The White House has decided to overlook bio-terrorism, while Ireland finally goes to vote on its abortion referendum, and a spate of recent terrorist attacks highlight the ISIS effect in Indonesia.
The White House signals that bio-terrorism and disease don’t matter — again
In his editorial in The Washington Post,
Bio-security and international epidemics are recognised threats. They have the potential to kill huge numbers, cross borders and destabilise entire regions, yet, Bernard observes that most security professionals in the States tend to eliminate it as a priority focus.
“It is time to stop pretending health security is a soft issue just because some want it to be. Epidemic disease — whether natural, accidental or intentional — will predictably recur during this and future administrations, and it will affect whole populations and economies as well as individual lives. Leadership at the White House and the NSC is not the whole solution. But without it, we are fighting while handcuffed.”
In Indonesia, ISIS is influencing terrorism in more ways than one
After a sudden series of terrorist attacks hit Indonesia in the past week, Sidney Jones writing in The New York Times, offers insights into how supporters of the Islamic State around the world are reacting to the group’s reverses in the Middle East. Nearly every day in the month of May, an attack was either carried out successfully or at least attempted.
Looking at the violence, she editorialises about what would happen to Islamist terrorism in Indonesia after the Islamic State is routed in the Middle East.
“The attacks this month are the work of a tiny fringe desperate for attention but they undermine Indonesia’s self-image as a nation of largely tolerant, moderate Muslims. It is now up to the government to translate citizen outrage over the bombings into programs to monitor jihadist returnees, curb extremist teachings and protect religious minorities.”
Lizzie O’Shea, an Irish human rights lawyer looks into what happens in Ireland’s abortion referendum Friday and comments about how the campaign should serve as an inspiration.
“For too long, women in Ireland and elsewhere have paid the price for the notion that abortion is electoral poison and no good will come out of politicians campaigning on it.”
Shea stresses on how it is critical that the referendum is successful and that lawmakers listen to women while designing new policies. She highlights the importance of facilities for proper access to care, protection for the staff and patients for abortion clinics and regulation. Properly resourced public health services, protected by access zones, must be a component of proposals for reform. The world is watching Ireland, and it’s time they step up to the mantle.