November 15, 2003 | Peter

Not a Warlike Nation

John Howard says Australians are not a warlike people. I don’t think Australians are especially warlike, but we have a history of governments sending off Australian boys to fight wars for our imperial masters. Sudan , South Africa, World War One, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc – Australia has a bad habit of going to fight in far off places for reasons that have little or nothing to do with genuine national security and a lot to do with currying favour with the global hegemon.
Once this was because the Australian ruling class saw Britain as home, and sending off a few colonials to fight other less tractiable colonials seemed all in order. As for World War One, in which Australia suffered extraordinary casualties as Britain used Australian soldiers as shock troops, it was mainly a war between the declining hegemon, Britain, and one of the rising challengers, Germany (when the other challenger, the US, came in on Britain’s side, it was all over). When WWI did not clearly decide the issue, another round of war was necessary. This time Australia was actually threatened, and John Curtin took action to dedicate our forces to defending Australia from the Japanese. He also shifted our primary defence relationship to the US. Unfortunately, the Liberals – party of Australia’s natural ruling class – now back in power, reverted to their old ways and sent off Australian troops to support both the Brits as they backed out of Asia and the incoming Americans.
So yes, John, we are not a very bellicose bunch here in Oz, but we are cursed with leaders who far too readily send our young men scurrying off into danger overseas for no good reason.

Posted by Peter at 2:44 pm | Comments Off on Not a Warlike Nation |
Filed under: Uncategorized

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.