CARL SAGAN'S WARNING ABOUT THE REPTILE WITHIN US
Opinion piece by Michael Paine - started in 2001. This does not represent the
views of any organisation.
The attempt by the US media to make news rather than
it is my greatest concern.
"An eye for an eye only makes
the whole world blind" attributed to Mahatma Gandhi in the film Gandhi
(should be compulsory viewing for all world leaders).
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent" - Issac Asimov, Foundation + "...be vigilant against the baser forces of our human nature" - Issac Asimov, Forward the Foundation
"Keep well clear
and defend yourself before stepping into the hornets nest of our
militaristic society" - the message for ET thinking of visiting our planet. Paul Davies The Eerie Silence
23 Sep 01
In the book and TV
Carl Sagan warns against politicians appealing to the "reptilian"
of our brain and inciting aggression, territoriality and fear of
His concern at the time was the nuclear arms race but the same concerns
now, at a time when the USA is contemplating a response to the dreadful
in New York and Washington.
The US media have not helped the situation with a constant demand
for retaliation that is pushing the nation's leaders into making hasty
decisions. There is a grave danger that an indiscriminate, aggressive
destablize some of the many friendly Arab nations and plunge them into
At times like this it is not easy to question the actions of
leaders. Those who do are labelled unpatriotic or traitors. But the
reality is that the USA is not under any immediate threat, other than
an economic slump
of its own making. The US economy is highly dependent on consumer
The first thing that consumers did when their President said "Prepare
War" was to stop
The economic consequences of the terrorists attacks are becoming far
severe than they ever needed to be.
Here are some quotes from the book Cosmos:
- [Description of the human brain] Capping the brain stem is the
R-Complex, the seat of aggression, ritual, territoriality and social
heirarchy, which evolved hundreds of millions of years ago in our
reptilian ancestors...on the outside, living in uneasy truce with the
more primitive brains beneath, is the cerebal cortex...Civilisation is
a product of the cerebal cortex.
- [War] When our well-being is threatened, when our
illusions about ourselves are challenged, we tend - some of us
at least - to fly into murderous rages. And when the same provocations
are applied to nation states, they, too, sometimes fly into murderous
rages, egged on often enough by those seeking personal power or profit.
But as technology of murder improves and the penalties of war increase,
a great many people must be made to fly into murderous rages
simultaneously for a major war to be mustered. Because the organs of
mass communciation are often in the hands of the state [or a
privileged few] this can commonly be arranged.
- The global balance of terror is a very delicate balance. It
depends on things not going wrong, on mistakes not being made, on
the reptilian passions not being seriously aroused.
From the perspective of someone outside the USA, I have to say that President
Bush sounds more like the coach of a high school sports team than a
statesman. There is a need for Americans to call "time-out" and to
scrutinise the strategy that has been cobbled together by the nation's
leaders under the untenable glare of the media. Don't rush into actions
that may have grave, far-reaching consequences.
The terrorists can be brought to justice by less reptilian
have to remember the traits that make us "civilised".
Blue Dot' also by Carl Sagan. The Earth is a very small stage
a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those
generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become
the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless
cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the
scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent
their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how
fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance,
the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are
challenged by this point of pale light. TPS
- 3 Feb 18 Japan Times editorial: Afghanistan destabilized once more + BBC: Taliban threaten 70% of Afghanistan, BBC finds + International Criminal Court judges consider Afghanistan war crimes inquiry.
- 14 Dec 17 ABC News: Australia can help avoid a disastrous Korean war, but Malcolm Turnbull isn't doing enough.
- 22 Nov 17 Sapiens Hub - excerpts From Science: A Collection Of Quotes
- “The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
- “Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not
ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds
through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these
ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most
unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders
of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who
would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent
it bitterly.” Isaac Asimov, The Roving Mind
- “A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.” ― Albert Einstein
- 14 Jul 17 Japan Times: Treaty to ban nuclear weapons is adopted + NewSci: Nations of the world agree to ban nuclear weapons - now what?
- 19 Apr 17 The Guardian: Science strikes back: anti-Trump march set to draw thousands to Washington.
- 26 Feb 17 SMH: The Secret Iraq Dossier: Australia's flawed war.
- 26 Feb 17 ABC: US scientists prepare to fight back against Trump's 'war on science'
- 25 Jan 17 ScienceAlert: The internet is freaking out over this spooky prediction by Carl Sagan about the future.
