Don’t be fooled by their smiles. Ignore the trivia about “best friends” and crocodile insurance. This is about guns and money, about preserving the “right” of the richest 1% to exploit the world.
US President Barack Obama’s visit to Australia is in the tradition of previous US presidential visits. He’s here to bolster the US-Australia war alliance and to reinforce a partnership of crime — a partnership to keep the rules of doing international business as favourable as possible to the world’s rich nations and the small number of super-rich families that own and run them.
The recently announced plan to permanently station 2500 US marines in Darwin and port more US warships, submarines and warplanes in various Australian bases, cannot be understood as anything other than an escalation of military tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.
“The United States is a Pacific power and we are here to stay,” said Obama.
The 60-year-old US-Australia war alliance has a history of military aggression in the region and beyond. There isn’t a single moment in those 60 years that the US military, with or without its Australian ally, has not been threatening, invading, occupying, bombing or subverting other countries.
Here’s a list of US postwar military invasions: Korea, Iran, Vietnam, Guatemala, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, China, Panama, Cuba, Germany, Laos, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Cambodia, Angola, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Grenada, Honduras, Philippines, Liberia, Kuwait, Somalia, Yugoslavia, Haiti, the Congo, Albania, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Macedonia, Colombia, Pakistan and Syria.
That’s 37 countries (and I have probably missed some) in 60 years and several of these countries have been attacked more than once by the US military in that time. No amount of deceitful rhetoric can hide the fact that the US is an aggressive and not a defensive military power.
And it is the biggest military power on earth and the only military to have used nuclear weapons. The US is spending more than US$1 trillion a year on its military despite the fact that its public debt is now more than $15 trillion.
In the middle of the biggest global economic crisis in decades, the world looks uneasily at this country with the world’s biggest debts and the world’s most powerful military. The Australian Labor government’s decision to expand the military alliance with the world’s biggest war-maker is an act of aggression against the rest of the world.
When it comes to serving US imperialist interests, Obama is a Stealth version of Bush.
On its 60th anniversary the US-Australian war alliance needs to be broken and buried. Shame on all those who have joined in the celebrations of the expansion of this criminal partnership, which will tap into the deeply-rooted racist fears of many white Australians about the “Yellow Peril”.
In 1908, Australian PM Alfred Deakin first invited the US “Great White Fleet” to Australia. He said: “The visit of the United States Fleet is universally popular here … because of the distrust of the Yellow race in the North Pacific and our recognition of the ‘entente cordiale’ spreading among all white races who realise the Yellow Peril to Caucasian civilisation, creeds and policies.”
Now in 2011, the first African-American US president visits Australia but, underneath all slippery words of the politicians and media commentators, how much has really changed?