Crash and Burn

This is both optimistic and troubling. Fairfax media reports that "China has put…

The Admirable Demonstration of Dan Tehan And Other…

Apparently, Dan Tehan was on QandA last night. I only know this…

Condensed Fun Facts, Dates, Myths/Misconceptions

By Richard Whitington Fun Referendum Facts Fun Referendum Facts #1: The ballot paper for…

Cannabis: We can shut up, toe the line,…

When President Obama commented that he thought cannabis was likely less dangerous…

Corruption suspicions hang over secret PNG refugee contracts

Refugee Action Coalition Media Release AUSTALIA’S SECRET PNG DEAL MUST BE INVESTIGATED Refugee advocates…

Dianne Feinstein: National Security State Diva

The tributes for the late Democratic Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein, heaped…

Media Alert - Refugees Say "Fair Go, Albo"

A protest vigil will be held for 4 days at the electoral…

The Voice reveals the urgent need for truth…

The fact that Elon Musk has just halved his election integrity team…


The Day Australian Sovereignty Died

If a date might be found when Australian sovereignty was extinguished by the emissaries of the US imperium, July 29, 2023 will be as good as any. Not that they aren’t other candidates, foremost among them being the announcement of the AUKUS agreement between Australia, UK and the US in September 2021. They all point to a surrender, a handing over, of a territory to another’s military and intelligence community, an abject, oily capitulation that would normally qualify as treasonous.

The treason becomes all the more indigestible for its inevitable result: Australian territory is being shaped, readied, and purposed for war under the auspices of closer defence ties with an old ally. The security rentiers, the servitors, the paid-up pundits all see this as a splendid thing. War, or at least its preparations, can offer wonderful returns.

The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin III, was particularly delighted, though watchful of his hosts. His remit was clear: detect any wobbliness, call out any indecision. But there was nothing to be worried about. His Australian hosts, for instance, proved accommodating and crawling.

Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles, for instance, standing alongside Austin, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Australian Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, declared that there was “a commitment to increase American force posture in respect of our northern bases, in respect to our maritime patrols and our reconnaissance aircraft; further force posture initiatives involving US Army watercraft; and in respect of logistics and stores, which have been very central to Exercise Talisman Sabre.” To the untutored eye, Marles might have simply been another Pentagon spokesman of middle-rank.

The acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines was a process that was well underway (Marles seemed untroubled by grumbling voices in the Republican Party that the US Navy was short-changing itself by transferring three Virginia-class boats to the Royal Australian Navy) and taking place “in terms of an increased force posture of America within Australia.” Speaking with confidence, Marles was also looking forward to “an increased tempo of visits from American nuclear-powered submarines to our waters as we look towards the establishment of a US submarine rotation, HMS Sterling, later in this decade.”

Australian real estate would be given over to greater “space cooperation”, alongside creating “a guided weapons and explosive ordnance enterprise in this country, and doing so in a way where we hope to see manufacturing of missiles commence in Australia in two years’ time as part of a collective industrial base between the two countries.” Chillingly, Marles went on to reiterate what has become something of a favourite in his middle-management lexicon. The efforts to fiddle the export-defense export control legislation by the Biden administration would create “a more seamless defence industrial base between our countries.” Seamless, here, is the thick nail in the coffin of sovereignty.

Moves are also underway to engage in redevelopment of bases in northern Australia, in anticipation of the increased, ongoing US military presence. The RAAF Base Tindal, located 320km south-east of Darwin in the Northern Territory, is the subject of considerable investment “to address functional deficiencies and capacity constraints in existing facilities and infrastructure.” The AUSMIN talks further revealed that scoping upgrades would take place at two new locations: RAAF Bases Scherger and RAAF Curtin.

Australia’s Defence Intelligence Organisation will also be colonised by what is being termed a “Combined Intelligence Centre – Australia” by 2024. This is purportedly intended to “enhance long-standing intelligence cooperation” while essentially subordinating Australian intelligence operations to their US overlords. Marles saw the arrangement as part of a drive towards “seamless” (that hideous word again) intelligence ties between Canberra and Washington. “This is a unit which is going to produce intelligence for both of our defence forces … and I think that’s important.”

In the pro-war press outlets such as The Australian, Greg Sheridan complained that AUSMIN talks had revealed “the appalling state of our defences”. What bothered him was the expectation that Washington do everything in terms of addressing such inadequacies, while leaving the Australian defence base reliant and emaciated. “Under the Albanese government we have reverted completely to our worst selves on defence. We’re going to do almost nothing consequential over the next 10 years other than get the Americans to do more on our land.” Well, Sheridan, don’t give up hope: Australia might be at war with China under US-direction before a decade is up, vassalized warriors eager to kill and be killed.

