Can We Please Give the Aussies (and Kiwis) A Break?
Published on: February 21, 2010
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  • Zardoz

    >> …the most disturbing thing
    >> I’ve discovered about Australian
    >> wildlife since…

    Ah! Nobody has told you about drop bears then.

  • Geoffrey

    “Americans would have a great deal to gain by staying in touch with politics and culture in the nethermost dominions of the British Queen.”

    FYI Australia and NZ (and the rest of the Commonwealth) stopped being Dominions in 1931. The Queen of the UK also happens to be the Queen of Canada, the Queen of Australia, the Queen of New Zealand, the Queen of Jamaica and a dozen other sovereign nations.

    “Australia is one of only a handful of countries that has helped the United States in all its major wars from World War Two to the present conflict in Afghanistan.”

    So helpful and prescient that Australia entered WWII a full two years before the USA. Never mind that Australia was under direct threat from the Japanese and fought to defend the mainland, this was all just to help the USA.

    I applaud the subtle irony of this article, for it captures the the stereotypical ignorant, insular American world view beautifully.

  • John (Sydney,Aus)

    If you want to impress us Aussies you may want to fix the Sidney Morning Herald typo!

    • Walter Russell Mead

      Thanks for pointing this out. Here at Mead GHQ we use the best management methods in dealing with problems like this. We’ve reduced pay for the interns, fired some middle management workers with mortgages and children in college, and given senior management a large bonus for acting so swiftly. Meanwhile we’ve applied to the government for a large financial bailout to help cover the cost of the bonus.

  • Geoffrey,

    The Dominions thing is a turn of phrase, stop being a snotty bastard.

    And even if we were in WW2 first, and notably in action a couple years before anyone from North America, Canada included, we still ended up helping the US do the heavy lifting by providing a base and holding the line in PNG.

    If this article is showing an ignorant, insular American worldview, you’re giving us it’s Australian flipside.

  • Thanks for your kind words about my country New Zealand. We have spend a 165 years building this country and now, in my opinion, need to become a nation. This means greater participation in foreign affairs.

    As of this date, we are doing our bit in Iraq and Afghanistan and East Timor. Also currently trying to solve the row with Fiji.

    Yes we, via the media mind you, do seem petty with our “anti-cruelty” of animals with good reasons that are to do with deep social problems related to violence and frustration.

  • Thanks for your kind words about my country New Zealand. We have spend a 165 years building this country and now, in my opinion, need to become a nation. This means greater participation in foreign affairs.

    As of this date, we are doing our bit in Iraq and Afghanistan and East Timor. Also currently trying to solve the row with Fiji.

  • Bob

    Walter, please heed Geoffrey’s wise counsel: in the future, do not refer to how Australia has helped the US, but focus solely on how the US has helped Australia. If possible, use the phrase “If not for us, you’d be speaking Japanese.” It seems that is the way to appear educated and cosmopolitan.

  • Justin

    Geoffrey,

    The 1931 Westminister Act established the independence of the Australian parliament, not the establishment of an Australian monarch. The path to the Queen of Australia took a few more pieces of legislation and was not created until 1953.

  • Justin

    Nathan,

    Canada entered the Second Word War (at her own volition) in September 1939, along with the rest of the members of what was still called the British Empire in colloquial terms.

    Geoffrey may be a bit hard on us “Yanks”, but we should state the facts correctly. I’ll forgive WRM for the WW2 statement – he was generalizing and did his best to convey his overall message (change “helped” to “particpated with” and it’s even better).

    As for the “stereotypical ignorant, insular American world view” – yes it exists in parts, but accusing WRM of it is almost laughable.

    Tell me Geoffrey – how up to date are you on Mexican politics or those of Latin America? Eastern Europe and/or the Baltic? Dare I say the Near East?

    Most American commentators on foreign affairs must have knowledge of all these areas to speak intelligently about their country’s foreign policy. I bristle at some mildly uninformed European, Australian, etc. commentary on the US – but hardly take them to task for minor quibbles such as calling the US a “democracy” when technically it is a republic. Grow up.

  • Justin,

    That’s why I said ‘in action’, not ‘at war’. Although in retrospect, honesty points out that the Canadians were in up to their necks with the U-Boats from day dot.

    Well said on everything else though.

  • Thanks for posting this; just found your blog searching around. Keep up the good work!

  • Pingback: Make The Relationship Special Again - Walter Russell Mead's Blog - The American Interest()

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