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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Christopher Pearson gets serious « Previous | |Next »
February 23, 2003

In his latest article in the Weekend Australian (Feb. 22, 2003 p. 20) called, 'Security Bordering on farce, CP addresses national security issues. He paints the following scenario:

"About 18 months ago, analysts of international terrorism began using the media to expound alarming developments. The Middle East was becoming too volatile a base for terrorist organizations and they were infiltrating host nations in southeast Asia. Terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna in particular identified Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines-all countries with border security problems---and militant Islamist minorities--and described Australia as a soft target for their operations."

So we have terror at our back door. This is the core of the national interest of the national security state in terms of the war on terrorism. That much we know.

The particular threat according to CP? The Indonesian military (TNI) and its support of various terrorist groups, such as JI and Laskar Jihad in West Papua, which had a common objective of territorial expansion into Papua New Guinea.

CP fails to detail the threats to Australia or what this means for Australia's relationships with Indonesia---he explores the impact of refugees and mass immigration of West Papuans to Australia's northern shores.

All he says is that the intelligence services are keeping a close eye on things whilst the political class supports and reassures the Indonesian Government in the interests of regional stability. CP makes no mention of the impact of Australia's involvement in the Iraqi war on regional stability and the war on terror.

Let us take it further.

Surely radical Islamic opposition to US and Australia's regional interests would increase; there would be an increase in the ranks of radical Islamic groups; the sleeper cells in southeast Asia would be activated; and there would be a rise in hostile activities towards Australia. The regime of President Megawati Sukarnoputri would have difficulties in containing the emotions of ordinary moderate Muslems from boiling over. Hence regional instability is the consequence of war with Iraq.

Why is Australia in the firing line? Remember the 'you are either with us or against us' of the good and evil script. Australia is a strategic dependent on the US. Australia has identified itself as the regional Deputy Sheriff for the US, which under the Bush administration, is now acting to ensure that it retains permanent military superiority over any and all of the nations in the world. The US will act to humiliate and intimidate any nation-state considering taking on the US or threatening its global supremacy.

Its strategic policies are structured around a hard unilateralist stance; the assumption that security can only achieved through overwhelming power against adversaries; and preemptive strike --or the first use of military might against the bad guys. Australia signed up to all of this at a moment's notice. on the understanding that allies have an obligation to support unilateral US actions.

The adversaries for the US? Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria Libya, China and Russia. For Australia? Indonesia is a potential adversary. Just as Iraq threatens the peace and stability of the Middle East so an Islamic Indonesia threatens the peace and stability of south east Asia. Australia's strategy towards Indonesia is pre-emptive strike using military power. Since Australia does not posess the military power to it will have to rely on the US to conduct the policing operation to ensure regional law and order.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:35 AM | | Comments (3)


So let's go bomb Baghdad! Howard is just doing what his Master instructs him to do. The fact that Australians are now perceived by millions of Muslims as carrying the water of extremist supporters of Israeli settlers on the West Bank (like Irving Moskowitz) is of no concern to people like Downer, so little do they understand our national interests in the region. Yet Howard won't call an election to let the people decide.

Intereting that CP uses Rohan Gunaratna as his expert. I referred the other day to an article by this guy and a reader suggested I do some checking on his credibility. I haven't really had a chance, but in the small amount I did, it suggested there were certainly lots of concerns about the data he uses in his book. Wonder if CP knows?

Oh, the data doesnt agree with me, so he must be wrong? Heh, nice one Tim.

Here's a breif bio

Rohan Gunaratna is a British Chevening Scholar at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. He was the Hesburgh Scholar at the Institute of International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Foreign Policy Fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies, University of Maryland and a Visiting Research Scholar at the Office of Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security, University of Illinois. He worked with the Government of Sri Lanka from 1984-94. Gunaratna also served as a UN expert in 1997 to the UN Panel of governmental experts on conventional weapon transfers. He is author of 6 books including War and Peace in Sri Lanka.


So, you know, there's a good chance that he knows his stuff, regardless of the apersions of Mr Dunlop.