Albanese must state clearly what he means by sovereignty

Mar 13, 2023
Australian flag illustration. Vector Australian flag shaped like US continent Image:iStock / olegback.

Our prime minister declares firmly that Australian sovereignty will be maintained in the new defence arrangements. He must be asked to state clearly and publicly that should the USA go to war with China Australia will not necessarily follow but could remain neutral. If this is not the case, we do not have sovereignty.

So far, we have had nothing but vague, unsupported claims and words from the government about just how committed we are. Love him or hate him, Peter Dutton has at least stated his view publicly and clearly. He does not see it possible for us to avoid joining the USA in a stoush with China. Under present circumstances he is right and it is hard to see how the present government could opt out no matter how much they blather on about sovereignty.

We have learned nothing from the experience of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Those failures were not about democracy versus autocracy and, on the contrary, the US and Australian intervention in Vietnam was to prevent a democratic election taking place. The US is not interested in upholding democracy in Taiwan but in protecting its primacy and commercial interests in Taiwan. Australian submarine purchases are about supporting the USA financially and militarily.

The Australian public has a right to come out from under the mushrooms and Parliament needs to have a thorough public debate. Do we really want to get into another unnecessary war which we will lose? Only this time, Australia will be a target.

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