I will continue Saturday Morning Musings - the use and abuse of the term business, but other things have been happening. In Monday Forum – the Ukraine, a new war on terror and corporate investment, I went back in part to an old post of mine and said in part:
I am not saying that Australia should not be providing a degree of military support against the Islamic State. I am concerned about the proportionality and common sense of some of the rhetoric and of the domestic measures that the Government is proposing to protect us all from home grown jihadists. To my mind, the side-effects from the preventative medicine are likely to be worse than the cure.
I do not share the views expressed by the Greens or some others on the left that Australia should not be involved. I think that we should. It’s the language that is now being used that scares the living daylights out of me Again, we are likely to create the enemy that we fear. To illustrate this, let me make just three points.
First, the West cannot defeat the ISIL by direct military action. That has to be done locally. The West can use power to hold the line and to buy time. That’s about it.
Second, the best way of containing ISIL is by marginalising it, letting it destroy itself, treating it with contempt. The more credibility ISIL is given by extreme language, by presenting it as a supreme threat, the more power it gathers.
Third, ISIL cannot actually damage the West in any real sense. Assume a worst case scenario with terrorist attacks in Western centres. Life goes on. The IRA couldn’t bomb the UK to its knees. They did damage, but didn't have the power. I am not equating the IRA to ISIL. I am simply making an observation about the reaction of the civil population.
ISIL is a disease like Ebola, just less dangerous outside the epicentre. I am only guessing, but I imagine that the most that ISIL could kill in Australia in any one year with maximum effort and effect is significantly less than the number of road deaths in the same period. I wonder, then, why we are treating ISIL as though it were a case of bubonic plague in the days when we didn’t know what that plague was?
We have to be careful about our cures. When the Australian Government raised the threat level to high, Australians did not know how too respond. What did it mean? What could we do? The answer, of course, was nothing. And yet, at the same time, ASIO wanted more powers. So a heightened threat level added to the apparent case for those powers.
Am I being too cynical? Maybe. I live in a world where a few deaths leads to silly swimming pool restrictions, where the narrow risk of a septic tank leak leads to what has been called a poo tax.I fear I put the the latest security proposals in the same class.
i wonder. We do tend to create our own devils.