Debate: Armed neutrality for Australia as Trump ramps up war with China.
Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) Building a People’s Movement for Peace and Independence. See my earlier protests at Pine Gap
Australia must develop ‘independent foreign policy’ in wake of Trump win – Labor
Penny Wong urges a better road map in Asia and says Trump’s campaign rhetoric ‘run counter to what are core values for most Australians’
Greens question US Alliance http://www.northqueenslandregister.com.au/story/4307198/richard-di-natale-united-states-alliance-now-represents-a-security-threat-to-australia/?cs=4735
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/07/trump-and-china-a-note-from-beijing/
Update Trump prepares for war: http://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-orders-military-to-prepare-for-world-war/5571520
Pilger on Trump: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uuum5gsUapM
Taiwan is the priority for Chinese nationalists. Anything, in their eyes, that threatens the status quo will be seen as a clear and present danger. Trump does not understand China was the common refrain after the phone call but more pertinent may be the fact that China does not understand Trump.
The signs were evident but have been ignored or wished away. During his campaign, Trump accused China of raping the US economy. This to Beijing was a deeply troubling choice of words, apart from immensely insulting. Within living memory, China has, in 1937, experienced the mass rape of the residents of a major city by a foreign power. Accusing China of “raping’’ an economy with which it has close, and increasingly closer, ties is hurtful and touches a nerve that is still raw. Currency manipulator? Since the turn of the century, the renminbi has strengthened against the US dollar though it has bucked the trend recently as the dollar strengthened. Beijing stayed silent during the presidential campaign as it did not want to be seen as “interfering’’. Even after the phone call with the president on Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, as she is referred to in Beijing, China displayed a reticence markedly at odds with its usual stridency on Taiwan.
Here I post John Pilger’s The Coming War on China
The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way.
When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarterpast eight on the morning of 6 August, 1945, she and her silhouette were burnedi nto the granite. I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, unforgettably. When I returned many years later, it was gone: taken away, “disappeared”, a political embarrassment.
I have spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China, in which the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency. The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. They are in the northern hemisphere, on the western borders of Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific,confronting China.
The great danger this beckons is not news, or it is buried and distorted: a drumbeat of mainstream fake news that echoes the psychopathic fear embedded in public consciousness during much of the 20th century.
Like the renewal of post-Soviet Russia, the rise of China as an economic power is declared an “existential threat” to the divine right of the United States to rule and dominate human affairs.
To counter this, in 2011 President Obama announced a “pivot to Asia”, which meant that almost two-thirds of US naval forces would be transferred to Asia and the Pacific by 2020. Today, more than 400 American military bases encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and, above all, nuclear weapons. From Australia north through the Pacific to Japan, Korea and across Eurasia to Afghanistan and India, the bases form, says one US strategist, “the perfect noose.”
A study by the RAND Corporation – which, since Vietnam, has planned America’s wars – is entitled, War with China:Thinking Through the Unthinkable. Commissioned by the US Army, the authors evoke the cold war when RAND made notorious the catch cry of its chief strategist, Herman Kahn — “thinking the unthinkable”.Kahn’s book, On Thermonuclear War, elaborated a plan for a “winnable” nuclear war against the Soviet Union.
Today,his apocalyptic view is shared by those holding real power in the United States:the militarists and neo-conservatives in the executive, the Pentagon, the intelligence and “national security” establishment and Congress.
he current Secretary of Defense, Ashley Carter, a verbose provocateur, says U.S. policy is to confront those “who see America’s dominance and want to take that away from us”.
Forall the attempts to detect a departure in foreign policy, this is almost certainly the view of Donald Trump, whose abuse of China during the election campaign included that of “rapist” of the American economy. On 2 December, in a direct provocation of China, President-elect Trump spoke to the President of Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province of the mainland. Armed with American missiles, Taiwan is an enduring flashpoint between Washington and Beijing.
“The United States,” wrote Amitai Etzioni, professor of international Affairs at George Washington University, “is preparing for a war with China, a momentous decision that so far has failed to receive a thorough review from elected officials,namely the White House and Congress.” This war would begin with a “blinding attack against Chinese anti-access facilities,including land and sea-based missile launchers … satellite and anti-satellite weapons.”
The incalculable risk is that “deep inland strikes could be mistakenly perceived by the Chinese as pre-emptive attempts to take out its nuclear weapons, thus cornering them into ‘a terrible use-it-or-lose-it dilemma’ [that would] lead to nuclear war.”
In 2015, the Pentagon released its Law of War Manual. “The United States,” it says, “has not accepted a treaty rule that prohibits the use of nuclear weapons perse, and thus nuclear weapons are lawful weapons for the United States.”
In China, a strategist told me, “We are not your enemy, but if you [in the West]decide we are, we must prepare without delay.”
China’s military and arsenal are small compared to America’s. However,“for the first time,” wrote Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned Scientists, “China is discussing putting its nuclear missiles on high alert so that they can be launched quickly on warning of an attack … This would be a significant and dangerous change in Chinese policy … Indeed, the nuclear weapon policies of the United States are the most prominent external factor influencing Chinese advocates for raising the alert level of China’s nuclear forces.”
