Thursday, July 21, 2005

Australian Prime Minister Takes Down Reporter for Silly Question

Hugh Hewitt posts this response by John Howard to a reporter who asked if the war in Iraq was bringing islamofascist attacks on London:

Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my
government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on
Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its
foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use
the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies
determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government
of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.

Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place
before the operation in Iraq.

And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation
in Iraq.

Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden
specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement
in liberating the people of East Timor.
Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that?

When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the
7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in
Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?

When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished
international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United
Nations -- when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the
role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United
Nations administrator in East Timor.

Now I don't know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can't put
yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at
objective facts, and the objective facts are as I've cited. The objective
evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in
Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests
to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted
use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace
and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow
ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather
than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.

Can you say "devastating?"


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