MARK LATHAM ON IRAQ
It began with a gentle email like this:
Correct weight. If only I'd been there to second those eloquent
comments about George Bush. Christ, next we might find you recommending
a bit of Marxist analysis on the war, ie, an oil well dressed up
a Christian virgin about to be set upon by some Arab. I'm so moved
I'm almost prepared to say all is forgiven.
and ended with
high praise coming from a political warrior like yourself. I'm
more than happy to have a unity ticket with you on Bush/Iraq, plus
a directly elected Australian President. I've even mellowed a tad
on the purity of free trade, especially the proposed agreement with
Then when Mark wandered out to a Labor turn in Sunbury he had
this to say:
With the rise of globalisation, our role has become more important.
Too much economic power is concentrated in the hands of big corporations.
In recent times, these companies have won many more rights, particularly
the rights of free trade and investment. But in return, they have
been reluctant to discharge their proper social responsibilities.
The obscene level of executive bonuses in Australia is just one
sign of corporate irresponsibility and greed.
An edited version of Mark Latham's speech on George W Bush
MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS: Iraq
Mr LATHAM (Werriwa) (12.30 p.m.) -I am opposed to the government's
strategy for war in Iraq because it is the wrong way of conducting
the war against terror. I am opposed to the government's strategy
because it repeats the worst mistakes of George Bush's foreign policy.
I am opposed to the government's strategy because it comes from
a Prime Minister who is too weak to say no to the Americans.
I believe that the war against terror should be conducted against
terrorists, not the women and children of nation states. The best
way of ensuring that weapons of mass destruction do not fall into
the hands of terrorists is to rid the world of terrorists. This
should have been America's strategy post September 11: to target,
fight and eliminate the terrorists......................
Bush himself is the most incompetent and dangerous president in
living memory. It is a bit rich for him to be preaching democratic
values when he himself failed to win a democratic majority in the
2000 presidential election. His war with Iraq is more about revenging
his father's mistakes, it is about the things that happened in Iraq
and Kuwait in the early 1990s and it is about securing domestic
It has been left to the elder statesmen of the Liberal Party-John
Valder, Fred Chaney, Peter Baume, John Hewson and Malcolm Fraser-to
articulate a true small-l liberal position. Mr Howard and his government
are just yes-men to the United States. There they are, a conga line
of suckholes on the conservative side of Australian politics. ........................................
I reject his blind rush to war with Iraq. And I trust in time-I
dearly hope in time-that the Australian people themselves will reject
this Prime Minister and his government.