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A blog on terrorism, democracy and international politics

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Election comment 

The focus of this blog is foreign affairs, and therefore this comment relates to Australia's foreign policy.

Many have speculated that the recent bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta was a product of Australia's support for America in Iraq. After the Madrid bombings in March, Mark Latham adopted a policy of withdrawing our troops from Iraq for this reason. His policy involves refocusing on the Asia Pacific region. Personally, I think that Latham's decision to differentiate himself from the Government on the issue of withdrawal from Iraq made Australia a more attractive target.

However, on the eve of our polls, there were several bombings around the world. The Indonesian embassy was bombed in Paris. There was a bombing in Pakistan. And three tourist destinations popular with Israelis were hit with car and truck bombs in Sinai, Egypt.

None of the countries in which these attacks took place, or against which they were directed, were part of the war in Iraq, and in fact many of these countries were actively opposed. Indonesia, our regional neighbour, was attacked in Paris.

This demonstrates that terrorists are engaged in a global war, in which targets can be hit anywhere on the planet. Migration is a key facet of their ideology. Regions are meaningless, and one of their primary short term goals is to establish a new training base in the Middle East - the current target is Iraq.

Three years and one month ago, Australians died alongside Americans and people from around the world, when Afghan-Arab terrorists attacked on American soil.

This is a war in which regional distinctions of marginal relevance. Iraq is the war's principal front.

A continuation of the Howard government's policy is the most wise decision at today's election.
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