Howard Wobbles but Holds On

A Mark Seymour rant that he posted on his Internet site about Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s spin on Iraq.

Author: Mark Seymour.

Date: 14 October 2006.

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Article Text

It looks as though the right honourable John Howard is finally joining the dots together if his latest comments on the Iraq war are any indication.

I quote: ” Certainly the post-invasion phase, the post military operation phase has gone on longer and has not gone as well as ONE might have hoped.” (The Age 14.10.06)

I wonder who ‘one’ is? You? Me? Us? Australians at large, or just some abstract person who thought invading Iraq was a good idea in the first place?

The poor bugger. He’s really trying isn’t he? Yes, the spin can only go in one direction. You can slow it down a little, but you can never throw it into reverse. Never say die ol’ Johnny boy! Just keep pressing on even though the whole Iraq thing really is looking a teensy weensy bit fucked up. Would it be safe to quote the latest body count of 600,000 recently published by John Hopkins University, or is it a little less than that? How about 128,000 by the Iraqi ministry of health? Or try George Bush’s 30,000? Is this a more ‘responsible’ figure or by merely talking about thousands of people dying violently we are at risk of providing the enemy with positive spin? Then again, who the hell is the enemy? As a proud Australian, should I even be reflecting on all of this, given that my taxes are helping to feed our troops who can look forward to being stationed over there indefinitely?

General Sir Richard Dannatt, chief of the British Army no less, wants his lot out. What the hell does he mean? Surely it’s not that bad? It’s only a war after all. People die in wars. After all, there’s the beacon of western democracy to look forward to. But hey, dare I say it, maybe even Sir Richard thinks they won’t get there and he’s a bloody general for god’s sake!

So, how long can John Howard ignore the scale of the disaster? Certainly 59% of a sample of Aussies have chosen to call a spade a bloody shovel. (ACNeilsen, 9.10.06) They think we should get the hell out of there. Then again, most of these turncoats voted for the Labor party at the last election so you’d be right to assume Howard won’t be too alarmed; maybe a little more ‘alert’ but that’ll be the extent of it. After all he’s still got a year to go before the next election and as they say, a week is lifetime in politics, let alone a whole bloody year. I wonder how may more dead Iraqis there’ll be by then?