At NRO’s Corner K. J. Lopez has a “quickie” transcript of Howard’s press conference. He observes that Bin Laden justified the Bali bombing & murder of Sergio de Mello in Iraq by both Australia’s and de Mello’s roles in East Timor. Howard begins:
Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it’s given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.
Howards words are inspiring; the reporter’s questions are not. Senators aren’t the only ones with “dumbass” questions. Howard’s response has the context of the real world (where Bin Laden’s fatwas are actually read & his words, say about East Timor, actually register). Clearly, Howard, like Hatch, can say: “But I do know dumbass questions when I see dumbass questions.” Still, he dignifies them with an answer that is neither hasty nor nasty if loaded with history he knows only too well. Thanks Instapundit for both, who also links to The Anchoress’ visual chronology of steps in “Bush’s War.”