Caitlin Johnstone: Spreading War Fever in Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age just produced an immense example of conflict-of-interest journalism. A former prime minister called it “the most egregious and provocative news presentation” he had ever witnessed in over 50 years of public life.

Nine Entertainment’s headquarters in Sydney, Australia. (MDRX, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Caitlin Johnstone

In the latest instance of the Australian media’s deluge of propaganda geared toward manufacturing consent for war with China, Nine Entertainment-owned newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have brought together a panel of “experts” to assess how well-prepared Australia is for a hot war with its primary trading partner.

The question of if that war is necessary or should be prepared for is left completely unexamined.

In a report “Australia faces the threat of war with China within three years – and we’re not ready,” we learn the names of the five “experts” Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have recruited to make the titular claim, and you’re never going to believe this but it turns out they tend to work in professions that are intimately intertwined with the Western imperial war machine.

This first “expert” is Mick Ryan, whom I have written about repeatedly because he seems to feature in literally every single Australian news media piece geared toward propagandizing Australians into accepting war with China as an inevitability which must be prepared for.

Ryan is an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which is funded by military-industrial complex entities like Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, and is also directly funded by the U.S. government and its client states, including Australia and Taiwan.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age make no note of this immense conflict of interest.

The second “expert” is Peter Jennings, who is a senior fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), where he was the executive director for 10 years. Like CSIS, ASPI is a think tank that is funded by U.S.-aligned governments and the military-industrial complex.

It has played a major role in manufacturing consent for the foreign policy agendas of the Western empire, particularly in escalations against China. ASPI has been described as “the propaganda arm of the C.I.A. and the U.S. government” by Australian diplomat Bruce Haigh.

The third “expert” is Lavina Lee, an academic who is a council member with ASPI and an adjunct fellow with CSIS, so when it comes to pro-war punditry she’s what they call a twofer.

The fourth “expert” is Australian defense insider Lesley Seebeck, a regular ASPI contributor. Seebeck is the chairperson of a swampy warmongering think tank of unclear funding called the National Institute of Strategic Resilience, which publishes woke-imperialist articles with titles like “First Nations Drone Network Project Initiation,” “Solomon Islands – time to take an Indigenous perspective,” “Building Australia’s Strategic Resilience: A Spotlight on Military and Gender in the Pacific Region,” and “Key to Australia’s Strategic Resilience: An Australian Feminist Foreign Policy,” the latter two authored by Seebeck herself.

The fifth is Alan Finkel, a scientist who works for the Australian government.

Again, none of these conflicts of interest were mentioned by The Sydney Morning Herald or The Age, which as we’ve discussed previously is an egregious act of journalistic malpractice.

This is a little like gathering Ronald McDonald, Colonel Sanders and the Taco Bell chihuahua to discuss whether the government should employ fast food outlets to supply school lunches. Except these people aren’t selling junk food — they’re selling mass murder, human suffering, ecological disaster and the violent deaths of our children.

There are rivers of tax money at stake here; delicious, Reserve-backed dollars straight into the old bank account, mountains of them! And essentially these people are the forward-facing public representatives of those companies whose job it is to sell the public on an outcome that directly benefits their backers. This is an elaborate advertorial and it is incredible that The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age not only ran it as news, but hosted it.

These five “experts” conclude that Australia needs to do much more to rapidly prepare for a hot war with China, saying that “The need to dramatically strengthen our military and national security capabilities is urgent, but Australia is unprepared.” They say Australia must make these dramatic changes not to defend itself from a Chinese invasion, but to fight a war over Taiwan.

“The war Xi is preparing for, they say, is one fought over Taiwan, a prosperous self-governing island of 24 million people that sits about 160 kilometres east of mainland China,” the report reads.

This is entirely in line with the appalling propaganda piece put out by Murdoch’s Sky News last month, which said Australia must double its military budget to prepare to back the U.S. in a hot war over Taiwan.

The panelists paint Australia’s participation in this war as a settled matter, an inevitability should the US wage war on China.

“We have made our choice. If the United States goes to war with Taiwan, we are going to support them one way or the other,” says Mick Ryan.

“Neither the Australian military nor the public are presently truly prepared for the outbreak of war and Australia’s inevitable participation,” says Lavina Lee.

