Mar 27, 2014

Australia’s moral duty to slap down US aggression

The United States is guilty of war crimes, human rights violations and extreme violence. As its ally, Australia' silence on morally reprehensible behaviour constitutes complicity, writes Dr Scott Burchill, senior lecturer in international relations at Deakin University.

Reflexive support for state power and violence by America’s cheerleaders in Australia takes many forms.

There are ad hominem attacks on those who disclose Washington’s nefarious secrets, such as its slaughter of journalists in Iraq or its illegal surveillance apparatus directed by the National Security Agency. There is a conspicuous silence when United States drones murder civilians in Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

23 thoughts on “Australia’s moral duty to slap down US aggression

  1. Grumpy Old Sod

    For Australia to criticise the US would mean that we would have to grow a pair. That hasn’t happened to date and I sure can’t see it happening in the future, unless of course we are forced by circumstance to cozy up to another power.

  2. Tamas Calderwood

    “In Iraq and Afghanistan, as in several wars before, we have been willingly complicit in acts of aggression and breaches of international law”

    Ahh… yeah… leaving Iraq and the rest aside, Afghanistan started that war by murdering 3,000 people in downtown New York City and Washington DC.

    It’s commonly referred to as “September 11”, remember?

  3. Graeski

    Afghanistan started the war with September 11? You’re joking, surely? That was the Taliban – a multinational terrorist organisation. Osama Bin Laden was a Saudi national. It wasn’t an act of war, it was an act of terrorism. The US simply chose to define it as an act of war in order to satisfy the agenda of their miltary/industrial complex.

    And not to put too fine a point on it, the US never declared war on Afghanistan. In fact they were supposedly in the country at the request of the Afghani government – as ALLIES.

    Where do you even start with this level of ignorance?

  4. stuart richardson

    “Afganistan” murdered 3000 in New York?? Seriously, the ignorance of the facts of the matter displayed in this statement is breathtaking.

  5. Stuart Coyle

    @Tamas I think your memory is deficient. If you check the facts the Sept 11 attacks were done by a group of 15 Saudi’s and various others (2 from UAE, 1 Lebanese, 1 Egyptian). Not an Afghan amongst them. Nor were any of the major planners Afghans, nor was the Afghan government involved.

  6. Tamas Calderwood

    Oh dear guys – the government of Afghanistan at the time was run by the Taliban.

    The Taliban refused US requests to hand over Bin Laden and shut down Al qaeda terror training camps, so the US and allies invaded and turfed out the Taliban government.

    Afghanistan was Al Qaeda’s home base. That’s where the Sept 11 raids were planned and funded from.

    You guys should read up about it.

  7. Liamj

    Good onya Scott, its great to read someone in this spineless excuse for a sovereign democracy speaking the truth. But if it were the PM saying it, we’d probably have another course-correction ala Whitlam-Kerr, and the same yank billionaire runs more of our media than did then.

    @ Tamas – you’re wrong again re Taliban refusing to hand over the saudi Bin Laden, but we both know that your diversions don’t need to be true to be effective.

  8. Kevin Herbert

    Nice work Scott Burchill. I’d reckon 80% of informed Aussie wouod agree with you.

    However, for as long as Australia is a cleint State of the US, the situation will not change. With the US Oz’s biggest foreign investor at $600 billion, and the UK at $500 billion (with China at just $20 billion), and more than 30% of Oz’s exports going to the US, it will take the election to the US Presidency of a non-interventionist such as Rand Paul or Alan Grayson, to see the changes we all so avidly await. I tell my 17 year old son that he’ll see that change..probably by the time he’s 40 years old.

  9. Zeke

    @Tamas. I think you’ll find that the Afghanistan government offered to turn over Osama Bin Laden to a third party. They wouldn’t turn him over to the USA where he obviously wouldn’t get a fair trial.

  10. David Crosswell

    Tanas, the U.S. government funded the Taliban and one or two other allied groups to the tune of $US4.5 billion of tax payer’s money, then thought they could get a better deal through the Northern Alliance, so turned on them like a bunch of mongrel dogs.

    9/11 was the excuse that Bush used to go into Iraq, not Afghanistan, claiming that Al Qaeda was all over the place there, when Saddam’s the Baathist party hated them and their representation there was almost non-existent.

    Now, the U.S. have started resupplying the Taliban with arms as an incentive to force Karzai to sign the peace accord so they can stay on in Afghanistan like the form of pollution they are.

    You appear to have a computer. Pull up Google maps. See where Iraq and Afghanistan are and what sits in the middle, and use your mind. Iran, at over 4.2 million barrels/day, is the world’s fourth largest oil producer.

    Their Supreme Ruler, some years ago, issued a Fatwa (holy directive) that no nuclear weapons were ever to be manufactured in Iran, because they were contrary to the ways of Allah. What this means is that if anybody did so, and I mean, *anybody*, they would immediately lose their head under Sharia law. Nuclear weaponry requires an enrichment degree of 90 %, while Iran has only ever enriched to just under 20%, that required for medical isotopes. The only reason the U.S. gets away with what it does is because of complacency and/or ignorance. Ignorance like yours. Of the two, I don’t know which is worse, because the ability to become well informed is there and available. I don’t have any advantage you don’t.

    Osama’s group was one of the ones that the U.S. financed, do you know that? To create disruption during the soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Bin Laden’s family are very wealthy, having become successful in the construction industry in Saudi Arabia, and are close friends with the Saudi royal family. The children go to the same schools together. But they originally come from Yemen, where a lot of the unrest is now, and where the Saudi/U.S. mercurial relationship is attempting to increase it’s footprint in the African continent. Sometimes I play around with the idea that Bin Laden is not dead. With me, it takes more than a photo or two. You have a nice night down at the pub, talking to the boys about cars and chicks and footy and stuff, you hear?

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details