…but with due cynicism.
Rupert and John brought us the good oil yesterday: see Friends in need: Howard, Murdoch stand by US, one outcome of which is to be megabucks flowing into the coffers of Sydney University in a move some might see as parallel to a Saudi Arabia funded Faculty of Islamic Studies, which also may not be totally useless.
Yet it is true that American Studies ought to have a place at the university. See Gay Erasmus on this.
It is also good, as far as it goes, that Rupert and (therefore?) John have moved somewhat in the direction of taking climate change seriously. About bloody time! On the other hand, maybe the share portfolios are moving from oil to nuclear, and maybe polls showing 90%+ of Australians actually think global warming is a real problem have had their effect. Or of course it is entirely possible that neither gentleman is totally brain dead. In fact I am sure that is the case.
On the other hand, when it comes to anti-Americanism, perhaps by being such strident cheerleaders of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team in the past Rupert and John have exacerbated the problem horribly. I don’t count myself as at all anti-American, whatever reservations I might have expressed here lately. I am well aware that there are probably more voices for sanity in the USA than there are in many another part of the world. George Bush’s “you are either for us or against us”, where the “us” tended to connote Bush and his policies, has undoubtedly backfired on the USA, however, and John and Rupert, in their way, are now into damage control. That is a real shame. (The need for damage control, and the former cheerleading, that is.)
Did Kim Beazley have to be quite so fulsome in his praise of Rupert? See The 7.30 Report for 15 November:
If the Howard Government withdrew the Australian forces and if the United States and Britain managed to find a mechanism by which they started the process of putting in place an exit strategy, you and I would be much safer – and everybody listening to us. The point that we make on Iraq is simply this: it has not made us safer. It has, in fact, not only made us more threatened, it’s also been a considerable impediment to the way in which we need to deal with the Islamic world. Both the United States and British governments now comprehend that and they are making adjustments. The only fellow out there who is digging vigorously deeper in that hole is John Howard. Listening to him last night and then listening to the statesmanship of Rupert Murdoch by comparison was quite an extraordinary experience. John Howard hasn’t made the mental adjustments he needs to make to make our nation safer. If he changed, I would be delighted as an Australian…