- 26 Sep 16 Japan Times: At huge cost, U.S. plans to replace ICBM arsenal.
- 5 Aug 16 News.com.au: Trump’s ‘why not’ nuclear questions spark Twitter firestorm from former missile commander.
- 7 Jul 2016 SMH: Chilcot Report: The mind-boggling incompetence of Bush, Blair and Howard laid bare.
- 5 Sep 15 ABC: [Australian] Bombing raids in Syria would be illegal and disastrous, former ADF General Peter Gration warns.
- 6 Aug 15 Japan Times: How The Japan Times reported the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -
a Vatican spokesman had referred to the bomb as “a further step in the
direction of indiscriminate deployment of means of destruction.” ... It
described Hiroshima as “a common ordinary urban community without any
particular military defense facilities. . . . By individual cases of
damage done, it was unprecedentedly cruel.”
- 1 Jun 15 SMH: Afghan province sliding back towards Taliban control
- The Afghanistan province where Australian troops were stationed for
eight years and suffered most of their casualties is in danger of
sliding back into Taliban control...
- 30 Dec 14 Japan Times: As it exits Afghan war, U.S. plagued by doubts about results.
- 14 Sep 14 SMH: Fools rush in: Tony Abbott joins a war without definition.
- 12 Sep 14 Crikey: Abbott has made Australia less safe — so he’s right to lift the threat level.
- 12 Aug 14 SMH: Edward Snowden's lawyer blasts Australian law that would jail journalists reporting on spy leaks.
- 14 Jun 14 Economic Times: Misguided US invasion spawned crisis in Iraq: Analysts.
- 27 Apr 14: News.com: Two major projects to replace ageing RAAF jet planes have come under fresh assault from the Pentagon's chief weapons tester.
- 22 Apr 14 BBC: Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy
- economic elites and organised groups representing business
interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy,
while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no
- 9 Apr 14 IMDB: The Fifth Estate - movie about Wikileaks
- 17 Jul 13 SciAm (Aug 13 pending); Five myths of terrorism.
- 20 Mar 13 BBC: Iraq: The spies who fooled the world
- "Much of the key intelligence used by Downing Street and the White
House was based on fabrication, wishful thinking and lies..."
- 27 Apr 12 New Scientist: Poor little rich minds: The price of wealth - Psychologists now have evidence that money breeds greed and kills empathy
- 1 Mar 12 Scientific American: Big Computers for Little Engineers -
"The U.S. used to be a powerhouse in manufacturing. In the past quarter
of a century we have relinquished this leadership position, in large
part because we made a decision—consciously or unconsciously—that the
service and financial sectors are sufficient to sustain our economy.
But they are not. Service jobs pay little. The financial industry makes
nothing of value and therefore cannot maintain, let alone raise, the
nation’s standard of living..."
- 24 Jul 11 New Scientist ($): The War on Science.
- 18 May 11 BBC: The tangled reality of US/Pakistan relations + Bin Laden killing 'may set precedent' MPs are told
- 23 Oct 10 SMH: Harder to dodge the blame for war deaths (provocative)
- 31 Aug 10 SMH: Seven years after US-led invasion, Iraqis count cost: 100,000 lives, $700b.
- 1 Apr 10 Quote from the book The Eerie Silence
by Paul Davies - the message for ET thinking of visiting our
planet is "Keep well clear and defend yourself before stepping
into the hornets nest of our militarisitc society"
- 15 May 09 BBC: Secret Tiananmen memoirs revealed + UN calls for massive Pakistan aid (see also this warning about Pakistan in 2001)
- 7 Feb 09 New Scientist: What is behind criticism of Iraq deaths estimate?
- 30 Jan 09 AP: Artwork dedicated to shoe thrower.
- 30 Jan 09 Globe & Mail: Where, oh where, will they put the statue for George Bush?
- 23 Jan 09 ABC: Obama shuts down Guantanamo Bay, CIA prisons.
- 13 Oct 08 New Scientist ($): Our psychology helps politicians bend the truth.
- 3 Sep 08 New Scientist ($): How to keep your head in scary situations - Some
argue that the media's focus on shocking or traumatic news stimulates
the intuitive, non-thinking side of our decision-making and is at the
root of many misjudgements. "We are not rational enough to be exposed
to the press," ... The disproportionate reporting of dramatic events is
particularly effective at distorting decision making. Related blog: Telling stories and lies with statistics.
