The re-election of Prime Minister Howard, the leader of the Her Majesty’s Australian government, was little noted in the American press — primarily because it was an omen of George Bush’s own re-election. Howard has been a staunch and unwavering ally of the President’s, though he gets little recognition for that.

Howard, however, loves to tell it like it is.

Prime Minister John Howard says Yasser Arafat will be remembered as a leader who failed to grasp an opportunity for peace in the Middle East. . . . “I think history will judge him very harshly for not having seized the opportunity in the year 2000 to embrace the offer that was very courageously made by the then Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barack, which involved the Israelis agreeing to 90 per cent of what the Palestinians had wanted,” he said.