Why was Australia so eager to participate in the recent Iraq war? Geographically isolated from Iraq with virtually no history of being involved in any major direct conflict with the Arabs/Muslims. Economically, Australia is far more prosperous than the likes of Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, El Salvador and Honduras. Furthermore, she has never faced a serious shortage of oil supply.
Is it possible that the Australian leadership was really convinced by the message of George Bush that he was invading Iraq in order to make the world a safer place? Bearing in mind, Australia’s earlier participation in the war in Afghanistan resulted in the unprecedented attack in Bali, largely targeting Australian tourists. Similarly, the Madrid bombings was in retaliation to Spain partaking in the Iraq war. Very few in the western dominated mass media have pointed out that other peaceful, democratic and western nations like Switzerland, New Zealand, Austria etc. has never been targeted by the radical Islamic groups.
In addition, with the unfolding of events in Iraq, most of the pre-war claims used by the US and UK to justify the invasion has turned out to be based on fabricated evidences. Therefore, without reflecting on who has been the real victim or the aggressor, the Australian government continues to participate in the US led war and support its propaganda.
Perhaps, the ties of common language and culture with a common Anglo-Saxon heritage have propelled Australia to join the war. Australia has a track record for aiding Britain and the US in many of the previous wars. Not surprisingly many of the commentators have labelled the recent war on Iraq as an Anglo-Arab war. Australia may also have been tempted with the potential lucrative booty in Iraq, and enhancing its image in the international arena.
Some have also quietly pointed to its criminal past, as many of their forefathers were convicts, shipped from England. Subsequently, these white Australians have built a savage history by annihilating the indigenous Aboriginal population. All of this has contributed towards developing an innate desire to murder defenceless people and hence their enthusiasm for war. Such a view is a gross generalisation and may be bordering on racism and personally I do not subscribe to.
However, equally one cannot also totally ignore Australia’s violent past as Noam Chomsky stated that a legacy of imperial violence does leave a certain mark on a nation. Consequently, they become desensitised to inflicting gratuitous violence, especially upon the non Anglo-Saxon nations. This trend can also be observed in the extreme level of violence inflicted by the ‘settlers’ (a euphemism for occupiers) in South Africa, America and Israel, which easily dwarfs the retaliatory violence of the so-called ‘terrorists’, which is relatively a recent phenomenon.
The annexation of eastern Australia along with the Torres Strait Islands in 1770 by captain James Cook on behalf of King George of England marked the beginning of the end for the peaceful indigenous population. As captain James Cook states in his diaries about the hostilities from the onset:
"All they seem’d to want for us was to be gone".
The land was used as a penal colony, like the French had Devil’s Island in French Guiana and the Russians had Siberia for its criminals and other undesirable elements.
What then followed over the next hundred and fifty years is a wave of atrocities, torture and rape to the extent that 90% of their original population was erased. Techniques included the poisoning of water and food. It is comparable to the American planes bombing the food storage in Afghanistan and the civilian infrastructures in Iraq, which included water and sewage systems causing immense suffering. Technology develops but not the nature of nations driven primarily by greed and profit!
The European ‘settlers’ also deployed similar tactics against the Native Americans. The ‘benevolent’ missionaries helped to wipe out entire races of people by offering blankets infected with chicken pox for which the Native Americans had no defence. So, next time a missionary knocks on your door about the ‘love’ of Christ remember how they really offered their ‘love’ in history.
Further loss of Aboriginal lives were contributed by the loss of lands which led to the loss of their livelihood, and the introduction of disease like chickenpox, smallpox, influenza, venereal diseases, from Europe for which they had no protection. The wave of massacres eventually halted after the demise of most of their population, and confiscation of all their lands. The last known major massacre was in Coniston (Northern Australia) in 1928.
The years between 1900 until 1970 were marked by the forceful removal of children from the Aboriginal parents by the Australian government with the help of the Church. This practice was particularly targeting the children of mixed descent, after all if the white Australian men were not going to shoulder their responsibility after their fun, the government had to intervene! In fact, in many cases the Aboriginal children were abducted and kept as a pet. This had left a traumatic mark on those Aboriginal children with the agony of loosing their parents. So the term “Stolen Generation” was coined.
After much efforts and campaign to get justice for such barbaric practices, an inquiry was commenced in 1995. The final report came out in 1997, which proved overwhelmingly of this awful nasty crime. Not surprisingly the conservative government led by John Howard refused to accept it under the pretext that it would trigger legal actions. The motto is justice can never replace money and profit! It is a pity that the Aboriginal population had no Jewish connection as they have developed an art in extracting compensation from Europe.
The Aboriginal population were eventually given the right to vote in federal elections in 1962, and only in 1967 did they gain full citizenship in their own lands, counted on the censors as human beings! Not bad considering that the indigenous black population of South Africa were still suffering under the apartheid system. Such practices were also functioning to a certain degree in America.
So that brings us to the present day. Recently a young Aboriginal boy was killed by the police, which sparked a riot. People then began to put up posters with photos of police. They read as follows – "Wanted – Child Murderers. There is gang of child killers operating in the Redfern area …… They are serial killers and will reoffend." Such posters would have been equally if not more suitable in Fallujah, Jenin, Gaza, and Baghdad.
How interesting that one of the activist responded subsequently by saying “I mean, the idea of supporting these young people is I do support their right to resist. I support the Palestinian kids’ right to resist”. So the Aboriginal struggle was immediately identified with the struggle of the children in Palestine. Note, the words ‘right to resist’ but with the elapse of time the Aboriginal population like the Palestinians will become the aggressor or the problem, whilst the ‘settler’ population becomes the innocent victim and the unquestionable owner of the lands.
It would have been wonderful to observe the Indonesian and Malaysian army invading Australia in a genuine war of liberation, helping to liberate the oppressed Aboriginal population. In the same way many dream about an army engaged in the true liberation of the oppressed Irish, Afro-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans etc.
The oppression endured by Aboriginal population no one can deny. Their suffering dwarfs that of the ‘poor’ Kuwaitis under Saddam’s rule for a period of few months, or even the sufferings of the Kurds and Shias. The world will not witness the ‘democratic’ and ‘human rights’ crusaders unleashing their forces to liberate the Aboriginal population, because just like Rwanda they have no oil and their oppressors are part of the Anglo-Saxon club.
To the contrary, George Bush thinks that Australia has the right to be a beacon of justice and hence described her as the US sheriff in Asia-Pacific region. So what was his criterion? It can’t be Australia’s population, which is only about 20 million against the rest of the Asia pacific region of 300 million plus. Hence, the democratic criterion of one-man one vote is rather inconvenient like the UN Security Council. Such proposition can only be attributed to it ties of language, race and Australia’s consistent commitment to defend US aggression without reservation.
All is not bleak. Australia did take a moral stance in opposing Britain, in order to isolate South Africa for its apartheid system. Of course, the British Prime Minister at the time Margaret Thatcher pointed out that Australia has virtually no trade with South Africa. Australia is part of the South Pacific region, and it needs to modify its behaviour to fit in with the rest of the peaceful population in the region as equals. On the contrary, its conduct to date has been like the modern day convicts operating like a mafia by constantly aiding the godfather; the US government.