, by Chalmers Johnson, is a book that talks about America's sort of Empire and the Empire's likely costs. The book's conclusion, that America's dominance and power is fragile is insightful and very pertinent, given the disastrous Iraq war and the drastic decline of the dollar over the past year.
Chalmers Johnson was a former professor of Political Science at UC Berkeley who has just written a new book called The Sorrows of Empire
and has recently been getting some press and interviews
Blowback is a very impressive book. Written in 2000 it describes how America's Empire is not in the interests of America or the world and the probability that if American policy and the US view of the world does not change then blowback is a probable consequence. Johnson makes the point that a terrorist attack is very likely on US soil in response to US policies. This was written in 2000. Johnson is not unique to have said this, but it is significant.
It is not written from the point of view of the black arm band view of history. Johnson says openly that the US's aims are far better and that it is not an empire as previous empires were.
I do not believe that America's "vast array of strategical commitments" were made in past decades largely as the result of attempts to exploit other nations for economic gain or simply to dominate them politically and militarily. Although the United States has in the past engaged in imperialist exploitation of other nations, particularly in Latin America, it has also tried in various ways to liquidate many such commitments. The roots of American "imperial overstretch" today are not the same as those of past empires. Instead they more closely resemble those that brought down the Soviet Union.
Many Americans do not care to see their country's acts, policies or situations compared with the Soviet Union's; some condemn such a comparison because it commits the fallacy of "moral equivalence". They insist that America's values and institutions are vastly more humane than those of Stalin's Russia. I agree.
But nonetheless, he sees that the US's very expensive global network of military bases as a mistake. He does not believe that the US is the "indispensable nation" as Madeleine Albright does.
The book goes into detail in the area of his expertise, East Asia. He describes how the US system of bases in Japan is problematic and how the economic relationship between the US and East Asia is unstable and undesirable.
He details the deals the deals and awareness the CIA had of Korean massacres and other events and how US support of essentially corrupt politicians in Japan contributed to Japan's problems.
He also points out the problems with Japan and East Asia's growth, which is dependent on the US market while being sympathetic. He makes the point that there are different types of capitalism, he describes the US version as being finance capitalism while Japan had different institutions. He writes about how pure economic analysis ignores the more important role of institutions in different economies.
Johnson describes how the US - East Asian relationship suffered a strong blow in the Asian crash of '97. It is perhaps suffering and about to suffer it's second crash now as the US dollar falls.
Johnson's views on terrorism are very sober and without the awful rhetoric that has arisen since the declaration of the so called 'War on Terrorism'. He writes about how terrorism as a very probable result of the US's push for global dominance.
As Member's of the Defense Science board wrote in a 1997 report to the undersecretary of defense for aquisition and technology, "Historical data shows a strong correlation between US involvement in international situations and an increase in terrorist attacks against the US. In addition, the military asymmetry that denies nation states the ability to engage in over attacks against the US drives the use of transnational actors [that is, terrorists from one country attacking another]
He makes the point more than once too.
The view of the collapse of the Soviet Union is also interesting. He says that the USSR over extended itself in the Afghanistan war and that Gorbachev did not intend for the whole thing to fall apart, merely to change. He also makes the case that the largely US military build up in the 1980s did not cause the USSR's downfall as previous spending was quite sufficient. He writes about how Gorbachev was advised that missile defense projects were highly likely to be ineffective and easy to get around whilst constructing a missile defense system would cost huge amounts of money.
He goes on to say that US spending on Defence today is similar to the USSR's economy and that the US's economic position also has some similarities in that the US has, in order to try and assert it's authority over Pax America, strained itself in ways that will prove deleterious to the US.
He describes how in the US powers that liked the Cold War setup, once Communism had fallen, created the wonderful new threat of 'instability' which the US was required to counter militarily around the World. He also describes how globalisation was used to push capitalism with US style institutions, or not even that and being merely the recommendations of economic fundamentalists from the World Bank in order to co-opt other countries economically into Pax Americana.
In short, 4 years on from when it was written Blowback looks almost prophetic. The situation faced by the US today involves few changes from the one described by Johnson should the US not re-evaluate it's path. It's sad that it looks like it will take more than a change of policy in Washington and instead a disaster in Iraq and a probably economic decline to make the powers that be realise that while the US is a great and powerful country it cannot and should not try to run the world.
