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AUKUS in the Hypersonic Missile Wonderland

If further clues were needed as to why AUKUS, the security pact comprising the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, was created, the latest announcement on weapons would have given the game away. Australia, just as it became real estate to park British nuclear weapons experiments, is now looking promising as a site for hypersonic missile testing, development, and manufacture.

In a joint statement from US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, a commitment was made “to commence new trilateral cooperation on hypersonics and counter-hypersonics, and electronic warfare capabilities, as well as to expand information sharing and to deepen cooperation on defence innovation.”

To this can be added February efforts of officials from all three countries to, according to the ABC, scour Australia for sites best suited for the nascent nuclear-powered submarine program that seems all but pie in the sky. To date, the country has no infrastructure to speak of in this field, no skills that merit mention for the development of any such fleet, and a lack of clarity as to when the vessels might make it to sea. Nor is there any clear sign what model of submarine – UK or US – will be preferred.

Last October, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, did his bit to stir the pot of paranoia by suggesting that Beijing had stolen ahead with their hypersonic capabilities. He took particular interest in a test of a “hypersonic weapon system” described as a “very significant event” and one of deep concern.

Russia has also staked its claim to fame in the hypersonic race. The Russian military claims that its Avangard system, which entered into service in December 2019, is capable of flying 27 times faster than the speed of sound with dizzying manoeuvrability. Last month, Moscow announced that its new Kinzhal (Dagger) hypersonic missile was used to target a Ukrainian fuel depot in Kostiantynivka near the Black Sea port of Mykolaiv.

Citizens have not been asked, let alone consulted, about this dotty plan to feed another arms race. Democracy is treated as a cranky relative who only figures in passing. In a rather sleazy way, the hypersonic missile venture is being marketed to the Australian public as a wonderful opportunity to show independence, not subservience.

The Morrison government, and various officials, are publicly very appreciative of the latest developments, showing empires past and present what it takes to be a real wallah. Instead of feeling a sense of shame (are we always doomed to merely serve the drinks?), there was merriment that Australia could be oh so useful to the power projects of others.

Hoping that no one would notice, an emphasis on danger has been made. The Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce justifies the acceleration of the hypersonic weapons program by claiming that Australia faces an “existential threat” from them. It would only take “about 14 minutes” for such devices to reach Australia, “so we have to make sure that we are right at the top of our game.”

Presumably, this means doing everything to make Australia attractive, in an existentially doomed way, to other powers in the region. China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun has already warned against the provocation of such military arrangements. “As the Chinese saying goes: if you do not like it, do not impose it against others.”

The Morrison government is trying to leave the impression that this will eventually realise the dream of self-sufficiency, a notion repeatedly fed by such think tanks as the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. It describes this as “a major step in delivering a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance Enterprise, officially announcing strategic partners Raytheon Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia.” The Prime Minister also sees such weapons as part of a broader Australia “strategic vision” dealing with long-range strike capabilities.

This is all an eye-poking contradiction in terms, given the role played by US weapons-making giants. But Defence Minister Peter Dutton tries to be reassuring about Australia’s chances of being weaned off the teat of empire. “We know we need to work closely with our partners to bolster our self-reliance and this is another major step in delivering that sovereign capability here in Australia.”

Dutton’s eyes must be going starry at this point. “This is an incredibly complex undertaking that will see this new manufacturing capability built from the ground up.” Irritating references follow. To make the point that some genuine effort will be made by Australians, the Minister speaks of the hypersonic weapons venture as being “a whole-of-nation endeavour.” Unspecified “opportunities” for Australian companies and workers are mentioned across a number of areas: manufacturing, maintenance, infrastructure, research and development and test and evaluation. Presumably, someone needs to make the tea and coffee.

As this idiotic, servile venture proceeds, the Australian territory, sites and facilities will become even more attractive for assault in the fulness of time. That may well be quite a way off and, judging by any military ventures in Australia of this kind, we can hope that this will be more a case of decades rather than years.

 

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138 comments

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  1. John Hanna

    Yet another example of cheek splaying from our federal buffoonery. No doubt intended as a plus for the upcoming election campaign, never mind they just cancelled an order for supply of some billions worth of Predator drones.

  2. Barry

    The hot air that comes out of Scott Morison mouth would definitely be having a impact on global warming,who dreams up this stuff,none of this is ever going to happen,never.If you want a hypersonic weapons systems ask the Russian or the Chinese,they already have them,if you ask nicely they might sell you some.But with all things as we have seen happen with all of Scott Morison’s bullshit promises,nothing ever comes of them,just hurry up and get on with this election so we can kick your ass out

  3. Phil Pryor

    We have been a naked target for half a century, since Pine gap times, and it is so good to know we will be killed more times over, quicker, smarter, nastier, more modern and thoroughly, once WW3 starts, and immediately concludes. Vapour, a la Peter Duckwit-Futton…

  4. Jack Cade

    Phil Pryor In the event of a war in the East (and you can guarantee that any pre-emptive strike would be from Uncle Sam or one of the parties kneeling under his desk), the first retaliation target would be Pine Gap (which – in my biased view- probably knows what happened to MH370. If it doesn’t, Diego Garcia likely does.) Pine Gap caused ‘the Dismissal’, because Whitlam asked them what they were up to, but we’d rather not think about that. AND any weapons we buy from the USA will be yesterday’s models; They won’t sell state of the art to anyone they don’t have absolute, total control over.

  5. A Commentator

    It appears that Binoy would prefer a world where China and Russia are free to divide the world into their spheres of influence.
    Where western democracies don’t bother with any countervailing pacts.
    He’s again demonstrated his disdain for western democracy.

  6. kevin

    Asia Target #1: Vassal penal colony Stralya.

    Why:

    Where are US military bases in Australia?

    Northern Australia is an essential area for Australia-US military efforts, given its proximity to the increasingly contested Asia-Pacific region. The four new military sites will be located at Robertson Barracks, Kangaroo Flats, Mount Bundey and Bradshaw Field.

    Does the US have any military bases in Australia?

    Australia. The US military has access to all major ADF training areas, northern Australian RAAF airfields, port facilities in Darwin and Fremantle, and highly likely future access to an expanded Stirling naval base in Perth, and the airfield on the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

  7. Phil Pryor

    If the commentator gets more childish, he’ll be in nappies again. Western democracies like Trumps? or in Poland, Hungary, Turkey? It’s the filthy manifest supremacist destiny of the USA that threatens us all, with 1,400 bases, abusing NATO, toppling governments with CIA murder, etc, more spending on weapons than the next ten put together, including Russia and China. Murder and theft, intrusion and occupations, USA policy. Putin is finished, beyond redemption and subject now to internal plotting. Russia is on the nose internationally, again. But, pustular hatred is selfdefeating, eye blinding, uncivilised, whereas a discussion on paths to peace would save us all much agony.

  8. A Commentator

    Why do you demean yourself by resorting to infantile insults?
    Putin is an expansionist murderous fascist, but you seek to provide cover for the brutality
    Putin doesn’t want “a path to peace”
    He, like the CCP, understand only pressure and pain.
    That’s their blunt instrument of diplomacy

  9. GL

    Scummo and Duttonuci seem to have a thing for big ships, big tanks with big guns, big submarines and big missiles. Could it be they are making up the smallness of certain body parts?

  10. GL

    AC, You have become a tiresome scratched record. Please put us out of your misery and shut the hell up about Putin! We know what he is he and has done and is continuing to do but what we don’t need is you going on and on and on, ad nauseam, about him.

