Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Johnny basks in distinguished company

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard is in Washington to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from his out-going good buddy President George W Bush.

Mr Howard took the honour along with former British PM Tony Blair and... Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe...

Medal of Freedom...? Alvaro Uribe...? Medal of Freedom...?

Under President Uribe’s watch, there has been a dramatic increase in reports of extrajudicial killings of civilians by the Colombian Army. And while Uribe’s government has strongly confronted the abusive left-wing guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Uribe has failed to take a similarly clear stance against equally abusive drug-running paramilitary groups, who have massacred, raped, and forcibly displaced thousands of Colombians in recent decades. Fundamental flaws in a paramilitary demobilization process under Uribe have permitted many of the groups to continue to engage in abuses under new names. The president's verbal attacks on his country’s human rights defenders have been frequent and disturbing. And Uribe has often opposed efforts to break paramilitaries’ influence in the political system, including by making unfounded accusations against the Supreme Court justices who are investigating more than 70 members of the Colombian Congress for links to paramilitaries.

It’s curious that our Mr Howard would want to accept an award so compromised by such a co-recipient. Oh wait...


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Blogger Father Park said...

I'd think that our former PM is not in the least put out by the company he is keeping. Remember this?

And I have a very special pleasure, and a very deep feeling, in welcoming President Musharraf, in saying on behalf of all of us how much we admire the exceptional personal courage he has displayed in recent years...

And also I salute somebody, in President Musharraf, who has led a transition of his country to a democratic state. Pakistan has not always been democratic, something the President freely acknowledged. And I do not think enough credit has been given to Pakistan under President Musharraf's leadership for the transition over recent years.

Our former PM is quite comfortable with dictators who sanction oppression of women and others. I seriously doubt Uribe's record will disturb him in any fashion.

I wonder what grovelling tripe dribbled from his mouth at the presentation?

14/1/09 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

JWH was quoted to the effect that he personally was tickled pink, but that he saw it more as a fillip to Australia as a nation. Thus, humility and patriotism just oozed from his pores.

Chilling! ;-)

14/1/09 5:36 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

Of course JWH is from NSW and so, as a matter of course, sees NSW as Australia.

14/1/09 10:13 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Come now Father, surely you mean Sydney, not NSW?

And yes, our former PM was in his chosen company, his friends of long standing.

What a strange world stage they danced upon together.

Soon it will be entirely in the past. What will we make of it all?

17/1/09 9:46 PM  

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