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Terrorism and Defence

Submitted by Richard Tonkin on April 18, 2012 - 1:50am.
Afghanistan- Success or Failure?
" So I can assure you, like I am today, I will be out there in the public debate explaining the purpose for why we are in Afghanistan, how it is in the national interests of Australians for us to be there, how we went there, motivated by the terrorist attacks we saw on 9/11, but understanding that these attacks, attacks which took Australian lives and the attacks that subsequently flowed, found their training in Afghanistan, their support in Afghanistan. That's why we went, as well as, of course, standing by our ally the United States of America." - PM Julia Gillard
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on May 4, 2011 - 2:36pm.
The Murder Of Osama
Despite the appearance that western culture is revelling in bloodlust, perhaps people should be asking their neighbours what they think of this.  Maybe it's the company I keep, but I'm getting a sense of strong disagreement with the glorifying.
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Submitted by John Pratt on September 10, 2010 - 10:18am.
Mission creep in Afghanistan
Australia is a small country and we cannot afford to waste lives or resources. We have growing threats much closer to home than Afghanistan and we should be concentrating on these threats. We should be fighting real terrorists, not chasing ghosts or nation building in distant countries that are no threat to Australia.
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Submitted by Sol Salbe on August 2, 2010 - 7:57pm.
Yes, Virginia, There WERE Crimes
Indeed, those sympathies of mine only reinforce just how foolish and self-defeating Israeli obstinacy has been in regard to accountability for Gaza. The diplomatic fallout has been immense, and the momentum it has given to boycott movements is something no one but Israel could have provided.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on March 30, 2010 - 3:56am.
Obama in Afghanistan
"Our broad mission is clear:  We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al Qaeda and its extremist allies.  That is our mission.  And to accomplish that goal, our objectives here in Afghanistan are also clear:  We’re going to deny al Qaeda safe haven."" - US President Barack Obama
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Submitted by Geoff Pahoff on February 26, 2010 - 8:39am.
Mossad Abroad
If the terrorist and existential threat ended tomorrow, Israel's attacks on Hamas (and therefore Iran) would end tomorrow and the Palestinians would get their state. If Israel's attacks on Hamas ended tomorrow, the terrorist and existential threat would continue unabated and the Palestinians would never get their state. In fact the threat would worsen.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on January 23, 2010 - 6:23pm.
The Jolly Swagman and Guy Fawkes; The same bloke?
Not only are the two stories of a revolutionary, destruction by fire and the protagonist's death as the price, but they're also stories that have become iconic legends of rebellion commemorated annually,for so long after the times  of the tales that most of the celebrants have no idea what they're celebrating.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on August 25, 2009 - 8:17am.
The Shame of a Civilisation:The CIA's "new tricks" in the War on Terror
Hours before the release of the CIA info, the US Attorney General, in an echo of Obama policy, put a letter up on the Department of Justice home page explaining how he didn't want to convict people who believe they were acting with a prescribed US legal framework.  From his words, it sounds like anything he does will only be a token gesture:
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on August 18, 2009 - 3:27pm.
The Axis of Evil revisited
My claim to expertise on this is simply that I am, as far as I know, the only writer to have sampled the different conditions of these three regimes, or samples of regime; the kind of government as I'll start right out by phrasing it, considers the citizen essentially to be the property of the State. (Christopher Hitchens)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 25, 2009 - 5:15pm.
Cheney's War On Terror plan: Troops vs Terrorists on U.S. soil
Yoo, who is a visiting law professor at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., asserted that the President had unlimited powers to prosecute the “war on terror” on American soil and could ignore constitutional rights, including First Amendment freedoms of speech and the press and Fourth Amendment requirements for search warrants.
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Submitted by Irfan Yusuf on July 10, 2009 - 4:53pm.
Values blur in good and evil
Few Australian journalists have considered what role (if any) the Australian government may have played or at least what knowledge it may have had of the torture of Australian citizens at Guantanamo Bay.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on July 4, 2009 - 7:31pm.
U.S. Defence releases torture documents
"The Obama administration agreed to reprocess the documents, but it continues to withhold many key details related to the Defence Department's use of torture methods. In some documents, the Obama administration has withheld details that were previously disclosed by the Bush administration." - Jason Leopold
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Submitted by Norman Abjorensen on June 2, 2009 - 1:03am.
The real crisis of democracy
The IPA is, of course, concerned with private rather than public affairs, its extreme neo-liberalism and deification of the so-called free market displaying a thoroughgoing contempt for anything public: public ownership, public service, public transport and, indeed, the public itself. It is the ideological mouthpiece of very private enterprise that likes to glorify in the name of “free” enterprise. (Norman Abjorensen)
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on May 6, 2009 - 1:28pm.
Goodbye Mick Keelty, Hello Torture?
As I say, watching how the remnants of the Bush Administration are squirming in their attempts to escape accountability for authorising such brutal treatment of detainees (except for Dick Cheney, who is having his usual gloat) and arguing that they believed their actions to be legal, I was wondering how Mick Keelty would fare when the Australian participation in these atrocities finally reaches the media.
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Submitted by Isheeta Sumra on May 6, 2009 - 12:12am.
Unveiling the “real” pirates
Doesn’t sound right, does it? Why then call a Somali fisherman one, when it was the western powers that exploited the socially, politically and economically unstable Somalia and turned the small-time Somali fisherman into a pirate?
