:: Wednesday, 17 March 2004 ::
Hey, we got Rohan Gunaratna and Tariq Ali on the SBS
RG: Al Qaeda is small, but influential, financing groups
TA: Agree, but the serious problem is that young people like Al Qaueda and the fault for this is Australian and American. "If you go and bomb countries and occupy them, then young people will want action."
Let us stop there for a moment, okay?
East Timor. EAST TIMOR. Is that what you mean TA? Liberating East Timor was bad? SBS does not ask.
Instead SBS asks about Iraq.
RG: I believe that the US invasion of Iraq has made the risk of terrorism higher, because Muslims are angry about it, and they want action.
TA: As with Norhtern Ireland, there was a choice following an appalling bomb that almost took the the PMs life, whether to escalate the action against the terrorists or sit down and try to find peace. They sat down. Now, there are two occupations of the MidEast, Israeli occupation and US/UK occupation of Iraq. And this makes people furious, governments in the MidEast cannot do anything about it, so furious violence is what happens.
Let us stop here for sec, eh? I think TA wants to sit down and talk to the terrorists. But maybe not., He was not asked by SBS to elborate on his waffle.
RG: You cannot sit down and talk with Al Qaeda. They are not rational.
SBS: We are losing our satellite, so thankyou gentlemen.
What a disappointment. Right there, right at the end there, we could have had a genuine challenge, a real debate about what the real deal is for the anti-war left wing - Tariq Ali - and the for the anti-terrorist but non-aligned folk - Rohan Gunaratna. No right wingers around to polarise. Just one polar side - the left - against the rational middle.
SBS wasted this opportunity.
Never mentioned East Timor.
But worse, never got to challenge Tariq Ali with the Rohan fact - Al Qaeda cannot be sat down with. So what Tariq Ali is actually saying (wqithout saying it, of course) is that Al Qaeda is not relevant. Israel is the root cause of all horror and must lose land. And Iraq, no matter Saddam's absence, must be left to rot preferrably alone or under a useless UN management (by which I mean actuall making things worse).
Wasted opportunity, SBS.
:: WB 2:12 am [link+] ::