Iraq; Obama & Abbott on Australian Jihadists; Barrier Reef

According to rather muddled overnight reports published on the web (extracts below), Obama has expressed “deep concern” in a CNN TV program in the US about reports that Australians have been included in an ISIS video which urges others to participate in the Iraq war. He is also said to have referred to the recruitment of jihadists from Europe – but not from the US. However the US is said elsewhere to have ISIS supporters who have travelled to fight in Iraq/Syria.

The statement by Abbott that the government intends to detain those who do return from Iraq/Syria suggests he is ahead of Obama in addressing this problem, although what response will come from Labor remains to be seen. On this morning’s Bolt report, Immigration Minister Morrison focussed on stopping potential migrants with suspected criminality and he appeared to dodge the extremist Islamists problem and did not answer Bolt’s suggestion that greater attention be given to those seeking to migrate from Muslim countries.

Note that one of the Australian ISIS supporters is said to have been a member of the group planning to bomb the MCG. As previously mentioned the leader of that group (Benbrika), is still in jail. The supporter, presumably one of the group already released from jail, is said to have been killed in Iraq.

My suggestion that it might help to send troops to Iraq has prompted a response to the effect that the original “invasion” of Iraq is the basic cause of the existing problem and that the existing residents should be left to sort things out amongst themselves.

Without going over old ground, I continue to believe the original US “invasion” was justified and that we now need to recognise that the Western world faces an even broader threat than in 2003. This threat comes not only from extremist Muslims groups which are prepared to take violent action (particularly once they acquire nukes) but from others of the same religion who claim cultural superiority too. Whether that threat derives from the original invasion or some other factors is irrelevant today: the need is to be responding both militarily and culturally.

Of course, Obama is not going to send a large contingent of US troops but it would send the right message if he and allied countries agreed to send (say) 10,000 troops and if that was accompanied by statements explaining the Islamist threat and the policies which will be pursued to limit/prevent further extremist action.

Below is an article by The Australian’s environment editor, Graham Lloyd, exposing the attempt by the WWF and other environmental bodies to portray a deteriorating Barrier Reef caused, in part, by increasingly more frequent heavy storms which are attributed by these bodies to climate change from usage of fossil fuels. These bodies are, of course, seeking to obtain an “in danger” assessment from the World Heritage Committee.

Lloyd’s support of the dangerous warming theory is less prevalent than usual, although his reference to “long term monitoring” as indicating that 48 per cent of coral losses reflect heavy storms implies a connection. But there is evidence that periods of stormy/cyclonic weather occur naturally at intervals off the eastern coast of Australia and an accompanying article published by The Australian points out the Barrier Reef has probably been around for 8,000 years.

Interestingly, the accompanying article also reports that a coral reef in the Timor Sea similar to the Barrier Reef, which was thought to have been destroyed in a heat wave about 15 years ago, has recovered naturally. This suggests that coral has a greater survival capacity than previously thought. That is relevant to whether the Barrier Reef is “in danger”.