Sep 6, 2008

At Last: Some Realism On The US Relationship

OK we disagree on the Obama being good looking bit (he makes QB's skin crawl) but pretty much agree with everything else in Fran O'Sullivan's article in this morning's NZ Herald.

A couple of excerpts

After all the sanctimonious, highly chauvinistic and patronising columns slating the qualifications of the Alaskan Governor to be the Republican's vice-presidential nominee candidate, the above gag had lethal cut-through, deflating the pomposity of US pundits and editorialists who had written the 44-year-old mom-of-five off well before she electrified the Republican convention with a speech that hit all the conservative touchstones.
Palin's forthright address to the Republican convention was a glorious respite after weeks of watching the Obama presidential machine wallow in a welter of visionary cliches that boil down to little more than a return to Big Government and hugging US enemies close. Big mistake.
In Palin, the Republicans have their own smiling assassin who adds authenticity to the view that, as a result of the surge, US troops in Iraq have now brought victory in sight.

And on NZ-US Relations

This telling family story underlines, in a way that Obama cannot, that Palin is a heartland American, one of the many small-town parents who have farewelled loved ones to fight our wars, following in the tracks of her running mate John McCain in Vietnam.
New Zealand elites tend to scoff at this syndrome.
Palin's messages are refracted through a liberal but horrendously politically correct lens that views the US as a war criminal for invading Iraq and would rather the next administration packs its tents ASAP and dog tails it back to Washington.
The reality is New Zealand does not have a viable defence force that is equipped to meet "higher threat situations" as was brought home this week in a cringe-making official report.
This country will be reliant on the US superpower to come to our aid if the notion that we live in a benign strategic environment is ever seriously challenged.
The Palin doctrine that America must be strong in a dangerous world is one of realism. New Zealand is in no position to take a higher moral ground when we so shamefully neglect our own interests.
Her underlying messages were stealthy. She's proud of America in good times and bad (Obama isn't). She's an average hockey mom (Obama is an intellectual elitist).