  11. Old Codger

    A certain nuclear target is the Harold E Holt communications station in the North West Cape. It is a VLF (Very Low Frequency) transmitter which can communicate with submerged submarines. The go to war order for US submarines in the Indian Ocean and others would come from this station. It is the most powerful radio transmitter in the southern hemisphere.

  12. Michael Taylor

    Why do you demean yourself by resorting to infantile insults?

    Because it’s fun, A C. 😀

    I might join in myself. I reckon Phil and I would make a great tag-team.

    BTW, you might be surprised to learn that Dr Binoy is not the only person in this country who has mixed feelings about AUKUS.

  13. Harry Lime

    Perhaps the Kiwis will lease us one or two of their war canoes as a stopgap for the ephemeral, gas powered submersibles.We might engineer a side deal to get some long range spears,and some surplus All Blacks to hurl them. And for local talent I hear the Sea Scouts are available for some sorties.

  14. L.S. Roberts

    Besides all of the foregoing; it places the Labor Party in a difficult position. They can hardly play peaceniks, though they should.

    It would be as cheap as chips to have a multi-cultural and mixed sex home defence force prepared to fight like Spartans. Wars against Guerrilla movements have seldom won. Mr. Katter could have his local arms dumps and at least the youth of the nation would be fit and able to shoot straight, again.

  15. A Commentator

    From what I can see, Binoy has a history of poor judgement, exaggeration and disdain for western democracy.
    And MT, I think a tag team would be a challenge… if only I could shave about 50 points from my IQ

  16. Michael Taylor

    That was funny, A C. I’ve given up trying to find a good comeback.

  17. Lambchop Simnel

    AUKUS (Latin).

    An extict bird the size of a Pelican, clubbed to death by brutal drunken Sealers 700 years a go.

    As for the rest, sadly most of the people who need information like this won’t get it, with t heir heads instead buried in the Telegraph etc.

  18. randalstella

    I don’t have mixed feelings. I want mass murdering totalitarian rule kept away from this country. As far away as possible. It would be calamity. For all but a few. And they would be the worst of us. The very worst. I am sure none of you would want that.
    Do you see what happens to unarmed and defenceless people under an invasion by a ruthless regime? No doubt you know what I mean.
    I want mass murdering totalitarian regimes kept within their bounds. I don’t want them expanding at all.
    If that means having a defence cooperation with a very flawed America, or else be an eventual sitting target of attack by mass murderers from totalitarian regimes, that is the way that it has to be. It is not a perfect world.
    I am very much against arms profiteers. But I am even more against mass murder. There has to be a deterrent. Without a deterrent, it is all bafflegab.
    Totalitarianism is not perfect. Democracy is not perfect. But totalitarianism is one hell of a lot worse. Don’t you agree?
    Is it an ‘arms race’ if Russia and China do it? Or is it, yet again, democracy’s fault? Do Russia and China feel forced, despite perhaps mixed feelings, to arm up and menace their neighbourhood? Is it all our fault after all? Yet again.
    What if Ukraine were armed up like Russia? Would Russia have invaded?

    Nasty little democracies should not try to play with the big boys? That was the expression wasn’t it? What’s mixed about that?
    I think there might be the mistake right here. A misinterpretation. So listen in, closely. Because I am not playing. I am certainly not playing. I want democracy protected, even though I know it is very flawed. I am very serious about this. I am very serious about protecting this country. To protect this democracy.
    I am the foe of anyone who opposes democracy. I have no mixed feelings about that.
    And I am not the only one. Why, even in this stream there’s A Commentator.
    There might even be many more ‘out there’. Willing to fight for democracy. And with no mixed feelings about that.
    If you don’t like that, then bad luck for you. Like my mate Cenk Uygur says ‘Bad news for you’.

    I am sure that BK is just running a certain line. I just think that he gets carried away with his insinuations, here and there. He means no harm. I am sure he would agree with us if there were a serious discussion. In the cooperative spirit of opposing mass murder. The alternative is unthinkable. Don’t you agree?

  19. Kaye Lee

    “It appears that Binoy would prefer a world where China and Russia are free to divide the world into their spheres of influence”

    A C, I do not think cynicism about the AUKUS deal necessarily implies that. I am aware of Dr Kampmark’s history of directing his criticism at the US – but I agree with him this time that Australia is being used here.

    Us having a few missiles with a range of 2000 km makes us more like an annoying mosquito than a force to be reckoned with. Manned submarines won’t even be a thing in the 2040s.

    Us trying to keep up with the arms race is a shockingly expensive ridiculous pretence – we become the dumping ground for obsolete hardware and an easy mark for some sort of /target practice.

    We should play to our non-military strengths so we can have some say in whatever the world looks like – but that ain’t happening while the bucks keep flowing to make gun runners rich and inadequate leaders feel powerful.

  20. A Commentator

    A few (random) points
    * Australia is a significant regional power, and should do more to promote its interests in the region. This view isn’t shared by Binoy.
    * Australia is the (equal) largest economy in the southern hemisphere. It is entitled to take a leading role in advocating foreign policy. This isn’t a view Binoy shares
    * Australia’s economy is about the same size as Russia’s. But Binoy ridiculed Australia for “wanting to play with the big boys”. He disparages Australia for seeking to play a part in international policy
    * Co-operating with countries that broadly share Australia’s values and democratic traditions makes sense during a period of ambition and expansion by Russia and the CCP. Clearly Binoy doesn’t think so.
    * Binoy uses false equivalence and “look over there” tactics to diminish the brutality of Russia’s invasion.
    * Binoy doesn’t only criticise the US, he constantly reflects negatively on western democracy, exaggerating every misstep as a debacle, every misjudgment as an abject failure
    * Being a constant critic of western democracy doesn’t make Binoy left, or progressive. It makes him a whining, carping, verbose apologist for expansionist fascists
    * And I’m not in favour of superpowers, but if there have to be a few, I’m glad one is a western democracy.

  21. corvusboreus

    A Russian state media piece outlying Russia’s future ‘denazification’ plans for Ukraine (includes mass forced deportations, executions, imprisonments and extensive programmes of ‘re-education’ and the open-ended possibilty of further military invasion).
    Absolutely no recognition is given to Ukraine’s right to exist as a nation state.

    https://medium.com/@kravchenko_mm/what-should-russia-do-with-ukraine-translation-of-a-propaganda-article-by-a-russian-journalist-a3e92e3cb64

    It would be a good thing for this site’s resident Putin apologists to read. .

  22. randalstella

    The world of Russia and China and the U.S. is not of my making or my preference. By far. But it is the world.
    What are the non-military strengths? Please name them.

    Please name what would impress China and Russia – and America – to go peacefully.

  23. Albos Elbow

    Whatever happened to the AFL’s invasion and takeover of China.

    Forget the hyper bullshit missiles Scummo, we need more of those Dustin martin long range torpedoes.

  24. New England Cocky

    Now PP you know that Commentator has limited life experience as adequately demonstrated y his puerile comments over time. Hopefully Commentator will get bored with being made the butt of his own infantile observations and vanish into the ether where trolls frequent, and feel more at home.

    AS for binoy’s frequent, well informed articles. I find they are well written, sensible and considered. Certainly more interesting than the rants from trolls.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Australia’s non-military strengths:

    Disaster relief (Lord knows we get enough practice), search and rescue, humanitarian aid, rebuilding, medical emergencies, evacuations, peacekeeping, communications, research, rules-based trade, education, foreign aid (or it should be), a robust legal system, a multicultural society, resources, agriculture, energy

    I am not suggesting that anything we do will affect the world order. I am suggesting that if we want to have some influence in that world order that we will never achieve it militarily.

