The knee jerk reaction by Malcolm Turnbull to the United States bombing of Syria and the sending in of ground troops is to be expected. Australian governments and especially the Coalition, have had a long history of blind obedience and number one cheer squad for Washington, no matter what.
This obedience has led Australia to suffer and die in a string of unjustified wars. Back in the days of the Vietnam war, it was Labor leader Arthur Caldwell who was the first leading politician who had the courage to stand up and say, this is wrong. In doing so, he had to confront much of the Labor Party establishment. History proved him right.
When George W Bush dragged us into war against Iraq, on the now proven lie of weapon of mass destruction, the Howard government led small group of cheer leaders. Ditto for Afghanistan. World opinion and international law didn’t matter two hoots and the might is right doctrine prevailed.
It involved British Labour leader Tony Blair and his government. He subsequently fell into disgrace over this.
In Australia, Labor had not been able to find the courage of Caldwell and chose to go with the flow. Today, leader Bill Shorten is unfortunately following this tradition. It has disappointed many of his own and Labor’s supporters. It seems that it is not so easy to learn the lessons of history. Only days after the 59 cruise missiles struck, evidence that the story is somewhat different from what we were told, is starting to mount up.
Even so, the gullible refuse to face this. There is even a cheer squad from the left flank. This should not surprise anyone either. Time after time, these people have gone in to bat for what turned out to be the wrong side, from Vietnam, to Iraq and Afghanistan and now Syria. Some of them even backed Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor, always on the side of freedom, of course.
The bottom line is that an escalation of the war in Syria is not in the interests of anyone, except those who wish to gain resources and a strategic hold over the region and beyond. The dangerous strategy is to point the gun at Russia and China and the risk of world war is that last thing any of us need.
Direct and indirect supporters of the attack need to realise that holding onto the coattails of a declining power is not the way to go. And as the facts unfold, they will be wearing egg on their collective face. History tends to repeat for those who do not heed its lessons.
In Syria, it is not revolutionaries and freedom fighter holding the gun. It is western backed jihadists, most of which are not Syrians. In Syria, most people, including those critical of Assad are pulling together against what they consider a common foe. This is what independent witnesses on the ground are saying.
There is a growing upsurge of opposition around the world. It is happening in Australia as well, and there is already a strong feeling that the all the way with the USA politics needs to go and be replaced by an independent international stance. Australia should respect all nations, accept differences and not become involved in conflicts where we have no business.
Till we do this, we relegate ourselves to a status of a semi-colony and continue to be joke of the world, known as the deputy sheriff.