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Bernard Salt, Murdoch media insult the memory of Second World War Australians

(Illustration: For more on Colonel Blimp see "Notes" [1])

Original title was: "Mr Salt and Mr Murdoch team up again to can Australians". See also: "Bernard Salt and Murdoch press cook up recipe for invasion" of 2 May 09.

Into the Salty abyss

According to yet another article in Mr Murdoch's Australian newspaper by self-styled demographer, Bernard Salt,

Australia "quivered when a passing Japanese submarine lobbed shells into the eastern suburbs of Sydney in May 1942: property prices plummeted."

You can find the article, "Invasion victory ensured by complacency" in the business and property section in The Australian. A sort of where to buy and invade section, I guess. Here Salt advertises Australia as an easy target for any enemies. Pretending that he is writing for a mythical Peoples' Army in Bernardistan, he plots entry via the Kimberleys.

Why Salt's antics here are not seen as treacherous and inciting invasion would be a mystery to anyone seriously subscribing to the Axis of Evil myth. More sophisticated readers may wonder, however, if the property development industry is so worried by the Australian public's louder and louder calls for population stabilisation, that they must have decided to ask Mr Murdoch and Mr Salt to try provoke a full-on invasion.

Mr Salt probably realises that conducting a military invasion of Australia (rather than the economic immigration one) is not as easy as his imaginary character pretends. What may still be possible, however, is to misinform elderly Australians (members of the property lobby and readers of The Australian, for instance) via one of our only two national newspapers, and panic them into calling for a bigger population. Either strategy could work and, without an invasion - of immigrants or armed forces - the Colonel Blimps (and Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swann) of the Property and Development Lobby are doomed. A welcome extinction, in the view of many ecologists, which would prevent so many sad ones.

Australia Overloaded author, Mark O'Connor wrote recently in response to Bernard's attitude which seems to be that Australians are complacent cowards and the country needs more of them:

"If the Australians of our fathers' or grandfathers' generation had been as faint hearted as Mr Salt, back when our population was only a third of what it is today, Australia might now be a province of Japan."

(O'Connor was responding to an article, "Australia told to grow or risk invasion", in the Canberra Times, 31/3/2010, p. 6 which was reporting on what seem like Bernard Salt's attempts to commercialise fear and ignorance in yet another forum.)

James Sinnamon commented on the facts:

In fact, Australia achieved self-reliance in 1942 and stood a very good chance of being able to defeat a Japanese invasion. That is why the Japanese Army in March 1942 vetoed the Japanese Navy's plan to invade.

The reason why the Japanese Army vetoed the Navy's invasion plans is explained in detail by Andrew T Ross in Armed and Ready - The Industrial Development and Defence of Australia 1900-1945 Turton & Armstrong, Sydney, 1995, on pages 408-418:

By June 1942, the earliest date an invasion force could have been assembled, Australia would have 8 fully equipped divisions in the field as well as an air force capable of denying the Japanese total air supremacy. To win, they would have had to capture a deep water harbour in order to enforce a blockade to prevent Australia being able the resupply itself with some of the very few materials with which we were not self-sufficient (including petroleum). The northernmost deep water harbour was Newcastle.

Mr Sinnamon, who obviously has no serious investments in housing or infrastructure or bank shares, continued:

During the Second World War Australia was one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, a technological edge we have largely lost since then thanks to Australia having allowed its manufacturing sector to be destroyed as mandated by free market orthodoxy.

Of Australia's contribution to the Second World War, US President Truman said to the US Congress in a report on Lend Lease (including on Australia's reverse Lend Lease to the US during much of the Pacific War) on 27 December 1946:

"On balance, the contribution made by Australia, a country having 7 millions, approximately equalled that of United States." (Andrew T. Ross, Armed and Ready: the industrial development and defence of Australia, 1900-1945, Turton & Armstrong, Sydney, 1995, p 427)

Sinnamon asks,

Why would Bernard Salt wish to deny this, as well as this country's impressive military achievements, by focusing on only two episodes in the war?

In the case of the bombing of Darwin, the attacking Japanese force exceeded that which attacked Pearl Harbour, so I would think that the panicked response by some Australians was understandable.

(See also "The myth of the Howard Government's Defence Competence" of 21 November 2007 at http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=6665)

Commercialising treachery

Well, I guess it doesn't matter to Mr Salt's objectives whether his statements are accurate or fair. The aim of the article seems to be to generate enough fear to overcome Australians' democratic desire for a small and stable population. This means we can expect many more articles like this one, sigh.

