Archive for the Rudd-Gillard coup Category

“America’s Pacific Zone of War” by Wayne Madsen – US installs puppets in degenerate democracies of Australia, New Zealand [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in Australia, CIA, Encirclement of China, Israel, National Security Agency / NSA, New Zealand, NSA, Nukes, Rudd-Gillard coup, Singapore, USA, Wayne Madsen Report on November 3, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

23.10.2012

The United States has successfully installed two America-compliant leaders as the heads of government of Australia and New Zealand, Washington’s two most important Asia-Pacific regional allies. Both leaders, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, rose rapidly within their respective parties, a sure sign that they had outside support, likely from the Central Intelligence Agency, which has historically meddled in the domestic affairs of Australia and New Zealand…

Australia and New Zealand have seen the CIA interfere in their domestic politics before. In 1975, the CIA, working with Australian intelligence and pro-U.S. politicians, engineered a constitutional coup against Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. The independent-minded Whitlam demanded a fuller explanation about the nature of U.S. intelligence bases at Pine Gap and Woomera, Australia. The Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, alarmed by Whitlam’s demand for an accounting about the activities of the bases, used an old U.S. intelligence asset, Australian Governor General Sir John Kerr, to fire Whitlam’s government and install a pro-U.S. regime. Similarly, after New Zealand Labor Prime Minister David Lange began probing into the activities of the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping bases in New Zealand and banning visits by U.S. nuclear-armed or powered warships to New Zealand ports, he was unceremoniously ousted in a parliamentary backbenchers’ coup in 1989.

What happened to Whitlam would repeat itself in 2010 in Australia when Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who was generally supportive of the United States, was deposed in a backbenchers’ coup by the even more pro-American deputy prime minister Julia Gillard. Since coming to power, Gillard, who was born in Wales, has supported the United States and Israel in all matters, including inviting the United States to establish new naval, air, and troop bases in Australia.

A few of the leaked U.S. State Department cables [i.e. Wikileaks] identify the role that the U.S. embassy in Canberra played in ousting Rudd and replacing him with the more pro-American Gillard. Rudd’s Employment Participation Minister, Libyan-Australian Mark Arbib, was a frequent guest of the embassy where he passed along confidential information about the Cabinet in-fighting between the right-wing forces allied with Gillard and Rudd loyalists.

Senator Don Farrell, another right-wing Labor supporter of Gillard, met with a U.S. embassy official in June 2009, a year before the coup against Rudd, and informed the American about the plot to oust the Prime Minister. President Barack Obama apparently did nothing to warn Rudd of the plot against him and there is every indication that the Obama administration, particularly Mrs. Clinton, was in Gillard’s court. Farrell told the newspaper The Australian that he had more than one conversation with the U.S. embassy but said he couldn’t recall the exact details of the conversations.

An embassy cable dated June 23, 2008, indicates that Gillard was being groomed during the Bush administration even though she had a political past in which she described herself as a “socialist” and a “feminist”:

GILLARD THE PRO-AMERICAN

…GILLARD has gone out of her way to assist the Embassy. She attended a breakfast hosted by the Ambassador for U/S [Undersecretary] Nick Burns who visited Canberra just days after the election. At our request, she agreed to meet a visiting member of the National Labor Relations Board, after prior entreaties by the board member’s Australian hosts had been rebuffed. GILLARD is now a regular attendee at the American Australian Leadership Dialogues (AALD), and will be the principal government representative to the AALD meeting in Washington at the end of June».

Gillard was «talent-spotted» by the CIA from the ranks of the left [sic]. Before becoming a staunch pro-American, Gillard served as Secretary of the Socialist Forum in Melbourne and she co-founded the Australian chapter of the women’s rights organization EMILY’s LIST.

In a speech to the AALD in 2008 in Washington, Gillard avidly supported the strengthening of the ANZUS military alliance between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Gillard, in a message to Labor Party leader Mark Latham, described the AALD as a “CIA re-education camp.” Latham also revealed that Gillard told him that he should stand by for “e-mails explaining George Bush is a great statesman, torture is justified in many circumstances and those Iraqi insurgents should just get over it.” Gillard has also called the United States «a civilizing global influence».