From his vantage point as the Australian Financial Review’s international editor, historian James Curran glumly noted that, “The permanent American military presence on Australian soil is now at a scale unprecedented since the Second World War.” While the US-Australian relationship had previously stressed the value of deterrence, the focus seemed increasingly on the “projection” of power. “The change from the mid-1990s has been nothing short of staggering.”

The most striking matter in this whole business was the utter absence of parliamentary outrage in Canberra. There was no registered protest, no red mist rage in the streets, and no debate to speak off, nor even an eloquent funeral oration. You might even say that AUSMIN 2023 was one of history’s most successful coups, implemented in plain sight by all too willing collaborators. Its victim, Australian sovereignty, has been laid to rest.


Like what we do at The AIMN?

You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.

Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!

Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.

You can donate through PayPal or credit card via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969

Donate Button


Login here Register here
  1. ajogrady

    Labor’s “true believers” believe that the Albanese Labor government is trashing Labor values but also the legacy left by the likes of Simon Crean and Tom Uren. Albanese should be ashamed. Unlike Ctean and Uren Albanese stands for nothing. Albanese is a timid shiver looking for a backbone.
    Albanese portrays the co-operation between the US and Australia to conduct potentially aggressive military activities in the South China Sea as part of the struggle between autocracies and democracy, while simultaneously depriving Australia of its sovereignty and independence. Importantly, and unfortunately for Australians, the draconian nature of some of Australia’s national security laws, deprive Australia of the right to call itself a liberal democracy.
    Similar problems arise with Albanese’s authoritarian iron grip on the Labor party’s federal conference in Brisbane on August 17-19. Although Albanese describes Labor as a democratic party, he has effectively banned any parliamentarians attending the conference from supporting motions in favour of scrapping the AUKUS pact or the acquisition of nuclear submarines. Albanese has also banned any parliamentarian from supporting the existing conference policy of making it a priority to recognise of Palestine as a state. Albanese’s has made a mockery of Labor’s values and democratic beliefs.
    One of the most extraordinary moments in politics in the last five years has been watching Anthony Albanese, notionally from the left of Labour, adopt, without any internal democracy within the Labor Party, without any public investigation of it, adopt wholeheartedly Scott Morrison’s AUKUS plan. It’s perhaps one of the most extraordinary betrayals of the
    public interest and Labor’s historic anti-nuclear platform. it’s deeply dangerous, and it is leading us down a pathway to war.

    Labor’s serial betrayal of Australia

    Very bad advice: $368b nuclear submarines and the Federal budget

    Labor, Greens & Defence Experts call for AUKUS Parliamentary Inquiry

  2. Anthony Judge

    Both from a historical and a future perspective, the “loss of sovereignty” offers potentially delightful ironies. How might the process be compared to the appropriation of Australia by the British Crown from First Nations peoples — having framed it as terra nullius? Given the AUSMIN framing, should the Australia of today now be recognized as a kind of “terra nullius” from a US perspective? Would that be a nice twist to the urgency of recognition of the Voice to Parliament — given the “loss of sovereignty” of First Nations peoples back then? From a future perspective — with the potential arrival of extraterrestrials — there is also the intriguing possibility that Australia (if not the whole planet) might also be framed as a kind of terra nullius in terms of the obscurities of galactic law — to be appropriated in the name of the Galactic Imperium

  3. Some Village Hampden

    The notion that Australian sovereignty is diminished by what we get up to with the US or the UK by way of our mutual defence interests or even our own defence interests is mistaken. We are a large country with a small population, fortunately largely isolated from hostile interests by our location, but cooperation with our allies in respect of their interests is part of the quid pro quo of maintaining some sort of international rules-based order – even if most participants are cheating in some way.

    Anyone interested in what is a comprehensive but relatively short ( 1 hour and with a quite funny illustration using New Zealand and Australia as potential hostile adversaries like Russia and Ukraine) should have a look at Perun’s Youtube clip (below) on defence solutions for small nations with big bullying neighbours.

  4. RomeoCharlie

    Well done Binoy you have articulated the concerns of many Labor supporters in your cracking piece about the obsequious and supine capitulation to US interests which, of course are driven by the Military/industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about 77 years ago. This is an extreme example of the reflexive buckle, a posture adopted by a Labor government which, if not completely in tune with this quasi colonisation, is clearly terrified that anything like mild resistance will bring down the wrath of the CIA on them. That might have worked when Gough’s independent stance saw the Fraser Coup, but numbers were closer then. Now, with the LNP a disorganised rabble, not even vaguely a potential government, there isn’t an away team to support; the teals, greens and most of the other independents unlikely to support a putsch. I predict a drubbing of Labor with an expansion of the greens/ independents given the way Albanese and Labor have squibbed so many of the issues we supporters looked to see improved by them.

