Critical Comment

11. Oct, 2019

CHINA – an Appraisal

In the early 1980s I raised the spectre of the Spratly Islands as being a serious potential crisis point in international Sea Lines of Communications.

My representations were treated with ignore. I have since that time continued to press the point and, with grim un-satisfaction, I can now point to China’s unilateral militarisation of the South China Sea and, since 1995, fortress construction on the island atolls. China has dropped thousands of tons of sand and concrete on some seven coral atolls in the islands. Mischief Reef now accommodates a military-grade runway and port facilities and, only late last year, missiles were added to its fortification.

In July 2016 the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea or International Court of Justice ruled that China was in illegal occupation of this man-made fortification.[1] 

The ruling by a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) pertained to case brought by the Philippines against China’s sweeping assumption of maritime sovereignty over the South China Sea.

The Panel found that China’s claims of historic rights in the South China Sea were without legal foundation. In a sweeping win for the Philippines, the Panel concluded that China’s activities within the Philippines’ two-hundred-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), such as illegal fishing and environmentally ruinous artificial island construction, infringed on Manila’s sovereign rights.[2]

Significantly, the Panel determined that the Spratly Islands are not islands in the legal sense, but rather, rocks or low-tide elevations. This naturally obviated any claims to exclusive economic zones.

It is instructive to consider this question in its historical context.

Next Tuesday will be the 70th Anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China [1st of October 1949] consequent to the Communist victory over the Nationalist Forces of the Kuomintang. Today that sad county is still in the process coming to terms with its internal problems and its position in the broader geopolitical picture.

China’s assertive projection of naked military power and its militarisation of the Spratly Islands would, at first glance, appear strangely at odds with its geopolitical and cultural history.

However, seen in the context of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative it becomes readily explicable. Launched in Kazakhstan in 2013 this is one of China’s boldest ever foreign policies initiatives. It supposedly harks back two millennia when China’s Han Dynasty traded with Asia, the Middle East and Europe through the “Silk Road” of trails and caravan routes. Xi Jinping’s initiative plays upon that purported heritage with an ambitious plan for a new era of trade with the countries along the transport routes, extending from China through Central Asia into Europe. This route will commence in Xi’an and terminate at Rotterdam in Holland. This overland route is to be augmented by a 21st century maritime ‘Silk Road’ passing through Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East and onto Venice in Italy.

As ever, foreign policy can never be considered without at least a critical look at the domestic situation. In my long-held view, China’s miracle economy belies domestic volatility. China is home to several intransigent racial and cultural minorities anxious to throw off Beijing’s heavy hand. The economy is overheated and grossly uneven in its spread; expenditure on military hardware and adventurism disproportionate; China now finds itself engaged in a trade war is cannot afford and, as part of the international community, China has now made global economic commitments from which it cannot readily withdraw. 

What should be of far greater international concern is the fact that China is led by a dictator presiding over a clique of self-serving and powerful politicians, bureaucrats and military leaders under the guise of ‘communism’.

Considered to be China’s "paramount leader" since 2012, Xi Jinping officially received and assumed the title of "core leader" from the Communist Party of China in 2016. Naturally, broad visionary and emotional strategies suit his leadership interests – evoking the ‘glorious ghosts of Silk Road economics past’ is seemingly sound politics. However, he and the rest of the international community, would do well to remember that the slippage of the inglorious Mandate of Heaven brought a sticky-end to many an Emperor.   



[1] https://www.cfr.org/councilofcouncils/global_memos/p38227

[2] loc.cit.

11. Oct, 2019

Brass-Balls Boris Confounded by Parliament

In an extraordinary development in Britain today, the House of Commons voted down the Prime Minister’s call for immediate elections to resolve the escalating Brexit crisis.

It would appear that the ‘house of the people’ is too afraid of the people to face a direct and immediate election over the issue.

This pusillanimous decision by the so-called representatives of the people amply illustrates the disconnection between Britain’s political class and the aspirations and common sense of ordinary and decent people in that sad country.