New Zealand Prime Minster John Key rose rapidly through the ranks of the National Party to become Prime Minister. Key was formerly an executive with the CIA-linked Bankers Trust. Key was also part of George Soros’s operation to attack several Asian-Pacific currencies, including the Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit, as well as the British pound and Russian ruble, in the late 80s and early 90s, to enable currency speculators like Soros to make billions in profits. In 1988, Key even bet against the New Zealand dollar. In 1995, Key was the head of foreign exchange operations for Merrill Lynch in Singapore. Key’s ruthless sacking of hundreds of his subordinates and co-workers at Merrill Lynch earned him the onerous nickname of the «smiling assassin». In 1999, Key became a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and three years later he was sitting in the New Zealand Parliament. After only six years as an MP, Key became Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Key became Leader of the Opposition in 2006 after he succeeded Don Brash, who resigned after details of an extramarital affair and internal National Party documents became public.

There is a belief by some in New Zealand that Key’s work for Soros and the CIA – the two are not mutually exclusive – earned him the post of Prime Minister. Key has done much to undo Lange’s policies and New Zealand naval ships are, once again, welcome in U.S. ports after a ban that was imposed during Lange’s term. Key, whose mother, Ruth Lazar Key, was an Austrian Jewish immigrant, has also steered New Zealand’s foreign policy firmly into the pro-Israeli camp.

Key’s predecessor, Labor Prime Minister Helen Clark, incurred Israel’s and its Wellington Lobby’s wrath after she criticized Israeli intelligence’s ploy to forge New Zealand passports. Like Clark, Rudd, also infuriated Israel and its Canberra Lobby after criticizing Israel’s forging of Australian passports and deploring Israel’s interception and arrest of Gaza aid flotilla participants. Rudd had long been considered a staunch ally of Israel and was thought by the Israeli Lobby in Australia to be a «Christian Zionist». Gillard, who is a self-declared atheist, began plotting with Labor right-wingers and, very likely, the CIA Canberra station, weeks prior to her challenge to Rudd, even though she claims to have only decided to seek the prime minister position on the eve of the Labor Party parliamentary caucus in June 2010. Gillard’s staff began writing her victory speech two weeks prior to the caucus…

…The installation of Key and Gillard in their posts has ensured that the United States has a firm military anchor in the Asia-Pacific region from which to challenge China and other nations for control of the Pacific as a «zone of war».

Full article link: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/10/23/america-pacific-zone-of-war.html

Australian mining magnate accuses CIA of funding environment groups [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Australia, China, CIA, Obama, Rudd-Gillard coup on June 24, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Patrick O’Connor
23 March 2012

Australia’s fifth wealthiest individual, mining magnate Clive Palmer, called a press conference Tuesday to rail against an alleged CIA plot to sabotage the national economy by financing anti-coal protest groups and the Greens. The rather strange episode served to highlight an important political development — the emergence of an outspoken wing of the corporate elite, hostile to the Labor government’s support for Washington’s provocative moves against Beijing in the Asia-Pacific region.

Palmer owns Waratah Coal and Queensland Nickel and has an estimated personal wealth of more than $5 billion. He has long been actively involved in right-wing politics, and is among the largest financial donors to the Liberal National Party in Queensland and the federal Liberal Party. On Tuesday he presented a leaked internal document produced by Greenpeace and other organisations, “Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom,” which outlined various strategies to disrupt coal mining projects. Part of the document explained that the proposals were “based on extensive research into the Australian coal industry, made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Family Fund.”

“This is funded by the CIA,” Palmer declared. “You only have to go back and read the Church Report in the 1970s and to read the reports to US Congress that set up the Rockefeller Foundation as a conduit of CIA funding. You only have to look at the secret budget which was passed by Congress last year, bigger than our whole national economy.”

He alleged that the Greens were “a tool of the US government and Rockefeller.” Palmer continued: “We don’t want domination by a foreign power. I’m first an Australian, I’m not an American… We care about this country. It’s under attack by foreign interests. I think they want to promote their commodities at the expense of ours.”

Palmer’s accusations appear to draw on the “new world order” nationalist conspiracy theories promoted by the extreme right. The political and media establishment were quick, however, to pour scorn on any suggestion that American intelligence operatives play an active role in Australian politics. US political involvement, however, is in fact extensively documented, from the CIA’s funding for the right-wing Quadrant journal and promotion of the anti-communist Labor Party “groupers” in the 1950s and’60s, to the removal of the Whitlam Labor government in 1975, and the US embassy’s role in the removal of Kevin Rudd as prime minister through its “protected sources” in the Labor Party and trade union bureaucracy.

This question nevertheless remains a taboo topic in official politics. For all the coverage about the allegations against the Greens, no section of the media followed up Palmer’s remarks on the 1975 coup. “You go back to the Whitlam dismissal,” Palmer declared. “That’s been documented, you go back and have a look at that. That was certainly [behind] the dismissal. I can tell you that because I was aware of it at the time.”

