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here we go again « Previous | |Next »
September 1, 2014

It's mission creep under the guise of humanitarian help--to prevent genocide against beleaguered minorities in northern Iraq. It follows the RAAF humanitarian supply airdrops to thousands of people still stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. Australia's’s response to Islamic State (Isis) should be on humanitarian aid.

Mission creep that is a continuation of the war of terror. Last week Australia was dropping food and water to prevent a humanitarian crisis. This week Australia is dropping weapons in a region where the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), one of 19 organisations that Canberra lists globally as terrorists, is active. The SAS is also involved as they will provide protection to the crew when they land in coming days in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq to deliver arms and munitions.

RowsonMISwar.jpg Martin Rowson

So Australia has intervened into a civil war by supporting one terrorist organization --the PKK-- against another --the Islamic State (IS) that is tacitly supported by Saudi Arabia, which Australia sees as one of the good guys who are part of the West. Australia is a gun runners for the Kurds at the behest of the United States. Australia also supported IS in its opposition to the Assad regime in Syria. Will Australia now support Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, as an ally in the fight against Islamic State (Isis) extremists? If the US does Australia will follow suit.

The so-called war on terror is nearly 13 years old. We have had crackdowns on civil liberties across the world, tabloid-fanned generalisations about Muslims and military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq whose consequences have ranged from the disastrous to the catastrophic. Australia helped to topple and killed Iraq’s ruler, Saddam Hussein, dismantled his army and law and order, broke the ruling party and civil service and caused the chaos that exiled the middle classes and massacred tens of thousands of civilians. And where have we ended up? With another war.

The rhetoric is being ramped up--the danger posed by Islamic State (IS) extremists is being presented as the biggest security threat of modern times, surpassing that of al-Qaida. No doubt the rhetoric will start to include the claim that the battle with Isis is about defending Australian or "western values". So it is a war against Islam, which represents non-western values. National security is threatened. It requires a whole new range of executive powers to deal with jihadis returning from Iraq that will endanger our liberties. Labor falls into line.

Humanitarian intervention does not mean embracing war through picking a side and helping it to win, or lose. We know that western bombs will not restore the fortunes of the Iraqi government or force Isis to admit defeat. Isis will simply hide in civilian cities. So what substantive or existential, threat to the west does IS pose? How is Isis a danger to Australia?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:59 AM | | Comments (13)


Australia supports Saudi Arabia who, in turn, supports sectarian Islamists (the Syrian rebels ) who kidnap and behead.

In the western media these sectarian Islamists who know as the Free Syrian Army. They were the goodies. The Assad regime was the baddies as it was a brutal dictatorship. Australia needed to oppose evil.

The Coalition Govt saw Assad as evil and that they held that we should support him being overthrown.

There was little interest in applying close scrutiny to the groups the West and its client Arab states were supporting in the Syrian civil war.

It was just a question of goodies and baddies.

IS developed through the support it received in its struggle in Syria against Assa from donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates.

IS has become a fanatically extreme movement which hates Shi’ite Muslims. The revolt of the Sunni in Syria was taken over by jihadis.

IS became a serious issue for the West when it started edging closer to crucial Iraqi oil supplies.

The tabloid hyping of the threat of the Islamic State (IS) to Australia is designed to demonise Muslim Australians, increase the fear of home-grown radicalism and beat the drums of war.

The media's demonisation of Muslims has consequences.

Young Australian Muslims do see Australia's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as a direct attack on being Islamic and their ‘radicalising’ is increased.

'Radicalisation’ is a coherent response by (mostly) young Muslim men to the perception that western governments are at war with Islamic countries.

The tabloid know this and they keep stirring. It looks like they want war cos it sells more newspapers.

IS’s goal is to merge these territories in Iraq with Syria and have a Sunni state straddling Iraq and Syria. The state boundaries in the Middle East--- as we know it--- is finished; the regional boundaries from the Sykes-Picot agreement (signed in 1916 between France and Britain to define the borders of the Middle East) no longer exist.

The Sunni population has decided to be on the side of IS--- its their only hope of becoming masters again.

Surely the crackdown on Australian-born extremists will push marginalised young people further towards radicalisation.

The young Australian -born Muslims already feel pushed to the fringes of society and that the latest government crackdown could nudge them further into the grasp of radical clerics, instead of drawing them back into mainstream society.

Australian has followed the US in seeing Iran as the most powerful member of the "Axis of Evil", and the presumed target of imminent US bombardment for years.

Yet the Islamic Republic of Iran is now America's collaborator in the current conflict with Islamic State.

I blame everything that is going on in the area on the US and the Oz coalition. I dont to go there because have the internet.

Australia has committed to another open-ended military intervention in the Middle East.

The rhetoric is high octane---IS is “pure evil” and a “death cult” according to Abbott. It's not a state.

It's open ended because it is no longer a humanitarian mission.

The PM's warmongering has seen Australia intervene in a civil war in the Middle East once again--use military force to shore up the weak states of Iraq and Syria. Politics is now wrapped in the flag, nationalism, and patriotism.

The last intervention has resulted in Iraq becoming a failed state whilst Afghanistan is a violent, chaotic mess.

"The Sunni population has decided to be on the side of IS--- its their only hope of becoming masters again."

Iraq's Sunni minority shares a common sense of being estranged from any semblance of a political process ever since Saddam Hussein was ousted in Iraq and Shia Islamic Iran established itself as a post-occupation power. Syria's Sunni majority, especially in the north and east, has been partly subservient to a Shia-aligned Alawite regime for more than three decades longer.

The Sunni support base that now stands with IS includes military leaders who were former Saddam Hussein's henchmen.