Because most of Australia's historians suck balls, we seldom see one of former Prime Minister John Howard's best quotes repeated by anyone other than Mark Steyn.
Here, for the record, it is, dating from 19 September, 2001:
MARK WILLACY: Mr Howard we've just heard the latest from Washington, but some commentators back here are saying, we're the only country to give the US a blank cheque when it comes to support. What are the limits on our commitment to the US?
JOHN HOWARD: Well we've said that we will support the Americans to the limit of our capability. Obviously if we're asked to contribute in a particular way, it will be for us to decide, whether we can or will do that. But, there's no point in a situation like this, being an 80 per cent ally.
You are either a 100 per cent ally of a country that was a 100 per cent ally of Australia's in World War II and it made the difference between Australia's surviving or going under to the Japanese assault. We have to remember it - we have to remember the history - that America came to our aid, we have been close allies ever since.
This is an assault, as much on the freedom and the values of Australian society as it is on the freedom and the values of American society. I'm sure the Americans will behave in a targeted, yet lethal fashion. That is what we have encouraged them to do and we've indicated that we'll be part of that response, if that is what they want.