“We should not be so delicate as to say ISIL and its ilk have ‘got nothing to do with Islam’. But equally we should not tag all Moslems or their religion with responsibility for the crimes of a tiny criminal minority. That is precisely what the extremists want us to do,” …
The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, will use a speech during his first day of his visit to Washington, DC, to explain both why Australia is engaged in the battle against Islamic State, and why he refuses to use heated language that casts the battle against terrorism as a broader ideological war.
Mr Obama has pointed out more than once that his stance is in line with advice from intelligence agencies.
“We should not be so delicate as to say ISIL and its ilk have ‘got nothing to do with Islam’. But equally we should not tag all Moslems or their religion with responsibility for the crimes of a tiny criminal minority. That is precisely what the extremists want us to do,” he will tell and audience at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, one of Washington DC’s leading think tanks.
This position puts Mr Turnbull in line with Barack Obama, who has also refused to describe the war as a clash of civilisations despite ongoing criticism, particularly from Republican presidential candidates.
Mr Turnbull will argue that the ground war against Islamic State (or ISIL) should not be led by western forces.
“The threat posed by ISIL has a direct impact on our region…ISIL has used the declaration of a caliphate as a powerful marketing tool which is attracting supporters to travel to the region or to carry out attacks at home… The destruction of their self-styled caliphate would help to counter its narrative of inevitable victory and is therefore an important element in securing Australians and Americans at home – and abroad.
“The destruction of ISIL requires a military solution – it requires boots on the ground. But they must be the right boots on the right ground. The recent retaking of Ramadi is a prime example. Led by the Iraqi army, assisted by the Coalition’s respective air and special forces, it was not just a blow to ISIL, but an example of the right combination.”
Also during his first day Mr Turnbull will attend a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and meetings at the Pentagon.
This Monday in the United States is a national holiday in honour of Dr Martin Luther King, and Mr Turnbull is hoping to mark the day by visiting the civil rights leader’s memorial in the national capital.
Mr Turnbull brings with him a gift for the President of a page of the Sydney Morning Herald containing a report about a public meeting held in Sydney on June 4, 1863, “for the purpose of expressing sympathy with President Lincoln in this present juncture of American affairs”.
President Lincoln was at the time leading the Union through the bloody Civil War that was not to end until 1865, securing the emancipation of African American slaves.
The significance of President Lincoln to President Obama cannot be overstated.
The first African American president, who like Lincoln comes from Illinois, swore his oath of office on Lincoln’s bible.
At the Sydney meeting a resolution was moved by Sir Henry Parkes, who later became known as the father of Australian federation, noting that although complete emancipation had not yet been achieved, its cause was just and right.
“No event of greater interest to humanity could be found and we might safely trust that good would arise from the expression of our sympathies, our feelings, and opinions of what was right to people of the same family, language, religion, and literature as ourselves,” he is quoted by the Herald as saying.
“We had an interest in this question as Britons, as descendants of Britons, as Australians, and that interest was on the side of those who were fighting for that noble constitution under which they had grown up to be a great people.”
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/embargoed-prime-minister-malcolm-turnbull-to-articulate-australias-islamic-state-fight-embargoed-20160118-gm8g9y.html#ixzz3xchGgSFc
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