Australia Gets U.S. Warship Of Its Own — Yup, You Read That Right

What was U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy so pleased about in this picture? The commissioning of a U.S.-built war ship for Australia to use called the U.S.S. Canberra.It will be ported in Australia as that is much, much closer to China than any U.S. port. And it is festooned with this symbol of Australia’s subservience to the U.S. war machine now doing business as AUKUS:

Does a stars and stripes kangaroo look like a joke to you? You cannot make this stuff up.

A less flashy but probably more egregious violation of Australia’s sovereignty is the news that it is slated to become the nuclear waste dump of the AUKUS alliance.

From Crikey originally but it’s paywalled, so here’s the whole article reposted to

Seeing this news reminded me of an item I saw earlier in the week regarding Australia’s unique global position for rocket launches. At think tank Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), U.S. Space Force director of staff Lieutenant-General Nina Armagno told Aussies, “Australia is sitting on a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for our common national security interests.”

Two major parts of a shared US–Australia space capability centred on surveillance and tracking of objects in space are now up and running near Exmouth in Western Australia. One is a C-band radar that was based in Antigua and has been relocated to WA, and the other is the Space Surveillance Telescope, originally developed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The telescope is run as a joint facility and recently achieved its initial operating capability.

Who funds ASPI? Australia’s Department of “Defence” plus plenty of corporate entities that would love to get their hands on some of that gold.

More from ASPI: 

Australia’s growing space industry will almost certainly welcome any moves to expand US–Australia launch collaboration, especially after a NASA rocket blasted off from the Northern Territory in June.

Old war ships and new rocket ships are all part of the massive international arms buildup for U.S. and its vassals, oops allies, to fight China and its strategic partner Russia. 

What does that look like where you live? 

Where I live we’ll gather Saturday July 29 at 9:30am to protest the so-called “christening” of a nuclear-capable Aegis Destroyer war ship at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works shipyard.

Menacing China with nuclear weapons systems that can be ported in South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, or Australia (and maybe New Zealand?) is the point. Peek below the surface rhetoric and you’ll see that’s what the war in Ukraine is about — weakening Russia in advance of hot war with economic rival China.

I talked about much of this on a talk radio show here in Maine this morning (hear the recorded interview here). One of the hosts challenged my belief that building nuclear weapons systems and spreading them all over the world makes people in Maine less safe, not more safe.

What do you think?

No Cluster Bombs To Ukraine: Protesters Gather In Maine’s Capitol City

Thirty people and dogs gathered in the state of Maine’s capitol city yesterday for our tenth in a series of statewide coalition protests against funding the war in Ukraine. As has become the norm for these protests, thousands of passing motorists saw our messages and reacted with thumbs up, honks, and waves. We stand at Maine’s busiest intersections to reach as many eyeballs as possible. Next month we’ll stand in Ellsworth (Aug 19), gateway to posh coastal enclaves like Bar Harbor. And in September we’ll be in Unity (Sep 23) to greet the traffic jam occasioned by the hugely popular Common Ground Fair.

A couple of loud men shouted at us about their love for cluster bombs, but many of us held signs objecting to this particular weapon because 1) they mostly kill civilians and children, often for years afterwards and 2) the U.S. public has had a particularly negative reaction to sending Ukraine cluster bombs. And, a few motorists waiting for the light to change asked, What’s a cluster bomb? So we’re always out there educating in the absence of media who long since chose propaganda over helping people know what’s really going on.

As has also become the norm at these monthly coalition protests, new folks joined us for the first time. The newcomers trend young, which this grandmother finds encouraging. 

Another great feature is seeing old friends who we’ve stood for peace with in the past. Nancy Blaisdell Baxter said in our closing circle that she was there remembering her late mother, Florence (a high school classmate of my father’s), who I stood with in Skowhegan against the Iraq war 20 years ago.

One of the best aspects of our protest series is gathering for lunch afterwards. This is where we find new people to connect with or catch up with old friends. Yesterday’s topics of conversation ranged from co-sponsor Party for Socialism & Liberation members crashing the governor’s opioid summit to call for effective action on the overdose crisis in our state; local environmental movements; the ongoing housing catastrophe; and the politics of inclusion via the prompt, “What book have you read lately that changed or challenged your thinking?” (Good one, MB.)

Our email list keeps growing. Thanks to the volunteers who help build it! See you next month.Or maybe the proxy war on Russia will be over by then?