Muslim Terror Arrests: Round Them Up, Throw Them Out

WHEN TERRORIST REPRISAL is threatened against law enforcement agencies for doing their job, Australia has an urgent problem to deal with; dozens of arrests in Sydney and Brisbane yesterday are likely to be the tip of the iceberg, with retribution threatened against Police, the military and ASIO and reports of a foiled plot to infiltrate Parliament House. No tolerance should be shown to lawless, vicious thugs plying their wares in this country.

Sometimes in this column, it seems I’m playing a broken record: making the same arguments once again, in this case after yet another chilling reminder that the menace of ISIS/Islamic State/Al-Qaeda is not confined to the Middle Eastern war zone it seeks to establish a terrorist Islamic state upon, but rather threatens the free world.

And in talking about terrorists, jihadists, mujahideen or whatever they want to call themselves, it’s a mark of the impact those on the hard Left in Australia have had that any disclaimer at all needs to be attached to a discussion of “radical Islam,” “Muslim terrorists” or similar: as one writer opined in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph this morning, the perpetrators of this growing outrage — especially those “home-grown” adherents seeking to join the “fight” — actively seek to be recognised as the warriors of Islam, and in acknowledging this elementary truth no slight should be inferred by the vast majority of Australian Muslims who simply want to live in peace.

Yesterday’s anti-terrorism operation, the largest in Australian history, poses more problems than it solves, but Australians can at the very minimum be reassured that those agencies charged with their protection — ASIO, the various Police forces across the country, and the military — are possessed of sufficient mettle to discharge the obligation that becomes them.

It’s a valid point; already, military personnel have been advised to be vigilant on the basis of a heightened threat of attack by terrorist groups that extends to their families; ASIO is said to be targeted, too, over its thwarting of a plot to penetrate Parliament House in Canberra (to achieve God only knows what, but it’s not too hard to guess). We’ll come back to that in a bit.

But calm and sober voices can be heard amid the seething reactions of those who would strike at Australia, Australians and the symbols of our way of life, and amid the entirely justifiable outrage of ordinary Australians who did not ask for the “Islamic State” to have any place in this country, and who are affronted by the determination of those who now seek to see to it that it does.

Voices like Tim Priest‘s in the Tele, who makes the compelling case that defects in governance on Australia’s part, as well as those elements of the Muslim community who cannot and/or will not live by Australian laws and standards, are equally to blame for the rise of the so-called “home-grown” Islamic terrorist.

Or that of a favourite of this column, Piers Akerman, who eloquently argues the case that our all-things-to-all-people, risk-averse, “offend nobody” politicians commit a grave injustice against law-abiding Australians — including the vast bulk of the Muslim community — by shying away from any mention of the Islamic and/or Muslim colours of those seeking to commit their obscene outrages on Australian soil; Piers is also one of the many opinion writers today who acknowledge that Police have been assisted by law-abiding individuals from the Muslim community, and his views can hardly be decried as bigoted or discriminatory.

Yet calm and sober discussion of what promises — literally — to wreak untold carnage and mayhem in Australia is entirely compatible with ruthless, relentless and determined action to identify and round up those who would participate in such things, root them out of Australian society, and to the extent allowable under Australian law, throw them out of the country.

And in spite of what some of the chardonnay drunks, compassion babblers and self-styled do-gooders with their bleeding-hearted bullshit might protest, those who participate in the planning of terrorist atrocities on Australian soil are every inch committing a crime as those who, unhindered and/or undetected, actually go ahead and do it. So no nonsense in comments today from anyone at the Communist Party Greens, thanks.

Those of us who know people who suffered the misfortune to be caught up in the London bombings, or the September 11 attacks in the US, or the Bali bombings know too well that terrorist outrages are no trifling matter to score political points from, nor a vehicle to assert some purported moral superiority that doesn’t exist: those who seek to do so should be ashamed, and the misty-eyed sentiment that “it could never happen here” echoes perfectly similar sentiments in other free countries whose innocence of such crimes has long-since been violated.

Two of the insidiously barbaric plots foiled by yesterday’s raids and arrests are horrific: one murderous storyline was apparently set to feature terrorist snipers picking off the security detail on the ministerial wing of Parliament House, allowing straightforward access to the Prime Minister’s courtyard and, as one report rather euphemistically described the consequent vantage point from which to keep shooting, “a line of sight into the Prime Minister’s office.”

