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Downer's self-delusion on Australia-Asia relations over Iraq.



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KEVIN RUDD M.P.

MEDIA RELEASE

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

DOWNER’S SELF-DELUSION ON AUSTRALIA-ASIA RELATIONS OVER IRAQ

Foreign Minister Downer is reported today by the ABC as saying there is no evidence that Australia’s relationship with Asia being damaged by the Howard Government’s participation in the war against Iraq.

While this is part and parcel of the Howard Government’s propaganda line, how does Mr Downer explain the fact that:

• 300,000 people protested in the streets of Jakarta over the weekend against the coalition military campaign against Iraq;

• Australia figured prominently in the protest banners carried in those demonstrations; and

• Australia’s role in Iraq has been reported on extensively and negatively in the mainstream Indonesian media as anti-Islamic.

Mr Downer’s self-delusion on this question is parallel to his repeated delusional denial that the Australian military campaign in Iraq will have zero impact on Australia as a terrorist target from radical Islamic terrorist organisations.

As with Children Overboard, the truth is becoming more and more of a casualty when it comes to the Government’s dealings with the Australian people on the implications of their Iraq policy.

Ends 1 April 2003

Further information: Kevin Rudd 0418 796 931 or Alister Jordan 0417 605 823