Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia and China policy- David Bradbury interviews strategy expert Hugh White

August 23, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

The only thing keeping US and China from war is running dangerously thin

Washington’s ambiguous Taiwan policies are edging towards conflict, but Beijing wants to exhaust peaceful options first.

 A US policy at war with itself

What emerges from this amalgam of policy statements and positions is a US policy that is inherently at war with itself, unable to fully commit either to the finality of a “one China” policy or walk away from the sale of weapons to Taiwan. The US disguises this inherent inconsistency by referring to it as “strategic ambiguity.” The problem is this policy stew is neither strategic in vision, nor ambiguous.

radical departure from stated US policy by the Biden administration helped launch a Congressional trifecta of hubris-laced ignorance, which saw the dispatch of three consecutive delegations that threaten to propel China down the path toward a war with Taiwan it doesn’t want to wage, and which the world (including the US) is not prepared to suffer the consequences of.

Despite the clear evidence of a marked departure [by USA] from past policy regarding Taiwan and weapons sales, China continues to believe that there is a non-violent solution to the one China problem. 

https://www.rt.com/news/561182-china-taiwan-us-war/ Scott Ritter, 22 Aug 22,

American relations with China in regards to Taiwan have been dictated by years of ambiguous statements and commitments. Now this rhetoric is breaking down and armed conflict seems closer than ever – but is Washington ready to fight over Taiwan, or capable of winning?

Assurances and commitments

Officially, US policy toward Taiwan is guided by three US-China Joint Communiques issued between 1972 and 1982, the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, and the so-called “Six Assurances” issued in 1982. In the Shanghai Communique of 1972, China asserted that “the Taiwan question is the crucial question obstructing the normalization of relations between China and the United States,” declaring that “the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government of China,” that Taiwan is a province of China, and that “the liberation of Taiwan is China’s internal affair in which no other country has the right to interfere.”

The US responded by acknowledging that “all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China,” something the US government did not challenge. The US also reaffirmed its interest “in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves.”

Before that, on January 1, 1979, the US and China had issued a “Joint Communique of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” in which the US undertook to recognize “the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China,” noting that, within the context of that commitment, “the people of the United States will maintain cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations with the people of Taiwan.”

President Jimmy Carter, in announcing the communique, went out of his way to ensure the people of Taiwan “that normalization of relations between our country and the People’s Republic will not jeopardize the well-being of the people of Taiwan,” adding that “the people of our country will maintain our current commercial, cultural, trade, and other relations with Taiwan through nongovernmental means.”

Carter’s move to establish diplomatic relations with China did not sit well with many members of Congress, who responded by passing the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, in which it was declared that it is US policy “to preserve and promote extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people on Taiwan, as well as the people on the China mainland,” and “to make clear that the United States decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.”

In this regard, the Taiwan Relations Act underscored that the US would “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States,” and “to provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character.” Finally, the Act declared that the US would maintain the capacity “to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or the social or economic system, of the people on Taiwan.”

The emphasis on arms sales contained in the Taiwan Relations Act led to the third joint communiqué between the US and China, released on August 17, 1982, which sought to settle differences between the two nations regarding US arms sales to Taiwan. The communique was basically a quid-pro-quo agreement where China underscored that it maintained “a fundamental policy of striving for a peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, over which it claimed sovereignty. For its part, the US declared that it “understands and appreciates the Chinese policy of striving for a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question,” and, with that in mind, the US declared that it did not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, and that it would gradually reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan while working for a final resolution to reunification.

To mollify Taiwanese concerns about the third communique, the US agreed to what have become known as “the Six Assurances” between the US and Taiwan. These are 1) the US has not set a date for ending arms sales to Taiwan, 2) the US has not agreed to prior consultations with China about arms sales to Taiwan, 3) the US has not agreed to any mediation role between China and Taiwan, 4) the US has not agreed to revise the Taiwan Relations Act, 5) the US has not taken a position regarding the sovereignty of Taiwan, and 6) that the US would never put pressure on Taiwan to negotiate with China.

