Kevin Rudd will almost certainly change that. He's promised to
- "Apologize to indigenous Aborigines for past indignities"
- "Join world climate change negotiations"
(sign the Kyoto Protocol, in other words)
- "Withdraw combat troops from Iraq"
Traditional news outlets are already praising Rudd. "Doors open for Australia as Rudd era starts" is how the New Zealand Herald put it.
With my biases, I find the old-school journalistic line moderately amusing.
Being sensitive to thin-skinned minorities, saving the Earth from humanity, and being anti-war no matter what was, like, you know, the grooviest: in the sixties. Even though Robert Redford's "All the President's Men" is still available, on DVD, the world has changed since Watergate became a rallying cry.
Australia will, I think, eventually get back to fighting terrorism. Reality has a way of intruding into ideological flower gardens and crash pads.
Reading American Interests' post, "Australia went into reverse gear today," I learned that the better people in Australia aren't very different from their American counterparts. Apparently, the prosperity enjoyed by Australians happened because "... Howard ruled in an ere of serendipity". Apparently Rudd supporters believe that the Asian financial crisis, bird flu pandemic preparations, and Australians being blown up in Bali are good things for their country.
Here in America, I expect a similar situation in a year. Next November's presidential election has no candidate that I can think of who is likely to continue a tough-minded policy toward Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and like-minded terrorists.
It's been over six years since 9/11, and Americans in general have notoriously short attention spans.