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US military marches into Australia

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by Bill F.
At the annual Australia-US Ministerial talks (AUSMIN) in Perth last month, Prime Minister Gillard and Defence Minister Stephen Smith compliantly welcomed the expansion of US military bases into Australia.
The talks, with high-flying US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, basically involved our servile government ticking off the US wish-list of items that will turn Australia into a launching pad for future US military adventures across Asia, the Pacific region and the Indian Ocean.  
AUSMIN commences the implementation of Obama’s 2011 announcement that the US would shift its focus to the Asia-Pacific region, aiming to have 60% of its global military in the region.
A new US military radar and space telescope base will be established, allegedly to monitor “space debris in our part of the world”, as Stephen Smith put it at his news conference. The real purpose of the base, however, will be to keep tabs on Chinese and Korean missile tests, space launches and satellites. Targeting ‘space junk’ is merely a cover for targeting China, in the ramped up confrontation policies of US imperialism.
Nobody knows if China will repay the favour by targeting the new base when it is built, but the reckless grovelling of the Gillard government opens Australia to a much more dangerous future.
Also discussed at the meetings was the US desire to have its warships and crews rotate through Australian ports, especially the HMAS Stirling Naval base in Western Australia.
Another ‘suggestion’ by Clinton and Panetta was a proposal for joint Australian-Indian naval exercises, which would free up the US navy to concentrate on the Pacific. Nothing concrete was announced however, and this reveals the ‘bit by bit’ process of military engagement which is designed to allay alarm within Australia. But, it hasn’t really worked.     
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has joined many others, including Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser, in expressing alarm at the manner in which Australia has surrendered to US foreign policy and military planning.
In his presentation of the Keith Murdoch Oration at the State Library of Victoria, he stated, “After playing the deputy sheriff, John Howard had us dancing to the tune of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan…Our sense of independence has flagged and as it flagged, we have rolled back into an easy accommodation with the foreign policy objectives of the US… More latterly, our respect for the foreign policy objectives of the US has superimposed itself on what should otherwise be the foreign policy objectives of Australia.”
Keating, and others such as Hugh White, are genuinely dismayed at the subservience of the Rudd and Gillard Labor governments. They tend to see it simply as weakness by our governments rather than revealing the extent of US political, economic, military and cultural domination of Australia, in other words, imperialism.
They are part of a rapidly growing movement of the people that wants Australia to assert and defend its independence and sovereignty. This movement also includes the patriotic working class and those resisting and opposing imperialist war and exploitation. Many are angry with the Labor government, but are determined to organise and rally the people against the US war machine.


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