Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Words of Widsom from the Colberrrrre Reporrrrre
(Mrs. Coal-burt's little Stevie gives the Wag of the Finger to Australian Prime Minister John Howard):
I must admit to being completely on side with both sides of the coin that Colbert is gleefully tossing around here. The sad comment on this sketch is that once upon a time Americans were prepared to stand tall against any foreign hatchet-job on any American whether or not we agreed with him/her, as part of the old doctrine of politics stopping at the water's edge.

In a transformation of political culture absolutely without precedent in the country's history, the American left has overwhelmingly discarded this principle-- not just tolerating, or encouraging, the trashing of their political opponents by any and all foreign voices-- they will even go so far as to join in the bash-and-trash chorus when visiting abroad, knifing their opposition in the back and tearing down their own country, to the gloating glee of both fickle allies and sworn enemies. Colbert strikes a patriotic chord in his smack-down of John Howard. As much as I agree with Howard's assessment of Obama's (and others') flagrantly stupid ideas about timetables for surrender, the smack-down feels sorta right. But it is a woeful, shameful comment on the politics of 2007 that there isn't a micro-particle of bipartisanship in Colbert's protective reflexes. Bush-bashing is a global competitive sport in which the American left is happy to take the laurels home.


Mr. Colbert might also want to contemplate the inconvenient truth that Mr. Howard's pugnacious pronouncement about the Obamacrats was not quite the presumptuous intrusion on America's domestic business as was implied. Part of the reason an Australian official takes it upon himself to comment on the positions of American political candidates is that he at least is aware [unlike so very many lefty Americans] that what happens in American electoral politics has implications for the entire world.

It matters to every living being whether the one remaining superpower is committed to fighting terrorism, or will opt to take the spectator's back seat while terrorists continue to attack innocents all around the globe-- as they have been doing for decades, in countries which are not and never have been friends of the American Republican party. There is a sense in which John Kerry's infamous "global test" actually has meaning-- on the question of whether America will choose isolationism and treat global terrorism as if it's someone else's problem until the next time it topples a tower in a Stateside metropolis-- and in that sense, it's a test the Democratic party is committed to failing.

Australia is a land mass of several hundred thousand more square miles than the United States, with a population equivalent to that of New York State. Their near neighbour Indonesia has the highest Muslim population in the world and since the 1960's has been home to an active terrorist movement (now tied to Al Qaeda and possibly the Indonesian military), one which made its first big news-splash on Christmas Eve of 2000, with bombs planted in 38 separate locations ASSOCIATED WITH CHRISTIAN CHURCHES. [The plot was discovered and only 18 bombs went off, killing 19 and injuring over 100.]

Australians have been looking over their shoulders at the Islamist threat since George Bush was getting C's at Yale. The Indonesian Christmas Eve attack was planned and executed during the Clinton administration-- Bush had been President-elect for a week and a half. In other words (newsflash!) George W. Bush did not invent Islamist terrorism. And, leftist ululating notwithstanding, Bush has probably done very little to make it worse-- he's just shoved it into the open. Coptic Christians have been butchered at Mass in Egypt (April 1997 -- Governor Bush is busy announcing 7th annual Sky Awareness Week in Texas);
tourists have been taken hostage from a Malaysian beach by Philippines-based terrorists in speed-boats (April 2000 -- Bush still campaigning in Republican primaries). Further down the road, Christian girls go on being beheaded in Indonesia (October 2005); a priest here (Turkey) a nun there (Pakistan) get murdered by Islamists in the 2006 cartoon jihad -- and Bush's fingerprints are NOWHERE on this mess.

Who is making American foreign policy could be a life-and-death matter for Australia, and they are increasingly alone in recognizing this. So let's cut the little sawed-off wallaby some slack.

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