Australian Politicians Continue to Misread the Changes in the Nature of Relationships in their Area

Australia is currently undergoing a wave of shocked realisation that for multiple years in Afghanistan some of its troops behaved outside what we are told is normal behaviour, and killed innocent young men. How could they do such a thing? And all done beyond the sight or knowledge of any soldier of higher rank than Sergeant! The public acknowledgment that its soldiers are less than perfect has led to a wave of political and upper military gnashing of teeth and solemn vows that the guilty will be punished.

Who do they think they are kidding? War crimes are part of waging war. Australian troops committed war crimes in Vietnam, admittedly now in Afghanistan, and undoubtably in Syria and Iraq, two other ongoing wars in which Australian troops are involved, although one would hardly know it from reading the local newspapers or watching the nightly television news.

The report that has just been (partially) published, revealing the latest catalogue of this behaviour, took four years to produce. It will likely be as many years again before any soldier faces a trial. There has been no explanation as to why this investigation, headed by a Supreme Court justice (and reserve military officer) has taken so long. The accused in the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes, each of vastly greater size than this latest Australian effort, were tried, convicted and where appropriate executed in a fraction of the time the present inquiry has taken in Australia.

For all the handwringing that is now going on, the fundamental issues have not even been touched upon, this alone discussed or resolved. The fact that the present revelations are very likely to go down a very long memory hole is evident from what the report, and more especially the decisions upon the report, are carefully avoiding. That is, why is Australia even involved in this fake war that has now been going on for at least 40 years and showing no sign of ending in any foreseeable future.

Let us just start at the official beginning of this current war, ostensibly because the Taliban government of Afghanistan at the time (an historical fact allowed to fade into insignificance) reportedly refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in New York City and Washington DC.

In fact, the Taliban government, not unreasonably, asked for evidence as to bin Laden’s responsibility for the events of 9/11. The Americans refused and attacked anyway, dragging their loyal acolyte Australia along with them. To this day, no such evidence has been produced and neither is any likely to be produced. The evidence is overwhelming that the buildings destroyed on 9/11 had been pre-wired, including WTC7 which was never hit by any flying object, much less an aeroplane, and collapsed in its own footprint at free fall speed just after 5 pm on the day of 9//11.

This factual history is not new, and these facts have persisted despite constant attempts by the mainstream media to wish them away. After all, if the buildings came down through pre-set explosives, the whole story of Muslim hijackers goes down the proverbial plughole and with it the justification for the attack on Afghanistan and much else that has ensued for the past 19+ years.

We now also know that attacking Afghanistan was discussed at the first cabinet meeting of the then newly elected Bush presidency in early 2001. Another fact kept well away from the mainstream media because it raises too many questions.

If 9/11 was not the real reason for invading Afghanistan in late 2001, then what was? The answer is twofold: drugs and geography. First, let’s look at drugs. The Taliban government had virtually stopped the production of opium in the areas of Afghanistan they controlled in 2001. Given Afghanistan’s role as the world’s principal supplier of the commodity, the Taliban government was, to put it mildly, very bad for business.

It is a well-established fact that one of the immediate consequences of the successful United States led invasion in October 2001 was in immediate restoration of the poppy crop. That now stands at record levels and provides a very nice supplement to CIA funds, another fact carefully avoided by the mainstream media.

All of the Allied troops assisting the United States in its control of Afghanistan, including Australia, play their part in safeguarding the crop from attack, harvesting it, and passing it on for processing into heroin and hence export to the ever-voracious markets in Europe and North America. That export crop is worth billions of dollars a year to the CIA and associated groups and they are unlikely to give it up willingly.

The other compelling reason for the United States presence in Afghanistan is geography. Afghanistan shares a border with seven other nations, none of whom are on good terms with the United States, and all of which the United States covets as weapons for its ongoing war against Russia and China.

When one looks at the geopolitics of the region it is not difficult to infer that geography was and remains the main reason for the United States invasion. Geography (and the arms trade) was the main reason the British fought three wars there in the 19th century.

The fact that the United States has supplanted the United Kingdom as the principal foreign power in the region is merely changing one colonial oppressor for another. The role and the objectives remain precisely the same as they have for at least 200 years: western control of valuable land located close to China and Russia. As the French would say, plus ca change, plus ca la meme chose (the more things change the more they remain the same).

Which brings me back to the role of the Australians. That remains unchanged. They are, as they have been for the past 60 years, the United States’ lacky in whatever scheme the United States dreams up in its attempt to roll back the irresistible rise of China. Such loyalty is now extracting a price from the Chinese who have systematically shredded an ever-growing number of key Australian exports to that country.

This has led to much local outrage and protestations of innocence, which are as convincing as Australian claims in Afghanistan they are helping to train Afghanistan fighters. Some very big chickens are coming home to roost and Australia is caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Alternative markets for the 40% of Australian exports that go to China will not be replaced in the immediate future.

Australian Ministers are making all sorts of protestations and trying to put a brave face on what is, in fact, an almost unmitigated disaster. There is a lot of pain yet to be felt by the Australian public. Protestations against China will gain no traction because the real root of the problem lies in Australia’s unwavering adherence to the United States viewpoint. That is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. There is a great deal more pain on the way for Australian consumers.

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