Loose cannons

Issue 

Skilled operator

"He was the ambassador in Honduras during the contra war [against Nicaragua]. So he clearly knows how to deal with clandestine operations. That was a pretty clandestine one for several years. And he didn't end up in jail, which is a pretty good attribute for him." — Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer, February 17, explaining why John Negroponte, newly appointed director of US national intelligence, is the best person for the job.

Broad coalition

"The United States and the US stand together in support of the Iraqi people and the new Iraqi government, which will soon come into action." — Emperor George Bush II, Brussels, February 22.

Expert opinion I

"I was taught that you never reinforce disaster, and that's what the government is doing. We had the same policy in Vietnam. The idea was when the war started to go against you, you put a bit more in. Look where that ended up. This will go the same way." — Major General Alan Stretton, chief of staff of the Australian force in Vietnam in 1969-70, commenting February 23 on the Howard government's decision to double the number of Australian troops in Iraq.

Expert opinion II

"This talk about fighting for democracy, that is absolute, to use a phrase, bullshit." — Streeton, February 24.

From Green Left Weekly, March 2, 2005.
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