December 23, 2003


I’m still receiving Wesley Clark campaign spam (“Your participation in the democratic process counts! Together we can turn America around”). Reaching out to people not able to vote in the US is an innovative approach, but Clark isn’t exactly playing to his Australian audience:

I would say to the Europeans, I pledge to you as the American president that we’ll consult with you first. You get the right of first refusal on the security concerns that we have. We’ll bring you in.

What about us, Mr. General Dude? Are Australians to be relegated to some sub-French consultation category under your bigoted “first refusal” system? Any more of this and I’ll seriously consider not voting for you.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 23, 2003 07:56 AM

For such an insult to Australia, isn't the only acceptable response a Booting? I'd add more, but disparaging the boot is a bootable offense.

Posted by: San Franciscan at December 23, 2003 at 08:06 AM

Doesn't your e-mail address end in .au? How retarded is Wesley Clark's spambot?

Posted by: ilyka at December 23, 2003 at 08:20 AM

How does politician logic go:

- I want people to like me.
- People hate spam
- I will spam people.

Mind you I think Clark might be better than Bush, after all he says he would have caught Osama by now, just like he caught Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadic!

Posted by: Ross at December 23, 2003 at 08:31 AM

I'm with you, Tim. If anyone gets a say over US foreign policy decisions it should be our Anglosphere partners -- the UK, Australia and Canada. Oops! Did I say "Canada?" Wishful thinking.

Clark is a Europhile, so he has no problem elevating EUrope, by which he means France and Germany, to co-equal status with the US. It's as if he thinks us American kids need approval from our European parents before flexing our muscles. That's almost as bad as Howard Dean saying that the US military won't always be preeminent. As a former General, Clark should know better. Dean is just too arrogant to know better.

Posted by: Tibor at December 23, 2003 at 08:33 AM

It isn't just EUrophilia, it's masochism. See, Australia doesn't count because you're a loyal ally through thick and thin. If you kicked us in the crotch, diplomatically, a couple of times, then Wesley Clark and Howard Dean would want to win you over.

Posted by: JPS at December 23, 2003 at 08:55 AM

We will give old Clark a kick in the goolies right after we get our hoverbikes. I keep sending the emails to Margo asking when they will be delivered and still NOTHING!

Posted by: Rob at December 23, 2003 at 09:03 AM


Posted by: Gil at December 23, 2003 at 09:21 AM

Tim: Earlier this year you had a link to a F1 engine supplier that programed their Dyno to play a song with an F1 engine. I beleive the song was Jingle Bells. Is there any chance to republish the link in the spirit of the season?

Posted by: mIKE at December 23, 2003 at 09:32 AM

How, Clark, does that pan out.

Churchill, 1939: We will fight them on the beaches... and in the streets.. we shall never surrender. But, I must caution , first we must seek Herr Hitler's permission.

Clark's motto: I'll bugger our allies on the beaches in their street but, we sahll lead by example, I shall bugger the American people, in their offices, in their homes, through their wallets. I have asked my Euro pals, they approve.

`I shall fight the war against terrorists in ways and where my pals approve of.If, to win means I must lay open the gates to this country to Osama bin Laden, I shall do so.If it means letting them walk into airports, in to buildings, anywhere ,I shall do so for I value my pals opinions and admire the stupidity of great friends in the U.N.

`I ,Dean, shall be your greatest President.I shall never surrender.'

Posted by: d at December 23, 2003 at 10:07 AM

If the Democrat's political machine in Chicago can get dead men to vote I don't see why Aussies can't.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at December 23, 2003 at 10:08 AM

US Constitution: Section. 8.
Clause 11:(The Congress shall have Power) To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Sometime ago Wesley took an oath to protect the constitution. Seeing that he now wants to cede control of the military to European Powers, he appears to be treasonous.
We might have to exile him to Quebec.

In Clarks defence, this might be the work of some over eager campaign worker.

Posted by: Papertiger at December 23, 2003 at 10:12 AM

If I was American I'd be mightily pissed off. He's saying that if his countrymen are silly enough to elect him, he'll ignore them and take notice of what the Europeans want.

