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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

More on Spain and Other European NATO Allies: The Coalition of the Willing

A student in an undergrad UCSB course of the buggy's, just getting ready for the final exam, sent a query that touches on a key issue: which NATO governments in the EU supported the US position over Saddamite Iraq, and --- more to the point --- two related matters:

  • What explains their support --- and what, oppositely, would explain the behavior of those West European allied government that opposed the war?


  • And why didn't all of the supporting countries, notably Spain, send troops into battle when the war erupted almost a year ago to the day?




INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS

A good set of questions, York, which several buggy articles on US-European relations and NATO have referred to over the last year. Keep in mind, for starters, that there were 19 members of NATO in March last year: the US and Canada in North America, Turkey in the Middle East, and Iceland and Norway in Europe (but not members of the EU). Three others were new East European countries and not in the EU at the time (they're joining this May): Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary.

Of the 15 EU member-countries, four are neutrals: Ireland, Sweden, Finland, and Austria, all in the 4-9 million range. That left 11 EU members of NATO in West Europe. They aligned this way:

For the war: Britain and Italy (60 million in population each); Spain (40 million); Holland (15 million); Portugal (10 million); Denmark (4 million)

Against the war: Germany (80 million), France (60 million), Belgium (10 million), and Luxembourg (250,000). Greece (10 million) did not join either camp, but its government at the time was left-wing, something that only just changed in recent election.


Part One: THE COALITION OF THE WILLING

(1) Which West European NATO Allied Governments Supported the War To Destroy Saddamite Iraq's Brutal Regime, and why?

Governments calculate their interests and specific foreign policies in concrete terms. They really have no choice, especially when major security threats, or controversies anyway, are at stake. Those governments in the EU who were NATO allies --- Britain, Holland, Denmark, Portugal, Italy, and Spain --- were all governed by conservative moderate governments.

Their leaders all saw Iraq as a dangerous state, exactly like the US and UK, and were tired of being yo-yoed around by Saddam's threats, evasions, and prevarications. Even Hans Blix has said, in his new book, that he thought on the eve of the war that Iraq had WMD in place. He did want more time. The US and the UK and the members of the Coalition of the Willing thought he had had 12 years to comply effectively.

 

(2)The British Labour Party's Historical Legacy Clarified

By Continental standards, remember, the British Labour Party is conservative: it hews to Mrs. Thatcher's big reductions of statist regulations and welfare policies.
That is not new.

Unlike the Continental Social-Democratic Parties --- Democratic Socialists, which broke with radicals in their midst after the Russian Revolution and emerged generally at odds with Communist Parties after 1918 --- the British Labour Party never had a Marxist heritage. It also never subscribed to the Continental Socialist Parties' official espousal, when the Socialist Second International was created in the 1880s by Marx and Engels, of class-warfare and thoroughgoing socialism. Founded in 1900, the Labour Party was moderate from the outset: it drew on British liberal traditions and mild Fabian Socialism of a homegrown sort; it rejected the idea of class-warfare; and almost all the British working class --- remember, the largest in the world and the first in Europe to get the vote in the 1860s and again in the 1880s --- had been voting by then either for the Liberal or the Conservative Party for decades.

 

Britain, the Labour Party, And Marxist Revisionism

By contrast, the Socialist parties on the Continent were organized when the right to strike didn't exist as it had in Britain; when, too, democracy was weak or non-existent in the Continental political systems and the working class had to struggle for democracy, the right to vote, and the right to organize and strike. (Bismarck, the right-wing Prussian militarist who unified Germany in 1871 by virtue of warfare, did introduce welfare legislation there, in order to defuse the Socialist appeal. For several years, he even had the Socialist party banned.) The progress enjoyed by the British working class, by contrast --- a steady improvement in wages after full industrialization in Britain by the 1850s, a democratic vote, the right to unionize and strike, and certain kinds of minimal welfare protection --- was the model that underpinned the revisionist debate in the Socialist International around 1900 and in Marxist intellectual circles.

