The relentless march of militarism: When will it stop?

Aug 12, 2023
North American eagle on American flag.

We are under constant bombardment. Hardly a day goes by without some news of a military nature. If it is not about sending more equipment to prolong the war in Ukraine, it is about Australian minerals being domesticated to serve Americas military interests.

It may shift to the Talisman Sabre Exercises, with the expectation that we all applaud Japan as it practices firing missiles off the NSW South Coast. Or, in the midst of Talisman Sabre, the communiqué of the annual AUSMIN consultations, through which further pieces are sliced off the salami that is Australia’s sovereignty. Today (August 11, 2023), we have breathtaking excitement at the Malabar naval exercises involving the nations of the ‘Quad’. And everything is presented against a sinister background of suspicion and mistrust towards China and Russia, coupled with the underlying conviction that our allies, especially the USA, can do no wrong.

On the other hand, Hiroshima and Nagasaki Days passed without mention in the mainstream media. Rallies calling for peace receive no coverage whatever. The din of the drums of war drowns out the voices of the people, who, without doubt, overwhelmingly favour peace over war.

Advocates of peace are routinely regarded as resembling enemies of the state. In this writer’s experience, over a couple of decades, it has become extremely difficult – almost impossible – to engage in any dialogue with politicians of the major parties on the topic of peace. In both the USA and Australia, there is bi-partisan support for increased military spending and an ever-deepening commitment to all aspects of the military industry. This commitment grows stronger with every media announcement. Every development ‘enhances’ (they love that word!) the relationship between the two nations. The more the process proceeds, the easier it becomes for proponent of peace to be marginalised and ignored.

Those in power see no contradiction between enthusiastically heralding the latest military development and their customary platitudes about improving prospects for peace and stability. They claim a desire for peace as they improve preparedness for making war, through increases in the presence of military equipment. They champion prosperity, whilst seeking to achieve it through the manufacture and marketing of weaponry. They pay lip service to preventing the spread of nuclear technology whilst singing the praises of AUKUS.

Universities, where the notion of progress for humanity did at one time reside, are becoming training grounds, where those intent on careers furthering the interests of the militarists receive encouragement, preferential treatment and funding from armaments manufacturers. The war profiteers are running the show. At Universities, Strategic Studies are booming and Peace Studies are in eclipse.

The militarisation of Australian society shows absolutely no sign of stopping. On the contrary, the military machine has found its stride and is going from strength to strength. With bi-artisan support at the highest level, all opposition can be brushed aside. No need to consult the public about AUKUS! No need to debate it in parliament! No need to reveal the secret details of the agreement! (This is a democracy, remember!)

The depressing answer to the question “When is it going to stop?” is that it is not going to. The American eagle of war has us firmly in its talons. We are on a path to war, regardless of the wishes of the people, the voters. The bombardment is necessary, from the perspective of those who wish to keep us on track.

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