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Only the Liberals will keep you safe!

By Terence Mills

Call me a cynic but on a pleasant Sunday morning I’ve just been confronted by Turnbull, Keenan, AFP, ASIO and NSW Police giving an orchestrated media conference where the Prime Minister said that there was a plot was to blow-up an aircraft using an improvised explosive device. Then he said if you are travelling by air in the next few day, make sure to get to the airport at least two hours before scheduled take-off as there will be enhanced security.

I don’t know about you but I have no inclination whatsoever to travel by air in the next few days, not so much because of the terror threat but more so the interminable time it actually takes to get anywhere and the frustration of having to remove my shoes and belt – and women their jewellery – just to get on an aircraft.

Four men have been arrested but the assembled security specialists actually gave no useful information about what was going on other than saying we should all remain calm – that’s probably why they didn’t invite Peter Dutton as he is known to scare children and animals and apart from that, it is suggested that his new Darth Vader uniform isn’t quite ready.

The assembled media asked a lot of probing and sensible questions but everything was either an on water or on land or in the air event on which they couldn’t comment. Nonetheless, the overriding message was that only the Liberals will keep you safe.

Now I’m just waiting to see the four men being quietly released with no fanfair. Yes, I am a cynic!

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  1. Jaquix

    I think more people have been killed by sharks than terrorists in Australia. Also good to keep in mind that 1,290 Australians were killed in car accidents last year alone, and nobody seems terrified of cars. 50+ women killed by partners in same timeframe. But this terror talk that Turnbull has now taken to, seems to resonate with a lot of people. Not enough however to shift the polls. Turnbull hasnt been sighted for over a week, while dramas and scandals swirled around the country. Yet here he pops up, along with the TV crew from Channel 7 – for yet another Terror Talk. Amazing that the TV people were there, and Turnbull right behind them (or in the same van?). Really and truly he is treating us like children. On the other hand of course the police and others charged with “keeping us safe from criminals” (which is what terrorists are) should be doing their job, and it seems they are doing so admirably. Could Turnbull just please butt out and let them get on with the job. (And cancel Duttons SS)

  2. longwhitekid

    You think? NOBODY has been killed by terrorist on Australian soil. The most people die on an annual basis by falling out of bed. If a government want to make us safer, they should design some kind of protective pen that attaches to beds. End of story. It’s really sad Australia is run by sucH phenomenal morons. Talk about BACKWARDS.

  3. Florence nee Fedup

    and only Labor gives one hope for the future.

  4. Florence nee Fedup

    None at this time have been charged.

  5. Johno

    Australians could use futons, less far to fall upon arising.

  6. Möbius Ecko

    Note the timing. Shorten speaking (very well I might add) at the NSW Labor conference.

    AFP have said this was part of an ongoing investigation, so the timing of the raids at this particular moment is suspicious, and it’s not the first time for this government.

    When are the next polls?

  7. economicreform

    Be very very frightened. And only big brother can protect you.

  8. Adnil

    First we had Tony Ten Flags, now we have Mal and the Military as well as the Minister for “who the hell knows”, I guess when all else fails go for the fear factor. Me thinks he needed a distraction from the Labor Party Conference yesterday, which by the way was very well received. Isn’t it just ahmaaazing the media just happened to be right there to report the whole shebang.

  9. pierre wilkinson

    1500 suicides, 150 domestic violence deaths and what do we do? spend billions on anti terrorism procedures and cut funding to refuges and counselling services.

  10. Robert REYNOLDS

    I find reading the posts here (the ones that make any sense, anyway) is a rather telling experience. I notice that nowhere in the article itself, or in any of the posts, is there any mention of the fact the the foiled terrorist plot to detonate a bomb on an Australian aeroplane was an Islamic inspired effort. The plot has been described by police as ‘elaborate’. If this proposed atrocity does not concern readers then I find that most disconcerting, even alarming!

  11. Jagger

    It’s probably why PM Trumbull hasn’t been seen since the problem with Canavan’s mummy, not telling him about his mail for ten years, and DPM Juice saving all the water for his mates, instead of the “greenies” getting it, or is it he wanted all the domestic aircraft checked before flying to WA where he’s sure to get a rousing reception.

  12. Matters Not

    Robert REYNOLDS

    any mention of the fact the foiled terrorist plot

    So it’s now a fact. I thought the authorities were just beginning their investigation(s) and weren’t keen to give details. Perhaps you have a link to the fact?

    Publicity on a Sunday – the slow news day – guarantees to get all the headlines and provides a dog whistle to latent prejudices. That there’s been so many cries of WOLF is a real worry. That there’s no critical thinking is an even bigger worry. How many times do we hear of a ‘foiled plot’ but no resulting convictions?

    Plastic ceremonial swords, at the end of the day, don’t cut it in legal cases.

  13. Möbius Ecko

    Yet Robert REYNOLDS women needlessly dying and being seriously harmed from domestic violence does not disconcert you?

    There has been ~$54 billion spent for every death attributed to terrorism in Australia over the last decade, yet $54 for every death due to domestic violence, and that’s cut back by this government, whilst anti-terrorism is massively increased..

    Time and again we’ve heard this government and its agencies say they are protecting Australians. Turnbull and his minister were at that meme again today. If that’s the case, they are failing miserably as thousands of preventable deaths and injuries are still occurring under their watch each year.

    Worse, a direct policy action by this government for crass political electioneering in scrapping the road safety tribunal has seen a consequential increase truck accidents and fatalities. I would hope that alarms you more than an alleged foiled terrorist plot.

