FiveEyes on our elections

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 am, June 12th, 2019 - 94 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, australian politics, China, election 2017, elections, Russia, Spying, uk politics, us politics - Tags:

Andrew Little’s letter to the Select Committee on election interference puzzled me – it seemed to be out of the blue and not particularly relevant to our system. Then I read about a meeting on the Gold Coast last year and it became clear as to why – FiveEyes pressure.

In August 2018, FiveEyes Ministers

agreed to respond jointly to “severe” foreign interference and call out the nations responsible amid concern in the West over Russian and Chinese government influence.

In a joint statement, the ministers said foreign governments, ­actors and their proxies were involved in “coercive, deceptive and clandestine activities” to “sow discord, manipulate public discourse, bias the development of policy, or disrupt markets”.

The so-called Russia-gate was always a beat-up, driven mostly by the need to find an excuse for the debacle that was the Democrat campaign, and also to draw attention away from the activities of the FBI and CIA that are now coming into the limelight.

And the attack on the Democratic committee emails is another hack-versus-leak issue. Political parties always prefer to talk about hacks as it implies outside interference rather than insider dissatisfaction. Boris Johnson is now claiming credit for the removal of Russian diplomats over the Skripal affair as his great diplomatic triumph. Whatever else you might say about the Skripals, it is certainly true that the Russians didn’t make them die but the British have made them disappear. I’ve commented earlier about how the Inquiry provided an opportunity for another attack on China.

However when it came to New Zealand, the SIS and GCSB told the Select Committee that they found no evidence of such interference in our election.

So why did Andrew Little feel he should raise the issue in New Zealand? Just following the crowd?

For there are serious issues at stake. The United States war on Russia and China has now moved from the back page to the front page – more on that in another post. We absolutely must stay independent. This  FiveEyes lock-step is a worrying sign that we could be drawn into the US camp by default.

Andrew Little is the responsible Minister. We need to be sure that he is responsible for our independence. We could lose a lot of what we have in our culture and polity that is unique and valuable, if we get sucked into these great power games.

 

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, New Zealand Justice Minister Andrew Little, British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, and US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on the Gold Coast.

94 comments on “FiveEyes on our elections”

  1. Jenny - How to Get there? 1

    We absolutely must stay independent.

    Mike Smith

    It could well be argued, (by supporters and detractors of this state of affairs), that we have never been independent. First as a satrap and colonial outpost of the British Empire, and with the decline of that empire, with that of the US.  

    ANZUK to ANZUS

    Since the founding of this nation, there is hardly a foreign conflict engaged by either of these two global hegemons UK and the US that New Zealand yaforces to. From the Boer War to the Dardenals campaign, to the Malaya Crisis, to the Korean and Vietnam wars, to Iraq to Afghanistan. Not to mention Waihopai and even Five Eyes itself, which is part of the Western global intelligence gathering network, and which despite initial denials even spies on New Zealanders, information which is shared with the US hegemon. This focus on threats to US imperialism more than explains our intelligence agencies blind spot towards French terrorists and white supremacists.

    What independence we do have achieved has been hard fought for and been opposed all the way by these same agencies, The anti-nuclear status for one example.

    The bending or our legal system to fit US demands for Dotcom’s extradition agaiinst all existing NZ legal norms is another example of our subservience and lack of independence.

    That is just two of the most obvious examples of our lack of independence, I am sure that others can provide many more.

    • Jenny - How to Get there? 1.1

      Just how much are we in lockstep with the US?

      The $20 billion increase for the NZ military was announced around the same time as a $200 billion increase for the Australian military and the $750 billion increase in US military spending.

      Coincidence?

      Or evidence of preparations to loyally serve US's military interests in their next big war of choice?

      • Exkiwiforces 1.1.1

        Actually you might want to this article  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-12/climate-change-hazards-global-peace-index-report/11198144

        Also of note September this yr will be the 20th Anniversary of INTERFET booting out the TNI and pretty much all of the equipment in yesterday’s updated DCP would’ve been very handy if the NZDF had access to that equipment. I’m going to be there if will a enough as I had a run back down rabbit hole 8 wks ago and I would like to see you there to show you what Peacekeeping is all about especially now that CC is pretty going to a effect the Peace and Wellbeing in the Asia Pacific region.

      • Jenny - How to Get there? 1.1.2

        What if they gave a war, and nobody came?

        The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Tehran trying to help ease rising tensions between the United States and Iran.

        A Japanese owned vessel is then struck with 'flying objects'.

        Coincidence?

        Probably not.

        Who was the culprit?

        What was their motive?

        Was it false flag attack by the Americans on their Japanese ally, pinned on the Iranians. to force the Japanese to cut their ties with Iran?

        Was it a false, false flag attack, by the Iranians, blamed on the Americans, to strengthen Japanese ties with Iran? 

        The US claim it was the Iranians

        The Us have video from the scene, which the US claims show Irainian revolutionary guards removing unexploded limpet mines from the ship.

        The world now knows the US claim of limpet mines is false.

        The Japanese ship owner says it is not obvious from looking at it, that the ship was Japanese, which means that someone would have had to have pre-knowledge that it was Japanese. That is, if that was the reason it was targeted.

        The Japanese owner says the ship's cargo of 25,000 tons of highly flammable methanol did not catch fire. This would indicate that the 'flying objects', whatever they were, did not carry exploding warheads. The removal of war heads normally fitted to flying missiles/objects indicates that the attack was premeditated, and that the attackers, whoever they were, did not intend to sink or destroy the Japanese vessel, instead wanted to send a warning, or create political damage.

