Australian Troops Shouldn\\\'t Die for U.S.

Paul Sheehan
If Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants to be taken seriously in Washington, she should reorder our symbols and priorities. When it is time for her first visit to major trading partners she should go to Beijing and Tokyo. Leave Washington off the list.
Our Asian trading partners are the ones keeping our economy going, and they do so without involving us in military adventures and global jihad. Australia would be well served to withdraw its military forces from the Middle East, a place where good intentions go to die.
These points are made not from any sense of anti-Americanism. My personal commitment to America remains extremely strong, having lived, worked and studied there for many years. I still maintain deep connections to the country. Anti-Americanism, per se, is a ridiculous cliche.
Where I have lost faith is with the Obama administration, another place where good intentions go to die. Obama\\\'s non-existent executive experience before becoming President has been exposed. He inherited a whirlwind, for which he deserves no blame. But the policies of his administration, after throwing trillions of dollars into the vortex to prevent a breakdown in the financial system, are now moving the country towards division and decline.America needed a pragmatist and it got an ideologue. Only an ideologue would divide the nation along a racial fault-line to save his own political skin. That is what Obama is doing by going to legal war against the state of Arizona over alleged discrimination against illegal immigrants. Arizona is being engulfed by illegal immigrants and the impact of the bloody Mexican drug war, but Obama is attacking a state government rather than the problem. In doing so, he is courting the Hispanic electorate.
When the housing market collapsed and consumer confidence collapsed with it, the last thing the small-business sector needed was an increase in government-imposed costs and compliances, but that is what it got in the form of sweeping healthcare reform legislation. Whatever the goals, the timing was an abomination. The same with banking regulations that have dried up lending. The real rate of unemployment and under-employment is the highest since the Depression.Excessive and growing government debt and spending has created a profound sense of unease in US among households because they know they have to balance their own budgets to survive.On Friday, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, described the US financial system as \\\'\\\'broken\\\'\\\'. During a recent visit to Australia, the Harvard economic historian, Niall Ferguson, described America as being \\\'\\\'on a completely unsustainable fiscal course, with no apparent political means of self-correcting\\\'\\\'.
Obama is never going to come to Australia as President. He only has one more year before he begins his campaign for re-election, a campaign I expect him to lose. In November 2012, the hope and charm experiment will be consigned to history.
(Courtesy:Sydney Morning Herald)