Scoop Audio: PM Answers Historical
Questions, US General Coming
Scoop Audio: The assembled masses at today's press conference had waited weeks for a chance to once again sit in Parliament's venerable Legislative Council Chamber and quiz the Prime Minister on the topics of the day. However, many of the issues covered at today's press conference were more last year (David Benson-Pope) or weeks old (Labour's alleged overspending). The Prime Minister did take an interest in the ongoing issue of the Air New Zealand engineers - urging both Air NZ and the Engineers Union to 'keep talking'.
One issue the Prime Minister wasn't interested in discussing was the recent damning United Nations report on Guantanamo Bay. The assembled media did however learn that Lieutenant General John Abizaid, the man in charge of US Central Command, would be paying New Zealand a visit.
According to the BBC General Abizaid is 'trumpeted as the man who could help sway the hearts and minds of people in the Middle East.' General Abizaid is descended from Christian Lebanese immigrants, is a fluent Arabic speaker and allegedly professes to love the Arab world. According to the BBC, General Abizaid is said to be 'a new breed of American military leader, combining hands-on military leadership with scholarly achievement.'