        “Flying objects” damaged Japanese tanker during attack in Gulf of Oman

        By Junko Fujita 13 hrs ago

        TOKYO, June 14 (Reuters) – Two “flying objects” damaged a Japanese tanker owned by Kokuka Sangyo Co in an attack on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, but there was no damage to the cargo of methanol, the company president said on Friday.

        https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/flying-objects-damaged-japanese-tanker-during-attack-in-gulf-of-oman/ar-AACSxVh?ocid=spartanntp

  2. fustercluck 2

    If not within the sphere of the USA, then what? I cannot imagine that anyone capable of reading would suggest that aligning with China is in NZ's best interests and Russia is simply not a player in the South Pacific. The USA is far from perfect but at least there is a functioning constitution that enshrines human rights, a flawed but extant democracy, etc. NZ is incapable of securing its future as an independent entity in a world where many nations can project sufficient power to overwhelm our military resources. Finally, the USA economy is growing and there is abundant opportunity to sell our products. Apart from the "orange man bad" mantra, why exactly is not a good idea to be aligned to at least some extent with the USA?

    • WeTheBleeple 2.1

      "NZ is incapable of securing its future as an independent entity in a world where many nations can project sufficient power to overwhelm our military resources"

      Jeepers, best we stockpile some nukes and get in bed with a murderous bully then. The only reason anyone pays any heed to these bullies is cowardice. Fear of losing a dollar, that's it. 

      Fear as a motivating factor. And you know the merchants wont be anywhere near the front line. They'll be safely ensconsed in hotels on the other side of the world. The cowardly billionaire gun running set and their minions.

      I notice warmongers always trot out trade like it belongs in the same paragraph with war.  Gun to the head sales shouldn't really earn any bonuses. The salesmen should all be sacked.

      We're looking at the bullies in the schoolyard and saying, enough is enough. These adult children, likewise, deserve no encouragement.

      But right wing voters love war: Halliburton shares, Lockheed Martin… aye.

      They invest in war when it's not even on the horizon. They pray to Plutus & Kratos.

      • fustercluck 2.1.1

        Murderous bully?

        Is this a Tiananmen Square reference? If not, please cite a specific example of murder.

          • fustercluck 2.1.1.1.1

            It is interesting to note that USA drone strikes have dropped since 2016. It is also interesting to note that black unemployment is now at historically low levels in the USA. And let us not forget that Khashoggi was deeply involved in the Muslim Brotherhood which some consider to be a terrorist organisation. 

            • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.1.1.1.1

              "those claiming Khashoggi’s Brotherhood sympathies as some kind of black mark reveal nothing so much as their ignorance of the kingdom, the region, and its history."

              https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/10/19/on-jamal-khashoggi-the-muslim-brotherhood-and-saudi-arabia/

            • Dukeofurl 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Says Donald Trump?

              Khashoggi was  deeply involved with the Saudi Royal Family ..until he wasnt. 

              Being a writer for the Washington Post doesnt mean hes 'deeply involved' with Muslim Brotherhood

              • Gabby

                Hey. He was muslim. He had brothers. Case proved. Best evidence in the history of the WORLD.

              • reason

                Khashoggi seems to have been a deceptive journalist for hire…. at least some of the time.

                 

                Notably he took $ 100,000 of stolen money to write PR puff pieces for the Kleptocrats and crooks who stole billions from the Malaysian people in the 1MDB fraud.

                 

                The proposal was for Khashoggi to provide a major front page interview, plus a smaller interview with Rosmah followed by a series of two or three editorials to be written by Khashoggi.  Tarek ends by saying “using your very influential name and writings in the domestic market will make a big difference on how widespread and successful this media project will ultimately be” 

                 

                The employment of Mr Khashoggi in this context raises ethical issues. USD100,000 is off the scale in terms of normal freelance payments for a story – more than most journalists earn in a year.

                the articles about Najib and Rosmah (paid for from 1MDB cash) were specifically designed to polish their image in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and elsewhere.

                http://www.sarawakreport.org/2018/12/treat-with-caution-the-tales-from-tarek-obaid/

                http://www.sarawakreport.org/2015/02/managing-the-media-and-then-foreign-policy-how-jho-low-took-over/

                 

                The five eyes network seems consistently blind , or at least quiet  ,,,, on all the mega frauds and thefts …… the five eyes white english speaking club, launders and hides money for.

                 

            • Gabby 2.1.1.1.1.3

              Reported drone strikes flucky.

            • greywarshark 2.1.1.1.1.4

              And where did those facts arise re the USA.?   I would like the official source link, or which think tank put them forward.

        • greywarshark 2.1.1.2

          fustercluck

          We should not have to educate you on what examples of any nation being a murderous bully there are.   Do that yourself.   If you want to comment on these important matters you should already know all the relevant factors.   Neither ignorance or determined ignorance will be of help in a discussion about our hopeful future as a thriving nation, and one that is not just a basically poor nation making a virtue out of necessity, providing mercenaries to avoid punishment from bellicose nations' trade sanctions.

           

        • Blazer 2.1.1.3

          The U.S is not a one trick pony reliant on 'bombing people back to the Stone Age'…they can also oblige in …'making the economy scream'!

    • francesca 2.2

      There are countries in the world that mange to survive despite being non aligned/neutral and despite not having a standing army.

      I think we could do more than survive if we spent the billions earmarked for the military on programs for the public good…our housing crisis poses a bigger threat than any imaginary enemy

      • fustercluck 2.2.1

        Per capita, NZ has pretty much the largest resource area to police and specific responsibilities with regards to its Pacific Island relationships. Without a military our seas could be plundered with impunity, our Pacific neighbours would suffer from an inability to respond to disaster, and we would be unable to participate in international military projects. Further, the history of world war is not so distant as to be able to ignore it. Weakness invites attack and exploitation. A modest military absent big ticket force projection resources or a nuclear deterrent seems to me to be a reasonable minimum to maintain.

        • francesca 2.2.1.1

          Why should we continue to participate in US military adventurism to shore up their

          corporate hegemony. What are we doing dropping white phosphorus in civilian areas of Mosul?

