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US alliance & blank cheques « Previous | |Next »
September 24, 2005

The stories about prisoner abuse by the US in Iraq and Afghanistan keep on surfacing don't they? The stories are forming a pattern: torture is an integral part of a system of imprisonment by an imperial power.

Then we read this spin from the US Army in Nation Review Online with scepticism. It is part of the standard response of the Bush administration to prisoner abuse: what Marty Ledeman describes as 'disingenuous legal analysis; unprecedented assertions of Executive authority; dissembling, cicumlocution, and unwarranted secrecy on some of the most important public questions in the current war; etc.'

And Australia? Where does it stand? Interesting question, given this

When Kevin Rudd, the shadow Foreign Affairs spokesman talks about the differences between Liberal and Labour on the question of the US/Australia alliance, the US treatment of prisoners is not mentioned. Rudd says:

"...that the big difference between Labor and the conservatives on the US alliance is that we have never regarded it as a blank cheque:

Labor did not support the unilateral US attack on Iraq in March 2003, a position that is standing well over the test of time as Iraq turns into a quagmire and prospects of a possible civil war between Sunnis and Shias become evident.

Labor does not support the US position on the International Criminal Court and, unlike the Liberals, fundamentally and publicly opposes US attempts to gain exemption for its combatants from the reach of the court.

Unlike the conservatives, Labor does not support the US position of hostility towards Kyoto.

Labor has attacked attempts by the US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, to water down the UN's commitment to the Millennium Development Goals to reducing global poverty."

.

Rudd's silence is interesting isn't it? I woldl have thought that the US torture of prisoners would have been a key difference, given the ALP refusal to give a blank cheque.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:08 PM | | Comments (0)
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