US TROOPS IN AUSTRALIA
Posted by lahar9jhadav on November 22, 2011
WHAT JULIA GILLARD HAD TO ‘PAY’ FOR BEING THE PM OF AUSTRALIA
Gillard, Abbott should heed Australia’s right to an independent foreign policy in its own region
Media Release | Australian Greens Party Spokesperson Bob Brown
Thursday 17th November 2011, 3:20pm
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said the Gillard government should ensure the Parliament debates the US military build-up planned for the NT and the alternative of Australia charting an independent course in the Asia Pacific this century.
“President Obama, who was very warmly welcomed to our nation’s capital, today delivered an important speech about America’s increased involvement in the Pacific and the economic and military imperatives that lie behind the US plans for Australia,” Senator Brown said in Canberra.
“In their acquiescence to these plans, the Australian government and opposition are giving up an historic opportunity to take an independent profile in international affairs. This should not be done lightly. Australia has its own peaceful economic, environmental and cultural interests across the region to pursue, from India to Indonesia to Japan and China.”
“The Greens want the Government to put the details of the US military build-up before the public and parliament. The presence of nuclear-armed and powered warships in Darwin harbour, increased use of bombing ranges by the US Air Force and a future presence that extends beyond 2500 US Marines are matters warranting full and mature consideration by Australia’s parliament.”
“The expansion of military ties with the US, supported by the Gillard government and the opposition, even though details are not available, is not the only or best way to a safer future. Taking sides between the military might of the US and the growing power, including a nuclear arsenal, of China is not the only option.”
One reason PM RUDD had to go and why the US helped Gillard et al bring him down.
Support for selling uranium to India was announced by the Howard government before 2007. Labor, under Kevin Rudd, reversed that policy, so Julia Gillard, as a senior Cabinet Minister, has been part of the problem. But at least her backflip and inferred recognition of Labor’s past mistake is welcome.
Apparently, this initiative was encouraged by the US. The US could see that Australia needs to improve its standing with India and the removal of the uranium issue paves the way for better Australia-India relations. In turn, Australia can play a more useful role in regional security matters. India’s population is expected to exceed Chinese population by mid-century and as India is also a democracy, the relationship with India is going to become ever-more important. Australia needs to work harder on the relationship and a prod from the US has done PM Gillard no harm whatsoever. Labor is slowly being dragged to accept that the use of uranium for power generation is not the taboo subject that it has been for too long. Maybe one day, the sale to India will be seen as opening the option for Australia to buy American nuclear powered submarines. Peter Reith (former Howard Government Thug)
But what’s it really all about?
Palmer blasts Obama’s marines plan for NT
November 22, 2011 – 1:06PM
Mining magnate Clive Palmer has accused US President Barack Obama of trying to drive a wedge between the Australian business community and China by increasing the American military presence in Australia’s north.
In a gesture that Mr Palmer said was tantamount to giving China a “poke in the eye”, Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week joined President Obama in Darwin, where the Australian and US armed forces announced a deal to station 250 American troops in the Northern Territory.
The troops will engage in six-month training missions as early as next year, and the number will rise to 2500 by 2017.
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Mr Palmer, whose business empire has extensive links to China and state-owned enterprises there, said President Obama was working in the interest of American businesses when he struck the troops deal.
“America is a competitor with Australia for selling a lot of their services to China,” he said.
“It is in the US interests to restrain Australia and not compete so hard and Obama is pursuing a US interest.”
Mr Palmer said housing the troops in Darwin held little strategic benefit for Australia’s defence forces, but was a major snub which could hamper the business community.
“We were showing a lot of hostility to someone who hasn’t showed any hostility to us, to someone who is one of our biggest trading partners and who is in our region,” he said.
“While traditional ties and values are important we’ve got to put the interests of trade to the foremost.
“Do you think 250 marines in Darwin makes any difference to the military logistics of the world … the symbolism of this is to just be rude to the Chinese ambassador, just to poke in the eye the people who are out here.”
Mr Palmer’s comments follow a pointed response from Beijing to the Darwin military deal, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin saying last week: “It may not be quite appropriate to intensify and expand military alliances and may not be in the interest of countries within this region.”
Making the world a more dangerous place – the eager role of Julia Gillard
The Australian parliament building reeks of floor polish. The wooden floors shine so virtuously they reflect the cartoon-like portraits of prime ministers, bewigged judges and viceroys. Along the gleaming white, hushed corridors, the walls are hung with Aboriginal art: one painting after another as in a monolithic gallery, divorced from their origins, the irony brutal. The poorest, sickest, most incarcerated people on earth provide a façade for those who oversee the theft of their land and its plunder.
