Australia's Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd (known variously, if not affectionately, as Harry Potter, The Dentist and Kevin Rude - for his reported rudeness and bullying towards a female flight attendant whom he is said to have reduced to tears on a recent flight) replaced the never-ending and truly awful John Howard. Hopes that his Labor (sic)* government might adopt a less bellicose approach to foreign affairs have proved ill-founded.
While keeping in step with America in reducing our troop numbers in Iraq, Rudd has promised an increase in our military presence in Afghanistan, yet another unwinnable war and one which does nothing to advance Australian interests. Except to ingratiate us with our American allies.
Yet it is in his unswerving devotion to Israel, right or wrong, that our PM distinguishes himself. He has declared that support for Israel is "in my DNA". By making such a boorish statement and by unfailingly supporting and endorsing Israel's colonisation of Palestine Rudd has demonstrated that, to him, human rights are negotiable. It is also a slap in the face for the many Australians of Arab descent.
They say that we get the politicians we deserve. For the sake of this country, I hope not.
* Labor has been the preferred spelling for the ALP for many years. It signifies a break with the past but, more than that, an identification with things American. Or maybe someone, somewhere, just couldn't spell.