The Howard doctrine comes home
The World Socialist Website has the goods on today's election in East Timor. It's hard to vote freely in the shadow of a foreigner with a gun. There's been a lot of talk on the left about John Howard's new plan to roll back Aboriginal land rights and incomes, and a demonstration in support of Aboriginal communities will be held in Auckland on Monday.
What most critics of Howard haven't mentioned so far is the similarity between his military intervention in Aboriginal communities and the Anazc interventions in the Solomons and East Timor. There are obvious similarities in the phoney humanitarianism, in the usurpation of local decision-making processes by Canberra's chosen bureaucrats, and in the use of the police and the army to forestall grassroots opposition. Robert Bollard has filled out the picture at leftwrites. The Howard doctrine has come home, and it'll be no more progressive in the Outback than it has been in the Pacific.