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Tuesday, Mar. 06, 2007 at 2:51 PM
Prior to the leadership of John Howard and his defence minister, Brendan (studs) Nelson, the Australian Defence Forces always did Australia proud. The reputation of the ADF preceded them in any theatre of war. Aussie fighters were once considered highly specialised and skilled, so it is with a sad heart and severe disappointment that I report the raid on Alfredo Reinado’s hide-out resulted in the needless deaths of four Timorese and a ‘rebel leader’ who easily escaped to the mountains. No one is actually sure Reinado was present at the time of the attack!
It is fortunate that a number of black hawk helicopters were not used in the surprise 2am attack, otherwise Australian casualties would have exceeded those of the ‘rebels’. We can all be assured that Timor-Leste will descend into chaos and violence as a result of the botched Australian attack. Australia has spent far too much time ‘fighting’ illegal wars with the Americans, who are well known as the worst land fighters on the planet. We could expect nothing less from a corrupted (by association) Oz force. Eleven l-o-n-g years of John Howard leading the nation may also have some bearing on the performance of the ADF.
Major Alfredo Reinado remains at large as chaos erupts in the capital, Dili. Fair warning of the consequences of such an attack was given by Reinado, but what would he know, he’s only the local rebel leader?
The Australian Foreign Minister, “cream puff” Downer, known for his remote control diplomacy in dangerous situations, has called on Reinado to surrender to occupying forces. A request any local would find difficult to accept -- Downer is well known in the South Pacific for making inane requests.
It’s been a bad week for the conservatives in Australia; the most dishonest Prime Minister the nation has had to endure attempted to gain the moral high ground against his opponent. Howard is the last person who should have taken this extremely ill-advised approach as various issues of aluminium tubing, illegal pre-emptive warfare, children overboard, complicity in corruption scandals may prove a heavier burden to carry than having lunch with a bent former Premier of WA. If nothing else, the week indicates that panic and desperation have clouded the usually clear duplicitous thinking of the Howard dog’s-hind-leg, government.
Failure in the South Pacific, Iraq and Afghanistan is the record that Howard and his front bench can take to their future trial for crimes against humanity, dereliction of duty and treason.
Australia’s bungled attack on Major Reinado has opened the door to Indonesian and Maoist intervention in the region – O, what tangled webs oil thieves weave!
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