  14. Robert REYNOLDS

    Matters Not nothing would please me more to learn that this was a mistake. I was going to wait until more was known about the details of the police investigation but I felt that, on balance, there was no harm in making a contribution. I will be interested in following this up with you if it does prove to be a real plot.

  15. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Möbius Ecko,

    Thank you for reading my article and for your reply.

    I would point out to you that I am most concerned about the level of domestic violence, not only in this country but elsewhere too. I agree that more could be done to prevent it.

    I am also very unhappy about the scrapping of the road safety tribunal to which you allude.

    Now, hopefully, having made myself clear on that point, Möbius Ecko, please let me remind you that this article has, as its focus, a foiled (hopefully) terrorist attack. So I felt that it would be appropriate to confine my original comment to that subject.

    Your attempts to introduce ‘red-herrings’ seems to be nothing more than obfuscation, plain and simple.

  16. Matters Not

    A mistake . Mr Reynolds, it certainly isn’t a mistake. It’s deliberate. Intentional. Calculated. Calibrated. Thought through. The publicity certainly isn’t a mistake.

    Why is it now the case that operational matters no longer require secrecy? What is gained by this publicity? Were there more ‘plotters’ who have been alerted?What are the charges? So many questions. So few answers. Nevertheless it’s had both an effect and psychological affect. That’s not a mistake.

  17. kerri

    Ever so glad you posted this Terence Mills. I was watching ABC24 earlier and had this overwhelming feeling that I am now living in George Orwell’s dystopian nightmare 1984.
    The whole news report. The staged presser. The potentially fabricated “raid”. (Did anyone see a face of the apprehended men?) my first thought was “here we go again!” Use “terrorism” as an excuse to commit actual terrorism by keeping the public afraid but not informed.
    Like the ritualistic stonings and humiliations in Gilead of The Handmaids Tale.
    Like so many futuristic novels predictive of the way 21C politics will, and has, descended into bad theatre to keep us all voting the way the neo-cons want.
    The next question is what nasty, deprivational piece of law is being put in place whilst we are all distracted by those nasty plotters of a “possible” attack on an aircraft with an “improvised explosive device”?
    (Apparently “bomb” is not as frightening as “improvised explosive device”.
    My sympathy to all the air travellers whose discomfort has been ramped up to try to scare the bejeesus out of us all.
    Also I have travelled many times with a pocket knife in my handbag. Mostly I forget where it is and airport staff frequently cant find it but I was highly amused when travelling not long after 911 to be handed a meal which required a knife, and a cutlery pack with a metal fork. My husband commented that he could probably make a nasty mess of a human throat with the fork while I toasted him with my GLASS of champagne.

  18. Robert REYNOLDS

    I find your post to be a completely extraordinary, Matters Not! Are you suggesting that the Prime Minister orchestrated this whole thing for political gain? When you say that,

    “It’s deliberate. Intentional. Calculated. Calibrated. Thought through.”

    Just what exactly do you mean?

    Reading your comment one could be excused for thinking that a real terrorist attack is not even a possibility. The way that you seem to dismiss this event in such a casual way is, to say the least, gob-smacking. I am confident that answers will eventually be given to the questions that you pose in your final paragraph.

    This is Planet Earth Matters Not, not Planet Zircon!

  19. kerri

    Sorry Plastic picnic knife with that metal fork.
    And Mobius you are spot on with the timing.

  20. Jai Ritter

    @robert reymolds

    I will be interested in following this up with you if it does prove to be a real plot.


    How very Trump of you.

  21. Möbius Ecko

    Thanks Robert REYNOLDS. You might point out where I’m wrong but I have not seen where you have been alarmed or disconcerted over preventable deaths, especially due to government cutbacks, previously, which is why I raised it here. It also directly relates in that there seems to be unlimited funding and resources, $54 billion for each of three, for preventing so called terrorist deaths, yet funding for deaths in other arenas, domestic and industrial are routinely cut due to “funding shortfalls”.

    Because of that, this article and all like it on terrorism, are related to other preventable deaths, as huge and ever increasing anti-terrorism funding is massively short changing those other areas.

    Then we can be rightly cynical and say those other areas are not big vote winners like “tough on security” is for this government, the only area along with economic management they are always ahead in. Though they are going backwards on economic management.

    Finally, to add to the justified cynicalness I think it was Bowers, but whoever, showed the statistical coincidence of these terror raids nearly always matching low opinion poll releases.

  22. Catriona Thoolen

    Möbius EckoJuly 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    That thought also crossed my mind (that the media conference was timed to distract from Shorten speaking at the Labor conference).

    May just be a lot of cynicism going around.

    My other thought was if 70 have been charged previously, when will they go to court…or do they just stay locked up indefinitely ‘as a deterrent’ to any would be terrorists?

  23. Terry2

    Robert Reynolds

    I think the reason we are cynical is the boy who cried wolf effect. Abbott used it constantly until he ran out of flags

    All these dignatories lined up at 7.30 am on a Sunday morning slap bang in the middle of Labor announcing policy and the coalition cries look over here and the media duly trot over and even they must be a little sceptical when they could get no answers to any of their questions.

    We are not grounding aircraft or closing airports just a recommendation to get to the airport half an hour earlier.

  24. Peter Innes

    Robert Reynolds does children overboard ring a bell with you.

