Rightwing US pundit Candace Owens compares Australian government to the Taliban, calling it a ‘tyrannical police state’
Outspoken conservative political commentator Candace Owens has suggested the US military invade Australia in order to free its people “suffering under a totalitarian regime” while drawing comparisons to Hitler, Stalin and the Taliban.
Owens made the comments on her self-titled Daily Wire TV show earlier this week, declaring Covid-19 had propelled the planet into an “ideological and psychological” global war.
“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?” she asked.
While US rightwing commentators are keen to portray Australians suffering under tyranny , the public health measures adopted by federal, state and territory governments have been overwhelmingly supported by the population.
The measures have also been largely successful. While Australia has had about 1,500 deaths and 130,000 cases, the figures are far below the US death toll of 730,000 deaths and 45m cases, even on a per capita basis.
The high-profile host went on to describe Australia as a “tyrannical police state” where “its citizens are quite literally being imprisoned against their will”.
“When do we deploy? Of course, I ask that in jest because we all know the real answer. What is happening in Australia under the guise of a virus … is federal overreach, tyranny, totalitarianism – the kind that gives birth to evil dictatorships and human atrocities,” Owens added.
“We are watching a replay of the early ambitions of Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chávez.”
The ardent Trump supporter questioned whether the Australian government is “any better or any nobler than the Taliban” declaring that they both “believe that they have a right to oppress and a right to imprison people for their own good”.
Earlier this month anti-vaccine protesters marched outside the Australian consulate in New York while chanting “save Australia” before tearing down a free Covid-19 testing stand.
Last week US republican senator Ted Cruz made a similar swipe at Australia’s Covid policies , lamenting the “Covid tyranny of their [Australia’s] current government,” which he said was “disgraceful and sad”.
“Individual liberty matters,” Cruz declared, adding he had considered Australia the “Texas of the Pacific”.
The Northern Territory chief minister, Michael Gunner, hit back by responding on Twitter with a statement sharing a “few facts about Covid down here” and tagging Cruz.
“You know nothing about us. And if you stand against a life-saving vaccine, then you sure as hell don’t stand with Australia,” Gunner said. “I love Texas (go Longhorns), but when it comes to Covid, I’m glad we are nothing like you.”
• The headline and subheading of this article were amended on 1 November 2021 to clarify the context in which Owens asked when the US would invade Australia.