I'm sure neither Shap nor Haggis will be happy until the United States is the enemy of every other country on earth, and our entire budget is dedicated to defense.
I can't speak for Haggis. I don't want them as an enemy, and I don't think NZ, England, Canada, or many other nations are going to become our enemies anytime soon. Just because New Zealanders don't like our policies and think poorly of us doesn't mean we're going to war. Hell, we've belittled the French for as long as I can remember, but we haven't fought against them, except in the halls of the U.N., in my lifetime.
I don't want to upset them, but I don't want to sacrifice our security or our economy to appease them, either. If a little bitterness is the price for either, so be it. They'll trade with us, not because they like us but because trade is essential to both our economies. We don't have a military base in New Zealand, and probably don't want one. If that part of the world becomes volatile enough that New Zealand feels threatened, they'll probably welcome us in, whether they like us or not.
When the USS Carl Vinson made port visits to Australia, Japan, and Korea back in my Navy days, we were protested. Quite heavily in Korea, as a matter of fact, such that an entire army of police officers were required to protect the base. It is a fact of life that peaceniks can get quite violent in their opposition to war. Go figure. Nonetheless, we went ashore and shopped and ate and drank and danced, and were welcomed by the merchants and citizens who saw our trade as essential to their economy. I don't know if they liked us or not, but they welcomed us and were cordial to us and treated us well.
I would prefer that a larger percentage of our budget be dedicated to defense, because that is a legitimate responsibility of the Federal government. I do not want us to be at war with every nation on Earth, but I want us to be prepared for an attack from any of them. Things like education and health care, while vital, are not the responsibility of the Federal government, and we'd be better off if they would get their noses out of them.
If you are as pleased as you seem to be about upsetting a country as benign as New Zealand, what's next? California?
I'm not pleased about it, I'm merely not as upset about it as the author of the article apparently wants us to be. Nor do I blame President Bush for this approval. It would seem that much of this dislike seems to be long-standing. As I pointed out, and Dai confirms, the anti-nuclear movement of the 80s was both the cause and a symptom of some of this.
I think ultimately the animosity stems from the differences between a very liberal New Zealand government (liberal by our defintion, not by party designation), and a much more conservative American government. The liberal belief is that we have to bend and twist our policies and positions to become as enlightened as they are - we have to unilaterally abandon our nukes, we have to accept gun control, we have to acknowledge the authority of the United Nations, we have to come to grips with the need for universal health care and be willing to abandon our attachment to such outdated concepts as property rights and sovereignty. And, of course, we have to be willing to share our wealth with the rest of the world. We barbaric Americans aren't likely to become that enlightened in the near future, and everytime we commit the sin of enacting conservative policy, we anger those who deam themselves to be.
Barbarian that I am, I don't sweat it...
Oh, and California's been PO'd at the rest of us for as long as I can remember.
Shapley aka 'Conan the Barbarian'