Professor Ted Postol was scientific adviser to the head of US naval operations. An authority on nuclear weapons, he told me, “Everybody here wants to look like they’re tough. See I got to be tough … I’m not afraid of doing anything military, I’m not afraid of threatening; I’m a hairy-chested gorilla. And we have gotten into a state, the United States has gotten into a situation where there’s a lot of sabre-rattling, and it’s really being orchestrated from the top.”
I said, “This seems incredibly dangerous.”
In 2015, in considerable secrecy, the US staged its biggest single military exercise since the Cold War. This was Talisman Sabre; an armada of ships and long-range bombers rehearsed an “Air-Sea Battle Concept for China” – ASB — blocking sea lanes in the Straits of Malacca and cutting off China’s access to oil, gas and other raw materials from the Middle East and Africa.
Itis such a provocation, and the fear of a US Navy blockade, that has seen Chinafeverishly building strategic airstrips on disputed reefs and islets in theSpratly Islands in the South China Sea. Last July, the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled against China’s claim of sovereignty over these islands. Although the action was brought by the Philippines, it was presented by leading American and British lawyers and could be traced to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In2010, Clinton flew to Manila. She demanded that America’s former colony reopen the US military bases closed down in the 1990s following a popular campaign against the violence they generated, especially against Filipino women. She declared China’s claim on the Spratly Islands – which lie more than 7,500 miles from the United States – a threat to US “national security” and to “freedom of navigation.”
Handed millions of dollars in arms and military equipment, the then government of President Benigno Aquino broke off bilateral talks with China and signed a secretive Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US. This established five rotating US bases and restored a hated colonial provision that American forces and contractors were immune from Philippine law.
The election of Rodrigo Duterte in April has unnerved Washington. Calling himself a socialist, he declared, “In our relations with the world, the Philippines will pursue an independent foreign policy” and noted that the United States had not apologized for its colonial atrocities. “I will break up with America,” he said, and promised to expel US troops. But the US remains in the Philippines; and joint military exercises continue.
In 2014, under the rubric of “information dominance” – the jargon for media manipulation, or fake news, on which the Pentagon spends more than $4 billion –the Obama administration launched a propaganda campaign that cast China, the world’s greatest trading nation, as a threat to “freedom of navigation.”
CNN led the way, its “national security reporter” reporting excitedly from on board a US Navy surveillance flight over the Spratlys. The BBC persuaded frightened Filipino pilots to fly a single-engine Cessna over the disputed islands “to see how the Chinese would react”. None of these reporters questioned why the Chinese were building airstrips off their own coastline, or why American military forces were massing on China’s doorstep.
The designated chief propagandist is Admiral Harry Harris, the US military commander in Asia and the Pacific. “My responsibilities,” he told the New York Times, “cover Bollywood to Hollywood, from polar bears to penguins.” Never was imperial domination described as pithily.
Harris is one of a brace of Pentagon admirals and generals briefing selected, malleable journalists and broadcasters, with the aim of justifying a threat as specious as that with which George W. Bush and Tony Blair justified the destruction of Iraq and much of the Middle East.
In Los Angeles in September, Harris declared he was “ready to confront a revanchist Russia and an assertive China …If we have to fight tonight, I don’twant it to be a fair fight. If it’s a knife fight, I want to bring a gun. If it’s a gun fight, I want to bring in the artillery … and all our partners with their artillery.”
These “partners” include South Korea, the launch pad for the Pentagon’s Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system, known as THAAD, ostensibly aimed at North Korea. As Professor Postol points out, it targets China.
In Sydney, Australia, Harris called on China to “tear down its Great Wall in the South China Sea”. The imagery was front page news. Australia is America’s most obsequious “partner”; its political elite, military, intelligence agencies and the media are integrated into what is known as the “alliance”. Closing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the motorcade of a visiting American government“dignitary” is not uncommon. The war criminal Dick Cheney was afforded this honour.
Although China is Australia’s biggest trader, on which much of the national economy relies, “confronting China” is the diktat from Washington. The few political dissenters in Canberra risk McCarthyite smears in the Murdoch press. “You in Australia are with us come what may,” said one of the architects of the Vietnam war, McGeorge Bundy. One of the most important US bases is Pine Gap near Alice Springs.Founded by the CIA, it spies on China and all of Asia, and is a vital contributor to Washington’s murderous war by drone in the Middle East.
In October, Richard Marles, the defence spokesman of the main Australian opposition party, the Labor Party, demanded that “operational decisions” in provocative acts against China be left to military commanders in the South China Sea. In other words, a decision that could mean war with a nuclear power should not be taken by an elected leader or a parliament but by an admiral or a general.
But people want peace with China http://chriswhiteonline.org/2015/01/people-opposed-to-war-with-china/
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
by KARL GROOMSMAN
It is highly likely that the Trump administration will move to have the U.S. deploy weapons in space. If this happens, it will be profoundly destabilizing, setting off an arms race and, also likely, leading to war in space. Read here
See earlier on strikes in China http://chriswhiteonline.org/2016/11/china-on-strike/