Loose Cannons


Still 'staying the course'

"I supported our involvement [in the US war against Vietnam] at the time and I don't intend to recant that. I mean, I didn't hold any position of authority then, but I supported the reasons for Australia's involvement and nothing has altered my view that, at the time, on the assessments that were made then, I took that view and I took that view properly." — Prime Menzies John Howard speaking in Ho Chi Minh City, November 22.


"A year before the invasion of Iraq, the then Australian ambassador to the United Nations, John Dauth, confidentially told AWB's former chairman Trevor Flugge the Howard Government would participate in miliary action with the US to overthrow Saddam Hussein, new AWB documents reveal... The documents, released at the Cole inquiry yesterday, undercut previous statements by Prime Minister John Howard that Australia did not agree to join the war before the UN debate in late 2002 and early 2003." — Melbourne Herald-Sun, November 23.

Worked it out all on his own

"Suggestions the federal government told wheat exporter AWB of plans to invade Iraq a year before the military action were crackpot conspiracy theories, foreign minister Alexander Downer has said... Mr Downer said the government did not brief Mr Dauth, Australia's then UN ambassador, at any time." — Report in the Australian, November 24.