September 21, 2004


Former Australian diplomat Amanda Sokolski smites John Kerry’s sister:

To support her claim that Australians are in greater danger, Ms. Kerry refers to the Bali nightclub bombings two years ago, which killed 88 young Australians, and the September 9, 2004, attack by Jemiah Islamiah (JI) on the Australian embassy in Jakarta. Such loose play with facts is in keeping with the Kerry campaign's lack of seriousness on issues of Iraq and terrorism. The Bali bombings took place in October 2002 well before the Iraq war and Australia's involvement in it. It is also well recognized that JI had been targeting Australian interests in the Southeast Asia region since long before Australia's involvement in Iraq. Take for example the foiled plot by JI terrorists to bomb the Australian embassy in Singapore in January 2002.

Australia is a target for terrorists because of the ideals and beliefs that Australia shares with the United States and other Western countries. Would Ms. Kerry have Australians give those up to remain safe?

Another former Australian diplomat probably thinks that’s a very good idea.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 21, 2004 01:13 PM

"Would Ms. Kerry have Australians give those up to remain safe?"

Some questions almost answer themselves.

Posted by: Dave Himrich at September 21, 2004 at 02:29 PM

Anyone who starts hurling blame for the Bali bombing without referring to this is not fair dinkum:
Bin Laden contends in the tape that the bombing in Bali was in direct response to Australia’s foreign policy.
“We warned Australia before not to join in Afghanistan and in its despicable effort in East Timor,” said the tape U.S. officials believe was made by a sickly Osama Bin Laden. “It ignored the warnings until it woke up to the sounds of explosions in Bali.”

Posted by: slatts at September 21, 2004 at 02:32 PM

It's an entirely fair comment to say that Australia was a target long before the invasion of Iraq, as the Bali bombing and the embassy plot prove.

It's also entirely fair to say that our participation in Iraq has further elevated that risk by keeping our name "up in lights", so to speak, in the war on terror, so that there is a distinct chance that the jihadist nutjobs currently active in Iraq or Saudi Arabia, many of whom would neither know nor care about East Timor, are nonetheless still motivated to attack Australians. It's a completely unexceptional observation, and in itself doesn't necessarily say anything about whether Australia joining the Iraq operation was worthwhile or not.

Thus, Diana Kerry is right to talk about the increased exposure of Australia as a terrorist target due to our involvement in Iraq, but wrong to attribute it to Iraq exclusively. Sokolski's critique, like the official Howard government line that it parrots, is disingenuous.

Posted by: tim g at September 21, 2004 at 03:04 PM

Nioce try Tim G, but no cigar for you. Kerry's sister said:

"Australia has kept faith with the US and we are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels," she said, referring to the invasion of Iraq.

Fro this it isd clear that she thinks that the Iraq invasion is wrong and we are a target. personally, if we are a target I cannot blame any of our politicians or those in the US. I place the blame where it belongs on those evil islamists who are making threats. If I threatened to kill you Tim G, I would quite rightly put into jail and shunned by society. But if some evil f-wit in a balaclava threatens to kill people, dingbats like Ms kerry and 99% of Aussie leftists seem to think that the real criminals should be congratulated. It sucks.
One more time for the dummies:

Posted by: Toryhere at September 21, 2004 at 04:04 PM

I think it is all pretty simple.

By supporting the US are at a higher risk of terrorst attack because we are making Islamists angry?

The answer they give is yes so you follow with this question.

So not doing what the Islamists want is a bad thing?

Their heads explode when they get that one, I have tried this about 20 times and it hasn't failed me yet. People will literally fall back into even more convoluted "arguments". Then just insert a Winston Churchill quote about appeasers feeding the crocodile and its a done deal.

Posted by: JBB at September 21, 2004 at 05:30 PM

we are all told as children that two wrongs dont make a right. So i think America should give up its war on terror which george bush has even admitted cant be won, and defend ourselves only, and maybe take our cuts where we get them, apply a band aid and move on. From my perspective these terrorists are totally half-baked in the way they carry out there operations and any "successful mission" is a fluke, they probably like getting their dick sucked too.

