Margo Kingston

Margo Kingston has written a wonderful commentary about Howard’s ultimate betrayal of the Australian people and how he can no longer hide behind flimsy intelligence reports. But will Latham have the guts to stand up and denounce Howard??

Commentary by Margo Kingston
September 18, 2004 03:06 PM

G’day. It’s on the cusp of being official. IRAQ HAD NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. Ok, John Howard, where to from here?

Your own inquirer, Phillip Flood, found the evidence before you at the time was “flimsy and ambigous”. We know that the Defence Intelligence Organsation (DIO) advised you that there wasn’t much evidence around. Yet you told us you would take us to our first ever war of aggression on this basis, even after intelligence advice from the British and our own experts that it would increase the strength of terrorist groups and make the world less safe. You say your judgement was the opposite. Your judgement was dead wrong, wasn’t it?

This week, the full stop – via the secretary general of the UN – after the unanimous view of the world’s top international lawyers that the war was illegal. Your little scam of getting ‘Yes, Sir’ legal advice from two fairly low level government lawyers – not your top legal man the Solicitor General or your even your top international lawyer – proves your dishonesty.

How about taking the rap and resigning? You can’t deny you got it wrong, whether or not your intentions were good, and you can’t deny that the nations you pilloried for questioning the WMD ‘threat’, especially France and Germany, got it right.

Don’t you feel just a little bit guilty about what you’ve done? Don’t you see that since the invasion the entire nation of Iraq has become a giant weapon of mass destruction for the Iraqi people, the region, and the world, not to mention maybe even Australia itself?

Don’t you see that thinking you had to say yes to Bush to stay in the USA’s good books has made you not a friend of America, but a conniver in the mess America finds itself in and a betrayer of Australia’s national interests?

Do you really think you’re fit to lead Australia? And do your MPs really think you are fit to lead us, or are they keeping their heads down to save their own butts?

And come on, Mark Latham, it really is time to put the boot in. It’s time to name Howard as a man of poor judgement without the courage to look his people in the eye and tell them the truth before sending us to war.

And it’s time to directly challenge the media to start asking Howard – and his MPs – the hard questions and to press him and them hard when he and they parrot the standard scripted non-answers.

Howard has proved a dangerous and divisive leader in times of international instability and his MPs have proved useless in taking him on. It’s time to trumpet Labor’s credentials as the party of good judgement in such circumstances whose policy on Iraq has proved spot on.

It’s time to raise the temperature big time on Howard and the MPs who so cravenly stayed silent and refused to ask Howard the neccessary questions on our behalf before the war.

It’s time to get angry. It’s time to assert that you have a duty to warn your fellow citizens about the bloody mess Howard has got Australia into and how you’ll try to get us out of it over time and make a positive contribution on behalf of Australia to enhance our national security.

Take a risk and take a stand for Australia. Please.


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