October 24, 2012

Horse 1387 - What did we pay for? Can we UNpay for it?

Can someone please explain the logic of the Australian Government spending more than twenty five million dollars for a seat on the UN Security Council? It's not like it's even a permanent seat either.

Being on the security council it was suggested by Ms Gillard on ABC Local Radio on Friday (19th Oct), would bolster Australia's image on the world stage and better position Australia in the future but it still wasn't made clear exactly what that position was, is and will be, or more importantly why Australia needed to spend the money to be there.
The only thing that I can think of is that somewhere in the corridors of power, someone was passing love notes, namely America, and this was done to either even up the number of favourable seats on the UN Security Council, or because they'd like a friendly voice in the UN Security Council to help justify the next war that they're planning (which I think will be with Iran in either 2014 or 2018 depending on the results of the current Presidential election).

Let's not sugar coat this, despite the myth that we've been forced to swallow for the past 65 years, Australia is not the 51st State of America as the media sometimes likes to portray it. Bush and Blair spoke of the "special relationship" which the US and the UK (51) have, US foreign policy has for almost the entire of the 21st century thus far been about smashing Arabic countries because of a commitment to Israel (52) and even China (53?) gets more said about it than Australia does. If anything we're probably also less important than Puerto Rico (54) and manufacturing in Mexico (55) and Canada (56). This ranks Australia as number 57 or possibly 58 if you also include the importance of the EU.
Even though Australia ranks so lowly in America's thoughts, we've sent troops to Korea, Vietnam, Iraq ('90), Afghanistan and Iraq ('03). Dead Australians lie strewn around the globe because big brother America said "jump" and we asked "how high?".
If you want proof of just how unimportant Australia is in the eyes of Big Brother, when Obama became president, he promised to visit Australia. That was in 2008 while Kevin Rudd was still the Prime Minister and it didn't happen until November 2011, by which time we'd had another federal election.

So I find it a little bit strange after 61 years since ANZUS was signed and America started telling us what to do, to think that the Australian Government should need or even want to sit on the UN Security Council. Is it prestige, or perhaps Bob Carr likes the corn relish that goes with the chicken crimpy biscuits that they have there, or something else? I can't imagine that it is to do with actually saying anything on the world stage because that would be like us growing a backbone and we certainly cannot have that. For more than three times my lifetime, Australia has had a decidedly invertebrate foreign policy; during that time we have switched big brothers though.

The thing is though, it need not be this way. After the First World War, the Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes travelled to Paris for the conferences to do with Germany being asked politely to pay for the war. Hughes was a upstart; larrikin of a man who was also a little bit deaf. During the conferences, if there was something he didn't like, he'd pretend not to have heard it and cheekily made people repeat what they'd said or rather made people change what they'd said until he got what he liked. I seriously doubt whether any modern Australian diplomat would have the audacity to do such a thing now. The US President, Woodrow Wilson, was offended by Hughes' demands at the conference for a mandate over New Guinea; Hughes' basically told Wilson where to do and probably gave him the money for the bus fare to get there.

No, I suspect that the reason why Australia wanted a seat on the UN Security Council so badly, was that we're trying ever so hard to be America's lap dog, to wag our tail, to heel when we're to told to heel, to bark when we're told to bark and to sit and take a nap on that UN Security Council seat when we're told to. We're there to yap loudly against China, to growl at the meanie Ms Merkel and bite and snarl at the evil evil bad people (which will again be none of our business) when Mr Mittens* Romney sends us to Iran and maybe Pakistan in 2014 or 2018, depending on if he gets elected this year or four years hence.

*The Mittens and O show has been ruder than the Paul and Joe show. The Paul and Joe show was civil, whereas Mittens likes to speak of irrelevancies and weirdly spoke of "binders full of women" and that he "likes coal" and Big Bird but he hates PBS.

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