Countries like the US, Australia and Great Britain have gone through housing booms in the last decade. The global cities in those countries seeing double-digit home appreciation rates.
Bill Gross comments that the US economy has been growing, but in manner that is highly dependent upon home prices appreciating
From the article;
.... and [interest rates] landed in a valley so low that the lure of assuming a mortgage became irresistible. Houses were then turned into ATM machines as refinancing, equity extraction, and a plethora of funny money mortgage innovations placed cash in the hands of consumers. The U.S. and global economic recovery over the past four years, as detailed in previous Outlooks, has thus been asset-based with housing leading the pack. Central banks worldwide, through both historically low real policy rates (Fed Funds) and the recycling of reserves into longer-dated U.S. Treasuries (Bretton Woods II) bear responsibility for much of the froth. Ordinary citizens with a capitalist bent - gettin' while the gettin' is good - must own up to the remainder. Combined, they have produced a growing economy but one which is acutely dependent on housing continuing to go up, equity continuing to be extracted, and consumption continuing to be motivated by what seems to be an endless chain of paper prosperity.
A graph of percent borrowing against home equity in terms of income. This is not in itself bad, but an example of how Americans have been subsidising the lack of salary and wage growth by using the equity in their houses to borrow against and spend.
It is not uncommon in the US for home owners to be issued special credit cards that can be used against the equity in their homes. This money has been spent into the American, Australia and British consumer economies.
Greenspan states that homeowners borrowed $600 billion last year against the growing equity in their homes made possible by the annual gains in housing prices of near double-digits in recent years. That $600 billion amounts to nearly 7% of disposable personal income. While Greenspan again does not take the risky step of suggesting how much of that flows through to spending, private economists and good old common sense suggest at least 50% and maybe more. People don't borrow money to deposit it in the bank. They borrow money to spend. If so, and using a conservative 50% figure, the chart points out that home equitization has added ½ to 1% annually to the U.S. GDP growth rate in recent years. Should home prices stop going up at recent rates, equity extraction will become more difficult. Studies by Goldman Sachs on other home asset-based economies, such as Australia's, point to retail sales slowdowns of as much as 4% once equitization rolls over. This week's consumer reports from the UK point to the same conclusion.
Bill Gross suggests that the housing bubble may pop as soon as six months from now judging by his criteria. He makes no claim on recession, just that the US economy will be weak, and that weakness will be determined by multiple factors. Again, governments end up carrying the sword for a bad economy even though it is often not their fault. A housing bubble pop in Australia may have political ramifications at the federal and state levels.
Slate has an interesting article
how the US Congress is ignoring its Legislative responsibilities to pass constitutional laws and instead is passing unconstitutional ones with the knowledge that the US Supreme Court will strike them down.
From the article;
Last week, we watched as several senators voted for a bill redefining the treatment, detention, and trials of enemy combatants, even as they expressed doubts as to its constitutionality. The bill setting up military tribunals for enemy combatants, among other constitutional infirmities, contains a provision stripping courts of their power to review the constitutionality of the detentions. This provision, which suspends the writ of habeas corpus for current and future detainees, was contested by a number of senators, but the amendment that sought to excise it from the final bill failed by a vote of 51-49.
Before that amendment was rejected, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, announced, "I'm not going to support a bill that's blatantly unconstitutional ... that suspends a right that goes back to [the Magna Carta in] 1215." He added, "I'd be willing, in the interest of party loyalty, to turn the clock back 500 years, but 800 years goes too far."
Specter's justification for then voting for a bill he deemed unconstitutional? "Congress could have done it right and didn't, but the next line of defense is the court, and I think the court will clean it up."
There is some irony in this congressional willingness to see the courts as some kind of constitutional chambermaid--as an entity that exists to clean up after Congress smashes up the room. It is especially ironic when it's articulated by members of Congress who like to invoke judicial restraint as a constitutional value. But it is beyond ironic, and approaching parody, when Congress asks the court to clean up a bill it knows to be unconstitutional, when the bill itself includes a court-stripping provision.
The ongoing popular debates about the terms and parameters of "judicial activism" or "restraint" really have to be understood in institutional terms. Congress behaves strategically. When it is convenient, members of Congress will praise and advocate judicial restraint, and when it is not, they will rely on "activist" judicial intervention. Sen. Specter's argument during the Roberts and Alito hearings bears this out. Specter was distressed not that the court was too activist in striking down acts of Congress, but that it was too activist in striking down the wrong acts of Congress. Yet this judicial backstop serves Specter's goals when he is unwilling to make the call himself.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with any given view of what the Constitution requires, the strategic use of the court reduces accountability, it corrupts the lawmaking process, and it is deeply cynical. Lawmakers should take their constitutional obligations seriously. And if they do not take their own obligations seriously, then they have no right to criticize the judicial branch when it does.
