America’s Enemy – Alexander Downer

AlexanderDowner

“Downer worked with John Howard to dismantle the country’s cultural cringe and replace it with a new militant nationalism predicated on the appropriation of American-style patriotism and open skepticism of multicultural values.”

George Bush invited foreigners to come help him destroy the Peace Movement in my country. Alexander Downer was a conservative lackey and Deregulator for Thatcher. He was a avid liar about WMD. He is the source of the “yellowcake” lie. British conservatives come off like Peaceniks in order to make my President look bad in the coming elections. This amounts to TREASON now that my Nation has no pact with Britain. Stay out of my nations politics! Boycott all British goods for sale in the U.S. These British Deregulators destroyed the West, and left us powerless before our enemies.

Bring back the founders of the real Peace Movement!

Jon Presco

“He engages in the worst kind of political cowardice – praising Thatcher’s theory that there is “something very special about the values of the English-speaking peoples” without totally committing to it himself. His account takes a permanent marker to history, carefully redacting opposing perspectives and leaving only a jumble of superlatives.

Downer is a bloodstain on our country’s recent history. Let me be blunt

ELEANOR HALL: Australia’s Foreign Minster, Alexander Downer is maintaining a firm silence over whether he’s been approached by the Bush administration to become the new chief of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International
Atomic Energy Agency.

The Washington Post is today reporting that the White House has been bugging the phones of the IAEA Director General, Mohamed El Baradei, as part of a campaign to oust him and that United States officials approached Mr Downer several months ago to ask him to run for the job instead.

Australian prime minister an enthusiastic promoter of the WMD fraud

By Nick Beams5 June 2003;

While the spotlight has been focused on the Bush and Blair
regimesfor their role in weaving the web of lies over Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction”, attention should also be directed to the Howard government in Australia. When it came to promoting bogus threats and circulating outright lies
no one was more vociferous than the Australian prime minister.

The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently remarked that “misrepresentation and deception are standard operating procedure” for the Bush administration. The same could
equally be said of the Howard government. After a campaign of lies and deception targeting refugees during its re-election campaign in 2001—the Tampa crisis and the so-called “children overboard” affair—the government eagerly joined the Bush
administration’s war drive against Iraq, initiated in July-August 2002.

On July 16 last, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer proclaimed that the world should be worried about Iraq’s ability to build a nuclear bomb, as well as its developing chemical and biological weapons capacity. Defence Minister Robert Hill said he was “not surprised” by claims that Iraq was less than three years away from developing a bomb.

“Let me be blunt,” Alexander Downer writes in the opening paragraph to a sad and awful opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. “I think we were right to play our own small part in the destruction of the regime of Saddam Hussein.” These are the words of a terrible man in the twilight of his tenuous credibility; a man who helped pull Australia into a ten-year nightmare of war predicated on little more than crossed fingers and a moth-bitten tapestry of partisan guesswork. As Australia’s longest serving Foreign Minister, Downer worked with John Howard to dismantle the country’s cultural cringe and replace it with a new militant nationalism predicated on the appropriation of American-style patriotism and open skepticism of multicultural values. Howard is often held up as a lone harbinger of death by the left, as if his leadership existed in some authoritarian vacuum, but the malign influence of Downer’s ‘conservative rationalism’ toward global affairs played a crucial role in changing how Australia thinks about the Western world and its entitlements. Now, nearly six years after his departure from federal politics, he’s been reduced to a gelatinous blob of mewling pride and vague explanations for past policies. Let me be blunt. I think we were right. The 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians surely appreciate his frankness on the issue.

It’s a more helpful comment than you might initially think, immersed as it is in self-serving bile. Bluntness, as a philosophy, underpinned so much of what Downer claimed to be saying on behalf of the Australian people. He was merely being blunt when he defended the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, long after weapons inspectors dismissed it as fantasy. He was blunt when he claimed that North Korea had the technology to launch a ballistics missile at Sydney. His only lapse in bluntness, it seems, was when he repeatedly, fecklessly denied having any knowledge of Australian companies paying kickbacks to the Iraqi Government. Now, in the endnote of the Downer era, as we pull combat troops out of the Middle East, he’s letting out a hoarse death rattle via our major metropolitan newspapers. It’s a performance as sad as it is revolting – a jumbled lattice of post-hoc justifications stretching from here to Hell itself.

Downer, alongside Howard and Defence Minister Peter Reith, seized on the general social malaise represented by mad racist Pauline Hanson in order to institute a radical new legislative understanding of refugee rights. In the wake of the Tampa affair, Downer, once again speaking bluntly, said ”It is important that people understand that Australia has no obligation under international law to accept the rescued persons in to Australian territory”, thus forging a path toward the torturous, inexcusable regime of offshore processing. This disregard for basic human decency masked under a cracked, peeling facade of Law, Justice and Order – what is it? What the fuck is it? To hail Downer as a champion for Western interests while disregarding his contempt for the rest of the world goes well beyond missing the forest for the trees. There’s no forest – just a rank, foul-smelling swamp.

He wrote again this week, preaching to the crowd at The Australian on the legacy of fellow neoliberal Margaret Thatcher. A melodramatic piece, beginning with entry-level scene setting as Downer describes himself openly crying over Thatcher’s final Parliamentary address. It’s an important vignette: we need to be convinced that he is actually capable of any human emotion beyond contempt. The rest of the story, ostensibly about Thatcher’s resoluteness and imperviousness – two qualities I’m sure he identifies in himself – is transparently self-serving. He dismisses gender issues in politics wholesale, portraying Julia Gillard as a desperate whiner who lobs false accusations of misogyny instead of crushing the working class under her boot like Thatcher did. He cheers on Thatcher’s apparent distate for dictatorships and autocracies, still vainly justifying his own role in the Iraq debacle, while conveniently ignoring her long friendship with Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who tortured thousands of women and children and murdered political dissenters. He engages in the worst kind of political cowardice – praising Thatcher’s theory that there is “something very special about the values of the English-speaking peoples” without totally committing to it himself. His account takes a permanent marker to history, carefully redacting opposing perspectives and leaving only a jumble of superlatives.

Downer is a bloodstain on our country’s recent history. Let me be blunt

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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