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Rincewind
27-03-2004, 12:08 AM
I'm referrnig to the troops home by Dec 25 promise which has cause the media firestorm over the last couple of days.

Regardless of whether you are pro or anti war, left or right, I think the comments were hugely irresponsible and shows Mark Latham shortcomings as a party leader.

This "promise" seems to have been made without consensus of the senior labour shadow ministers and an (I think strong) argument could be made that they endanger Australian interests at home and abroad in the wake of the Spanish train bombings.

Comments anyone?

PHAT
27-03-2004, 08:39 AM
First, I declaire my anti-Iraq-invasion stance.

Latham has called for the troups to come home. Wheather you support or condem our current position on Iraq is imaterial. My opinion is that Australian troups should be deployed only for Australian interstests. Right now, we are not at "war", so they should be at home. If you think that there is a "war" on terrorism to be fought, OK then, send the troups to kill terrorist. However, the terrorists we need to be watching/killing are closer to home - in SE Asia and maybe a few inside our own boarders.

Latham is right - bring them home, use them sensably.

Rincewind
27-03-2004, 08:50 AM
First, I declaire my anti-Iraq-invasion stance.

Latham has called for the troups to come home. Wheather you support or condem our current position on Iraq is imaterial. My opinion is that Australian troups should be deployed only for Australian interstests. Right now, we are not at "war", so they should be at home. If you think that there is a "war" on terrorism to be fought, OK then, send the troups to kill terrorist. However, the terrorists we need to be watching/killing are closer to home - in SE Asia and maybe a few inside our own boarders.

Latham is right - bring them home, use them sensably.

Correct, we are not at war. However,it does not follow that all of our forces should be deployed at home in non-war time. The work left to do in Iraq is searching for terrorists, establishing civil order and self-goverence. To start the job and leave before it is finished is worse than not starting at all.

Mark Latham has not got an exit strategy. He's just run off at the mouth with a popularist policy without stopping to think of the implications.

Also you didn't address the point that statements of that kind might endanger Australian interests. Do you agree with that argument or not?

PHAT
27-03-2004, 09:16 AM
Correct, we are not at war. However,it does not follow that all of our forces should be deployed at home in non-war time. The work left to do in Iraq is searching for terrorists, establishing civil order and self-goverence. To start the job and leave before it is finished is worse than not starting at all.

It will not make an iota of difference if Autralians are in Iraq or not. I fwe stay, the US will keep doing whatever it is they think they are doing. If we go, they will keep doing whatever it is they think they are doing. I know of no evidence that the Australian presence in Iraq is a net positive for the outcomes for Iraq.




Mark Latham has not got an exit strategy. He's just run off at the mouth with a popularist policy without stopping to think of the implications.
Au contraire. His exit stratergy is to get out by Xmas :owned:





Also you didn't address the point that statements of that kind might endanger Australian interests. Do you agree with that argument or not?

The term "Australian interests" is rather nebulous. If you want to tell us a few that might be effected by a Xmas pullout, then we could take the discussion further.

Garvinator
27-03-2004, 09:20 AM
one of the most interesting statements to try and work out about politics is: voters quite often say that politicians dont listen to them enough, but when a politician 'listens' to the people and proposes a policy that is voter friendly, then that politician is accused of just playing politics. :eek:

Then when a politician goes against the wishes of the voters, claiming that the voters dont know the full story, then the politicians is hammered again for not listening to the people and is hammered for not being a representative of the peoples wishes :eek:

Some catch 22 hey :doh:

Alan Shore
27-03-2004, 10:38 AM
Hey, at least Latham is no asslicker like Johnny, lol. I have a lot of respect for him to be able to do that and stand up to America and bring our boys home - he's a champ. :owned:

Rincewind
27-03-2004, 01:31 PM
It will not make an iota of difference if Autralians are in Iraq or not. I fwe stay, the US will keep doing whatever it is they think they are doing. If we go, they will keep doing whatever it is they think they are doing. I know of no evidence that the Australian presence in Iraq is a net positive for the outcomes for Iraq.

Australia participated in the coup d'etat and needs to stay until stability and self-goverence is in place. Simple as that. They started a job and it isn't finished.


Au contraire. His exit stratergy is to get out by Xmas :owned:

That is not an exit strategy as it does not satisfy the conditions stated above. If it was that easy Australian, American, British and Spanish troops would all be home by now.


The term "Australian interests" is rather nebulous. If you want to tell us a few that might be effected by a Xmas pullout, then we could take the discussion further.

Yes the term is nebulous but that is irrelevent to the argument. Consider this scenario:

The week before the federal election. Opinion poll show the opposition trailing the government by 5 points on the 2 party preferred. Wednesday morning, 8am there is a bomb goes off at Town Hall station. Labour sweep to power with healthy majorities in both houses. The boys come home from Iraq by Christmas, but at what cost?

If there was bipartisan support for the Iraq deployment the incentive to bomb Town Hall would be lessened as the risk and resources required to stage the bombing would not be worth the potential benefit. It is the lack of bipartisan support which causes there to be an increased risk as the terrrorist can target Australian interests to engineer a favourable outcome in the federal poll.

Like it or not, Mark Latham has increased the risk of you or your family being killed or injured in a terrorist attack.

PHAT
27-03-2004, 03:02 PM
Australia participated in the coup d'etat and needs to stay until stability and self-goverence is in place. Simple as that. They started a job and it isn't finished.

The question is, why should we? Simple as that.


