Skip to comments.Editorial: Wood offends usual suspects
Posted on 06/26/2005 2:21:59 PM PDT by Piefloater
IF Douglas Wood had emerged from captivity and blamed John Howard, Tony Blair and George W. Bush for his troubles, he would have become an instant hero in some circles. By now he would be have been offered a Chair in Middle Eastern Studies at one of our major universities, and ABC Radio National would have been renamed Radio Doug in his honour. Instead, Mr Wood had the temerity to disparage his captors, praise his liberators and declare our Iraq mission worthwhile. His name has been mud ever since.
According to Fairfax columnist and former Media Watch host Richard Ackland, Mr Wood has sunk to being "the new pin-up boy of the US-Australian alliance". His description of his abductors as "arseholes" was inexcusable and contrasted with his brothers, who "resisted every temptation to be critical of their brother's captors". Odd indeed, to be "critical" of those who have kidnapped you and, as we learned last night, executed your companions. For Ackland's colleague Peter Fitzsimons, the end of the Wood honeymoon began when he declared "God bless America" upon his rescue. Clearly, it would have been better if a freed Mr Wood had kept to the script written for him by his kidnappers. Flogging his story exhausted "what remains of our goodwill towards him" and showed Mr Wood is "an on-the-maker".
But the Douglas Wood we saw on the Ten Network last night was anything but: he was an ordinary, decent Australian with remarkable resilience in dreadful circumstances. Since Mr Wood was deprived of his livelihood by his abductors, and has done nothing wrong, it is hard to see why his decision to sell his story arouses such ire. After all, if there were no interest in that story, he would not receive $400,000 for it. That, coincidentally, is about how much taxpayers were forced to kick in to a fawning and unwatched SBS documentary about Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks. Instructively, Mr Wood's support for the US alliance disqualified him from the sympathy of some commentators, while Mr Hicks's avowed anti-Semitism, along with the fact he trained with al-Qa'ida, flowed off them like water off a duck. Ackland hints darkly that a man like Mr Wood must have had nefarious reasons for being in Iraq. His earlier judgement on Mr Hicks was that he is a "woebegone idealist". Sorry?
Placed in context, the vilification of Mr Wood is the latest in a series of bad calls made on the Left since September 11, 2001. While the leaders of the social-democratic parties in Australia, Britain and the US made the principled decision following 9/11 - to support democracy and civilised values against religious fascism - for many on the Left the idea the US could be the victim rather than the perpetrator of evil was a head-spin. At every step along the road since then, their strategy has been to appease the fascists and castigate the US and its allies. In this upside-down world picture, nobody is too discredited to be fashioned into a hero and nobody too blameless to be set up as a villain.
God bless Doug Wood.
Further compounded his error by adding God.
It will be interesting to see how history looks at the left's current alliance with nihilist Islamo-fascism.
Wood rules. Aussie leftists drool.
Says it all..
Never seen Australian TV but it sound as though Richard Ackland and associates are the "arseholes"
His brothers knew that to call them arseholes as well would be not good for Doug's health. They also thought they where..arseholes ( great word that).