press here or abroad recognize the distinction between state-sponsored terrorism and the rogue or non-state-sponsored terrorists?

The war in Iraq was to prevent governments/state/nations from funding, helping, aiding, assisting Islamic terrorists from attacking others. The threat we face directly is terrorists aided by or using states to conduct their operations. There is no doubt that Saddam was supporting terrorism; there IS doubt as to his support for al-Qaeda (the record seems to indicate that there was little, if any).

Certainly, removing Saddam for the SHORT-TERM was going to serve as a magnet for radical elements to rally around. But in order for these terrorists to move out of their camps, they have to reveal themselves and travel to Iraq where our troops will, unfortunately, slaughter them.

After destroying this current crop of terrorists, we must then try to promote and establish a democratic regime in Iraq to serve as an example for the region to emulate. It's an enormously difficult task. But we have no alternative.

The world and international community is too fractured, too disjointed or concerned with their own regional or internal matters to unite against this cause. This threat is directly against the West. Non-Western nations - and opponents of the West within those nations - either wish for a defeat of the West or are not concerned either way. As long as the terrorists leave them alone, they believe that by not joining these efforts, they will not be attacked.

The removal of Saddam will both INCREASE and DECREASE terrorism with the net effect still unknown. One thing it will do is make those nation states who have in the past aided the terrorists much more reluctant to do so in the future.


Posted by: SteveMG at September 14, 2003 at 09:00 AM

Mo Skrilla, "I take it the Bali attack was just a warning then?

Operative word being the "Bali" attack as opposed to the Sydney attack.


Posted by: kalroy at September 14, 2003 at 12:41 PM

President Bush on 11/20/01:

"Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign .... From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. ... The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war ..."

This essential truth is not grasped by those who see further terrorist acts as evidence that no action should be taken, ever, to protect freedom.

The war against terrorism by its nature must be pro-active and far-reaching. The enemy is not one and must be expected to fight back in unpredictable ways.

Would SMH and friends prefer we adopt the Clinton technique of cutting and running?

Posted by: ilibcc at September 15, 2003 at 11:48 AM

Terrorist attacks need to be studied and understood for their actual motivations and methodologies. It doesn't help the victims to make ideological statements or voice opinions whether or not they are left or right biased.

The father sitting in a cafe with his daughter about to marry. Both of them discussing, fearing and excited about a normal human event. These are fellow humans, not targets and not soldiers.

The mother having a girls night out at a bar in Bali is not making a statement about Islam or carrying the fight for capitalism or world trade. I have my own view of terrorism and it is about money and power. It is merely my own view but it is based on many years of study of the inferential and second hand information that is all that is available to the ordinary citizen.

When will we call for facts? When will we take head-on these merciless killers? Bush may have the right or wrong enemy but I support totally his confrontation with this evil. I shall not waver.

I see that Saddam was evil. I see that much of the Middle East is riddled with small, power hungry men (sic) whose last wish is peace as they would be revealed as the societal termites they really are. The gutter has taken power in these countries to paraphrase Schirer, and we must not condone or accept it.

The connection (for me) between Saddam and terrorism is that both are evil. Attacking Saddam while at the same time avoiding unnecessary civilian deaths showed zero tolerance for evil acts. It is not necessary to show me how they will attack Australia and clearly it is not necessary for the majority of Australians. These are unpalatable truths for the apologists.

I would still like the Americans to develop and publish accurate data as to the motivations of these evil men so that we can begin to have a real debate on the morality of their cause versus that father and mother.

Posted by: Allan Morton at September 15, 2003 at 05:36 PM

study terrorist attacks for motivations and methodologies? You sound like one of my fuckwit leftist uni lecturers. At least the seppos dont muck around with "studies" and "workshops" on the terrorism problem; they get in DEAL with it. Get with the plan al.

Posted by: roscoe p coltrane at September 15, 2003 at 07:32 PM


i really enjoyed your well reasoned thoughts on the terrorist status in the world in september 2003.

while i do not necessarily agree with some of your position, i wholeheartedly endorse the need for FACTS, for study of methodologies, for FIRST HAND information. this is sorely missing in media analysis worldwide.


Posted by: chico o'farrill at September 16, 2003 at 06:21 PM

Hey allan, why don't you focus your perceptive powers on your own backyard? how about your buddy dick cheney? how evil and dirty is the cash he;s hauling in from iraq contracts? how about Rummy saying you have no responsibility to rebuild the foxhole that you've turned iraq into?

How about the slums and violence in your inner cities? how about the rape of your natural resources? how about the destruction of your waterways? how about the millions of illegal immigrants doing all the shitty labour you wouldn't be seen getting your hands dirty with?

how about the evil that sees your government spent 10 times more on weapons of death than on education?

how about oklahoma city?

evil begins at home.

Posted by: miranda divide at September 17, 2003 at 01:06 AM