Sunday 21st of July 2024

albo sacrifices his integrity for the sake of a deal with the crooked american empire.....

Over twenty ALP branches around Australia have now passed anti-AUKUS resolutions and the list is growing by the day.

Many of the branches are calling on the Albanese government to withdraw from the pact while others want a parliamentary inquiry into the $368 Billion deal.

AWPR supports the call for a full and open inquiry which was suggested by The Australia Institute and others in May.

The grassroots revolt within the ALP is being pushed along by a new informal group called “Labor Against War” which is headed by former Labor staffer and journalist Marcus Strom.

Speaking at a recent public meeting in Sydney, Strom said the group is part of a long tradition within Labor that opposed unjust wars, including the Vietnam war and the Iraq invasion.

The opposition among Labor members appears to be growing strongly. In some places like Tanya Plibersek’s electorate of Sydney multiple branches are demanding a change in policy. Four branches in her electorate managed to get the whole Federal electorate council to pass this resolution:

‘(Sydney FEC) calls on the Australian Government to withdraw from the AUKUS alliance and cease any program in pursuit of the acquisition of nuclear submarines’

A similar motion was passed by the Electorate Councils in the South Australian seats of Mayo and Boothby.

Some of the resolutions have expressed dismay that the Albanese government has proceeded with a policy that was conceived and implemented by Scott Morrison.

One of the motions read: “It was conceived by Scott Morrison, without proper process or debate, as a desperate election ploy”.

Several of the branches have also given their backing to War Powers Reform: “after the experience of Iraq, Federal Labor should commit to a policy that any decision to send Australian troops abroad will only be made by debate in the Australian parliament.”

The internal dissent has been spurred on by a growing number of senior Labor figures who have publicly criticised AUKUS. The list includes Bob Carr, Paul Keating, Gareth Evans, Peter Garrett, Carmen Lawrence and Doug Cameron.

But can this internal backlash turn around such a massive foreign policy, which saw Anthony Albanese shaking hands and signing an agreement in San Diego with President Biden and UK PM Rishi Sunak?

Even public polling shows little support for the decision to pay so much money for a handful of nuclear submarines. The most recent Lowy Institute poll found that 47% of people didn’t think the spending was worth it, and only 27% support the expenditure.

Mr Albanese and some of his key ministers appear to be somewhat rattled by the membership revolt. Several articles have appeared in recent weeks with ministers trying to play down the issue, which will come to a head at the ALP national conference in Brisbane in a few weeks.

Some reports point out that the progressive wing of the party have the numbers for the first time in a long time. But others say a deal will be done ahead of the meeting that ensures Mr Albanese will “not be embarrassed” by the final outcome.

Even if that occurs it’s hard to see the genuine community concern about AUKUS going away. In particular the longer term decisions about where to set up a nuclear submarine base on the east coast and how the resulting nuclear waste will be dealt with are highly contentious matters.

More info: Labor Against War

– Mark Robinson

he does not.....


The United States is in decline, with AUKUS, so too is Australia


By Cameron Leckie

Apr 8, 2023


One of the first steps in any military planning activity is to conduct an ‘own troops’ analysis, to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your own force. An important and necessary pre-requisite for developing a strategy that has a realistic chance of success.

In 2018 whilst serving in the Australian Army, I submitted a paper to The Australian Defence Force Journal which was essentially an own troops analysis of Australia’s ally, the United States. The thesis of the paper (which was not published) was that the United States centre of gravity was the dominance of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Four interlinked pillars were examined that supported this “exorbitant privilege”, being the military, information, and economic dominance of the United States along with supportive client states. The paper suggested that these pillars were all under a great deal of stress and that “sooner or later one or more of these pillars [would] reach a critical state beyond which the whole edifice will collapse.”

Fast forward to the present and the indicators of a collapse of the United States imperial system are flashing red across all domains. Three key indicators, from a long list, include:
The abject failure of sanctions, unprecedented in scale and nature, to cripple the Russian economy.

The exponential growth in currency multipolarity deals, particularly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many countries now see that not only is trading using the United States Dollar a sovereign risk but there are alternative options.

The United States lacks the industrial capacity to match Russia (let alone China) in the military sphere.

The United States has of course faced significant challenges in the past, such as the Civil War, the Great Depression and the upheavals of the 1960s and 70s. How can we be certain that the United States won’t once again return to its former position as the global hegemon (and Australia’s security blanket)?

The law of diminishing returns provides the answer. Consider the enormous positive return on investment achieved via the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which ceded large parts of the southwest of north America to the United States, or the imperial acquisition of the Philippines and other colonies. As with most successful empires, the initial territorial expansion had a hugely positive cost benefit ratio, which enabled the United States to establish its dominance and enjoy the spoils of imperial conquest for much of the 20th century.

