Thoughts on current international activity

I was driving home from Wollongong yesturday listening to the radio about the Bali event, and then I started thinking about September 11, and about the possibility of Australia being attacked directly. When I got home I was talking with Roy about it and, for the first time I really started to worry!

I started thinking about Australia's hot spots, and the first that came to mind was the nuclear reactor at Lucas Heights, then I really started to worry.

What would happen if that was bombed? How far away does one need to be in order to not be physically affected by it? We live at Brighton Le Sands and Roy reackons that we would not be immune where we live, and that it would probably blow out all the windows in the whole building. So, I told him we'll move to Wollongong, and he still says it's not far how far is far enough?

Roy said that the security around that particular site was very very good, but who's to say that some idiot moron wouldn't drop a bomb from the sky or something like that with a war in progress or not.

Why anyone would build a nuclear reactor there is beyond me. Roy's thoughts are that the nuclear reactor was there first and suburbia second...but still - why couldn't they build it in the middle of no where where it belongs?

Is Australia so far away from everyone else that it is immune to attack? I don't think so. How well are we prepared for this? I'm so frustrated that the Government is not letting us know how prepared we really are. I realise that there are security issues involved here...but still - I personally need more information.

Then, what about if Australia does go to war with Iraq. First it will be Iraq, then who knows who GW Bush will want to go after next - Saudi Arabia for harbouring and fostering terrorists? Pakistan or India for their nuclear agenda?. Will conscription be introduced? Do the people want conscription? I wonder how many of us will put up our hands and volunteer to go to war...

Is GW Bush justified in going after Iraq in the first place? Should he just be concentrating his efforts on eliminating Osama? I do believe that the UN needs to do something about Iraq's nuclear agenda, but is Bush being personal about Hussein? I can't help but think he is. I recall a comment he made recently about Hussein trying to kill Bush Snr. Is the UN doing enough?

I don't know - I know it's a morbid subject. Sep 11 was devastating, but Bali is so close too home that it's very uncomfortable.

Just my rambling thoughts...
Hi Joanna

you wrote.......

Originally posted by JoannaK
......What would happen if that was bombed? How far away does one need to be in order to not be physically affected by it? We live at Brighton Le Sands and Roy reackons that we would not be immune where we live, and that it would probably blow out all the windows in the whole building. So, I told him we'll move to Wollongong, and he still says it's not far how far is far enough?

Your husband is probably right, therefore you need to move much further away.........and have I got a place for you........

not yet offered to the buying public, and currently in early stages of construction so you may select your own interior colour scheme, I have a selection of 4 individually designed 2BR townhouses, all with double car accomodation.

Located in Drouin (which I believe is far enough away from Lucas Heights), and close to all amenities, these townhouses will surely appeal. Priced from $145,000, these represent sensational buying.

Joanna, contact me at your earliest convenience to select yours now!

Seriously though, this situation is a worry to all and one does wonder how vulnerable we really are in Australia.
I was planning on taking my boys to the Melbourne Cup next month, but the thought of some crazy suicide bomber determined to take innocent lives with them, somewhat dampens the desire to turn up to such an event.

Lets all hope for some solution to this very serious situation.

It is very scary.

I really feel for all those affected, but I must say, I wish the media would stop their intense story hunting. I think that's making it much worse than it is.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying. It was a devistating tragedy and my heart goes out to all those in any way touched by this.


I was watching the ACA ?? programme the other day and they were interviewing a young woman who's husband was lost, and they kept needling her and needling her until she cried with statements like: your mum says you were perfectly matched... then when she started getting teary they said, you have been sweethearts for a long time... dig, dig, dig... until she really cried.
THis is not fair.

The media are trolling at airports and making things worse. What I would like to see is serious, no frills, this-is-what-happened reporting...

But I guess I am not going to get that...

Joanna, I take your point about what is next, but I think that this hit on Bali is their attack on the oceanic region.

The other thing is that this attack was one year, one month, and one day after the last one. So, the theory is that there won't be another, if at all, before this time next year.

I think we are safe. I believe we are safe. However, if you are really afraid of lucas heights, move to BNE ;)

There will not be conscription. There is no need for it. There are too many sophisticated weapons available to both sides that there is no need for anyone other than the current military to be involved. These are no longer the days of hand to hand combat.

You said:
Is GW Bush justified in going after Iraq in the first place? Should he just be concentrating his efforts on eliminating Osama? I do believe that the UN needs to do something about Iraq's nuclear agenda, but is Bush being personal about Hussein? I can't help but think he is. I recall a comment he made recently about Hussein trying to kill Bush Snr. Is the UN doing enough?

Well, the problem, as I see it, is that Bush seems to be of the opinion that, if the UN doesn't agree with me they are WRONG. And, What exactly can the UN do about Iraq's nuclear agenda. It's like a child with a big bag of lollies. You tell the child to give you all the lollies back, but they really really want to keep them. So, since they know that you didn't know how many were in there in the first place, they GIVE you the bag, full of lollies, but... Did they give you them all? You can demand to search their room.. Go for it!!! Can you search everywhere? Are the lollies well hidden? Are the lollies even hidden IN their room, or did they hide them in their sister's room down the hall?

