I am checking out Memeorandum, and I am seeing hundreds of obits for the Howard term after his loss in the elections yesterday, and I just don’t get it. I don’t mean to belittle Australia’s contribution to the grandest most epicest struggle of our time in Iraq, but what was the peak contribution from Australia? A couple thousand? If memory serves correctly, they have around 1500 right now, if that. Probably far less, but I just don’t remember.
So is Glenn Greenwald really right when he states the following:
Our nation’s own faux Civilization Warriors are mourning Howard’s defeat as though they’ve suffered the loss of a comrade-in-arms. From National Review’s Mark Steyn: “Of all the doughty warriors of the Anglosphere, Howard, his Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and their colleagues had the best rhetoric on the present war.”
“Doughty” = “steadfastly courageous” and “brave, bold, intrepid, fearless.” Thus, we see here yet again one of the central pathologies of the neoconservative fantasy-warrior: namely, the belief that those who favor sending others off to war are themselves “courageous,” “intrepid” and “brave.”
Is Greater Wingnuttia that upset about Howard losing simply because of his occasional rhetorical support of Bush? It certainly is not because of Australia’s (and again, not to demean their help) contribution to the force make-up. Is this what the Bush dead-enders are left with- clinging to the rhetoric of a foreign leader? I realize, I think the Republican party and right-wing are such losers and so wrong on many issues I left the party and joined a party I don’t feel wholly comfortable with, but are they really THIS pathetic that all they have left are Bush, Cheney, and Australia’s Howard to worship, and now just Bush and Cheney? Is that really it?
How the mighty have fallen.
Yes. Also, wingers like to trot out Howard when the point is made that Bush has alienated a lot of other countries: “Oh, those are just cowardly Euro-weenies. Real men like Howard support Bush!”
You forgot Poland.
As B-Tate says, “yes.”
The righties are all about the appearance of getting a leg up on you. That’s it, that’s what drives them.
It looks impressive when they are winning and own the whole government. But now when they are despised and marginalized, their attitude is exposed for the pathetic and sad thing that it really is.
They’ve been transferring their affection to Sarkozcy, impeccable brown-bashing, press-hating and now strikebreaking credentials to go with his wedding cake groom ‘style’. Why, he could be the next Tony Blair!
Well, on the upside, they (the right winger) really will be the ignoble despised downtrodden minority when the rest of us get done voting. Poor victims, always marginalized and disrespected.
Praise the Lord and pass the hot sauce!! It’s about damn time!
I agree. The new leader, Kevin Rudd, appears to be more promising other than his peculiar tastes in nutrition.
Howard wasn’t just a war supporter, he was also an honorary wingnut himself:
They still have this loser.
Ha, ha. Steyn gun misspelled “doughy.”
Do you think these guys have any use for action? The very thought of action makes them uncomfortable because it reminds them that while they sit in front of their computers there are people half-way round the world acting to keep them safe and worse, the Administration the keyboardist so ardently worship isn’t especially big on taking care of those people after they come back home.
No, thinking about and looking up to people who act would create a fatal case of cog. dis. Better to focus on words.
And Robert McClelland, you and your folks will always have this guy.
The word is doughty, not doughy. He wasn’t talking about Jonah Goldberg.
Seriously, the whole “faux bravery” shtick reminds me of people who think they “know war” because they watch a lot of the History Channel or play Call of Duty with their buddies.
It’s pathetic, and the lack of self-esteem that makes the over-compensation with machismo results in an unfortunate glee to see the US military “kicking ass” around the world – thus committing us to unnecessary wars.
As TZ (and others) put it, they’re simply so afraid of terr’ists that they’d willingly hand over all their civil liberties, and at the same time demand a constant stream of endorphin pumping war footage to make them feel safe. Fucking ruining this country, I tell you.
