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September 20, 2004
Howard Endorses Pre-Emption Despite Kerry's Meddling

Australian Prime Minister John Howard answered the Kerry campaign's meddling in their election by proclaiming a policy of pre-emption, promising overseas strikes on terrorist bases before threats turn into attacks on Australians at home or abroad:

Prime Minister John Howard unveiled a plan for "flying squads" of police to stop terrorist attacks in the region, stressing he would not hesitate to order a pre-emptive strike overseas if needed to protect Australia.

The idea was condemned as "clumsy foreign policy" by opposition leader Mark Latham, who said it would make Australia less safe, rather than more safe.

Howard sounded much like his American ally, George Bush, in declaring that "We will not wait for a terrorist threat to eventuate before we take action." He promised close cooperation with Australia's neighbors but made clear that Australia determines her own national-security policy. He proposed the equivalent of $70 million US to establish "flying squads" of counterterrorist commandos who could act quickly and decisively when threats materialize.

Predictably, the Left in Australia sounded much like the Left here in America -- which is why Diana Kerry acts on orders from her brother John to undermine the Australian alliance. Mark Latham, Howard's opponent, comes up with an insipid moral equivalency:

"Imagine if a country in our region said they were prepared to launch unilateral strikes on targets in Australia, our sovereign territory, without the cooperation and involvement of the Australian government," he said.

"Imagine the outrage in this country. As Australians we would feel absolutely appalled."

Imagine that Australia's government aided and abetted supremacist terror groups that it helped carry out bombings and atrocities against civilian populations -- that's the piece that Latham leaves out. Latham argues for a legal approach with foreign governments that shelter and aid terrorists, a national-security strategy that dooms Australia to failure. The Bush Doctrine has it exactly correct: nations must be held accountable for the activities they allow within their own borders. If they allow terrorists to conduct their business and give then shelter and support, they've already been warned.

So what does Latham propose?

He unveiled his Labor Party's own 373 million dollar defence policy including a review, more troops in northern Australia and a host of benefits for soldiers.

So Labor's idea of fighting terrorism is to put more troops on the northern shore, pay them better, and conduct a "review". Which of those actions are designed to stop terrorists from killing Australians at home or abroad? Perhaps the Islamofascists will prove deathly afraid of reviews, but I believe that Howard's policies will have more of a practical effect on terrorists.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 20, 2004 5:16 AM

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Moreover, is this how the Kerry clan builds coalitions? Denouncing the US actions, denouncing the actions of AN ALLY THAT IS A CORNERSTONE OF THE US LED COALITIONS AGAINST TERRORISTS, and openly trying to influence the pending election in a fully opera... [Read More]

Tracked on September 20, 2004 9:54 AM

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