...bomb goes off at Town Hall station. Labour sweep to power with healthy majorities in both houses. The boys come home from Iraq by Christmas, but at what cost?

Cost? Not much really. About 10 millionths of the GDP for a new station and about 10 millionths of the work force.


If there was bipartisan support for the Iraq deployment the incentive to bomb Town Hall would be lessened ... as the terrrorist can target Australian interests to engineer a favourable outcome in the federal poll.

Like it or not, Mark Latham has increased the risk of you or your family being killed or injured in a terrorist attack.

This is a demonstration of idiot risk assessment. Terrorists could blow an Australian station/airport/school/rave every year and it would be sweet FA in hard-nosed economics. Compare it with smoking/drinking risks, road accidents et cetera. The ONLY reason terrorism works is because idiots change their behaviour significantly to avoid insignificant increases in risk.

Stop being such a wimp. Mark Latham might reduce the risk of my family being a victim of crime by having more parents read to their kids. This whole panic over terrorism is group-think sillyness.

Now back to our troups. Can you idenify a good reason to leave them in Iraq? If there is one, I will need to change my current position. Until you (or I) identify one, I say bring 'em home.

Kevin Bonham
27-03-2004, 04:15 PM
If there was bipartisan support for the Iraq deployment the incentive to bomb Town Hall would be lessened as the risk and resources required to stage the bombing would not be worth the potential benefit.

Likewise if there was bipartisan support for a specific exit strategy.

Not too much should be read from the Spanish election - as I mentioned on another thread there were special factors involving the attempted deceit about ETA (Australia has no equivalent) and the overwhelming anti-war feeling in Spain. Everyone has forgotten that in normal cases where something like that occurs mid-election, people opt for safety and vote the government back. The Australian voting public has long had that kind of character. If Australia was bombed during an election, Howard would hang the blame on Labour and cruise to victory.

The job really should be done by Xmas, and if it isn't, we shouldn't still be there, the US have had ages to get the show in order and are probably forestalling mainly because they are afraid that elections held now would result in religious fundamentalist victories.

That's the theory though, but the perception is very different and I think Latham has goosed it a bit on this one - particularly by making policy on the fly, which makes him look a bit imperious, as if those rosy poll figures of the last few weeks have given him a headswell.

I also think the relative lack of Australian casualties in Iraq means that "bring the troops home" has no great resonance outside those opposed to the war anyway. It is not like the US and UK where there are significant movements among families of those already killed making the point that the longer this goes the more lives are being lost. That argument lacks real currency here.

What I actually think should now be done with Iraq is something that certainly isn't going to happen - co-operation of all neighbouring nations resulting in new national boundaries in the area reflecting the different ethnicities in the region. Iraq is an artificial nation forged by the Brits drawing lines on maps, to expect it to suddenly start functioning as a proper democracy after emerging from dictatorship and invasion is silly. Now if fixing this properly was going to be the goal I'd be in favour of the troops staying as long as it takes, even if that means a decade. But whether the US gets out this June, this Xmas, two or three years down the track, I don't see a lot of difference - the new Iraq is still going to be a mess.

PS: To declare my hand like Matt did, my position always has been, and remains, what could be called "war-sceptical". That is, while I'm not beyond being convinced that the war was right, I don't think the Allies have justified it. That I'm not convinced the new Iraq will work yet is my main reason for not accepting the kind of retro-justification "oh well who cares if there were WMDs, at least we got rid of Saddam". The jury is still out on whether the disposal of Saddam has produced any longterm benefit to the Iraqi people.

Rincewind
27-03-2004, 04:32 PM
The question is, why should we? Simple as that.

From someone who sees washing their hands after urniating as optional I can understand your naive assessment. However, I don't agree with it.


Cost? Not much really. About 10 millionths of the GDP for a new station and about 10 millionths of the work force.

You don't have to measure the cost in purely economical terms. To do so reduces life to nothing more than a dash for cash to the graveyard. Richest stiff wins. Also you ignore the fact that the ethically correct thing is rarely also the most economically or politically convenient.


This is a demonstration of idiot risk assessment. Terrorists could blow an Australian station/airport/school/rave every year and it would be sweet FA in hard-nosed economics. Compare it with smoking/drinking risks, road accidents et cetera. The ONLY reason terrorism works is because idiots change their behaviour significantly to avoid insignificant increases in risk.

I personally would not want to live in a country in which terrorist could do that. At themoment we don't. Give terrorist an incentive to wage that sort of war and maybe we would.


Stop being such a wimp. Mark Latham might reduce the risk of my family being a victim of crime by having more parents read to their kids. This whole panic over terrorism is group-think sillyness.

Now back to our troups. Can you idenify a good reason to leave them in Iraq? If there is one, I will need to change my current position. Until you (or I) identify one, I say bring 'em home.

Don't see the cause and effect there. When did Mark Latham makre more parents read to their kids? Perhaps he should abolish public school system and crime would reduce to nil as everyone knows all the real crims are produce by the public school system.

You leave them in Iraq because the country is a mess and we helped to ctreate that situatino. To pull out without cleaning up the mess is just ethically wrong. Ethics is usally cost positive, but that is no reason to be unethical, is it?

Rincewind
27-03-2004, 04:43 PM
Likewise if there was bipartisan support for a specific exit strategy.

I agree and would actually be more supportive of a bipartisan and realistic exit strategy than the current situation. Actually I don't have any beef with your position at all as it only differs slightly from my own.

