New Age for Aussie and Kiwi Imperialism

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at
Thu Sep 16 17:25:24 MDT 1999

Warwick fry reckons the Australian ruling class has been reluctant to send
troops and has been exposed for its complicity with the Indinesian

Warwick, this just won't wash.  It took about a week for the Australian
government to decide to send in troops and the force they are sending is
fairly close to the size of what they committed to Vietnam.  Hardly a sign
of reluctance, my friend!

4,500 Aussie troops is the equivalent of about 75,000 US troops.  This
indicates enthusiasm, rather than reluctance!

The NZ government last week was talking about sending 250 troops, a few
days later this became 350, now they are talking of a thousand troops.
This is the equivalent of about 80,000 US troops.  NZ was pretty committed
to the Vietnam War, but NZ troops in Vietnam never went over about 600.  So
this would be NZ's largest troop commitment since WW2 (or maybe since
Korea, I'm not sure about the size of the NZ forces committed to Korea).

In other words, these are the most significant deployments of Australian
and NZ troops, at the least since Vietnam, possibly since Korea or even
WW2.  This is also the first time that Australia and NZ have provided *the
leadership* of a multilateral force, and in that sense, the intervention
represents a significant step forward for our ruling classes.  Australia
and NZ, especially Australia, will also be numero uno in a force which
includes the troops of Asian countries, which seem to be keen to line up
with the Western Alliance against Indonesia.  So the white bourgeoisie will
also be reminding their Asian 'allies' what their place is in the New World

Moreover, the intervention is allowing both Canberra and Wellington to
erase any public memories of their complicity with Jakarta in the slaughter
of Timorese and suppression of the Indonesian masses.  Because large
sections of the public in Australia and NZ support the intervention, the
Aussie and Kiwi ruling classes are paying no price whatsoever for their
years of complicity and duplicity.  Instead the populace is caught up in
wanting 'our boys' to sort out the Indonesians.  Playing the 'moral' card
of 'humanitarian intervention' is allowing Canberra and Wellington to
redeem the high ground.

All in all, it is a great day for Australasian imperialism and national
chauvinism.  A bad day for the Timorese and the rest of the people -
including the left and working class in Australia and NZ - in SE Asia and
the South/West Pacific region.

Philip Ferguson

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