The cost benefit ratio of United States military interventions has however turned decisively negative. From the Korean war, to Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (and now Ukraine), despite the huge investment of its economic resources, the United States has gained little in the form of wealth to sustain its imperial system. As author John Michael Greer puts it, the United States’ imperial wealth pump is now largely pumping sand.

This is not to say that segments of the United States population have not done extremely well out of decades of military misadventures. War is after all a ‘racket’ as General Smedley Butler pointed out. But the resulting unequal distribution of wealth points to another characteristic of imperial collapse, which is that empires collapse from the periphery to the core.

A survey of the social and economic ills facing the internal periphery of the United States (the working and middle class), from homelessness, to drug use, falling life expectancies, crumbling infrastructure and a decaying social fabric, are another set of indicators that the United States is in decline.

As the marginal returns on investment in empire decline, as explained by Joseph Tainter in his classic work The Collapse of Complex Societies, an empire becomes increasingly at risk of collapse, unable to address new challenges as they arise with the resources available. Historically the result has been a reversion to a lower level of complexity – a collapse. In the United States’ current context, this would likely be operationalised as the giving up/loss of its empire. Not by choice, but by necessity.

This is the state and likely future direction of the country that Australia has handcuffed itself too.

The stridency and almost hysterical rhetoric emanating from the hawks in both the United States and Australia about the potential for a near term war with China is an indicator of desperation. China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty by avoiding war for decades, so the motivation for it to suddenly trigger a war and risk the prosperity upon which the legitimacy of the Chinese Government rests rings rather hollow. In comparison the United States aggressive policy of ‘containment’ of China reeks of the desperation of an empire slipping towards the abyss. The United States needs to significantly diminish the economic strength of China in the near term otherwise it will be too late (arguably it is already too late) to regain its hegemonic position. War appears to be the mechanism by which the nihilistic foreign policy of the United States seeks to achieve that aim.

It is unclear what if any benefit that Australia would gain from a war with China. But this is the path that we are on having been unable to separate our interests from those of the United States. The outcome of a conflict with China will be devastating for Australia’s future – win (with the destruction of the major engine of global economic growth) or more likely lose. What AUKUS highlights is that Australia does not have a strategy. What we have is an ideology. An ideology so deeply ingrained that the further down the path of decline the United States progresses, the tighter Australia’s embrace becomes. An embrace all but cemented by AUKUS.

In 2018 I concluded that:
“it is well past the time that Australia considers a future where the US imperial system is not at the heart of the international order. Rather than treating this change as a threat it should be viewed as a once in a century opportunity to redefine Australia’s position in the international order. Australia’s choice is as clear as it is difficult; either sink into a muddy morass with a declining empire or redefine our defence and foreign policy on our own terms within the emerging global order.”

That conclusion is even more relevant today than it was at the time. Unfortunately, the window of opportunity to escape from our potentially fatal embrace with the United States is closing. This self-inflicted tragedy in the waiting would see a grim future for Australia.

Is this the future ‘we’ want for our country? Is this the future Prime Minister Albanese or the Government wants for our country? I suspect not.

The one glimmer of hope that remains is that the path we are on can be averted, and averted in short order requiring only two resources: leadership and moral courage.

All it would take is for the Prime Minister to publicly and forthrightly state that Australia will not participate in a war against China under any circumstances, other than as an act of self-defence in the improbable event that China was to attack Australia. This the Prime Minister could do tomorrow.

Let’s hope that the Prime Minister has what it takes!

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across the ditch.....

WELLINGTON, THURSDAY -U.S. inducements for New Zealand to join the military alliance have been unsuccessful. New Zealand has yet to act on the invitation to join. In addition, there is still widespread division of opinion in New Zealand on the issue.

New Zealand's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta, stated that there is no agreement yet regarding the military alliance formed by the US, UK, and Australia. The New Zealand Cabinet must carefully consider the offer related to the alliance known as AUKUS.

The statement was delivered after receiving US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday (27/7/2023) in Wellington. Prior to Blinken, several officials from the US Department of State had previously visited New Zealand to discuss AUKUS. They included former US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink, and White House Indo-Pacific Policy Coordinator Kurt Campbell. Several officials from Australia also attempted to discuss the AUKUS issue with New Zealand.

Read also Powerlessly Rejects AUKUS 

Mahuta stated that her country is not ready to compromise on its anti-nuclear policies. Wellington remains committed to supporting a nuclear-free Pacific.

The same stance has been conveyed by New Zealand Defense Minister Andrew Little. He stated that Wellington's position on nuclear weapons is very firm and unlikely to change.