          Lets by all means help our Pacific neighbours after climate disasters, but do we really need to be buying field tested weapons (Gaza) from Israel to help reconstruction in the islands

          Do we need to have a military grade Navy rather than a modified coastguard to protect our fisheries?

          You say "weakness invites attack"

          When was Costa Rica last attacked?

          Liechtenstein?

          Or Iceland for that matter

          I'm all for a well provisioned  civil defence unit….a killing machine?

          Not so much

          • RedLogix 2.2.1.1.1

            a killing machine

            It is a fundamental right of all humans to defend themselves, otherwise the most violent, cruel and despotic would always dominate.

            In the modern nation state we delegate that right to the nation state in two distinct ways. We have police, courts and prisons to deal with internal threats, while we have military forces to face external ones. This is an efficient because it frees up each individual from needed to do the task themselves, as once their ancestors had to do, and get on with other more productive specialisations. 

            But we cannot forget as Orwell memorably put it “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” 

            Note also an important difference between police and military. Because police ordinarily dominate the civilian population they serve, it is not necessary for them to be heavily armed. The same is not true for the military, because no single nation state can dominate all others this necessarily ensures a competitive arms race resulting in massive over capacity … or as you say they become 'killing machines'. 

            There is only one solution to this problem, but we are a little ways off realising it.

            • francesca 2.2.1.1.1.1

              My feeling is its because we are aligned with the US militarily, we are inevitably more of a target than if we were non aligned….and possibly playing off the US and China as our Pacific cousins do might be a smarter move. 

              I'm also reminded of Fiji.

              When Fijian peacekeepers were captured on the Golan Heights by AQ, and later released, they came home complaining of how ill equipped they were to defend themselves.

              Russia sends container loads of defence equipment.

              https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/foreign-affairs/fiji-looks-to-russia-for-arms-as-aid-flows/news-story/b43540befb3938eb41cd9d4495e5c080

              Key shrugs his shoulders, says Fiji's allowed to do what it likes,

              "Australian officials are downplaying the significance of the Russian donations, while New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said arms deals were “a matter for (Fiji)”. 

              but the next thing McCully is despatched with a lot of huff and puff and warnings of arms being used to stifle dissent

              "Negations are underway for a second consignment of weapons from Russia, as Fiji's relationship with Russia and China continues to cause ripples in Washington and Western Europe."

              NZ bolsters military aid to Fiji, taking it "to a new level"

              "https://www.interest.co.nz/news/98391/winston-peters-commits-giving-fijian-military-more-support-countries-engage-reinvigorated"

              I'm sure this can be done in other fields like trade and investment

            • WeTheBleeple 2.2.1.1.1.2

              If people were looked after, rather than manipulated, used, and lied to; they'd not be listening to the calls for war from leadership hell bent on power and dominance. They'd not be looking externally for people to blame if the narrative weren't 9 parts bullshit.

              Human needs are relatively simple. But we've been sold the lie that a Maserati makes us more manly, a boob-job more desirable, a cache of weapons enough to destroy the world many times over more secure.

              Yes, there's enough little guys to tell the bullies to sod off. That's why we should stop kneeling before their false idols… and tell them to sod off.

               

              • francesca

                Totally WTB

                But I fear we've crossed the line.

                If we can't transcend our primitive natures now, we really are out of here, taking most of the living world with us

                This stupid arms race can't go on.

                What a monumental waste of resources, all to perpetuate paranoid delusions, and to deflect from the biggest threat humanity has ever faced..climate catastrophe ..food web breakdown

                 

              • RedLogix

                And the good news is that generally we are trending in that direction. For the average person the world is considerably less violent than it was just generations ago. Pinker is the best known person to make this case.

                Yet I've made the case that regardless of how 'peaceful' society is, some form of armed and coercive force will always be necessary. All humans are capable of evil, and the possibility of them engaging with it must always be guarded against.

                The important question is, what is the most efficient means to do this? Ideally you want to be able to achieve sufficient order with the minimum force necessary. Globally the force available to military forces greatly exceeds what is necessary, which represents not only an unacceptable risk of escalation, but an amoral misallocation of resources much needed elsewhere.

                • francesca

                  But Red, how is it that more and more money is being spent on weapon manufacture and sales?

                  I can certainly go along with a police force, and a strong civil defence, but chumming up with any of the major players (US/Russia/China/France/UK/Saudi Arabia/Turkey…all of whom have large military budgets) offends my moral sense. 

                  Do we have to forget about morality now?

                   

                  • RedLogix

                    Do we have to forget about morality now?

                    Well in my usual plodding fashion that is exactly the case I'm building, that over time the 'moral' direction humans have been moving has been to delegate our 'right to defense' to ever broader circles of human social cooperation, AND relinquish the 'right to attack'.

                    Over 10,000 years of very bumpy progress we have reached the stage where the nation state is the highest level of social cooperation we have implemented at least in terms of political and military cooperation. There are treaty alliances that step somewhat past that limit, but none are stable and enduring.

                    Yet in every other respect economically, socially and in so many practical ways we live in a globalised society. Globalisation has become an 'unstoppable human project', but we have yet to lay down the moral foundations on which it can be enduringly built. That is my essential thesis here, that as long as we remain trapped into nation-state silo thinking, we cannot progress globalisation into a harmonious system.

                    • greywarshark

                      Oh give us a break I am sick of pompous history of 10,000 years ago whether it relates to climate change or human history.    As far as history goes, it shows us moving in cycles and we always destroy much of what we have created.   Climate change similarly on a long grand scale, as a rule.  300 years seems a long time, but that cycle with its Southern mountains earthquake is about to happen again.

                      As if we didn't have to think twice as hard against all sorts of looming disruptions.    We have to zoom in from 10,000  years.  

