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Wednesday 31 August 2022

Not One Australian Soldier, Not One

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This is hands down the smartest thing I've read on Australia's foolish flirting with confrontation with China, from an Australian source. 

Most commentary on this issue is disconnected from reality. This article is not

"We need to spread the understanding that the United States will be leaving the Western hemisphere at some point in this century, and that the idea that it can maintain an extended empire based on navies, bases and cyberspace is a delusion based on a failure to understand how essential extreme technical superiority was to maintain such. When the US decides to go, and to recognise a truly multipolar world, we’ll be the last to be told. Our survival as this thing called “Australia” will be of no consideration at all. 

Far from lacing ourselves into AUKUS, we should be building up an independent neutral military capability, one sufficient to deal with all the ordinary geopolitical threats — blockades, border chaos, sea-lane obstruction, etc — that arise in the course of normal events. The strategic contemplation of where we would stand in the situation of a genuine, geopolitically transforming World War III should be guided by one big conversation: how and under what conditions we would simply surrender, and what form of continued cultural-political existence we could have on a continent that would then host an entirely new political entity.

Our best interest is to be a voice in the world that keeps that possibility as unlikely as possible, and that is done by doing everything to stave off wars that may escalate to a limited and strategic nuclear exchange, which is very clearly possible in the Taiwan situation. If Asia wants us, it will take us. China will take Taiwan like the first course in a banquet. The foreign policy establishment pushing us to war is a bunch of people who have never really understood or sympathised with the notions of global anti-imperialism, or what the 20th century was really about. Above and beyond venality, corruption, arms deals, they cannot see the reality of the other — the principles the enemy is working off. So they are marching us into the danger zone, through intellectual mediocrity and lack of imagination, with a Labor government that has a municipal Labourist soul, and doesn’t really want to think about these issues at all.

One single act would put that to the centre of national debate: a question from a Green or an independent to the prime minister as to whether he would send young Australians to die defending Taiwan, and whether he would expose our cities to nuclear targeting in doing so. Let’s see how he answers that, and how the Australian people react. I’m pretty sure the war lobby will find that it has advanced too far, and taken Labor with it. No war for Taiwan. Not one Australian soldier, not one Australian dollar."

We have to be realistic about Taiwan, China and our place in the world. Australia is an outer extension of British culture in the outer limits of the civilized Western world. We are a small population, rich in resources, who cannot defend ourselves if a major power wants to take us. The quicker we admit this and stop tying ourselves to a declining empire the better off we will be. 

I genuinely believe Australia can forge a neutral path forward. It's not without risks and it's not in our complete control, but China has so far shown much restraint, militarily, on the world stage and will likely continue to do so going forward. But whether they do or not, we have no choice but to pursue a strategy of neutrality, it is our only realistic path forward. The US is getting more and more aggressive on the world stage, likely because it senses its ability to assert its will is fading. If we continue to tie ourselves together with it, we paint ourselves as both a nuisance and a target. The world is becoming more multi-polar each day, and we just have to learn to live with that. Neutrality is the best option, the only option. 

It's good to see others facing the reality of where we sit. We should simultaneously make ourselves a hard target and a friendly presence in the region. Currently we are doing the opposite and that will lead to disaster. 

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