There was an unwritten corollary to the third communique—an internal memorandum signed by President Ronald Reagan in which he declared that “the US willingness to reduce its arms sales to Taiwan is conditioned absolutely upon the continued commitment of China to the peaceful solution of the Taiwan-PRC [People’s Republic of China] differences,” adding that “it is essential that the quantity and quality of the arms provided Taiwan be conditioned entirely on the threat posed by the PRC.”

A US policy at war with itself

What emerges from this amalgam of policy statements and positions is a US policy that is inherently at war with itself, unable to fully commit either to the finality of a “one China” policy or walk away from the sale of weapons to Taiwan. The US disguises this inherent inconsistency by referring to it as “strategic ambiguity.” The problem is this policy stew is neither strategic in vision, nor ambiguous.

From the moment President Reagan issued the “Six Assurances,” US-China policy was strained over the issue of weapons sales, with China making the case that the US was not serious about either the peaceful reunification of Taiwan with China, or the elimination of arms sales to Taiwan. Arms sales increased exponentially from the Reagan administration to that of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, with the US providing Taipei F-16 fighters, Patriot surface-to-air missiles, and other advanced weapons. In 1997, House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan as part of a Pacific tour that included China. Gingrich claims he told his Chinese hosts that, if China were to attack Taiwan, the US “will defend Taiwan. Period.”

In 2005, in response to US backsliding when it came to arms sales and Taiwan, China adopted legislation known as the “Anti-Secession Law” which stated firmly that Taiwan “is part of China.”

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August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Chinese non-threat

China relies on something called soft power discovered by the Chinese long before the rest of us.

 https://johnmenadue.com/the-chinese-non-threat/ Pearls and Irritations, By Gregory Clark, Aug 23, 2022

Our resident non-Chinese speaking, non-Chinese informed but bitterly ‘China is expansionist-aggressive’ commentators in the mainstream media in Australia don’t have,or even want to have, any idea about China.

China is accused of aggressive expansionism, over Taiwan and towards its neighbours in general.

It is a curious charge. Almost all of the 178 nations recognising China have formally recognised that legally Taiwan belongs to China. In the recently proclaimed ‘rules based international order’ such formal recognition by so many nations would seem to have some weight.

Yet Beijing has still done little to claim this promised recognition. On the contrary, it still accepts Taiwan’s control over a number of islands in the South China Sea, including some occupied by the Taiwan military a stone’s throw from China’s coast.

Nor is it only Taiwan that enjoys Beijing’s territorial tolerance.

It has done nothing to follow up on China’s strong historical clam to much of Russia’s Far East. Even at the height of China’s strong tensions with Moscow in the 1960’s and ’70’s it barely moved despite constant invitations to do so by Western hawks.
(Taiwan too had criticised Beijing’s inaction).

Amazingly Beijing has done nothing to try to dominate, let alone attack, the vast areas of a Mongolia with rich resources needed by China and with only 3 million people to defend its 4,600 kilometre with China (Taiwan insists Mongolia is China’s territory and strongly criticises Beijing’s inaction.)

The same is true for Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, central Asian nations which border China and have at times harboured militants that have attacked into China.(Taiwan again criticises Beijing’s inaction.)

Moving down to Pakistan and India, we find Beijing has tolerated borders (the MacMahon Line and in much of Ladakh) imposed by aggressive19th century UK colonial advances far into China’s then nominally controlled, Tibetan-populated Himalayan territories.

True, there have since been disputes with India which took over from the British the large Tibetan populated areas in northern Assam and Ladakh, and wants more. Only when the Indians under Nehru’s forward policy went too far and moved into Tibet across even the UK arbitrarily imposed MacMahon Line did Beijing finally take action.

Even then, and having taught the Indians a lesson, it retreated to the MacMahon Line (a retreat which Taiwan protested, of course).

(As China desk officer in Canberra at the time I know for a fact that the first dispute in 1962 was due to India trying illegally to seize territory north of the MacMahon Line.The Chinese gave us the maps to prove it. The Indians gave nothing.)

Moving further east we find that Beijing, unlike Taiwan, accepts a border with Myanmar that allows Kokang, a large Mandarin Chinese speaking community, to remain in eastern Myanmar. (Taiwan objects to Beijing’s generosity, of course.)

