Labor’s military madness
Ya gotta love Labor’s new guru, Bob Carr. He strides into the Foreign Ministry like a prodigal son returned to save the whole disgraced family. Good luck with that, Bob! Still, he’s an enthusiastic son of a gun and worthy of a good deal of respect. But ya still gotta wonder just where his head is at.
So, he goes to China and makes a few small fluffs. Nothing catastrophic but just enough to ring some warning bells for his hosts.
Then, with a first class seat awaiting him, he takes off for Japan. And this is where he then lambasts his Chinese hosts for not being transparent about their military escalation. Bob softens his blow by saying that their economic rise is a good thing and the world can sleep tight at night coz building your military might is just what a growth-oriented nation would do. Of course.
In fact, he said: “A country that is growing economically and re-emerging as a great power in the world will seek to modernise its military in an appropriate fashion and this is happening with China.”
But, hold on a minute what: what’s the score with good old Australia? Well, clearly we are not a great power but we do get to exercise a degree off influence well ahead of our economic size and power and we fight in most of the conflicts going around the globe at any one time. All in the name of keeping our alliances tight, naturally.
So, Bob, how come your party is currently winding-back our military to a level not seen since before the Second World War? Just as our global influence arguably reaches a new peak on the basis of our quality economy, your colleagues emasculate our military, in defiance of your own mantra about global power projection?
What are we to assume, Bob? That we are a nothing nation that should resile from our global position of influence? That our sound economy can only be propped-up by dismantling our military apparatus? That we are suffering a unique form of Labor cultural cringe that says we should face the world cap in hand with our eyes cast meekly downwards?
Can we have it both ways, Bob? Or are you just posturing in a meaningless and embarrassing manner in just the same way that your Prime Minister and your Ministerial colleagues are doing domestically?
Spare us, please, from an egotistical man with real talent but who believes his own abilities are so damned good that he does not need to even establish a sound global strategic and tactical framework in which to articulate Labor’s approach to our place in the world. Then again, Labor’s view of power projection is so crippled that it believes it is okay to cosset ‘rogue nations’ like Slipper and Thomson to shore up its own position. On that basis, wait for Labor to propose an alliance with North Korea and Libya. Maybe it’s time for Carr to get off the jets and sit in an office for a wee while to work out just what he might be able to achieve while in office. This task has proved beyond the ability of his Prime Minister so don’t hold your breath waiting for Carr to deliver the goods. Just another in a very long line of this administration’s failures.