Moreover, this decision and this disconnect amply highlights the poverty of today’s ‘liberal-democracy’.

Foreign Correspondent, 5 September 2019

*********

11. Oct, 2019

I would like to apologise for my silence of late. This has been, in most part, occasioned by my immersion in my new book.

I am working on a political history and defence of Christendom. This is proving to be lengthy, comprising some six parts covering history; divinity; civics; politics; traditionalism and polemics. This work is also a call for the decent interment of the remains of liberal democracy. I conclude by proposing some modest suggestions for a more traditional, accountable and open society.

No one can deny that we certainly live in interesting times! For any observer of world history and politics, 2019 is proving to be a fascinating year.  

Contextually the most symbolic, and perhaps the most immediate political contest, is the constitutional crisis in Britain. This contest sees the Prime Minister doing battle on behalf of the will of the people against the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ and the political ‘establishment’ over Brexit.

In America the sad and sorry ragtag rabble of total-progs [totalitarian progressives] still can’t seem to accept the fact that Donald Trump actually won the last presidential election.

In Europe the emergent New Right is challenging the anti-democratic monstrosity that is the European Union. In Australia the progressives lost the seemingly unlosable election to a reassuringly pragmatic conservative leaning Prime Minister.

This victory of common sense and security over progressive social engineering and economic nihilism belies however a far deeper social malaise across Australia. Individual states are preparing the roll-out of suites of ‘death laws’ through various late termination abortions and euthanasia legislation. That total-progs share the same preoccupation with killing as their less than illustrious Stalinist forebears is of continuing and great concern.

The lunacy of identity politics has been taken to new heights in the Australian state of Victoria where the increasingly irrational government of total-progs has passed legislation allowing misfits to choose their gender on their birth certificates.

However, moving well north of this arrant and anal nonsense are the real problems gripping the attentions of proper grown-ups, these include serious international military tensions – namely China emergent and the South China Sea; the problem of North Korea and its resident Rocket Man; freedom of passage through the Straits of Hormuz; escalating tensions between Israel and Iran – and then of course, last but by no means least, there is the United States-China trade war to consider.   

But taking stock, this is a year of significant anniversaries. From a perspective of great sadness, the year marks the centenary of the Treaty of Versailles [28 June 1919]. This ill-conceived document, intended to formally end the war of all wars, provided instead the roadmap to the Second World War. A century on and mankind has proved tragically and obstinately recidivist in this respect. The fact that the 28th of June passed in obscurity stands in part as testament to this recidivism.

This year is the seventieth anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China [1st of October 1949] consequent to the Communist victory over the Nationalist Forces of the Kuomintang. Today that sad county is still in the process coming to terms with its internal problems and its position in the broader geopolitical picture. Hong Kong has emerged, as many of us knew it always would, as a litmus test of the modern political reality of China. How it chooses to resolve this problem will determine its status in the eyes of the international community. I have no doubt the joss-stick auguries have been burning late into the night in the offices of President for Life, Xi Jinping.    

Also commemorating its seventieth anniversary is the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO - 4 April 1949], also called the North Atlantic Alliance.  This venerable Organisation earned its britches in the Cold War as a tangible bulwark against the Communist Iron Curtain, but since the collapse of Communism it has itself been somewhat left out in the cold. It proved generally ineffective during the tragic shambles that was the collapse of Yugoslavia. Established by the United Nations Security Council in December 2001, the International Security Assistance Force was the NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan. This was supported with great variance of commitment, enthusiasm and success by its members.

Today NATO is a grab-bag intergovernmental military alliance between twenty-nine vastly differing North American and European countries. From the NATO website:

 Security in our daily lives is key to our well-being. NATO’s purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.

POLITICAL - NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on defence and security-related issues to solve problems, build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict.

