"Those Chinese fuckers are trying to ratfuck us." Kevin Rudd
Before he became Australia's prime minister in 2007, St. Kevin spoke out in defence of the wretched of the earth: "But my point is there are probably half a dozen smaller Darfurs around the world at present, which none of us hear about. And it's who gives voice to those concerns that's the challenge I think, and if you were looking at it from an Old Testament theological point of view, I suppose it's the prophetic challenge of the church, which is to give voice to those who are marginalised, the dispossessed and the oppressed." (Kevin Rudd: Bonhoeffer & 'the political orchestration of organised Christianity', The Religion Report, abc.net.au, 4/10/06)
Even as prime minister he spoke out fearlessly against tyrants and dictators - so long as these did not belong to the stable of same kept by the United States: "The Prime Minister backed a United Nations Security Council debate on possible action in Zimbabwe and described Mugabe as 'a man who pretends to be running a parliamentary democracy. He is not, he has become a dictator', Mr Rudd told Parliament. 'There can be no legitimacy to an election stolen by the Mugabe regime through violence and terror. The Australian Government condemns the violence and brutal intimidation by the regime'." (Rudd condemns dictatorship's reign of terror, Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney Morning Herald, 24/6/08)
St Kevin's concern for the marginalised, the dispossessed and the oppressed, of course, was nowhere in evidence when he schmoozed with US-approved dictators and tyrants. In fact, the prospect of meeting with one such, Pharaoh Mubarak I of Egypt, made him happier than a pig in clover - for Mubarak, you see, was nearest and dearest of all US-approved dictators and tyrants to the Lords of the Holy Land of Israel, to whom St Kevin, like so many pious Australian politicians, regularly repair to pay homage on pilgrimage after pilgrimage. And so, as a prelude to last December's, in his latest incarnation as foreign minister, it was only natural for St Kevin to stop off in the land of Mubarak: "I'm looking forward very much to spending some time with the foreign minister to review our total relationship and where we take it in the future... I'm also seeing President Mubarak while I'm here in Cairo. I'm looking forward very much to doing that. I believe we can turn a new chapter in the Australia-Egypt relationship. There's nothing wrong with the past but we can do much much more. And that's why I'm here." (Rudd on Egyptian television, 10/12/10, The Australian, 31/1/11)
Alas, since then the marginalised, the dispossessed and the oppressed in the land of Egypt, having decided they'd had quite enough, thankyou, of being marginalised, dispossessed and oppressed, rose up against Pharaoh Mubarak, rendering the usually garrulous, freedom-loving (in Zimbabwe anyway) St Kevin practically speechless:
"Newsreader: White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said... that the people of Egypt need to decide what is going to happen there. How do you see that?
Rudd: Well, my more immediate concern is to the wellbeing of Australians in Cairo and for Australians considering the possibility of travelling to Egypt at this time. We're in the process of amending our travel advisory for Australians to read: reconsider your need to travel...
Newsreader: Mr Rudd, if I can turn to what is happening there and what you see as the future, do you think the people want more freedoms in their country? What's Australia's view on that? Do we support that?
Rudd: Well, the political situation is highly fluid, as a number of my colleagues from elsewhere around the world have said [Bibi-n-Barack?]. We have long supported democratic transformation across the Middle East [especially in Iraq!]. We have equally strongly argued that this transformation should occur peacefully and without violence. That remains our view in terms of recent developments in Egypt as well.
Newsreader: The White House is suggesting that the Egyptians turn the internet back on and the social networks, that sort of thing, and of course to end the violence. You'd be supportive of that, would you?
Rudd: Well, I've not seen White House statements to that effect [so I haven't yet had a chance to learn my lines]. I go back to what I said before. We ourselves have long supported democratic transformation across the Middle East and across the Arab world, but equally we strongly emphasise the importance for those things to occur peacefully and without violence. Therefore we should be exceptionally vigilant about what is occurring in Egypt at the moment. And again I go back to my earlier remarks, we must be first and foremost concerned, at times of great instability and violence on the streets in Cairo, about the wellbeing of Australians." (Kevin Rudd on Sky News, 29/1/11, Kevin Rudd (for once) lost for words as a special relationship turns sour, The Australian, 31/1/11)