Thursday, October 17, 2002


Your family is murdered by international criminals. Should you withdraw from the system that is capable of tracking the perpetrators, or make sure that your commitment is sufficient to guarantee that your loss will be avenged? Hugh White’s solution in today’s Herald thinks that we should have more soldiers at home to “deal with the threat”

White seems to think that the SAS are willing or capable of acting as the Sword and Shield to prevent terrorist attacks in Australia. That pulling them home from Afghanistan will be the best idea.
I wonder, for example, if now is not the time to bring the SAS home from Afghanistan, where by all accounts the operations are winding down. And if push comes to shove in Iraq, the size and shape of any Australian contribution would need to take careful account of the risks in our immediate neighbourhood.

SAS troops are not policemen, nor intelligence officers. There are only a few hundred troopers, if that. From what White is suggesting, he wants a massive ramping up (and corresponding fall in standards) of SAS recruitment, as well as a new role for them on the streets of Sydney.

White has also utterly failed to see who is holding the whip hand in our relationship with Indonesia:
Of course we should push and prod, but the Government is right not to push too hard. Australia's standing in Indonesia is not high. Too much pressure will be counterproductive. And we cannot afford to hold the future of our relationship with Indonesia hostage to a satisfactory outcome that Jakarta may be incapable of delivering anyway.

Hey Hugh! The Indonesian fucked up royally. If anyone has to make nice, it’s them. They have to make it up to us. Our future relationship is on the line, but the question is whether we are going to bother pretending that that silly woman can claim to be in charge, or should we deal with terrorists inside Indonesia ourselves.
Bali's tragedy has become a critical test for Megawati's leadership. If she fails, we may see a reversion to military-backed authoritarian rule.

Please explain how this is a bad thing for Australia, compared with a situation where terrorists presently feel free to murder out citizens.

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