- Date published:
8:48 am, December 17th, 2022 - 136 comments
Categories: australian politics, China, Diplomacy, International, trade, uncategorized - Tags:
Australia is showing New Zealand how to resist the authoritarian Xi Jinping’s pressure and stay prosperous at the same time.
You may recall that China imposed a series of targeted punitive trade measures against Australia in 2020. There were a series of escalating disputes between them, and China hit Australia with very targeted sanctions when then-Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. At that point China was the destination for more than 42% of Australia’s exports in 2021 up from 14% in 2007. Australia and New Zealand had not been as dependent on a single market since the late 1930s when the United Kingdom was the ‘mother country’ for all things trade.
For the first time in its history, Australia was dealing with a situation where its largest trading partner was becoming its adversary. China hit barley growers for their beer, beef farmers, luxury wine, and of course coal.
New Zealand, in quite the same position in its economic reliance on China, diplomatically sat on its hands and watched. Beijing suspended high-level political exchanges but Canberra essentially said ‘so what.’ Sure, China could still double down, and seek the coal and iron ore they need from other countries. Same with New Zealand milk and sauvignon and inbound tourism.
Diplomacy has been restored but the sanctions against Australia remain. The lesson for New Zealand in a similar position is this: do not blink.
Australia has since 2020 grown in confidence about their ability to withstand economic coercion. Australia indeed is going into the economic headwinds of 2023 in far better economic condition than China. New Zealand is also going into 2023 with difficult global conditions, but without the hard Chinese pressure.
What the last three years have shown is that Australia has stood up for its principles and it is winning, and it is also remaining very prosperous. Diplomatic engagement between the two has been restored with the arrival of the new Labor government.
It is this resolute Australian positioning that lets Xi Jinping and any other tyrant know that actually they will not win, the rise of control against democracy is not inevitable, and their threats will be faced down.
This is not resolved by any means. China will continue to assert its influence. A solution to the fundamental bilateral political tensions is not on the horizon.
Also, Australia and New Zealand both have to face a rapidly restructuring Chinese economy. Our common deep economic export reliance on them is worrying when the tensions remain high. But it is certainly the case that Australia and New Zealand control critical commodities – raw minerals from Australia and value-added water from New Zealand, and both have strategic worth and leverage for China.
Australia’s successful positioning is also a particularly useful signal for Taiwan. The Taiwanese, like the Ukrainians, find themselves on the front line between democracy and autocracy. They too are being forced to invent strategies of resistance.
Australia has signalled that it is possible to take the economic pressure from Beijing, and win. Taiwan will take note.
Taiwan is in the midst of both military hostility and propaganda and web-based offensives from China, and they are able to continue to stand up to Beijing in part because of resolute support from countries that support democracy and the institutions of open society. That is the kind of pressure we are likely to see continue in the Pacific rather than a Russian-style all-in military offensive, so this is what we here in New Zealand need to better play our part in actually doing.
Tyrannies like China are seeking to expand their influence around the world including inside democracies.
Australia is showing them, and us, that you can take the pressure, and you can win against them.
And if Australia can, we can.
Another neocon post.
Are we the U.S.A.’s poodle?
I would rather be a US poodle rather than Chinese one. For all their faults at least the US is a functioning democracy that supports individual rights and freedoms. Not so much China.
That's an interesting call.
There are many who would call it a plutocracy.
Like Chis Hedges.
Even if it is a plutocracy, at least it is one that people get to vote for.
I don't find my position particularly interesting.
But what I do find interesting is how people can prefer to cosy up to oppressive dictatorships, and get themselves into a huge cognitive dissonance trap that forces them to justify aggressive actions by those dictatorships, and victim-blame the recipients of that oppression.
It is widely recognised the US is a 'flawed democracy' as noted in this reference. It can be argued that their highly prescriptive Constitution, regardless of it's merits, constrains adaptation to changing circumstances over time. And given the US is one of the oldest extant democracies, this lack of evolution definitely shows.
It is why for instance they are locked into a first past the post, winner take all – two party system. Or struggle with sensible gun reforms.
The other really interesting idea comes from Zeihan, who is often critical of the US political system. His suggestion is the unique North American geography and relatively strong demography has meant they have always been able to generate prosperity without also having to also have strong governance.
In effect because a fair degree of incompetence and corruption has not prevented strong capital formation and economic activity, there was no strong historic evolutionary pressure for their political system to improve. Well at least until recently.
I should also add a strong caveat here – the US is also an incredibly diverse nation, with virtually every extreme of human value and behaviour to be found in its borders. In the 'land of the free' you are free indeed to be anything you please, from the very best to the worst humanity can imagine.
I think most democratic systems would tend towards being plutocracies in at least some dimension.
That is because voters tend to vote in people who are not abject failures in life, and prefer to vote for people who have shown they are able to make good decisions about their own lives.
It is all relative, and not so extreme in NZ. But I don't think too many of our politicians are paupers.
Yes that makes sense. And to go a step further the wealthier a democracy becomes, the bigger the plutocrats at the top of the heap, the more insulated from the impacts of their decisions and the concerns of ordinary citizens they become. It is a flaw in the democratic ideal for certain. And one that I believe the left legitimately pushes back on; even if often we have lost our way on it.
The problem of gross inequality being one that I do not think any political system has yet demonstrated a good solution for.
Yes. Probably you are right.
I think it is necessary for people from any political perspective to engage with sectors of society that are foreign to them. I know a lot of my views have changed after being on the board of several trusts that work with poorer areas of our community.
The biggest failing I see with democracy is that politicians tend to be held captive by the voting cycle. By that, I mean they tend to make promises that seem attractive to voters that, under deeper analysis, are shown to be outright stupid.
I have heard it said that the best sort of governance would be via a truly beneficial dictatorship, if that were possible (I don't think it is). By that I mean a constant governing authority that only ever made decisions in the best interest of the population, was devoid from corruption, and wasn't oppressive towards the people it governed.
Perhaps government by a computer one day?
If a 21stC technocracy is your thing.
Yes, I know we are going way off topic, so hopefully some tolerance from the mods.
I have wondered about a government system along similar lines to that.
The idea would be to do away with the party-political thing altogether, and we would just vote in people for required roles. For instance, vote in someone to be finance minister etc.
