At the beginning of this month, it was announced that Australia’s former PM Julia Gillard was appointed as a non-resident Senior Fellow with the US think-tank, the Brookings Institute.
This appointment is more significant than is recognised.
Julia Gillard was an extremely pro-US Prime Minister, and in fact, it is because of this that she had been installed in the position. The 2010 coup that deposed Kevin Rudd had been orchestrated as we know, by the key factional powerbrokers of the Labor party, one of them being former Senator Mark Arbib.
In 2010, Wikileaks cables exposed Arbib to have been a US embassy informant from as far back as 2004. The US embassy cables noted his status as a ‘kingmaker’ within the ALP and revealed that he met with them “repeatedly.” They lauded him as a strong supporter of the US-Australia alliance.
Further cables leaked by Wikileaks focusing on Gillard also reveal the US embassy’s delight at her heavily pro-US and pro-Israel stance.
They also remarked with admiration how Gillard had consistently “gone out of her way to assist the embassy.”
During her time as Prime Minister, Julia Gillard was instrumental in strengthening Australia’s alliance with the US in many ways, but particularly by throwing passionate support behind their plan to establish a US military base in Darwin. This move was of vital strategic significance to US, not only for expanding their imperialism and military power, but also for their new foreign policy program, the ‘pivot to Asia’, particularly designed to provoke and contain the rise of China.
As such, this prestigious appointment is a reward to Gillard from the US. And what a fitting reward it is.
Because the Brookings Institute, which claims and is portrayed to be ‘independent’, is anything but.
A recent analysis conducted by the Public Accountability Initiative highlights the staunch pro-US war leanings of the Brookings Institute. Their report found that the Brookings Institute is one of the most cited in US publications in terms of think-tanks with US defence industry ties.
The report also found that in articles about Syria, specifically focusing on US military intervention into Syria, experts from the Brookings Institute were cited more than any other think-tank.
Additionally, the report highlighted how the supposedly “independent” Brookings Institute receives millions of dollars in funding from the US defence industry. This includes $1-2.5 million from Booze Allen Hamilton, and $50,000 to $100,000 from Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Palantir Technologies. Furthermore, the Executive Education’s Advisory Council Chair of the Brookings Institute is a Vice President and Senior Fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton.
So, why is any of this important? Although we have always known how supportive Gillard was of the US, this confirms it.
That the US considered our former PM to be of such importance to them that they have employed her to continue to work for them is extremely significant.
It also answers a question I have pondered for a while now: was Gillard pro-US so she could be PM, or was she PM so she could be pro-US.
With Australia’s satellite-state status, for politicians to rise in the ranks of major parties it is a requirement for them to at least pretend to be vehement supporters of the US.
But Gillard’s appointment reveals her true allegiance; she was Prime Minister for the US through and through.