February 11, 2007

Meddling

"Prime Minister John Howard has launched a broadside against US presidential hopeful Barack Obama, warning his victory could destroy Iraq and prospects for peace in the Middle East."
'Cause, you know, there's so much of Iraq that hasn't been destroyed yet, and the prospect of peace breaking-out across the Middle East is lurking a mere hop, step and a jump around the corner.

Our PM isn't known for being good at shooting from the hip.

He still isn't.

Story ...

Update: If it wasn’t bad enough that our jolly PM decided to share his free speech in regard to American presidential hopefuls – and let’s not forget that neither the GOP nor the Dem’s have held their primaries to determine who their respective and actual presidential nominees will be – in jumps our Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, insisting that in a free world, “You won't get anywhere trying to close down debate." Which might be a point with a modicum of validity, if only PM Howard had initiated, from across the seas, a debate with Senator Obama, or anyone else.

Instead of a debate, PM Howard asserted that:

“Al-Qaeda would be praying for a Democratic win at the 2008 US presidential elections because one of the Democratic hopefuls”

Which is a lie, on the part of The Age (see previous link, above), since PM Howard specifically singled out Senator Obama, who is but one of the Democratic candidates.

In a touché that would have mortally wounded smaller Prime Ministers and politicians, Senator Obama was stinging and succinct in his response:

"I would also note that we have close to 140,000 troops in Iraq, and my understanding is Mr Howard has deployed 1,400, so if he is . . . to fight the good fight in Iraq, I would suggest that he calls up another 20,000 Australians and sends them to Iraq,"

On behalf of the Australian government, Foreign Minister Downer offered this poncy and pathetic rejoinder:

"That would be half of our army. Australia is a much smaller country than the United States and so he might like to weigh that up,"

Yeah, sure, Senator Obama might like to weight that up, if only he hadn’t already, and obviously, done a full mental and mathematical weigh-up.

On the other hand, maybe the politicians running our country might like to start weighing-up their words and foreign relations skills a more carefully.

If not, then at least they should put a sock in it.
They should be mortified.

Update II: Sorry about the half-missing update ... it's not that the post was meant to be half naked, it's Blogger playing funny buggers.

14 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Uncanny Caz ! How we should both mention J.W.H within a few minutes of each other !

    " There's so much of Iraq that hasn't been destroyed yet etc""
    ( okay I'm a bit lazy tonight)

    Yes.. The irony IS breathtaking!

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  2. Yep - only two minutes apart, and your mention being totally out of left field. Funny coinky-dink.

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  3. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Notice , Caz, that the panda usurper has gone to ground!!

    Heh!

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  4. Anonymous10:09 PM

    Oh Fuck..
    Blame it on the chardonnay eh?

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  5. His pander-ing may come prematurely undone Kath, the verdit is not yet in. Provocative pictures of naked pandas is a hard act to keep up, particularly if there's a panda revolt. Plastic pandas would be hard to come by too, which puts him well on the back foot for theme Friday.

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  6. Yeah.. Your right!!

    He's dead in the water!

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  7. Anonymous12:01 PM

    Butt out Buttinski (JWH).

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  8. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Hi Y'all.

    Just finished watching JWH attenpting to make the gaffe float on the 7:30 report. Unfortunately he was using lead floaties.

    It seems the tactic is that "I've made my position on the withdrawal of American troops plain. Mr Rudd does not possess the courage to do the same".

    Yes. Let's see here. It wasn't Mr Rudd who decided that a Democrat elected to the Presidency would immediately result in "Disney's al-Qaeda Terrorist World in Iraq" and, more to the point, very publicly proclaimed it. In fact Rudd has said nothing about it (the result of either side being elected in the US) one way or the other.

    It was in fact JWH. Requiring the opposition to explain themselves or their position on this is an irrelevancy.

    It is JWH, though, who bears every onus of explaining his plainly foolhardy mouth over-run that has so embarrassed him.

    Not that he would admit it, of course.

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  9. I thought I read that he was censured in parliament over this, which would be highly unusual – unless I misunderstood entirely (I only glanced at it).

    Not a top-flight start for the parliamentary year, especially in an election year.

    Lead floaties should be labeled Michael, not only because “this plastic wrapping isn't a toy ... “

    I'm flummoxed that a man who has been our Prime Minister for a decade could be such a total dick. I'm also disgusted that he singled out Obama; I find it curious.

    All this, despite the fact that, I believe, (purely hypothetically): a new Prez in the USA in November, not sworn in until January, and planning on a pull out by March? Well, come on, you don't need to be chief of the military to appreciate the logistical absurdity of such a goal. That's my thought on it. It's a very low draw of the bow. I don't know if Obama means "start" to pull out, or finish by March - haven't read enough. Besides, it's easy to commit to things like that before you have the job, but when you really have the power, and the inside scope of information and logistics to deal with, it's a different picture. It would be more sensible to present a general view and direction, rather than set actions and target dates. Besides, it's a heck of a long time between now and that target date - an entire year. If Obama jumps both necessary hurdles (?? who knows, but doubtful – Hillary has the numbers at the moment), he isn't psychic, so doesn't know how the next 12 months will unfold. He would be dealing with a different circumstance by then.

