Thursday, February 05, 2004

John Howard, Bush's Aussie Sheriff

BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis is so happy with Aussie prime minister John Howard's support of the war in Iraq that he'd like him to replace Colin Powell.

Well, it's a funny joke and George Bush might prefer having Howard as Secretary of State right now, too, but this Aussie thinks putting John Howard into any American office would be a terribly bad idea.

The Australian Senate censured Howard just last October for misleading the public in his justification of sending Aussie troops to the war in Iraq. (It was the second time he'd been censured. Only four times in the past three decades has an Aussie PM been censured. Nice record.)

Said Greens senator Bob Brown, ""It has become abundantly clear that the Prime Minister was not just a bit wrong. He was totally wrong."

Here are some stats on how Aussies felt about their country's participation in the war at the time it commenced:

48.5% of Aussies were against it in March 2003, 46.5% in favor. A month before those against had been as high as 70%. 51 percent were for America going it alone. Does that mean they were *for* the war in Iraq then? No, it means they were for the US going it *alone* - without Aussie troops.

As we all know, it's all in how you ask the question.

Other stats show "59 percent of Australians opposed a unilateral attack on Iraq" while "a U.N.-endorsed attack was supported by 64 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed."

You can even find stats from February which say that upwards of "76 percent of Australians [were] against military action without UN endorsement."

So the truth is, looks like Australian support for the war has been all over the map. Sure, Howard eventually won over some support. And once the war began, Aussie swung behind him. But as the records shows, a lot of them aren't too happy with him right now.

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