Australia is the only country that has fought with the United States in every one of its major conflicts since 1914, the good and the bad, the winning and the losing.
Why? Because Australia's geographic and historical isolation has bred a wisdom about the structure of peace -- a wisdom that eludes most other countries. Australia has no illusions about the "international community'' and its feckless institutions. An island of tranquility in a roiling region, Australia understands that peace and prosperity do not come with the air we breathe, but are maintained by power -- once the power of the British Empire, now the power of the United States.
On the other hand, Canada can afford to have a low defense budget because of the powerful protector to the South. The Canadians have enjoyed security and prosperity for six decades. This supreme comfort across many generations and the inane we-are-not-Americans outlook has left Canada with a warped view of reality:
1. America must have done something to piss off the Islamists.
2. As long as we stay out of Iraq we'll be safe.
3. Why would terrorists want to attack us!? We've done nothing to them.
In essence, most Canadians see the use of power as uncouth and they're still ignorant about the nature of Islamists.
Thank God the Aussies don't suffer from such dangerous illusions.