Trump is living up to a long U.S. tradition

Today in The Australian

With the turmoil in Hong Kong, and now the apparent explosion of a Russian nuclear propulsion ­device, focusing attention on the threats Australia faces, there is a growing chorus of voices casting doubt on the stability and predictability of American foreign policy — and hence on the wisdom of continuing to rely so heavily on the alliance.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
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121 Responses to Trump is living up to a long U.S. tradition

  1. stackja

    Australia should spend more on front line defence at the expense of health, education and welfare?

  2. Driftforge

    Australia should spend more on front line defence at the expense of health, education and welfare?

    Certainly at the expense of education and welfare. Convince me on health.

  3. Roger

    It is prudent to prepare for a possible recession of US power and influence in our region. Given that the new aspiring imperial power is not going to be a benign one, the only option is a robust alliance with other countries in the Indo-Pacific region who will share our need to defend their interests from Chinese aggression.

    Thankfully, there is no shortage of them!

    Meanwhile, two cheers for the British empire!

  4. Speedbox

    Well, I suppose we could drift back to England as our major military alliance. Or maybe the French – seeing as how they are building some new subs for us. Perhaps we could wangle our way into NATO? Nah, probably not.

    What to do, what to do? Wait, what about we take even more responsibility for our own defence. How about we recognise that China is a malevolent entity whose goal is domination of Asia and the western pacific. How about we recognise that Indonesia is a rapidly growing economic and military power whose interests are not necessarily aligned with ours. Malaysia? The Philippines? They may join us in a fight as an ally, but they have nowhere near enough serious clout.

    The US-Australia alliance has endured for many years and I think it will continue to do so. However, we need to take more responsibility and exert more influence (political, economic and military) in our ‘backyard’. We could have been a regional superpower – and still could be – although the likelihood of our achieving that status is minuscule due to the lack of political will and foresight. Now, it is a scramble to just keep up with China’s growing influence in our region.

    Our re-arming will take many years and will be expensive. A few of our neighbours will express their concerns but most will also recognise the transition facing the region and further recognise that a strong Australia is militarily vital for their survival. IMO the US-Australia alliance will endure but I also have no trouble believing that future US administrations will demand more from their alliance partners. The free ride is over and the carousel is coming to a stop.

  5. Roger

    How about we recognise that Indonesia is a rapidly growing economic and military power whose interests are not necessarily aligned with ours. Malaysia? The Philippines? They may join us in a fight as an ally, but they have nowhere near enough serious clout.

    The two obvious major regional alliance partners are Japan & India, Speedbox.

    Yes, the US alliance will likely abide for some time yet, but the sun is slowly setting on the world that dawned with the circumnavigation of the world by the Great White Fleet.

  6. Mater

    Our re-arming will take many years and will be expensive.

    Re-arming is one thing, but I’m genuinely not convinced our society or the new generation is up to the task, if it becomes necessary.

  7. egg_

    The two obvious major regional alliance partners are Japan & India

    +1

    Hopefully, with sufficient self-interest at stake.

  8. billie

    Defence alliance?

    All the recent warships are from Europe, our next generaiton submarines will be French, the new frigates will be British and the current air warfare destroyer is spanish, albeit with US systems on board

    not much of an alliance partner are we?

    and .. we leak security documents, jailing the bint from the ABC though would go a long way towards ensuring our partners we take alliances seriously

  9. stackja

    If Red China threatens Australian youth use of smart phone and games will they resist?

  10. Mater

    If Red China threatens Australian youth use of smart phone and games will they resist?

    Our society seems all too happy to give away our freedoms on a daily basis, why would they risk their lives or that of their loved ones to defend them?

    We seem to fawn over and give Gold Logies to a bloke who doesn’t believe we should have a military advance and should receive our fair share of casualties in the ‘contract’ of war.

    We are done. The last of the patriots will fight gallantly, and die gloriously. The rest will welcome, with open arms, the stability, security and utopia their new socialist overlords will bring.

  11. Mater

    Military advance = military advantage

  12. Speedbox

    Roger
    #3132933, posted on August 16, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Sure, and Japan has the technological capability and manpower to be a significant military power (again) but would probably need to re-visit their Constitution and, whether they can generate sufficient political will remains to be seen. Also, very long supply lines from the far northern pacific passing relatively close to China although Japan would probably be agreeable to acting as a bulwark against Chinese expansionism. Certainly in the northern pacific and Asia generally.

    India – again yes, and could be a useful protection to our northwest and western approaches. Perhaps a pact between Australia-Japan-India although I am not certain we could completely rely on India if push came to shove over China’s activities.

    Mater
    #3132942, posted on August 16, 2019 at 10:22 am

    100% agree.

  13. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    The rest will welcome, with open arms, the stability, security and utopia their new socialist overlords will bring.

    As long as “My Kitchen Rules” and “Married at First Sight” were still on at the normal times, “the rest” couldn’t care less who ran the country.

  14. It’s a real pity the world has become so militarised. Such good could be done with all the money spent on military, armament expenditure for ‘national security’. In primary school where I worked, we taught the children that more could be achieved through co-operation and team work; world leaders could learn from them.

  15. Lilliana

    We are done. The last of the patriots will fight gallantly, and die gloriously. The rest will welcome, with open arms, the stability, security and utopia their new socialist overlords will bring.

    I hope you are wrong but fear you are right.
    The yoof in my office take the good times for granted and see no enemies. They can’t comprehend being deprived of their freedom. I’ve been watching threats grow to our nation for years but what to do? You are branded a racist if you peak the truth – the good times and cheap stuff blind people to our perilous reality . Thank goodness for Trump. He might be a right wally at times but at least he’s getting people to speak up and stand up. Conservatives have been shouted down long enough.

  16. stackja

    In 1942 various countries decided to unite to make the world a better place.

