February 5, 2008

Australia's John Howard Receives 2008 Irving Kristol Award

The former Australian Prime Minister was profoundly affected by being in the U.S. on 9/11; he felt first-hand both the sense of shock and the helplessness, which Americans felt on that fateful day. For Howard, 9/11 changed the strategic environment of the relationship between the U.S. and Australia...

John Howard , the long-serving former Prime Minister of Australia, will deliver the Irving Kristol Lecture at AEI's Annual Dinner on March 5, 2008. One of the world's most successful democratic politicians, Howard has raised Australia's standing in the world, achieved prosperity in his country, and staunchly defended liberty overseas.

As reported on the AEI's site for Public Policy Research:

"American Enterprise Institute president Christopher DeMuth announced in January that the former Australian Prime Minister is the recipient of AEI's Irving Kristol Award for 2008. The annual award, selected by the Institute's Council of Academic Advisers, is given to individuals who have made exceptional intellectual or practical contributions to improved government policy, social welfare, or political understanding. Mr. Howard will receive the award and deliver the Irving Kristol Lecture at the Institute's annual dinner on March 5, 2008, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. "

"John Howard is one of the world's most successful democratic politicians. Chosen as Australia's twenty-fifth prime minister in March 1996, Howard and his party were reelected in 1998, 2001, and 2004--making him his nation's second-longest-serving prime minister at the time of his retirement by the voters in last November's national elections. After September 11, 2001, Prime Minister Howard forged a strong alliance with the United States and Great Britain in the global war on terror, sending Australian troops to Afghanistan and later to Iraq."

"As Prime Minister, Howard affirmed the independence of Australia's central bank, continued the deregulatory policies of his predecessor, balanced the budget, reorganized the country's welfare system, privatized the Australian telecommunications giant Telstra, reformed labor laws, and cut taxes. Australia's economy soared, even during the Asian financial crisis that devastated so many of its neighbors, growing every year for the past sixteen years. As the editorial page editor of the Australian and former AEI staff member Tom Switzer has written, "[Howard] presided over the longest economic boom since the gold rushes of the nineteenth century."

"In foreign policy, Howard was a steadfast friend of the United States. When asked by an interviewer about the Iraq war, he said, "I am not going to be part of a policy which leaves the job unfinished and leaves behind [to] one or two other countries the responsibility of completing the job; that is not the Australian way of doing things." His government took a leadership role in dealing with security and economic problems in small Pacific countries such as the Solomon Islands, as well as in East Timor, where Australian troops are the mainstay of the country's current stability."

Read the rest here

It’s interesting that while many in Australia are vying to distance themselves from the former leader, he is about somewhat of a hero’s welcome in the U.S. where, aside from receiving the honor in front of a dinner audience of over 1200, Howard will now give the Irving Kristol address, named in honor of the father of neo-conservatism.

Said Melbourne born Danielle Pletka, the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, "John Howard is an extraordinarily important international figure. He was one of the staunchest post-9/11 allies of the U.S." Notably, it is only the second time in over quarter of a century that the award is to be presented to a foreigner.

Howard has agreed to attend at least three other prestigious events while in the U.S. A private gathering of Republicans in Las Vegas, in Boston he will be made a Fisher Family Distinguished International Fellow and will address faculty and students at Harvard and finally, in Texas he will deliver a speech at the George Bush Presidential Library.

The former Australian Prime Minister was profoundly affected by being in the U.S. on 9/11; he felt first-hand both the sense of shock and the helplessness, which Americans felt on that fateful day. For Howard, 9/11 changed the strategic environment of the relationship between the U.S. and Australia, it was not surprising therefore, that he became a strong unyielding advocate, of the war on terror.

Also of no surprise, was an extraordinary show of support when returning to the U.S. in 2003. When his company was announced at a baseball game over the microphones at Yankee Stadium in NY, the crowd stood and celebrated Howard’s presence. The Australian anthem was played and its flag paraded. It was an amazing sight, as New Yorkers are not easily impressed; sure enough, the moment received little if any decipherable coverage in Australia.

