Saturday 19th of October 2019

Adelaide: Sitting Target? Today's Press And My Concerns

Because it's not online, I'm going to reprint part of  a story.  It downplays  the possibility of an Adelaide terrorist attack, doubling my concerns.  My daughter is going to the most major local football game of the year on Saturday night, and I'm concerned for her safety.

Those of you who have been following these blogs will know of my belief that Adelaide is the most likely "target" in Australia

In today's paper is a simulated view through a balaclava of the Adelaide Town Hall Clock, and the C.B.D with Parliament House and the Railway Station in the Background.

Maria Moscaritolo's piece is subtitled "How likely is a terrorist attack on Australian sol, or even in Adelaide?"

"Come November, Adelaide is going to experience a security clampdown- streets blockaded, building surveillance tightened, watchful heavy set men in suits and car convoys.

Should U.S. Secretary of State Condalezza Rice and Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld come as expected for overlapping international summits that month, Adelaide will be forced to march to the security-conscious drum of the worlds most powerful leaders.

The contrast we will see then will serve to highlight the low-level security measures we have in place, and make us feel more exposed, but analysts do not believe the visit will make the city more exposed to a terrorist attack..

Terrorism expert Clive Williams points out that Dr Rice and Mr Rumsfeld have not been targeted when they have ventured into hot spots across  the Middle East , and the likelihood of an attempt happening when they are in Adelaide, and so well guarded, is remote."

 The story discusses the Australian accented "Jihadist", national counterterrorism measures, and then:

"Whether Adelaide would ever be a terrorist target  is another question.

We have vulnerable infrastructure- power supply, water pipeline, but how likely is it that terrorists are pouring over an Adelaide CBD?

A facet of past bombings is that terrorists tend to go for a "peak-hour" high casualty count, and this doesn't readily present itself in Adelaide like it does in the Eastern states.  Of course, complacency is dangerous, but analysts argue Australian soil is not that high a priority on the terrorist "to do" list and, if they were to strike, the infrastructure and "soft targets" in South Australia are far less appealing than the popular landmarks in Sydney and Canberra."

Some more nationally centred material follows, then:

"As for South Australia, defence and security specialist Dr John Bruni says that unless Adelaide was to display "obvious vulnerablities" the city is to isolated to tempt a strike with national, and international, impact.

' It would always be considered as a target of secondary importance to cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra,' says Dr Bruni, from the University of Adelaide.  Even with the risk of 'home grown terrorists he says Adelaide is an unlikely target.

For those who have not read my earlier work, I would ask you to please go back to Halliburton Down Under, Above and Beyond and click through the media reprints from then till now.  If you cannot see reason for something unpleasant happening in Adelaide, I admire the strength of your rose coloured glasses.  I lost mine a while ago.

In moments of confusion I've wondered   " surely, with such globallly important activity, Adelaide would not be risked".  Since then I've begun to assume that a minor attack could be considered as acceptable to tighten security around major activities

One thing to be sure of, if  a "terrorist attack" does occur in Adelaide, It would most likely occur between now and November.

If it did, I would blame George Bush, Dick Cheney, John Howard, Robert Hill, Alexander Downer and S.A. Premier Mike Rann.

The Advertiser article doesn't mention that it will be in fact Three U.S. Cabinet Secretaries, State, Defence and Energy, coming to Adelaide.

I wish they weren't, and will be glad when they're gone. 

Terrorist Target Answer: Self Reprint From Advertiser12/8/08

South Australia would be the most likely place for a terrorist strike than anywhere else in Australia.  In calling ourselves The Defence State, we may as well be advertising for one.  Attacks appear to be no longer aimed at cultural icons such as the city clocktower or the footy but at crucial  elements of infrastructure.

Adelaide is building our contribution to the U.S. Missile Shield.

Adelaide is the headquarters for several companies with crucial global roles in international theatre of war. An attack on Adelaide would have a similar psychological effect on our population as one in Melbourne or Sydney with less effort, and, for a "humane terrorist", less "collateral damage" 

Intellectual folly?


I'm confident that, after schmoozing Condi in Adelaide, and convincing the presidential candidate of the city's outstanding attributes as a place of refuge (although NZ is a major contender), Lord Lex will accept the nomination as head of IAEA.


There should be no link between nuclear states, such as America, reducing their nuclear weapons stockpile and the tightening of safeguards against the spread of such weapons, Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, said.
It was an "intellectual folly" to link the two, Mr Downer said, contradicting the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, at the opening in New York on Monday of the month-long review conference of the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty
Dr ElBaradei had said: "As long as some countries place strategic reliance on nuclear weapons as a deterrent, other countries will emulate them. We cannot delude ourselves into thinking otherwise."


Lex will not be distracted by calls to engage forthrightly with DPRK - he has already done that - but will proceed to make good where ElBaradei failed - Iran. It is clear the Leader wants more proof of Iran's 'WMD programs', and merely saying they won't have a nuke ready for 10 years isn't good enough. Not good enough for the Israelis, that is, who need to get in with one or two of their own nukes, pretty soon.

