This has been going on for a bit and I missed the headlines in US papers and haven’t been as diligent as I should be reading blogs from down under (up to them). July 22:
The first contingent of the biggest Australian force deployed in the Pacific since World War II left yesterday for a dangerous and uncertain mission in the Solomon Islands.
I’ll be the first to say that I don’t understand all the issues. Here is a bit of background:
The UK established a protectorate over the Solomon Islands in the 1890s. Some of the most bitter fighting of World War II occurred on these islands. Self-government was achieved in 1976 and independence two years later. Ethnic violence, government malfeasance, and endemic crime have undermined stability and civil society.���
It does, though, look like the Australian govm’t has been taking lessons from the bushies and learning them well. First, from Rob Schap on preemption:
It’s all there then. The raising of the possibility of terrorist bases later as justification for invasion now, and the implication that those brownish people just can’t be trusted to look after themselves.
Rob’s post provides some background on the invasion of the Solomon’s.
Second, lets get rid of their weapons:
Past firearms amnesties have had very limited success, but there are hopes the planned dispatch in mid-August of about 100 additional police will persuade more people to surrender weapons.
Ben McDevitt, a senior Australian Federal Police officer, said the extra officers would have special training and technical back-up to track down weapons.
Let’s see if midnight raids and body searches become part of the repertoire as well.
They have a lesson for the bushies as well: Why worry about a ‘coalition of the willing’ just do it.
Another consideration: perhaps the Australians have a mutual defence treaty with the dolphins and are coming to their defense:
The arrival of the force will complicate another issue which has been generating rising tensions – the export of dolphins from the Solomons to Mexico.