Friday, November 07, 2003

Howard's Snub for war widow: "You'd have to be thinking on the purest of dehumanised political levels to either forget or deliberately snub the man's widow. And you'd have to have kept your plans so secret that the bodies normally in the loop - the Australian Defence Force and Australian War Memorial - didn't know about it. I checked with both organisations today and neither knew anything of the ceremony for Sgt Russell until Bush mentioned it in his speech to Parliament just before driving to the War Memorial."

Howard seems to have engineered the event purely to gain maximum political advantage from being seen with "Dubya" and "supporting our troops". The decision to make it a "head of government visit" rather than a "head of state" visit was apparently made to keep Howard at the centre of attention, but this also led, probably inadvertently, to the War Memorial and Defence Force not being advised and hence the snub to Russell.

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