Yeah. That'll work.

Posted by: Michael Gill at December 23, 2003 at 10:16 AM

Clark is a suit of ill repute with two unblinking eyes hovering above. Clark is a flop, a prop, & a bit of a fop, he’s a C-R-O-C-K crock.

Clark has threatened to “beat the shit” out of anybody who questions his patriotism or military record. This mirror-glued narcissist knows where his weak spots are.

Many ALREADY have questioned Clark’s military record & professionalism, & he has publicly compromised his own patriotism.

Clark: I would say to the Europeans, I pledge to you as the American president that we’ll consult with you first. You get the right of first refusal on the security concerns that we have. We’ll bring you in.

Clark is no patriot &, as others have pointed out, no friend of Australia! This bizarre retired general & fired NATO commander plainly means not first refusal on signing onto a coalition, but veto power on US security policy & actions. If Chirac snorts non, Clark vows to bow. Clark adds that the first-refusal right would be mutual—so what? But Clark’ll make it work! Clark’ll show ’em all for his firing, get in there & put the US under a strengthened NATO. Clark’s center of gravity isn’t Washington DC, USA but MUCH farther east. How will your Eurosoc friends, Robin Cook & company, help you now, Clark? A retaliatory tariff against Vermont?

Then there are these matters:

This bizarre resumé fanatic Clark’s military record stands forever damaged by his being fired as Supreme Allied Commander of Europe on account, says General Hugh Shelton, of character & integrity problems. General Tommie Franks, when asked whether Clark would make a good Commander In Chief, said “Absolutely not.”

Imagine Bill Clinton disputing with Hugh Shelton over the reasons for Clark’s being fired!—let’s hear the reasons!—while Clark stoutly maintains that Clinton was “hornswoggled” & didn’t know the significance of the papers that he signed firing Clark. Clinton, Berger, ex-Sec. of Defense Cohen, answer the question! Were Berger & Clinton hornswoggled by Cohen & others into firing Clark?—or is Clark lying or deluded?

Posted by: ForNow at December 23, 2003 at 10:28 AM

Well, actually, Tim, you are registered as voting in Chicago. Straight Democrat ticket.

Posted by: Jackal at December 23, 2003 at 10:41 AM

The Jackal understands.

The only dead registered to vote in Chicago are Democrats. It's a bit tricky sometimes for live Republicans to be able to vote. I speak from experience.

Posted by: KenG at December 23, 2003 at 11:49 AM

Yeah, I'm going to vote for a general who places military decisions in the hands of a bunch of panty-waist pacifists. France can't beat the rebels in The Ivory Coast, Germany can't send troops beyond their borders, Russia kills more of their own people when taking out terrorists and I don't know what to say about BeNeLux.
Clark's big selling point is supposed to be his military experience, and he's giving Europe a VETO over that?
Damn, but I'd vote for Sharpton before I voted for him.

Posted by: Geoff Matthews at December 23, 2003 at 01:22 PM

As an American Australiophile it is both insulting and typical of many Americans to think Europe matters more than Australia. Who gives a crap what France thinks? In fact, France was out of the Lybia loop entirely. Why consult them on anything of any import whatever? Go Oz!


Posted by: Ned at December 23, 2003 at 02:37 PM

I'm no big fan of Clark's, but I don't think he was actually saying he'd ask Europe's permission for anything. The definition of "right of first refusal," which you can find here , is "the right of a person or company to purchase something before the offering is made available to others." In other words, in common parlance, it's getting "first dibs" on something. It's not the same as "asking permission." As I understand it, Clark is proposing that, if he were President, the US would tell its "allies" about its military plans, and give them the option to come in on those plans if they chose to.

Posted by: blogaddict at December 23, 2003 at 02:50 PM

Yeah, blogaddict, you're absolutely right, from a purely semantic point of view. And if I were Karl Rove, I'd be wetting myself at how that lame-brained Clark quip will play in attack ads, should Clark win the nomination (which, right now, is about as likely as Carol Mosely-Braun getting it).

