AUKUS. We “share values” with people committing genocide??

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 pm, May 20th, 2024 - 46 comments
Categories: AUKUS, Ethics, gaza, genocide, human rights, us politics - Tags:

Reposted From Eugene Doyle Solidarity A Public Policy and Advocacy Space

Western leaders like to talk about values, shared values, common values.  They talk about this a lot.  America itself is obsessed with two things: conflict resolution through violence and moral preening.  Nowhere is this contradiction more glaringly on display than in the genocide being committed in Gaza. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) says the US and Israel have a partnership based on shared values. I believe them.

Before New Zealand decides, by joining AUKUS Pillar 2, that we want to be America’s Friend with Benefits (cyber warfare tools, missiles, etc), we should at least pause for a moment and consider who we are getting into bed with. Australia also has time to reconsider its hasty AUKUS tryst. 

A few days ago Responsible Statecraft posted a video clip of General Mark Milley, until recently the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States.  In a blood-chilling talk to his audience at The Ash Carter Exchange on Innovation and National Security, Milley said: 

“Before we all get self-righteous about what Israel is doing, and I feel horrible for the innocent people in Gaza dying, but we shouldn’t forget that we, the United States, killed a lot of innocent people in Mosul, in Raqqa; that we, the United States, killed 12,000 innocent French civilians … We destroyed 69 Japanese cities, not including Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We slaughtered people in massive numbers, innocent people who had nothing to do with their government – men, women and children. War is a terrible thing. But if it’s going to have meaning, if it’s going to have any sense of morality, there has to be a political purpose, and it must be achieved rapidly with the least cost and you do it by speed.”

Were decades of butchering innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam examples of this moral purpose and speed?  Little wonder the article was entitled “Mark Milley throws US military under the bus for Israel”. 

Sitting right alongside Milley was tech executive Alex Karp whose company, Palantir, is making massive profits from ‘software-centric targeting systems’, including artificial intelligence to make kill decisions.  Karp, a cheerleader for the Military Industrial Complex, went full Orwellian: “The peace activists are actually the war activists, and we’re the peace activists.”  Palantir’s company founders include New Zealand citizen Peter Thiel (thanks, PM John Key). Karp went on to say the US campus protesters were “an infection on our society”. Milley chimed in:

“They [the pro-Palestinian campus protesters] are out there supporting a terrorist organisation [Hamas] whose very written charter calls for the death of all Jews, not just in Israel but worldwide.”  I assume Milley knew he was telling a monstrous lie.  I’ve read the Hamas Charter and it contains nothing of the kind. 

US Green Party candidate Dr Jill Stein was one of the campus protesters arrested last week – in her case for assault on a police officer after she was assaulted, on camera, by police officers.  She says Genocide is on the ballot in the Presidential elections. 

“We have an empire that has gone totally ballistic.  Empire, oligarchy and climate change – they are taking us down.  We need to fight for a world that works for all of us,” Stein told The Hill this week.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister and Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs have told us that AUKUS not only looks good for the region but would be an expression of our shared values with the USA.  

Asked in a recent NZ Herald interview if he feared retaliation by China if New Zealand attached itself to Aukus, Luxon said: “It’s about a principled basis of believing in some values … You need to be able to talk to your values and take action.”

The issue of whether AUKUS makes sound strategic sense – and security trumps morality in most cases – is of great importance. The US was, is, and will almost certainly remain a good friend and ally of New Zealand – whether we join the military pact against China or not. Joining Aukus at this moment in US adventurism, however, fails on both moral and strategic grounds.  

US Ambassador (ret) Chas Freeman told me recently: 

“New Zealand faces a bigger threat from rabid penguins than it does from China, so I don’t understand what’s in it for Wellington to sign onto Washington’s anti-China hysteria.” 

The Biden administration has created a bonfire out of the international rules-based order and is undoubtedly guilty of massive crimes against humanity in Gaza.  At home, they are shredding the democratic freedoms entrenched in the first amendment: the right to free speech. According to Bernie Sanders, a Trump victory will spell “the end of democracy” in the US.  And, according to the sharpest defence analysts in Australia (Pearls & Irritations is an excellent depository of analysis), the US could be leading us into World War III with an ill-considered attempt to maintain primacy in East Asia.

I have paid careful attention to former PM Helen Clark who has emerged as a leader and a voice of caution in the Aukus debate. 

“Our job, if we intend to maintain an independent foreign policy, is to navigate between the two powers,” Clark says. “We need to advocate for a region that is at peace and always pursue dialogue and engagement. We need to be a voice for de-escalating tensions, not a contributor.”

That is a statement of values I can sign on to.

