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CHOCO
Dec 1st, 2002, 10:42 PM
http://i.cnn.net/cnn/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/auspac/12/01/australia.terror.un/story.aus.phil.terror.ap.jpg
Australia closed its embassy in the Philippines and placed round-the-clock security on national icons amid heightened terrorist threats



Monday, December 2, 2002. Posted: 07:53:40 (AEDT)

Asian neighbours condemn Howard's first strike speech
Governments in South East Asia have been quick to condemn Prime Minister John Howard's statement that he would be willing to order a pre-emptive strike to stop a terrorist attack against Australia.

On television yesterday Mr Howard said any prime minister who had the capacity to prevent an attack against Australia would be failing the most basic test of office if he did not use it, as long as there was no alternative.

In response, a spokesman for Indonesia's foreign ministry said Australia did not have the right to launch military strikes in other countries.

He said states "can't flout international law and norms willy-nilly".

A spokesman for the Thai Government said no country should do anything like Mr Howard suggested. Each country had its own sovereignty that must be protected, he said.

The Philippines national security adviser Roilo Golez said Mr Howard's comments were completely unacceptable.

"That's a very surprising statement, to say the least, in fact bordering on shocking," Mr Golez said.

"I can't believe that it would come from a supposed friendly country in the neighbourhood. You are talking about a region with very strong government, the ASEAN region.

"This is the 21st century, not the 19th century."

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DutchieGirl
Dec 1st, 2002, 10:44 PM
uhh... duh... what do these other prime ministers think Howard is gonna do? Sit around and let Australia get attacked if he knows about it... :rolleyes:

Car Key Boi
Dec 1st, 2002, 10:49 PM
more piss and moan

Go Howard! :bounce:

2284
Dec 1st, 2002, 11:15 PM
Only countries which are planning attacks have anything to worry about....so does this mean that The Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia have their bombs ready to drop?

DutchieGirl
Dec 1st, 2002, 11:19 PM
lol probably! ;)

Rae Q.
Dec 2nd, 2002, 12:37 AM
Hey Choco! :wavey:

Thanks again dude b/c if it wasn't for this I wouldn't even know who Australia's prime minister was. :o You know what I mean? Just way too much TRL and not enough CNN but when I get older I promise to start reading the news and stuff but for now I'll read your threads. :)

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 12:50 AM
Typical yanker! :p

Rae Q.
Dec 2nd, 2002, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by inkyfan
Typical yanker! :p

Totally! :o

But so you know I'm not from the North so I can't be a "yanker". Make sure all the other Australians know that, k? :p

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 01:25 AM
well then where are you from? :p If it's anywhere in the US, then you can be a Yanker! :p

CHOCO
Dec 2nd, 2002, 01:26 AM
What the hell is a "yanker"? It sounds wierd as hell. ;)

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 01:29 AM
it's an American wanker! ;) lol nah... we usually call Americans "Yankees" here! lol But I just changed it a bit! ;)

antonella
Dec 2nd, 2002, 01:44 AM
Howard outta can the colonialist rhetoric as Australia will probably end up being absorbed by their neighbors, considering the fact that Indonesia, Malaysia and The Phillipines outnumber Australia 17 to 1, these are pretty big words that might have not so pretty consequences in the not-so-near future.

2284
Dec 2nd, 2002, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by antonella
Howard outta can the colonialist rhetoric as Australia will probably end up being absorbed by their neighbors, considering the fact that Indonesia, Malaysia and The Phillipines outnumber Australia 17 to 1, these are pretty big words that might have not so pretty consequences in the not-so-near future.

Not likely. America will bomb them for us

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by antonella
Howard outta can the colonialist rhetoric as Australia will probably end up being absorbed by their neighbors, considering the fact that Indonesia, Malaysia and The Phillipines outnumber Australia 17 to 1, these are pretty big words that might have not so pretty consequences in the not-so-near future.

right, so Howard has no right to say he'll defend Australia against countries that might be harbouring terrorists that are gonna attack... suuuuuuure, if your prime-minister (or president or whatever) knew your country was gonna be attacked by terrorists, wouldn't YOU want him/her to do something about it???

Rae Q.
Dec 2nd, 2002, 01:58 AM
Originally posted by inkyfan
well then where are you from? :p If it's anywhere in the US, then you can be a Yanker! :p

Not from the North where the Yankees are. :p

You'd be totally bagged on if you called someone from the South a Yankee because there was a war between the North (lots of them were Yankees) and the South (the Confederates). I wish I knew something about Australia to compare it to but it's totally a regional thing when you say Yankee. :wavey:

2284
Dec 2nd, 2002, 02:05 AM
Originally posted by RaeQuanjynneese


Not from the North where the Yankees are. :p

You'd be totally bagged on if you called someone from the South a Yankee because there was a war between the North (lots of them were Yankees) and the South (the Confederates). I wish I knew something about Australia to compare it to but it's totally a regional thing when you say Yankee. :wavey:

I only found out about that when I saw Gone With the Wind! Most Australians don't know that there is a difference and just call all Americans Yankees. American history is not widely taught here

CHOCO
Dec 2nd, 2002, 02:21 AM
inkyfan - I understand now. Thanks. :)

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 02:58 AM
Originally posted by RaeQuanjynneese


Not from the North where the Yankees are. :p

You'd be totally bagged on if you called someone from the South a Yankee because there was a war between the North (lots of them were Yankees) and the South (the Confederates). I wish I knew something about Australia to compare it to but it's totally a regional thing when you say Yankee. :wavey:

lol yeah I know about the war... but it's just a joke name anyway... we generalise and call Americans in general "Yankees"...we even have another slang term for it ~~> "Septic tanks" (rhymes with Yanks)...so to me it doesn't matter where in the US you come from! :p

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 02:59 AM
oh, btw, it's also just like we get Aussie, I call my Dutch friends "Dutchies", South Africans "Saffies"... so Americans "Yankees'! ;)

CHOCO
Dec 2nd, 2002, 01:58 PM
The US wants to take a pre-emptive strike in Iraq, now Australia...who's next, China against Taiwan? It sets a bad precedent.

CHOCO
Dec 2nd, 2002, 02:00 PM
Asian anger grows at defiant PM
December 3 2002
By Mark Baker

The Philippines yesterday threatened to abandon plans for an anti-terrorism pact with Australia as governments across South-East Asia condemned Prime Minister John Howard's declaration that he would be prepared to launch pre-emptive military strikes overseas to stop a terrorist attack on Australia.

Senior officials in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia denounced Mr Howard's comments as a threat to their sovereignty, an unfriendly act and a blow to regional cooperation against terrorism.

In a weekend interview on Channel Nine, Mr Howard said that "of course" he would intervene in a neighbouring country if terrorists there were planning to attack Australia and there was no alternative to prevent them. International law was inadequate to deal with modern national security threats and the UN charter should be amended to support pre-emption, he said.

Yesterday Mr Howard stood by the comments as he came under sustained attack at home from Labor and the minor parties as well as from overseas.

Philippines National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said he would call for reconsideration of an anti-terrorism agreement now being negotiated with Australia.


"This (Mr Howard's statement) to me is quite arrogant and because of this I have recommended that we review and go slow on the proposed anti-terror pact with Australia because they might use this for their pre-emptive strike agenda," said Mr Golez, a Philippines cabinet member and close adviser to President Gloria Arroyo.

The agreement was expected to be ratified by Mr Howard during a visit to Manila early next year.

Australia has signed similar agreements with Thailand and Malaysia. They are seen as an important element in building closer cooperation against terrorism after the Bali bombing.

Earlier, Mr Golez said Mr Howard's willingness to violate the territorial integrity of neighbouring countries was "bordering on shocking".

Mr Howard's remarks were front-page news in most regional capitals yesterday and the reaction was entirely hostile. "Australia ready to invade Asia," said a headline in Jakarta's Republika newspaper.

Malaysian Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia would never allow Australia to violate its sovereignty by sending in troops. He said Australia had no right to contemplate unilateral military operations beyond its borders and Malaysia would fight any attempt by Mr Howard to have the UN charter amended to permit such operations. "We are a sovereign country and there is no way we will allow them to violate that," Mr Najib said.

Thai Government spokesman Ratthakit Manathat said: "Nobody does anything like this. Each country has its own sovereignty, that must be protected."

Indonesia's acting ambassador in Australia, Imron Cotan, said Mr Howard's comment's were unhelpful. "The comments could be regarded as aggressive, they could also work against your interests," he told The Age.

The row dominated parliamentary question time yesterday, with Mr Howard standing by his comments and accusing Labor of siding with foreign interests attempting to abuse Australia.

Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said Mr Howard was making "hairy-chested" statements for domestic consumption. The comments were being seen in Asia as "Mr Howard contemplating the possibility of an attack on the territory of our neighbours", he said.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer accused Labor of unhelpful exaggeration. He said he hoped any action to prevent a terrorist attack would be done through regional cooperation. "All the Prime Minister has done is restate a very fundamental and well-worked principle of international law and that is that every country has a right to defend itself," Mr Downer said.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark supported Mr Howard, saying she did not believe he had threatened pre-emptive strikes against terrorists in neighbouring states. "We didn't read what he said as evidence of any indication to make any such strike," she said.

CHOCO
Dec 2nd, 2002, 04:43 PM
:)

CHOCO
Dec 2nd, 2002, 07:19 PM
Howard stance draws criticism
Tuesday 3 December 2002, 06:06AM


Criticism of Prime Minister John Howard's statement backing a last resort pre-emptive strike to prevent a terrorist attack against Australia is mounting throughout the region.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda said he believed Mr Howard's statement was part of a discourse and not a concrete plan of action.

"But if you ask what is Indonesia's position on this discourse of Prime Minister Howard, I say that such a discourse is unacceptable," Mr Wirayuda said.

A pre-emptive strike in another country would breach the United Nations charter and other international conventions, he said.

