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July 25th 2013 print

Philippa Martyr

The case for war with PNG

Given the cost of supporting the mess of a nation on our doorstep, why not go in with guns blazing, wipe the slate clean and start again from scratch?


So, we pay once to prop up the PNG economy. Then we pay twice by sending aid. Then we pay three times by trying to make up for all the stolen aid. Then we pay four times by building an Australian colony there for unlawful economic migrants.


Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more fun to go to war with Papua New Guinea, annex the place as a colony, and start again from there? More to the point, was this really Bob Carr’s secret plan as Foreign Minister – a sort of human Zimmermann Telegram?

I can see many advantages to this forward-thinking foreign policy program: 

  • tremendous economic stimulus across all sectors
  • nation-building: nothing unites like a common enemy, and for once it isn’t Tony Abbott
  • probably workable as a bipartisan approach
  • huge nostalgia kick for tiresome-but-youthful lefties, who can have their own moratorium experience, go to demos, and talk about it for the rest of their lives, thus distracting them from other issues, e.g. the economy
  • huge nostalgia kick for tiresome-but-youthful fogeys, who will dig for Victory and go round collecting scrap iron, thus distracting them from other issues, e.g. the economy
  • Australian Defence Forces get a workout at last
  • plenty of opportunities for heroism on our own doorstep
  • hopefully rapid conclusion of hostilities and profitable peace treaty
  • international condemnation at United Nations by freedom-loving Sudan, Libya, Kaputistan, etc.

Possible disadvantages to this forward-thinking foreign policy program include:

  • Kevin Rudd thinking he’s Robert Menzies on the wireless
  • influx of PNG population to Queensland as entire country is turned into refugee camp for Islamic economic migrants
  • never start a land war in Asia (cf. The Princess Bride)
  • international condemnation by China = sanctions = we’re screwed

Still, as Gavrilo Princip said to his mum before chasing an archduke’s motorcade about Sarajevo, it’s worth a shot.

Philippa Martyr blogs at Transverse City, a sabre-rattling, jingoistic kind of place.