Warns Australians About Dangers Of Becoming More "Anti-American"
By Darryl Mason
Rupert Murdoch, head of News Limited and one of only a handful of Australians who have ever renounced their Australian citizenship purely to make more money, said in a speech tonight that the United States is guilty of taking Australia "too much for granted".
During his speech at the first American Australian Association dinner in Sydney he said "America takes Australia too much granted....the best way to keep a friend is to be a friend."
He said the United States "should not come calling only when in need."
He also lectured Australians about what he believes to be a rising tide of anti-Americanism in this country, admitting that a lot of this sentiment is a result of the 'War On Iraq' he so fervently backed.
“I am well aware that the Iraq war was and is unpopular among many Australians," Murdoch said.Incredibly ironic, of course, because it was his media empire that so relentlessly and ruthlessly promoted the need for a 'War On Iraq' through 2002 and the first few months of 2003 and undeniably helped to pave the way for it to become a reality.
And it was his newspapers in Australia that so consistently savaged those who tried to warn that attacking Iraq would lead to exactly the kind of bloodshed and destruction, carnage and monstrous death tolls that he now recognises as helping to spread anti-Americanism through Australia, Europe and the UK.
Why do people like Murdoch and Australia's prime minister John Howard continually insist on calling it anti-Americanism when it should be more honestly defined as anti-Bushism?
Australians on the whole do not hate Americans. American tourists are not regularly abused or attacked on the streets of our cities. It is President Bush, and his odious doctrine of pre-emptive war and global domination by military force, that infuriates so many Australians.
"...I am well aware that not every Australian sees the current American administration in a favourable light," Murdoch said. "But wars end. Administrations come and go.”
Administrations do come and go, and Murdoch's incredible media power in the United States and Australia usually ensures he gets exactly the kind of administration he wants, for the benefit of his business and ideological interests.
"The Australian people must not allow their perfectly legitimate doubts about one policy or one American administration to cloud their long-term judgment...Australians must resist and reject the facile, reflexive, unthinking anti-Americanism that has gripped much of Europe...Australian sentiment is thankfully nowhere near Europe's level of hostility, but it could get there. And it mustn't."
Well it won't, as long the United States doesn't insist on smashing sovereign countries based on a filthy pack of lies and distortions.
Murdoch was in Australia to launch a $50 million Centre for United States Studies at the University of Sydney. He said the centre will be valuable to the United States because it will
"raise awareness, dispel myths, groom new leaders...."
It will be extremely interesting to see just what "myths" the Centre for United States Studies tries to dispel.
Here's what Australian PM John Howard had to say about Australians and anti-Americanism :
"While anti-Americanism seemingly finds a ready outlet in every age, we should not pretend that it is cost-free. For some, a bit of armchair anti-Americanism may be nothing more than a mild indulgence. But … be careful what you wish for."
Armchair anti-Americanism? What about wheelchair anti-Americanism? Or toilet seat anti-Americanism? Do you have to be sitting comfortably in an armchair to spout of anti-Americanisms?
Did Howard actually consider what effect the possibility of him pushing forward on committing Australian troops to a war on the other side of the world, agaisnt a nation that did not threaten us, might actually have on the locals?
Of course he did. But he did it anyway.
And he regrets nothing. Just like Rupert.
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Some background on the American Studies Centre from the Melbourne Age :
Mr Murdoch was horrified by last year's Lowy Institute poll showing that the only countries generating less positive feelings about the US than Australia were Indonesia, the Middle East, Iran and Iraq. It found that of the 39 per cent of Australians who felt negatively towards the US, almost all thought Australia paid too much attention to Washington's views.
Mr Murdoch raised the issue with the American Australian Association, which led to the idea of creating a US Studies Centre, to be based at Sydney University with a $25 million commitment from the Federal Government.
Guests at last night's dinner included former prime ministers Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser, Andrew Peacock, Frank Lowy, Sol Trujillo, James Packer, Mr Murdoch's son, Lachlan, and Lachlan's friends Collette Dinnigan and Baz Luhrmann.
The dinner, for which guests paid up to $35,000 a table, also raised money to support a fellowship program for Australian and US postgraduate scholars to study in both countries.
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