Posted by: jeffer at September 21, 2004 at 05:49 PM

That's nice jeffer, but it only takes one "fluke", to kill 3,000 people.

Posted by: Quentin George at September 21, 2004 at 06:13 PM

Yeah and a further 1000 americans have died in this "war on terror"-more like- "we have to keep using the weapons otherwise the military companies that fund our party will go broke"

Posted by: jeffer at September 21, 2004 at 06:28 PM

The problem is that many people aren't taking this war seriously. Some Leftists see it purely as an opportunity to bash Bush. Some Rightists see it as a chance to bash Blair. Ultra-Leftists see it as a useful method of undermining the Rotten Capitalist System.

A pretty good touchstone is that they always use Scare-quotes for the War. It's always a ' "War on terror" (as if...)' , or a 'so-called "War On Terror" '. Just as you did.

Now I'd even follow Phillip Adams if I thought it meant a decrease in the time taken to win this war, and fewer casualties along the way. Hell, I'd even follow Bob Brown.

There are plausible arguments that going into Iraq was a mistake, and that it's been a setback in the War on Terror. I disagree vehemently, but concede that reasonable people could differ.

You, by your

"we have to keep using the weapons otherwise the military companies that fund our party will go broke"
have shown your true agenda. This isn't about Iraq, or American casualties, it's about Bush, isn't it? The body bags, the liberated millions, they don't matter, as long as Your Guy Wins.

Now go read this. And, for extra credit, study French politics just before May, 1940.

Posted by: Alan E Brain at September 21, 2004 at 07:08 PM

Well jeffer, since you seem to want to play that silly numbers' game that you lefties love to trot out when you can't make a real argument, try these:

Number of terrorists that died during 9/11: 21

Number of terrorists and various other miscreants (e.g. Al-Sadr's goons) that have died during the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, and can't kill any more people: several thousand

Given the American death counts you've cited, I think I'd take three military interventions over one repeat of 9/11, thank you very much. You, on the other hand, are free to keep feeding the crocodile, if you so wish.

Posted by: PW at September 21, 2004 at 07:12 PM

i made a real argument; that fighting a war on terror through primitive, mammalian politics will only create more violence. When siblings fight, they argue over who hit who first, hopefully a wise parent will teach them it does'nt matter who started it, stop fighting. A solid defence should be our only course of action, and being proud of killing terrorists makes you just as bad as them, succcumbing to the same mammalian politics*.

thankyou tim leary

Posted by: jeffer at September 21, 2004 at 08:46 PM

Okay, I see now that jeffer's posts were actually an attempt at parody, and I hope everybody else is as amused as I am right now after reading that new post. A sibling analogy to describe the relation between terrorists and civilized peoples? That's some creative stuff, man. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: PW at September 21, 2004 at 08:59 PM

"Mammalian politics"?

jeffer, as a wise man once noted, "There are no insect politics."

In other words, you're an idiot.

Posted by: ushie at September 21, 2004 at 10:09 PM

Some of my best friends are mammals.

Posted by: LB at September 21, 2004 at 11:49 PM

Mammalian politics? There are a lot of mammals out there, so could you be more specific?

Personally, I like platypus politics.

Posted by: Dave T. at September 21, 2004 at 11:58 PM

Jeffer, I think you mean "mammarian politics". That's where there aren't enough teats to feed all the cubs. It folows that those deprived cubs will strap on explosive belts and blow up themselves along with the mother. Such realities demonstrate the need for socialist principles to counter the dreadful inequalities of Mother Nature. Similarly every feminist must resist the hegemonistic gender roles that Nature attempts to impose upon the collective individual. It is a fundamental tenet of the superior eastern religions that every being is born pure. We must, as a socialist corrective, continuously fight for our individual rights which can only be guarranteed by a rigorous application of the equalising principle. Noth Korea understands this reality. Those of us in the West North and South are doomed. What we need is a cow with lots of fat teats.
Excuse me, I must return to my padded cell now.

Posted by: Observer at September 22, 2004 at 12:23 AM

I think he follows Reptile Politics i.e. Feed the crocodile...

Posted by: Rob Read at September 22, 2004 at 01:20 AM

"mammalian politics"??