Then we would be voting on the basis of required skills and ability for the role. And we could have a reasonable election cycle (say five years) so the elected officials had a chance to enact their plans.
Again that is a reasonable analysis. I agree our current democratic system is a work in progress.
Election cycle capture is one serious flaw; that could be addressed with some structural changes. For instance imagine a system that eliminated political parties and nominations and held direct democratic elections at a local level only, held quite regularly say annually.
If there were say 12 seats on the local body, then every voter gets 12 votes for any person eligible in the local electorate. This would have the effect of the most popular and best known individuals having a relatively long tenure, while stochastic chance would drive maybe 3 – 5 names to change each election, ensuring a mix of both stability and refreshment. And avoiding electoral cycle capture.
Then every few years an indirect election might be held for a similar national body with the candidates now being drawn from the pool of local govt members. And potentially the same for a globally democratic body at some longer interval.
Democracy works best at small, local scales where people have the chance to know each other either personally or by reputation. Then in order to progress to more senior levels of governance you would have to have proven yourself capable and reliable at a local or national level first – and voted for by your peers at that level. This would very much tend to weed out populists and extremists.
Such a system would also have the benefit of better balancing out the eternal tension between local concerns and wider ones at the nation state and global scales. It also shifts the focus away from confrontation as the primary means of political expression, towards a model based more on consultation and consensus.
I am only outlining this to show that our current political system is not the only possible model; that other structures might be possible.
Yeah. I am sure that something like this will be much better than the system as it is.
In the system we have now, if Labour gets voted out then National will repeal a lot of what Labour has done meaning huge waste of money and resources putting the stuff into place. And when National gets voted out, the same will happen again.
Since this has been happening for generations, there must have been billions of dollars just tipped down the dunny.
Does the American public really get to choose?
America has what we used to call a two-party, 1st past the post system. Party hierarchies of blue and red (ie plutocrats from each colour) decide who they will choose to represent them and the public gets to choose between two people who already have the approval of the plutocrats.
Those of us who recall the aftermath of the 84 and 90 NZ elections know that although mmp has its faults it is what keeps us from becoming a pluto racy again.
I like STD voting. It is complicated but it stops the wealthy from picking winners.
America now has a theocracy and it's called the Supreme Court.
Ask the protestors in Iran about this – especially their young women.
This “Push back…” post is mere Yoo Ess Ayy!!–Yoo Ess Ayy!! huff’n’puff.
Loyal US Deputy Dog in the Pacific, Australia, does not seem to have won too much from this alleged staunchness if the sanctions are still in place.
And it will not do to slander those of us that point out the toxic and deadly nature of US Imperialism as being authoritarian supporters.
The Jan 6 2021 attack on the US Capitol by right wing/fascist forces came seriously close to a successful insurrection. The US Supreme Court has denied reproductive rights to half the population in an openly theocratic manner, and the barbarians were not just at the gate of Congress but inside filthing it up.
The US has over 750 offshore military bases and other facilities publicly findable, China has barely half a dozen. US Imperialism remains the main threat to world peace.
An idiotic comparison constantly trotted out by idiot fuckwits everywhere.
The simple reality is that the US won both WW2 and the Cold War – and was thus the only power left with both the industry and military capable of having so many offshore bases. If the outcome of either war had been different we can be absolutely certain this count of military bases would look very different indeed.
The fact of China and Russia having far fewer bases is an expression of their historic weakness, not their lack of desire for them. A reality underlined by China rapidly expanding their network in this past decade as soon as their ability to do so opened up for them.
Witness their covert expansion into the Solomon Islands – an act that completely dismantles any claim that somehow China is a virtuous, peace-loving nation with no desire to project power beyond it's borders.
One upon a time the left was anti war.
However, the Labour Parties of today are creatures of Blair, Douglas and Clinton, puppets of the neoliberal economic experiment and the neocon crusade to rule the world for the US.
Still am anti-war – including the current Russian barbarity.
Therefore you believe like me, Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges, Jeffrey Sachs and Clare Daly that New Zealand should be putting al it’s energies into peace making.
We should be sending our best diplomats not money for weapons.
The only way to lasting peace with Putin is military defeat of Russia in Ukraine.
This perhaps is the point many in the west have yet to fully appreciate. All of the conditions that have allowed the Chinese economy to grow so rapidly over the past three decades have now gone away.
China has transitioned to one of the faster aging societies on earth. They no longer have the numbers of young adults necessary to sustain either a low-wage export strategy, nor a consumption led domestic growth. Their one great asset, a vibrant and energetic people, is now turning into a liability.
Their geography ensures they remain exposed to disruption of essential imports and access to export markets. As the US-led globalisation mandate continues to wind down this decade, all of the assumptions we have grown up with around security of shipping and trade will unravel.
Their major trading partners are no longer willing to tolerate the hyper-financing, the IP theft and cyber sabotage, the inability to reliably enforce contract law and capricious state interference in commerce. In just the past five years the world has rapidly moved from wanting to do business with China, to one of wariness and deep caution. The risks are too high, and the rewards are no longer worth it.
And finally, Xi Xinping has built a cult of personality that exceeds even that of Mao Zedong or Stalin. His elimination of anyone capable of conscious thought in the CCP hierarchies, locks in the authoritarian brittleness and inability to correct for mistakes. The lack of transparency, the necessity of only saying that which you know your boss wants to hear, are the anti-thesis of good governance. Their responses to COVID encapsulate all of these behaviours.
Historically China has flipped between two conditions; a hyper-authoritarian, uber-nationalistic, centralised state, dominated by the Han ethnicity and Beijing, or it has spun out into a number of regional powers and statelets often in conflict with each other. Given the perfect storm of conditions they face, nothing can be ruled out.
Look up the ''bǎi làn – Let it rot.'' phenomenon now overtaking many of China's young.
I have heard of that term, but I am unsure how significant it is.
And it is not really confined to China – the entire developed world seems to be tilting toward a certain nihilism in one form or another.
One of the biggest concerns is that we have so many eggs in the China basket so far as exports are concerned. Nearly $23b pa to China whereas our next biggest trade partner, Australia is just over $9b. In percentage terms, 32% of our exports are to China according to the article I linked to.
