Rumsfeld on Australia-US relationship

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

This could seriously be construed as a big fat slap in the face for Clarkistan. These are the most telling paragraphs from his press release. Even a sooky leftist could read between the lines here.

The governments of the US and Australia are embarking on bold, significant steps that reflect the depth, maturity and energy of this partnership.

We have made progress on the memorandum of understanding Senator Robert Hill and I signed last year, pledging to work together on developing systems to defend our respective countries from ballistic missile attacks.

It is important to remember that, well before the military campaigns in Afghanistan or Iraq, Australia had courageously attracted the hate and possible retribution of Islamic extremists by leading a peacekeeping mission to East Timor in 1999.

In the war against terrorism, no leaders have been more stalwart than the leaders of Australia. They have left no doubt about where Australia stands in this, the defining challenge of our time. After the London bombings in July led some to speculate whether pulling back from fighting extremists might spare coalition countries from future attack, your Prime Minister responded: “No Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.”

I suspect most Australians understand that acceding to terrorist demands – whether for hostage ransom or precipitous troop withdrawals – invites more, not fewer attacks of greater, not less, severity and scope. Australians and Americans share convictions as strong and independent people. And at this time our two countries could not be closer in our common values and attitudes towards the challenges the free world faces.

Clearly Australia and the US do not see a “benign strategic environment”.


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