[UPDATE: Thanks to SGS for the head’s up, Foxnews confirms the trip is off.]
There’s a lot of speculation that the US President Barack Obama is going to stand Canberra up again so that he can appear focussed on the oil leak that he can’t do a thing about anyway.
The Washington Post’s Post-Partisan blog is saying he should do just that.
Meanwhile The Times of London is suggesting that Barack doesn’t want to come to Canberra for fear he will be associated with the unpopular loser that Kevin Rudd has become.
Like anyone ditched for a date twice I suggest we should rediscover our dignity and, if the trip is cancelled, tell the Americans that they should send us an email if they’ve got anything to say.
I don’t mean that as childishly as it might sound. Barack Obama manages to travel frequently to places he actually wants to go to. The trip to China isn’t that much closer to the US than to Australia.
If the US is so crisis riddled that they have to cancel high level visits (Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates cancelled earlier in the year) then they’re not much of an ally to have anyway.
For sixty years we’ve sacrificed a lot of national sovereignty in exchange for the Pax Americana. But if that country’s in such terminal decline the president can’t devote a few days to the sort of trip he can manage to many other countries it’s probably time to re-evaluate the situation.
Other world leaders manage to visit frequently without causing anything like the disruption of a US President.
But on a more practical note, a lot of time and effort goes into planning these visits. If the man can’t be bothered turning up it’s time to stop bothering.