[Marxism] Re: US Ally Australia Fears It Could Be On Terror Hit List

Tom O'Lincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Tue Mar 16 17:24:03 MST 2004

Walter asked what was happening in Australia, so I’ll make a few comments
and see if others agree

After the Spanish events there happened to be a conference on
terrorism/security, at which an international speaker in addition to the
FBI guy said Australia was at risk due to its involvement in Afghanistan
and Iraq. The head of Australia’s political police, Mick Keelty, said the
same, which was a major embarrassment for the government. In the aftermath,
the Prime Minister’s office reportedly “harangued” Keelty at length about
it, and I see in today’s paper he has been forced to “clarify” his
position. The PM prevailed on the head of the military, General Cosgrove,
to make a statement backing the government’s position.

There is furious debate in the op ed and letters pages, but for a real test
of the mood we will have to wait till the demos on 20 March.

Australia is less vulnerable to bombings than Spain due to its geographic
isolation, but on the other hand this means the Australian population isn’t
used to such things and would be seriously freaked out by a bombing even a
fraction of the size of what happened in Madrid.

As the article Walter posted indicates, the government is trying to divert
attention from the political issues into the technical question of how to
prevent terrorism, and the opposition is helping with this by mainly
criticising the government on just such technical issues.

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