  17. Speedbox

    Perhaps we need a new ‘Pacific Alliance’ . Whatever path we take, we must improve our capability to defend ourselves.

    The problem, in part, is that our politicians don’t want to look too far into the future. They certainly don’t want to offend China due to our economic reliance. But military planning, hardware acquisition and consequent training can take a decade or more. Effectively, three parliamentary terms. Anybody here think that Morrison (or any politician) thinks three terms out? Anybody?

    Only when the politicians see political expediency do they think about long term military acquisitions (ie. Christopher Pyne and submarines) and even then, it is not what is necessarily in the nation’s best interests.

  18. stackja

    Last Tuesday a solicitor put down his legal papers and picked up chair. After making good use of the chair he returned the chair and picked up his papers.

  19. Mater

    In primary school where I worked, we taught the children that more could be achieved through co-operation and team work; world leaders could learn from them.

    And Primary school is where such naive bullshit should remain…along side the Dr Seuss and Little Golden Books.

  20. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    In 1942 various countries decided to unite to make the world a better place.

    In 1938, world leaders tried co – operation and teamwork. Munich was such a success, wasn’t it?

  21. With the turmoil in Hong Kong, and now the apparent explosion of a Russian nuclear propulsion ­device, focusing attention on the threats Australia faces,

    I don’t have a subscription so I can only go on the little bit that’s been posted here by Henry Gasbag.
    What does that sentence mean? Why would internal Chinese and Russian events focus Gasbag’s attention on the threats Australia faces?

    there is a growing chorus of voices casting doubt on the stability and predictability of American foreign policy — and hence on the wisdom of continuing to rely so heavily on the alliance.

    Who are these growing chorus of whose voices, TDS stricken leftards at our bureaucracies and their ABC?
    Oh! wait I get it. This is a piece written way back during the Obama years. That’s when the rest of the World had no idea what the US foreign policy was.
    Four years of Policy For Sale under Hildabeast followed by four years of arse kissing and bending over under Horseface Kerry, all the while The Kenyan being too busy dancing gangsta wrap with 50c.

    Trump policy is quite clear. Lift your own weight and be loyal to your allies (and no, the Gerries and Frogs are no allies, they are dependents).
    Trump is the very first President to see the ChiComs as the major threat, instead of Russia. Hence he is building strong alliances with Japan, India, Vietnam et al in Asia, and Australia in the South Pacific. He is also the first World leader to say enough is enough, we’re not enriching China any longer.

    I’m convinced Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real thing.

  22. Mater

    Is Frances trolling?

    No, just providing a real life example of the group I highlighted who’ll welcome the new overlords.

  23. Howard Hill

    In primary school where I worked, we taught the children that more could be achieved through co-operation and team work; world leaders could learn from them.

    Is Frances trolling?

    This is why we’re screwed. Delusional thinking.
    The Marxists don’t think that way and while your teaching kids to sit in circles holding hands and singing kumbaya, the other side is preparing to give it to you good and hard!

  24. old bloke

    Australia’s defence policy should be based on what we need to survive should we have to stand alone. We are too dependent on the US, and if the US is unable to come to our assistance, then we are in serious bother.

    Priorities include protecting our shipping lanes, which we can’t do without naval strength (submarines in 50 years!!!), and anti-missile and air space defences.

    We can’t survive without our own oil and refining capabilities, and without adequate supplies of gas and food production. Every government action over the past 50 years has weakened our ability to stand alone, from the locking up of gas reserves, the destruction of our electricity generating capabilities, forcing farmers off the land, etc.

    Who will defend Australia? Our leaders are bought and paid for, and our children are taught that we are a racist colonial outpost that isn’t worthy of surviving, and we import migrants from other countries whose loyalties are to the PRC and the Ummah. Seriously, what hope do we have?

  25. It’s a real pity the world has become so militarised. Such good could be done with all the money spent on military, armament expenditure for ‘national security’

    FMD. Pacifists are such dangerous people. They’ll get us all killed one day.

  26. stackja

    It has been said that early Christians were pacifists and got thrown to the lions.

  27. Howard Hill

    old bloke
    #3133018, posted on August 16, 2019 at 11:43 am

    I always thought that was the reason we had a car industry, to keep heavy manufacturing viable in case of such events. I wonder how well we’ll go with rainbow coloured feathers hanging out of our crutchless shorts for camouflage?
    We really are so fooked!

  28. Lilliana

    stackja
    #3133010, posted on August 16, 2019 at 11:34 am
    Last Tuesday a solicitor put down his legal papers and picked up chair. After making good use of the chair he returned the chair and picked up his papers.

    Look at his age – he from a different era. There are simply not enough chair men in the younger generations – which are more the Frances types. Unless we get a bit of mongrel back into kids then we might as well all learn mandarin.

  29. Lee

    We seem to fawn over and give Gold Logies to a bloke who doesn’t believe we should have a military advance and should receive our fair share of casualties in the ‘contract’ of war.

    I completely ignore the Logies; what moron said that?

    Perhaps I could be forgiven for holding the “outdated” concept idea that in war, the object is to win.
    If, in order to do that, we inflict far greater casualties on the enemy, than we suffer, then so be it.

    Who came up with the ridiculous notion that “we” have to suffer proportionate casualties to our enemies?

  30. Eyrie

    We’ve had done to us what the UN and the ARM did to humanity in Larry Niven’s Known Space. Tried to turn all into pacifists. Until the Kzin arrived.

  31. Zatara

    “we taught the children that more could be achieved through co-operation and team work”

    Really? Military basic training concentrates on developing co-operation and teamwork.

    Oh, but military bad. Right?

    So go ahead, name an undefended advanced society that survived.

    We’ll wait.

  32. Mater

    Lee,

    Waleed Aly.

