TUMBY BAY - Whether it is at the clan level or the national level, human society seems to be most comfortable when it has a clearly defined enemy.
During World War II, Australia had Japan to hate and Europe had Germany. In the post war years we feared the communists in Russia, and then in China.
Everyone was happy. Community solidarity was in force on both sides of the fence.
That solidarity in the face of the perceived enemy provided the impetus for the maintenance of a sound economy and the organisation of a happy rallying and flag-waving society.
On the other side of the coin was the choice of our friends and allies.
Prior to World War II, Australia’s greatest friend and ally was Great Britain, but it let us down badly.
First, and quite naturally, it had a total preoccupation with defending its own shores; and then, and most surprisingly, its defeat by the Japanese in the capture of Singapore.
The British thought the Imperial Japanese Army would come by sea. Instead its troops swept down the Malayan Peninsula.
In the face of those disappointments, after the war Australia quickly dumped Britain and aligned itself with the USA.
After all, Uncle Sam had saved us from being invaded by the Japs while the British, who we had relied on, only wanted us to help save themselves.
Our decision back then to go with the Yanks seemed straightforward enough, but things have since got a lot more confusing.
Nowadays we have trouble identifying who exactly is our enemy. There are so many options from which to choose.
Is it the Russians in faraway Europe or the Chinese closer to our doorstep?
And what about all those nasty little in-between countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia who are exporting terrorism to all points of the globe?
Then there’s Indonesia with its humongous Muslim population. Is it really a friend or is it a potential enemy?
When Indonesia gets nasty, it’s pretty good at it, just ask any West Papuan.
And what about our supposed friends? Is the USA really a friend who’s likely to stick with us if things turn really bad?
Perhaps we made a mistake cosying up to them so tightly after World War II.
Might they just be using us like Britain did before them?
It’s worrying that the US is a nation continually on a war footing. Preparedness for war drives everything it does. It is a warrior nation.
Since World War II, the US has dragged us into all of its pointless little wars and some big ones.
Now they are beefing up northern Australia as a base for what looks like a big future fracas with the Chinese. Could be said to be an unhealthy basis for friendship.
And just look at the sneaky way the US has infiltrated us culturally since World War II.
Has it been making us more like itself as part of some softening up process?
It’s all very confusing but maybe there is a solution.
Perhaps we should forget about the USA and China and tell them to piss off while we declare war on New Zealand.
Or maybe we could invade Papua New Guinea. We’d probably call it a peace keeping mission.
PNG is a big country with big problems which could provide meaningful work for our generals and politicians for decades. That Bougainville thing will especially rattle their brain cells.
On second thoughts, maybe that’s not a good idea. The Yanks and the Chinese have had their eyes on PNG (and Bougainville) for a while and we don’t want to upset them too much.
Better to despatch our rusty submarines to New Zealand. We once had our eyes on it as a seventh state. Putin-like, we could justify a takeover as a fulfilment of manifest destiny*.
I’m sure the Kiwis won’t mind, they look and talk like us already and can beat us at cricket and rugger.
Together we could use New Zealand’s ‘incorporation’ as an excuse to tell the Yanks and Chinese to go away and leave us alone.
Sorry, chaps, we’re busy.
And about those nuclear submarines, B52 bombers that are as old as I am, and fighter planes that don’t work, er, we’ll get back to you….
* Refer also to Xi Jinping for explanation of this logic.