These military industrial complex-funded pundits are lying. Australia’s participation in an American war against China is not an inevitability, and is not necessary.

In reality, the best way Australia can protect itself from China is not to prepare for war with China. A hot war with our primary trading partner would destroy our economy and would likely cut off most of the imports we require to function as an island nation. We’ve got no business preparing to throw our nation’s sons and daughters into such a conflict, and we’ve got no business stealing from our nation’s most needful in order to effect that preparation.

An unresolved civil war between two adjacent bodies who both call themselves “China” is none of Washington’s business, and it is certainly none of Canberra’s. Let the Chinese sort out China, because China poses no threat to us.

Dragon outside Chinatown Museum during Lunar New Year Festival, Chinatown Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 22, 2023. (Alpha/Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

That last point isn’t actually debatable, by the way. As Antiwar’s Daniel Larison recently noted on Twitter, China’s military budget consistently sits at around 1.5 percent of its GDP, which is less than half of the USA’s. If China were preparing to conquer the world as so many hawks falsely claim, this would not be the case. The U.S. is a nation with an interest in global domination, and its military budget reflects this. China is not a nation with an interest in global domination, and its military budget reflects this.

In reality the U.S. has been encircling China with more and war machinery for years in ways it would never permit itself to be encircled, and has been preparing for a confrontation with Beijing for a very long time. The U.S. is plainly the aggressor here, and Australia now has an existential interest in militarily uncoupling from that aggressor before it gets us all killed.

The report by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age — which former Prime Minister Paul Keating just called “the most egregious and provocative news presentation of any newspaper I have witnessed in over 50 years of active public life” —  actually comes close to actually admitting that there’s a concerted propaganda campaign designed to increase hysteria about China and manufacture consent for war. The “expert” panel asserts that there needs to be a “psychological shift” in the public toward this direction which they must be actively persuaded to accept.

“Most important of all is a psychological shift,” the report says. “Urgency must replace complacency. The recent decades of tranquility were not the norm in human affairs, but an aberration. Australia’s holiday from history is over.”

The report cites Seebeck as saying “the nation’s leaders should trust the public enough to include them in what can be a confronting discussion,” and that the public must be regarded as “smart enough to talk about defence and national security.”

The reason they are saying the public needs to be spoken to and persuaded to psychologically accept hawkish escalations against China is because no sane person would consent to such madness if they weren’t psychologically manipulated into it. No sane person would consent to agendas which threaten to kill our sons and daughters, impoverish us all, and even turn us into nuclear targets without copious amounts of propaganda.

That’s why we’re seeing all these “news” reports about how urgent it is to prepare for war with China all of a sudden. Not because China poses a threat to us, but because we are allied with an empire that is planning to start a war of unfathomable horror.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

30 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Spreading War Fever in Australia

  1. Rudy Haugeneder
    March 10, 2023 at 15:52

    I seem to recall being told during a brief life in Australia in the early 1980s that Australia’s military plans during the Second World War was to vacate most of the continent to what they feared was going to be a Japanese invasion, and fight a rear action guerrilla war to prevent the invaders from easily taking the continent’s populated southern cities. Now Australia is repeating that scenario, hoping nuclear weaponry will prevent this from happening and hoping the economy will survive no matter how much of Australia will have to be abandoned while hoping it will not totally succumb to what many foolishly still call the Yellow Hordes. Of course, since I haven’t researched whether the Aussies actually planned to surrender most of the continent, I’m not totally convinced what I was told was true, but I suspect it was pretty much as told.

  2. CaseyG
    March 9, 2023 at 18:31

    Oh that Waltzing Matilda song is so sad. It seems like every nation in the world comes to think of its soldiers as disposable widgets to be killed and replaced—but never by those who start the wars.

    That Pentagon in America is awfully big. Maybe for the coming war, maybe the Pentagon employees should be the first to go to the wars. Lead by example Pentagon workers .

    NO one goes to war until the Pentagon is emptied of personnel first—I bet we would have a lot fewer wars then.

  3. lester
    March 9, 2023 at 15:54

    What effect are these Yellow Peril tantrums having on Chinese-Australians? I can well imagine Chinese-American “interned” as Japanese-Americans were during WW II.