    War is a kind of contract. Each side confronts the other, with the risk of death and defeat. In short, war should come at a cost. That contract is shredded when you’re attacked by something that cannot itself be killed. It’s not remotely a fair fight.

  33. John Comnenus

    Our most pressing and immediate threat is cyber security. Everyday China and others nation states and criminals attack and steal our personal details, national secrets and intellectual property. China has stolen decades worth of IP and student details from our universities and has compromised our parliament. They then make trouble through Chinese diaspora and force our universities into subservience through the power of their full fee paying students.

    China undermines us across the globe and expect us to leave America because they buy a lot of stuff off us. We need to recognise these as hostile acts from a hostile power. China is the threat that attacks us daily. The best thing we can do is help Trump force China into good behaviour. Without the threat of serious economic consequences China will continue to attack Australia at will. And they will increase those attacks as they become more powerful.

    A sane national strategy would be to:

    1. Bolster cyber security
    2. Support Trump’s efforts to use economic leverage to diminish Chinese power and influence
    3. Shift our export trade focus to Vietnam, Philippines and India etc
    4. Significantly bolster our Defence force including greater cooperation with Japan, Korea and India

    Such a strategy would do two things:

    1. It would help shape our region to be more benign and demonstrate that we will work with cooperative powers
    2. prepare us for a range of outcomes including a diminishing US presence in the region over the medium to long term.

  34. Rossini

    stackja
    #3132890, posted on August 16, 2019 at 9:04 am

    The money has to come from somewhere!!!

  35. Lee

    Waleed Aly.

    War is a kind of contract. Each side confronts the other, with the risk of death and defeat. In short, war should come at a cost. That contract is shredded when you’re attacked by something that cannot itself be killed. It’s not remotely a fair fight.

    Preferably at not too much of a cost to your own side if at all avoidable, if the enemy suffers disproportionately heavy casualties c’est la guerre.

    In a war for survival, the least thing I care about is the enemy’s woes, within the laws of war.

    That contract is shredded when you’re attacked by something that cannot itself be killed.

    I am not all sure what point Aly is getting at here.
    I get the feeling there is some hiding meaning Aly doesn’t want to be explicit about.

  36. Roger

    …although I am not certain we could completely rely on India if push came to shove over China’s activities.

    No, we can’t & shouldn’t completely rely on anyone; that was the lesson of the fall of Singapore that our present day leaders and their advisers (“we don’t need strategic oil reserves because we have multiple shipping routes” Well, guess what? The Chinese are building a string of naval bases across the Indo-Pacific) appear to be ignorant of.

    The US still has immense material wealth and military power, but the crucial question is for how long will it retain the will to project that power?

  37. Roger

    I get the feeling there is some hiding meaning Aly doesn’t want to be explicit about.

    He doesn’t want yihadis (that’s for the moderator) picked off by drone strikes.

  38. Hassbeen

    Not much sense getting more hardware, the navy can’t man the stuff they do have. We have ships & subs tied up in bases, because there are no engineers to drive the things. Hell we can’t even man the full complement of landing for the assault ships. What we do have is more designed for peace keeping duties than our defence.

    If we really are stupid enough to build a dozen WW11 technology subs, & if they ever run for more than a few hours, we will have a very good target for an enemy, with most of them sitting in Perth unmanned.

    The only useful defence we could man would be a thick ring of nuclear armed cruise missiles & ICBMs in our north. If we are likely to cost more to invade than what we are worth to an invader, we should be just target practice, rather than an invasion prospect. Todays video game kids would be quite suitable to sit in bunkers, pushing buttons. They are definitely unlikely to be suitable to be riflemen, [or rifle girls], having been told from birth that guns are too dangerous for then to touch. They would probably drop them in fright, & run away.

  39. Eyrie

    “War is a kind of contract. Each side confronts the other, with the risk of death and defeat. In short, war should come at a cost. That contract is shredded when you’re attacked by something that cannot itself be killed. It’s not remotely a fair fight.”

    Who is silly enough to want a fair fight?

    If you are going to what is anywhere close to a fair fight you clearly haven’t done enough reconnaissance, preparation, planning and practice.

  40. Eyrie

    Stick a fork in us. We’re done. The modern Australian military. Do well in Officer Selection Board interviews. The you get to write an essay on “why diversity and support of LBGTQIACZZZ and trannies is good for the Australian military.” FMD.
    It was easier in the days of “break things and kill people”.

  41. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Henry Ergas posted on 8:35 am, August 16, 2019:

    “there is a growing chorus of voices casting doubt on the stability and predictability of American foreign policy — and hence on the wisdom of continuing to rely so heavily on the alliance”

    Not long ago I glimpsed former Foreign Minister Bishop being interviewed on television by a fellow member of the dominant National Narcissist Party, Andrew Denton. A newspaper report a few days after told how she had recounted her rollicking fun, evidently, story about the Liberal National female cabinet members’ pact to leap to their feet and exclaim “Oh, what a splendid idea!” any time a female colleague offered a suggestion.

    These drongos are the authors of our policy on everything – razing the Murray-Darling orchards, closing down beef cattle exports, demobilising power stations and the coal mines that feed them and bringing our national fuel stockpile back to a day and three quarters maximum.

    Their predictability and stability on foreign policy is best found in the orderly queue that they form outside the office of the Minister for Approving Ministerial Travel, when they receive an unexpected invitation from the General Secretary of the Central Committee to tour Chinese abattoirs, coal washeries and irrigation farms from here to the horizon. They all rather like the respect shown for their high standing in the offer of a spacious apartment overlooking the Yangtze for their use whenever they do a return visit. With a most pleasant live in housekeeper.

    I am somewhat relieved that the American adults are there, with their nose for sniffing out a quid to be made from whatever bind or shortage or surplus confronts Mr Xi Jingpin.

