Monday, June 07, 2004

man of tin rusts on his laurels

The PM keeps defending George Bush's comments on Mark Latham by saying, "He was asked a question by a journalist. He gave the only answer he could." The only answer he could? How about not answering? I mean, how many times has Howard himself declined to answer simple questions? He's renowned for it. He was at it again yesterday on Sunday, where he couldn't remember important details and tried to confuse the issue:

JOHN HOWARD:I think the indications of the "children overboard" issue in relation to [Abu Ghraib] is false and unfair, and the circumstances are quite different. As far as we're concerned, we don't have anything to hide in relation to Abu Ghraib. Australians were not involved. They haven't been accused of abuse, and if they were we wouldn't want to hide that anyway."

Does that mean that you did have something to hide in the 'children overboard' fiasco? Anyway, as everyone knows, nobody is saying Australians were involved in Abu Ghraib. It's completely beside the point as to whether there are similarities in the two intelligence failures. He must think we're stupid.
He also trotted out his old 'a vote for Latham is a vote for bin Laden' card:
"See, what people have got to understand is that whatever links there were between Saddam Hussein and terrorism thirteen or fourteen months ago, right now the terrorist are investing an enormous amount in Iraq, and they see victory in Iraq as a huge boost to their international cause, and that is why the position being taken by Mr Latham is so wrong, and that is why it is so important that the members of the Coalition should remain firm."

'Whatever links'? Hasn't it been established that there were none? In spite of all the emotional blackmail about staying-the-course, the fact remains that we should have poured all our energy into defeating Al Qaeda & Co. first, before going after tinpot dictators who weren't immediately threatening us. Don't you wish one of these guys would say "OK, maybe, just maybe we were wrong?"