Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:33 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 08 Apr 2020 | 23:33 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: We cannot eat weapons


Rory Medcalf


14 May 2009 16:40

Greg replies to my post on what I liked about the Defence White Paper (my comment follows):

On what basis can an expansion of offensive capacity can be defended by a truly objective analysis? We are facing an ecological catastrophe — the scientific evidence is unequivocal. We cannot pretend that arming ourselves with extra billions in weaponry is a sane response to the actual and present threats posed by an economy that does not recognise natural limits to exploitation and consumption.

The immediate beneficiaries from 100 F35s purchased for our Air Force are shareholders in Lockheed Martin. Why do we need submarines capable of inflicting death from a distance of 2,500 km — cannot others inflict death in Australia on a massive scale from twice that distance if they so choose? An arms race cannot be called by any other name, when that is what it is. We do not eat weapons, or build houses from them, or use them to respond to the immediate climate crisis but that is what this arrogant Defence White Paper appears to assume.

I am responding as a concerned forester with a profound sense of the ecological debt that Australians must repay carefully, persistently and wilfully. Such flagrant and violent intentions as proposed by the acquisitions of new killing technology are completely incompatible with real threats and real work to be done 'in our region'.

Just as I suspect that Hugh White’s A Focused Force may have inadvertently done Defence White Paper author Mike Pezzullo a favour by outflanking him on the Right, I am delighted to find Greg well and truly outflanking me on the Left.