Strap in for a media blitz on the threat from China. Prime Minister #ThatFellaDownUnder Scott Morrison and his merry band are about to take a war to the election. Michael West reports.
The PM’s army of propagandists has been working around the clock over the past two days marketing the latest announcement to a fawning press: AUKUS, a new “Alliance for the Ages as China Threat Grows”, according to The Australian. And what results!
Christian Porter’s secret legal payments are off the front pages, as is the JobKeeper mega-rort, the biggest transfer of wealth in history from working Australians to wealthy Australians and foreign corporations.
Early Thursday morning there was no AUKUS. The AFR did have a scoop though, splashing with: “PM to announce $90b French submarine deal is dead”.
Source: That Fella Down Under! Scott Morrison’s AUKUS deal designed to win election, not make Australia safe – Michael West Media
Noam Chomsky talks to Jacobin about why the US withdrawal from Afghanistan won’t change US imperialism, the many war crimes of George W. Bush, and why he still believes in average people’s ability to push back against the war machine.
Source: Noam Chomsky: Average People Still Have the Power to Stop Wars
And then the Soviet Union collapsed — and nothing changed in the U.S. military’s global posture. Or, put differently, everything changed. For with the implosion of the USSR, what turned out to remain truly uncontained was our military, along with the dreams of neoconservatives who sought to remake the world in America’s image. But which image? That of a republic empowering its citizens in a participatory democracy or of an expansionist capitalist empire, driven by the ambition and greed of a set of oligarchs?
Source: From Arsenal of Democracy to Arsenal of Empire: Let’s Abandon Ruinous Foreign Wars for Actual Self-Defense
The American warfare state’s upper reaches are filled with bloodthirsty megalomaniacs. But few have been as deranged as Donald Rumsfeld, whose appetite for imperial violence combined with free market zealotry produced one of the most spectacular failures in all of US military history.
Source: Donald Rumsfeld Was a Bloodthirsty Warrior for the Free Market
Another Senate Estimates session brings another culture war attack on the ABC. This time it is the revelation that Government senators are apparently monitoring the Twitter feeds of prominent ABC journalists to see what they “like” and using this information to accuse them of… oh, who knows what, this time?! It’s becoming both tedious and absurd.
Source: The Coalition’s absurd and undemocratic war against the ABC
Rather than rely solely on the US, Australia should bolster its own defence capabilities. At the same time, it should collaborate more with regional partners across Southeast Asia and beyond, particularly Indonesia, Japan, India and South Korea, to deter further belligerence and mitigate the risk of tensions escalating into open war.
Source: China does not want war, at least not yet. It’s playing the long game
Source: Empire Politician
A Half-Century of Joe Biden’s Stances on War, Militarism, and the CIA
“When the government equips police departments like they’re equipping the military, we undermine healthy relationships between the police and the community,” explains Equal Justice Initiative director Bryan Stevenson. “We have created a culture where police officers think of themselves as warriors, not guardians.”
via How the Police and the Pentagon Are Bringing Our Wars Home
China can finish what the LNP alpha apes started and they can do it without bullying.(ODT)
via China to avoid coal from Australia in new trade threat
Even after two decades of nearly unmitigated strategic failure in the Middle East coupled with the disastrous self-harm of unchecked defense spending, it seems that significant portions of the U.S. elite have still not awoken from their intoxication with foreign wars of choice. Amid a global pandemic that could kill millions and cripple the American economy for years to come, there are strong signs that the U.S. military might be ordered to embark on yet another war in Iraq
If this war does take place, we can place it into a larger context: a once-powerful country depleting its strength through costly military adventures in distant lands, but institutionally incapable of providing the basics of life for its people at home.
via Coronavirus Exposes How Foreign Wars Bled America’s Resources Dry
When you look back through the ignominious history of the Republican movement and the LNP, there isn’t a single right-wing MP worth a dime. Every commitment made to a vile, nasty off-shore war (such as Korea, Vietnam and the horrendous genocidal Iraqi war) has been under a Republican/LNP government who consistently use war, terror, hatred and fear to divide nations. When things look bleak in the polls, the war-mongering right-wing are always prepared to stoop to using war as the last resort to cling onto power with bloodstained fingers – ready and willing to sacrifice millions of lives and spend billions to distract focus from their horrendous policies and/or use hatred and division for their own political agenda. It is always a hate-filled, xenophobic right wing government that drags us into war and it always takes a left-wing, socialist government to get us out of it!
