Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Henderson: Face-off with the anti-Americans
"The Prime Minister is correct in asserting the importance of the Australia-United States alliance. It's just that any indication of Australian subservience to this "great and powerful friend" (in Robert Menzies' terminology) may have the unintended consequence of diminishing support for the ANZUS Treaty Down Under.

"Howard makes scant attempt to disguise his pro-Americanism. There is, however, an antidote of long standing - namely, anti-Americanism. This was well defined by Paul Hollander in his book Anti-Americanism (OUP, 1992). Here the concept was described as "a particular mind-set, an attitude of distaste, aversion or intense hostility, the roots of which may be found in matters unrelated to the actual qualities or attributes of American society or the foreign policies of the United States".

The foreign policies of the United States, as Chomsky has said and thoroughly documented, are horrifying. Only persons wilfully ignorant (or lying) could maintain the absurdity as described above by Hollander and endorsed by Henderson. In regards to the ANZUS treaty, no doubt Howard's committment to it is genuine (this alone is probably the main reason for his enthusiastic participation in the gulf war in spite of all good sense) but exactly what are the benefits to Australia? The US acts for its "national interest", just as the British Empire did, not for sentiment or loyalty. It is a dangerous illusion that it does otherwise. Australians cannot afford to indulge a moment longer the notion that come America's Singapore the United States will not do as the British did and abandon the entire region on the instant. It is beyond time that Australia withdrew from the alliance, closed American bases, engaged with the region, and sought collective security under the umbrella of the Charter of the UN.

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