Speaking of Sir Pantload, remember all his “why I can’t go to war” excuses? I’m not one to think that every war supporter needs themselves to go to war, but his excuses were particularly pathetic, especially when the Army was having such a hard time recruiting able-bodied men (of course they solved that problem, in a sense)…
Speaking of cowardly Euroweenie/cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Can anyone tell me what happens (I’m serious) if OPEC, Airbus, etc. start pricing things in Euros instead of dollars?
A different Matt
Umm… we’d either adjust or start WWXXLCIV (or whatever world war we’re up to now.)
But really, what does such a question mean?
BAD NEWS: No English Muffins for breakfast, if you are a true Patriot.
GOOD NEWS: Real Americans can eat French Fries again.
MORE GOOD NEWS: 424 days and a wake up.
Earth to Howard:
There ain’t no need for ya!
Enjoy a beer and remember Joe Strummer. it is the best revenge on the John Howards of this crappy planet.
Davis X. Machina
…people who think they “know war” because they watch a lot of the History Channel
An old problem, cf. Erasmus, who knew a thing or two about wars of religion: Dulce bellum inexpertis.
Revised for those in Hola Fruta withdrawal.
As the claims to international support evaporate (what little there was to begin with) the Iraq war looks more and more an American fiasco. “See we’re not alone in our thinking (wingnuttery).” How long before the “Aussie traitors” tag is run up?
If, in a room of 10 people, 7 of them think you’re crazy it must get lonely.
I don’t think you do quite understand, John. The fRight viewed Howard as a soldier fighting alongside them, against the forces of cowardice and appeasement, and his fall from power, as one of two Prime Ministers in Australian history to fail to successfully defend his own seat, warrants a hero’s burial for him.
If you think that he was a political opportunist who is now paying the proper price for his many failed policies, of course, your view could be somewhat different.
The problem is, there is a war on. One side will win, one will lose. Recently, the side fighting for democracy, tolerance and freedom had a bad two years. This year, things turned for the better. Losing Howard is a setback. Balloon-juicers refuse to admit there is a war on, therefore they don’t see losing our Aussie friends as a setback.
You can disagree with what I said, which is fine. Remember, Cole asked why We are upset. We (temporarily) lost an ally today. So be it. The honorable left needs to recognize there are people fighting because they believe it is the good fight.
You can mock us all day as long as you remember we believe in our cause. Argue in good faith.
Crude oil is in effect being priced in other than dollars, but in an indirect and imperfect manner. A major factor in the continuing rise in crude prices in dollar terms is due to the weakening of the dollar against the Euro; that is, the rise in $ terms helps preserve some of the producing countries purchasing power in terms of Euro/Yen/etc.
They can have my AC/DC records when they pry them from my cold, dead hands.
There is a war on. Unfortunately, as far as anyone can objectively can tell, there is no war on al Qaida. There is just a war on the Constitution, with a big ugly occupation in Iraq and a failed attempt to run Afganistan. O for 2 boys, and you wonder why we don’t support you?
OK, IANAE but I’ll take a stab at it.
I’m pretty sure that Airbus sells in euros anyway, since they are a European company.
I think your broader point is, what happens if the euro becomes the worldwide reserve currency, rather than the dollar?
It would suck for us. The dollar’s status as a global reserve currency is what allows us to sustain such a massive trade deficit. Countries which want to buy oil need dollars. How do you get dollars?
1) you trade your currency for dollars. This devalues your country’s currency.
2) you take out a loan from a US bank.
3) you sell goods and resources to the US.
Since the dollar is a reserve currency, we can freely hand out dollars to lots of nations… like China. For now, they want our dollars. For now.
Dollars are like IOUs. So long as China and oil-producing nations want dollars, we’re OK. If they start asking for euros, suddenly we are at the mercy of the exchange rate of the dollar vis-a-vis the euro. Suddenly, Wal-Mart ain’t going to have the lowest prices in town any longer, for instance.