Mr Howard has suggested the charter no longer reflects modern realities and should be altered.


The Thai government said no country should follow the course of action suggested by Mr Howard.

Each country had its own sovereignty that must be protected, a government spokesman said.

Malaysia's Defence Minister Najib Razak said Kuala Lumpur would not allow foreign intervention in its fight against terrorism.

The comments were also rejected in domestic politics.

Labor accused Mr Howard of trying to build the case for a first strike against Iraq and said he should be talking peace, not war.

CHOCO
Dec 2nd, 2002, 08:48 PM
Howard: I didn't mean you

Published on Dec 3, 2002


Prime Minister John Howard yesterday stood by his declaration that Australia would launch pre-emptive strikes on terrorists in other countries to protect itself against attacks if all other options failed.

Howard insisted, however, his initial remark had not been directed at Australia's immediate neighbours.

"It [the statement] related to the determination of this government to take legitimate measures if other alternatives were not available - if there were a clear, precise, identifiable threat," he said.

"Any Australian prime minister unwilling to do that would be failing the most basic test of office," Howard said.

Meanwhile Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra reacted cautiously to Howard's remarks, |noting that Howard had not |mentioned Thailand in particular.

"I don't want to make a comment on Mr Howard's remark. Thailand and Australia have a close relationship. I am confident that if the Australian prime minister has some questions about Thailand he will telephone me," Thaksin said.

Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said Thailand was capable of handling the regional terrorism issue and was willing to cooperate with other countries. "But cooperation should be based on international law and the United Nations Charter," Surakiart said.

However, governments in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indone-sia condemned Howard' first-strike doctrine, saying it went against the principle of national sovereignty.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar warned that launching pre-emptive strikes abroad on terrorists was a threat to world peace. Syed Hamid accused Australia of "talking the language of a big power".

He opposed Howard's proposal to amend the United Nations charter to allow countries to conduct pre-emptive strikes against terrorists on foreign soil.

"[Terrorism] does not give another country the right to just come in and do whatever it likes to another country," he said.

In the Philippines, National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said a proposed anti-terrorism pact with Australia would be reviewed so that Howard's threat would not come to fruition.

In Indonesia, Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa said Australia was isolating itself from the region. "We find this notion of pre-emptive strikes to be unacceptable," Natalegawa said. "It's not as if Australia is surrounded by failed states, or states unwilling to cooperate."

~ The Leopard ~
Dec 2nd, 2002, 10:02 PM
This whole thing is a beat-up. Howard was asked a question and he replied by stating an accepted international law doctrine: in some narrow circumstances a pre-emptive strike is allowable and even necessary.

I'm no great pal of John Howard: he's a deeply conservative man, whereas I am the exact opposite. But it's no use criticising him, or beating his remarks up out of all proportion, when he gets something right.

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:03 PM
exactly... he said he'd only strike IF there were no other alternative... now everyone's making it out like at the first sign of anything bad in another country he's gonna start bombing them! pff

2284
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by jouissant
This whole thing is a beat-up. Howard was asked a question and he replied by stating an accepted international law doctrine: in some narrow circumstances a pre-emptive strike is allowable and even necessary.

I'm no great pal of John Howard: he's a deeply conservative man, whereas I am the exact opposite. But it's no use criticising him, or beating his remarks up out of all proportion, when he gets something right.
I totally agree.

CHOCO
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:10 PM
What if Indonesia and the Philippines decided one day to conduct pre-emptive strikes against Australia for harboring terrorists who were on the verge of committing terrorists acts against these countries? Would that be fair? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, no?

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:13 PM
sure... if they have the information about the terrorists that are living here and gonna attack them and we hadn't done anything about it after being told about it... then I'd think their governments would also attack!

2284
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by CHOCO
What if Indonesia and the Philippines decided one day to conduct pre-emptive strikes against Australia for harboring terrorists who were on the verge of committing terrorists acts against these countries? Would that be fair? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, no?

You have failed to recognise that this would only happen if the governments of these countries were doing nothing to protect us against the attack. If Indonesia or the Philippines found out about potential terrorist activity here and informed our government, the terrorists would have hell to pay

CHOCO
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:28 PM
As you can see, this talk by Howard is angering his neighbors who are his trading partners. That's why I think it a bad precedent for countries to engage in this type of behavior. Because if one country does it without UN support, then it gives any country the same right to do so.

Can you imagine that Papa New Guinea conducting pre-emptive strikes against Australia and New Zealand for harboring people who want to wipe Papa New Guinea off the map...hehehehe? :)

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:34 PM
Choco, you're not getting what was said... Howard answered a question... and he said he would only strike IF there was NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE!!! (ie in other words, the other govts knew about a terrorist attack cooming up on Australia by people in their country and did nothing about it, THEN Howard would think about attacking).

And if other countires bothered to read it right, they'd see that too! Typical media making a big fuss out of nothing!

