TUMBY BAY - The United States of America is a warmonger but prefers to fight its wars in other people’s countries: Moro (Philippines), Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, the list goes on and, as you can read here, it is very, very long.
War and the military industrial complex are inextricably entwined in the US economy and now it seems to be quite advanced in its planning for the next war – another one in our backyard, the Indo-Pacific.
And the planned adversary is China, which is not the tin pot Latin American shambles the US likes to clean up in 24 hours but a sophisticated and committed adversary with military muscle almost on par with Uncle Sam.
War with China, even on a limited basis, will be a big one and lots of people will get hurt.
If Australia had any sense it would be doing everything in its power to convince the USA to tone down its aggressive rhetoric and beef up its diplomacy with China.
Instead, it has been egging on the USA and provoking China with its own particular brand of macho rhetoric. Yell and run.
And now, in another provocative swipe at China, we learn that Australia has been cooking up a secret deal to build nuclear-powered submarines using American and British technologies.
This is while simultaneously inviting the USA to deploy “all types” of military aircraft and personnel on our shores.
No doubt the aircraft will be capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
We’ve also just ordered a bunch of Tomahawk missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, jet-powered, subsonic cruise missile that can be launched from different platforms, including submarines.
This has all been secretly wrapped up in a military alliance with the clumsy acronym AUKUS (Australia, United Kingdom, United States).
While it sounds like a particularly unpleasant respiratory condition our foreign minister, Marise Payne, assures us it is “well suited for countering coercion in the Indo-Pacific”.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton is salivating at all these developments and says he wants to “increase US troop rotations and storage of American ordnance and firepower” in Australia.
The Chinese authorities have developed a nickname for Dutton - Bèn Dàn (Dumb Egg).
Dumb Egg’s probably spending the weekend selecting an appropriate commander-in-chief leather jacket, aviator sunglasses, Biden Rolex Datejust wrist watch and Air Force One stubby holders.
To cap it all off Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state says America will “stand with Australia against pressure from China”.
The ‘stand’, of course, will take place13,000 kilometers away from the west coast of ‘murica in our backyard, not his.
It’s unclear whether our ANZUS partner, New Zealand, has been fully consulted. Probably not. New Zealand won’t let nuclear powered vessels into its ports.
There must be great unhappiness in Aotearoa about what’s been going on behind closed doors in Canberra.
It is also highly unlikely that Papua New Guinea or any other Pacific islands nation would have been consulted, although they would have been hosed down from Canberra by now.
The areas in which future China-USA conflicts have been speculated to flare are the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait and the East China Sea, adjacent to Japan and South Korea.
So far nobody expects Papua New Guinea or any other Pacific country to be in the firing line of any future conflict.
But the calculus may change now that Scott John Morrison has torn up Australia's delicate ‘balanced’ approach to its major strategic partner and its major trading partner in opting to go all the way with Joseph Robinette Biden Jr and Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
Oh, how future historians will reel when they recount the wondrous derring-dos of that lot.
There’s nothing new about any of this, of course. Riding roughshod over Australia has always been in the gift of the USA and doing the same to the Pacific has always been Australia’s preferred option.
So what to make of this unexpected and far reaching development suddenly dumped on us in the middle of a pandemic?
Despite what Blinken says, it has all the hallmarks of a gigantic American scam that our patsies in Canberra have fallen for hook, line and sinker.
The guys and gals in the arms industry must be rubbing their hands with glee.
As for the rest of us I guess it’s down to Bunnings to shop for a prefabricated nuclear shelter.