  26. A Commentator

    Re- does Australia’s participation in a foreign policy alliance make any difference?
    Context-
    * Why is it that our participation in internationalcollective action on climate change is absolutely necessary?
    * Why do so many support collective action in mass protest regarding government policy?
    * Why is collective action to defend common interests in the workplace vital?
    …but international collective action in support of foreign policy objectives is off limits?

  27. Michael Taylor

    I too don’t always agree with Dr Binoy, but I certainly don’t believe he’s a Putin apologist.

    I think he writes from a centrist’s position (though I know he’s a Lefty): he writes objectively, yet if he says something people don’t like then they think he’s being subjective.

    If he writes an article critical of Trump – I like it. If he writes an article critical of Biden – I don’t like it. But I will never dictate to him what to write about. He attracts a lot of criticism here. It’s a roll of the dice.

    I also think he’s a gifted wordsmith and provides articles on subjects that are largely ignored by the MSM, such as his articles on the Julian Assange trials. Actually, on our Facebook page we are flooded with messages thanking us for these updates.

    But on AUKUS, I’m with Kaye Lee on this one.

  28. Kaye Lee

    “but international collective action in support of foreign policy objectives is off limits?”

    I am not sure how you took that meaning from anything that has been said. Foreign policy doesn’t have to always involve weapons.

  29. Canguro

    re. naming what would impress China, Russia & America to go peacefully, how about end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios?

    This theme has appeared many times in cinema & literature; from invasion of hostile extraterrestrials (The War of the Worlds) to hostile plants (The Day of the Triffids) through to more recent cinematic takes like Don McKellar’s apocalyptic drama Last Night, Steven Spielberg’s rendition of Wells’s classic, Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, along with many others – nuclear war themed (Dr. Strangelove, The War Game, Threads, The Day the Earth Caught Fire), apocalyptic disasters (2012, Deep Impact, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon, Snowpiercer), disease & infertility (Children of Men, Contagion, 12 Monkeys), to name just a few examples.

    That these topics stir the imagination of writers and filmmakers is proof enough of the concerns around the existential viability of humanity, notwithstanding the observations of astrophysicists that we’re doomed as a species once the sun exhausts its fuel load and becomes a red giant some 5 billion years down the road.

    But, right here, right now; what are we facing that could possible unite the human race as one… which we are, essentially, but just too egocentric and stupid to acknowledge that reality.

    The emergent consequences of global warming don’t seem to be having sufficient impact on the planets’ collective human consciousness… a business as usual approach still dominating mankind’s behaviour. One American behavioural psychologist observed a number of years ago that people won’t respond until the water is lapping at their doorsteps.

    In the early nineties our CSIRO published a paper that predicted countries would go to war over access to freshwater resources. That’s yet to come to pass, but with the deglaciation of the planets’ mountain ranges this may turn out to be a correct prediction. All continents are now experiencing water stress of historical proportions with rivers & dams dwindling & disappearing, lakes drying up, salinisation and pollution rendering fresh water resources unusable. This might seem anomalous given the recent soakage of the east coast of Australia but as a trend it’s entrained.

    Water shortages are unlikely to unite mankind though; more likely the scenario postulated by the CSIRO, that existent resources will be jealously guarded or fought over. Water is also not an easily transportable item, so conflict over access is more likely where, for example, river systems cross through multiple countries.

    Critical food shortages too, are unlikely to unite the various groups comprising humanity; North American, South American, Asian & European food production is tended to be viewed through the lenses of ‘local matters’, the big three commodity crops of wheat, maize & rice being more or less localised across three major continents.

    Global warming, with its concomitant consequences, has the capacity to severely disrupt food production as plants and insects along with microorganisms are inevitably shifted outside of their fundamental homeostatic range into climatic zones they are ill-equipped to tolerate, thus raising the prospect of massive crop failures; tipping point disasters are a very real possibility in this area. Modern agriculture is an absolute necessity in the context of feeding a massive global population; involving a relentless requirement for carbon-based fuels for machinery, a never-ending demand for artificial fertilizers, along with a similar demand for pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, as well as arable land and sufficient water in order to sustain the regime of monocultural commodity crop production. Failure at any one of these input levels can and most likely will bring the system to a crashing halt, with food shortage potential that may impact billions.

    Will armageddon at the level of global crop failures unite mankind? Hard to say, but I’d guess the answer is no.

    Something extraterrestrial perhaps? Another imminent collision of a massive meteorite? We might all die screaming, but it’s hard to envisage a collective response that could steer a massive lump of earthbound rock away from its trajectory.

    As disappointing as it seems, my observations of mankind tend to suggest nothing much will change. We’ve been at each other’s throats for thousands of years. We’ve never been as well-informed, with so much knowledge at our fingertips as we are today, and yet we’re still at each other’s throats despite our awareness of the complete & utter lack of merit and benefit in such behaviour.

    A dispassionate observer from another world looking down at us poor earthlings may well form the opinion that we’re a race of mad creatures. Carl Sagan may not have been rueful when he penned his Pale Blue Dot in 1994, but that image of us, possibly alone in the vastness of the universe, existing against all the odds on this fragment of rock along with all the other life forms, surely ought to be enough to unite mankind in common purpose and to shelve aggression and barbarity for ever, but no, even that isn’t enough of an insight.

  30. A Commentator

    I’m entirely happy to support a reduction in military spending, and disarmament…when there is a treaty that produces that outcome for Russia and China as well.
    The CCP sees Australia as a quarry, and doesn’t react to polite conversation. It and Putin, react to pressure and pain.
    It is naive to have an expectation that Australia’s interests can be secured via soft diplomacy- medical, technology, emergency relief etc.
    There’s a place for that.
    But seriously, there is no security in those measures.
    The brutal dictatorships of Putin and the CCP will accept a reasonable, diplomatic outcome when there is a significant risk that results from not accepting it

  31. A Commentator

    And MT, it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between left and right on international issues specifically, and political orientation more generally
    * Assange was clearly manipulated by Putin to help Trump into the Whitehouse. Putin is a fascist and Trump also qualifies as one. Binoy stood on (Trump’s helper) Assange’s ticket
    * Trumpists are using the invasion of Ukraine as an example of failure of US/Democrat foreign policy. So do people like Binoy
    * Trump minimises the brutality of Putin, so does Binoy
    * Trump favours less engagement with international policy, so does Binoy
    …for people with a wider world view, the conclusion is that western democracy is under challenge, and western democracies cannot allow themselves to be picked off one by one.

  32. Kaye Lee

    AC,

    I agree there have to be deterrents for misbehaviour. I am not convinced that ever increasingly huge piles of weapons for everyone is the best way to achieve our objectives and it is most certainly not the most productive use of resources.

  33. Florence nee Fedup

    Security is not building, storing weapons, equipment for decades; some we won’t see for a score or more years. What stood us well in WWW2 IMO was a solid manufacturing base and large commercial shipping. We now have neither. A highly trained workforce is another plus.

  34. Harry Lime

    Canguro,you could be repeating conversations I had with like minded individuals 40 years ago.No real leadership,an inability or unwillingness to face unpleasant realities,and the dominance of global corporations that herd our governments where ever they want.Greed rules.Meanwhile,bread and circuses distracts the punters,i.e. this weekends Grand Prix.We’ll go down in a screaming heap before there’s any real change.History teaches us…etc.etc.etc.The fact that we end up with insults like Morrison and other blazing fools like Dutton, Taylor etc speaks to our wanton apathy.

  35. Michael Taylor

    AC,

    Your attitudes to international ‘diplomacy’ seem based on half of the Pavlov’s Dog approach: punishment, without any reward. Everybody has to know their place and do what Big Brother says.

