OZ foreign Policy

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Wed Oct 6 01:07:55 MDT 1999

There is a full scale debate underway in Parliament and in the media at
present about Australian foreign policy.  Obviously it is based around the
East Timor intervention but it has much wider implications.  If it is ok
with Lou I will post a fairly lengthy piece on the debate.  I am as anxious
as anyone to avoid sterile debates but as I said in my last post the
situation is quite volatile at present.

There simply has not been a full scale debate among the elites around
foreign policy since the Vietnam War, so for an Australian Marxist this is
a very vital time.  My take on this is that the legacy of the anti-Vietnam
War mobilizations has been frittered away and the Australian state has now
much more freedom with regard to military interventions in this region. As
the DSP made clear in an August copy of Green Left Weekly it is such
freedom that the Australian Government has been seeking. A shame the DSP's
Central Committee could not have gone over some back issues before they
called for troops in East Timor.

BTW I noticed that the Irish Govt has pushed ahead with closer links with
NATO despite this being unconstitutional.  They specified 'humanitarian'
concerns.  Where have I heard that before?



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