AMERICA AND NATO’S TROUBLING TRAJECTORY & THE IMPLICATIONS FOR AUSTRALIA
Expanding NATO into ASIA
The NATO Secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg bangs on about the “China threat” relying on this so called threat and his unfounded claim that China’s policies “challenge NATO’s security, values, and interests” to justify an expansion of NATO to the Indo-Pacific. His claim is pure propaganda and is unsupported by a shred of evidence. Paul Keating describes Stoltenberg as a “supreme fool” and warns that NATO has no place in Asia. Keating has justifiably savaged Albanese’s kowtowing to Stoltenberg’s policy of expanding NATO influence into the Asia-Pacific. NATO’s eastern expansion provoked Russia into launching its invasion of Ukraine. However, NATO’s expansion into China’s backyard will be an even greater provocation, making it more, not less likely for China to react.
As Jeffrey Sachs[i] describes it, we are witnessing the unfolding of the long-term American grand strategy, which is focused on maintaining pre-eminent power, firstly on the North American continent, then in the Western Hemisphere, and finally globally. Global primacy remains the central objective of US grand strategy in the 21st century. This has led directly to the Ukraine war which is a war about NATO enlargement up to Russia’s borders. The geniuses who brought about the Ukraine war now plan to bring NATO into Asia.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is rightly referred to as a war crime (just as so many other wars launched, mainly by America since 1945 were all war crimes). The Russian invasion would not have happened if the Western alliance (led by the USA) had honoured its promise not to expand NATO beyond Germany’s borders. However, what happens to Ukraine is irrelevant to America. The raging Ukraine proxy war is designed to serve US interests, while NATO expansion has made and continues to make billions for US weapons manufacturers.
The war in Ukraine came close to ending in March 2022 with a negotiated agreement, only a few weeks after Russia had invaded. Zelensky was prepared to conclude a peace agreement, but the Biden administration stopped negotiations telling Ukraine’s President Zelensky to fight on and not negotiate.
The White House initially postponed the decision to supply cluster bombs to Ukraine because of the recognised risk of civilian harm, but despite Biden describing this as a “very difficult decision on my part”, the US, with its eyes wide open did send cluster bombs to Ukraine. US National Security adviser, Jake Sullivan said, “We recognise that cluster munitions create a risk of civilian harm from unexploded ordnance. This is why we’ve deferred the decision for as long as we could”!
How many innocent civilians will die over the next weeks, months and years. The United States has previously dropped thousands of cluster bombs during its numerous post-World War II engagements, including in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. These cluster munitions are rightly described as “hideous, indiscriminate weapons”. That is why more than 120 countries have committed to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, agreeing not to use, produce, transfer or store such devices. Only a handful of countries are not party to the Convention. America is one of them. Whilst the US criticises alleged war crimes by Russia, this outrageous decision is pure US hypocrisy. The decision was opposed by America’s closest allies, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and Spain - BUT NOT BY AUSTRALIA!
The Propaganda Machine
The dictionary definition of “propaganda” is “Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view”. Propaganda is essentially the spreading of lies, mostly so that a political leader, in this case Biden does not look weak to voters or his opponents. Explaining the Quad, Biden told China’s president Xi Jinping, “We are not doing that to surround you, we are doing that to maintain stability in the Indian Ocean and in the South China Sea.” The US has 313 US military bases in East Asia with the Biden administration recently adding four new bases in the Philippines, not forgetting the AUKUS alliance which is specifically set up to menace China. According to Caitlin Johnstone, “Biden can babble all he wants about wanting to secure sea lanes and protect international waters, but only a drooling idiot would believe that the world’s most powerful empire is militarily surrounding its top geopolitical rival as an act of defence”. She adds, “Ignore the words and watch the actions”.
I urge you to read the following article by Jeffrey Sachs for an explanation, like no other of the background to the Ukrainian war, and the dreadful American lies and propaganda: https://johnmenadue.com/the-real-history-of-the-war-in-ukraine-a-chronology-of-events-and-case-for-diplomacy/
Caitlin Johnstone also reports that earlier in 2023, American Senator Josh Hawley remarked “Imagine a world where Chinese warships patrol Hawaiian waters, and Chinese submarines stalk the California coastline. A world where the People’s Liberation Army has military bases in Central and South America. A world where Chinese forces operate freely in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean”. That is exactly what the US is doing to China. Only days ago, John Bolton reacted to a report that Havana was negotiating with Beijing about a future joint military training facility in Cuba. Bolton wrote, “America can’t permit Chinese military expansion in Cuba” calling it as a “red flag threat to America”.
Now for China
The language at the recent NATO summit in Vilnius, referring to China’s ambitions, assertive conduct, and coercive policies left little room for doubt that the US and its allies are seeking to engage China in a new cold war. Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand were again invited to attend the summit – a clear message of NATO’s intention to expand its footprint into the Asia-Pacific, as part of the effort to further encircle China. These provocative are putting America on a path to war with China.
The idea of the US and its allies fighting China is mind-boggling in its implications, its stupidity, and its profound danger. It is divorced from reality. China is not a threat to Australia and it is not a threat to the world (although, if forced to do so, it will become such a threat). Sachs points out that apart from when the Mongols briefly ruled China, there has not been a single overseas Chinese invasion in its history, other than on its immediate borders.
What about Australia?
Australia has agreed to expand the Tindal airbase near Darwin to permit six American strategic bombers to operate there, effectively integrating Tindal into America’s war planning. This, together with AUKUS and America’s other military facilities in Australia will and is intended to enhance any US-led fight against China. This makes Australia an obvious Chinese target increasing the likelihood of a Chinese military strike on Australia. These decisions threaten to draw Australia into a war which is plainly not in Australia’s national or security interests, a war which could end in nuclear catastrophe.[ii]
As the late Allan Gyngell concluded in his 2017 book, Fear of Abandonment, the motivating force of Australia’s international engagement has been fear of abandonment. In the 21st century this is no longer an adequate story for Australia’s place in the world and Australia urgently needs to adopt a less Anglo centric outlook.
As the late Malcolm Fraser wrote in his 2014 book, Dangerous Allies, “Our leaders argue that we need to keep our alliance with US strong in order to ensure our defence in the event of an aggressive foe. Yet the most likely reason that Australia would need to confront an aggressive foe is our strong alliance with the United States. We need America for defence from an attacker who is likely to attack us because we use America for defence!” Fraser concluded: Australia needs to decide for the first time in our history to move towards a more strategically independent foreign policy.
These deeply perceptive words from both Gyngell and Fraser are more relevant now than ever.
“AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM” – HEAR THE OTHER SIDE!
_______________________ [i] Sachs is an American economist, academic and public policy analyst. He is University Professor at Columbia University, having previously served at Harvard for 20 years where he became professor of economics at the age of 28 [ii] Target Australia, by Sam Roggeveen, July 2023