Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shared Values and Common Purpose

John McCain has an opinion piece in today's Australian. McCain's real connection with Asia and the South Pacific and committment to free trade are the best reasons why bloggers like The Hive, for example, are so excited about McCain's candidacy. The argument for McCain from an Antipodean point of view is put pretty well by Andrew Shearer at the Lowy Interpreter here.

It's heartening that as well as canvassing the long history of the Australia-US alliance and issues such as terrorism McCain includes a strong statement backing US leadership on climate change and against torture. The foreign policy statements seem to me to have a considerable neo-con, rather than Republican realist, flavour. (I can't resist noting that while it's true that Australians have "suffered terrible terrorist attacks" it shouldn't escape our attention that Australia has not.)

New Zealand readers of course will skim for that all important "Z"

In Asia this means engagement must begin with our allies. Our alliance with Australia sets the standard. Our ally Japan has proved a strong and reliable partner to the US and Australia. South Korea is taking on new global responsibilities. We can reinvigorate our traditional alliances with Thailand and The Philippines and build on newly strengthened partnerships with Singapore and India. And we should recognise our shared values and common purpose with New Zealand.

Now is that the same as small-a "allies"? Having run through 'allies' and 'partners' we get 'and we should recognise'? The tone is quite grudging.

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