Sometimes you just have to live, and go with the old creed,

Grant me the
to accept the things
I cannot change ~
to change the
things I can;
and the
to know the difference

I hope this gives you some peace.

asy :D
It is scarier than you think

I wish I were more optimistic, but I do think that there will be a serious act (or acts) of terror on Australian soil, which will be a small part of the price the mankind will pay to get rid of the plague of organised terrorism.

This war will last for 20, 30, may be 40 years.
Modern terrorism is brewed on poverty, technology, and ideology.
The evil leaders are keen to keep their people poor so it makes easier to buy their lives for suicide murders or make them believe lies (such as that an external enemy is the cause of all their problems). Technological developments of the last 30 years created such powerful weapons that is hard to believe. We are now talking aircraft that can fly without a pilot; bombs guided by a laser from a satellite, plastic explosives much more compressed then before, dirty bombs, deadly viruses, etc

I am not that familiar with Australian defence doctrine, correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the country has any anti-missile program. Technically a nuclear warhead can be delivered by almost any missile (does not have to be a long-range or trans-continental one). A missile can be sent from the land of any neighbour, from see (including submarines) or from the air.

To conclude the first part, I don't think Australia is ready to defend itself in a military conflict with a powerful enemy, and the only chance would be to fully rely on our friends from North America. We should realise that our government supports USA in all anti-terrorism undertakings only because the country is not defendable on its own (sad, I wish I could think that we support Americans for idealistic reasons).

Now back to terrorism as the main topic. I think it will take 40 years to fight terrorism because to win the war it is not enough to destroy Al-Qaeda, it is not enough to kill Osama or Saddam, but we have to win on the front of ideology. And this requires a time span of 2 generations. It took Moses 40 years to bring his people to the Promised Land because he waited until people who were slave died. After 40 years under communists Eastern Germany (and the people) changed so much that re-integrating into the Western world becomes now a major problem of the country. And it shall take them 40 years in total to fully assimilate.

People who had the seeds of hatred planted deeply in their hearts are unable to change, but their children and grandchildren will.

And when should we start counting these 40 years may you ask?

Well, as soon as all democracies of the world will understand that this is a survival issue and will unconditionally support the war against terrorism. When the Russians drop their condition to get a share of the reconstruction work in destroyed Iraq, when the Australians realise how vulnerable their country is, when the UN will face a choice to fully support the war against terror or to loose its status (which has been significantly devalued in the last 2 decades anyway). When Islamic and Arab countries and their organisations will condemn terrorism and join their effort with the rest of the world. I think that would be a good starting point.

Will Australians change? Yes. They will become more aware of the dangers of the real world. Will the life change? To some extent, but not much. Many people in Israel lost relatives or friends in suicide murder attacks. One of the attacks was very similar to the Bali tragedy. The bomb went off at a teenage nightclub in Tel Aviv on Saturday night. Many young and innocent people, mostly Russian girls, died in the attack. Are Israelis scared? No. They lead normal lives; just tend not to visit public places if they don't need to.

Another question was asked - how far from the nuclear facility is safe enough? I may disappoint Joanna with the answer, but there is practically no safe distance if there is a major disaster. There are two factors in nuclear disaster that can be dangerous for people. They are direct radiation, and radioactive contamination of the area. The latter one would be affecting much larger areas and which areas will mostly depend on the weather condition, winds, etc. To give you an example, when a Chernobyl nuclear reactor leaked radiation in Ukraine, in 3 days Finland had levels of radiation exceeding the safe level by several times.

If anybody is interested, I can give a bit of first hand evidence about Sadam's unprovoked rocket strikes to Israel during the Gulf War (Israel as you know did not participate it the war). First hand - because my family lived in Israel at the time.

Or how about "minor" acts of terror in a quiet residential suburb in Sydney a few years ago when a number of hand-made bombs exploded over several months at our house doorsteps frightening the kids to a large degree and damaging the house. The police have never discovered this crime.

Say cheese :p

Re: It is scarier than you think

Originally posted by Lotana
Well, as soon as all democracies of the world will understand that this is a survival issue and will unconditionally support the war against terrorism.