Essentially, according to Eduard Bernstein --- a German journalist who had lived in Britain for years before returning to Germany and igniting the revisionist debate there that then spread elsewhere around the Marxist world --- Marx was wrong: a revolution wasn't needed to bring about socialism. The term should be regarded as symbolic --- a stand-in for evolutionary developments of a progressive sort that were made possible by the democratic franchise and welfare legislation . . . exactly as in Britain. Bernstein never convinced the German Social Democratic Party to officially adopt his line, something that it only did, interestingly, in 1959 . . . decades later. [Even more interesting, Lenin replied in 1903 to Bernstein and other revisionists: he agreed that in Britain and elsewhere what he called "trade unionism" would satisfy the working classes, but far from that being desirable, it showed only that the working class by itself couldn't achieve socialist revolution. Who would? The Communist party leadership, the vanguard of the revolution (the term Communism emerging to describe the Bolshevik majority wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party at the time). As Trotsky would later observe in exile, before Stalin had a KGB agent kill him in Mexico, the Leninist formula set out a model of totalitarian CP rule. See this link.]

In 1918, the Labour Party --- which was then beginning to replace the Liberal Party as the main party on the left --- did adopt a program of full nationalization of basic industry. For the rest, it still hewed to its moderate line and insisted it would do so gradually . . . all this, it's important to stress, when the Continental Socialist Parties, by then called Social-Democrats to distinguish them from their Communist opponents, still claimed to be in favor of revolutionary socialism whatever their actual practices if they shared power with moderates. The Swedish Socialist Party was the first to renounce its full-blooded socialist program. That was in the early 1930s; it settled for a compromise with the center and conservative parties in that country on what would emerge as the post-WWII welfare state. The German Social-Democrats followed suit officially in the late 1950s; almost all the Social-Democratic Parties elsewhere in democratic West Europe did so about the same time.

Even the Labour Party --- which governed a minority Cabinet in 1924, and again briefly 1929-31, before obtaining a clear-cut majority in the House of Common between 1945-1950, and again 1950 1952 --- officially renounced its full nationalization program in the late part of that decade. Since the mid-1990s, Tony Blair has moved it to a position essentially indistinguishable from Bill Clinton's Democratic presidency from 1993-2001.

 

One Other Point Missed By Even Revisionists: The
Appeal of Nationalism


The revisionists --- and their opponents in Germany and elsewhere (including Russia, where Lenin led the Socialist to reject the revisionist thesis and reaffirm the need for revolution and, to boot, see the intellectual heads of what became the Communist party as the vanguard of the revolutionary thrust) --- both missed a key point about the working classes, the majority in industrial societies: nationalism. Nationalism in Marxism was an underpinning, along with religion, of false-consciousness; the workers of the world would unite and create a socialist world without borders when they seized power. If the capitalist classes dared start wars, the workers in the belligerent countries would refuse military service, go on general strikes, and bring the war to an end.

In 1914, World War I erupted. It proved a cruel event for Marxist illusions. Everywhere, the nationalist appeal overwhelmed the socialist thesis of working-class unity. In 1918, the radical wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party --- the Bolsheviks --- triumphed and instituted a Communist totalitarian dictatorship. The Socialist International itself then split: into Social-Democratic parties that endorsed revisionism, moderation, and democratic principles (despite a full-fledged commitment to full socialization of the economy not renounced until the 1950s) on one side, and on the other Communist Parties and sycophants of Moscow. Communism itself would then split apart into warring factions after WWII, and we saw several examples of warfare between Maoist China and the Soviet Union (briefly in 1969 along the border), Vietnam and Cambodia in 1975, and China and Vietnam in 1979.

Back now to the motives behind the governments in NATO that led them to support the UK-US war against Saddamite Iraq or oppose it.  

(3) Why Didn't The Five Other EU members of the Coalition of the Willing Join the War Itself in Battle Last Year?

The simple answer --- also one that's worrying when it comes to NATO's future --- was and is the state of public opinion in those countries, heavily influenced by a politically correct left-wing parties, left-wing intellectuals, and the left-wing media (or in France by the state itself, which owns the TV and radio networks with no independent charters for them). As Josef Joffe, the Harvard Ph.D. who edits one of the most influential of the German weeklies, Die Zeit, notes, marked anti-Israeli opinion, growing anti-Semitism, and marked anti-Americanism --- no, not just anti-Bush tendencies --- are rife in the media and much if not most of EU opinion. [See The Demons of Europe, December 2003. For the buggy take on Joffe and the same twin demon-scourges in West Europe --- anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism, but with far more survey data than Joffe uses -- see this link.]

So, what could these conservative governments on the Continent do if public opinion was strongly opposed to the war and full of anti-American and anti-Bush sentiments.?

