Monday, August 16

Note to Alexander: don't forget to bring a missile back with you

Mike Carlton, weekend columnist in the Sydney Morning Herald, calls him "Lord Downer of Baghdad", which apparently makes our foreign minister, Alexander Downer, seem less stupid than he really is. How else to explain Downer's ridiculous and inflammatory outburst that North Korea has long-range missiles that could hit Australia, on the eve of his embarking for a trip to Pyongyang for talks?

What a tool! What a plonker! The Defence Dept analysts really have to be more careful when they're making jokes around Downer, because he's clearly not getting the joke and thinks they're being serious.

Here's somebody who actually knows something about whether it's possible, and some analysis about whether the North Korean test facility would even pass muster as a temporary field for crop dusters if it were Australian, much less a long-distance ICBM test facility.

Really, what's the chances of a missile hitting a populated region at all along Australia's northern coast? Assume a missile would be at maximum range, basically falling randomly out of space, and this would be an untested launch - the North Koreans never having fired anything even half that far ever before. The North Koreans would have to weigh up the risks of accidentally hitting South Korea (meaning: World War III), Japan (ditto), Hong Kong and Singapore (whoops-a-daisy!) or Indonesia (on pretty good speaking terms) en-route. We'd certainly have to piss them off mightily before they'd give it a crack. Granted, Lord Downer's doing his best to do just that. I take it these won't be peace talks!

No, the only way the North Koreans could get a missile as far as Australia would be if Lord Downer were persuaded to bring one home in his luggage. Which, considering the size of Lord Downer's retinue on such trips, and his evident gullibility, is probably possible. "Oh that?" says Downer to the customs officer, "The Korean ambassador told me it was a jumbo-sized cocktail shaker!"

Besides, the way the Howard government keeps redefining our northern territorial limits to ward off the evil Muslim terrorist boat people, North Korea's missile designers better keep adding more mileage pretty fast. Australia shrinks with each passing year of Howard government.

Dear Kim Jong-Il: in the interests of international peace and harmony, do us all a favour and hang on to our idiot foreign minister. Next time you do get a chance to test a missile, strap him to the top of it. He's a "warhead" in the worst sense of the word.

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