This could put us into a similar position to Germany and its reliance on gas imports from Russia should China decide to have a crack at Taiwan.
And it isn't necessarily an easy problem to solve. I am aware of a number of NZ food businesses that have either been financed by or purchased in full or in part by Chinese interests.
So, diversifying away from China isn't necessarily easy, but something we need to do. I agree with the PM when she said the same awhile ago.
A point the Finnish PM emphasised in her recent visit to AU and NZ recently. I agree there is no easy solution, but the reality is that NZ's security remains tied to Australian policy whether we like it or not.
From a trade diversification perspective our best bet is SE Asia.
Agreed. It is great to be in a food producing nation. Whatever happens people still have to eat.
Our trade agreements are pretty diverse already. Not sure what further mechanisms we have for pushing exports away from one trading partner to another unless it's tearing up the agreement or subsiding exporters to go elsewhere.
Yes and we could learn from Germany and not sanction China.
Unlike Russia, China is a net importer of energy and other resources. If the west sanctioned China the effect would be immediate and devastating.
Anyway, there already are sanctions against China. Didn't you read about the ban on sales of semi-conductors and related equipment to China.
A ban which China is taking to the WTO, a scenario is that US will be found in violation of WTO rules then US will likely snub the ruling.
China's next steps would be interesting. The WTO in it’s current form may be under threat.
Overall deeply ironic given how China as repeatedly weaponised trade and violated WTO rulings many times in the past. And the WTO has in the past generally allowed exceptions that are based in the kind of national security concerns the US has raised in this matter, so it is not clear just how this might play out.
You could however be proved correct – inasmuch as the WTO is probably of a lot more importance to the Chinese than the Americans. Imports and exports account for around 12% of US GDP and most of that is within NAFTA – they really do not have much motivation to keep supporting WTO.
Yes. What Red says below.
But also, China hasn't exactly been a moral exemplar of adherence to patent rights etc, and tends to copy and reverse-engineer everything they can. So, that would likely be a point raised in any defence of a WTO case I would imagine.
This situation shows the weakness in the Chinese approach to technology etc, in that if they are deprived of the western tech, it is very hard for them to develop their own stuff off the bat, because that is not what their system has encouraged so much.
And it shows, how vulnerable China is to sanctions as a whole. As this is only one area of sanction, and it is very damaging to China.
Weakness? Fixing it.
Mainly because western Universities are full of bullshit ideologies that are repelling the largest group of people interested in the STEM subjects.
By contrast you can be absolutely certain no Chinese University is allowing it's campus to be taken over by exclusionary DIE policies.
I think it's more about the effect student debt has in deterring people? and more money to be made in the trades for men in particular?
Yes, and then there is demographics (less American youth) and importing skilled migrants to cover the shortfall.
Two of those arguments – higher costs, an immigration would impact both sexes very similarly.
As for more attractive trade incomes – given the general loss of blue collar jobs across the US this is not so obvious either. And while I would accept that men might well be more interested to do them, these days there are few barriers to women entering.
Also the state of our teacher quality doesn't really prepare students for university or even engineering type subjects now.
Recent research shows that a lot of primary school teachers suffer from maths anxiety. One teacher couldn't answer 7 + ? = 10. To be fair, the teacher apparently had a brain freeze due to the pressure of the situation. But even still.
And, at that workshop, a lot of teachers confessed to dropping maths if some other extra option was available on a given day.
I think a lot of the issue is to do with pay rates for teachers that discourage otherwise people with teaching ability taking up the profession, and that they themselves have grown up under the current wooly teaching methods that have failed so badly.
Education authorities and experts now acknowledge the need to return to the basics
The WTO is under threat and from the USA (Trump started it to reduce the world to one without rules applying to all and Biden has chosen to continue it to game China).
The organisation needs to be recast and with the USA reduced to the level of every other nation state.
The best time to start to diversify your trade partners was 10 years ago, the second best time is now. That's why the likes of Vietnam and India start to become important. We did this 50 years back when Britain joined the EU, looking for new trade opportunities and diversifying what we exported
China's successful vertical integration approach to profiting from our resources (renewal of the UK imperial farm) means any trade war impost will be limited.
And China will have been burnt by some actions against Oz when they faced local shortages afterwards (as other supply lines tightened around that time).
Our resource based exports are hard to replace in a finite supply world. There are growing markets to cater to. Some of that will be met by artificial milk protein powder and lab produced meat – with the natural products commanding a price premium, provided they can meet "ethical production standards" (meat, dairy and also fish).
The Daily Blog's in house 'Military Analyst' Dave Brown, gives a good exposition of the threat to world peace posed by Chinese and Russian imperialism
'Tyrannies like China [And Russia] are seeking to expand their influence around the world including inside democracies.' ADVANTAGE
History tells us that powerful growth economies will not be constrained by sanctions, or UN or League of Nations imposed regulations, sooner or later, to continue growth they will have to resort to pushing the issue, with force if necessary.
Growth economies will always push against both human and natural borders.
Unfortunately for the emerging growth economies of Russia and China, which have come late to the imperial division and redivision of the world, if they want to continue with growing their economies it can only mean war.
The sooner the Russian Federation imperial forces are pushed back and Russia somehow has to discover a way to live within their own borders the better for the whole world.
The age of imperialism is ending.
Correction: The Daily Blog's in house 'Military Analyst' Ben Morgan,…
Ben Morgan is not an expert military analyst z
Armchair General at best. It is quite nauseating to have the appalling armed conflict in Ukraine used as a virtual spectator sport by pundits turned military strategists.
Allowing Morgan to foam at the mouth about never ending war in Ukraine is a low for Bradbury’s blog site.
Note: Ben Morgan is described in the byline written by Martyn Bradbury as the Daily Blog's military analyst.
It's a modest fairly unprepossessing title. I don't know what all the fuss is about.
Morgan is not the NZ Herald's military analyst, Not The Standard's military analyst, not TVNZ's political analyst. But in my opinion the Daily Blog is lucky to have him.
Armchair General or not, Morgan must put a lot of time and effort and rigor into his research. Because so far, every one of Ben Morgan's projections and analysis of the war in Ukraine have been extremely accurate and right on the money. Every time.
Any news aggregator or website or news channel could do to follow him.