  4. Eddie S
    March 9, 2023 at 11:25

    WTF is WRONG with ‘the West’?? It’s horrible enough that my country (ie; the USA) is on this sickening domination crusade against Russia and China, but it appears that even countries like Australia are fully supporting the U.S.! And of what significance could Australia’s military contribution be when the US is ALREADY spending obscene amounts on its military, something like more than the next 7 or 8 next largest countries’ military expenditures. And, like Australia, China has been one of the biggest trading partners of the U.S.! All of this is obviously armaments manufacturers lobbying for even MORE public spending on materiel just to improve their balance sheets, humanity be-damned. And IF we keep electing these war-mongering conservatives, eventually we’re going to get what we deserve, “good and hard”. Sickening.

    • lester
      March 9, 2023 at 16:00

      Eddie, China is a big non-western civilization, never conquered by Western colonialists, as India, for example, was. It’s government is not submissive, the way Japan’s government IS submissive, and ordinary people are prospering, while ordinary Americans, etc., are heading for beggary and homelessness. So xenophobia and economic jealousy are what’s wrong.

    • J Anthony
      March 10, 2023 at 08:50

      The root of it all is the capitalist order which demands ever-rising profits every quarter, at all costs. At this point in time it is a sickness.

  5. Valerie
    March 9, 2023 at 08:40

    Aljazeera today 9 march:

    “Australia to buy as many as five nuclear subs from United States”

    “Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is due to meet US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego on Monday to reveal AUKUS’s next steps.”

    I think the next steps could be possible annhilation.

  6. Moi
    March 9, 2023 at 01:46

    War with China should scare any rational Australian witless yet our politicians seem to keep doubling down regardless of the US aggression that totally negates the Anzus Treaty:

    Article I

    The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

    Also China is our largest trading partner so our economy will be toast after China says goodbye. If China enacts US-style sanctions on any other nation trading with us, goodbye world trade.

    The Aboriginal voice to parliament is undoubtedly important. But an infinitely more important issue that should go to a referendum is whether we should remain neutral in near-term conflicts with China.

    It is not at all unreasonable to put the possibility of war with China to the Australian people. What’s more, I’d be very surprised if the vast majority didn’t vote for neutrality.

  7. March 9, 2023 at 00:44

    We should put all of these chicken hawks in uniform and send them to the front.

    • Valerie
      March 9, 2023 at 16:36

      They’d surely get lost.

      • Johnny
        March 10, 2023 at 00:21

        War is about MONEY.
        It always has been and always will be.
        These slimy, sycophantic ‘experts’ are simply topping up their investments and retirement nest eggs, as are the directors and shareholders in the MIC and the politicians who sign off these MASS MURDER policies.
        The world is fucked.

  8. Tristan Patterson
    March 8, 2023 at 23:39

    I’ll be fucking spewing if they bring this shit to my part of the world. Here’s hoping NZ continues on with our Labour Government who just quietly can see through the American bullshit and avoids as much as they can. If our line up of stale, male and pale pricks get in, they’ll be right behind the hawks.
    The Yanks nearly took me to the wall in 08, and are currently making my cost of living harder. All the Chinese have ever done to me is give me a full belly and a happy massage.

    March 8, 2023 at 21:26

    Lib coalition and then Labor have literally made Australia the 52/53RD State of the U.S.A.; they have assigned our precious Sovereignty away for nothing in return; one reading of this recent agreement, between Australia and The United States, which establishes several expanded ,existing and new very large U.S. Bases in Australia, including air base installations of Nuclear capable planes, Nuclear capable submarines,all kinds of weapons and armament war fighting and ammunition stock piles; huge storage reserves of war fighting fuels ;and the freedoms to do what the hell they like, without consultation with Australia and without “Hindrance”, and much more.Find and read them on-line for yourself; the net result of all this lost Sovereignty means, Australia is now an integral part of U.S. INTENTIONS to War with China! When did “we the people” ever agree to all this? We should all take notice, because, when they start their War, and it is fully planned and intended they will! Australia is now an early target for retaliation as an important forward Communications and War equipment forward supply base; like it or not; and write this on your wall; When that happens, if not before, The Australian Government will be forced to issue a “General Mobilisation”, then it will be our Sons and Daughters sent to the Battle front,Not American ones; look at all the recent U.S. aggression’s on other Nations, the fighting is always done by others and NATO, never by U.S. Service men. Further proofs, if such are needed, are demonstrated by the fact, that, the U.S., throughout all the history of the Wars and aggression’s it initiated, that the U.S. “Homeland”, the continental U.S.A., has never been on the receiving end of retaliatory bombings and destruction’s; LET THAT SINK IN. Australia has two options, we must immediately create a Political Party, with the “Express” intention to countermand all this undemocratic, subservience to the U.S.or we must organise into the streets in such large numbers, sufficient to jolt The Liberal Coalitions and Labor Party Government, back into the land of the living. None of our present Politicians ever took the time and trouble to consult us, or to give reasoned sane argument to explain or justify, all the fore-mentioned insanities. Which do you support?

