Originally Posted by harkin
It's just not as compelling without the fedora.
Agree. I like the fedora too.
It was interesting to hear the point of view of "middle powers". Canada, which is a bigger "middle power" than Australia, traditionally has taken a similar position, i.e. that international law provides protection, but so does lining up with a large ally, and it's better if the large ally also follows international law.
But the ideology of the party in power makes a difference, as Sam said. Conservatives place more emphasis on lining up with the large ally, come what may, and liberals place more emphasis on interntional law and prefer to have a policy that at least appears to be somewhat independant. The population tends not to mind a policy of always following the US, but at some point, they don't like it because it reminds them of being part of the British Empire or some other empire.
This is why Canada didn't support the Iraq war, but Australia, with its conservative prime minister, Bush's deputy sheriff, as he said, did. It's also why Blair fussed so much about getting UNSEC approval, and came up with a rationale based on wording to pretend they did when they didn't. This also explains why Obama is generally better liked than Bush. People may understand that he, apparently, can't do much, but they trust him not to go out of his way to break international laws and treaties which Republicans almost seem to think is something that ought to be done whenever possible.