Australia imperialism readies troop move to Solomon Islands

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Sat Jul 5 13:51:23 MDT 2003

The Australian government is advancing its neoliberal expansionism in
the Pacific steadily.

The ruling class of the Australian settler-colonialist entity has in
recent years contributed to the outrages of 1) the neoliberal regime
in Papua New Guinea - including military backing for a brutal
counter-insurgency campaign that killed 20,000 Bougainvilleans, out of
a tiny overall population, fighting for independence and against
corporate mining interests on their island (see the video Emerald
Isle) during the 1990s; 2) the constant blackmail and conditions
imposed on the "freed" people of East Timor, who live under Australian
military occupation (troops that have killed demonstrating students
against neoliberalism).

Furthermore, the Australian elites are spreading racist and
anti-immigrant fear at home against an "Asian invasion" of immigrants
and asylum seekers and is erecting one of the most retrograde
detention systems for people seeking to move to Australia, while at
the same time continuing to brutally deny the rights of its own
indigenous people and pauperize the Australian working class.  Now the
Australian elite - the same group that backed the Bush administrations
intensification of Washington's genocidal policy towards Iraq since
1990 - is proposing that it send troops to the Solomon Islands to
"restore order."

The islands have been a site of resistance to imperialism since the
first arrival of European colonialists, rapists and plunderers
centuries ago.  THe people of the Solomon islands backed the noble
self-determination struggle of the Bougeainvillean people (who are
related to the peoples of the Solomon islands), and who have opposed
Australian expansionism in the region at every turn (even if every
government hasn't).

It seems that the Australians will soon occupy this island to quell
the resistance of Solomon Islanders to Australia's "New Order" in the
region, and establish a string of "buffer" states that will become
forward operating locations for further Australian attacks on
south-east asian sovereignties and the self-determination struggles of
the regions peoples.  It is more than likely that tihis string of
Australian colonial outposts will be used in a similar fashion to
Britain's plans for Croatia and Albania in terms of immigration policy
(i.e. as outposts to send "illegal" immigrants to) - all the while
subjecting the whole region under its control to the brutal,
anti-democratic logic of neoliberal capitalism.

The article from BBC today is indicative that Australia is pondering
just such a "humanitarian intervention" --- after Iraq, Somalia,
Haiti, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq,
Palestine, Congo, etc. we should have learned what the 'humanitarian
 E-mail this to a erventions" of "humanitarian militaries" really
means --- the return to direct forms of colonial rule over formerly
colonized peoples.

 Australia fears the knock-on effects of a security breakdown

The Australian Government has said it is ready to take part in a
multi-national force to help restore law and order in the
violence-wracked Solomon Islands. Prime Minister John Howard said on
Wednesday that he was "strongly disposed" to meet a request for
assistance from his Solomons counterpart, Allan Kemakeza, as
increasing ethnic violence continued to threaten the archipelago. But
Mr Howard added that no final decisions had been taken.

"The assistance that is being contemplated includes substantial
policing, law and justice and economic assistance, backed up by
significant operational support from the Australian Defence Force," Mr
Howard told parliament. But he said that help would only be offered
after a formal request from the Solomon Islands Government, and
co-operation with New Zealand and other Pacific island nations. Ethnic
tensions The Solomons have suffered serious ethnic unrest in recent
years, according to the BBC correspondent in Sydney, Phil Mercer. Law
and order across many parts of the snaking archipelago have collapsed.

The economy is almost bankrupt and, according to our correspondent,
Australians are worried that a failing state on their doorstep could
become a haven for terrorists and drug traffickers. "It is not in
Australia's interest to have a number of failed states in the
Pacific," Mr Howard told parliament on Wednesday. The Red Cross in the
Solomons' capital, Honiara, says that up to 1,000 people have fled
their villages on the remote Weather Coast to escape militants.

The militants have torched homes and reportedly taken hostages to
bolster their control over the mountainous region. The plague of
violence is mainly due to an ethnic war between indigenous residents
of the main island of Guadalcanal and migrants from the nearby
province of Malaita. The conflict was officially brought to an end
three years ago by the Townsville Accord. But the peace has been
uneasy, and armed gangs operate with impunity in many areas. So far
this year more than 30 people have been murdered, and last month an
Australian missionary was beheaded.

More information about the Marxism mailing list