Here's what Mr Howard told Parliament yesterday:
"Over the last day and a half I have been attacked and lacerated by the Opposition for expressing my view, but the Leader of the Opposition does not have the guts to express his.So according to Howard, the Iraq War has nothing to do with individuals in the US Presidential campaign, but everything to do with individuals in this Australian campaign. Never mind that the discussion of international war should be beyond the scope of one man's ego. Never mind that US policies will actually determine the outcomes of this war, whatever Australia chooses to do.
"He knows in his heart that I am right on the consequences of a coalition troop withdrawal. He knows that Iraq would descend into full-scale civil war. That is the central issue in this debate. It has got nothing to do with individuals in another election campaign."
Howard is trying to turn the Iraq War debate into a debate on Kevin Rudd's manhood, just as he has tried to turn the climate change and water debates into a discussion of nuclear energy. It's a cynical and desperate ploy. And this far out from the elections, it shows just how scared and nervous he is.