Morgan seems to have a pipeline to very up to date and accurate information. Morgan also displays an in-depth knowledge of the geography and environs of Ukraine, especially as it relates to the very volatile and shifting battlefront.
I don't know if Morgan has a military background which has shaped his interest, but Morgan's world view, (which I don't altogether agree with), is very similar in my opinion to that of Lynn Prentice who does have a military background.
Ben Morgan’s detailed battlefield reports have confirmed by political conviction that the Russian Federation cannot and will not win this conflict.
Ben Morgan is a warmongering fool.
He know nothing of war and knows nothing of the history.
He is not an expert. He is simply an armchair general. One with no knowledge or experience that should make him worthy of any platform.
There are his platforming by Bradbury had made me reconsider his wisdom.
And anyone at all familiar with the history of war knows the deterrence is the best means to ensure peace. And that failing to respond early to aggressors is the surest path to a long and drawn out war.
You make the mistake of thinking that if a nation is weak and harmless; this means it must be peaceful. When all this condition really ensures is that eventually an aggressor nation will invade and subjugate it, which is the antithesis of peace.
In the modern world nations depend on collective security, a direct analog of how citizens rely on the nation state to provide collective security via laws, courts and police. This is why you can sleep safely and peacefully in your bed at night, because there are police who have a monopoly on violence to protect you. Because like it not there are malign actors in your community who will do you harm if they think they can get away with it.
It is no different between nations. Peace is achieved by a collective security provided by international law, institutions and armed forces acting collectively. Since the end of WW2 the core institution was the UN. And the USA provided much of the military power to enforce its intentions.
Unfortunately the UN was repeatedly undermined by the Soviets and Maoists vetoing critical decisions, with the Cold War fragmenting the UN security mandate into multiple opposing blocs. And while the chance of any given human dying in violent conflict is now lower than any time in human history – the absence of war eludes us. Ukraine being just the most recent example.
Arguably the world missed a priceless chance to fully implement the UN Collective Security mandate when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Cold War ended. George H Bush actually attempted this, but sadly he was well ahead of his time.
Peace is something we all desire; but it does not arrive via magical fairy dust. It is something that must be ordered and enforced, struggled and sacrificed for.
You are a complete fool, Military History is one our foundation stones in teaching Tactics at any level be it JNCO all the up to Staff Officer!
The only Fuckwits who don't learn from History are Muppets like you and the Dumb Ass over Educated Politicians. Who send us overseas ill equip, ill trained & don't give us the resources to get the job done be it Chap1-7 UN Peacekeeping Mission, HADR & Low to High Intensity Warfare.
FYI: The clock started ticking for 2nd Ukranian Independence War against started when, Ukraine give up its Strategic Wpns in exchange for Russia's guarantees to respect Ukraine's Sovereignty and it's rights to make it's own decisions IRT it's security & economic development.
When both Nations signed the Lisbon Protocol & Budapest Memorandum at the end of the Cold War.
Also the US & the UK also acted as Ukraine's Security guarantor, should Russia be stupid enough to invade Ukraine.
He's in 22 Bty RNZA in Auckland, not sure if he's Gun Number (OR) or Troop Officer & from all accounts he knows his shit as a NZ Army Reservist in the Royal NZ Artillery Rgt.
Planning (incl joint Plains), Operations (incl joint Ops), Meteorology, Logistics that comes from the Artillery Corp
Thank you. Your response to Ed was far more concise than mine.
A direct hit I would say.
Clarification sought Scud: are you stating that Ben Morgan who posts on The Daily Blog has actual involvement in NZ Military forces, or does your comment relate to something else?
Ben, is a Reservist (TF in old money) Gunner (incl the Officers) in the Royal NZ Artillery Regt.
There are different set rules for Reservists including Reserve Officers compared to the Regular Force Personal to comment/ writing on Social Media platforms.
Ben would've sort permission from his Chain of Command & understand the rules at what he can & can't say on SM as well.
Just like me, I've got to be careful at what I can say due to my former Security Clearance & signing of the official secrets act even though I've been out since Jul 2019 & in some cases I've had use veiled speech/ writing.
I was thinking doing the same thing here on The Standard, as Ben is doing on the TDB.
But I've got my demons to deal with, note I've just spent another 4mths in Hosptial as I tired to blow head off again with the shotgun! Let alone dealing with some of the Dickheads here on The Standard.
As Clausewitz once said, War/ Conflict is continuation by other means. In other words Diplomacy has failed & Politicians resort to War or Churchill said Jaw jaw becomes War War.
One last thing, even I disagree with Ben comments & or assumptions! His latest piece on the TDB, is almost written like he's so far up Dobson's or Jerry's back passage! That he needs my Great Grandad's mining lamp to realise that he's up shit alley!
As well equipped Army is completely useless if doesn't have the means of moving about in the Sth Pacific Regional and it doesn't!!
The Airforce is so short of Airlift capability IRT Strategic & Tactical, it doesn't even have a enough Tactical Helicopters to concurrent Operations for starters. The Current 8 already have the highest flying hrs for any NH90's user atm.
The Navy, well they are totally Fucked atm! What over a 1/3 of the tired up due to manning issues aka piss poor pay & conditions. Ill equip to the task any NZG Mandate Task-
2 OPV's not fit for Southern Ocean Patrols due CC & barely able to provide Trade Protection ie Convoy Work or Support the Army in War-like Ops
Landing Support Ship limited to Ship to Shore below Sea State 1 because it lacks a docking well & whats the average Sea State in NZ? Hint it's above Sea State 1
2 Frigates, barely enough to provide support to the Army or Trade Commerce Protection in War-like Ops.
Glad you're still around Scud, sorry to hear you tried to leave the crease before completing your innings.
Your unique batting style is appreciated so no more shenanigans please.
You belong with us and you have plenty of important work to do. Dickheads will be dickheads and there is no reason for you to let them get in your headspace.
Love your contributions mate.
Thank you for the reply Scud. Online dickheads should be the least of your concerns going by your comments.
There is always the ideological war also, so when there are thousands of eyeballs on certain sites it is apparent why people campaign hard for their particular world view.
Thanks to Scud, who provided it. It seems that Ben Morgan has quite some resume. And brings more guns to bear as a military analyst than you or I.
