tip off

Maybe Saddam was better

Crikey readers talk data retention, coal seam gas, Iraq and what we should call the Islamist militants in Iraq.

Missing Saddam

Tim Stephens writes: Re. “Rundle: Iraq on the brink will change the world, for good or ill” *(yesterday). With the current dissolving of democracy and general mayhem of Iraq I began wondering what might have been happening in that country today if the “coalition of the stupid” had stayed at home. Maybe there would have been far fewer desperate people trying to flee persecution and seeking shelter on our shores. Maybe ISIS would just be somebody’s horrid thought bubble. Maybe tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people would be still going about their daily lives. Maybe a large number of American soldiers would still have functional minds and bodies. Maybe the financial situations of the “coalition of the stupid” would be much healthier. Unfortunately the havoc has been created and now has to be sorted.  I wonder how fast Australia will jump into the next piece of stupidity in order to “save” the world or to impose our way of life? The current situation makes Saddam look pretty good!

The truth about CSG

Frank Pederick writes: Re. “Fugitive CSG emissions are no big deal, right? Wrong.” (yesterday).  Congratulations to Paddy Manning on his article on fugitive emissions from coal stream gas. In the absence of baseline studies it may be impossible to determine the level of fugitive emissions.

Possibly a study centred on Victoria where there is at present a moratorium on CSG mining could be good start. However, both major political parties are unlikely to be interested in research when there is big money offering if major fossil energy players get involved .

Think of the subeditors

James Scanlon writes: Re. “Surveillance advocates hit us with their best shot” (yesterday). Thanks for keeping the debate on solid ground re data retention. As someone who works for a media organisation, I would possibly show up on ASIO’s radar. We constantly check the internet for the correct spellings of the names of terror groups and violent criminals; we might even provide the missing link between the Comancheros and Boko Haram.

What’s in a name?

Stilgherrian writes: Re.”Do terrorists get to name themselves?” (yesterday).What is different about reporting the activities of a political or military organisation, one that just happens to have been declared a terrorist organisation by one set of governments, different from reporting on a person, business, nation or other organisation? You call them by the name they call themselves, perhaps translating it into English, just like anything else, don’t you? Or has Crikey decided to show “some basic affection for the home team”, as the Prime Minister would have it?

5
  • 1
    Tamas Calderwood
    Posted Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, Tim, Saddam was awesome!

    Or then again, maybe he would have kept murdering hundreds of thousands of people. And maybe Saddam would have started a couple more wars. And maybe his sons would have continued to kidnap girls and then chop them up.

    And then, maybe the Arab spring would have reached Iraq anyway, just like it swept through Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Libya and the rest.

    So, you know, maybe the West isn’t to blame for every problem in the middle east.

  • 2
    Posted Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    FFS Tim. If Saddam Hussein had continued to be in power, there wouldn’t be anyone left to, lead and or follow, a radical movement like ISIS. Apart from Saddam’s obvious defects he was a Bathist. (sic?) Which I think is Christian?

  • 3
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Saddam’s “Baby Bear Porridge” (if a little oily) use-by-date just ran out.

    But up to then, to the West, he was “Goldilocks” just Right, for a decade or so - The West’s “Man in the Middle East”?
    After the Shah of Iran was tossed over, he was the West’s pin-up boy - fighting their proxy fight there, with their weapons.

    Bend a rule here, bend a rule there - murder some people - he bent one too many?

  • 4
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    … was it his use of left-over WMDs (given to fight their war with Iran) to gas his people? Or any of the other acts of barbarity against minorities?
    No - various bodies sent groups through those areas and were disgusted, but it went no further - that was the price of doing oil business with him.

    It was because “he” invaded Kuwait because they were threatening to undercut oil prices - which would have benefitted Western commercial interests - the revenue he needed to rebuild Iraq, after fighting the West’s war with Iran for them?

  • 5
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    And let’s not forget Bush The Elder’s inciting of the Kurds to rise up against Saddam post Operation Desert Storm - only to hang them out to dry, at Saddam’s pleasure?

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