Mediocre SMH journalism

SMH profiles the people convicted of terrorist conspiracy. They had apparently acquired quantities of explosives and weapons. It is not clear that they had yet actually planned to do anything. ASIO of course compiled the materials on them used for their convictions. This is probably the closest they’ve ever come to doing something useful (though it seems to me pretty likely that their methods were immoral, as usual. eg, in 2005 they intercepted a phone call where one of the people said he wanted to kill John Howard). Also, Hilaly is quoted as saying the convicted men are 100% innocent.

The profiles are unimpressive. And unsurprising that a few of them specifically mentioned the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Koutsoukis shows the depth of his understanding of the Middle East, by arguing that Arabs are worried about Iran. His proof? Dictators in Kuwati, Egypt, the Saudi monarchy and so on oppose Iran’s nuclear program. Interestingly, he notes Clinton outlining three options for Arab states.

“”They can just give in to the threat [from Iran],” she said. “Or they can seek their own capabilities, including nuclear; or they ally themselves with a country like the United States that is willing to help defend them . . . I think the third is by far the preferable option.””

Koutsoukis can blandly report something like this, because for him, Arabs are scared of Iranian nuclear weapons, but they don’t mind Israeli nuclear weapons. And of course, the deeply popular ruling autocrats and monarchs and dictators of the region reflect popular concerns within their countries. I mean, this is supposed to be a serious journalist:

The chairman of the Israeli parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, Tzachi Hanegbi, told the Herald this week that Iran was “the world’s problem, not just Israel’s problem”. Fresh from briefings in Washington, including a meeting with Mrs Clinton’s special adviser on the Persian Gulf, Dennis Ross, Mr Hanegbi said US officials were unambiguous about who the key Arab states believed posed the biggest threat to them.

“Who is really worried about Iran? It’s their immediate neighbours,” Mr Hanegbi said. “They are terrified. The Arab world does not want confrontation. No one wants a new war in the Middle East. Stability is very important.” What the majority of Arab states want above all, said Mr Hanegbi, was to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The Arab world is terrified of Iranian nukes, says Israel, as reported by Koutsoukis. I mean, the Israeli government could have written this article. And as his pseudo Bill O Reilly style of balance, he has three brief paragraphs with Rami Khouri at the end.

UPDATE

Serving the Israeli government.

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