  5. JulianP

    Quite right Dr. Kampmark, its the betrayal that really hurts – coming as it does from a Labor Govt the principal actors of which are totally in denial of Labor’s heritage – and for what, for what ?

    Shame Labor, shame !!

    If it was not clear before, it certainly is clear now that those directing US foreign policy are determined to do everything necessary to ensure American hegemony is maintained – whatever the cost.

    Those of us forced to look on at this unhinged behaviour can only wonder at the mind-set of those in charge of US policy – imbued as it is with “manifest destiny”.

    Australia is now a vassal state; all independence is now lost.

    Poor fellow my country.

  6. Caz

    Albanese had better hope that Trump does not become the next president. In fact we had better hope for Democrat win . A Republican win would be disastrous. The US is a basket case domestically. It is truly frightening.

  7. New England Cocky

    With the USA as an ally why does Australia need any other enemies?

  8. Williambtm

    Thank you, Bynoy Kampmark, for tour excellent subject matter.
    One must wonder what part had been played by former Lib/Nat party foreign minister, Marise “Clydesdale Mare” Payne bearing her US rhetoric. (More often photographed standing especially close to whichever hostile hosting country’s banquet table, with her portly self busily engaged sucking up to all the countries detrimental to Australia’s future.)

    America, Indonesia, Britain, North Korea, our own nation’s former Lib/Nat party leadership, also Russia & China (since the Lib/Nat party leadership campaign of kowtowing to the US war dog like American false narratives, this firstly adopted during the treacherous J W Howard era’s agenda.
    Finally the incoming Labor party government leadership, as had been so demanded by the USA Deep Swamp government.

    Notwithstanding the part played by the international PwC through their USA corporate supportive taxation dodging consultancy… Costing Australia many in number of its actual earned multi-billions of additional revenues (due to the rising number of PwC’s skills re taxation dodging)by said multi-nationals, engaged in extracting our valuable abundance of natural resources,such as gold, tungsten, along with our many rare earth minerals that should be boosting even more toward our national GDP taxation revenues.

    Also of importance here, is the nil benefit of the above to the people of Australia leastwise as far as I have been able to discover through my daily researching, hoping to learn why our national taxpayer revenues appear to being pissed up the wall.

    Or much the same as being directed to the USA to pay for their forcefully demanding our purchase of their supposedly updated military hardware.

    Ultimately, a greater amount of our annual revenue income is being added to our nation’s defense spending budget spent mostly on the procurement of vastly greater human-slaughtering capacity weaponry, perhaps toward some yet to be defined attacking enemy.

    Our reluctant thank you, to the AUKUS Spooks & our Lib/Nat/Lab party leadership governments.

  9. Jack sprat

    “Australia’s defence strategy relies on the United States and it’s because of the United States that Australia needs a defence strategy ” Malcolm Frazer

  10. Douglas Pritchard

    All that stands between us, and complete, and utter capitulation, seems to be Paul Keating (and of course, “our Mob).

  11. Andrew Smith

    Some Village Hampden: Perun is an excellent analytical source on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, cutting through the rhetorical BS that is biased towards 20thC cold war prisms by faux anti-imperialists ‘tankies*’ yof the left, sharing talking points with US right wing libertarians, for business as usual and protecting beliefs.

    Draitser of Counter Punch (to which Kampmark contributes), describes them as ‘fake anti-imperialists sh*theads of the left’, often American but the European left also question the Anglosphere left.

  12. B Sullivan

    Anthony Judge,

    Prior to colonisation land ownership did not exist in Australia. Also the natives from whom you mistakenly believe ownership was taken, not only did not recognise the absurdity that people could actually own land, but were also around sixty thousand years too late to be regarded as First Nations people. Truth and reconciliation demands that truth be recognised otherwise we end up being reconciled to a lie, which incidentally is the American Way of embracing history. The land belonged to no one. Terra nullius – nobody’s land. You can dispute mad King George’s right to claim ownership, but it is a lie to pretend that it was stolen from previous traditional owners. Traditional owners is a modern myth. The people who perpetuate this myth have no more moral authority in their claims than mad King George.

    How can the culture of pre-colonial aborigines be properly understood if we do not recognise that they lived in a world where people did not have to pay other people just so they could have a place to live? We hear of elders, but never of chiefs or lords or kings living a privilege life at the expense of their tenants, their vassels, their subjects. What do you suppose the gap between the landed rich and the landless poor was like in those times before recorded history came to Australia?