Contrast this to Howard’s presence at the last A-League final in Melbourne (Australia) early last year where he was attending as a guest of Jewish-Australian businessperson and Westfield co-founder, Frank Lowry. When his attendance was announced over the microphones the ear belching booing that followed was truly repulsive. However, even more repugnant was the coverage given to this shameful moment by all the major news networks on the evening news.

As first noted at MK’s Views blog, “the MSM has been absent in reporting Howard’s award” with only the Australian Newspaper appearing to refer to it.

Congratulations John Winston Howard!

For previous references to John Howard click here and here.

See also, Andrew Bolt's short take.

Comments appreciated


WomanHonorThyself said...

hiya Otto!..Congrads indeed!
if he is unpopular with the masses..you know he is a man of honor my friend!!

MK said...

Thanks for the link back Otto, i wonder if the media will cover the event, i'm not holding my breath, can't let Howard have any credit can we..

American Interests said...

mk: I know at least two sites who may cover it..lol..thanx for coming by...

Aurora said...

Thank you for posting this, Otto. There are some things that really pain me and one is that our Prime Minister, John Howard and yes, also his Deputy Peter Costello, were treated so shamefully by the howling dogs of the Left. I've been reading up a lot on economics lately for my work and the more I read, the more I appreciate the sound economic management they carried out together, along with other policies they pushed such as the encouragement of Australian families to have more babies. When you see the rising problem of the ageing population in countries like Japan, you can understand exactly why they pushed for this.
I believe in my heart that we abused the privilege we had of having such a wonderful team who cared for the lives and well-being of ordinary Australians. And now we will have to pay the consequences.
Thanks again. You've made my day.

Karen said...

This post warms my heart today. I have the greatest of respect for Mr. Howard. He has been a steadfast friend to the U.S. and will be remembered forever for that.

This honor bestowed upon him is certainly deserved. I wish the man all the best.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

I am wondering Otto, especially with this award going to Howard, are your countrymen, (and women), beginning to regret their choice in the last election ?

Or is it to early to tell ?

Debbie said...

This is good news and a most deserved award. I've always liked Howard. He has been a true friend and supporter of the United States and the war against Islamic terror.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

American Interests said...

angel: Indeed!

aurora: Thanks for the favorable comments. Howard/Costello's economic achievements would be too lengthy to note here...The way both of them were swiftly consigned to the scrapheap was disgraceful. Early signs in the new Gov't are not good. Did you read Bolt's piece this AM, "Column - Charge of the bright brigade"? Thanks for linking at "The Midnight Sun"

American Interests said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
American Interests said...

Karen: Thanks for your favorable comments about John Howard. Incidentally, your Feb 2 post, "Endorsements" was outstanding.

Lib Lie Conservative Truth: Our "countrymen and women), beginning to regret their choice in the last election?" No, not yet anyway ...sigh... The masses may soon come to regret the way they dumped Howard, herded as they were, by MSM. Domestically, the early signs are not good on most issues. As Donald Douglas said, in his comment after the election loss, “The political system, worldwide, is in a period of recalibration. The Dems could win the U.S. presidency in 2008, though I pray not…” My fear is that the same forces that removed Howard from office here will influence the U.S. electorate in 2008, we must be on guard.

Debbie: Thanks for coming by, it is great news!

Jeff said...

Howard was a good leader and a reliable man of good sense. He will be missed.

American Interests said...

Thanks Jeff!

Incognito said...

I loved Howard...a truly courageous, honorable man. But Aussie's have always been our friends.. I hope that doesn't end with your new administration.

American Interests said...

Incog: Thanx but mainly, welcome back ...

nullifidian said...

This post comes from an Australian. While you know of Mr Howard’s strong support for the US alliance and the war in Iraq, you may know less about his performance at home during 11 years in power.

His conservative hosts in the United States might ponder that when Howard came to power in 1996, his party governed every State and territory but one in Australia. John Howard’s true legacy is that under his leadership, his party has been annihilated, voted out of office in every single government in the country, Federal, State and Territory, all nine.

Mr. Howard prides himself on sound economic management, yet despite a worldwide economic boom and strong demand for Australia’s mineral resources, Howard oversaw a tripling of net foreign debt, the collapse of manufacturing industry and a 240% blow-out in the external trade deficit.

