The imperial war drums are beating loudly again and the big parties in Australia, Liberal and Labor, are once more shoulder-to-shoulder for a new military intervention in Iraq.
Defence minister David Johnston says the Australian armed forces are in a “high state of readiness” to join the US in bombing missions with Super Hornet warplanes.
“They're incredibly capable,” he said. “They're exactly what flies off US aircraft carriers. Now, that's an obvious first port of call were we to consider it necessary to participate with our friends and our ally.”
No questioning and no dissent are allowed in this drive to war.
When Labor Senator Sue Lines dared to say the obvious — that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is scaremongering over national security and exploiting the horror of the fundamentalist Islamic State (IS) militia in Iraq to deflect from his budget mess and improve his position in the polls — she was jumped on from a great height.
The gutless and principle-free Labor leader Bill Shorten rushed to reassure everyone that the ALP is on the same side as the Abbott government on “national security.”
“I've spoken to Senator Lines; our position is that we will work in the best interests of our nation,” he said.
“I'm not going to get into politics here. I and Labor recognise that national security is a matter which goes above the day-to-day politics.”
When it comes to “national security” it seems you are not allowed tell a bit of the truth.
And what about the rest of the obvious truth?
What about the other obvious fact that the horror in Iraq today is a direct consequence of the last imperial war on Iraq? That the massive “shock and awe” bombing, the occupation, the huge civilian casualties and displacement of people and the propping up of a new sectarian and repressive regime by the imperialists laid the basis for the gains by the IS fundamentalists?
What about the fact that the supposed bomb-and-occupy imperial “solution” to “terrorism” in Afghanistan has also spectacularly failed to end war, fundamentalism or terrorism? Can we speak that truth? Or is it “unAustralian”?
What about the obvious fact the world is in permanent war because the 66 richest people in the world own as much the poorest 3.5 billion people on the planet? Can we say that without being branded as traitors?
Here at Green Left Weekly we are going to keep telling the truth even as the drums of war beat louder. You can help us do this by subscribing, buying a subscription for a friend, and by making a donation today to Green Left Weekly fighting fund on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia).
You can also make a donation online. Direct deposits can also be made to Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 00901992. Otherwise, you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007.