On Saturday Donald Trump sent a congratulatory tweet to new Prime Minister Scott Morrison:
This innocuous and pleasant message has generated howls of anger and disbelief from the north of the border along the lines of “hang on, stupid; the United States and Canada are greater friends than the United States and Australia!”
This got me thinking: sure, the Canucks like to think that they and the Yanks have got a special thing going, but isn’t there a lot of presumption and taking things for granted involved? There is more to being the best buddies than physical proximity (having been born in a country stuck between Germany and Russia I can attest to that personally). I think that there is actually a pretty good case to be made for the greatness of the friendship across the Pacific. Here is why:
1. No one has ever attacked America from Australia. On the other hand, guess where the British troops that burned down Washington DC on 24 August 1812 (yes, there was an anniversary last week) came from? Not that I don’t think that Washington DC shouldn’t be burned to the ground, but just sayin’… it should be done by the Americans, not foreigners.
2. Canada inflicted on the United States musical plagues like Nickelback and Drake (sometimes described as Nickelback of hip-hop). By contrast, Australian exports that topped American charts include Men at Work, INXS and Savage Garden.
3. Australia is the only country to have fought alongside the United States in every major conflict over the past hundred years: World War One, World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq 1, Afghanistan, Iraq 2, and the war on Al Qaeda/ISIS.
4. While Australia occasionally elects insufferable narcissists and twats as leaders (Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull), we generally try to minimise America’s exposure to them (just as we try to minimise ours). By contrast, Justin Trudeau has been a constant pain in the butt across the border on everything from trade to immigration. In addition, none of the Australian Prime Ministers have been fathered by the US’s sworn enemy number one, Fidel Castro (you can deny it all you want, Canadian media).
5. Australia is happy to not only conduct regular military training exercises with the US, but also host US troops and military installations on its territory, including the US Marines in Darwin, despite China’s displeasure (sorry about the crocs and the heat, guys).
6. Canada’s contribution to American democracy was Walter Mondale; Australia’s contribution to American democracy was the secret ballot.
7. Last but not least, would you rather spend your Christmas holidays in Australia:
I rest my case.
Arthur Chrenkoff blogs at The Daily Chrenk, where this piece also appears.
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