Always ready to stir up fear of foreigners and minorities to suit his political ends, Howard’s dreadful record on social justice exposes his self interest over compassion.. Asylum seekers, women and children, most of them genuine refugees, were locked up for years behind razor wire in remote detention camps, hidden from public and press view. Indigenous health standards deteriorated under Howard, with the life expectancy of Aborigines now 17 years below that of white Australians. Some Aborigines still suffer from leprosy, rheumatic heart disease and tuberculosis, all banished from the white population decades ago.

Under Howard, Australia became a not-so-clever country. He led years of blind resistance to action on climate change. He directed a major shift of taxpayer funding away from public schools, into wealthy private schools, thereby increasing inequity and widening the social divide . His government failed to build a high-speed broadband network, leaving Australia in the digital dark ages, ranking 26th out of 30 countries for broadband transfer speeds.

Truth, ethics and transparency in government became casualties of the Howard years. A recent international study on press freedom ranked Australia 28th, behind Hungary and Slovenia Howard spent over $2 billion of public money on government advertising, much of it thinly disguised party political propaganda. He politicised the public service and exploited the armed forces for his own purposes. Dissent meant the end of your career. Government lack of protection for whistleblowers delivered abuses in fiscal probity, policing, defence, border protection and counter-terrorism.. Last year an independent audit report revealed the routine shifting of $400 million of public funds into projects in marginal electorates to win votes. Howard met with a fringe religious sect who received dramatic increases in funding for their schools and conducted covert election advertising supporting Howard in his own electorate.

Many Australians are deeply ashamed of what has been done in our name over the past 11 years. Under Howard we became a mean, selfish, narrow, lesser nation. Happily, Howard has gone, bringing hope for the future. Most Australians admire America and support our alliance, but when your institutions celebrate the friendship between our two peoples, please also join Australians in rejoicing that John Howard no longer represents Australia.

American Interests Realgrid Writing said...

nullifidian: Welcome to AI and thanks for expressing your views. I shall address your comment soon, time poor just at this moment...

American Interests - Realgrid Writing said...

Nullifidian: John Howard has paid the price for his true to form and honest convictions. He was and remains a conservative and governed accordingly; providing the kind of governance that quite naturally, stirred the likes of yourself, and regrettably, there are many of you.

We appear to be in the midst of a world wide recalibration of political philosophies, conservatism per se’ is the wane, albeit for now. Socialist like, collective majoritarianism is on the march, driven by a popular new intelligentsia, the liberal media. Who needs disguised political propaganda! Back to conservatism’s waning, is Britain’s David Cameron anywhere near as conservative as John Major or Maggie Thatcher? Moreover, look at the political traction gained of late by Obama in the U.S. It represents a clear shift to the left, one that is still gaining momentum. Even conservatives are bickering; witness the squabbles within the right of U.S. politics over John McCain’s emergence to frontrunner status.

Thus, any right inclined leader is going to struggle to gain the ascendancy in the current political environment. In addition, it is not just the media but quite nearly, every single cultural institution is now singing the tune of Chairman Rudd and his Labor Party aficionados.

A flawless Government economic record is a fallacy but Howard economic achievements are well documented so I truly beg to differ in this regard. In 2006 the government delivered its 8th budget surplus, zero debt, (not to mention the interest saved here alone), a new tax system, over 10 billion in personal tax cuts, record low unemployment, low mortgage rates, an explosion in household wealth (at least for those who were willing to work hard), and a AAA international rating. I could go on, perfect no, but outstanding in any event.

Howard gave his heart and soul for Australia the way he saw fit, leaving a great many of us better off. Working families had never had it better … and if that was not true, when did they have it better?

A great many Australians remain proud of the previous Governments achievement and fear the left inspired politically correct indoctrinating process that is overwhelming our society as we speak.

It pleases me that you gave us your take on Howard at AI...

Anonymous said...

John Howard single-handedly decimated his party. Now, instead of a credible Opposition party, we have rabble; whingers who really just believe they were "born to rule" and now, some of them want to take their bat & ball and go home. His economic credentials are a sham! He lied & bribed his way through election after election, until Australians, sick to death of his deception and arrogance, sacked him en masse. Some leader! He wasted so many opportunities to invest in infrastructure and skills. Good riddence to bad rubbish!

