We are being groomed for war with ChinaApr 14, 2023
Orchestrated components are coming together to enable the US to recruit Australia in future wars of choice. Our media must begin to ask questions about the crude but successful ways the Australian people are being groomed to provide passive or enthusiastic consent.
A version of the long awaited Defence Strategic Review for public consumption will be released after Anzac Day, along with the government’s response.
The most fundamental purpose of Australia’s Defence forces should be to defend our country.
Its stated mission includes the defence of our economic interests: “to defend Australia and its national interests in order to advance Australia’s security and prosperity”.
Any review of our Defence Strategy to ensure they are ready for this purpose must be conducted by individuals who cannot have a conflict of interest. Here is a case where the primacy of national security concerns should trump all else in order to ensure our sovereignty is not compromised.
Last week, P&I highlighted that in fact the situation is the reverse.
Professor Peter Dean, the principal advisor to the DSR and its principal author, is a Director of the US Studies Centre and concurrently leads two US State Department-funded public diplomacy programs on the US-Australia Alliance.
In a sign of how US influence in Defence policy has been completely normalised, there has been no mainstream media coverage that questions the appropriateness of this appointment at the centre of which is a glaring conflict of interest.
Along with AUKUS and the Recommendations of the War Powers Reform Parliamentary Enquiry, the DSR is one of a three pronged narrative construction, intended to operate in concert, to a specific end – one that will
- ensure Australia is more deeply integrated into the US war machine
- place Australia on an accelerated war footing against China with increased US military activity in the north of our country
- provide a mechanism to legitimise our future participation in illegal wars of aggression or “wars of choice” by bypassing international law
- and one that will always place our interests below that of the US.
Australians are being stitched up, with a Duchessing by the mainstream media to manufacture consent. The narrative that this path is the only sensible, realistic, natural course for Australia remains largely unquestioned.
American influence in our Defence policy has been rampant since 2015 – Australian governments have relied on the advice of former senior officers and civilian staff of the US Navy, some of who were simultaneously consulting for US shipbuilders, with one recently having to resign because he was concurrently serving as Chairman of the Board of a U.S. company that builds nuclear-powered submarines.
In addition, some of these former US Navy officials also work as consultants to other foreign governments as well as receiving US pensions – are they able to provide impartial advice and whose interests are they representing?
A culture has developed in Defence and at Ministerial and Executive level that seems to equate Australia’s interests to those of the US.
As the conflict and looming war with China shows, that is not necessarily the case at all. Indeed, an examination of most of the US military adventures we have participated in have had nothing to do with defending Australia or our interests and everything to do with defending US economic interests and US hegemony, even when it was known in advance our participation would increase the threat of terrorism, or when it is known such as in Afghanistan that the war was being lost but the withdrawal of Australian troops was linked to an American election cycle with no consideration for the potential pointless loss of life for both our forces and among Afghanis.
Along with a failure of Australian MSM to interrogate US influence in Defence policy and in Executive government, there is at the same time a complete absence in the MSM of the voice of any public intellectual who might question the morality of the wars we participate in, our conduct in those wars including civilian deaths or the conduct of our allies, for an example the indiscriminate killing of civilians by US drones in Pakistan, in the Middle East and Africa, in which Pine Gap played a role.
The intersection of interests that manufactures the distortion and deception, the compelling case for endless war, is the military-industrial-congressional-media complex – today’s iteration of the term coined by Dwight Eisenhower… on steroids.
For Australia this effect is far more insidious precisely because it is not generated with our country’s interests in mind, we have no say in decisions being made, and our internal processes deliver less opportunity for oversight and interrogation. Our intelligence services provide information to the Five Eyes network yet our parliament cannot scrutinise the activity of our Intel services unlike US Congress which does so via briefings and oversight of US Intel. This creates the potential for the US Congress to be aware of what our country’s agencies and Forces are doing while our own parliament and public are kept in the dark. It also means our citizens are at the mercy of the US when it wants to make an example of them, as is the case with Julian Assange, Dan Duggan and as was demonstrated in David McBride’s Public Interest Defence matter.
The framework of this narrative construct will provide for full throttled progress down a path that will lead our country to more grief than ever before, and continuing disregard for the consequences for those who will be the targets of our future military interventions, or simply happen to be within the theatre of operations.
