Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Shredding the appeasers 

From "don't hold back and tell us what you really think" files, Australia's outspoken Foreign Minister Alexander Downer does what few of his counterparts elsewhere would do - he tells it like it is. In a speech at New England University in New South Wales (yes, we also have our own New England), Downer has gone down the bad memory lane and ripped the opposition Labor Party to shreds over its foreign policy record, accusing it of appeasing firstly the Nazism, then communism, and finally Saddam. "Only the [Liberal/National] Coalition is unequivocally committed to supporting the global struggle for freedom," he said.
"In a time when bipartisanship was imperative in the national interest, [Labor leader] Curtin had chosen from 1935 on to placate the international socialists, pacificists and anti-conscripts within his own party... Even as late as the Munich crisis of September 1938, Curtin persisted with a policy of isolationism and failed to acknowledge the threat posed by Nazism."
The 1970s Labor legend (mostly in his own mind), Prime Minister Whitlam got reminded about recognizing the Soviet sovereignty over the Baltic states, taking loans from the Baath Party, ignoring the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, and finally his shameful attitude towards the Vietnamese boat people, whom he feared would make another anti-communist, non-Labor constituency in Australia, "like the f***ing Balts".

Lastly, today's Labor gets a tongue-lashing over adopting "a little Australia" policy consistent with a "pattern of weak Labor leadership nationally, particularly on the issues of appeasement, isolationism and shirking international treaty obligations".

Now, not even Condi, black knee-high boots or not, would be this honest about the left. After we get Bolton as the ambassador to the UN, maybe we should try Downer for the Secretary-General.


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