Anonymous said...

After 12 years of Howard and lies over WMD's, AWB scandals and no GST never ever, children overboard, Kelly Letterbox drops, holding Australians without charge, the Dr Haneef saga and lies about interest rates all being accepted by Australia. When infact Costello called it durng libs time in power the tusnami of economic danger it's no wonder Australia is getting dumb after 12 years of being fed a diet of lies. It's no wonder. Hey Anyone hear the Bonsai's claim about Rudd being naive about leaving Iraq whern infact it was naive going in based on WMD's that didnt exist and without an exit plan or any plan at all.

American Interests.blog said...


There were no lies put forward about WMD’s, rather it was simply a reasonable error on the part of America and its coalition partners. Here’s something the MSM did not report during the debate.

May I suggest you paste the link below in your browser and read from pp. 61 “Because Saddam ran such a tight” … To pp.62 “The answer is yes”.


Anonymous said...

Ok,I have read that link and on page 62 it says "that the three governments streched some of the facts to breaking point, some specific points were highly coloured, they drew maximum implications from the intelligence",(musharoom cloud, with us or against us rhetoric).

So although it can't be proved they lied they must be seen as incompentent or of streching the truth for there own political gain.

If thousands of innocent women and children were at risk of dying for the war on terror I would have required the onus of proof before signing the invasion order.

They could find Saddam underground but not prove any WMD's.

The now replaced Howard Government officials are on record as addmitting the war on terror was about securing oil reserves.

Many Howard government officials heads rolled over the AWB scandal so I stand by my earleir comment that after 12 years of Howard AND LIES (truth streching by own admission)about WMD's the new government can start restoring our international reputation. Anyone seen Kurt Douglas's letter to our new PM as a case in point.

American Interests.blog said...

Thanks for following that link, am glad it worked for it was long and cumbersome.

You have made your view loud and clear. As I have already noted, you are free to express your beliefs here...

Of course, you also know that I categorically disagree with you in these matters.

Kind regards

Anonymous said...

Hey there,

Thanks for the reply, I just want to clarify what points exactly you categorically disagree with.

Is it the report you asked me to read saying
"that the three governments streched some of the facts to breaking point, some specific points were highly coloured, they drew maximum implications from the intelligence".

Or is it that although it can't be proved they lied they must be seen as incompentent or of streching the truth for there own political gain.


my comments about requiring the onus of proof is required before invading resulting in thousands of innocent deaths.

or the fact that they could find Saddam underground but not prove any WMD's.

or that now replaced Howard Government officials are on record as admitting the war on terror was about securing oil reserves.

Or that Howard government officials heads rolled over the AWB scandal and the new government can start restoring our international reputation.

Or are you saying that it was a reasonable error in judgment that caused the war on terror resulting in thousands of innocent deaths even when the chief UN weapons inspector Mr Hans Blix said no proof of WMD's.

Or that finally our new PM is embarking on restoring our international reputation.

As if need be I can factually prove all of the claims I make.

Atleast unlike many sites you seem fair enough to publish and respond to all posters.

Anonymous said...

Oh and one last thing Australia voted and as Howard is only the 2nd sitting PM not to retain his local seat it appears the majority of voters decided it was time.

And that any error resulting in the death of persoal liberty and freedoms of inocents is more than just a reasonable error.

As I have said before History not His Story will define his legacy.

I feel insulted that we could consider these errors were resonable and on that note we will agree to disagree.

Anonymous Aussie Voter

Anonymous said...

Well OTTO it's been three days and you havent even advised what you disagree with, so I though I would just post some links so you and others frequenting these pages could get a bigger picture with regard to what lies were told to justify this war OF terror


The following FACTS may also be of interest.

Prime Minister John Howard was censured by the Senate on 07/02/2003 for misleading the public in his justification for sending Australia to war with Iraq.

It was only the fourth time in more than three decades a sitting prime minister has been censured and the second in Mr Howard's seven-and-a-half years in office.

The motion attacked Mr Howard for failing to adequately inform Australians that intelligence agency warnings about a war with Iraq would increase the likelihood of a terrorist attack.

