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Whew – it’s getting lonelier and lonelier at the top for George W, as his “Coalition of the Willing” buddies keep getting bumped off.
In country after country, warmongering heads of state who joined in Bush’s Iraq disaster are being rejected by the home folks. Jose Maria Aznar lost in Spain, Silvio Berlusconi was defeated in Italy, Tony Blair was booted in England, and now John Howard has been tossed out as prime minister of Australia. The Coalition of the Willing has become a Coalition of the Defeated!
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Howard’s loss was especially galling for Bush, for he had traveled all the way to the Down Under in September to campaign for the Aussie. Calling Howard a “man of steel,” he tried to bolster the prime minister’s campaign with rosy claims of progress in their shared war. In a moment of irrational exuberance, George even exclaimed, “We’re kicking [butt] in Iraq.”
Apparently though, Bush is no more credible there than he is here, for it was Howard’s butt that got kicked. His Liberal Party received its worst election thrashing in its 63 year history, and Howard suffered the added humiliation of losing his own district – the first time since 1929 that an Australian prime minister had been voted out both as head of state and as a member of Parliament. It was a total meltdown for the man of steel.
To add to Bush’s pain of losing his “steadfast” ally, the guy who administered the butt-kicking, Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd, not only campaigned against the war, but also announced immediately after his victory that he would withdraw all Australian troops from Iraq by July of next year. His pledge squares perfectly with the desire of the Australian public – more than 60 percent of whom wanted their troops home within 12 months.
This is Jim Hightower saying… That’s four heads of state down – and one Bush to go – before we bring all of the troops home.
“Australia Takes A Progressive Turn,” www.americanprogressaction.org, November 26, 2007