AUKUS: An Australian tragedy

Jun 8, 2024
Prime_Ministers_Boris_Johnson_Scott Morrison _President Joe Biden G7_Leaders_Summit_Day_Two-c Image: WikimediaCommons/By UKinUSA from Washington, D.C., USA - Prime Minister Boris Johnson G7 Leaders Summit Day Two, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Euripides drama Medea about unpunished crimes infecting the Greek city-state contains some sobering lessons for Australia’s future in AUKUS.

Ancient Greeks believed that hubris (ivris) was a crime against the people of the city-state, mobilising imperialism and warfare against the power of justice. Athens unpunished crime was an attack against justice. Eventually hubris’ power waged by the elite would bring nemesis, the goddess of retribution and vengeance and the punisher of pride and hubris, destroying Athens.

William Fulbright, former US Senator and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned US arrogance of power to police the world, ‘neglecting our duty to put our own house in order and dissipating the chance to inspire others by our example’.

US historians have condemned US ‘manifest destiny’ to dominate the world. Chalmers Johnson argued that the US excessive hubris was a betrayal of American basic political values, leading the country to its inescapable downfall. The US, he said, was involved in perpetual war. The sorrows invading American lives would be further aggravated by ‘perpetual warfare, a collapse of constitutional government, endemic official lying and disinformation, and finally bankruptcy’.

US hubris ‘had transformed our global reach into full-blown imperialism and our concern with national defense into full-blown militarism’. He urged Americans to retake control of Congress and turn it ‘into a genuine assembly of democratic representatives and cut off the supply of money to the Pentagon and the secret intelligence agencies’.

Australian wars on Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are crimes against humanity. They have never been examined by a public commission of inquiry and their perpetrators never brought to justice. The lies and deceit of past prime ministers have never been examined by the law.

Australia signed away the territorial sovereignty of all citizens on 15 September 2021, when Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, and Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, stood by US President Joe Biden, creating the Australia-UK military union with the US (AUKUS).

US weaponisation of the Australian continent and aerospace engages the country in the US imperial project of global domination, furthering the alienation of Australian citizens from their government. Australia’s dominant elite have been guilty of hubris and their crimes against Australian citizens remain unpunished. It calls for a royal commission of inquiry on Australia’s military intervention in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

Hubris in Australia’s AUKUS military geostrategy must also be carefully examined, including Defense Minister Richard Marles recent address in Washington DC, when he said that he wanted US and Australian forces ‘to move beyond interoperability to interchangeability. And we will ensure we have all the enablers in place to operate seamlessly together, at speed’.

Australia’s political elite unpunished crimes demand justice by citizens. They are embedded in the country’s internal political struggle and violence, and warfare against others, exposing the reality of Australia’s ersatz democracy.

Australian citizens must gain their constitutional rights as the sovereign power of Australia

They must end the special and war powers of the British monarchy and find their future in an independent republic, free of US dominating hubris to decide on its future common good.

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