It also noted that no evidence had yet been produced by Mr Howard to justify his claims that in March 2003, Iraq possessed stockpiles of completed biological chemical weapons that justified going to war.

Some of the furbies in this link make even the staunchest defenders of WAR quiet.


Incase you still cant see the forrest for the tree's more FACTS about whom said what.


If your still unsure if you were HOODWINKED another link that may shed more LIGHT

Look if need be I can post 1000's of links outlining why and how BUSH, BLAIR & HOWARD used spin resulting in thousands of innocent deaths for there own political goals.

The facts are no WMD's were found when the original justifaction for going to war is we should not wait for the smoking gun ( musharoom clound ), I have been raised to know two wrongs don't make a right.

I now sleep better knowing Howard is gone and with any luck by November this year the same fate awaits the US republican party.

Anonymous Aussie Voter.

Anonymous said...

John Winston Howard will be remembered in history as the best Prime Minister Australia has ever had. John Howard and his entire team left Australia in the best shape she has ever been in. This was achieved, in spite of venomous and false accusations from their opposition.
The Howard Government faced a viscious and determined media intent on manipulating words and truth, in order to support their leftist agendas.
John Howard is a politician who possessed political skills of a very high order, and is so deserving of any awards he may be presented with.
John Howard fostered genuine relationships with the rest of the world, he was always a generous and helpful friend to those countries who suffered in times of disasters, whether they were man made or of a natural nature.
He cleared Australia of a $96billion debt left by the previous Labor Government. He reformed the tax system for the good of the Nation. He introduced an intervention programme to help eliminate the abuse of aboriginal children in the Northern Territory - a programme that is now being scrapped by the new Government. He implemented strong gun laws after a huge massacre in Tasmania. He hosted APEC, an historical event in Sydney, Australia with a very positive outcome.
He had inflation at an all time low, an all time low unemployment rate and brought Australia through some tough times, on a global scale and on home soil.
This man is truly an amazing man, who governed for ALL Australians and made us proud of him,and his team. We will be forever grateful for having had him for our leader for almost 12 years.
John Howard came within 1.5% of serving a fifth term during the last Election in November, 2007. In his own seat of Bennelong he achieved the highest Primary Vote over any candidate that stood for election. He lost to the Labor Candidate on preferences she was able to obtain.
48% of Australians voted to retain the Howard Government, and of the 52% that voted to end his Government, a high percentage were preference votes from The Greens Party.

Australia is no longer the same now under this new Government and as the days pass by, we are missing the Howard Government more and more.
Thank you John Howard, we will never forget you, you have made many Australians so very proud to be who we are. You were fair, just, wise, caring, special and above all, a trustworthy friend and a true statesman.

Anonymous said...

Thats how preferences work. I guess what ever way you spin it 52% of votes preffered a prime minister other than John Howard. After his WMD lies,AWB scandal, Kelly Letterbox drop scandals, no GST never ever lies and children overboard lies the nation decided it was time for a change and History not His Story will be his judge. He is judged by history to be only the second sitting PM not to retian his seat. History will remember him as the PM whom put a price on freedom. History will remember him the most censured PM in Australias History. History will remember him as having the blood of innocent women and children on his hands due to invading a soverign for non existant WMD's. History not His Story is already written on this one and without rose coloured glasses it isn't a great legacy being attributed to him.

Anonymous said...

Here are some more awards he can put on his wall.

He's only the second sitting PM in Australia's History to lose his seat.

Over half of all Austrlaian censur movements in the last 40 years were a Howard censure.

Record of leaving his party in it's worst state since it's conception.

Howard is awarded the most ficticious reasons for invading soverign nations.

Howard caused more Australian military deaths then his four predeccesors combined.

Howard has the award for most ignorant PM's with regard to climate change since the word was coined.

Howard is the second longest serving PM in our history.
2nd best at anything is very good for Johnny and I'm sure his Mom would be very proud.

No matter what rhetoric is used the nation decided we wanted a leader whom we could again trust and not a lying little rodent as he is remembered in many Australian households. Or to putthe liberal spin way more voter preference were directed at Labour. = more preference in the country for a leader other than a lying, Rhetoric using soverign nation invading little bald man.