Should the Supreme Court bail out Congress for the unconstitutional provisions of the new detainee legislation? Once again, it has no choice. But the real question is whether the public should bail them out. We can always choose not to.
P.W. Singer notes
[I]t has now come out that a tiny clause was slipped into the Pentagon's fiscal year 2007 budget legislation. The one sentence section (number 552 of a total 3510 sections) states that "Paragraph (10) of section 802(a) of title 10, United States Code (article 2(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), is amended by striking `war' and inserting `declared war or a contingency operation'." The measure passed without much notice or any debate.
Previously contractors only came under the US military code of justice [USMJ] if war was declared, which fell out of fashion after WWII as the US legislative abrogated its responsibilities. It turns out the military's relation was mainly contractual:
At most, the local officer in charge could request to the employing firm that the individual be demoted or fired. If he thought a felony occurred, the officer might be able to report them on to civilian authorities.
Like the political advisors in the current Australian parliamentary system, military contractors have been falling through a 'law gap'. Singer concludes:
The ultimate point is that the change gives the military and the civilians courts a new tool to use in better managing and overseeing contractors, but leaves it to the Pentagon and DOJ to decide when and where to use it. Given their recent track record on legal issues in the context of Iraq and the war on terror, many won't be that reassured.
Congress is to be applauded for finally taking action to reign in the industry and aid military officers in their duties, but the job is not done. While there may be an inclination to let such questions of scope and implementation be figured out through test cases in the courts, our elected public representatives should request DoD to answer the questions above in a report to Congress.
. This one shows the states of the US as broken up by GDP and then mapped to the nearest country GDP.
Note Australia has the same GDP as Ohio and Indonesia is the same as New Mexico. Singapore and South Carolina line up, as does New Zealand and Maryland. Fascinating map, must do the same for Australia.
The State of the Union is part of the US Constitutional requirement for the executive:
He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.
It is supposed to be part of the check and balance on the executive by the legislative. The State of the Union address takes part in a joint sitting. Unfortunately, in the modern media dominated world of politics, the state of union is a photo op rather than any useful check and balance on the executive.
Thomas Jefferson used to deliver his State of the Union requirement via a clerk as a written summary of the executive's policies, expenditures etc. This continued until 1913 when Presidents started delivering the speech to Congress personally.
The speech is vacuous and of no valid use for determining past or present governance. The speeches are laden with pop items, essentially the President says anything, there is no accountability or follow-up. Point: the US was supposed to be going to Mars from a prior SotU.
The State of the Union serves no purpose in improving the checks and balances on separation of powers.
op-ed by Dinesh D'Souza reminds me
of the behaviour of trolls who often cause havoc on internet sites. Trolling is specifically for the purpose of eliciting an irrational response. D'Souza starts with: "
As a conservative author, I'm used to a little controversy. Even so, the reaction to my new book, "The Enemy at Home," has felt, well, a little hysterical.
I don't consider trolling, baiting or sensationalism as valid discourse. Certainly not in politics, we all have our moments, but too many use it for commercial gain, for fame, or to create artificial political division for partisan and electoral advantage.
Fine I can accept that. I don't like it, and try to ignore that, except when it intrudes on my habits - which includes reading the Washington Post's Outlook section front to back on Sunday mornings. Another of my favourite past times is going to the local North Virginian Barnes and Nobles store where I browse the history and philosophy sections, with no particular purpose in mind, just to see what jumps at me.
Recently the store broke off the modern American politics section and put it in the center of the history alcove. It is two shelves high on both sides, waist height basically, and filled with all the sensationalist, rotten muck that passes for political discourse. "How to kill liberals", "How to waterboard conservatives", "How binHillary will be next President" or "Why Bush is the devil" - you know the titles and the authors.
I love probing the depths and complexity of history, politics and philosophy: it is my hobby, but when I see this line up I am faced by a mix of despair and laughter. Despair that the country which produced the great rationalist liberal leap of the US Republic now passes this trash as political discourse, and laughter that such absurdities are taken seriously - commercially and politically.
