Whoever Fights Monsters


Whoever fights monsters

The USA has fought many monsters in its short history as a Nation.

Religious persecution, a battle which continues to this day. The British Monarchy which was a successful battle. Slavery where they had to fight themselves with mixed results. Spain and Mexico in successful American Imperialism. German Imperialism which was not quite so successful so they had to do it twice. Russian Communism which eventually worked after unleashing many potential horrors upon an undeserving world.

 

should see to it that in the process

The Founding Fathers of the USA set up an apparently fool-proof process so that the citizenry could see what was happening within a tripartite form of Government.

An elected President limited to two terms. An elected Congress subject to the will of an informed electorate. An appointed Supreme Court where the best minds in the country could rule, in Law, on the decisions of the first two branches.

All open and visible to the public.

Successfully fighting against the casual cruelties of Nazism and the secret arms of Eastern Europe’s tyrannical Governments.

he does not become a monster.

Yet somewhere along the way the USA lost its integrity.

The cruelty of mid-Century Germany was mirrored in the drug experiments by the CIA in the 50’s and 60’s.

The secrecy of the KGB became the norm in the CIA and the Gulags of Russia have found an echo in the creation of the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The stop and search and constant inspection of its and other Nation’s citizens, the intrusion of the NSA into every corner of the cyber-world and the use of drones to remotely kill people are all symptoms of the USA having tipped over the edge into becoming one the monsters it was trying to eradicate.

And if you gaze long enough into an abyss,

After looking into the Abyss created by megalomaniac rulers throughout the world; After counteracting the terror unleashed upon the world by those with extreme religious and secular ambitions; After close association with the worst the world can produce, the USA has become infected with the evil virus it has spent so long trying to eradicate.

Consider this new step in the sickness and hubris of the secret American State.

In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data . . . . . the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions.

So now there are secret laws, secret courts and secret committees and people making the rules Americans have to live by.

the abyss will gaze back into you. Friedrich Nietzsche

st judeThe one lesson we, as a species, have learned is that bureaucracies outlive people.

They outlive nations.

The new American intelligence bureaucracy has an un-elected leader.

One whose name we will never learn.

In the coming struggle between America and China and between America and its people, there will be many casualties.

Not the least of which will be truth and freedom.

As well as those brave people who try to lift the lid on this new terror organisation.

Daniel Ells­berg, Julian Assange,  Bradley Manning, Thomas Drake and Edward Snowdon are just the tip of the iceberg. There will be many more who who will try to save the ideals of honesty, openness and accountability and who will pay the price.

Yet the Abyss will almost certainly win.  And the contagion which now infects America will spread, in epidemic form, to all of America’s allies.

St Jude, Pray for us indeed!

Everything Old is New Again #3


When President Obama announced his intention to remain a player in the Asian Hemisphere in May 2012, I wrote of how politicians do not run the world.

How the world is run by secretive backroom bureaucrats in departments similar to our “Foreign Affairs”.

How they have become the One World Government all the Conspiracy Theorists warn us of.

Every now and then accidents happen and they briefly appear in the light, as has happened this week with “Prisoner X”.

Using “Trove” I was looking through old editions of “The Argus“, a now defunct Melbourne Daily.

In the issue of Saturday 10 February 1940, before Japan entered WW2, this cartoon appeared.

oldisnew3

Because of my position in time I immediately thought of a USA vs China problem but then I realised it is actually Japan on the other end of the rope of “Good Relations”. Just as today, America and China are on opposite ends of a similar rope of Trading Relations. Each country needs the other to survive economically.

My perspective suddenly began to jump backwards and forwards as I read this John Garnaut article in The Age of 16th Feb 2013.

In part it reads, “WITHIN two decades the United States will be forced out of the western Pacific, says a senior Chinese military officer, amid concerns that increasingly militarised great-power rivalry could lead to war.

Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu’s. . . . . .   interpretation of one facet of what the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, calls ”a new type of great-power relationship” adds to the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding China’s strategic ambitions.

