EMBRACING THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX March 28, 2012Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Humankind/Planet Earth, Oil, Peace.
The American killing machine is now seeking to reposition, after its’s spectacular success in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As a system of murder and a money spinner for the few it was very successful, but as method of peace and justice, as could have been predicted, extraordinarily unsuccessful.
The American killing machine is now seeking to reposition, after its’s spectacular success in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a system of murder and a money spinner for the few it was very successful, but as method of peace and justice, as could have been predicted, extraordinarily unsuccessful.
Craig Whilock reports in The Sydney Morning Herald:
The United States and Australia are planning a major expansion of military ties, including possible drone flights from a coral atoll in the Indian Ocean and increased US naval access to Australian ports, as the Pentagon looks to shift its forces closer to Southeast Asia, officials from both countries said.
The moves, which are under discussion but have drawn strong interest from both sides, would come on top of an agreement announced by President Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard in November to deploy up to 2500 US Marines to Darwin, on Australia’s northern coast.
The talks are the latest indicator of how the Obama administration is rapidly turning its strategic attention to Asia as it winds down a costly decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The US government is finalising a deal to station four warships in Singapore and has opened negotiations with the Philippines about boosting its military presence there.
To a lesser degree, the Pentagon is also seeking to upgrade military relations with Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
Although US officials say the regional pivot is not aimed at any single country, analysts said it is a clear response to a rising China, whose growing military strength and assertive territorial claims have pushed other Asian nations to reach out to Washington.
The Pentagon is reviewing the size and distribution of its forces in northeast Asia, where they are concentrated on Cold War-era bases in Japan and South Korea. The intent is to gradually reduce the US military presence in those countries while enhancing it in Southeast Asia, home to the world’s busiest shipping lanes and to growing international competition to tap into vast undersea oil and gas fields.
“In terms of your overall influence in the Asia-Pacific zone, the strategic weight is shifting south,” said a senior Australian official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the military talks. “Australia didn’t look all that important during the Cold War. But Australia looks much more important if your fascination is really with the Southeast Asian archipelago.”
It is a a singularly strange conclusion for an Australian Government to engage in military preparations against its’ most important economic partner. Presumably, the Chinese might be taking notice. Nor it is to be automatically assumed that the Pentagon’s finances might not be subject to scrutiny and some consideration of opportunity costs, if not morality.
Whereas in the immediate future hosting a drone base on Cocos Island may seem attractive, if subservient, it cannot and should not be assumed that this murderous technology will remain a monopoly. Do we really want to encourage retaliation? Have we become so pessimistic about the possibilities of human beings and for justice and peace that we have to resort to murder?
One drone attack too many:
Then again climate change might beat such calculations to the punch, making in retrospect murder for fossil fuels, the cenotaph for human folly.
And so too we, including our leaders, may have been schooled to be stupid:
- As expected the Federal Opposition, as reported by ABC, is gung ho and as a local Cocos Island businessman observe ranges from the misplaced Indian Ocean living “pacificists”. Any questions related to drone warfare and its human and regional implications were left unstated and unexplored.
- ABC News reports that the Government has not ruled out the Cocos Island drone base at at some time in the future.
- National Security Brief: March 27, 2012 (thinkprogress.org)
- (“…Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America…The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby…”) Prison Planet.com ” Empires Then and (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- 3 Issues Driving White House’s Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal Plans (usnews.com)
- US Support for Afghan War Plummets (newser.com)
- How America Painted Itself Into A Corner on North Korean Succession (battleland.blogs.time.com)
- Pentagon reload: ‘US army loses to military contractors’ (rt.com)
- “The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance” (step-on-a-crack.com)
- Imperial Overreach and the Failures of An All-Volunteer Army (therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com)
- US, Australia plan expansion of military ties amid pivot to SE Asia (stripes.com)
- Uncle Sam Is Back (ppgreview.ca)
- Pentagon stays silent on whether suspect in Afghan Massacre took controversial Anti-Malaria Drug (homecomingvets.wordpress.com)
- Game Of Thrones Returns To Australia (blogs.the-american-interest.com)
- Australia open to U.S. spy flights from Indian Ocean island (wrc559.com)
In discussing the lack of choice, but more importantly, the lack of debate that will take place in the US Presidential Election, Richard Falk observes:
Democracy is discredited if it cannot do better than this, and calls into question whether it is any longer entirely reasonable to call the United States ‘a democracy.’ Perhaps, more descriptive are labels such as ‘plutocracy,’ ‘pre-fascist,’ and ‘soft authoritarian.’ Democracy to retain credibility has to be about more than elections and a competition to get biggest contributions from the nation’s billionaires. If the world were to be enfranchised in American elections, there would be less to fear. There is more sense abroad that the challenge of climate change needs to be met, that a war against Iran would be an evil folly, and that a more equitable approach to global economic policy would benefit humanity. And arguably in a globalizing world where people are often deeply affected by the outcome of American national elections they should be entitled to participate in selecting its political leaders. If the United States acts as if it is a legitimate world state with interests and a military presence throughout the planet then the peoples of the world should have a say in how it acts. Perhaps, in the end the difference between ‘empire’ and ‘democracy’ is whether those affected participate and those in charge are accountable. From such perspectives, it seems more accurate to perceive the United States as an aspiring global empire.
The problem is not so much the alliance with the United States, but what the United States has now become (and in truth has been for a long time) now that its’ democratic institutions are crumbling, aside from our personal friendships and so forth. In a global world if human values are to prevail, with justice and peace, we need to extend those friendships to other people and other places, which obviously is inconsistent with implied and actual postures of violence, domination and aggression.