I am proud to be a Socialist – » The Australian Independent Media Network
But the more clearly the American public understands the falsehood and the moral, legal and political bankruptcy of the justifications for our country’s disastrous wars, the more clearly we can challenge the absurd claims of warmongering politicians whose policies offer the world only more death, destruction and chaos. Trump’s blundering, murderous Iran policy is only the latest example, and, despite its catastrophic results, U.S. militarism remains tragically bipartisan, with a few honorable exceptions.
When the U.S. stops killing people and bombing their homes, and the world starts helping people to support and protect themselves and their families without joining U.S.-backed armed forces or the armed groups they are fighting, then and only then will the raging conflicts that U.S. militarism has ignited across the world begin to subside.
via Afghan Troops Say Taliban are Brothers and War is “Not Really Our Fight” | The Smirking Chimp
Trump launched a reckless criminal act of state terror designed to provoke a war. Iran de-escalated the situation as of Wednesday — refusing to engage in a retaliatory cycle of violent escalation while demonstrating their military capability. Trump responded with a rambling, lifeless, incoherent slurred speech that promised to ratchet up economic sanctions without threatening further violence.
via War Criminal in the White House
Australia, a juniour partner in the Coalition of the Killing, wants senior status it seems. While Trump has declared he’s putting the fight against ISIS on hold in order to deal with IRAN Theresa Payne wants to take over that war on Daesh. Remember when Trump declared that war was won. He relocated troops in Syria to grab the oil and betrayed the Kurds in the process. Now the USA are mercenary force for Exxon It’s always been questioned why we are in Iraq? Why John Howard joined the illegal invasion of a Sovereign State that doesn’t want us there? Now we are ready to partake in yet another escallated war with Iran who signed a peace treaty before Trump came on the scene. A treaty we are now supporting the total shredding of. Payne is proof we are Puppets lapdogs to American politics for profit and its grab for Middle Eastern oil which when said and done we will buy from the US at their price.
More to the point the LNP ready to see the escalation of violence and another unwinnable war offering up Australian lives as we have done time again since WW2. What we are doing is boosting Trump’s desperate efforts in domestic American politics. (ODT)
Foreign Minister Marise Payne will on Tuesday publicly plead for the Iraqi government to let Australian and international partners remain in the country.
“We urge the Iraqi government to ensure the coalition is able to continue its vital work with Iraq’s security forces in countering the shared threat of Daesh,” she said.
“We understand the resolution passed by Iraq’s parliament is non-binding, absent formal approval by the government in Baghdad.”
Australia pleads to stay in Iraq amid Trump, Iran stand-off
Why is it Republicans to win elections start wars? The USA has been losers in all their encounters since WW2 and Trump is no different. A loser he’s yet the biggest war machine on the planet he’s taking the US into yet another war they can’t possibly win. This time it’s illegal yet again. (ODT)
“This strike went forward with no notification or consultation with Congress,” committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a statement Thursday. “Even if this strike was in self-defense, no current congressional authorization covered it and the President needs to notify Congress within 48 hours pursuant to the War Powers Resolution. The law requires notification so the President can’t plunge the United States into ill-considered wars.”
via Democrats Warn Of Massive Consequences After Assassination Of Soleimani | HuffPost Australia
One thing strikes me as a no-brainer. If Brexit goes ahead, France will follow. Their inability to fund their social programs within the Eurozone will ultimately lead them to realize their only option is to leave the Eurozone and ultimately, the EU and restore their true sovereignty. If France goes, Italy will follow and gradually, over a period of many years, the EU and the Eurozone will collapse in much the same way the Soviet Union collapsed.
This then exposes Europe to the dangers of war. It’s a chilling scenario. I don’t expect to be around if and when it happens, but my grandchildren will be.
And that really frightens me. My concern is not for my future, but theirs.
via Is Europe drifting towards another war? – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Even as Israel becomes chronically unable to form a government, the ‘Gaza consensus’ — the endless pounding of the strip into oblivion — persists. It could tip the scales in Netanyahu’s favor.
via To save himself, Netanyahu is going to war with Gaza | +972 Magazine
First the FBI now the CIA any Independant arm of government is a danger to this President why? Because they alone threaten his image and spin. (ODT)
via Impeachment Frenzy Rattles Trump as the Out-of-control President Goes to War with the CIA | The Smirking Chimp
Conservatives take us to Wars the ALP takes us out of them. SOS Save OUR SONS (ODT)
Australia must think through its interests and principles with the U.S. before taking part in an attack in Iran, writes former executive chairman of UNSCOM, the UN Special Commission to disarm Iraq, Richard Butler.
Australia is likely to be drawn into U.S. hostilities with Iran
Trump administration appear intent on war against Iran. This week on Intercepted: As the U.S. accuses Iran of attacking civilian ships while offering scant evidence, grave historical parallels are emerging with the Gulf of Tonkin incidents in 1964 that were manipulated to justify Lyndon Johnson’s dramatic escalation of the war in Vietnam. California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna is preparing legislation aimed at stopping an attack on Iran, and he says he would not put it past national security adviser John Bolton to manipulate evidence. Journalist Negar Mortazavi of The Independent analyzes what war with Iran would look like and exposes the State Department’s funding of propaganda operations against Iran. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman talks about the parallels with the build up to the Iraq invasion of 2003 and shares stories from her early life as a journalist.
via Donald Trump, Iran, and the Gulf of Tonkin Redux
When can bullies be seen flipping the argument and blaming the other side when they are ultra conservatives. Soon we’ll see them declaring that they are the victims. It’s not a strange practice and is a common ploy when backs are to the wall Corman is doing it here. He was a vote collector for Dutton and it wasn’t a last minute decision on his part as he tried to make out. (ODT)
Cabinet Minister Mathias Cormann, who supported Mr Dutton, said Malcolm Turnbull’s unusual tactics ahead of the Liberal leadership spill added pressure to his colleagues.
“There’s nothing wrong with seeking to convince each other of the merits of our arguments, but it always ought to be done with courtesy and respect,” he told Sky News.
Some of Mr Dutton’s other backers, including young conservatives Andrew Hastie, Michael Sukkar, James Paterson, Zed Seselja, Tony Pasin and Jonathon Duniam, have denied any knowledge of, or involvement in, the alleged bullying.
via Peter Dutton’s backers refused to leave Liberal Party members’ offices, demanded they reveal votes during spill – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
It raises the question of what the PMCs can do in Afghanistan if they are getting their butts kicked now in Yemen?
Unstated is the fact that despite the US military presence in Afghanistan, there also are PMCs working with them. One intelligence official told me that the ratio of PMCs to US soldiers in Afghanistan is better than five to one.
If that is the case, and PMCs already are fighting at some five times the strength of the US forces already in Afghanistan, what convincing information can Prince convey to Trump to get him to substitute his PMCs for the US military?
via Blackwater founder seeks to privatize Afghan war despite mercs getting butt kicked in Yemen — RT Op-ed
Prince’s idea, which first surfaced last year during the president’s Afghanistan strategy review, envisions replacing troops with private military contractors who would work for a special U.S. envoy for the war who would report directly to the president.
via Here He Comes Again: Erik Prince Pushes To Privatize Afghanistan War | Crooks and Liars