Read the article again.
Pine Gap was originally put there because a US spy satellite (Keyhole, possibly) hadn't got room for the hardware for an encrypted downlink and so they used an unencrypted beam - the idea was that the Russians wouldn't be able to set up a monitoring dish in the middle of Australia.
I suspect one conclusion, if you're the sort of person who thinks democracy is a waste of public money, is that we shouldn't have by-elections and should instead just allow the departing members party to nominate a new candidate, maintaining proportionality. I would not agree with that though, although I admit it has some logic.
(In UK politics, where there are more MPs and five year terms, by-elections have more importance in that a government with a small majority will tend to have it eroded by subsequent by-elections which tend to go against the party in power. This happened to the 74-79 Labour government).
I see “Jihadi John” has been “identified”
They won't identify Jihad Jerry though:
I’m not advocating the shooting down of civilian aircraft BTW, or even suggesting the military force might be appropriate with Fiji (economic sanctions, including a ban on aircraft and ships that have visited Fiji ports and the criminalisation of coup/military participation might have been).
But many conflicts since the US Civil War have showed that a country with brave and resourceful troops (the Confederacy, Japan, Germany*2) will lose to an opponent able and willing to bring superior economic resources to bear.
(Not Vietnam and Afghanistan, obviously. But those were wars for national survival on one hand and marginal strategic advantage on the other).
Maybe if we tried to nut it out with their infantry.
Stick an Anzac frigate (or even the Leanders we had then) 2km off the end of the Suva airport runway and declare a no-fly zone. That'd stuff them up and they'd have no effective response.
I guess they hope they don't meet Danny Glover:
The positive aspect of that article is the whole apostasy thing.
If I understand correctly, if somebody calls you an apostate then either they're right in which case they have to kill you, or they're wrong, in which case they are considered apostate and you have to kill them.
Given blokes, this probably happens at least four times a year, per capita. So the population will halve every three months, implying that 8 million people will take about 23/4 = six years before dying back to one individual, who would clearly be very holy indeed.
At which point we could send Willie Apiata to shoot him in the head.
The government’s (and indeed the US/UKs) deployment of troops to Iraq lacks any plausible strategy as to how they might improve the situation.
There are a few solutions that might work:
- the 19th century approach would be to slaughter all the inhabitants down to the last goat and plant settlers on the land, ideally convicts not wanted anywhere else (see Tasmania)
- the 20th century approach would be to set up an efficient police state, ban all forms of religious or political activity outside a state mosque of suitably moderate theology, and selectively shoot or jail any dissidents (see East Germany)
A better, 21st century approach would be to isolate the area and in particular reduce our use of Saudi oil, destroying the political importance of the region as well as the primary source of funding for the extremists
It would be a huge dilemma for the Greens, if they had policy wins they were delivering, and they had to choose to give them all up and probably put National back in power.
Equally for Labour. Would it be more important to them to go into an unpopular and un-winnable war than to stay in government.
There is no reason in the modern world why parliament should not approve any decision to send troops overseas, and indeed we should have legislation that requires that.