However, oil prices might stabilize since one of the drivers behind rising oil prices is our increasingly worthless dollar means that OPEC wants more of them for the same barrel of oil. Unfortunately for us, while the price of oil itself might stabilize, if the dollar were to keep sinking in value we would be paying still more for gasoline.
Also, the US could become subjected to currency crises which we usually associate with places like Argentina. A ‘run on the currency’ doesn’t happen when your currency is the world reserve currency. When it’s not, it sure can.
A google search will turn up quite a few articles about this. It’s an interesting topic, if a bit frightening. The consensus is that, as soon as 2020 you might see the euro either replace the dollar as world reserve currency or at least share that status with us. Also, the British pound is experiencing a resurgence in importance since it’s closely tied to the euro.
I’m seriously contemplating a move to Europe in the next several years. I have EU citizenship and I am increasingly concerned about this. I would like to live there someday and I think that it would be better to move sooner rather than later, if I ever want to go at all. Someday the dollar might only buy 25 or 20 euro cents, and at that point it’d be well-nigh impossible to move there without substantial assets.
oh, forgot to mention, there’s some interesting theories that the Iraq war was in part about giving the US a seat at OPEC’s table, in order to prevent a switch to pricing oil in euros.
When Paul Wolfowitz told Vanity Fair in 2003 that there were competing rationales to invade Iraq, but WMDs were the one reason everyone could agree upon… he wasn’t kidding. There were multiple hidden agendas. I don’t think you’d be wearing a tinfoil hat to think that the incredible shrinking dollar is part of the reason we started this war.
one more thing, we are mortgaging our future to China. They own us. We are financing their move to becoming an industrial giant.
To be sure, this won’t happen in most of our lifetimes. Probably not til 2050. China is a very large country and despite the recent modernization, the vast majority of the country still lives in abject poverty, often in ways which haven’t changed substantially in many decades.
But, the world will look very different in a couple generations, than it does today.
…and, how do you lean on China over things like Taiwan, when all they have to do to kick the props out under from our economy is to start hoarding euros instead of dollars?
Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
Unfortunately, as far as anyone can objectively can tell, there is no war on al Qaida
Has it been a bunch of traffic accidents over there?
You can argue that we are dumb for fighting over there. You can argue that for every insurgent we kill, two more show up.
Don’t be so ignorant that you are willing to argue that we are fighting a non-existent enemy.
sinking ships attract few passengers. hope we hear he gurgle soon.
The Other Steve
Who is the enemy?
Non-sequitor, buddy. Al Qaida exists. We are not fighting it. Pretty crappy approach for a war on terror, no?
Must be some other agenda afoot… maybe you can’t figure it out, but I sure see a lot of cronies getting rich, and a clear attempt to subvert the constitution. Do you need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows?
The Other Steve
Darrell always argues in good faith.
And WHY are they the enemy?
Think the fact that a bunch of foreigners (namely, US) have INVADED and are OCCUPYING their homeland might have something to do with it?
The Other Steve
Absolutely not. To admit such a thing would undermine the entire rationale behind the war on the enemy of unknown origins.
And, how is winning defined this month? According to The NY Times (via Think Progress) it seems to have been re-defind yet again. U.S. lowers bar for political success in Iraq.
Talk about a Highway to Hell, eh?
I’d have to guess they see Howard and Australia as being part of the imperial Anglosphere, harking back to ‘better days’.
Renato, the Chinese will never hoard Euros. The Euro zone is irrelevant — by the time that it becomes economically relevant, China will already be preeminent.
Coming to America on January 20, 2009;
Starring: George W. Bush;
The Poseidon Adventure.
Speak for yourself. All things being equal, I plan on being here in 2050. Though by then I expect neither the world nor myself to look very good.
More of a misguided invasion, really, attached to a great deal of profiteering.
Fozzie Bear: You’re not convincing, either. “There’s a war on.” “Argue in good faith.” “Non-existent enemy.”
DougJ, you’re losing your edge, man. First Peter Johnson, now Fozzie Bear? Give it a rest.
