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Famous Reporter # 33


John Howard’s Pre-Emptive Strikes
Good afternoon, ladies & gentlemen of the media.
With respect, that’s a quite inappropriate remark.
All we’ve said is that, if all other measures
have been exhausted, then as a last resort
we wouldn’t rule out a pre-emptive strike.
Now with respect, that’s just disrespectful.
This media conference? You’re going too far.
It’s not a pre-emptive or pre-anything strike.
I am happy to accommodate your questions
but I’m not prepared to clarify our policy
in an atmosphere of out & out hostility.
Pre-emption isn’t about our troops landing
on Asian soil – not Indonesia, not Malaysia
not Thailand, not the Philippines. Not anywhere.
In Asian countries? Ah yes, well in Asia. In.
If Australian lives are threatened by terrorists
(ransom, torture, humiliation, denunciation)
well then, of course our people will go in.
Any government would want to help its citizens.
There’s no question of invading a sovereign state.
Hubris? Look, I really thought we’d moved on.
It’s true that Australian voters in their wisdom
have yet again prevailed upon us to serve them
but hubris is the furthest thing from my thoughts.
I don’t have hubris. My Cabinet doesn’t have hubris.
Indeed my whole government is a hubris-free zone.


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