Tuesday, November 29, 2011

X-Post from Grubsheet: AUSTRALIA’S REGIONAL FOLLY

#49 AUSTRALIA’S REGIONAL FOLLY

Graham Davis

The folly of Australian policy towards Fiji is at the centre of a damning new landmark report that suggests the United States has lost confidence in Canberra’s ability to influence events in the Pacific and counter rising Chinese influence in the region. It calls for the immediate and unconditional lifting of regional sanctions against Fiji and for Australia to “repair its relationship at the highest level” by re-engaging with the Bainimarama regime through the Pacific Islands Forum. “It is well past the time to treat this festering regional wound”, it declares.

The report – covering all aspects of Australia’s relations with the Pacific and entitled “Our Near Abroad” – has been issued by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute ( ASPI), an independent, government-funded think tank set up in 2001 to advise Canberra on its defence and strategic policy options. The conclusions of its authors – Professor Richard Herr and Anthony Bergin – are bound to stick in the craw of Australia’s foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, for they present a direct challenge to the entire edifice of current Pacific policy.

The report details in stark terms the extent to which Australia has been isolated in the region and is losing its ability to influence “collective decision making in the South Pacific”. It cites as evidence the fact that eleven Pacific Island members of the United Nations have formed a voting bloc that excludes Australia and that the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) – which also excludes Australia – has backed fellow member Fiji against Australian sanctions.

Grubsheet On ASPI report
"
Fiji’s membership of the Non Aligned Movement ” underscores Suva’s more aggressive pursuit of South-South dialogue, specifically to reduce reliance on its traditional friends, including Australia. Whether intended or not, China has been a significant beneficiary of this development as a leading state in the NAM
[...]The importance of Fiji for the new geopolitics of the region is that it’s actively challenging Australia’s privileged position in the regional system.

There are many reasons why Australia should repair relations with Fiji, but the deleterious effects of the current contretemps on the Pacific Islands Forum are the key because they cascade through the regional system
[...]ASPI report says that while “the US is reluctant to openly express criticism of Australia’s handling of regional relations, it’s clear there are genuine doubts about Australia’s capacity to lead islands’ opinion on relations with China"


It calls on Australia to “regather the threads of regional leadership” with a comprehensive range of measures that include repairing its relationship with Fiji, a country it describes as being at “the heart of the Pacific Islands regional system” as the principal transportation, communications and diplomatic hub. “The region cannot survive without its heart” – the report says – describing Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum as having “seriously changed regional dynamics”.

ASPI warns of the consequences of Fiji seeking new international relationships because of its breach with Australia and New Zealand over Frank Bainimarama’s 2006 coup. It says Fiji’s membership of the Non Aligned Movement ” underscores Suva’s more aggressive pursuit of South-South dialogue, specifically to reduce reliance on its traditional friends, including Australia. Whether intended or not, China has been a significant beneficiary of this development as a leading state in the NAM”, the report concludes.

The authors suggest that Fiji has outwitted Australia to the detriment of its national interests in the Pacific and the strength and cohesion of regional organisations such as the Pacific Forum . “The importance of Fiji for the new geopolitics of the region is that it’s actively challenging Australia’s privileged position in the regional system. There are many reasons why Australia should repair relations with Fiji, but the deleterious effects of the current contretemps on the Pacific Islands Forum are the key because they cascade through the regional system”. The report cites “the impossibility” of concluding the current PACER Plus trade negotiations and “the rift between the Pacific Islands Forum and the Melanesian Spearhead Group”, which have taken opposing views on Fiji.

It goes on to say that “Forum-related sanctions (against Fiji) are being subverted by other organisations, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Forum Fisheries Agency and even RAMSI, the billion dollar Australian intervention in Solomon Islands. It describes those sanctions as “impractical” and says “they have proved dysfunctional for Australia and for its image in the region”. It also says the delay in repairing the relationship has been costly, partly because attitudes in Fiji about the need for Australian assistance appear to have hardened”.

As well as the lifting of sanctions, the report calls on Australia to follow New Zealand’s lead in re-establishing ministerial contact. More controversially, it also calls for the re-establishment of Australia’s ties with the Fiji military to deal with maritime security, border protection and transnational crime.

ASPI goes on to examine the divergence in approach between the United States and Australia towards Fiji, exemplified last week when Washington’s new ambassador in Suva, Frankie Reed, visited Frank Bainimarama in the prime minister’s office. No Australian or New Zealand head of mission has had any direct contact with the Fijian leader since his coup five years ago. The report quotes Ms Reed as having described Fiji’s position in the Pacific as “unique” and said it was “a key focal point in America’s larger regional engagement with the South Pacific”.