  25. diannaart

    I lived in terror for 8 years… wondering what mood my former husband would be in when he finally arrived home.

    Of course, every day terrors are not as impressive as “bomb materials found”.

  26. Möbius Ecko

    I don’t doubt there’s some sort of conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism in this instance, but how credible that attack and how far along are they you rarely know about, but are things that will be exaggerated by this government for political gain, just as they always have.

    The other thing you won’t have answered is why now? Whenever the AFP has been asked about the all to convenient for the government timings of their raids, they’re mum because of operational reasons.

    Yet the government have used them in the past as an attempt wedge Labor. Indeed everything they plan and do is to attack Labor so they can remain in power indefinitely. Things like keeping Australians safe is secondary to that. If you don’t believe it, look at the times they have come out with Labor is soft on terrorism whenever Labor questions any tiny bit of their policy or actions. Pyne almost sprays spittle in his enthusiasm in attacking Labor on these occasions.

    Whenever they bring in a new piece of tougher ant-terrorist legislation, which seems to be every session now, the government slams it down as a trump card daring Labor to challenge it in parliament. And just how much further can the L-NP go on this, they are on the cusp of fascism as it is, the ultimate anti-terrorist policy as it makes every citizen a suspect and subject to harsh oversight and punishment without needing a reason.

  27. Chris2017

    I’m not going to join the mockers because it’s not a question of if but when. I shall follow legal proceeding with interest.

  28. wam

    is there a poll imminent?

  29. jim

    Good post, Macdonald mc’Turnball has been clenching his fists on public TV all day scaring the sitt out of some helpless lonely granny somewhere causing more sickness.
    Meanwhile Bill Shorten and his stable party are rattling off good Aussie policies fighting for the battler but get very little coverage which is crap seeing that they represent at least half the population.,with Labor now holding five out a seven states/terri to boot. If joe blow can’t see the media is biased towards the LNP they need help just like the rotten LNP need ousting now!.

  30. Sean

    Yes, this whole thing could be a deliberate state-orchestrated false flag, possibly using actors and a rented house in Surry Hills, etc. It appears the Lindt cage siege was an ASIO directed false flag, for instance.

  31. Robert REYNOLDS

    It seems that my posts have elicited several responses that in a few cases leave me somewhat perplexed. Evidently my views are not exactly de rigueur with many others here. But that is alright, as exchanges with interlocutors who see the world differently can be an enriching experience. I shall reply to some of those responses in the order in which they were made.

    Firstly to Jai Ritter.
    Well Jai what it there to say really? Perhaps other than to make the observation that I thought your attempt to associate me with Donald Trump was a bit ‘below the belt’.

    Secondly, to Möbius Ecko.
    Möbius, you say that,

    “…..but I have not seen where you have been alarmed or disconcerted over preventable deaths, especially due to government cutbacks, previously, which is why I raised it here.”

    That might be because I have only started to look at this AIM Network site in recent days, weeks the most. If I can stay here without being blocked, as I as at The Conversation, then I look forward to having some more exchanges of a friendly nature with you.

    Let me assure you in a manner that leaves not a shred of doubt, that I do not, under any circumstances, support the kind of cutbacks to which you allude. Möbius I have had a lifelong distain for the Liberal Party. I have never voted for it at any level of government, Federal, State and hopefully Local (where it is somewhat more difficult to establish the political affiliations of candidates), in my entire life.

    I am well away too Möbius, that governments will use certain types of crises to suit their own ends if it is possible and the circumstances suit. I go back to the so-called Petrov affair. However, we must also be aware that sometimes there is a genuine threat.

    Thirdly, to Terry2.
    Terry, I really do not think that these arrests were contrived in order to deflect attention from Bill Shorten’s announcements. With the greatest respect Terry, I find your suggestions risible. If you are going to make allegations of that nature then you need to support them with some very strong evidence.

    Fourthly, to Peter Innes.
    Yes, Peter, memories of the despicable the ‘children overboard’ episode will remain with me until I go to the grave. The role played by Peter Reith in that scandal was particularly disgraceful. But I do not believe that there are any parallels with that episode and these latest arrests.

    May I add somewhat gratuitously, that I think some of those who post here (and in my experience elsewhere as well) are having some trouble in facing up to the reality of the monumental threat that is facing not only Australia, Britain and parts of Europe but it is actually threatening to undermine western civilization. I am of course speaking of radical Islam. Rather than discuss this threat when it comes up, the tendency is to get angry and change the subject, often using the “Oh yes, but what about ……, ?” approach. This approach does not ‘cut any ice’ with me.

  32. jim

    No way no are the LNP better at security if we go by their past record take Bob Menzies for one would you sell iron ore to Japan at war time well “Pig-iron Bob” Menzies thought it a good idea to sell scrap-iron to a militarizing Japan that turned it into weapons and shot back at us many were killed they weren’t secure were they LNP? .
    And then he came up with the brilliant “defensive plan”? of a “Brisbane Line” which would have abandoned much of Australia to the enemy giving them half of Australia what the? WTF?.

    Harold Holt now there was a specimen! . Well I remember that “All the way with LBJ” sing-along that Holt shafted us well and good right up the arse of the Vietnam War. And we can’t forget Premier Aitken (LNP) wildly calling for the LBJ’s. car driver to “run over the bastards!” protesting the war in front of him , typical LNP bastards.

  33. Möbius Ecko

    Yes wam. Newspoll is phoning people today, thus the cynicism as this raid, just as past ones have, ties into the poll.

