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.