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Australia will send a military force to the United Arab Emirates to contribute to the US campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State (Isis) militants in Iraq.
In response to a formal request from the US for specific Australian defence force (ADF) capabilities, the prime minister, Tony Abbott, said Australia would supply 600 personnel – made up of 400 from the air force and 200 from the military, including special forces – along with equipment to the coalition force against the Isis movement.
Up to eight Royal Australian Air Force F/A18F Super Hornets combat aircraft, a Wedgetail surveillance aircraft, and a tanker and transport aircraft will be sent to the United Arab Emirates.
“In addition, the Australian Defence Force will prepare a special operations task Group as military advisers that could assist Iraqi and other security forces that are taking the fight to the [Isis] terrorists,” said Abbott. Military advice would also be provided to Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.
ADF personnel will be based in the US headquarters “to ensure close coordination” with the US and to support planning and logistics.
“We are not deploying combat troops but contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening,” said Abbott.
For once its possible to praise Bill Shorten for something because the on this occasion the opposition is sticking with the long standing tradition of solidarity with the government when our troops are deployed into harms way. In fact with the exception of the far left Greens who have been predictably tacitly defending the IS Islamofachist killers in the northern part of Iraq there is an almost universal feeling in this country that going to war to stop the atrocities committed in the name of Allah. With the brutal murder of a British aid worker fresh in our minds who could possibly think that there is any other choice but to go into northern Iraq and Syria with all guns blazing?
I rather firmly of the opinion that a predominately air based campaign will be more successful on this occasion than it was in the previous forays into Iraq. I think this for a couple of reasons. Firstly the current crop of Jihadis have very little willing support from the people in the territory they nominally control. This has to be a natural consequence of their brutality and continuing war crimes. Without some support from the population for their aims and methodology then all they have is fear from the people who currently live under their rule. While that is a good motivator for population compliance its not going to help them much in terms of defending the territory that currently occupy. Secondly the local geography of dry desert mostly flat territory provides little cover and that means that vehicles and men on the move are hard to hide form air surveillance and more importantly air strikes. If its moving and holds armed men then it can be taken out form the air.
I think that we can be pretty sure that the Kurds in the north will not tend towards the excesses of war that will alienate the Sunis who we want on our side n this war but I am far less confident of the Shia militias who may well be inclined to take some sort of revenge on the Suni population if they are perceived to be at all sympathetic to the IS Jihadis, this issue was front and center in the weekend news reporting out of Iraq on the ABC.
One thing that I don’t expect though is that there will be many IS Jihadists taken prisoner. Fanatics can not be trusted to be honorable nor is it to be expected that they will surrender when their situation is hopeless. Rule 303 is also likely to be applied by the ground forces that mop up as well. If many of them are taken prisoner its likely that bleeding hearts like the loopy Greens will want to see them tried by one court or another. While that may suit the namby-pamby Greens I just don’t think that you want to give too many of these scumbags the venue to further promote their hateful ideology.
Its of course too early to predict the result of this war but I don’t share the pessimism of dyed in the wool extreme lefties who are already wishing for failure here. Frankly failure is not an option because we have to excise the cancer from he middle east if any of us are to sleep well in our beds into the future the death cult has to be, well, killed as quickly and completely as we can do it. Fortunately there seems to be a quite broad range of nations who are willing to join into this sadly necessary task.
I’ve been following the recent events in Iraq with some dark bemusement because it seems to me to be the obvious demonstration of the brutality of Islam and the absolutely pernicious outcome when you mix a religion that preaches the primacy of the next world and the requirement for mechanistic totalitarian obedience with in this life to secure a place in the next. Add to that the centuries old schism between the Sunni and Shia incarnations of Allah’s faithful and you have the recipe for greater death and destruction than either of the last two wars in that blighted land.
The US government is, quite rightly, not rushing to get involved and I certainly do not expect to see any US boots on the ground anytime soon. The news that Shia Iran is lending support to the Current government may well provide a bulwark to the Iraqi government and its rather wonky military who have not shown much intestinal fortitude at all in the face of the ISIS insurgents. The only bright spot for the west is that with the involvement of Iran in the conflict we may well see a replay of the Iran Iraq wars that predated Gulf war one. I can almost hear the usual suspects screaming with horror at my suggestion that such a war could be a bright spot but my reasoning is quite simple; If the Sunnis and Shias are concentrating on killing each other in Iraq they will expend a great deal of resources (in terms of men, materials and money) on the fight and ultimately neither will win, further the utter brutality of Islam will be on show for the world to see finally every Jihadist killed in this coming war is one less that we have to worry about. Oh yeah lets not forget that we can leave Allah to choose just who is fighting for the just cause and who is on the side of Satan
The usual suspects will of course be arguing that we and the entirity of the west are in some sense culpable for this conflict (cue Richard Ryan) and that we will have to accept more “refugees”. I say bollocks to that fro a couple of reasons. Firstly this conflict shows us that the followers of both sides of the schism in Islam are incapable of letting go of the animosities of their history and they are much more than willing to perpetuate them for the rest of time. This alone should be sounding very loud alarm bells warning us to chose anyone else but Muslims for our humanitarian programs. The Bleeding hearts will , sadly keep insisting that we should continue to pretend that Islam is warm cuddly and benign when it is very evidently anything but benign. That said lets see how things play out on the ground there but I don’t expect any “Sunshine and Lollypops” .
Some readers may find it surprising that I list Orwell as an inspiration on the sidebar of this blog, after all I am one of those “evil conservatives” who wants to see the working class exploited by the rich according to their narrow view of politics. Sadly far too many minions of the left find it hard to believe that I do not subscribe to their personal understanding of political morality. Thus the most common position on the war in Iraq is to continuously denounce it as folly and as the cause of the suffering of the Iraqi people. Our own regular “Richard Ryan” is forever insisting that George Bush and John Howard are “war criminals” for daring to remove the tyrant Saddam Hussein by force of arms. You could be forgiven for thinking that Hussein was anything but a blood thirsty killer of his own people if you were to listen to the likes of our Richard who only counts the dead since the second war in Iraq and ignores the millions killed before. Thankfully there is one on the left who are far more pragmatic about the necessity to remove murderous tyrants on occasion:
As Cohen says in his piece its fair enough to be critical of how the war was run and how the occupation could have been less bloody but we should just never lose sight of just why Saddam was such a manifestation of evil and why removing him was a moral thing to do.
- Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the right move for the US and its allies | John Bolton (guardian.co.uk)
- A prison of his own making (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Videos appear to show top Saddam official ripping Iraq’s current leaders (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Paul Bremer still believes Iraq is better off (salon.com)
- Wigan Pier and beyond: “So who is Orwell for?” (newstatesman.com)
- Archive articles are still relevant (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Iraq at the Brink: A Decade after the Invasion by Ramzy Baroud (zcommunications.org)
- We didn’t stop the Iraq war. But we transformed British politics | Andrew Murray (guardian.co.uk)
The news that Saddam Hussein has been found guilty and sentenced to hang warranted news updates on the commercial TV channels last night and is of course the headlining item this morning.
Predictably although the guilty verdict is almost universally approved; the death sentence has however been condemned by spokesmen from several European states Though I suspect that this more for the public relations value than from any real conviction that this man does not deserve the ultimate sanction. Even if you oppose capital punishment for the more common garden verity of crime it is very difficult to justify an objection to someone who has presided over torture and death on such a huge scale like Saddam .