Behind Palmer’s anti-American rhetoric lie definite concerns about the impact of rising US tensions with China on his business enterprises.

The Australian ruling elite confronts the irresolvable problem of how to align itself between its most important trading partner, China, and its long-standing military and diplomatic patron, the US. The dominant sections of the bourgeoisie are adamant that the alliance with Washington must be upheld, even as the Obama administration ramps up its aggressive operations in Asia aimed at countering China’s growing influence. Rudd attempted to position Australia as a “middle power” mediator between the rival powers, but was opposed by Washington. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has since wholly aligned Australia with Obama’s foreign policy orientation.

Gillard’s stance, however, cuts directly across the business interests of Palmer, whose entire empire depends on and has developed in close collaboration with China. He first visited China as a young boy with his businessman father in 1962, and, by his own account, then made more than 50 visits in the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and afterward.

Among Palmer’s major projects is the China First Coal Project in Queensland, expected to be Australia’s largest coal mine when production begins in 2014–2015. More than a billion dollars in capital investment derives from the Chinese state-owned Eximbank. The state-owned Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) is responsible for the project’s engineering, procurement and construction. Much of the exported coal will be purchased over the next 20 years by China Power International Holding, which operates several coal-fired power plants in China.

Palmer has repeatedly castigated the Rudd and Gillard governments for antagonising the Chinese government. In 2009 and 2010 he accused the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) of racism. “If you’re an American and you’ve killed your wife, gone to the Ku Klux Klan every week, been arrested for drugs and just got out of prison you can come over here and invest $953 million without any approval at all,” he told the Australian Financial Review. “But if you’re a poor Chinese farmer from Guangzhou, you’ve got to go through all the rubbish of the FIRB and they’ll probably knock you back.”

In November last year, the mining magnate denounced Gillard’s announcement that thousands of US Marines would be stationed in northern Australia. The Australian Financial Review reported that Palmer and other mining executives had “snubbed” an official dinner with President Obama. “Why do you think the likes of the head of BHP and myself didn’t go to the dinner?” Palmer explained. “It’s because we aren’t that stupid. We have real interests [in China] and know how the Chinese act.”

Hugh White, a prominent foreign policy analyst and critic of Gillard’s orientation with the US against China, had previously urged Palmer and his mining industry colleagues to politically intervene. In an article published last October, he explained: “On current trends, escalating strategic competition between the US and China is the most likely trajectory for Asia’s future… Some people will be shocked at the suggestion that our corporate leaders should start talking about how Australia navigates the geopolitical shoals ahead, but in this case corporate interests and public interests coincide. We have a vital stake in our government managing Australia’s future in Asia more seriously, to help stop the escalating strategic rivalry already taking hold between the US and China. Perhaps if the big miners say it, our politicians will start to listen.”

Remarkably, in all the media coverage of Palmer’s latest remarks, none of these issues was mentioned, such is their acute sensitivity. Nevertheless, it is clear that enormous financial interests underlie the deep divisions within the Australian ruling elite on the US-China conflict. The Obama administration’s aggressive diplomatic/military stance against the Asian power will only further exacerbate the political crisis in Canberra in the next period.

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/mar2012/palm-m23.shtml

“Australian foreign minister resigns in Washington” – China issues rupture Rudd, Gilliard as bourgie Labour hits historic low [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Afghanistan, Australia, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, China, Encirclement of China, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Libya, Obama, Rudd-Gillard coup, South China Sea, State Department, Syria, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on February 24, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Peter Symonds
23 February 2012

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has called for a Labor Party ballot on the party leadership next Monday following the sudden overnight resignation of Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd in Washington yesterday. The leadership spill takes place in the wake of protracted subterranean brawling between the Gillard and Rudd factions within the party.

The Australian media has been speculating for weeks over a move by Rudd to replace Gillard, who ousted him through an inner party political coup in June 2010. The challenge erupted into the open last weekend when backbench Labor parliamentarian Darren Cheeseman publicly declared that Gillard could not take the party forward and should step aside for Rudd…

…Gillard supporters responded by ramping up their attacks on Rudd for disloyalty, for undermining the current government and accused him of having led a dysfunctional administration. Cabinet minister Simon Crean had already declared on ABC radio on Monday that Rudd had “clearly been disloyal internally”, repeating similar accusations in three other interviews the same day.

Rudd left on Monday to attend the G20 foreign ministers meeting in Mexico, where he met on the sidelines with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He then headed to Washington yesterday where he attended a private dinner with US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta and Australian ambassador Kim Beazley to discuss a range of issues, including reportedly “security in the South East Asian region.” No press statements were released from either meeting.

