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May 17, 2021

Thus Spake Mungo: Coalition become merchants of death

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The Australian government has in recent years, become debased – opportunist, secretive poll-driven, fixated on short term political gain and unwilling to engage in serious issues when (as is always) they interfere with its internal wranglings.

It has been depressing and demoralising, and the public has responded by branding our parliamentarians a bunch of untrustworthy go-getters, obsessed with their own well-being rather than the public good.

Unfair, perhaps – there many politicians who (initially at least) seek office for the right reasons, to enhance the national interest and indulge in honest debate about increasingly complex issues, attempting to involve the voters as partners rather than mere election fodder.

There has been, for many of us at least, the hope and belief that the lucky country could again become what it once was – a forthright member of the world community, a vanguard for worthwhile change and reform.

But after last week it will be hard to maintain that sanguine proposition – we have struck a new nadir, a depth of greed and amorality that is unlikely to be beaten. Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to allocate $3.8 billion (that’s $3,800,000,000 in real money) to promote the export of killing machines is the end of the road.

Since the conclusion of the second world war, if not before, Australia has generally been seen as a peacemaker – not a passive advocate of neutrality but an active participant in the world wide movement for ending the arms race in a step to preventing, or at least mitigating, war and its causes.

Australians have been involved in working to end nuclear proliferation, in the elimination of chemical weapons, in the abolition of landmines. There have been times when we have been more zealous than others, but our default position has been on the side of peace – the side of the angels.

We have made our mistakes, most notably the disaster in Vietnam. But after that, our interventions in conflicts, although almost invariably ill-advised, have been more in the nature of holding operations than all out assaults. With all respect to our forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, they were not about belligerence but defence against fanatical and unconscionable aggression.

And in the meantime we have taken part in many genuine peacekeeping operations: Timor and the Solomons are among the most impressive but there have been others less publicised – Cyprus, to name but one. And perhaps more importantly, we have been a significant, and at times a leading, player in the international campaign for disarmament.

Australians have been involved in working to end nuclear proliferation, in the elimination of chemical weapons, in the abolition of landmines. There have been times when we have been more zealous than others, but our default position has been on the side of peace – the side of the angels.

And it is this history that Turnbull has abandoned in what can only be seen as cynical betrayal of our (and we had thought his own) values and ideals in the desperate search for a few bucks. His attitude appears to be the rationale of every drug dealer, every provider of pornography – if I don’t do it. someone else will, so why should a Australia not aspire to become one of the top ten world-wide merchants of death?

And of course we (unlike every other merchant) will take stringent precautions to ensure that out guns, bombs, tanks, and whatever instruments of slaughter that our scientists can devise, will never be used illegally and unethically. The latter stricture may be seen as a contradiction in terms, but in fact it hardly matters: the obvious fact is that once we hand the arsenals over we lose all effective control of them.

Turnbull’s warriors have already signalled their willingness – eagerness, indeed – to flog the stuff to just about anyone who will pay for it. Only a few weeks ago our ebullient Minister for Industry Christopher Pyne was spruiking the sale of Australian weapons to Saudi Arabia — those wonderful folk who brought us 9/11 and are now committing war crimes in Yemen before moving on to subdue their own dissenting citizens by any means they deem necessary.

But of course the Saudis are considered our allies – well sort of, they are the allies of our great and powerful friend, so near enough is good enough – and thus they are, by definition, worthy recipients of any horrors we can offer them – if, of course, the price is right. And it needs not be added (but will be interminably among the government’s talking points) that there will be jobs involved – well, there may be a few, and there would want to be at the cost of $3.8 billion.

In fact, we can confidently predict just 3,800 jobs, eventually. We know that figure because the price of government assistance (read: taxpayer handouts) to defence procurement works out at a cool one million for every new worker employed.