- 19 Jun 08 Apple: Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts.
- 17 Jun 08 BBC: Blogger arrests hit record high + Bush and Brown's warning to Iran.
- 10 Jun 08 SpaceDaily: US leads soaring levels of military spending: report.
- 9 Jun 08 SMH: Rudd calls for nuclear disarmament.
- 3 Jun 08 SMH: War based on a lie, says Rudd + US rejects Rudd's Iraq criticism.
- 9 May 08 New Scientist ($): Interview: Hans Blix – the man who won't give up. "If we had told the UN Security Council there was nothing there, it
would have shown the sources of intelligence were not good, and they
were central to the US and UK's case for war."
- 14 Mar 08 ABC: No link between Saddam and Al Qaeda: Pentagon.
- 16 Jan 08 New Scientist: New study says Iraqi death toll significantly lower [than a previous estimate of 600,000. Latest estimate is 104,000 to 223,000]
- 28 Dec 07 BBC: Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in a suicide attack. See also one of the first items on this page.
- 18 Nov 07 ABC: Coalition 'cannot win' in Iraq or Afghanistan.
- 14 Nov 07 Yahoo: Report Puts Hidden War Costs at $1.6 Trillion
- 3 Nov 07 NewSci ($): Fooling yourself is an ancient and useful trait - we all tend to rationalise our bad decisions and try to hide our mistakes...
- 13 Oct 07 ABC: Former US commander labels Iraq 'nightmare with no end'.
- 9 Oct 07 Yahoo: Report says war on terror is fueling al Qaeda.
- 8 Oct 07 ABC: Hicks needs special POW treatment, says father
- 7 Sep 07 Yahoo: Judge strikes down part of Patriot Act.
- 2 Sep 07 ABC: Rumsfeld 'intellectually bankrupt' on Iraq.
- 9 Aug 07 Scientific American: Bad Apples and Bad Barrels - intelligent and moral young men were transformed into cruel and sadistic guards or emotionally shattered prisoners.
- 8 Jun 07 New Scientist ($): 'Nuclear winter' is still a threat to be avoided.
- 2 Jun 07 ABC: Iraq war can't be won: former British army commander.
- 26 May 07 ABC: Spies 'warned White House' on Al Qaeda rise in Iraq.
- 24 May 07 SMH: [Australian] PM a short-sighted fear-monger: Amnesty
- 6 May 07 Scientific American: Bush's Mistake and Kennedy's Error - Self-deception proves itself to be more powerful than deception
- 27 Apr 07 New Scientist ($): Winning the war for Iraq's dead
- Epidemiologist Gilbert Burham ignited controversy after publishing
figures suggesting the number of people killed by the war in Iraq is
far higher than coalition forces have acknowledged - he defends his
- 25 Apr 07 ABC (Aust): US Democrat seeks Cheney's impeachment - A
veteran United States politician has introduced legislation urging
Vice-President Dick Cheney's impeachment for allegedly manipulating
intelligence used to justify the US invasion of Iraq.
- 20 Apr 07 ABC (Aust): War is lost, Democrat Senator tells Bush.
- 7 Apr 07 (during Easter break!): No link between Saddam and Al Qaeda: Pentagon
- Interrogations of Saddam Hussein and seized documents have confirmed
the former Iraqi regime had no links with Al Qaeda, according to a
Pentagon report, contradicting the US case for the 2003 invasion...one
of the foremost advocates for invading Iraq after the 2001 attacks, had
ignored the CIA's position...since the invasion, a number of intelligence
officials have alleged the White House and its backers ignored their
intelligence and "cherry picked" information to support their arguments
for a war.
- 21 Mar 07 SMH: $3b and rising rapidly: cost of the war to Australian taxpayers.
- 19 Mar 07 SMH: Misguided US policy a gift to bin Laden.
- 17 Mar 07 SMH: Revealed! Tony Blair's secret weapon of mass deception.
- 1 Mar 07 BBC:
US accused on 'missing' prisoners.
- 19 Feb 07 New Scientist ($): We are closer to Armageddon
- many of us labour under the false assumption that the world's biggest
superpower would never be the first to use nuclear weapons. We cannot
rely on that...