                    • RedLogix

                      Cripes, human history goes back at least 2 million years, the past 10,000 is an eye blink. And within that time there have been many societies and empires which have come and gone; on that I agree with you.

                      But that period has been characterised by at least two important features; the first was agriculture, tools, written languages and our increasingly sophisticated ability to for abstraction. And while each time a society rose and collapsed, we tended to reach a higher water mark than the time previous. Gradually what rose out of each collapse was something just a little larger and more complex than what proceeded it, yes there was much destruction, but also much that we achieved.

                      But around the middle of the 1800's something new happened; we embarked on our first attempt at globalisation. Instead of history being the story of societies and empires rising and falling, each largely isolated from each other … suddenly they had all become neighbours connected to each other globally. For the first time ever it became possible to think of the world as one country, with one human race it's citizens. 

                      That 10,000 year supercycle, from the invention of agriculture, to the globalisation of humanity is coming to an end. The next cycle takes us beyond the childhood of humanity; it takes us beyond separation, difference, rivalry and war. It is when we set aside these childish things and take up our responsibilities as a species. Within just another millenia we will reach the limit of our planetary evolution and reach out to the stars. We will unfold unsuspected capacities within our nature we can only imagine at present. 

                      I find this a tremendously optimistic vision, it inspires me because I realise how little I know, and how very much further our children will travel. I'm sorry if you find it pompous; maybe I hung out with too many geologists when I was younger and it’s distorted my sense of time 🙂

              • Lucy

                “there's enough little guys to tell the bullies to sod off.” We have so many people in NZ being bullied – and no one does anything about it. In fact how many people are bullied by the bully then the rest of the people round pile in? We do not have a past that supports the bullied so I do not think that we would tell anyone to sod off. Andrew Little is someone who has previously stood up, so if he is raising an issue of interference then it is because he knows five eyes wont. He previously raised the issue that five eyes had no idea about any of the right wing terrorists.

            • Gabby 2.2.1.1.1.3

              I don't remember Orwell saying that rodlog. Where did you find that 'quote'?

                • Gabby

                  So he didn't then. It was someone defending a war crime.

                  • RedLogix

                    That is not what my reference says:

                    In conclusion, QI believes that this saying was introduced by Richard Grenier who was attempting to provide a pithy representation of an idea he ascribed to George Orwell. Later writers and speakers turned his phrase into a quotation and directly attached it to Orwell.

                    I'm quite aware of the uncertain providence of it, but conciseness won the day. It's a well known quote that's indelibly linked with Orwell's name, rightly or wrongly.

          • lprent 2.2.1.1.2

            What are we doing dropping white phosphorus in civilian areas of Mosul?

            Perhaps you'd like to provide a verifiable link to our military actually doing that.

            Bearing in mind that we have no attack aircraft, we don't send our choppers offshore, and using unarmoured transport aircraft to do that kind of mission in a combat zone at low level is tantamount to committing suicide. Not to mention that as far as I am aware we don’t stockpile white phosphorous

            Until then, I'll just have to consider you to be a simpleton liar and treat everything you say as being the same as that statement – complete and utter bullshit.

            FFS: grow up and stop playing with your genitals – it appears to make your brain live in an alternate LSD inspired universe.

            • francesca 2.2.1.1.2.1

              God you're offensive IPrent

              Can you get your message across without the vile genital references and slurs on a commenter's intelligence

              please? 

              "Brigadier General McAslan told NPR: "We have utilised white phosphorous to screen areas within west Mosul to get civilians out safely". 

              Note the "we"

              Take it up with the Brigadier

              "We have utilized white phosphorus to screen areas within west Mosul to get civilians out safely," New Zealand Brig. Gen. Hugh McAslan tells NPR. He estimates that around 28,000 civilians have managed to make the dangerous crossing out of Islamic State territory in the past few days alone."

              I guess he ascertained all of this while confined to the training barracks in Taji

              As part of the US led coalition we do have shared culpability in the kind of weaponry used in civilian areas. Whether its specifically our planes dropping white phosphorous or not.

              As you can see, by his own admission , our very own Brigadier is happy to use the term "we"

              "We" were involved in an exercise that drew the criticism of humanitarian Human rights watch and Amnesty

              "However, the deployment of the chemical was criticised by Human Rights Watch.

              “No matter how white phosphorus is used, it poses a high risk of horrific and long-lasting harm in crowded cities like Raqqa and Mosul and any other areas with concentrations of civilians,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch. “US-led forces should take all feasible precautions to minimise civilian harm when using white phosphorus in Iraq and Syria.”

              FFS take a breather 

              • francesca

                And a closer reading will show you that I did not specifically mention the NZ air force, you were the one who specified that, your assumption, your mistake

              • WeTheBleeple

                Think I'll find somewhere else to write, that asshole attacks readers at whim.

                • RedLogix

                  francesca unwittingly stepped on one of his corns. Lynn served in our armed forces for a period, and over the years I've seen him act very protective of their reputation.  We all have our buttons even if, as in this instance, I wish he'd been a little more moderate in how he expressed it.

                  • francesca

                    I hear corn removal is a pretty simple op
                    Thanks for the heads up
                    We all do identify pretty closely with our areas of expertise I suppose
                    Its his ugly way of dispute that temporarily raises my hack

                • francesca

                  WTB

                  I've taken a few breaths and returned to equilibrium

                  World Peace sure seems like a wan little hope if we can't even manage civil discourse

                  Stay here please, I appreciate all your comments and your knowledge of living systems is pretty special

                • Gabby

                  Wot, no more bleepy pomes?

                • greywarshark

                  lprent feels strongly as you do about your special concerns and personally built programs WtB.   I suggest we be as kind to him as we would be to someone with Tourettes.   He really goes off in a fiery way sometimes as Red Logix has noted and explained. He is a bloke with a very full life, fitting everything in, including this little beaut blog, bit stretched often stressed, and doesn't mince words.

