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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Gillard in America « Previous | |Next »
March 15, 2011

Julia Gillard sure buttered up the Americans when she was in Washington. Fawning is what Peter Costello called it. Didn't John Howard do the same?

Petty2Gillard inUS.gif

In her speech to the powerful US Chamber of Commerce, bestowed lavish praise on her hosts by celebrating the politically-charged issue of American ‘exceptionalism’ — the popular US conceit that it is both different from and (by implication) superior to other nations.‘Yours remains what it has always been, a nation which is exceptional in every way’.

Gillard also stated that US optimism will help the global superpower overcome its economic woes and lead the world to a return to prosperity and strong economic growth because of its capacity for innovation, reinvention and recovery.

In her tear jerking, emotion ladened speech to the US Congress Gillard told her audience that America is the cradle of democracy and that Americans can do anything. Gillard was warmly received for endearing herself to her American audience.

From an Australian perspective Gillard's message was the familiar catechism of loyal friendship--- that Australia is a rock solid ally. The subtext? Australia eagerly supported the US in a bad war in Iraq and was only too willing to back America in the deeply problematic intervention in Afghanistan. So don't let us down.

So what does that backslapping from an admiring ally mean for Australia's relationship with China? A split between political and economic interests? Isn't the US burdened with debt with American citizens facing unemployment, cuts to their pensions, superannuation, and social welfare? Isn't the G.O.P. austerity approach to the budget budget wrongheaded and destructive; one that sneers at knowledge and exalts ignorance?

It is hard to think of Gillard's remarks about American innovation and reinvention without thinking of Wall Street and the global financial crisis. United States Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's view of the nature of world economic growth envisions a central role of the US financial sector--the too big to fail US banks take the lead in the financial development of countries like India, China, and Brazil. That means more financial crises, more government bailouts and more countries bought to their knees by Wall Street.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:13 PM | | Comments (3)


I don't get Gillard at all I'm afraid, or 21st century Labor either for that matter. They seem to have no coherent reason for wanting to be in government apart from satisfying individual career ambitions. Presumably this embarrassing grovelling to the yanks is intended to prevent conservatives finding anything to criticise about Gillard's foreign policy, but all it does is reaffirm that Labor is intellectually moribund.

Gillard denies that her approach to the US is that of a little American. It looks suspiciously like that to me.

Shit, treacly eh?
Talk about laying it on thick, with a trowel.