The object of this thread was meant to provide a place to discuss the effect of ML's comments breaking the bipartisan support of the Iraqi deployment. Not inane policial commentary from the left or right.

I don't believe a deadline on withdrawl can be plucked out of the air as ML has seems to have done in this case. I also don't think that there is a clear reason why the troops are required to be deployed at home in the short term as the local authorities seems to be handling law and order and military invasion does not seem likely in the foreseeable future.

So what is ML motivation for the deadline? Perhaps someone would like to comment on this without resorting to caricaturising the PM as JW's deputy dog.

Kevin Bonham
27-03-2004, 04:56 PM
I personally would not want to live in a country in which terrorist could do that. At themoment we don't. Give terrorist an incentive to wage that sort of war and maybe we would.

Actually I agree with Matthew on this one, the amount of effort being put into combating a terrorism risk that, even if real, would only lead to a relatively small death toll compared to other sources, is very unlikely to be the most life-saving way this money could be used. The whole West is running scared. What are the costs of compliance in the airline industry alone, for measures that (for the most part) an organised terrorist could still route around quite easily if they wanted to just trash a plane full of passengers? How much did the fridge magnet campaign cost and was it worth it in terms of lives likely to be saved, compared to putting the same $$$ into road safety? Etc.

(I'm not certain I'm right on this, I just suspect I am because of the way politicians' priorities normally get distorted by media beatups).

Kevin Bonham
27-03-2004, 04:58 PM
I also don't think that there is a clear reason why the troops are required to be deployed at home in the short term as the local authorities seems to be handling law and order and military invasion does not seem likely in the foreseeable future.

I agree. That looked like transparent floundering on Latham's part.

(Has anyone here ever seen a transparent flounder? I have!)

Rincewind
27-03-2004, 05:19 PM
Actually I agree with Matthew on this one,

:eek:


the amount of effort being put into combating a terrorism risk that, even if real, would only lead to a relatively small death toll compared to other sources, is very unlikely to be the most life-saving way this money could be used. The whole West is running scared. What are the costs of compliance in the airline industry alone, for measures that (for the most part) an organised terrorist could still route around quite easily if they wanted to just trash a plane full of passengers? How much did the fridge magnet campaign cost and was it worth it in terms of lives likely to be saved, compared to putting the same $$$ into road safety? Etc.

I don't think people working in the tourism and related industries would agree with you. Also an analysis of the impact of the Sep 11 attacks on the American economy would be interesting when performing these "hard-nosed" economic assessments. Market and consumer confidence is a real thing and lack thereof can cost jobs. Calling tourist who choose to stay at home, wimps if fine. However, that doesn't get their dollars into our economy.

It gets down to the fact that people are comfortable with current levels of roads, health, education, etc. (To varying degrees of course, but generally comfortable). People are not comfortable with the idea of being a target of a major terrorist attack.

Kevin Bonham
27-03-2004, 05:39 PM
I don't think people working in the tourism and related industries would agree with you.

I doubt that they would know any more about the relative costs of different forms of life-saving than I would, and I suspect their perception of the issue would be very coloured by the implications for their industry.


Also an analysis of the impact of the Sep 11 attacks on the American economy would be interesting when performing these "hard-nosed" economic assessments. Market and consumer confidence is a real thing and lack thereof can cost jobs. Calling tourist who choose to stay at home, wimps if fine. However, that doesn't get their dollars into our economy.


I agree with all of this but all it shows is that the market is responding to and reflecting exactly the kind of dodgy and hysterical risk assessment that Matt was talking about, as seen in the minds of the public. It becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy


It gets down to the fact that people are comfortable with current levels of roads, health, education, etc. (To varying degrees of course, but generally comfortable). People are not comfortable with the idea of being a target of a major terrorist attack.

I'm comfortable with whatever gives me the best odds for the least investment. (Investment including things like sacrifices of liberty.)

Garvinator
27-03-2004, 06:03 PM
Perhaps he should abolish public school system and crime would reduce to nil as everyone knows all the real crims are produce by the public school system.
do you seriously believe this? define what 'real' crims are?

Rincewind
27-03-2004, 06:26 PM
do you seriously believe this? define what 'real' crims are?

It was dramatic irony. I think I am already on record elsewhere as a staunch public school supporter. Sorry for the confusion.

Rincewind
27-03-2004, 06:38 PM
I doubt that they would know any more about the relative costs of different forms of life-saving than I would, and I suspect their perception of the issue would be very coloured by the implications for their industry.

Yes, but the cost to those industries and the potential impact on a number of airlines going belly up in the year or two following Sep 11 were very real and not related to a a general rise in road toll. (In fact there is an argument that lack of confidence in interstate air-traffic has lead to more deaths on the roads). But I feel this is straynig too far afield now.


I agree with all of this but all it shows is that the market is responding to and reflecting exactly the kind of dodgy and hysterical risk assessment that Matt was talking about, as seen in the minds of the public. It becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy

Hold the front page, stop the presses. Public not entirely rational.


I'm comfortable with whatever gives me the best odds for the least investment. (Investment including things like sacrifices of liberty.)

So am I but unfortunately we are in the minority.

Garvinator
27-03-2004, 07:02 PM
It was dramatic irony. I think I am already on record elsewhere as a staunch public school supporter. Sorry for the confusion.
thats alright then, i was about to have to start debating in a non chess thread ;)

firegoat7
27-03-2004, 07:39 PM
Yes, one amongst a gaggle.

