Recently I had a casual exchange with contributor Bruce of Newcastle on the OT.
The guts of our remarks was the number of wars fought by Russia and how this had shaped their national psyche. Further, that Western attitudes and policy towards Russia will continue to be largely ineffective, if not counterproductive, until the West at least accepts that Russians don’t think like us. Their beliefs have been baked-in over hundreds of years and formed their protective stance towards Mother Russia.
This led me off on the tangent of wondering about loyalty. The Russian populace in Australia is relatively small and certainly by comparison to the Chinese, Indian and Jewish communities and of course, those from the assorted Middle Eastern and Asian nations.
Therefore, I wondered, if push really came to shove, who would leave the relative safety of Australia to fight for their birthplace? The question is predicated on the person being born overseas and armed conflict between their birthplace and another nation was either commencing, or imminent. Moreover, any reasonable assessment concludes that the military forces of your birthplace are very likely to be overwhelmed.
Imagine it is all but certain that your birthplace will cease to exist as the nation you were born to.
And if you were to leave to fight, would you do so only as a member of the regular military forces or, would you engage as a guerrilla? Or, if incapable of bearing arms, would you instead act in a direct support role?
Those thoughts naturally lead to a question about an Australian born person living overseas. There are several Cats living overseas or who travel overseas extensively for their work. Would you return to Australia to defend her if necessary, or remain in the relative safety of the country you were in at the time?
Rightly or wrongly, I don’t have any China born friends of whom I could ask the question. Overwhelmingly my friends are Russian born and for several, I could reasonably guess their response without even asking. But, I do have a couple of Indian born friends and rang them to test my question.
Both said they thought it was extremely unlikely (impossible) that India would be militarily overwhelmed and thus their services would not be required. Fair enough and almost certainly true. But when pressed, one of the two said that yes, despite being an Australian citizen of some 26 years (slightly more than half his life), he would take whatever steps he could to protect his birthplace even if that meant leaving his wife and children in Australia. He did, after all, still have some extended family in that country but if nothing else, would be ashamed of himself if his birth country was effectively destroyed and he had done nothing.
So, what say you Cats? If your birth nation was facing almost certain annihilation from an aggressor, would you depart (or return to) these shores to defend your birthright?