I met Carr a few years ago while researching Not Happy, John! about the Hanan Ashrawi affair. He had bravely resisted pressure from Zionists to withdraw his support from the Sydney Peace Prize. I found him engaging, interesting and knowledgeable. Our interview lasted around one hour in his stunning office overlooking the city. He struck me as more of a talker than listener.
My view of him has changed greatly in the years since. Since learning of his affection for “my good friend” Henry Kissinger, I’ve become even more aware of his love of being close to power. Kissinger represents the worst of the American establishment, a war criminal still feted by politicians the world over. What did Carr see in him? Hard to say, but I suspect it had something to do with the former Premier feeling close to the heart of his beloved America.
International relations expert Scott Burchill put it best in June 2004:
“I am sure what it is with the Right of the NSW ALP and their infatuation with US history. Perhaps they like to dress up as Minutemen and recreate battle scenes from the revolutionary war on their days off? They certainly don’t like talking about the extirpation of the native population or the overthrow of democratic governments in Iran and Guatemala by people they admire in Washington. Whatever the true nature of their infantile disorder, let’s not forget that Bob Carr regards unindicted war criminal Henry Kissinger as a mate – and invited him as a VIP to the Sydney Olympics. Carr still wants to be chief brown-noser inside the beltway next time his party gets to sit on the Treasury benches in Canberra. Until then, the pompous and insufferable bore is apparently going to lecture all and sundry about how America truly feels after 9/11 and how to manage the alliance accordingly. What a guy!”
Watch the Australian media completely ignore any of these facts. Too messy, too difficult, too unkind to his “legacy”.