Garvinator
27-03-2004, 07:42 PM
Yes, one amongst a gaggle.
who were you replying to fg7 :confused:

firegoat7
27-03-2004, 08:25 PM
The original question gg ;)

Garvinator
27-03-2004, 09:43 PM
The original question gg ;)
fair enough then :owned:

arosar
29-03-2004, 09:28 AM
I vote yes. Mark Latham is proposing an unsound foreign policy.

AR

paulb
29-03-2004, 05:56 PM
I don't doubt Latham's playing populist politics, but so do they all. It's just that he plays it a little better than most.

Haven't read all the posts but I'm bewildered as to why people think a withdrawal increases our risks; the fact that a few "senior military figures" say so at Howard's behest is neither here nor there. I would have thought that we were at extremely high risk of an attack before the next election as things stand; and that's it's our presence in Iraq, not our proposed absence, that is the risk factor. Australia's best defence is immediate withdrawal. (As the US did, of course, in saudi Arabia immediately after 9/11, though no-one seems to have noticed).

It's complete nonsense to talk of Australians Yanks etc establishing democracy/order etc in Iraq. (can anyone cite any place where democracy has been imposed, rather than evolving?) Whether we leave now, or leave fairly soon (which the yanks will surely do, and we will surely follow), it's virtually certain that Iraq will descend into a fairly bloody civil war which will leave many dead. The great evil of this war, of course, is that all this was entirely predictable, and it was of course predicated by, et al, Colin Powell. Iraq will end up with a Government more Islamic, less predictable and potentially more dangerous than Saddam's, plus probably 100,000 (more?) dead on a nasty civil war.

Great work from the Coaliton of the Killling. The only problem I have with all this is working out which is the greater: the evil, or the stupidity.

chesslover
29-03-2004, 06:57 PM
Haven't read all the posts but I'm bewildered as to why people think a withdrawal increases our risks; the fact that a few "senior military figures" say so at Howard's behest is neither here nor there. I would have thought that we were at extremely high risk of an attack before the next election as things stand; and that's it's our presence in Iraq, not our proposed absence, that is the risk factor. Australia's best defence is immediate withdrawal. (As the US did, of course, in saudi Arabia immediately after 9/11, though no-one seems to have noticed).

Iraq will end up with a Government more Islamic, less predictable and potentially more dangerous than Saddam's, plus probably 100,000 (more?) dead on a nasty civil war.

Great work from the Coaliton of the Killling. The only problem I have with all this is working out which is the greater: the evil, or the stupidity.

What a surprise :eek: Paul saying the Iraq invasion was wrong :eek:

Remember Spain when even Downer and the US had to say to the new Spanish government not to withdraw any troops from Iraq? That was because the terrorists bombed in madrid and the pro-US government that sent tropps to Iraq was voted out by the opposition which had already said they would withdraw troops from Iraq. Before the bombing the Spanish Government was going to win but after that the Socialists won.

If latham says that he si going to withdraw troops then Osama and teh muslim terrorists would want him to win. Learning the lessons from Spain theywill bomb Central Station and kill a couple of hundred people when Howard calls an election. They think that this will result in Australians voting for latham and that he will bring the troops home. So there is an increased risk as a result of Latham promising to withdraw troops.

President Bush will also not like this.he did not like what the Spanish government did and now we and UK are his only good friends. This means Howard has given us more influence with the US than other Australian PMs. If latham withdraws troops Bush and USA will not welcome latham or listen to Australia any more

And how do you know that Iraq will go muslim fanatic when President Bush orders his troops home? They could just as easily have a democratic government which is friednly with Isreal and the West

paulb
29-03-2004, 07:39 PM
Typical ohnny-Howard bureaucrat sopeak from Chesslover, qyuoted straught from the Daily Tele, what a surprise Jose!

paulb
29-03-2004, 07:42 PM
I should point out that the leftie-radical-critics oif the war like myself have been proved completely correct, of course:

No WMDs
No peace or democracy in Iraq
No reduction in terrorism, in fact an increase
Tens of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands still to die, no end in sight.
Complete disaster.

QED.

The whole episode is a disaster.

Bill Gletsos
29-03-2004, 07:44 PM
Tens of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands still to die, no end in sight.
Can you provide a reliable source to back up this statement, other than some leftie-radical rag. ;)

Garvinator
29-03-2004, 07:47 PM
something that i have not seen debated in any source is, what would have happened if usa and allies did nothing and continued on diplomacy or low key efforts, instead of the high profile war scene that was created.

paulb
29-03-2004, 07:48 PM
If latham says that he si going to withdraw troops then Osama and teh muslim terrorists would want him to win.

Well d'oh! Given that Labor opposed the war, Osama wants Latham to win anyway. Withdrawing etc doesn't change that.

Bill Gletsos
29-03-2004, 08:06 PM
Typical ohnny-Howard bureaucrat sopeak from Chesslover, qyuoted straught from the Daily Tele, what a surprise Jose!
Well it must be official.
Paul B has named CL as Jose.

After all we all know CL holds the esteemed and wise and blah blah blah (you all can fill in the necessary sucking up necessary) paulb in virtual reverentance. :owned:

paulb
29-03-2004, 08:15 PM
Principally, John Howard is a goose. That he now seeks to make mileage out of his own prior stupidity sticks in my craw

Rincewind
29-03-2004, 08:16 PM
Well d'oh! Given that Labor opposed the war, Osama wants Latham to win anyway. Withdrawing etc doesn't change that.