Obviously, they couldn't join the war itself: they waited until they could send peacekeepers, backed by a new UN resolution last May that seemed to legitimize the war in retrospect. It's why the UN itself sent a team to Iraq last summer, only to withdraw it pell-mell after it refused US military protection and was attacked by terrorists --- a foreshadowing of what would happen in Spain or elsewhere, given appeasement tendencies. British opinion, by the way, favored war by a small majority when it did start last year.





(4) How Did the East European Members of NATO Behave Over Iraq?

The answer is simple: All the governments in the new NATO countries in East Europe --- this year or earlier (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic in 1999) --- strongly supported the US-UK position. The same was true of all the candidate-members for NATO this year and for the EU this year too or soon: Bulgaria, Rumania, Slovakia, the three Baltic states, and Slovenia. Two of them, the Poles and Czechs, sent troops into battle alongside the US, the UK, and the Australians.

 

(5)French Hauteur and EU Politics

Jacques Chirac of France even publicly chastised all of those East Europeans like little children at a EU-East European Summit in February 2003: they missed, he said, "a good opportunity to shut up", and not doing so, they were obviously "not well trained." That high-handed reproach, by the way, was no accident. The French, who complain about American arrogance, are widely regarded in the EU as the haughtiest country in Europe and quick to reproach others for not toeing a French line, just as they will engage in unilateral action that defies EU regulations and decisions whenever it suits them . . . such as running a larger-than-legal state deficit than the EU permits, despite repeated criticisms by the EU Commission.

Small wonder, as Josef Joffe and others pointed out, that the new EU candidate-members, plus the conservative Italian, Spanish, Dutch, and Danish governments --- never mind the British --- saw a close alliance with the US as a way of blocking German-French efforts to dominate the EU. Spain's new government says it will change its position. Maybe so. Hard to know what that will mean in concrete EU matters right now. Will that now change in the aftermath of the recent Spanish election?

Possibly, but note: the main Spanish clash with Chirac and Schroeder on domestic politics in the EU occurred in the abortive Summit meeting last December to approve a new EU constitution, a pressing concern given that up to 10 new East European and Mediterranean countries will soon be joining. The French and Germans insisted that the smaller countries --- which includes Spain and Portugal (40 million each) --- should accept smaller voting rights than they were originally accorded at an earlier EU Summit meeting in Nice, France, in December 1999. Both Madrid and Warsaw refused.

So, will the new Spanish government of the left do a turnabout here? Maybe so; but then it's hard to see why that should gladden Spanish public opinion.

 

(6)PeaceKeeping Forces in Iraq

Right now, including the Spanish 1300 troops, there are 35 countries with troops on the ground . . . a matter we'll return to, along with a concrete breakdown of the troops from each country.

L.A. Times

 

Part Two: Which EU Countries in NATO
Opposed the War over Iraq?


The Germans and French, plus tiny Belgium and miniscule Luxembourg. Greece never spoke out strongly one way or another. Norway and Iceland, European members of NATO, are not in the EU. The four remaining members of the EU, recall --- tiny Ireland and Finland, 4 million each, and Sweden and Austria (9 million each) --- are neutrals.

(1) What Explains Their Opposition?

Obviously, on the face of it, they thought that the war was either not needed or risky. Saying this is trite: what were the motives? Spain's Aznar, an outspoken man, referred to French and German economic interests in Iraq: they were, along with the Russians, by far Saddam's biggest customers, and we now know big bribes and kickbacks were involved.

More fundamentally, what all the opposing countries had was their government's partisan nature: they were all governed from the left or a by coalition of the left-center or, in France, by the right ---- which is Gaullist, and nationalist through and through. Keep in mind: it doesn't really matter which party has the presidency or government-majority in parliament in that country: it is always a country whose leaders --- the president really --- will invoke foreign policy as a nationalist rallying point and stand up to the US or criticize it if it that is seen as serving domestic and foreign purposes. At times, French interests will coincide with ours as over Haiti. Otherwise, the French withdrew from the integrated structure of NATO in 1966, claimed to have an independently targeted nuclear force (not anti-Russian), refused to allow US planes overflight rights when we attacked Khadaffi's residence in 1986 in retaliation for terrorism, and --- though they went into battle in the first gulf war, 1991 --- did not send their best planes to Iraq.

