Contributed by Jim Hayes
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison went to the United States to do what he does best. To be a walking and talking embarrassment. Paraded before the cameras by Donald trump, he played the obedient puppy well.
Although much was made about business opportunities, including a factory owned by Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt and a $150 million space program deal with NASA, the real business was about the geopolitical ambitions of Wall Street and Washington.
The photo opportunities were designed to portray the fiction that the United States is not globally isolated and that it has a friend, as it pursues its own agenda.
Scomo was given a hero’s reception, and he enthusiastically sucked it up and commited Australia to the new appetite for gunboat diplomacy, trade sanctions and the drift towards shooting wars wherever Uncle Sam wants them.
An attempt was made to resurrect George Bush’s Coalition of the Willing.
In playing his role Scomo is, of course, continuing a tradition among Australian political leaders, which gave us wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and more. Australians did not die in these countries to protect those who lived there.
The consistent pattern has been to go in, make a mess, pull out and leave those living there to clean up the mess.
None of these wars brought a military victory for the United States and Australia. They were all defeats, and the only thing to show has been the body count.
The lasting damage was was to make the world more unstable and dangerous.
The roots of these conflicts were the efforts of nations to break free from a colonial past and the ongoing straitjacket of being under the thumb of the former colonial powers. Nations wanted self determination.
So it is today. As the sole remaining old power with capability, dominant interests in the United States seek to shape the world according to their own interests.
This makes the United States is the single greatest risk to world peace.
Right now, the sites are set on Iran., with China being the longer-term target.
Neither of these countries have troops threatening the territorial space of the United States or Australia.
Both Iran and China face military encirclement and have had trade sanctions imposed on them, not because they are attacking someone. They are guilty of not doing what they’re told and and accepting American dominance.
US military encirclement of Iran
US military encirclement of China
Iran is called a nuclear threat, despite the fact that they have honoured agreements, and it is the United States that has not.
Iran, along with China, is a signatory to theTreaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The United States has unilaterally walked away from it, and is busy building its own nuclear arsenal.
This brings some perspective into the matter.
Australia has been a cheer leader for all of this, and is participating in military action in the Straits of Hormuz and the South China Sea, and is ready for further military interventions.
The gushing Australian leader took to the podium at the White House to say: “Thank you for this honour you have bestowed…”
But what is the price?
The Australian Armed Forces are currently present in at least 12 countries and regions. Most of these operations are under the command of the the US military. Australian citizens are kept in the dark about much of this.
Morrison’s visit has signaled that this is going to go be lifted to another level. The Australian people are not being asked for approval. It is being organised behind closed doors.
The chances of being involved in another war are going up.
A hint of what is to come was in Morrison’s speech, given at an event hosted by vice-president Mike Pence and secretary of state Mike Pompeo. They are the two most directly connected to United States’ foreign policy, and this gave the event importance.
Scott Morrison said that the United sates is “living out its moral purpose.” By this he meant promoting an unencumbered market and breaking down barriers to the international trade and the flow of capital. He did not say it in these words. He used the “free trade” slogan. But the content was clear enough.
He added, that this can only be achieved by maintaining the global dominance of the United States.
“your [United States] presence and engagement in our region…has never been more necessary,” he said.
There is absolutely no doubt that this has a lot to do with countering the rise of China.
Donald Trump had earlier said that there would be discussion on military options. Exactly what these are is being kept secret for now.
Meanwhile, we move headlong towards a conflict with Iran, that at least in part, is serving as a proxy, for the bigger war that threatens.