The war in Iraq is over so Labour (or Coalition) position on that issue lining the bottom of budgie cages.

It is even not that difficult to imagine a government who would have been pro-war and pro-redeployment and an opposition whih was anti-war and pro-ongoing ops in Iraq.

However interesting though, these are side issues. What I'm interesting in is the gooseyness or otherwise of an opposition leader who is winging it on foreign policy which senior members of the opposition is having trouble reconciing with their own published view.

I agree both sides play popularist politics, it is a major part of the game. However, I have to disgree that Latham is doing it well, or even better than average.

paulb
29-03-2004, 09:16 PM
What, pray tell, is intelligent foreign policy here?

We have, thanks to neo-con stupidity, a range of horrible choices: withdraw now, and leave Iraq in a huge mess; or withdraw shortly after the US does, probably within months, and again leave Iraq in a huge mess. They are the only options ... we're not going to stay in for years, as with Vietnam (another disaster). All sides - even the neo-con idiots - knew before the war that they weren't going to stay long. It's politically impossible, for one thing.

So all the hoo-hah over withdrawing is just pissing in the wind - it's going to happen, sooner or later, and any Australian leader worthy of the term would withdraw now given that there does seem to be a plausible threat of another attack on Australians in the wake of Madrid. We've made a complete stuff-up of Iraq; at least we can help ourselves.

Talk that our "withdrawal" is risky or premature ignores the fact we will eventually withdraw anyway, and fairly soon, and it's always going to involve some risk. There's also a lot of wind-pissing going on with talk of establishing democracy, "our work's not done" etc. For goodness sake, open your eyes: Iraq is not going to be a nice democracy by western standards, it's going to be a Shiite Islamic dictatorship, after lots of people die.

chesslover
29-03-2004, 09:29 PM
Typical ohnny-Howard bureaucrat sopeak from Chesslover, qyuoted straught from the Daily Tele, what a surprise Jose!

very witty dear webmaster.

But the daily tele is the number 1 paper in NSW so there must be a reaspon why so many people but it? could it be that the paper echos what the people say and think

and I am not Jose my fine fellow.

Rincewind
29-03-2004, 10:08 PM
What, pray tell, is intelligent foreign policy here?

It is not what is intelligent foreign policy, but what is an intelligent process for developing foreign policy.


We have, thanks to neo-con stupidity, a range of horrible choices: withdraw now, and leave Iraq in a huge mess; or withdraw shortly after the US does, probably within months, and again leave Iraq in a huge mess. They are the only options ... we're not going to stay in for years, as with Vietnam (another disaster). All sides - even the neo-con idiots - knew before the war that they weren't going to stay long. It's politically impossible, for one thing.

Yes there is a mess, but it is not valid to blame the conservatives and just pull out on a whim. If you are going to do that, why not set the deadline as election day + 7?


So all the hoo-hah over withdrawing is just pissing in the wind - it's going to happen, sooner or later, and any Australian leader worthy of the term would withdraw now given that there does seem to be a plausible threat of another attack on Australians in the wake of Madrid. We've made a complete stuff-up of Iraq; at least we can help ourselves.

Redeploying the force from Iraq to Australia is not going to make a bit of difference to Australia ability to prevent a terrorist attack. The forces may as well be in Iraq, Afganistan or the Solomons or where ever. Yes we will have to withdraw sometime but I can see the possibility of Australia being there quite a long time. Especially in the UN can be convinced to take over the head of operations.


Talk that our "withdrawal" is risky or premature ignores the fact we will eventually withdraw anyway, and fairly soon, and it's always going to involve some risk. There's also a lot of wind-pissing going on with talk of establishing democracy, "our work's not done" etc. For goodness sake, open your eyes: Iraq is not going to be a nice democracy by western standards, it's going to be a Shiite Islamic dictatorship, after lots of people die.

I think some defference needs to be given to the situation of Iraq post withdrawal. Alternatively, you can take the cynical POV and say, the countries RS anyway so lets get the boys home by Christmas and maybe it will be worth some votes. Is that the sort of idea that floats thought Latham's head while he is lying in bed waiting for the snooze to go off? If so, is that worthy of gooseship?

paulb
29-03-2004, 10:41 PM
It is not what is intelligent foreign policy, but what is an intelligent process for developing foreign policy.
Agree Latham's approach is not sophisticated; nor, of course, is exposing Australia to long-term dangers in pursuit of mythical FTAs, and ego-enhancing stays at George's ranch. Are you seriously maintaining that our decision to support US in all of this, and support them as fulsomely as we have, was responsible foreign policy? I waving a red flag in front of a bull likewise responsible?

I don't mean to be sarcastic but I find it incredible that someone of your obvious intellect has swallowed the braindead conservative line on all of this


Redeploying the force from Iraq to Australia is not going to make a bit of difference to Australia ability to prevent a terrorist attack.
Agree. But it's likely to make a great deal of difference to the question of whether they want to attack us or not.


