Monday 20th of March 2023

the USSR having been dismantled, now the american empire wants to destroy russia.....

“All warfare is based on deception”. Sun Tzu, The Art of War...

Thus, as I struggle with how to bring the lights of truth to an essay on the current strategic situation, Sun Tzu brings me back to earth.

Then as I try to work out how to talk about hegemony I discover that the word entered modern political science discourse via the writings of Antonio Gramsci, philosopher and founder of the Italian Communist Party whose fascist prosecutor, with proto-get-Assangist fervour, said “We must stop his brain from working for 20 years”.


By Dennis Argall


Imprisoned till death, this (846 page) writing in his cell only emerging in the 1970s. Gramsci spoke of hegemony not as military but as the necessary socio-eco-cultural envelopment of any dominant relationship.

And yet the present hegemony discourse is focused on the military, not least because of the military focus of the dominant hegemonist now. We need to be conscious though, that the enablement of our taking sides on the military front begins with our being engobbled by the gobblemeup excrescences from our standard TV diet, from Spare to here and there. We can’t easily escape the one without the other.

In a speech in 2004 against the Iraq invasion, I expressed concern that the media not shrink its vocabulary to limits of permissibility, weakening rights and entitlement to dissent. Sadly, dissent is on the nose and public demonstration against dominant ideas is hard work or endangering. Mainstream media is complicit with the dominant hegemon’s war.

It has in the last year been sad to watch the passage of the Left, among Greens and others in Australia and outlets in the US somehow shifting from peace and anti war focus to a good-war-bad-Putin mind… and now the ABC with a China reporter based in Taipei, without the slightest blush over the transparently clear briefings from the Taipei government. It’s not enough that the defence department’s strategic public agency ASPI has seemingly embedded itself in the military industrial complex and the US Republican Party, that’s to be expected perhaps, but much of the Left, the dirty-word Left, has extracted its marbles and melted them down, ploughshares to swords, to support Ukraine, the ultimate-and-extraordinarily-successful-thus-far ‘deception’ project of our sad era.

Thus to assess where we might be going in relation to Ukraine, and China, it’s essential to have in mind the Boris+Spare+Hollywood shaping of our heads. And to read utterances from both sides, cautious of deception ingredients, and watch as carefully as possible what may be happening in the battlespace and its roots. In the battlespace the Moon of Alabama essay published by P&I on 14 January 2023 stands out as adequately reflecting actual events that have occurred, an assessment clear enough to be tested next month, which can hardly be said of the fly-by-night briefings out of Kyiv and Washington and the UKMOD which take the space in our main media.

We have to remember, ourselves, as armchair statesmen, Clausewitz’s too-uncomfortable-to-remember advice that statesmen be aware that the policy instrument of war having been taken up, war tends to drive out policy and pursue its own ends. Which describes very accurately where we are as an adjunct participant in the hegemony wars of the United States. In Ukraine, the admissions of Merkel and Hollande that the Minsk Protocols were not intended for peace but to give Ukraine time to arm have removed any Russian expectations of sincere negotiation with the West. That war has no likely end point, no off-ramp.

Like Japan we are working hard for our north to be an IndoPacific Ukraine, a sacrificable Spare token for American proxy war with China.

We need also to try to keep in mind, in the broad sense of hegemony, that what the Americans are trying to do on so many fronts, is just not feasible. As a society they cannot afford to continue printing money to spend so much on defence and little else as infrastructure and patience in the country crumbles and the weird and gun riddled is the new normal. I say that in the face of commitment of both sides of American politics in that direction. In addition, both sides of politics in the US want to bring home industries they exported in the years of America’s deindustrialisation that characterised the end of the last millennium, as they palmed off the dirty work especially to Mexico and China. Have no doubt, we will be touched by this, it’s not just the B52 madness that will tear at our fabric. It goes even unto the product line of Arnott’s biscuits when you think of how its private equity owners KKR will sometime have to present their deindustrialising past and future commitment to reindustrialisation to Congressional obsessives. The bitter truth is that the US deindustrialised itself as surely as it now seeks to reindustrialise itself by theft of intelligent business from East Asia and heavy industry from Europe on the slick of its oil dominance.