While Blinken mentioned that the door for New Zealand to discuss the issue of weapons and procurement programs within the framework of AUKUS is always open. Similar opportunities are given to AUKUS partners. "We have long cooperated on important security issues. As we continue to develop AUKUS, the door is open for open discussion," he said.

Together with Canada, New Zealand, and members of AUKUS, they have established a defense partnership called Panca Netra. This collaboration focuses on providing a shared platform for intelligence information between the US, Australia, England, Canada, and New Zealand.






from china.....


By Chen Weihua


Aussie leaders must raise their voice to free Assange


Unlike his predecessor Scott Morrison, incumbent Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been urging the Joe Biden administration to drop the charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been confined in the maximum security Belmarsh Prison in London since April 2019 while Washington seeks his extradition to the United States.

But Albanese's efforts were rejected on July 29 by visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said that Assange is accused of "very serious criminal conduct" for publishing classified US military documents in 2010 after US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning leaked them to WikiLeaks.

Assange is facing 17 charges under the US Espionage Act and could be sentenced to as many as 175 years in a US maximum security prison if he is extradited to the US. The WikiLeaks founder lost his appeal in June against the extradition, triggering an outcry among his supporters around the world.

On Tuesday, asserting that his government stands firm against the US and its prosecution, Albanese said "this has gone on for too long", adding that "enough is enough". However, his remarks are far from being strong enough.

Amnesty International's message, for example, is much stronger. It said that the "authorities in the USA must drop the espionage and all other charges against Julian Assange".

The London-based group said "the US government's unrelenting pursuit of Julian Assange for having published disclosed documents that included possible war crimes committed by the US military is nothing short of a full-scale assault on the right to freedom of expression", strong words that Albanese and Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong dare not use in front of US officials. Wong only said that Australia wants the charges "brought to a conclusion", a very ambiguous message.

The US military cables released by WikiLeaks detailed war crimes committed by the US administration in the Guantanamo detention center, Iraq and Afghanistan, including the killing of civilians and two Reuters reporters and the CIA engaging in torture and rendition.

Worse, Yahoo News reported in 2021 that the CIA under then director Mike Pompeo had discussed abducting and assassinating Assange in 2017 while he was in asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists has launched a campaign, calling on the US government to drop all charges against Assange and allowing him to return home to be with his wife and children.

The IFJ warned against the dire implications of the US' actions on press freedom, emphasizing that the punishment of Manning, who collaborated with Assange in releasing the US documents, was commuted by former US president Barack Obama. A point to be noted is that none of WikiLeaks' media partners has been charged in any US administration's legal proceeding.

The editors and publishers of the media partners of WikiLeaks, including The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El Pais, wrote an open letter last year calling on the US to end its prosecution of Assange.

A group of Democratic lawmakers including Rashida Tlaib of Michigan sent a letter in April to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, urging him to drop all charges against Assange.

Albanese and Wong could also learn from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who described the arrest of Assange as "an attack on freedom of expression" way back in 2010 during his last term in office. And during his visit to London in May, Lula denounced the lack of concerted efforts to free Assange, saying "the guy is in prison because he denounced wrongdoing" and "the press doesn't do anything in defense of this journalist, I can't understand it".

Lula is right. It is shameful that most Western mainstream media outlets and Western politicians have not shown the guts to support Assange despite their hypocritical rhetoric on press freedom.

The author is chief of China Daily EU Bureau based in Brussels.







US Warns Southeast Asia of "Chinese Coercion," Then Coerces Southeast Asia into Anti-China Agenda

US Coerces Asia into Joining Anti-China Agenda

- The US seeks to turn Southeast Asia into a united front against China, despite China representing the region’s largest trade partner, investor, source of tourism, infrastructure developer and even defense supplier;

- Washington is using a combination of political and economic coercion including ongoing political interference and regime-change operations to politically capture the region, similar to what the US has done in Eastern Europe to create a united front against Russia;

- US-funded opposition parties are attempting to seize political power across Southeast Asia while US-funded media platforms and organizations consolidate control over the region’s information space;

- The US also funds opposition groups dedicated to blocking or delaying infrastructure projects including joint projects with China covering everything from dams to railways;

- Through programs like Fulbright and Chevening scholarships or the US government’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) the US is creating cadres political, business, and media administrators serving US interests in the region at the cost of the region’s best interests;

- Southeast Asia may suffer the same fate as Eastern Europe, a region irrationally opposed to Russia at the cost of its economic, social, and political stability;

- In order for Southeast Asia to preserve its sovereignty it must create national and regional security arrangements to block US interference, regain control over national and regional information space, and create education systems capable of producing the human resources required to administer sovereign states rather than maintain or expand US vassalage;