I can see the possibility of Australia being there quite a long time. Especially in the UN can be convinced to take over the head of operations.
Really?


but it is not valid to blame the conservatives
Why the hell not?


why not set the deadline as election day + 7?
Because I'd expect a terrorist attack on election day - 7



I think some deference needs to be given to the situation of Iraq post withdrawal.
Agree wholebeartedly, though of course the time to do this was before we turned a stable if repressed country into a scene of certain civil war.
There's nothing cynical about my desire for withdrawal. There was a great deal of cynicism in Bush's decision to go to war and Howard's decision to join him.
That Latham exploits Howard's unsustainable position on all of this is just standard politics.
[/QUOTE]

Rincewind
29-03-2004, 11:35 PM
Agree Latham's approach is not sophisticated; nor, of course, is exposing Australia to long-term dangers in pursuit of mythical FTAs, and ego-enhancing stays at George's ranch. Are you seriously maintaining that our decision to support US in all of this, and support them as fulsomely as we have, was responsible foreign policy? I waving a red flag in front of a bull likewise responsible?

Your comparing policy to policy development. You've also descended into drawing the sort of political caracatures which are as amusing as they are unoriginal. :)

At no point have I said I supported the decision the go to war. What I support is Australia contributing to cleaning up the mess it caused and therefore a responsible and ethical withdrawal strategy. Obviously, the sooner the better.


I don't mean to be sarcastic but I find it incredible that someone of your obvious intellect has swallowed the braindead conservative line on all of this

I haven't swallowed either party's line. But in Australia I don't have a lot of choice. The major parties policies have converged to the point that they could almost be undifferentiable. I did hold some hope for the minor parties but the last few years have taken a terrible toll on that hope. The Democrats are a spent force waiting for their next prophetess to lead them out of the wildernessa and the Greens are trying hard to fill the gap but are operating on so narrow a platform as to make their claim as a valid alternative almost laughable - if it wasn't a fait accompli. Oh well...


Agree. But it's likely to make a great deal of difference to the question of whether they want to attack us or not.

As will lack of bipartisan support for foreign military deployments.


Really?

Yes. The tricky part will be getting the UN involved. It would be similar to the Kosovo situation except Australia as a supplier of active service troops in the invasion would be expected to supply peace keeping forces as well.


Why the hell not?

Selective quoting. Yes you can blame the conservatives for getting us into the war. You can use that as an excuse for pulling out whenever you (or Mark) feels like you've had enough.


Because I'd expect a terrorist attack on election day - 7

I'd expect that anyway.


Agree wholebeartedly, though of course the time to do this was before we turned a stable if repressed country into a scene of certain civil war.
There's nothing cynical about my desire for withdrawal. There was a great deal of cynicism in Bush's decision to go to war and Howard's decision to join him.
That Latham exploits Howard's unsustainable position on all of this is just standard politics.

Unfortunately we have to play the position on the board as it stands today. The war has come and gone and we have to get on with the job ot making the best of a difficult position. Maybe it is not a winnable position but with careful play we might escape with a draw.

Alan Shore
29-03-2004, 11:46 PM
Thanks for holding the fort paulb, I've been over on another thread, I share your views.

I can see Barry is merely attempting to establish facts here, which is a good thing. Although he claims to be a fence-sitter, I'd like to see a real opinion of his as to where we are headed as a country and to what ends our international diplmomatic responsibilities extend to.

Perhaps in terms of diplomatic relations what Mr Latham said was controversial, yet at the same time it was a firm stance - he's not going to be the lapdog that Johnny was to Bush, and I respect his stance. I believe he has amended his original statement, to that Australia will leave some troops (400 was it?) in Iraq rather than none, yet the remaining troops will be brought home - a sensible change in idea too, as he did not wish to be seen as completely irresponsible in abandoning what the alliance of nations had worked towards to set up and at the same time, holding firm to himself and to his word.

Rincewind
30-03-2004, 12:26 AM
Thanks for holding the fort paulb, I've been over on another thread, I share your views.

These views and interesting and diverting they are essentially off topic in this thread.


I can see Barry is merely attempting to establish facts here, which is a good thing. Although he claims to be a fence-sitter, I'd like to see a real opinion of his as to where we are headed as a country and to what ends our international diplmomatic responsibilities extend to.

To quote a well known but ficticious American military character ,"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!"

Australia's role should be like every other sovereign state. Incumbent on all states is a duty to act in a responsible way towards other other states. Basically I firmly believe in the processes of the UN (although these process are not without flaws) and I would find it difficult to support any military action not sanctioned by the UN (other than defending against unsanctioned invasions or the like). I'll let you join the dots on that one.


Perhaps in terms of diplomatic relations what Mr Latham said was controversial, yet at the same time it was a firm stance - he's not going to be the lapdog that Johnny was to Bush, and I respect his stance. I believe he has amended his original statement, to that Australia will leave some troops (400 was it?) in Iraq rather than none, yet the remaining troops will be brought home - a sensible change in idea too, as he did not wish to be seen as completely irresponsible in abandoning what the alliance of nations had worked towards to set up and at the same time, holding firm to himself and to his word.

If it was a firm stance, why has it been "amended"? :D

The simple fact of the matter is Latham was caught out making stuff up on the fly. The question is, how does that reflect on his ability to lead the opposition, let alone the country?

The party faithful have thrown their support behind the young guy hoping he will have the popular support of Hawke and the political nous of Keating. Unfortunately, I think they have it the wrong way round. ;)

Kevin Bonham
30-03-2004, 01:11 AM
But the daily tele is the number 1 paper in NSW so there must be a reaspon why so many people but it? could it be that the paper echos what the people say and think

Unfortunately this is very probably true. :evil:

The purpose of a good paper is to inform what the people say and think.

Not to reflect it.