But wait, there’s more – our killing machines will not only secure our own base for keeping up a steady supply of our own weapons (most of which are being licensed to foreigners anyway, and thus providing minimal profits to Australia) but revive our ailing manufacturer industry, the one successive governments have run into the ground. The once thriving automobile sector could have been saved by a fraction of the cost to be lavished on the warmongers but that would have been economic irrationalism, picking winners and we couldn’t have that.

Fortunately (and the only conceivable saving grace of the moral turpitude into which Turnbull is seeking to immerse us) we probably won’t have to: the experts in the field assure us that the already established merchants of death will effortlessly freeze out such a bumptious upstart in what has become a seriously cut-throat (and that is itself a euphemism) industry.

Let’s face it, they know all about real wars, so a trade war with an uppity neophyte should be a doddle. And if this happens (and frankly it should) Turnbull’s latest thought bubble will be revealed as an utter failure in every sense – not merely unforgivably depraved, but hugely wasteful and simply stupid. What a way to start the new year of rewards for all.

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  1. I expect no better from the regime. The sad thing is this is supported by the ALP as it creates jobs (while killing people).

  2. Extremely well articulated Mungo! I can feel the emotion in your words and thoughts. This is totally unforgivable! We will not take this lying down …. only if they bomb and shoot us! Shame on the whole Conservative ideology 🙁

  3. I suppose I should be shocked at the Governments proposal for an armaments led economic recovery – but I’m not. With Dutton (harbinger of death for refugees) and the others of his coalition, any way to earn money is good. Their policy? Ethics shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of profit, and as long as we can see a few extra jobs, well, enough said, she’s a goer!
    I am more ashamed of our Government and, I suppose of ourselves, every time I open a newspaper.
    Comeon Aussies, lets get rid of this immoral Government.

  4. And yesterday the Hero of Falludjah – according to the shoutjocks like Rat Hately, the Poison Dwarf & Blot – was welcomed onto the soft red leather benches of the Senate.
    Harbinger? O Tempora, O Mores that such as these preside over us.

  5. Talking about being ‘on the side of the angels’, here’s what these ‘beings’ think about ‘warfare’:

    All warfare is against God’s Will and is in conflict with the laws of the Light, and it benefits neither one nor the other warring nation to call upon God’s assistance as supreme war lord; any supplication to God to bless the armaments or to bless the armies, so that under His leadership they may gain victory over their opponents, is therefore a blasphemous prayer.

    Any conception of God as war lord or war leader must be rooted out, since all bloodshed, all destruction, all subversion is completely irreconcilable with the nature of God. Again and again God has sought to lead human beings to a complete understanding of love for their neighbours and respect for all that belongs to them. Time and again ever since the dawn of history God’s emissaries have proclaimed to human beings: “You shall not kill, nor take by force, nor rob, nor plunder!” But so far the appeal has been in vain, human beings have not yet been able to free themselves from the primal urge of brutish self-assertion through violence to the detriment of their fellow human beings. So long as the individual members of the nations of the world do not unite and strive toward mutual peace and forbearance, so long as human beings cannot with complete faith in God’s Fatherliness and Justice place everything in His hand and with trust submit to His leadership, so long as the will of the many is not one with His Will, so long can bloodshed, violence and war not cease, and so long can the hope for peace not be victorious on Earth.

    Human beings must overcome the influence of Darkness, overcome hatred, curses, envy and lust for power through belief in God’s existence and by trusting His guidance, rather than through prayers for help to crush their enemies and opponents by acts of violence for God never hears and never answers such prayers.

    If it could be conceived that an entire people were united in complete trust in God and in the absolute certitude that no evil arising from ambitious, envious or rapacious neighbours could befall them, then even the most evil of designs would fall to the ground, since it would be lost on so unanimous and complete a faith. But where can such a people be found? Humanity is still in its infancy, and centuries or millennia may pass before full understanding of such an unshakeable relationship of trust between God and human beings can be attained.