Our government and MSM are failing to note Germany’s complete impotence at the discovery its interests will always be subservient to those of the US. No questions being asked about why there is to be no independent enquiry into who sabotaged the Nord Stream Pipelines. And US envoys are to visit Europe next week to bully it into enforcing the full regime of sanctions against Russia by all member states. In such an alliance, our interests will not be at the fore of actions we take, including militarily, but the extent of interference in Germany’s energy security by the US should be a sobering lesson for Australia.
In his description of our identity as a sub imperial power, Clinton Fernandes points out Australia’s exercise of power in its own immediate region among less powerful neighbours mimics imperial power, though it will be generally at the behest of the US and in order to implement US interests.
The Parliamentary Enquiry into War Powers Reform, called for public submissions only to ignore the recommendation of most submissions to subject wars of choice to parliamentary approval.
Fernandes explains that the recommended new, ‘clarified’ War Powers could authorise the Governor General to rubber stamp Australian military interventions that do not receive UN Security Council authorisation, such as operations to depose a government in the Solomon Islands or Papua New Guinea and install a pro-Australian figurehead, or to join the US war over Taiwan, which lacks a seat at the UN. This issue was dealt with in Pearls and Irritations this week.
Fernandes is right to argue in a Supplementary Submission to the War Powers Reform Parliamentary Enquiry “We are currently in the South China Sea pretending that we’re doing freedom-of-navigation operations. … Parliament can and should debate that.” We have been involved in exercises with the US military to identify Chinese targets “which could then be trailed and sunk by US hunter-killer submarines”.
In his main submission to the War Powers Reform Enquiry, Fernandes argues “the public was effectively misled as to the governments’ real objectives (in Afghanistan) as opposed to its stated ones” – that its purpose was to uphold the umbrella of US power.
In the service of that purpose, according to Fernandes’ submission, the Chief of Defence Force Angus Houston misled the Australian public in 2010 about what was happening on the ground in Afghanistan with respect to our relations with Dutch forces serving in Oruzgan, and that he and Defence Minister Steven Smith misled the public about how well the war was going, recommending the Parliamentary Enquiry Committee inquire into a particular episode “because it appears to indicate a systematic and long-running deception of the Australian public”.
He also recommends the Committee look closely at evidence given in June 2021 by the Chief of Defence General Angus Campbell, who “assured the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee that the Australian Defence Force had ‘helped to improve the security of millions of Afghans’. It had helped ‘develop the Afghan national defence and security forces and train and advise many thousands of Afghan officers and soldiers’. He confidently dismissed claims that the Taliban would overrun Afghanistan once NATO and its allies left.” This was a surprising and in retrospect clearly mistaken assertion and ignores the lessons of Iraq where the similar chaos followed the withdrawal of allied forces. Why did Australian intelligence perform so poorly?, asks Fernandes.
These wars are launched and conducted in our name, and in light of how both the reason for and progress of wars is misrepresented to the public – thanks to Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers we have known this since Vietnam – more scrutiny is needed not less. When a war whose purpose is unclear drags on, what are the effects on our forces?
Meanwhile we are being prepared by the MSM for the Defence Strategic Review, manufacturing consent thru fear that a war with China is imminent and unavoidable, such as the assertion “an attack will come with minimal warning” that The Australian warned of over the Easter weekend in an article of one mere paragraph plus a short video urging we will need “long range everything”.
As Paul Keating pointed out (and many others have also in independent media), the threat of attack by China is simply not there China is not a threat. However, as John Mearsheimer clarifies, it now suits the US best to bring the situation to a head and goad China into war.
An urgency is built up in this ridiculously short News Limited article – one paragraph and a 53 second video showcasing some of the weapons on the DSR shopping list. The reassurance is implicit – we will be fine, as long as we do this and do it quickly. An advertisement for the recommendations of the DSR (soon to be announced to the rest of us) and nothing more.
The scrutiny by the MSM required for informed debate about what is being heralded as an unavoidable, urgent and more dangerous than ever war for Australia, is largely AWOL. Also missing is an analysis of how the orchestrated components come together to enable it and future wars of choice. Instead, there is crude grooming for enthusiastic – or passive – consent.