2284
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:37 PM
Originally posted by inkyfan
Choco, you're not getting what was said... Howard answered a question... and he said he would only strike IF there was NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE!!! (ie in other words, the other govts knew about a terrorist attack cooming up on Australia by people in their country and did nothing about it, THEN Howard would think about attacking).

And if other countires bothered to read it right, they'd see that too! Typical media making a big fuss out of nothing!

In that case, the UN would probably support us and we possibly wouldn't even have to make the attack ourselves

Kiwi_Boy
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:37 PM
Originally posted by CHOCO
As you can see, this talk by Howard is angering his neighbors who are his trading partners. That's why I think it a bad precedent for countries to engage in this type of behavior. Because if one country does it without UN support, then it gives any country the same right to do so.

Can you imagine that Papa New Guinea conducting pre-emptive strikes against Australia and New Zealand for harboring people who want to wipe Papa New Guinea off the map...hehehehe? :)

i think new zealand would wipe them off the map if they tried to attack us ;)

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:42 PM
hmm yeah, good point untitled...

lmao@kiwi

Rasha
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:49 PM
I was watching a BBC spokesman interviewing him lastnight.

My thoughts that if there were terrorists in Australia, they would of allready made a terrorist attack enedible, no doubt.

Parties and Politicians are finding ways to harvest Mr Howard saying that it is immoral and devious to what he is doing.

Countries in South East Asia are just above Australia, close countries usually have ties with each other, and what Mr Howard should be doing is making ties much more stronger, and be talking terrorism from these South East Asian leaders, I can see why when you point the fingers at countries and be set out to be the International Prescutor, Judge, Jury like Mr Howard has planned, I can see why the Philipines don't want an Anti-Terrorism pact with Australia, if the Philipines are going to be prosecuted for their harbouring of Terrorists.

To me it's the Terrorist groups they should be targeting, and not the countries itself.

DutchieGirl
Dec 2nd, 2002, 11:59 PM
Rasha... Howard didn't perport to be the judge and jury of terrorism in other countries... he was talking about in SPECIFIC cases where the government in say Indonesia... the govt in Indonesia KNEW that there were a group of terrorists planning an attack on say Sydney... they knew it, and didn't do anything to stop it. If Howard also knew this attack was coming and Indonesia did nothing to stop it, he's saying he'd LOOK at taking pre-emptive action to stop the attack...

he's NOT saying that he's about to go off and bomb every Asian country this minute!

CHOCO
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:17 AM
Philippines National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said he would call for reconsideration of an anti-terrorism agreement now being negotiated with Australia.




Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar warned that launching pre-emptive strikes abroad on terrorists was a threat to world peace. Syed Hamid accused Australia of "talking the language of a big power".

He opposed Howard's proposal to amend the United Nations charter to allow countries to conduct pre-emptive strikes against terrorists on foreign soil.

"[Terrorism] does not give another country the right to just come in and do whatever it likes to another country," he said.

In the Philippines, National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said a proposed anti-terrorism pact with Australia would be reviewed so that Howard's threat would not come to fruition.

In Indonesia, Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa said Australia was isolating itself from the region. "We find this notion of pre-emptive strikes to be unacceptable," Natalegawa said. "It's not as if Australia is surrounded by failed states, or states unwilling to cooperate."



I know exactly what Howard said. And because of it, he's coming under alot of heat in and out od the country, deservedly so. You can't just unilaterally invade another country's sovereignty without UN support. I'm sure if the leaders of the surrounding countries found out about any terrorists threats in other countries, they would alert their neighbors.

2284
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by CHOCO









I know exactly what Howard said. And because of it, he's coming under alot of heat in and out od the country, deservedly so. You can't just unilaterally invade another country's sovereignty without UN support. I'm sure if the leaders of the surrounding countries found out about any terrorists threats in other countries, they would alert their neighbors.

who said he would do it without UN support?

Rasha
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:21 AM
Im not exactly experienced on this current event, I don't know the full facts, but just posting too what the BBC was discussing.

If I was him though, I wouldn't Bite more then I could chew, He did let his mouth go a bit "untamed" and from what some various parties Both National to Australia and International was pointing the finger seriousl at countries.

If he was going to take pre action (Military) wise like there was a possibility of Howard enforcing that, then I would make sure all my forces (Navy, Air, Militia) were the most strongest it could be, even if he was determined, he better start Conscripting people if he wants to concede in triumphing, I don't exactly know who is allies are going to be, Maybe GB, USA are to coiled up in Iraq intervention. Plus if he makes these Countries Hostile to him, like hes significantly done slightly, then I would put all the tug-boats onto Cape York Peninsula and set sail somewhere else,

Who wants to be embroiled in Conflict, Conflict that is likley going to be simmering.

I have done some quick research on some of these countries Military Power using the website www.cia.gov (An International Website designed for quick fire reading on a general country)

Australia: Military Man Power Availability
males age 15-49: 5,013,406 (2002 est.)

Indonesia: Military Man Power Availability
males age 15-49: 65,013,184 (2002 est.)

