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Monday 27 March 2017

Opinion

Turnbull Morphs Into Abbott

Paul Zanetti Sunday 11 September 2016




What a difference a year or so makes. It’s too easy sniping at your Prime Minister from the rear, when you’re not privy to security reports whilst plotting to take your leader’s job.

Over 12 months ago PM Tony Abbott was alerting Australians to the dangers of ISIS-inspired attacks on our shores - that ‘Daesh’ was coming for us.

This realistic warning was in light of multiple plots on western soil by so-called ‘lone wolves’, successful or foiled, including in Australia.

Abbott’s Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, felt this country needed his security counter-opinion, downplaying the Islamic threat, simultaneously undermining his Prime Minister.

So what did national security have to do with Turnbull’s Communications portfolio at the time?

Absolutely nothing.

Turnbull’s posturing was calculated to position himself as the Abbott-alternative within his party, the media and the wider community.

The intended Turnbull message at the time, was to paint Abbott as the Islamic terror panic merchant, Turnbull the cool head, a portrayal all too readily fanned by a swooning media.

Delivering a speech at the Sydney Institute just months before toppling Abbott in an ambush, Turnbull said, "Daesh is not Hitler's Germany, Tojo's Japan or Stalin's Russia.”

That unsolicited assessment was delivered despite successful ISIS inspired attacks in the Mid-East and western continents - the US, Europe, and Australia.

Turnbull argued that laws which damaged individual freedoms played into terrorists' hands.

Fast forward 12 months almost to the day after the Abbott coup and Prime Minister Turnbull is whistling a different tune - one that could well have come straight from the Tony Abbott hymn sheet.

At last week’s G20, Turnbull led the charge on Islamic State, pushing world leaders for an ‘unrelenting’ military campaign to defeat ISIS, just a week after announcing new rules to grant more power for Australian strikes on terrorists.

After a renewed terror threat to Australia from ISIS, Turnbull said Australia’s security agencies and regional governments need to be very alert to the threats of lone actors.

Islamic State  has ordered its followers to, "Kill them on the streets of Brunswick, Broadmeadows, Bankstown, and Bondi. Kill them at the MCG, the SCG, the Opera House, and even in their backyards.

"Stab them, shoot them, poison them, and run them down with your vehicles.

"Kill them wherever you find them until the hollowness of their arrogance is filled with terror and they find themselves on their knees with their backs broken under the weight of regret for having waged a war against the believers, and by Allah's will, and then through your sacrifices, this Ummah will be victorious."

Low and behold, just days later, an Islamic State follower struck in Sydney. A 22-year-old man stabbed a stranger in the suburb of Minto on Saturday afternoon. Ihsas Khan chased his victim, yelling "someone is going to die today” and “Allah Akbar”.

The victim, 59 year old Wayne Greenhalgh was simply going for his daily walk, when targeted by the Muslim terrorist.

Greenhalgh, another innocent victim of Mohammad-instructed Islamic ideology was stabbed several times with a large knife (described as a machete by witnesses), suffering near-fatal wounds, from a punctured lung and lacerations to his neck and fingers as he tried to defend himself.

It was Winston Churchill who observed, "Islam is as dangerous in man as rabies in a dog," and "No stronger retrograde force exists in the world."

Barely 24 hours after the Minto attack, Malcolm Turnbull held a press conference today, sans-cocky arrogance, speaking of a “...violent Islamist ideology…(that) seeks to destroy and threaten our way of life.

"The terrorist threat is described as probable. We saw recently a call by ISIL in their magazine for attacks in Australia.”

"Intelligence is absolutely critical, it is more important than ever, so I want to say to all Australians that if you see or become aware of something suspicious or unusual, if you know something, or believe somebody could pose a threat to the community, please call the national security hotline.

On the eve of his government introducing new anti-terrorism legislation including lowering the control order age from 16 to 14 and post-sentence detention for high risk terrorists, Turnbull, ashen-faced, said the Minto attack served as a reminder "the terror threat is real".

What a difference a year makes.