Sunday, April 13, 2003
Donald Rumsfeld's thesis that there is nothing wrong in Iraq at the moment apart from the media coverage of it is finding predictable echoes here from some of the predictable suspects. Here's Miranda Devine:
On the ABC, there was no time to rejoice. It was all looting and anarchy. The World Today presenter John Highfield began: "Well, dawn has broken over Baghdad, welcoming day one of the new freedom - but if this is liberty, then it's far from perfect."
Who expected perfect democracy after one day of freedom from a totalitarian regime that ruled by torture and murder for a quarter of a century?
No one, dear. By the same token, though, I also doubt that they expected quite the level of "liberated" activity that there's been, you know, the looting and the anarchy.
Iraqi liberty got a cool reception, too, from the trio on Richard Glover's media forum. The ABC's Monica Attard, Channel Nine's Ross Coulthart and The Sydney Morning Herald's Ross Gittins offered their take on the jubilation in Baghdad. [...]
It is probably unfair to single out Attard, Coulthart and Gittins on the basis of a few comments made in a free-ranging radio discussion; they have much company in the free world. But they, after all, are among Australia's best journalists, with experience, knowledge and Walkley awards to burn. It is not a failure of intellect that feeds such cynicism.
Of course it isn't. I don't know what's feeding theirs, but the failure of Afghanistan is what feeds mine.
Then there's the ever reliable Piers Akerman. I've refrained from reading and commenting on Piers' bleatings, but he was too good to ignore today:
IT took the Catholic Church 359 years to come to grips with the fact that Galileo had correctly determined that the Earth is in orbit around the Sun.
Let's hope it doesn't take as long for the president of the bishops' conference, Francis Carroll, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, to determine that the liberation of the Iraqi people was the correct moral thing to do.
It's not just the leadership of the Catholic clergy who are behaving so mulishly, despite overwhelming evidence of the joyous scenes beaming in from Baghdad.
Piers is actually refining Rumsfeld's position somewhat, you will notice, by not only not making reference to the looting and anarchy in Baghdad but by not even mentioning the media reports of same. The only visuals Piers has been getting from Baghdad are "joyous scenes", obviously.
In the spirit of compassion, however, let us forgive the muddle-headed clergy their apparent ignorance on this issue and look to someone who should be a little more closely in touch with the temporal world: Opposition Leader Simon Crean.
Alas, he is as other-worldly in his view of the liberation of the Iraqi people as those who make careers out of dabbling in the spiritual realm.
Such magnaminity from Piers! And such calling the kettle black by the pot! Cos there's nothing other-worldly about his apparent refusal to believe in the reality of anything but "joyous scenes" from Baghdad, is there?
It would be easy to dismiss the clergy, Simon Crean, and the loopy end of the commentariat spectrum as simply ignorant, but they're not.
They understand what they say, but they're all blind-sided to the obvious by their curiously warped, anti-US and anti-Howard ideology.
And there's nothing ideologically blinkered about Piers either, is there?
When the Iraqis turn Baghdad's former secret police headquarters into a museum, they should line the walls with the remarks these people have made and play looped tapes of their sermons and commentaries so future generations will know who were the enemies of liberty.
I would remind Piers at this point that neither Simon Crean nor Francis Carroll authorised the hijacking of passenger aeroplanes in order to fly them into the World Trade Centre in New York, nor did they authorise the placing of bombs to kill tourists in Bali nightclubs, nor did they authorise the use of suicide bombers to destroy civilian lives in Israel or to attack Coalition troops in Iraq. I would remind him of that, except asking Piers to maintain a little perspective and remember who the real enemies of liberty are would be asking too much. I certainly hope future generations DO get to know who the enemies of liberty were because Piers obviously doesn't.