Hours later Rudd announced his resignation in an extraordinary late night press conference at his Washington hotel, declaring he had no other option since he no longer enjoyed the confidence of Gillard and senior ministers. Striking the pose of an affronted victim, Rudd declared: “Mr Crean and a number of other faceless men have publicly attacked my integrity… Prime Minister Gillard chose not to repudiate them.”

Rudd made no attempt to speak directly to the prime minister, who was reportedly preparing to sack him when he returned. By pre-empting Gillard, he was attempting to seize the initiative in the intense inner party lobbying already underway in the lead up to Monday’s ballot. In a press conference this morning, Gillard declared that she expected to win . If not, she insisted, she would retire to the backbench and never challenge for the leadership again, then demanded of Rudd that he make the same pledge.

Media coverage of the Labor leadership battle is notable only for its focus on the sordid inner party manoeuvres, the numbers lining up on either side, and what the implications might be for the highly unstable and unpopular Labor minority government, which is dependant for its existence on continuing support from the Greens and rural independents. The contest is being portrayed as a personal tussle between Gillard and Rudd, with no fundamental political differences between them.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The leadership battle is rooted in the fundamental dilemma that has confronted the Australian ruling class for the past two decades: how to balance between its economic dependence on China, the country’s largest trading partner, and its longstanding strategic alliance with the United States as rivalry between the two powers has intensified.

After coming to power in 2007, Rudd sought to ameliorate the growing tensions between China and the US through the promotion of a regional forum to defuse potential conflicts. This perspective came into conflict with that of the Obama administration, which, from mid-2009, launched a diplomatic and strategic offensive to undermine China’s growing regional influence. Amid deep dissatisfaction with Rudd in Washington, the White House played a key role in the coup of June 2010.

Gillard was installed by a handful of Labor and union factional bosses, with close ties to the US, behind the backs of cabinet, the party and the population as a whole. She immediately pledged her unconditional support for the US alliance and for keeping Australian troops in Afghanistan indefinitely. During Obama’s trip to Australia last November, Gillard announced that up to 2,500 US Marines would be stationed in the northern city of Darwin and that access to Australian air and naval bases would be granted to the US military. This is in line with US ambitions to control key shipping routes used by China to transport energy and raw materials from Africa and the Middle East.

As foreign minister in the Gillard government, Rudd had gone out of his way to prove his usefulness to Washington in supporting the NATO military intervention against Libya and aggressive US moves against Syria and Iran. However, on the central question of China, Rudd continued to promote his scheme for a “Pax-Pacifica” aimed at moderating the escalating conflict between the US and China. Central to Rudd’s perspective was that the US had to give China some leeway in the region, in opposition to Washington’s agenda.

In his resignation speech yesterday, Rudd proudly declared that he had initiated “a new institution in Asia” — a reference to the East Asia Summit—that “brings the United States, China, Japan, India, Australia and all the other countries in the region, around a single table to be able to discuss and negotiate a peaceful security future for Australia.” In fact, Obama used the East Asia Summit in Bali last November to intensify Washington’s confrontation with China by forcing a discussion, against Beijing’s objections, on territorial disputes in the strategically significant South China Sea.

Rudd had been due to deliver a speech today on the theme of “Pax Pacifica” to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His office said the speech would not now be made public. But his “Pax Pacifica” line has already been stated in a series of recent speeches, including at the Munich Security Conference on February 4, where he insisted that the US had to “accommodate” China’s “legitimate aspirations as a country which has been through a century plus of Western humiliation represented by imperial powers, all of whom are in this room today.”

The content of Rudd’s recent discussions with Clinton and Panetta is unknown. What is known, however, is that the issues surrounding relations between the US and China are the source of significant divisions within the US ruling establishment as well. What can be said with certainty at this point is that the “faceless men”— the key factional powerbrokers who installed Gillard—are still backing her. Since 2010, WikiLeaks cables have identified some of these figures as US “protected sources.” As the Australian’s contributing editor, Peter van Onselen, observed this morning: “Bill Shorten, Mark Arbib, David Feeney and Don Farrell have formed a praetorian guard around the prime minister.”

In 2010, the chief public accusation of Gillard’s supporters against Rudd was that he had dragged Labor down in the polls and would likely lose the election. Now, however, Rudd’s standing in the polls is well ahead of Gillard’s. She has never been able to shake off the stench of the coup, and the widespread conception that she stabbed Rudd in the back. Millions of ordinary people rightly concluded there was something profoundly anti-democratic in the way an elected prime minister had been removed, literally overnight. Labor’s electoral support has collapsed to historic lows of around 30 percent, yet this time, those who installed Gillard remain loyal, underlining the fact that far more fundamental issues were at stake in 2010 than opinion polls. That remains the case today.

