You’d think that “invade Australia” wouldn’t be high on the list of things for the U.S. military to do. After all, while vegemite can be bad, it’s not that bad. Yet, on her Daily Wire TV show entitled Candace, political commentator Candace Owens actually asked, “When do we deploy troops to Australia? When do we invade Australia and free an oppressed people who are suffering under a totalitarian regime? When do we spend trillions of dollars to spread democracy in Australia?”
It’s not as if someone found weapons of mass destruction in Australia unless you consider Chris Hemsworth’s biceps to be within that category. No, as you can see in the following clip from the Candace episode, Owens was somehow equating Australia’s Covid-19 precautions to a totalitarian regime:
Yes, Owens was comparing public health measures aimed at preventing suffering and saving lives to oppression. Throughout much of the pandemic, Australia has pursued a “Covid zero” policy, which has meant trying to keep the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths as close to zero as possible. They’ve done this through closing borders, extensive testing, contact tracing whenever a case is identified in order to quickly find and quarantine any possible contacts, and stay-at-home orders when the number of cases have exceeded certain thresholds. They’ve certainly been more aggressive than the U.S., which has in effect had a “Covid 44 million” policy. As of October 22, Australia has had a total of 151,943 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 1,590 deaths compared to 44,940,696 and 726,846 for the U.S. Yes, the U.S. has had about 726 times the number of deaths despite having a population only about 12 times the population of Australia.
Nevertheless, Owens claimed that “What is happening in Australia under the guise of this virus is federal overreach.”
She didn’t stop there. Owens went on to use the “T” words. No, not “tinkle” and “toilet.” Instead, she labeled what’s happening in Australia as, “Tyranny. Totalitarianism. The kind that gives birth to evil dictatorships and human atrocity.”
Then she started to name drop: “We are watching a replay of the early ambitions of Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez. That is what’s hiding behind the guise of this fictitious, perpetual need to slow the spread.”
Whoa. Those aren’t names that you casually drop into any conversation. For example, you don’t just say, “the other day, you were behaving a little like Stalin, Hitler, Castro, and Chavez when you ate that pecan pie that I had saved.”
In case you are wondering about the way things are run Down Under, Australia has actually ranked higher that the U.S. on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, qualifying as a “full democracy” as opposed to the U.S. being closer to a “flawed democracy.” Moreover, Australia’s six federated states (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia) and ten federal territories have been independently deciding how to handle the pandemic. They’ve simply come up with similar policies because that’s what science has suggested.
Ironically, Owens suggested invading Australia when most states in Australia have been easing Covid-19 precautions as Covid-19 vaccination rates have moved above target thresholds. Even though Australia began rolling out vaccines significantly later than the U.S., they have already exceeded the U.S.’s vaccination rates. Over 72% of the currently eligible population (those 16 years and older) have already been fully vaccinated, according to the Sydney Morning Herald Covid-19 vaccine tracker.
So on the one hand, fewer restriction may make it easier to invade Australia. In November Australia will be re-opening their international borders for Australian citizens and permanent residents, as Colin Packham and Jamie Freed reported for Reuters. More open borders may make it easier for U.S. troops to invade, although they may have to put “invade Australia” on their landing cards. Plus, tanks and other artillery can be tough to get through customs.
On the other hand, U.S. troops may be too late to “free” Australians as the Aussies have been progressively “freeing themselves.” It might be awkward for the U.S. troops to have to ask Australians to go into lockdown just so that they can be freed. Moreover, troops would have to convince Australians that they are being oppressed. According to 2021 Lowry Institute Poll, 95% of Australian adults felt that Australia has handled Covid-19 “very well” or “fairly well” so far. They were very favorable about Taiwan’s handling of the pandemic as well. By contrast, 0% of Australians polled said that the United States has handled Covid-19 very well. In fact, 92% indicated that the U.S. has handled the pandemic very or fairly badly.
This wasn’t the first time that Owens has looked down under to make some political points. Back on October 7, she tweeted the following:
Yeah, sending troops into a country completely unprovoked could lead to World War 3. Calling measures to protect against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) a war on the people is a bit like calling waxing sessions carpet bombing people.
As you can see from the above and below, Owens got responses from folks who said that they, you know, actually live in Australia:
If you want to hear about what’s going down in Australia, talk to a bunch of actual Australians rather than someone who is talking about Australians.
Owens wasn’t the only politically-oriented person to claim that Australians needed saving. On October 13, Senator Ted Crux (R-Texas and not Australia) tweeted out the following about the Australia: “The Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful & sad. Individual liberty matters. I stand with the people of #Australia.”
This prompted the following tweet response from Michael Gunner, chief minister of Australia’s Northern Territory:
As you can see, Gunner pointed out the nearly 70,000 deaths from Coivid-19 in Texas so far, which seemed to suggest that Cruz should pay more attention to his own state. .
Mark Bailey, a member of the Queensland Parliament, had a similar Twitter response to Cruz:
It’s highly unlikely that the U.S. military will heed Owens’ advice. And Australia is probably more worried about a SARS-CoV-2 invasion right now. They have been taking the science-based steps of keeping the virus under control and minimizing suffering and deaths until enough of the population is fully vaccinated. They have been easing Covid-19 restrictions and will be re-opening their international borders soon. The main question is whether vaccination rates are high enough already to keep spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus under control and to make most of the infections mild and not severe.
Next year, 2022, will be a big year for Australia and its Parliament, with all 151 seats in the House of Representatives, and 40 of the 76 seats in the Senate up for election. This will decide the fate of current Prime Minister Scott Morrison. During the last election in 2019, over 91% of eligible Australians voted, compared to the 66.8% of eligible Americans who voted in the 2020 Presidential elections. So in theory, the Australian government will represent what the Australian population wants, because that’s what democracies are supposed to do.