Reputation damaged

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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 05:54 am

Ex-diplomat and Indon appeaser Richard Woolcott has been carrying on for years about Australia’s subservience to the US and dark undercurrents of racism. Now he wonders why Australia’s reputation—at least in Woolcott’s circles—is one of racism and subservience:

I travelled extensively in 2005 and I observed how our standing has been undermined in much of the international community and some important countries in our own region. Our standing is suffering because of a recrudescence of those atavistic currents of racism and intolerance that we have inherited from our past.

Our standing is suffering. Our precious standing! Who the hell cares? Not me, although it’s worth noting Razi Azmi in Pakistan’s Daily Times: “Few countries today can boast such a record of fair treatment of all its citizens, regardless of race, religion and origin, both in law and in practice. And none of those countries are situated in Asia, be it west, east, central, south or southeast.” Those countries don’t seem too bothered over their international standing. Back to Woolcott, now complaining about truth in government being undermined:

A good example of this was when Howard said in Washington on July 19 that the London bombings had “nothing to do with Iraq”. These were not random explosions that might just as easily have occurred in Ottawa, Auckland or Oslo. They were a specific attack on the Blair Government for its wholehearted support for Bush’s policies and his decision to join the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Actually, these “specific attacks on the Blair government” were random attacks on London commuters.

Howard’s spin was designed to obscure from the Australian people the fact that his policies had indeed increased the risk of at errorist attack here and that they had placed Australia in a similar situation to the United Kingdom.

When did the first Bali attack take place, Richard? Before or after Iraq?

The health of Australian democracy is being threatened by such obscuring of the truth …

Woolcott’s opinion is truth.

The images of police dog squads and horse patrols on Sydney beaches, of the stopping of cars, the frisking of passengers and the confiscation of mobile phones, were widely seen as racist and suggested an unprecedented intrusion on personal liberties that shocked friends overseas, even in New York.

Leave aside that most of the police attention Woolcott mentions was directed at whitey—and that security footage of Lebanese goons beating up a white backpacker was not released by police—and focus instead on Woolcott’s concern with New York opinion. For someone who worries about us being subservient to the US, Woolcott frets a great deal over Manhattan chatterboxes: “[Alexander Downer] added that Australia was prepared ‘to join coalitions of the willing that can bring focus and purpose to addressing the urgent security and other challenges we face’. Now, predictably, this did not go down well in New York.” Oh, no! The pointless fellow continues:

I do not know whether David Hicks is guilty or innocent. But it is damaging to this country’s reputation that an Australian citizen has been rotting in Guantanamo Bay since January 2002.

As blogstrop earlier observed, why isn’t it more damaging to Australia’s reputation that an Australian citizen joined a group of murderous scumbags? By some accounts, Woolcott allows, Australia’s rep has in fact improved over recent years. But he’s got the perfect comeback:

If, however, we are so well respected in the wider international community, how is it that we have been unable to gain election to the UN Security Council for more than 20 years now? I suspect it is because there is a darker underside to our image.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/21/2006 at 11:04 AM
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