Another involved Islamic State terrorists randomly snatching and abducting a tourist from Sydney’s Martin Place, beheading the victim on camera, and then sending the footage to what we’ll call the Islamic State press office in Syria for broadcast and propaganda purposes.

This kind of thing — or anything like it — has no place in Australia.

In a way, Australians had a foretaste of this two years ago, as Muslims rioted through Sydney on the flimsy pretext of being “offended” about a nonsense film made in America by an Egyptian Coptic Christian — in breach of parole conditions applied to him at the time — which saw these undesirable Muslim miscreants call for (among other things) beheadings to occur in Australia in accordance with a strict interpretation of Sharia law.

It was unacceptable then, and it is unacceptable now.

I have been criticised in the past for advocating the deportation of these specimens of human filth from our shores wherever possible, and to reiterate — again — the degraded human state to which I refer has nothing to do with their religion, but everything to do with the fact these are bad people who simply do not belong in this country: irrespective of what religious beliefs they hold.

But the problem with throwing them in jail stems from the very characteristic that makes Islamic State such a dangerous presence in Australia in the first place; these networks are comprised of people who are first-class networkers, recruiters and brainwashers, and their recruitment practices tend to focus on angry, disaffected and marginalised people who believe the world — and the country — have grievously wronged them.

How many martyrs and wounded souls are potentially available to such groups within prison populations?

Yesterday’s raids, arrests and associated counter-terrorist operations are merely the first step in what is likely to be an incessant process of finding those who plot against Australia; and those charged with undertaking them — in intelligence gathering, operations and initiation — are to be congratulated rather than criticised or condemned.

Sadly, however, Australia is proving to be a fertile hiring ground for the terrorist machines wreaking havoc in other parts of the world, and the prospect of similar violence and atrocities being carried out on our shores is not hypothetical at all: it is real, imminent and deadly, as the plots thwarted yesterday chillingly demonstrate.

Lock these barbarians away by all means, and get them off the streets, but I reiterate the position on this issue I have held throughout: if they travel abroad to participate in terrorist activities, their Australian passports should be cancelled; those of them holding another citizenship in addition to that of Australia, their Australian citizenship should be rescinded and those affected thrown out of the country.

Let’s be honest: anyone caught planning or executing their savage outrages in this country don’t belong here; and the simple legislative change to citizenship arrangements would merely see those caught in its web either marooned in or deported to countries they profess to want to set up their own state in anyway.

Frankly, our government should do everything in its power to help them get there; and if they find the going a bit too rough once they arrive — like the so-called “Cream Puff Brigade” we looked at a week or two ago — then really, that’s too bad.

 

Terror And Reality: Those Who “Hail War With The West” Are Not “Aussies”

WITH THE elevation of Australia’s official terror threat from “medium” to “high” — meaning a terrorist attack on Australian soil is considered likely — has come greater media coverage of locally-based Muslims bent on “jihad” against the West; from threats against military personnel and plots to carry out terror strikes in this country, to travelling to fight “jihad” in the name of ISIS, those who do so have no right to call themselves Australians.

Until very recently, with the advent and apparent entrenchment of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in a rapidly expanding tract of “Islamic Caliphate” territory in the Middle East, this column has mostly avoided talking about issues primarily based on Islam; such matters have become an incendiary sore point in Australia, with those who (rightly) point to problems of spiralling religious violence in other Western countries potentially becoming replicated in Australia slapped down — and armed with a pile of legislation designed to outlaw their grievances — by an army of chardonnay-swilling, politically correct trendies determined to ram “diversity” down the throats of whoever dares as much as question it, let alone voice any opposition to it.

I have steered clear of such things because in many respects they are arguments you can’t win; there are Muslim people who simply want to be left alone and to live in peace (in Australia and elsewhere) and there are those who want to kill infidels, wage “jihad,” and rape and murder and pillage — all in the name of Allah, of course; it’s religion and faith that is used to justify such slaughter.

Those who defend the rights of the Muslims in the first category to live in Australia are shot down by those determined to round up and deport all Muslims in order to ensure the complete removal of those in the second category from Australian shores, and the paradoxical truth of the matter is that the arguments of both carry some merit.

