‘Worst Deal in History’

‘Worst Deal in History’: Former Australian PM Slams AUKUS Submarine Purchase

Sputnik International ~ March 16, 2023 // RT News

In a much-discussed appearance before Australia’s National Press Club, the straight-shooting Keating offered an unflinching condemnation of the AUKUS deal, which he described as Australia submitting to American military hegemony.

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating slammed the current government’s plans to purchase nuclear submarines from the US and the UK as “the worst deal in history” in an extensive question-and-answer session at Australia’s National Press Club on Wednesday.

“For $360 billion we’re gonna get eight submarines – the worst deal in history,” Keating said, when asked what the so-called AUKUS deal represents for the country. As to where Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s much-heralded submarine acquisition plan announced earlier this week leaves Australians, Keating was similarly pessimistic.

“Deep doo doo – that’s where it leaves us.”

That’s because, when the deal to purchase eight nuclear-powered Virginia-class submarines from a consortium of US and UK weapons manufacturers goes through, “we’ll get sucked into the American control system,” the former prime minister explained.

And it’s not just the fact that Australia’s sovereignty has “just been peeled away” by the adoption of the pricey US submarines that raised his ire. It’s also the logistics, he said, mocking the idea that a few American subs could protect Australia from the “might of China” as “rubbish.”

“If we were buying Collins-class replacements” – the much-cheaper non-nuclear subs currently employed by the Australian navy – “we’d get at least 40-50 of those submarines… for the same price.”

Given that “no navy has ever done better than having one-third of their boats at sea at any one time,” it’s a no-brainer between choosing whether to have 15 Collins-class subs patrolling the region or just three of the eight Virginia-class submarines slated for purchase, Keating said.

And because the new submarines weigh 8,000 tons – twice the size of the Collins-class – “they’ll be discoverable from space” as well, according to the former prime minister.

There are also serious questions as to whether the new subs are even suited to the country’s defensive needs, he noted.

“A 4,000-ton boat, like the Collins, worked perfectly around the Australian coast, because it was designed to protect Australia,” he said. “It wasn’t designed to sit off the Chinese coast, sinking Chinese submarines. So now we’ve got a big 8,000-ton clunker, and we get three instead of 15.”

Keating, the former head of the Labour Party, went on to lambaste his successors – who he condemned as having made the party’s “worst international decision” since former prime minister Billy Hughes attempted to conscript Australians into World War I – for having allegedly taken the decision to buy the submarines in under a day.

“How could you take a policy which is going to cost this much money,” and “have these consequences for our relations” with both and the domestic industrial base, “in 24 hours?”

“You can only do it if you have no perceptive ability to understand the weight of the decisions you’re being asked to make,” Keating explained in a reference to Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles, Foreign Minister Penny Wong, and the current prime minister.

“Other people would call it incompetence,” he added.

According to Keating, the problem lies in the fact that in Australia, “defense has overtaken foreign policy” and “as a consequence, we’re not using diplomacy.”

“Running around the Pacific Islands with a lei around your neck, handing out money – which is what [Wong] does – is not foreign policy,” he explained.

“Foreign policy is “what you do with the Great Powers – what you do with China [and] what you do with the United States,” Keating noted, adding “this government, the Albanese government, does not employ foreign policy.”

The fact that “they are 12 flying hours from us, we have a continent of our own, a border with no one, no border disputes with them” was “perfect,” he said, but “no, no – we’ve manufactured a problem.”

‘Happy Days Are Here Again,’” ridiculed Keating.

“Don’t let the sleeping dogs lie – and now we’ve given the old dog a kicking,” with the new sub deal, Keating noted.

In reality, “the Chinese have never implied that they would threaten us, or said it explicitly,” because “the only way the Chinese could threaten Australia or attack it is on land – that is, they bring an armada of troop ships, with a massive army, to occupy us,” per Keating.

“This is not possible for the Chinese to do,” because the “armada” needed to do so would “need to come… 8,000 kilometers [from] Shanghai and Brisbane – in which case, we would just sink them all,” Keating pointed out.

The truth, the former Australian prime minister explained, is that “China has committed, in the eyes of the United States, the great sin of internationalism.”

“And what is that sin? to develop an economy as big as the United States. That’s the sin. They’ve got as big as the US.”

“The Americans will never condone or accept a state as large as them,” Keating said, noting that the US government “would have preferred [China] remain in poverty – 20 percent of humanity – forever.”

When the American ruling class sees “an industrial economy larger than the United States,” they consider it “an affront,” per Keating.

“This is what this is about – this is about the maintenance of US strategic hegemony in Asia.”

Despite the fact that “there’s no US in Asia,” Keating explains, the Americans “claim to be, and wish to be, the primary strategic power in Asia.”

“So what are the Chinese supposed to say to that? ‘oh, that’s okay.’”

‘We’ve been here 4,000 years. We’ve been subjugated by every bugger known to man. We’ve developed a decent economy, a decent standard of living, shelter, accommodation, education. That’s our sin, is it? That’s our sin?”

“What Anthony Albanese has done this week,” according to Keating, is “screwed into place the last shackle in the long chain which the Americans have laid out to contain china.” This means “we are now part of a containment policy against China,” he said.
Keating went on to deride a photo-op Monday celebrating the AUKUS deal, at which Albanese stood alongside US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in San Diego, California, as a “kabuki show.”

“There’s three leaders standing there, only one is paying – our bloke.”

“The other two, you know, they’ve got the band playing, ‘Happy Days Are Here Again,’” ridiculed Keating.

“They’ve got the American president, who can hardly put three coherent sentences together – you know, he was happy about it all.” And “Rishi couldn’t believe we’re going to pass across $380 billion over time to British Aircraft, BAE Systems, a British company, to build these things – and to the American submarine companies – and we have to build the bases here.”

Having “destroyed their place in Europe” via Brexit, the UK government now finds itself in the position of having to “put together Global Britain,” he said. “So, they’re looking around for suckers.”

“And they’ve found, ‘ooh, here’s a bunch of accommodating people in Australia,’” mocked Keating.

“‘An accommodating prime minister, a conservative defense minister, a risk-averse foreign minister – let’s put a proposition to them,’” he said, rubbing his hands together in faux excitement.

“So here we are, 230 years after we left Britain, we are returning to Cornwall – and now Rishi Sunak, for god’s sake, Rishi Sunak – for Australia to find security in Asia,” Keating summarized. “I mean, how deeply pathetic is that.”

Now, Keating said, Australian strategic thinking has been overridden by “the spooks in Canberra” and is “dancing to the tune of ASPI, which is this pro-American cell run by a former private secretary to a liberal minister,” in a reference to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

In a little-discussed aside which has largely gone ignored by Western media, Keating noted that the French government has “offered the Australian government a new deal on the submarines,” which would involve the “new french nuclear submarine, the newest one in the world – 5% only enriched uranium, not 95 [percent], weapons grade – delivery firm date 2034, fixed prices.”

But “no response have the French had to that,” Keating lamented. Instead, “here we are, in Asia, going back to Britain, after they’ve dumped us, completely dumped us, all throughout the 20th century.”

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“But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel,” saith the LORD the God of hosts; “and they shall afflict you from the entrance of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.” Amos 6:14

“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!” Isaiah 28:1

And I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning for an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. Amos 8:10

~ by Joel Huan on March 18, 2023.

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