    It tells me internal Liberal polling must be bad.

  34. Möbius Ecko

    Yes, Peter, memories of the despicable the ‘children overboard’ episode will remain with me until I go to the grave. The role played by Peter Reith in that scandal was particularly disgraceful. But I do not believe that there are any parallels with that episode and these latest arrests.”

    Sorry, but that disgrace belongs to Howard. Reith was mostly a patsy, as were some Howard staffers who took blame without punishment.

  35. Robert REYNOLDS

    Unlike a number of posters to this site, The Washington Post newspaper in America seems to feel that this story has sufficient credibility to report on it; see the article,

    “Police disrupt plot in Australia to ‘bring down an airplane’”


    There were a couple of posts following the article that caught my eye,

    7:19 PM EST
    Australia will be alienating Muslim immigrants by foiling a terrorist plot like this.


    Not housebroken
    6:38 PM EST [Edited]
    Regular, random murders in the streets of our cities and plots to mass murder innocents by blowing up airplanes are a small price to pay for the vibrancy brought by Islamic immigration.

  36. Robert REYNOLDS

    OK, I will not argue with you on that one, Möbius Ecko.

  37. jamesss

    Mobius Ecko

    jamesss, I support your comment. The NLP policy is so predictable.

  38. Matters Not

    Robert REYNOLDS, sorry for my slow response but I’ve been ‘out and about’. Nevertheless I now know where you are coming from. I note the following:

    I am of course speaking of radical Islam.

    Yes radical Islam is a real problem. That it’s exploded in recent times might cause you to look at some facts re ‘occurrences’. And why.

    The US Department of State, in its report on terrorism in 2015, reported that there were a total of 28,328 deaths from terrorism worldwide. The main countries where the deaths occurred were Iraq 6,932; Afghanistan 5,292; Pakistan 1,081; India 281; Nigeria 4,886; Egypt 656; Philippines 258; Thailand 75; Libya 462; Syria 2,748. No Western country was anywhere near in the ‘top’ ten

    Note that No Western country was anywhere near in the ‘top’ ten . How does that fit with your assertion that: the reality of the monumental threat that is facing not only Australia, Britain and parts of Europe but it is actually threatening to undermine western civilization . Perhaps terrorism is a cunning plot to destroy Islam first before undermining western civilization? Or perhaps that the rise of ‘terrorism’ might be a little more complicated.

    Note that before the invasion in 2003, ISIS and Al Qaeda were unknown in Syria and Iraq. Here’s a few other ideas for’ for your consideration.

    Our intelligence agencies, ASIO, ASIS and others have greatly increased funding and powers to combat the terrorism threat. I have found that the easiest way to get money out of governments is to focus on security threats.

    Another reason for the exaggeration of the terrorist threat is that some Australian governments see fear as a very potent and partisan political opportunity.. Politicians like John Howard and his successors owe a great deal to the heightened terrorist threat. The more we can be alarmed the greater they see the political benefit. Yet John Howard, by involving us in Iraq and the subsequent deaths and disaster in the Middle East, is more responsible for the terrorism in Australia than any other person in this country. Terrorism is over here because our troops are over there. Millions of Muslim people, including a lot of hot-heads, are appalled at the suffering we and our allies have inflicted on Muslim lands. If there is one thing we could do to reduce terrorism in Australia , it would be for us to get our troops out of the Middle East as quickly as possible . But our government will not admit the original Iraqi invasion mistake and does not want to forego the political bonus it sees from the terrorism threat.

    One could go on. But I finish with a question – how many terror related deaths have we had in Australia in the last two decades?

    Here’s a clue – less than the number of traffics deaths which happened in the last 24 hours. Perspective please.

  39. Matters Not

    Yes ‘terrorism’ has an enormous impact on the local ‘psyche’. Here’s some insights:

    Events that stand out in our minds have more influence on our beliefs about the world than statistics and graphs. Risk assessment provides some good examples. Some people are terrified to fly, but think nothing of crawling into a car and driving an equal distance. This, despite the fact that flying is much safer. But, vivid reports of one large airplane crash stand out in our minds more than the 3 to 4 people killed per car crash which actually adds up to more people mile for mile. Anecdotes also draw on the power of the vividness effect. For example, despite the fact that research has been unable to link vaccines and autism, vivid anecdotes continue to sway the beliefs of many in the general public that there is such a connection.

    Terrorists, like insurance salespeople, know this vividness bias well and capitalize on it. For vividness effect they attack trains, train stations airlines and crowded areas.

    People with ‘perspective and ‘judgement’ act accordingly.

    In short, the terrorist threat is grossly exaggerated. That is not to say it must not be addressed. But we have the whole issue out of proportion. There are very powerful vested interests that rely on exaggerating the threat – governments, politicians, business, intelligence agencies, police, think-tanks and even our universities

    Seems to me Robert REYNOLDS that ‘proportionality, ‘perspective’ and the like might be taken on board. I know I do. After all, I don’t want the terrorists to win .

  40. diannaart

    Well put, Matters Not & Möbius Ecko

    Where is the intervention into poor health?

  41. metadatalata

    If Fizza OR the AFP OR the NSW police force OR Border Farce could save one woman from a domestic violence death each weekend, THAT would be a worthy pursuit and newsworthy.

    If the mainstream media could report that men were being held accountable for DV on a weekly basis, it would go a long way to changing this status quo.