Indonesia using estimates has a total 13 times more men that can be conscripted into an army

Philippines:Military Man Power Availability
males age 15-49: 21,718,304 (2002 est.)

Philippines has a estimated total of 4 times more men

Thailand:Military Man Power Availability
males age 15-49: 17,766,501 (2002 est.)

Around 3 times.

It seems that I might be thinking that their is going to be a full out war :) but Im just showing statistics of what Australia is going to have to face if it gets this far, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand all have a satisfactory air force, navy etc, way bigger than what Australia would handle,

Im thinking that if it goes that far, then NewZealand (how) will help somehow, and maybe some intervention from other South East Asian Nations, Britain, and USA.

Thats just how it look for Australia, if they continue making South East Asian Nations Hostile Generally Terroist attacks left right and centre if Australia did intrvene,

I would watch my mouth Howard if I was you, you know SEA is a Melting pot for the born terrorist groups, don't incriminate yourself even more.

DutchieGirl
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by CHOCO


I know exactly what Howard said. And because of it, he's coming under alot of heat in and out od the country, deservedly so. You can't just unilaterally invade another country's sovereignty without UN support. I'm sure if the leaders of the surrounding countries found out about any terrorists threats in other countries, they would alert their neighbors.

good, so if the leaders alert everyone, and do something about it, they needn't worry about pre-emptive strikes then! So it's no problem!

2284
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:24 AM
Originally posted by Rasha

Thats just how it look for Australia, if they continue making SOuth East Asian Nations Hostile Generally

Well maybe the SE Asian nations should read the whole fucking question and quote in context!

CHOCO
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:27 AM
International law was inadequate to deal with modern national security threats and the UN charter should be amended to support pre-emption, he said.


He mentioned nothing about getting UN support. As his quote reminds us, he thinks the UN is too weak to deal with terrorists threats.

Again, what reasons would heads of states in the area keep terrorists threats from Australia??!! Matter of fact, these countries are working to forge STRONGER ties with Australia to combat terrorism in the region.

Rasha
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:27 AM
maybe.................As I said Im not a SEA immigrant, never was, BUT from what it looks like overhear, and by geographic and political knowledge that I know, I wouldn't be making these countries hostile to Australia, and from what I perceive John Howard is doing, he's only adding more stoke to the fire.

People read it, they just don't have to follow a certain opinion, Making Countries like South East Asian nations hostile is only brewing up a storm for the near future, you know terrorists breed in that part of the world, Sorry, but John Howard is only asking for it.....I havn't seen such a dissagreement with all the opposition parties from Australia in a long time.

DutchieGirl
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:27 AM
lol see that's the problem Jackie... people don't read ALL of what was said, and so they get the wrong idea...

CHOCO
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:31 AM
inkyfan - same thing for Australia, if it knows of terrorist threats and do NOTHING about them, then they can be expected to be bombed into the stone age by neighboring countries, according to this logic, no? ;)

DutchieGirl
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:35 AM
choco... did you read what I said on the previous page when you asked me something similar?

I said sure... if we had terrorists and we knew they were gonna attack another country and did nothing about it, then I can see the country would want to attack us to stop themselves getting attacked.

btw, choco, he never said there were any reasons for other countries to keep possible terrosist attacks from him, he was just say (again) IF...IF IF IF there was a certain case of that he would look at pre-emptive strikes...

as I keep saying, he never said he's about to go out and bomb countries left right and centre.

Plus, it wasn't like he came out and made a speech about this... he was asked a question, he answered, I don't think he'd been sitting there all day thinking about making a speech about pre-emptive strikes!

DutchieGirl
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by Rasha
maybe.................As I said Im not a SEA immigrant, never was, BUT from what it looks like overhear, and by geographic and political knowledge that I know, I wouldn't be making these countries hostile to Australia, and from what I perceive John Howard is doing, he's only adding more stoke to the fire.

People read it, they just don't have to follow a certain opinion, Making Countries like South East Asian nations hostile is only brewing up a storm for the near future, you know terrorists breed in that part of the world, Sorry, but John Howard is only asking for it.....I havn't seen such a dissagreement with all the opposition parties from Australia in a long time.

but Rasha, the point is, if these countries are not hiding anything, then they have nothing to fear do they? So why should they feel hostile?

And what are you talking about with "disagreement with the oppositions parties"... god, I can think of heaps worse disagreements than this in the lst couple of years... the boat people issue being one of them!

Rasha
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:38 AM
CHOCO: Do I sence an exaggeration, Bombed into the Stone Age While I find that hard to happen, the structure of the post seems relevant, If Australia doesn't do something, then eventually these Terrorist attacks that have been issued time and time again will become a relality.

I just don't know how they could handle the situation, Defintly not Military Intervention, but maybe an Internatinal Organization, International Court of Justice, can address some form of legislation out.

The Boat people thing, I never really took much notice of your oppisition, sorry for sounding arrogant ;)

I'm going to pick up Sister (Samar) from school, thanks for the debate, how fun :wavey:;)

CHOCO
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:40 AM
ok...then I'll leave it at that. Only thing is, he upset many of his neighbors who are willing to work with Australia.