Eugene Doyle is a Wellington-based writer and community activist. He is a 2023 Absolutely Positively Wellingtonian. His first demonstration was at the age of 12 against the Vietnam War.

46 comments on “AUKUS. We “share values” with people committing genocide?? ”

  1. Jono 1

    An exceptional op…thought provoking.

    Ukraine is the key example. Nato expansion from 92..nuland cookie inspired cou 2014…Bucharest summit 2008 for nuclear weapons on Russian border…how did Oct 61 go with the roles reversed?…and yet after lies like Vietnam and Iraq.. the mass media still feed the sheep with brainwashington dc coolaid. The us has more than 700 military bases..who the one being belligerent and threatening. As for nz position…do we want to discard the idea of being neutral..yes neutral..for the sake of being the next proxy sacrificial lamb at the altar of "military alliances". That worked out well in 1915 eh? That's it folks..for us or against us…that is the bs narrative that pervades the msm and us politics…but of course they won't tell you is all for profits for raytheon..lochheed martin..general dynamics….demonize those who will not let you rule them..and control people..with FEAR

  2. Res Publica 2

    I think it's inarguable that the US has either carried out, has been complicit in, and/or supplied material support for egregious war crimes worldwide. And they should definitely be held accountable for it: including their shameful moral failure over the current conflict in Palestine.

    But, if we're going to be in the business of calling out America's many peccadillos, we should also examine our relationship with China in light of the fact the current regime is an openly oppressive police state that regularly subjects its own citizens to ethnic cleansing, regularly engages in espionage overseas – including in New Zealand, and would gladly invade and conquer several democratic states if they thought they could get away with it.

    The China of 2024 is not the China of 2004. Since the rise of Xi Jiping, China has begun to pursue a much more bellicose and muscular foreign policy alongside a rapid military buildup designed to ensure its hegemony in the Indo-Pacific. Which can only spell bad things for Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. And ultimately, us.

    As a small country, our strategic choices are severely limited. And we are becoming increasingly trapped between two powers; neither of whom we can really trust will act in our best interests or will respect the international rules-based order.

    In a world where sitting between them is no longer a valid option: who do we choose?

    A flawed democracy? or a brutal totalitarian regime masquerading as a communist state masquerading as capitalist state?

    • Wei 2.1

      When has China carried 'regularly subjected its own citizens to ethnic cleansing'/

      The PRC has been in existence 75 years, and minority groups have increased in numbers, partly assisted by being exempt from the one child policy when that policy was in force. So what 'ethnic cleansing'

      China's military is small compared with the US, and it is only interested in defending its historic claims to the South China Sea and Taiwan, claims that preceded the communist victory in 1949. Assuming they would 'gladly invade and conquer several democratic states if they thought they could get away with it' is mere projection.

      To look how well Western 'expansionism' is serving the Pacific today, just look to New Caledonia, where 6 people have been killed in several days of protests. Compare with Hong Kong roiled by months of huge protests yet not a single person died at the hands of the authorities.

      • Res Publica 2.1.1

        And yet somehow the birthrates for Uyghurs in Xinjiang have been crashing, and the government maintains that the Uyghur population is "excessive" (过分). Sounds like ethnic cleansing to me.

        I accept that the PRC has a valid claim on Taiwan given the outcome the civil war in 1949 and the recognition as the PRC as the valid successor state to the original Republic of China. It does not, however, have the right to pursue that claim by force.

        Neither does it have the right to use force to enforce its claims in the South China sea.

        I've never believed that the West isn't itself deeply flawed or entirely blameless. All I'm arguing is that if we're going to hold the US to account for its crimes, we should hold China to the same standard.

        Personally, I've studied Chinese language and history for about a decade now and for a long time believed it offered a counterbalance and a real alternative to US hegemony.

        But the way Chinese policy has changed in the last 6 or 7 years has really concerned me.

  3. Jono 3

    Quote:in a world where sitting between them is no longer a valid option: who do we choose?

    Proves you are brainwashed. Which Side is brazil on..or south africa? Or the Amazonian Indians? You haven't argued why the narrative is correct…just continued the bias..actually the us has been bellicose.. flooding Taiwan with weapons since 2004. The ultimate irony is the u.s.a itself will not sign up to legal lines around the world's seas and oceans…if you expand your logic..the us navy conducts military exercises 100km off HK coast..next day 10km..next day 1km…lol..to supposedly suppress aggression. Based on no rules..I guess china and russia can conduct exercises off the coast of San Diego? The logic makes zero sense..because..the real truth is the us is insistent on the belief peace exists only on its own terms…

    There is a famous story of a farmer who tied up all the other surrounding farmers to trees because he saw them as a threat. After the 8th farmer was tied up..he cried.."finally..World Peace!"