            • WeTheBleeple 2.2.1.1.2.2

              To be fair, we're part of the team dropping said phosphorus. Guilt by association? Or innocent?

              A bit of both methinks.

            • One Two 2.2.1.1.2.3

              Until then, I'll just have to consider you to be a simpleton liar and treat everything you say as being the same as that statement – complete and utter bullshit.

              FFS: grow up and stop playing with your genitals – it appears to make your brain live in an alternate LSD inspired universe.

               

              Pure projection.

              You need to stop the degrading and disgusting insults Lprent. 

              And if you are unable to control yourself…get some help.

              • greywarshark

                You are inclined to over-stating things too 1-2 and been asked to control yourself.   But its always on for you to hand out wise advice to others.    Possibly reading some of your cant has brought on outbursts in the past.

            • fustercluck 2.2.1.1.2.4

              I'd be very interested in getting that white phosphorus citation too. There is a world of difference between white phosphorus smoke munitions which are essentially canisters with felt/fabric impregnated with white phosphorus and actual white phosphorus weapons. While there is nothing nice about white phosphorus smoke, and you'd get a nasty burn from an actually combusting piece of the material, these smoke munitions are nothing like the horrific WP weapons that are outside of the laws of war. To suggest our military used such weapons is a serious slur on our armed forces. Further, such an assertion is simply absurd…where in our defence force budget is there sufficient space to hide the procurement, training, and deployment of such a munition?

        • RedLogix 2.2.1.2

          Independence does not imply isolation. While everyone can name the top three nations that are oriented toward hegemony and expansion China, USA, Russia, that leaves a hell of a lot of other nations who have an vital interest in collective security.

          While each nation may be powerless militarily on it's own, collectively we are capable of matching any single one of the the big bad three. Nor do we have to necessarily match them militarily. Between us we are a significant weight diplomatically and economically.

          At the very least NZ must wake up, smell the uranium, and realise that any serious military capacity we may be able to project is inevitably linked with Australia. 

  3. mac1 3

    We might well be concerned about American intervention in our politics but read who interferes in US politics. $31 million to help Trump win. Annual income of $312 million with 5 million members (same as our entire population!). The NRA.

    Now under the hammer for being a "cabal of cronyism", for mis-spending and dodgy dealings, for familial favouritism.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/113359993/nra-money-flowed-to-board-members-amid-allegedly-lavish-spending

    What influence do they gain through their successful support for Trump?

    What influence here especially considering our government's reaction to March 15?

    • fustercluck 3.1

      And yet exactly zero NRA members have committed a mass shooting.

      https://dcstatesman.com/including-tx-church-shooting-guess-many-mass-shooters-nra-members/

      Maybe the problem is not the legal gun owners.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        The set of 'NRA members' is not the same as 'legal gun owners'

        • Dukeofurl 3.1.1.1

          The list of NRA members would be secret and they dont volunteer names when they would find one.

          Some researchers caterorgise mass ‘shootings’ ( not just deaths, but multiple people shot as 

          Family Killers:Perpetrators are typically White, middle-aged males who target their spouse or intimate partner, children, and other relatives

          felony Killers:Perpetrators of felony mass murders tend to be young black or Hispanic males with extensive criminal records

          Public Mass murders ( the most reported ones): Public murderers are often stereotyped as middle-aged white men who have suffered a series of failures in different areas of life

           

          There would definitely be NRA members in the Family killers and Public shooters . Just the NRA doesnt talk about it

  4. WeTheBleeple 4

    The world will move on from these purveyors of mass destruction, or it will be destroyed.

    Now the fearful grasping right wing of the west have pissed off everybody else they're afraid: not realising their own countrymen have had a gutsful of them too. They keep pushing their doctrine of fear, of imagined threats, of historical events wrapped in rhetoric…

    It became unfashionable to bang on about a Muslim threat, now it's China?

    We are not innocent of war crime and shitty leadership either. But right now we've got a real leader who is not likely to take sides out of fear.

    We could maintain relationships with other countries without being drawn into war, and when they hold a gun to our heads and say we must contribute to death, call them out on the international stage.

    Warmongers deserve no respect. Soldiers deserve better leaders.

     

  5. WeTheBleeple 5

    There are alternative futures where, having wrest control from Disaster Capitalism, we move forward.

    https://futurism.com/the-byte/nyt-automated-luxury-communism 

  6. Dukeofurl 6

    While the effects of Russian involvment in the election was minor. The DNC servers were hacked by the Russians.

    Even more startling as Mueller report mentioned

    At a July 27, 2016, campaign rally, Mr. Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing” — referring to Clinton emails reportedly stored on a personal server. “Within approximately five hours” of Mr. Trump’s remarks, according to the Mueller report, Russian military intelligence began a cyberattack against “Clinton’s personal office.” (VOLUME I, PP. 49, 62-63)

    • Grumpy 6.1

      This is bullshit. There is more likelihood of the "DNC hack" being a "DNC leak". The murder of Seth Rich is a sinister incident that has been ruthlessly suppressed.

      • Dukeofurl 6.1.1

        The emails were released by the Russians to Wikileaks.

        The methods used were well documented

        eg:

        On June 15, 2016, CrowdStrike, a private computer security company working for the Democratic National Committee, announced that it had detected Russian malware on the DNC’s computer server. The next day, a self-described Romanian hacker, Guccifer 2.0, claimed he was a WikiLeaks source and had hacked the DNC’s server. He then posted online DNC computer files that contained metadata that indicated Russian involvement in the hack.

        On July 22, 2016, just days before the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks published approximately 20,000 DNC emails.

         

        of course it was hardly  election winning news that the DNC favoured Clinton as a cnadidate before the Convention.  She was miles ahead on the primarys that had direct election.