All is not lost of course. Buried in this morass of sensationalism are modestly named texts like, "The Rights of Man" and "The Federalist". I recognise that commercialism is driving much of this. Even well reasoned and professionally written books such as
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq
have sensational titles. Fiasco is an excellent work of journalistic insight into present history and events.
But even so. The desire for eyeballs does not mean that editors have to go to such shrill lengths especially when they carry so little purpose and are devoid of quality, merit or relevance. The Washington Post's recent Liz Cheney op-ed is one example, and this Dinesh D'Souza article is another.
I am reminded of
Warren Bass' Book Review of D'Souza's book
As the great social scientist Thomas C. Schelling might have put it, there are two possibilities here: Either D'Souza is blaming liberals for 9/11 because he truly believes that they're culpable, or he's blaming liberals for 9/11 because he's cynically calculating that an incendiary polemic will sell books.
I just don't know which is scarier.
One has to wonder why his publisher, agent, editors and publicists went along for the ride, and it's hard not to conclude that they thought the thing would cause a cable-news and blogosphere sensation that would spike sales -- a ruckus triggered not despite the book's silliness but because of it.
This sort of scam has worked before (think of Christopher Hitchens's gleeful broadside against Mother Teresa or the calculated slurs of Ann Coulter), but rarely has the gap between the seriousness of the issues and the quality of the book yawned as wide.
This time, let's just not bother with the flap; this dim, dishonorable book isn't worth it.
Warren Bass is saying
don't feed the trolls
. The problem for reasonable people of conscience is that the Washington Post editors are feeding trolls like D'Souza steak by the truck load.
x-posted to HuSi
Fred Barbash has an interesting article,
Why would Congress surrender
, where he argues silence also passes for action. He writes that Congress has been so timid in asserting its power as a branch that it is breaking the underlying assumption of the doctrine of separation of powers.
Barbash comments that because the judicial so rarely gets involved in separation of powers arguments between the Legislative and Executive, that the two bodies basically have to negotiate it the issues out. So rather than being constitutionally explicit in solution, they tend to be political negotiations.
When one branch drops out by failing to respond, the other branch effectively sets the precedent, which is passed along to the next generation and the generation after that.
Inaction, indeed, strengthens that precedent. Over time, inaction is taken as acquiescence, a form of approval, and the precedent becomes entrenched until it's as good as law.
This is precisely what has occurred over the years. Successive decades of congressional acquiescence in the face of executive claims of war power have allowed the law to be settled exclusively by the executive branch.
Because Congress has been fearful of asserting themselves politically against the Executive it has broken a fundamental relationship and basis for separation of powers and the equilibrium it is supposed to enable between the three separate but equal branches of government:
The equilibrium of government, in the view of the Constitution's Framers, rested on a stated assumption that each branch would fight fiercely to expand its authority but just as fiercely resist encroachment from another branch.
That Congress would refuse to fight seemed unimaginable.
Interesting. The Australian Senate, which is the closest thing the Australian national government has to a separate legislative, has not been explicit in resisting executive dominance. Courtesy of Senators being in the Executive Cabinet, separation of powers is largely broken anyway. Executive discipline as government extends into the two legislative houses.
There is an unusual congruence of executive, congress and public opinion which is forcing a review of which branch of government can determine foreign policy. The Bush Administration believes in a time of war and national emergency in a unitary executive which has absolute power. Congress has usually deferred to the executive on foreign policy and left itself to its constitutional responsibility of the public purse, while public opinion is heavily against the executive at the moment and elected an opposition congress to curb the executive's foreign policy.
While much of current constitutional practice is based on what the branches of government in the US have fought over in the past, the US Constitution still serves as guide to who has power over what. For instance Congress has explicit authority:
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
The declaration of war has gone out of fashion since World War II. Congress doesn't do formal wars anymore. The militia is an interesting one as the current National Guard is the modern form of the older militia, though bills since have moved the Guard into increasing federal control. One that isn't disputed is that Congress controls the budgeting and money for the military and militia.
The executive has:
The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States;
Though the executive does have explicit authority to make treaties, which have to be ratified by the Senate. So foreign policy is largely by convention in the hands of the executive, and since the executive has departments such as the State Department, which was created by legislation, it is a given that the executive controls foreign policy.
