After accepting his Medal Of Freedom from President Bush, ex-Australian prime minister, John Howard, described his happiness that Al Qaeda got what he believed they wanted.
“There is no doubt it is an historic moment for the United States to have for the first time a president who is an African-American and it must be a wonderful thing if you are that part of that section of this country to feel at long last one of your own has been chosen for the highest office," Mr Howard said at a media conference.
“People want him to succeed; I want him to succeed.’’
Obviously he's talking about Barack Obama, but when John Howard doesn't like somebody, he consistently refuses to say their name, even when speaking at length about them. The name "Obama" did not leave Howard's lips during his post-decoration press conference.
Howard will only say this, now :
"I think that will just encourage those who want to completely destabilise and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and a victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for an Obama victory."
"If I were running al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would...be praying as many times as possible for a victory not only for Obama but also for the Democrats."
“But you say a lot of things to get a point across and I don’t think there is anything served by revisiting it,’’ Mr Howard said.
Here's how President Bush described John Howard, and why he was rewarding Howard for his "loyalty", along with two other "loyal" former leaders, including the already all but forgotten Tony Blair :
John Howard gave his word to Bush that Australia would send troops to a War On Iraq within days of the September 11 terror attacks. He didn't bother telling the Australian public that he had committed Australian troops to fight in the Iraq War until the eve of the war itself.
“They are the sort of guys who look you in the eye, and tell you the truth and keep their word.”
Howard yesterday on Iraq :
“I think it is fair to say that President Bush was right and most of his critics were wrong,’’ saying thanks to the surge there was a reasonable prospect of an “Iraqi version of democracy”.One of the main reasons why the so-called 'troop surge' succeeded was the implementation of a program where the most deadly of Iraqi insurgents were paid, handsomely, not to kill American troops. Those who we were told were "terrorists!" were rewarded for their ability to slay Australian, American and British soldiers. They didn't negotiate with these terrorists, they just handed them big bags of cash.
On the value of the Medal Of Freedom, a letter from the Sydney Morning Herald :
CNN tells the truth that most Australian TV news simply will not :
My father, Murray Tindale, was one of about 12 Australian servicemen who received a Medal of Freedom (which I still have) from President Truman after World War II.
My father, who spoke fluent Japanese, received his medal for his service with the 158th Regimental Combat Team, including "successfully handling over 600 prisoners of war during the Luzon campaign" in 1945.
I have the newspaper cutting listing the famous Australians, such as General Frank Berryman and Lieutenant-General Sir Leslie Morshead, who bravely served their country when Australia was in peril. These are normally the sort of people who are awarded this very high honour by the US.
To present the Medal of Freedom to John Howard denigrates the award, its holders and their achievements.
Gretel Woodward Watsons Bay
(via Grods comments)