As well as the US-China confrontation, domestic issues are at stake. The ousting of Rudd was also bound up with the demands of finance capital for the Labor government to intensify its program of austerity and economic restructuring to ensure the competitiveness of Australian capitalism. Both sides are seeking to demonstrate to big business that will be the more effective in implementing this regressive agenda. Even though he is yet to announce his challenge, Rudd has identified industry assistance and education as key issues. Gillard this morning promoted herself as the person most capable of implementing pro-market “reforms” despite their unpopularity.

As in 2010, the media are seeking to keep working people in the dark over the political issues at stake. Above all, they are doing everything possible to prevent any public debate of the consequences of putting Australia on the frontline of a US-China war.

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/feb2012/rudd-f23.shtml

Australian PM affirms US alliance as tensions with China escalate [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Australia, Beijing, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Encirclement of China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Lenin, Obama, Philippines, Rudd-Gillard coup, Singapore, South China Sea, State Department, US imperialism, USA, Vietnam, Wikileaks, World War II on September 9, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Patrick O’Connor
20 August 2011

Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard returned to familiar ground last weekend, giving the keynote speech to the annual Australian American Leadership Dialogue event.

The Leadership Dialogue allows selected Australian and American government officials, policymakers, military commanders, academics, and journalists to “network” behind closed doors. This year’s event, held in Perth, featured World Bank President Robert Zoellick; senior US Federal Reserve official Terence Checki; the second most senior figure within the US Pacific Command, Lieutenant-General Daniel Darnell; and Kurt Campbell, the State Department’s Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific.

Gillard first became involved in the Leadership Dialogue shortly after she was appointed deputy prime minister in 2007, using the opportunity to assure Washington of her pro-US and pro-Israel credentials. It is now known, through WikiLeaks’ publication of American diplomatic cables, that the US played an active role in helping install Gillard via last year’s anti-democratic Labor Party coup. Vital geo-strategic interests were at stake. The previous Labor prime minister, Kevin Rudd, drew Washington’s ire by launching various diplomatic initiatives without first securing US approval—including a proposed Asia Pacific Community, which Rudd regarded as a potential mechanism to mediate between US and Chinese interests in the Pacific region.

Since taking office, Gillard has repudiated any perspective of Canberra acting as a “middle power” balancing between Washington and Beijing. She has instead backed the Obama administration’s aggressive efforts to contain Chinese influence and uphold the military-strategic status quo in East Asia. Clearly signalling her willingness to line up with Washington in the event of a war with China, the prime minister has agreed to a substantially larger US military and intelligence presence in Australia.

The central theme of Gillard’s speech last Saturday was, unsurprisingly, the continued importance of the US alliance. “Our historic friendship has become an enduring global alliance, and as global society has transformed, as the global balance of power has shifted, the relationship between Australia and America has risen to the challenge of change,” she declared. “It is a living relationship, one that that will grow and develop because that is what our century, with its geopolitical, economic and environmental challenges, dictates.”

Gillard was, however, unable to avoid alluding to the strategic implications of the deepening crisis of US capitalism. “US global leadership and its influence in a rapidly changing Asia Pacific depend on a continued economic strength,” she asserted. “Ultimately, it is economic power which underpins strategic power.”

The decline of the United States’s economic dominance — clearly expressed in the recent downgrading of US debt by ratings agency Standard and Poor’s — is exacerbating the strategic dilemma confronting the Australian ruling elite. US imperialism has been Canberra’s key military and strategic ally since 1941, but China is Australia’s largest trading partner and a vital destination for lucrative mineral exports.

Sections of the Australian political establishment are clearly concerned over the implications of Gillard’s stance, and hope to head off a potential conflict between the US and China by somehow positioning Canberra as a mediator between the rival powers.

Former Defence Department official and long-time foreign policy analyst Hugh White is the most prominent spokesman for this faction of the ruling elite. He has repeatedly urged the Labor government to lobby Washington to cede some power to Beijing in the Pacific and thereby defuse rising tensions and potential conflict.

Last Tuesday he wrote a sharply worded op-ed in the Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers, titled “America is rotting at its core.” The article argued that the US decline is unfolding more rapidly than had been previously thought, lending greater urgency to the issues he had been raising about Australia’s position relative to Washington and Beijing. “It is possible that we are witnessing not one but two remarkable national transformations, as America stumbles while China ascends,” he wrote. “If so, that will make the shifting power balance between them much faster, more destabilising and more risky than we thought.”

