RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Australian governments have made us more at risk from terrorism.

We should not refer to ISIS as a state. It Is not a state. It has no Air Force or navy. It has no fixed boundaries. It is really a series of militant groups. It behaves in a ruthless manner, as does Saudi Arabia and its agents in Yemen.  

ISIS derives benefit to its status from being called a state and successfully exploits what it often refers to as predominantly Western intervention managed by the United States.

When Abbott was Prime Minister he said that the primary role of the Prime Minister was to make the Australian people safer. But his strident attitudes towards Russia, Ukraine, Malaysia, Indonesia and towards NATO’s base close to the Polish boarder, ensured that they are now less safe than they were.

While the Turnbull Government has been much less strident, it has not changed the policies and the Australian people remain less safe than they were.


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5 Responses to RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Australian governments have made us more at risk from terrorism.

  1. Henry Haszler says:

    I lost all respect for Woolcott when he was Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia and — as I recall — basically advised that the Australian Government should turn a blind eye to the murder by the Indonesian military of the Balibo Five in East Timor.

    Sure nations have to be pragmatic but a little principle would have gone a long way to supporting our claim to be a civilised country. In the end the murder was acknowledged. Woolcott should have worked harder to find a solution consistent with the realpolitik and principle, that would have made him a great ambassador. Woolcott has had a great career but in my view he failed when it really counted.

  2. Robert Manne says:

    At its height the Islamic State controlled territory the size of Belgium.

    The idea that “it is really a series of militant groups” is inconsistent with scores of books and hundreds of scholarly papers. What is Richard Woolcott’s source here? The Islamic State, or if you prefer, the Islamic State group, is an ultra-centralised single political outfit with a state structure, law courts, a bureaucracy, an army of tens of thousands and billions of dollars in revenue both from taxation and from the sale of oil and stolen artefacts etc There are many books investigating all these matters.

    To say it is merely “ruthless”, like Saudi Arabia, is an extraordinary underestimation. It is self-admittedly, nay proudly genocidal movement. Its primary target are the Shia Muslims. It has made it clear that it won’t be content until the last Shia Muslim, who number in their tens of millions, has been removed from the face of the Earth.Its genocidal ambitions also extend to the Alawites in Syria (the cousins of the Shia), the Yazidis, the Druze, Christians and Jews.

    It has mounted ferocious assaults on Sunni enemies like the al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front.

    It has conducted public executions of Western hostages by knife or fire and published videos of the executions through its networks.

    It murders adulterous women and homosexual men and punishes viciously drinkers of alcohol,takers of drugs or even smokers of tobacco or anyone who violates its enforced dress code.

    It has mounted or inspired hundreds of terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, especially in Iraq and Syria, but also in Turkey, France, Belgium, the United States and Germany.

    It trains children before their teenage years–lion cubs, as they are called–to participate in armed actions against the military, political and religious enemies of the Islamic State.

    It practices and justifies sexual slavery.

    It carries out and then publicizes the wanton destruction of some of the Middle East’s most significant ancient works of art, buildings and cities, like Palmyra, on the grounds of their war on polytheism.

    Unlike even the Nazis or the Stalinists, it takes the greatest pride in all its most terrible crimes, on the ground that they fulfil the will of God, publicizing them through high quality videos and via its online magazines Dabiq and more recently Rumiyah.

    I’m surprised, even dismayed, that Richard could write a blog post like this. I’m not sure how it is to be explained.

    If Richard W is interested in the documentation of all claimed here, I’ll post him free of charge a copy of my recently published The Mind of the Islamic State. My email address is

    • Frank Carter says:

      There is a very strong element of Islamophobia in this comment. I’m very disappointed in Robert Manne who I’d respected as a very strong supporter of correct views on such matters.

      • Robert Manne says:

        Ninety-five per cent of Muslims I would estimate oppose the Islamic State. Muslims are overwhelmingly its greatest victims. I’d be interested in Frank Carter’s estimate of the Islamic State and the information he relies upon.

    • Peter White says:

      As Victor Lazslo said: “Welcome back to the fight”

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