Beijing did nothing to support the many pro-Beijing, Chinese speakers in Sarawak, fighting a losing battle with British and Australian troops while seeking to prevent their 1960’s forcible incorporation into the artificial construct of Malaysia.

Beijing did nothing to maintain the now disappeared 2,000 year colony of Chinese in western Borneo – the Laifang Republic. And as we know tragically it did nothing to protect the one million Chinese and leftwing Indonesian massacred in 1958. Nor did it try to protect resident Chinese from subsequent brutal Indonesian pogroms there .

And finally we come to the alleged Chinese claims against sone minuscule Japanese claimed islands -the Senkaku Islands – in the east China sea. The claims were in fact made by Taiwan, not China; they are supported by China. The islands have no Japanese name; they were discovered and named by Chinese and British explorers. Geographically they are part of Taiwan and lie on the Chinese continental shelf.

Even the US does not recognise Japanese sovereignty.

One wonders whether our resident non-Chinese speaking, non-Chinese informed but bitterly ‘China is expansionist-aggressive’ commentators in the mainstream media have, or even want to have, any idea of any of these details.

By comparison, while China has been doing little in recent decades, the US was quickly trying to take over by force large territories of France, Mexico, Spain (including the Philippines) and even Canada plus a host of islands belonging to other people in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

In shameful collusion with the UK the US expelled the population of the Diego Garcia island and used it for the bombing of much of the Middle East.

China’s long acceptance of British and Portuguese colonies on its border (India was far less tolerant), its delay in taking over Taiwan (a right granted by every nation recognising Beijing, including the US and Australia), its toleration of Taiwan still occupying militarily the Offshore Islands etc suggests almost a dislike of military action.

Instead it relies on something called soft power discovered by the Chinese long before the rest of us. Convinced of the attractiveness of its culture it long believed with it can automatically draw people to its side without force of arms.

That was before it came up against us militaristic Westerners, happy to invade China and vandalistically destroy the symbols of that culture.

GREGORY CLARK

Gregory Clark began his career in Australia’s Department of External Affairs, with postings to Hong Kong and Moscow. Resigning in 1964 to protest at Australia’s participation in the Vietnam War he moved to Japan, becoming emeritus president of Tama University in Tokyo and vice-president of the pioneering Akita International University. He continues to live in Japan and has established himself as a commentator/academic. Between 1969-74 he was correspondent for The Australian in Tokyo.
More on http://www.gregoryclark.net

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

America must consider the risk a war over Taiwan could go nuclear

The debate on confrontation with China ignores a crucial conversation about atomic weapons

MICHAEL AUSLIN, Ft.com 22 Aug 22,

The single most important question about a potential war over Taiwan between the United States and China is whether such a conflict could remain non-nuclear. Yet when President Joe Biden stated again in May that America would defend the island in the event of a Chinese attack, no one asked if that meant he was willing to risk a nuclear exchange with Beijing. If the fast-gelling opinion of Washington’s foreign policy elite is correct — that such a war is no longer simply possible but likely — then assessing such a risk needs to be at the forefront of every discussion.

Since the first use of atomic weapons nearly eight decades ago, no nuclear-armed power has ever fought another in a major conflict. During the cold war, America and the Soviet Union fought both direct and indirect proxy wars but avoided direct conventional conflict that could have escalated out of control. The reliability of America’s nuclear umbrella and promises of “extended deterrence” are regularly questioned by non-nuclear allies. It is also the reason that Nato was so circumspect in responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

Once the cold war ended, many in the US assumed that the era of the Cuban Missile crisis and “duck and cover” was over, emphasised by the shutting of the fearsome Strategic Air Command in 1992. Nuclear weapons never went away of course, and SAC eventually morphed into US Strategic Command. Yet the fears that civilisation could end in billowing mushroom clouds rapidly abated as the country turned to another generation of wars in the Middle East and against global terrorism.