    Instead, people paid to protect us are being wasted by having to attack some poor muslim every time a PM has to defend political ratings and take the heat out of LNP corruption. And that is becoming a weekly event.

  42. Matters Not

    Re Terrorism:

    Terrorist attacks in Australia have claimed the lives of only three victims in the last two decades.

    … found there had only been two terrorist attacks on Australian soil since 2001. NSW police accountant Curtis vowing allegiance to Islamic State in 2015. Mother-of-three Katrina Dawson and Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson were killed in the Martin Place siege in December 2014.

    … Public opinion in Australia has an exaggerated view of the terrorist threat inside the country. As early as 2006, two Australian scholars put forward a “thought contagion theory” to explain this phenomenon. It suggests misleading ideas become commonly held beliefs after they are conveyed to many people.
    Cheng was killed by a teenager allegedly
    The anxiety is often unnecessarily fuelled by politicians and journalists. One striking example was a warning from The Australian’s Greg Sheridan in November 2015 that the Paris attacks can be viewed as part of a series of threats that may lead to the end of Western civilisation

    Yes we ought to be very concerned re the end of Western civilisation . And yes I know that “God is dead” – with apologies to Friedrich Nietzsche. or should I give the credit to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

    Shit ‘knowing’ is so. so difficult.

  43. metadatalata

    Now that the AFP don’t have to be accountable to Australian citizens, and that possessing an ‘improvised exploding device’ is apparently an offence that could invoke an AFP raid, the act of popping a bottle of champagne could conceivably get you raided and arrested. This is how our police forces are used to keep the population controlled and it is being used as a political tool by the PM no less. The terrorists in Australia are our politicians and the AFP.

  44. David Simpson

    At 74 I remember my younger days. Bob Menzies tried to scare us – “the domino theory”.

    Holt went with the US who responded to the (fabricated) attack by Vietnam in the Gulf of Tonkin – 1000’s of our young men sent to war.

    Fraser tried a different type of fear “you’ll have to hide your money under your beds” whilst “bottom of the harbour” had been rampant.

    Howard used the US and UK intelligence reports to justify invading Iraq to find the “weapons of mass destruction”. More young men’s lives ruined. Meanwhile Blair said it was the Aussie and US agencies and Bush said Aussie and UK. What a planned stitch-up that was.

    All the LNP know is a “fear campaign” whilst they clinically dismantle all the social achievements of the last 100 years.

    Now because Shorten talks about inequality they’re out there saying there is no inequality in Australian. When will they ever stop their lies and be honest about their real aims ? And some on here don’t think today’s announcement was a giant beat-up and clear over-reach ?

  45. Robert REYNOLDS

    Thank you for that detailed reply Matters Not. I hope that you had a productive day.

    I would like to make several points in response to your post.

    Firstly, this topic is a ‘red-hot button’ issue and it is very easy to become hostile, sarcastic and abusive when dealing with someone who holds a different view. I would like to say at the outset that I will do my very best to avoid that happening. On that note, the respectful tone of your post did not go unnoticed, and I thank you for that.

    Secondly, the website at

    provides data which is equatable with the figures that you provide (which I do not dispute), viz,

    “The highest numbers of incidents and fatalities caused by Islamic terrorism occur in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.[4] In 2015 four Islamic extremist groups were responsible for 74% of all deaths from terrorism: ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2016.[”

    Then this somewhat lengthy (for the typical website) article continues to elaborate on some of the motivations for this terrorism. I can assure you that there is more motivating these extremists than seeking revenge for western attacks on Middle Eastern countries. Do not forget the hysterical outrage from these religious maniacs following the publishing of some harmless and (not even funny) cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and the murderous attacks on the Charlie Hebdo office.

    Thirdly, you acknowledge that,

    “Yes radical Islam is a real problem.”

    I could not agree with you more.

    Fourthly, I agree totally with you that it was a monumental mistake for Australia (and America) to become involved in the invasion of Iraq. However I doubt that if Australia withdrew all troops from the Middle East now, that the terror threat would diminish significantly.

    Fifthly, I presume that you are from the left Matter Not. Well, so am I. I regard myself as a kind of democratic socialist/communist/Marxist and certainly an atheist. I would note that being an atheist, I become a little uncomfortable with photos of Muslims urging, inter alia, the beheading of non-believers.

    Sixthly, in answer to the question that you pose in the penultimate paragraph of you most recent post, I can thankfully say “not many”. But that is only thanks to a mixture of good luck and good policing of the type the you dismissed so contemptuously and cynically in earlier posts. Remember that there are those in jail convicted of planning terrorist attacks.

    Seventh, I recently finished reading a most informative and rather depressing book entitled, “The Strange Death of Europe” by Douglas Murray. I would thoroughly recommend it. It contains much that you would find very confronting.

  46. Matters Not

    Back to an earlier post by Robert REYNOLDS at 3:23 pm.

    I find your post to be a completely extraordinary

    Yes. I can understand that. (After all, I have no control over the meaning you, or anyone else gives to my posts. But that’s a discussion for another day I suspect.)

    As for:

    Are you suggesting that the Prime Minister orchestrated this whole thing for political gain?

    That the various agencies found something is not questioned. (After all, every ‘ideology’, if it is to be sustained for any length of time must contain a ‘grain of truth’). As to how, the PM and advisors react to that same grain of truth’? The possibilities are almost endless.