Posted by: David Gillies at December 23, 2003 at 03:13 PM

I thought of that. It just doesn’t make sense under that interpretation.

What sort of dibs would be involved? There was not a limited supply of “positions” or “room” or whatever in the coalition. Like, France wants a chance to sign on before Japan gets a chance?

Or, loosen the sense of the phrase, forget dibs. Bring European countries in on our plans? We were not secretive about our aims to invade Afghanistan & Iraq. France & others had every opportunity to sign on. Only a yet broader interpretation of “right of first refusal” makes sense of Clark’s talk.

Clark’s talk of a right of first refusal makes no sense except as a euphemism for veto, a veto on US security policy, not to mention full knowledge of our bigger-picture strategies & secret operations. That all is reckless & destructive enough as it is. On top of that, the “firstness” of refusal seems to reflect some idea of a veto early in policy-formation, a right to nip policies in the bud.

Clark ought to clarify what he meant if he meant something else. If he doesn’t admit he mens a veto, then he will very likely end up tangling himself up in explanations & contradictions. It’s been a pattern with him.

Posted by: ForNow at December 23, 2003 at 03:23 PM

And Clark is not talking about France getting dibs to arrange that its troops rather than the Japanese get to occupy some town. He’s talking about something major. For instance: “I would go to Europe and I would build a new Atlantic charter.” He’s talking about running US security through the NATO alliance & its members. It’s not quite political globalization, but it is political transatlanticization. The US has many other interests than NATO, & US interests diverge considerably from those of countries like France. Clark is not the only Dem interested in this so-called political globalization which is really a transatlanticization. The Clintons & Joe Biden are also interested. See “Labour forges ties with US' Democrats” Aftenposten, Oct. 23, 2003. The meeting seems to have passed under most press radar.

Posted by: ForNow at December 23, 2003 at 03:40 PM

I agree totally that Clark's statement was lame-brained, whatever it meant. It certainly sounds as though he meant "veto power," even though I doubt that's what he actually did mean. But, what did he actually mean??? I think he just meant to say the US would let them in on its decision-making process, and allow them to join if they wanted to, instead of shutting them out. My recollection (which is a bit foggy at this point) is that, in the lead-up to the Afghan war, some European countries or other (France? Germany?), or perhaps NATO, made some noises about wanting to take part in the coalition if the US would grant them say in the decision-making process as to how the war would be fought. The US said, "Thanks, but no thanks." I think Clark (again, I am definitely not a supporter!) was saying he thought that, in the future, the US should give the NATO countries the right to come in and have a say if they wanted, not that they'd have the right to tell us we couldn't go in alone if they declined. Perhaps it's a small distinction, but I think it's a real one, and I think that's what he may have been getting at. But it's odd that he hasn't taken the opportunity to make that clear, if that's in fact what he meant. The man seems to have a tin ear for politics.

Posted by: blogaddict at December 23, 2003 at 03:41 PM

What you say makes sense.

“...right of first refusal on our security concerns.” Hmm. Maybe I’ve gotten overexcited. I haven’t much experience with decision-process talk. I strongly suspect it’s often wise to cut the French out of awareness & consultation in the decision-making process, but it does require a different one than the more alarmed criticism that I’ve made.

As far as I know, the quote hasn’t got a lot of attention in the major press, so that could be why he hasn’t offered a classification.

Thanks for persisting with your viewpoint. You’re probably right.

Posted by: ForNow at December 23, 2003 at 03:57 PM

“Classification,” good grief. I meant clarification. It’s late here in Queens, NY. I bid you good night. —ForNow, thinking he should give some of his worries a rest.

Posted by: ForNow at December 23, 2003 at 03:59 PM

it is both insulting and typical of many Americans to think Europe matters more than Australia.

In population Germany is more than 4 Australias,
France, UK and Italy are each around 3 Australias,

The population of the European Union greater than the US.

That seems pretty important to me.

Posted by: Peggy Sue at December 23, 2003 at 04:00 PM

If Clark meant "first look" at our long range plans goes to France or Germany, then no thank you. Not that I was going to vote Clark, but it is nice to know a reason besides he is democrat.