  10. Graeme
    March 8, 2023 at 18:40

    Julian Assange:
    “I understood this a few years ago. And my view became that we should understand that Australia is part of the United States. It is part of this English-speaking Christian empire, the centre of gravity of which is the United States, the second centre of which is the United Kingdom, and Australia is a suburb in that arrangement.

    And therefore we shouldn’t go, ‘It’s completely hopeless, its completely lost. Australian sovereignty, we are never going to get that back. We can’t control the big regulatory structure which we’re involved in in terms of strategic alliances, mass surveillance, and so on.’

    No, we just have to understand that our capital is Washington. The capital of Australia is D.C. That’s the reality. So when you’re engaging in campaigns, just engage directly with D.C., because that’s where the decisions are made.”

    As is so often the case, Julian nailed it.


    • John Pretty
      March 10, 2023 at 13:02

      It has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with the United States.

  11. Kiwiantz
    March 8, 2023 at 18:09

    As a NZer, although NZ is part of the 5 eyes, we aren’t as brainwashed as the Aussies, we look West across the Tasman Sea & are amazed at the stupidity & foolishness of Australia & its slavish devotion to the US Empire! Australia is rattling the War sabre & tapping the drums of War against China, its writing cheque’s it can’t cash as the saying goes, all hot air & gas egged on by Murdoch’s corrupt Media Empire? In a Military conflict with China, Australia would last a couple of hours if it ever went up against the Nuclear armed Superpower, China, the Aussie Govt are behaving like a obedient dingo with the US holding it’s leash, barring its teeth & growling at China, all bark but no bite, what a joke the Australian Leadership is, its embarrassing! And don’t get me started on Julian Assange, supposedly a Australian citizen & how they sold him out to the Americans, it’s disgraceful & shameful that he has been treated like this by his own Country but that’s what vassals do don’t they, they pay obedience to their abusive US Handler rather than their own Citizens? Just ask the UK, France,NATO & the EU & Ukraine which proves this fact beyond any doubt? Will Australian people sign up to be canon fodder for the next US Proxy War against China in 2025? Are the Australians, brought up on the Anzac myth of the courageous but ultimately losing Digger prepared to have their sons & daughters sacrificed on the altar of US Hegemony in order to preserve America’s dying Empire? Is Australia ready to have 300k dead Citizens & triple that permanently maimed just to appease US Warmongering Neocons & to line the pockets of its MIC? Are Australian people that dumb to buy into the propaganda of the Australian Govt, its MSM & the Americans? I believe the ordinary Australian is not buying into this nonsense & will rebel against it! As a NZer with Family & Friends living in OZ, I know the mentality of the Aussie people & the majority aren’t buying this Warmongering American Neocon crap!

    • Graeme
      March 9, 2023 at 00:32

      Yes, when Scott Morrison was Australian PM I was hoping that Jacinda Adern would invade.

    • Eddy Schmid
      March 9, 2023 at 02:00

      As a 73 year old Australian Veteran of the Vietnam conflict, I must answer ALL your questions of Australia as YES ! the average Aussia is blind, deaf and dum, to what’s been going on around them. Even if they were awake and saw what’s being done, the goal posts have already been moved in such a way, and opposition to the Government will be destroyed by using the laws passed by BOTH houses over the last 20-30 years. Australians WILL be throwing their lives away, or spending the next 10-15 years in gaol for refusing to obey the Law. Going to gaol, is not as simple as it sounds, it means the destruction of your family, the loss of your partner or wife and the loss of your home. In other words, the loss of everything you have worked so bloody hard for over the years. How many Australians, are prepared to draw a line in the sand, and are willing to lose all that, by going to gaol instead of being shipped off to foreign shores and blown to bits, or severely wounded, mental capacities destroyed for ever ????? My money says the MAJORITY will be quiet happy to throw their lives away thus.

