Monday, June 28, 2004

conscientious objection

On reflection, maybe it's insensitive of me to write of beheading roosters (story below) given the amount of hostages being killed that way lately in the Middle East...
Anyway, on that subject, I just want to add I'm tired of all this continuing angst about the US alliance. We're an independent nation, for god's sake. If we can't have a difference of opinion, or decline joining a war of aggression, or object to foreign policies of pre-emption and unilateralism, then that relationship has serious problems in the first place. We shouldn't have to walk on eggshells regarding America. I get mightily annoyed whenever John Howard admonishes us for wanting to get out of Iraq. Listen buddy, you shouldn't have got us into this situation in the first place, and that's a fact you can't escape whichever way you paint it. And hell, if anything your Government "cut and run" from Afghanistan, by failing to adequately sort out that mess before we got involved with Iraq.
Still, even though I fall into the ABH (Anyone But Howard) camp, I think it's time for Labor to stop with the small-target strategy and come out with the big stuff. I hate to say it, but I'm a bit disappointed in Mark Latham because I thought he'd be more of a big-picture visionary. Since an election date of August 7 is looking likely, but even if it's later than that, there's no credible reason to withhold policies--and this is coming from a Labor voter. I just don't think Labor should be acting coy, or perhaps worry that it's policies won't survive vigorous debate. Have the courage to get it all out now, I reckon, and be flexible enough to make any changes that may become necessary after extensive debate. Otherwise, Labor runs the risk of looking like it doesn't have the confidence in it's own ideas.