  36. Michael Taylor

    Btw, AC, you’d be impressed with the new me: I don’t have any investment properties so no longer am I a “slumlord” (your words). I do, however, still drive a “hoon car” (again, your words).

    My apologies to everyone else – AC and I have been engaged in a friendly war for almost 15 years. I’m clearly winning, but he just doesn’t know when he’s beaten. Some people just can’t accept their stupidity.

    (Oops, I better duck. Missile about to be launched my way.) 😉

  37. A Commentator

    I think it is naive to think that brutal dictatorships are persuaded by anything other than pressure.
    They will only moderate when there is a painful risk to their actions.
    Putin has murdered political opponents outside Russia without any particular consequence.
    Someone that uses murder as a political tactic isn’t likely to be persuaded by polite diplomacy. Putin will observe weakness and exploit it.

  38. Michael Taylor

    Harry, regarding your comment yesterday at 6:16, I am reminded of this:

    In 1999 some old bloke – probably in his late 80s – came to the counter in the Adelaide ATSIC office and I went to see what he wanted.

    He told me he was a cop all his life (irrelevant) and had an idea to give Aborigines something to do. He beamed with pride before announcing what he believed was an event-changing idea: Aborigines could patrol our northern waters in their canoes. Hundreds of them!

    No, I didn’t call him a racist old bastard. Not to his face, anyway.

  39. A Commentator

    It’s great that you’ve offloaded one of your bad habits! The left wing slumlord was a little incongruous
    Although I note you continue to support Port Adelaide. You even objected when I (factually) pointed out their tradition of selecting the team from the defendants list at the Alberton Magistrates Court

  40. Michael Taylor

    Offloaded! No, a messy and costly divorce.

    Now I know you’re joking about the Alberton Magistrates Court. Alberton, you undoubtedly are aware, has a large Aboriginal population. Given your valiant activities in agitating for Aboriginal rights I’ll brush your insult aside.

    Incidentally, one of my Aboriginal lecturers at uni was proud of me when I knocked back an offer as an Aboriginal Liaison Officer at that very court, declaring that I didn’t wish to be associated with a justice system that in itself was racist.

    Instead, I ended up in ATSIC.

  41. Kaye Lee

    I think it is naive to think that stockpiling weapons is the best way to exert pressure.

    It’s like the parent who keeps saying, if you do that, I’ll smack you….and then they don’t. Grounding a kid, cutting off the pocket money, refusing to drive them anywhere, no dessert (or no dinner if they really are making a fuss), banning them from sport, take the phone and/or internet away – seem like strategies that could be extrapolated more effectively.

    I had students who begged for the cane rather than have a chat with me during lunchtime detention. There are things that hurt worse than getting hit.

    I also think us having a better lifestyle than others is better than any weapons or propaganda. Make the people demand change from the inside.

  42. A Commentator

    I’ll read that MT, it is one of the few issues that is beyond banter and debate between us

  43. Michael Taylor

    So true, Kaye.

    I read (somewhere) that the U.S. has enough nuclear weapons to destroy Russia 16 times and that Russia has enough nuclear weapons to destroy the U.S. 14 times. True or not, how much of the bloody stuff do they need!

    Then they get all grumpy when a small nation stockpiles a nuclear arsenal. I’m grumpy that any country has a nuclear arsenal.

    Einstein was right when he said WW4 would be fought with clubs and spears (or something like that).

    Btw, didn’t Julie Bishop vote against the abolition of nuclear weapons? I should Google that later. I’d hate to be wrong.

  44. Michael Taylor

    I really can’t understand why we need to have enough weapons to destroy the planet and everything living on it. What is the bloody point?!

  45. A Commentator

    The parenting analogy doesn’t work.
    Putin is more like an uncontrolled thug leading a gang, causing havoc in an otherwise orderly community. Hard policing and serious consequences are required to re-establish public order.
    Putin has previously tested the resolve of the west, and decided we are weak.

  46. Michael Taylor

    The parenting analogy works for me.

  47. Kaye Lee

    I agree Putin is an uncontrolled thug. The weapons stockpiling didn’t stop him and no-one is game to actually use them. The best way to stop him is for the Russians to do it which is more likely to happen if their lives are adversely affected than if the Ukrainians blow up a few tanks.

  48. Michael Taylor

    I agree. His biggest threat comes from within.

  49. A Commentator

    Rolling Putin is highly unlikely, unless he is discredited.
    The USSR had more checks and balances in the politburo than exists in the Putin regime.
    An embarrassing military defeat/stalemate combined with relentless sanctions is required.
    The Putin regime has to understand that invading neighbours is far more difficult then they expected, and realise it isn’t worth all the repercussions

  50. Michael Taylor

    It’s hard to discredit the bloke when the media is controlled or censored.

  51. Jack Cade

    The crimes with which Putin is justly charged could equally be applied to the CIA and the FBI. Hate both, equally, please. But one-way propaganda from the people who gave you WMD and almost certainly (certainly, if Robert Kennedy Jr can be believed) arranged the murder of one US President and his certain successor.
    It is very difficult to form an objective opinion on Ukraine, because no contrary news is available. Oliver Stone produced a doco on Ukraine – presumably critical if it’s government – but it is banned by the US. George Galloway, who produces his own show in his own home, at his own expense, has now been declared a RussIan mouthpiece. Highly unlikely, because he has been critical of Putin for years, but mud sticks, even when thrown by undoubted war criminals like George Bush and Tony Blair.
    So far as China – apparently the real bogeyman – is concerned, where China perhaps invades by building infrastructure, the US definitely invades by destroying it.

  52. Michael Taylor

    Jack, you’re going to send AC into an apoplectic fit.

  53. Jack Cade

    Michael

    The thought never entered my head…

  54. Michael Taylor

    Jack, did you see his earlier comment knocking Port Adelaide? Evil person he is.

  55. A Commentator

    Port Adelaide- with David Koch at the helm, and the legacy of Kane Cornes driving the club culture, what could possibly go wrong?

  56. A Commentator

    I’m not sure taking George Galloway’s word adds much insight into Russia’s invasion. Didn’t he accept the word of Putin that there would be no invasion? And repeated that opinion a week before the invasion? When EVERY media outlet reports a similar narrative, there’s something in it. And it’s certainly more credible than the opinion of an oddball, sitting at home on his couch, who’s on the payroll of the state controlled, renowned propagandist, Russia Today. It’s an odd coalition between bitter anti western democracy left types and a brutal fascist dictator

  57. Jack Cade

    Tom of Melbourne, who or whatever you are.

    If the options are Galloway or Murdoch I’d lean toward Galloway. But the truth is not the truth simply because all the MSM pumps it out. WMD surely proves that.
    And that was my point. I’ll make up my own mind but would like to see all points of view. In essence I support neither side in the Ukraine stoush, but I get irritated by ‘their ABC’ broadcasting wall-to-wall about it – ‘250 bodies in the streets in Ukraine’ while not bothering to report on the REAL genocide being inflicted by a REAL despot in Yemen. Thousands of bodies in dozens of settlements.
    Galloway is NOT funded by Russia. He might have been, but not now. And he might be wrong; but he’s been proven right many times when castigated for contrary opinions – notably on Iraq.

  58. Jack Cade

    Michael

    ACs comments on Port Adelaide are as relevant as his or her comments on ANYTHING, I don’t know what his or her function is, but I expect the posts will disappear when Morrison does.

  59. Kaye Lee

    “if Robert Kennedy Jr can be believed”

    Well that would be a firm no. The man’s a lunatic who spreads the craziest conspiracy theories.