        • mauī 6.1.1.1

          Not quite as clear cut as that:

          • June 12: Assange tells Britain’s ITV that another round of Democratic Party disclosures is on the way: “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great. WikiLeaks is having a very big year.”
          • June 14: The Democratic National Committee accuses Russia of hacking its computers.
          • June 15: Guccifer 2.0 claims credit for the hack. “The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to WikiLeaks ,” he brags.  “They will publish them soon.”
          • June 22: WikiLeaks tells Guccifer via email: “Send any new material here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing.”
          • July 6: WikiLeaks sends Guccifer another email: “if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic] days prefable [sic] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after.”Replies Guccifer: “ok . . . i 
          • July 14: Guccifer sends WikiLeaks an encrypted file titled “wk dnc link1.txt.gpg.”
          • July 18: WikiLeaks confirms it has opened “the 1Gb or so archive” and will release documents “this week.”
          • July 22: WikiLeaks releases more than 20,000 DNC emails and 8,000 other attachments.

          https://consortiumnews.com/2019/04/18/the-guccifer-2-0-gaps-in-muellers-full-report/

          The metadata was also independently analysed and found to be consistent with a local download instead of a Russian troll farm hack.

    • mauī 6.2

      Please don't post conspiracy theories here.

  7. greywarshark 7

    We definitely need a military that is equipped effectively to provide border defence and to support Pacific Islanders, at the minimum.    Otherwise we are sitting ducks.   How useful to the country and world stability it is for us to be off providing a mirage of support in the USA's ventures is debatable.    Which is happening here at present.    So that's good.   

    We also need to understand the concept of Perpetual War.*  The concept was used by Trần Văn Đôn, a general in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, in his book Our Endless War: Inside Vietnam (1978).[3]…

    American historian James Chace argues in his book Endless War: How we got involved in Central America (1983)[4] that US policy in Central America is based upon the assumption that US hegemony is threatened within the region.
    *https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_war

     

    This from 2011 – https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/05/how-perpetual-war-became-us-ideology/238600/
    Ideological Domination:    
    Neoconservatives of both parties urge war to spread American ideals, seeing it as the duty of a great nation.

    Liberal interventionists see individuals, not states, as the key global actor and have deemed a Responsibility to Protect those in danger from their own governments, particularly when an international consensus to intervene can be forged.

    Traditional Realists, meanwhile, initially reject most interventions but are frequently drawn in by arguments that the national interest will be put at risk if the situation spirals out of control.

  8. Ad 8

    This post is pretty similar to Paul Keating just before the Australian election who accused security agencies including ASIO and ASIS of running Australia's foreign policy and called for Bill Shorten to "clean them out" if he wins the election.

    "The nutters are in charge," Mr Keating told the ABC after Labor's 2019 campaign launch in May."They've lost their strategic bearings, these organisations."

    Of course, he had been appointed to the international advisory council for the China Development Bank. So he doubled down: "You know, China, whatever you think, China is a great state. It's always been a great state and now has the second-largest economy, soon the largest economy in the world." 

    That's a charming defence of a totalitarian state. $$ beats all.

    Unlike Keating, Andrew Little actually read the multiple reports in the last two years showing how and why Australian politics was far too open to the influences of Chinese money to bend their elections. 

    Plenty of lessons from NZ as a tiny weak state from our big brother who has had to actually live through it. And you don't get access to such lessons in international intelligence unless you have very strong agreements of intelligence sharing. Like Five Eyes.

    As for President Trump, well he's making it far easier for NZ to stay in Five Eyes. He's withdrawing troops left right and centre, refuses to take on new wars, is otherwise telling his allies to pay their fair share – and in case we all missed it he's the only President in a century to hold all the intelligence agencies in complete contempt. It's like he's following the hard left playbook.

    And through all that, it's pretty evident that our own little intelligence agencies need all the help they can get, as noted yesterday by Prime Minister Ardern and Ministers Nash and Mark:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1906/S00076/nz-confirms-ongoing-part-in-operation-gallant-phoenix.htm

    Before we try throwing our intelligence allegiances away, it would be worth bearing in mind that the attacker who killed 50 of our people was Australian. Because of that, the shakeup that is occurring will be on their side of the Tasman as well as ours. 

    We have a Royal Commission doing hearings on intelligence failings for that very reason. I would bet that one of the outcomes would be a strengthened intelligence relationship with Australia, and with the rest of Five Eyes, as a result.

    The state should keep us safe at prayer, and at the voting booth.

    Nothing should be more sacred to our state.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      Don't be too high and mighty about the totalitarian state v democracy Ad.   Our trust in the ways of the democratic state have been severely tested by the workings of capitalism which is the basis of all the democracies we are closest to. Democracy and capitalism go together like love and marriage, or that was what we had been taught.

      It seems that the totalitarian state is harsh and controlling and can result in mass deaths;  democracies close to us  rely on propaganda and denial for misdemeanours against the people, usually with one hand on the Bible which, outside Court is divided up into pieces that carefully cut and pasted will excuse anything.   Inside the peoples' Judicial Court, the Bible homilies must be adhered to in whatever way the local law has pronounced.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        If only we could be either High or even Mighty about our little state. 

        There's no automatic upward trajectory for virtue or democracy or anything good either here or in the entire world. 

        You might want to have a chat with the people of Hong Kong. After the handover from the UK they were promised a series of cast-iron rights. Now, with China asserting more and more power, any protester will be able to be extradited to mainland China for trial. 

        https://www.dw.com/en/hong-kong-citizens-stage-huge-rally-against-china-extradition-plan/a-49117508

        Plenty of people get to protest here and in the US. 

        In Hong Kong they are fighting for their last vestiges of actual rights against China. 

        30 years ago a similar protest in mainland China was literally crushed to death under tanks.

