Friday, April 04, 2008

Rudd salutes Bush

"PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has been caught on film saluting US president George W. Bush - but he says the incident was just a joke.

Cameras caught the gesture as world leaders gathered in Bucharest for talks on NATO's involvement in Afghanistan."

We’ve all been to conferences full of strangers and gravitated to the odd person we had met, perhaps at the sign in table or elsewhere before proceeding started. Bear in mind Australia is not a member of NATO; in fact we are as geographically removed from the north Atlantic as you can get.

So Kevin had just spent time with George at the White House. For George who is on the nose internationally, and Kevin still feeling his way, it was sort of understandable on a personal level. Still, an unsettling thing to see…

Afghanistan

The whole point of Rudd’s visit to this conference was to put Australia’s plea for NATO countries to live up to their commitments in this conflict, and a wish to see drug crops destroyed and replaced with submitters, with financial aid for farmers, if necessary.

In a sense it was always going to be a minnow wrestling with a pod of whales. Afghanistan is very much a part of the Australian sphere of influence, but we are in an uneven contest when it comes to battling NATO.

Even his call for common rules of engagement (ROE) for all forces involved failed to win any real support. Many European forces have caveats over their engagement effectively preventing them heading to danger zones. Though Rudd says details of ROEs are not matters for public discussion, so he might be holding out some hope.

The salute might have been a PR slip, the assault on NATO politically na├»ve, but Kev still comes up pretty much as the sort of leader this country wants. For once the rag tag opposition in this country have resisted an attack on Rudd. They might be recognizing that we’d rather have a bumbling PM trying to do the right thing over and arrogant one ignoring our wishes.

3 comments:

enigma4ever said...

even being geographically removed is not far enough away...sadly....

I think the "salute" looks like it was done tongue in cheek....well, you know what I mean...

Cart said...

We are part of the world. The salute was innocent enough but is causing a storm of interest and interpretation.

abi said...

When Rudd starts giving Bush McCain-like hugs, then you should start to worry.