Home » Blog » All the Way Where With the USA?
Australia News Politics United States

All the Way Where With the USA?

Anthony Albanese missed out on the B-52s, but he did talk to lots of people about nuclear submarines on his latest trip to the USA. He also made announcements about cybersecurity, minerals and technology sharing.

With the American political system held hostage by extreme Republicans in the House of Representatives, there was no opportunity for Mr Albanese to address a joint sitting of Congress, as planned by ambassador Kevin Rudd, so the Prime Minister had to make do with a series of side meetings.

For a black tie dinner at the White House with President Biden, he took partner Jodie Haydon and a grab bag of other Australians, including rapper the Kid Laroi, chair of the Australian Rugby League Commission Peter V’landys, Bluescope CEO Mark Vassella, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry head Andrew McKellar and Macquarie boss Shemara Wikramanayake.

Novelty ’80s hit-makers the B-52s were invited, but replaced at the last minute as musical performers by the White House military band, considered more appropriate for a time of war.

In his speech, Anthony Albanese quoted Joe Biden’s late son Major Beau Biden, who reportedly said that in wartime ‘when there’s an Australian with you, they’ll always have your back.’ This remains true, both in a small and big picture sense, but it’s unclear if the reverse applies. Since 1941, when Prime Minister John Curtin transferred our allegiance from the UK and said Australia looked to America ‘without inhibitions of any kind’, we have followed our giant, unpredictable ally across the Pacific to wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf. Now both governments are apparently in lockstep on Israel.

Time will tell if this partnership has made the Pacific or the wider world any safer, but both countries are significant arms suppliers, which makes the talk of desire for peace from both leaders more than a little hollow.

With a staggering $368 billion heading in America’s direction for nuclear submarines to be delivered in the distant future, Anthony Albanese was anxious to shore up the deal, which is dependent on the US government remaining stable enough to keep their end of the bargain. This is impossible for Biden or anyone else to promise, considering that if extreme Republicans get their way, the United States will soon be unable to pay their own federal employees, with further chaos guaranteed to follow.

Make America gaga again

After meeting confused Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, the Australian Prime Minister sat down with newly elected House leader Mike Johnson.

The next Shyster in Chief? Some salesmen refuse to die. Cloudcatcher Media with Midjourney AI.

This was shortly after Johnson was elevated from obscurity to the country’s second most powerful political position, thanks to the blessing of Donald Trump, a man facing 91 charges and rising. Whether Mr Johnson had any idea who Albo was is unclear, but he certainly gave no assurances about AUKUS.

Johnson has publicly propelled the lie that the 2020 US election was stolen, wants homosexuality criminalised and believes global warming is a hoax. Much-loved by the National Rifle Association, it’s unlikely the two leaders discussed Australia’s approach to gun violence, even with the latest mass shooting in Maine fresh in everyone’s minds.

Reaffirming Australia’s status as the quarry of the world, the most senior government figure to accompany Mr Albanese on his trip to the US was Resources Minister Madeleine King. In line with Biden’s vaunted green energy revolution, this time she wasn’t talking about coal and gas but ‘critical minerals’ such as cobalt, lithium, manganese and rare earths, which are currently largely mined and processed by China. There will be another $2bn in (Australian) taxpayer’s money to support the growth of a local industry aimed at export, with the US presumably the main market.

Mr Albanese also announced that Microsoft was going to be Australia’s new national cybersecurity partner, inspiring alarm in anyone who has wasted months of their life staring at the blue screen of death.

Off the official agenda was Julian Assange, still sought by the USA for extradition from Belmarsh Prison for revealing war crimes to the world, although Mr Albanese said he did raise the matter privately with Joe Biden. He told journalists ‘Australian officials are working very hard to achieve an outcome’ although a recent Freedom of Information request from Rex Patrick revealed little evidence of this.

The next stop on Albo’s world tour is China. Can he solve the pressing global issue of Australian wine tariffs, or will backbencher Scott Morrison’s recent intervention in Taiwan upstage him? Stay tuned for next week’s exciting instalment!

Source : Echo