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May 18, 2006
John Howard, America's Friend

Our friends in Canada the pleasure of hosting Australian PM John Howard, who spoke to a joint session of the Canadian Parliament and gave high praise to America and its role in world affairs. Parliamentarians gave Howard a rousing reception as he reminded his audience of the importance of an engaged US:

“Australia, as you know, is an unapologetic friend and ally of the United States,” Mr. Howard told a Commons chamber that's heard all-too-frequent criticism of Washington in recent years.

Fresh from a visit to the White House, Mr. Howard told a chamber packed with Tory MPs, staffers, lobbyists and party functionaries — but noticeably light on Liberal Opposition MPs — that the U.S. “has been a remarkable power for good in the world.

“And the decency and hope that the power and purpose that the United States represent in the world is something we should deeply appreciate,” Mr. Howard said to sustained applause. ...

Mr. Howard, picking up on the theme, told the Commons that “terrorism will not be defeated by nuancing our foreign policy. Terrorism will not be defeated by rolling ourselves into a small ball and going into a corner and imagining that somehow or other we will escape notice.”

He also cautioned U.S.-bashers. “For those around the world who would want to see a reduced American role in the affairs of our globe, I have some quiet advice. That is, be careful of what you wish for. Because a retreating America will leave a more vulnerable world.”

So much for that George Bush unilateralism! John Howard has remained a stalwart ally despite the difficulties of the war on terrorism, or perhaps because of it. After all, Australians have been the primary targets of two Islamist terror attacks, both in the popular vacation destination of Bali. If any other Western nation understands the stakes involved in the fight against the terrorists, it's the Land Down Under.

That didn't stop the usual suspects from protesting a visit from a head of state from a longtime ally and former dominion partner. Greenpeace, for instance, denounced both Howard and new Canadian PM Stephen Harper for their support of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, the American effort to address hydrocarbon emissions in a manner that will both engage China and India (which Kyoto exempts) and work towards economic expansion as well as reduced pollution. Dafydd ab Hugh wrote a guest post about this pact last year here at CQ. Why does Greenpeace object? Besides its bypass of Kyoto, it encourages non-hydrocarbon energy like nuclear power.

Unions also objected to the Howard visit. Organizers claim that the Australian PM dismantled the public-service unions, a claim that his supporters might find satisfactory. One presumes that the protestors found little to their taste in Howard's speech.

Americans, however, found plenty of reason for gratitude. The efforts of Howard to make his American alliance a point of pride help bolster our interests and provide us with much-appreciated public support.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 18, 2006 9:45 PM

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» A friend indeed from American Geek
Australian PM John Howard had some kind things to say about the U.S. of A. in a speech to Canada's parliament: Australia, as you know, is an unapologetic friend and ally of the United States, Mr. Howard told a Commons... [Read More]

Tracked on May 20, 2006 10:21 AM


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