Beneath the stones, the beach


Architecturally there was something about the Embassy that had always seemed a mockery of our pretenses here. I suppose that if you have to build the seat of your diplomatic Mission in the image of a self-sustaining fortress that says a little about the efficacy of your diplomacy. (Frank Snepp, Decent Interval, 1977)

Frank Snepp was talking about the way the USA conducted diplomacy in relation to its mission in Vietnam in the 1970s. Snepp was the premier CIA interrogator in an age when interrogation was an accepted part of US foreign policy.

Snepp fell out with the CIA establishment when he saw his Vietnamese friends and intelligence contacts wilfully abandoned during America‘s disastrous retreat from Vietnam after having their mighty arse kicked by the forces of Ho Chi Minh.

Nothing has changed in the intervening forty years. The U.S.A. currently has military bases covering the entire planet and conducts secret black operations and drone assassinations without consideration for borders or national sovereignty.

The USA would prefer to continue its militaristic aggression by using weapons and belligerence to face down China. China has stated time-and-time again that it sees no point in military expansionism and has said that military aggression is pointless when there are other means available to win friends and influence people.

A diplomatic masterstroke would see the Australian government award its $50 billion dollar defence contract to China. China has the technology and the capability to carry out the contract successfully. While doing so would be a clear sign to the USA that its efforts at stirring up animosity in the region are not welcome, the awarding of the contract to China also would be a way of extending friendship rather than an iron fist to our regional neighbour.Merchants of Death back in town

Last week we witnessed the Mitsubishi submarine mission to win the hearts-and-minds (and the lucrative $50 billion dollar defence contract) of the Australian government.Following on from that, this week we can see Thyssen-Krupp, the well-known Nazi war criminals, going all-out with full-page newspaper advertisements and non-stop television commercials to win the hearts-and-minds (and the lucrative $50 billion dollar defence contract) of the Australian government.

At the end of the Second World War, Krupp and Thyssen were two separate companies and they didn’t combine until 1999. Both companies separately appeared before the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal and were both found guilty of various war crimes, including the employment of slave labour from the death camps.

A typical slave labourer in Nazi Germany had a life expectancy of four weeks. The point of the enslavement was to knowingly work the slave to death. This was a deliberate management policy of all of the companies using slaves, including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

The first crime on the part of these companies wasn’t slavery; it was murder. More Nazi death camp prisoners died as a result of slave labour than from other extermination methods such as gassing, or more conventional forms of execution such as shootings, beatings, and hangings.

All of these death cult companies are representative of the maxim that crime (as long as its staggeringly huge and horrifying enough) pays. While their industrial operations were curtailed for a short period after 1945, all of these companies were soon back in operation after doing secret deals with the American administrators. It would seem that the American fear of communism (and we’ve all seen how that panned out) was so intense that the winning side in the war would rather let these murdering bastards loose in the world than allow an economically weakened Europe be threatened by the paper tiger which was Soviet Stalinism.No sooner is Malcolm Turnbull out of the country...

No sooner is Malcolm Turnbull out of the country then Barnaby Joyce is making another badly considered decision on Immigration. After refusing entry to Johnny Depp's dogs, Barnaby has, for the first time in 74 years allowed a Japanese submarine to enter Sydney Harbour. The last time that happened Sydney harbour side residents sold up and headed for the Blue Mountains and in doing so opened up bargain real estate opportunities to the most battle-hardened members of the populace.

This visit by the JS Ha Ryu though, a Soryu class submarine built by Mitsubishi, signals another kind of business opportunity, this time for Mitsubishi, who, if the U.S. Navy get their way, remain as front-runners for the $50 billion contract. The merits of the awarding of the contract don't seem to rest on engineering skills alone, however.

The US is running a new cold war agenda, this time, aimed squarely at China, and the awarding of the contract to a Japanese company would serve two important purposes in the American's tired-old Pax Americana agenda.

Firstly, it would bind Australia's interests more closely to Japan, a country still effectively occupied by the US since 1945. It is, of course, no coincidence that one of the outcomes of the current Australian/Japanese naval exercises is to prepare for more American muscleman power flexing in the South China Sea. If Australia were running a submarine fleet that was complementary to the Japanese self-defence force, extended naval operations would be so much easier.Secondly, it sends a signal to China, however puny, that Australia has other friends in the region. Australia's relationship with China poses probably one of the most challenging balancing acts for any Foreign Minister at any time in history. Regressives in the Australian polity hate China and take every opportunity to hypocritically bang-on about its oppressive totalitarianism ad nauseum, ad tedium.

The recent release of the Panama Papers was an interesting case in duck-shovelling hypocrisy when the western press rushed to point out that billions of dollars stashed away in tax havens represented a massive investment by the sons and daughters of the Long Marchers. While the names of 800 Australians were reported to be on the list, the courageous members of the fourth estate here in Australia were notably silent on who or what the appearance of those names represented. It seems Australian Libel Laws are pretty useful if you happen to live under the Australian Jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, In 2014-2015, two-way trade with China represented 23% of Australia's trade total, whereas the second and third ranking trading partners, Japan at number 2 and the United States at number 3, only represented barely 20% of the trade total between them.

Be interesting to see how the neoliberals that dominate the LNP deal with that little schizophrenic-inducing conundrum.