    That Turnbull decided to announce same with ‘bells and whistles’ – over a significant time frame – suggests to me he had other motives in mind. It was, as you suggest: orchestrated . Defined as: plan or coordinate the elements of (a situation) to produce a desired effect, especially surreptitiously.

    That’s the ‘meaning’ I gave to the ‘orchestration’. What about you?

  47. Matters Not

    Robert REYNOLDS re:

    most informative and rather depressing book entitled, “The Strange Death of Europe” by Douglas Murray.

    No I haven’t read the book in question. Nor am I of a mind to. But I have read reviews.

    If I may be so bold as to ask you, have you ever lived in a society that is Muslim ‘dominated’? Or even visited same?

    Guess what – I have.

    I find that Islam shares the same metaphysical assumptions (which I don’t re the ‘meaning of life) as the other Abrahamic religions. It has much in common with many epistemological assumptions that are common in the west (not with me by the way). The (over) emphasis on faith I find abhorrent – both here and there. Then there’s the axiology …

    But I won’t attempt to generalise about Islam – in much the same way as I think it’s not useful to generalise about ‘western civilisation’, ‘Christianity’, and other higher order concepts.

    BYW, the adherents to Islam are pretty much just like us.

  48. Terry2

    The question is why was Peter Dutton the new national security supremo – heading up a super portfolio that will take in the Australian Federal Police, ASIO and the Border Force of the Immigration Department – sidelined for this media exercise.

    Did the PR people feel he would detract from the performance or was it more about Turnbull’s image making and his sombre commitment to keeping Australian’s safe.

    Presumably Dutton will be in Sydney for his weekly 2GB bromance with ray Hadley : will the question be posed, ‘where were you Peter ?’

  49. iggy648

    It bothers me that this was announced on just about every channel at prime viewing time on Sunday morning, which would flag to all potential terrorists “Hey, the police are out doing stuff, if you have any bomb making gear in your garden shed, now’s the time to get rid of it”. I don’t want to tell the black shirts how to do their job, but if it was me, I’d wait until ALL the raids and investigations were over before alerting the enemy.

  50. Robert REYNOLDS

    Phew!! Thanks Möbius for posting that “Leading Causes of Death in Perspective” chart. I can rest easy now that you have put the number of deaths “in Perspective” for me and all the other readers here.

    Oh Möbius, look, do not forget to send a copy of this revealing chart to all those world leaders who are wasting billions on counter-terrorism efforts (Hmmm, I wonder if that has something to do with why the number of deaths due to terrorism is so relatively, low?). In America alone, it has been estimated that the authorities spend at least $100 billion a year in this way.

    I am sure that governments will treat your chart with all the attention that it deserves.

  51. Robert REYNOLDS

    Yes, Matters Not, flying is definitely a safer way to travel than by motor vehicle. This fact is not disputed. And let us not forget Matters Not that perhaps one of the reasons why that is the case, is because of airport security. It has been shown time and again that innocent aircraft passengers are a prime target of these Islamic inspired barbarian terrorists. The more airport security I see, the safer I feel. Now that is ‘proportionality’ and ‘perspective’ for you.

  52. Robert REYNOLDS

    Perhaps diannaart, I would be pleased to discuss ‘intervention into poor health’ in response to an article on ‘poor health’.

    If you re-read this current article you will see that it is centered around the thwarting of an alleged Islamic terrorist attack. Is the connection you are trying to make associated with the fact that if this alleged attack had in fact been carried out, then it might have resulted in people experiencing acute poor health problems? Perhaps you were right all along, diannaart?

  53. Robert REYNOLDS

    A rather extraordinary post, metadatalata. Do you really expect it to be taken seriously?

  54. Möbius Ecko

    Ahh the fall back to facetiousness, not that it surprised me.

    Because the rest of the (Western) world also spends vast sums on keeping their citizenry scared doesn’t make it right, especially when that money is being taken away from other areas of preventable deaths, which in many cases are increasing because of lack of funding.

    If as you aver the funding is well spent because it’s making you feel safer, then proportionally as much money should be spent on every other area where people aren’t safe, yet that isn’t the case.

  55. Harquebus

    Will there come a time when a few will be deliberately missed in order to create the scenario for a further reduction in our liberties? Will the Coalition lead us into another unwinable war in order to boost their reelection chances?

    “Folks there’s a lot of BS out there… and it ain’t good for you.” — George Carlin

  56. Robert REYNOLDS

    Matters Not, I find that there is a lack of consistency and logic in your post. You say that,

    “Terrorist attacks in Australia have claimed the lives of only three victims in the last two decades.”

    and I will accept that figure. However what you fail to acknowledge is the fact that this relatively low number of deaths in Australia is due to the good luck and the excellent work of the policing agencies who are charged with the responsibility of protecting the society against terrorist attacks. You cannot have it both ways Matters Not.

    People from your persuasion are fond of reminding us that Muslims constitute only around 2.6% of the Australian population. There are 8 Terrorist Groups listed on the site,

    100% of these groups, not 2.6%, are associated with Islam in some form or another.

    I would be the first to acknowledge that not all the terrorist attacks (thwarted or actual) that have occurred in this country have been inspired by Islam. However, I strongly suspect that the percentage certainly exceeds 2.6%.

    As for The Australians’ Greg Sheridan warning that the Paris attacks can be viewed as part of a series of threats that may lead to the end of Western Civilization. Well Matters Not, I totally agree with him. He is to be applauded for standing up and having the courage to state the obvious. I do not always agree with many of the Murdoch journalists, in fact on principal, I do not subscribe to any of the Murdoch news outlets (at least that has been the case for 42 years) but we live in changing times.

