November 19, 2004


Former Australian diplomat Alison Broinowski's comprehension difficulties persist. Here she is in today's SMH, attempting to demolish Condoleezza Rice:

Rice has a continuing record of questionable public statements ...

On May 16, 2002 she said "I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would use an airplane as a missile". But as we now know, Bush was briefed about exactly that possibility on August 6, 2001.

No, he wasn't. Here's the only mention of aircraft in that August 6 briefing:

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a XXXXXX service in 1998 saying that bin Laden wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar 'Abd al-Rahman and other US-held extremists.

To gain the release of al-Rahman ... not for use as a missile. Broinowski's research is pathetic.

Posted by Tim Blair at November 19, 2004 12:38 PM

I hope someone writes a letter to the editor about this, and if it doesn't get published, complains to the Press Council.

Posted by: Andjam at November 19, 2004 at 01:03 PM

It's as if half-baked nit-picking is passable when the supposed easy high moral ground is being recyclyed.

Posted by: Wayne at November 19, 2004 at 01:04 PM

The word 'research' in the last sentence could be omitted.

Posted by: Geoff at November 19, 2004 at 01:06 PM

She'd obviously been having a few daiquiris when she wrote the piece.

Posted by: mr magoo at November 19, 2004 at 01:35 PM

Broinowski's piece as a whole is just sad. There's nothing so ex as an ex-diplomat.

Posted by: cuckoo at November 19, 2004 at 01:36 PM

Apparently, as a child, Alison went to the Wilderness School in Adelaide (it may be Friday but I kid you not). Maybe her research capacities are lost. Along with Phillip Adam's sluggish thyroid and Margo's spelling abilities.

Posted by: Hamster at November 19, 2004 at 01:58 PM

I love it when somebody accuses someone else of having an overly-simplistic viewpoint, and then backs it up with, like, three one-sentence quotes.

Posted by: Jorge at November 19, 2004 at 02:12 PM

Somebody tell media watch???

OK, quite rolling on the floor laughing!!

Posted by: HippyHunter at November 19, 2004 at 02:14 PM

Now, now Tim, don't you go debunking cherished Leftist myths: who knows what sort of psychological malady might come of it. Mental health care providers are overworked as it is, with Bush Derangement Syndrome blossoming into full blown Post-Election Selection Trauma!

Sheesh. Some people can be soooooo insensitive.

Posted by: Spiny Norman at November 19, 2004 at 02:16 PM

Apparently Alison is writing a book on the UN. Can't wait for that! No doubt it will feature in depth expose of the Oil for food scandals and will she really out Kofi Annan?

Perhaps not.

Posted by: Allan at November 19, 2004 at 02:47 PM

SMH: your chief source of unreliable information and leftist hearsay, after the ABC.

Thank God more people don't get their news from them than any other source.

Posted by: munkyatwork at November 19, 2004 at 02:59 PM

Oh Hamster do not be ragging on Wilderness. Many a fine woman has been produced from that school.

Posted by: Just Another Bloody Lawyer at November 19, 2004 at 03:59 PM


Alison is suddenly assuming what?

Condoleeza didn't shut down the airports in time?

What the f*** is she talking about?

Even if she did know, what the hell was she supposed to do?

Come on Alison, what's the answer?

Posted by: Tman at November 19, 2004 at 04:39 PM

Forgive my ignlorance, I have been out of Australia to long, but just what is former Australian diplomat Alison Broinowski's claim to fame in the diplomatic corps. Did she actually do anything. The left keeps using disinformation in everything they say. The Democrats in the USA open every sentence with a misleading statement about 9/11 or Iraq.

Posted by: davod at November 19, 2004 at 08:16 PM

Another backseat driver!

Posted by: jorgen at November 19, 2004 at 10:50 PM

What is this "research" thing of which you speak? Surely half-remembered anecdotes from co-workers are enough for any news organization.

Posted by: Bryan C at November 19, 2004 at 11:39 PM

Ofcourse we predicted this - it was in the Steven Segal movie - executive descision.

Posted by: Jonny at November 20, 2004 at 01:35 AM

I'm so glad I read that article. Being one of the 'morons' who supported Bush, I obviously needed someone like Broinowski to help me understand how "ruthless, heartless, driven and virtually friendless" Dr. Rice is.