    Thus, all warfare is rooted in Darkness and is brought about by the mutual intolerance of the various nations, which in turn can be attributed to the lust for power of the leaders and the rulers. If the human will for evil thus calls forth fighting and destruction and a war begins, the nation that initiates the hostilities must bear the responsibility for the war of aggression as well as for the war of defence forced upon the other nation and its allies, regardless of the forms that the war may take. And so long as the attacked nation limits itself to the defence of its country, of its rights, the aggressor will continue to be in the wrong. But the moment the defender extends the hostilities to the territory of the aggressor in order to attack rather than to defend, both sides must share the responsibility for whatever takes place from the moment the border into enemy territory is crossed. (The same laws apply if the battles are fought at sea or in the air).

    The victory or defeat of the warring parties can in no way be attributed to God. Never does He take part in the hostilities, neither on the side of the aggressor nor on the side of the defender. Only prayers for help to restore peace will be heard by God, but His many and persistent attempts to speak to the leaders as their “conscience” are in most cases rejected.

    The victorious party defeats its adversary by virtue of numerical or strategic superiority or the like, or because of the people’s common hatred of the enemy and the people’s common will to win; but victory is never gained with the help of God.

    Any person – civilian or military – who praises, defends and glorifies war in writing or in speech, instead of evoking aversion to this deed of Darkness and enlightening his fellow human beings on the degradation and brutishness of war, is himself placing a heavy burden of responsibility on his shoulders and must, having ended his earthly life, render a detailed account to God of the motivations for his actions.

    Even though human beings wage war among themselves, and even though God does not hear their prayers for victory, He never loses sight of them, but seeks either directly or through the disincarnated Youngest to awaken remorse among the leaders, just as He tries in many ways to instill in them an awareness of the injustice and the abuse of power of which they are guilty, so as to bring about a pact of peace before one of the parties succumbs to the superior force; but in the vast majority of cases also these attempts are rejected by human beings.


    Read more here:


  6. PS!
    It appears that the forum linked to above is unavailable at the moment due to repair and other reasons!, so readers are encouraged to try the link at a later time!


  7. This is an awful and lying piece of Australian apologetica and mythology. Of course Turnbull is a capitalist pig who is prepared to do anything for the profits of the Australian ruling class. However this article is awful and the premise that Turnbull represents a schism with past Australian sainthood is appalling to put it very mildly. Claiming that we have been on the side of peace since the second world war is criminal. He asserts in the article “we have made mistakes..notably Vietnam”….”but our default posistion has been the side on the angles” ….and … “our forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, they were not about belligerence but defence against fanatical and unconscionable aggression.!!!!!!! This is appalling. While hailing us as champion peacekeepers in TImor ..he ignores that we used the this period to steal Timors gas forcing them 20 years through the international courts to get some of it back…but worse, far worse ignores the FACT that the Whitlam government was up to its arse in whole heartedly supporting AND covering for the Indonesian invasion !! A fact that was continued by every government until Howard, when Indonesia was no longer needed as an bastion against communism and could now be usurped with the USA’S blessing. Remember “Deputy Sherriff” Howard. McCallum also wilfully and corruptly ignores the fact of Australia’s total support and backing of the Indonesian military Coup against progressive government of Sukarno in 1965 that resulted in a MILLION people being masacared. He ignores Australia’s miltary invasion of KOREA and the criminal mass murder and destruction of 4 MILLION people..he ignores our continueing support to the US in ignoring North Korea’s call to end that war and offering to halt its nuclear program in exchange for peace. He ignore’s Gillard and the Labor Party’s granting of more US war bases in Darwin ( Obama’s “Tilt to Asia) or its continueing and unfetted use of the Pine Gap spy and miltary command system. This is really a very sick piece of work..and I could give you dozen’s more examples of why this is such an awful piece. I am not trying to give anyone who likes this a hard time , it just needs to be said for decencies sake alone. The truth is that is exactly such falsifications of history that have gotten us were we are to begin with. Australia’s history is as a lackey , a jackal imperialist nation that does the bidding of the biggest war machine on earth .. all for its tiny, but comfortable place in the imperialist sun. We havent even touched on the Indigenous wars and genocide or the stolen generations or the NT “Intervention”. Really , forgive me if I sound so blunt…we cant go forward until we truely recognise our terrible history. Until then we remain in the Capitalist camp..this stuff should be condemned.