Lex has the talent for sniffing out by-product, and if anyone can find evidence of urinium enrichment programs, he can. I can vouch for the effect of enrichment on a backyard lemon tree, so Lex only needs to find a couple of flourishing citrus groves and it will be Game On.

The spotlight may turn back to Japan, though, if Juan Cole is correct.

The Japanese Self Defense Forces appear to be essentially barricaded in and in some danger given this outbreak of instability among Shiites in the region. See below on how likely their mission is to continue very long given these developments and also the coming Japanese elections.

More opportunity for global travel, though perhaps not to Baghdad.

Kevin Rudd asked Foreign Affairs 35 questions like this one -

Mr Rudd (Griffith)  asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 26 May 2005:

(1)
In respect of each official gift taken by the Minister when he travelled to the UK, France, Belgium and Luxembourg in January-February 2005, (a) what was it, (b) what did it cost, and (c) who was the intended recipient.
(2)
What was the total cost of official gifts taken.
(3)
How many gifts were not given to their intended recipients and what happened to them.
Answer

Mr Downer (Mayo—Minister for Foreign Affairs)—The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

I consider that the preparation of answers to the questions placed on notice would involve a significant diversion of resources and, in the circumstances, I do not consider that the additional work can be justified.

 

Jubilee Wombat

Back in 86 South Oz had its sesquicentenary, or Jubilee One-Fifty to we cultural troglodytes of the masses.  The copies of the above-titled mascot for this austere occassion were naturally Made In Korea.

Years later, on a musical cultural exchange, we found that Japanese kids loved the left over paper-clips of the llittle buggers... as soon as you rubbed the fur it  fell off.

 I'd be willing to bet that each of the "trinkets" that Alex has bestowed on foreign dignitaries was of a much more signifigant budget.

I'd love to play in the obligatory bush band when the White House comes to town... these day's I doubt I'd get the clearance.  (back then you could pass an Air Base guard with a wave of a squeezebox)..  I could flash my Honorary Citizen of Austin Tx at Condy'and Rummy's minders, but I don't think it would do the trick.  I bet it would be a good paying gig, too!

Then again, busking out the front of Downer's Mayo palace in November could win you all sorts of tips... rubber, snub-nosed, maybe even one of those nasty little nanobots.

Cho Shi Yo Sori Ette, crick crick crick, hasha mi no yotomo ka lo yakami.... the things that pop back into your head some days !!!

Costello on song

Richard referred to Costello's 'anti-Americanism the insidious eeevil of the new age' speech, over at Web Diary. (Sorry - lost the link, it got drowned in a torrent of tittatting)

I guess Costello's script was provided to him as an antidote to any stray thoughts of warmth towards David Lange. 

And, with Adelaide booming as the weapons centre for the South Pacific, the venue for the speech was perfect.

I wonder how Costello's loyalty will be rewarded? A seat in the bunker, perhaps.

spruiking to perfection

In all spruiking speeches and blab there is an in-built element of about 20 per cent against oneself in whichever form in order to con the public. it is the part that allows you to show you are not "biased" when you are, to the hilt

Fairfax on the block?

Editorials in The Age and SMH, 22/8, seem to take opposite positions, on US and us. What's going at Fairfax?


Andrew Jaspan, editor of The Age, spoke (with others) at a Melbourne Writers Forum session last Saturday (20/8/05), on the topic of journalism. Not much came out of it, except 'things have changed'. A more accurate summation could have been 'stuff happens'. Questions should have been asked about the Judith Miller and Cindy Sheehan phenomena, along the lines of how the mainstream media tries to shield itself against purposeful and powerful input from the political sphere. (Michael Gawenda, published in The Age and SMH, seems to think Cindy Sheehan is wrong and should shut up, because "there is no mass anti-war movement in the US".)


Jaspan was told, by someone in the audience, that The Age had lost its way, it no longer was able to present a wide spectrum of views. Jaspan said "wait and see'". He should have been more honest, and admitted to the questioner that if people want other perspectives, they can get them for nothing, from numerous other on-line sources.


In The Age today, the editorial starts with the assumption that the "War on Terror" is a done deal, and it began with Our President's declaration after the events of 11/09/01.
Having joined the US in its war against terrorism, Australia has no choice but to stay the distance.


There is no mention of the recent, hilarious, debacle over the renaming of the GWOT to GSAVE. The President is in control, so there is no need to waste time on dragging up the past. There is even less need to remind that the era of modern terrorism began with the bombing of the King David Hotel by the Irgun Gang.


The Age editorial ends
There is no choice but to stay the distance, unless the sacrifices of two wars are to become nothing more than a terrible waste.


Surely great profits are being made by the armaments industries and the likes of Halliburton, so it hasn't been a total waste.