DutchieGirl
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:40 AM
hehe see ya Rasha! :wavey: (I should go have lunch) ;)

DutchieGirl
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:41 AM
lol well, it's an emotive topic choco... some people are bound to get upset! ;) hehe

CHOCO
Dec 3rd, 2002, 12:43 AM
Rasha - you got! :)

It's an expression many conservative Americans use to mean CARRY A BIG STICK towards smaller countries.

CHOCO
Dec 3rd, 2002, 03:49 PM
:)

CHOCO
Dec 3rd, 2002, 04:02 PM
Words are bullets, Mr Howard
December 4 2002

Saying too much has provoked untimely trouble for Australia, writes Michelle Grattan.


When they theorise about pre-emptive strikes, John Howard and Robert Hill have either forgotten, or are not worried about, the diplomatic adage that words are bullets.

In the past week, Hill has been talking like a professor of international relations and Howard like the great national father protecting his people. The result has been counter-productive and, as a result of Howard's declaration that he would be willing to act pre-emptively against an imminent terrorist attack from within a neighbour, fresh irritation has been injected into Australia's regional relations at the worst possible time.

With Malaysia's prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, seizing the opportunity to hurl a new vitriolic attack Australia's way, Howard insisted yesterday his remarks had been "low-key", "accurate" and "not directed at any of our friends. I don't resile from them in any way". Earlier he again stressed the need to adjust to the new reality - which is life in the world of terrorist threats. But that new reality also involves extraordinarily difficult foreign relations, whether it is the United Nations dealing with Iraq, or Australia with its neighbours. Speculation, however hypothetical, about the doctrine of pre-emptive strikes is unhelpful.

This episode started with Hill appearing on ABC TV's Lateline on Wednesday to spruik his John Bray Oration on Thursday. He talked about limitations that the UN charter, written in the era of conventional warfare, imposed on pre-emptive action in self-defence. "The issue now is how you define self-defence in an environment of unconventional conflict, non-state parties, weapons of mass destruction, global terrorism." Clearly, Hill said, "this new environment requires a more liberal definition of self-defence".

He implied, rather than said, the charter should be changed. Howard quickly made specific what Hill had left vague. "I just want the international body of law, including the UN charter, to recognise the new reality," Howard said on Friday. There was nothing unusual in talking about changing the legal framework; indeed, "I constantly hear calls within Australia for our Constitution to be changed."


All this invited the question Howard was asked on Nine's Sunday program - whether he would be prepared to act if Jemaah Islamiah members in a neighbouring country were readying an attack on Australia. "Oh yes. I think any Australian prime minister would," he replied. "It stands to reason that if you believed that somebody was going to launch an attack against your country, either of a conventional kind or of a terrorist kind, and you had the capacity to stop it and there was no alternative other than to use that capacity then, of course, you would have to use it." Given that anything Australia says gets amplified in Asia, it was not surprising this caused sharp reactions in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Hill had months ago flagged he would make a speech on pre-emptive strikes, but his reopening of the issue still came as a surprise to some colleagues. A Hill staffer told Howard's office that Hill would appear on Lateline and canvass the issue. But Foreign Minister Alexander Downer did not know. To Hill, it seemed particularly appropriate for his legal audience. But with UN inspectors in Iraq, the timing was unfortunate. Hill has always had aspirations to be foreign minister; his thoughts on pre-emption pushed strongly into the foreign policy area.

Howard seemed quite comfortable in taking up the Hill line on the UN. Goodness knows to what purpose. There is not a chance the UN charter will be changed to widen the application of self-defence. A majority of countries would be highly suspicious of such an attempt. Howard's comparison with people urging constitutional change in Australia is nonsense.

However, it was when Howard was pressed on the logical implications for the region that the pre-emptive attack debate took on a dangerous edge for Australia. Howard's response was the easy political reply for his domestic constituency. Of course a leader would do whatever he could to protect the country. To be fair to Howard, at one level what he said sounds, and is, unexceptional. Indeed, he said on June 20: "If I were presented with evidence that Australia was about to be attacked and I was told by our military people that by launching a pre-emptive hit we could prevent that attack occurring, I would authorise that."

As it happens, I was with Simon Crean when he watched the Howard Sunday interview, with Ten's Meet the Press panelists. He did not leap out of his chair. Neither did we. But it is another story diplomatically. This question, so specifically focused on the region, would have been better dodged.

Anyway, it is not real life, so why get drawn? Does anyone think Australia, even if it has information about a terrorist plot in Indonesia or the Philippines, is going to launch a unilateral attack on a part of one of those countries?

We have to keep things in perspective. Asian politicians, just like any others, play politics. And Mahathir is always over the top. As he warned "if anybody fires rockets or uses unmanned aircraft to assassinate anybody in Malaysia, we will . . . consider that as an act of aggression", he likened Australia's attitude to "the good old days, when people can shoot Aborigines without caring about human rights".