    • Res Publica 3.1

      Proves you are brainwashed.

      By who? Big Thucydides? Yeah, OK we're not in an exact parallel to the Greek world before the Peloponnesian war. But surely we're close enough to be instructive.

      Which Side is brazil on..or south africa?

      As medium sized powers in their own right and big boys in their own patch (also conveniently half the world way from any China vs USA rivalry), Brazil and South Africa have strategic choices New Zealand simply doesn't.

      If you're arguing for something like the non-aligned movement during the cold war, then sure that's an option. But that needs to be strategic choice based on real world politics and diplomacy: not lazy "UsA BaD" rhetoric and wishcasting.

      Yes: the USA is perfectly prepared to put themselves above the rules when it suits them. Show me a hegemon that hasn't.

      But at least they represent (albeit in a highly flawed form) a notional commitment to an international order based on free trade, individual freedom, and democracy.

      They may not be the perfect ally: but they're at least the least bad option.

      • Subliminal 3.1.1

        But at least they represent (albeit in a highly flawed form) a notional commitment to an international order based on free trade, individual freedom, and democracy.

        Well thats a joke! Heres the US reaction to the ICC warrants against Netanyahu and Gallant. Across the whole Deomcrat/Republican Uniparty is the same voice. The US is the exceptional country. We do what we like. We make the rules. You can study them and respond but by that time we will have made new ones, to paraphrase an apparatchik of the Shrub administration.

        This outrageous decision is truly a slap in the face to the independent judiciary of Israel, which is renowned for their independence,” South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham reportedly said today. “We must not forget as a nation the International Criminal Court threatened to bring action against American forces in Afghanistan – and we are a non-member … I will feverishly work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both chambers to levy damning sanctions against the ICC.”

        Other leading Republicans have joined in the bilious invective.

        Joe Biden and top Democratic Party House leader Hakeem Jeffries also both weighed in with huge opprobrium. Khan’s arrest warrant applications are “outrageous,” Biden said.

        “The arrest warrant request by the International Criminal Court against democratically elected members of the Israeli government is shameful and unserious,” Jeffries stated. “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is ironclad. I join President Joe Biden in strongly condemning any equivalence between Israel and Hamas, a brutal terrorist organization.”

        https://mondoweiss.net/2024/05/icc-warrants-against-netanyahu-and-gallant-may-be-the-first-of-many-aimed-at-israeli-officials/

        • Res Publica 3.1.1.1

          I did say highly flawed. And notional.

          Again, I'm not arguing the US is perfect. Or even right. I'd personally love to see them recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC and call Netenyahu to account.

          But we’re going to face a situation where we’ll have to choose between them and China. And China traditionally doesn’t have allies: it has vassals

          • Subliminal 3.1.1.1.1

            I think you might be a little confused there. It is the US that has vassals enforced by debt in US currency loans fromthe IMF every time a right wing govt in a third world country gains power. The poster child vassal states of the US are currently Ecuador and Argentina.

            In contrast to this Mafioso whats yours is mine attitude of the US, China attempts to build infrastructure that benefits the country the money is going to. Its called win win because there are major benefits to both investor and builder. You may have heard of BRI? And contrary to western spin there are still no examples of a "debt trap" or China forcing payments through sales or austerity. I mean what can they really do? Back the port or railway on a barge and ship it back to China??!

            • Res Publica 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you're making a specious argument that American soft power is bad and Chinese soft power is somehow good and wholesome and right.

              Do you think they're paying for the enormous costs of the BRI out of the goodness of their hearts? Or is it maybe simply an expedient way of increasing their influence in Africa and Central Asia on one hand and making their exports less dependent on future, potentially enemy controlled or interdicted sea lanes on the other?

              It might be a win-win: but for the Chinese, not the client state.

              If you're looking for a moral arc to foreign policy you're definitely NOT going to find it in a brutal, totalitarian police state.

              • Subliminal

                It may surprise you to learn that all polls conducted in China by known western pollsters show that a higher proportion of Chinese, by far, consider there system to be democratic than is the case for any western country. In their system, future leaders have to prove themselves by raising the living standards in the provinces. This is known as meritocracy.

                Contrast that to the US where any idiot prepared to be a sock puppet for some billionaire can run for president. The sock puppet bit is the most important qualifier.

                • Res Publica

                  Oh, my bad, I forgot China is acutally an open, multiparty state with no secret police or internal oppression at all. /sarc

                  So, all the pro-democracy activists and protestors are just making shit up when they aren't busy being jailed, deported to outer Mongolia, or straight out murdered?

                  In their system, future leaders have to prove themselves by raising the living standards in the provinces. This is known as meritocracy.

