Thursday, January 31, 2008

While Al Qaeda Claim They Defeated Howard, Govt Assaults GG

Al Qaeda are claiming credit for defeating the Howard Government, and setting up the current administration under Rudd.

Rudd has promised to flee Iraq, but make extraordinary demands of the world in Afghanistan, believing Australia can still do less.

Meanwhile, the Governor General has been roundly criticized for making the correct and mild observation that Australian athletes need to be better ambassadors for their sport. Outrageous claims are being made about the GG, including the risible lie that he wouldn't visit with flood victims.


Anonymous said...

G-G visits cricket, but not flood victims
By Joe Hildebrand
HE didn't visit the victims of the NSW and Queensland floods - but he's a fixture at our biggest sporting events, including the Sydney Test and the Australian Open.

And after Governor-General Michael Jeffery yesterday launched a public plea for better manners on the cricket field, the role of our Head of State is again being questioned as archaic and irrelevant.

While thousands of ordinary Australians in NSW and Queensland battled for their homes and - in some cases - their lives, General Jeffery went on a sporting tour of the southeast, attending the Sydney Test, the Australian Open final and yesterday's exhibition match between the Prime Minister's XI and Sri Lanka.

While soaking up the action from the VIP section, General Jeffery has apparently decided the most noteworthy crisis facing the nation is cricketers' lack of manners.

"(I'm concerned about) the reduction in the grace and the courtesies that are being shown on the cricketing fields," he said yesterday.

"While we should be playing the game tough and hard and all of that sort of thing, I think there's also a need to really take care of the fundamental courtesies and good manners.

"Good manners on the ground and off the ground has such a good impact on our other cricketing friends around the world."

The comments have made General Jeffery the laughing stock of many political figures and renewed calls for Australia to become a republic.

Senator-elect Doug Cameron said the comments proved how out of touch General Jeffery was with the problems confronting Australians.

"At the moment we're stuck with the remnants of (former prime minister John) Howard, clinging on to the past," he said. "But at the moment we shouldn't get too obsessed by the Governor-General -- he's not going to be there much longer."

The conservative side of politics also lampooned the Governor-General's comments, even questioning whether the opinion was his own or that of the Queen he represents.

"I think most Australians would look at our cricketers and be extremely proud of them," Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield said.

The Australian Republican Movement seized on the comments as representing an antiquated and Anglocentric vision of Australia.

General Jeffery was appointed in 2003 to replace Peter Hollingworth after the latter was accused of covering up pedophilia in the Anglican Church. His term expires in July.

The Governor-General's office said General Jeffery had visited disaster regions in the past and had not visited the most recent floods

because he did not want to distract emergency workers.

The spokesman said he had often spoken of more weighty issues than cricketing etiquette, including speeches on trade and climate change.

Anonymous said...

'We shot down crusader Howard', says al-Qaeda
By Mark Schliebs
AL-QAEDA-linked insurgency groups are cheering Australian troop casualties and mocking the Federal Government for “fleeing like a cornered mouse” from Iraq.

The claims are made in Arabic on secretive web networks bonded by a hatred of the West and filled with images and video clips from warzones that terror experts say are becoming more effective than Kalashnikovs in the modern jihad.

A special investigation by infiltrating these global networks has identified jihadi references to the “embarrassing collapse” of the Howard government and cites Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Iraq withdrawal as a “victory”.

“Cornered mouse”

Some of the fiercest propaganda comes from a coalition of Sunni insurgents in Iraq known as the Jihad and Reform Front.

In a recent post from “The political office of The Conquerors’ Army” titled “Australia – a new ally fleeing like a cornered mouse”, the group said the insurgents were on track for victory in Iraq.

“Today we see the withdrawal of another Christian ally leaving the Americans drowning alone in this swamp,” the statement says in Arabic.

“This ally is Australia, and despite the few numbers of soldiers that this country has in the Christian Alliance its withdrawal will be considered an achievement and victory to be added to the numerous victories of the Muslim fighters, praise Allah.”

