Underestimating Albanese is a massive calamity for Australia

Mar 11, 2024
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese

When Anthony Albanese said during 2022 he’d “always been underestimated… but here I am”, the message he was trying to convey was one of self-congratulation. He portrayed himself as a poor boy made good who deserved widespread public applause and appreciation for that achievement.

Now we know that the essence of the message conveyed something else; a hankering to join the right-wing political establishment, to become a member of the AUKUS club, to rub shoulders with the Washington political class and the bosses of the US military profiteers of the “US rules-based order” of continuous warfare, death and destruction.

Or rather, a hankering to be a follower in the service of US imperial interests, including making Australia a US Guam of the south-west Pacific, a colonial outpost for the US military and a prime target if – more likely when – the US decides unilaterally to make war with China.

The great irony of Albanese in the service of the US is that he would like to be regarded as a reincarnated John Curtin.

Instead he has already adopted the mantle of those anti-labour Labor politicians , such as Billy Hughes or Joseph Lyons, who sought solace and reward from being accepted into the ranks of the Tory establishment, the minor difference being that Albanese has no need to leave the current Labor party, for it has already abandoned the labour movement and the vision of Australia as an independent nation.

It is within the context of Albanese submitting to Washington,  that we can understand how he has come to be the first western leader to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as “accessory to genocide in Gaza”.

The referral (or Communique), is a 92 page document – not a “letter” as the highly censored mainstream Australian media depicts it – which cannot be dismissed, as Albanese has sought to do, by saying it has “no credibility”.

In using the phrase “no credibility” he imitates the words used by his putative Pentagon boss Anthony Blinken in dismissing the case put by South Africa to the ICJ, merely reinforcing the level he has stooped to as a flunkey of the Biden administration.

The main summary of the referral has already been circulated internationally, but has been largely ignored by the Australian mainstream media, in keeping with the heavy self-imposed censorship of what is happening in Israel’s destruction of the civilian population of Gaza.

Albanese and his government are able to shelter behind the Australian media’s betrayal of its professional responsibilities by saying that the Communique to the ICC is “misinformation”, when it is in fact a detailed compendium and – in the words of one Australian lawyer involved in human rights issues over many years – “a comprehensive historical account of Australia’s role in Israel’s systematic destruction of Palestine and the slaughter and removal of Palestinians. Wilful blindness or open complicity. The latter I think”.

The executive statement of the communique includes the following:

“Since 7 October 2023, the Australian government and individual government Ministers and political figures, such as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Defence Minister Richard Marles, and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, have provided explicit political, rhetorical, moral, military, and material support for Israel’s genocidal attack, despite their indisputable knowledge of the extent of the violent attacks. These actors have sought to provide political cover for Israel in international forums, justifying Israel’s bombing campaign as a legitimate right to self-defence that it does not, in fact, enjoy, and refusing to take any action that may positively contribute to stopping the genocidal campaign in Gaza. The Australian government, and its individual members, has, moreover, taken actions that further aggravate the ongoing genocide in Palestine through its cessation of funding for vital aid and humanitarian support.”

There was always a certain inevitability that Australia’s political decision to hand control of foreign policy and defence to Washington would produce the absolute moral bankruptcy which is the hallmark of the Labor-Liberal political class on the global stage.

Albanese is currently Biden’s Boy Down Under but he has already stated he “can work with Trump”. Albanese is not to be underestimated in ensuring Australia has a “voice of respect” in its unctuous diplomacy as that of a follower tutored by the Pentagon and the White House as messenger, for Biden or for Trump, whether as a “friend of Israel” and Netanyahu’s administration, or on any other matter.

That is indeed well understood in every international forum, the “deputy sheriff” role of John Howard having been progressively reduced to a more servile status, with each successive Australian prime minister becoming more cringing, grovelling and destructive of Australia’s future.

To say that Albanese has been massively underestimated is more than a bemusing understatement. Albanese has staked his claim to political power in the medium term by courting stasis in basic inequities in health, education, housing, labour rights, the environment and refugees and unexpectedly strengthened key elements of the agenda of Howard, Abbott and Morrison on a scale and intent much larger than theirs.

In the time since the Communique to the ICC was finalised and submitted against Albanese, Dutton and others alleging “accessorial Liability for genocide”, other blatant massacres of Palestinian civilians have taken place, notably the “Flour Massacre”. The failure of Australia to condemn such mass murder shatters Albanese’s “credibility”, and cannot be claimed as “misinformation”.

Albanese has no right to compare himself to prime ministers like John Curtin, but every right to be remembered as the first Australian prime minister to be referred to the ICC as having an “accessorial Liability for genocide”.

What’s his defence? Just following orders?


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