[LINK] OT: Howards anti-terrorist mailout

James Pearce james.pearce@zdnet.com.au
Thu, 13 Feb 2003 09:18:56 +1100



> At 12:07 PM 11/02/03 +1100, James Pearce wrote:
> >However, ONE of the arguments that has
> >been continually brought up, on this list and elsewhere, is that by
> >supporting the US we increase the danger to Australia. If we allow this
one
> >argument to go unchallenged, it can set a dangerous precedent for future
> >debates.
>
> Read the Bali Confessions.  You'll find out that this was one of their
> reasons.  I was equally surprised to see it there because my assumption re
> Bali was that the attacks there were because the terrorists were after
> American service personnel on leave in Bali.  I was wrong.

A recent confession by the man who made the bombs (I can't find the
reference) indicated that Australia was not the target, at least not his
target, but only America was. I think a lot of terrorist groups are
beginning to include Australia in their stated lists of targets not because
they are actively targetting Australians, but because they know they will
cause fear easily by doing so. I found this quote below (from someone who
incidentally appears to disagree with me).

"The attacks were not targeted against Australians per se. Instead, they
reflected the growing disenchantment among some Islamist groups with the
West and their erroneous belief that western civilization needs to be
attacked
whenever possible." By Samina Yasmeen
Senior Lecturer in International Politics and Political Science,
School of Social and Cultural Studies,
University of Western Australia
http://www.abc.net.au/public/s701401.htm

I guess more importantly, in respect to my argument (since it is irrelevent
to my argument whether Australia was targetted in Bali or not) is the quote
below:

"Two of the suspects, Samudra and Muklas, revealed Australia's involvement
in East Timor's independence and its strong support for the United States
made Australians a prime target."
http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,5962180%255E2,00.html

So, Australia would have been "targetted" anyway because of our support for
East Timor's independance, whether or not we were supporting the US in their
war on Iraq. With this in mind, would you say Australia should not have
helped East Timor because we might be a target? We should have let the
Indonesian military continue their intimidation and slaughter, so that our
(apparently far more precious lives) were not in danger? I certainly would
not.

> But having said that, can you show where Iraq has threatened Australia or
> Australians? Oh, right, oil.  Silly me, of course I forgot about that.....
>
> Jan

Iraq has not threatened Australia. I cannot comment on Australians, since
I'm sure there are some Aussies in Iraq that have been threatened in some
way, just as there are some Australians in every country that have been
threatened in some way. Which is entirely beside the point. Answer my
question above, if you say Australia should have intervened despite the risk
to Australian lives, you are a hyprocrite. If you say Australia should not
have intervened because of the risk to Australian lives... I won't continue
that sentence.

Here is my point again, in case you missed it the first several times I said
it:
There are many good reasons to oppose a war on Iraq. The risk that we might
become a "target" is not one of them.

James