  60. A Commentator

    George Galloway has a history of supporting every cause that is against western democracy. Therefore he’s bound to be correct on occasions.
    But perhaps you can explain a rationale that supports why Russia was right in invading Ukraine?

  61. Michael Taylor

    I don’t even know who George Galloway is.

  62. Michael Taylor

    Jack, AC won’t disappear when Morrison does. He hates Labor, the Greens, unions (especially unions), left-leaning independents, me. If Labor win the election his crescendo will reach epic levels.

    I do welcome him here, though. True, he can be menacingly annoying, but he has the right to express his opinions (as crazy as they are). I also find that his contributions add to the debate, and I encourage that.

  63. Jack Cade

    Michael Taylor

    Galloway is a Scot, former Labour MP, expelled from the party because he criticised Blair’s adventures in Iraq. If you want to judge his calibre, watch his appearance before the US senate about a decade or so ago – it’s on YouTube. Defending himself without notes against fatuous allegations about aiding Saddam Hussein. The Senate panel- one of whom had POTUS ambitions – was roundly thrashed verbally by a working class man who had actually worked for a living, with only his wits and integrity. He has a show called Mother of All Talk Shows which has a world-wide following of about 1.5 million.
    Galloway is not everyone’s cup of tea, and I don’t agree with much of his POV, but he is honest and courageous. Give him a go, if only to find out stuff that our MSM does not report. He’s like a weekly John Pilger.

  64. A Commentator

    MT, thank you, but you might regret welcoming me!
    And you’re right in one respect, my commentary clearly doesn’t conform to the election cycle. As for the other points, it’s simply my public duty to assist to correct widespread ignorance

  65. Kaye Lee

    Michael,

    Galloway is one of the worst – unashamedly pro-Putin who he describes as ” easily most effective leader in the world today. ”

    He says the invasion of the Ukraine was justified because the US were manufacturing biological weapons there. He knows because of “revelations from the Russian Ministry of Defence that American was funding a full-scale biological weapons laboratory – manufacturing and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction in the Ukraine.”

    https://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/news/world-news/ranting-george-galloway-blasted-pro-26405772

  66. Michael Taylor

    Scotland’s a country full of lefties, lochs, kilts and coos. Right-wingers are practically non-existent and those that are, are shunned in their own country. We’re lucky the Highland clearances happened over a century ago otherwise we might have ended up with him.

  67. Michael Taylor

    MT, thank you, but you might regret welcoming me!

    I already have.

    … it’s simply my public duty to assist to correct widespread ignorance.

    For that to happen you’d need to polish up your listening skills.

  68. Jack Cade

    Kaye Lee

    I have been watching MOATS for about a year, and I have NEVER heard him praise Putin – not once. And although he is inclined to rant and certainly seems to support Russia in the Ukraine war, he could not in any universe be consisted to be a right wing politician – very far from it. The article you have linked consists entirely of the views of a shadow minister in the Scottish Conservative Party. Hardly mainstream opinion.
    I do not agree with many of Galloway’s opinions, but his is the only current affairs outlet that tries to present news that the MSM does not. When faced with extremes I try to find the middle, subject always to my own prejudices. It’s pretty hard when all of our media is owned by people like the wrinkled yank.

  69. Harry Lime

    Look on the bright side Jack,Rupert is 91 years old (and looks about 176),probably due to his faultless life,and his deal with Satan is about to expire.As for prejudices..I have none, except I despise Morrison.

  70. Jack Cade

    Harry Lime

    I don’t think Rupert’s progeny is ‘the bright side.’

  71. Harry Lime

    Jack Cade,I think whatisname is only cultivating his father’s favors with one eye firmly fixed on the family fortune.Like most inheritors of ridiculous family wealth,sooner or later they lose interest and start pissing it against the wall..With the thrashing of their Australian puppet government shortly,he’ll rapidly lose the idea of flogging a dead horse.The game will have lost any attraction,and he doesn’t need the money.
    Nobody could be as big a prick as the Dirty Digger.With the possible exception of Caesar Morrison,who is currently engaged in burning himself down, unlike .Nero, who burned .Rome down,while not playing the ukelele

  72. A Commentator

    My comment disappeared, I was pointing out that we are able to access all perspective ss.on the war in Ukraine. For example Russia Today is full of their propaganda. Unfortunately the Russian public don’t have acess to western media, to provide an alternative perspective

  73. Michael Taylor

    A C, it’s not out the back, I just looked.

    Sometimes that gremlin strikes: a word or phrase triggers something off in the system that sends the comment into outer space.

    If it happens again, I’d recommend posting just the first few words of your proposed comment, then quickly edit the comment. You’ll have 15-minute window.

    It happened to Kaye Lee a while back, and a couple of other people since. I have no explanation for it.

  74. Michael Taylor

    PS: I wish I could shoot you into outer space. 😁

  75. randalstella

    I wish that I had seen this earlier.
    I only know AC from his objections to BK.
    And in this he is both rational and restrained.
    And I have to say distinctly brave.
    It is a matter of human nature, but there are others who have given up, or fear the attacks that they would get; or have been banned. Or are deleted overnight, without a word.
    So, I support AC as far as I know him.
    I support his objections to BK, and I admire how he sticks at it.

  76. randalstella

    How about attending to the summary points made by AC about BK’s stuff? These are at 8/4/22 at 7:44 am.
    There are so many other academics and researchers into international affairs besides BK. How about some ideas from some of them? How about an article or two from some of them? As regular or occasional features. Would you support that? I really do not know.
    Why this prominence and adherence for BK? There is a world of scholarship out there, practising empirical accuracy and objectivity. Why has this site painted itself into this corner?

  77. Kaye Lee

    Jack Cade,

    Re Galloway praising Putin

    ‘The reality is we need Russia. Russia was very popular in the West when a drunkard who was handing over Russia’s wealth to the oligarchs was in power. It’s not so popular now that Russia has a strong President that’s trying to restore a lot of the lost prestige’.

    The former MP called the Russian President ‘the most popular politician on the planet’ and said he did not accept Mr Putin would order Mr Litvinenko’s assassination in Mayfair in 2006.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3411723/George-Galloway-praises-world-s-popular-politician-Putin-says-report-blaming-Litvinenko-s-murder-farcical.html

  78. Kaye Lee

    randalstella,

    The majority of authors here are more interested in writing about domestic politics. Some are more focused on specific issues like the environment. Dr Kampmark provides some variety. I am sure Michael would consider articles providing different views should anyone care to write one.

    Some more controversial articles have been pulled and we have the comments section to critique what is written.

  79. A Commentator

    Thank you randalstella.
    It would be interesting to have those “left/progressive” types explain how that description is appropriate regarding Putin, given that they’re expressing an identical position to Trump.
    Can Trump’s policy on Russia and foreign relations policy be described as”left/progressive”?

  80. Terence Mills

    Morrison and Dutton are going to be telling us repeatedly what a great thing AUKUS is but under a shroud of national security they won’t actually give us any details – that is really clever.

    What seems apparent so far is that the only progress on AUKUS is the acronym although Biden seems a little peeved about the US coming last and would probably prefer USUKA (You sucker !).

    Beyond that, nothing has actually happened, no contracts have been signed no designs have been ratified and talk of the submarine ‘shells’ being made in South Australia is not confirmed. Morrison did say, when asked about cost :

    ‘The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has said the planned nuclear-powered submarines, part of the Aukus deal with the United States and the United Kingdom, would likely cost more than the scrapped plan for conventional (French) submarines, which would have cost $90billion ‘

    Other informed commentators have suggested that the AUKUS subs are likely to cost a lot more than that. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter as they will probably never be built and anyhow submarine warfare is obsolete – unmanned drones are the future – and they’re cheaper !

