Vladimir Putin answers a reporter’s question


Warmongering in Washington, preparation for war in Moscow



John Batchelor and Stephen Cohen


“Rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows (and an octopus) – but this has nothing to do with racism”


Peter Hartcher, ‘The Chinese interests power struggle is about sovereignty,’ The Sydney Morning Herald, 06.09.16

In the Hong Kong election on Sunday, the main clash was between people who prize local liberties and those who want Beijing to have more power.

This same divide was on stark display in Australia last week.

A pro-Beijing group planned a concert series in Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate the life of the former Chinese dictator Mao Zedong.

But the concerts were cancelled in the face of protests planned by a group of Chinese Australians who are opposed to the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to influence Australia.

Australia stands at a threshold moment: how much power are we prepared to allow the Chinese party-state?

This has nothing to do with racism. The rift in the Chinese community in Australia demonstrates that it has everything to do with sovereignty – who controls Australia’s destiny?

In reporting the clash over the Mao concerts, Fairfax Media’s Philip Wen wrote: “The schism is broadly between two camps: those who migrated in the 1980s and 1990s with the spectre of the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989 fresh in their memories, and more recent emigres who have been enriched by China’s economic development and are emboldened by their country’s rise as a major international power.”

The spokesman for the anti-concert group, John Hu of the Embrace Australian Values Alliance, said: “As Australian-Chinese, we see this trend happening as Chinese-language media in Australia become largely influenced by Chinese government with all sorts of commercial linkages; pro-China groups emerge in Sydney and Melbourne; the incoming of Confucius Institutes in our universities which have spread to high school and primary schools in the name of teaching Chinese.

“We are not here to be against certain groups, we are here to protect our Australian values. We choose to live in this country so we need to protect our home.” Which values does he mean, specifically? Freedom, democracy, equality and tolerance, Hu says.

And the pro-Beijing group? “We are artists, we just want to put on a good display of song and dance,” said Christina Wang of International Cultural Exchange Association. She denied any links with the Chinese government.

China’s president, Xi Jinping, declared in 2013 that he wanted to create a “Community of Shared Destiny” in the Asia-Pacific. Australia is one of the countries to be included in that community. But while other countries are supposed to be enfolded in the “community”, which ones do you think Xi would like to be authors of the “shared destiny”?

The destiny, of course, is to be written in Beijing. Not in Bangkok or Brunei, and certainly not in Tokyo or Seoul or Singapore or Jakarta or Hanoi or Manila or Wellington. Or in Canberra.

Xi has called on patriotic “sons and daughters” of China everywhere to serve the motherland regardless of where they live in the world, or which country’s passport they carry.

This is called “United Front work” within the Chinese Communist party. The party actually has a United Front Work Department to conduct this policy.

Australia has been pretty naive in the way it sees China. But ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong and now in Australia can see the risk of Chinese Communist Party intervention very clearly.

“What’s brilliant about the Chinese government’s interest strategy is that it exploits the freedoms of Western democracies against Western democracies,” an expert on Chinese politics at Claremont McKenna College in California, Minxin Pei, told the New York Times recently.

It’s time for Australia’s mainstream to wake up, and Senator Sam Dastyari last week provided a clear illustration of the risk. “It is a priceless lesson in the vulnerability of Australian democracy to foreign influence in a contested Asia,” the head of the National Security College at ANU, Rory Medcalf, wrote of Dastyari.

He, like Labor and the Greens, is calling for a ban on foreign donations to Australian political parties: “It is hard to believe six-figure donations from corporates linked to the Chinese Communist Party are gestures of admiration for our electoral system.”

Chairman Mao famously launched a hygiene drive in 1958 called the “Four Pests Campaign”. Citizens were urged to eradicate rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows.

Australia needs to wage a campaign of vigilance against foreign manipulation of its democracy. In terms that Mao would have understood, perhaps a “Four Pests Campaign” of our own is required to defend against agents of foreign influence.

Rats. We need to be alert to politicians compromised by China’s embrace. Dastyari is a case study. There will be more to come.

Flies. Perhaps unwitting paid-mouthpieces for the interests of the Chinese regime. Bob Carr is the head of the pro-China outfit called the Australian Chinese Relations Institute, set up with a $1.8 million donation from a businessman with links to the Communist Party.

