I can’t believe I’m not prime minister!

Who is the Australian Prime Minister right now? Tony Abbott appears to be confused about it as he writes at The Australian:

Islamic State cannot be contained; it has to be destroyed — because as long as it exists, the killings will continue. The more it grows, the worse the killings will become.

…Under my prime ministership, Australia was quick to recognise the danger of Islamist extremism. We raised the terror threat to high shortly before the first domestic brush with terrorism. We strengthened security at our Parliament House shortly before the attack on the Canadian parliament.

We offered the US military backing as soon as the caliphate was declared.

We swiftly deployed a powerful air contingent to the Middle East, gave special forces support to Iraq and then a taskforce to train the Iraqi regular army.

…Australia should be prepared to contribute more to a military campaign to destroy this terrorist caliphate on the ground in Syria and Iraq.

This could involve less restrictive targeting rules for airstrikes and the deployment of special forces on the ground in support of local forces, similar to the 2001 campaign where the Northern Alliance defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan.

It’s not a bad idea to back a side in the conflict, if you can figure out which one. The Neoconservative agenda in the Middle East – of forcing regime change to democracies from ethnic tyrannies – has clearly failed Western interests, installing instead radicalised ethic militias into pseudo states. The irony of Abbott’s position today appears to escape him given he was an enthusiastic supporter  for invading Iraq in 2003 to depose Saddam.

But, as I wrote yesterday:

This is classic guerrilla warfare. Lightening strikes that provoke the occupying power into overreach that in the end converts more of the indigenous population to the cause of resistance. What is different about this insurgency is it is a borderless guerrilla war that is fought as much by destabilising ‘secure’ Western societies as it is by resisting an occupier at home.

Typically, to win a guerrilla war, an occupying power must do three things. He must stabilise the security of the wider population, he must negotiate with the grievances of any swing elements in the society and he must hunt down and destroy the hard core of the offending militia.

But when this war is being fought across a landscape of ideas rather than topography, that task becomes a lot more difficult and subtle. Even so, I’d expect that, Mr Abbott notwithstanding, this understanding of the conflict will dictate the course of action among allies ahead. We can expect therefore:

  • no more large scale boots on ground;
  • an intensification of bombing, especially aimed at terrorist training operations;
  • a significant escalation of espionage and counter-insurgent activities;
  • an intensified hunt for a political solution in Syria that accelerates all of the above, and
  • if we are sensible, a very concerted effort to engage indigenous Muslim populations at home.

All of these necessitate calm, rational and moderate leadership.

Mr Abbott has a history of hair trigger thinking having mulled a unilateral invasion of Iraq and trying to shove his way into bombing Syria. Let’s be thankful that he is now shooting from the peanut gallery. As a distant middle power, it is not in Australia’s national interest to be jumping up and down giving IS more credibility than it deserves. Nor should we be leading any coalition into combat in the far flung Middle East. We should be intensifying espionage, engaging heavily with local Muslim communities, and contributing to military measures offshore when it is asked of us by key allies.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. Yes, Mr Abbott’s recruitment video for his LNP rebel movement, aka a segment on the Bolt Report, was vintage Abbott.

    Plenty of whistling that is unattractive to most – a few tin eared mutts excepted.

    Problem for Abbott is that most remember very well how this mess started back in 2003 with similar colour by numbers analysis.

  2. Thinks it’s his mission to be Australian PM and to personally save the world, because, you know, Australia is a global superpower and he’s just so brilliant. Total FW with insane delusions of grandeur. Look at the polls mate, the people saw through you, idiot.

    • The LNP needs to muzzle him before he does any more damage.

      Or duct tape, duct tape fixes a lot of thing, even mouthy ex PM’s.

    • He’s desperately trying to become Australia’s Winston Churchill. He’s got the incompetence down, just needs to hit the bottle hard.

  3. This is not primarily a political nor military problem. It is first and foremost a theological problem. Nothing much will change until this is addressed. The next cab off the rank is Saudi Arabia which is seen as compromised in its theology by probably half its population.

    • True. But it is also true that Islamic State needs to be destroyed on the ground, as its existence gives credibility to that theology. However, that’s a problem for the regional neighbours and their big power buddies to sort out with all their conflicting goals and power games, which has given IS the space to thrive, It is not for some pompous wanker of an Aussie ex-pm who clearly suffers delusions of global eminence to cynically use for crass personal political ambitions.

  4. Right, so given that the last time we invaded Iraq it played a pretty big role in helping to create ISIS, the solution is to… invade Iraq again?

