Shipment courier

Australian government sends second arms shipment to Ukraine

the Australian The newspaper revealed yesterday that the federal government, fully backed by the opposition Labor Party, is finalizing a ‘deadly’ delivery of aid to Ukraine’s US-backed right-wing government, its military and associated fascist paramilitary forces.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks about the situation in Ukraine during a press conference in Sydney, February 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

The delivery is the second of its kind. The Australian government, supported by the entire political and media establishment, is thus contributing to the influx of arms into Ukraine. The clear goal is to escalate the conflict, which already has the character of a US-NATO proxy war with Russia.

the Australian said the first shipment was flown by Defense C-17 aircraft to Poland, before being flown to Ukraine. Morrison initially indicated that the purchases would take the form of funds sent to NATO. The second shipment, stored from the Australian arsenal, will also be sent to Eastern Europe.

Australia, along with Britain and other American allies, is helping to implement longstanding conflict plans with Russia, aimed at asserting American hegemony over the geostrategically critical Eurasian landmass. Australia is at the heart of the other strand of this strategy, confrontation with China, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese both using the Ukraine crisis to exert maximum pressure on Beijing.

The second shipment was reportedly discussed between Defense and Foreign Affairs officials and Ukrainian Embassy officials last week. The talks were held in secret, with no official summary of their content.

The extent of the aid is not known, but the Australian said it would be bigger than the first arms shipment worth more than $70 million.

the Australian said the package, which must be sent within a fortnight, “will likely contain US-made rifles, ammunition, hand grenades and Javelin anti-armour missiles.” Javelins are advanced missiles to be deployed against Russian tanks and other armored vehicles. During the first fortnight of the conflict, the United States and its allies sent 17,000 anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, and thousands more are on the way.

The speed with which the two packages were put together indicates the ongoing military build-up in Australia itself. In line with the country’s integration into Washington’s anti-China “pivot to Asia” announced in 2011, successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have increased military funding and procurement.

In 2020, the coalition government, with the backing of Labour, announced a plan to increase military spending to $578 billion in this decade. This includes $270 billion for military hardware, including US missiles such as the Javelins.

The shipment is expected to include “several thousand surplus Steyr rifles” from defense force stocks. In particular, the rifles must be given to “civilian combatants and international recruits”.

As documented by the WSWS, Ukraine has become a mecca for right-wing extremists internationally. Thousands of people travel to the country to fight with neo-Nazi groups, such as the Azov Battalion, which is integrated into the Ukrainian military structure.

At the National Press Club on Wednesday, Dennis Richardson, former Secretary of the Department of Defense and former head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), the national spy agency, was asked about the danger of Australian weapons ending up with right-wing extremists.

Richardson, who still plays an important role in defense and security circles, replied: “If there is a risk that along the way weapons will fall into the wrong hands, then so be it.”

The commentary sums up the criminality of the arms trafficking operation. The Government and Labor know they are sending millions of dollars in arms which will help fascist groups. These outfits are openly inspired by Ukrainian World War II Nazi collaborators, who massacred hundreds of thousands of Jews, Poles and Russians.

The prominence of these groups underscores the fraudulent nature of claims of a war for Ukrainian “democracy”. On the contrary, fascist militias must play a central role in long-standing US plans to provoke a Russian invasion of Ukraine and bog down its military in a protracted war.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this month compared the operation favorably to the CIA’s covert war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s. In that conflict, the United States armed , funded and trained Islamists, including al-Qaeda’s predecessors. In Ukraine, the United States uses neo-Nazis as proxies.

Richardson’s comment also has important national implications. Since 2014, an unknown number of Australians have fought in the long-running Ukrainian civil war alongside the government in kyiv and against Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country.

At least one of them has been identified as a member of Australia’s neo-Nazi National Socialist Network. In recent years, ASIO has belatedly recognized that a far-right milieu, fueled by years of official anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agitation, poses a significant terrorist threat.

Other remarks to the press club pointed to Australia’s ruling elite exploiting the Ukraine conflict to escalate confrontation with China. Speaking alongside Richardson, former deputy defense secretary Paul Dibb said Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have become “closest friends” in recent years.

In reality, the Chinese regime responded nervously to the Ukrainian crisis. He fears being drawn into the war. While stressing NATO’s central role in provoking the conflict, Xi’s government did not approve of the Russian invasion.

Despite this, the Coalition and Labor are stepping up their rhetoric. In provocative comments, Morrison denounced Beijing’s “frightening silence” in failing to condemn the Russian invasion. He said Chinese military assistance to the Russian war effort, or assistance to evade massive sanctions imposed by Western powers would be “an abomination”. He warned that Australia would respond by extending its sanctions against Russia, including businessmen, political leaders and industries, to China.

Labor Foreign Secretary Penny Wong immediately endorsed the threat.

Significantly, the statements came on Thursday, the day before a phone call between Xi and US President Joe Biden. According to the reading, in almost identical terms used by Morrison, Biden warned of the “consequences” of Chinese aid for Russia. The twin messaging moment underscores how well Australia is functioning as a deputy sheriff for the United States in the Indo-Pacific region.

While stoking the war, the Australian government and political establishment are stepping up a war on working class social rights at home.

The shipment of military equipment to Ukraine coincides with the flood crisis that has devastated parts of Australia’s east coast over the past three weeks.

The official abandonment of ordinary people was summed up in the town of Lismore in northern New South Wales, where flood victims had to save each other without government help. Now, with thousands homeless, the state government is only sending 120 RVs to the flood-hit region for temporary accommodation.

In other words, the government is quite capable of quickly undertaking a vast logistical undertaking when it comes to weapons for a dirty war waged by the United States. But the workers and young people, overwhelmed by a flood and faced with misery, are left to fend for themselves.