Australia needs American help with defence (letter)by Greg ByrneNews Weekly
, September 29, 2007
John Miller, in the past, has discussed attitudes of Australians towards the war on terrorism in terms of their being too laid back about it (News Weekly
, July 21, 2007).
What is Australia's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan really all about? As with Vietnam, it's about keeping America involved with Australia. Since the fall of Singapore in 1942, Australians have needed an assurance that the Americans will always come to their aid.
This was largely behind Australia's Vietnam commitment. When the war was lost, it didn't matter to Australians because the main objective was achieved, i.e., maintaining a strong relationship with America.
If one goes back to 1999, when the Indonesian militias were butchering East Timorese on a large scale, one can see what it's really all about. US President Bill Clinton didn't want to get involved, and suddenly Australians discovered what a defence crisis without America might be like, and they were not happy.
So it's hardly surprising that John Howard was quick to respond to President George W. Bush's request to become involved in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Mr Howard was following the time-honoured practice of keeping America on side.Greg Byrne,