  42. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Who is silly enough to want a fair fight?

    Wasn’t it David Hackworth who said “If you’re in a fair fight, you’ve failed at planning?”

  43. Eyrie

    ZK2A, I thought I had read it somewhere like that.

  44. 1735099

    It’s a real pity the world has become so militarised. Such good could be done with all the money spent on military, armament expenditure for ‘national security’. In primary school where I worked, we taught the children that more could be achieved through co-operation and team work; world leaders could learn from them.

    This is the only rational post on this thread.
    Wilfred Owen nailed it –
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

  45. Roger

    He doesn’t want yihadis (that’s for the moderator) picked off by drone strikes.

    Otoh, when a yihadi mows down how ever many non-combatants in an unannounced vehicle attack, it’s merely a perpetual irritant.

  46. 1735099

    Wasn’t it David Hackworth who said “If you’re in a fair fight, you’ve failed at planning?”

    Hackworth got into trouble in 1971 for saying publicly the war in Vietnam could not be won, and called for U.S. withdrawal.
    He left the army (after threats of court martial because he confronted the US military establishment) and moved the the Gold Coast.
    Eventually he moved to Brisbane where he set up a restaurant (Scaramouche). I remember eating there.
    He was also active in the Australian antinuclear movement.

    A great man
    Looking back, I realize how lucky I was for that chance meeting in New Zealand. I got to know a remarkable man of great compassion, integrity and true patriotism. Rare commodities these days in Trump’s America.

  47. Mater

    Bob,
    Do you really think this possible?
    Surely a Congressional Medal of Honour rather than merely a Purple Heart. I can’t find any other reference to this remarkable feat of bravery and survival (as documented in your article). Can you? If the reporter is exaggerating this, what else?

    He started telling me the stories about some of his eight Purple Hearts awarded for wounds in battle. The first one was in the Korean War, where a bullet had creased his skull. He was bleeding heavily when a grenade tumbled into the bomb crater his platoon was sheltering in. He threw himself on the grenade and absorbed most of the blast with the heavy M1 Garand rifle he carried. His arms were riddled with shrapnel and still bore the scars.

    Shielded by his rifle when lying on a Grenade, yet survived with only frag wounds to the arms? Sorry, sounds suspicious and, if true, I’m sure it would be documented far more widely.
    As always, happy to be corrected.

  48. Jannie

    I still cannot get my head around the fact that we are buying French submarines to be built in Adelaide. They are not going to work and nobody will be able to read the instruction manual.

  49. Howard Hill

    Don’t worry, Jannie, they’ll be translated into chinglish and printed on rainbow coloured paper. The pages being stuck together after our military have perused through the manual may be a bit of a bother though.

  50. Eyrie

    Dear old Norm Sanders. I had quite a pleasant conversation with him at Temora on every hot day in the Aero club which was the only air conditioned place around. He seems to be an aging hippy loon, albeit a nice guy.
    Hackworth may have found out that killing people may be fun for a while but the reality of doing so because somebody else told you to is pretty degrading, both for the people you are killing and yourself.

  51. 1735099

    Do you really think this possible?

    Wikipedia has a detailed entry.
    It confirms everything I know about Hackworth.
    Not your typical GI or Marine.
    Not your typical Yank.
    He loved Australia.

  52. Mater

    I see nothing about diving on a Grenade and surviving.
    No shortage of old soldiers who didn’t like what they had to do. Only psychopaths would, others see it as an evil necessity.

    As for being part of the anti-nuclear movement, I coincidentally met an old lady, just today, who was part of the anti-nuclear movement in her day. She thinks nuclear energy is the way of the future. Everything and everyone changes.

  53. 1735099

    Everything and everyone changes.

    Vapid over generalization.
    There are some principles that are hardened like steel in the fire.
    One of them is respect for truth, sadly lacking on this blog.

  54. Mater

    One of them is respect for truth, sadly lacking on this blog.

    You are hardly the poster child for truth. Worse still, you can’t admit to being wrong, and shift the goal posts accordingly. I’d have much more respect for you (despite your dangerous politics) if you could fess up when proven wrong. It happens to the best of us, but how we deal with it is the true test of character.

    You never did answer how the NBN gets to your house. I’m betting overhead power service. Correct?

  55. Mater

    By the way, Bob. That story about diving on the Grenade should have set off your much vaulted ICD* in an old soldier.
    A man committed to truth would refrain from posting dubious articles when such red flags appear.
    The ICD* appears to be a little hit and miss.

    *Inbuilt Crap Detector

  56. 1735099

    That story….

    Stories like that are “warries”.
    You listen without judgement, something completely beyond the ken of some.
    The details are largely irrelevant.
    The course of the rest of his life, completely verifiable, is much more significant.

    And our NBN cable comes in via existing power poles – cheap and reliable.

  57. Mater

    And our NBN cable comes in via existing power poles – cheap and reliable.

    And obsolete in Victoria (and some other states) and therefore digging up driveways and gardens would have been largely required for Fibre to the Premises. Massive costs.
    So you can drop the bullshit about no digging or rehabilitation being required and you might think about paring back the “troglodytes” label.
    You were wrong, just as you were wrong about the term ‘Section’ being used in NSW Mental Health.
    Do you see a pattern here? Is it in line with your claimed “respect for the truth”?

  58. cohenite

    That contract is shredded when you’re attacked by something that cannot itself be killed.

    I am not all sure what point Aly is getting at here.
    I get the feeling there is some hiding meaning Aly doesn’t want to be explicit about.

    The cuck means RoP; which lies in the ID of susceptible people and will always come out. He means RoP has carte blanche to kill without limit to any rules.

  59. Fisky

    I get the feeling there is some hiding meaning Aly doesn’t want to be explicit about.