And the battle to invade and subdue Australia is half-won anyway. As Bernard Salt knows and Greg Woods writes, we are already well on the way to being a nation of disorganised captives to propaganda and consumerism.

So why would having a lot more of that kind of Australian serve to defend us against the tens of millions in some Bernardistan?

What The Australian wouldn't print

As Greg Wood writes:

Pray tell Mr. Salt, how would even tenfold more Australians, wedged into the alienating fringe of suburbia and the high-rise catacombs of your ambitions, and beguiled into apathy by myriad imported electronic eclectica, be of any practical assistance against this massed force from your imagination? As an audience to watch the news-feeds and up the ratings of the conflict perhaps?

Your narrow and convenient account of WW2 Australian response to Japanese attack is simply bad history. In fact the response was broadly self-sacrificing and heroic. That earlier time exhibited remarkable social identity and spirit, which acted as the glue that draws together the resistance your argument so disingenuously questions. That character is now largely lost as recent decades have seen genuine neighbourhoods sacrificed as commodities for trade in the game of property speculation and growth-for-profit that you advocate.

And the futility of your proposition sucks one’s breath out. Why bother to invade Australia when it is already for sale world-wide on the internet to the highest bidder with the strongest exchange rate? N.B. 80% of Australians (and growing) need not apply – insufficient funds!

Well, that's right, Greg. And the Property marketers of the Growth Lobby want more customers with ready cash. For some reason they think that the Peoples Army might have the ready. (After all, armies are where a lot of foreign aid ends up and big spending goes on.) So Bernard is getting the message to them, via Mr Murdoch's Australian that it would be a doddle to invade Australia. While they're perusing our topology on GoogleEarth, they can also have a look at property on Mr Murdoch's www.realestate.com.au

But Greg continues, referring to the treacherous conduct of The Australian as a 'community sell-out' in printing an article that purports to give fail-safe directions to invade your country:

Harking back to WW2 and what it truly does take to secure freedom, a community sell-out of this magnitude would have earned a bullet in the back of the head from the French Resistance. Or does your curious brand of history see them as an extremist terrorist group?

However, if you peruse the emailed responses to Salt's article, it really isn't so easy to invade Australia. Perhaps, in fact, Mr Salt was just using the Peoples' Army as a kind of code for the elderly tax-payer army that supplements the Growth Lobby's continued purchase of power in this country.

At any rate, here are some of the best of the responses in The Australian:

ID Langford Posted at 6:13 AM Today

Bernard, you are entirely out to lunch... Consider the SE Asian archipelago that you navigated down to get here...you don't think we will see you coming? Consider the vast interior of the Australian landmass that you will need to penetrate in order to project military force into our decisive areas...does it remind you of the German attempt to conquer the Soviet Union in WW2? Or Napoleon's attempt a century earlier?? Consider the logistics involved in forcing entry onto Australia and then sustaining it...consider the wet season which prohibits movement in northern Australia for much of the year...go read some the Defence of Australia foundational documents that are out there. Most of us are complacent about history; some of us however, are students of history and understand the efforts required to lodge and deny access to an area the size of the Kimberley would be a truly monumental task. It took over 205 German Divisions to invade the Soviet Union and even this massive war machine failed. Have a real think about it...who can even closely imitate this force structure today??

Jason Ransome of Basel, Switzerland Posted at 7:29 AM Today

Fantastic article! But did you take into account our anzus treaty with America. Let's not forget Australia is a huge country, you can start from the west and move east but our army will come from behind and cut your supply routes every time, so you better bring enough personal to protect those supply routes. If it was so simple to invade Australia then it would of been tried by more than just the Japanese Good luck with your invasion, your going to need it

I like this one - short and to the point:

Mr Squiggle of Melbourne Posted at 9:58 AM Today

What an odious little article this is. China's population is 1.3bn. Indonesia's is 231m. Even if we increased our population size four-fold tomorrow, we would still be strategically outnumbered. Just let it go Bernard, we'll never create national security by ramping up our population. The starting gap is too large.

neil of melb Posted at 11:05 AM Today

The problem with invading Australia is purely logistical, How may countries have the capability of transporting 150,000 soldiers, equipment and ongoing supplies over 1000's of km of ocean? The only countries that could conceivably do it are the USA because of their military power and Indonesia because of their proximity. But Indonesia does not have the capability to destroy our air force or stop it being reinforced from allies. They don't have the capacity to land 10's of thousands of paratroopers. We would have control of the skies and the resulting carnage inflicted on a marine invasion would catastrophic. Military strategists run simulations on these scenarios constantly, this is why we are spending billions on long distance radar, aircraft and submarines rather than a huge army. A war would be fought in the Pacific or Indian oceans or Timor sea, not on Australian soil.