                  You mean, continue to distribute patronage to the right people while toeing the party line and avoiding the absolutely brutal knife-fight that is CCP politics? Xi didn't become president by accident: he managed to have all of his potential rivals either sidelined or jailed on corruption charges – real or imagined.

                  I'm a (reasonably) fluent Mandarin speaker so have spent a lot of time talking about China with actual Chinese people. Their lived experience is completely different to what you are suggesting.

                  • Subliminal

                    The Chinese police don't shoot people on the street nor do they send law enforcement thugs to Israel to learn the latest strangulation techniques and choke holds perfected maiming unarmed Palestinians, which makes it perfect for maiming unarmed black folk.

                    • Res Publica

                      The Chinese police don't shoot people on the street nor do they send law enforcement thugs to Israe

                      No, they just abduct people and ship them off to labour camps for sterilization and indoctrination.

                      Subliminal, you and your fellow apologists amaze me. You're legitimately making an earnest moral argument on behalf of a literal totalitarian police state.

                      And think that if you stick your fingers far enough into your ears and yell loudly enough about some bullshit moral equivalence, it'll somehow make it right.

                      The entire world spent 6 years and somewhere between 40 and 50 million lives fucking around and finding out what happens when we did that the first time.

                      If you genuinely care about peace. Or security. Or democracy. Or even just humanity; don't repeat that mistake.

                    • Subliminal []

                      I'm trying to point out that your allegiance to the US on moral? lesser evil? reasoning is ridiculous. The more so given the current ongoing genocide in Gaza. Why are the Israeli's making the gaza strip uninhabitable? Does that even need an answer? Gaza makes so obvious the murderous, uncaring, money before anything worldwide policy that it is absolutely on show for all to see. Its official. Lesser evil arguments are dead in the water. It is now impossible to have any regard for the US hegemon.

                      China has no Iraq, Lybia, Afghanistan, Syria etc etc. They dont threaten to take all your money if you piss them off as with Venezuela, and they are prepared to engage with the UN and work with international law rather than a hegemon imposed rules based order.

                      As KJT says below, Russia simply copied the US playbook for the bombing of Serbia ie create a statelet, recognise it and then come to their aid and the idea that China wants to close the South China Sea through which it exports from its massive productive base is just mind numbing in it's stupidity. How anybody could believe such garbage beggars belief. And now We're expected to line up with Aus and commit to a US that is desperate to do something, anything to slow or stop that same massive productive base because they shipped all their manufacturing to China, who learnt real fast how to make stuff just as fast as the US forgot and now screams not fair! Did your Mum ever give you any words of wisdom about little kids having tantrums?

                      We are a trading nation. We require open seas. US action in the South China Sea will make the closing of the Red Sea look like a minor inconvenience. How is it that we can be enticed to cook our own goose?? Sad

                    • Res Publica []

                      Seriously? Serbia was engaging in actual warcrimes. Hence all the ICC trials and drama about Slobadan Milosevic.

                      And as for Israel, yup the US is culpable by providing too many arms and not enough political pressure.

                      But the politicians approving a policy of genocide and the soldiers carrying it out are Israeli. Not American.

                      I think youll find Israel is more than happy to make their own security policy. And given the precariousness of the current government, its arguable even US pressure could stop their actions in Gaza

                    • weka []

                      please fix the typo in your email address, it’s getting your comments stuck in spam.

                    • Subliminal []

                      The US funds and arms Israel. Israel absolutely cannot exist without this funding and arming in the genocidal form that it exists today. To say that the US has no influence over Israel is absurd. Delaying a couple of shipments after Israel has been fully supplied for their attack on Rafah does not count as trying.

                    • SPC

                      China working with the UN …

                      You are ware that China rejected a decision by a UN body as per the South China Sea. And after promising not to militarise atolls they turned into islands – then did so.

                      As for the notion that China is an active trading nation and would not block sea lanes. This is naive.

                      It's actions in the South China Sea to ASEAN nations fishing fleets is well known (and blocking access to resources in their economic zones). And any sanctions embargo can be applied selectively – say ships going to South Korea or Japan, and not China. As a deterrent against any involvement in a dispute over Taiwan – such as lifting a Chinese embargo on shipping to Taiwan.

                    • Subliminal []

                      UNCLOS has neither the ability nor the authority to determine matters of sovereignty. To insist on this being the forum to resolve this dispute is ridiculous. Especially so when the US is yet to ratify.

