How many will accept Obama’s assurance that he will “degrade and ultimately destroy” IS (see his nation-wide speech) or will it be seen as another “redline” that will disappear over time? It is difficult to accept any such assurance when he fails to announce immediate airstrikes in Syria (only “I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria”) and again rejects troops on the ground ( but sends an “additional 475 service members to Iraq”). Nor is his talk of leading a coalition accompanied by any naming of partners and Australia does not seem to have received the specific request which Abbott appears to have been expecting.
Most worrying is Obama’s assertion that “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state”. This ignores the many directions to use violence (including beheadings) in the Koran and the following of such directions by some other Islamic groups, let alone the general objective of such groups to impose sharia law. It is yet another attempt by Obama to persuade others that we should learn to accept Muslims because living together gives rise to no serious problems.
Obama has recognised that as a world leader “something needs to be done” about IS by the US but his strategy is to do as little as possible .
The reaction of Australian Muslim groups to the appearance on TV of ASIO head (see article below) includes the attribution of blame for terrorism on western governments and (supposed) anger about the way they are alleged to have been treated. Whether here or in the US, such attitudes/anger will not be confined to those who support IS.
Climate Change & Renewable Energy
With the government soon to take a decision on subsidies to renewable energy producers, it is timely that the IPA has brought to Australia an American expert on energy, Richard Bryce. His speech at a dinner in Melbourne, which I attended, outlined in some detail the importance of developing countries being able to access efficient sources of energy from oil, coal and gas and how that has allowed them to lift living standards quite rapidly. This has been done with minimal use of renewable energy: oil, coal and gas currently provide 87% of all world energy. Terry McCrann’s excellent article in today’s Herald Sun (see below), which has exposed the flaws in using renewables, should convince any sensible person that Australia should start phasing out their use.
Such a conclusion is reinforced by the letter published in today’s Australian by Bill Kininmonth, former head of the BOM’s National Climate Centre. Kininmonth, has in effect ridiculed the climate alarm by the World Meteorological Organisation as a lead up to the UN Climate Conference on 23 Sept: that body has focussed on the large increase in CO2 concentrations but has failed to explain why temperatures haven’t increased.
Royal Cn & Julia Gillard
An Age journalist has interpreted Julia Gillard’s appearance yesterday before the Royal Cn as leaving her “unscathed” and as having received no “killer blow”. This overlooks that the RC has given no indication of how it will interpret totally contrary evidence given by those who appeared early in the proceedings or what response will be given to any (likely) recommendation that her boyfriend (Wilson) be charged. Further, the Victorian Police has still to report on its investigations of events in which Gillard was involved.
One (separate) question which has arisen is whether the RC has been given enough time/resources to satisfactorily complete investigations into activities that now appear to be more widespread than expected (see article below by Herald Sun’s State Political Editor). It is certainly important to meet the end year timetable as the report will have implications for effecting much needed changes to the governance and regulatory legislation. Perhaps the RC could if necessary have a second bite at the cherry.