Albanese’s fealty to America: Shouldn’t we be white hot with rage?Sep 1, 2023
Like Paul Keating, Australians should be angry. Australia’s security is at risk. No other nation is so foolish, so self- delusional, so divorced from the basics of statecraft, nor so feckless with its citizens’ security in pursuit of America’s objectives. Shouldn’t we be white hot with rage at this government’s abdication of sovereignty?
Australia’s security is in trouble, of our own leaders doing. The recent Labor Party conference confirmed our plight. We have been told that the dominating motive of Prime Minister Albanese is electoral success. All else, including national security, is subjugate. Dicey, especially when the malaise goes beyond politics, to ignorance.
When George Brandis, a former Attorney General and High Commissioner to London gratuitously dismissed Paul Keating’s criticism of NATO spreading its tentacles to Asia, as “intemperate”, he unwittingly demonstrated why we all should be angry. Despite Brandis’ lofty legal and geopolitical career he demonstrated unencumbered ignorance of the most profound risk to Australia’s security in observing:
“In the case of the ANZUS Treaty, that includes a defence guarantee analogous with Article 5 of NATO’s foundational document, the North Atlantic Treaty.”
Analogous? The inclusion in ANZUS referred to by Brandis is the antithesis of the defence guarantee in Article 5. The words in ANZUS are designed to cover the fact that such a guarantee was specifically sought by Australia but rejected by the United States. ANZUS is a vehicle for wishful thinking and misrepresentation about the depth of American commitment to Australia’s security, exactly as exhibited by Brandis.
If someone as eminent as Brandis has not grasped that, it’s a safe bet that all of Australia’s leaders, at least over the last decade, are as uninformed. Before that, every Prime Minister from Gough Whitlam onwards adopted defence policy which dealt with the risk of relying on America. Because Australia had experienced its dangers, judged them unacceptable and chose self-reliance. Today, after forty years of clear-minded working to that end, it’s as if it never existed. We are at America’s pleasure.
Albanese informed the Labor conference: “We have to analyse the world as it is rather than how we would want it to be”. Indeed. There can be no room for wishful thinking in our security arrangements. But how else could it be that Australia joins in an American war against China knowing that the US has excluded us from the mutual security guarantee which it affords all thirty-two of its other major allies, across Asia and Europe?
Perhaps Albanese is merely ignorant. He does not know that the “world as it is” and has been for seventy years, is the US avoiding a security commitment to Australia. Which means he is just as ignorant that, for forty of those years, Australia’s defence policy had addressed the way to deal with it: through a tenacious focus on sovereignty. And ignorant also that it was only with Obama’s mission to PM Gillard in 2010, squired by failed Labor leader Kim Beazley, that our sovereignty and self- reliance began to be eroded. Ignorance of “the world as it is” is the most generous interpretation of Albanese’s fealty to America.
We should be angry because the government’s sellout is breathtakingly compounded by conceit. Defence Minister Marles has evoked the ghosts of past Labor prime ministers in self -serving allusion. What could be more arrogant than to cite Prime Minister John Curtin, who stood alone and defiant against Britain’s Churchill? Curtin saved our nation. Albanese is handing it over for America’s use and paying America for the act. For electoral gain. No word exists for such travesty.
We should be angry at the American government patronising us. Secretary of State Blinken on his recent visit to Australia, damned Australia with superlatives: “we have no greater friend, no greater partner, no greater ally than Australia.” Of course, no other nation has been so irresponsible. Left unsaid by Blinken is that US adoration flows freely from Australia not commanding a security obligation from the US, unlike its other major allies. Blinken well knows that no other nation is so foolish, so self- delusional, so divorced from the basics of statecraft, nor so feckless with its citizens’ security in pursuit of America’s objectives. That is why Australia has no peer as an ally.
We should be angry because we are paying for America’s war effort, at vast cost to our own security in multifarious ways. The AUKUS nuclear submarines are designed to hunt and kill Chinese submarines in their waters and to attack China’s high value land points. That is what they will be used for.
Australia is exploited by its AUKUS partners. US and UK enjoy mutual security guarantees. But neither offers Australia any surety. Britain already has demonstrated a flair for abandoning Australia. Abandonment by both AUKUS partners is a distinct risk, unaddressed by any government. In short Australia bears the risk for American and British objectives in AUKUS as well as the curdling cost.
Minister Marles recently announced the acquisition of 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles – designed to attack land targets, precisely, by flying under and around air defences, preprogrammed, and guided from space. China’s territory is their object, to be attacked from our surface ships operating off China with the US Navy. And the purpose of Marles’ new anti-radiation missiles is to destroy China’s missile defences. All part of Australia moving to the “war footing” espoused by visiting Congressman Gallagher.
Such subsidy of America’s war effort is beyond sanity. None of this is cost-effective for the defence of Australia.
And we should be angry at the deceptiveness of the Albanese government’s policy writings on Defence. For decades our policy papers were frank and informative. The product of experience. The challenge was spelt out honestly. Marles’ Defence Strategic Review (DSR) gives an impression that we are creating an independent means to repel the superpower of China. Yet our military planning pursues integration with US forces to attack China. The contrived concept of holding an enemy at risk over distance is a mendacious cover for us combining with American forces against China. The implied asymmetry in power for us has never been addressed.
The DSR was drafted by an academic manicured by America, now part of the US influencers at Sydney University’s United States Studies Centre.
Next the government commissioned a review of our Navy’s fleet of surface ships. Led by a retired US Admiral. Scheduled to be revealed any day now. Shouldn’t we be white hot with rage at this government’s abdication of sovereignty – that the take- over is so flaunted?
And finally, like Paul Keating, we should be angry that our nation has been humiliated by its Government. Amongst President Biden’s fine words, when Prime Minister Albanese is toasted at the coming state dinner in Washington in October, no-one will expose the chump forsaking our nation’s interests to get there. That goes without saying.