But policymakers and the US public can no longer ignore the fact that a new nuclear age has dawned. Vladimir Putin’s sabre-rattling in the early days of the Ukraine war revealed that nuclear-armed authoritarian aggressors may not be restrained. As Beijing considers Taiwan its sovereign territory, there can be no assurance that a conflict would remain conventional. Make no mistake about it, this would be no small clash. Control over Taiwan has been the primary foreign policy and strategic concern of the CCP since Mao Zedong took power in 1949.

…………………… War games are one thing but in the real world, as soon as one US missile hits Chinese territory, the question of escalation becomes critical. ………………………..

Any major clash would, in fact, be the first ballistic missile war between great powers. Americans long ago ceased any civil defence preparation and the public is entirely unprepared to come under missile attack. Such an escalation would put enormous pressure on US leaders to strike back even harder at Chinese targets, thus risking an all-out confrontation, with the urge to go nuclear growing with each new setback.

The implications of a Taiwan war are enormous, but no US leader should blithely commit to defending the island without understanding that a conflict with China could be like no other fought in history. How far the US is willing to go must be openly debated and the risks of action as well as inaction equally assessed. We must think the unthinkable or we might wind up paying a tragic price.  https://www.ft.com/content/e919274c-f743-462f-83fe-80ac352036fd

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Digital damage: Is your online life polluting planet?

 https://www.miragenews.com/digital-damage-is-your-online-life-polluting-840709/ Macquarie University/The Lighthouse Dr Jessica McLean is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the Macquarie School of Social Sciences. 22 Aug 22

Shorter emails, camera-off Zoom calls and deleting old photos could reduce our digital carbon footprints – but sustainability expert Dr Jessica McLean says this is too big for individuals, and governments and organisations need to take responsibility.

Swapping digital meetings, shopping and even exercise classes for their in-person alternatives can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding transport-related pollution, but the environmental impact of our digital lives is also surprisingly high, says Human Geographer Dr Jessica McLean.

We don’t often think about the various infrastructures required to do simple things like send an email or hold our photos – these digital things are stored in data centres that are often out of sight, out of mind,” says McLean, who is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Macquarie University’s School of Social Sciences.

“If we think about it at all, we usually expect these services to be continual and think that there isn’t really a limit on those digital practices,” she says.

However, digital activity has a surprisingly high environmental impact, says McLean, who has recently published a book on the topic.

Along with the greenhouse gas emissions from substantial energy use by our personal computers, data centres and communication equipment, this impact also includes the water use and land impact from mining, building and distributing the metals and other materials that make up our vast global digital infrastructure.

High-impact digital activities

Many researchers have attempted to calculate the individual carbon footprints of various technologies, and these often focus on the energy used by servers, home wi-fi and computers and even a tiny share of the carbon emitted to construct data centre buildings.

Some of our greenhouse-gassiest digital activities include:


  • Emails: 
    Professor Mike Berners-Lee calculated that a short email sent phone-to-phone over wifi equates to 0.3 grams of CO2, a short email sent laptop-to-laptop emits 17g of CO2 and a long email with attachment sent from laptop could produce 50g of CO2.
  • Digital hoarding: Data transfer and storage of thousands of photo, audio and video files, messages, emails and documents in an average US data centre emits around 0.2 tons of CO2 each year, for every 100 gigabyte of storage.
  • Binge-watching in High Definition: Just one hour of HD streaming a day emits 160kg of CO2 each year – but swap to Standard Definition video quality and that drops to around 8kg of CO2 annually.

Beyond the individual

Deconstructing the many and varied impacts of our increasingly digital lives can be overwhelming.

Talking heads: Just one hour of videoconferencing can emit up to 1kg of CO2.

“There’s a lot to take in, and many of these figures will change depending on things like the use of renewable energy that is being taken up by some digital corporations and many individuals,” says McLean.

“This highlights the complexity of this challenge, showing that understanding and addressing digital sustainability goes beyond individual responsibilities, and is more fittingly held by governments and corporations.”

She says that the onus should be on governments to regulate a greater transparency on how digital corporations use energy, and to require regular reporting on sustainability targets.

Big tech continues to produce smartphones that are not designed to last.

“Most device manufacturers subscribe to a ‘planned obsolescence’ paradigm, rather than circular economy – for example, big tech continues to produce smartphones that are not designed to last.”