    They also seem to be very loathe to discuss the $5.5 Billion that we have to pay the French to get out of that contract for what they call ‘conventional’ diesel electric submarines [which no longer meet our requirements as we transition to nuclear powered subs] : just a reminder the French Naval submarines were nuclear powered but we asked for diesel electric so the specification had to be changed at our insistence.

    The fable of the emperor’s new clothes have got nothing on this mob !

  81. Jack Cade

    Kaye

    Neither of the two quotes you highlighted actually PRAISE Putin per se, more like ‘damning with faint praise’, and to link an article from the Daily Mail -the right wing gutter press – approvingly, is something I never thought I’d ever see on AIMN.
    George Galloway is not everyone’s cup of tea, and not especially mine, but he presents a point of view that deserves consideration in a world where the mainstream press is far from trustworthy.
    We shall just have to agree to disagree. My view on Ukraine is the same as my view on Catholics and Protestants (having a parent from each) – a pox on both their houses,

  82. Kaye Lee

    Jack,

    I did not link “approvingly” to anything at all. I provided quotes and sources.

    George Galloway doesn’t think Putin would poison anyone. Wonder what he thinks happened to Alexei Navalny.

    George Galloway quotes the Russian Defence department as the source for his claim that the US are making chemical weapons in the Ukraine and you want to talk to ME about credibility of sources?

    Just because someone airs a point of view doesn’t mean it deserves consideration. The man is a liar. He said ‘I work for NO Russian media” but he did – both RT and Sputnik.

    I’m not sure what the Ukraine did to deserve poxing – they didn’t invade another sovereign nation.

  83. A Commentator

    “a pox on both their houses”
    That might be ok if –
    * Russia had not launched its brutal invasion
    * There wasn’t ample evidence of Russia targetting civilians
    * There wasn’t a history of anti western democracy types siding with Putin
    * Many anti western democracy types retracted their comments (including here, 2 months ago) that the reports of the invasion of Ukraine were a media beat up

  84. Michael Taylor

    randastella,

    We do have ‘sister sites’ – which includes some very prominent sites – whose articles we are free to republish. However, these sites include articles from academics and diplomats who share similar views as Dr Binoy (in fact, they republish Dr Binoy’s articles) but by republishing them here I would not be introducing any variety.

    I would dearly love to publish articles from the other side of the fence, and I would accept such articles if they were submitted to me.

    No matter what we publish, we will always attract a critic or two. The most ferocious of these are my articles on Indigenous Australia. Apparently my BA in Aboriginal Affairs Administration, my BA (Honours) in Aboriginal Studies, and my six years working in remote Aboriginal communities isn’t good enough. Racists know more about Aborigines than I do, apparently.

  85. Phil Pryor

    Michael, why tolerate excesses of thick as a brick repetition from un-named retards, hiding anonymously to spout old garbage? They are indifferent to free speech except for their own puerile rants. It’s a sign of a defective aggressive, repressed pseudo fascist personality type needing to escape by the superman method of cowardly disguise. The commentator can shove a western democratic WMD up his date while holidaying in western democratic Guantanamo bay, Beyond all this is the need, which some ignore, of diplomacy, conference, discussion, negotiation, compromise and a path to PEACE, which is what the innocent deserve. All the leaders commonly mentioned here are executive murderers and thieves of a superlow type, agree or not. Since M Albright, this USA path of cornering Putin, niggling Russia, wooing ex-Warsaw pact nations has worked for them, and the backroom operatives over time of the state dept., Pentagon, CIA and others are self fixated and ego swollen. Ukrainians, Germans, Taiwanese, Australians, may all pay for USA policy eventually, victims of a senseless perpetuity of the filth and superstition of some “manifest destiny” to lead the world and dominate it by perceived excellence. Putin is finished, as appears to be Trump. May Morrison, Biden, Johnson and some others join them soon. And don’t forget, keep commenting, positively, under your own name. Are some afraid of exposure? To what, ridicule? Hah.

  86. A Commentator

    When people reply in the style of “I swallowed the thesaurus” the personal insults, all in a fact free rant, I realise they’re unable to make a coherent reply. That’s quite gratifying and encouraging.
    (see comment above)

  87. Jack Cade

    I thought Phil Pryor’s last post was unusually and uncharacteristically coherent, actually…

  88. Michael Taylor

    Phil, I tolerate A C because I know (from past experience) that he is only stirring.

    He’s actually a devoted lefty, so he uses a nom de plume so his friends won’t discover his true loyalties.

  89. A Commentator

    Yes Jack Cade, I’m sure you do. I think that proves my point

  90. Phil Pryor

    My friends, I love it all and would not wish to see anyone (who?) desist. Let us be open , honest, positive, non-repetitive, sans ego.

  91. Michael Taylor

    So true, Phil. Some people do parrot on and on relentlessly. One wonders how deep their reservoir of knowledge is. Fairly shallow, I’d guess.

  92. Steve Davis

    Now that everyone has calmed down, AC asked for a justification for the Russian intervention, so here’s my take on it.

    When the USSR was dissolved, the newly formed Russian Federation asked to join NATO so as to come under that security umbrella.
    It was refused.

    Russia then saw NATO expanding closer to Russia’s borders in what it perceived as an encircling movement, with NATO armaments being installed in the territory of the new members.

    In 2007 (approx) Putin delivered a major speech outlining Russia’s concerns for its security and its alarm at the arms buildup near its borders.

    Those concerns were ignored.

    It then saw in 2014 a coup in Ukraine that dislodged a Russia-friendly government and replaced it with a hostile government.

    After the coup, Russia saw NATO flooding Ukraine with weapons.

    As late as December 2021 Russia offered NATO a draft security plan that would provide security not only for Russia, but for every country in Europe. The offer was ignored.

    Given the refusal of the offer to join NATO, given the enlargement of NATO and installation of armaments closer to its borders, given the flooding of a hostile Ukraine with weapons, given the refusal of NATO to enter into security negotiations, given that Ukraine openly stated that it wished to acquire nuclear weapons, Russia rightly or wrongly formed the perception that it faced an existential threat.

    At that point it decided to intervene to protect itself.

    Now, that decision has been derided as being immoral, but it is nothing of the sort. It was in fact, quite the opposite.

    Any government faced with an existential threat has a moral obligation to protect its citizens.

    Nobody here, including me, can argue as to whether the perception of the threat was right or wrong, because we simply do not have sufficient facts to form an opinion. That question, in fact, becomes almost irrelevant.

    Because the big question once the perception was formed, then becomes one of who was responsible for Russia forming that perception. Or, could that situation been avoided?

    The intervention in my opinion can be put down to a failure of NATO diplomacy. If NATO had engaged in serious talks with Russia about security, we not not be in the situation we have now.

  93. Kaye Lee

    Invading another country cannot be called protecting yourself. You don’t protect your citizens by storming into another country and killing its citizens. No “perception of threat” justifies a first strike against another nation.

    Calling it an “intervention” is ludicrous. You can’t seriously propose that if anyone says no to Russia they have a right to invade their country and kill their people?

    I am gobsmacked.

  94. Steve Davis

    Kaye, please read my comment again.

