Michael Gawenda is former editor of the Melbourne Age and the current Washington correspondent for Fairfax. He has a history of shunning dissent and not unlike many other mainstream journalists when it comes to principles, if the mood of the times change, witness the none-too-subtle shifts in outlook. A letter-writer in today’s Age explains it well:
DESPITE Michael Gawenda’s pleas (“Don’t blame the victims“, Opinion, 13/11), the Iraqi people will most certainly be abandoned, “left to the mercy of a failed state in which death squads, terrorists, militias and insurgents are unbound, released from all restraints”. This is why so many Australians opposed the war from the start.
War is rarely the answer to any problem and anyone who knew anything of the history of the Middle East and the US always knew this Iraqi war was doomed to fail.
What is surprising is that Gawenda now mocks the populist Bill O’Reilly for never really “giving a damn” about the Iraqi people. It was Gawenda, as editor of The Age, who supported the war at its outset. It was also Gawenda who urged Victorians to re-elect the Howard Government at the last election despite its lies and continued zealous support of the war.
Michael Gawenda and many others like him should look in the mirror about their own complicity in this horrendous war before ridiculing the Bill O’Reillys of this world.
And in the meantime, the Iraqi people’s intolerable suffering will be ongoing.
Allan Thompson, Port Melbourne