The Guardian July 16, 2003


The new colonisers set to go

Keeping troops in Iraq;
Sending troops back to Afghanistan;
Troops in East Timor;
Troops to the Solomon Islands;
Intervention in other Pacific Island countries;
"Interdicting" North Korean ships on the high seas.

This is the immediate agenda of the Howard Government as it prepares for 
one military adventure after another as the US's "deputy sheriff" 
throughout the world.

Without waiting for a formal go ahead from the Solomon Islands parliament 
and enabling legislation to cover the policing and military role of the 
invading Australian and New Zealand forces, an advance party of police, 
military and administrative officers are already in Honiara.

They are to prepare the way for a heavily armed force of upwards of 2000. A 
British police commissioner has been in the Solomon Islands for several 
months spying out the land for the coming recolonisation of this former 
British and Australian colony.

There is no timetable to bring an end to the occupation but the report of 
the Australian Strategic Policy Institute which drew up the plan for 
Australian intervention, has provided financial estimates for up to 10 
years.

A former Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Mr Manasseh Sogavare warned 
the Solomon Island's parliament of what is to come. "It'll be nothing short 
of recolonising this country", he said. "This honourable house is 
deliberately used as a puppet for overseas agendas. If these so-called 
development partners were serious about rescuing this country from the grip 
of lawlessness they would have done so when they had the opportunity".

Another former Prime Minister Batholomew Ulufa9alu also angrily denounced 
the government and its supporters, saying, "So who brought intervention on 
this country? You. You. Because you become the dirt. You became the 
rubbish."

Alexander Downer was dismissive and patronising towards the remarks of Mr 
Sogavane saying that, "one or two people will come out and take an oral 
shot at Australia".

Piracy on the high seas

On the Korean front, a meeting of 11 governments held in Brisbane last week 
took steps towards the "interdiction" of North Korean ships alleged by CIA 
spies (of Iraqi notoriety) to be carrying weapons of mass destruction.

The UN is the only body able to legally take such a step. However, the 
Australian Government has dismissed the UN. Alexander Downer said that "As 
a focused group we [the 11 governments that met in Brisbane] will be better 
positioned to build a broad and effective partnership with other countries 
prepared to play a part in impeding traffic in WMD and missiles".

Field Marshall John Howard has weighed in with his own "warning" to North 
Korea. "I don't think military action is inevitable . but at the same time, 
we have to communicate to the North Koreans that the world's concerns are 
not going to disappear unless and until there's a proper response by North 
Korea to those concerns".

Howard's "proper response" is that North Korea should just capitulate to 
the demands of the Australian and US Governments who, while ignoring the 
UN, have the audacity to claim to speak for the "world".

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