Australia Ill-Equipped to Face the Challenges of the Emerging New World Order  

The American writer Mark Twain once observed that there were three kinds of lies. Lies, damn lies and statistics. In the 21st century that list might usefully be added to and include lies of omission. The modern mainstream media do not so much write and broadcast actual lies, although it is not difficult to detect actual examples, as lie by omission.

There are multiple examples of this failing, but a few illustrations will suffice to make the point. The first is the charmed life that the State of Israel enjoys in the local media, in all its forms. There are multiple illustrations of this. In 1968 Israel fought a brief war with its neighbours, including Syria, in the course of which Israel seized Syrian territory in the Golan Heights.

They have been there ever since. This is in violation of multiple facets of international law, including the fundamental principle that foreign land seized in the course of conflict may not be retained when that conflict is concluded. In the case of the Syrian Golan Heights not only has that law been violated, but the United Nations has also passed multiple resolutions demanding that Israel return the occupied land to its rightful owners. The Israelis have simply ignored those resolutions.

The particular point of relevance to Australia, however, is that in the multiple United Nations General Assembly resolutions condemning various Israeli transgressions of international law, Australia is one of a literal handful of countries that voted against each and every such resolution. During the term of the last Labor government Australia abstained on those votes, but the return of the Liberal-National coalition saw a return to the small group of those voting “No”.

That is sufficient cause for concern. What compounds the issue, however, is that the Australian media is almost totally silent on this Australian isolation from the overwhelming majority of United Nations members. This silence extends to a similar almost complete absence of mainstream reports on the, again totally illegal, Israeli bombing of Syrian government targets.

The courtesy of silence is not confined to Israel in the Middle East. In January of this year the Iraqi government passed a resolution demanding the removal of all (unwanted) foreign troops. This was explicitly aimed at the United States and its allies, including Australia, who had occupied the country since the initial invasion in 2003. The Iraqi resolution was barely reported; the ignoring of it by the Australians even less reported.

It needs to be recalled that the original invasion was justified in terms of Iraq’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction,” which Saddam Hussein was going to unleash on the world, or more specifically, the United States’ allies in the region. The allegation was a complete lie. The invasion was also based on a further series of lies long since refuted, but the United States and Australia are still there.

The Americans are still stealing Iraqi oil (as they are in Syria). Australia as a willing accomplice of the Americans is just as guilty as they are of this illegal occupation and theft. But again, where is the political opposition? Where is the critical mainstream media? In both cases, missing in action. Silence in this case does not just imply consent. Australia is a willing accomplice in a major violation of international law and the mainstream media are almost completely missing in action.

I have written before about the multiple lies that accompanied the illegal invasion and continuing occupation of Afghanistan, now in its 20th year. The mainstream media have at least reported on that ongoing fiasco, although two elements of the invasion and occupation are totally absent from the mainstream discourse.

The first is that one of the principal reasons for the original invasion and continuing occupation is geography. Afghanistan shares borders with a number of countries, all of whom are of intensive geopolitical significance to the Americans. Those neighbours include Iran, long a foe of the Americans; Pakistan, closely aligned with China, not least through a major rail link that will provide China with an alternative outlet in the event of an American and Australian blockade of the Straits of Hormuz; and former members of the USSR are now the subject of fierce Russian-United States competition for influence; and China itself.

The inexorable rise to economic and political influence of China has led to an unprecedented campaign against that nation by the Americans, aided in all possible ways by Australia, despite the economic suicide that Australia will inevitably experience in its increasingly anti-China stance.

Again, one sees a willing complicity between pro-American ideologues in the ruling Australian coalition, from the Prime Minister downward, and their allies in the mainstream media such as Peter Hartcher, foreign editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, whose anti- China rhetoric scales ever more ridiculous heights. Were it not so pathetically tragic it would be almost funny to watch a nation commit suicide with such utter disregard for its true national interests.

The latest manifestation of the folly is the rather pathetic attempt to muster an alliance between Japan, India, Australia and the United States. This is also a manifestly anti-China alliance and is doomed to fail on multiple grounds.

India has an uneasy relationship with China and there have been several relatively small skirmishes over several decades, almost always involving territorial disputes. But India has had historically close ties to Russia and these continue to the present day with a major economic development between the two countries via Iran currently being developed.

Japan is still treated as an occupied country by the Americans, but it also has growing economic links with China. The forced retirement of Prime Minister Abe presents an opportunity for Japan to reassert its independence. Japan also faces major demographic challenges with its population projected to decline from its current 127 million to below 100 million in 2053 and 88 million in 2065.

Japan is not unique among developed nations in facing the demographic challenge, but its historical aversion to immigration puts it in a unique category. Confronting those demographic challenges will be a major government policy issue in the coming decades. The last thing that Japan wants or needs is a militarily hostile relationship with China, also facing demographic challenges, but from a vastly higher initial base.

Because of historically high migration input Australia does not have the same demographic challenges as many other developed nations. Its challenges are more geopolitical in nature. The most significant of those geopolitical challenges arise from its current status as effectively an American colony as evidenced by multiple government foreign policy decisions since the 1975 overthrow of the Whitlam government.

It is now caught in the relentless fight between the United States and China. The former nation is not responding well to the irresistible decline in its military and economic position respectively viz a viz Russia and China and is engaging in a vicious battle to halt its relative decline. The danger for Australia is that it will be collateral damage in that battle between the superpowers.

It is not too late for Australia to assert its independence and take a variety of steps to ensure both its political independence and its prosperity. The history of the past 40 years would, however, suggest that is a vain hope.

James O'Neill is a retired Barrister at Law and geopolitical analyst. He can be contacted at Read other articles by James.