    • Spot on. While heaping merde on Turnbull, beyond well deserved, to cast previous belligerence as being ‘on the side of the angels’ is blinkered & self serving as any LNP rhetoric.

  8. Abbott axed about $500m in annual assistance to the automobile industry, which had helped the development of the Ford Territory, Holden Cruze and Toyota Camry hybrid, resulting in the loss of up to 100,000 jobs. Now they want to spend $3.8b to create about 3000 jobs. And the Turnbull Government claims to be good economic managers – seriously?

  9. Our present Government is UNAUSTRALIAN! those over-paid jokers in Parliament are doing their level best to destroy Australia. It’s biodiversity, its tourism, it’s very soul. Who are all these investors that are turning our cities into concrete tombs? How much of Australia do we own by now? Less and less full-time jobs, biodiversity destroyed, koalas becoming endangered species, the Murray-Darling basin with diminishing water resources, the Reef endangered, exploitation by foreign companies, some of whom do not pay taxes at all on the rise, in some activities we have job slavery. Our education system is destroyed – TAFE??????? – the reading assistance program cut, Statement of Uluru from the Heart dismissed as unimportant? The people are marginalised and treated like idiots, the unions demonised! Refugees treated like criminals, first of all we bomb their Nanas and sons and daughters, then when ask for assistance we lock them up. Now we need to export death and misery and our politicians are rubbing their hands over all those blood-soaked dollars? Maybe they should read up a bit about Australia’s history,the self-sacrifices, mateship, and the decency of our forefathers. Fancy that a migrant seems to be more patriotic than our elected “representatives”!

  10. And look at this news…. Yuk

    Unanderra company’s defence contract win to feature Illawarra steel
    A Unanderra company has beaten the best armour-makers to land a defence contract.

    The contract, worth almost $1 million, will see Bisalloy Steel making armour for armoured fighting vehicles being built by Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

    Bisalloy Steel’s business manager for armour Justin Suwart said the competition for contract was worldwide.

    READ MORE: Illawarra steel ‘an option’ for Navy ships

    “We’re the only ones who do what we do in Australia so all of our competitors are global,” Mr Suwart said.

    “We compete with suppliers that come out of the US, France, Germany and Japan. We’re talking about the best steelmakers in the world and we’re competing against them to win these types of contracts.”

    He said the project would use around 200 tonnes of steel from BlueScope, see extra staff hired and work in shifts around the clock.

    “This is really the launch pad for us to start developing this market a lot more and working with this company a lot more as well,” he said.

    Federal Defence Minister Christopher Pyne was pleased with the news.

    “This contract demonstrates Australian defence industry’s world-class capabilities, creating and securing jobs and opportunity in regional areas as well as urban ones,” Mr Pyne said.

  11. Martin Neal has hit the nail on the head. Surely Iraq in particular was hardly an altruistic exercise.
    In spite of many thousands of people making their stance against our participation known to dear Johnny, there was no stopping it. America calling !!

  12. Well well well intrigue in our capitals. I’m glad the gov don’t depend on the Echo’s readers’ assertions. We’d be flat out making a plastic toy. Or rising from some obeisance to common apathy. I hope my children don’t have to endure a war with this lot to protect them. It’d be a case of enduring apologetics while our protectors are castigated. Of course I’m sorry. Like hell.

  13. Yes vickie john we need a steel making proficiency, at whatever level. Not sure anyone’s noticed, we’re at war, and if it expands, with our dependency on post-colonial theory we’ll be flat out winning it. Facts of munitions and facts of strategy.


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