 

(2)Hence the Line-Up

And so, in a nutshell, moderate conservative governments in NATO and the EU, Britain included, all supported the war. Left-wing or Gaullist governments opposed it; and in East Europe, irrespective of the governments' positions, all the prospective member-countries in NATO and the EU --- freed recently from Communist tyranny and Soviet dominance --- were pro-American and aware of what a totalitarian dictator like Saddam meant.

 

(3) The Same Political Line-up Elsewhere Outside Europe


Similarly, Canada -- governed from the left -- criticized Bush in 2003 and didn't join the war. Australia, unlike Canada not in NATO but a close US ally, was governed from the right and went to war with us.

Canada's new Liberal prime minister has made cordial relations with the US a priority. To an extent, that's also true of Schroeder in Germany and, for the time being, Chirac in France.

 

France, Germany, and the US Now and In the Future

German and French Policies

German governments have been caught in a two-way squeeze since the mid-1960s between the US and the France --- when de Gaulle officially sought out a German partner (junior to be sure) as a way of bolstering French power and influence in West Europe and turning it into a French-led bloc between the US and others. That was and still is French policy in grand strategic terms. The unification of Germany, which France first opposed, has upset this relationship in power-terms. Even so, the French still dream of granduer.

Berlin, however --- whichever party coalition is in power (no German party has governed outright by itself since the mid-1950s) --- still refuses to opt for a clear-cut identification with French schemes if it means a rupture with the US. Last year's membership with France and Russia to form a blocking coalition to the US-UK was an exception. And though German opinion is generally hostile toward the US and has been so since survey data showed this from the early 1980s on --- to repeat, hostile to the US as a country, whoever governs it --- the political leadership of the Liberal Democrats and the Christian Democrats fear a rupture, as does German business. In France, by contrast, public opinion is generally anti-American and caught up in a French nationalism that is just a given . . . for French policymaking and American policymaking.

 

So what should US policy be towards France?

What it apparently is now, the Kennedy family guide: forgive but don't forget.

Essentially, when French and US interests and concrete problems overlap clearly, cooperation is possible. Witness Haiti right now. Witness intelligence and military cooperation against Al Qaeda and in Afghanistan, where Germany, by the way, heads the small NATO peacekeeping force. Otherwise, whatever French government is in power --- now or the future --- it will exploit American weakness or perceived overreaching that alienates, rightly or wrongly, European majority opinion and opens up an opportunity for the French, clever as they are, to try capitalize on it for their own self-seeking purposes.

 

Chirac Turnabout

Of course, the French themselves are --- as the British would say --- invariably too clever-by-half. Their cunning schemes to increase French prestige, power, and influence seldom if ever succeed . . . in part because they can't carry most of the EU with them, in part because of their arrogant high-handedness that offends others, and in part because, put bluntly, their ambitions far exceed their power and influence. If anything, these cunning schemes will backfire. That's what happened last year. French initiatives to organize and lead a counter-balancing coalition against the US-UK badly split the existing EU. Simultaneously, they antagonized all the new members joining the EU this year or soon. Later, this winter, they found themselves excluded from a key deal negotiated between the US and UK with Khadaffi's Libya, North Africa a traditional French sphere-of-influence. They fear such isolation. It also unmasks their relative weakness.

Nor is that all. Chirac and Villepin even failed at home.

Initially, their ballyhooed diplomacy did rally the French: the bully Bush and the lapdog Blair were getting their come-uppance and France was hoggin the UN Security Council limelight . . . with de Villepin, who it appears lied several times to Secretary of State Powell, hamming it up to beat the band. Only . . . well, reappraisals set in throughout France this last fall, and lo and behold, one day a spate of books and articles appeared on French decline, French isolation, French pretensions, and the failed hullabaloo diplomacy of grandeur and illusion. The death of an extra 15,000 French elderly in a fiasco --- a breakdown of the social and health services while the President, Villepin, the Prime Minister, and the Cabinet were desporting themselves in Canada or on the Riviera --- left the country dismayed and full of anger. The inevitable belt-tightening of social services in general --- and welfare benefits too, amid a stagnant economy --- has also accentuated social conflicts in a country famous for strikes, direct action, and violence.

