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Maybe We Have Taught our Children well

old man emu

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I recently saw a report of a survey which suggested that amongst young Australians up to 40 years of age, there is a small majority view that our military forces should not be used except where there is the need to defend our own shores.  I'm sorry that I failed to save the link so that you could read the story yourself. However, the same small majority support fighting on our own soil to prevent military invasion of our borders.


What I got from the story was that there wasn't a strong anti-war sentiment, per se, but a possible reaction to what we as a Nation do on ANZAC Day. I think that Australians should be proud that commemorations on ANZAC Day are not celebrations of military victories, but remembrances of the people with whom we have family ties who suffered or died for what seems not to have created the peace and removal of tyrants that the wars were supposed to achieve.


Ever since the Vietnam conflict became the "war in our lounge rooms" year after year we have been witness to conflicts which really do not threaten the security of our own shores. From Baby Boomers onwards each Australian generation has been reminded every ANZAC Day that despite the bravery shown by each member of the Services and privations they endured whilst in the Services, fighting on foreign shores has only brought sorry to the rest of the Nation and not the peace and security we have to the rest of the world.


Perhaps that annual reminder has finally caused our young people to question any government's decision to engage in military action where our shores are not threatened. Perhaps it might be a good outcome if, when there is the passing of the old guard, that subsequent generations cry out "No" to overseas involvement, and adopt a stance of neutrality but preparedness to defend that neutrality.


It would do well to follow the West African proverb: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far," often used by US President Theodore Roosevelt. The idea behind the proverb is to negotiate peacefully but also having strength in case things go wrong.


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9 minutes ago, spacesailor said:

Those teachers carried that stick to make certain. children were not heard .

Irrelevant to the point of this discussion.


The "Big Stick" refers to a policy of international diplomacy.


Roosevelt described his style of foreign policy as "the exercise of intelligent forethought and of decisive action sufficiently far in advance of any likely crisis". As practiced by Roosevelt, big stick diplomacy had five components.

First, it essential to possess serious military capability that would force the adversary to pay close attention.

The others components were:

to act justly toward other nations;

never to bluff;

to strike only when prepared to strike hard, and

to be willing to allow the adversary to save face in defeat.


Australia is unlikely ever to have the serious military capability to act offensively, so defensive capability is essential. Otherwise, our international diplomacy can express our willingness stand up for ourselves and defend our borders.

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So we sit back and watch leaders like Putin and Xi swallow up small countries near and far till they are so big they are unbeatable and are knocking on our door with a stick big enough to smash us to smithereens.

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It's a good point, Peter. What are our borders, today?


If a country shows aggression to an ally (say NZ), because it's not our counry, should we just sit back and watch? What about Ukraine? What about if someone invaded the USA, Canada, the UK, or any of our European allies? Taiwan? Japan? What about countries that aren't our allies, but are tiny anddo not have the resources to defend themselves such as many of the pacific and atlantic islands? Do they not deserve to be free from invasion in this mdern day? What really are our borders in these sorts of conflicts? If you ask me, the west's tardy respose to Ukraine is shameful. And I am by no means a war hawk. But sometimes, as Kenny Rogers sang, sometimes you've got to fight when you're a man.


It is a global world now, and looking at defending invasion on only our soil is a little narrow-focused, IMHO. I would argue our "children" haven't been taught well. 


This is different to the US going into Vietnam and Iraq (Afghanistan I could understand, but as usual, they stuffed it).

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