Power Line tells us of Barack Obama’s response to Australian PM John Howard’s criticism, about which you can find more here. Since Democrats constantly tell us how much the world disdains us because of our Iraq policy, you’d think Howard would be entitled to praise it and blame its critics. But as the piece in The Australian notes, there’s a double standard: only Bush and his policies [and, I would add, allies who support it] are eligible for criticism.
Obama probably should have just shrugged it off, defending his policy rather than attacking a loyal American ally. This is evidence that he’s not quite ready for prime-time, as is his telling remark, quickly retracted, about the American lives "wasted" in Iraq.
Update: More Howard:
He said the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq early next year would be seen as a U.S. defeat that would “encourage and give succor” to terrorists in the Middle East and Asia and be “catastrophic for the West.”
“I hold the strongest possible view that it is contrary to the security interests of this country for America to be defeated in Iraq,” Howard said.
“Let me make it perfectly clear, if I hear a policy being advocated that is contrary to Australia’s security interests, I will criticize it.”
Please note that the AP story says that Howard is "lagging badly" behind his rival in the electoral race. Last I checked, being down 48-43 isn’t "lagging badly."
Update #2: I missed this the first time, but Obama refers to Howard as "one of George W. Bush’s allies," not one of America’s. That’s a very political and very undiplomatic way of stating it. I can’t say that I’m impressed by his level-headed grace and savoir faire under fire. Power Lines Scott Johnson calls these slips Obamanations, which I wish Id thought of first.