    It’s pretty obvious he’s fumbling around for a pseudo-Just War rationale for doing nothing at all to stop ISIS.

  60. Jannie

    Hackworth’s About Face – Odyssey of an American Warrior is one of the best biographies I have read. He was a boy soldier, sergeant in Korea, battlefield commission, battalion commader in Vietnam, and eventually bird colonel before he split the beans about the bombing in Cambodia. Seems to be a humane kind of person, with a detached professional interest in his enemy, even while earnestly practicing the art of killing.

  61. Waleed Aly.

    War is a kind of contract. Each side confronts the other, with the risk of death and defeat. In short, war should come at a cost. That contract is shredded when you’re attacked by something that cannot itself be killed. It’s not remotely a fair fight.

    He thinks we don’t suffer sufficient casualties? I’ve a solution which may make him feel better.
    Waleed to become a casualty in our next war.
    Works for me.

  62. 1735099

    You were wrong, just as you were wrong about the term ‘Section’ being used in NSW Mental Health.
    Do you see a pattern here? Is it in line with your claimed “respect for the truth”?

    On this blog, being “wrong” simply means you disagree with the orthodoxy.
    I will continue to do so in the faint hope that I can teach you something.

  63. Mater

    On this blog, being “wrong” simply means you disagree with the orthodoxy.
    I will continue to do so in the faint hope that I can teach you something.

    No. When I say you’re wrong, it’s because you are in breach of the facts. If I’m wrong, I’ll apologise and correct the record. Done it before, will do it again. I’m a big enough person and have enough ‘respect for the truth’ to do so.

    You teach me something every day, just not what you think. The extent to which you go to circumvent the truth and avoid eating humble pie, is truely astounding – a thing of beauty for the study of a subversive.

    Whatever remnants of credibility you had, on this blog, have been stripped away over the last couple of weeks. Everything you say is classed as dubious, at best. Most ignore you, some mock, others have fun at your expense – none take you seriously and fewer learn from you. Truely wasted time and pixels. A sad legacy, Bob.

    Up until this point, I’ve taken it easy on you – call it remnants of professional courtesy. It may not seem that way, but rest assured, I have been. But no longer. If you refuse to adhere to the soldiers code of ‘integrity above all else’, such courtesy is obviously being exploited as a weakness.

    P.S. It may have escaped your notice that when you asked a Knuckle Dragger about his service, he readily admitted to having not seen Active Service. He knew that that admission would open him up to you, but he did it anyway, because…integrity! Ironically, if you want to see integrity, you could do worse than take some lessons from him. You regularly claim people are making up stories about their service but all evidence is to the contrary. It’s a figment of your fevered imagination. Those of us who have been around the traps for longer than two years, can pick the language, tone, style and nuances of old soldiers – easily.

  64. max

    Roger
    #3132916, posted on August 16, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Meanwhile, two cheers for the British empire!

    Different opinion:

    Too Clever by Half and the Round Table
    This network originated in Great Britain in the aftermath of the establishment of Rhodesia by Cecil Rhodes in the late nineteenth century, which generated a gigantic stream of income for a secretive elite set up by Rhodes.
    the unintended consequences of the British elite’s plans to extend British imperial power through an informal network of behind-the-scenes opinion-makers in English-speaking nations. This elite took Great Britain into two world wars, both of which Great Britain could easily have avoided,
    the Anglo elitists were, in an aphorism much beloved by British intellectuals, too clever by half.
    It was set up and then run by very bright people who bit off more than they could chew (a beloved American aphorism).
    The network is about domestic control over finance and therefore politics at home. It is also about international trade and foreign policy abroad. It is about the statist imitation of free trade: colonialism. This is the story of modern colonialism: Western and Soviet. British colonialism bankrupted itself with two world wars that its overly clever leaders needlessly promoted.

  65. max

    Swiss neutrality is one of the main principles of Switzerland’s foreign policy which dictates that Switzerland is not to be involved in armed conflicts between other states. This policy is self-imposed, permanent, and armed, designed to ensure external security and promote peace.

    “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliance with any portion of the foreign world”

    “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none.”

  66. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Two words.

    Nuclear fucking weapons.

  67. 1735099

    You regularly claim people are making up stories about their service, but all evidence is to the contrary

    What evidence?
    Those who make up nonsense about my service aren’t asked for evidence.
    My service is on the record and can be examined.
    Others who post here claiming to have operational service won’t identify because it would expose their bullshit to scrutiny, yet make up all kinds of fantasies about mine.
    Frankly, it’s funny, but gets boring after a while when they run out of epithets.
    This blog and its content is actually a valuable research tool, especially when it comes to ex-service personnel dealing with the cognitive dissonance created by the outcome of the American war in Vietnam.
    Read Lembcke’s The Spitting Image And then Dapin’s Myth Vs History.
    You’ll recognise KD and Johno on just about every page.

  68. 1735099

    Two words.

    You can’t count.
    That’s three words.
    The obligatory pseudo macho obscenity will always make a fool of anyone posting it for effect.

  69. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Listen to Dennis Leary you boring, childish, stupid, low IQ wannabe.

    It is a disgrace that you cannot even earn an undergraduate degree and yet you are admitted to a joke Ph D programme.

    Anyway, shut up, the adults are talking about how to save lives, prevent aggression and entanglements in pointless foreign wars.

  70. 1735099

    It is a disgrace that you cannot even earn an undergraduate degree

    Got three of them old mate.
    How many do you have?

  71. Mater

    What evidence?
    Those who make up nonsense about my service aren’t asked for evidence.

    KD admitted to not having operational service. You don’t think he could have made something up? Not very smart if he was an imposter. Many others like him on the blog.

