June 19th 2004


  Buy Issue 2684
Qty:

Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The legacy of Ronald Reagan

Remembering Reagan

CANBERRA OBSERVED : Coalition, Labor split widens over Iraq

TRADE: Behind Iraq's $700 million wheat debt

FEDERAL: Labor Left hopes to pigeon-hole Marriage Bill

RELIGION: Costello attacked over thanksgiving speech

QUEENSLAND: Labor makes push for ethanol-sugar vote

OPINION: Coalition defends its sugar package

POLITICAL IDEAS: Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Conservatism's radical prophet

QUARANTINE : Biosecurity inflames fire blight fears

CHILDREN AT RISK: Protecting children from Internet porn

DRUGS: Redfern riot linked to heroin trade

CANADA: Health care primary focus in Canadian election

INDIA: What went wrong with the BJP?

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Drums on the Congo / The next moonlight state?

DEMUTUALISATION: Credit unions an endangered species

Britain and Palestine (letter)

Worker co-ops (letter)

BOOKS: WHY OUR SCHOOLS ARE FAILING, By Kevin Donnelly

BOOKS: Taking Sex Differences Seriously, by Steven Rhoads

Books promotion page

survey link

FONT SIZE:

CANBERRA OBSERVED :
Coalition, Labor split widens over Iraq


by News Weekly

News Weekly, June 19, 2004
President Bush's supposed intervention into Australian domestic politics has been mischievously overblown, and is unlikely to sway people who have not already made up their mind over the US-alliance and the Iraq situation.

More worringly, though, Bush's warning on any Australian pull-out signals that Australia will over the coming months become the focus of greater attention of terrorist groups in the countdown towards the Federal election.

Much has been made of the exchange between the President and Australian reporters during a brief joint press conference with Prime Minister John Howard during his recent trip to Washington.

Reactions

Both major parties have tried to capitalise on the comments with the Coalition maintaining that Mark Latham is not fit to run the country, and Labor claiming that President Bush is trying to run Australia from Washington and interfere in our democratic process.

The presidential comments have been variously described as "unprecedented" and "dangerous", with Greens Senator Bob Brown calling for the President to "pull his head in" and absurdly insisting that Mr Howard should have stepped in and told Mr Bush it was none of his business.

It is worthwhile recalling the exact wording of the question-and-answer session which has raised so much heat.

Reporter: "Are you aware the alternative Prime Minister Mark Latham had promised to withdraw Australian troops by Christmas if he wins the election?"

President Bush: "It would be a disastrous decision for the leader of a great country like Australia to say: 'We're pulling out'.

"It would dispirit those people who love freedom in Iraq.

"It would say the Australian Government doesn't see any hope of a free and democratic society leading to a peaceful world.

"It would embolden the enemy, who believe they can shake our will.

"See, they want to kill innocent life, because they think the Western world, the free world is weak.

"That when times get tough, we will shirk our duty to those who long for freedom."

Now President Bush's words were certainly strong, and at one level it could even be interpreted that he is accusing the Australian Labor Party leader of a variety of deficiencies including being selfish, shortsighted, cowardly, meanspirited and defeatist.

In fact, he is doing none of those things.

Mr Howard insists that he did not discuss the matter with President Bush either before the press conference or afterwards.

In other words this was no put-up job.

The fact is President Bush was stating a bald opinion based primarily on his own concerns about the Coalition's role in leading Iraq toward a democratic government.

Australia's presence in Iraq was, and still is, a token contingent, but along with Britain and Spain it played an absolutely vital role in helping the United States legitimise the invasion as a true international force.

President Bush is simply stating the obvious that Mr Latham should be backing the Coalition at a key juncture in the handover process to the Iraqi governing council, that there should be no early pull-out which would embolden the terrorists, the enemies of the United States and of a free Iraq.

In fact, the message is more about protecting Bush's own position at home as it is about any desire to determine the Australian election result.

Madrid retreat

The Madrid train bombings and the subsequent change of heart in Spain did enormous damage to the US-led alliance and proved to the terrorists that their evil tactics can indeed change governments.

In the post-war reconstruction period there were 34 countries assisting the United States.

The Dominican Republic, Honduras and Haiti have also withdrawn their tiny troop contingents, but any premature Australian withdrawal would be a body blow to the US and the Bush administration.

Mr Latham has taken a bold, some would say rash decision to extract all Australian troops by Christmas.

The consequences of that decision are now international.

Whatever the rights or wrongs of the original participation in the war, President Bush is only stating the obvious when he says an Australian Government decision to withdraw before the job is completed would be disastrous.




























Join email list

Join e-newsletter list


Your cart has 0 items



Subscribe to NewsWeekly

Research Papers



Trending articles

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal rebuts commission's 'Get Pell' campaign

COVER STORY Anti-discrimination law validates Safe Schools

U.S. AFFAIRS First Brexit, now Trump: it's the economy, stupid!

INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT Wikileaks reveals U.S, funding behind anti-coal campaign

COVER STORY QUT discrimination case exposes Human Rights Commission failings

FOREIGN AFFAIRS How the left whitewashed Fidel Castro

ANALYSIS What is possible to a Trump Whitehouse



News and views from around the world

Frequently asked questions about section 18C (Simon Breheny)

Chilean legislators kill explicit sex-ed program (LifeSite News)

France to ban people with Down syndrome from smiling (The Huffington Post)

Child abuse and family structure: What is the evidence telling us (Family First NZ)

Woolworths beats ACCC supplier mistreatment case (Eli Greenblat)

Australia set to ride the quantum computing wave (Science in Public)

Weatherill warns states could introduce carbon prices (Rosie Lewis)

Green-left legerdemain doesn't make religion relevant (Fr James Grant)

Mass murderer Castro dies unpunished (Augusto Zimmermann)

The rise of political correctness (Angelo Codevilla)



























© Copyright NewsWeekly.com.au 2011
Last Modified:
December 2, 2016, 2:36 pm