Someone of this calibre a regular columnist at the leftist Daily Blog. In my opinion represents a bit of coup for Martyn Bradbury.
PS. Please excuse the military references. No pun intended. Well not fully intended. It just sorta happened, (so I left it in).
PS. PS. Ed. A question about the small 'z' at the end of your comment; Was that intentional, or just a typo? If it is the former, your use of the 'z' symbol is a revealing tell giving away your partisan support for Russia's brutal invasion and war.
(Don't be shy now, you can tell us).
Are you prepared to risk global nuclear war to achieve this?
Personally I’d prefer peace.
A peace you would cheerfully buy at the price of Eastern Europe becoming once again vassal states of a brutalist, authoritarian empire that many would sooner die than submit to. All well and good for you to demand this 'peace' while typing safely from the far side of the planet.
Besides here you supporting the nation making the open threat of nuclear war, and then blaming everyone else for the consequences. The cognitive dissonance is painful to watch.
Are you willing to encourage nuclear terrorism?
Because if the world lets Putin get away with blackmailing the world over nuclear weapons, it is going to start happening every time some nuclear armed state wants to exploit their neighbour.
Heck, even China has rebuked Russia over its nuclear threats.
Translation: Give in to nuclear blackmail.
Giving in to Putin's nuclear blackmail would be an open invitation for the Russian imperialists to launch further military adventures and invasions.
Ed. Your comment that the you personally prefer peace is hollow. All your commentary on the war of Ukraine so far, has been to justify this bloody illegal war at every turn. The only difference now is you want Russia to continue their invasion of Ukraine with impunity under a nuclear shield.
MAD, disappeared under old Jimmy Carter (who also took on Rickover& survive to tell a few Dits) (personally would've happen sooner under JFK, hadn't he got knocked off in 63) from memory when NATO forced the US hand towards its flexible response posture. Even old Ronnie got told to F*** Off by Genarals and thence he went the down the Star Wars Rabbit Hole, even though he did ramp up the deployment of IRBM & Cruise Missiles to Europe.
The only Clowns who going to launch any type of WMD are to your mate Tsar Poots well actually more likely to be a couple of Drunk Gunnies loading or more likely forgetting to unload a Nuke Warhead from a cruise Missile/s about to chuck into Ukraine. Then we have the other 3 Amigo's Xi, the Mad Mullahs from Iran or Rocket man.
Both Open Source & Close Source Channels from the West have said both, you Lauch one WMD aka CBRN WPN into Ukraine all bets well be off the table, and you will be likely be left hold phone as we bomb back into the stone age.
The more I read your ideas, the more I’m convinced you’re a reckless warmonger.
As Clare Daly says , the war in Europe is not in the interests of the working class of Europe
Let me ask you a question that should disclose your true motivations:
If Russia was forced out of Ukraine tomorrow, and Ukraine reclaimed all its territory, would you be happy about that?
My motivation is peace – like Clare Daly, Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Jeffrey Sachs..
I for one am disgusted by your constant bleating for a fake 'peace' bought at the price of subjugation and misery for others.
And your constant evasion of simple questions.
I think the likes of Ed are afflicted by a deep cognitive dissonance. That is, that they have a natural alignment to countries such as China and Russia.
But the behaviour of Russia in particular right now is so conflicted with their world view, that they have to reduce the dissonance by minimising the behaviour of Russia, victim-blaming Ukraine, and demanding a "peace" that by implication, requires Ukraine to capitulate etc.
Most people would be disgusted and revulsed by what Russia is doing in Ukraine. But, not so much the likes of Ed, unfortunately.
"The voices challenging the rush to war are attacked, silenced, smeared as traitors or Putin puppets,”
You are proving her words to be entirely accurate by your constant defamation of my position.
When you don’t actually have an argument, just revert to personal insults.
Stop spouting nonsense.
I have, a number of times, asked you direct questions to ascertain your true position. And you refuse to give a direct answer. So, any issues you have with my understanding of your position is due to you, not me.
Hence, you leave me in a position where I have to draw my own conclusions about your true views. Unless you provide some clear, unambiguous answers to my questions, I am going to make my own assumptions, which still stand so far as I am concerned.
I recommend you read or listen to John Mearsheimer.
This will inform your position more.
He is an expert on the matter and helped me form my opinion.
I have listened to him several times. He is a fuckwit of common kind – clever but very stupid.
As I have said before Ed. You really need to widen your reading circle.
There is no fool like an educated fool
It is really hard for me to decide whether Mearsheimer is an educated fool, or just plain nasty.
Have you ever, Ed, looked dispassionately at Putin's record of genocide?
It is long and sordid. No genuine fan of peace can climb aboard that train.
Ed rides that train in the first class carriage.
Setting off on his long and sordid journey of justifying Russian imperialist wars and invasions Ed chose to pull the blinds down so he can enjoy his journey in blissful denial.
The voices challenging the rush to war are attacked, silenced, smeared as traitors or Putin puppets,”
You are proving her words to be entirely accurate by your constant defamation of my position.
When you don’t actually have an argument, just revert to personal insults.
As some free to post here you will be:
Called out as Poot-humping puppet
But not silenced.
(If you were living in Russia and chose to criticise the 'Special Operation', or dare to protest in the streets – you would consider yourself fortunate to have other people just argue with you. Call you names even – shock, horror!)
In support of Red's comment.
Ed, you may object here all you like for being called out as a partisan war monger and apologist for imperialism. And you are free to do so.
But Ed imagine, if you can. that instead of safely typing out odious online comments justifying Russia's invasion of Ukraine here. Imagine you are in Russia typing out online comments condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Don't support fascism. (It really shouldn't have to be said).
I agree Jenny.
Don’t support Fascism.
Are you aware that Fascism is alive and well in Ukraine ?
Far more Nazi's in Russia than Ukraine apparently:
The entire de-Nazification ploy was cynical bullshit from the outset.
I would say that fascism is more 'alive and and well' inside the Russian Federation states, than it is in Ukraine.
But it is good at least, to see you write, 'Don't support fascism'.
Ed, my hope is you writing 'Don't support fascism', is not as fake as you repeatedly claiming you don't support war, while endlessly and hypocritically justifying and supporting Russia's invasion and war against Ukraine.
