Claims 'My Burden' Is The "Greatest To Carry"
John Howard and Kevin Rudd will both attend the West Australian funeral of Mathew Locke today, the Australian SAS soldier killed in Afghanistan by the Taliban.
The classy thing to do, of course, would be for Howard to say something like "I'm going to the funeral to support the family and give my condolences. Beyond that, I'd rather not comment any further, thank you."
But this is John Howard, and he is facing a staggering defeat in three weeks time at the federal elections.
So we get this instead :
"I think about it a lot because I'm the person in the end who sends men and women into battle," Mr Howard told Sky News.
"I feel a very direct responsibility for any death or injury that occurs on the field of battle and it's the greatest burden that anybody has to carry and discharge."
Well, it's not quite as large as the burden that is carried by the families and children of the dead and physically and mentally wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, who will have to deal with the fallout of Howard's decisions to go to war for the rest of their lives, including such things as alcoholism, PTSD and suicide, while Howard gets to retire and take a well-paid board position with an American defence contractor, or a $100,000 a gig speaking tour of NeoCon think tanks.
Howard forgot to mention that it was his government who tried to cheat Australian war veterans out of more than $500 million in much needed support and entitlements, until an extremely brave and honourable whistleblower exposed the disgusting scam and forced Howard to give the veterans the money.
So much for the "greatest burden" he has "to carry".