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John Passant

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August 2009



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

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I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

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Dying for the US Alliance

Ex-Labor leader Mark Latham is right when he says that our defence policy is based on a terrible trade-off; swapping Australian blood for a military backstop. (‘At America’s beck and call’ Australian Financial Review Thursday 20 August . You can only get access on the net if you subscribe.)

He’s also right to argue that Labor in power is the same as the Liberals on this.  Both support to the hilt the US Alliance.

But like all left nationalists he doesn’t then explore the logic of his position.  Instead he reverts to childish psychology to argue that Labor in power (and Julia Gillard in particular) are brainwashed by the CIA.

The man who described the conservatives as a conga line of suckholes for fawning over George W Bush misunderstands that Labor joins the conga line precisely because it has the same goal as the conservatives – managing Australian capitalism in the interests of capital itself.

This means both sides of the conservative divide support the US alliance.  They are not brainwashed – they are being rational from the point of view of the system.

Latham himself, if he had won power, would have done the same as Rudd and Gillard – reinforce the number of troops in Afghanistan for example.

As one of my Facebook friends said: ‘Forgotten the hasty press conference to reaffirm your commitment to the US alliance with the American flag in the background hey Mark?’

Latham is right to criticise the parliamentary Labor Left over its support for the US alliance.

He notes that in the past it would have attacked the torture, the gun-toting social jungle that is American society and US imperialism itself. 

Instead, as he says, Julia Gillard, the titular head of the Labor Left, is a rusted on supporter of the Alliance, going so far as to praise the US under George Bush as a civilising force.

However Latham misunderstands the reason for this pre-eminence of the US Alliance and Labor’s support for it. 

It is not only to protect the Australian bourgeoisie’s profit system from military invasion; it is also to expand our own power in the region under the umbrella of US support. 

The recent US signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is part of a return by the US to a deeper engagement in Asia and aims to establish an anti-Chinese bulwark in the region, something Australia has been pushing. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:

The United States is back in South-East Asia. President Obama and I believe that this region is vital to global progress, peace and prosperity and we are fully engaged with our ASEAN partners on the wide range of challenges confronting us.

The task of US imperialism (and our imperialism as well) is both to engage and encircle China.  Afghanistan, Iraq, Taiwan are examples of that; not the sole reasons but important ones nevertheless.

Latham’s solution appears to be to develop an ‘independent’ foreign policy.  This is not left wing – it is as reactionary as support for the US Alliance.

For the revolutionary left the main goal must be the defeat of US imperialism and its adult child, Australian imperialism. 

The seemingly inevitable defeat of the invaders in Afghanistan will be an important part of that and the forced retreat of US imperialism from the world stage for a little while will be a victory for the Afghanis themselves and all in the West who want a democratic society with production organised to satisfy human need.

For the socialist left the main enemy is at home – the Australian bourgeoisie and their lapdogs, Labor.

Every strike, every demonstration has the seeds of revolution against the warmongers in it. 

We must continue to build our forces and the forces of all those who oppose the US Alliance and want peace.



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