The decision to acquire nuclear-powered boats reflects what has been the Australian Way of War for more than a century: to operate inside the strategy of a superpower by contributing a well-chosen, niche capability to augment the larger force.
The following years of Indonesian occupation and violent subjection of the Timorese people were accompanied by a narrative of denial by the Australian government, aimed at protecting the Suharto regime from scrutiny and allowing the regime to continue its repression of East Timor largely unimpeded.
The Kerr–Palace letters have turned attention back to the role of the Queen and British power in the sacking of the Whitlam government. But the dismissal was really the beginning of a new type of US power, linked to total surveillance, with Sir John Kerr as its willing accomplice.
The counter-narrative would be that it is we, not China, that are isolated in the region: white, settler, a firm US ally, happy to support a US- and Europe-dominated world order at the UN, and to give no real recognition to the narrative that joins billions of East Asians together: that for a century or so they were dominated, exploited and humiliated by white imperial powers, and that they are now on the way to…
…we have to face the fact that the United States is in serious decline. It is powerful militarily, in the technical sense, but socially it is falling apart. What future is there for an empire-dependent outlier community in this circumstance?