The Westender found this news story that we re-published in
May last year (2013) .... If you substitute “ISIL” for
“Al Qaeda” throughout, it still makes perfect sense today.
-- Quote from local paper, Brisbane
I understand The Westender is trying to highlight the specter of fear that western governments and Mass Murdoch push but I would like to look more closely at the politics of fear and show how words are important.
The word Al Qaeda (arabic word meaning ‘The Base‘) only appears once in the article referred to by The Westender:
Jabhat al-Nusra, affiliated with Al Qaeda and other extreme Islamist groups, control the majority of the oil wells in Deir Ezzor province, displacing local Sunni tribes, sometimes by force.
– from European powers fund Al Qaeda looting of Syrian oil
Al Qaeda is mentioned here to differentiate it from Jabhat Al Nusra (arabic word القصاص meaning retribution). *
It is true that western leaders, including the Australian Prime Minister, now refer to ISIL much more than they do to Al Qaeda, western government’s buzz word for evil only a few months ago.
In The Westender there is a confusion, admittedly shared by the Australian Federal Police, that people can interchange willy nilly names such Al Qaeda or Al Nusra or ISIL.
The reality is that Al Nusra and ISIL are engaged in a bloody conflict where they are shooting and killing each other in Iraq. This may be seen by the Australian Federal Police as a quibble over words but when journalists, whose business is words, also join in, its a worry.
Take for example, recent raids against members of the Islamic community in Brisbane and Sydney. Police allege that Omar Succarieh from Logan City demanded $7,000 be returned to him so that he could pass it on to Al Nusra.
Brisbane journo, Sarah Elksin, claims in her frontpage Australian article titled The rocky road for Logan’s zeroes that Succarieh was ‘charged with funding the terrorist group of choice for his brothers, Jabhat al-Nusra‘.
The Australian article claims that his co-accused, 22-year old Agim Kruezi, is charged with ‘with preparing for hostile foreign incursions into Syria’. Succarieh is charged with this and with extorting the $7,000 from Kruezi’s schoolmate, Adrian Vaevae, at least according to the Murdoch press.
At the same time, the Australian government has promised 8 Super Hornet Fighters to assist the US in bombing ISIL and to equip their enemies with weapons. The Australian military have already supplied arms to the Peshmerga (Kurdish word meaning ‘those who confront death’).
And Prime Minister Abbott has claimed that “… exhortations, quite direct exhortations, were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country.”
Police say that Azari “did conspire with Mohammad Baryalei and others to do acts in preparation for or planning a terrorist act” meaning picking out random people and cutting their heads off. Only problem is, both police and Abbott are talking about ISIL not Al Nusra. And two of the accused from raids last week in Brisbane and this week in Sydney, namely Azari and Kruezi, are supposed to be connected with Al Nusra but at the same time planning to work for ISIL – groups that are fighting with each other. Surely police can do better than this?
Australian Federal police, the Australian, and the Prime Minister are all involved in the same thing, confusing words to advance the politics of fear.
As the No vote in the Scottish Independence referendum demonstrates, fear sells.
The Australian newspaper is publishing maps to show countries “that have committed resources towards a US-led stronghold to repel and defeat Islamist extremists in parts of Iraq and Syria” – direct quote from the Australian. The Australian government has promised:
. Military transport planes to deliver weapons to Kurdish forces.
. to deploy 600 troops to the UAE.
. $4.6 million in humanitarian aid.
All police, mainstream media and government are doing is killing hope that some settlement can be found by highlighting lunatic acts on video … surely journos and local newspaper can do better and not get sucked in.
What is more brutal: being killed by a knife or by precision bombing of your home by a Super Hornet jet fighter?
The only hard facts police have presented against Succarieh and Kruezi in court is that they tried to get money out of a school kid to send to Syria. The rest is speculation seemingly based on a misreading of intelligence provided to them about al-Nusra and ISIL. Until police come up with some hard evidence that these men are committing crimes, the rest is a beat-up by the mainstream media and the government. It is guilt by association for followers of Islam.
Attempting to make people feel unsafe is no way to conduct policing at home or foreign policy abroad. Nor is following the US and its agencies into another war in the middle east. Australia needs to make its own decisions as to what is right for those people abroad who do not have the luxury of being safe. Australian government should withdraw its offer of troops and planes until a proper debate about what is going on and how best to deal with it.
The middle east is a huge oil field and everybody wants a piece of it; western powers, Russia and Islamic fundamentalists.
At the end of the day, its poor middle eastern people who are suffering, this war is so bad and good people are powerless. And it hurts … we need to help by trying to understand not by inflaming the situation.
See also Tangled Turkish-Kurdish-Syrian-Iraqi Web :
Is Australia (together with our NATO allies) now unofficially at war with Syria, together with a rather large number organisations, some of which we have prescribed (proscribed, sic) as terrorist organisations?
*Suqour al-Sham commander: “Our land can’t bear a proxy war.”
Coalition against the Jihadists