In his opinion piece in yesterday's Australian, Restraint is not weakness, Australia's former foreign minister, Bob Carr, offers an overview and defence of Obama's foreign policy: Bush was a foreign policy 'maximalist'. Obama is a foreign policy 'minimalist'. Three cheers for the latter!
But it wasn't Carr's case for Obama that interested me. It was his opening paragraphs. I cannot overestimate their documentary value:
"The caller was an Australian living in the US, effectively embedded in George W Bush's administration. He knew the cabinet, got to see the vice-president, had spent time in the Oval Office. It was March 2003, the Iraq war just launched.
"'America will have a decisive win,' he told me, and went on with arguments imbibed from the feisty, cordite-flavoured atmosphere of a Washington at war. It was all upbeat.
"'Iraq gets a market economy. It becomes a democracy. This changes the Arab world. They make peace with Israel.' He may even have implied a prod or two from this triumphant US military would bring change to Iran.
"Here, then, was the prevailing wisdom of the neo-cons who had salivated over a war with Iraq and the ultranationalists they had recruited for this preposterous mission."
Here is yet further evidence, from an embedded source with access to the highest levels of US decision-making, that the Bush regime's war against Iraq was, first and foremost, a war to rearrange the Middle East in Israel's interest, and that a neocon (more accurately, Ziocon) cabal, already with an eye on using US military muscle to topple the Iranian regime, was leading the charge.
Simply stunning. Thank you, Bob!
On a more mundane level, though, could you please, in the national interest, name your Australian caller of March, 2003? It worries me no end that this credulous fuckwit could currently be embedded somewhere in our own foreign policy machinery, wreaking God-knows-what havoc.