I take this to mean when all democracies stand by Bush's side and agree that Iraq needs bombing or anything else that the US may come up with. I have to 100% disagree with this and also disagree with the US going into Iraq. I won't rave on as to why it is improper and unlawful to effectively invade a soverign state for no other reason than presuming the worst with no proof. I won't rave on about the US' failure to reduce nuclear arms or to ratify international agreements that commit them to doing so. I won't rave on about the US interest in oil etc. I wont rave on about the fact that nothing has changed re information about Iraq over the last decade so why the sudden urgance to disarm (read take control, change regimes, set up a US like democracy in a place where such a thing would not work etc etc) Iraq

Ok I've had my none rave. A couple of interesting acrticles:

read the article titled "President Bush fails to make his case" (and many others on this site with interesting information re the US)

which discusses the US lack of valid reasons for an attack on Iraq

which discusses the US failure to disarm (and infact building more arms)

I REALLY believe that Australia has to stand by itself and not simply bow to the wishes of the US inorder to gain trade agreements and maintain our buddiness with them (I wont start on our acceptance with open arms of the China president without so much as a mention of human rights so we could gain trade agreements...:p)

Dear guys,

International activity.....

Media always need something negative to sensationalise and try and make into something bigger. I heard that there was a newspaper that tried to print only positive stories and went broke very quickly.

War unfortunately is connected with economics.

Why was Korea and China invaded by Japan in the second world war? Simple thing is that two major Japanese trading houses needed access to the coal and other major mineral resources in China. Therefore this economic justification became a reality.

Why haven't North and South Korea reunified? Basically North and South Korea have always wanted to reunify. However the US has too many economic interests related to this. Whenever North and South Korea have reunification talks the US gets worried and mentions SCUD missiles and other military hardware. The reunifications talks are then essentially delayed and the US gets to sell more Patriot missiles to South Korea.

I am sure that there is always a "need" for a perceived country to be a "bady" as it creates demand for US Military hardware and the companies that manufacture it.

In order to remove the "badys" do we first have to remove the military hardware companies????

Anyway I am proud that we do live in the safest country in the world and one that we can be proud of.

Lucas Heights is purely a scientific facility and should not be our greatest concern. I prefer to spend each day adding something positive to our existence.


Hmm, I always reminded of the saying "Chickens coming home to roost".

Lets face it, a evil monster like Saddam and his hierarchy, who obviously ordered the poison gassing, murder and torture of his own people deserves everything and anything coming to him, personally I hope sooner than latter.

Now turn the clock back, Iran and Iraq war. Remember when Iran was the "evil" state? Back then American openly supported Saddam with military aid. Let me ask an rhetorical question: Back then was Saddam a evil monster or a nice guy? Of course he was an evil monster! who poisoned, killed and tortured his own people (notably the Kurds), just as he does today! And this is the key point, AND AMERICA KNEW IT, and continued supporting him!!! In my opinion Saddam's real crime was not horrific murder, but simply being disobedient to the boss of the world "America".

OK maybe Sadam is a one off special case? But no, this has been consistent American policy, support any murderous despotic regime, ignore the crimes against humanity, just as long as it is friendly to America. Let me name a few more who received support and backing from America:

a) Saddam/Iraq
b) Pol Pot/Cambodia ( One of the biggest mass killers ever)
c) Suharto/Indonesia (Back in the '60 America support his coup, 700,000 "communists", included women and children rounded up, tortured and/or just brutally murdered)
c) Augusto Pinochet/Argentina (Just read some of the stories about what happened to the union leaders or "communist" farmers and their families!)
(And the list goes on)

I live in Tokyo, back in 1945, America decided on low-level bombing using incendiary cluster bombs targeted to civilian housing. Since all home back then where made of wood, they burnt easily in the resulting firestorms. It was very very effective, hundreds of thousand of innocents died. A clear assault directed upon on a civilian population center! This is my definition of "terrorism". I can see no rational difference between Sep 11 and 1945, both targeted innocent victims.

What to do about Saddam? This is difficult question, he will use all available force and means to stay in power, he will use his own innocent population to die if necessary.
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What came first, the reactor or suburbia?

A: The reactor. Actually, I don't think we are staring a Three Mile Island/mushroom cloud scenario in the face here - although I'd be concerned about radiation getting into the water table etc.

Considering Lucas Heights was the boonies when the site was originally built, I guess it's crystal ball time again if you wanted to work out where else to put it.

They do undertake very useful medical research there, so what happens if they move it to the middle of the desert - maybe some staffing issues.

As for the world situation, maybe we should pause to consider who has the proven track record for dropping nukes on people?

Should we start avoiding crowds and other venues of western decadence? I'm not so sure - doesn't that mean "they" (whoever "they" happen to be at any point in time) have won?

I'm one of those people who tends to think your number comes up when it's meant to, as fatalistic as that may sound to some. Yes, I'll be looking over my shoulder more often, maybe checking out exits more closely if I'm in a confined space etc., but I won't be going out of my way to avoid people either.

If you wish to put yourself out of the reach of Osama and pals, consider Rosebery TAS, or there was an old cinema for sale in nearby Queenstown the other day ... not sure about capital growth though!

Jakk - OK - I'd like to know more about your exciting Drouin development. Could you drop me a line? We've actually been looking around over in the "Riviera of the South" (a.k.a. Gippsland Lakes). Any comments on that neck of the woods? At $145K, you are a bit closer to the night life of Melbourne though.