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Engagement or colonisation, what should Australia’s role in the Pacific be?

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by: Bakchos
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When I started Blak and Black, on the advice of my good friend the Rev. Pat, my purpose was to bring to the attention of as wide an audience as I could the true nature and extent of racism in Australia. What I didn’t realise at the time was how far Australia’s neo-colonial racist concepts had spread beyond our borders. Over the last few months I have been contacted by people from West Papua, the Solomon Islands, East Timor as well as refugees from Afghanistan and other parts of Central Asia and the Middle East all telling the same story. The story is one of racial intolerance and a misguided since of the importance of Anglo-Celtic Australians on the world stage.

Australian engagement beyond our borders is a glorious thing; perhaps not for those in foreign lands who are exposed to the corruption, nepotism and thuggery that passes for the ‘rule of law’ in Australia, but for Indigenous Australia who have been subjected to injustice built upon injustice by  Anglo-Celtic Australian for 223 years, it is a glorious thing.

People keep telling me that our numbers are too small to matter and that nobody really cares about what happens to Indigenous Australians. These sentiments usually progress to an acknowledgement by these same well-meaning people that Howard Government set back the cause of the Indigenous people of this ancient land by decades. Perhaps at some fundamental level the Howard years may prove to have been the final battle in Anglo-Celtic Australia’s goal of Terra Nullius.  History will be the ultimate judge on this.

The exporting of Anglo-Celtic Australian corruption to our near neighbours, if it does nothing else, it will surely alert the rest of the world to the sham and hypocrisy of the thing that we call our Australian free and democratic way of life. It is anything but.

The reason for this post is that I was alerted to an article which appeared in Tuesday’s edition of the Island Sun. The article headed; Australia Helping The Opposition To Topple NCRA Government: Top Secret Intelligence Report makes a number allegations against the Australian Ambassador to Honiara and RAMSI. The most significant of the allegations made against Australia by the Island Sun is that:

A TOP secret intelligence report has pointed a finger at Australia as being the architect of the on-going Opposition move to topple Prime Minister Danny Philip’s Government, promising a $200,000 reward each to any Government MP who crosses the floor.

If this report is correct what; Australia is doing in the Solomon Islands amounts to nothing less than an act of aggression against the democratically elected government of one of our near neighbours.  Is this something the people of Australia should condone? Is it something the world should condone? Surely the answer to both of these questions must be no!

One of the key objectives of RAMSI is to help foster the principle of ‘rule of law’ in our near neighbour states. Is attempting to topple a democratically elected government consistent with the fostering of the ‘rule of law’ in the Solomon Islands? I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the answer is no. What this is more akin to is the colonial aspirations of the European Powers in the 19th Century.

In July 1942, Roosevelt sanctioned a world tour by former 1940 GOP presidential candidate Wendell Willkie, whom he had recruited into a tactical alliance against British imperialism. Willkie carried personal instructions and messages from Roosevelt, and his speeches spoke publicly of the anti-imperial content of American foreign policy. Wherever Willkie went, he spoke of the “coming tide of freedom” which would roll back imperialism. On Oct. 6, in Chungking China, he declared “We believe that this war must mean an end to the empire of nations over other nations. No foot of Chinese soil, for example, should be or can be ruled from now on except by the people who live on it. And we must say so now, not after the war”.

Under the Roosevelt administration, one of the avowed war aims of the United States in entering into WWII was to support the struggles for independence by peoples of oppressed nations; and to assist them, with a new system, in being able to develop their economies to true sovereignty.

Laudable, truly laudable, but how do this principles sit with what Australia, via RAMSI, is currently doing in the Solomon Islands? How does Australian control of the Judiciary of the Solomon Islands help furtherthe struggles for independence by peoples of oppressed nations; and to assist them, with a new system, in being able to develop their economies to true sovereignty?  I don’t know. What I do know is that I have experienced first-hand the racism and stereotyping that passes for police work by the Australian Federal Police whose unwritten policy seems to be if you’re black you have no rights against a ‘white’. How is exporting the racist mantra of the Anglo-Celtic Australian establishment going to help anyone in the Solomon Islands?

According to Solomon Islands Prime Minister Mr Philip Australians currently with RAMSI in the Solomon Islands want to remain because “employment under the RAMSI programme is good money, great perks and fringe benefits to the employees. They enjoy being in the Solomon’s.” That attitude could have come directly from the lips of the younger son of a 19th Century English ‘gentleman’ on his way to the Raj to make his fortune.

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