September 11, 2014
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (Asio) has signalled that the terrorism threat level in Australia could be raised to high from medium. The rhetoric is that of manufactured fear is about a death cult over there posing a threat in this country.
There’s no credible information that the Islamic State (IS) is planning an attack on Australia. Nor is there any indication at this point of a cell of foreign fighters (Islamic State) operating in Australia. So there is no actual or imminent threat to the nation from the Islamic State.
That doesn't stop the war hawks from their fear mongering to scare a war weary population by implying that there are ISIS sleeper cells living in Australia and that they are a grave and unprecedented threat (far worse than al Qaeda!). The two people arrested in Queensland were not planning a domestic attack nor were they connected to the Islamic State.
So Abbott has to “flex his muscles” and show “toughness” to justify his desire to assume the usual subservient Australian role in support of American wars. As Mark Latham in the Australian Financial Review observes:
From presidents Johnson to Obama, tens of thousands of young lives have been sacrificed for purposes ill-conceived in their design and futile in their execution. And for every American misjudgement, Australia has been lock-step in agreement.With the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s strong-arm government, the Coalition of the Willing lifted the lid on sectarian and tribal conflicts in Iraq. Islamic State militants are motivated by hatred of the West and a desire to restore Sunni dominance over the US-sponsored Shiite government in Baghdad.
It's worse than that. It was only a year ago that President Bashar al-Assad was deemed to be evil and a grave threat, and that military action against his regime was both a moral and strategic imperative. Now the US, UK and Australia are starting a new campaign to bomb those fighting against Assad – the very same side the U.S. has been arming over the last two years. (the same, of course, was true of the Taliban in Afghanistan). It was a national imperative on both occasions.
The Abbott Government is obediently following the Obama administration's script of the need to destroy ISIS. That means the “limited” bombing of Syria and Iraq to attack ISIS will result in more justifications for military action in that region. If it turns out that airstrikes are insufficient to seriously degrade ISIS, and you really believe that ISIS is a serious threat to the “homeland” and national security interests, then how could you justify opposing anything needed to defeat them up to and including ground troops?
No doubt Australia’s participation in the last Iraq war will substantially increased the threat of homegrown terrorism to the country as well as encouraging, rather than discouraging, radicalized individuals to pour into Syria and Iraq to boost the IS numbers.
It is hard to look at U.S. actions in the Middle East and still accept that the goal of its military deployments is humanitarianism. The U.S. government does not oppose tyranny and violent oppression in the Middle East. To the contrary, recent history indicates that it is and long has been American policy to do everything possible to subjugate the populations of that region with brutal force. Humanitarianism is the cover for blowing things and people up with bombs.