Alexander Downer is no Jack Straw. “Downer defies bin Laden,” from News.com.au, with thanks to Rosie:
THE latest audiotape by Osama bin Laden only serves to remind the world just how dangerous and fanatical al-Qaeda and its leader were, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said.
Bin Laden has urged his followers to prepare for a long war against Western would-be occupiers in Sudan’s Darfur region, according to the latest audiotape attributed to him.
In the tape, the Saudi-born militant criticises the Sudanese Government for agreeing to a US-backed peace deal for the south of that country.
He also criticises the Palestinians’ Hamas-led Government for breaking what he said was a taboo against “joining infidel assemblies” and entering parliament.
But he points to the isolation of Hamas as proof the West is waging war against Islam.
Mr Downer today said the West would not be intimidated by such messages.
“My reaction is a reaction of defiance,” Mr Downer said ABC Radio.
“These tapes from Osama bin Laden only reinforce my determination to fight these terrorists.
“It just reminds us all of the dangerous, fanatical people we’re dealing with, and the last thing we should show in a circumstance like that is weakness and defeatism.
“This just reminds us that this is a tough fight. This is going on, it’s going to continue to go on for a long time to come.
“The worst thing we should do is show weakness and hesitancy in the face of these kinds of threats.”