  12. Valerie
    March 8, 2023 at 18:01

    I just had a look at the “Age” online. Unfortunately i could not read the main article as i am not a subscriber, but i managed to copy this line from the article headline/graphic:

    “The AUKUS submarines won’t arrive in time. Our independent defence panel asks if we should consider national service or even hosting nuclear weapons.”

    (These must be the submarines which replace the original French ones which were cancelled)

    • Graeme
      March 9, 2023 at 00:34

      Are you an Australian who lives in Victoria?
      If so, join the State Library of Victoria, and access to most corporate newspapers is free.

      I suspect likewise in other states.

      • Valerie
        March 9, 2023 at 08:30

        Thankyou Graeme but i’m in southern europe.

  13. lester
    March 8, 2023 at 17:32

    How many times in the past has China invaded Austrialia? Never? Hmmmm.

  14. doug home
    March 8, 2023 at 17:02

    It is telling that smh is accepting no reader comments on its Red Alert series of articles.
    If “the nation’s leaders should trust the public enough to include them in what can be a confronting discussion,” why can’t the smh?

    Comparing continuing different trajecterories between the repective growth in the military budgets of China and the US appears, for some reason, to be a no-go topic for Hartcher’s “experts” and yet military expenditure as a percentage of GDP is accepted as a measure of military preparedness by (almost) all experts.

    As for this gem – “National service may be palatable to an Australia facing conflict.” Pure comedy on so many levels.

    • Eddy Schmid
      March 9, 2023 at 02:11

      National Service ! Relax, these newspapers will bend over backwards to condition the Australian people to believe Conscription is the next best thing to sliced bread. The Australian people will lap it up quiet willingly, because there are very few Australians left, who actually can think for themselves. Consider, we are being told to take on China, who’s military is even outpacing the U.S.’s and their numbers are massive. Compared to Australia’s whose military can’t even order anything without screwing it up from the get go. recall Australia HAD to introduce CONSCRIPTION to maintain sufficient numbers in our involvement in the Vietnam conflict. We raised 9 Infantry battalions and supporting groups, sent off THREE battalions to do the dirty in Vietnam, and then rotated and replaced ONE battalion a year. This was a war with a TINY country like Vietnam, and Australia could not support it’self in that conflict without U.S. support. If we can’t support ourselves in a SMALL conflict like Vietnam, how the hell are we going to take on China ?????????????????

  15. Realist
    March 8, 2023 at 16:12

    Australia allowed itself to be exploited as cannon fodder during WWI when the Empire of the day sent Aussie boys to be wasted at Gallipoli against the Turks. Even considering the era and the smaller populations, Oz was completely overmatched by their Ottoman foe, suffering unbelievable carnage which served as the inspiration for what is probably the most poignant anti-war song of all time, performed around the world in the various incarnations of Memorial Day, Decoration Day, Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day or whatever your country calls the occasion. Please, don’t be so foolish as to repeat such folly a century later just because the damned bloody fools in Washington tell you it is your duty to protect “liberty, democracy, and free trade.” Right off, that claim is absolute high grade refined American bull shit. I’m an American and would never volunteer to die for the lying con artists in Washington. Your number one obligation is self-preservation and the protection of your family, country and culture. Do not succumb like countries in Eastern Europe (especially Poland, the Baltics and Romania) have done to entreaties from the Yanks to sacrifice their own populations to confront Russia on the battlefield to further the sick vainglorious agenda of the Neo-con faction from American politics. Like the hoodwinked Ukrainians, Washington will expect your 26-million people to fight to the last Aussie against the 1.5 billion Chinese. Why would your leaders want to do this? If America has to actually use its nuclear umbrella to purportedly “protect” you, all life on the planet will be in jeopardy. You can’t “win.” After you lose, you will be occupied, colonised and genetically swamped out by your conquerors. You disappear from history. End of story.