A paper that sees its primary role in the latter light should be stripped of its media licence and made available for sale only in the fiction section. :hand:

chesslover
30-03-2004, 01:24 AM
Unfortunately this is very probably true. :evil:

The purpose of a good paper is to inform what the people say and think.

Not to reflect it.

A paper that sees its primary role in the latter light should be stripped of its media licence and made available for sale only in the fiction section. :hand:

That raises the issue of what is the role of the mainstream paper??

If it just informs and what it informs is out of step with the majority of the population it will not sell any papers. Case in point is those extreme left socilaist rags that they try to giveaway at railstations, and which very few poeple buy because they know that what the paper states is not what the readers want to read.

A paper must inform but it also must have opinions that are consistent with mainstream Australia. If the daily tele was consistently reflecting and opinioning a right wing line, and not many people liked it they woud not buy it. This force the paper to change it's tune and be more moderate.

The fact that this does not happen seem to indicate that what the daily tele writes and has opinions on is refelective of the mainstream NSW population.

But raises the question of whether the Daily Tele reflects opinion or LEADS opion due to it's vast market power :confused:

To be truthful I only buy the Daily Tele for the Rugby League coverage :uhoh: If I want political news I go to CNN, Washington Post and other news sources, including Sydney Mornig Herald in Australia

Rincewind
30-03-2004, 01:28 AM
Unfortunately this is very probably true. :evil:

The purpose of a good paper is to inform what the people say and think.

Not to reflect it.

The tele is not reflecting , nor is it informing other than informing its readership WHAT to think. As such it should be considered a 100+ page daily pamphlet rather then a newspaper, per se.


A paper that sees its primary role in the latter light should be stripped of its media licence and made available for sale only in the fiction section. :hand:

Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you read. Unless, of course, you only read the tele - in which case, see rule 1.

PHAT
30-03-2004, 06:30 AM
Especially in the UN can be convinced to take over the head of operations.

The UN don't want that kind of risk. They do not have their own forces to protect their own people during the coming civil war. We should cut our losses and get out now. We have to admit that we have made a mistake.

PHAT
30-03-2004, 06:43 AM
If I want political news I go to CNN, Washington Post ...
OMFG! Quick, take some antivenine. Here, it's in the Green Left Weekly.

Rincewind
30-03-2004, 10:11 AM
The UN don't want that kind of risk. They do not have their own forces to protect their own people during the coming civil war. We should cut our losses and get out now. We have to admit that we have made a mistake.

How many times do I need to reiterate that doing the responsible thing is not always doing the thing we want to do?

Kevin Bonham
30-03-2004, 01:54 PM
If it just informs and what it informs is out of step with the majority of the population it will not sell any papers.

Well, naturally it can tailor its choice of subjects to those subjects that interest its readers. And any paper can have an opinion section where it lets its ranters loose in an appropriately marked forum. But that is different from telling the people what they want to hear if what they want to hear is demonstrably false or very biased.


Case in point is those extreme left socilaist rags that they try to giveaway at railstations, and which very few poeple buy because they know that what the paper states is not what the readers want to read.

More because those papers cover issues that do not much interest most readers, and do so with their own bias that is not to most readers' liking. Also because the writing in such papers is frequently doctrinal and dull. I once described Resistance (the youth arm of the publishers of Green Left Weekly) as writing "like a uniform batch of slightly defective robots".


But raises the question of whether the Daily Tele reflects opinion or LEADS opion due to it's vast market power :confused:

I have no doubt that a lot of opinion-leading as opposed to mere reflection is done by the media in this country - especially the radio shockjocks.

paulb
30-03-2004, 03:02 PM
Barry: I think one of our principal disagreements is over whether there's "a job to be finished" in Iraq. I don't see any evidence of progress; I don't swallow the soft-headed right-wing fairytales of a path to "nice" democracy in Iraq (there may of course be a "democracy" of sorts in Iraq - a Shiite dictatorship - since they have the numbers anyway, but it's highly doubtful the Sunnis or the Kurds are just going to play along); I don't have any confidence that our presence there is achieving anything at all ... aside from delaying civil war. Since there will be a civil war when we leave, and we're going to leave soon, so we might as well go now, and at least reduce the risk to ourselves.

Kevin Bonham
30-03-2004, 03:12 PM
Since there will be a civil war when we leave, and we're going to leave soon, so we might as well go now, and at least reduce the risk to ourselves.

This is why I think the national boundaries of Iraq need to be redrawn if anything other than dictatorship or civil war is to be acheived there. However I don't see the US getting interested in such a project. I like the Spanish solution of setting conditions on staying (ie transition to UN control). Maybe if all the minor allies did something like that it might put pressure on the US to do likewise?

Rincewind
30-03-2004, 03:22 PM
Barry: I think one of our principal disagreements is over whether there's "a job to be finished" in Iraq. I don't see any evidence of progress; I don't swallow the soft-headed right-wing fairytales of a path to "nice" democracy in Iraq (there may of course be a "democracy" of sorts in Iraq - a Shiite dictatorship - since they have the numbers anyway, but it's highly doubtful the Sunnis or the Kurds are just going to play along); I don't have any confidence that our presence there is achieving anything at all ... aside from delaying civil war. Since there will be a civil war when we leave, and we're going to leave soon, so we might as well go now, and at least reduce the risk to ourselves.

Looks like our assessment of the situation is different. You think the position is resignable, whereas I think we might be able to salvage a draw.

arosar
30-03-2004, 03:47 PM
I don't have any confidence that our presence there is achieving anything at all ... aside from delaying civil war. Since there will be a civil war when we leave, and we're going to leave soon, so we might as well go now, and at least reduce the risk to ourselves.