Peggy Sue, I would trade a hundred sometimes "friends" in the EU for one stalwart from Oz.

Posted by: Papertiger at December 23, 2003 at 04:21 PM

Sung to the tune of "Peggy Sue":

Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue
Who the hell are you ?
Swapping little Oz for a Kraut or two
Oh Peggy--my Peggy Sue
Well you've pissed us, Yes you've pissed us Peggy Sue

Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue
Pretty pretty pretty pretty Peggy Sue
You makin a whole nation slightly blue, Peggy Sue
Come on down to Sydney and we'll make love to you
Well Oz loves you, girl, and we want you, Peggy Sue
(Pretty pretty pretty pretty Peggy Sue)

Posted by: Ossie the Ocker at December 23, 2003 at 05:05 PM

Peggy Sue, I would trade a hundred sometimes "friends" in the EU for one stalwart from Oz.

I wonder if Papertiger is aware that governments sometimes change in Australia, too.

I'd feel bad if we were getting his love under false pretences.

Posted by: Mork at December 23, 2003 at 05:30 PM


The problem with your interpretation is that the approach that Clark would be suggesting is the exact approach that President Bush followed. Something like... here little Jacques, this is what we are going to do, if you want to help- come along. If not, don't miss this opportunity to stay quiet.

Personally, when we speak of American interests, this is obviousy the correct approach. Yet Clark complains that Bush did it. Either he was giving the EU a veto, or he was saying Bush was a genuis, or maybe he was just babbling to hear himself talk. If it is 1 or 3- he is a moron. If it is 2, we already got the man for the job.

Posted by: Jon Black at December 23, 2003 at 05:34 PM

Jon Black--
I'm suggesting something slightly different. I'm suggesting that Bush, in the leadup to the Afghan War, said to NATO that, even though NATO appeared willing to give some help in the Afghan theater of operations, their help wasn't wanted, because they wanted too much say in the decision-making process. In contrast, Clark appears to be saying that he would a) feel a duty to tell NATO what the US is planning militarily, and b) if NATO is willing to offer help, he would accept the offer AND give them a say in the command and control of the conflict, rather than insisting on US control.

Posted by: blogaddict at December 23, 2003 at 05:59 PM

Nice to see rabid righties wasting their time sweating the small things - or in this instance the nothings.

What a waste of breath.

Posted by: tads at December 23, 2003 at 09:05 PM

Kind of like your comment, tads.

Mork: the Great Eye (mine) is upon you. Watch it. By the way, I don't see what your remark has to do with papertiger's. He said "stalwart" friend. I assume if the government in Australia "changed" enough so as to put Australians into the same sort of attitude as seems to be prevalent in parts of Europe these days, the word "stalwart" could possibly then no longer apply. But some of us are capable of separating the man from the government. And some of us are not.

As for Peggy Sue's bizarre statement -- I'm sorry, I don't get it. We should pick our allies on the basis of how many people are in a given population? In that case, perhaps we should drop everyone and become China's complete ally (as opposed to merely being a trading partner, which is not the same thing, so spare me the snark). In any case, I would put one Australian against ten Frenchman any day.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 23, 2003 at 09:20 PM

As for Peggy Sue's bizarre statement -- I'm sorry, I don't get it. We should pick our allies on the basis of how many people are in a given population?

Who said anything about picking allies?

The EU and the USA are each other's largest trade and investment partners.
That business is worth $1 billion a day - that makes the EU important.

Posted by: Peggy Sue at December 23, 2003 at 11:47 PM

Peggy Sue,

Yes, but a trading relationship is not the same thing as a strategic and defence relationship, is it? Yet Wesley Clark was implying that Europe gets a bigger say in US strategic/defence policy and you were sort of, kind of, defending his statements. Weren't you?

Obviously, Australia is a much more important, reliable and effective ally (not trading partner, get the distinction?) for the USA than France and Germany combined. Even if they did absolutely nothing, we would still be a more significant ally but, as it is, they are presently dedicated to obstructing and undermining US strategic policy and actions. Botswana and Upper Volga are probably better US allies from that point of view!


