Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, April 08, 2004

Who but the hapless Australian Democrats could make good policy sound so witless!

According to default leader, Andrew Bartlett:

... it takes a lot more to win a war that just knocking over a few statues, and it really shows that, I think both leaders, Mr Latham and Mr Howard aren't really being terribly honest about the situation. It's complex, it's difficult, and we need to be more open about those complexities.

So far, so alright. Just the usual idiotising of your opponents to make yourself look clever while saying the obvious. Then he comes to the right answer:

Australia was involved in that invasion, and we have a bigger obligation than pretty much any other country on the planet, except for the US and the UK, to help rebuild the damage.

Not to mention self-interest. Which Bartlett doesn't, because he thinks we should be helping build good government in Iraq for these reasons:

I mean, that's part of international law, frankly, and we haven't been doing much of that at all

for all of Mr Howard's chest beating about not cutting and running, Australia hasn't really pulled its weight in that regard, just in terms of helping rebuild the infrastructure.

Did you think New Zealand was that bottom of the garden where the foreign policy fairies live? Not according to Bartlett.

Frankly at the moment, New Zealand and Canada, for example, countries that weren't involved, and didn't support the invasion, are doing more to help rebuild infrastructure and actually rebuild the basic fundamentals of the situation in Iraq than Australia is.