Date: Sat, 25 Sep 1999 00:16:54 -0500 (CDT)
From: email@example.com (mslee)
Subject: Howard Doctrine: Resurrection of White Man's Burden
Media Statement: Howard Doctrine: Resurrection of White Man's Burden
By Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP
Secretary-General, Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya
Howard Doctrine for Australia to be the United States' deputy
international policeman for Asia [is] an arrogant resurrection of "White
Man's Burden" to save mankind, highly offensive to Asians and will
cause the greatest damage to Asian-Australian relations since the
White Australian Policy which was abolished in the sixties
The Howard Doctrine enunciated by the Australian Prime Minister, John
Howard to upgrade its defence forces and embrace a new role as the
United States' peacekeeping "deputy" in Asia is an arrogant
resurrection of "White Man's Burden" to save mankind, highly
offensive to Asians and will cause the greatest damage to
Asian-Australian relations since the White Australian Policy was
abolished in the sixties.
It is also completely incompatible with the trend for the
internationalisation of peacekeeping roles under the auspices of the
United Nations rather than under any Big Brother, Superpower or
self-appointed international policeman.
Asia does not recognise the United States as the chief international
policeman in Asia and the question of Australia arrogating to itself
the role as United States' deputy international policeman for Asia is
not only the height of arrogance but completely misplaced and
unwelcome to Asians.
Howard has drawn the wrong conclusion from Australia's peacekeeping
role in East Timor. Australia is heading the International Force for
East Timor (Interfet) not because it was delegated by the United
States but as a result of the decisions of the United Nations Security
Council and the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The Howard Doctrine smacks of a resurrection of "White Man's Burden"
to save humanity, especially when Howard claimed that Australia "has
a particular responsibility to do things above and beyond in this
part of the world" as America's "deputy" in the region.
Howard said: "We have been seen by countries, not only in the region
but around the world, as being able to do something that probably no
other country could do, because of the special characteristics we
have, because we occupy that special place -- we are a European,
Western civilization with strong links with North America, but here we
are in Asia."
Howard also said that Australia planned to be a "participant on our
own terms" in Asia and would spend less time worrying about fitting
in as Australian foreign policy had "spent too much time fretting
about whether we were in Asia, or part of Asia, or whatever. We
should be ourselves in Asia."
If Australia wants to be part of Asia, closer to Asian countries and
play a greater role in Asian affairs, then it should forget about the
Howard Doctrine as Asians do not want any form of resurrection of
"White Manís Burden"; as the task to save mankind is not just the
responsibility of white men but peoples of all colours.
Australia must prove that it is not going to be an agent of the United
States but would be a modest and responsible international team
player in the new international search for the internationalisation
of peace-keeping roles in trouble spots, whether in Asia or other
parts of the world.
Australia is not welcome as a deputy, delegate or proxy of the United
States which fancies itself as the international policeman, but only
as a member of an international peacekeeping process decided not by
the United States but by the international community in the United
By enunciating the arrogant and conceited Howard Doctrine, John Howard
would have done more than any previous Australian Prime Minister to
damage Australia's relations with Asia since the White Australia
immigration policy which was abolished in the sixties.