Labor does not have a monopoly – the former Liberal foreign affairs minister, Alexander Downer, was appointed a director of the controversial Chinese telecoms firm Huawei. He was a staunch advocate, even after the Australian government banned the Communist Party-linked Huawei from the NBN as a national security risk.

Mosquitoes. Business people so captivated by their financial interests that they demand Australia assume the kowtow position. For instance, Kerry Stokes wanted Australia to set tax policy and defence policy according to China’s interests. The presence of US troops in Australia made him “‘physically repulsed”. He said: “Blogs in China went crazy.” Yes. So what?

James Packer offered this coaching: “We, as a country, have to try harder to let China know how grateful we are for their business.”

Sparrows. Front organisations, apparently innocuous friendship societies or NGOs, set up specifically to spread Beijing’s influence. The Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China is a central one – “the common link between major Chinese donors to politicians and parties in Australia” as The Australian’s Beijing correspondent, Rowan Callick, summarises.

There are others. On university campuses, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association is devoted to “enhancing patriotism” – and they don’t mean Australian patriotism – by shutting down anyone sceptical of the Chinese Communist Party and its policies.

Pests. Who needs them?

The Mongolian Octopus: his grip on Australia 1886

The Mongolian Octopus: his grip on Australia 1886


Second image

John Pilger – break the silence

Speech given at the University of Sydney 22.03.16


How the Australian bourgeoisie behave when they have a new master

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 1.24.54 pm

‘Fromelles: Families of British First World War veterans complain of being ‘banned’, itv Report, 05.02.16

The families of British First World War veterans have accused the Australian government of banning them from a ceremony commemorating a battle in which thousands of men from both countries were killed.

A special service marking 100 years since the Battle of Fromelles – known as one of the bloodiest battles in Australian military history – is due to take place in the northern French field where it took place on 19 July.

In a matter of hours, the 5th Australian Division saw 5,533 killed, wounded or taken prisoner after being sent over the top in the battle, only days after arriving at the Western Front. More than 2,000 of those men died.

As a result, the catastrophic day has been viewed by some historians as a consequence of poor British planning.

The Australian War Memorial itself describes the attack as a “complete failure” which had “no impact whatsoever upon the progress of the Somme offensive”.

However, after it emerged that families of the 1,547 British casualties would not be invited to attend, some complained that they were being unfairly excluded from remembering their fallen loved ones.

World War One enlistment poster

World War One enlistment poster

Casualties at Fromelles


Australian casualties at Fromelles (killed, wounded or taken captive)


British casualties at Fromelles


German casualties at Fromelles

Gunner Fred Bemrose from Dorset died in the hail of gunfire from the German-held higher ground known as the Sugarloaf.

Speaking to the Times, his grandson, Michael Bemrose – who has made regular visits to the battlefield since the remains of 250 Allied soldiers were exhumed and re-interred there in 2010 – accused Australian authorities of trying to “airbrush” British soldiers from the history of the deadly day.

Men from both countries fought together and died together but now the Australians want to airbrush the British out of the battle. They have made a unilateral decision to bar the British by restricting access to Australian passport holders.


Richard Dibben – the great-nephew of killed Private Harry Dibben from Buckland Newton, Dorset – had also hoped to go to the ceremony, and told the newspaper: “I think it’s grossly unfair.”

A spokesman from the Department of Veterans said the event was limited due to the small size of the Fromelles site, but added that the “ceremonial focus will be on the Australian role in the battle and on the Australian soldiers lost”.

A decision has been made by the Australian Government to prioritise Australians and French in the seated area,” he added, noting that most governments had chosen to commemorate the centenary of the Somme offensive with a single ceremony – such as Britain’s Thiepval memorial on 1 July.

“This is not to diminish the role of other nations but simply a recognition of the Australian focus of the event we are organising.”



Yet again, the contemptuous use the shame-based and servile

USS Nimitz, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

USS Nimitz, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

David Wroe ‘US admiral issues blunt warning over Chinese maritime expansion’ The Sydney Morning Herald, 06.10.15

The commander of the United States’ massive Pacific Fleet has warned that if bullying behaviour at sea of the kind shown by China is not confronted, it will spread to land and become a “friction point” there.

