Saturday, September 25, 2004

Undermining Australia

What does the Kerry campaign think of Australian Prime Minister Howard's support of the U.S. in Iraq?

"We are endangering the Australians now by this wanton disregard for international law and multilateral channels."
warns Kerry's sister. See Charles Krauthammer's dissection of her comments here.

Just another shining example of Senator Kerry's anything-but-nuanced disregard for our allies (at least the ones that actually act like allies; "allies" that oppose us, like France and Germany get a free pass)?

Maybe not.

Ms. Kerry is ostensibly in Australia in her role as head of Americans Overseas for Kerry, the arm of the Kerry campaign seeking votes from Americans abroad, but with an election coming up in Australia on October 9th, and Prime Minister Howard in a close race, one might impugn other motives as well.

An electoral defeat of a second American ally (following the March defeat of Prime Minister Aznar in Spain) and the pull-out of Australian troops, as promised by Labor Party candidate Mark Latham, would reflect badly on the President's Iraq strategy and could help Kerry in the polls. Ms. Kerry's comments on the 18th of this month were quickly followed by her brother's renewed attack on the President's policies in Iraq. In a speech at NYU on the 20th, Kerry remarked that:
Nearly 90 percent of the troops - and nearly 90 percent of the casualties - are American. Despite the President's claims, this is not a grand coalition.
The loss of Australia, while a blow to American efforts in Iraq, would certainly help Mr. Kerry.