Or in Howard’s case – Shot Down in Flames.
Man, the liberal hysteria is really ratcheting up around here. When you change, John, you really do change.
Good riddance to bad rubbish. I’ll help you pack.
Of course, if Howard had really been a worthwhile ally, he would have been telling Bush back in 2005 and 2006 “You know as well as I do that this isn’t working. You don’t have to wait until you lose a bloody election to try to fix it.”
Let’s not forget Howard and his cronies were the biggest profiteers from the corrupt Iraq oil-for-food program(see: Australian Wheat Board).
Combined with their profits from the “war,” they made out like bandits.
You see, when there’s an actual war on, nobody sane can deny it. You know, one where it’s important enough to institute a draft if there aren’t enough troops rather than hiring enormous numbers of private security contractors and sending troops on 3 deployments of 12 months each. One where taxes have to be raised to pay for it and the people have to collectively sacrifice. You know, like WWII.
What’s currently going on is a vanity project for George Bush and his followers meant to be as painless as possible for the American people, so as to prevent them from asking too many questions about why Bush is doing it, and whether it’s worth it (hint: the public already says ‘No’).
But nothing like yours during the Great Schiavo Revival.
Because you sure as hell will never need a passport.
Because Australia allows it, some of them are probably even gay. Since being gay is a”an intolerable rish” according to John McCain, this will no doubt have a positive net effect on the war.
Stop right there. The side “fighting for democracy” is currently propping up a common, bottom-feeding dictator in Pakistan, giving a wide berth to a theocratic monarchy in Saudi Arabia, and playing head-crushingly stupid about a power-mad former KGB agent turned dictator in Russia who poisons his critics to make an example of them. There seems to be an awful lot of very careful selection about which kind of dictators Bush supports, but there’s no question that he is supporting dictators. I require you to explain Musharraf, Putin, and the House of Saud before you are permitted to use words like “democracy,” “tolerance,” and “freedom” in my presence again.
Huh? Did something miraculous happen while I was watching the casualty count pile up in Iraq, or the world community continue to sleep through the genocide in Darfur?
I want to share a personal story at this juncture. Something that may well get me arrested one of these days. I was driving down the street and a car drove past me in the left lane. On the back was a green sticker with a peace symbol in the middle that announced that this was the “Footprint of the Great American Chicken.”
There were also some Bush-Cheney stickers on the car. Not a lot else. The able-bodied male in his mid ’30’s driving the car would doubtless have advertised his military service proudly if he’d done any. He also would have no doubt had a fucking yellow ribbon on his car (it wasn’t an SUV, but all life cannot be perfectly poetic) if he’d had any relatives or friends at the front. Maybe.
Anyway I toyed with the idea of getting out at the next stoplight and asking him ever so persuasively that he could either sign up or shut up RIGHT THE FUCK NOW.
And that’s about how I feel about you, fahs ibair. Get off your keyboard commando ass and go fight this fucking war if you think it’s so important. You’re of absolutely NO USE here running your loud mouth.
They don’t actually think it’s that important, that’s the whole thing. If they really thought the lives of the people they cared about depended on this, some of them would have the balls to go fight in Iraq. This is a video game for them. They enjoy watching the use of high technology to kill lots of people, and they want to see how it ends. It’s a movie.
When we got involved in WWII, my grandparents both went as a couple to sign up. He went as a soldier, she stayed back here and QA-tested machine guns. They understood what the threat was and what it called for. So do these idiots today, and they know it doesn’t amount to much of one.
You forget your Churchill (Winston, not Ward):
“They also serve who only link the link and Cheeto-fart.”
I’m late to this thread, but I find for the first time that I agree with something Michelle Malkin has written:
Amen. I’m looking forward to the 2008 elections in the U.S. in the same way.
That’s because it’s not a war. It’s an occupation of an allegedly sovereign country.