  72. Mater

    Oh, and a Johno gave you a chance to verify his bonafides without his having to broadcast his identity on the internet. You passed on that one. Seems a weird offer from an imposter.

  73. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Got three of them old mate.

    You’re counting non-Bachelor diplomas (academic fraud) and at least two of them are in totally useless fields that no one in the private sector cares about.

  74. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    This is how dedicated numberwang is to hating Australia: he’d derail a discussion about us getting nukes so we don’t have to fight in the US’s stupid wars, (thus saving lives), and bask in navel-gazing glory.

  75. 1735099

    You passed on that one.

    Rubbish.
    All he has to do is post his regimental number.
    My identity has been known for years.
    It has earned me a number of anonymous phoned death threats, of the “I know where you live” variety.
    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.

  76. 1735099

    No one in the private sector cares about

    You claimed I “cannot even earn an undergraduate degree”.
    Now you’re saying they’re in “totally useless fields”.
    Get your story straight. You’re all over the place.
    And what is this wonderful “private sector” you’re on about?
    The sector of the economy producing wage stagnation and under-employment?
    Incidentally, I have 2 bachelor degrees and a further post graduate qualification (in special education).
    To be admitted into the research masters I’m currently studying I required a GPA of 6 or above.

  77. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Incidentally, I have 2 bachelor degrees and a further post graduate qualification (in special education).

    You said you had three undergraduate degrees. You’re a fraud. This is very serious.

    To be admitted into the research masters I’m currently studying I required a GPA of 6 or above.

    No, you don’t.

  78. 1735099

    This is very serious.

    And you are an A grade dickhead.

    And you said you had three undergraduate degrees.

    I was being a bit modest.
    One of them is post grad.
    But you are interested only in putting shit on me.
    Envy is a terrible affliction.

  79. Mater

    Rubbish.
    All he has to do is post his regimental number.
    My identity has been known for years.

    You’re choice. He made a different one, but he did give you the opportunity.

  80. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    No, it is very serious. You DO NOT lie about your resume in academia.

  81. 1735099

    No it is very serious.

    So is libel.
    Identity yourself and I’ll sue your arse off.

  82. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    What are your two undergraduate degrees then?

    These need to be bachelor degrees.

    You’ll sue my arse off?

    LOL

    You insist on no one using your name and you accused Johno of stolen valour.

  83. 1735099

    You’re (sic) choice.

    Yes, and I wonder why he’s hiding.
    BTW, “you’re” is a contraction; “your” is possessive.
    It’s quite straightforward.

  84. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Please provide details of both Bachelor or Bachelors with honours degrees you purport to have earnt.

    Anything less does not count. They are not, strictly speaking, “degrees”.

  85. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    How anti-climactic.

    I thought numbers was going to clear the air.

  86. 1735099

    What are your two undergraduate degrees

    Given that you have consistently accused me of lying, it’s a complete waste of time providing a truthful answer. I can play your silly game.
    How about Bachelor of Farnarkling (B. Fk.) and Bachelor of Catallaxy Fisking (B. C.F.)?
    The second one was especially rewarding.

    you accused a Johno of stolen valour

    And he accused me of cowardice.
    Goose and gander…..

  87. 1735099

    Anything less does not count

    You can’t count (as demonstrated above), and in the great scheme of things given the crap you post, you don’t Count.

  88. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Given that you have consistently accused me of lying, it’s a complete waste of time providing a truthful answer. I can play your silly game.

    You could have just said “basketweaving and spastic herding”.

    Do you even have two bachelor’s level (and not below) degrees?

  89. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    What a turkey…”does not count” is a perfectly cromulent sentence clause.

    Oh and randomly threatening people on blogs is not exactly kosher with the justice system either numbnuts. You might want to tone down the “I’ll sue you” gag.

  90. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    That said, Australia should seek to acquire a small nuclear weapons stockpile to ensure our security and reduce our reliance on the US.

  91. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    and in the great scheme of things given the crap you post

    You probably got the internet about 23 years ago, right?

    You have spent every day of that spouting how much you hate dumb, stupid, mentally deficient Americans.

    You have a massive, massive undiagnosed and probably incurable mental illness.

    Never be alarmed that I am angry at you, numbers.

    It is pity I feel for you. Usually, I ignore you.

  92. 1735099

    spastic herding

    When you use this term, you’re doing two things.
    You’re promoting the same attitude to people with disabilities that drove the NAZIs to slaughter them in gas chambers by characterizing them as sub-human. “Herding” is a term used for animals.
    And
    You’re demonstrating your abysmal ignorance of the diagnosis of cerebral palsy as well as a thoroughly adolescent mentality.
    I know who’s mentally ill…….

    You have spent every day of that spouting how much you hate dumb, stupid, mentally deficient Americans.

    Find one post where I’ve claimed to hate any group or nationality.
    Condemning a policy (one that allows for 30000 gun homicides annually) is about pity, not hate.

  93. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Find one post where I’ve claimed to hate any group or nationality.

    Virtually every time you post about Americans it reads like the hyper racist, utter shyte printed in Volkischer Beobachter. […and yes I know Americans are not a race].

    You’re completely unhinged, Robert. The way you talk about Americans and people with disabilities is like two different people.

    Think about what you said about cerebral palsy. Now try to think about the visceral vomit you espouse every day about Americans.

    They’re people too, right?

  94. 1735099

    They’re people too, right

    So to criticise the conduct of a country when (for example) it invades another country on a lie means I hate the people who live in that country?
    You have extremely limited powers of comprehension, and a severely assumptive train of thought.

  95. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Err no, here is one of thousands of threads subjected to your explosive diarrhea rants about Americans:

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/2012/10/30/in-with-the-old-and-out-with-the-new/

  96. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    So to criticise the conduct of a country when (for example) it invades another country on a lie

    What lie, you disgraceful fucking idiot? The Viet Minh were and are vile scum.

