Remember John Howard's former immigration minister/attorney-general, Philip Ruddock?
Happily, he's just an opposition backbencher these days and we don't get to hear much from him anymore.
Lately, however, he's popped up in federal parliament sick with worry that Australia's bloated intelligence agencies are being starved of funds by the government.
But that's not why I'm on his case right now. The thing is, I just couldn't help noticing the following words in his speech on the tabling of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence & Security's latest Annual Report of Activities:
"I read about what is happening in Syria and the reports of Australians abroad engaged in activities in that region. In some cases their work is said to be humanitarian, but in others the reporting suggests that they are active participants. These are people who can come back to Australia after they have been trained in organisations that ought to be of considerable concern to us." (ruddockmp.com.au)
It's strange how selective such concerns can be.
Ruddock apparently had no such concerns when tapped on the shoulder by the Israelis sometime in 2000/2001 and asked to relieve them of the burden of around 200 members of the South Lebanese Army (SLA), the puppet militia who'd followed their masters back into Israel following the Israeli retreat from occupied south Lebanon in 2000.
As non-Jews (Maronite Christians actually) in a 'Jewish' state, they were surplus to requirements, and, having passed their use-by date, just had to go... somewhere... anywhere.
But where? No problem.
Where else but good old Australia?
As you know, when it comes to Israel, Australian governments are the softest of soft touches, and none more so, arguably, than that of John Howard. Sure, you've all heard Howard's 'We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstance in which they come', but hey, for Israel... anything!
Still, you might have thought that the SLA's experience in terrorising Shia villages and Palestinian refugees in south Lebanon, and their expertise in attaching electric wires to the fingertips, tongues and genitals of anyone unfortunate enough to fall into their clutches, would have given Ruddock and his mates pause.
But no, like Lola, Israel always gets what Israel wants.