Paul Keating's Press Club criticism of the AUKUS agreement revealed the true nature of our mainstream media, writes Bilal Cleland.
ON 15 MARCH, former Prime Minister Paul Keating delivered a refreshing truth-telling at the National Press Club, chaired by Laura Tingle, one of the untainted journalists of the ABC.
It was a remarkable presentation, exposing the nature of the U.S., UK and Australian nuclear submarine deal.
Basically, he argues we are being lured into an alliance that while propping up the failing British economy, cedes sovereignty over our defence to the USA in its great power rivalry with China.
The few nuclear-powered submarines which we will one day acquire are too large to operate in the shallow waters on our continental shelf but seem rather designed to offer forward defence for the USA in its surveillance of the periphery of China.
If the defence of Australia is what is intended, Keating claimed that the 45 Collins-class submarines we could get for the cost of a few nuclear-powered submarines, costing $380 billion, would be more practical.
Keating's skewering of mainstream media spot on
During his recent National Press Club appearance, former PM Paul Keating scolded mainstream media journalists - who deserved every stinging syllable of his pinpoint-accurate words.
He was highly critical of the Albanese-Wong-Marles positioning on the alliance and their carrying over into the new government of the cold war warriors heading the Liberal Party jingoistic campaign around the trashing of the agreement with France and the English-speaking alliance of AUKUS.
The National Press Club address is a must-watch for those interested in the welfare of this country for its exposure of the nature of the mainstream media, as reflected in the posturing of the main corporation journalists.
The sustained campaign of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on the Chinese threat came under particular examination by Keating, who described their three articles as the worst journalism he has seen.
Disappointing Labor position
For those Labor Party stalwarts with long memories, Keating compared Albanese with PM Billy Hughes, the Labor rat who betrayed the Party over conscription for the First World War, setting up a rival conservative party in a vain attempt to get his policy accepted.
Billy Hughes at the Versailles Peace Treaty talks also strong-armed the British delegation into opposing the Japanese proposal that a clause be inserted into the treaty proclaiming recognition of racial equality.
The White Australia policy was part of our system from 1901 until the Whitlam Labor Government threw it out in 1972.
This racism saw the development of Japanese hostility towards the European powers and Australia, culminating in 1941 with Pearl Harbour and the bombing of Darwin.
Keating said he did not defend China on its treatment of the Uyghurs but raised the silence of the local media on the attitude of the Modi Government - which it lauds - and its treatment of Kashmiri Muslims.
Australia's submarine deal is a disaster and we know who to blame
The current AUKUS submarine contract reflects a profoundly tragic lost opportunity.
India is in the Quad, initiated by former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe in 2007, linking Australia and the USA, which is also aimed at containing China.
For those people concerned with human rights, the Bharatiya Janata Party abuses and pogroms against Muslims are mounting and serious but little remarked upon by our mainstream media.
Keating argued that there is no reason to believe that China threatens aggression against Australia and deflected certain journalists' assertions that trade sanctions against some Australian products were evidence of such intent.
One question as to why the Chinese military build-up should not be seen as a provocation, he explained by comparing Chinese military expenditure to that of the USA, which is much greater.
The AUKUS Agreement, according to his analysis, has tied us into the U.S. defence strategy, diminishing our independence. We have in effect, seen our national foreign policy handed over to the security and defence boffins, a USA concerned about its hegemony and the failing UK.
The Thucydides Trap
It looks as though the USA has fallen into the Thucydides Trap and taken Australia as its junior partner with it.
The term was used by an American political scientist, Graham Allison, to describe the tendency towards war of an existing dominant power against a rising power that threatens its hegemony.
It comes from the description by the ancient Greek historian Thucydides of the Peloponnesian War when Sparta, afraid of the rising power of Athenian power, attacked it.
Allison did a study of 16 historical instances of an emerging power rivalling a ruling power and 12 ended in war. That does not make it inevitable.
The USA is feeling threatened by China, not because China is interested in eastward expansion, but because its economy is already outstripping that of the USA.
AUKUS cements U.S. interests and endangers Australia's security
Anthony Albanese's photo opportunity with President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego ranks as one of the more grotesque and expensive the world has seen.
China is interested in trading and ties towards its west, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and across to Istanbul.
It is, however, very resentful of the U.S. patrolling its eastern periphery. Understandable when reflecting on its long history of suffering from European and Japanese imperialism.
As Keating remarked, how would the USA react to Chinese patrols six miles off California?
A history of false premises
The USA took us into the Vietnam War on false premises.
The result was the DLP/Liberal Party hysterical lying campaign of "the Reds are coming", the introduction of conscription and hundreds of Australian deaths until Labor took us out of the war in 1972.
Vietnam under its communist government is now a friend.
The U.S. took us into Afghanistan against the Taliban which was said to be sheltering Al-Qaeda, installed a stunningly corrupt series of governments and abandoned it once more to the Taliban with their tribal village variety of Islam. We left many of our Afghan allies abandoned inside the country.
The USA took us on false premises into the 2003 invasion of Iraq, resulting in the emergence of the terrorist Daesh, seeming largely based on the remnants of the Ba'ath Party.
Our foreign and defence policy now appears to be in the control of remnants from the Morrison period of dominance, as outlined in Keating's speech.
It is not looking too healthy for our nation.
Now sit back and watch the mainstream corporate media try to either demonise Keating or just ignore him.
This will enable the electorate to see for itself the nature of our media and the importance of independent media and social media.
As the Robodebt Commissioner remarked, it was Twitter that most effectively carried information about the Royal Commission, not the corporate media.
Bilal Cleland is a retired secondary teacher and was Secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Chairman of the Muslim Welfare Board Victoria and Secretary of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. You can follow Bilal on Twitter @BilalCleland.