Concern about China’s strategic ambitions has grown since last year’s Chinese occupation of islands administered by the Philippines in the South China Sea and, particularly, China’s continuing brinkmanship with Japan and its security guarantor, the US, in the East China Sea.Japanese leaders have accused China of locking weapons-guiding radars on Japanese targets – which China denies – while Western military sources say Chinese planes, ships and submarines have challenged Japanese-controlled waters and airspace around the Senkaku Islands.

Some security analysts say Australian political leaders are in public denial about the stakes involved and invidious choices the nation may have to face.

”It’s the most dangerous strategic crisis that the US has faced – that the world has faced – since the end of the Cold War,” said Hugh White, former deputy secretary of the Department of Defence.

China and Japan, he said, were drifting closer to a war that could draw in the US. ”This makes rather a nonsense of the mantra we hear both from Gillard and Abbott that ‘we don’t have to choose between the US and China’,” he said.

The cartoon above was published just 21 months before Pearl Harbour. It is looking as though Australia will need to make a choice between China and America rather soon.

China Vs United States – Why Australia Will Lose!


Before I go any further, let me explain my position. I am on the “Left” side of politics. An anti-war greenie ex-ALP member. Yet it matters little where I fit on the internal political landscape. What matters is where Australia fits on the international landscape. This post is not about party political differences. It is about our hidden Government. And no! I am not a diplomat. Just an amateur student of world affairs informed by the past and reading the omens.

Every nation in the world has one.

Secretive and mostly working in the shadows. A Government body making commitments and friendships with people we never hear about.

Only ever showing the results of its machinations and activities in the occasional public announcements of its head.

It is the most important department any nation can have.

No, it is not Treasury, the department we are always worried about. The one that determines how we shall live. No. This department is even more important.

It determines whether we SHALL live!

And by what rules.

In Australia it is known as the Department of Foreign Affairs. In the USA it is the State Department. China has its Ministry of Foreign Affairs!

All the secretive connivings and agreements are basically about trade. About how one nation can either enrich itself or at the very least, not be disadvantaged by a change in trading conditions. Those spy novels we were brought up on were not about a clash of cultures but about a clash of economic theories. Capitalism versus Communism.

The current test of strength between the US and China is still about trade. Determining which form of Capitalism will prevail.

We never see the back room battles. We are distracted by the Fleming and le Carré stories of human daredevilry and pathos.

In the back rooms, at the highest levels schemes and plans are put into place which will mature in a decade or a generation or, in extreme cases, in a century. Plans laid and executed by people we never see, never vote for. The truly faceless government.

We often hear of the threat of a One World Government.

The favourite of the conspiracy theorists. The bad news is that we have had one for centuries. While our individual national Treasuries are handled by relatively well known financial wizards and publicly elected treasurers under accepted Governmental oversight of one form or another, Foreign Affairs operates outside of and above the political hurly-burly. It is party-less and almost unaccountable.

The information it deals with puts our current Australian fixation with Thomson, Mirabella, Slipper and Pyne to shame. Diplomats need to know everything about everyone yet cannot admit to knowing anything. Which is why the Wikileaks’ dumping of huge numbers of confidential diplomatic emails was such a sin.

It is why Julian Assange will get no support from any Government in the world. Daniel Ellsberg only lifted the lid on his own country’s dealings. Assange has embarrassed the entire World Government. Which is why Gillard is so obdurate about not intervening and  helping him. Foreign Affairs has spoken! He must be turned into a horrible example. No one must be allowed to play with the levers of power, opening “Realpolitik“, as Henry Kissinger described it, to the public view.

We only see stuff-ups when they lead to a war. For, although they are a One World Government, there are still factions and alliances and the ultimate threat is not an election but armed conflict. Diplomats handle the day to day matters within a framework set by the real rulers of the world. To be the Foreign Minister of Australia or Britain, to be the Secretary of State of the USA, to be the equivalent in Russia or China is to be close to and beholden to the true holders of power. In recent times, Kevin Rudd has shown that he knows where the biggest game in the world is taking place.

