Saturday, May 17, 2008

Caught with their pants down ... again

Cartoon from Yaakov Kirschen's Dry Bones Blog.

Malcolm Fraser, who became Prime Minister of Australia in 1975 in controversial circumstances often likened to a putsh, was once found at the seedy Admiral Benbow Inn in Memphis without his pants and his passport. He later told a reporter he had no idea how he got there and two decades later he still has simply no idea.

Last week, the Melbourne Age gave him space to join another political relic of the past in Jimmy Carter, to argue the case for western appeasement with Hamas, the favourite boy scout group of the far right, the far left and politicians who have passed their use by date.

Mark Leibler's response was published today (
Hard-nosed leader goes soft on Hamas) and typically, the Age decided to make even this a story of itself - Leaders in public spat over Israel. After all, one should never allow the pro Israel side to get the final word in and one must always raise the spectre of the "lobby".

For the record, Fraser doesn't respond to any of the points made by Leibler who claimed the former PM's piece was full of "contradictions, factual errors and a naivety about world events ..." The best answer that Fraser could come up with was this piece of nonsense:

"When the (Israel) lobby runs out of arguments, they attack the person".


Fraser won't even acknowledge the arguments raised by Leibler (suggesting possibly that he hasn't even read a single word of the article) and instead falls back on the tired old canard of "the lobby", a clear indication that he is bereft of any semblance of an answer to Leibler's persuasive case.

Fraser was critical of Israel's expansion of settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and its refusal to talk to Hamas, which won the 2006 Palestinian election but contrary to Fraser's rant, Leibler has answered that criticism in today's article:

"Yet Israel is not building any new West Bank settlements, and has not for many years. The current controversy involves a few hundred apartments within a few existing settlements, taking no additional land. It is absurd to see these few homes as the principal roadblock. After all, Israel withdrew all settlements from Gaza in 2005 and has been rewarded with rocket attacks."


"Fraser accuses Israel's supporters of not believing Hamas. On the contrary, we do believe its charter and its ongoing statements regarding its genocidal plans for Israel — backed materially by an Iran that also wants to "wipe Israel off the map". Its violent actions prove they are not mere rhetoric."


"To move forward, Hamas must adopt the conditions set by the international community, or else be marginalised in Palestinian society. Achieving either will require enormous patience, toughness and realism, qualities the Malcolm Fraser I used to know always exhibited. I wonder what happened to him."

Fraser simply has no wish to respond to Leibler's arguments so he resorts to playing the man. For that, he not only deserves to be attacked but he also answers the question Leibler raises about what happened to him. The answer is that, like Carter, Fraser should have gracefully retired from the political scene long ago but instead he chose to adopt this phony cause. And if you want an insight into the tendentiousness of the Carter/Fraser line then just wait until the Age publishes the obligatory venomous responses to Leibler's article come Monday morning in its letters section. They will try to rewrite history but they won't respond to Leibler's arguments or bring anything new to the table that might suggest a peaceful resolution to the conflict.


Meanwhile, Jimmy the Dhimmi who was pantsed by the ayatollahs of Iran those many years ago, hasn't been idle either. Through his Carter Center, which is substantially subsidised by Saudi money (it saved the peanut farm so why not keep taking it?), he recently put out a trip report about his tour around the Middle East. It's a pity he didn't stop in Khartoum where he might have been able to put in a word for the hundreds of thousands of dead victims of the Arab militias running rampage around Darfur with the blessing of the Sudanese government but that's a real "nakba" and another story altogether.

My reading of the Carter Report indicates that he might be completely tripped out. This is how he concludes the document:

"After answering a number of questions in the public forum, I had a number of interviews including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Fox, Reuters, AP, AFP, Chicago Tribune, ABC, NPR, two Israeli TV channels, New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and LA Times. Meetings with the leader of Arab Israelis, Ahmed Tibi, Yossi Beilin, and former Prime Minister Ben Amin concluded a very busy day. Still not having a private plane, we departed Israel about midnight on a Delta flight to Atlanta. As I had predicted to Bob Pastor and Steve Solarz, the entire trip was exciting, challenging, adventurous, adequately productive – and fun!"

The reference to "former Prime Minister Ben Amin" really had me stumped until someone alerted me to the tale of the last days of the life of Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths in the 1970s, who found refuge in Saudi Arabia when he was deposed in 1979. The story goes that he converted to Islam and spawned a son named "Ben Amin" (son of Amin). At about the same time when the father died in 2003, Ben Amin was installed as Prime Minister of the obscure gulf emirate of Dementia.

In all probability, most of this is a fiction but it ties together the very sad story of three pathetic leaders of the seventies who, for one reason or another, simply couldn't keep their pants up.

Thankfully, their days in the sun are all well and truly over!


Anonymous said...

Great stuff Wilbur.

You have beautifully, put three nutcases - Fraser, Carter and Idi Amin - all together in the same bed.

Ms Rachy said...

I think good old Tim Fisher was right, it must have been Mossad who stole his pants.

Great post, btw

Portofino said...

Actually, it's Al Age that's been caught with its trousers well and truly down.

How is it possible that the Age was reporting on Fraser's response to the Leibler article in the same edition in which the article was published?

How could Fraser be responding to it at all unless he'd been fed with the article beforehand? If that's the case there's clearly been some hanky panky going on and the Carney story is an obvious set up to give Fraser a platfom to respond in the same edition.

What a pity for Fraser that he gave such a moronic response.

As for Carney and Al Age all I can say is - gotcha! Caught with the hand in the cookie jar!

Anonymous said...

And just to top off the flim flam, there's a letter today from one of the usual suspects who wouldn't normally urinate on Fraser if he was on fire praising the man for becoming an Israel basher.

Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

An excellent response was also posted in the letters section:

What's all this lobbying? Not me
I AM puzzled about what Malcolm Fraser means when he refers to the "Israel lobby" ("Leaders in public spat over Israel", The Age, 17/5).

Is any person who defends Israel's right to exist and defend itself against organisations such as Hamas necessarily part of a "lobby"? I share the frustration of people such as Mark Leibler at the constant criticism of Israel by those who believe it can negotiate with organisations like Hamas which refuse its right to exist, yet I am neither Jewish nor involved in any organisation supportive of Israel.

Am I also part of the "Israel lobby"? It is as ludicrous to speak of an "Israel lobby" as it is to speak of a "Palestinian lobby", as those of us who do support Israel are from all walks of life.

Peta Heffernan, Parkville

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Fraser is being paid the same amount of money from the Oil rich Arabs to advocate for the Palestinians as Carter has been exposed to be on their payroll.

gulliver_on_tour said...

Dear Anonymous (7:25pm),

A man's got to make a living.