Kevinism or a Ruddism? (letter)by M. GordonNews Weekly
, September 29, 2007
Kevin Rudd's US alliance forays offer the clever use of one-liners rather than substance with regard to Vietnam and Iraq.
The ALP has a patchy foreign policy record. In 1938, it warmly endorsed the infamous Munich agreement. In 1939, it opposed fighting the Nazis after the German invasion of Poland; but then changed its stance!
In 1955, the ALP opposed sending ground troops to defeat a communist insurgency in Malaya, despite the fact we already had air and naval forces there (eerily like Iraq now).
Labor did not oppose the Australian training forces in Vietnam in 1962-65, and only military service seems to have led to its change of policy in 1965. While Whitlam advocated withdrawing Australians from Vietnam, he criticised the US for withdrawing its forces!
Despite the misleading television ads, the ALP also supported the Indonesian incorporation of West Papua and East Timor. Labor has said little against the human-rights records of one-party states, such as Vietnam.
In 1975, Whitlam was happy to seek campaign donations from Iraq's Ba'th regime.
In 2002, Kevin Rudd was convinced that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. He apparently believes in fighting Islamic fascism, on the ground in Afghanistan, but nowadays only in the air and at sea in Iraq.
Basically the ALP approach to foreign policy is whatever sounds good at the time. It is vacuous and opportunistic.
Opposing totalitarianism and sticking up for human rights are not Labor's strong suit at all, particularly if the regimes are socialist states.(Mr) M. Gordon,