The holdouts in the Republican Party who worked on McCarthy also spoke of achieving oil and gas independence. This carries us to the brink of the core of American power, the progressive but determined wresting from the dollar of its dominance in global trade enabled by the petrodollar, which is being taken apart. As Sean Foo observed recently, for how long would investors favour a USD based on nothing but print money, many trillions of debt, and a Federal Reserve caring for no one outside the US, over a possible gold-backed Chinese yuan dominating global industry (still) and soundly backed by oil resources that can be made safe from interdiction at the Malacca Strait as now is the case?

The urgency of the large issues, the elephants and donkeys in the room that we won’t see, the life support systems addressed by David Shearman and others here, cannot be overemphasised. these things remain central to Australia’s security. We need a cultural hegemony, a national enthusiasm, vision, and commitment to save the nation. Where are the bullying Teals, let alone a Labor party doing more than plod? We are out of touch and out of step with our region and essential change.







the heartland explained...





meanwhile, secretly......




At the end of November, reports that Russia and China had secretly signed a defense agreement started to appear. 

A November article on the website of Russia Matters of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center reported that, when Putin went to Beijing on February 4, prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he and Chinese President Xi Jinping secretly signed an agreement “that their countries would come to each other’s aid militarily, but only in the case of a foreign invasion.” The article cites “long-time Russia watcher Owen Matthews.”

Matthews subsequently reported in a November 26 article that,  in a “confidential annex” to their February 4 agreement, was “a mutual security guarantee that Russia had sought from China for decades but hitherto been unable to obtain. . . . Like Nato’s Article 5 — that an attack on one member is an attack on all — Beijing and Moscow pledged to come to each other’s aid militarily in the case of a foreign invasion of their territory and if special conditions were satisfied concerning the cause of such an invasion.” Matthews cited “a source with longstanding close ties to the top levels of China’s political and military leadership.”

The Washington Post amplified that story a bit by including it parenthetically in a December 2 opinion piece by Robert Wright. The article said that “every day there is some risk of a fluke turning this into a wider war, featuring direct NATO involvement. Even if such a war didn’t go nuclear, the devastation could be vast. ‘World War III’ might be an overstatement — but it might not (especially in light of a recent report that China and Russia have a secret mutual defense agreement).” The Post op-ed linked to the same story by Matthews.

The existence of such a confidential agreement would be an unexpected development in the relationship between the two countries, which have long eschewed Cold War-style alliances and blocs. 

And it may not be true. Alexander Lukin, a leading expert on Russia-China relations, told RS that “There is no proof. It’s probably mere gossip, and, as any gossip, it may be true or false.” He said that some Chinese authors have argued for such an alliance. But he added that they do not claim it is “an official posting” of the Chinese government. Lukin has, in the past, been critical of western analysts who do not sufficiently differentiate “between the official and dominant views that both reflect and determine [China’s] foreign policies, and the unofficial and even marginal opinions that have little influence on official policy.”

Lukin says the idea may have come from a May interview given by Yan Xuetong, a well-known Chinese foreign policy expert who has supported forming an alliance with Russia, but who, Lukin adds, “does not represent an official position.” Yan told the South China Morning Post that “China should consider providing security guarantees for neighbouring countries. This is not to help them invade others, but to provide security guarantees when others invade them.”

In a portion of the interview that was not included in the English translation, Yan went on to explain that “there is a misinterpretation of the concept of alliance in society. Many people think that alliance is when your allies go to war, you automatically participate in the war. This is wrong. ‘Alliance’ means that when your ally is invaded by others and he conducts an anti-aggression war, you are automatically involved in the war. The alliance treaty is “I help you protect you”, not “I help you invade others.”

But he did not say that there was such a treaty.

The distinction made by Matthews and Yan between an obligation that is triggered by being invaded but not by invading is consistent in tone with other Chinese partnerships. Even before China cemented its close partnership with Russia, it had an exceptionally close relationship with Pakistan. But while Pakistan has more than once been at war with India, China has not once intervened with troops.

The reason is because China drew the very distinction Yan emphasizes. According to Andrew Small in “The China-Pakistan Axis,” China would never rescue Pakistan from conflicts it brought on itself. But, according to Small, Chairman Mao Zedong (ruled from 1949-76)  said China couldintervene. Sources interviewed by Small said that China could intervene if India attacked Pakistan. In other words, China might  come to the aid of its partner if its own existence was threatened by a foreign invasion; China would not come to the aid of its partner if it was the cause of the crisis.