- 17 Feb 07 ABC (Aust): Human rights education is a human right - by former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser - Since
the terrible attacks in the United States on 9/11, 2001, governments in
many places, including Australia, have played on the politics of fear
and unfortunately and more tragically on the politics of division...the
Government has legislated to give ASIO powers to detain a person
known to be innocent, known not to be planning or executing any
crime....There are many other aspects of terrorism legislation which
give us great cause for concern...The Government would justify its
actions on the basis that it is making
us all safer. I would argue that the Government is making us less safe,
by prostitution of our basic principles, of our basic rights. We used
to be a compassionate society in the treatment of refugees fleeing
terror. The Government has taught too many of us to be hard and
uncaring. Families fleeing the Taliban were demonised as illegal, as
wrong-doers, as prostitutes or drug-runners, maybe terrorists. How much Australia has changed. Pauline Hanson said: Turn the boats
back in the 1990s and was heavily criticised for doing so. When the
Government turned the boats back [in 2002] it won an election.
- 11 Feb 07 Yahoo: Putin says U.S. wants to dominate world
- 1 Feb 07 ABC: Will we survive our brain? - can the old and the new brain learn to coexist before we
- 18 Jan 07 BBC: Climate resets 'Doomsday Clock'
- Experts assessing the dangers posed to civilisation have added
climate change to the prospect of nuclear annihilation as the greatest
threats to humankind.
- 12 Jan 07 ABC: 50pc of managers could be psychopaths: research
"Psychology Professor Adrian Furnham says manipulative characteristics
are often rewarded in the business [and political?] world" + ThisIsLondon: Do you have a toxic boss? - see also Catalyst: Corporate Psychopaths.
- 29 Dec 06 SMH: Bush made big mistake over Iraq: [Gerald] Ford - Ford "very strongly" disagreed with the justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- 27 Dec 06 SMH: US deaths in Iraq pass Sept 11 toll.
- 30 Nov 06 Reuters UK: Vatican, Catholic officials say "don't hang Saddam" - "Unfortunately, Iraq is one of the few countries that have not yet made the civilised choice of abolishing the death penalty..."
- 28 Nov 06 ABC: [ex-Prime Minister Malcolm] Fraser urges Iraq policy rethink.
- 13 Nov 06 BBC: Afghan conflict deaths quadruple.
- 11 Nov 06 SMH: George's thumping was no gesture - Either unwilling or unable to learn from the errors of history, Rumsfeld doggedly repeated them...
- 9 Nov 06 UK Telegraph: Rumsfeld a casualty of his own 'war on terror'.
- 7 Nov 06 New Scientist (subs): Arson evidence - shot down in flames... most
of what used to pass as evidence of arson is nothing of the sort, and
that conventional wisdom is often plain wrong....Hurst's report
disputed every bit of trial testimony and dismissed as invalid all the
arson indicators cited by the investigators. The list included crazed
glass and burn patterns on the floor. All have been found in accidental
fires, and experiments have reproduced them. In short, Hurst found no
evidence of anything but an accident. His appeals to the court fell on
deaf ears, however, and Willingham was put to death.
- 3 Nov 06 ABC: Public policy shaped by fear, says Lawrence.
- 19 Oct 06 SMH: Iraq a 'catastrophic blunder' - Top former diplomat launches a stinging attack on the government's policy on Iraq.
- 13 Oct 06 New Scientist: Enormous death toll of Iraq invasion revealed
- Around 655,000 people have died in Iraq as a result of the US-led
coalition invasion, according to the largest scientific analysis yet...
The study was conducted by US and Iraqi scientists to determine how
many Iraqis have died since the invasion in March 2003. The Lancet
(subs): Study estimates 655 000 excess Iraqi deaths since start of war (peer reviewed medical journal) NYT: UK Rejects Estimate of 655, 000 Iraqi Deaths.
- 6 Oct 06 New Scientist (subs): Mind fiction: Why your brain tells tall tales (see 27 June item below)
- 9 Sep 06 ABC (Aust): No links 'between Al Qaeda-Saddam' - Saddam
Hussein had no ties with Al Qaeda or key operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
before the Iraq war, a US Senate report has found.
- 1 Sep 06 ABC (Aust): Former weapons inspector disappointed with handling of concerns - the group was focusing on trying to justify pre-war judgements rather than establish facts... + Howard Australia's most xenophobic leader, Greens say
- 23 Jul 06 BBC: Iraq prisoner abuse 'was routine'.
