The big news over the weekend was that a guy named Kevin Rudd won the election to be the Prime Minister of Australia. Rudd is the leader of the Labor (Labour?) Party and beat the incumbent John Howard whose Conservative Party had been in power for nearly 12 years.
This was, of course, reported around the world as a defeat for … George Bush.
EVERYTHING is reported around the world as a defeat for … George Bush.
Rudd said he would do two things immediately:
1. Ratify the Kyoto Protocols on global warming; and,
2. Withdraw all of Australia's troops from Iraq.
Both were seen by some writers as "further isolating" … George Bush.
On the Kyoto front, let us remember that in 1997 the US Senate voted unanimously, 95-0, for a resolution introduced by Chuck Hagel (R-Neb) and Robert Byrd (D-WV) which stated that
"The United States should not be a signatory to [the Kyoto] protocol [because] the exemption for Developing Country Parties is inconsistent with the need for global action on climate change and is environmentally flawed …"
The "Developing Country Parties" in question were China and India which were specifically exempted from the requirements regarding pouring crap into the atmosphere.
If you've ever been to China or India and tried to breathe the air you would understand that neither country appears to be buying into the whole "Green is Great" marketing frenzy.
The treaty itself was never even submitted to the Senate for ratification by the President who, by the way was not … George Bush but was, in fact, Bill Clinton.
Regarding Rudd's pledge to end Australia's participation in Iraq, this from GulfNews.com on the plans of the new Prime Minister of Australia is concise and typical:
Kevin Rudd has pledged to withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.
Know how many Aussies are in Iraq? Take a guess.
1,117? Sorry, circle gets the square.
Here's the answer: 550 troops.
Just to give you some context, the standard configuration of the gigando jet designed by Airbus Industries - the A-380 - will carry about 550 passengers.
Rudd's big plan will have the effect of bringing about one planeload of soldiers home from Iraq, assuming they all fly coach.
That was the Big News because it was seen as a slap in the face of … George Bush.
Wait'll China starts patrolling the Pacific Ocean with its own warships. Old Kev (who speaks fluent Mandarin) will be taking up at least one first class A-380 seat coming to visit Your Nation's Capital asking for our help.
Meanwhile, buried in the back pages of the world's popular press was this from the International Herald Tribune (which is wholly owned by the NY Times): Colonel David Sutherland of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division … said Saturday that all 5,000 of his troops would be gone by mid-December.
Wait. What? 5,000 US troops will be rotating home? Did you know that?
No, of course not. Why? Because it reflects well on … George Bush.