In the case of the Ukraine crisis, China has not blamed Russia for causing it but rather has consistently pointed the finger  at the U.S. and NATO.  Xi told Biden personally that “the crux of the Ukraine crisis” included “the security concerns of both Russia and Ukraine.” He told Biden that, U.S. provocation had caused the problem. On June 23, XI again stressed the need to “reject the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation” as well as “hegemonism.” 

The Kremlin spokesperson said on December 13 that Xi and Putin are “in constant communication.” The two leaders are reportedly scheduled to hold talks in late December to “discuss the events of 2022.”

Nevertheless, both Russia and China have disavowed Cold War-style alliances. Though their extraordinarily close strategic partnership approaches a quasi-alliance relationship, it falls importantly short of a military alliance. 

Only weeks before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Xi said that the relationship between Russia and China “even exceeds an alliance in its closeness and effectiveness.” A February 4 joint statement issued by Putin and Xi asserted, perhaps for the first time officially, that “Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.” The statement adds that it is “a new kind of relationship” that is “superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War.”

This “ironclad” friendship has included Russia and China carrying out military exercises that have employed a joint command and control system that gave each other levels of access that are unprecedented for either country, indicating a very high level of strategic and military coordination.

As recently as October 27, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that “China will firmly support the Russian side, with the leadership of President Putin, to unify Russian people to overcome difficulties and interruptions, to realize the strategic goal of development, and to further reinforce the status of Russia as a major power.” He promised that “China and Russia will deepen exchanges at all levels.”

But, as far as is known, there is still no mutual defense obligations.

The question of the existence of a confidential mutual security guarantee may not, in practice, change much. An attack on Russian territory that existentially threatened Russia could trigger China’s own security interests: China has no desire to face a U.S. and NATO challenge stripped of Russia. China could be motivated to come to Russia’s aid in the event of an invasion, not by an agreement with Russia, but out of concern for its own security interests.

And, importantly, there is the little-discussed Article 9 of the Sino-Russian Treaty of 2001 known as the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. It states that “When a situation arises in which one of the contracting parties deems that peace is being threatened and undermined or its security interests are involved or when it is confronted with the threat of aggression, the contracting parties shall immediately hold contacts and consultations in order to eliminate such threats.”

Whether or not there is a confidential mutual security guarantee between Russia and China, there is a close and still evolving quasi-alliance relationship that has “no limits” and that already has a treaty to aid each other in eliminating threats to each other’s security interests.











horror fairy tales....




Ukrainians saw little hope of pulling any more survivors from the rubble of an apartment block in the city of Dnipro, a day after the building was hit during a major Russian missile attack, with dozens of people expected to have died.

Key points:
  • So far, 30 people have been confirmed dead and more than 30 people were in hospital, including 12 in a serious condition
  • Dnipro authorities believe between 30 to 40 people could still be trapped under debris from the attack
  • Russia says the military operation in Ukraine has gained positive momentum

The regional governor's adviser, Natalia Babachenko, said 30 people were confirmed dead so far and more than 30 were in hospital, including 12 in a serious condition.

Between 30 to 40 people could still be trapped under debris, she said.

Emergency workers said they had heard people screaming for help from underneath piles of debris from the nine-storey apartment block in the east-central city and were using moments of silence to help direct their efforts.

Freezing temperatures added to rescuers' concerns.

A group of firefighters found a lightly-dressed woman still alive more than 18 hours after the attack.

They carried her to safety in their arms. Dozens of grim-faced residents, both young and old, watched in horror from the street.


Ukraine's Air Force said the apartment block was struck by a Russian Kh-22 missile, which is known to be inaccurate and that Ukraine lacks the air defences to shoot down.











UN report recently revealed that at least 11,000 children have been killed or maimed in the US-backed War in Yemen.

At the same time, the weapons contractors that helped create this massacre are reading fairy tales to British children!

You probably already know that, as reported by Alex Kane for In These Times in 2019, “Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s richest countries, has been bombing Yemen, the fifth-poorest nation in the world, since 2015—with support from the United States.”

Does Saudi Arabia even need the U.S. to destroy the 5th poorest country in the world?

It’s equivalent to Barry Bonds in his steroidal prime playing baseball against your asthmatic, cross-eyed five-year-old cousin. But then he stops to call in Mark Maguire, at his juiciest, to hold the kid down. Can you tell I haven’t watched baseball since 1999?

