Thursday, October 23, 2003


Parliament greets Bush: A day in the life of our faltering democracy

I just want to say I'm impressed with and proud of Mr. Brown for standing up to President Bush during his address to Parliament (in Australia).

Opposition leader Simon Creane reminded us,

"...there remains an essential truth in Prime Minister Curtin's words 62 years ago - 'Australia still looks to America'. A truth not just for Australia, but for democracies everywhere. It is a profound historic truth, which derives its power - not from the might of America - but from the democratic promise upon which America was brought forth, conceived and dedicated 227 years ago: The equal rights of all nations. Respect for the opinions of all peoples. And the idea that all men are created equal. These principles, taken together, form the true and imperishable basis of the promise of, and the friendship between, our two great nations. May they never perish from the face of the Earth."

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It's also worth noting that Bush's statements were again good/evil black/white remarks, including the WWII quote from MacArthur, demonstrating his simplified -- I think dangerously simplified -- moral view. Has any politician *ever* spoken like this before, on a regular basis?

I mean, I remember Tony Blair saying, basically, that civilized nations can't abide this kind of act after the WTC/Pentagon attacks, but that's not exactly the same thing. When has any world leader used this kind of terminology (evil, good, right, wrong) so constantly? Blair's statements evoked and were based on the agreements that we make domestically and internationally to *be civilized with one other as people and sovereign nations*, and that considered action is an appropriate response when someone violates those agreements. Bush's say "we're right and anyone not a member of 'we' is wrong".

Bush's language has bothered me since day one.

The quote I'd like to discuss, however, is the following:

America, Australia and other nations acted in Iraq to remove a grave and gathering danger, instead of wishing and waiting while tragedy drew closer.
Since the liberation of Iraq, we have discovered Saddam's clandestine network of biological laboratories, his design work on prohibited long-range missiles, his elaborate campaign to hide illegal weapons programs.

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Iraq = imminent threat, only without the use of the word "imminent".
"We have discovered..." = WMDs, we did too find them, or stuff just as bad! Except, we didn't. We found a vial of botox in someone's fridge, and some long-abandoned trailers. This is the big threat?

And, what is the Proliferation Security Initiative Bush mentions?

Oh, here's some stuff on it:

PSI:Statement of Interdiction Principles
Proliferation Security Initiative to Stem Flow of WMD Matériel (Center for Non-Proliferation Studies)
Proliferation Security Initiative (at

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