Posted by: Bob Bunnett at December 24, 2003 at 12:18 AM


"In any case, I would put one Australian against ten Frenchman any day."

Andrea, Andrea, how can you suggest such a thing. That would be grossly unfair to the French.

Posted by: Dean Douthat at December 24, 2003 at 12:34 AM

Are you sure the EU is the US's biggest trading partner?

Nope, they're not, looked it up.
"Currently, the United States is China's second largest trading partner after Japan, and China is the United States' fourth largest trading partner after Canada, Mexico and Japan."

Posted by: CM715 at December 24, 2003 at 01:05 AM

> made some noises about wanting to take part in the coalition if the US would grant them say in the decision-making process as to how the war would be fought.

"say in the decision-making process" is either a veto or just talk. (We come to a decision point, they want X and we want not-X. If they get their way, they have a veto. If we get our way, we have a veto.)

The British (and Australians) had and continue to have a veto over the use of their troops. The Germans and French were unwilling to participate unless they had a veto over the use of US troops. Clark thinks that they should have it.

BTW - During the Afghan war, the French said that they'd do certain missions if the US asked. The time came, and US troops were at risk, so the US asked the French to do as they had promised.

Big surprise - the French refused. It's going to take a lot of baths to wash away that stench.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at December 24, 2003 at 01:58 AM

"...AND give them a say in the command and control of the conflict, rather than insisting on US control."

Oh great, some eleventy-three star admiral from the Royal Luxemburg Navy gets to chime in on how the the U.S. will conduct operations in Afghanistan.

It's real simple, U.S. commanders command U.S. forces. No other alternative is acceptable.

Posted by: David Crawford at December 24, 2003 at 02:08 AM

Several years ago a friend of mine related a conversation he'd had with a German WWII veteran. I guess he'd been in the Afrika Korps, and he mentioned how much he hated fighting against the Australians, because they "enjoyed the war too much."

That's the kind of people I want on my side in a brawl!

Posted by: Arnold at December 24, 2003 at 03:02 AM

> In population Germany is more than 4 Australias,
> France, UK and Italy are each around 3 Australias,

> The population of the European Union greater than the US.

> That seems pretty important to me.

Only when the number of people is relevant. In that case, none of the above hold a candle to India or China.

Germany has fewer people than Mexico. It is less than half as many as Pakistan or Brazil. Are they more important than Germany?

Outside of the UK, the EU doesn't have much in the way of military power, especially military power that they can use outside the continent.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at December 24, 2003 at 05:42 AM

Ah, if only they would start issuing Letters of Marque again... Things could get interesting.

Nothing like a few anarcho-capitalistic freebooters to kick the table over and start a new game.

Posted by: mojo at December 24, 2003 at 07:31 AM

It will be a cold day in hell before I vote for anyone who would give the EU,UN, or whatever other body 'first right of refusal on US security concerns'.

Who wants a president who will appear to pander to the Euroweenies like France, Germany, and Brussels?

I'm sure he's going to get LOTS of votes with a campaign promise like that!! (NOT)

Posted by: Chris Josephson at December 24, 2003 at 07:38 AM

Wesley Clark also insults the Brits,lumping us with the Europeans.We are allies they are not, give them a say and they will say "non".

Posted by: Peter UK at December 24, 2003 at 07:39 AM

Andrea - watch me all you like. If I'm allowed to post, I'll say what I think, and if you don't like it, you just go right ahead and ban me again.

BTW, I loved your comments on this thread:

"Last One: the reason why no one asks that question is because the only person who thinks like that is a stupid asshead.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 21, 2003 at 01:36 PM

Ah Ms. Harris:

That's what I love about the Bush Policy Apologists. They have such good manners and are willing to engage in mannerly debate.

Posted by: Last One Speaks at December 21, 2003 at 02:48 PM

Dear Mr. One:

That's what I love about you lefty idiots. You are so willing to dish it out but not to take it.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 21, 2003 at 03:12 PM"

I had not previously detected your fine grasp of irony.

Carry on!

