[permaculture] Afghanistan redux

PacificEdge pacedge at magna.com.au
Mon Sep 23 21:48:42 EDT 2002

Mark P. Ludwig
Poultry Research Lab
University of Wisconsin -Madison....

On Tuesday, September 24, 2002, at 01:06  AM, Mark wrote:
>> Incidentally, media surveys indicate that something over 70% of 
>> Australians oppose supporting actively the US in any action against 
>> Iraq outside UN auspices. And this morning's (Saturday) Sydney Morning 
>> Herald headline "Bush: how I'll rule the world" isn't likely to change 
>> that situation-www.smh.com.au (the article response to Dubya's 
>> document published last night Sydney time which can be found in full 
>> at: www.nytimes.com)

>> ...Russ Grayson
> Interesting.  Oz being an imagrint society like the USA seems to share 
> some of our orientation to military action more than Europe.

This is partly due to our geographic situation - Australia is a nation 
of dominately European people (there's around 2% indigenous Aboriginal 
people) very close to the world's largest Moslem population (Indonesia) 
which thankfully is moderate Islam (although there are small elements of 
fundamental Islam - some of which could have been responsible for 
yesterday's failed attack on a US consular residence - the bomber blew 
his leg off) and facing the vastness of both the Pacific and Indian 

The Second World War also influenced Australian thinking and those years 
have been formative in contemporary Australian history. Faced by 
Japanese aggression with a small population, Australia gained the 
support of the US (Australia was the first to gain victory over Japan - 
that was in PNG) and the Aust-US alliance was an outcome of these years 
as Australia felt vulnerable as a European nation in Asia.

This has produced what you describe as our 'orientation to military 
action', but it is an orientation that engenders considerable public 
debate. For instance, as I stated in the first paragraph above, the 
prospect of sending even a small special forces detachment (that is all 
the country has available-our combined military apparatus totals only 
around 30 000-35 000; this is why quality rather than quantity has been 
a training principle in the Australian military) to do interdiction and 
recognaissance work in Iraq is the subject of deep public discourse.

Stimulating Australian confidence has been the successful military 
peacekeeping intervention in East Timor, which continues today and 
consumes much of the country's military focus. Australian troops faced 
down Indonesia's military and negotiated its withdrawal. There were no 
Australian casualties and the operation opened the space necessary for 
political moves towards peace and for civil society initiatives.

And yes, Australia is an immigrant society with around 20% of the 
population tracing its ancestry overseas over recent generations.

>  Nice to see they aren't getting on board with WWIII.  Really getting 
> scary in this country.  We'll see how long it takes to for average 
> Americans to connect the dots and realize we are on the verge of years 
> of hot war, and what they say then.

It might be interesting to see how long the war continues. The Iraqis, 
unlike remnant Taliban and El Queda in Afghanistan, seem ready to fight 
a conventional war of the type the US is trained and equipped to fight. 
Firepower and the destruction of hard targets are at the core of this 
type of conflict (remember the UN assault on Serbia by US and NATO a few 
years ago) so that should put the US in a better position than were they 
confronting guerrilla or militia units ('assymetric warfare' - remember 
Somalia, Vietnam and, possibly, Afghanistan to come).

The Australian media is doing a good job carrying the public discussion 
around Iraq and commentators in the newspapers, radio, television and 
online news services point out the immense uncertainties facing the US 
and its allies, the likely Israeli response to a WMD attach by Iraq and 
the uncertainties in the Arab world that could flow from a war... it's 
those which will go on for years, perhaps... especially if the US does 
not take a stronger stand on ending the Israel-Palestine conflict, which 
could to some extent moderate reaction.

Russ Grayson
Sydney, Australia

>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Scott Hitchins [mailto:ScottH at wcig.org.au]
>>> Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 4:31 PM
>>> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>>> Subject: RE: [permaculture] Afghanistan redux
>>> "....unless the West imposes order..." ??!!!!!! Yeah, or unless they 
>>> run
>>> out of oil and we all go home and leave them alone to get on with 
>>> their
>>> lives in the manner they choose.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> permaculture mailing list
>>> permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture

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