                    • SPC

                      China was one of the first countries that signed UNCLOS in December 1982, and ratified the Convention in 1996, giving a strong boost to its conclusion and entry-into-force.

                      https://eastasiaforum.org/2016/07/11/like-it-or-not-unclos-arbitration-is-legally-binding-for-china/

  4. Scud 4

    Going by your logic, don't expect this 50 yr veteran to rejoin the colours when Diplomacy fails which will eventually happen given my real life experience!

    By that point in time it's too bloody late to stand up & prepared, the NZDF & Country for War!

  5. Jono 5

    Res publica…still no argument as to WHY we must choose sides. You extend speculation over events within Chinese borders…to actually create your own "ChInA bAD" narrative.

    As for threats..as early as 1995 Clinton Green lighted full US navy exercises off the coast of China to send a "Good luck escaping suffocation" message to China. Again…your totally ignoring u.s.a belligerent actions.

    The beligerent actions of u.s.a (Nato)in eastern Europe 1992 to 2022…are now being replicated in the western pacific.. QUAD..nuclear bombers in aus..u.s.s Japan…who is cornering who?

    Russia and China are the 7th and 8th farmers respectively…in my analogy.

    Back to 1991..in the aftermath..the LINE (Iron Curtain)..become a Neutral Zone (eg Poland)..roughly 1500 odd km wide…it was precisely because of Neutral Zones (like Poland 1994 ..or Latvia 1995..or Finland for ages…that gave the world "Breathing Space" and optimism for peaceful future…

    Of course..Nato destroyed this.

    Your Brainwashed because you think military alliances are Neccessary. Yet I think they are not only unnecessary.. but actually are the belligerent military decisions that will create war.

    I suggest you look up the Lead Up to World War 1…

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    In the years post 1991..u.s.a has acted more fearful than ever..not only to Russia but China too.

    Which military alliances has China or Russia formed to get close to u.s borders?

    • SPC 5.1

      You do seem to be ignoring the fact that American support for (forward bases) containment in Europe, ME and Asia of USSR/Russia, Iranian and Chinese hegemony is part of the collective security expected of UNSC permanent members.

      Sure George Kennan did criticise 1990's policy (including Warsaw Pact nations and the Baltic states within NATO), but Ukraine was without nukes or fleet and promised it would not be attacked – and yet it was. All because it hurt Russian pride by wanting to be part of the EU. Little wonder Sweden and Finland are now part of NATO. No one made Putin attack Uktaine.

      And Iran became what is has become after Mossadeq was removed. But Iran's policy of war to destroy a member state of the UN (and arm non state actors in foreign nations for this purpose) is unique in history and deserves nothing but condemnation.

      As for China, Xi calls Vladimir his best friend (back in 2019). Aggressor nations hunt in packs – Ottoman empire, Austria-Hungary and Germany (1914) – then Japan (China), Italy (Ethiopia) and Germany (Franco's Spain).

      Ignoring the lessons of history is worse than defence co-operation.

      • Subliminal 5.1.1

        Its probably beyond your ability to understand but there is a little more a stake than "Russian Pride" with a Nato Ukraine installing nuclear capable missiles up to the border with Russia. It may make your brain hurt less if you first think "Cuban missile crisis" and then try to do a little reversal with regard to Russia.

        • Res Publica 5.1.1.1

          When I was 4 or 5 or so, I learned very quickly that telling my parents "someone else made me do it" was a terrible excuse for bad behavior.

          If I can't get away with using it for breaking my mother's brandy balloons, why should an actual country with an actual foreign policy get a free pass to use it as an excuse to invade another, neutral state?

          • Subliminal 5.1.1.1.1

            Russia was responsible for an attempt at peaceful relations, called the Minsk accord with Russia the guarantor on the Donbass side and France and Germany on the Ukraine side. Both Merkel and Hollande are on record saying that both had no intention on seeing this implemented but rather, used it as space to arm and fortify Ukraine for future war.

            All serious observers of geopolitics have warned that continued eastward movement of Nato will lead to war. Refusal of Nato to talk to Russia about their concerns and earlier, to deny Russia entry into a pan European security structure point to idiocy on the part of western leaders or a desire to engage Russia militarily, believing them to be weak and easy to roll. Its a sign of the arrogance of western leadership and belief that they could impose their "superiority" onto all others.

            It is not a case of "you made me do it". Its a case first of finding through the Minsk accord process that the west is non agreement capable and no longer does diplomacy. When nations become so arrogant that they stop talking to other nations it leaves war as the only means to sort it out. This is the choice Russia made and because it was so obviously coming, at least to those like Biden who called it days or weeks before, the tactics used by the west demonstrate clearly that they were all good with Russia taking this path.

            Russia made one further attempt early in the war to settle disputes and move back to its own borders, retaining only the Crimean Peninsula. Zelinsky was about to accept very generous terms that only required a commitment to neutrality and rejection of Nato until a last minute visit by Clown Prince Boris Johnson.

