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November 25th 2015 print

Geoffrey Luck

The Silver-Tongued Scourge of ISIS

As if the head-loppers did not have enough to worry about, what with rumours of a virgin shortage in Paradise and financial anxieties arising from missed Centerlink appointments. Now our PM has blitzed the Beard Brigade with a Dispatch Box barrage of his best, mostly borrowed cliches

malcolm armedOur freshly-minted prime minister, Mr Ozemail, has appointed General Waleed Aly of Monash University, Channel 10 and the ABC, as his national security adviser. The appointment was announced to the cheers of the House of Representatives today, as the politicians re-lived the spine-shivery thrills of excitement they experienced on the hundred millionth replay of Aly’s national security address to the nation last week.

Aly, it will be remembered, broke the news that Islamic State is weak. He described ISIL as “The mouse that roars.”  Listen:

There is a reason ISIL still want to appear to powerful, why they don’t want to acknowledge that the land they control has been taken from weak enemies…ISIL don’t want you to know they would quickly be crushed if they ever face d a proper Army on a battlefield.

They want you to fear them. They want you to get angry. They want all of us to become hostile.

These powerful insights had not gone unnoticed by Mr Ozemail, although busy flitting from city to city with leadership peers on international business. So it may well be that he called for Waleed to churn out the script for his first national security statement to Parliament.  And this is what he read out:

The Islamic State is weak. It has many more smartphones than guns, many more Twitter accounts than soldiers.

Smartphones co-ordinated the Paris attacks; the eight terrorists had enough guns to kill 130 people and wreak havoc.

We must not be fooled by its hype. Its ideology is archaic, but its use of the internet is very modern.

Not only the internet — a taxation system to fund operations; oilfields to fuel the motorized units; a marketing strategy to radicalise, recruit and reward with Paradise.

This is not a time for gestures or machismo. Calm, clinical professional, effective – that’s how we defeat this menace.

And despite General Aly’s assessment that ISIL would be quickly crushed by a real army, Mr Ozemail ruled out sending Australian troops to fight on the ground in Syria.

When it came to Islam in Australia, again Mr Ozemail blew it. Denouncing Islamic State’s “perverted strain of Islamic extremist ideology” was the responsibility of authentic, modern and tolerant Islam, he urged.

Finally, he borrowed Waleed Aly’s sage words of exhortation:

Our unity mocks their attempts to divide us. Our freedom under law mocks their cruel tyranny. Our mutual respect mocks their bitter intolerance.

What the Parliament was not invited to contemplate is the incompatibility of the verses in the Koran proclaiming Islam a religion of peace, and those preaching hatred, death to infidels, torture, slavery and beheadings. That is what Islamic leaders must answer to. Until they do, the soothing syrup dripping from the Dispatch Box yesterday can be ignored.

Editor’s note: The picture PM Turnbull wielding his Dirty Malcolm equalizer, first brought to light by The Betoota Advocate, may have been doctored.

Geoffrey Luck was an ABC journalist for 26 years

Comments [4]

  1. Andrew Campbell says:

    The secular left, the self designated ‘progressives’ don’tt get religion. They underestimate the depth and intensity of religious belief. They blithely imagine that religion can be easily dismissed and deposited in the dustbin of history. With minor mopping-up operations, this may have all but happened in Europe, the US, and Australia. Malcolm Turnbull may be right, that ISIS is ‘weak,’ but the West is weaker still, now all but bereft of the Christian underpinning of the culture it has steadily evolved over the last 500 years or so. The expansion of militant Isalam, held at bay over that time, has begun again. After ISIS, if defeated by desultory bombing and Twitter (!?!) there will be another. Is it inevitable that the apocalyptic jihadis aquire and deploy nuclear capability, a dirty bomb, or biological weapons in a major city? It is a safe bet that they’re working on it. Their ideology, their religious ideas, have to be vigorously opposed. But I despair of that happening under our political masters and the mainstream media.

  2. Jody says:

    I’m afraid Turnbull has become Comical Aly lite. I was appalled by his airbrushing of IS yesterday and his words WILL come back to haunt him. Ok if you’re Comical Aly and you ply your trade to impressionable Gen Y’s with low expectations, but not from a PM. Today on the BBC World Service they said IS is ‘trafficking’ people into Turkey and thence onto Europe. Well, who’d have thought!! The smart money was always on that being so.

    But I think Russia is good and angry now with Turkey and this will become a dangerous deal-breaker. Turnbull will then be left looking ridiculous!!

  3. Bill Martin says:

    Any doubt about the disastrous error of ousting Tony Abbott in favour of Malcolm Turnbull is now decisively dispelled.

  4. en passant says:

    Jody,
    Comical Aly and the ‘The Joker’s’ permanent Cheshire Cat smirk have always been ridiculous.

    Bill,
    The reason the Cat is having problems with saying anything coherent is because he spent years disloyally undermining his Leader and his party by planning the coup from Hell. The Joker never gave a moment’s thought to what comes after the assassination and is now bemused by the view from the top. It’s really all too much, all this stuff. So far beyond his capabilities he must hate looking in the mirror each morning. As so often happens when overwhelmed he comforts himself by repeating “I made it!, I did it!, I am PRIME MINISTER!. Period.” Having long mastered the hypnotic calming effect the sound of his own voice has on everyone he just waffles on with his mind in neutral hoping he says nothing of substance or meaning that can be held against him.
    If I were a self-respecting Minister in this smirking shambles of a ‘government’ I would resign in embarrassment and begin urgently planning a coup, the sooner the better.
    Like the Cheshire Cat, the only legacies Mr Ozemail will leave behind are that:
    1. The Liberals are no better on principles than Labor
    2. Self-interest beats national interest
    3. An Australia devastated by a loss of sovereignty to the UN in Paris
    4. Economic devastation inflicted upon us by TPP & the CFTA
    5. A less free and secure Australia.
    6. A lingering smirk with no substance

    And all this in just the six-months before he is dumped.