- 27 Jun 06: By coincidence, I received the 24 June copy of New Scientist
and July copy of Scientific American on the same day. In New Scientist
Richard Koch and Chris Smith ask "why is science under attack like never before?"
(subs!). They suggest that the rest of society is now much more
critical of science, which has revealed a darker side such as atomic
weapons and "poisoning of the planet". There is another, more likely
reason for the demise of science that is revealed in the article "The Political Brain"
by Michael Shermer in Scientific American. He describes MRI studies of
the brain that have revealed how the brain suppresses the rational,
reasoning portion of the brain in favour of emotions that reinforce
confirmation bias - "whereby we seek and find confirmatory evidence in
support of already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret
disconfirmatory evidence" (as described by Carl Sagan in Cosmos). Science, of course, is built on that
rational, reasoning function of the brain and is founded on skepticism.
This does not bode well for politicians, religious fanatics or
marketers of consumers products who utilise emotional responses to ply
their trade. Is it any wonder that that science and skepticism are
discriminated against when these same groups now have a huge influence
on the media?
- 16 Jun 06 BBC: US death toll in Iraq hits 2,500 - Since the 9/11 attacks, the US has now spent or allocated $438bn on its "war on terror", with more than 70% spent in Iraq.
- 24 May 06 Australian: Irish to boycott Howard speech.
- 24 May 06 SBS: Amnesty report slams West -
the United States, Britain and other European countries were criticised
in a report by Amnesty International for violations such as advocating
torture, imprisoning thousands of people without charge and eroding the
rule of law in the fight against terrorism.
- 16 May 06 SMH: Stop this terrible waste, grieving mothers tell Bush
- 13 May 06 ABC: US admits holding secret detainees: The International Committee of the Red Cross
- 11 May 06 SMH: Guantanamo 'unacceptable': UK A-G.
- 10 May 06 BBC: Iraq [Bagdad]killings top 1,000 in April.
- 10 Jan 06 ABC (Aust): Iraq
war may cost US $2.6 trillion
- The cost of the Iraq war could top $US2
trillion ($A2.6 trillion), far above the White House's pre-war
projections, according to a new study.
- 10 Jan 06 BBC: US
draws up space tourism rules - Space tourists must be screened to
ensure they are not terrorists, according to proposed US regulations
[symptom of paranoia?]
- 19 Dec 05 ABC: Powell
'disappointed' by pre-Iraq war intelligence
- 24 Oct 05 ABC (Aust): Coetzee's
comments - Author JM Coetzee has compared Australia's proposed
anti-terrorism laws to apartheid abuses in South Africa
- 8 Sep 05 SMH: Clearing
away the fog of spin.
- 17 Aug 05 ABC: Fraser
condemns 'tyrannical' terrorism laws
- Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has
likened Australia to a tyrannical country over its adoption of
amendments to the 2002 Terrorism Bill.
- 18 May 05 Yahoo: British
Lawmaker Lashes Out at Senators . Read the transcript here
in a few days. BBC:
"Senator [Coleman], in
everything I said about Iraq I
turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 have
paid with their lives, 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their
deaths on a pack of lies." (this quote has not been reported in
- 31 Mar 05 ABC (Aust): CIA
chief, Rumsfeld welcome report on intelligence - profound changes
in US intelligence in response to gross failures in assessing Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction.
- 11 Feb 05 SMH (regn): September
11 report tells of many hijack warnings
- 26 Jan 05 ABC (Aust): Bush
to seek billions more for military operations -
The Bush administration is seeking about
$US80 billion ($A104 billion) in new funding for military operations
this year in Iraq and Afghanistan, pushing the total for both conflicts
to almost $US300 billion so far.
- 17 Dec 04 ABC (Aust): Iceland
offers sanctuary for chess legend Fischer -
Supporters of former chess champion Bobby Fischer are hailing Iceland's
decision to grant the American residency. He is a wanted man in the US,
where he could face 10 years in jail
after he violated international sanctions by playing chess in Yugoslavia in 1992.
- 20 Nov 04: ICRC
criticises civilian deaths in Iraq
- The International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) has strongly criticised what it calls the utter contempt
for humanity shown by all sides in the fighting in Iraq.