MILITARY - NATO is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military power to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under the collective defence clause of NATO's founding treaty - Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organisations.[1]

In discussing anniversaries it is moot to recognise that Friday last [30th August] marked the twentieth anniversary of the referendum that secured East Timor its independence from Indonesia consequent to that country’s 1975 invasion of the former Portuguese colony. I have written elsewhere in academic detail the history of this country. My views on this basket-case remain unchanged after twenty years – it will remain a demi-European pimple on the rump of the Malay world and a continuing thorn in the side of Australia.

Given that Russia continues to loom, menacingly, on the increasingly dulled Western European consciousness, it is appropriate to reflect that it is also the twentieth anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s ascent to leadership in Russia. He has served his country both as Prime Minister and President and has indubitably stamped his authority throughout. Putin’s flaws notwithstanding, he has returned to this proud country stability, economic growth and international respect. He has also maintained, albeit perhaps imperfectly, democracy. Ironically, he and his country stand as a bulwark in defence of Western traditionalism. Moreover, under his watch Russia is providing the world with an alternative construct of both domestic and international relations.[2]

Tempting as though it can be, historians should never assume the role of ‘soothsayer’- but I intend to break this rule and suggest that Vladimir Putin will be judged most kindly by history. 

Concluding on a light note, with a Russian sense of the ridiculous, I was delighted by a headline on my RT News app over the weekend:  

Internet loses its mind over ‘racist’ Dior perfume ad featuring Johnny Depp & Native American dancer[3]

The following story was a wonderful account of the lunatic offenderatti and the question of ‘cultural appropriation’: for those that haven’t yet caught this riveting nonsense I reproduce for you, direct from RT:

      Dior has pulled posts promoting its ‘Eau Sauvage’ men’s perfume after a new ad for the fragrance triggered the PC cyber police. The ad’s unspeakable crime? Featuring a Native American grooving to Johnny Depp’s guitar.

A clip of the promotion, called ‘We are the Land’, was posted on Dior’s social media accounts on Friday. The teaser shows Depp, clad in a poncho, shredding on an electric guitar as a Native American, decked out in full ceremonial garb, performs a tribal dance.

In an apparent attempt to preempt internet outrage over alleged ‘cultural appropriation’, Dior noted that the spot was filmed with the help of Native American consultants. In a caption to a now-deleted Instagram post, the company wrote that the film was made in “close collaboration” with Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) “in order to respect Indigenous cultures, values and heritage.”

However, what some would argue was the brand’s attempt at preemptive damage control did little to help Dior escape the internet’s wrath, spurred by accusations of cultural appropriation and outright racism.

Many took issue with the French name of the fragrance, ‘Sauvage’ which can be translated into English in several ways, including ‘wild’, ‘unspoiled’, ‘unsociable’, ‘savage’, and ‘fierce’.

The majority of those incensed over the campaign, however, presumed the most obvious (which is not always correct), while pointing to the uncanny similarity between the word ‘sauvage’ and the English ‘savage’.

“Using Native American people and imagery to market a cologne whose name means ‘Savage’ is completely out of pocket,” a user wrote in one of the most-shared tweets.

“There’s no way in hell that Dior didn’t know that it was inappropriate to equate Native Americans as savages. They know what they’re doing. It’s purposeful,” another chimed in.

Some members of the indigenous community have joined the criticism, with one Twitterer, who identifies as a member of a Seminole Tribe, accusing the Hollywood star and the long-time face of the perfume of “profiting off a racist reference.”

In fact, it’s possible that Dior knew that the video would enrage the politically correct hordes lurking on social media – thus increasing the ad’s reach.

Others argued that neither the creators of the ad, nor Depp – an honorary member of the Comanche Nation since 2013 – did anything wrong, with the ad itself being a powerful homage to Native Americans.[4]

What can one say about such unselfconscious abandonment of common sense? And these total-progs are increasingly in charge of our lives. There is much to commend the dictum:

Revolt against the Modern World!

**************

[1] https://www.nato.int/nato-welcome/index.html 

[2] Dugin, Alexander. The Fourth Political Theory.

[3] 31 Aug, 2019 04:48. https://www.rt.com/news/467664-dior-depp-native-americans/

[4] loc.cit. 