I would also like to thank you for the link you supplied. A bit of a departure for you, being more nuanced and balanced than the usual hysterical pro-war propaganda you usually link to.
Specifically, Vladimir Putin's claim that that Russia's February 2022 invasion and war was being fought in response to ethnic Russians in Ukraine being bombed by Ukraine since 2014. (The same pro-war Kremlin propaganda that Mike Smith repeated and Lynne Prentice objected to, as baseless, and banned Smith, until he received an apology.)
Ed, some comments on the article you linked to;
The article was published in March 2018, more than four years before the current war. The conflict referred to in your link is to Russia's military incursions in the Donbas begun in 2014.
Despite the presence of fascists in Ukraine the conclusion of the article you linked to Ed, is that pro-Kremlin propaganda that Ukraine and Ukrainians are fascist' is false.
"To be clear, the Kremlin’s claims that Ukraine is a hornets’ nest of fascists are false…" Josh Cohen
But Hey, let us rip the band aid off this weeping sore and fullly look into the reality, and the history, of fascism in Ukraine.
"Someone who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire
"The best way to lie artistically, is to tell the truth, just not all of it." Robert Heinlein
Nazism in Ukraine
Ed, I know you won't watch the video, so I have painstakingly and personally transcribed some of the relevant sections just for you.
I hope the moderators can bear with me, I have tried to condense it as much as I can but it is still quite lengthy.
The War in Ukraine According to Russia: A Deconstruction of Putin’s Propaganda Narrative
@ 28:33 minutes
Is there any war against Russia that the left have supported?
The left fought in Spain and had no problem fighting the Nazis.
The irony is that modern Russia is not left and promotes white race identity Christian nationalism and lebensraum just as Hitler’s Germany did.
You speak as if supporting war is a good thing.
If you really want "peace" as you say. Then maybe you can join those who want to put as much pressure on the aggressor in this war, Russia, to piss off out of Ukraine.
Anything else, and you are arguing that Ukraine needs to capitulate for peace, and you are arguing for rewarding Russia for committing the most disgusting war crimes including torture chambers for children.
I recommend you read or listen to John Mearsheimer.
This will inform your position more.
He is an expert on the matter and helped me form my opinion.
I have listened to him and a lot of others as well.
But I don't need to hide behind their views to have a clear opinion on the situation and what should happen.
The problem is you keep telling us you have an opinion, but you won't answer clearly when asked for it.
However, you did not deny the position I put to you.
So, I am taking that by implication to mean that you do want to see peace through Ukraine capitulating. And you are at least prepared to accept Russia being rewarded for dreadful war crimes through such a peace.
In an anarchic international system … the purpose of the formation of the UN and the UNSC was the collective security of nation states.
In short he supports international appeasement of regional powers realising hegemony over other nation states, That is either consistent with, or inconsistent with, a super power achieving its own form of hegemony.
If so, an international capitalism against socialism (a world cowered by the examples of Cuba, Iraq, Venezuela, Libya, Syria). Accepting regional power to Russia (oligarchic autocracy) and China (one party state capitalism) if they do not challenge this. If not an oligarchic cartel of continental powers USA Americas, Russia vs the EU for Europe and China vs India for Asia and Israel vs Iran for the ME.
Yeah, that is what I understood by listening to him as well.
There are so many logical inconsistencies with that philosophy, I haven't paid it much attention since.
One of the big problems is that it is appeasement is very closely aligned with encouragement for the aggressor to continue with aggression because they know that other nations will continually seek to appease them.
I should compare the international regime favoured by Mearsheimer to a situation in New Zealand. We once aspired to protect women from abusive partners with protection orders (a bit like multilateralism in protection of nation states).
But they are no longer worth the paper they are printed on. Police rarely respond to any breach. It's now an anarchic system. Mearsheimer would advocate for acceptance of these mens hegemony over their former partners for life. I say bracelet the bastards and identity each time they are in breach and incarcerate.
Amen to that.
The problem with Measrheimer's position in the Russia Ukraine conflict is that it gives no consideration to the wider context of Russian ambitions which certainly do not stop with Ukraine.
So, if Russia is appeased in Ukraine by giving them Ukrainian territory, they will undoubtably have another crack at Ukraine in the future, and likely other nations as well, due to the imperialist bent of Putin and his mates.
Mearsheimer claims that European expansion, is an existential threat to Russia and this is the cause of Putin invading Ukraine.
But I ask you this; imagine I was still moderating this blog and I decided your views pissed me off and I banned you permanently. Yes it would be true that your actions were the cause of my action, but it is absolutely not a justification. Yet by taking a 'Great Power' view of the world, Mearsheimer completely misses this small but vital distinction.
He also eradicates other important distinctions, such as the agency of the Ukrainian people and that what he really fears is not so much NATO but the fact of this former, colony becoming a democracy. This is proven by his response to the EuroMaidan Revolution, that within hours of a pro-European, pro-democratic govt being installed in Kyiv – and decades before there was any possibility of Ukraine becoming a member of NATO – Putin is making orders initiating the invasion of Crimea.
And finally Mearsheimer completely ignores any mention of what might be happening within Russia itself; the reality that this war enabled Putin to seize back the levers of power within the Kremlin – levers that were otherwise fast slipping from his grip.
The essential challenge to Mearsheimer is simply this; OK so what if he is correct and that Europe's existence is an existential threat to Russia and this justifies anything Russia might do in response. Then what?
There probably is an element of truth in that statement, in that if the break-up of the Soviet Union continues on to a break up of Russia because the regions would prefer to join Europe, then yes, Russia as a nation may no longer exist.
But the question needs to be asked as to why nations such as Poland etc were so keen to join with Europe. Its not like there are people protesting in the streets to reunite with Russia etc.
If Russia was a wonderful place to live, and full of kindness and joy, then those nations would have had no reason to leave in the first place.
It was the observation of George Kennan that Mearsheimer is running with.
His strategy of containing Russia was gospel for decades, and Nixon even went to China to tighten it further. Then Reagan did the 1962 part two (missiles into Western Europe until Russia removed their own in the East) and this lead to the end of the Cold War.
