Oh aren’t they so tough our current leaders? Beating their hairy chests over the ISIS threat to Western civilization. Here’s Cigar chompin’ Joe Hockey Wenesday morning
We will not be intimidated by the threats of murderers; we will never be intimidated as a nation or a people by the threats of murderers.
And here’s Tony Abbott, reaching for a line from his copy of George W. Bush’s classic Presidential Decision Making for Dummies.
This is a hideous movement that not only does evil. It revels in evil. It exults in evil
Have these people learned nothing from the last decade of disastrous engagement in the Middle East? It’s exactly this kind of simplistic sloganeering that got America and its cocksure little deputy, caught up in this folly last time.
There’s no room for any clever strategic thinking with our guys is there? Mr. Abbott and his team are so keen to be seen staring down the ISIS monster that they’ve already shovelling armaments to the first bunch of ululating tribesmen who look as though they might have room on the back of their Technicals for a case of good ole Aussie Steyr rifles to go with the pile of rusting Kalashnikovs. They are so keen to be seen to be backing a US intervention into the region that they’re actively standing behind the US. Standing behind and pushing that is.
While Mr. Obama carefully deliberates about what to do in the face of the gruesome execution of its citizens Big Aussie Joe and Tenacious Tone are badgering the US from the corner and telling them to get in their and fight, and stop acting like a wus.
Meanwhile the shameless rhetoric is up-ticked by Australia’s most popular moral Caped Crusader, Andrew Bolt – who last week accused the Green’s leader of being willing to let innocent people die when she said “We cannot fix the tragedies and conflicts of the Middle East with more and more war. It is madness.”
What disgraceful moral grandstanding from Mr. Bolt. What irresponsible ignoring of our own recent involvement, and ignorance of the complex facts on the ground. Forcefully rebutted by fellow conservative Tom Switzer though.
… remember the adage ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’. We learnt that lesson at great cost during the last Iraq war. That is what, in essence, Greens leader Christine Milne means when she asks: ‘If we’re going to start, where is it going to end?’ She has been denounced as an appeaser and coward. But it is precisely the question our Parliament should be raising in coming weeks.
Sage words too from the likes of Hugh White give some insight into a better approach
the terrorist threat posed by Islamic State to western countries such as Australia is best met not by military interventions of the kind that have already been tried and have failed in Iraq and Afghanistan, but by the less spectacular but more effective work of intelligence agencies and police forces.
There’s no such recognition of this on-the-ground reality on the part of Prime Minister, or Mr. Hockey or Mr. Bolt. They trot out the simplistic moral arguments for strapping on the combat boots, when the case they have presented just makes them out to be moral simpletons.
Even a brief examination of an atlas showing the region and the surrounding countries, and a whole array of other options for dealing with ISIS becomes available, and none of them involve Australia getting entangled in any way.
Take Jordan or Turkey. Anyone think they relish ISIS on their doorstep? ISIS is not something they can control. It threatens their own regimes. And there’s Iran who we refuse to work with – they just happen to be ISIS’s mortal enemy. And Saudi Arabia? They are accused of secretly funding ISIS from the beginning – well perhaps so – but there’s a realization that ISIS may well be Saudi Arabia’s downfall too as the
[ISIS’] real potential for destruction lies elsewhere — in the implosion of Saudi Arabia as a foundation stone of the modern Middle East. We should understand that there is really almost nothing that the West can now do about it but sit and watch.
A West that was strategic and smart would be looking to get these players, who have much more at stake than we do, to take the hit. But no we’ll go blundering in like we always do, ready to save the day. We are indeed useful idiots.
Whose going to win if the West gets entangled in this maelstrom? Well for a while it will be our fearless leaders as their chest thumping arrests their slide in the polls and simplistic News Corp pundits who love a good war, but in the end the West will once again waste blood and treasure.
And the winners? Well I bet Vladimir Putin reckons he’ll be a winner as the West gets distracted and weakened in the Middle East – but no we’ll feel the need to have a go at Putin after this one. Our last hurrah quite possibly
No I think It’s pretty clear that when all is said and done the winner will be the nation who best absorbs a lesson from Sun Tzu’s Art Of War. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” That nation, appropriately will be China.