Having now read just over half of Bob Carr's Diary of a Foreign Minister, I'll venture, in this and the next few posts, some preliminary observations on the man and his motives.
Deep thinker he is not.
He can sit opposite the appalling Condoleezza Rice and listen to her repeating "her argument from our earlier meeting in her office that it would be better for the US to bomb Iran... than leaving it to Israel" without blinking. (p 114)
Or write of the warmongering Republican senator John (Wayne) McCain (who has just told him that "we've got the Saudis wanting to get involved [in Syria]") that he "is confirmation of my notion that when America produces a public-policy athlete he or she is first class." (p 44)
Of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Carr can write that he "is forceful, even bossy, but more intellectually supple than I had expected... for example, he said that even before the civil war in Syria, their cities were dilapidated, with few signs of shops or cafes. It was an impoverished society, degraded by dictatorship." (p 134)
The overweening arrogance of the leader of Ersatz Israel pronouncing on the existence or non-existence of shops and cafes in one of the world's oldest civilizations is lost on Carr. As is the deeply settler-colonial register:
"The Arab countries have moved away from pan-Arabism - secular Arab nationalism - to Islamic regimes without missing a beat... 'How could one stabilise the region given the lack of basic conceptions of individual rights as developed by Locke and Montesquieu?' he asked. 'Politics in the Arab countries were based on tribal or ideological grounds, not on the foundations of economic enfranchisement and freedom." (ibid)
The profoundly Eurocentric Carr, gulled by Netanyahu's pseudo-intellectual name-dropping, is simply blind to the colon's racist discourse.
Then there's the sickening spectacle of the regional bully playing the victim:
"[H]e did not want a new [Palestinian] state that would set out to eradicate Israel. Israel could not rely on anyone else to provide security if it was besieged by 'manic weaponry'. That's when he asked someone to draw aside the curtain of his meeting room in the Knesset and pointed at the horizon. 'I don't want Iran on that hill'." (p 137)
Carr swallows it all:
"While I warned about settlements I didn't even bother registering opposition to a strike on Iran. Who am I to tell them how they should deal with a regime of apocalyptic religious leaders?" (p 137)
Any maniac is good enough for Carr, presumably, providing he can reference Locke or Montesquieu. The fact that said maniac has just been babbling on about Israel being a "Jewish democratic" state switches on no bullshit detector.
Oh, and Carr's reading material? Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem FFS.
To be continued...