12 October 2003

Harry's small voice of protest is all we have

Our new president has entered the public debate over the Mesopotamian war and, not surprisingly, he trots out the expected pro-war line - if the UN doesn't do what the US orders it to do, then it is irrelevant. It is an interesting understanding of relevance, is it not? The UN is supposed to be a forum of nations with a mission to avoid war where possible by reason and negotiation, with military force used as a last resort. This does not suit the US or its satrapies, so we redefine the role of the UN to be a rubber stamper of American intentions and a cheer squad for its unilateral actions. Well, not quite unilateral. Where the US goes, you can be pretty certain John Major won't be far behind.

President Jeffery confuses us a bit when he throws in a line that 'violence in pursuit of political, religious or cultural aims is wrong and simply never works. . .' Did he check that line with the Man of Steel before delivering it? Will he tell George the Smaller that violence never works? Or should he have made it clear that our violence always works, theirs - whoever they may be - never does?

Democrats leader Andrew Bartlett is right: 'United Nations reform should not be used as an excuse to allow the United States . . . to take pre-emptive action against another country.'

But where is the Leader of the Opposition while this major revolution in our constitutional arrangements is going on? We scour the paper in vain looking for a comment from Simon Crean about the politicisation and presidentialising of the office of governor-general. Presumably he is too busy making sure his backbenchers don't go feral on him during the Bush visit, being rude and causing embarrassment.

Today, Ozplogistan is convulsed by LWDBs alleging that the criticism of Sir William for speaking out was dishonest because RWDBs are not condemning Jeffery for speaking out. Equally the RWDBs are alleging hypocrisy for supporting Sir William and condemning General Jeffery.

I don't see that as the issue. Sir William (right or wrong) called us to be a better Australia. General Jeffery calls us to vote Liberal. Sir William was controversial. General Jeffery is unacceptable.

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