Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sheridan Cuts & Runs

Remember those classic, 'Be afraid, be very afraid' tropes from The Australian's steamed foreign editor Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan?:

"Iraq remains the most likely source of WMDs for al-Qaida." (A threat we ignore at our peril, 14/9/02)

"The strategic rationale for the allied effort in Afghanistan is clear enough. Without the allied presence, Hamid Karzai's government would be overwhelmed and some combination of the Taliban, al-Qa'ida and the drug lords would take power again. This would be not only a ghastly tragedy for the Afghan people but it would be a territorial conquest for global terrorism and extremist, nihilist Islamism. Global terror would once again have a completely permissive state... It may well be that one day the West decides to abandon Afghanistan again. That day will be a day of signal defeat and full of danger. The last time we abandoned Afghanistan it led not only to the creation of religious totalitarianism but global terrorism. In time this terrorism is more likely to acquire nuclear or radiological capacity. If that day comes, no decision to abandon Afghanistan to its fate will look very smart." (Pakistan the key to war in Afghanistan, 1/5/08)

Not to mention those delusional assurances that Bushama's in his heaven and all's right with the world:

"Barack Obama deserves credit for wisely following the path laid down by George W Bush... Iraq is starting to look as though it may turn out to be a great, historic American success." (In praise of good patriots & reasonable people, 2/9/10)

That was sooo then (2002-2010). This is now (October 2010):

"Perhaps among all the scribbling newspaper columnists in the world, none has supported the US commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan more consistently than I have. Yet 2 months in the US, from which I have just returned, has convinced me that the era of US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan is coming rapidly to a close. And it is time that it did. America has done more than enough. It cannot want democracy more than the Iraqis want it, or the Afghans." (Time is right to end reliance on the US: Iraq & Afghanistan need to stand on their own if they want to embrace democracy, 7/10/10)

But there's a caveat: "The Liberals under Tony Abott are right to offer more troops, even at this late stage. It is overwhelmingly in Australia's interests for the effort in Afghanistan to succeed." (ibid)

Will no one rid us of this muddlesome pundit?

But then who'd keep us entertained?:

"When I read the headline 'Time is right to end reliance on the US' over Greg Sheridan's byline and photo (Commentary, 7/10), I almost fell off my seat with shock. Had your redoubtable foreign editor had a 'road to Damascus' moment? Alas no, he was only referring to Iraq and Afghanistan - not us. David Poignand, Hackett, ACT (Letter to The Australian, 8/10/10)

1 comment:

brian said...

'It is overwhelmingly in Australia's interests for the effort in Afghanistan to succeed." '

how exactly is it in our interest? What interests does australia have in the region beyond serving the Evil Empire?