October 06, 2004


Antony Loewenstein, whose Sydney Morning Herald brief is to "unload the bias", is now fear-mongering like a maniac:

Kim Hudson informs readers that America's most decorated soldier, Colonel David Hackworth, has repeated the claim that the US has no option but to re-introduce the draft in 2005: How long before a re-elected Coalition government follows suit?

How long before the Sydney Morning Herald realises that Lowenstein, an anti-Howard activist, is in breach of the SMH’s code of ethics?

Herald staff shall avoid any prominent activity in partisan public causes that compromises, or appears to compromise, the journalist or the newspaper.

On Sunday Antony and his friends painted their partisan message in the sky above Sydney. How much more prominent can an activity be?

Posted by Tim Blair at October 6, 2004 03:59 AM

How much more prominent can an activity be?

According to your earlier post, it could have been much more prominent. Like, legible.

This is silly, though. Alan Anderson is also an active partisan, should his blog be closed down, too? No, they should both be entitled to put their views, and the paper should be congratulated for setting them against each other.

However, Loewenstein should be directed to disclose his involvement in the campaign.

Posted by: Robert at October 6, 2004 at 04:18 AM

I rather take Tim's point to be that the SMH's "code of ethics" has become an utter joke in light of what they've allowed Margo et al. to get away with for the last couple of years.

At any rate, Antony sure is unloading a whole lot of bias (his own, that is) onto his readership. Does anybody really read his nonsense anymore? Other than to mock it, I mean.

Posted by: PW at October 6, 2004 at 04:29 AM

...and since Hack said it, it's gotta be true, no matter what the Secretary of Defense, the President, and, er, the entire General Staff say.

I mean, Hackworth is unimpeachable, right? His word is Bond, man.

Posted by: Sigivald at October 6, 2004 at 04:34 AM

There will be no draft in the US. The military doesn't want one and couldn't use the soldiers it would get anyway because of hi-tech training requirements that would be useless in a draft army. 2 year terms don't give you any time to assimilate them.

Posted by: JEM at October 6, 2004 at 08:56 AM

Right you are, JEM. Add to that the fact that re-enlistment rates are very high in all branches of the US military, despite the difficulties and sacrifices that fighting a war entails.

Rumsfeld doesn't want a draft, the Joint Chiefs don't want a draft, and the field commanders don't want a draft. Only the Democrats want a draft, and then only to scare voters.

Posted by: Butch at October 6, 2004 at 09:47 AM

I stopped listening to Hackworth during Gulf I, when I saw him give an indignant "expose'" about how all our Bradleys were deadlined because sand was destroying their transmissions... while a column of Bradleys rolled past behind him at speed... Hackworth was undoubtedly a brave soldier, but his perception of the US military calcified during his last war, Vietnam. Listening to his opinion now is like listening to Colonel Blimp explain that we should fight Rommel the way we stuck it to the Kaiser on the Somme...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 6, 2004 at 09:48 AM

Old soldiers never die, they used to fade away but some cannot get past their former high proiles and sadly are not relevant any more.
The draft will not be required, as Mr Howard and Mr Bush have said -they need small highly trained SAS type units to infiltrate-destroy and get out. Korean and Viet Nan type wars are a thing of the past I would guess.

Posted by: Rose at October 6, 2004 at 11:03 AM

Antony Loewenstein's pic on the SMH site is suggestive, rather, of a teenage blogger in pyjamas. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Maybe he's just playing at being Jimmy Olsen to Margo's Lois Lane

Posted by: Hanyu at October 6, 2004 at 12:42 PM

Richard McEnroe:
I agree with the substance of what you've said, but tactics used at El Alamein were indeed very similar to those of the Somme...
Rommel's game was one of manouver, parry and thrust. The 8th Army couldn't match that. What it could do was get into a position where geography covered its flanks, then bludgeon away with traditional frontal assaults behind rolling barrages of artillery until the Afrika Korps and Italians thinned, then cracked. Rather than letting the opponent dictate the terms of the contest, Montgomery laid down the rules, and Rommel had no answer.

Apologies for the pedantry.

Posted by: Alan E Brain at October 6, 2004 at 01:48 PM

Hack is probably correct,hell he is an incredible man.He was right about vietnam and always slags off at the military bureauracy.
When you realise that he fought in WW2,korea and vietnam how could you question his judgement?
He is america's most decorated soldier ever!
It must be tough for the right to have to stomach hack's opinions on how wars should be conducted and yet due to his record he is unimpeachable.

Posted by: marklatham at October 6, 2004 at 09:28 PM

Another argument against conscription is society.

Look at kids today: would anyone want to conscript them?

Posted by: Sheriff at October 7, 2004 at 12:16 AM

hey, marklatham is leaving comments on blogs again!

Posted by: PW at October 7, 2004 at 04:06 AM

Hack did not fight in WW2, arriving in Europe after the cessation of hostilities. As for how to conduct wars, I am led to believe there is some controversy about his village clearing methods in Vietnam.

If the war on terrorism moves into other "UN-member" countries, soon after the low-lifes are exterminated in Iraq, there'll be a definite need to implement conscription. Unless the motivation to serve their country is high among the young.

Strange how every generation thinks that the following generation is always softer. Still...some good eggs among them.

Posted by: Lofty at October 7, 2004 at 11:05 AM

I am pleased to report that the Congressional resolution to resume the draft (introduced by Representative Charlie Rangel, a Democrat) has rung down the final curtain and joined the choir invisible. A motion to end the debate on it (and thus bring it to a vote) was defeated nearly unanimously, something like 402 - 2. (Stomp!)

Naturally, the lamestream media are spinning this with headlines such as "Republicans Glad Bill Lost" (I'm paraphrasing here).

Posted by: Mary in LA at October 7, 2004 at 11:08 AM