Saturday, October 09, 2004

The View from Here - V

HONG KONG - The big news in this region of the world is the re-election of conservative Australian Prime Minister John Howard to a fourth consecutive term. This is significant to the United States because, though he won a fairly solid victory over his Labor Party opponent, Mark Latham, who had promised to pull Australia 's roughly 900 noncombat troops out of Iraq (sound a little familiar?), only a few days before the election, the race was pronounced "too close to call." During his campaign, Latham had blamed Howard for making Australia less safe in the war against terrorism.

In the end, Howard's win was called an easy victory. Howard's re-election can be seen as the first referendum for one of the leaders of three principal countries from among President Bush's "coalition of the willing" that invaded Iraq in March 2003. Could this be a good omen for Bush? See this from the Belmont Club Blog.

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