Thursday, July 12, 2007

Our Foreign Minister's attempt at policy debate

That fat ponce Alexander Downer is at it again.

Earlier this week in The Australian he accused Kevin Rudd of being a boy in a bubble, because

He wants to pretend Australia can abandon Iraq, retreat to "our own backyard" and leave others to carry the burden of the great global security challenges of the day. He scarcely considers the consequences beyond the next 24-hour news cycle.

Downer also goes on to say that "maintenance of global security will sometimes require Australia to shoulder its share of responsibility, even when that involves difficult choices" and that Rudd is "unfit to lead the nation [as a] foreign policy imposter".

Extraordinarily he states that Australia, presumably under his bumbling, stuttering, overweight English-school boy act as Foreign Minister has a "sophisticated strategy of global engagement". Why is it that coming from his pen that sounds like semi-colonial rhetoric? And why is our sophisticated strategy so damn similar to that of the US?

All of this is a bit rich coming from a man who in January 2003 claimed it would be "folly in the extreme" to send Australian troups to the Solomon Islands because "foreigners do not have answers for the deep seated problems afflicting the Solomon Islands" and "our intervention would only delay the inevitable."

Apparently Alex wasn't thinking much beyond a seven month news cycle when he also said of such an intervention that "It would be very difficult to justify to Australian taxpayers" because by July he had changed his mind and Australian troups were on the ground. However that didn't stop the 2006 rioting and looting in Honiara, or the persecution of the Chinese there.

In today's Herald Sun Downer has another go at Rudd, saying that after his visit to Iraq and Afghanistan, he believes that our presence is necessary. It would be funny where it not so pathetically tragic for him to boast "General Petraeus told me [out troops] were world leaders, making an invaluable contribution." Anyone else get the sense that Lexie is really excited to be playing on the big stage with the boys with real guns.

Downer even goes on to say "As I told Prime Minister Maliki and President Karzai, their governments need to make tough decisions." A big call from a man whose government has said in response to a United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that "in the end we are not going to be told what to do by anybody" because these matters should be resolved by Australians, not by foreign bodies who "failed to grapple with the unique and
complex history of race relations in Australia

I don't purport to know all the answers and I am all for a serious debate about our role in Iraq, one that doesn’t talk about "emboldening terrorists," "appeasement" or "poll driven sloganeering". However I don't think Downer is the man to take us on that debate. I am also finding it particularly hard to take him seriously after seeing that "I'm so freaky" number in Keating the Musical that seems him adorned in fishnet stockings and a feather boa. Even seeing him in a tuxedo makes me feel strangely ill.