    I would highly recommend the excellent book, by Douglas Murray, “The Strange Death of Europe”. He paints a frightening picture for the future of Europe in this book.

    Anyone who believes in the invincibility of western civilization is delusional. There have been enough worrying developments in the west at the economic and political level in recent decades to cause real concern. These developments tend to create a vacuum which religious fundamentalists would be only too pleased to fill.

  57. Robert REYNOLDS

    Are you auditioning for the role of a comedy writer, metadatalata?

  58. Robert REYNOLDS

    Matters Not, if you really believe that this whole episode was “orchestrated” (by the Prime Minister and senior police), the implication being that there was some sort of conspiracy involved, then I guess that only time will tell as to the validity of that belief.

  59. bobrafto

    Robert REYNOLDS

    It’s been reported the AFP found a cache of plastic swords.

  60. Terry2

    Bill Shorten this morning makes an interesting point about airport security when he says that Australia still does not have an ID checking system for domestic flights at time of boarding flights ; it seem that you can still walk up with a ticket in another person’s name and nobody is required to have you present photo ID.

    In the USA for instance,The Transportation Security Administration ( oversees the photo identification requirements for all travel within the United States, all adults must present an acceptable form of photo identification before passing through the screening checkpoint and being allowed to board their aircraft.

    In fact, most countries around the world using the e-ticket (ticketless) travel system require a form of photo identification to be presented when customers check-in. This simple procedure is aimed at ensuring that the customer named in the booking is the same person who boards the aircraft.

    So, the question posed by Shorten is valid and we seem to be out of step with international practice when it comes to domestic flights and passenger ID.

  61. Robert REYNOLDS

    So Dave, what have all those historical events got to do with these latest arrests for alleged terrorist activities.

    At 69 years of age Dave, I lived through all those events that you describe. I also marched on the streets and took part in political activity against many of them. It is necessary Dave to be able to distinguish between fabricated threats and the real thing.

  62. Robert REYNOLDS

    Thanks Matters Not, for your most recent post. Not only have I read Douglas Murray’s book, I have already read Gaby Hinsliff’s review in The Guardian, twice. Gaby’s review reinforced my view that Islam is regarded by sections of the left as some kind of ‘untouchable sacred cow’. Her attempt to discredit Douglas’s book was, to say the least, unconvincing and of a standard of journalism below that which one would normally expect at The Guardian.

    Certainly Matters Not, you are most welcome to ask me whether or not I have lived in a society that is Muslim dominated, or even visited one. The answer is no. I am not saying that I would refuse to visit such a society but until a few years ago I had not traveled outside of Australia. Upon reading this, I think that I can predict what your response will be. Probably something along the lines of, “This bloke is an unworldly hillbilly hick”, who does not know what he is talking about. And perhaps there is an element of truth in that. I will leave that for others to decide.

    However, on this issue Matters Not, let me say that some years ago when my then, best friend traveled around parts of Europe on a bike, he visited Muslim areas in the old Yugoslavia. After he returned to Australia, we argued about Muslims. His take was along the lines that if you dropped your wallet in the street in a Muslim area, then someone would pick it up and run after you and return it to you. Whereas, if you dropped your wallet in the west, it would be empty before it hit the ground. I do not take exception to any of that. I have met a few Muslims here in Australia. One or two gave me the impression of being particularly honest, decent, trustworthy and ethical people. But I do not judge the religion of Islam in anything like the same way.

    Let me say Matters Not, I am an atheist. To me the three main scourges of humanity are (not necessarily in any order) religion, nationalism and capitalism. But let’s keep the focus on religion.

    I am 69 years of age (old and buggered now). In my earlier and ‘more active’ days I had several Catholic girl friends. We had particularly close relationships. I went out with a Jewish girl a few times. My abhorrence of religion did not prevent me from doing any of that. In Australia we have had to deal with the scourge of Catholicism, probably since settlement. We have had the industrial arm of the Catholic Church, the Groupers, which morphed into the National Civic Council led by Bob Santamaria. Then there was the political arm of the Church, the so-called Democratic Labor Party. These organizations existed solely to further the agenda of the Catholic Church. You can only imagine how elated I was after the 1974 Federal Election when DLP was comprehensively wiped out in the Senate.

    Anyway, my point here is Matters Not, I am under no illusions that Islam is seeking to gain influence at the social, political and indeed economic levels in our society. To put it succinctly, I do not want any religious organization, especially one with the history of Islam, having any say, at any level in our society. I want this society of ours to be secular (in fact, more secular than it now is).

    As I have indicated above, I am happy to befriend any individual person on the basis of their personality. I certainly do not go around abusing Muslims or pulling head-scarves off, etc. I would advise those who have an inclination to do those things, to desist. I have given up my seat on public transport for Muslim women and I would be happy to do that again in the future. But I will resist strenuously, any efforts to increase the influence of this religion in this, or indeed any other country.

    Finally I would add, probably somewhat gratuitously, (that is if you are still reading and haven’t fallen asleep – I can understand if you have) to me all religious belief is a form of mental illness. As will all illnesses, some are benign and some are extremely malignant.

    Thanks again for your post. I enjoy exchanging views with you.

  63. Robert REYNOLDS

    Are you sure that they were not plastic spoons, bobrafto?

  64. diannaart


    Health includes mental health which surely covers the state of mind of would-be terrorists.


