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Monday, February 12, 2007


In an interview on Australia’s current affairs program, ‘Sunday’, Australian Prime Minister John Howard demonstrated how completely out of touch with reality he really is. He told the interviewer after being asked about Barack Obama’s decision to run for the Presidency and how he would have the troops home by March 2008 if elected: “I think he's wrong. I think that would just encourage those who wanted completely to destabilise and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for Obama victory. If I was running Al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008, and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats.”[1]

Howard has failed to see that Iraq is already completely destabilised and has already been destroyed and that the ‘terrorists’ in Iraq is the US troops and their allies. Howard continues to insist that Al-Qaeda bogeymen are running things in Iraq. He fails to grasp the reality that the only reasons for the violence in Iraq is because the people don’t want the US and their allies, including Australia, in Iraq and that their presence there is unwelcome by the vast majority of Iraqis. Howard says: “There's no way by March 2008, which is a little over a year from now, everything will have been stabilised so that America can get out in March 2008.” What Howard is unable to accept is the fact that Iraq will never be stabilised while the US are there. For every moment that the US remains in Iraq they prolong the agony that the Iraqi people now endure.

Howard also ties in the conflict in Iraq with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He says: “And, if America is defeated in Iraq, the hope of ever getting a Palestinian settlement will be gone.” The hope of getting a Palestinian settlement in favour of right-wing Zionist Israelis will be gone – yes, but a proper settlement returning to the Palestinians their land and sovereignty can only be enhanced by an American withdrawal from the Middle East.

Howard goes on to say: “There'll be enormous conflict between the Shi'a and the Sunnis throughout the whole of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Jordan will both be (destabilised), Al-Qaeda will trumpet it as the greatest victory they've ever had and that will have implications in our region because of the link, the ideological link at the very least, between the Al-Qaeda and JI.”

This is pure unadulterated garbage. There is no reason for either Saudi Arabia or Jordan to become ‘destabilised’ simply because some - and only some - Shi’a and Sunnis have got at each others throats in Iraq to take advantage of the internal power struggles that dominate Iraq as a result of the US presence there. To infer that the violence between Shi’a and Sunni militants in Iraq is so widespread that it will spread throughout the region is pure nonsense. To suggest that Al-Qaeda will ‘trumpet it as the greatest victory they've ever had’ is just plain delusional. The delusion is completed for Howard by suggesting that such a ‘victory’ for Al-Qaeda will somehow have repercussions in the South Pacific region.

Howard has tried all these lies before but does he really expect people to still actually believe them?

[1] ‘Interview: John Howard’, Sunday.ninemsn, 11 February 2007. Available online: Accessed 12 February 2007.


Terrence Valter said...

The old Vietnam war canard is back under another name. Now they don't dare to say it "the domino theory".

Damian Lataan said...

I have this other theory Terrence; it's called the 'House of Cards theory'. If the whole course of the history of the twenty-first century so far is founded on stuff presented to the world as facts and subsequently just one of those facts turns out to be a lie then...

Anonymous said...

I agree with andrew Bolt on this one (in part, anyway): Howard was overeaching labelling the entire Democratic party in the way he did.

Damian, I am interested in how you think al Qaeda would respond to a US withdrawal from Iraq? Trumpeting it as the "greatest victory they ever had" might be a stretch, but surely it would be an ideal situation for al Qaeda, wouldn't it?

And though it drags this 21st century blog back one step, couldn't they claim to have members that have done what no other group has ever done and beaten BOTH superpowers?

Crankshaft said...

It doesn't matter how many troops Barack Obama challenges Howard to send to Iraq.

I think Howard is more concerned about his own image back home if the US withdraws its troops and cuts its losses.

Bush is on his way out. Nothing can hurt him now. Howard has plenty to lose. And I'm sure he remembers all the Australians who were affected by the past bombings in Bali.

Pulling out now would mean sending in the troops was a mistake.

Anonymous said...

This is really getting silly.
Now Howard even knows what Al Quaida would consider to be a strategic victory.

Who knows anon, maybe they would like to see a continuation of strife in the middle east. Maybe the presence of foreign troops plays into their hands.

In fact a few weeks ago the leader of the insurgents challenged Bush to send in his whole army, maybe this was bravado, or maybe he really wanted it. If the latter was true, Bush sending in more troops was playing into the hands of the insurgents.

See how silly the whole thing is?

Lara said...

Great work.

Damian Lataan said...

Lara, I'd forgotten about this piece. Thanks for reminding me. It now seems very relevant!