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      The west won’t create a new monster until everyone is bored with the old one. I thought the Russians getting fair dinkum would knock ISIS from top trending spot but it seems there’s a way to run yet.

      We should start suggesting names for the next one. How does CFV sound? It stands for Corporate Funded Violence. That there’s a winner.

    • The war on terror, like the war on drugs is an abject failure and will continue to be so, because just like the war on drugs it doesn’t target the root cause of the problem, and worse than this it does’t seek to target the root cause. Rather it seeks to exploit the terrorism to meet wider strategic objectives, no matter how much suffering this causes.

      9/11 happens, financed and carried out by Saudis. The response is to invade Iraq to meet geopolitical objectives using a fabricated pretext. An Iraq where Hussein for all his sadism did not tolerate terrorists PERIOD!

      The result of this?

      1. It removed a Sunni dictator and instilled a Shia majority to power. The natural counterbalance to Iranian influence in the region totally removed, growing Iran’s influence in the entire mid east. They defacto run Iraq right now.

      2. Left a power vacuum in most of the country which is being exploited by IS as we speak.

      Let’s examine some of the other responses:

      – Afghanistan. Need we even speak about this? Really?

      – Libya? Let’s ship a bunch of weapons into what was formerly an operable country with a high standard of living and give them to a bunch of takfiri terror scum and institute a no fly zone so that Gaddafi’s military can’t use any air support. Place is totally overrun and destroyed by head sawing loons.

      – Egypt? Would have been the same as Libya if Sisi didn’t step in and take total control.

      – Syria? The big one. Let our allies in Qatar, KSA and Turkey finance more salafist scum to overthrow Assad to deal a blow to Iran. Know what we are doing is likely going to lead to where we are today, and then still doing it, because it meets geopolitical goals in the region for all of our allies, including Israel and has the added bonus of taking O&G market share from Russia.

      It is not a coincidence that terrorism is growing. The US policies continue to feed it’s ranks. It’s interventions and outright fostering of these radicals is causing this blow back. They still haven’t realised they cannot control these Frankenstein’s they make.

      We had Putin at the G20 directly accusing individuals in G20 member nations of financing ISIL. Even speaking of satellite imagery of kilometers of convoys packed with ISIL black market oil – which hasn’t been targeted in the 15 months of coalition bombing until now.

      This doesn’t even cover one of the biggest recruitment boons for these terror groups. The US use of drone warfare to conduct extra judicial killings. The program targets cell phones, and uses secondary strikes. Generally it kills the target, plus other bystanders. You never hear about this, because legally any male between the ages of 14 – 70 killed in these strikes is classified as an enemy combatant. This is one of radical islams greatest recruitment tools today.

      If the US was serious about it’s war on terror, it would march the Saudi Royal family into the oval office and tell them in no uncertain terms that their family members and other undesirables in that sandbox better stop financing and breeding radicalist ideology across the globe – or face the consequences. Until this happens the war on terror will continue to make more terrorists.

      The US foreign policy establishment, quite simply, needs to stop living in its exceptionalist, hegemonic wet dreams and get a grip!

  5. reusachtigeMEMBER

    All rules of war need to be removed here and the whole of ISIS territory needs to be flattened without the weak fear of casualties. In the end, if need be, nuke the fckrs!

    • You might jest Reus but this is a very common response from many people in AU. It is socially acceptable to have this view point. I have seen it across many people I have met. Maybe all the people I know are racist but this is an applauded line of thinking if you say it in public ( as long as no Muslims are around)

      • our turn will eventually come… when the boats return, they will not be 20-50k pa, then will be 4-5m pa. Some time of yet, but our day will eventually come.

      • our turn will eventually come… when the boats return, they will not be 20-50k pa, then will be 4-5m pa.

        So you’re predicting something like 70-90 boats arriving every day ?

      • Won’t even need to install street lighting as the place will bask in a nice turquoise-green glow. Think of all the savings the local council will make.

  6. Indignant Abbott, stirring the pot. I wish he would just fade away, though I actually prefer Spleen’s send off.

    HnH’s last point about engagement is facing serious headwinds with most social and economic indicators deteriorating. Data shows discrimination against Australia’s muslim (and other non-trad) population, firstly in getting interviews http://apo.org.au/research/does-racial-and-ethnic-discrimination-vary-across-minority-groups-evidence-three
    and also in education and employment outcomes https://twitter.com/australian/status/603313427575087106

    I recognise that this is a much more complex matter and agree that we should be very careful about whom we accept as migrants – SW Sydney in particular is still grappling with the waves of Lebanese migration from the 70’s – the cultural divide is formidable – http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/a-great-divide-takes-some-understanding/2005/12/16/1134703611534.html?page=fullpage

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/cabinet-papers/fraser-was-warned-on-lebanese-migrants/story-e6frgda6-1111112763458

    • My old school is where the 15 year old Parramatta shooter went to school. When I went to school with the children of Lebanese immigrants, theology was the last thing on their mind, and none of the girls even wear head scarfs. Thing has changed in the last 20 years, and not for the better. It is not Australia, but the migrants, who have become more intolerant.