    And how do you imagine your fictional landowners determined the limits of their properties? How did they mark their boundaries and resolve conflicts of ownership? Did the bigger landowners force the smaller landowners to concede their property to them the way property owners build empires in the wider world? Did they sell and buy land, or bequeath it to their children so that it had to be divided into shares? Of course they didn’t. Keeping a record of property, rent payments and other transactions is one of the main reasons why reading and writing developed elsewhere in the world as the need to keep a tally of transactions recorded with marks made in clay evolved into written words, numeracy and literacy resulting in a massive leap of progress in communication and the spread of innovations. Clearly there is no evidence in all the thousands of years before colonisation of any development of such recording in Australia.

    How are we going to learn anything about pre-colonial Australia if we keep falsifying it by imposing ill-considered modern beliefs upon it? Such as sovereignty. What power do primitive isolated unchanging Stone Age people really have over their own lives when they are profoundly subject to the whim of nature that decides whether they live or die?

  13. Steve Davis

    B Sullivan,
    I believe you are wrong to assume that “Prior to colonisation land ownership did not exist in Australia.”

    First, land ownership is implied beyond any doubt in continual and unchallenged occupation and use of a particular area.

    Second, ownership does not require the private accumulation of wealth through rents etc that you seem to imply. Ownership can be communal.

    And from my limited knowledge of the situation that existed on the Torres Strait islands, I seem to recall that family ownership was a factor there and was a factor in the Mabo decision.

  14. A Commentator

    There are plenty here who.have a far greater level of expertise than me in indigenous anthropology. But I consider continued repetition of terra nullus to be disrespectful and unhelpful.
    Aboriginal people had a stronger connection with the land than colonisers, they had a sense of spiritual oneness, the land was part of them, or they were part of the land..
    Land wasn’t owned, it was them. They showed care and connection, it wasn’t the European version of ownership, but it is no less legitimate

  15. Steve Davis

    AC, we are as one !

    And an excellent point — “the land was part of them.” This expresses connection at a level above the mundane and materialistic.

  16. Anthony Judge

    B. Sullivan: You have taken me to task from a perspective I endeavoured to avoid by placing “loss of sovereignty” in quotes. Failing to recognize that, I am accused of having failed to recognize that early peoples did not have any sense of soveriegnty or any equivalent to “mad King George”. With respect to “sovereignty”, various documents argue that it is a complex and honourable concept, notably in relation to First Nations. I note that SBS indicates that as the COVID-19 raged on, “sovereign people” became a common term in 2020. There does not need to be a “sovereign” for a people to be considered sovereign (and respected as such), and hence the focus of my light-hearted comparison. As to “mad King George”, many AIM commentators would be happy to compare him with a recent PM. Whether or not terra nullius is disrespectful, the ETs may have their own equivalent — like it or not. It is likely to be equally obscure and controversial

  17. Clakka

    It’s good to see we retain the privilege of writing stories, casting opinions and making comments, and to some extent maintaining freedom of expression, without being silenced, crushed or incarcerated by the state. In the last 70 years, that we have different experiences and anxieties to the ‘west’ is understandable given different geopolitical situations and processes of modernisation.

    It’s interesting to see how we have afforded ourselves the luxuries of observing with disdain the struggles of the ‘west’ and others, whilst in cosseted notions of isolation, we rip to shreds the land upon which we stand, and deconstruct our secondary industries. Would those cosseted notions have been afforded without the massive investment from the ‘west’?

    Are we thankful for the maintenance of the cold war and a detente of sorts? Did we contribute? In the last 30 or so years, as the world modernised and turned on its head, as we built gleaming towers, imported ideals of grandiosity, and continued to rip to shreds the ground we stand on, benefiting hugely from expansionism and the growth and modernisation of China, did we right our wrongs or care to the extent of action against the totalitarian oppressions of those with whom we trade?

    In the last 10 or so years as we observed the anglosphere being hoist by its own petard, its expansionist errors becoming obvious, what did we do? Continued to accept the continuation of their massive investments and whimper about the rising naughtiness of them and the ‘others’.

    As the world contracts via technology to a precipice of vulnerability, as the anglosphere heads for the gurgler, and the world having a crisis of confidence and capability, what do we do? It appears that we elect not to reflect out loud on our own journey and how it was enabled (warts and all), ignore our cosseted dependence, but instead opt for pointing the finger of blame, manufacturing a convenient scorn and hatred whilst still searching for the being bowl.

    We may not like the situation (of the entire world) we find ourselves in, but, short of any other bright ideas being promulgated in Oz, it seems that the Albanese government is making tough decisions and giving a good go at doing something about it

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: