The Daily Flute has moved to http://dailyflute.com
Monday, October 18, 2004Doddering Daiquiri Dickhead Downer is at it again. This time it is the appaling unconcern shown when an Australian journalist was kidnapped in Iraq and held for 24 hours before being released.
In any case, he's been released and he's in perfectly good condition.The words only paint half the picture. The tone provides the other half. I can only describe it as the voice of someone who was a near neutral in a footy match who wanted one side to win in a half arsed way, and that team lost. It was disgraceful. And, it was bullshit. SBS reporter John Martinkus was kidnapped outside a hotel that was opposite the Australian Embassy. John spoke on AM this morning and I'll put down his version when the transcript becomes available. So remember, Citizens of Australia, next time you go abroad, if Downer doesn't agree with you (on matters such as East Timor - in case you forgot, that was the one where Downer and Howard insisted on waiting for a UN request before taking action, how times have changed), he won't give a toss about your safety.
Obviously, we're concerned about the safety of Australians and we do ask that Australians don't go to Iraq. Some do. When they're in Iraq some of them take risks.
In this particular case, the journalist went out to investigate a story, I understand, and went to a part of Baghdad that he was advised not to go to, but he went there anyway, and journalists do do that sort of thing, but he was detained, but just for 24 hours and subsequently has been released.
Update: The grab I was waiting for from AM was actually on Lateline last night. Here is John Martinkus' version:
MARK WILLACY: Alexander Downer tells us you were in a place you were not supposed to be and that's why you were taken.SMH has the story here
JOHN MARTINKUS: Well, that's ridiculous, because I was in the street outside the only hotel in Baghdad occupied by journalists which is directly across the road from the Australian Embassy. I was nowhere dangerous, I was doing nothing dangerous, I was not putting myself at risk. I was grabbed by insurgents, who are very well organised and know exactly what they're doing.
Perhaps Downer's comment wasn't bullshit after all.
"This is exactly what terrorists want to see."