Contributed by Joe Montero
The seizure of a Panamanian registered tanker carrying Iranian oil for Syria just off Gibraltar in the Mediterranean, has been a salutary reminder of the state of global politics and the role of The United States in it.
There can be absolutely no doubt, that Washington has shifted decisively towards increasing reliance on force, as the means to impose its will. This shift can be traced back to the time of president Bill Clinton and the rise of theatres of conflict involving American armed forces, in more parts of the world than ever before in history.
The legacy was continued by the two Bushes and Barack Obama, despite his election promise to turn away from this heritage.
Donald Trump also promised a new direction. It is now clear he is not only continuing in the same way, except escalating it to a new and, more dangerous level.
The seizure of the tanker near Gibraltar may have been made by British Royal Marines. This does not mean that the hand of the United States was not in it.
Parallel and ingrained in Washington’s shift towards the militarisation of politics, has been the building of a so-called coalition.
This is really an integration of both politics and the military into single unit, virtually commanded from a single centre.
What this means, is that those actions locked into this integration are locked into the military adventures of the United States. The governments of subsidiary nations lack real independence and will to do anything else but comply.
This is why Australia has been involved in every Washington instigated conflict since World War Two and escalated since Clinton’s time.
Both Obama and Trump signaled that those countries within Washington’s orbit would be taking on an increasing burden. This is happening.
It is in this context that the Australian coalition the Independent and Peaceful Australian Network (IPAN) has lambasted the United States initiated “Force Posture Agreement” that Australia has signed. Under this, us marines are being stationed in Darwin, to be able to launch into conflicts in other countries.
IPAN says the agreement “…would not prevent US Marines in Darwin from repeating the piratical seizure by Gibraltar-based Royal Marines last week of a Panamanian-registered tanker…The British boarded the ship as self-appointed ‘enforcers’ of the US sanctions against Iran. Sanctions not endorsed by the United Nations and therefore illegal. The British action in Spanish waters was condemned by the Spanish government.”
IPAN spokesperson Nick Deane continued with, “the Australian government has little effective control over the actions of US Marines in Darwin, who would be eager to add to US war-like provocations against Iran.
“Iranian oil bound to Indonesia or China would be vulnerable to such actions.
“Such US harassment could draw Australia dangerously into
confrontation with Iran and her allies (including China and Russia), even as
Australia contemplates support for a US war on Iran.
“Such a possibility reinforces the need to end the Force Posture Agreement with the US and send their Marines home.
“It also further highlights the sore need for an independent foreign policy.”