The statement posted on December 5 last year – 11 days after the federal election – is filled with quotations from the Koran. It frames the conflict in religious terms rather than geo-political with emphasis placed on the crumbling Christian armies:

“Hence when the cross and its allied corroborators exercise their muscles while a series of collapses of its allies and their withdrawals around the Americans continue these will be the result of painful blows to the Christians at the hands (of) Muslim fighters.”

The Jihad and Reform Front is made up of the Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI), the Mujahideen Army and the Group of the Protectors of Sunnah.

“We shot down PM”

The IAI – whose foot soldiers include the notorious Baghdad sniper Juba – is one of the two major groups to have constructed a sophisticated propaganda machine that is targeting Australia in its war and driving jihadi recruitment online. (Full story)

The IAI’s main rival, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), otherwise known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, has released a statement to Islamic websites claiming to have attacked a helicopter carrying John Howard.

“The Islamic State of Iraq adopts responsibility for the attack against the helicopter which was carrying the crusader John Howard – Australia (sic) Prime Minister – forcing the helicopter to make (an) emergency landing,” the statement says.

“The attack was carried out by the air defense (sic) weapon… all praise and gratitude be to Allah.”

The statement came a week after news broke in Australia that Mr Howard’s flight did make an emergency landing in Iraq blowing smoke from a hydraulic fuel leak.

But the incident happened a day earlier – on March 17, 2007 - than in the ISI claim and Mr Howard was aboard a Hercules transport, not a helicopter.

Dr Matthew Gray from the Australian National University’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies said many of these types of claims were opportunistic.

“That’s just a classic thing – a bomb goes off and six groups claim responsibility for it,” Dr Gray said.

“It’s just propaganda… they haven’t even got their facts right.”

The Department of Defence is looking into the matter.

Laughing at us

But the effectiveness of such propaganda can be seen in public discussions igniting on forums popular with Islamic extremists.

A search through one forum registered in Cairo shows a file picture of a visibly dejected John Howard over a derisive post on the result of the Australian election just hours after the outcome was declared.

“After a rule that lasted 10 years, Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s government suffered an embarrassing collapse in the Australian elections,” the post says.

“John Howard the biggest supporter of America, siding with Britain during its war against what is called terrorism.

“What must be said is that the winner of the elections, Kevin Rudd, has promised to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq … that is what we wished would happen.”

The forum goes on to deride a list of Western leaders who have made their political exits.

Kevin Rudd’s office declined to comment and Mr Howard has yet to return calls.

But director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s strategy and international relations program, Dr Rod Lyon, said Iraqi insurgents would be wrong to think Australian troops had abandoned the US.

“It’s hard to paint a withdrawal as a defeat or a retreat,” Dr Lyon said. “(The Government) is still on board for the alliance.”

Australia, which was part of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, will withdraw 550 troops of the 1575 Defence personnel by July as part of the Rudd Government’s strategic foreign policy.

Australian troops have also been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan since 2001 in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre with about 1000 personnel on active duty.

So far, just five Australian soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan: Trooper Andrew Russell, Private Jake Kovco, Trooper David Pearce, Sergeant Matthew Locke and Private Luke Worsley.

More than 4000 US troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, while British troop deaths numbered more than 500.

Anonymous said...

Taliban post Australian deaths online
By Mark Schliebs
THE Taliban is using the deaths of Australian troops in Afghanistan to spread propaganda in the hours after their attacks and before information is officially released by the West.

Details of incidents involving the loss of SAS Private Luke Worsley, SAS Sergeant Matthew Locke and Trooper David Pearce have formed part of “daily operations” briefings from the Taliban posted on extremist internet forums.

Experts say the speed with which terrorists and insurgents report their victories gives them an advantage in the propaganda war.

Deadly firefight

A Taliban statement headlined “Eight foreign soldiers die with several others injured near Trinkout (Tarin Kowt),” was posted on November 23, 2007. The briefing, translated for, reads in full:

“Eight foreign soldiers fell to their death (sic), when on foot on a guard mission, in a surprise attack by Islamic Emirate (Taliban) fighters at 11 last night in the Mir Abad area near Trinkout centre in Irouzgan State.