Worse, far from buying any good points with the fanatical murderers in Al Qaeda, Villepin and Chirac did nothing to appease terrorism. For two months now, the French railway system has been menaced by terrorist threats and bombs, and the number two man in Al Qaeda has singled it out for specific retaliation for its alleged humiliation of true-believing Muslims thanks to its new headscarf law. Yesterday, as the previous buggy article showed, an unknown Islamist fruitcake group threatened to spread mayhem and carnage all over France for its efforts to humiliate and suppress Islamic rights to wear headscarves.

And so?

More recently --- faced with mounting economic and social unrest at home, a new terrorist threat, and diplomatic failure --- Chirac has done a predictable somersault. He indicated he would send French troops to Iraq once sovereignty is transferred to an Iraqi transitional government this summer. (NATO will follow suit, apparently). Two months ago, The French government has hired a US public relations firm to improve its image here. Villepin himself, the fawning idolizer of the grandiose mass-murdering Napoleon, led a delegation of businessmen and administrators to meet with US Congressmen, and for the same purpose.

Essentially, as with all of NATO save for the new Spanish Prime Minister slated to take over next month --- at least in his rhetoric, when he called Bush and Blair liars in so many terms --- are bandwagoning to the US. So is Putin up to a point. And relations between Beijing and Washington have never been better.

 

What Will Spain Do Now?

Most likely, the new government will find a way to waffle: withdraw its troops, but then, once sovereignty is transferred in Iraq this summer and the UN is back, the Prime Minister --- who has just finished calling Blair and Bush liars for all intents and purposes --- will find that he and his country face isolation even in Europe. If, in the meantime, the Al Qaeda fanatics and their emulators manage to continue their terrorist assaults in Europe --- emboldened by the recent Spanish effort at appeasement and blame-shifting for their tragedy --- then don't be surprised if a smaller Spanish peacekeeping force of some sort will be back in Iraq this summer.

 

EU and Spanish Self-Delusions in the War on Terrorism

If not, well . . . then the consequences for Spain might be severe, especially to repeat if new terrorism breaks out around the EU soon. Consider in this light what the recent Pew report on world opinion trends found about West European opinion regarding the US and Islamist terrorism. The report, note, just came out . . . but the survey data reflected in this table was gathered there before the recent Madrid massacres:



Essentially, as the figures show, those populations in Europe that thought they were relatively safe --- that Islamist fanatics and their murderous terrorism were really aimed at the US and were likely punishment for its pro-Israeli and maybe Jewish-dominated policies (a common EU perception) --- found that we were noticeably overreacting. Would the same French, German, and British publics now give the same responses to the Pew question here?

 

More Generally, Osama Admired by Muslims

Notice that the Russians, victims of Islamist terrorism out of Chechnya, were more sympathetic. The Arab populations responses were predictable; most Muslims probed in the Pew survey --- not just in some Arab countries, but in Pakistan were found to overwhelmingly to admire bin Laden.

No surprise, any Muslim or Arab strongman --- however murderous, tyrannical, or fanatical --- has been admired by the illiterate, semi-illiterate, or poorly educated populations of North Africa, the Middle East, and much of Pakistan for a long time now. (Illiteracy in the Arab world, recall, is the worst in the world; in Pakistan, it is 46% of the 160 million people, compared to 60% of the 1 billion Indians next door; in Turkey, where bin Laden is heavily disliked, 85% of the population is literate.) Not surprisingly, for reasons familiar to buggy readers, the populations are swept up more and more by fundamentalist sympathies and crackling conspiratorial paranoia that play on their self-pitying sense of victimization and their inability to explain why despotism, economic failure, mass unemployment, huge gaps between rich and poor, and rife corruption marks most of their societies: all the Arab countries save for Iraq in transition, and almost all of the rest of the Muslim world save for Malaysia and Bangladesh and secular Turkey, with Indonesia's future still in the balance.





Would the findings differ if more Arab countries were included? Not likely. In Saudi Arabia, a survey carried out secretly in that secret-police ruled country led by Mafioso gangsters, AKA royalists, right after 9/11's massacres showed that 95% of all men between the age of 20 and 39 admired bin Laden. A Gallup poll of 9 Arab countries a few months later found that 60% of Arabs polled --- nearly 2 out of 3 --- even denied that Muslims had been involved in the attacks.

