Thursday, November 14, 2002

WHAT AN INTERESTING DILEMMA.

Australia soon faces a challenge that, while a first for us and possibly many Western nations, is a sign of things to come. In about six weeks or so, the war on Iraq will begin, and as loyal allies, we will need to contribute forces. The best we’ve got is our SAS troops, currently stationed in Afghanistan. So where’s the conflict?

The Afghanis don’t want us to go.

Assuming there is eventually armed conflict in Iraq, and well-informed sources suggest a 75 per cent likelihood that this will happen, one obvious thing for Canberra to do is pull its 150 SAS soldiers out of Afghanistan and send a similar detachment to Iraq as part of a naval, air and infantry commitment.
But as [Afghanistan Foreign Minister] Abdullah says, the Afghans would dearly love us to stay in Afghanistan, where the Australian SAS enjoys the highest reputation. One possible solution would be for Canberra to send a different military group to Afghanistan, more concerned with infrastructure building and support rather than prosecuting the war on terrorism.

But this makes no sense! Everyone Knows that all we bring to the Middle East is blood, destruction and death from the skies. Our troops murder and pillage, making the land safe for Big Oil and Disneyland. Maybe the Foreign Minister is trying to drive a wedge between lesser partners like Australia, and the Great Satan. He must be trying to undermine the war effort against Iraq. Ah, those devious players of the Great Game!
Abdullah is warmly supportive of the Bush administration over Iraq, which gives the lie to the idea that there is a monolithic Muslim position on this issue. There is no sympathy in Afghanistan for Saddam Hussein, he says: "The [UN] Security Council resolution is the last chance for the Iraqi regime to comply. I hope it will utilise this chance to avoid a war, which everyone wants to avoid. Should Iraq act differently, the international community must make a decision that that kind of game cannot go on forever.
"The important question then is to do something good for the future of the Iraqi people, to prevent the idea that the action is taken against Muslims. We all know the real record of the Iraqi regime against its own people."

Starts to look a little more realistic that the Not In Our Name brigade, doesn’t it. If Abdullah wasn’t as busy as a one-legged man in a bum-kicking contest, he’d probably have time to organise a “Not In MY Name You Witless Liberals” campaign of his own. Because he knows the reality. He’s seen it up close, and he understands what happens when you appease killers:
"Bali looks like al-Qa'ida. Al-Qa'ida's target has been innocent people and [the intent was] to cause massive casualties among innocent people. The use of explosives with a big impact is characteristic. Events like Bali should strengthen the collective resolve of humanity to get rid of this menace."

Who’d a thunk our choice would turn out to be between newly-liberated friends, and people who needed to be liberated? Only those who have read a history book that goes back further than 1960.

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