    And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle:

    … Now when I was a young man, I carried me pack
    And I lived the free life of the rover
    From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback
    Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over
    Then in 1915, my country said “son
    It’s time you stopped rambling, there’s work to be done”
    So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun
    And they marched me away to the war
    … And the band played Waltzing Matilda
    As the ship pulled away from the quay
    And amidst all the cheers, the flag-waving and tears
    We sailed off for Gallipoli
    … And how well I remember that terrible day
    How our blood stained the sand and the water
    And of how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
    We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
    Johnny Turk, he was waiting, he’d primed himself well
    He showered us with bullets and he rained us with shell
    And in five minutes flat, he’d blown us all to hell
    Nearly blew us right back to Australia
    … But the band played Waltzing Matilda
    When we stopped to bury our slain
    We buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs
    Then we started all over again
    … And those that were left, well we tried to survive
    In that mad world of blood, death and fire
    And for ten weary weeks, I kept myself alive
    Though around me the corpses piled higher
    Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head
    And when I woke up in me hospital bed
    And saw what it had done, well I wished I was dead
    Never knew there was worse things than dyin’
    … For I’ll go no more waltzing Matilda
    All around the green bush far and free
    To hump tent and pegs, a man needs both legs
    No more waltzing Matilda for me
    … So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed
    And they shipped us back home to Australia
    The legless, the armless, the blind, the insane
    Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
    And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
    I looked at the place where me legs used to be
    And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me
    To grieve, to mourn, and to pity
    … But the band played Waltzing Matilda
    As they carried us down the gangway
    But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
    Then they turned all their faces away
    … And so now every April, I sit on me porch
    And I watch the parades pass before me
    And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
    Reviving old dreams of past glories
    And the old men march slowly, old bones stiff and sore
    They’re tired old heroes from a forgotten war
    And the young people ask, “what are they marching for?”
    And I ask myself the same question
    … But the band plays Waltzing Matilda
    And the old men still answer the call
    But as year follows year, more old men disappear
    Someday no one will march there at all
    … Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
    Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
    And their ghosts may be heard
    As they march by that billabong
    Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?

    • Valerie
      March 9, 2023 at 08:43

      I never knew all the words to that song. Thankyou for posting Realist. So sad.

  16. Jerry Markatos
    March 8, 2023 at 15:37

    These shills and salesmen are hoping no Australian is capable of recognizing the tragedy the US actions have imposed on Ukraine and Germany.

  17. JonnyJames
    March 8, 2023 at 12:15

    Sounds familiar: massively increase military budgets, slash public services, and privatize everything left in the public domain. Start with fully privatizing health services and hospitals and make Australians pay full health extortion costs, like in the good ol’ USA. That will generate 100s of billions for the financial oligarchy.

    Also, might as well reinstate mandatory military conscription to meet the ‘threat’ of the New Yellow Peril. I wonder how popular that would be among the public?

    After all, Australians should give up any vestiges of national sovereignty, be willing to fight and die, and go into debt – it’s their “patriotic” duty to serve the Empire.

  18. Piotr Berman
    March 8, 2023 at 11:07

    For all fear mongering, I wonder if anyone asks the question: if a war of Australia and China cannot be avoided, what level of preparation would be adequate?

    For example, there was a “serious” article advocating that Australia should invade Solomon Islands to forestall Chinese military presence there. While somewhat isolated, it may pose a similar question: what would be adequate preparation of Solomon Islands for such eventuality? Would anything less than entire GDP and mobilizing, say, 20% of population to armed forces suffice? Is it possible?

    In South America, Paraguay has highest per capita spending on military, explainable by being terribly devastated in a war with Brazil and Argentina, the worst devastation among countries that still exist. Even so, security of Paraguay lies mostly in political solutions, like not declaring war on Brazil or Argentina, and least of all, on both of them. One could even question if it does Paraguay any good to have such high spending.

    And the same goes for Australia. Any plausible war scenario involves Australia’s engagement in changing status quo to the detriment of PRC. The design of submarines Australia ordered was modified to enable extended tours of duty in South China Sea… A rebellion in Solomon Islands was fomented because of Chinese investments… Is it essential for Australia to be as combative as Paraguay before the war of Triple Alliance (Uruguay was nominally involved too).

    • doug home
      March 8, 2023 at 17:14

      Any Australian preperation for war that does not include an attempt to shield the island continent from a massive DOS cyber attack is a waste of money. Why bother invading when you can just switch of the Internet of Things by using a handfulof undersea drones to take out the undersea cables?

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