But those Muslims who live in Australia and who have become “radicalised,” to use the current jargon — and who want to either mount terrorist attacks in Australia, or skip the country to fight alongside “brethren” in the Middle East in a “jihad” against the Western world — have no right to call themselves Australian, and as far as I am concerned should not be welcome in this country under any circumstances.

The official escalation this week of Australia’s terror threat to “high” for the first time ever — and taking it to the second-highest level on the four-tiered scale adopted a decade ago — comes as the issue of radical Islam and the threat it poses globally is arguably the most prominent it has been since Muslim terrorists flew hijacked aircraft into various landmarks in the USA on 11 September 2001, killing thousands.

What is now clearly two rival complements of radical fundamental Muslims — Islamic State and Al-Qaeda (the latter initially thought to have spawned the former) — are busily laying waste to a rapidly growing tract of the Middle East, and the obscenity of the crimes being committed against humanity in the process are too revolting to countenance.

In the three and a half years I have been publishing this forum, I have posted articles devoted to Islam just four times, and it speaks volumes that one of these — an angry piece penned in the wake of Muslim riots in Sydney two years ago — remains, to this day, the most widely read article ever published here (although a pre-election expose last year about Communist Party Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young comes a very close second).

And it says much, too, that of the other three, two of them have been in the past ten days, both dealing with ISIS: those who didn’t see these can access them here and here.*

But I read yesterday, among other things on the subject, an article in the Weekend Australian that demands comment for the simple reason that anyone who “hails war with the West” might well possess Australian residency or citizenship — although those things can be changed — but they have no moral or social right whatsoever to categorise themselves as “Australian.”

To put it bluntly, these are not the kind of people this country either needs or wants, and they should be deported. But more on that later.

One of the more disturbing aspects of the fundamentalist terror advocates that have at least partly underpinned the Commonwealth’s heightened state of terror alert is the fact their activities are so open; these people are either extremely careless or extremely cavalier, conducting their campaigns of recruitment and propaganda in full view of anyone who cares to look.

The Australian‘s story features “Australian Islamic State fighter” Abu Khaled, who it seems maintains an easily accessible propaganda presence on Twitter and Facebook; Khaled — said to be a “former Melbourne man” of Fijian and Cambodian ancestry, neither of which are typical of Islam — is apparently also the “star” of a soon to be released propaganda video from Islamic State.

I’m not going to drone on about every detail carried in these reports (although a selection may be accessed here, here, here and here for those wishing to read further). Suffice to say, however, Australia — thanks to immigration policies that are either inadequately rigorous and/or too easily circumvented when it comes to rooting out religiously motivated troublemakers — now finds itself at risk from the local adherents of these murderous groups who hate everything about liberal democracy, freedom and the rule of law, and anything that doesn’t fit with their extremely strict conservative interpretation of the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an.

For once, one will say something favourable about the Fairfax press; it’s obsession with the hobby horses of the Left (such as “tolerance” and “inclusion”) has seen it publish today a piece focused on Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, the Grand Mufti of Australia, who not for the first time presents as the reasonable voice of the moderate Muslim community (which — as I have repeatedly noted in this column — is actually most of the Muslim community).

But Muslim voices such as Dr Ibrahim’s are all too infrequently heard: it may be that comparatively little attention is paid to them, it may be because of prejudice, or it may be that they simply don’t speak up to the degree they ought to. But what seems indisputable is that those who seek to act in the name of Islam to perpetuate mass killings and other outrages pay no heed to responsible leaders in their communities like Dr Ibrahim whatsoever.

I am not a bigot or a redneck, and I disagree with those whose “answer” to the threat posed by violent religious jihadists is to throw every Muslim out of Australia; to do so (were it even possible) would be to respond to a local threat posed by the comparative few in a fashion utilising the polar opposite extreme to tar the many — wrongly — with the same brush.

By the same token, however, I am on the record in my view that nobody should be permitted to come to Australia and seek to change the place to what they think it should be, and in this sense the Muslim community does have to be singled out. The fact bacon is not sold in some mainstream food establishments for example, or that some multinationals sell halal meat only to avoid giving offence, is a nonsense that has no place in this country at all.