There have been a couple of op-eds recently arguing that Congress should use its power of the purse to reign in the Executive's foreign policy. Democratic hopeful
Tom Vilsack wrote in an op-ed
Members of Congress have a constitutional and moral obligation to exercise their authority to stop funding President Bush's failed policy in Iraq.
And William Odem
Embracing the four myths gives Congress excuses not to exercise its power of the purse to end the war and open the way for a strategy that might actually bear fruit.
In both instances it is assumed that changing the funding of the conflict from the Executive's budget, to a Congressional budget, will force a change in strategy that presumably has to fit in with the level of funding.
But that doesn't take into the matter of politics. Currently the Bush Administration, and by implication, as well as concretely from the former Congressional majority, so does the Republican party. With 2008 elections coming up for the President and Congress it is possible that Iraq will be a dominating feature of voting patterns - as it was in 2006. So the Democratic majority in the House may choose to move timidly to avoid
Can Congress restrict the level of deployment in Iraq through money bills? Yes. Will it? Probably not and if it does, only as much as they can while still leaving the President with ownership of the war.
In Federalist 57
James Madison defends the House of Representatives as a just political structure that is designed to balance merit, common weal and electoral skepticism such that the right representatives can act as specialists, but not so far divorced from public confidence. Madison also discusses the political equality in republican government which promotes political equality, merit and the rule of law.
Madison argues for representative democracy, and a house which faces the electorate with high frequency, as the best means to avoid oligarchy while still attracting legislative specialists. he sees this as the best constitutional design to temper corruption through constantly facing public opinion at the ballot box, yet giving enough separation from the electorate, and a feared mob opinion, that the representative can act in the common weal or public good.
The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.
The elective mode of obtaining rulers is the characteristic policy of republican government. The means relied on in this form of government for preventing their degeneracy are numerous and various. The most effectual one, is such a limitation of the term of appointments as will maintain a proper responsibility to the people.
A constant theme in Madison's republicanism is the elevation of specialists through public trust; but at the same time a deep distrust of power, corruption and special interests. Madison's solution to this is to make the specialists face the ballot and by judged by those that they would represent.
This assumes that the electorate is a vengeful one, permanently on the point of 'throwing the bums out', but this has not proved true in practice. Most electorates are two candidates or in rare cases three-cornered. Until recently, especially in Australia with the establishment of independent electoral commissions, many states suffered from malapportionment.
Madison's representatives that would face either the confidence or wrath of the electorate are intended to be purely of merit. He argues:
Every citizen whose merit may recommend him to the esteem and confidence of his country. No qualification of wealth, of birth, of religious faith, or of civil profession is permitted to fetter the judgement or disappoint the inclination of the people.
This is a republican statement of political equality. During Madison's time, Britain had a hereditary monarch who dominated the executive through accident of birth. Britain had a House of Lords that was predicated on title alone and in the House of Commons there were still rotton boroughs. Madison is stating equivocally that the qualification for public service is merit and public confidence through the ballot.
Madison continues the theme of political equality through the rule of law with:
I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.
This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.
In a Madisonian republic law is universal and as relevant to the legislature as it is the people. This is the rule of law, where no individual is above the law, not the executive, nor the legislative. To Madison a republic is the best form of government for stopping tyranny, as any tyrannical law has universal application. A good example of this is speeding tickets, NSW politicians have had to resign over speeding infractions which are arguably one of the most arbitrarily enforced of all laws.
But this is where the loophole in the republic, under its current forms, is. The executive can get around the rule of law by selective enforcement. This gives the impression of the force of law being universal, but in reality, there is no force of law where the executive chooses. This is known as the state of exception and is the biggest threat to republican constitutional order in recent times. Examples of states of exception are Guantanamo Bay and the Nauru refugee centre.
The solution is pretty simple and requires little more than codification of universalism. The system will need to allow for any individual under the jurisdiction of the government to sue the executive, themselves, or through an intermediate such that the judicial can ensure the full constitutional force of law is brought to bear on the individual.
Most Popular on South Sea Republic
The articles that have been viewed the most:
Most Popular Restaurants in Phoenix
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Most Popular Hikes in Arizona
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Alternate Australian Constitutions
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
Archives For South Sea Republic
South Sea Republic started in 2004 as an Australian constitutional blog in 2004 based on scoop software. It was an immigrative outgrowth of Kuro5hin. The archives for each year since then;
The articles are ordered by views.
Who Is Cam Riley
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.
Websites Worth Reading
Websites of friends, colleagues and of interest;