  97. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    That said, Australia should seek to acquire a small nuclear weapons stockpile to ensure our security and reduce our reliance on the US.

    Anyone against this claim is simply a war monger and a violent degenerate.

  98. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    What lie, you disgraceful fucking idiot? The Viet Minh were and are vile scum.

    The “Vietnamese Economic History: 1945 – 2000”, printed in Hanoi in 2005, admitted to a very exact
    172, 008 deaths of “rich landlords and their agents” in the purges of 1954 – 1956. Ho “apologised, and supposedly added a quaint “but we cannot awaken the dead.”.”
    “Vietnam – The Complete Story of the Australian War” Bruce Davies and Gary McKay, Page 49.

  99. 1735099

    What lie, you disgraceful fucking idiot? The Viet Minh were and are vile scum.

    When it comes to Vietnam, it depends which lie you’re talking about. There were many, but these were the most blatant –

    Was it the the lie that the Americans were in Vietnam to save the South Vietnamese from Communism?
    It’s clearly spelled out in the Pentagon Papers that they were there to preserve the reputation of the US military, and to contain China. The actual quote reveals that fighting for the freedom of the Vietnamese constituted 10% of their intention, despite what Johnson, and later Nixon was saying at the time.
    Then there was the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident (Sự kiện Vịnh Bắc Bộ), the pretense that Johnson used to escalate.
    Then there was the continual series of lies post-Tet that they were winning, based on a body count. That lie, and the promise that he would secure “peace with honour” was used by Nixon to get re-elected for his second term.

    So there are plenty to choose from.
    That pattern of manipulation of the facts was also used by our own government to justify our participation. The Australian people were vigorously sold the lie that if Vietnam fell to Communism, so would all of SE Asia. Menzies initially used it to get the hysterically anti-Communist DLP on side to milk their preferences, and Holt, Gorton and McMahon followed suit.
    Like all political lies it eventually ran out of steam, and the rest, as they say in the classics, is history.
    The Domino Theory is also history.

    The Viet Minh were and are vile scum.

    You’re more than a little confused.
    The Viet Minh ceased to exist after Dien Bien Phu. They were a guerrilla force fighting the French, not the Americans. They morphed into the Viet Cong after the defeat of the French, but they were always fighting for Vietnamese independence.
    The Vietnamese weren’t all that fussed whether it was Japanese, French or Americans they were fighting when it came to their goal of a united and independent Vietnam which they finally achieved in 1975. Then in 1977 they fought the Chinese to a standstill along their northern border.
    The responsibility for the cruelty and deaths post the Geneva accords is shared by both sides, but the historical reality remains. Had elections been held in 1956 under international supervision, (as was one of the outcomes of the accord) there is absolutely no doubt that Ho Chi Minh would have won.
    This most likely would have ended the bulk of the hostilities, and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, tens of thousands of Americans and hundreds of Australians would not have died.

  100. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    The responsibility for the cruelty and deaths post the Geneva accords is shared by both sides, but the historical reality remains. Had elections been held in 1956 under international supervision, (as was one of the outcomes of the accord) there is absolutely no doubt that Ho Chi Minh would have won.

    The North Vietnamese flouted the Geneva Accords before the ink was even dry – the Accords provided for unrestricted movement between the two new countries. Up to a million refugees (SEVEN % of a population of fourteen million people) went South, and the North Vietnamese prevented anywhere up to another million from leaving. Perhaps they thought the elections may not have been the one horse race they appeared? In any event, they had already decided that they weren’t interested in elections, they had decided on war, because they believed that the South couldn’t stand alone.

  101. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    The Viet Minh were and are vile scum.

    You’re more than a little confused.
    The Viet Minh ceased to exist after Dien Bien Phu. They were a guerrilla force fighting the French, not the Americans. They morphed into the Viet Cong after the defeat of the French, but they were always fighting for Vietnamese independence.

    Sure. If you change your name you are absolved of your crimes.

    Who was cruel enough to tell you that you’re not totally nuts?

  102. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    They morphed into the Viet Cong after the defeat of the French, but they were always fighting for Vietnamese independence.

    There was only ever going to be one model for an independent Viet Nam- a Stalinist dictatorship. There would never be a broad front of Nationalists, or a coalition. Any other Nationalist leaders were either betrayed to the French, or purged after 1954.

  103. 1735099

    I am not a pacifist. I realise that war will always have a place in human activities. But when I reflect on the ultimate futility that was Vietnam, I can only hope that the leadership of the day thinks with rigour and has morality in mind before committing its youth to such folly in the future.

    Colonel Adrian Roberts (Rtd) Medal for Gallantry, Battle of Long Tan, 18th August 1966 in Danger Close, Bob Grandin, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2004, p 270

  104. 1735099

    There was only ever going to be one model for an independent Viet Nam- a Stalinist dictatorship.

    If that’s the case, why were Australians (let alone Americans) involved?
    Adrian Roberts (and many others who participated) know that well.

  105. Tel

    The Viet Minh were and are vile scum.

    Completely correct.

    Trained by the Americans … err stop me if you have heard this story again and again.

    I’ve posted the stats previously, but the Indochina War & Vietnam War plus follow political activity up to 1987 resulted in the murder of about 1.8 million people by their own nominal government (what R.J. Rummel calls “Democide”). That is not the war dead, not the soldiers, simply police rounding up people and finding various ways to kill them.

    https://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/DBG.TAB11.1.GIF

    Out of that 1.8 million murders, 92% were done by the North Vietnamese, and calling them by whatever name you like doesn’t change that fact. Not to excuse the comparatively small amount of murder by other forces of course, but yeah, Ho’s mob were by far the most bloodthirsty scum in the region.