      • I get your point Ronin, the new breed of terrorists are often (it seems) second generation i.e. born here. My point is that the data indicates discrimination. This can lead to disenfranchised muslim populace who, as you point out, may then turn to other ‘solutions’ for their problems.

  7. Getting young people who are not in full time education (males in particular as they are the huge majority of volunteers for fighting and engaging in violent crime against the person) into worthwhile jobs is the best strategy, even if it comes at the cost of granting earlier pensions to the older workers to get them to make room for the younger to enjoy full employment and the learning that comes with it. This applies to muslim youth and those in other newly immigrated families in particular.

    • Requires looking in the mirror and taking some personal responsibility and trusting others will do the same. Similar situation in some respects in housing and boomer SMSF and other IP holdings – not recognising it is responsible ‘at some level’ for diminishing home ownership rates for younger generations.

  8. It is immensely pleasing that Abbot has been removed, he can now take up his rightful role as an angry bus-driver (with apologies to nice bus-drivers).

    What a dope. How broken is the party system that this chump can even make it into the Parliament, let alone the leadership.

    • Great vid MB. Putin asks all the questions that our brain dead MSM opinion makers should but don’t. Essential viewing.

  9. Mining BoganMEMBER

    And here’s more essential reading for the failed athlete.

    “More pertinent than Islamic theology is that there are other, much more convincing, explanations as to why they’ve fought for the side they did. At the end of the interview with the first prisoner we ask, “Do you have any questions for us?” For the first time since he came into the room he smiles—in surprise—and finally tells us what really motivated him, without any prompting. He knows there is an American in the room, and can perhaps guess, from his demeanor and his questions, that this American is ex-military, and directs his “question,” in the form of an enraged statement, straight at him. “The Americans came,” he said. “They took away Saddam, but they also took away our security. I didn’t like Saddam, we were starving then, but at least we didn’t have war. When you came here, the civil war started.”

    http://www.thenation.com/article/what-i-discovered-from-interviewing-isis-prisoners/

    • Obviously had a major influence on one of the jihadists in Paris:

      ‘Paris bomber Ibrahim Abdeslam was an unlikely jihadi who drank, went to clubs and ran a bar that was closed down for being a drugs den, it is claimed. Ibrahim ran the busy Café del Beguines bar near his home in the poor immigrant district of Molenbeek, but it was closed by the council after police ruled the bar was a front for illegal drug dealing.

      A local shopkeeper claimed Ibrahim himself dealt drugs from the premises: ‘He drank, he smoked, he killed people. Not much of a Muslim’, he added.

      A neighbour, who knew Ibrahim growing up claimed he never set foot in the local mosque : ‘He was a normal young guy, not particularly religious. He drank alcohol, went to clubs. He never went to the mosque.’

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3319932/Guns-God-grievances-Belgiums-Islamist-airbase.html

      There is a problem however when they do go to the mosques and their disaffection is manipulated by Wahhabi clerics and Salafi preachers sponsored and financed by the Saudis and Qataris.

      That is a problem too far at present it seems. In the interim physical destruction of active ISIS forces will have to do.

      Time for excuses like the one you provide is over.

      • Time for the bullish*t from warmongers like you 3d1k to end… Iraq was meant to make things safer, instead it was a total lie based on total lies that created the monster that now recruits the disenfranchised young kids.

        Tell us 3d, when is your 1 kid going to die on the battlefield? Or is that for other peoples kids – warmongers never send their own kids to die…

    • rob barrattMEMBER

      Well Mining Bogan, the lesson we have to learn is that, in states where there are high ethnic and religious tensions, only a dictatorship keeps order, the former Yugoslavia being a case in point. Unfortunately, attempts to evolve to democracy in Muslim majority countries end up being sabotaged by the clergy. It’s really no different to the things that happened in Europe while the Catholic church possessed great power.
      The lesson must be that politics and religion must never be allowed to mix. Having said that, you now have an intractable problem with those who believe they should and must mix: ie. in Sharia law…..

  10. Where there is a complex problem, Abbott, a lot like Saddam, is sure to have a simple solution- and a slogan to boot.