Malcolm Fraser was right about "our dangerous ally".
The US is the most aggressive and violent country in the world. It is addicted to a belief in its exceptionalism, grounded in aggression both at home and abroad, and finding it hard to admit mistakes.
Apart from brief isolationist periods, the US has been almost perpetually at war. The record is clear. Time and time again we have allowed ourselves to be drawn into the imperial wars of the UK and then the US.
We have forfeited our strategic autonomy. Over two centuries, the US has subverted and overthrown numerous governments. It has a military and business complex that depends on war for influence and enrichment.
It funds our War Memorial and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and many other fronts for US military and business interests.
Records show that the US is a much more aggressive and violent country than China.
The US assumes a moral superiority it denies to others. It is blinded by its own ideological delusions and self righteousness
Many of our political, bureaucratic, business and media elites have been on American drip feeds like the Australian America Leadership Dialogue for so long that they find it hard to think of the world without American global hegemony.
We had a similar and dependent view of the UK in the past. That ended in tears in Singapore.
The US has never had a decade without war. Since its founding in 1776, the US has been at war 93 per cent of the time. These wars have extended from its own hemisphere to the Pacific, to Europe and most recently to the Middle East.
The US has launched 201 out of 248 armed conflicts since the end of World War II.
The US has been meddling extensively in other countries' affairs and elections for a century.
It tried to change other countries' governments 72 times during the Cold War.
Many foreign leaders were assassinated. The overthrow or interference in foreign governments is diverse, including Honduras, Guatemala, Iran, Haiti, Congo, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Chile, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently, Syria.
Compare that to China.
Despite all the evidence of wars and meddling, the American Imperium continues without serious check or query in America or Australia.
I suggest several reasons why this record has not been challenged.
The first is what is often described as America's "manifest destiny"; the God-given right to interfere in other countries' affairs. This right is not extended to others because many Americans see themselves as more virtuous and their system of government better than others.
Biden today dresses up this manifest destiny in terms of democracy versus autocracy. And Nancy Pelosi blunders into a provocative trip to Taiwan.
The second reason why the American Imperium continues largely unchecked is the power of what president Dwight Eisenhower once called the "military and industrial complex" in the US.
In 2021 I would add "politicians" who depend heavily on funding from powerful arms manufacturers and military and civilian personnel in more than 4000 military facilities.
This complex co-opts institutions and individuals around the globe. Australia has locked itself into this complex. Our military and defence leaders are heavily dependent on the US departments of Defence and State, the CIA and the FBI for advice. We act as their branch offices.
Our autonomy and independence are also at great risk because our defence/security elites in Canberra have as their holy grail the concept of "interoperability" with the US.
This is mirrored in US official and think-tank commentary on the role they see for us in our region.
Our new Defence Minister Richard Marles now even tops this all up.
Interoperable now becomes interchangeable and we are to operate seamlessly with US forces.
So powerful is the US influence and our willing cooperation that our foreign policies have been largely emasculated and sidelined by the defence and security views of both the US and their media acolytes in Australia.
The concept of interoperability does not only mean equipment. It also means personnel, with increasingly large numbers of Australian military personnel embedded in the US military and defence establishments, especially in the Pacific Command in Hawaii.
AUKUS has locked us in even more. In AUKUS we are effectively fusing our Navy with that of the US so that we can operate together in the South China Sea and threaten China.
We are surrendering more and more of our strategic autonomy by encouraging the US to use northern Australia as a forward base against China as if the US does not have enough giant military bases ringing China in Japan, Korea and Guam.
The third reason for the continuing dominance of the American Imperium is the way the US expects others to abide by a "rules-based international order" that was largely determined at Bretton Woods after World War II and embedded in various UN agencies.
That order reflects the power and views of the dominant countries in the 1940s.
It does not recognise the legitimate interests of such newly emerging countries as China.
The US only follows an international rules-based order when it suits its own interests.
It cherry picks what best suits at the time. It pushes for a rules-based system in the South China Sea while refusing to endorse UNCLOS (law of the sea) or accept International Court of Justice decisions. The invasion of Iraq was a classic case of breaking the rules.
It was illegal. The resultant death and destruction in Iraq met the criteria for war crimes. But the culprits have got off scot-free. Only Tony Blair has suffered reputational damage.
The founding documents of the US inspire Americans and many people throughout the world.
"The land of the free and the home of the brave" still has a clarion call.
Unfortunately, those core values have often been denied to others.
When the Philippines sought US support it was invaded instead. Ho Chi Minh wanted US support for independence but Vietnam was invaded.
Like many democracies, including our own, money, media and vested interests are corrupting public life. Democracy in the US has been replaced by donocracy, with practically no restrictions on funding of elections and political lobbying for decades.
House of Representatives electorates are gerrymandered and poor and minority group voters are often excluded from the rolls.
Many democracies are in trouble. US democracy is in more trouble than most. There is a pervasive blindness. Is it drifting to another civil war, fascism or just anarchy?
Despite continual criminal and often unsuccessful wars, the overthrow or subversion of foreign governments and declining US economic influence, US hegemony and domination of Australian thinking continues. Despite all the evidence, why do we continue in denial?
One reason is that as a small, isolated and predominantly white community in Asia we have historically sought an outside protector, first the UK and when that failed, the US.
The colonial mindset is still with us.
We are a nation in denial that we are "joined at the hip" to a dangerous, erratic and risky ally.
The greatest military risk we run is being led by the nose into a US war with China.
Joe Biden is smoothing a few rough edges but he and his foreign affairs advisers are mired in the old US myth of "exceptionalism". He can't even control a leader of his own party in Congress.
We are in the process of wilfully abandoning our strategic autonomy. We are becoming a proxy and vassal for the US, a very aggressive and violent country.
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