Rhetorical Question to the Elites who make money out of the rest of us through war and housing games

Is The Australian in fact un-Australian? Didn't the diggers die to preserve free speech? How come only Mr Salt and his doyen get to say whatever they like?

NOTES

[1] Colonel Blimp was a cartoon character created by Sir David Low (1891-1963), a New Zealand political cartoonist and caricaturist who lived and worked in the United Kingdom for many years. Low was a self-taught cartoonist. Born in New Zealand, he worked in his native country before migrating to Sydney, Australia in 1911, and ultimately to London (1919), where he made his career and earned fame for his Colonel Blimp depictions and his merciless satirising the personalities and policies of German dictator Adolf Hitler, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, and other leaders of his times. Source, Wikipedia

See also: "Bernard Salt and Murdoch press cook up recipe for invasion" of 2 May 09, "Madang landowners fight ecologically devastating Chinese mining invasion" of 1 Apr 10.

Comments

I wonder whether my Grandfather (WW1) would have been glad to know where Australia is now heading.

He died at 32 of TB after Yellow Gas was used at 'The Front' in France - where he was stationed. (Early Australian Airforce)

I believe he thought he was fighting for Australia via its Allies...

My own father, (his son) was in WW11 - in the Australian Army and once told me that he remembers the order to head for Darwin (to fight the expected Japanese onslaught) - and believed that if he were sent, he would not return alive.

I wonder if either man ever contemplated their children and grandchildren - in un-armed combat - fighting for their country - and their civil rights - against a much slyer invasion. .. one of Invitation infact - from our own Government.

Selling Australia to the highest bidder - outbidding Australian Nationals - who are being made outcasts in their own land!

According to the realestate.com.au website: Not only has Australia welcomed many people from overseas to make their home in Australia,

"We have also welcomed with open arms investment in Australian real estate by foreign nationals.

"The approach of the current Government is consistent with others that have gone before it in encouraging foreign investment because it believes it aligns with Australian community interests."

!

Who's interests, theirs or ours?

1) a foreigner can acquire a house through being left it as part of a relative's estate.

2)They can buy "off the plan" but no more than half the units when there are 10 or more.

It is more than English or New Zealanders chasing the sun, or those married to citizens! Investors from the United States, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Singapore and China spent the most.
Another report says that Chinese and Hongkong bargain hunters snap up ONE-THIRD of the top-end Aussie PROPERTY market. They can’t believe their luck! In China, the best you can get is a 99 year lease.

According to The Age,( Hockey Contradicts Abbott on Property, 1st April) Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says that: "There is obvious increasing evidence that there has been a dramatic increase in foreign investment following the Rudd government's relaxation of the rules," he said.

''This is contributing to a significant increase in property prices which is pricing out many people from the market and putting upward pressure on rents.''

However, Tony Abbott, despite being a confessing Catholic and presumably having "Christian" values that support human rights, he told ABC radio: ''Aren't people entitled to get the best price they can for their property?"

The means justifies the end, even if the benefactors are foreigners and property investors and the "victims" are the Australian public whose concerns he is supposed to represent!

Some streets in Balwyn, Kew were up to 80% owned by foreigners, wanting to take advantage of "cheap" prices and schools for their children - an access route into Australia!

Who says Salt's article is not seen as treacherous? That's exactly as I see it and the fact that it was published on April First does not ameliorate this impression. Why would anyone write such an article even tongue in cheek? The article is dangerous.

Kevin Rudd is Anglican and Tony Abbott is Catholic, so both are presumably "Christian". However, they have no compassion or sense of social justice for even a basic human right - a place to live! Australia used to be the Lucky Country!

A basic Christian duty is to care for the disadvantaged, the sick, those seeking asylum, and the outcast. However, their masters are the mass global markets, the Banks, investors and commercial interests, clearly not the people of Australia, or God!

Tony Abbott refused to to sympathetic to the homeless, saying it was basically their fault!

Neither leader mentioned mental health even once during the health debate– despite its status after heart disease and cancer as Australia's third biggest contributor to overall death and disability. Our planet is being stressed by anthropogenic climate change but where is their duty to take care of Creation for the next generation?

We are culturally, financially and educationally being forced to compete internationally for what should be preserved for Australian citizens - housing, education, natural and cultural heritage and public facilities.

