I don't usually see Australian PM John Howard as a positive leader on the world scene, but I must admit that I liked his rough style of talking about Zimbabwe and its president Robert Mugabe:
"Frankly, I've run out of patience. Most people have run out of patience about what's happening in Zimbabwe. We pussyfoot around far too much using diplomatic language. This man is a disaster. His country is just a total heap of misery."
Above all, we must applaud the courage and pragmatism of Australia's consul in Zimbabwe, Mark Lynch, who protected Sekai Holland—a female member of the MDC opposition party (Movement for Democratic Change) whose husband is Australian—by driving her to the airport and putting her on a plane to Johannesburg.
Howard described the context in which Holland had been bashed:
"The police are using brutal tactics. They're bashing up opposition politicians. They're fracturing skulls. They're behaving in a totally unacceptable fashion."
What a pity that Howard didn't use this kind of direct language in describing the treatment of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison. [Click here for further photos.]