The Australian’s foreign editor Greg Sheridan is a staunch and long standing advocate of the US alliance. After attending the Australian American Leadership Dialogue, he breathlessly reported that the US-Australia partnership is set to become “more intimate.”

During the Leadership Dialogue, Sheridan interviewed the State Department’s Kurt Campbell, who explained the shifting focus. “One of the most important challenges for US foreign policy is to effect a transition from the immediate and vexing challenges of the Middle East to the long-term and deeply consequential issues in Asia,” he said.

The senior State Department official clearly laid out the Obama administration’s strategy of cultivating ties with China’s neighbours—including India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines — in order to maintain US dominance in the region and contain Beijing. Campbell accused China of provoking naval confrontations in the region, declaring, “There is an undeniable assertive quality to Chinese foreign policy, and we are seeing that play out in the South China Sea and elsewhere.”

This is extraordinary hypocrisy. The reality is that Washington has been deliberately inflaming regional tensions by egging on countries such as Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines to adopt a more aggressive posture in their maritime disputes with China. The result has been a series of potentially explosive incidents in the Sea of Japan and the South China Sea.

Campbell spoke with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Lateline” program on August 12 and frankly acknowledged what was at stake. The first question put to him was whether it is “inevitable that Beijing will one day challenge American dominance in this region.” He replied: “Well look, do I think that China will pose a challenge to the United States and other countries in the region? The answer to that is absolutely yes.”

Campbell went on to describe Washington’s approach to “hegemonic challenges, when you have a rising state and then an established state.” He explained: “If you look back at the experiences where these kinds of transitions have failed miserably, it’s generally in circumstances where the established state has denied the rising state a role in global politics. Like, for instance, Germany both before the First and Second World Wars, when they were not given the role they thought they deserved in global politics.”

The State Department official concluded that things were different now, because the US was urging China to play a greater role in the G20 and other forums. He added that the “the simple fact that leaders and strategists in both countries are aware of the bad examples, and what can go wrong, and they study those aspects very carefully … in itself, I think, gives us some hope that such negative consequences and outcomes can be avoided.”

In reality, Washington has no intention of ceding any significant strategic power to China, either in Asia or anywhere else in the world. Its offer of an international role for Beijing is entirely within the framework of the existing world order—that is, with the US in the dominant position. The strategic and economic interests of Chinese capitalism, which have expanded as it seeks markets and raw materials around the globe, are inevitably coming increasingly into collision with those of American imperialism.

Lenin explained that the capitalist system’s uneven development meant that international alliances and agreements merely marked a temporary period of truce between wars. A “peaceful” balance of power established between imperialist powers will inevitably break down because the diverging development of different capitalist economies quickly creates new strategic conflicts.

The current epoch is dominated by the historic decline of US capitalism and the collapse of the post-1945 international order. The Australian and American ruling classes are engaged in a highly reckless drive to enforce China’s strategically subordinate position in the Pacific—even as the Asian power rapidly heads toward becoming the world’s largest economy—raising the spectre of a devastating third world war…

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/aug2011/aust-a20.shtml

Australian PM tours North East Asia as mouthpiece for Washington [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Afghanistan, Australia, Beijing, China, DPR Korea, Encirclement of China, Hu Jintao, Iraq, Japan, Korean War, Naoto Kan, Obama, Rudd-Gillard coup, south Korea, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Western nations' human rights distortions on April 28, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手
By Peter Symonds
28 April 2011

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s tour of North East Asia over the past week has served as another indicator of sharpening regional tensions between China, on the one hand, and the US and its allies, on the other.  While Gillard publicly emphasised trade and economic issues, the unmistakeable underlying message was that her government was an unswerving American ally and a reliable mouthpiece for Washington’s demands on Beijing.

Gillard set the stage for her two-day visit to China—her first since ousting Kevin Rudd as party leader and prime minister last June—with stops in Japan and South Korea, and last month’s trip to Washington.  During the latter, she addressed the US Congress with a speech that advocated a more assertive American diplomatic and military presence in Asia.  “Australia in the south, with South Korea and Japan to the north, form real Asia-Pacific partnerships with the United States,” she declared.

Gillard’s comments dovetailed with the Obama administration’s aggressive intervention into Asia-Pacific forums over the past year and its efforts to contain China by strengthening strategic ties with its regional allies.  The Australian PM’s visits to Japan and South Korea formed part of this overall strategy.

After meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan last week, Gillard declared that both governments would “take forward… a vision for bilateral security and defence cooperation.” The two leaders agreed to finalise an intelligence-sharing agreement and Gillard indicated that Canberra was open to Japanese troops training in Australia.  The Australian newspaper reported last year that Japanese Defence Minister Toshimi Kitizawa was keen to draw on the Australian military’s combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Central to Gillard’s talks with Kan were the implications of the dramatic economic rise of China.  The ruling elites in Australia and Japan, as well as South Korea, confront a similar dilemma:  all three countries are heavily dependent economically on China, but rely strategically on their longstanding military alliances with the US.  In this balancing act between China and the US, Gillard, Kan and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak have all strongly backed Washington’s line as it intensifies pressure on Beijing.

Gillard told the media: “Australia and Japan have a shared perspective in our region.  We certainly are constructively engaged with China and we share the view that we want to see China become a full participant in the rules-based global order.”  Her comments were taken straight from the lexicon of American diplomacy:  Washington is prepared to “constructively engage” with China and allow it a greater international role, but only in a global order that continues to be dominated by the US.

The Australian prime minister has certainly learnt to sing from Washington’s song sheet.  Every aspect of her tour was closely managed by her foreign policy advisers.  She was careful not to openly offend Beijing and jeopardise Australia’s huge minerals exports to China.  But she also raised, in guarded diplomatic language, all the issues that Washington has been using to pressure Beijing—from so-called human rights to North Korea’s nuclear program.

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Marching for Anzac in the 51st State [Johnpilger.com]

Posted in Australia, Beijing, China, CIA, Genocide, George W. Bush, Israel, Japan, Rudd-Gillard coup, Sudan, Taiwan, Turkey, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, Wikileaks, World War II on April 27, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by John Pilger

20 April 2011

The street where I grew up in Sydney was a war street.  There were long silences, then the smashing of glass and screams. Pete and I played Aussies-and-Japs.  Pete’s father was an object of awe.  He weighed barely 100 pounds and shook with malaria and was frequently demented.  He would sit in a cane chair, drunk, scything the air with the sword of a Japanese soldier he said he had killed.  There was a woman who flitted from room to room, always red-eyed and fearful, it seemed. She was like many mothers in the street.  Wally, another mate, lived in a house that was always dark because the black-out blinds had not been taken down. His father had been “killed by the Japs”.  Once, when Wally’s mother came home, she found he had got a gun, put it in his mouth and blown his head off.  It was a war street.

The insidious, merciless, life-long damage of war taught many of us to recognise the difference between the empty symbolism of war and the actual meaning.  “Does it matter?” mocked the poet Siegfried Sassoon at the end of an earlier slaughter, in 1918, as he grieved his younger brother’s death at Gallipoli.  I grew up with that name, Gallipoli.  The British assault on the Turkish Dardanelles was one of the essential crimes of imperial war, causing the death and wounding of 392,000 on all sides.  The Australian and New Zealander losses were among the highest, proportionally; and 25 April, 1915 was declared not just a day of remembrance but the “birth of the Australian nation”. This was based on the belief of Edwardian militarists that true men were made in war, an absurdity about to be celebrated yet again.

Anzac Day has been appropriated by those who manipulate the cult of state violence – militarism – in order to satisfy a psychopathic deference to foreign power and to pursue its aims.  And the “legend” has no room for the only war fought on Australian soil: that of the Aboriginal people against the European invaders.  In a land of cenotaphs, not one stands for them.

The modern war-lovers have known no street of screams and despair.  Their abuse of our memory of the fallen, and why they fell, may be common among all servitors of rapacious power, but Australia is a special case.  No country is more secure in its strategic remoteness and the wealth of its resources, yet no western elite is more eager to talk war and seek imperial “protection”.

Australia’s military budget is A$32 bn a year, one of the highest in the world.  Less than two months’ worth of this war-bingeing would pay for the reconstruction of the state of Queensland after the catastrophic floods, but not a cent is forthcoming.  In July, the same fragile flood plains will be invaded by a joint US-Australian military force, firing laser-guided missiles, dropping bombs and blasting the environment and marine life.  This is rarely reported.  Rupert Murdoch controls 70 per cent of the capital city press and his world-view is widely shared in the Australian media.