Dictators and madmen sometimes come to power.

Not everything always goes to plan. Luckily, regardless of the self-perceived immortality of these international irritants, they are as mortal as the rest of us. Yet they can create disturbances in international relations. I first saw a fictional account of this in the incident of the “Mule” in Isaac Azimov’s Foundation Series. Six hundred years into a thousand year galactic history which had been planned and predicted by a social engineer, a rogue element appeared. He appeared to totally derail the pre-laid plans yet, after his death, everything settled back into its predicted course.

Foreign Affairs is similar. Madmen and dictators may create ripples which appear to be overwhelming and miscalculations may cause huge wars with incalculable human tragedies yet somehow civilisation continues on. Hitler, Pol Pot and Kim Il Sung will be as irrelevant as the Ayatollahs when our descendants look at the sweep of history. The long range plans of the World Government will continue.

The Great War was begun almost by accident.

We saw a miscalculation early last century which resulted in two major wars and we may be seeing similar miscalculation now.

An Arch Duke was assassinated in a remote European State and, through a complicated network of treaties, the long-established British Empire and the newly-growing Germany went to war. In a lot of ways the so-called Second World War was simply a continuation of the Great War.

Over the past weeks there have been oil-field difficulties between China and long-term US ally, the Phillipines. In fact, China claims sovereignty over a large U-shaped area of the South China Sea, bringing it into dispute with several neighbouring countries. In recent months it has grown more assertive over the issue. Through a century-old treaty, the USA must come to the aid of the Phillipines.

There is a potential conflict ahead.

Between Australia’s long-term ally and its new-found giant trading partner.

With hundreds of ships plying the seas between Chinese ports and Australian mining ports and with a newly negotiated US Marine base in Darwin, along with other US bases within this island nation, the potential for spill-over of any conflict, verbal or actual, between the fading old and the growing new Superpowers must involve Australia.

We are too small to ignore the demands of the US. Yet we are too important a supplier of raw materials to China for them to allow us to become simply a US base in a potentially “hot” conflict.

Put into this context announcements by President Obama last year have an ominous import for Australia.

In the game of chess there is a situation known as Zugzwang. A player whose turn it is to move who has no move that does not worsen his position is said to be in zugzwang.

Australia’s foreign Affairs Department has successfully negotiated us into Zugzwang. We must make a move and whatever move we make, we must lose!

Forget about changing the situation by changing the Minister. He is always helpless, regardless of era, party or desires! He is a prisoner of the true rulers of Australia.

All we can do is sit and wait.

And worry about our children.

The Death of Gods


Life for ordinary mortals becomes very dangerous when Gods die.

Throughout history there have been civilisations where rulers have been thought of as Gods.

Their deaths required the death of numerous of their officials, servants and slaves. Either sacrificially killed or interred alive with the departed.

The best known recent example was at the end of WW2. Their Fuehrer forced the German people to fight on in a glorious Götterdämmerung, that prophesied war of the Gods that brings about the end of the world.

While that, and most previous similar occurrences, have affected a relatively small part of the planetary population, things could well be different in the modern, much smaller world.

There are obvious dangers from small fanatical groups which claim a religion as their motivation but have lost touch with the God they profess to glorify.

Then there are potentially disastrous situations involving whole nations.

The current danger is from North Korea.

News reports in the past three days highlight this danger.

Firstly, on the 22nd of July, a report that  North Korea has called for a cancellation of joint naval exercises by South Korea and the United States, labelling them a threat to global peace.

Secondly, on 23rd July, an escalation of their stance was reported. North Korea has threatened a “physical response” to planned joint US-South Korean military exercises due to begin on Sunday.”

Next, on the 24th, came a report that, “North Korea has threatened to use a ‘powerful nuclear deterrence’ in response to a joint military exercise involving South Korea and the United States.

