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Australia Drifts From America With Howard's Defeat

I posted a very brief farewell to Australian Prime Minister John Howard at The Tank on National Review Online Saturday after he lost the election to Kevin Rudd. He is an ally that will be sorely missed. In Australia Drifts From America, I introduced Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd for those who may not be familiar with him.

Incoming Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd has two key items on his agenda as it relates to the existing relationship with the United States.

First is his intent to pull out Australian troops from Iraq. This means less on the ground than it does in the general direction of the new Australian leadership going forward. The United States has not lost an ally, but the degree to which it has enjoyed support will be at an immediate ebb.

This will be exemplified by the second item on his agenda with respect to relations with the United States: Pushing for Australian ratification of the Kyoto Accord and isolating America in dissent.

The Kyoto Accord is an uneven, unfair and unbalanced economically disastrous ambition that - if enacted - would severely impair American industry and damage our economy. This, of course, is the reason so many nations - such as China - fervently support its implementation, not the environmental reasons it is said to address. The environmental aspects are merely the tool used to generate emotionally-based Western support for the measures.

The Mandarin-speaking Rudd is also expected to move toward closer ties with China as he leads a slow drift away from America. How his intended policies are - or are not - carried out will be important to follow.

Rudd has a majority parliament on his side to enable the actions he says he seeks.

John Howard, like Tony Blair, will be sorely missed.

Take Blackfive's advice and read also Jules Crittenden on Howard's defeat and Rudd's victory.