Fair-Weather Friends
June 18, 2003 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Coalition of the willing (if they know what's good for them). A decent little collection of articles about one of the most shameful events in Australian political history: the Whitlam dismissal. From an article that begins with a quote from former CIA agent Victor Marchetti: "Australia is going to be increasingly important to the United States, and so long as Australians keep electing the right people then there'll be a stable relationship between the two countries." to an interview with Christopher Boyce, whose experiences and actions were recounted in the book The Falcon and the Snowman and in the later John Schlesinger film of the same name. Attach some platitude about the virtues of friendship.
posted by chrisgregory (2 comments total)
This is a great post, and a fascinating topic for me - I've always believed lessons could be drawn for Britain from the Whitlam dismissal. This was a textbook case of subversion of democracy in a developed, Western nation. (And on similar lines, I recommedn A Very British Coup ... )
posted by plep at 10:19 AM on June 18, 2003

I didn't think that I should bring it up on the front page, but there's probably an awful lot there for the average yank to digest.

Let's simplify things a bit: the CIA did its best to bring down a frustrating left-leaning government that it didn't feel was fully supporting US interests sometime in the 1970's. We're not talking Chile, or some other non-English speaking country: this was the democratically elected Whitlam Government in Australia.

The CIA was actively involved in bringing down a democratically elected Australian government, while two of my uncles fought and died for the US in Vietnam. Why were Australians fighting in Vietnam in the first place? We thought we were there to support our American friends. More fool us.

But at the same time the CIA was working to bring down the Whitlam government, because Whitlam was seen as a threat to US interests....

Damn you all to Hell, Charlton Heston style.
posted by chrisgregory at 12:33 PM on June 18, 2003

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