Incognito said...

Dead wrong..

He will be remembered, world wide, as a man of courage, who had major balls!

Anonymous said...

He will be remembered as making major balls ups. Again where are those WMD's, AWB and sucession plan for his beloved party.

Even his closest advisers like Ex Foreign Minister Downer have abandoned The howard legacy advising that the party room felt he should have left the party sooner atleast giving them a chance with fresh leadership not stale out of touch ideas.

Oh yeah he will be remembered but unfortunatley not the way you would want.

Again Where are those Iraq WMD's. Its has been recorded by house censure motions that Howard lied about The safety of the nation due to his war on terror.

I would judge a man on his humanitarian and moral compass not size of his Balls that lets him give executive orders BASED ON WMD LIES that resulted in the deaths of innocent women and children. So Little Johnny is remembered by some for his sack size. Again his Mom must be so proud.

Anonymous said...

Howard accused of war crimes over Iraq troop deployment

A legal brief has been sent to the International Criminal Court (ICC) alleging former prime minister John Howard committed a war crime by sending troops to Iraq.

An alliance of peace activists, lawyers, academics and politicians is behind the brief, organised by the ICC Action group in Melbourne.

Organiser Glen Floyd says Mr Howard should be held accountable for sending troops to a war not sanctioned by the United Nations.

"We have produced a 52-page brief of evidence which states to the chief prosecutor of the criminal court that we allege John Howard's actions are war crimes under article 8 of the Rome Statute," he said.

Democrats Senator Lyn Allison says the legal brief sent to the ICC is justified.

Senator Allison, who is one of several eminent people supporting the move, says accountability is important.

"This action has been taken to hold those accountable for their action, so it's essentially our prime minister - he was the one at the time [who] was the executive of government, made the decision," she said.

'It wasn't put to the Parliament and as we all know, it turned out to be unjustified."

A similar brief has been sent by a group from the United Kingdom regarding former prime minister Tony Blair. The United States is not a signatory to the court.

As has been said many time before History not his story will define his legacy.

Aurora said...

One anonymous mouthy idiot raving on and on like a lunatic...No wonder Leftists have to sway the public by lies and manipulation. They just can't accept an opposing point of view.

Anonymous said...

Aurora, No worries it may seem stating the truth is raving on like a lunatic and the only lies were told by the republican right or can they now expalin where those WMD's are

Anonymous said...

Hey Aurora, you are the one resorting to name calling like a lunatic. If it's lies could you please outline what I have said that is lies and manipluation and if it is shown that I have lied I will stand corrected, but live by the sword and die by the sword as everyone now knows whom has been doing the lying. Having always been open to educated discussion on this I dont lose sleep about creating a with us or againts us legacy for society.
The leftists dont have to sway the public by lies the public just chose to start opening it's eyes as to what the religious right has been doing to them. Where are all your defenders of fredom these days. Hiding from the war on humanity issue that is Invasion Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Hey Aurora, its been three days and you still havent outlined what lies and manipulation I have been using so as promised I will take the initive and outline what lies I know of.

Bush ; The War is over = lie

Bush ; we cant wait for the smoking gun by way of amushroom cloud over our city = LIE WMD's were found.

Bush ; There is a link between the sept 11 terrorist and Iraq. = LIE

Korea is an axis of Evil = Lie

Bush ; This aint about nation building = LIE

Your either with us or against us = LIE aint he heard of neutral.

We dont use torchure on illegally held prisoners = Lie anyony for a battery terminal to there genitals or a dose of waterboarding.

The geneva convention is not required for these so called Enemy combatants = Lie

America is the land of the Free = Bush lets see if we can make it the land of the free speech zone only as ong as you dont speak too loudly.

Anonymous said...

Hey Auoroa,

It's been days and you still have not said what lies and manipulation I or the left have been using so as is the case with Many of the right wing I guess you make accusations and call names without any basis for your claims.

Like your beloved Howard all spin and no substance.

Like bush calling names of those whom appose you, you only make us look better and yourself bad if you cant back up what accusations you make.

Lible and slander laws still exist in cyberspace so before calling anyone a lunatic liar check the facts.

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