Richard Armitage spoke at the Menzies Institute yesterday, not exactly a left-wing venue. He did not pull his punches.
TODAY’S mid-term elections in the United States will be a referendum on the fact Americans do not like their nation to be held in such low esteem internationally as it is now, a veteran of the Bush Administration has said.
A former deputy secretary of state, Richard Armitage said in Canberra yesterday he felt one outcome of the elections would be that the US would slow down its “muscular” approach to the world.
Mr Armitage predicted the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate, would fall to the Democrats. As a result, there would be more oversight of the executive.
In his address to the Menzies Research Centre, Mr Armitage said that since September 11, 2001, the US had been “exporting things that are very foreign to us – we were exporting our anger, our fear, our hatred for what had happened”…
Mr Armitage said when the US did not involve itself in terrible scandals such as the mistreatment of prisoners and the Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq, and when it was true to its national values, it could once again gain high affection in the world.
“The shorthand in the US is [the mid-terms would be] a referendum on the Iraq war,” he said. “It’s a referendum on how we handled the war after … it’s also a referendum on the fact that Americans don’t like the nation to be viewed in such low esteem internationally.”
In a further criticism of the Bush Administration’s foreign policy, Mr Armitage described as “inexplicable” the US’s support of Israel’s six-week-long bombing of Lebanon in July and August this year…
Today in Australia there is a rather different kind of horse race on. Yes, it’s one of our sacred festivals: the Melbourne Cup! Yeats should win. Only because of the name.