The US imperialists are placing a further squeeze on their compliant puppets in Canberra.
Not satisfied with the “offer” for US marines outside Darwin, and the promise of access to the Stirling Naval Base outside of Perth, they are nosing around the Indian Ocean territory of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
The islands were annexed by the British in 1857 and transferred to Australian control on 23 November 1955 under the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Act 1955 (an Australian Act) pursuant to the Cocos Islands Act, 1955 (a UK Act).
The islands are strategically placed and were the subject of inter-imperialist rivalry in both World Wars.
Today, they are tourist destinations, with pristine shallow waters around two atolls, with some 24 islets. There are no rivers or lakes, and fresh water is drawn from natural underground storage of rainwater.
U.S. and Australian officials said the atoll could be an ideal site not only for manned U.S. surveillance aircraft but for Global Hawks, an unarmed, high-altitude surveillance drone. The U.S. Navy is developing a newer version of the Global Hawk, known as the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance drone, or BAMS, that is scheduled to become operational in 2015. Aircraft based in the Cocos would be well-positioned to launch spy flights over the South China Sea.
That this is an imperialist attempt to circle and contain China is quite obvious.
Like the naval base proposed for Korea’s Jeju Island (conveniently omitted from the map below), it is tantamount to setting up camp on your neighbour’s doorstep and then accusing him of threatening you.
There will be no consultation with the people of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. But they have an interesting demographic which may not welcome being taken over for aggressive US military purposes.
In 2010, the population of the islands is estimated at just over 600. The population on the two inhabited islands generally is split between the ethnic Europeans on West Island (estimated population 100) and the ethnic Malays on Home Island (estimated population 500). A Cocos dialect of Malay and English are the main languages spoken, and 80% of Cocos Islanders are Sunni Muslim.
The US imperialists are hell-bent on controlling the South China Sea and are making the Chinese out to be the baddies.
For domestic consumption, the Washington Post frames the latest development in these terms: “Although U.S. officials say the regional pivot is not aimed at any single country, analysts said it is a clear response to a rising China, whose growing military strength and assertive territorial claims have pushed other Asian nations to reach out to Washington”.
Look at the map again to see a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
It is the US imperialists who are making assertive claims on Australian (and other) territory to advance the interests of the Empire.
Keep the Cocos clean!
US imperialists out!