There was the path not chosen, reducing NATO to Norway/UK/USA and allowing Eastern European nations into the EU. And the EU having a FTA and defence treaties with both Russia and NATO. And binding Russia to the cause of containment of China. But greed for the Chinese market apparently undid the soundness of mind of the American PNAC regime.
When Nixon first went to Beijing in 1972 that market really did not exist; while a detente with a resource rich Russia might well have made a lot more economic sense, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War was still another two decades into the future.
And at that time the Soviet Union was a far greater military threat than China, while the latter held the strategic promise to increase the containment of the Soviet Union – so the US went with the simple option – and hoped that with time the Chinese regime might normalise into a democratic nation. Naive in hindsight, but you cannot fault the ideal. (And hell if everyone was going to get rich along the way – who was going to say no?)
And it worked really well until Xi Xinping installed himself as another Dynastic Emperor.
You seem to have misunderstood my post.
Kennan' advice applied until the end of the Cold War. And it was applied by Nixon in his going to China (China’s internal development of a market in the 80's and 90’s had little to do with external trade).
After the Cold War was over Kennan's advice was to not confront Russia but bring it into relationship.
Instead the PNAC regime (GHWB remnant handovers to GWB and some others with influence on Clinton) decided on NATO expansion and to open up trade to China (which did not exist until this time).
And the greater China territorial maps were in play long before Xi Jinping became leader.
Yup – fair cop. I see what you were getting at now.
This move by one of the Quad will ensure that China sees little chance of any future relative improvement of its military position.
It corresponds with the worlds major chip manufacturer (Taiwan based) planning its future around production offshore to meet growing demand and reduce risk from an attack on its local plant. Within 5 or so years the wider world economy will no longer be dependent on chips from Taiwan.
However as with Ukraine, the best outcome is realised via diplomacy. But as with Ukraine (Putin had the winning hand, but faced with intransigence was bluffed into making a military move), things can go wrong.
1962, Dec 8 1987- 1 Feb 2019 (IRNF) and 202 …. returning the South Sea Islands into atolls and the Taiwan self governing territory within China timetable.
I think Taiwan is in a bit of a quandry so far as TSMC is concerned. I understand the concern is if they move all their production off-shore there will be no motivation for the US to defend them in the case of China attempting to invade.
My understanding is the production they as shifting off-shore is not for the most advanced chips which are being retained in Taiwan.
The TMSC question is not maybe as hard as it seems. As with Toyota having it's largest plant in the USA, it makes some sense for TMSC to have at least some fab capacity located there as well. It gives them flexibility in the face of an uncertain future.
But the chances of the Taiwanese TMSC fab falling intact into CCP hands are not good. All the key people would be long gone and a few well placed explosives render the key plant useless.
The strongest motivation to defend Taiwan is to prevent the Chinese Navy from punching a strategic hole in the First Island Chain, giving them unconstrained access to SE Asia and the Pacific.
The other thing is that even if China captured TSMC it wouldn't necessarily give them much advantage anyway because the chip design tends to be done mainly in the US.
If the US got involved it wouldn't be so much due to TSMC, but rather the control China would have over the first island chain with the prospect for expansion further into the Pacific.
Yes – Putin had every chance to win the confidence of the EuroMaidan govt, but immediately blew it away by invading Crimea. That was the fateful moment from which there was no easy path back. And while it might have looked to Putin that he got away with it; the trust that he squandered on this, scuppered any chance of negotiation from there on in.
Much the same with the Chinese annexation of the South Sea atolls; Xi Xinping might imagine he has gotten away with it, but the price has been the alienation of every neighbouring nation.
Similarly everyone keeps thinking that if China invaded Taiwan that it would only be the US who might respond – quite the contrary Japan has always expressed extreme concern at such a possibility. They understand full well that if Taiwan went undefended, that in some manner Japanese interests would be next. South Korea would be close behind in the queue, along with much of the rest of SE Asia.
Much like Eastern Europe moving away from Russia, no-one in SE Asia wants the CCP to be the regional hegemon either.
Yes. And this is the always the risk of unchecked power – that ego overcomes caution.
Simmering tensions between India and China over the control of the Brahmaputra River that is a vital water supply for both India and Bangladesh.
Apparently China is also exploring a tunnelling program to divert water from the river to the North of China that is in drought.
Water supply can be an existential threat. So, the prospect of increasing conflict between India and China over this.
China has been constructing a number of dams on the river that are apparently affecting water flow downstream, and also cause worries about potential flash floods if large amounts of water are suddenly released for whatever reason.
Have a look at Gwynne Dyer’s Climate Wars for a good run down of the possibilities.
Especially the whole India/Pakistan situation.
”From one of the world's great geopolitical analysts, here is a terrifying glimpse of the none-too- distant future, when climate change will force the world's powers into a desperate struggle for advantage and even survival. Dwindling resources, massive population shifts, natural disasters, spreading epidemics, drought, rising sea levels, plummeting agricultural yields, crashing economies, political extremism. These are some of the expected consequences of runaway climate change in the decades ahead, and any of them could tip the world”
Yes, I can believe that. Water in Asia is a huge issue. The drought in China at the moment is a massive problem there, and indicative of what is to come.
Before being sidetracked by the war against terrorism, the Pentagon saw this as their major concern post the Cold War (if only SCOTUS had insisted on a full recount of the chads in Florida).
Unfortunately there is also the revival of Russia and China containment concerns, the GFC and pandemic debt costs, and the perception of the US dollar world regime becoming a new fallen Rome (and thus the resort to the end time God and mammon white race patriarchy alliance against women/democracy politics, a veritable new Donation of Constantine).
India is a vital component in the Quad Alliance due to the control they have in the Indian Ocean, particularly the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago that is part of Indian territory right next to the Malacca Strait.
India is militarising those islands at the moment which will put them in an excellent position so far as monitoring Chinese naval activity through the strait, and will make it much easier for the alliance to blockade the strait should China get too stroppy.
Great quality commenting thankyou people.
Yip ,nothing like seeing clever people dismantle deluded fools,and enlighten confused fools.
Caitlin Johnstone. Heroic journalist.
“They can't work toward peace in Ukraine because it will serve Putin. They can't work toward peace in Yemen because it will serve Iran. They can't end the occupation of Syria because it will serve Assad. They can't stop military expansionism because it will serve China.
