15 Nov. 2007

This is the way the Howard government ends...

Not with a bang, but a whimper.

I suspect that the electorate at large has already tuned out of this election race, given Labor's longheld lead and the consequent lack of attention-grabbing "story".

Sure, a US attack on Iran could provide a convenient wedge...
The installation of 3,000 fully-functioning centrifuges at Iran's enrichment plant at Natanz is a "red line" drawn by the US across which Washington had said it would not let Iran pass. When spinning at full speed they are capable of producing sufficient weapons-grade uranium (enriched to over 90% purity) for a nuclear weapon within a year.

The IAEA says the uranium being produced is only fuel grade (enriched to 4%) but the confirmation that Iran has reached the 3,000 centrifuge benchmark brings closer a moment of truth for the Bush administration, when it will have to choose between taking military action or abandoning its red line, and accepting Iran's technical mastery of uranium enrichment.

US generals are reported to have warned the White House that military action would trigger a devastating Iranian backlash in the Middle East and beyond.
Many sceptics suggested that Howard might be delaying an election till just such an attack. But the chance of a US strike within the next week - and a favourable Australian electorate response to that - are pretty low right now.

And sure, a week is a long time in politics, and much could happen yet. But I suspect the week won't be too long for anyone who is NOT a political tragic.

IF by some chance you still have no idea what's going on, and you want to inform yourself, I suggest Google's 2007 Australian Federal Election site is a good place to start (after you have read every word in this blog).