“America is Back in Asia!”…. Uh, about that…

Walter Lohman /

After hearing ad nausea from the Administration that America is back in Asia after a presumed absence under eight years of the Bush Administration, now comes the caveat.  President Obama will cancel his upcoming trip to Guam, Indonesia and Australia – in the interest of salvaging his near singular preoccupation – health care reform.  That didn’t take long.  (Now, the trip is officially “postponed”.  But this being the third time it has happened, the hosts certainly shouldn’t count on rescheduling.  If it were a dinner invitation, such a guest would certainly be struck from future lists.)

The visit was a big deal for Guam.  Guam is part of America, a place that most vividly demonstrates America’s “resident status” in the Pacific.  It bulges with American military; it is also at the center of a dispute between the US and Japan over the transfer of American forces on Okinawa.  But Guam is used to being overlooked.

The Australians will also deal with it.  The US-Australian alliance is a mature one.  They can always be counted on to serve at the side of freedom.  Do the Americans take their friendship for granted?  Absolutely.  But sometimes that’s what friends are for.  (more…)