Oh jeez….they are even regugitating 30 year old bumperstickers…Will there be a deluxe dvd edition of “The Green Berets” coming out soon?
fahs ibair, well. much like the U.S., it was only friends on high places, not the actual, you now, people of Australia who obviously do not agree with the American wingnut worldview. Shame on them, eh? Not towing the isolated party line of a country not their own.
folks, folks, folks.
Please, say “fahs ibair” out loud. “fahs ibair” == “Fozzie Bear”, second rate, singularly unfunny, Muppet (sock puppet) comic.
Thanks for the explanation Renato – makes a lot of sense, in a frightening “great – what’ll we all do for a living” kind of way. Thanks to GW and the Republicans for screwing up our economy in long-lasting ways too.
This part not true – Airbus was just complaining about this in the press.
Don’t ask me how this all works either, IANAE.
Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop
Wow. The level of discourse here isn’t helping the old “reading level” meter. I think BJ’s down to “Retarded Elementary School Crack Addict” now.
The Other Steve
Comment 440945 was responsible for bringing us down.
We’ve still got a long way to go before we’re down to Malkin or LGF level; pre-school screaming, hair pulling, and diaper-change tantrums. And anyway, if you want to read reasonably literate and VERY SERIOUS prose about the merits of torture and the awesomeness of the Iraq war, you know where to find Red State.
If by “doughty” Steyn means that Howard repeated J. Wellington Wimpy’s advice (“Let’s you and him fight”), he’s certainly correct. But then, that’s as correct as Steyn usually is. (And, of course, we should also note that in that respect Howard emulated Slippytoad’s road companion.)
That’s what happes when you feed the trolls. Don’t waste your time with fools.
“The Poseidon Adventure.”
That’s what we’ve been on since 2001.
Right now the housing market is Shelley Winters trying to swim through the tight spot.
Steyn, Rod Dreher…. Ahem…
Am I the only one who’s noticed that when “The Right” is looking for a foreign policy talking head it seems they reach for former film critics almost exclusively?
What’s the deal? No local TV weatherman willing to take the gig?
And E^3^L is still scratching his head over some of the longer words. Come on folks, let’s get it down to “Conservopedia Trained Home Schooler” so he can keep up!
FYI: the preferred term is now “vegemite-eating surrender wallabies”.
Yeah, and the fact that they actually eat Vegemite was a serious enough charge against them in the first place.
“I don’t mean to belittle Australia’s contribution to the grandest most epicest struggle of our time in Iraq, but what was the peak contribution from Australia? A couple thousand? If memory serves correctly, they have around 1500 right now, if that.”
Bear in mind that the population of Australia is approx 90% that of the state of Texas, and our troops fighting in Afganistan are combat veteran career infantry, not disadvantaged kids pulled out of supermarket carparks to direct traffic in Bagdad.
Speaking as an Australian on the last election, I don’t think Iraq had anything to do with why Howard lost. He was in power for 11 years and like most countries people tend to vote for the other party eventually. Also he was trying to reduce wages and union bargaining, and this caused a huge backlash as people saw their wages going down.
In previous years the Labour candidates were perceived as very poor and Rudd was fairly presentable. With only 1500 troops in Iraq I don’t think most Australians saw it as a problem. I doubt anyone cared about Howard’s relationship to Bush.
Well, when Howard won re-election, the Wankosphere was all “IN YOUR FACE, PINK TRIBE!!!11 The whole Anglosphere hates and rejects you and hopes you die!!11” etc, etc.
They’re crying now because they look like a bunch of fuckin’ douchenozzles and don’t want to admit it. But what else is new.
I remember Mark Steyn writing that “brave Australia” might be the only ally America has left. Evidently global warming and labor were important issues in this election. Australians are capable of not considering Islamism to be the overarching issue.
The fact that Howard’s replacements have stated their intention to sign on to the Kyoto protocols, leaving the US as the only major nation not a signatory, could have a little to do with their disappointment as well.