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Foreign Policy in the Age of Terrorism « Previous | |Next »
July 2, 2003

This is the text of John Howard's foreign policy speech that was given to the Sydney Institute last night.

Here is the big picture. What Howard says does nothing to challenge the concern that Australia has become Washington's stalking horse. His speech reinforces it.

A key theme of the PM's speech was that we in Australia are faced with a shadowy enemy who is everywhere and nowhere.

"Today the most fundamental challenge facing Australia and the world at large - especially those like us who value openness, who value freedom – is how to protect our citizens and our society from a shadowy enemy, who is closed to negotiation, who has no fixed base and no transparent political structure."

The enemy is identified by the PM as "those who seek to destroy and debase our way of life – the global terrorists and the transnational criminals who capitalise on human misery, trading in people, drugs and weapons."

The enemy of Australia seeks haven in rogue and failed states. These "become the base from which terrorists and transnational criminals organise their operations, train their recruits and manage their finances. If we want to be secure, we need to work with other nations to ensure collective stability. And sometimes we will be called upon to take action."

How does Australia do that?

"In this ‘age of terrorism’ it is essential in our national interest that we further build and strengthen Australia’s links with all the major centres of global power and influence. Achieving this will be greatly aided by the unique intersection of history, geography and culture occupied by Australia."

Howard is with the USA. He turns away from the UN in favour of being loyal to,and dependent upon, the USA as global cop. We back the global cop up and as a deputy cop in the Asia Pacific region defending the security concerns of the national interest.

Why these security concerns? Presumably, we defend Australia because Australia is worth defending. Why? Because Australia stands for openess and freedom in the international order. Thus the security concerns are the core of national puposes defined in terms of promoting openness and freedom.

Openness? Why if you criticise this account of our foreign policy because it means following the US wherever it takes us (eg.,the United Nations, the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Anti Ballistic Missile treaty, Kyoto, strategic pre-emption etc), you are said to be anti-American.

Freedom? Sorry. That has to be curtailed to ensure security at home from eunseen shadowy enemy within.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:44 PM | | Comments (2)


when all else fails and you need to ensure your political future, simply frighten the shit out of your constituents by yelling 'TERRORIST'

Terrorists do a pretty good job of that on their own.