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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Friday, September 16, 2005

The speech we had to have?

Tim Dunlop @ Road to Surfdom offers the speech John Howard should give to the Australian people on terrorism and security. It's a fascinating exercise in presumption, insight, nuance and toughness:

"Democracy is not rocket science; it is much more complicated than that. Balancing security and freedom has been the dilemma of democratic governments since there first were democratic governments. I don't pretend to have all the answers now. But we have learned something over the years and all we can do as your government, I repeat, is adhere to the principles of openness and accountability that define our political system and trust that you will hold us accountable on those terms."

It's also lacking in any discussion about foreign policy. It's a curious omission. Perhaps Dunlop is guessing that Howard would never openly question his "mission" in Iraq or Afghanistan but surely it could be possible in his "dream" speech? Security, terrorism and foreign policy are all intricately linked and taking any of them in isolation misunderstands the motivation of all players.


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