Run down to the war

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Thu Jan 23 18:55:28 MST 2003

At 10:58  24/01/03 +1100, Tom wrote:

>This is true. I wonder how much it matters in Australia, because the main
>dynamic is nationalist: WE shouldn't be part of this. But of course if the war
>ends really fast, that would tend to evaporate and be replaced with pride
>we were part of this glorious war".)

Hi Tom,

I am inclined to agree that there is a deal that is reactionary and bad
about Australian opposition to the war.  It is in part at least an
expression of the old Fortress Australia mentality. Which would have it
that we need to safeguard Australia and let the "wogs" kill one another if
they wish.  We don't let the "wogs" in and we don't go over there to get
involved with them.

This is the part of Howard;'s constituency that he has lost for strategic
reasons. the problem with foreign Policy strategy is that always the truth
cannot be told.   Howard cannot say'We are going into this war because we
are backing USA.  We want to be part of their empire".  He is instead
forced to tell the glaringly obvious lie that sending the troops means that
they are less likely to be used. He is also calculating that a quick
victory will lead to the kind of nationalist euphoria you describe above.
It might among the right, but I think Howard is out on a limb here.  The
results of this adventure will be a quick victory as in Afghanistan and
medium term instability.   There is also the very real option IMHO of a
long term boost for the prospects of the Arab revolution.

In the coming weeks the Americans will deliver devastating blows to the
Arab Right wing collaborationist leadership.   Terror may unfortunately be
the medium term response,  but long term a force will emerge which begin
the serious work of emancipating the Arab people.

With regard to Howard's broadcast I did not see it.  Could not bear to
watch it in fact. We have an interesting phenomenon at the moment.  Howard
has managed to construct himself as a statesman as his polices alienate
more and more people.  At some stage the contradiction here will come into



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