“Direct fire lasting three hours erupted. During the clashes the enemy opened fire on civilians causing the death of three with five others being transported with them.”

“At the end of the clashes Muslim fighters conducted intense attacks on the enemy in which a Muslim fighter was martyred.

“The enemy was forced to retreat and leave the area after sustaining the loss of one dead and one more injured.

“Enemy planes then conducted random air raids in the area and thank Allah it did not result in any losses.”

The Australian Defence Department later confirmed Private Worsley was killed by Taliban small arms fire in a battle near the Oruzgan Province capital of Tarin Kowt in southern Afghanistan on November 23.

Defence also suggested three Afghani civilians had been killed.

'Propaganda better than AK-47'

Former head of Scotland Yard’s International Terrorism Operations, Nick O’Brien, said descriptions of “successful” attacks on Western troops were highly regarded by the Taliban.

“It is more important (for the Taliban) to have a camera and a satellite phone than just a Kalashnikov,” Mr O’Brien said. “Part of that is because the internet is the new front for terrorism… it’s instantaneous and anyone can have access to it.”

Mr O’Brien said coalition nations should be doing more to win the propaganda war.

“I think (releasing more information about battles) is really important,” Mr O’Brien said. “And I don’t think enough is being done.”

Diggers under attack

After Trooper Pearce was killed and his passenger seriously injured in a roadside bomb attack on their ASLAV on October 8 last year, a Taliban briefing said:

“Islamic Emirate fighters explode (sic) foreign soldier’s armoured vehicle with a bomb at ten this morning. The armoured vehicle was destroyed in the explosion, injuring all soldiers on board.”

And according to a Taliban statement on the battle that claimed Sgt Locke – shot dead by an insurgent sniper on October 25, 2007, during a major offensive in the dangerous Chora Valley – intense fighting started after an insurgent missile brought down an allied food transport helicopter.

“Muslim fighters then opened fire on soldiers besieged in the area resulting in the death and injury of approximately 10 occupying force soldiers.

“The enemy is still conducting intense air raids in the area. Muslim fighters involved in this battle are still well, with only two wounded as a result of a mortar attack.”

Information war

Former Australian Defence Force Academy teacher, Professor William Maley said insurgents viewed the immediate aftermath of an attack as an ideal time to put out propaganda.

“If there is some kind of affray or clash on the ground in Afghanistan involving Australian personnel who may be wounded or killed, (Defence) is required by its procedures to verify what happened with care,” Prof Maley, now Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy director, said.

“And then (they) inform relatives before releasing large amounts of detailed information.

“It does mean that there is an opportunity for radicals to put a story out.”

Washington-based researcher Evan Kohlmann – one of the world’s foremost authorities on terrorism – told the Taliban had a much smaller propaganda machine than al-Qaeda.

They may be able to release written statements online but al-Qaeda produced most of the videos and images out of Afghanistan, he said.

Anonymous said...

'Fleeing like a cornered mouse'
BELOW is the full statement from insurgent group the Jihad and Reform Front posted on a propaganda website on December 5, 2007, translated from Arabic for
The political office of The Conquerors’ Army:

Australia – a new ally fleeing like a cornered mouse

In the name of God All-Merciful, All-Compassionate

“They will not fight against you all together unless it is in fortified villages or behind walls, their valour is great among themselves; you think them whole, but their hearts are scattered because they are an irrational people”. (The Mustering: 14)

Praise God the guide of clouds, revealer of the book and defeater of parties, prayers and peace to the maternal Prophet, to kin and friends, to beloved followers and to those who follow them and walk their path to judgment day.

Now then: -

Despite the deception of their Christian enemies, their allies and spiteful agents the Moslem fighters are going from victory to victory and from strength to strength. This is confirmation of the saying of His Majesty: “Those who struggle in Our cause will be guided with Our ways for God is with the benevolent”. (The Spider: 69). It is upon the Moslem fighter to be truthful, sincere in conscience and to present his work and effort, but victory is from the Lord the Custodian and Victor.

Hence when the cross and its allied corroborators exercise their muscles while a series of collapses of its allies and their withdrawals around the Americans continue these will be the result of painful blows to the Christians at the hands Moslem fighters.