Our treasured Australian lifestyles and culture are being traded on the world market as a global asset, for the benefit of property developers and investors.

Jesus s would reply to Tony 'Depart I know ye not' "The choice was yours" just as you said homelessness was a choice, not the wicked land lobby you supported, remember where i said in the Bible "As ye have judged the least of these, so shall ye be judged" nt.

Firstly, I need to confess that much of world geo-politics does not completely add up for me today. There seem to be two paradigms that appear, on the surface, to be mutually exclusive to explain world events.

On the one hand, Australia, is participating in an unjust war in alliance with the US and NATO against the people of Central Asia and the Middle East, which many plausibly argue appears to be also ultimately designed to destroy Russia and China. This war has been fraudulently justified on the pretext of the Big Lie of 9/11.

Yet on the other, in Australia, as in the US, our domestic commercial interests are being sold out to vested foreign interests, these days, principally China, the same country which apparently stands to be encircled by the so-called "War on Terror". This has been articulated in an article "Truth has fallen and has taken Liberty with it" by 9/11 Truth Movement supporter and war opponent Paul Craig Roberts:

As an economist, I am astonished that the American economics profession has no awareness whatsoever that the U.S. economy has been destroyed by the offshoring of U.S. GDP to overseas countries. U.S. corporations, in pursuit of absolute advantage or lowest labor costs and maximum CEO "performance bonuses," have moved the production of goods and services marketed to Americans to China, India, and elsewhere abroad. ...

This, of course, exactly applicable to Australia also with the Australian Governments having for decades fallen over themselves to allow the off-shoring of much of Australia's manufacturing base to China and, now, to allow Chinese commercial interests to buy up Australian mineral wealth, agricultural land, publicly owned untilities and real estate.

Exactly how and why these seemingly mutually contradictory policies is judged by the US and Australian ruling elites to be beneficial to them is hard to understand completely, but it, nevertheless, appears to be the case.

By having largely sold out our commercial interests in this way our Governments could actually be helping potential invaders to overcome many of the logistical difficulties that they would otherwise be facing as referred to in the comments by ID Langford, Jason Ransome and Mr Squiggle in the main article.

As an example, if the plans to allow the Chinese to build a new aluminium smelter north of Bowen are realised, then they will effectively have gained sovereignty over that part of Australia's territiory. If this seems far fetched, then read these words from the article "Bowen a sure thing for Chalco" in the Townsville Bulletin of 26 Jun 08, cited in my article "Stop the sell-off of Australia's mineral wealth!" of 2 Apr 09:

... schools discussed the possibility of introducing the Chinese language into their curricula to expand job opportunities for students.

In order to be assured employment in an industry located in Australia that extracts this country's mineral and energy wealth, one will need to learn a foreign language?

Another proposal that has been advanced is that imported Chinese provide the skilled and unskilled labor on large scale infrastructure projects to be built by Chinese owned companies. (See "The Australian proposes apartheid 'solution' to Australia's labour shortage 'crisis'" of 15 May 08/)

With large tracts of Australian land effectively controlled by interests loyal to another country, it would not be difficult to envision these effectively becoming beachheads in advance of the invading force should that threat ever become a reality as smuggling the necesary personnel and weapons inside of them would surely pose little practical difficulty.

If such footholds on Australian soil were to be quickly resupplied by air and sea, how much less insurmountable would be the logisitical difficulties faced by 21st century invaders compared to those faced by the Japanese in 1942?

Could we then hope to be able to defeat an invasion? Would even a government which, unlike the current Government, was loyal to the people of this country, have any choice but to give in to the military and economic blackmail that could then be applied?

It should be pointed out that back in the first half of this century, the task faced by Australia's defence planners was not easy. They could have easily spent so much on defence that the economy would have suffered inordinately.

On the other hand, if they had spent too little for the benefit of the rest of the economy, then the Japanese invasion could well have succeeded.

In the end they arrived at what proved to be the right balance by maintaining a relatively small defence force and defence manufacturing sector (to be able to defend against light raids as they put it), but had, in place, the plans and technological expertise necessary to expand both at the point when the threat of invasion became more substantial.

As explained by Andrew Ross in "Armed and Ready: the industrial development and defence of Australia, 1900-1945", cited in the article, this plan worked very well, causing the Japanese Army to veto the Japanese Navy's invasion plans. In the actual fighting, Australia more than pulled its own weight in the Pacific Theatre (as well as in the Middle East and Europe) as President Truman attested.

However, back then, as today, matters could so easily have turned out very differently.