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Abbott Talks to Some Muslim Keaders; Potential Threat to US from EMS; Obama Not to Blame for Iraq Pullout? Intelligence Agreement with Indonesia

Abbott Talks with Islamic Groups

Although his talks with Muslim leaders in Sydney were “in private”, it appears that Abbott warned at a subsequent press conference with ethnic press of the potential threat of a mass casualty event unless additional powers are obtained. However, some Islamic groups pulled out of the proposed talks in Melbourne today and objections to the proposed additions have quickly emerged.

These include the proposal to cut welfare payments for those involved in extremist action. While so called “experts” say this could enhance differences between groups in the community and increase the risk of more becoming terrorists (see comments from front page lead in today’s Age below), it would be surprising if many supported terrorists continuing to receive welfare! More generally, it is important that differences in values are in fact widely recognised.

US Counter-Terrorist Policies

Whether or not Abbott gave examples of mass-casualty events, coincidentally an article has appeared in the Wall St Journal (see below) claiming a nuclear explosion in orbit above the U.S. could generate an Electro Magnetic Impulse which would destroy the generation of electricity. While no terrorist group is likely at present to have the capacity to do this, rogue nations such as North Korea (and possibly Iran) apparently have the primary ingredients for an EMP attack.The article  suggests some protective defensive measures have already been taken but implies that the system remains highly exposed and that further urgent defensive action is needed.

Although no new developments are reported in Iraq, it appears that Obama has made an extraordinary statement to the effect that he did not decide to pull US troops out of Iraq. It is surprising that this, and accompanying criticisms of Obama’s foreign policies, is so prominently reported in the Washington Post (see below), which tends to be pro Obama.

Intelligence Agreement with Indonesia

It appears that some kind of agreement has been reached with Indonesia on the extent of spying. Perhaps Indonesia has recognised the need for such an agreement in circumstances where it too has potentially growing domestic threats from radical extremists