March 30, 2004


John Howard's WSJ opinion piece is now available to non-subscribers:

In the wake of the indiscriminate slaughter of almost 200 commuters in Madrid, global commentary seems as much focused on the political implications for Western governments as on the perpetrators.

It will be doubly tragic if mass murder is rewarded with even the perception that our resolve has weakened. At the very least the victims--those killed and injured--deserve an absolute assurance that this outrage will make all of us more determined to stand together against terror. Now is not the time for us to be diverted from this global mission.

Words are weapons in the information age and there is a need for vigilance to ensure we are not signaling weakness in the face of this ongoing threat. There can be no excusing the inexcusable. The messages we send, whether as leaders of governments or leaders of opinion, must be that we will stay the course and finish the job.

That “stay the course” idea seems to have some appeal.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 30, 2004 12:16 PM

Latham's policy; cut and run with the job half done.

What a dog.

Posted by: The Mongrel at March 30, 2004 at 12:18 PM

Methinks Latham's support will be a mile wide and an inch deep once the Budget is deleivered and we continue to hear about the war on terrorism. He has only got as fara as he has because the media, desperately wanting a two horse race, has puffed him up.

Also it is quite clear that the Labor leadership is philosophically bankrupt. Labor has no ideas other than the same old ones about giving lots of power and money to useless academics, trade unions and other special interest groups who love hanging off the government teat.

To win power the ALP has to win some 5 or 6 marginal seats in NSW. I don't see Labor's tendency to be dominated by the lefty academics, special interest groups and trade unions being very helpful in such constituencies. Also, it is quite clear that Labor will get us flooded with illegal immigrants, as they will not be able to resist the facist lefties' call for open borders. That will definitely not play well on the central coast or on the outskirts of Sydney.

Added to all this is the fact that in Victoria, the one State other than Tasmania where the ALP has a majority of seats in Federal Parliament, the State goverment is really on the nose.

Posted by: Toryhere at March 30, 2004 at 02:17 PM

Timbo, Johnnee seems as mixed as you as for the reasons for the Spanish election.
implying that AQ is responsible for the New Spanish government's decision is in fact aiding and abetting AQ as it did no such thing.

A little bit of research would have found that high on the list of acts a new Socialist Government would do was to pull the troops out of Iraq.
I don't think even AQ would have thought Aznar would have been such a lying and deceitful person concerns the origins of their attack.

Moreover while AQ is growing in resources and influences, thanks to people like you who supported a waste of resources in Iraq while ignoring AQ in Afghanistan and Pakistan, there will NEVER be peace in Iraq.

You have to eliminate AQ root and branch and unfortunately timbo it is people such as yourself who have prevented this by supporting a war in Iraq rather than against AQ.
You have done the left luvvies proud.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at March 30, 2004 at 02:17 PM

Hey, Homer, you have some donut crumbs stuck in your teeth. Now what were you saying?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at March 30, 2004 at 02:27 PM

FYI: the article was initially for 'registered users', not subscribers. All they want to register is an email address, not $.

Posted by: rosignol at March 30, 2004 at 03:15 PM


"You have to eliminate AQ root and branch..."
You are quite correct, the only question you leave unanswered is how best to accomplish this task.

One approach (shall we say "La Doctrine Française"?), is to treat terrorism as a domestic law enforcement problem. This is workable, provided western states are prepared to tolerate occasional attacks on overseas infrastructure and interests (eg. Bali and USS Cole) and to risk large scale attacks at home (eg. 9/11 and Spain).

La Doctrine Française also requires states to adopt foreign and domestic policy options calculated to cause the least offense to the forces they seek to eliminate. The rail bomb recently discovered in France is arguably the result of the deviation from La Doctrine Française in the banning of the hajib in public schools.

The alternative ("The Texas Credendum" - eat your heart out Ludlum!), sees the states that protect and nourish terrorists as the "root" of your "root and branch". The conquest and (secular) conversion of Afghanistan AND Iraq are, according to this doctrine, the first steps in a long process of reforming the middle-east, the wellspring of terror.

The recent developments in Libya, diplomatic overtures by Syria and popular uprising in Iraq are the first fruits of The Texas Credendum. The establishment of peaceful and prosperous democracies are its long-term objectives.

Posted by: fidens at March 30, 2004 at 03:20 PM

Er, that should be "popular uprising in Iran".

Posted by: fidens at March 30, 2004 at 03:23 PM

What a fantastically ignorant analysis, Homer. I mean, really. Wow. You make Jack Strocchi look thoughtful.

That the socialist party wanted to pull out pre-3/11 is irrelevant. Al Qaeda wanted to specifically hit Spain to undermine it's co-operation in Iraq. You can cling to the Anzar-lied story for dear life if you want, either way Al Qaeda got the result they wanted.

Posted by: Sortelli at March 30, 2004 at 03:33 PM

More about the transformation of the middle-east in The Guardian. Seems they can't help throwing the "neo-con" epithets around though.

Posted by: fidens at March 30, 2004 at 03:53 PM

Unfortunately, I'm betting on them going the OJ route. You know... "I will constantly search for my wife's killers." It still sounds too much like Spain's new leadership is planning on being out on the golf course instead of looking in the mirror.

Posted by: Chrees at March 30, 2004 at 04:16 PM

Meanwhile, Romano Prodi says he'll pull Italy's troops out if he's elected. Does that mean that any bombs going off in Rome days before the election will be his fault (instead of the terrorists, of course)?

Posted by: charles austin at March 31, 2004 at 01:54 AM

Sortelli, AQ in your view are absolute political analytical masters bar none.
They bomb a Spanish train and and know that Aznar will say it is ETA.
Not only that but he will not announce that morrocan and indian muslims are arrested . AQ also know that Police dissidents will leak the information to the Socialists who force the Government to act.The voters then turn on Aznar.

your Sortelli I didn't know how devious they were!

Fidens could I suggest approach Afghanistan and west Pakistan like they approached Iraq. They would also have world agreement and assistance and not disdain.

Posted by: Homer Paxton at March 31, 2004 at 11:04 AM

At least we know the WMD's aren't stashed in the Oval Office. But has anyone checked Kirribilli House?

Posted by: Miranda Divide at March 31, 2004 at 11:16 AM

Homer, so you think the ONLY reason that Anzar's party lost was because he lied, and not because he supported the war in Iraq that was very unpopular in Spain? You didn't see the papers from AQ talking about how they were confident that Spain would be the easiest place to undermine the coalition?

AQ wanted the socialists to win because the socialists held the position they wanted to, shall we say, "encourage".

You are somehow arguing that that can't be true because the socialists had that position. Are you not seeing the logical fallacy there?

Posted by: Sortelli at March 31, 2004 at 11:56 AM