And the suggestion that arises periodically from some sections of the Muslim community that Australia should adopt Sharia law is an insult to more than 20 million Australians who are not of the Islamic faith, and frankly, those who advance the calls for it to be introduced have no place in Australia either.

Australia is a very welcoming country, perhaps the most welcoming in the world; as a nation of immigrants, one of our strengths is that we reflect the very best of many cultures alongside the primary roots of British settlement and, for those to whom it is important, Aboriginal custom.

Yet if one group wishing to come here wants Australia to adopt their laws in place of ours — in this case, Sharia — then they shouldn’t come here at all; they should stay where they are instead, however horrible they think their lot is, or go somewhere else that might be more sympathetic to their demands to overthrow the system — literally.

But with a welcoming and tolerant country also comes responsibilities.

On one level, I don’t really care if all of these so-called “jihadists” want to go off somewhere secluded and blow each other to kingdom come. In a macabre sense, if they want to do this to each other in a place nobody else has to be affected by it, they’d be doing the rest of the world a favour.

But on another, I think it is a moral and human outrage that in choosing to do so they are content — nay, happy — to rape and torture and kill civilians, innocents, women, children, the helpless and the unsuspecting.

And it is particularly disgusting that these atrocities are done in the name of “God,” “religion,” or any other justification based on exploiting and perverting a developed system of theological values.

The reason I have posted links to a broad sweep of what has been published on Islamic terrorism in Australia in the past couple of days (and there is plenty more; I’ve merely used the first few articles I encountered on my daily sweep of the news portals yesterday) is because nobody can seriously argue that there is no problem posed by violent, radicalised Islamic groups in this country, or by the gullible and dislocated individuals they are recruiting to their ranks.

I have said previously that any permanent Australian resident or citizen who travels to the Middle East to take part in the fighting going on in the name of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State should have their passports and citizenship revoked, and permanently denied re-entry to Australia.

If it leaves them stateless and consequently stranded in the middle of a war zone then frankly, so be it: life is full of choices, and choices come with consequences.

Australia cannot — despite the fervour and zeal of the Left — tolerate and diversify and compassion itself to the point that it becomes a haven for the murderous, the lunatic and the despotic.

Especially when the target of such people and the groups to which they belong is the way of life we enjoy in this country, and everything it stands for.

And I note that the problems that are now starting to really become apparent in Australia — even to those who, for whatever reason, have chosen to avert their eyes in denial — are not unique to this country; all over the Western world, in the USA, the UK and Europe (and even in places like Russia), organisations based on this radical brand of Islam are growing in strength and prominence, with everything they find disagreeable in their crosshairs.

Clearly, it is not possible to speak for those in other Western countries, although the sentiment probably holds good irrespective of whether we’re talking about Australia, the UK, or somewhere like the Netherlands, which is notorious for rising levels of Islamic violence and social trouble.

The escalation of Australia’s terror threat level is not something done on a whim, or for purely political reasons; indeed, the decision to do so stems from ASIO, not the Abbott government, and Bill Shorten must be given his due for publicly falling into lockstep with Prime Minister Tony Abbott in response (even if some of his less-principled colleagues see it as an opportunity for political point scoring).

And there’s no diplomatic way of saying this, so let’s call a spade a spade: the reason for the change in terror alert, very simply, is due to a threat posed by violent Islamic fundamentalists.

If any of the people involved in these terrorist cells — like Khaled who, of course, is long gone — possess the citizenship by birth or ancestry of any other country, then as far as I am concerned their Australian citizenships must be rescinded.

If they are off fighting overseas, then they will never return; if they continue to dwell on Australian shores, their tenure should be summarily and abruptly terminated, and they should be deported along with their vicious ideas and violent intentions.

There are too many compassion babbling voices peddling bleeding-hearted bullshit about being tolerant of diversity: this isn’t an issue of racial or religious diversity, per se. It is an issue of terrorism, of murder and brutality, of rape and torture and slaughter. Whatever the basis for such monstrosity can and should also form the basis upon which this country rids itself of the threat.

I’m happy for Muslim folk who go about their business peacefully to call Australia home for as long as they are prepared to join our way of life, and provided they do not expect to turn the place into a Sharia society: there is a place for that, and it isn’t here.

