"I don't recall the site, but I recently saw a comment (perhaps in reference to that Zakaria piece) basically asking why Hu Jintao got a better reception in Australia than Bush. Someone responded by basically dismissing Australians as just too left-wing to worry about. This is the most moronic comment in the world. If I were to put all of the democracies in the world on a political spectrum that basically characterized the tone of their political discourse Australia would be the closest to the US. The US would be the farthest to the right (which if our left is winning I would actually find satisfying because in the world-wide scheme of things I am closer to the right), and then would be Australia, then the UK, then Canada, perhaps NZ, and finally we would start to see Continental European nations, probably starting south and working our way north. "
I can't begin to imagine the thinking that led to that remark. The post, on Yankeeblog, is outstanding - and probably what Australia should be worrying about, when they say that "The bigger issue here though is are we losing all of our allies in Asia. If I were a Malaysia or Thailand of the world I have to say that I would be looking more towards China for my economic and political security." Perhaps that's why the Aussie defence minister Robert Hill has just signed up to Son of Star Wars and begun negotiating for the purchase of three ex-US Navy Aegis missile destroyers - ships designed among other things to fight in a missile environment. Mind you, the Australians better hope that the performance of this flaky scheme outweighs the offence given to all the other countries in Asia. After all, it's no wonder that Indonesia doesn't like the idea when the putative nuclear missiles it's meant to shoot down would approach Australia from the north. Fallout is an unwanted gift that just keeps giving. Neither is it any wonder that most of those countries are arming like hell - Russian Su30 fighter jets being this year's top fashion item on the death catwalk.