BMP condemns Australian pre-emptive strike policy

Peter Boyle peterb at
Tue Dec 3 21:55:26 MST 2002

Statement by Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP -
Solidarity of Filipino Workers)

Withdraw from all military and "security" accords with

In a blatant show of imperial arrogance Australian Prime
Minister John Howard has declared that he would launch
"pre-emptive" strikes against terrorist threats in South
East Asia. "Preemptive strike" is nothing more than a code
word for brazenly violating the national sovereignty of
Third World nations, which is now the centerpiece of the
post-September 11 doctrine of the Bush gang in the
Whitehouse, as it seeks to strengthen US global hegemony and
world domination. The Australian government intends to
piggyback on the US, in order to grab for itself a piece of
the action.

Australia has historically always assumed the role of
regional super-cop policing the Asia-Pacific region in the
interests of imperialism. It has been the United States'
loyal junior partner, assisting the US in its wars of
intervention against every single attempt by the peoples of
the region in their struggles to overthrow the yoke of
foreign domination, from Malaya and Korea, to Vietnam,
Cambodia, East Timor and Bougainville. Australia has also
played a key role in backing the Suharto dictatorship in
Indonesia. Australia dominates the economies of the Pacific,
being the number one exploiter of the economies and the
peoples of countries such as Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
Australia is also an integral part of the US global military
network, through its membership of the ANZUS alliance and
other military agreements that have provided key military
facilities, including bases, for US intervention in
different parts of the world. Australian bases at Pine Gap
in South Australia will be used against a US war on Iraq.

In the last few decades Australian capitalism's investments
in the region have increased substantially, and it has
sought to increase its own regional hegemony vis-à-vis other
powers in the region, especially Europe and Japan. It has
sought to increase its markets in Indonesia by backing the
Suharto dictatorship (until the embarrassing end), is the
largest investor in East Timor and the main contestant for
oil in the Timor Gap, is positioning itself for a slice of
the Chinese market, and is a major threat to rice and sugar
producers in the Philippines. The Australian government has
now gleefully seized the opportunity provided it by the
post-September 11 events and the Bali terrorist attacks to
increase its regional hegemony.

It's not easy to take the puny Australian Prime Minister
seriously and one is even tempted to brush aside his
comments. But John Howard not withstanding, the Australian
government's record in the region indicates that this is the
thinking of Australia's capitalist rulers and they are
serious about using every opportunity to put their plans
into action.

Any military or security agreement that the Gloria Macapagal
Arroyo (GMA) regime signs with the Australian government
will only benefit Australian capitalist interests and will
be detrimental to the interests of the Philippine nation and
its people.

The GMA regimes response should go beyond mere words of
indignation and if its words are not mere rhetoric, then it
must act. It should immediately withdraw from signing any
accords under the pretext of combating terrorism. No to the
signing of any military and/or "security" pacts with

We also demand that the GMA regime review all existing trade
agreements with Australia and withdraw from those that are
detrimental to the Philippines and its people. Already our
rice farmers, sugar farmers and other food producers are
reeling under the impact of cheap Australian agricultural
products that are flooding the local markets.

Finally, we can only be cynical about the words of
indignation by the GMA regime to John Howard's statement.
After all, Australia is merely following the Bush gang's
doctrine. While the government condemns (albeit only through
words) the Australian government, it praises the US
government's actions and kneels at Washington's feet with
begging bowl in hand in a sickening display of servility to
US interests. Now that the US has given its support to John
Howard's threat of attacks against Philippine sovereignty,
will the GMA regime backtrack even on its words? It will
come as no big surprise if it does.

The BMP has just marked Bonifacio Day on November 30. One of
the lessons of the 1896 revolution is how the ilustrados
betrayed the people and the nation. The ilustrados' regime
of GMA is merely continuing this treacherous tradition as it
betrays the people and the nation's sovereignty.

Statement of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
December 4, 2002

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