 
22. Apr, 2019

Christchurch and its implications

In the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch killings the western world was rightly and understandably shocked and grieved.  The killings seemed an inexplicable and horrible act of violence upon innocent citizens.

The act was indeed, horrible, grievously so. But inexplicable? Definitely not. Many have publicly foretold the emergence of such violence, including these columns. Such violence is a horrid and tragic consequence of politicians not doing their job properly – specifically, listening to their electors and endeavouring to address their concerns.

The degeneration of society into ‘tribal’ groups of disaffection clearly indicates, and has indicated for some time, a degree of ill-health in society. For too long have politicians of all persuasions poured bromides over the problem. Tragically two weeks ago a part of the festering sore erupted.

In the days after the killings politicians in Australia and New Zealand have been falling over themselves in sanctimony: public and most patronising displays of posturing and  public distress, supplications in mosques and politically correct media grab statements of political determination to stamp out the scourge of ‘right-wing’ extremism. After years of political neglect, failure and leadership, I find such arrant hypocrisy extremely difficult to digest.

Compounding this hypocrisy is the bringing to bear of pressure upon social media by governments of the western world to ban sites and conversations of ‘right-wing extremist and white supremacist’ groups. The governments of Australia and New Zealand are particularly rapid in their approval of such knee-jerk policy.

Let me pose two very obvious questions:

  •  What constitutes a right-wing extremist group?
  •  What constitutes a white supremacist group?

The answers are seemingly and equally obvious – there is some most vile muck and vitriol on the internet. But this vitriol plays in all manner of directions.

Let me pose a further two very obvious questions:

  •  What constitutes a left-wing extremist group?
  •  What constitutes a globalist militant group?

The old saying: One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter applies.

How far to the right, or left, do you go before you start banning and censoring citizens? Who is going to take charge of the censorship? 

As noted above, there is some pretty vile stuff out there in cyber-space. There is also some puffed-up but pretty insipid stuff out there. I have read much of this and can confirm to its sometime idiocy and sometime vileness – both left and right. However, how much of it and to what extent the authorities able to ‘censor’ without breaching our rights and freedom of expression is moot.

Quite obviously the government has perhaps a legal obligation to shut down sites that explicitly call to arms, to political violence and to other matters of a criminal nature. But closing sites for differentiating between cultures and races or for sharing or expressing personal views and opinions, is another step too far down the road to totalitarianism. 

For example, our security thought police quickly closed down or blocked contact with several sites I look at. This of course made me look more broadly across the spectrum and found more sites thus affected. I also noted very quickly that all reference to Tarrant’s ‘Manifesto’ were curtailed, restricted or banned. Owning a copy of same in NZ is punishable by gaol. How bloody stupid can our authorities get?

Telling me what not to read is of course a spur to do so. It took me and hour or two to find a copy but I have downloaded a pdf copy of the manifesto which I have glanced through. Some of it makes for interesting reading, some of it not so. But in the journey to find it, I am grateful to the authorities for introducing me to some very dark and interesting areas of politics which I otherwise would not have heard of, let alone found!

Let me declare my own credentials on this matter. I have always and quite openly described myself as a moral conservative and a political freethinker. I have strong views on certain matters which I consider are inadequately expressed in the contemporary political forum. My politics are therefore well outside the mainstream of political parties and movements, most of whom I hold in contempt. I express my opinions in these columns openly and sometimes in provocative language.  Does that necessarily mean that I should be regarded with official suspicion as possibly having sympathies that might be regarded by some as being extreme? Bollocks.

To some, my views are extreme. Jolly good. So what? You have the right to agree, disagree, respond, ignore or just switch channels.

However, whatever my views, my right to hold and express them is enshrined in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Australia is a signatory and under whose terms we all should enjoy:

Article 18.
 
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.
 
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.
 
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.[1]

Let me summarise: Thereby we all have the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. We have the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and to receive and impart information and ideas through any media.We also have the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

As ever we can learn from history.