  65. Robert REYNOLDS

    Yes, I cannot argue with you on that one, diannaart. Quite true!

  66. Matters Not

    Robert REYNOLDS – again I’ve been out and about today. Baby sitting sick grandkids and all that.

    While I’ve read all that you wrote, one sentence ‘caught my eye’ as it were and raised my curiosity:

    some years ago when my then, best friend traveled around parts of Europe on a bike, he visited Muslim areas in the old Yugoslavia. After he returned to Australia, we argued about Muslims.

    Can I ask why you argued about Muslims at that time? Presumably, you and your friend also discussed the tensions between and among about the views of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the beliefs of the Croatian Christians and the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Or did you just argue about the Muslims?

    Why? Presumably, you were aware that the religious differences (and tensions) between the various groups in Yugoslavia came to Australia as well.

    I should add. I am an atheist but I recognise that religion’s been with us for a long time and it’s not going to go away any time soon. We have to understand it (in some depth) before we can ‘deal’ with it.

  67. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Matters Not. Thanks again for your reply. I certainly hope that the grand-kids make a speedy and complete recovery. Actually I will be seeing grandchildren tomorrow.

    Look Matters Not, I really cannot remember the fine details of what that argument was about (it was not a heated discussion). However, my natural cynicism of all religions would have most probably had something to do with it. Interestingly, my then friend has always had the same level of contempt for religious belief as I have always had. But as I indicated in my previous post, I am not interested in being unfriendly to individual religious believers purely on the basis of that belief. Even the thought of doing that makes me feel quite uncomfortable.

    Another quick point too, if anything confirms my atheism, it is not attending a meeting of The Atheists Convention (if such a body exists) or even a get-together of other atheists. It is a discussion with a religious believer.

    In case you may be wondering why he is no longer a friend, (I know that I would be curious if I were in your shoes), it is because, I think, that his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam have caught up with him. He sees none of his old school mates any more.

    I am certainly no expert on Yugoslavia. I understand that Josip Broz Tito kept the place together during his lifetime. I can recall an older person telling me probably 50 or so years ago that as soon as he dies the place will fall apart. And that seems to be pretty much what happened. I know that the Serbs and Croats hated each other with a passion. The Croats evidently sided with Hitler during WW II and for that reason were able to attack the Serbs without any restraint. I know that religious differences played a role in that conflict. That whole area seemed to be a veritable charnel house.

    I am interested to read that you are also an atheist. Like you, I also recognize that religion has been with the human race for a long time. I mean that is simply a fact that cannot be denied. I also acknowledge that it shows no signs of disappearing any time soon, despite the comment by Phillip Adams that, “As science advances, god recedes”. Perhaps part of the trouble is that too few people know anything about science. Now, here is where I have to depart from you view Matters Not; I am not interested in knowing about it or trying to understand it. By engaging in a discussion of this religious belief or that religious belief is precisely what the witch-doctors and warlocks and various purveyors of the fantasies and fairy tales want us to do. Some months ago The Conversation ran an item on Islam. As I recall it, the headline tried to create the impression that if only we all took the trouble to read the Koran and learn a little about the religion we would be more understanding and accepting of the religion. To me Matters Not that was simply a ploy to engage non-believers in a discussion that leads to being more sympathetic to the hocus-pocus. As you say, religion and religious people have been with us for a very long time. They, especially those of the proselytizing variety, have perfected very subtle and nuanced techniques to persuade and entice. I simply am not prepared to waste any of the valuable seconds that remain in my life taking any religion seriously.

    I had better leave it there Matters Not. The “Higher Authority” in my life is already becoming quite unsettled about the amount of time that I spend in front of the computer. I have to go. No time to check for spelling or grammatical errors

    Best regards,


  68. Matters Not

    Interesting response Robert REYNOLDS. Articulate and all that.

    I tend to deal with the reality that I construct. While I am amazed that many (majority) people subscribe to religion(s), I am of the view that they do. Seems to me there’s a mountain of evidence in support. That they do believe is very important if one wants to deal with the political reality, (I construct.)

    When I was young, I was taught that Russia was the home of atheism. It’s not. Why, even Putin is a church goer – on special occasions. Any visit will demonstrate that.

    Understanding a religion, particularly one that is connected to powerful political and economic interests, seems to me to be an essential in understanding how the world in which we live actually operates. Not that I like it. Or support it. Can’t see how one religion is somehow better than another when viewed in a historical context. But that’s just a value judgement.

    Yes I would like to rid us of all religions. But it’s not likely to happen in the foreseeable future. ‘Till then we must survive. Understanding helps.


  69. Maurene Grundy

    Prof Paddy Gourley demolishes the notion of a super ministry:

    The folly of the Coalition’s Home Affairs super ministry shake-up. Paddy Gourley

    ‘…the Prime Minister’s statements (and those of some of his ministers) on the Home Affairs proposal are rich in cliché, wishful thinking and ignorance. Such shortcomings could be excused if the proposal was meritorious; it is not. Sensible machinery of government principles are offended, the stench of politics and empire building is abroad, there is no revised Administrative Arrangements Order and, notwithstanding the avowed urgency of security and terror risks, the new show will not come into effect for about a year….’

  70. Robert REYNOLDS

    Developments have turned out pretty much as I expected they would. This will involve a few ‘inconvenient truths’ for some. Although, I will be the first to admit that we still have some way to go. But I think that I can fairly safely anticipate the denouement to this despicable tale.

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