  106. 1735099

    Out of that 1.8 million murders, 92% were done by the North Vietnamese,

    Once dead, there were no longer “North” or “South” Vietnamese – only dead Vietnamese.
    As Paul Ham writes –

    The human cost of the war, in terms of personal grief and moral degradation, is immeasurable. In our helplessness, we surrender to statistics: 500 Australian soldiers dead and about 3,000 wounded; 58,193 Americans dead and about 300,000 wounded; 220,357 South Vietnamese troops dead or missing in action and 1.17 million wounded; 666,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops dead, with the possibility that a third were civilians mistaken for enemy troops or deemed legitimate targets. Of South Vietnamese civilian casualties, about 325,000 were confirmed killed (rising to million, depending on your source and definition of a ‘civilian’), 30 per cent f whom were children younger than 13. In total, an estimated 65,000 North Vietnamese civilians died as a result of US bombing. The Viet Cong assassinated 36,725 civilians between 1957 and 1972;47 the North Vietnamese and/or Viet Cong assassinated 166,000 South Vietnamese civilians.48 About million Vietnamese people are believed to have suffered herbicide poisoning. In total, 3.5 million people died in Vietnam over fifteen years.

    And these 3.5 million deaths were worth it?
    Ask a Vietnamese.
    I asked quite a few on my journeys back, and never found one who said “yes”.
    Ask a Yank.
    As one said to me (in tears) at the Wall in July last year “What a fucking waste”.
    As our parish priest said at mass this morning “How sad that those who took us to war in Vietnam lacked the discernment of Jeremiah” as we prayed for Frank from Helidon, killed at Long Tan 53 years ago today.
    I asked him about the reference after mass. He reminded me of Jeremiah’s conflicts with false prophets. He was likening these “false prophets” to the national leaders who committed us to Vietnam all those years ago. This priest was ex-army, and had provided chaplaincy at Duntroon for ten years – hardly a left-winger.

  107. Tel

    Once dead, there were no longer “North” or “South” Vietnamese – only dead Vietnamese.

    Rummel lists his statistics by the perpetrators … that means the people who did the killing, not the ones who ended up dead.

  108. Tel

    Ask a Vietnamese.

    I’m not sure how you propose to ask the 1.7 million civilians who were murdered by the North Vietnamese.

    What would you suggest?

  109. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    1.8 mn dead. Simply appalling and a crime that will reverberate throughout all of human history, barring a cataclysmic near-extinction event.

    But they need to try “real communism” this time around.

    *What did Uncle Joe say?* One death is a tragedy. 1 million deaths is a statistic.

  110. 1735099

    We’re the 3.5 million dead worth It?
    Simple question.

  111. Tel

    It’s a stupid question … what does “worth it” even mean?

    None of it was worth anything to me, if that’s what you were asking. I never asked for it, I wasn’t even there nor did I benefit in any way, not even indirectly.

    This is utterly irrelevant to the question of who perpetrated the killing of civilians … which was almost all done by North Vietnamese.

  112. 1735099

    This is utterly irrelevant to the question of who perpetrated the killing of civilians … which was almost all done by North Vietnamese.

    It tends to be relevant if you fought in that war and saw good men die, as I did.
    A much more relevant inquiry is why we were there in the first place.
    But you know the answer to that.

  113. Mater

    This priest was ex-army, and had provided chaplaincy at Duntroon for ten years – hardly a left-winger.

    That’s a hell of an assumption, especially of a chaplain. Serving at Duntroon says nothing of his politics. In fact, neither does military service. Embittered ex-military make some of the most virulent, rancid Socialists/Marxists. They mistake the camaraderie of military service for the socialist ideal.
    Ex members are especially vulnerable. On discharge, they find themselves suddenly alone, and seek to fill the vacuum with what they mistakenly see as an equivalent.

  114. Tel

    It tends to be relevant if you fought in that war and saw good men die, as I did.

    Are you really saying that there were no good people amongst the 1.7 million civilians murdered by Ho & Co? I mean … I never knew any of those people, but the general presumption of innocence would apply amongst the victims when a military government takes over a territory then starts mass killing.

    That was what was being discussed above, under the topic, “The Viet Minh were and are vile scum.”

    How you personally feel about Australia’s contribution is your own business. We are a weak nation, dependent on the USA for military protection, so we chip in where we are told to do. Are you suggesting that Australia should or could go it alone? If so then give your plan. Again, that’s a completely different topic than the demonstrated murderous nature of the Vietnamese Communists.

  115. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    If so then give your plan.

    Nuclear bleepin’ weapons.

  116. Tel

    Frank, here’s what would happen with your plan: there would be a phone call, our PM (regardless of party) would say, “Very good sir, that’s understood,” and the plan would be over.

    It might not even get that far.

    Other than that though … good plan.

  117. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I’m not sure how you propose to ask the 1.7 million civilians who were murdered by the North Vietnamese.

    Or the two million Cambodian civilians who were murdered outright, or died from hunger and disease at the hands of that mob of psychopaths, known as the Khmer Rouge?

  118. 1735099

    the demonstrated murderous nature of the Vietnamese Communists.

    The nature of Vietnamese Communism had SFA to do with Australia.
    We were never under any threat from North Vietnam.
    War brings out the best and worst in the participants, and it has little or nothing to do with political philosophies.
    I doubt William Calley was Communist.

    Or the two million Cambodian civilians who were murdered outright, or died from hunger and disease at the hands of that mob of psychopaths, known as the Khmer Rouge?

    Facilitated and enabled by the American bombing.
    It was these same “evil” Vietnamese who put an end to Pol Pot’s regime, by the way.

  119. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    We were never under any threat from North Vietnam.

    Except that they were backed by Moscow and COMINTERN in fact, LITERALLY wanted to take over the world by force.

    You pathetic fucking imbecile.

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