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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

nice to see some sense « Previous | |Next »
July 19, 2003

In the Inquirer section of the Weekend Australian there is an article entitled The Vanishing by Bob Drogin (not online but obtainable at the New Republic Online (July 2003 but subscription only). It argues that Iraq probably did not have weapons of mass destruction at the time of the Iraqi war and that Hussein was bluffing because if he admitted that the UN containment had worked, it would have weakened his power in the region.

And check this as backup. (Link courtesy Tim Dunlop who has an extended discussion.

Nice of the Australian to run such material. But there is no acknowledgement that this undermines its own justifications for the war. That is too much too expect. But the circulation of such material it is the reason why Bush Blair and Howard talk about WMD programs these days. They cover the shift in position by pretending that they are saying the same thing prior to going war with Iraq. No honesty there either.

But The Australian has shifted further away from the Bush administation was absolutely right on everything.

An editorial on North Korea in the Weekend Australian (not online) acknowledges the rationality fo the Left vis-a-vis the Iraqi war. The editorial says that further to the left of the ALP:

'..we see the old habit returning: blame the Americans. Democrat's leader Andrew Bartlett says that Australia's participation in an interdiction force would only be "bowing to the US again". But wasn't the whole argument of the left against the war in Iraq that we should focus our resources on threats in the region?'

That is quite different to the standard 'appeasement and support Saddam' line that was run at the Left by the 'it's time for war now' crowd.

What The Australian does not say is that beating of drums of war with North Korea is not necessary either. Negoitations and diplomacy is a better way to go.

Whilst Australia and the US beat the drums of war on the domestic front (Howard, of course, talks a different language when he is visiting the Philippines, Japan and South Korea), it is China who is quietly doing the negotiating.

This acquiring a bit of sense does not apply to Christopher Pearson, Adelaide's homegrown neo-con, who favours pre-emptive intervention in foreign policy and the US acting as global cop keeping law and order. His column in The Australian (no link) is about one the ALP left for being critical of the US and the benefits accruing to Australia from being the deputy sheriff of the US. Pearson fails to address what pre-emptive intervention means for a North Korea that the ne-cons define as a rogue state posing a big threat to Australia's national security. Pearson evades the issue. He hides behind an attack on the ALP and boosting John Howard.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:40 PM | | Comments (0)