In the early 1950s and in the context of international tensions, the Communist Party of Australia was perceived by many as a national threat. The then Menzies Liberal government proposed banning the party. The proposition was put to referendum. On the 22nd of September 1951 the people of Australia rejected, albeit narrowly, the proposition. Even the Young Liberals voted against the proposition on the principle of free speech. It would appear that our forefathers knew and respected this principle. 

Have we, however, not learnt anything from history? Of course not, because today’s post post-modernist world has no history!

To this end, the authorities truly are, in my view, silly bastards – they will only drive political lunacy underground. It would do us no harm to remember that, once in place, regulations are hard to remove. I also offer the observation that politicians, of any shade, would prefer to operate without opposition. Most would likely ban their mother if it would make life easier for them. My view is simply to trust them with nothing – least of all our liberty.

The post-Christchurch policy reactions by governments in Australia and that of New Zealand are, in my view, ill-conceived. They smack of policy on the run, they smack of the very populism politicians decry and they smack of politicians taking full-advantage of an international tragedy to ram-rod through policy without adequate consideration.

Finally, the whole sorry story amply illustrates the shocking quality of our politicians.

*****



[1] https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

 

17. Mar, 2019

 

A Trenchant Reminder

 I am about to make myself extremely unpopular.

We all accept that events on Friday in New Zealand are shocking. They are shocking. We are all saddened and we should all take much time to reflect on the question – Why?

I would now like to remind readers that, on Friday 15th of March, the same day as the Christchurch shootings – the Christian Post headlined its front page with the following: 120 people killed, 140 homes destroyed by Nigeria Fulani since February.[1]  

On the 5th of February this year the Post headlined: 480, mostly Christians, killed in Nigerian ‘military massacres' from 2015-2017: NGO report. [2]

Do we hear about it in our mainstream media? Do we care about it?[3]  What are we going to do about it? Nothing!

No virtue signalling. No token horror. No flowers. No tears. Nothing.

Why? Because we are so smug, so utterly racist, so politically correct, so anti-Christian, so indifferent and so self-satisfied and preoccupied with our own little irrelevant lives to really give a damn.  

What about the thousands of other Christians persecuted, tortured and murdered across the world, from the Coptics in Egypt to Christians in the Lebanon, Pakistan, India, China …? But that’s OK – it’s only black-men killing more black-men. Who cares?

But let a white man disturb our own moral comfort zone we double-down in paroxysms of virtuous rage and indignation. That shouldn’t be happening here. This is absolutely shocking. Yes it is! Quite shocking.

But what is even more shocking, sickening in fact, is the sight of politicians and community leaders falling all over themselves in public horror – “look at me I’m really horrified – I’m taking my shoes off in a mosque – elections, who said elections - I’m kneeling down in a mosque – mea culpa - ” then fronting the television cameras and publicly making knee-jerk pronouncements about banning visiting speakers, gun control, better policing, better intelligence services, more money for cultural re-education and so forth ad nauseam without any proper forethought, consideration or consultation. A wise man thinks before he speaks.  A politician ‘is’ – because he speaks.

The spectacle of public distress and solidarity is as solid as a brothel in tin-pan alley. If we were genuinely concerned about the state of man in this increasingly dysfunctional world we would do more than take flowers to a police crime-scene, or join hands in a candlelight vigil singing Kumbaya.

But then, we are after all, a nation of superficial bourgeois hypocrites, wherein appearance is more important than substance.

If we really want to make a difference, if we really want to take refugees, if we really wanted to help those wanting to escape from their various “multicultural” shit-holes, there are many hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world, unwanted by their Mohammedan, Hindu, Buddhist and totalitarian hosts that would surely welcome the opportunity to live amongst us.

Where were you Julie Bishop?

………..



[1] https://www.christianpost.com/news/120-people-killed-140-homes-destroyed-by-nigeria-fulani-since-february.html

[2] https://www.christianpost.com/news/480-mostly-christians-killed-in-nigerian-military-massacres-from-2015-2017-ngo-report.html

[3] Fulani one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa [approx 38 - 40 million] bound by language, culture and Islam.