Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Deadline has passed for Australian hostages

There is still no confirmation that any Australian hostages have been taken. The strangeness of it all is that the Australian government is now saying that they can't account for 27 Australians working in Iraq.

In any case, the 24-hour deadline given by the "Horror Brigades of the Islamic Secret Army" for the Australian troops to get out of Iraq has expired. The "logistics" team that I mentioned in the previous post, sent by Australia to "negotiate," consists of "Defence Force officers and Federal Police."

Prime Minister John Howard's opponent in the coming election has already begun to voice complaints. According to the Australian ABCNewsOnline,

Opposition Leader Mark Latham says the Government's failure to consult the Opposition on the deployment is an outrageous breach of the caretaker conventions in this election campaign.

"If Labor was elected in three-and-a-half weeks time, we'd be in charge of the operation," he said.

"Isn't it in Australia's national interest to ensure the alternative government is consulted, given the information, involved from day one, about this important decision.

"We haven't been involved in the decision making process, I've got no idea as to why the Defence team is being sent, its purpose, I've got no idea or information about the so-called negotiation team, even though Government policy is not to negotiate - these are matters that should have involved the Opposition."

These Australians, like the Nepalese, are said by the Guardian to be "security contractors." I fear that the Islamic Secret Army was never really serious in its demands.

Follow-up posts:
Howard blames the Filipinos and Spanish for Australian hostage crisis
Australian kidnapping update
Australian kidnapping update II
Australian kidnapping update III: The body in the Tigris

Previous post:
Two hostages and an election

Related post:
About those Nepalese workers killed in Iraq...

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