[A few months ago, the US Ambassador to Australia made an almost unprecedented intervention into Australian politics with some gratuitous remarks about Australian domestic matters. Australians of all political colours were rightly outraged. Now Shrub has defied convention by sticking his nose into an issue on the Australian political agenda. When asked about a statement by the Leader of the Opposition, he didn't say, as all his predecessors have in similar circumstances, "That's a matter for the citizens of Australia", he put his boots in. Read on ...]
"'President Bush should pull his head in. This is Australia. It's not Florida or Alaska or Texas."
By Libby Sutherland
"US President George W. Bush should pull his head in and stop interfering in Australian domestic policy, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"In an unprecedented attack coinciding with Prime Minister John Howard's visit to Washington, Mr Bush told reporters overnight the early withdrawal of troops would hurt those who wanted freedom in Iraq.
"Asked directly about the implications of federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham's plan to bring the troops home, Mr Bush said: 'I think that would be disastrous'.
"Senator Brown said the president had crashed into domestic politics in a way which was insulting and patronising, while Mr Howard sat there 'lapping it all up'.
"'President Bush has in one go ... relegated Australia in his estimation to a second-rate state of the United States,' he told reporters.
"'President Bush should pull his head in. This is Australia. It's not Florida or Alaska or Texas.
"The fact is that Australia has an opposition, and I think a majority viewpoint among the public, that our troops should be withdrawn ...'"
Source: Brisbane Herald-Sun
Meanwhile ... David Hicks's father is sceptical about a promised investigation into Howard's promise to get Bush to look into the allegations of torture and beatings at Guantanamo:
"A South Australian man whose son is being held by the US military at Guantanamo Bay is sceptical about assurances that his son's treatment is being investigated.
"Prime Minister John Howard has spoken with US President George W Bush about claims that David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib have been tortured.
"Mr Bush says the claims are being investigated by the US military, and their cases are moving forward.
"David Hicks's father Terry says Mr Howard should have asked much sooner.
"'It's two-and-a-half years too late and now all of a sudden they're going to do something,' he said.
"'This should have been dealt with a long, long time ago, not Mr Howard all of a sudden coming out saying we're doing this and we're going to investigate that and down the track we've got elections coming up.'"