    But back to Howard: given that he should (we hope) retire after the next election, wouldn’t you think he'd want to end his rosy cruise in the PM job on a high note, with dignity, a modicum of public respect intact? Suddenly he's acting as if this is amateur hour. He looked a twit on climate change last week, without trying, and then goes in gung-ho this week to prove he's a twit. Go figure.

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  10. Anonymous8:38 PM

    Perhaps he is becoming a tad senile Caz.

    Think he is about 67 now.

    .Hmmm..

    BTW Caz just gotta ask, How is it that you never learnt to drive mate?( You often make references to the fact)

    Actually.. Did you know that my kids can drive!!

    Yes indeedy.. It's true!





    They drive me up the wall!!
    Heh Heh..

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  11. Anonymous10:28 PM

    Well, in fact, the GOP and Dem candidates will not be chosen until next year. We've the entire primary season to go through yet. The election will be Nov '08 and the inauguration Jan '09.

    Just on which, the fascination - begun with Teddy Roosevelt in his failed second tilt in 1912 for the Republican nomination - with primaries is at the core of the current degeneration in US politics. In Teddy's day, one could run for President on the "sniff of an oily rag" in any comparable terms – Connie Lawn on 2BL saying one billion this morning (how bloody obscene). While it still took money, it was not a whit near what is now necessary. The Primary system - necessitating a candidate to "run" for a year (now two) and, more importantly, to finance that run over the time - is (along with profligate TV costs) at the heart of the political rot. When one recalls that JFK won the Democratic nomination in 1960 having only entered seven primaries, the change is obvious.

    I was going to run a thread on that on Harry's site but it looks like he's busy with other matters – taking out the "Left" maybe. 'Twas interesting watching the candidates shadow dancing the political polka whilst in the US.

    So yes, with that in mind, Howard has made a total arse of himself and is having as much fun – and success – as a capybara attempting to work its way out of an anaconda gullet. I missed the water/global warming thing whilst in S'pore last week. The backwash (pardon the pun) tends to back you up.

    We've seen it before: the Pollies super thingy last election year; the petrol price the election year prior to that. This time though, he looks like he's lost his mojo. He's finding it very difficult to corner this Rudd fellow – the opposite seems to be the case.

    Fact remains: there was absolutely no need to run off at the mouth to Oakes. The Nine oaf must have wondered at his amazing stroke of luck.

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  12. Of course, do'h! Their election isn't until 2008!

    Then what the hell is Howard on about?! Even more absurd than at first blush. This is stupid.

    I wish the ALP had a few decent policies though Michael. If they win, and it's possible, I don't relish the thought of the country going to hell in a hand basket because the ALP haven't caught-on to the 21st century. That would be too depressing.

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  13. Anonymous11:03 AM

    Yes, a policy free zone we do not need.

    I don't think we have too much say in where the "economy" of this country goes - hell, with or without handbaskets. We are currently commodity mortgage over-committed, to put it in money borrowing terms. If the news coming from the mining industry is correct (and looking at its posted profits in recent years, it is) then any slowing in the demand for same will be a severe jolt.

    We seem to be a business heavily reliant on one large client. Bit like the "sheep's back" forty and more years back.

    Regardless, this whole episode serves to show just what happens when you've not ever had an opposition to contend with. When it suddenly jumps up and bites on the arse you jump.

    JWH - his posturing and desperate "coward" labelling aside - has done a Latham "troops home by Christmas". Those in his own party are uneasy about it. Whether it costs him, time will tell.

    The political report from Canberra on 2BL yesterday afternoon painted the picture of JWH's "spin doctors" doing "letter drops" to the press gallery on Rudd's lack of courage on Iraq and JWH as a man with the courage of his convictions.

    It isn't tickling him.

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  14. Ah, I now see the context of Howard’s comments Michael, that is, Obama has suggested, or “called for” withdrawal of US troops by March 08, that is, he is urging this upon the incumbent leader. Hmm, well, big deal.

    While it’s nice of Obama to offer the President helpful tips, including performance delivery dates, it seems to me that people in the US offer up their tips everyday of the week, without anyone becoming Howard-like-hysterical about it.

    Was Howard fearful that Bush would take Obama’s advice? If so, why? Isn’t it up to President Bush to decide when or if he will start withdrawing troops?

    Think about it: what if Bush gets his troop surge; what if it takes a few months, or even 12 months to be a spectacularly successful surge effort; what if, this time next year, Bush announces that everything is going swimmingly in Iraq and half the troops will be heading home next week, with the rest to progressively following over the next few months. In other words, what if Bush decides, of his own volition, and for whatever reason, to start pulling his troops out in February 2008? What would Howard say? Think about the bizarre implications and the cartwheels Howard would have to perform so as not to appear to be a certifiable top-flight blithering idiot.

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