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on April 28, 2009 - 1:29am.
Lest We Forget
What will be the psychological technique applied to exonerate Americans from the leaked CIA memos and the declassification of the damning photos, some of which are of torture of Afghans? How can the U.S. convict Khalid Sheik Mahommed when the public now knows that the CIA waterboarded KSM around a hundred times in a single month? How can the confessions of anyone who arrived at Cheney's Halliburton-built Guantanamo camp via rendition or a CIA ghost camp be treated as anything but the torture-conditioned responses of people who have been treated worse than is permitted for any animal?
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Submitted by John Pratt on April 26, 2009 - 1:48pm.
The RAN needs aircraft carriers
The new aircraft carriers proposed by the Chinese would end the domination of our region by the US navy. The Australian navy needs to rethink its policy on aircraft carriers. We will not always be able to rely on the US navy to provide air defence on the high seas; we will have to redevelop our own fleet air arm.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 26, 2009 - 1:36pm.
Hughie is at it again
It's really all about keeping up with the Jones (or whatever the Asian equivalent may be) so now we spend 2% of GDP on armaments, White thinks it should be at least 2.5% – given we always need to ever more secure, why stop at 2.5%?
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on March 29, 2009 - 10:24am.
Minister for Defence v. Department of Defence
Malcolm Turnbull and others baying for the blood of Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon, should think long and hard about their arguments. They appear to be saying that it is ok for officials of a government department to secretly and probably illegally, launch an investigation into the Minister to whom they are accountable. In the case of Mr Fitzgibbon, the intelligence gathering on him also smacks of racism. Mr. Fitzgibbon is friendly with an influential Chinese woman, a Ms Liu – so what?
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Submitted by John Pratt on March 28, 2009 - 10:58am.
A beacon for peace
The Afghan people are fighting us because we are the foreigners. We are pushing people into the arms of the Taliban and inflaming the situation with the likelihood of spreading the war into surrounding countries such as Pakistan and Iran.
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on March 10, 2009 - 1:23pm.
The Next 100 Years
In The Next 100 Years, George Friedman offers a lucid, highly readable forecast of the changes we can expect around the world during the twenty-first century. He explains where and why future wars will erupt (and how they will be fought), which nations will gain and lose economic and political power, and how new technologies and cultural trends will alter the way we live in the new century. (Black Inc Publishing)
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Submitted by John Pratt on January 31, 2009 - 8:56pm.
Afghanistan – now is the time to get out
Molan says that the troop numbers required to win the war would be about 500,000. He also says that if the West in unprepared to commit these kind of resource we should “cut our loses now and get out”. I think he is right. I doubt if the US is prepared or now even has the will to commit the resources needed.
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Submitted by David Roffey on November 21, 2008 - 10:44am.
The World in 2025?
The US National Intelligence Center releases its quadrennial scenario for the next twenty years. Grim reading.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on November 11, 2008 - 10:55pm.
Remembrance Day at Defence S.A.
"Every dollar spent on defence research is a theft.  They are thieving, and they are lying.  And why?  Sometimes people like (SA Premier) Rann, despite themselves, tell the truth.  He'd invited people here to have a look at the terrific business opportunities in South Australia" - Jacob Grech
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on October 20, 2008 - 10:51pm.
The Filth of the Dirty Bomb
Normally the most amazing thing about a thermos flask would be along the lines of the old joke "It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold.. how does it know?"  Since September 11 2001 such an object is now capable of halting cities.
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Submitted by Irfan Yusuf on September 23, 2008 - 10:41pm.
Another attack - in the name of whose Islam?
Sadly, much broader community discussion is less nuanced, and seems intent on convincing us that any increase in manifest religiosity and/or political activism among Muslims must be dangerous.
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Submitted by John Pratt on September 19, 2008 - 1:12am.
War on Terror set to engulf Pakistan
The War on Terror is a battle of ideologies. To win, the West has to fight for the hearts and minds of the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It cannot win by bombing villages and killing women and children.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on September 18, 2008 - 5:39pm.
The Pentagon's cubicle mercenaries
"The Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked at 21 different Pentagon offices and found that private contractors outnumbered Department of Defense employees in more than half of them. In the engineering department of the Missile Defense Agency, for example, employees from private contractors made up more than 80% of the work force." - Frida Bergman
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on August 31, 2008 - 6:30pm.
Obama - the angel of the War On Terror
Reading Obama's speech on accepting the Democratic nomination, I am praying for the man to win. He appears to realise that creating global flashpoints, fronts on which to be seen as fighting the problem, is not stopping the global splattering of death and destruction.  It's a pity our own Prime Minister was not able to perceive such a fact
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Submitted by Dylan Kissane on August 19, 2008 - 10:51pm.
Paratrooper deaths- reactions in France
The press will run with this tomorrow; it’s sure to be the front page of all the major papers. For the moment the online editions of the newspapers are running the story on their own ‘front pages’, though most of the information seems to me to be wire copy. L’Express, a weekly newsmagazine similar to Time or Newsweek, quotes a Taliban spokesman who claims that the ambush of French soldiers was in response to air strikes that killed 5 Taliban fighters and 15 civilians. It also notes that 176 NATO soldiers have lost their lives so far this year in Afghanistan.
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