McLean’s recent research with Dr Sophia Maalsen (University of Sydney) and Dr Lisa Lake (UTS) found that while university students, staff and affiliates were concerned about the sustainability of digital technologies, there was a big gap between their intentions and actual practices of sustainability in their everyday digital lives.

“People expressed concern for the sustainability of their digital technologies, but they had limited opportunities to do anything substantive about this issue,” she says.

Digital ‘solutionism’ the wrong approach

Concepts like the paperless office, remote work and virtual conferences often come with a promise of lower environmental impacts – but McLean says these can be examples of ‘digital solutionism’.

E-harm: Digital activity has a surprisingly high environmental impact, says Dr Jessica McLean, who has recently published a book on the topic.

“It’s time to question whether being digital is always the most sustainable solution,” she says.

McLean says that our society is becoming increasingly entangled in the digital via the exponential growth of intensely data driven activities and devices, from the Internet of Things to Big Data and AI.

However, she points out that this digital immersion isn’t universal.

“There are uneven patterns and gaps in these digital affordances, both within Australia and across the Global South,” she says.

Her book, Changing Digital Geographies, explores alternatives to our current exponential digital growth, and its impact on our natural world.

“There are many alternatives for how we live digitally, from making decisions about what’s ‘good enough’ to changing the whole digital lifecycle and the way it is regulated,” she says.

“Individuals cannot be expected to resolve these issues, governments need to regulate and corporations need to act, to improve our digital future and make it sustainable.”

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South32 ditches big Australian coal mine boost, saying costs no longer add up — RenewEconomy

South 32 cancels a controversial expansion of the Dendrobium coal mine, saying it is looking to spend money on low carbon investments. The post South32 ditches big Australian coal mine boost, saying costs no longer add up appeared first on RenewEconomy.

South32 ditches big Australian coal mine boost, saying costs no longer add up — RenewEconomy

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar’s growing daytime dominance caps a miserable winter for ageing coal plants — RenewEconomy

Solar output first beat coal in winter just over a year ago, but it is now happening more often, and by a greater margin. The post Solar’s growing daytime dominance caps a miserable winter for ageing coal plants appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Solar’s growing daytime dominance caps a miserable winter for ageing coal plants — RenewEconomy

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coal plant outages and rebidding: Why electricity prices surged towards market cap — RenewEconomy

Latest regulatory report shows how multiple coal plant outages left electricity market at mercy of … other coal plants to rebid small amounts of capacity to guarantee price spikes. The post Coal plant outages and rebidding: Why electricity prices surged towards market cap appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Coal plant outages and rebidding: Why electricity prices surged towards market cap — RenewEconomy

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Start of a new era:” Market operator bulks up to manage accelerating switch to renewables — RenewEconomy

AEMO is bulking up with a vastly increased budget to manage the engineering challenges of a rapidly accelerating switch to renewables and storage. The post “Start of a new era:” Market operator bulks up to manage accelerating switch to renewables appeared first on RenewEconomy.

“Start of a new era:” Market operator bulks up to manage accelerating switch to renewables — RenewEconomy

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rio Tinto starts commissioning Gudai-Darri solar farm, and Tom Price battery — RenewEconomy

The first solar farm to power one of Rio Tinto’s huge iron ore mines begins commissioning, as does a new big battery on the same network. The post Rio Tinto starts commissioning Gudai-Darri solar farm, and Tom Price battery appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Rio Tinto starts commissioning Gudai-Darri solar farm, and Tom Price battery — RenewEconomy

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Civilian casualties in Ukraine-5,000? In Yemen-380,000? But Western Media tells a different story!

 In the case of the Russia-Ukraine war the mainstream media, both print and electronic media, has been conspicuous in using human interest stories–focussing on one individual or a single family in Ukraine–to rouse the interests of those incapable or unwilling to canvas the larger picture.