- 5 Nov 04 ABC: Analyst
raises prospect of strikes on Iran + Saddam
evidence lost or tainted, says human rights group
- 5 Nov 04 MichaelMoore.com: Republicans,
Out of Ideas, Ask Prosecutors to Arrest Michael Moore
- 30 Oct 04 Spiked Online: The
politics of fear - President Bush isn’t the only one who plays the
- 29 Oct 04 ABC: Iraqi
civilian deaths put at 100,000 - so-called collateral damage -
"...the risk of death from violence
in the period after the invasion
was 58 times higher than before the war. The rise in the death rate was
mainly due to violence and much of it was caused by US air strikes on
towns and cities, they said." + Nature: 100,000
civilians may have died in Iraq conflict Most of the dead
were women and children killed in military activity, particularly air
strikes + Lancet
- 28 Oct 04 Houston Chronicle: Amnesty
International condemns U.S. 'war on terror'
- 22 Oct 04 USA Today: Candidates increasingly play on fears
- 15 Oct 04 New Scientist: Nuclear
equipment vanishes in Iraq.
- 8 Oct 04 SMH: Saddam
ditched WMD years before war.
- 8 Sep 04 Scientific American: Brain Scans Reveal That Revenge Is Sweet -
“people [and nations?] show systematic deviations from rationality." .
- 1 Sep 04 Scientific American: Terror Bull
- 9 Aug 04 SMH: [Australian] PM
stung by band of top brass and diplomats - John Howard has been confronted with an
extraordinary repudiation of his foreign policy, especially the
Iraq war, by 43 of Australia's former military chiefs, department heads
and senior diplomats.
- 19 Jun 04 SMH: The
big lie - ...the war had little
to do with weapons of mass destruction and almost nothing to do with
al-Qaeda. We were on the cusp of waging an unjustified war on the basis
of a preposterous lie.
- 17 Jun 04 SMH: Iraq
and bin Laden terror ties rejected - There were no credible links
between Iraq and Osama bin Laden in theSeptember
11 terrorist attacks, the independent commission investigating
the attacks has found.
- 16 Jun 04 BBC: Bush's
foreign policy: Your views.
- 7 May 04 BBC: UK will
screen blocked Moore film - Fahrenheit
911. 12 Jun 04: Video
- 22 Mar 04 USA Today: Bush
slammed on terror - Ex-counterterror adviser says president 'doing
a terrible job.'
- 16 Mar 04 SpaceDaily: David Kay On
Inspections and Absence of Prohibited Weapons. - there were no significant chemical,
biological, or nuclear weapons in Iraq. He suggested that previous,
underrated UN weapons inspections played a vital role in constraining
Iraq's weapons programs. When asked if going to war with Iraq was wise
if "it was just a WMD-based decision," Kay replied, "It was not worth
- 8 Mar 04 Harper's magazine: A Run on Terror - The
rising cost of fear itself. A review of risks in society and
some extraordinary reactions to some threats.
- 1 May 03 SMH: Vilified
weapons inspectors may have got it right - Almost
three weeks since the fall of Baghdad, with senior Iraqi scientists and
in US custody, no chemical or biological weapons stockpiles have been
Neither has any evidence been uncovered that Iraq had restarted a
- 26 Feb 03 ABC: US
consumer confidence lowest in 10 years.
- 15 Feb 03 ABC: Muslim
leader urges rethink on Iraq involvement - The leader of
Indonesia's largest Islamic group says a unilateral attack on Iraq will
fuel worldwide Muslim fundamentalism.
- 6 Jun 02 SMH: Worst
I've seen, says UN asylum inspector - The United Nations has
expressed its disgust at Australia's mandatory detention system,
describing the Howard Government's policy of locking up asylum seekers
for long periods as a gross abuse of human rights. + Williams's
ASIO laws 'an erosion of civil liberties'.
- 19 May 02 SMH: Crisis
of conscience - proposed anti-terrorism laws threatening civil
liberties in Australia.
- 19 Apr 02 SMH: Beyond
Evil by Richard Neville.
- 5 Feb 02 SMH: US has lost
track of bin Laden.
- 20 Jan 02 The Guardian: Saudis
tell US forces to get out.
- 18 Jan 02 Yahoo: Pakistan's
Musharraf Balances Modernization, Islam
- 19 Sep 01 BBC: On
edge: Afghanistan's neighbours
- 21 Oct 01 BBC: War
View: Are the air strikes wise?
Prepared by Michael
Paine , Sydney Australia
Started on 23 September 2001. See updates.