Point-of-View-SA Blog

Iraq, Afghanistan and The Boat Men

Posted on: August 30, 2009


Corruption is a state of our own mind throughout Greater Asia where any benefits real or imaginary require facilitation of one kind or another. To the locals it is quite normal – the distribution of wealth.

After 22 years in the region, I believe we should be wary of starting health and education programmes in Afghanistan, or re-starting the food aid, or importantly, diverting what soil there is from the narco economy funding the terrorists. Firstly,  it will be seen to legitimise the present use of force to do so by some of the powerful local Afghanis, and secondly. just how much of the material effort is likely to be diverted to the warlords? as in Somalia. If we are to do this at all,we need to encourage the locals to see and feel that democracy is not only preferable but desirable, by our example, by advice, and by assistance., and yes, military assistance.

It will be a long-term job limited by corruption, and at considerable risk, so why are we there ?. This is the breeding ground of an ideology of death and destruction that has spread rapidly.

Who could forget the chilling images of captives having their throat cut by those who believe that they will dwell in Paradise for having done so?.  Al Queda’s success with the demoralized has demonstrated the necessity of this task and the recent Holsworthy Case reinforces that need. If the political, military or religious despots and terrorists can collectively lay claim to half of the World, then they will most certainly try for the other half.

But what of the hundreds of fit unattached males currently at Christmas Island? or the fifty more that were escorted to the Island on August 26,  or hundreds more sheltered by corrupt local officials in small coastal villages in remote areas of Indonesia? Are they merely the fleetfooted of failing societies?  or the beginning of something else. Australia broadcasts its image to the World and we have made it too attractive for both extremes to ignore. One would love the promise of peace and plenty and the other would love to destroy it.

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