Finally, the organ grinder
We’ve had a string of monkeys, but finally the organ grinder appears. Alexander Downer has a deplorable piece in today’s Oz, attacking John Curtin yet again. Downer quotes Wurth’s piece from last week, managing to omit Wurth’s observation that Menzies was the worst appeaser of all.
It’s pretty unedifying stuff, but if Downer wants to compare personal and historical records, it certainly won’t be to the advantage of Menzies or the Liberal Party and its predecessors.
Rather than dive into this yet, let’s look at the current debate. Downer is promoting the credentials of the Liberals as the war party, against Labor’s pacifism. Right now, we have a disastrous war in Iraq, which has immeasurably strengthened the forces of global terrorism, while dividing and weakening the democratic world, and leading to the commission of crimes including torture and murder on a large scale by those who are supposed to be defending civilised values. On the horizon, we’re promised new wars with Iran, Syria and, if you listen to the government’s most vociferous supporters, the entire Islamic world. Pacifism may not always be the answer, as John Curtin recognised, but it’s greatly preferable to the warmongers who are in charge today.