German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, rejecting calls for military action against Iran.
He was speaking in response to an interview given by George W. Bush to a sycophantic Israeli television journalist. The US President said:
"...all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any President. You know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country. It's a difficult - it's difficult for the Commander-in-Chief to put kids in harm's way. Nevertheless, I have been willing to do so as a last resort in order to secure the country and to provide the opportunity for people to live in free societies."
Thankfully, a majority of Americans now think Bush is a liar and reject his contention that the war in Iraq is making the country safer. The Kansas City Star reports:
"...some suggest that 2005 may well be remembered as the year when public opinion went south and never came back — a mood shift roughly analogous to 1968, when domestic confidence in the Vietnam War began its irreversible slide."
The US administration is itself lowering its sights as to what can be achieved in Iraq. The Washington Post reports:
"The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say. "What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."
At what point will the Howard government acknowledge these lower ambitions? And when will our establishment media openly call for the withdrawal of Australian troops? The time has come.