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Attila the Pun
Monday, May 30, 2005
 
The sound of choking on weeties

Oh how it must annoy some people when one of their pet issues, one that they have spent years expressing sympathy for, printing posters and "demanding" action, gets hijacked by somebody who actually does something about it.

East Timor is a good example. There are some who were very genuine in their desire to see the country freed from the control of Indonesia, whilst there were others who just jumped on the current self-righteous bandwagon.

It is the latter group who have been the quickest to seize on the "Australia is trying to screw East Timor" express. Not being able to criticise the much hated Howard over actually helping free East Timor, they instead try and pin some sort of ulterior motive on him and his Government - in this case, gas reserves.

How it must gall them to see an article by Jose Ramos-Horta, Foreign Minister for the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, like this in Today's Age:

Nevertheless, I must speak in defence of Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Minister Downer. It is well known how the left believes in its own claim to a monopoly on the virtues of compassion and solidarity. Conversely, those on the right are all greedy and insensitive.

God has bestowed on me a modest intelligence and certain wisdom enabling me not to be dogmatic and not to make sweeping judgements on those on one spectrum or another of politics or culture. We all have our virtues, failings and sins.

John Howard has been a true friend of Timor-Leste, so has Alexander Downer. Any other characterisation of the two in regard to Timor-Leste is simply unfair. I have witnessed from the dark days of September 1999 till our more hopeful and peaceful country of 2005 the generosity of the Australian people and of their leaders.

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