Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Leadership in Australia: Kevin Rudd Wins with Old Ideas

Kevin Rudd won Australia's election last weekend. Soon, he'll be Australia's Prime Minister. The outgoing Australian, John Howard, was renowned, or notorious, depending on your point of view, for actively resisting terrorism, and not doing what environmentalists and civil rights supporters told him to.

Kevin Rudd will almost certainly change that. He's promised to He's already renewed his promise to apologize to indigenous Aborigines, and I suspect that he'll deliver on that, and other promises.

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.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.