The civilian casualties in the Iraq war (185,000-208,000) and the war in Yemen (380, 000), as well as the Afghanistan war (70,000) are difficult to determine with any accuracy, but they certainly run into the hundreds of thousands if not millions. Similar is the situation in the on-going Israel-Palestine conflict between 2000 and 2014 where the casualties are overwhelmingly on the Palestinian side (approximately 7000 Palestinians and 1100 Israelis).

https://johnmenadue.com/deaths-in-ukraine-and-the-rest-the-media-is-ideologically-linked-to-one-side-of-the-war/, Pearls and Irritations, By Greg Bailey, Aug 22, 2022 Whilst resort to warfare must be strongly deprecated in virtually all circumstances, it is arguable that the media treatment of specific conflicts and the resulting casualties–both civilian and military–differs considerably from war to war and can easily break down into black and white categories, based on factors other than the war itself. The recourse to particular forms of categorisation tells us as much about the media itself as it does about the particular conflicts being reported upon. 

Reportage of wars is undoubtably difficult, as the warring sides will consistently use propaganda to press their own innocence and outrage. Casualty figures and types of casualties–civilian or military–are always employed to push a particular line of guilt or innocence of one side or the other. Equally, those media outlets in countries not directly involved in any given conflict will tend towards a style of reporting guided by formal or informal international alliances or other factors, not necessarily by the actual available data from the theatre of war.

In the case of the Russia-Ukraine war the mainstream media, both print and electronic media, has been conspicuous in using human interest stories–focussing on one individual or a single family in Ukraine–to rouse the interests of those incapable or unwilling to canvas the larger picture. Particular individuals or families are focussed upon and a potted biography is given of their life situation before hostilities began, and what has been their subsequent fate. This is perhaps a consequence of the number of war correspondents on the ground, and their incapacity to source figures of casualties beyond the military forces and those directly involved in the fighting. However, the former are reported in non-mainstream media outlets. A BBC report gives the number of reported deaths in Ukraine as 10, 470 between 24/2-24/6/22, almost certainly understated, and there would have been many more since then. Of these between 3600 and 4700 were civilian deaths.

The civilian casualties in the Iraq war (185,000-208,000) and the war in Yemen (380, 000), as well as the Afghanistan war (70,000) are difficult to determine with any accuracy, but they certainly run into the hundreds of thousands if not millions. Similar is the situation in the on-going Israel-Palestine conflict between 2000 and 2014 where the casualties are overwhelmingly on the Palestinian side (approximately 7000 Palestinians and 1100 Israelis). These figures almost certainly understate the total casualties, yet such figures have rarely appeared in the mainstream media, focus being placed mainly on isolated incidents, especially those involving terrorist acts attributed to Islamic terrorist groups. And if they can show pictures of actual explosions and rockets being launched, or destroyed buildings, whilst important, this is primarily designed to convey a sense of horror in the viewer. The more long-term effects on casualties produced by destruction of various kinds of infrastructure, health services, and the resulting starvation tend to be played down, if mentioned at all.

What are we supposed to conclude through all of these figures? Is there a definite difference in the Australian media’s coverage of wars involving people in cultures which are somewhat like ours, as opposed to those with which we might seem to have a cultural clash? This is especially the case with Muslims and it would certainly be the same if we went to war with the Chinese. I suspect the attitude is also the same with our treatment of Russia, which has always had a bad press in the West.

The main issue here is that the media treat certain societies and countries as categories, whereas other societies, more familiar to us, can be broken down into individuals and groups with similar interests, demands and concerns as us. This is demonstrative of the major chasm still existing between the perception of third and first world cultures, and Muslim and non-Muslim cultures. Such a discrepancy in perception is pushed along by the mass media and prevents a much more nuanced view to be taken by the public of ongoing conflicts and the historical conditions that have given rise to them. Here, as signalled often in P&I, the American interventions in Eastern Europe since 1991 have done much to cause the present situation in Ukraine, but these have largely been ignored in the kind of press coverage the conflict has been given in the West.

What would impartial reporting produce and is it at all possible for it to occur? What is very obvious is that the strong sympathy accorded to Ukraine in the mainstream media in Australia and other Western countries has completely obscured the historical perspective telling us how these conflicts may have originated and how they might be prevented in the future. It is true that Ukraine is a distant horizon for most Australians, but it occupies a space in culture much closer to us than cultures in the Middle East and Central Asia. And whilst it is necessary to report as accurately as possible what is going on there, so should there be a consistent approach to the coverage of conflicts in non-European countries.

