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With Friends Like These (Who Needs Allies?)

Gough Whitlam conceding election defeat, 1975

By Greg Maybury

(Editors note: This is part of the Maybury’s article from his poxamerikana.com)

‘[For us] it is one thing to remain a good friend, but too close an embrace will lead Americans and others to resurrect the “deputy sheriff” tag. The Americans have always put their own interests first and will continue to do so; we should follow their example. American interests will not always be the same as Australian and vice versa. The bottom line, however, is the domestic political one. Australians are afraid of the outside world and convinced of their inability to cope with it. Any Australian government which suggested that we do without a great and powerful friend to look after us would have to consider the electoral implications.’ Source: Cavan Hogue — fmr. Ambassador and Dep. Permanent Representative when Australia was last on the UN Security Council. He has also served as head of mission in Mexico, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow and Bangkok, along with other posts. He is an Adjunct Professor in International Communication at Macquarie University, Sydney.

When it comes to my country Australia, to the extent that less worldly Americans might think about it, amongst the first things likely to come to mind are kangaroos, convicts, koala bears, and Crocodile Dundee. Far beyond just broadening folks’ geographical awareness and cultural horizons, the following should provide a deeper appreciation of how our past history has fatefully intertwined with that of their own country. In so many cases this shared past has been to our detriment, our involvement in Korea, Vietnam for example, with AfghanistanIraqSyria, and Yemen being more recent notable examples.

As we’ll see such “detriment” includes one momentous and consequential CIA-inspired gambit in 1975 that culminated in the ousting of our then duly elected prime minister (PM).

In short, it was a coup d’état, the hammer in the U.S. foreign policy toolbox, the resort to which being a recurring theme in the Washington playbook. In a recent interview with the Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, renowned author and historian Alfred McCoy touched on this very subject. McCoy was speaking with Scahill to promote his forthcoming book In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Powerthe title itself suggesting that it’s this “playbook” which has contributed significantly to the titular “decline”Citing numerous examples, McCoy went on to say that,

‘all around the globe…any time that there was a serious electoral contest in which the outcome was critical to our geopolitical interests, the U.S. was intervening.’ [Emphasis added.]

With the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election now a self-replicating meme, the profound irony of McCoy’s statement should not be lost on anyone! In a recent piece I also examined Uncle Sam’s decades-long penchant for coups and colour revolutions. Perhaps the least known ‘beneficiaries’ though of America’s well-documented regime renovation gambits involves Australia.

As with the Iranian coup of 1953, ably backed up on this occasion by British intelligence in the form of MI6, the CIA had their not always plausibly deniable prints all over the 1975 Constitutional Crisis that triggered the dismissal – the firing in effect — by the then Governor-General Sir John Kerr, of PM Gough Whitlam and his government. As it turns out, the history of the CIA’s clandestine involvement in Australian politics is a story that is well documented. But like so many of these things often are, it is a history that is far from familiar even to most Australians, let alone Americans. And insofar as the dismissal of Whitlam went, this was one of these situations where the indelible Henry Kissinger maxim prevailed:

I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the [Maybury’s Note: insert name of offending country here] voters to be left to decide for themselves.

Few would argue that Australia was experiencing a “serious electoral contest” at the time of this crisis, and it was one that certainly qualified as “critical” to U.S. “geopolitical interests”. In succumbing to its interventionist impulses however, whether America was justified in the covert actions it took is an entirely different matter. The track record in so many other countries would lead most to suggest it wasn’t. As Australia’s own dissident elder statesman and renowned filmmaker and investigative journalist John Pilger noted in a piece he wrote in 2014 eulogising on the death of Whitlam at age 94, Kerr was not just the “Queen’s man” in Australia; prior to being appointed as Australia’s head of state, he had “long standing ties” to both Britain’s MI6 and the CIA. Whitlam, who assumed power in 1972 after twenty-three years of conservative rule by a coalition of the Liberal and then Country (now National) parties, tellingly a ruling clique increasingly viewed by many as too subservient to Washington, believed that a foreign power shouldn’t control his country’s resources or dictate its economic, military and foreign policies.

Even though he’d visited China the previous year in his capacity as opposition leader, the eventual aim to both recognize that country and open up diplomatic relations once in office, Whitlam was hardly a card-carrying, left-wing radical. Yet the freshly minted Aussie PM was treated at first by many in and across the Washington establishment with no small measure of suspicion, paranoia, and later, by outright contempt and animosity. This tellingly extended to the palace intriguer nonpareil and then resident coup-meister du jour Henry Kissinger, along with his boss the estimable U.S. president Richard Milhous Nixon, a man with “suspicion”, “paranoia”, “contempt”, and “animosity” to spare.

Yet in seeking an entente of sorts with China, the political visionary Whitlam wasn’t just ahead of his time; he was way ahead of both of these folks in playing the Great Game as it was beginning to unfold then in Asia. As history tells it, less than twelve months later both Kissinger and “Tricky” were making a beeline to Beijing to do same, the media breathlessly announcing Nixon’s impending trip during Whitlam’s visit.

To the best of this writer’s knowledge, there’s no record of either Nixon or his Grand Vizier publicly acknowledging Whitlam’s history-making diplomatic initiative and geopolitical meister stroke. It seems safe to say then that these much-touted masters of international diplomacy and consummate practitioners of realpolitik would’ve been less than happy that a political neophyte from Down Under of all places – not even yet in high office — had shown them both a clean pair of heels on both counts!


Photo credit: National Archives of Australia


  1. Within the Australian psyche is the shadow or a continent taken by criminal means that now has become a corporation owned by America, politically and economically, the attempt to gain some respect a attempt to gloss over the inferiority within by philosophic statements such as mate ship is but a thin veneer of our insecurity, the Whitlam saga 1975, showed who owned Australia, the Australian Constitution, for all said and done has little value to the Australian man in the street and may even be a encumbrance to our freedom, the vision of the future for Australians is whether gays can marry? surely what Australia needs is its autonomy? if we are to be owned by foreign interests we need to hear this from our politicians? that is if we are indentured, at least we need to know that we are owned and voting is a sham and as we have recently heard is how much Chinese money flows into our political party, our next economic achievement in employment is to be servants of the Chinese, or tea boys to our new masters.
    The opening lines of this letter states “When it comes to my country” as this article continues it is anything but our country, when we go through the naturalization ceremony to take a oath of allegiance to Australia and leaves out, and allegiance to foreign powers the true owners of Australia.

  2. Thank you Greg, for this well written piece of Australian history that most Australians, do not know about and many of them that do, deny such happenings.

    I know this article to be a true recording, as I lived through this period.

    Gough Whitlam was the only Australian Prime Minister since John Curtin to the present day, who was a real leader on behalf of Australia and Australians. Of course I am speaking of my lifetime experience.

    As I have mentioned before, every Australian prime minister from John Howard onwards is a war criminal and should be charged as such.

      • Willing membership of the club brings many benefits. Trump is learning what happens to outsiders who rise above their assigned station. On a smaller scale the same could be said for Pauline Hanson. Obviously, mere massive wealth isn’t the full story here. Its more about ownership.

  3. At 21 years of age, my first vote went to Whitlam. I was then, and still consider myself a Patriotic Australian. I felt at the time that things had to change, based mostly because I felt Vietnam was wrong, even though the Aussie commitment in Vietnam was being wound down, but really because I felt that no government had any right to inflict on any young man the ‘lottery of death’ by imposing conscription that the majority did not want imposed.

    Looking back over those years I have no doubt whatsoever that the Globalists via their American tools – The Deep State – influenced in some aspect the dismissal of the Whitlam government that still had around two years to run before that government would have had to call a general election.

    In hindsight, Whitlam would in all probability have lost the next election anyway because the Nation at that time had become truly divided concerning how he was governing. At times it was almost ad hoc with policy on the run. There was a sense of urgency in what they were doing, but no explanation forthcoming as to why the government felt the need for urgency.

    And then there was the Kamlani affair where the government tried to raise outside finances to keep afloat and stay in government – that little fiasco went over like the proverbial lead balloon with the public.

    Whitlam pre-empted the Globalist agenda by opening diplomatic channels with Communist China. I can only imagine how many Globalist heads exploded after that move had been made by an Aussie upstart! No wonder they then pulled out all stops to move their agenda forward by having Nixon visit China soon after Whitlam’s Globalist coup – pity though it didn’t up being the Globalists coup de gras! Now that would have been something to behold!

  4. Have been watching NITV’s direct cover of Garma Festival.
    Gulkula Arnhem Land-an education even for the educated.

  5. It seems rather odd,that in all the wrttings regarding Whitlam and the CIA coup against him, there is never any mention of the work Whitlam conducted in trying to get an agreement in writting from Nixon, regarding the U.S. coming to the aid of Australia, should it ever be attracked from outside. Despite the constant pressure from Whitlam and his foriegn minister over an extended period, Nixon constantly refused, point blank to meet with Whitlam, or even discuss the issue.
    For journalists to then turn around and claim it was Communism that prevented a proper relationship flies in the face of these facts. After all, the best way to settle any such matter, would be a face to face meeting and discussion to resolve the issue.
    Nixon denied our P.M. this right.
    Now, notice I’ve said Whitlam busted his gut, trying to acheive an agreement in writting ? To this very day, NO SUCH AGREEMENT EXISTS, yet Australians all seem to be under the impression the U.S. will race to our aid should we ever be threatened. I’d love to know, from where they get such a stupid idea or belief, it certainly has not come from the U.S. Government who is infamously on record, as stating, “We do not have friends, only INTERESTS.”
    Australians need to understand this clearly.

  6. Does anyone recall Whitlam wanting to: “buy back the farm”?
    Rex Connor tried to find the money to purcase it and was sabotaged by the Kemlani (sp?) affair subjected to a salivating mass media.
    The msm is for the intersts of whom?

  7. Greg thank you .
    72 was probably the last free fair election for the people by the
    voters here . Then look at how brief equality ended in 75 .
    British dominance was enhanced by European influence , via
    controlled migration (as opposed to global mass migration we are witnessing today) that occurred mainly in the 50’s 60’s and
    early seventies . You can see their landmark achievements all over this big country . From the farm (producing all our fruit and
    vegetables locally) to the great projects like the Snowy Mountains Scheme , the roads highways and sound construction of houses and buildings . We even manufactured
    95% of vehicles driven here and had a shipbuilding industry .
    Plus all the associated small businesses that made it all happen. In ’75 a skilled worker made $400 a week . A house in metro Sydney cost $40,000 and a new kingswood $4,000 .
    At those numbers you didn’t mind paying the banksters interest.
    It was Australia’s golden era and we had the highest standard of living in the world . We were happy because we lived by good
    Christian morals .

    When Whitlam came to power he celebrated his win from his modest home in Cabramatta . Such a contrast to our present
    multi-millionaire Point Piper Malcolm who has refused to live in
    Kirribili house (the abode of all PM’s till now) .
    The dominant middle class , that was here up till 2001 , has been decimated by globalism in these past 16 years . Because our elite fear equality . But this maybe their undoing , because by inviting the global mafias of the communist parties worldwide
    and the slave workers they bring to clean service and build the flat packs , inequality and chaos may expose them by surprise .
    This nation has been tranceformed from Christianity to paganism . 1 million (plus interest) for a small apartment on 800 bucks a week if you’re lucky to have a job .

    • So true 56, Sam Dastyari on Chinese payment of his debts, on TV, ABC,5th August, its not this incident as much as the infiltration of most likely hot money entering Australia, and also politics, this money which is considerable is not just a free meal it is to oil the works for favors regarding projects in Australia and to gain political power here, the infiltration is and was a great ploy not just for Australia that is to lower wages here and in getting cheap labor China made money on consumer products and creating and contributing to a materialist society departing from quality control, and pride and value of making products here, although cheaper products arrived at the same time loss of money in Australia in taxation and money in the economy.
      The Chinese and Russians were clever in seeing weaknesses within the Imperialist capitalist system, meaning institutes such as Tavistock and the elite financial system not only ruled overseas in particular when Britain and others were expanding the Empire by technology superiority as a advanced technological culture but also the divide and rule applied at home, meaning the elite ruled and created a sub class of inequality, China and Russia had a dose of colonial oppression, both countries had a score to settle, how could these two countries see a weakness within the capitalist system? one they saw how corruption worked and could control the Western Alliance not by a direct attack upon capitalism but to control those in power by money.
      The liberalism of the West had departed from any moral ideology, except within some parts of the class system, organizations such as Tavistock and banking required a erosion of morality as money can be made more profitable with a immoral society, this created a society that became fatigued and open to being more manipulated.
      This is where communism and capitalism meets, both systems require a elite to direct and control people, both need a servile society, one controls the masses by economic control, as you can see the wealth of the rich having increased substantially and for most wages having declined within capitalism, communism creates control by a ruling elite who control the masses through the correct rules of the communistic manifesto, instead of the manifesto of the Bible.
      Both systems require their society to be incapacitated, to promote the saving of the public against injustice and economic burden and so on, the public having little awareness that the lobbyists control the politicians, overall the general public having believed that they have choices, now docile enough having no answers to situations such as the Australian demise of its leader 1975.
      And so we await Mary Maxwell to guide us through our crises? unfortunately she now has to save America and tread carefully to save Trump, having got off from the sinking ship of Australia with the realization that we are the ship having lost its rudder and Australia in danger if war breaks out with America, China and possible Russia, and our only saviour being China with enough property here that China now has to now protect her territory.

      • Now China has to protect her property! (In Australia)
        Now, who sold Australian property to the Chinese to cause them to come claim it?
        Like Darwin Harbour or our agricultue land and companies
        Have we idiots in Canberra or traitors?

      • Don, first of all what did we say about sentences with more than 100 words? Also, do you recall typewriters? Where you hit the Return button to start a new line? Well, you keyboard has such a button. If u hit it twice it makes a drop between paragraphs, OK?

        Second, I am not treading carefully re Trump. I want to protect the presidency as such. I honestly can’t read the man. I criticize him at all meetings re his strike (was it really his?) against Syria. You see, I have to “own” that strike. What the US does is done by me. That is how literally I take the phrase “the sovereign people.”

        Poor Syria, but we’ll be next — because the personages running the world are out of their cotton-pickin’.

        Anyway, the US will become more “Latin” and Oz will one day speak Chinese, such is the power of fertility. I say don’t worry about color or accent, find a way to live that does not involve worshipping the oppressor.

        Don, you a Brit will be amazed to hear that at an Alabama meeting someone came up to me and said “There’s no hope for Australia because they took the guns away.” I must say the only time I have seen a “No concealed weapons please” sign here was at a City Council meeting in Birmingham. (All right, I lied – it didn’t say “please” but it meant please.)

        I do not conceal my weapons. They are on the shelf on the library. By the way Montgomery Public Library holds a copy of my FRAUD UPON THE COURT, while my own law school in Oz won’t have a bar of it. And now that I am casting blame, University of Adelaide rejected a copy of my Prosecution for Treason because of what I said on page182 about Diggers being trained naked.

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