         

        • greywarshark 8.1.1.1

          The China crush.   Was that Tianneman Square?   If so I was a subject of propaganda with that because I believed that the tank crushed to death the student in photos.    Now I am told that it was not so.   So can you advise who was crushed to death referred to in 8 1 1 please?   I would really like the info.

          • joe90 8.1.1.1.1

            More than a few.

            Male, 21, student at China Youth University of Political Studies. From: Xianyang City, Shaanxi Province.

            At around 6 a.m. on June 4, 1989, Wang was carrying a flag in the front row of a group of students retreating from Tiananmen Square. They marched north on North Xinhua Street, east of Liubukou, and turned onto West Chang’an Avenue, taking the bicycle lane along the north side of the street, to head west. Three tanks came from the direction of Tiananmen Square, firing toxic gas as they chased the retreating marchers at high speed. Wang was run over by a tank at Liubukou, his body crushed to pieces. He was one of the reported 11 people crushed to death by tanks at that spot.

            Wang’s family has never spoken out about his death.

             

            https://truth30.hrichina.org/wang_peiwen.html

            https://truth30.hrichina.org/unforgotten.html

            • Mark 8.1.1.1.1.1

              There was no deliberate slaughter of students. What happened is things got out of hand, students torched military vehicles and there was a response.

              The famous tank man incident clearly demonstrates that there were no orders to deliberately go out and kill people. The tank tried to go round the guy, and the guy even climbed up on the tank and had a chat with the tank commander.

              This photo by Western photographers of over 20 armoured personnel carriers destroyed by demonstrators surely shows that the typical Western narrative about the protests is far from the full truth:

              https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/02/asia-pacific/chinese-defense-minister-labels-tiananmen-crackdown-correct-decision/

              • Stuart Munro.

                That's not a credible characterization. Those in power had brought in a military unit prepared to use deadly force, having previously removed commanders who were disinclined to fire on unarmed civilians.

                The crisis of legitimacy within the arms of the state themselves which had been gathering force, particularly in the latter half of the decade, was ‘so severe that in the spring of 1989, it was unclear whether the army would respond to the political leadership’ (Dittmer, 1989: 3). ‘One of the PLA’s elite units, the 38th, [near Beijing] initially demonstrated reluctance to participate in putting down the student demonstrations. The 38th’s commander …was removed, along with a number of his subordinate leaders’

                https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327129365_China_-_the_Tiananmen_Square_massacre_of_1989

                 

            • greywarshark 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks joe 90. What do you make of Mark – seems too nicey. If everything was so friendly it would be all over youtube. Good propaganda.

        • Mark 8.1.1.2

          Now, with China asserting more and more power, any protester will be able to be extradited to mainland China for trial.

          What an absolute load of bollocks. The proposed changes to the law are about people committing crimes inside mainland China (or another jurisdiction), being able to be extradited back to China to be tried. The law changes were brought about because of a Hong Kong citizen who went to Taiwan, murdered his girlfriend there, came back to Hong Kong and admitted to the crime, but there was no avenue to extradite him back to Taiwan for trial. That's what 'extradition' means.

          Crimes committed in Hong Kong are dealt with under Hong Kong laws, not mainland Chinese laws. And will continue to be.

          The proposed changes to the extradition laws specifically exludes crimes of a political nature and is limited to serious criminal offenses. Again none of this applies to crimes committed inside of Hong Kong, but in other jurisdictions. Again that’s what extradition is all about.

          There is so much misinformation and hysteria in Hong Kong over this, much of it whipped up by irresponsible politicians and media egged on by foreign players. This of course shows that Hong Kong's traditional 'freedoms' are well and truly alive and being protected.

           

           

    • RedLogix 8.2

      I linked to this one a few days back, but worth repeating in this context:

      But surely that independent stance is about to be called? Neither Trump nor Xi look the sort to have patience with irritating do-gooders from tiny countries of zero geopolitical significance. Pick a side and pull your head in, will be the story.

      At least that seems the developing narrative. Yet surprisingly, New Zealand's foreign policy community isn't having any of it.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113097493/caught-between-china-and-the-us-the-kiwi-place-in-a-newly-confrontational-world

      • Ad 8.2.1

        It's ok to pick a side. It's never easy.

        Even Spain and Ireland managed to sidestep WW2.

        I would rather we face up to evil, and good, and figure who has the greater balance of both.

        • RedLogix 8.2.1.1

          I would rather we face up to evil, and good, and figure who has the greater balance of both.

          That is a very pragmatic argument and one most likely to prevail. But these days making the choice isn't as clear cut as it was a few decades ago. While I utterly abhor the unrepentented Stalinism and Maoism of those authoritarian states, since the invasion of Iraq (if not earlier) the West has been writing one long suicide note on it's own moral authority.

          It has become an impossible equation to solve; the only way forward is to think about the problem differently.

          Edit:

          The greatest fallacy permeating geopolitical discourse today is the notion that the 21st century world must choose between American or Chinese leadership. The world has already voted, and the winner is neither. America’s share of the global economy and trade is shrinking, its military is overstretched, and its credibility is in tatters due to a combination of the Iraq War, financial crisis and Donald Trump.

          But that doesn’t mean China is taking over. In 1945, when the U.S. emerged from World War II as the world’s sole superpower, it represented fully 50 percent of the world economy. Today, China represents barely 15 percent of global gross domestic product and its economy is decelerating and its population plateauing. India is already growing more quickly than China and its younger population will soon be larger than China’s. Simply put: China is rising into a world that is already multipolar; it doesn’t displace incumbent powers such as America and Europe—whose economies are still equal or larger than China’s—and cannot prevent the rise of India nor easily subdue Japan, South Korea or Australia.

          https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/04/30/washington-is-dismissing-chinas-belt-and-road-thats-a-huge-strategic-mistake-226759

          • Ad 8.2.1.1.1

            I disagree with Politico's view. Unfortunately so does US foreign policy.

