Such disrespect!

Sanctimony:The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA 23 September 2006 being interviewed on :Fox and Friends

INTERVIEWER: Joining us now is Australia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Alexander Downer. Welcome back.

Mr Downer: Thank you.

Presenter: Well when you saw these words when you watched him rant for the last 48 hours two separate times, what were you thinking?

Mr Downer: Well, very undignified in the first place but the United Nations is a place where you can speak freely and America's a place where you can speak freely. The irony of all of this is that Venezuela isn't. So here you've got a man who has got dictatorial tendencies ranting to the world, I think in a very unconvincing way. Of course he
has his little nest of supporters.
I think the great mainstream of the international community expect better from political leaders than that.

Presenter: Well, I tell you what, it was kind of discouraging to hear how many people were laughing at the United Nations when he was talking and how many were clapping as well.

Mr Downer: Well I've seen it before with Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, and Dr Mahathir the former Prime Minister of Malaysia. A lot of these people who get up there and denounce the free world and denounce the United States, they get a bit of applause. They get applause from like-minded people.

Presenter: Do you feel as though in Australia they are watching this and thinking "Why is America allowing this?".

Mr Downer: No, they wouldn't think why is America allowing it because people in Australia know America allows it, and for Australians the great principles of freedom of speech and _expression are sacrosanct to us. So he can say what he likes but he has to live with the consequences of his words, and I just think in a country like Australia people look at a man like that ranting and it reflects very poorly on the whole of Venezuela that they've got a leader as classless as that in his political behaviour.

Presenter: You know, because the United Nations has treated the United States so badly over the last number of years in many respects and with the disrespect displayed over this past week. Someone suggested …. you know what we need, we need an alternative to the United Nations ….

Mr Downer: It's too hard to set up. I think we've got to try to make the United Nations work a bit better. But I can understand how Americans feel and I feel for them. The Americans have been people who have exercised enormous generosity over so many years to the world. The Americans are leading the fight against terrorism. If the Americans withdrew from the war against terrorism, excuse me if I ask who is going to pick up the slack?

Presenter: Exactly right …

Mr Downer:… And so it's easy to take a cheap shot at America. But people should think what would happen if the American people decided to be less generous and sacrifice less than they do now for the rest of the world.

Presenter: Alright, the Foreign Minister of Australia, Alexander Downer, we thank you very much for joining us.

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