What would impartial reporting produce and is it at all possible for it to occur? What is very obvious is that the strong sympathy accorded to Ukraine in the mainstream media in Australia and other Western countries has completely obscured the historical perspective telling us how these conflicts may have originated and how they might be prevented in the future. It is true that Ukraine is a distant horizon for most Australians, but it occupies a space in culture much closer to us than cultures in the Middle East and Central Asia. And whilst it is necessary to report as accurately as possible what is going on there, so should there be a consistent approach to the coverage of conflicts in non-European countries.

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

John Queripel: The blind side to western wars and western war crimes

https://johnmenadue.com/john-queripel-the-blind-side-to-western-wars-and-western-war-crimes/, Pearls and Irritations, By P&I Guest Writers, Aug 22, 2022

The calls mount for the Russian leader to be dragged before a War Crimes Tribunal, while everyone from international sporting bodies to businesses and banks is busy sanctioning Russia. Yet, the three world leaders responsible for the illegal Iraq  war of 2003 have still not been held to account

One of the ideas, central to the thought of the Swiss founder of Analytical Psychology Carl Jung, was the shadow side. This is the side of our personalities we find unattractive which we, as a means of defence, then project onto others.

Jung asserted, it is not only individuals, but whole cultures, which are inclined to do this. Thus, in the years preceding the Nazi takeover, Jung spoke of Germany, caught in a cult of intellectualism, denying primal forces, projecting their unacknowledged dark side on to ‘the other.’ Of course, we know that the Nazis rose to power exploiting this projection of darkness to others, be they Communists, Romanies, Jews or homosexuals. The end of that journey was mass extermination in such places as Auschwitz.

It is very comforting but deeply dangerous to project our own darkness onto others, whom we then demonise. Currently most of those things, dark and evil in world politics, are being projected on to Russia, in particular their leader, Vladimir Putin, understood as ‘megalomaniac,’ ‘tyrant,’ and ‘war-monger.’ He may indeed be these things, but projection of these forces on to him saves us having to face up to their presence in ourselves.

The West, so vociferous in their criticism of Putin, cannot front up to the reality that it has been equally criminal in invading a sovereign state on concocted excuses. Unable to convince the U.N. Security Council, over what, even at the time, was a highly dubious claim that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction,’ which the then U.K. Prime Minister, Tony Blair claimed could reign down on British cities within 40 minutes, the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ chose to go to war.

The resultant destruction was horrendous. Though figures vary greatly, the highly reputable medical journal, ‘The Lancet’ estimated there were 654,965 excess deaths in Iraq from the time of the 2003 invasion to mid-2006 only. In that year, 2006 alone, the U.N. estimates the number of innocent civilians killed as totalling 34,452. The most potent image of the destruction wrought by that war is found in images of Fallujah after the allies had finished their bombing. Putin and the Russians still have a long way to go to reach that level of death and destruction.

The calls mount for the Russian leader to be dragged before a War Crimes Tribunal, while everyone from international sporting bodies to businesses and banks is busy sanctioning Russia. Yet, the three world leaders responsible for the illegal war of 2003 have still not been held to account. Nor were those bodies, now declaring their abhorrence to war, imposing sanctions against the Western nations guilty of the same aggressive invasion of a sovereign state. Having, trashed the ‘rules based international order,’ of which it so loves to speak, did the West not suspect that one like Putin would profit from such?

It is comforting to project one’s shadow side on another, but Jung asserted, it comes back to bite in a highly destructive way.

John Queripel is a Newcastle-based theologian, author, and social commentator 

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

August 22 Energy News — geoharvey

World: ¶ “China’s July Russian Coal Imports Hit 5-Year High As West Shuns Moscow” • China’s coal imports from Russia jumped 14% in July from a year earlier to their highest in at least five years, as China bought discounted coal. Western countries have shunned Russian cargoes over its invasion of Ukraine, so China is […]

August 22 Energy News — geoharvey

August 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment