By Caitlin Johnstone
A new US warship has been ushered into service in Sydney. The ship is called the USS Canberra to honor the military union of the United States and Australia, and, if that’s still too subtle for you, it has a literal star-spangled kangaroo affixed to its side.
That’s right: the first US warship ever commissioned in a foreign port has been emblazoned with a kangaroo covered in the stars and stripes of the United States flag. An Australian officer will reportedly always be part of the staff of the ship, to further symbolize the holy matrimony between Australia and the US war machine.
“I can think of no better symbol of this shared future than the USS Canberra,” gushed US ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy. “Built by American workers at an Australian company in Mobile, Alabama, her crew will always include a Royal Australian Navy sailor, and from today forward, she will proudly display a star-spangled kangaroo.”
And you know what? She’s right. Not because of her giddy joy over the complete absorption of Australia into the US military apparatus of course — that’s a horrifying nightmare which is increasingly putting this nation on track toward a frontline role in Washington’s war plans against China. But she’s right that the star-spangled kangaroo and the ship which carries it is a perfect symbol for the way these two nations have become inseparably intertwined.
In fact, I’d take it a step further. I’d say the star-spangled kangaroo should be the new symbol for our entire nation.
I mean, we might as well, right? Australia is not a sovereign nation in any meaningful way; we’re functionally a US military/intelligence asset, and according to our defence minister Richard Marles our own military is being moved “beyond interoperability to interchangeability” with the US war machine so they can “operate seamlessly together, at speed.”
The US imprisons Australian journalist Julian Assange for exposing US war crimes like he’s the personal property of the Pentagon, and when the US doesn’t like our Prime Minister because he’s too keen on Australian independence or perceived as too friendly with China, they simply replace him with another one.
We even found out recently that Australians are not permitted to know if the US is bringing nuclear weapons into this country. That is a secret the US keeps from all of us, and our government respects their privacy on the matter.
So I think the star-spangled kangaroo is an entirely appropriate symbol for this country. Put it on our flag. Put it on our money. Put it on all our warships and planes, and on every military uniform. When you walk into an Australian government building, Yankarooey (or whatever stupid Aussie nickname we make up for the thing to mask our own cognitive dissonance) should be the first thing everyone sees.
Undignified? Certainly. Humiliating? Absolutely. An admission that Australia is not a real nation? Of course. But at least it would be honest. If we’re going to act like Washington’s subservient basement gimp, we may as well dress the part.
Caitlin Johnstone is one of Australia’s most successful independent journalists, with a significant international following. She posts regularly on her website here. Other stories by Caitlin Johnstone published in A Sense of Place Magazine can be found here.