Monday, June 20, 2005
Prime Minister John Howard did not seek it but nevertheless appreciated the apology from Douglas Wood for his plea in captivity for Australia to pull its troops out of Iraq, Mr Howard said today...(What Wood said on the radio is that the current policies of the American and the Australian governments to train Iraqi security forces are working, because he has been rescued by them.)
He apologised to Prime Minister John Howard and US President George W Bush for comments he made about the two countries' occupation of Iraq, saying they were made under duress.
"I'm proof positive that the current policy of the American and the Australian government is the right one," he said.
The Labor opposition's reaction? Shut up, you old fool, you're clearly imbalanced:
Labor has warned against taking the comments of an emotionally distraught man as a true reflection of events in Iraq.Kevin Rudd is of course too smart to entertain such unkind thoughts, and his sentiments are merely those of partisan opportunism rather than ideological viciousness, but one gets the impression that many others on the left would rather prefer Douglas Wood dead, to hang around the Prime Minister's neck, rather than alive and thus a good news for the government - not too Douglas Wood himself and family.
"Blind Freddy can tell you that the Iraq security situation is right now in a shambles," opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said.
"I think it's important for John Howard to stop hiding behind comments by Douglas Wood, understandably emotionally driven in his case, ... to camouflage what is in reality a very difficult and precarious situation in Iraq today."
By the way, when asked at his first media conference upon returning to Australia what he thinks about his captors, Wood had a one-word answer: