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John Howard Darfur count: 2

As the coconut dessicates, possibly terminally, John Winston Howard has uttered the D-word for, as far as I can tell, only the second time. (Here's my report of the first.)

It came in his virulent response to criticism of Australia's human rights record contained in the latest Amnesty International Annual Report (as I noted last week), where his use of fear for political purposes was compared to, among others, that of Omar al-Bashir.

In a media release from the Prime Minister's office on 24 May, Howard said:

The report's treatment of Australia amounts to little more than a shoddy caricature. Nowhere is the report's political agenda clearer than the paragraph in its foreword which seeks to bracket Australian and US policies with the horrendous human rights situation in Darfur and Robert Mugabe's disastrous misrule in Zimbabwe.

"Horrendous human rights situation". A correct, but shallow, description. Do you think he has a clue what is happening there?