Say it isn't so: "The Federal Government has moved to permanently base Australia's various Middle Eastern regional military assets in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In return, Australia has about 30 personnel in the UAE training its fast-growing special forces troopers. Behind the details of the arrangement are the 2 countries' larger needs. Australia has decided to stop pretending. Instead of pretending that we are occasional visitors to the Middle East, only rushing in when the US decides to go to war there and rushing out when it finishes, Australia is now acknowledging that it has permanent interests in the area... Both countries are now girding for the coming crisis with Iran, which lies just across the Gulf from the UAE." (Gulf friends look to us as Iran flexes its muscles, Peter Hartcher*, Sydney Morning Herald, 31/3/09)
The pro-US UAE, according to Hartcher, is worried about Iranian retaliation in the event of a strike by USrael against its nuclear facilities. That's the UAE's "larger need," but what's ours? We're still in Iraq, we've never been more involved in Afghanistan, and prime minister Rudd has even offered counter-insurgency trainers to Pakistan (see my 31/7/08 post Pure Genius) and spoken of his interest in keeping the Straits of Hormuz open "in coalition with the US." (See my 22/9/08 post The Left Hand... & the Right) But, wherein lies Australia's "larger need" to keep open the Straits of Hormuz and beef up the UAE's special forces?
As Scott Ritter reminds us in his 2006 book Target Iran: "The conflict currently underway between the US and Iran is, first and foremost, born in Israel. It is based upon an Israeli contention that Iran poses a threat to Israel, and defined by Israeli assertions that Iran possesses a nuclear weapons program. None of this has been shown to be true, and indeed many of the allegations made by Israel against Iran have been clearly demonstrated as being false. And yet the US continues to trumpet the Israeli claims..." (p 208) If so, it looks as though the only possible reason for the Rudd government's newfound interest in the Straits of Hormuz and a "permanent" presence in the Emirates is to aid and abet the coming USraeli mugging of Iran, itself the product of Israel's desire for regional hegemony.
After all, Rudd has said that support for Israel is "in his DNA," and, alone among world misleaders, has threatened to drag the Iranian president before the International Court of Justice for incitement to genocide against Israel. (See my 23/5/08 post Kevin Bonhoeffer vs Adolf Ahmadinejad) And what would you expect of a man whose speeches at Zionist functions could just as easily have been given by any of Israel's current crop of misleaders: "Israel has always confronted these challenges to its existential existence. That is why Israel continues to survive to this day - resolute in its mission and intelligent in its stategy." (Rudd: I am Israel's proud 'lifelong' friend, The Australian Jewish News, 23/2/07)
Into what uncharted foreign policy waters is Rudd taking this country?
[* Hartcher affixed the following disclosure to his piece: "Peter Hartcher, the Herald's international editor, travelled to the UAE as a guest of the Lowy Institute for International Policy." Can we expect a similar disclosure from the next Israel junketeer? Don't hold your breath.]