            China is re-aligning polarities by deepening partnerships with Russia.

            All other major alliances are changing into new groups.

            Most groupings are forming into new kinds of cross-nationalism.

            We have to refresh the choices we made in the 1940s and 1970s, because the world is certainly changing. The polarities and alliances matter, and the world will choose for us if we don't.

             

        • AJ 8.2.1.2

          Franco offered to join the Axis Powers but the government itself was divided. Troops did fight for the Germans on the Eastern Front. So it wasn't a complete sidestep

           

      • francesca 8.2.2

        I'm not so sure that our geopolitical influence is necessarily zero.

        We're part of FiveEyes for one thing 

        And we have a once deserved reputation for integrity and fairness, which is why the US likes to have our miniscule forces  trundle along with their own military misadventures…as a sort of PR endorsement.

         

         

  9. WeTheBleeple 9

    Is it possible that we could interact with other nations outside of a military capacity? 

    Do we really need guns with our iPhones?

    Self defense is all good. Part of a wider defense network – depends who they are. 

    See if I'm wearing a gang patch, and my fellow patch member happens to start shooting at another gang, I am most definitely a target for retaliation.

    We are not a US nor a Chinese state. We are New Zealand.

    • francesca 9.1

      WTB

      Is it possible that we could interact with other nations outside of a military capacity?

      Surely it has to be possible, if we can rid ourselves of the paranoid mindset, and realise that the world has got to a dangerous place and we're all in this together

      But that takes a huge shift in consciousness, similar to but more massive than the Renaissance 

  10. Gabby 10

    Sweden isn't aligned. Do you reckon Sweden's defence spending is higher or lower than ours?

  11. Stuart Munro. 11

    It's very difficult to maintain a coherent military foreign policy in our sphere of interest when governments alternate between blithering idiots cheerfully kowtowing to US lines and unpredictable humanitarian enthusiasts given to chasing the issues of the day. NZ handling of Fijian relations has consequently been lamentable, the smart sanctions proving to be more about being smartarses than enhancing long term relationships. 

    Superpower influences are never entirely benign, and the entry of Russia to Fiji is in no way desirable. To a large extent NZ and Oz created that opportunity for them by poor choices handling the coup aftermaths. That said however, Russia habitually plays a very dirty game, and their activity in the region needs to be carefully watched.

    • francesca 11.1

      Well,  its ok for us to have a "sphere of influence"is it ?

      We're geographically close

      OK for the US to have a "sphere of influence" in Latin America too?

      Right in its neighbourhood

      What about Russia's "sphere of influence" around its borders?

      • Stuart Munro. 11.1.1

        It all rather depends how we manage our sphere of influence.

        If we manage it by aid and disaster relief and educational and other support, which has traditionally been part of our Pacific engagement, then our neighbours have no cause for complaint – rather the reverse in fact.

        Had the US curtailed its antidemocratic interventions and the CIA backed activities of the United Fruit Company, it too would have had legitimate relationships with its neighbours.

        As for Russia, given its predilection for murdering its neighbours, poisoning detractors, running large scale insurgencies, supplying and facilitating the use of chemical weapons, genocide and so forth – and that's only under the current president – their influence is not remotely benign and must be strenuously resisted at every opportunity. 

        • francesca 11.1.1.1

          oh yeah, I get it Stuart

          The Russians are definitely the bad actors in the World

          My god , the number of bases they have stretched over the globe is ginormous!.I think the US should just nuke 'em like Churchill advised.

          Then we could all be good guys together and live happily ever after

          • Stuart Munro. 11.1.1.1.1

            I don't think you get it at all Francesca, but then you probably don't know journalists who covered the Chechen genocide at considerable personal risk, or sheltered Chechen refugees in Moscow.

            Golunov has been remarkably lucky – he might as readily have been killed or ruined as Warmbier was in North Korea. Bad actor though the US is, that's not quite normal for them. Yet.

            • francesca 11.1.1.1.1.1

              I do think Russia is a bit of a wild west, but the its not just the big old bad monolithic Kremlin you can blame for everything

              In the Golunov case, there appears to have been an element in the police aligned to Russian mafia, who wanted to put Golunov out of action , because of his exposes of corruption.

              Its not the behaviour of an out and out dictator to have the charges dismissed , and the police made the subject of an investigation.

              I have no illusions about Russian saintliness,I'm just a little tired of the unrelenting and rather comical casting of it as a vaudeville villain

              And as for the States, I'm not sure young black men feel their situation is much different from dissidents in Russia, Ukraine, China or NKorea. 

              Shot in their cars while sleeping, shot while running away, shot for answering the door, killed while selling cigarettes. The only successful prosecution for a killer cop I've heard of in recent times is when a Somali Cop killed a white woman .

              That record of racism  takes some beating 

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

              • Stuart Munro.

                You're assuming the police element aligned to the mafia was not also aligned to the state. It wasn't an explicitly state actor that murdered Politkovskaya either – just a Putin sympathizing ultra gang. It wasn't an explicitly centrally organized Kremlin gang that ran the cheating when Putin was first elected either – just old pseudodemocrats, former party guys who made it happen. That's how it works, same with Nemtsov's killer, disavowable.

                Golunov is the exception – the rule is straight out of the Okhrana playbook. There is no sign of that habit clearing up, and you need to be aware – they murder their own at the drop of a hat – how scrupulously do you suppose they behave toward outsiders? Salisbury was typical, it didn't stand out at all. So was the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

                You're tired of the vaudeville – but it was a piece of theatre Putin ran to get elected and launch the second Chechen war, the Moscow bombings. Even the wretched Craig Murray wasn't prepared to rubber stamp that.

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