(And on-topic: Papertiger only thinks of Australians as "stalwarts" because we currently have a very pro-U.S. government. Australian public opinion remains broadly similar to that in, say, Germany, which currently happens to have a left-leaning government. If the Christian Democrats had been in power in Germany (which they very nearly were), Germany likely would have supported the invasion and Papertiger would now be praising Germans for their steadfastness, while if the Labor Party had been in power here, Australia would not have participated in the invasion, and would have failed to have always been the apple of Papertiger's eye.)

Posted by: Mork at December 24, 2003 at 08:02 AM

Mork, just be polite and don't insult Andrea, for crying out loud, so you don't get banned and we all benefit from your scintillating wit.

I do happen to agree with your point about the Australian and German governments. That's basically what happened with Canada. If Chrétien had retired a couple of years earlier, Canada would probably have joined the coalition as well. For that matter, if the Democrats were in power in the U.S., the war would never have happened at all, and Qusay would still be shredding people.

Posted by: Katherine at December 24, 2003 at 08:20 AM

Katherine, I never (deliberately) insult anyone unless they have insulted me first. If Andrea wants the rule to be that she can insult freely, but no-one can respond in kind, well, I guess I'll just get banned again. We'll see.

On topic - doesn't that observation make some of the Administration's "diplomacy" look a little silly then: frat-boy insults directed not merely at the recalcitrant governments but entire nations are surely counter-productive.

I imagine, for example, that if I were a politically neutral German or Frenchperson, I might feel a little affronted by some of the observations emantating from Administration circles, and therefore less likely to support America or pro-American politicians in the future.

Posted by: Mork at December 24, 2003 at 08:45 AM

Mork: would you like to spell out some of these "frat-boy" insults that are supposedly what are getting the Germans and French so upset? Actual quotes of actual stated insults, with links. Keep in mind that feeling insulted and actually being on the receiving end of a deliberately-meant insult are sometimes two different things. I am not necessarily disagreeing with you that there have not been insults from members of the administration towards the French and the Germans and the so on, it is just that every time someone brings this issue up, they do so with vague "everyone knows" generalities like you did. I'd be better able to understand why you are so upset on the behalf of the French and the Germans and the other foreigners that the eville Bush Junta™ has caused to hide in a corner sobbing if I knew just what was being said and why.

By the way, your link to the other post did not work: do not put a forward slash after any single web-page file extension (ie, ".htm," ".html," ".php"). I have fixed it. And out of the kindness of my heart, here is a link to an even more insulting comment to the same smug little troll. Enjoy!

Katherine: I am still waiting for Mork to show us examples of anything approaching "scintillating wit." So far all he has come up with is a kind of sour nastiness that reveals more about him than about the object of his petty fury. But hope springs eternal! And practice makes perfect, and on and on etc.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 24, 2003 at 09:33 AM

Clark said: 'And working with our allies in Europe, we could move the world. We’re 600, 700 million people, we’re three permanent seats on the Security Council, we’re half the world’s GDP. We can do it ... George Bush cannot do it. He’s compromised those ties.'

Bush went with willingness over numbers.

Clark wants numbers over willingness. Moreover, he believes Bush's principles compromised European ties. Wrong. Europe's tardiness and intractability over Iraq compromised their own position.

The world has changed and now, Europe needs the rest of the world more than the rest of the world needs Europe.

Clark erred in cosying up to Europe and erred further in using it as an election strategy.

Posted by: ilibcc at December 24, 2003 at 09:37 AM

So is it going to be a case of:

"Marie, help !!"


Posted by: Osamas Psychotic Proctologist at December 24, 2003 at 09:38 AM

Hmmm, as a lawyer I might well interpret a "right of first refusal" by meaning that Clark would, prior to invading, say, Cuba, offer the French the opportunity to be invaded instead.

True to form, the french would surrender once the next planeload of American tourists hit Charles de Gaulle airport, and then (the right of first refusal being satisfied) the US could go ahead and invade Cuba a bit later anyway.

Hmmm...sounds far too sensible for Clark to be saying it. Maybe he meant that veto thing after all.