Indonesian foreign minister Hassan Wirajuda put the matter in sensible perspective by describing Howard's remarks as "just an idea . . . not a plan of action. That is why we do not need to overreact in our interpretation'.

Nevertheless, in today's uncertain world, Asian countries are ultra-sensitive and Australia has to be ultra-careful how it puts things.

Labor's foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd makes a cheeky point: "Has John Howard, as he announces the new Howard doctrine, bothered to think this through? By publicly arguing there could be a case for military pre-emption in our region, I presume he is also arguing regional governments are entitled to reach the same conclusion - if they identified what they thought was a threat to their security in Australia, they are entitled to consider a pre-emptive military action against Australian territory."

As unrealistic as the proposition is, it does make us look at Howard's words as they might be viewed abroad.

CHOCO
Dec 3rd, 2002, 04:04 PM
Mahathir attacks Howard over first strike talk

Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister John Howard, claiming Australia treats its neighbours like its Aborigines.

South-east Asian governments continue to express their outrage over warnings Australia would strike against terrorists on foreign soil.

Mr Howard says he would use pre-emptive military action against terrorists in a neighbouring country plotting an attack on Australia if there was no alternative.

Some south-east Asian countries expressed their concern at the remarks, with Dr Mahathir now describing the comments as disappointing and arrogant.

"This country stands out like a sore thumb trying to impose its European values in Asia as if it is the good old days when people can shoot Aborigines without caring about human rights," he said.

But Mr Howard again reinforced his position, saying he would not backdown from his comments in any way.

He reiterated his comments are not directed at any country.

"The words are clear, simple and direct - people understand what they mean, they don't mean any bellicosity towards our friends, they are a statement of the obvious," he said.

Meanwhile, China has refused to be drawn on Prime Minister John Howard's "strike first" policy, saying it has noted the concern of other Asian countries.

China's relationship with Australia, most recently seen with Australia winning a $25 billion gas supply contract, remains strong.

Mr Howard's comments about pre-emptive strikes have drawn criticism from many countries in Asia, but China is not amongst them.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman today refused to say if China supported or opposed the policy, saying China supports the fight against terrorism and action must follow the United Nations charter and international norms.


Advance warning

Meanwhile the defence force chief General Peter Cosgrove says he learned about the Prime Minister's comments by reading press reports.

General Cosgrove is on an official visit to Thailand.

The Thai military has rolled out the red carpet for General Cosgrove at the end of a four-day visit to Bangkok for military celebrations to mark the King's 75th birthday.

He says he is getting his information from press reports and that he will not comment until he had a better understanding of the context and importance of the Prime Minister's remarks.

General Cosgrove is due back in Australia this morning.

CHOCO
Dec 6th, 2002, 08:34 PM
Malaysia slams Howard
Saturday 7 December 2002, 06:06AM


Malaysia has criticised Australian Prime Minister John Howard's "arrogance" for refusing to apologise for his threat to launch pre-emptive strikes on neighbouring nations as part of an anti-terror campaign.

"This is arrogance. He knows people are angry with him and yet he is being obstinate and sticking to his stand," Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

"If I know people are uneasy I will not add to their uneasiness."

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday he would consider any intrusion by Australia to fight terrorism as an act of war.

Malaysia also threatened to pull out of a counter-terrorism deal it signed with Australia in August, which provides for increased sharing of intelligence.


Howard has stood by his statement despite angry reactions from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, all nations where Islamic radicals linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network are active.

US President George W Bush expressed support for Howard's statement on the right to pre-emptive strikes.

Malaysia, which has arrested more than 70 alleged Islamic militants since mid-2001 under a tough security act, has been named by some Western countries as a risky country for tourists.

Mahathir reiterated today that Malaysia was safe due to government action to check the terrorist threat.

"Yes, indeed our country is safe ... we do not deny that there are terrorists in Malaysia but we have contained them much earlier than other countries," he said.

CHOCO
Dec 7th, 2002, 11:56 PM
ASEAN to discuss PM's stance
Sunday 8 December 2002, 08:06AM

South-East Asian foreign ministers will meet to discuss Australia's "damaging" comments that it would consider pre-emptive strikes against terrorists in other nations, a minister said.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard whipped up a diplomatic storm earlier this week when he called for the UN Charter to be changed to permit pre-emptive attacks against terrorists.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said the meeting by the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was important as Howard's statement threatened the sovereignty of countries in the region. He did not say when or where the meeting would be held.

"Howard has hurt the sensitivities of ASEAN countries," the national news agency Bernama quoted Syed Hamid as saying. "He should not be touching on the question of sovereignty."

Howard on Thursday said he would not apologise for his stand.


About half of the victims of the October 12 bombings on the Indonesian resort island of Bali that killed nearly 200 people were Australians.

Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, which are struggling to curb Islamic militancy, have criticised Howard. Most vitriolic has been Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who said an Australian military strike on Malaysian territory would be an "act of war."

Mahathir, who has cracked down on Muslim extremists in his country, has threatened to break off counter-terrorism cooperation with Australia unless Howard stopped behaving like "the white-man sheriff in some black country."