 

The Underlying Causes Once More of Muslim Sympathies:The
Root Source of Rancor


Underlying this Muslim admiration for bin Laden, the latest of a series of disastrous murderous Arab and Muslim champions to stand up to the US, the West, and of course World Jewry --- the fantasized culprit masterminds responsible for Arab and Muslim failures --- is a pervasive sense of humiliation: the true-believing Muslim populations, according to Islamic traditions 1400 years old, are supposed to be favored by God for their faith and fidelity, but the last several hundred years have been a series of steady Muslim failures, setbacks, and growing gaps in wealth, power, technology, knowledge, and prestige. As Mahathir Mohamed, the now retired head of Malaysia put it last year at the World Muslim Summit,

I will not enumerate the instances of our humiliation,' Mr. Mahathir said. 'We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated. . . . Today we, the whole Muslim [community], are treated with contempt and dishonor. . . . There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right.' He added: "Our only reaction is to become more and more angry. Angry people cannot think properly. "

The culprits here? No less familiar in the paranoid style: cabals of Jews, the all-powerful string-pullers around the world, secretive and full of fiendish chicaneries, according to Mahathir. But how do Jews, a tiny people 12 million in number world-wide, manipulate the 6 billion people of the world, including those in the 57 Islamic countries, and rule over their fate?

Well, that gets us to the heart of conspiratorial paranoid projections --- reinforced by pervasive illiteracy or semi-illiteracy, a lengthy history of despotism and winner-take-all politics marked in fact by conspiratorial challenges to Arab or Ottoman despots (palace struggles, rival clans, assassinations, coups, treachery galore) --- and the double-dealing Arab and other Muslim dictators all too ready to use fundamentalist gullibility and rage for their own self-serving demagogic purposes.

Replies: 2 comments

I should add that polls itself sometimes should be treated with utmost caution when gauging actual public opinions. The way pollsters asked survey questions and how they were phrased determine the results of the poll. Also polls of this kind (on social science field rather than hard sciences or engineering) are subject to interpretations that are highly subjective.

For instance, I have seen polls taken in Germany cicra 1994 (Reader's Digest) that says 80% of Germans regarded the US as their most trustworthy and important ally (both East and West Germans, if counted separately, yield the same results, curiously - meaning that interpretation "fmr East Germans are more anti-American" is false). Hardly confirming your "German opinion is generally hostile toward the US and has been so since survey data showed this from the early 1980s on --- to repeat, hostile to the US as a country, whoever governs it" thesis. It is easy to produce a result of pre-determined finding among people surveyed by asking these for instance:

1) Do you believe the US has done incorrectly in the War on Terrorism?

Now 80% of Germans polled could answer yes, and we come up with answers like "80% of Germans polled are hostile to the US". But we could also divide this into several camps: some could think outright all kinds of anti-terrorist work is wrong - "the US should apologize and acceed to the demands", some could think the US should readopt the Clinton combar-terrorism-by-policing-and-aid posturing, some think the US should be even more hardline. We simply have no way of determining anti-Americanism by asking these questions. (Granted, I admit Germany is truly more anti-US than Britain, which even it is wobble on this issue, but the extent is less bad - maybe 53% versus 47% kind of thing)

I think Steven den Beste best sums up on the best way to gauge true pictures of public opinions - observe how they actually vote. Spain is truly anti-US but once again it is a 60% vs 40% matter. (which coincidentially, Spain has some of the most hardcore socialist and stand-by-Arafat people in the whole EU, even more so than France)

Posted by Joel @ 03/19/2004 03:32 AM PST

Thanks for this informative article, but I should add that Australia is a special situation as well: the ALP (Australian Labor Party - note the US-style spelling) is even to the right of the British Labour Party and certainly more conservative than the Canadian Liberal Party. Many Australian friends inform that the only serious Australian political force that will wobble over supporting US on defence and military matters is the ALP Left which hasn't controlled Australia ever since Whitham (1972-75). Bob Hawke (ALP PM from 1983 to 1991) is in fact very pro-US by Canadian and continental European std.

Although it is less clear what direction Mark Latham (the current ALP Leader, widely tipped to win the next Australian Federal election since ALP leads the Copalition by 8% in latest polls) will take - my Australian friends have warned Mark is very anti-American, they also assured me that even a Mark Latham-led Australia will still be on the right of (i.e. more sympathetic to the US than) Paul Martin's Canada.

Posted by Joel @ 03/19/2004 03:12 AM PST