Admiral Scott Swift used a speech to a navy conference in Sydney to deliver a thinly veiled insistence that Beijing would not get away with its island-building and maritime coercion in Asia. …

Continuing a trend that has increasingly seen senior US figures use Australian soil to deliver blunt messages to Beijing…



US lickspittle Australia once again stands up to (Asian, ‘communist’) China

Ripe for visual analysis - PM in the midst of military might: view looking up, Abbott wearing the blue tie of conservatism at centre with Left Hand in pocket where it belongs and Right Hand raised, reinforcing words of visionary leadership, a curious vermillion ‘one’ beside him to indicate his significance for anyone silly enough to miss it; a veritable green forest of troops at military ease, parted like the Red Sea, with a dusting on shoulders of pale blue Australian flags - all focused on Abbott’s every word; symbolic halo above Abbott’s head, two big black wheels in line with his groin, diffuse light flooding the scene from above. Whoever took this photo is a true Rembrandt.

Ripe for visual analysis, PM in the midst of military might: perspectival view, looking up – Abbott, suited-up and wearing the blue tie of capitalist conservatism at centre with Left Hand in pocket where it belongs and Right Hand slightly raised, calmly reinforcing words of visionary leadership, a curious vermilion ‘one’ beside him, perhaps to indicate his significance for anyone silly enough not to know (is it a dropped chilli, an upright carrot on the tarmac?); a complimentary-coloured veritable green-suited forest of all-white troops at military ease, parted like the Red Sea, with a dusting on shoulders of pale blue Australian flags leading in to Abbott’s face and all focused on his every word; symbolic halo above Abbott’s head (although it does look as though its held up by the old wire-up-the-back trick), two big black wheels in line with his groin, diffuse light flooding the scene from above. We’re not simply talking tableau here folks, whoever took this photo is a genius.

ABC Radio National 02.06.15 ’Government reportedly planning ‘freedom of navigation’ exercise in South China Sea

The ‘South what Sea’?

While we’re into preaching ‘freedom’ and upholding the principles of ‘international law,’ what about the US Monroe Doctrine? And what is the primary function of Hawaii for the US – a holiday resort? And how far is Hawaii from the US?

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 1.11.17 pm

Stennis Carrier Strike Group Arrives in Hawaii

Stennis Carrier Strike Group arrives in Hawaii

Pearl Harbour

US naval base, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam, Hawaii

Joint Base Pearl Harbour-Hickam, Hawaii

USS Nimitz, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

USS Nimitz, Pearl Harbour, Hawaii

And how far are the Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands from the UK?

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 9.40.30 pm

 Newsweek cover 19.04.82

Newsweek cover 19.04.82

The sinking of the Belgrano in the 1982 Falklands War. 323 crewmembers died.

The sinking of the Belgrano in the 1982 Falklands War. 323 crewmembers died.


Pearl Harbour images: 1st/2nd/3rd/4th

Falkland Islands War images: Newsweek cover 19.04.82/The sinking of the Belgrano, 1982

The anatomy of a great deception

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This film runs for one and a half hours which almost put me off watching it but I highly recommend it if you haven’t already seen it.

Too many people in it (experts and not) say the same or similar and consistent things.

Audience reaction to the film at Arizona State University


Australians, prepare for your ‘best friend’s’ call


‘Australia has a role to play in pushing back against China – Bush adviser’, John Garnaut, The Sydney Morning Herald, 30.10.14

Australia will be expected to draw clear red lines and “push back” against China if President Xi Jinping creates an anti-Western axis with Vladimir Putin, a former US national security adviser says.

Stephen Hadley, national security adviser to president George Bush from 2005 to 2009, said it was too early to say whether Mr Xi would continue his country’s long journey of co-operatively engaging with the international rules-based order, which he said had facilitated China’s rise. …’

Chinese dragon and US

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‘Home on the Range’ – documentary on the 1975 coup in Australia:

From blurb: ‘About this episode –

Celebrated filmmaker Gil Scrine’s highly revealing 1982 documentary on the sacking of Gough Whitlam. The film examines the establishment of Pine Gap and the Governor General’s decision to sack Whitlam based on a variety of advice – not least from sources at the CIA.’



Image sources: top, bottom