We are only in Iraq to shore up Bush's base, and create opportunities for Howard.

If The Age is so certain of the righteousness of the Bush crusade, why not push Howard for a plebiscite?


 

Is this exercise of real difference of opinion just about the editors and management looking after their own arses? Will Fairfax be split, under the new media ownership rules? Is Jaspan dividing his time equally, between Murdoch and Packer?

Or is this simply another play in the game of Costello/Melbourne Club/Monarchists versus Turnbull/Rum Rebellion/Securalists? Sydney is paradise, as acknowledged in the announcement of the Pope's Own Crusade to Oz in 2008. If the Papists line up with the atheists, against the Loyal Orange, the Costello-Downer forces will have their work cut out.

The SMH editorial ends with
The lesson of the operations formerly known as the war on terrorism may well turn out to be that democracy's enemies do not all attack from the front. Some of them are already inside the citadel, claiming loudly to be its defenders.


We could hope that some journalists will be bothered to keep asking hard questions, exposing the glib and bought answers, and putting themselves under a bit of stress, for the love of truth. And despite the efforts of bosses, like Jaspan, to punt a bob each way.



Margo on the move

Buried deep in Comments to Web Diary

Margo: The drum beat quickens. When oh when will heads roll? When oh when will a Royal Commission be called? This is my last post here. From tomorrow [23/8], Webdiary will be at www.webdiary.com.au

(MK reveals all at crikey.com.au, apparently)


Independent scrutiny

Wwhen the Australian Democrats were squeezed out of the middle, governance in Oz lost. Look at the consequences of pernicious removal of independent scrutiny, and late calls for more of it, in today's news.

The Victorian Government has had to move to interpose an oversight committee between its Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) database and the police.
$50m fix for flawed police files system
It found the LEAP management unit within Victoria Police had authorised IBM, which runs the computer program, to release information without any vetting. The problems had occurred partly because of a lack of written instructions on how information should be released.


A current Senate inquiry into Government Advertising and Accountability has heard evidence from Sally Young about the Howard government's rejection of reforms to their systems of government advertising.
(One of Dr Young's papers [pdf download]- Theories for understanding government advertising in Australia)
From The Media Report: 7 July 2005 - Ad Campaign
Sally Young: Well there are a few things that could happen. One of them is to use the Auditor-General to scrutinise the content and make sure that public money isn’t being misused. Another is to have a cap so that we determine a reasonable amount for advertising, and we ask that governments don’t go over that unless there’s an extraordinary case to be made in an emergency, for example. And the other thing that we can do is to have guidelines in place that talk about this very issue and try to prevent misuse of public money. So there are all sorts of things. But the other proposal is what Canada does, which is put all the information out so that we can see it, because in Australia there’s a great deal of secrecy about this. The Federal government’s very reluctant to reveal how much it spends or what the campaigns are about or the results.


In A culture of denial SMH editorialises that
The case of Ms Alvarez elicited a cowardly litany of half-truths and denials from those in charge, senior men and women who could be relied upon not to have been properly briefed by the appropriate underlings or not to have the relevant file to hand.


Tim Colebatch, in It's misrule, if not blatant corruption
... if you have been following the succession of scandals known as "regional rorts", unearthed by Labor frontbencher Kelvin Thomson, or the Government's use of taxpayers' funds to advertise its industrial relations changes ($5 million spent so far, and far more to come), then you have reason to worry. There was the $1.2 million awarded by ministerial intervention to Gunnedah Ethanol, in John Anderson's electorate, a project that had been rejected twice for competitive grants. There was the $1.3 million awarded to A2 Milk, a company employing ministerial adviser Ken Crooke as a lobbyist, which was already facing prosecution at the time and has since gone broke. There was the infamous $748,000 to dredge Tumbi Creek, announced before the application for funding was even lodged, or the $660,000 approved for the hopelessly unviable Beaudesert Rail project the same day it sought funding. If these were isolated instances, you could shrug them off. But the Government seems to be planning more of the same. Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has just appointed a committee of Coalition MPs in marginal seats to tell him where to set up the new family relationship centres. This is a corruption of the system. It would be mind-boggling if the $2 billion fund to upgrade communications in the bush — an honourable purpose — could be spent the same way. True conservatives in the Coalition ranks ought to be raising their alarm within the party.


Can bloggers keep the bastards honest?

Bad news for Adelaide cartel

Washington Post: No Proof Found of Iran Nuclear Arms Program

I'm rather looking forward to seeing Lex, as IAEA chief, up before the UN, pleading the Bush case for preemptive strikes on Tehran. John Bolton providing a steadying hand on Lex's shoulder (and the other hand holding a knife to the throat of one of the descendants) and Lex juggling a couple of cardboard models and toy trucks. Humiliated and destroyed by the lies, just like Colin Powell.  The comparison to Powell ends right there, though. Five-star ponce.