Why does that make me think of this:

Must. Eat. Brains.

Posted by: Rebecca at September 22, 2004 at 01:45 AM

Jeffer writes:

we are all told as children that two wrongs dont make a right and When siblings fight, they argue over who hit who first, hopefully a wise parent will teach them it does'nt matter who started it, stop fighting.

Jeffer has hit upon a key component of the Left's (for lack of a better word) world view. Time and time again I have read things like this. Apparently some people learned only too well those things they learned in kindergarten: don't hit; share and share alike; play nice.

These only work because there are much wiser and stronger adults around to physically compel desired behavior. In fact, the adults are so much stronger that they can remove any really disruptive children without harming them.

But there are no wiser, stronger adults in the world. There will be no Teacher coming in soon to put little Jihad in time out for being naughty. His mother will not send him to bed without supper. His father will not spank him.

There are no uber-wise, ultra-strong adults to teach him and protect us. There's nobody here but us kids.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at September 22, 2004 at 01:53 AM

That's not a real argument, it's not even a remotely accurate view of sibling fights - not how my older brother fought anyhow. His preferred method was the sucker-punch and surprise attack, the swinging door and head-plant onto cement. There was no argument or "discussion" involved, until I was older, had 20-lbs on him, and an inch of height and reach.
Then I clobbered his ass and he never tried to fight me again.

Posted by: -keith in mtn. view at September 22, 2004 at 03:53 AM

JKK says:

"By supporting the US are at a higher risk of terrorst attack because we are making Islamists angry?

The answer they give is yes so you follow with this question.

So not doing what the Islamists want is a bad thing?"

Um, no, actually, "making Islamists angry" is not the issue here, especially considering how racist that statement is. What is making Iraqis angry is the brutal takeover of their country. Some of those that are angry are becoming violent. A small percentage of those becoming violent are being brutal.

As for the second question- well, debunking your first took care of that, but I'll add that our current and recent past actions in Iraq are causing a lot of upheaval and chaos. That leaves a lot of room for extremists of all kinds (and every country has their share of extremists, like, say Timothy McVey) to act out against what they see as an invasion of their country. It also causes people who would ordinarily NOT act out to become angry and begin striking out against their oppressors, who are American.

i can imagine if another country invaded America and you watched children being killed, your relatives die and your neighbors imprisoned, you might act in the same way.

Posted by: Scout at September 22, 2004 at 10:26 AM

Scout, jeffer -- isn't it time you kids were in bed? You know you're not supposed to be on the internet on a school night.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at September 22, 2004 at 12:40 PM

What is being witnessed is the savage and barbaric face of Islamic fundamentalism. Possibly you have forgotten that the majority of people being killed by the terrorist scum are Iraqis going about their daily activities or those trying to uphold the law of their nation.

If it was the general attitude of the Iraqi people that the coalition was the enemy, wouldn’t there be turmoil throughout the country? Why is it focused primarily on Baghdad? Could it be something to do with the media vultures being there in force, compared to other regions? Why no civil uprising in Afghanistan? Surely the Afghans would want to jump up and eliminate the infidel in their midst as well?

Apparently if I go by your line of thought, these fundamentalist scum don’t need to have the same moral expression on their actions, nor a behavioural sensibleness anywhere near a member of the coalition. It doesn’t matter that the true desire of these murderers is to oppress the people of Iraq and push it back into the dark ages…. a side issue.

The worst type of people I know are those that hide behind religion in order to perform acts they know are morally wrong, such as these bastards.

If you are a voice of conscience as you are possibly trying to be here, then I would expect you to be even more outspoken on the despicable murders going on in Iraq than on actions of say, a few guards at Abu Ghraib prison. Or is this your attempt to undermine the faith, stamina and spirit of those honourably serving in Iraq?

Posted by: Lofty at September 22, 2004 at 01:32 PM

What is making Iraqis angry is the brutal takeover of their country. Some of those that are angry are becoming violent. A small percentage of those becoming violent are being brutal.

So angry at the coalition that they kill their OWN PEOPLE?!

What an assnine thing to say.

Posted by: TomB at September 23, 2004 at 02:15 AM