OK Paulie, so you reckon we just ship out and let 'em poor bas.tar.ds settle it amongst themselves by civil war? Mate, it won't be Rwanda redux but close enough.

It seems to me that a stance opposing the initial invasion is perfectly reconcilable with supporting a prolonged stay (by Australian forces, specifically). Now that we're in there, let's at least get as much of the reconstruction job done as possible. In other words, because we've f**ked them up - let's help these people recover.

AR

arosar
30-03-2004, 03:50 PM
Looks like our assessment of the situation is different. You think the position is resignable, whereas I think we might be able to salvage a draw.

He doesn't wanna resign. Paulie just wants to get up and go mid-game.

AR

arosar
30-03-2004, 04:06 PM
Are you seriously maintaining that our decision to support US in all of this, and support them as fulsomely as we have, was responsible foreign policy? I waving a red flag in front of a bull likewise responsible?

How would you characterise 'responsible foriegn policy' then Paulie?

AR

PHAT
30-03-2004, 07:01 PM
Now that we're in there, let's at least get as much of the reconstruction job done as possible. In other words, because we've f**ked them up - let's help these people recover.

This is much like Barry Cox's "Do the right thing." I have a lot of sympathy for this position, but, unless we swear to do a good job, we should leave. Since I do not believe the USA has the integrity and/or guts to do a good job, we should just admit to profound stupidity and leave.

BTW. A "good job" means splitting Iraq along ethnic boundaries and giving sh.t loads of aid to those ethnic groups that lose in the carve-up.

arosar
30-03-2004, 07:26 PM
BTW. A "good job" means splitting Iraq along ethnic boundaries and giving sh.t loads of aid to those ethnic groups that lose in the carve-up.

If there's an undertaking more dangerous than nation-building, then it must surely be nations-building. There's always a coupla biggies: who gets which piece of land and by how much. And let's not forget that Turkey will say a loud 'No' to a sovereign 'Kurdistan'. As far as I can see, without some foreign tutelage - Iraq is f**ked!

AR

arosar
30-06-2005, 04:52 PM
bump

AR

Spiny Norman
30-06-2005, 06:25 PM
Well bumped AR. Unfortunately the poll is closed, otherwise Mr Latham would've received another 'goose' vote from me. :) Lucky for him eh?

PHAT
30-06-2005, 08:14 PM
Mark Latham is a treasure lost. Beazley is as he ever was, pissweak.

bergil
01-07-2005, 07:37 AM
Mark Latham is a treasure lost. Beazley is as he ever was, pissweak.

Maybe, he had some fresh ideas and anyone but Howard was welcomed, but as it turned out was very immature. I gave him the benefit of the doubt when he quit as leader as I've had pancrealitis and know how painful and debilitating it can be.

With the release of passages from his upcoming book, he just seems childish and bitter and twisted. If I can't have it then tear it down so nobody else can.

At the time of the poll I would have said not a goose because I wanted to believe, sadly that's not the case. He is a goose and worse it seems a rat

Spiny Norman
01-07-2005, 08:54 AM
Apparently Jeff Kennett said on radio that ML was "showing signs consistent with bipolar disorder", or words to that effect. He has since retracted the comments and apologised. Seems an unreasonably heavy hit, even from a long-time ready-fire-aim hitter like Jeff! My father-in-law has bipolar disorder. Not a fun thing to have to contend with.

PHAT
01-07-2005, 03:02 PM
...but as it turned out was very immature.

With the release of passages from his upcoming book, he just seems childish and bitter and twisted.

He is a goose and worse it seems a rat

You might call it immature. But I would remind you that maturity is the state before rotting. He was a straight talking normal bloke.

He probably is bitter! But twisted? No.

A goose? If you can call an undiplomatic politician a goose, yes he was a goose.

A rat? He hasn't crossed the floor. So, no he ain't a rat - but many are unhappy with him. I think, maybe, he is doing the Labia members a favor and saying publicly what might have been said 20 years ago, and needed to be said now. History will be kind to Latham.

ursogr8
01-07-2005, 04:08 PM
You might call it immature. But I would remind you that maturity is the state before rotting. He was a straight talking normal bloke.

He probably is bitter! But twisted? No.

A goose? If you can call an undiplomatic politician a goose, yes he was a goose.

A rat? He hasn't crossed the floor. So, no he ain't a rat - but many are unhappy with him. I think, maybe, he is doing the Labia members a favor and saying publicly what might have been said 20 years ago, and needed to be said now. History will be kind to Latham.

Matt

Given that 8 out of 8 States are voting for Labour Governmments it would seem logical to draw the conclusion that Federal Labour are 'on the nose' only on two issues
> the economy
> homeland security.
Latham's strategy for these two issues were obviously unsuccessful, and therefore for these two key factors he will judged a failure.

History may then judge him harshly. "You only had to be sensible of two points mate and you coodabeen a champion".

I suspect he will be judged as concentrating on the wrong dimensions, and for getting the two key dimensions wrong (in the electorate's eyes).

starter

arosar
01-07-2005, 04:28 PM
Yes, he is a rat. You don't need to cross the floor to be one. The ALP should send in a coupla heavy hitters to his house and sort him out. I mean, this is the problem with that bloke: he just couldn't bloody control himself. He let loose. I mean, why in the world would we vote for an unsophisticated thug?

AR