Or, maybe they're just warmongers.”
All in all this “Push Back Against Tyranny and Win” effort is one of the most reprehensible posts seen on The Standard blog for some time in my opinion. The poster admits sanctions still apply against Australia. So what “win”?
Extended Anilingus on US Imperialism from various commenters too. Read the “About” link at top of site and I guess the latitude is there for such posts, but really it is disappointing that so few have challenged this limp effort.
I find the level of support for blatant US imperialism disturbing.
If you find supposed US imperialism disturbing, you must be on the verge of a nervous breakdown with Russian and Chinese imperialism.
"supposed US imperialism"……75-80% Of Foreign Military Bases Are American
I know you are not paid by the US military….but you should be.
It would nice to hear the people who smear, insult and slander those of us proposing peace in Ukraine that they will put up Palestinian flags on their twitter feeds, call for sanctions against Saudi Arabia and insist that the US and the UK be boycotted from sports events for invading Iraq and Afghanistan.
It would be clear then that they were consistently against war..
Yep, West Papua and Palestine and Yemen just to name a few. The rage rhetoric generally seems to appear when US or 5 Eyes interests are involved.
USA had the chance to show the world what it was made of when the Eastern Bloc ended 30 years back–and they promptly illustrated exactly where they stood!–“Gulf War” and later invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Think about that, not quite like invading Canada or Mexico, what could be in play here…
I do not support authoritarian regimes, the local populations have to organise to do something about it. A friend works for an international union group and they have problems in Russia for sure. The funny old thing is US capitalists do support authoritarians, hence the previous global shift of manufacturing to lower wage countries.
National chauvinism is obviously still a biggie for many, working class internationalism is the solution to many of these problems.
And you are saying this to try and minimise what Russia is doing in Ukraine right now.
Ed, your sort of peace, applied in a school yard would be to tell a bullied child to give the bully the lollies so there can be peace. The bully would simply learn that bullying gets him lollies.
Most of us would support the bullied child, help him to become assertive so he doesn't have to worry about bullies, and deal with the bully so he doesn't continue to be a bully.
The analogy just isn’t as simple as that.
The 2014 coup was supported by the largest bully in the whole ‘playground.’
I think you are are aware of this history. Which beggars the question. Why do you ignore this detail?
Ignoring the United States role in the whole event is convenient for the warmongering Establishment.
We are just going around in circles in this debate. I, and many others here have been pointing out the logical problems in your position, but you are not listening. So, I am not going there again.
In reply to your school yard analogy… The only people who seem to be expressing bizarrely juvenile and frankly disgusting views around negotiations in the Ukraine are war lovin’, fight to the last Ukrainian, are mostly Liberals like yourself…and the Western war machine….you can be sure that most of the men in the trenches today, as we speak, would support the leaders at least being in talks.
This is not a school ground, this is not about people being bullied…it is real life, with real people being slaughtered every fucking hour..the sooner it stops, even if that is a shaky cease fire in service some sort of tenuous peace deal..that is hundreds if not thousands of lives being saved from pointless destruction right there…what the fuck is wrong with you?
Now get on a plane, go to Ukraine and tell the people how terribly wrong they are.
Let us know how you get on.
Yes, I am sure that the people of Ukraine who are suffering at the hands of Russia would feel comforted by your sentiment.
These posters (RedLogix, Joe 90, tsmithfield, Jenny are we there yet) are prepared to die for the very last Ukrainian.
They are prepared to risk global nuclear war for US neocon dreams and the US military machine.
Utter madness. As you say so clearly, " what the **** is wrong with" them.
Lets turn your own logic on its head:
Because you are obviously concerned about the injustice of previous invasions, and would support sanctions etc in those situations, you should be the first person to be calling for Russia to leave Ukraine and whole heartedly supporting sanctions against Russia, as this is the current situation that something that actually can be dealt with. Ukraine is the house that is burning right now. So, it is the situation that requires urgent attention.
Otherwise you are a hypocrite of the worst kind.
No – I don't support sanctions. All sanctions have done is penalise the working classes of Europe.
I support peace.
I would not have supported the coup in Ukraine in 2014.
Apparently your big man Poots does not. Bad luck there buster.
Smear, defame, insult, ad hominems……
So how about being specific about how peace should be achieved. If you actually stated your position clearly, you might not have to complain about being "smeared".
But, I don't think you are prepared to do that, precisely because you know that you will confirm exactly what we are saying about you.
But, surprise us, and prove that what we are saying is incorrect.
2. Start negotiations for long term peace. Put United Nations peacekeepers in place for as long as it takes.
You'd better chat to your mate Putin then, cos it looks like he is planning a new invasion from Belarus.
As we have told you a number of times, peace talks and a ceasefire require good faith from both sides, and Putin has shown none of this.
Firstly by invading Ukraine. Secondly by annexing regions on bogus grounds. Thirdly, by planning another invasion towards the north of Ukraine..
Good, but both parties would need to agree or it would immediately fail. I can see how NATO might pressure Zelensky to agree to this. But Putin has had numerous European leaders talking to him all year, and he has so far refused all requests that might lead to a ceasefire.
Another perfectly fine measure, but what if Russia vetoes it in the Security Council? As they have done so many times before.
The dilemma here is that no-one trusts Putin to enter into a ceasefire and negotiations in good faith; neither is there much prospect for another Russian leader capable of taking his place. Nor does anyone want a politically collapsed Russia; that too would come with it's own dangers. We cannot afford to allow Putin to win too much, nor to allow him to loose too badly.
The only feasible prospect in sight at present is to contain Russia to a standstill and accept that the war will likely become another frozen conflict like North and South Korea. And even that would be a lot easier to type out than achieve.
And, the other thing is that it is up to Ukraine to decide when to accept a ceasefire and negotiate for peace.
It is not up to hand-wringers from the side-lines who don't have to live with the consequences of any such deals.
If you sincerely supported peace you would be condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine along with the rest of us. That is the house that is burning right now.
This is the crux of the issue you keep evading. Just demanding peace is meaningless; you have to specify how it will be achieved.
Push back against tyranny……
Oliver Stone did this when he made the film JFK in 1991.
And 60 years later, 4,000 documents remain redacted…..