Today Syed Hamid described the Australian leader as "recalcitrant" and said his stance on the pre-emptive strikes could have adverse impact on the economies in the region.

"We must all fight together against terrorism," Bernama cited Syed Hamid as saying. "But it does not give any right to any state to come into another country and decide to do what it wants to do."

CHOCO
Dec 7th, 2002, 11:58 PM
The games politicians play

Although PM John Howard's 'pre-emptive strikes' comment was aimed at Australians, it was short-sighted, putting at risk defence ties with the region

By Michael Hoare

AFTER a sour week in the often-strained history between Australia and its South-east Asian neighbours, Australians appear bemused and confused by the reaction of the region's leaders and media.

While Prime Minister John Howard was largely correct to state that governments may, one day, to protect their own citizens, need to take pre-emptive action against a perceived enemy, his very public comments were ill-advised in an already jittery region.

In one swipe, Mr Howard's tough response to a question about a hypothetical situation has pitted the region's leaders against him, provoked demonstrations in Manila, angry editorials from the region's newspapers and given Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed more ammunition in the regular slanging match he has with whoever wields power in Canberra.

Most importantly, it has harmed the goodwill and cooperation generated since the Bali bombings towards a country which, as Dr Mahathir states, stands out 'like a sore thumb in Asia'.

The Australian government, however, is confident that it can weather the storm.

Mr Howard has refused to back down and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has told the media to put the comments in context while stressing that Australia is not about to launch military action against any of its neighbours.

An Australian government official also told Sunday Review that Asean heads of missions were 'very comfortable' with Mr Howard's comments after Mr Downer took the extraordinary step of calling them for a meeting to underline the nation's commitment to fight against terrorism.

Even so, the comments made last Sunday are characteristic of Mr Howard, a seasoned politician who never seems to miss an opportunity to boost his approval rating.

Australian polls in the past few days show his political instincts are spot on: If an election was held tomorrow, voters would probably return his government to power.

And voters is the key word here.

Last year's Federal Election was dominated by domestic security issues.

Following the Sept 11 attacks in the United States and the sharp rise in the number of boat people seeking asylum, security became a 'hot' political issue.

It still is, taking on an added urgency after the Bali bombings on Oct 12 killed at least 86 Australians.

A poll taken last weekend puts Mr Howard's popularity at its highest in seven years of his leadership, demonstrating that he is keenly attuned to the electorate's insecure mood as well as their psyche.

Often, he taps into the nation's sporting soul by being photographed with the country's all-conquering teams, including its cricketers.

Last Tuesday, as the barbs from Dr Mahathir were flying thick and fast, Mr Howard seemed hardly to care.

His greater preoccupation was getting The Ashes urn displayed to boast Australian cricketing prowess.

He penned an article in that day's Daily Telegraph, a Sydney tabloid, pleading with the London-based Marylebone Cricket Club to allow Australia to display the 120-year-old trophy after Australia clinched the series against England's best for the eighth consecutive time.

It was a call from a populist prime minister that resonated with the masses.

Indeed, he seems to have his finger on the pulse of even the South-east Asian minority communities.

Mr Abd Malak, the chairman of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia, expressed his support for Mr Howard, and surprise at the maelstrom the comments have caused.

'We don't believe it would ever happen,' he told Sunday Review.

'The reaction is unexpected, especially from the region because my understanding is that a pre-emptive strike is a last resort.'

Because it was unlikely to ever happen, Mr Malak felt it was unnecessary for Mr Howard to have made the comments at all.

'But if you look at it from the position that he has huge support in the Australian community for what he is doing... our constituents will support a pre-emptive strike.'

This groundswell of support is not lost on Mr Howard, the seasoned politician who works the electorate to keep himself continually in the public eye.

But playing to the domestic electorate at the expense of relations with South-east Asian countries is short-sighted because it endangers Australia's crucial defence ties with the region.

Links with Indonesia and Malaysia have been jeopardised, says Mr Michael O'Connor, executive director of the Australian Defence Association.

''Cooperation works on a day-to-day basis at all sorts of levels and when politicians come out with these statements, they put at risk years of hard work that have gone into building up a close working relationship,' he said.

A defence analyst, Mr O'Connor contends that the military is made to look 'foolish' when Mr Howard talks of neighbourly cooperation and then attack in almost the same breath.

'They know that when push comes to shove it won't be done. So they just laugh it off. It's just politicians playing games.'

But it is a dangerous game to play.

Australia is a big country, but not big enough to risk alienating its South-east Asian neighbours in return for political dividends at home.

Its people need South-east Asia for their own defence.

Robbie.
Dec 8th, 2002, 12:01 AM
I have rarely seen such a massive over reaction as this :eek:

It seems to be that Mahathir is most zealous in his dennunciation of Howard. We all know of course the Mahathir's reason for being so outspoken is that his people dislike him. He just wants to give his people someone else to focus there hate upon - the westerners. All his commentary on the western world should be approached with caution.