  95. A Commentator

    No. Try dealing with some facts
    * Article 10 of the NATO treaty, says “any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic” can apply for membership.
    * Mikhail Gorbachev said in 2014: “The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn’t bring it up, either.”
    * Boris Yeltsin asked Bill Clinton for a gentleman’s agreement about NATO membership. This was declined
    * There was no coup in 2014. The Ukraine parliament voted 318 to ZERO to remove the former president. The former president sought to join the Russian trading zone, whereas parliament sought EU. People had experienced generations of Russian domination and didn’t want more.
    * You should read Putin’s essay of June 21 explaining the reason Ukraine is part of Russia. It talks about events of 400 years ago. It is the thesis of an expansionist fascist. It is about race, ethnicity and history. It is no different to the suppression of nationalist sentiment and territorial claims that exist in dozens of parts of the world.
    * There is absolutely nothing in any of that to justify the brutal invasion of Ukraine. Other than the fascist Putin miscalculating the resistance of Ukraine, and the unexpected resolve of Western Europe

  96. Kaye Lee

    I read it again. I remain gobsmacked.

    There may well have been tactical mistakes and failures of diplomacy. There may well have been concern about arms build-up in other countries. That may justify suspicion, even alarm, not attack.

    As for a ‘coup’ in Ukraine, the former President refused to join the EU despite parliament’s overwhelming support to do so. He fled the country and the parliament voted 328 to 0 to remove him from office.

  97. Jack Cade

    Steve Davis ‘I deplore what you say, and furthermore, I will not allow others to hear it.’ My mother was a devout Roman Catholic. When the ‘holy shroud’ was examined, the subsequent report pointed out that, if it was indeed the cloth in which the ‘saviour’s’ body was wrapped, and the imprint on it is that body, then the body was not a corpse because it shows that blood was still flowing.’ That was the gist, anyway. When I read out the comments to my mother, she said – and I quote – ‘If that is true, I resent them printing it.’

  98. Steve Davis

    I took some trouble to write my comment in a calm and non-inflammatory tone in the hope that this would be reflected in responses. My hopes were dashed.

    If we simply pursue the blame game, looking for who’s right or wrong, all we end up with is accusations of “tyrant” “murderer” “thug” and some a lot worse that that. Which achieves nothing at all. Except for one thing.

    By promulgating hate, we ensure that the the atrocity of war will happen again and again.

    What I attempted to do, and failed utterly, was to push the discussion into the area of what went wrong and how it could be avoided in the future. It seems that is not on the agenda of some. Some prefer to hate.

  99. A Commentator

    And I corrected a range of factual errors and inflammatory statements.
    * There was no “coup”. You labelling the parliamentary ousting of the former president as such is repetition of Putin’s talking points
    * The evidence doesn’t support your statement about Russia re NATO.
    * NATO specifically states that the Russian action in Ukraine in 2014 prevented continued co-operation

  100. Kaye Lee

    I appreciate the need to look at what went wrong and how it could be avoided in the future but always get back to, no matter what grievances are felt, past or present, no matter what the provocation, perceived or real, you don’t fix them by invading another country and killing unarmed civilians, so that’s the first thing that must be made clear to avoid it in the future.

  101. Steve Davis

    Cheers Jack ! : )

  102. Steve Davis

    AC said there was no coup.

    Hey AC, I just came across this, ya wouldn’t read about it, except I did;

    “George Friedman, the widely respected president of the think tank Stratfor, (https://www.stratfor.com/about/analysts ) has described the putsch on Feb. 22, 2014, as “the most blatant coup in history.”

  103. Michael Taylor

    As much as it stabs me in the heart to agree with A C, I’m not convinced there was a coup.

    But I am convinced that Russia invaded the Ukraine at Putin’s pleasure.

  104. Steve Davis

    Michael,

    You won’t get info on it from the MSM.

    I checked out the Wash. Post – abbreviated to the point of useless.

    An analyst of Friedman’s standing does not make controversial statements without good reason.

  105. Michael Taylor

    Steve, I don’t read the MSM.

  106. Kaye Lee

    Steve Davis,

    You won’t read it from George Friedman either. You have been duped. Hear it from the man himself.

    “On a visit to Russia, I told the business journal Kommersant that if the US were behind a coup in Kiev, it would have been the most blatant coup in history, as the US government openly supported the uprising and had provided some funding for the demonstrating groups.

    In other words, it was no coup. The Russian news service Sputnik published what I said, cutting out a few odds and ends, and quoted me as saying that Ukraine “was the most blatant coup in history.” The neat part is that they didn’t make it up. I did say it. They just left out the words before and after the statement. Since I was of no importance in the United States, they had to promote me as someone significant, which on the whole was nice of them.

    (If you have absolutely nothing to do someday, check the internet and Twitter, and you will find me saying the United States staged the most blatant coup in history.)

    Most Russians and most Americans didn’t notice this turn of events. But in a systematic campaign to saturate the internet, the Russians fed the quote back into some major Russian print publications, then back onto the internet, until it resonated and fed back on itself.

    Multiply this twisting of my statement several thousand times with the abuse of statements or near statements from other people, and the echo effect can reach a saturation point where the Russian narrative on what happened in Kiev becomes widely accepted.”

    https://www.businessinsider.com/george-friedman-russia-is-winning-the-internet-2016-4

  107. Kaye Lee

    This has been an important discussion because it exposes the tactics used by Russia to influence public opinion through misinformation.

    Steve, you didn’t get that quote from Stratfor so it was misleading to include that link. I thank you for mentioning George Friedman and hope you now understand how the Russians are fraudulently manipulating information and selectively (mis)quoting without context – a tactic the Daily Telegraph uses which causes no end of arguments in my household..

    As Friedman said, “The internet and its various subsystems have created an effective system for shifting perceptions of reality.”

  108. Steve Davis

    Here’s the quote from Friedman;

    “The United States, for its part, were interested in forming a pro-Western government in Ukraine. They saw that Russia is on the rise, and were eager not to let it consolidate its position in the post-Soviet space. The success of the pro-Western forces in Ukraine would allow the U.S. to contain Russia.

    Russia calls the events that took place at the beginning of this year a coup d’etat organized by the United States. And it truly was the most blatant coup in history.”

    The fact that he later back-tracked is not relevant. He most likely got quite a shock when he saw that Russia could make use of the comment.

  109. Steve Davis

    Kaye is right on the money with “the Russians are fraudulently manipulating information.”

    But when it comes to manipulating information the US makes the Russians look like amateurs.

    Almost everything written in the MSM about the conflict has been nonsense, a daily torrent of nonsense designed to appeal to peoples’ emotions. Because this torrent appeals to the emotions, people are shocked, even alarmed, when someone questions the narrative.

  110. Steve Davis

    Kaye,

    Did you not notice that Friedman’s statement about the coup had been deleted?

    They even left this “…” to show the deletion.

    Please take more care before accusing people of misquoting.

  111. Kaye Lee

    Friedman didn’t backtrack. The selective quoting of what he said completely changed its meaning as he himself explained. Check your source for the quote and see if it has a Russian connection.

    And I cannot agree with you that freedom of information is greater in Russia than in the US. There have been many Russian journalists murdered and non-state media shut down.

    How do you know that what is being written about the Russian invasion is nonsense? Do you think all of the rest of the world is faking it? Do you think it’s ok for Russia to bomb the shit out of another country?

    I understand that the NATO expansion in the 90s was provocative. That still does not excuse the current invasion.

  112. Steve Davis

    Michael,

    You say you don’t read the MSM. I had guessed as much given your involvement in independent media.

    So where do you get your info about the world from?

    I get mine from about 20 or more web-sites from around the world, but it takes some time to do it as you then have to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    But one thing I have noticed about foreign news sites is that in general, (there are exceptions) their reports are more concise and factual, less of the lurid adjectives we see in the Australian, British, US press.

  113. Steve Davis

    Kaye, you said “Check your source for the quote and see if it has a Russian connection.”