Australia has 40% of the world’s uranium, all of it on indigenous land. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has just been to India to sell uranium to a government that refuses to sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and whose enemy, Pakistan, is also a non-signatory. The threat of nuclear war between them is constant. Uranium is an essential ingredient of nuclear weapons. Gillard’s deal in Delhi formally ends the Australian Labor Party’s long-standing policy of denying uranium to countries that reject the NPT’s obligation “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament”.
Like the people of Japan, Australian Aborigines have experienced the horror of nuclear weapons. During the 1950s, the British government tested atomic bombs at Maralinga in South Australia. The Aboriginal population was not consulted and received scant or no warning, and still suffer the effects. Yami Lester was a boy when he saw the nuclear flash and subsequently went blind. The enduring struggle of Aboriginal people for recognition as human beings has been a fight not only for their land but for what lies beneath it. Since they were granted a status higher than that of sheep – up to 1971, unlike the sheep, they were not counted – many of their modest land rights have been subverted or diminished by governments in Canberra.
In 2007, prime minister John Howard used the army to launch an “emergency intervention” in Aboriginal communities in the resource-rich Northern Territory. Lurid and fraudulent stories of paedophile rings were the cover; indigenous people were told they would not receive basic services if they did not surrender the leasehold of their land. Gillard’s minister of indigenous affairs has since given this the Orwellian title of “Stronger Futures”.
The tactics include driving people into “hub towns” and denying decent housing to those forced to live up to a dozen in one room. The removal of Aboriginal children has reached the level of the infamous “Stolen Generation” of the last century. Many may never see their families again.
Once the “intervention” had got under way, hundreds of licences were granted to companies exploring for minerals, including uranium. Contemporary politics in Australia is often defined by the power of the mining companies. When the previous Labor prime minister, Kevin Rudd, proposed a tax on record mining profits, he was deposed by a backroom party cabal, including Gillard, who reduced the tax. Diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks reveal that two of the plotters against Rudd were informants of the US embassy, which Rudd had angered by not following to the letter US plans to encircle China and to release uranium for sale to US clients such as India.
Gillard has since returned Australia to its historic relationship with Washington, similar to that of an east European satellite of the Soviet Union. The day before Barack Obama arrived in Canberra last year to declare China the new enemy of the “free world”, Gillard announced the end of her party’s ban on uranium sales.
Washington’s other post-cold war obsessions demand the services of Australia. These include the intimidation of Iran and destruction of that country’s independence, the undermining of the NPT and prevention of nuclear-free zones that threaten the nuclear-armed dominance of the US and Israel. Unlike Iran, a founding signatory of the NPT and supporter of a nuclear-free zone Middle East, the US and Israel ban independent inspections. And both are currently threatening to attack Iran which, as the combined agencies of US intelligence confirmed, has no nuclear weapons.
The necessary inversion of reality and double standard require a “carefully orchestrated process”, the US embassy is assured by an Australian official quoted by WikiLeaks. According to the US cables, there are enthusiastic “Australian ideas” for “dredging up” information to help discredit Mohamad El Baradei who, as director of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1997 to 2009, repeatedly refuted US claims that Iran was building a nuclear weapon. The Director of the Australian Arms Control office is portrayed as a US watchdog, warning against “a slippery slope” of governments “exercising independent judgement” on nuclear matters. A senior Australian official, one Patrick Suckling, is reporting as telling the US that “Australia wants the most robust, intrusive and debilitating sanctions possible” against Iran. Suckling’s victims are today mostly ordinary men, women and children.
On 5 October, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, which includes Aboriginal groups from across the country, gathered in Alice Springs. They called for a moratorium on all uranium mining and sales. Indigenous women made a special plea to Gillard, recently ordained by the white media as a feminist hero. No response was expected.
On 17 October, all the testaments of obedience and servility to the mighty patron finally paid off when Australia was rewarded with a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, known in Canberra as “the top table”. The timing is striking. An attack by Nato on Syria or Iran, or both, has never been closer. A world war beckons as 50 years are marked since “the world stood still”, wrote the historian Sheldon Stern. This was the 1962 Cuba missile crisis when the US and the Soviet Union came within an ace of nuclear war. Declassified files disclose that President John F. Kennedy authorised “NATO aircraft with Turkish pilots… to take off for Moscow and drop a bomb.”
The echo today could not be clearer.