Make sure you check out Tim Blair for a well-deserved bout of “[h]urtful, savage, imbalanced and triumphalist ranting” at Saturday’s election victory by Australian Prime Minister John Howard. Howard’s opponent, Mark Latham, sounds like an an Aussie Howard Dean:
The real importance of tomorrow’s election lies in the foreign policy changes that would be instituted under the Labor Government of Mark Latham. The man who once broke a taxi-driver’s arm, and ran Liverpool’s (a suburb of southern Sydney) municipal council into historic levels of debt and political chaos now has an opportunity to shape Australia’s place in the world. The shape it would take can be speculated upon by the remarks Mr Latham has, in the past, made about the President of the United States. “The most incompetent and dangerous president in living memory” he declared about the American President who overthrew two tyrannical regimes in a single term. Latham then went on to label his Australian conservative opponents as a “conga-line of suckholes” for having originally supported the United States in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Like Senator John Kerry, Mr Latham has prevaricated and occasionally made complete reversals of policy on what Labor would do in Government. “All the troops home by Christmas” was the original clarion call. Then it became some of the troops. Their position hasn’t been clarified for some weeks, and thanks to Labor’s compliant fifth columnists — the media — it isn’t likely to be placed under any scrutiny, any time soon. But the fetid stench of appeasement wafts through the air, and it is unmistakable.
Meanwhile, some irregularities but no widespread violence as Afghans went to the polls for the first time since the US liberated their country from the Taliban.
In both cases, of course, the elections represent a setback for John Kerry’s campaign. Afghanistan is a clear triumph for the Bush Administration; we’re hardly home free there, but the ability to conduct an election free of violence gives the lie to claims that the country has fallen apart, and gives hope for similar progress in Iraq. That’s terrible news for Kerry.
In Australia, of course, Kerry’s sister – the head of his campaign there – created a stir in mid-September when she basically told Autralians to side against the United States by voting Howard out of office:
JOHN Kerry’s campaign has warned Australians that the Howard Government’s support for the US in Iraq has made them a bigger target for international terrorists.
Diana Kerry, younger sister of the Democrat presidential candidate, told The Weekend Australian that the Bali bombing and the recent attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta clearly showed the danger to Australians had increased.
“Australia has kept faith with the US and we are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels,” she said, referring to the invasion of Iraq.
Asked if she believed the terrorist threat to Australians was now greater because of the support for Republican George W. Bush, Ms Kerry said: “The most recent attack was on the Australian embassy in Jakarta — I would have to say that.”
Ms Kerry, who taught school in Indonesia for 15 years until 2000, is heading a campaign called Americans Overseas for Kerry which aims to secure the votes of Americans abroad — including the more than 100,000 living in Australia.
Howard’s victory stands as a rebuke to the Kerrys and their ham-handed attempt to pry another ally out of the coalition. And, of course – of much greater importance – it preserves the role of our most faithful ally as a vigilant force against terrorism.