Saturday, November 24, 2007



Poland has been ruled by two extreme right, viciously homophobic twins President Lech Kaczynski and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Last month their right-wing party took a drubbing in parliamentary elections and the new Prime Minister, confirmed yesterday, is Donald Tusk, a moderate. Yesterday Tusk reaffirmed his pledge to pull Poland's remaining 900 troops out of Iraq and to back away from the Kaczynski's bellicose pro-American posture towards Russia.
"In a year's time, I will tell you here in this chamber that our military mission in Iraq is over," Tusk said, as the house erupted in applause.

"We have taken the decision, as far as the government powers go, to make 2008 the year when the pullout of Poland's military mission is started and completed," Tusk said. "We will carry out that operation with the conviction that we have done more than what our allies, especially the U.S., had expected from us."

On top of that Bush's closest ally, Australian neanderthal John Howard "suffered a humiliating defeat" today. Kevin Rudd, a moderate left candidate will be the new prime minister and he has promised to overturn the ultra-reactionary Bush-like policies of his predecessor, particularly in regard to Global Warming and Iraq. Bush's only ally left in the entire world on Global Warming is now Oklahoma crazy right-wing senator, James Inhofe. Rudd won a clear parliamentary majority and it looks like Howard may actually lose his own suburban Sydney seat to boot! It is likely that Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett will join the new cabinet as Environmental Minister.

Rudd campaigned on promises that "his first acts as prime minister will include pushing for the ratification of the Kyoto climate agreement and to negotiate the withdrawal of Australian combat troops from Iraq," both seen as repudiations of George Bush's embarrassing leadership.

Remember this?


I had forgotten about Howard's slurs against Democrats, although I had remembered that he had lost his marbles long ago. I love this from the video Glenn found (re: Howard's tough re-election bid)
Vice President Cheney is heading to Australia later this month to try and help. The White House can hardly afford to have another friend of the president go the way of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Well, one did-- and worse. I know there are scores of Democratic candidates around the country who are hoping Vice President Cheney heads to their constituencies to campaign for their opponents just the way he did for John Howard.

Labels: , , , ,


At 10:22 AM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

It's good Howard is gone. I read an interview a while back about Garrett. He is very knowledgeable. He takes the post very seriously. One can only hope the US comes to its senses in the next year.

At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard was re-elected in 2004, the same as Bush was, well after the reasons for the Iraq invasion were known to be false and anti-war sentiment peaked.

Iraq simply wasn't an issue in this election. I didn't even hear the word mentioned once by either candidate, interviewer or in any TV or press advert once during the 5 week campaign.

Apparently we shouldn't be expecting the US's self-centred and arrogant international reputation to change with the next president.

At 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous. Iraq had NOTHING to do with why Mr Howard and his government were thrown out, a lot of it was to do with basic things like education, health, industrial relatiions and the environment (Mr Rudd plans to sign Kyoto which leaves the US in the cold there as well)

At 5:03 PM, Blogger tc said...

Don't get too excited about Garrett. I read this a couple weeks ago:

At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

t, couldn't be MORE excited about Rudd AND Garrett. Being environmentalists doesnt' mean we become cave people. Mining, protocols etc. will be done with the same economic clubs and pressures but from a position of leadership and power in as environmentally friendly way as possible. don't believe everything you read in the independent or here.
Too excellent Howard lost his seat too! Does this mean George W Bush will NEVER find a home for his (gag me) 'Library"? Methodists don't want it...

At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and what a bloody relief to see the back of him!

While Iraq may not have been a defining issue in the campaign in the mainstream media, the war and issues relating to it were certainly being discussed vigourously in the blogosphere. That serves to highlight the inadequacy of mainstream media's coverage of the election, and the very obvious lack of real and honest critiquing of policy, combined with the Murdoch dominated media Opinion pages being completely out of touch with [or attempting to manipulate] the broader community sentiment.

Labor was very obviously pitching as a centrist party and avoiding wedge issues, for that we can be grateful, since divide and conquer has coloured too many of our election campaigns of late.

A staged withdrawal of troops from Iraq was clear Labor policy and has been for some time, it did not get any traction in the campaign because John Howard knew it was a popular policy. To say it wasn't an election issue is not entirely accurate though, because this election more than any other, had an emphasis on leadership and the war in Iraq has coloured JH's leadership. If we look to what happened to Howard in his own electorate...I reckon there has been a very big backlash against his style of leadership, the arrogance of his actions in taking our nation to war in spite of the majority of Australians being against it. The absense of emotional international issues only served to highligh how much such issues have defined the Howard government, and we were left to contemplate what he had done at home...and the answer was not much, other than destroy our sense of spirit and community.

Oh yeah , and then there was the issues that are related to the war: the AWB scandal and the governments deceit and abuse of power in the enquiry that followed; the detention without charge of David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay; the blatant and divisive scare-mongering about terrorsits and particularly Muslims; Howard's sycophantically close relationship to GWB.

All of those things mattered to me and they mattered to many other voters. The War in Iraq, ratifying Kyoto and the differing stance on nuclear power were the main things that set the parties apart, as identified by the author of this post. If they weren't discussed much it's because it was so bleedingly obvious to everyone, that doesn't mean they weren't influential issues.

Kevin Rudd in my mind is painfully conservative [thank christ for preferential voting] but he is not divisive and even if he lives up to just half of the intent and commitment in his speech last night he will still be infintely better than that right wing pig that he ousted.

We'll wait and see on Garrett, though he's not a natural politician [what a relief!] he has the potential to be a decent minister, he had a dreadful campaign, so things can only get better.

The way the senate stacks up come July is looking interesting.

cheers, e


Post a Comment

<< Home