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Issue #1594      May 22, 2013

Entrapment – The Australian conundrum

Disrespect to sovereignty (Part 2)

The next put-down on Australia’s right to determine how it handles its economic responsibilities came from Admiral Locklear, head of the US Pacific Command and Richard Armitage, who publicly launched a tirade of offensive statements: “It threatens the country’s credibility as an ally”, “Australia is freeloading on the American taxpayer”, “Australia defence spending has fallen below what the US expects”, “Australia’s defence budget is inadequate”, and so on.

(Photo: Avante Media Australia)

These statements were appallingly insensitive and arrogant and showed an authoritarian disrespect to Australian sovereignty within the context of:

  • the loss of Australian lives in the superfluous commitment to the three contrived wars that were Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan
  • the US commitment to substantial defence cuts. The first cut will be US$487 billion followed by a cut of US$600 billion. These cuts are to alleviate the stress on the US economy created by a US$16.5 trillion foreign debt. China is America’s largest debtor.

Further, the European debt crisis has forced defence expenditure reductions by major NATO countries.

However, US reductions of defence expenditures have not impacted on weapons sales. In 2011-12, US arms sales tripled. Overseas arms sales were US$66.3 billion; this was 78 percent of all global arms sales. The principle recipients from the US were the remaining conspiratorial Middle East dictators, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Bahrain. The despicable former Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, once said: “Do nothing to offend the dictators for they are the only ones you can trust”.

One of the most extensive pressure strategies is a proposal commissioned by the US Defence Department and constructed by the US Centre for Strategic Studies for the enhancement of the US force posture in the Pacific-Asia region.

The final report recommended in part that (1) the US increase Special Forces in the region, and (2) move a US carrier strike force to HMAS Stirling base in Perth. Such a strike force would consist of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, an air wing of nine squadrons (66 aircraft and 13 helicopters), 1 or 2 guided missile cruisers, 2 or 3 guided missile destroyers, 1 or 2 nuclear submarines and a supply ship.

The report was submitted to the US Congress for consideration, not the Australian government. What the US wants the US will get.

In dealing with the most disputatious pressure being imposed on the Australian government are drones, and within that context I must acknowledge the impeccable articles by Hannah Middleton and Brian Tyrell on their drone coverage and John Pilger on Diego Garcia, that may well reflect the future of the Cocos Islands.

Brian and Hannah’s revelations as to the extent that Australia is so seduced by drones must become a matter of broad public debate.

There are three tiers of contradictory information on the scope of killing, both terrorists (suspects) and civilians. They are the country responsible for the killings, the country that has been attacked, and the independent organisations such as Amnesty and others. I will use statistics provided by the independents.

The process by which a decision will be made as to where and who the next assassination will occur is the sole responsibility of President Obama, based on information given to him by John Brennan, his Intelligence Officer.

Brennan prepares a list of suspects; they are likely to reside in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, or Somalia (but not exclusively). The list is known as the “kill list Tuesdays”. It will be given to the President to determine who will and who won’t be assassinated. The President is the judge, jury and executioner.

In Pakistan, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, over the first term of President Obama there have been 362 strikes, 3,461 deaths, of which 891 were civilians.

The most recent was in Yemen: a truck carrying 14 civilians: men, women and children, as hit by a drone, tipping the truck over. It was then hit by a second missile. All 14 were killed, including a seven-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy. They were all innocents.

According to the New York Times, “The US has more drone pilots in training (those who sit in front of a computer are considered pilots) than for fighter and bomber aircraft combined”.

Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta, recently announced that “US troops who launch and direct cyber attacks may be recognised with a new medal. The new blue, red and white ribboned ‘Distinguished Warfare Medal’ will be rewarded to individuals for ‘extraordinary achievement’ related to military operations. Unlike the combat medal, it does not require risk to his or her life”. (I assume “extraordinary achievement” means high body count, but it won’t be given for bravery).

America wants occupation of the Cocos Islands to expand the airbase to accommodate drones, Global Hawkes and Poseidon aircraft; apart from being offensive to our northern neighbours, it would not be inconceivable to draw a correlation between the future of the Cocos and that of Diego Garcia.

Under pressure from other countries, including Russia and China, and relevant independent organisations, the United Nations has established a dedicated investigations unit based in Geneva. Its investigative brief is to examine the legitimacy or illegitimacy of drone attacks as to whether they breach international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

On entrapment, the Australian government entrapment comes as a consequence of its own servility. Its commitment to the unrequited, ageing ANZUS Treaty and the illusory Alliance, consequentially derives a perception that Australia not only gives credence to the “global spectrum dominance” ideology it is itself entrapped by it.

The ANZUS Treaty is a document of weasel words and the Alliance is an imaginary US tool of convenience. Neither guarantees any reciprocal responses to Australia should the need arise.

The Australian government has, on the issue of troop rotation, treated the Australian people with deceit. To suggest that Australia was doing anything but aiding and abetting the US in a pre-arranged agreement to assist in the challenge of China beggars belief.

The claims that it was the US that made the approach was rebuked by Admiral Willard when he said, “It has been very much a part of public record that Australia made overtures to the US”.

Part 1 appeared in last week’s Guardian.

The Beacon   

Next article – Culture & Life – Female, black and vulnerable

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