An Australian pointed out to this columnist, that the first thing an American will do after visiting a tourist attraction in their country is to strongly assert that, back home, Americans have done the same thing bigger and better.
If President Obama when he visits Canberra to address the Australian Parliament next week, takes the opportunity to visit the Australian National War Museum, there will be absolutely no danger that President Obama will tell his hosts that the United States has done it better because there ain’t no National War Museum in the USA. There are, to be sure, a great number of specialized museums in the states. There’s a museum of desert warfare in Southern California, the 3rd Cavalry Museum is in El Paso, TX, a Museum is at West Point, and the D-Day Museum is in New Orleans.
To the best of this columnist’s fact checking ability to determine, the United States does not have one central museum that honors all the combatants who have fought in all the wars waged by the U. S. A. If Australia can do that, why can the USA?
Due to bad timing, President Obama will not be in Canberra at the same time that the Aussie hot rodders hold their annual Summer Nats event. This year’s installment was held in early January, when it was summer in that hemisphere. [That, in turn, reminds us that we have recently learned (while Reading James Michener’s “Return to Paradise”) that a broken beer bottle is called “an Australian boxing glove.”]
The Hog’s Breath Cafe in Canberra boasts that they serve the best steak in Australia and maybe President Obama can take the time to put that claim to a taste test.
The last time this columnist heard the song “Santa Monica Boulevard,” we were in Canberra and as we listened to the tune, it made us wonder how many Aussies know that the road being honored used to be called “Oregon St.”?
One of the advantages of being a blogger is that the writer can tell the President of the United States, how he (the blogger) would do things differently. The White House does have a suggestion box, doesn’t it?
The Republicans, according to some recent scuttlebutt on the Internets, will use the period between the day after this year’s midterm elections and election day in 2012 to set the agenda and put the incumbent, President Obama, on the defensive. Since they intend to use a racist tactic, which will leave the President with a task that will be impossible. If the Republicans say that the President is incompetent because he is the first African-American President, any attempts to refute that will have to assert that he is incompetent for some other reason or that he isn’t an African-American. It seems that either response will be inadequate for winning re-election.
If President Obama wants to seize the initiative, set the agenda, and put the Republicans on the defensive; he could visit Australia’s National War Museum and then immediately suggest that it is time for the United States to honor its history by establishing a similar site in the United States.
If he moves fast, that would leave the Republicans in a bind. If the Republicans want to continue their sit-down strike in the legislative branch of America’s government, then they would have to vote against the suggestion of an American National War Museum or at least not vote for it. If they did that their ownership of the “Support the Troops” issue would start to evaporate quickly. If, on the other hand, they quickly followed President Obama’s lead and voted for a National War Museum for the USA, then it would look like the commitment to wage their sit-down strike was crumbling. It would look like President Obama was leading them around like puppies on leashes and they wouldn’t like that, either.
President Obama could go into Republican congressional districts and appeal to the local voters to replace any Republican who didn’t quickly and strongly support an Obama program to erect a National War Museum.
Australia’s National War Museum is open 364 days a year (closed on Christmas) and is considered by some to be Australia’s best tourist attraction. (Like the guy said in “Catch Me if You Can,” this columnist concurs.)
The Australian National War Museum, which is noted for the quality of its scholarly research department, informs visitors that the American success at the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway was due to the fact that the Americans had broken the Japanese code and knew what radio orders were being given. American history books say those battles were won by American officers who made shrewd guesses about what to do in the midst of the evolving situation. Whatever. The U. S. won, and that’s the bottom line.
Australian entertainer Little Patty was given a military medal. Did any USO performers get a similar honor? (Do a Google search with her name and add: “Battle Long Tan.”)
Obviously, President Obama will not visit the secret American military base just West of Alice Springs. They don’t want or need the publicity a Presidential visit would precipitate.
It seems unlikely that President Obama will take the suggestion for a National War Museum for the United States. If he becomes a one term President, don’t say we didn’t offer any suggestions to prevent it.
For this column’s closing quote we’ll turn to the Narrator, in Mad Max 2 (an Australian film), who says: “For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing. They built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear.”
Now the disk jockey will play “Please Mr. Please,” “Stayin’ Alive,” and “Dirty Deed Done Dirt Cheap.” We have to go see if <a href =http:// www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-3081>The Enemy Belligerant Interogation Detention, and Proscecution Act of 2010</a> (S3081) will bring Gleichschaltung. Have a Big Brother Approved type week.