To back up her claim and help us to see just how "ruthless, heartless, driven and virtually friendless" Dr. Rice really is, Broinowski reveals what Dr. Rice and Pres. Bush do in the privacy of Bush's ranch.

Behind closed doors, away from the glare of the media we see Bush and Rice reveal their true "ruthless, heartless" selves. For, Broinowski lets us in on the ruthless and heartless form of entertainment that Rice and Bush engage in. Saddam himself would NEVER have allowed such entertainment to have taken place.

(Stop reading NOW, if you are of a sensitive nature. It may be too much for you to know what Bush and Rice entertain themselves by doing together !)

According to Broinowski here is what Dr. Rice has done at Bush's ranch in Texas:

"She was said to be a Bush apparatchik so dedicated that weekends at his ranch were her time off. Hymn-singing sessions after dinner, while she played the piano, were her idea of fun."

How ruthless can she be? Hymn-singing!! Of all the after dinner practices I've read that Saddam indulged in, NEVER did I read he'd be so ruthless as to dare indulge in hymn-singing.

No wonder we have people on the left equate Bush with Hitler and claim the Iraqis were better off with Saddam. It's the hymn-singing they were probably thinking about. How low can someone be to think that hymn-singing is an acceptable after dinner form of entertainment?

I now understand why so many people dislike Dr. Rice. It HAS to be the hymn-singing. This proves how ruthless she really is.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at November 20, 2004 at 02:15 AM

Hm. As well a major beef people seemed to have with Ashcroft was that singing he did. Why do I have the feeling that all these lefty anti-Bush people are just a bunch of disgruntled music buffs? They all sound like I and my friends used to when I was a kid and we complained about how our parents would make us "suffer" by watching the Lawrence Welk show. It all makes me want to say "OMG deal you jerks Kurt Cobain is dead."

Posted by: Andrea Harris at November 20, 2004 at 03:35 AM

The construction

"But as we now know"*

is priceless.

* Synonymous with bulls**t

Posted by: Joe in Georgia (USA) at November 20, 2004 at 03:59 AM

I have you know that Hymn-singing can be very ruthless to your ears if it is sing by a heartless tone deaf person. It can drive the individual to be friendless too, especially in an enclose space.

Posted by: Alex at November 20, 2004 at 04:07 AM

She's a concert-level pianist, who likes Brahms.

Posted by: -keith in mtn. view at November 20, 2004 at 04:10 AM

I wonder whether she went so far over the edge as to sing some of those hymns in foreign languages—she knows quite a few, & is fluent in Russian.

Posted by: ForNow at November 20, 2004 at 08:58 AM

Did the SMH ever publish a letter complaining about or correcting Alison Broinowsky
re Armitage and US 'not defending Australia?'
If so pls re-publish on your site.
Ditto any SMH-published letters in next week re Dr Rice.

Posted by: tony thomas at November 20, 2004 at 11:16 AM

A good example of post hoc ergo proctor hoc without checking any facts.

Posted by: Bill O'Slatter at November 20, 2004 at 12:06 PM

Alison is apparently partial to Australian hymns like "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, God".

Posted by: JDB at November 20, 2004 at 12:59 PM

For a while now, it has been the (unconscious) view of many that those who work for the government are the nation's best and brightest. But this is definitely not the case. In today's world, private industry offers rewards that far exceed those in the public sector, both in terms of money and recognition. (The spread of the welfare state and the decline of imperialism has reduced number of what were seen as worthy causes to which many able men flocked). As a result, the public sector is filled with time-serving cause-oriented radicals of limited ability. Where previous generations of public servants were able to see the truth when it struck them in the face, the current generation is too unintelligent distinguish between the truth and the cant of their radical indoctrination.

Posted by: Zhang Fei at November 21, 2004 at 12:17 AM

I do appreciate the comparison, though. Rice speaks fluent Russian and is proficient in a couple of others. Broinowsky apparently is not even fluent in English.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at November 21, 2004 at 07:57 AM

No surprise though, as Broinowski writes for the SMH - fluency in English is clearly optional there, as Margoyle Kingston's continued employment amply demonstrates.

Posted by: PW at November 21, 2004 at 09:21 AM

If she had ever been any good at her job as a junior diplomat and not trying to be a commentator, she would still be one, maybe an ambassador somewhere, but she's wasn't, so she's not.

Posted by: theories at November 22, 2004 at 11:04 AM