It was not but, almost, yesterday when some allies withdrew and today we see the withdrawal of another Christian ally leaving the Americans drowning alone in this swamp. God willing this ally is Australia, and despite the few numbers of soldiers that this country has in the Christian Alliance its withdrawal will be considered an achievement and victory to be added to the numerous victories of the Moslem fighters, praise God. This is proof of the collapse of the alliance through the kindness of God, the Majesty, and the powerful arms of those heroes who lost their blood and money for God their Lord to please Him, the Almighty.

It is proof that the Moslem fighters have walked the right path to victory and empowerment, God permitting, and toward removing the occupier whomever he be from all Moslem lands and toward establishing rational leadership, God permitting, as our beloved and Imam had promised it will be - rational in the way of the prophets. We look forward to that day and are certain of it with every conviction and ask God Almighty that that day will return our people to glory and victory and that the rule in the land will return to God’s law. This is what we ultimately hope for and seek to achieve and will achieve, God willing, through ourselves sooner, or our sons later.

On this occasion we call on all Moslem fighters from all factions working on the land in beloved Iraq to always, in keeping with their undertaking to Moslem kin, to be as one, rather to be as one hand with their like, to crown these ensuing victories by declaring the unification of all the factions of Moslem fighters in Iraq under one title, and one authority, for they are of one goal, one objective and one religion and every faction is the more aware of its steps and struggles.

We say to them that the eyes of Moslems, their hopes in the Islamic world, after that of God Almighty, are all pinned on you and on your unity. So bring happiness into the hearts of Moslems in the Islamic world through your unification and work towards it as you have had before with your painful blows to the cross and its agents. Do so with your blessed steps towards unification between the factions and formation of fronts, we are pulling your arms and imploring you for further of these steps toward achieving full unification between all factions and fronts. Our path will be opposite to that of the cross and its allies so that the scales will balance in our favour, for we are marching towards unification, towards rallying together and our enemies are marching towards being torn, disbanded, and the successive collapse of the allies.

Thus we will achieve victory after God Almighty grants us success. For, the whole matter is with God as already revealed, but it is up to us to endeavour and to trust in him, the Almighty. In fact, Moslems have not been victorious in the past through the multitude of their numbers nor their disunity, but through unity and trust in their God and this is God’s law for his creatures, and there is no substitution for God’s law. We have every confidence in your honesty, and sincerity to your religion, so come forth with us to pay homage to our Prophet - God’s blessing and peace be upon Him. Thereby we will say to Him as His companions in the troop assault (the trenches) had said: “we are those who have paid homage to Muhammad through Moslem fighting so that we may remain eternal.”

In concluding we ask God the Powerful and Holy to unite the ranks of Moslem fighters in Iraq, in particular and around the globe in general, to protect us from all forms of temptation, and to accept what we have presented, will present and what we achieve in action and sacrifice for His sake that He might add them to our balance of good deeds. The last of our evocation is to the Glory of God who has guided us to this and made enabled us to be guided but not without His guidance. God strengthen you against the Christians, those who supported them, tormented them (sic), scattered their hearts and ranks (sic) and showed us in them your power He is All-hearing, All-responsive.

- The Jihad and Reform Front

Anonymous said...

Isn't Kevin Rudd the last thing the Jihadis would want? A racist, right wing, extremist leader can block out the moderates to the extent that the jihadis' purported humanitarian concerns actually sound almost reasonable and fair. When you get a moderate government that as policy embraces many of those concerns anyway (legitimately) the Jihadis really don't have much room to move and they're exposed for the frauds they really are, as they don't actually care about the humanitarian issues they use as excuses for their actions.

The Weasel said...

Good point anon. I guess the islamofascists didn't want Clinton cutting the US military budget. Didn't want Beazley to field working submarines. Didn't want Keating to pat Suharto on the back, or Whitlam to pat Suahrto on the bum.
I'm sure they were frightened by big bad John Howard using Australian troops to protect women, children and schools.
I think you are correct. Only someone with Rudd's logic is capable of making terrorists see reason.