Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Kolko: Alliances and the American election: "Alliances have been a major cause of wars throughout modern history, removing inhibitions that might otherwise have caused Germany, France, and countless nations to reflect much more cautiously before embarking on death and destruction. The dissolution of all alliances is a crucial precondition of a world without wars. The United States' strength, to an important extent, has rested on its ability to convince other nations that it was to their vital interests to see America prevail in its global role. With the loss of that ability there will be a fundamental change in the international system whose implications and consequences may ultimately be as far-reaching as the dissolution of the Soviet bloc. The scope of America's world mission is now far more dangerous and ambitious than when Communism existed, but it was fear of the USSR that alone gave NATO its raison d'etre and provided Washington with the justification for its global pretensions."

"America's traditional allies, of which Australia is one of the closest, have to decide if they are willing to give a carte blanche to what is - and will remain regardless of who wins next November's election - an increasingly dangerous adventurism. We know a great deal of how American foreign and military policies are formulated, and they are less and less predictable and increasingly likely to alienate an ever-larger part of the world. Cynicism, unrealizable ambition, deliberate but also self-inflicted illusions are crucial to the byzantine way crucial decisions for war or peace are reached. (4) But to proclaim that the alliance with the U. S. is sacrosanct is to encourage an increasingly irresponsible American foreign policy. That, too, is an issue the Australian people must consider."

Kolko makes an argument for Australia to follow the leadership of New Zealand and withdraw from the Anzus treaty. Security does not consist in armies, weapons, colonialism, exploitation, alliances and wars but rather the opposite: disarmament, peace, justice and understanding between nations and peoples, particularly those in our region.

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