            • Res Publica 5.1.1.1.1.1

              The Minsk accords were about as genuine as the Pradda handbag I bought my Mum in the Philippines, and signed basically at gunpoint after Russia openly intervened in the civil war they stirred up Eastern Ukraine and secretly supported/unofficially fought in.

              If I punched you in the face, do you expect I should be able to turn around and blame you for it. Then insist, since I only punched you in the face once, that you should apologise and be thankful for it?

              No. Because that would be stupid. Just like being an apologist for fascists and thugs.

              • Subliminal

                Ridiculous. The US was responsible for the Maidan coup. They even brag about it. The immediate result of that was neo nazis rampaging and beating up and killing anyone who didn't agree with them. The worst of this was the burning to death of somewhere around 100 people in the Trade Union building in Odessa. The Minsk accords went through and were sanctioned by the UN Security Council. That elevates them to international law. There were no vetoes. Everybody at the time saw it as the way forward.

        • SPC 5.1.1.2

          Do nuclear capable missiles that are not, threaten a nation that has nuclear missiles on the other side of the border? They were clearly for the purpose of deterring a Russian conventional attack.

          You do realise that Cuba was about actual nuclear weapons.

          The actual history is that the USA removed missiles from Turkey and the Russians removed their own from Cuba. Later Russia placed nuclear weapons in eastern Europe and the Americans in western Europe over the objection of those "for peace". Yet this resulted in the withdrawal of all of those weapons and subsequently came the end of the Warsaw Pact itself.

          Defensive capability is not a cause of war.

          • Subliminal 5.1.1.2.1

            Nuclear weapons close enough to their objective are not defensive, they are clearly offensive and their major intention is use in first strike. These missile systems already exist in Poland and Romania and their is no way to distinguish what type of missile has been loaded.

            • SPC 5.1.1.2.1.1

              So you are conflating missile launchers in nations with no nuclear warheads as posing a "first strike" threat.

              • Subliminal

                For example, Lockheed Martin’s Aegis Ashore Mark 41 Vehicle Land System with its SM-3 Block IIA missile interceptors has been deployed in Romania and Poland by the US through NATO. This system is capable of intercepting and destroying an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), thereby theoretically rendering ineffective Russia’s missiles and the strategy of mutual deterrence. If Russia can no longer feel safe, it will feel the need to develop more weapons and new strategies.

                Moreover, the Mark 41 VLS, while allegedly intended solely for defensive purposes, could be fitted with aggressive weapons. ((Jack Detsch, “Putin’s Fixation with an Old-School US Missile Launcher,” Foreign Policy, January 12, 2022; Tass Russian News Agency, “Russia Slams US Aegis Ashore Missile Deployment in Europe as Direct Breach of INF Treaty,” November 26, 2016; and Ankit Panda, “A New US Missile Defense Test May Have Increased the Risk of Nuclear War,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, November 19, 2020.)) Making the weapon-imposed threat even more precarious is the fact that the Trump administration withdrew in 2018 from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which had previously regulated land-based ballistic missiles and missile launchers

                https://dissidentvoice.org/2022/06/paradigm-for-peace-applied-to-ukraine-proposal-for-a-peaceful-pathway-forward-part-2a/

                And from Carnegie:

                Russia is concerned that the United States’ deployment of SM-3 interceptors in Europe to defend against Iranian ballistic missiles may threaten its ability to target the United States with intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Moreover, the launchers for these interceptors are adapted from the U.S. Navy’s MK-41 Vertical Launching System, which is used on ships equipped with the Aegis air and missile defense system to launch SLCMs and other missiles as well as SM-3s. The possibility that so-called Aegis Ashore launchers could also be used to fire offensive missiles, particularly cruise missiles—in spite of U.S. statements to the contrary—is a second concern for Moscow.

                https://carnegieendowment.org/research/2021/12/reimagining-nuclear-arms-control-a-comprehensive-approach?lang=en

                Aegis ashore in Poland and Romania are manned and operated by US personnel. Only they know what type of cartride is loaded into the "defensive" launcher. They are cruise missile and therefore nuclear capable. But of course the US military always does the right thing so should just be trusted?!!

    • Res Publica 5.2

      Res publica…still no argument as to WHY we must choose sides. You extend speculation over events within Chinese borders…to actually create your own "ChInA bAD" narrative.

      Funnily enough a great deal of my criticism of China's foreign policy is exactly over the matter of their own borders. They seem to think it extends into territory that rightly belongs to Korea, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines under international law and aren't above committing what are perilously close to acts of war to cement their claims.

      My take on the situation is that we're a small state caught between two hegemons (or hegemon wannabees) that are stuck in a classic Thucydides trap. And at some point, history tells us that one or both of them is going to tell us that we're either with them or against them.

      I suggest you look up the Lead Up to World War 1

      OK I'll bite. And I'll suggest you look up the period between 1815 and 1914 with its grand total of zero wars between the great powers despite several periods of high tension. The post-Napoleonic alliance system worked. Until it didn't.

      The problem wasn't that those alliances existed. It's that there was no mechanism for defusing the situation once it gathered enough momentum.

      Your Brainwashed because you think military alliances are Neccessary. Yet I think they are not only unnecessary.. but actually are the belligerent military decisions that will create war.

      If you equate being historically literate with brainwashing then we've got a real problem. Because that's a pretty broad brush you're painting with there, buddy.

      I also think your blaming NATO for Russia's invasion of Ukraine is the stupidest, laziest, most reckless, and just plain wrong analysis I have ever had the misfortune to read. It marks you out as either a moron or a sock puppet. Maybe even both.

      Russia chose to attack Ukraine before it could get into NATO because they gambled they could get away with it. That the west would be too divided and weak to support the Ukrainians, and that a sufficiently strong and rapid blow could take Kyiv and topple the Zelensky government. They were wrong.

      And now hundreds of thousands of young Ukrainians are paying the price for Putin's vanity and Russia's paranoia.

      • KJT 5.2.1

        Russia knew they would get away with invading Ukraine, because the USA's similar contempt for other countries rights and "the rules based order" most recently in Palestine/Israel, showed them what was possible.

        I find the idea of actively choosing between one lot of undemocratic oligarchic baby killers, the USA and another, China, who has actually killed a lot less recently, morally repugnant.

        If we are talking about "real politic" the comical idea we need help to defend our shipping lanes against China. China that is a huge percentage of our trade and has the most to lose if our shipping links with them are shut down, is moronic. In reality it will be US war mongers who will blockade our trade links.

        • Subliminal 5.2.1.1

          Absolutely to the point!

        • Res Publica 5.2.1.2

          Firstly, it's realpolitik.

          China that is a huge percentage of our trade and has the most to lose if our shipping links with them are shut down, is moronic

          If trade guaranteed peace, we would have had any wars since the end of the 18th century. And we'd be worshiping Kant as a God instead of debunking him as a well-meaning crackpot with some high-minded but incorrect ideas about international relations.

          Moreover, there's no objective "smart" choice in IR. Self-interest is decided by states, not external actors. For example, China may well decide that losing access to international trade or particular sea lanes may be worth the cost and risks.

        • SPC 5.2.1.3

          As for the notion that China is an active trading nation and would not block sea lanes. This is naive.

          It's actions in the South China Sea to ASEAN nations fishing fleets is well known (and blocking access to resources in their economic zones).

          Any sanctions embargo can be applied selectively – say ships going to South Korea or Japan, and not China. As a deterrent against any involvement in a dispute over Taiwan – such as participation in an effort to lift a Chinese imposed embargo on shipping – say trade with Taiwan without Chinese consent.

  6. SPC 6

    The weakness of Clark's position, as to an independent foreign policy, is that she fails to say how our place in NATO+, Five Eyes and our defence alliance with Oz is of no problem to that, whereas being party to co-operation within Pillar 2 would be.

    And notably there is alignment with those in Oz opposed to the AUKUS nuclear powered sub arrangement.

    This is unwise – given it is bi-partisan policy there. Oz is an important partner important to our economic, political and security future.

    A case can be made that the Pillar 2 concept no more belongs in AUKUS than the earlier QUAD development.

    Thus it can separated out from a perceived China containment play – after all its purpose is global in scale, not regional.

    • Jono 6.1

      While your point about Clark is well noted..and prescient…it actually proves my point that millions…sorry billions of people on this planet are so brainwashed by u.s propaganda over having to take sides.

      Why does 5 eyes exist at all..or nato..or any military alliance for that matter?

      Actually 5 eyes..proves u.s belligerence and paranoia.

      Nato actually creates a more dangerous world..by having mass military alliances…particularly close up on nuclear armed states.

      Finland showed the path pre and post 1991 with its position the worl did not have to worry about sparks flying on its 1000+ km border with 6000+ nuclear weapon state.

      It staggers me how anyone can take u.s foreign policy seriously following the Cuban missile crises.

      Res publica..I never questioned your historical knowledge.

      In a post Oppenheimer invention world ..the enemy is weapons themselves.

      Where was the call for diplomacy on Feb 25th 2022? Or indeed Oct 8th 2023? This reveals a staggering philosophy so repugnant..my way or ww3.

      • SPC 6.1.1

        All member nations of the UN are supposed to abide by a rules based order.

        It includes collective security of member states and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (and yet only some states do the latter, not all, nor even most).

        Thus our involvement in UN actions to secure South Korea and Kuwait, and Afghanistan – but not Iraq (not UN sanctioned).

        However there has been no action in defence of Ukraine because of the Russian and Chinese vetoes. I guess Xi Jinping has invested in having a supportive veto in the UN available.

        NATO existed in the era of the Warsaw Pact.

        All the Cuban missile crisis showed was that Russia would act to defend fellow communist nation states – par for the Cold War era of security alliances.

        As per nuclear weapon plays, Putin makes threats with nukes to deter anyone from coming to the aid of the invaded Ukraine. Yet Truman removed MacArthur because he wanted nukes used on China (after it moved its forces into Korea).

      • Res Publica 6.1.2

        It staggers me that anyone can take Russian foreign policy seriously post Ukraine, and Chinese policy at face value given their disdain for international law.

        As for NATO, the number of countries officially invaded by these out of control warmongers is exactly 1: Afghanistan after the US invoked article 5 post 9/11.

        The number of countries invaded by poor, peaceful Russia is significantly higher.

        • SPC 6.1.2.1

          NATO did unwisely go beyond their no fly zone mandate in Libya and attack government ground forces.

          The other case is the Yugoslavia break-up, it is a pity that plebiscites were not used to establish borders there. It would have been a good precedent for Ukraine.

          • Res Publica 6.1.2.1.1

            Oh yeah, Libya. That was a thing.

            I'd argue that intervention in the breakup of Yugoslavia was morally necessary and the only think that stopped the situation turning into an even larger and more general bloodbath.

            Given the political and demographic terrain of the balkans, I think plebiscites would do a great deal more harm than good and only have encouraged further conflicts as small enclaves of X people stuck in Y nation tried their hand at a spot of revanchism.

            That and the Serbians would have waited all of 3 seconds after the results were announced to invade. Probably with Russia's tacit support.

  7. Res Publica 7

    It staggers me that anyone can take Russian foreign policy seriously post Ukraine, and Chinese policy at face value given their disdain for international law.

    As for NATO, the number of countries officially invaded by these out of control warmongers is exactly 1: Afghanistan after the US invoked article 5 post 9/11.

    The number of countries invaded by poor, peaceful Russia is significantly higher.

    • joe90 7.1

      The number of countries invaded by poor, peaceful Russia is significantly higher.

      And growing.

      .

      Russia has taken it upon itself to enact changes to its maritime borders with Lithuania and Finland in the Baltic Sea, as per an announcement found on the official Russian government website.

      […]

      As specified in the Russian Defense Ministry’s decree, Russia is targeting the acquisition of internal sea waters positioned in the Gulf of Finland’s eastern region, and around the urban zones of Baltiysk and Zelenogradsk within the Kaliningrad Oblast.

      By initiating this decree, Russia is attempting to modify the geographical coordinates that delineate the extent of Russia’s territorial sea as well as specific areas adjoining the coast and islands.

      This modification of geographic coordinates proposed by Russia affects areas around the Sommers, Jahi, Rodsher, Malyi Tyuters, Vigrund, and Gogland islands, in addition to the northern tip of the Narva River located near the Finnish state border.

      In addition, Russia has reassessed regions bordering the Curonian and Vistula lagoons along with the Taran Cape close to the Lithuanian border.

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russia-independently-alters-sea-border-with-lithuania-and-finland-in-the-baltic/ar-BB1mOdAN

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  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
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  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
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  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
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  • Still doing a good 20
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  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
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  • All good, still
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  • The looting is the point
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  • Scope of the Northland transmission tower failure review announced
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  • Minister celebrates students’ space success
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  • Address – Commemoration of the 74th Anniversary of the Commencement of the Korean War
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  • New WorkSafe board appointments to address a history of poor financial management
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  • Next phase of the Royal Commission into COVID-19
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  • Government introduces Three Strikes Bill
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    22 hours ago
  • New support for agricultural emissions reduction
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    23 hours ago
  • Government actions strengthening Māori success
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    1 day ago
  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
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    2 days ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
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  • Government takes action to address youth crime
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  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
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  • School attendance increases
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  • Record investment in public transport services
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  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
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  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
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  • Government supporting Māori business success
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  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
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  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
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  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
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    7 days ago
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  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
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  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
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  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
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  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
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  • Making it easier to build granny flats
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  • High Court Judge appointed
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  • Health workforce numbers rise
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  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
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  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
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  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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    2 weeks ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
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  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
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  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
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    2 weeks ago

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