    Of course there was a Russian connection. He was interviewed by a Russian business journal, a liberal journal in fact, which had no reason to misquote him. The backtrack occurred later when he realised the fallout from the comment.

    What I find really interesting is the deletion of his comment from the text you linked us to. I guess we can conclude that there’s a whole lot of manipulation going on.

    You said ” I cannot agree with you that freedom of information is greater in Russia than in the US.”

    I don’t recall actually saying that. What I did say was that there’s misinformation from both but the US is streets ahead in the misinformation race.

    You said “How do you know that what is being written about the Russian invasion is nonsense?”

    Because the media is reporting statements from Ukraine as facts. Have you not noticed that? Did that not ring an alarm bell for you?

  114. Michael Taylor

    Steve, I get all my info from Alex Jones, Steve Bannon or Tucker Carlson.

  115. Michael Taylor

    Steve, to be honest with you, on this site we discourage conspiracy theories. You will gain no traction here.

  116. Kaye Lee

    How can it be a coup when the Ukrainian parliament voted overwhelmingly to oust a president who went against their wish to join the EU? You don’t vote on a coup.

    Why do you believe a Russian source about what Friedman said, and/or meant, over what the man himself says?

  117. Steve Davis

    Michael,

    The President fled the country because of the violence.

    The MPs from the Donbass fled the country because of the violence.

    That is not a conspiracy.

    But it does sound like a coup.

  118. Kaye Lee

    And the 328 MPs left out of a possible 450 voted. That’s an overwhelming majority.

  119. Michael Taylor

    It doesn’t sound like a coup to me.

    Do you get your info from Pravda?

  120. Steve Davis

    “And the 328 MPs left out of a possible 450 voted. That’s an overwhelming majority.”

    But was it a quorum, and therefore legal? Just a question.

    “Do you get your info from Pravda?”

    How about the BBC Michael. If you don’t believe me about the violence, check this out.

  121. Steve Davis

    Michael, a quick question.

    What’s the difference between a conspiracy theory and the truth?

    Answer : about 6 months.

    Ain’t that a cracker? : )

    As I’ve said elsewhere, it’s not wise to form too many opinions about this until the dust has settled. There’s a long way to go before the dust settles on this one.

  122. Michael Taylor

    Steve,

    The difference between the truth and a conspiracy theory is that one is the truth and the other does not have verifiable evidence.

    You said it: truth.

  123. Jack Cade

    Verifiable evidence: ‘Colon’ Powell (that’s the way it was pronounced) waved a phial of washing up liquid in a UN assembly and claimed it was anthrax from Saddam Hussein’s weaponry.
    We all accepted it.
    Because the MSM told us to.
    That clip about the Nazis in Ukraine – from the BBC 8 years ago – was similar to written reporting in the NYT. The inference was that the Ukraine was heading for pariah status.
    In my – considered – opinion, the current debate is like asking us if we prefer Vlad the Impaler or Jack the Ripper. If the USA invaded North Korea we’d all be expected to cheer them on…
    The appalling Putin’s main opposition in Russia is – wait for it – the Communist Party. He is a Christian demagogue. A bit of a Pinochet, or a Franco.
    Right up Uncle Sam’s street, you’d think.

  124. Steve Davis

    Jack, you hit the nail on the head.

    In global affairs, things are rarely what they seem.

  125. Michael Taylor

    Jack, Powell later regretted that, accepting it was based on false evidence.

    John Howard also famously pushed the same false narrative, contrary to intel that stated otherwise.

    But Putin still invaded Ukraine and Port have been cruelly hit with injuries.

  126. Michael Taylor

    Jack, I’m not a big fan of the U.S. – their foreign policies are questionable and they have a long history of interfering with foreign elections and have bullied many nations (one, famously, was New Zealand). But I’m glad they’re on our side.

    I’m also not a big fan of Putin. I loathe the man.

  127. A Commentator

    The Ukrainian President is Jewish (with family members killed in the holocaust), and yet some seem to think he’s supporting Nazis.
    Weird.

  128. Steve Davis

    Michael, where’s your sense of humour?

    Jack, your reference to the Powell anthrax allegedly from Iraq is interesting.

    The anthrax attack in the US in 2001 was first blamed/hinted by John McCain on Iraq, but later found to be from a strain developed in a US bio-lab.

    Now there’s a conspiracy theory just waiting to blossom ! : )

    While on the subject of conspiracy theories, some people seem to think that conspiracies do not happen, that they are all fabricated.

    A few decades ago (just checked, 1949) Standard Oil, Firestone and General Motors were convicted of a conspiracy to stifle the development of public transport. Apparently the time taken from awareness of the conspiracy to confirmation of the conspiracy was exactly 6 months. (Just joking Michael, just joking!)

  129. The AIM Network

    A C, apologies for your comment being held in moderation. There was a typo in your email address so the system didn’t recognise you.

    Thinking you were someone who hasn’t commented here before, your comment was held in moderation as is the case with all first-time commenters (while we check them out).

  130. Jack Cade

    Michael Taylor

    Were the USA on our side in 1975? I think not. They are NEVER on anybody’s side excepting their own.
    And pointing out that neither side is worthy of admiration, as I have tried but clearly failed to do, is not being pro-Putin. I just object to being mushroomed, and having the mouthings of a Scottish Conservative MP (ffs), plus an item from the ultra RW Daily Mail presented as evidence that I am wrong.
    And, Michael, Colin Powell’s subsequent remorse meant sod-all. ‘I didn’t know I was lying’ cuts no ice. Claiming to having been misled by the same people who are still feeding us whitewashed ‘news.’ Morrison occasionally tells the truth – the Daily Mail certainly thinks its almost always.
    The idea of George Dubya Bush and Tony Blair clamouring for Putin to be charged for war crimes is both risible and disgusting, especially as the US does support the ICC.
    Plus – in the news today – Australia will not pursue its own war criminals… Dutton says ‘NO’.

  131. Jack Cade

    Error: I meant ‘…Does NOT support the ICC…

  132. Michael Taylor

    You got me on that one, Jack. What happened in 1975 was unforgivable. But I was thinking more as an ally in war. Not that it matters: if there were ever a WW3 I think everyone will lose.

    George W Bush, incidentally, has been charged with war crimes by at least one country. Malaysia is one. Should he ever venture to Malaysia he would be arrested, so I’m guessing a holiday in Malaysia is not on his bucket list. It would turn into a permanent holiday.

  133. A Commentator

    The USA and Russia have the same status regarding the ICC.
    Both can be charged with crimes against humanity and genocide

  134. Steve Davis

    A Commentator said the USA and Russia can be charged by the ICC.

    Why leave out the best bits?

    According to Wikipedia, “In April 2019, the United States revoked the visa of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, in anticipation of a later investigation into possible war crimes committed by U.S. forces during the War in Afghanistan; the investigation was authorized in March 2020. In June 2020, Donald Trump authorized sanctions against ICC in retaliation for the aforementioned case.”

    But it gets worse. This just amazing.

    “In 2002, the U.S. Congress passed the American Service-Members’ Protection Act which contained a number of provisions, including authorization of the President to “use all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any U.S. or allied personnel being detained by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court…In addition, ASPA contained provisions prohibiting U.S. co-operation with the Court, and permitting the President to authorize military force to free any U.S. military personnel held by the court, leading opponents to dub it “The Hague Invasion Act”

    That’s the standard of morality that is behind all the current machinations.

  135. A Commentator

    US has never signed the Rome Statute.
    Russia did, but withdrew in 2014, after investigations began into their likely war crimes in Ukraine.
    They realised the consequences

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