But those who revel in death and destruction — indeed, those who “hail war against the West” — have neither the right nor the entitlement to call themselves Australian. They do not belong here and they are not welcome. And by whatever means possible, now Australia faces a heightened risk of terrorist indecency being carried out on home soil, it warrants the removal of those who would perpetrate such horrors from our midst.

 

*The fourth was a piece opposing the establishment of a dedicated Muslim enclave in Sydney a couple of years ago; all I will say on the subject today — and no, I don’t want a debate on it now — is that most Muslim nations would look very poorly indeed (to put it extremely mildly) at a bunch of white Australians setting up closed enclaves in their own countries, and there’s no more justification for them to do it here as for us to do it there. Enough said.

ISIS Terrorists: Sub-Human Filth Can Rot In Hell

ISIS, ISIL, ISLAMIC STATE, Al-Qaeda — call them what you like — are filthy, sub-human barbarians: uncivilised terrorists utterly devoid of morals, whose only agenda is to rape, torture and kill anyone in their path who cannot be subjugated and enslaved. The free world is united in its outrage at the catastrophe in the Middle East; Australia’s Greens, however, worry the terrorists might suffer wounded feelings. They can rot in hell, too.

It takes a certain chutzpah for members of Parliament to claim their own country’s armed forces could be viewed as terrorists as they deploy to deal with a “movement” whose weapons are the rape of women and children, torture, and gruesome murder, at the same time as they contend these evil creatures might be affronted by depictions of them as terrorists in their own country’s channels of public communication.

But the Communist Party Greens have done it: in deploying to the Middle East to assist a concerted international effort to deal with the scourge that is ISIS, Australia’s own soldiers are the bad guys, whilst some kind of concern should be spared for the feelings of those committing unspeakable atrocities on a rapidly ballooning scale.

“Often our forces could be seen by Iraqi civilians as terrorists,” Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilton told the Senate earlier this week, adding — somewhat confusedly — that “dehumanising and demonising our enemies is an effective tool for leading a nation to war, but this kind of propaganda won’t bring peace.”

Well, here’s a bulletin for the Tasmanian Senator, whose words in years past would have been sufficient to see him imprisoned for treason, sedition, and any number of other offences: the West is at war with ISIS — in the name of human decency, the rule of law, for the safety of the peoples whose welfare is threatened, and for what is right.

Whish-Wilson has pleaded — to the point of begging — to find some other, less offensive term than “terrorists” to refer to the ISIS forces. One can only assume he’s concerned that calling them terrorists will hurt their feelings. One is all broken up about the wounded sensitivities of terrorists, and has no truck with whining about the rights of bloody murderers when women and kids are being raped and killed in the name of “religion.”

Driven by a brand of radical fundamentalist Islam determined to impose a Sharia dictatorship based on an extremely strict interpretation of the Koran on as wide an area and population as possible — with no stated limit in terms of these objectives — the forces behind ISIS (or whatever it calls itself this week) are pure evil; these filthy, sub-human barbarians have to date “executed” by beheading at least three Westerners for the explicit benefit and consumption of the watching Western media.

These murders have served as a gruesome and macabre backdrop to the rape of thousands of civilian women and children; the torture and enslavement of thousands more; and the murder of a countless number of their own people in the name of expanding “the Caliphate” as widely and as comprehensively as possible, transcending national and even continental boundaries, and ostensibly revelling in the violence with which these goals are pursued.

So horrific are the obscenities committed by ISIS that those who have witnessed them are returning from the coalface with deeply seated mental scars that will probably persist for a lifetime; I saw an article this morning by one such journalist from London’s Telegraph newspaper, and this eyewitness account makes for compelling, and sickening, reading.

The Greens, meanwhile — horrified by the prospect that the democratic, civilised world should intervene to try to end the indiscriminate brutality and slaughter — have already tried (and failed) to argue the case for the deployment of Australian troops to be made contingent on an authorising vote of Parliament; it’s a sign of the sickness that afflicts the Senate that the system which allows little bands of fruit cakes to be elected to it on a sliver of the national vote could be used to perpetuate the rape and slaughter that ISIS is ruthlessly and remorselessly engaging in.

Make no mistake, this proposal was really about exploiting the Senate to ensure the violence and carnage in the Middle East is allowed to continue freely; the Greens — given the opportunity — would do everything in their power to stop efforts to deal with ISIS that involved sending Australian troops. The continuation of that violence and carnage would be the direct result.

Not content with this failed endeavour, however, that frightful, pious, sanctimonious figure at the head of the Australian Greens, Christine Milne, weighed into the debate yesterday as The Australian is reporting; her contribution — distilled to its core — is essentially the contention that by sending troops to the Middle East, jihadists will be emboldened to kill more people, and to recruit others to their ranks to assist in this.

Just how ridiculous the Milne position is can be easily illustrated by posing the inverse question: by not sending troops, will jihadists stop recruiting people, stop raping and torturing and killing civilians, and stop trying to spread their insidious and contemptible brand of hardline Islamic terror across the world?

I didn’t think so. About the nicest thing that can be said about Christine Milne is that once again, she has shown herself to be appallingly naive.

Sanctimonious, pious, and appallingly naive: Christine Milne. (Picture: The Australian)

Piers Akerman — the columnist in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph whose opinions so frequently and eloquently mirror my own — has ripped into the Greens over this issue today; he makes the valid point that for a party that so often seeks the succour of UN treaties as a vehicle upon which to attempt to circumvent Australian law in the pursuit of their God-forsaken socialist utopia, the Greens now refuse to heed the views expressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: the haughty moral indignation with which they brandish the unelected United Nations at the Australian public is disposable, it seems, when even the UN isn’t a convenient fit with their agenda.

Indeed, UN envoy Navi Pillay — a Greens’ favourite, as Piers observes, for her propensity to attack Western democratic governments — has likened the brutality of the ISIS forces to crimes against humanity.

But that little inconvenience doesn’t bother the Greens either.

To be clear, the hardening resolve of the West to respond militarily to the ISIS threat and the imminent actions to do so are not directed against the Muslims of the world, per se; hundreds of millions of Muslims seek only to be left alone to live in peace. No right-minded individual in the West has any quarrel with these people.

Yet the Islamic jihad that is rolling across the Middle East is by no means confined to a localised civil war between Sunni and Shia Muslims, which was the ostensible pretext for this fight in the first place; initially focused on setting up an Islamic State in parts of Iraq, Libya and Syria, the ISIS fungus is creeping outwards on all fronts. Moderate, stable Muslim countries in the region are terrified.

Even Iran has made repeated gestures toward the United States to signal that it wishes to partner Uncle Sam in defeating the ISIS movement.

And just this week, Al-Qaeda (which is the real driver of this terrorist machine) set up shop in India, seeking to recruit and radicalise men to fight in its name, and to spread the “Caliphate” into South Asia — and, chillingly, beyond the recognised boundaries of the Muslim world.

In other words, ISIS is a global threat, not simply a regional one.

But of course, the Greens in Australia simply don’t get it.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is absolutely correct to describe ISIS as a “death cult.” Appropriately (for once), opposition leader Bill Shorten offered Abbott Labor’s unqualified support on the ISIS challenge. US Vice-President Joe Biden vowed that the United States would pursue ISIS jihadists “to the gates of hell if necessary…for hell is where they reside.” British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of the need for international solidarity to counter “the brutal and poisonous extremism of ISIS.” And Christine Milne and Senator Whish-Wilton have fretted about demonising “terrorists” because such language “implies a very one-sided view of the world.”

Those who would defame Australia’s fine military personnel — not least at a time when many of them will soon face the dangers of dealing with ISIS first hand — are unfit to serve in public office; the Greens are enemies of this country and its best interests. By their utterances on the question of ISIS, they have once again quite openly laid the proof of this out for all to see.

Human catastrophes of this kind tend to bring out the best in good people, whatever their ordinary flaws and differences; to this end Biden has it about right: ISIS should be hunted down as far as the gates of hell. Hell is where they belong, and where they will reside when all is done. It is the duty of decent men and women to rid the Middle East of the scourge that is ISIS — a malignant and despotic junta that threatens to engulf the entire region and, potentially, much of the world around it.

In his pursuit of ISIS to the gates of hell, however, Biden should be unsurprised upon arrival to find mounted on that portcullis a placard from the Australian Greens: after all, the Greens stand for nothing of value, and what they do stand for is reprehensible in its values, principles, and the indecent world that would result if their lunatic ideas were ever comprehensively implemented.

Who cares about hugging trees when there are offended terrorists to champion?

The regrettable truth is that this is nothing new for the Greens. They are mad, bad, and dangerous. They should be railroaded, steamrolled and ignored.

To his eternal credit, Abbott will have neither hesitation nor compunction in doing precisely that when it comes to tackling the menace of ISIS, and to saving as many of the innocent lives possible that are threatened by its evil spread.

 

 

Ten Years On: September 11, 2011 Approaches

It’s been ten years since the worst terrorist atrocity in history was perpetuated, against the United States and on US soil, on 11 September 2001. Do you remember where you were? And what does it mean today?

I remember it well; it was back in my single-boy days, and I’d been watching late-night television on Channel 7 whilst having a few beers on the evening of 11 September 2001.

Having fallen asleep in front of the TV, I woke on Wednesday September 12 at about 6am AEST (or about 3pm on September 11, New York time) to see images of Boeing 767s and 757s being flown into buildings in and near New York on the still-running TV set. “America Under Attack!” the news ticker said.

I thought I was dreaming, but I wasn’t; thought I was drunk, but instantly realised that was impossible. This was real: and had it taken me 15 minutes longer to fall asleep the previous night I wouldn’t have slept at all — I would have seen the start of it and watched the footage all night.

I got angry; very angry, very quickly.

What had transpired was an absolute affront to everything that was decent, civilised, and that was right.

I thought — as did many people in those first few days — that it had been an act by another country against the United States — possibly Iraq — and in absolute fury, remember a conversation with “a friend” in which I urged that representations be made for a colossal retaliatory nuclear strike to be undertaken against the culprit nation the instant it had been conclusively identified.

I quickly calmed down (nobody sane really wants nukes used, and there’s enough of a threat of it from fruit cakes like Kim Jong-Il without anyone rational adding to that).

Yet for a time, many people thought World War III might have begun; a prospect — with tens of thousands of multi-megaton nuclear warheads in the world with which to fight it — that was and is too terrible to contemplate.

People were nonetheless jumpy, even here in Australia; I can remember going to a football finals match at the MCG a few days after the US attacks to watch Carlton play; it felt like a footy crowd and everyone was into the game, but there was an odd mood around the ground, as if people were wondering “we’re assembled here, 80,000 of us, are we a target?”

And the media outlet I worked for at the time (in advertising) quarantined its reception area every morning whilst staff donned masks and gloves to open the day’s mail: lest some half-bake had sent anthrax powder in material posted to the organisation.

As we know, it was eventually established that Al-Qaeda operatives under the direction of Osama bin Laden, trained in terrorist camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, who were the perpetrators — and as I remarked wryly at the time to another “friend” there’s no point trying to nuke a chicken coop.

But thus was born the War On Terror; Afghanistan was invaded and swiftly overrun by US forces; its disgusting Taliban regime overthrown for the time being, but never completely vanquished.

An intelligence dossier prepared by the Labour government of Tony Blair — arguing conclusive evidence that weapons of mass destruction were stockpiled in Iraq by Saddam Hussein — quickly led to the invasion and conquest of that country by US and allied forces.

It was later shown that Blair’s dossier was, to put it politely, predicated on falsehoods.

The USA and its “Coalition of the Willing” had acted on it in good faith.

But a military action of that nature cannot be undone, and subsequently and consequently US efforts switched to the trial of Saddam for crimes against humanity, for which he was executed; and to the reconstruction of Iraq as a continuing nation-state and member of the international community.

In regard to Saddam, despite the means, I have only two words: good riddance.

And on reflection on more recent developments, the fact US Special Forces blew Osama bin Laden’s head off — and his brain into chunks on the ground, reportedly — is something I approve of wholeheartedly. Again, good riddance.

In the years since, there have been other terrorist outrages that have been perpetrated (for instance, the Bali bombings and the London Underground bombings) as well as others that have been foiled (such as the episode in which Air France planes worldwide were grounded, lest they be exploded mid-flight over oceans).

Tony Blair is gone, as is George W. Bush; our own John Howard — proclaimed by Bush as a “Man of Steel” is also now an element of political history.

And history is likely to judge all three men very differently.

Bush — a figure of national ridicule before he was ever elected as President, and yet paradoxically an overwhelmingly popular Governor of Texas — left office amid recession in America, a time of corporate meltdowns and business failures, and of diminishing US prestige outside the Western world.

Yet as time goes on, Bush is likely to be viewed more favourably; his actions in response to what we all know as “9/11” define and will define his presidency; and as the contemporary memory of his failures or otherwise as a domestic President fade, I believe his standing will increase as the leader who answered an existential threat to his country — and delivered.

I don’t believe history will treat Tony Blair so well; the domestic legacy in Britain of his government is already being discredited, that process ably assisted by its continuation under his successor — and Chancellor of the Exchequer — Gordon Brown, before their government finally fell to the Conservative Party last year.

In foreign policy, Blair will be forever stained by what has come to be known as “the dossier;” indeed, who can forget watching Blair’s press conferences on foreign policy in 2002, most sentences of which commenced with the word “Saddam.”

There has been and will be accusation and counter-accusation, but those who opposed a war in Iraq need to look in the direction of one Anthony Charles Lynton Blair — and not at George Walker Bush, however inconvenient, painful and heretical that change of perspective might be for some.

And John Howard was bound, let us not forget, by various defence treaties and alliances.

There are many on the Left who actually think Australia is a superpower; a country whose voice — if words alone were used — makes other countries around the globe quiver in their boots.

We live in a great country; a free, fair and relatively prosperous one; I believe it to be the best place on Earth in which to live and I love it.

But there is a world elsewhere, populated by friend and foe alike, and whether convenient or acceptable or desirable for some, we are dependent on stronger friends for our security.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies in the US, Canada, the UK and so forth is not only what we had to do; it is also what we should have done. If the fateful day ever arrives and Australia needs help, Australia will need her friends.

And how has 9/11 changed our world?

Our airports and our aviation industry are supposedly far more secure, and here in Australia our major airports at least certainly are.

But go to any one of a number of regional airports — Mildura, for example, where you can walk off a plane, across the tarmac and around to the front of the terminal building without going through the terminal — and you just wonder.

I did just that in Mildura in late 2009, because half the passengers from my flight headed off that way, and being the frightened flyer I am I wanted the quickest walk to a post-flight cigarette I could take.

But if we could walk out that way unimpeded, who could just walk in?

It’s a scenario just as relevant in other Australian airports and, I dare say, around the world.

Passports are more secure, using biometric technology, which isn’t a bad thing at all, but does it help?

And have our intelligence services and those of our Allies improved to the extent that a repeat of the Blair-induced Iraq debacle can never be repeated?

I’ve been looking with great interest at the progress of construction on the old World Trade Center site in recent weeks. Forgive me the brief use of US English, but it seems appropriate.

There’s a magnificent precinct being constructed in Manhattan to replace the buildings lost in 9/11; the architectural impressions of the buildings are stunning, and the project is being done respectfully in memory of that terrible event which transpired ten years ago.

Yet I gather New York will never be the same; and it’s understandable. That legendarily-reputed fine town is next on our travel list, and I can’t wait to go.

I’m told New Yorkers have resumed their usual way of life (read: “Our town is the center of the universe!”) but that under the surface, real angst and apprehension remains that one day — maybe even on 11 September this year, in a few days’ time — the whole thing could happen again.

But what transpired in New York on September 11, 2001 — at the cost of some 3,000 lives and the traumatisation of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of others — has fundamentally changed the way we live.

Even here in Australia, and even now.

And probably for as long as our free Western society exists.

I’d love to hear what readers think: what their memories are, where they were, what they were doing, and what their thoughts on the whole chain of events 9/11 unleashed might be.

But above all, shut your eyes, and think about the world. How do you feel about it now, compared to the way you felt about it ten years ago?

In your own mind, with all the noise shut out, how do you feel about the world?

About 9/11?

Or, if it applies to your headspace, does it make no difference at all?

I thought it right to talk about this a few days prior to the actual anniversary so people can think about it a little.

And in closing, I would like to say, Lest We Forget, the thousands of civilians and emergency service workers who lost their lives in buildings and on planes in New York, and in Washington, and in Pennsylvania that day, is a tragedy we should all remember.

And remember that it’s a warning, too: as thoroughly and genuinely good as most people are, there are evil specimens in the ranks of humankind, and likely capable of far worse than what transpired on that faultlessly beautiful Autumn day in New York ten years ago.

What do you think?