Australian prelude was : Prelude to Iraq

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Mon Feb 3 15:53:56 MST 2003


At 02:26  3/02/03 -0500, Lou quoted:


>Suddenly the model was no longer Vietnam, it was World War II -- armed
>American power was all that stood in the way of genocide. Without the cold
>war to distort the debate, and with the inspiring example of the East bloc
>revolutions of 1989 still fresh, a number of liberal intellectuals in this
>country had a new idea. These writers and academics wanted to use American
>military power to serve goals like human rights and democracy --
>especially when it was clear that nobody else would do it."


Now if we take the above and substitute as below, we can see the role that
Australian military intervention played in East Timor.


>Suddenly the model was no longer Vietnam, it was World War II -- armed
>Australian power was all that stood in the way of genocide. Without the
>cold war to distort the debate, and with the inspiring example of the East
>bloc revolutions of 1989 still fresh, a number of liberal intellectuals in
>this country had a new idea. These writers and academics wanted to use
>Australian military power to serve goals like human rights and democracy
>-- especially when it was clear that nobody else would do it."

Certainly as some of us argued at the time, the East Timor adventure helped
weaken the Vietnam syndrome to such an extent that Howard has been able to
step up Australian intervention from Afghanistan to now in Iraq.

When the UN finally caves into the Americans and it will do so within the
next few days, Labor Party opposition to this war will collapse, and unless
the Iraqis and the Arab world can produce some unexpected resistance,
Howard's Iraqi adventure will start to look distinctly marvellous.

That of course is in the short to medium term - enough to win Howard a
quick election perhaps.  However from medium to long term the multi-level
crises will persist. I suspect for instance that the Korean affair will
prove more intractable for the imperialists. For one thing I cannot see the
present Chinese leadership being able to avoid using their veto on the
Security Council. Bunch of traitors and counter revolutionaries that they
are, they still cannot quite abandon so blatantly the legacy of Mao.

regards

Gary



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