Posted by: JDM at December 24, 2003 at 09:52 AM

Andrea - I'm not at all upset on behalf of the Europeans - my concern is whether it helps or hinders efforts to counter Islamic terrorism.

I think the issue is whether the Administration has handled those relationships in a way that maximizes America's long-term interests.

If America would be better off with France and Germany contributing more than they do to the efforts to neutralise Islamic terrorism, then the rational course is to minimize actions that make such co-operation less likely to occur.

Yielding to the temptation to publicly vent may make someone feel better at the time, but if it ends up making an undesirable situation worse, it's an expensive indulgence.

And thanks for the html help!

Posted by: Mork at December 24, 2003 at 10:00 AM

One can tell that the current US administration is serious about WINNING this WAR because it is ignoring the advice of LOSERS like france, germany, and russia while assembling a proven team of WINNERS like Australia and Britain. GO TEAM BUSH/BLAIR/HOWARD!

Posted by: Sean O'Callaghan at December 24, 2003 at 10:06 AM

I think it's unfair to compare australian public opinion to german. Many aussies enjoy making fun of yanks but when the chips are down the broad mass of this country would support the US. Germans, however, have a real chip on their shoulder about america, there's some real hate there and not just in the loony left.

Look at Latham, now he's opposition leader he's all kissy kissy with the US because he knows Australians will not tolerate some America hater in the lodge. Compare that with Schroder's performance.

Here we saw a bunch of idiots screaming at the barricades when Bush visited, but 99% of us stayed home and I believe the large majority felt real contempt for the dreadlocked, professionaly unemployed, protesting dipshit corps. I think the US-Australian ties run deep, they're just not visable because Australians enjoy making fun of their friends and also the media is in the hands of the enemy.

Posted by: Amos at December 24, 2003 at 10:08 AM

Amos is right.

Aussies won't cop a PM who hates Yanks. And they certainly won't tolerate one who sucks up to the French and Germans.

Winston Churchill dreamed of uniting the Anglosphere (he included Canada and New Zealand). I say, bring it on. Then Brits and Aussies could get to vote in the elections that most influence their fate.

Whatever Howard or Blair do or say, our economy, defence, environment & even social policy is largely determined within the Washington beltway.

So give us a vote ! The 51st state is Australia !

Posted by: Robert Blair at December 24, 2003 at 10:54 AM

US efforts to stop Islamic terrorism: rout terrorism at its source in Afghanistan; serve stern notice to the axis (Iran, Iraq, North Korea) with a sub-text warning to other quasi-terrorist states; take out terrorist-cooperative regime in Iraq; assist the Libya process towards giving up WMD.

France's effort to stop Islamic terrorism: banning schoolgirls wearing their headscarf to school.

Posted by: ilibcc at December 24, 2003 at 10:59 AM

"professionaly unemployed"

LOL that's a keeper and that includes most bureaucrats.

Posted by: Gary at December 24, 2003 at 11:26 AM

As a 33 year resident of the great state of Arkansas, please understand that when the media starts sucking the offending 3rd member of a public official, it can only mean that the vast right wing (or "raht wang", as we mispronounce it here)conspiracy is once again waging a stealth campaign to rid this fine state of yet another snuffless ne'er do well. Clark is done. Don't worry.

Posted by: Darren at December 24, 2003 at 12:22 PM

Are you sure the EU is the US's biggest trading partner?


Nope, they're not, looked it up.
"Currently, the United States is China's second largest trading partner after Japan, and China is the United States' fourth largest trading partner after Canada, Mexico and Japan."

The Chinese Communists PEOPLE'S DAILY as authority of choice?

I'm more inclinded to believe other sites.
"The European Union and the United States are the two largest economies in the world. They account together for about half the entire world economy.

The EU and the US have also the biggest bilateral trading and investment relationship. Transatlantic flows of trade and investment amount to around $1 billion a day, and jointly, our global trade accounts for almost 40 % of world trade."

Posted by: Peggy Sue at December 24, 2003 at 10:40 PM

I think becoming the 51st state might be taking things a little far.

Posted by: Amos at December 25, 2003 at 09:57 AM