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?

Peter Fray

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