In a 2009 US cable released by WikiLeaks, the then Labor prime minister, Kevin Rudd, who is now foreign affairs minister, implores the Americans to “deploy force” against China if  Beijing does not do as it is told.  Another Labor leader, Kim Beazley, secretly offered Australian troops for an attack on China over Taiwan.  In the 1960s, prime minister Robert Menzies lied that he had received a request from the American-created regime in Saigon requesting Australian troops. Oblivious, Australians waved farewell to a largely conscripted army, of whom almost 3000 were killed or wounded.  The first Australian troops were run by the CIA in “black teams” – assassination squads.  When the government in Canberra made a rare complaint to Washington that the British knew more than they about America’s war aims in Vietnam, the US national security adviser, McGeorge Bundy, replied, “We have to inform the British to keep them on side.  You in Australia are with us come what may.”   As an Australian soldier once said to me: “We are to the Yanks what the Gurkas are to the British.  We’re mercenaries in all but name.”

WikiLeaks has disclosed the American role in the Canberra “coup” in 2010 against Rudd by Julia Gillard.  Lauded in US cables as a “rising star”, Gillard’s Labor Party plotters have turned out to be assets of the US embassy in Canberra.  Once installed as prime minister, Gillard committed Australia to America’s war in Afghanistan war for the next 10 years – twice as long as Britain.  Gillard likes to appear on TV flanked by flags.  With her robotic delivery and stare, it is an unsettling tableau.  On 6 April, she intoned, “We live in a free country… only because the Australian people answered the call when the decision came.”   She was referring to the dispatch of Australian troops to avenge the death of a minor imperial figure, General Charles Gordon, during a popular uprising in Sudan in 1885.  She omitted to say that a dozen horses of the Sydney Tramway Company also “answered the call” but expired during the long voyage.

Australia’s reputed role as America’s “deputy sheriff” (promoted to “sheriff” by George W Bush) is to police great power designs now being challenged by most of the world.  Leading Australian politicians and journalists report on the Middle East having first had their flights and expenses paid by the Israeli government or its promoters.  Two Green Party candidates who dared to criticise Israel’s lawlessness and the silence of its local supporters, are currently being set upon.  One Murdoch retainer has accused the two Greens of advocating a “modern rendering of Kristallnacht”.  Both have since received multiple death threats.  Put out more flags, boys.

Article link here

Australian union leader stokes anti-Chinese chauvinism as he launches protectionist campaign [World Socialist Web Site]

Posted in Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Anti-Islam hysteria, Australia, Canada, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, China-bashing, Encirclement of China, Islamophobia, Japan, Protectionist Trade War with China, Rudd-Gillard coup, Sinophobia, Taiwan, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on February 26, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手
By Terry Cook
25 February 2011

The 125th anniversary national conference of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), held last week on the Queensland Gold Coast, was a forum for unabashed anti-Chinese chauvinism, as the union launched its “Don’t Dump on Australia” protectionist campaign.

Addressing the 500-strong conference, which included well-heeled union bureaucrats, federal, state and local politicians, along with big business representatives, AWU national secretary Paul Howes set the tone, declaring:  “Australian jobs, Australian companies are going under because Chinese companies are not playing by the rules in the global free trade game.”

“AWU workers,” Howes alleged “continually take the brunt of deliberate Chinese government policies that are not based on market principles; not based on WTO rules, but rather on a model of state capitalism [sic] grounded in strategic goals to win dominant market share, at the expense of international competitors”.

Praising the United States and Canada for their moves to “act against dumped products” Howes continued:  “Australia should follow that lead – and not worry about claims that this is a new form of protectionism.”  Appealing directly to the Gillard federal Labor government, he declared:  “The fate of AWU members rests with the creation and enforcement in Australia of a strong anti-dumping regime.”

The AWU campaign has nothing to do with defending jobs or the rights of AWU workers, or any other section workers, but serves a diametrically opposed end.  Like all union moves to protectionism, the AWU’s anti-dumping campaign is aimed at harnessing Australian workers behind Australian-based employers who, no less than their Chinese counterparts, are fighting to grab a “dominant market share”.

Over the past 15 years, the AWU—along with every other union—has worked in lockstep with big business to abolish protective work practices, lower wages and slash working conditions, claiming these measures would make Australian employers “internationally competitive” and preserve jobs into the future.

This claim has always been a fraud.  In the past two years alone, in the wake of the eruption of the global financial crisis in 2008, thousands of jobs have been destroyed in the manufacturing sector, as companies have moved to fundamentally restructure their operations.  According to one estimate, some 40,000 industrial jobs have been destroyed since the 2008 crash, just in the state of Victoria.

At the same time, the AWU’s protectionist agenda, and its stoking of anti-Chinese chauvinism, acts to divide Australian workers from their class brothers and sisters in China, and to divert them from the real cause of the destruction of jobs and working conditions—the operations of the profit system.  It is precisely these operations that are defended and implemented through the pro-market policies of the Gillard Labor government and buttressed by the unions, which act as the industrial policemen for the corporate elite.

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