Kane continues, “…the United States has put its military might behind the Saudi-led coalition, waging a war without congressional authorization. That war has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, destroyed or damaged more than half of Yemen’s health facilities…”

The war has killed and injured tens of thousands of Yemenis and displaced millions. Of course, famine and disease, also caused by the war, have also killed far more than the officially counted “tens of thousands” who met their end from U.S.-sponsored violence.

This is insanity! And Yemen is just a small part of the story.

According to Brown University’s Cost of War project, “The U.S. post-9/11 wars have forcibly displaced at least 37 million people in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria.”

Thirty-seven million displaced is the low estimate! A lot of people are getting very rich from this endless assault on the people of Yemen.

“The war in Yemen has been particularly lucrative for General Dynamics, Boeing and Raytheon, which have received hundreds of millions of dollars in Saudi weapons deals,” reports Kane.

But let’s not leave out the British war profiteers – the most polite of the merchants of death.

Dan Sabbagh of The Guardian reported in 2020 that “BAE Systems sold £15bn worth of arms to Saudis during Yemen assault.” That number is two years old. It’s many billions higher now.

BAE Systems doesn’t want us to only think of them as serial murderers. According to their Public Relations Department, they are also interested in reading fairy tales to children.

I’ve had fever nightmares involving clowns wearing eyepatches and involuntary Brazilian waxing that weren’t nearly as terrifying as that story time!

First, I assume that guy is being held at a black site with a cheese grater pointed at his gonads.

Second, why do we need the military to read fairy tales to children?

Hi kids, I’ve chalked up 35 kills over the past two years, many of them children, just like you. Now settle in because I’m getting ready to read you the original shooting script for the film ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ The part of the chainsaw will be played by this bile-stained sock puppet – which once held my neighbor’s foot.”

Third, this series of children’s story time videos is paid for and branded by BAE systems.

So they sell weapons of death and they have a side-hustle reading fairy tales to toddlers. Something tells me story time is not the real money maker in that scenario.









Japan is a bully......


BY Gregory Clark


As a nation Japan would not win many Nobel peace prizes.

For centuries its pirates pillaged Chinese coastal towns. In the 19th century carve-up of China, Japan gained Taiwan, the Liaodong peninsula and later Manchuria. In 1910 it colonised Korea. In 1937 it began its attack into China proper, killing close to an estimated 20 million people, before moving on to attack most of the rest of Asia. It also had the temerity to attack the USA and its Filipino colony- something our American friends tend to forget because both were beyond USA continental bounds.

So when a diplomat from Japan, the nation that in recent memory also attacked Australia, tells us we are now in danger from China, the nation which helped save us from that Japanese attack, we are entitled to wonder who is the pot and who is the kettle.

On top of this is the breach of diplomatic protocol involved when a diplomat of one country becomes aggressively involved in the policies of the country to which he is accredited. Diplomats are there to make peace not war.

This is a pity because postwar Japan has produced many fine diplomats. One of them was the senior Foreign Ministry official formerly handling relations with Asia and Australia, Tanaka Hitoshi.

Through extreme efforts – dozens of secret meetings in China with a top Pyongyang offical – Tanaka managed single-handedly to get North Korea to admit wrong and return five Japanese citizens abducted in postwar years.

More importantly he also managed to get the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il and Japan’s then prime minister, Koizumi Junichiro, to sign the 2002 Pyongyang Declaration in which Japan apologised for past bad colonial behaviour and promised serious economic aid in exchange for a North Korean moratorium on nuclear missile testing.

Sadly, that ground-breaking Declaration was to be killed by a later Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, claiming with no evidence whatsoever that North Korea held up to 800 or more Japanese, later reduced to an official figure of 17, which Pyongyang said had either died or were unknown.

For twenty years Tokyo has clung to this pretext for continuing hostile relations with Pyongyang, ignoring the chances for verification and for the rescue of other Japanese trapped in North Korea offered by the Declaration’s promise of normalised relations.

Meanwhile North Korea has given up on Japan and resumed its nuclear missile testing.

And the diplomat who almost succeeded in freeing 30 million North Koreans from semi-slavery and the rest of us from the threat of nuclear annihilation?

I happen to know him, we are members of the same club. Although quietly spoken it was clear he was devastated by what happened.

For negotiating that deal with Pyongyang his house was threatened with firebombing by fanatical rightists. His reputation was attacked with that curious blend of irrationality and vindictive ultra-nationalism inherited from Japan’s prewar years. He chose early retirement.

Sadly Australia does not get to know people like Tanaka Hitoshi.