PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has mocked Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s comments on Syria, saying he graduated from the “John Wayne school of international relations”.
Mr Abbott said the Syrian conflict was a civil war between two pretty unsavoury sides.
“It’s not goodies versus baddies, it’s baddies versus baddies and that’s why it’s very important that we don’t make a very difficult situation worse,” Mr Abbott said.
Speaking at a Labor Party campaign launch for candidate Cathy O’Toole, in Townsville on Sunday night, Mr Rudd said Mr Abbott was a student of the “John Wayne school of international relations.
“International relations is more complex than a 1950s John Wayne western,” he said.
“I really do question his temperament for occupying the highest office of the land.”
The coalition has defended its leader’s description of the Syrian crisis as a sophisticated analysis.
The opposition leader has backed any US military action against Syria but says it has to be carefully targeted and proportionate so it doesn’t make a bad situation worse.
A political solution to avoid the need for military action would be terrific but is not likely, Mr Abbott said.
He called the Syrian regime’s alleged use of poison gas against its own people an utter abomination.
Coalition campaign spokesman Christopher Pyne defended his leader’s comments about the situation in Syria as an “extremely sophisticated” analysis as neither side was covered in glory.
“In the Syrian civil war, both sides are very unattractive .. it’s actually more sophisticated to recognise that, than to try and pretend as Penny Wong does that there’s somehow cowboys and indians and one side is good and one side is bad.”
“In the Syrian conflict it’s important to understand that both sides are deeply unpleasant and that trying to choose a side is a very foolish thing to do,” Mr Pyne told reporters in Adelaide.
Labor campaign spokeswoman Penny Wong said Mr Abbott sounded like he was talking about a game of cops and robbers when discussing foreign policy.
“When asked about the difficult situation in Syria and what his view about this was, his view on foreign policy appears to be not always goodies versus baddies but it can be baddies versus baddies,” she said.