Just six hours later came intelligence reports that a “Bronze Kim Jong-il sparks rumours of despot’s end

The possible death of the Korean “God”, the “Dear Leader”, could spark a Korean version of Götterdämmerung in which wild attacks on perceived enemies could be made regardless of the destruction that could be caused by any retaliation.

Then again it may be that a new leader feels he has to consolidate his power with shows of strength against those same perceived enemies, relying on sensible and humane behaviour from those attacked.

The North Koreans have recently sunk a South Korean naval vessel. If this is any indication of their recklessness, I fear the world is closer to a nuclear conflict than it has been for decades. And it may be just a day or two away.

I hope I am wrong.

Changing Fortunes


I subscribe to the theory that there is a natural movement between conservatives and radicals. I am sure it is a generational thing. I was a radical, my parents and children are conservatives. I expect my grand-children to be radical.

Within that framework there is also a national psyche which reacts to the nation’s perceived place in the world. If there is a national uncertainty then nations pull in towards themselves and conservatism is the ruling passion. Isolationism becomes the underlying mantra. When a country is sure of its place in the world, it is a lot more expansive and more radical. In the past, both America and Australia have had a national “cringe”. That was when the young took obligatory voyages to the “Old World” to gain a cachet of sophistication as their own country was seen as backward. Everything produced within America or Australia was seen as second-rate and was compared unfavourably to European equivalents.

America had its “cringe” well before Australia and gained a confidence in itself during two world wars where it was able to see itself as the saviour of the Western World. Australia only began to lose its inferiority complex during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Now we are seeing the beginnings of a major shift in world perceptions in both countries.

America is beginning to fade as China grows in world importance. Oh, there will be posturing and resentment and possibly doomed pre-emptive strikes from those Americans who have not learnt the lessons of history. Yet it is certain that China will be the world leader soon. They already own most of the American Dollars in the world and the banker is the one who calls the tune.

The American psyche is moving back to an isolationist, self-centred and conservative position in response to the unformed sense of an impending fall from leadership. There is a thinning of the skins of Americans. They are subject to exaggerated responses to criticism. At the same time, America is in a moral decay which is evident within the great urban areas which are becoming increasingly run-down because there are not enough financial reserves left after a series of expensive foreign adventures to do the domestic housekeeping.

On the other hand, during the last quarter of the twentieth century the Australian psyche made its final release from what has been a dependency on British approval, exemplified by Sir Robert Menzies’ couplet on his relationship to the British Monarch;

“I did but see her passing by
And yet I love her till I die.”

That release was vocalised by Harold Holt and his “All the way with LBJ” during the Vietnam War. This, in its turn, led to a dependency on American approval most recently visible in John Howard’s devotion to George Bush jnr. and all his policies.

The change in national perception is easiest to see in the changes in Australian foreign policy For the first half of the last century, Australia sent its youth to fight for Britain. During the second half, they were sent to fight American wars.

Now Australia is full of a new-found self-confidence and is swinging onto an upward spiral because we are supplying many of the raw materials China needs to grow. This is leading to a prosperity and an optimism within the growing middle class.

The election of Kevin Rudd in Australia indicates that finally Australia is becoming its own self. No longer beholden to Britain or America, we are making it on our own. Our economy is in good shape because of the
demand from China, our arts are in a healthy state and our ingenuity and inventiveness is undeniable. With the educational emphasis coming from the new Government there is every chance that when the materials boom ends in several decades, we will have a strong and intelligent population ready to be mined for further prosperity.

Since the second world war, Australia’s political sense has swung in decade-long cycles. Kevin Rudd and his new, outward looking Government has around ten years to set a national agenda for the next century. With a growing Asian component to our population and an awareness that Australia is in the Asian region, we need to find ways to retain our Australian way of life while interacting with our neighbours.

While America begins to shrink back inside its borders, Australia is beginning to flex its wings.

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