Al Qaeda a footnote in history: Dr Blewett

p3-top-dr-neal-blewettThe fallout from the breakup of the old Soviet Union and the Great Recession will impact more on the current generation than Al Qaeda’s terrorism – which will be relegated to a footnote in history, according to Dr Neal Blewett.

The former Professor of Political Theory and Institutions at Flinders University and Federal Minister in the Hawke and Keating Governments told a University graduation ceremony that two formative and evolving events – “the implosion of the Soviet empire and the Great Recession” – will shape the world in the years ahead.

“You will note that I have not included Jihadi terrorism as a crucial event here.A few years ago I might have been inclined to dub you the ‘Twin Towers generation’, so epoch shaping did the horrific events of 11 September appear at the time,” Dr Blewett said.

“Now, in retrospect and despite the massive if understandable overreaction of the United States and its allies – the invasion of two Islamic nations in response to the actions of a small band of Islamic fanatics – I suspect that the Twin Towers will be but a footnote in the history of the 21st century,” he said.

“This is because while the perpetrators could create great shock and horror, they are essentially weak and lack the follow-up resources to change the world.

“Al Qaeda is comparable in this respect with two other footnotes to world history – the Hashshashin of Alamut in the 11th to 13th centuries in the Middle East and the Anarchist propagandists of the deed in late 19th and early 20th century Europe.The Hashshashin – from which we get the word assassin – went round publicly murdering various Middle Eastern rulers – atbegs, viziers, Crusader princes and for good measure a Patriarch of Jerusalem.The Anarchist propagandists of the deed made headlines comparable with those of the Twin Towers by despatching a Russian Tsar, the Empress of Austria, a President of France, a King of Italy, a King of Greece and two Spanish Prime Ministers all in the space of roughly thirty years.

“Yet despite the personal tragedies they caused, both groups had little impact on the overall course of history.Indeed, I suspect most of you here have not heard of either group.”

Dr Blewett returned to Flinders to accept an honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Health which was presented by the Chancellor, Sir Eric Neal.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber said Dr Blewett had been “responsible for a number of significant policy reforms and initiatives in health” during his ministerial career.

“Dr Blewett was the political architect of Medicare, a major social reform that delivered universal, publicly funded and administered national health insurance cover for all Australians.Since its introduction, Medicare has been a cornerstone of fairness and equity in the delivery of health services in Australia,” Professor Barber said.

He added: “Dr Blewett can also be credited with providing the political leadership that enabled the adoption of national policies and strategies that have minimized the rate of HIV infection in Australia”.

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0 thoughts on “Al Qaeda a footnote in history: Dr Blewett

  1. Hi. I would like to thank Dr Blewett for his informative speech which gives me a more universal perspective on recent events surround “terrorist” actions throughout the world.
    Peter Kenny

  2. Hi,

    I just wanted to bring to your attention the publication of a scientific paper
    disproving the official version of what happened on september 11, 2001.

    The publication is in the Open Chemical Physics Journal (2009), submitted by
    Harrit and colleagues.

    Thermite was identified in the ruins of the world trade centre, suggesting that
    they were destroyed through large quantities of placed thermite, not because of
    a fuel fire following the plane impacts. As the placement was a large operation,
    a trail of evidence has been left behind.

    Since Australians were killed in the WTC collapse, and Australia is currently
    engaged in conflicts as a result of this event, it is critical that truth and
    justice on this issue is pursued. The criminals that perpetrated this crime must
    be brought to account.


    Nick Mabarrack

  3. I’m inclined to generally agree with Dr. Blewett’s assessment about ‘al Qaeda’ though I do think it’ll be a little more than a simple ‘footnote in history’.

    ‘Al Qaeda’ has morphed from a small band of Islamic ideological mercenaries hired by bin Laden, into a myth that is now merely a useful propaganda pigeon-hole into which any Muslim that raises their hand against the West can be conveniently shoved for the purpose of demonising Islamic fundamentalist ideology with the aim of justifying the invasion of their resource-rich lands.

    Dr. Blewett might well be correct in saying ‘al Qaeda terrorism’ will have less impact on the current generation than the ‘collapse of the Soviet Union and the Great Recession’, however, the West’s reaction to what many believe was al Qaeda terrorism on 11 September 2001 has had, and will continue to have, a tremendous impact on today’s generation world wide as the West continues to attempt to do battle (some say a losing battle) with the somewhat mercurial ‘al Qaeda’ and their cohorts that want nothing more than foreigners to leave their lands.

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