The Aussies get it, does our government? What about the opposition?

Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Minister, has returned from the US and a briefing about foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria…and she is rightfully concerned.

I wonder if our government is concerned as they should be, and I really wonder if the opposition parties, the Greens in particular actually understand the issue at all.

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop says she is “even more troubled” by the threat of foreign fighters in the Middle East following briefings with US officials, as Tony Abbott said he was willing to consider expanding Australia’s military role in Iraq.

Australia is facing increasing pressure to upgrade its military commitment in Iraq after US President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address yesterday to strengthen the international effort to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist threat posed by Islamic State.

Ms Bishop, who is attending high-level meetings in Washington, said the terrorist threat was spreading far beyond that posed by Islamic State.

“I’m even more troubled by the phenomena of foreign fighters because of the way that they are organised, because of the way they are metastasising, that we are seeing al-Qa’ida, al-Nusra, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, claiming to have taken part in attacks so it’s not just ISIL,” she said.

“The focus has been on ISIL but there are many other terrorist organisations upon whom our focus is warranted.”   

The Prime Minister, speaking on Melbourne radio, said the government was willing to commit to deeper engagement in Iraq if necessary.

“Our involvement should be prudent and proportionate, and at the moment that’s exactly what it is. We’ve got six Super Hornet strike fighters over there, we’ve got an early warning aircraft, (and) we’ve got a refueller,” he said.

“Our forces are performing magnificently and we’ve also got 200 Special Forces soldiers working with the Iraqi security forces inside Iraq. I certainly don’t rule out doing more but I think it needs to be recognise that we are doing a lot as things stand.”

Even the Federal opposition gets it.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek yesterday recommitted support for Australia’s current mission in Iraq.

“If there is a change to the size or make‐up of Australia’s military contribution to Iraq, the government has promised to fully brief the opposition,” Ms Plibersek told The Australian.

“Any proposed changes to the existing mission should be fully explained to the Australian people by the Prime Minister.”

Something you won;t here from the mouths of Andrew Little or Russel Norman.


– The Australian


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  • conwaycaptain

    I bet JK has been briefed at Davos and when he gets back he will be briefing people in NZ. Whether he can trust the Greens to keep their traps shut I don’t know

  • GoingRight

    I have it on good authority that Little Angry Andy had to be brought into JKs office and spoken to severely to get him to support the recent changes to the bill which gave the powers that be more laws to protect us from these young militant types who want to go overseas. Little was told that if he didn’t support the bill JK would see to it that Little would be charged with manslaughter if any New Zealander was killed by these terrorists in this country or overseas. I was surprised at the about turn when Labour finally supported the Government and know I know why!

  • steve and monique

    Shut the gate on anyone who has gone and started fighting for these clowns. If they like them that much, then happy lives( if you are not already in Allah’s care), and enjoy your stay.

  • shykiwibloke

    That our small minded opposition parties can even contemplate not supporting the govt on this issue is because they feel safe. Ironic isnt it.

  • Bombastic

    “metastasising” … she gets it, and that is the best abjective to describe the Islamic curse.

  • Dog Breath

    Any hope that support can be achieved with the Greens was lost in the first sentance with the mention of US officials. Lets be clear the Greens and those who protest at Waihopai each year are anti American. They say it in their rhetoric, this hate is always behind anything they have to say on any matters that have a US component real or imaginary.

  • mommadog

    Australia has 6 Super Hornet strike fighters over there! I know we are a smaller country but it reminds me yet again of how devastated our military (Army, Navy and Air Force) became under Helen/labour. Other than people, I don’t think we really have anything to send if our government wanted to. Now I believe we have some great people in our military and I am not trying to say they cant contribute and do a good job – but they don’t have all the tools they should have and deserve.

    If a full war comes what do we do with all of those here that sympathise with what will be the terrorist enemy? Will be end up needing a camp like the Japanese went to during WWII or will we trust that they really support NZ. I don’t know where this is going but I have a bad feeling it will get worse before it gets better.

  • unitedtribes

    ISIS has actually done the world a favour. People who wouldn’t criticise before are now getting a heads up. There is no solution to the Islamic Issue. It has to be dealt with head on How often was the word Islam mentioned in WOBF 5 years ago

  • Nic C

    Can anyone explain to me, what the hell dragging another conventional foreign army into this mess is going achieve? Surely if the ‘mighty’ US military can’t contain and eliminate a bunch of largely untrained, unqualified, wannabe Muslim jihadists all gathered in northern Iraq/southern Syria, then what’s inflating the ranks with yet more conventional troops going to do any differently?
    Why is no one addressing the glaringly obvious question of ‘where are all these radicalized idiots coming from and who’s doing the ‘radicalizing’ in these areas?
    Deal with ISIS caliphate threat with the resources already there on the ground. Use any additional forces on offer, to under take convert, targeted and surgical operations at the source/s of ISIS’s ‘recruiting grounds’ and eliminate their ability to continually replenish their ranks and drag this ridiculous conflict out any longer than absolutely necessary.

    Australians need to look very hard at what’s going on around them. It’s very convenient indeed that the US have managed to leverage the current fear and shock at the recent killings in Melbourne, to easily convince their govt to get their sons and daughters in arms, involved in a fight that the factions within the US administration are largely responsible for creating in the first place over there.
    Conventional troops from the Aussie armed forces won’t fix this ISIS problem… but their SAS bloody well could… and ours; but not our army!

    All any additional foreign army will provide, is more troops on the ground in that part of the world to protect any ‘US Interests’ in the area, a folly that’s taking on an ever-more ‘Roman-esque’ type appearance by the day and sucking their already fragile economy dry…. or maybe that’s been the ISIS plan all along. God help us all if they manage to succeed with that objective. ‘Immigration’ in NZ would fast become the least of our worries.
    There’s another agenda at play here and vigilance is more important than ever.

    • Dog Breath

      Hearts and minds are an essential part of any response and has been the preferred option for all conflicts for some time and from what I understand NZ are really good at this. However there is always a point where this strategy no longer works especially when dealing with a country that has 1000’s of years of tribal conflict that guarantees that they will never understand true peace or a understanding of western values.

  • Bart67

    We may not have the technology, but when it comes down to it, the war against ISIS will be won by boots, on the ground, taking the fight to them. That is something that NZ is historically good at. We also have another advantage in that the NZ Maori has a very strong physical resemblance to many middle eastern races, and having spoken to Maori Servicemen who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, I can tell you that it comes in bloody handy!

  • Curly1952

    The worrying thing about the left supporting the National government is that they have committed to being anti everything National so they cannot be seen to be weakening their stance.
    The other reason is they have no idea what is going on around them or the world because they are to focussed on destroying NZ rather than enemies of the world

  • GT

    It should NOT be a crime to join ISIS, says Green party leader who does not want to punish people for what they think

    This is the greens in the UK just showing they are looney all over the world she must want to hug them on their return. Maybe Wussel has been over there giving them strategy advice in the lead up to the election seen he did so well here.
    You can just see them all standing in the arrival hall at Heathrow offering hugs & singing
    You should see the manifesto in the article above in just beggers belief