In stark contrast with the Australian position, the ambassador said the United States sought a “more direct engagement with Fiji’s government to encourage the restoration of democracy” within the regime’s stated timetable of September 2014.
The ASPI report says that while “the US is reluctant to openly express criticism of Australia’s handling of regional relations, it’s clear there are genuine doubts about Australia’s capacity to lead islands’ opinion on relations with China”.

It concludes that “the US is taking on a more direct role in protecting its own interests in the region, just as it did in the mid to late 1980s when it felt that managing Cold War challenges in the Pacific Islands was beyond the capacity of Australia and New Zealand”.

EDS NOTE: Please excuse the lack of photographs due to a glitch with my WordPress account.





Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Plunging The Pacific Into A New Order?

The regional leadership in the Pacific has a new entity, called the Polynesian Leadership Group (PLG) made up of island states from Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, American Samoa, Tokelau, French Polynesia and Tuvalu.
Representatives of eight Polynesian countries 

A Talamua article suggests that the Polynesian union was a 35 year dream, realized. According to the Samoa Observer Editorial, this new   regional sub-group bloc is the culmination of five years of planning. Even though it was implicitly denied by the nascent Chair but categorically implied that, the trajectory of this new sub-group is projected to be used as a geopolitical leverage against the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG).
Such manifestations by the new sub-group will be destined for negative divisions says Pacific academic Steven Ratuva in a Radio NZ web article.
Although, the invitation was extended to Fiji to join; it is certainly no secret that the Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi had been quite a parochial critic of Frank Bainiamarama, and constantly interjecting himself into the domestic affairs of Fiji. Nevertheless this hubris is seen as simply more grandstanding by the Samoan Prime Minister.

Island Business article:

Mon, 19 Sep 2011
AUCKLAND, NZ (SCOOPNZ) --- New Zealand may be invited to join Pacific Island countries in a ginger group promoting Polynesia’s interests.John Andrews in Auckland for Pacific Insights

For years the idea of a Polynesian-oriented grouping has been debated by Polynesian leaders at their annual Pacific Islands Forum summit. Now a few of them have decided to do something about it.

At the behest of Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, one of the prime movers pushing for the formation of the group, five leaders met privately in the City Life Hotel on the eve of the forum summit in Auckland a fortnight ago.

The participants representing Cook Islands, Niue, Tuvalu, Tonga and Samoa, decided to instruct their respective senior officials to recommend wording for a charter and work out likely costs.

The Polynesian leaders agreed to meet again early in November in Samoa’s capital Apia to discuss their new group’s aims and organisational requirements.

There are indications they will select Tuilaepa as their first chairman, with a small secretariat set up initially in Apia.

Other non-forum member countries which may find themselves invited to send representatives to the meeting are American Samoa, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna and Easter Island.

Even Hawaii and New Zealand could get invitations because of their Polynesian affiliations.

Both Tuilaepa and Toke Talagi, Premier of Niue were adamant the proposed Polynesian Group would not present a political counter weight to influence purported to have been exerted in the region by the Melanesian Spearhead Group and their Micronesian Group neighbours.

Tuilaepa said the Micronesian member countries regarded their organisation as being very necessary for cohesion, just as the Melanesians did. Polynesian countries had learned a very useful lesson, albeit belatedly, as a result.

He did not expect any adverse reaction to the group’s formation, saying: “They suggested it themselves when I raised the issue in Fiji and in Tonga.”

Asked if New Zealand would be invited to become a member of the Polynesian Group, he said: “We haven’t made that decision yet. There are some complications.

“The proper thing is to go by the general guideline of the so called Polynesian Triangle which stretches from Hawaii to New Zealand to the east as far as Easter Island.”

To explain his views on sub-regionalism in the Pacific, Tuilaepa pointed to the speech he gave in July this year to mark the forum’s 40th anniversary.
He contended then that rather than being portrayed as a challenge to the region by building alternative coalitions, sub-regionalism should be viewed as “countries with a common history, related cultural traditions and a commitment to dialogue working together on issues of mutual interest”.

As well as preserving language, culture and traditions, sub-regionalism might provide better platforms for effective and efficient delivery programmes that benefitted the entire region.

The exposure of Polynesian people and countries to modern development and communications had heightened risks to the long term survival of their cultures and languages. To remain complacent would be a mistake.

Tuilaepa and Talagi said the Polynesian Group would remain on the periphery of the forum but indicated that, for financial reasons, it made sense for leaders to meet around the time of the annual forum summits.

Denying the new group was being formed to counter MSG influence, Niue Premier Talagi said: “It’s away from and nothing to do with the forum but at the same time we are talking about a similar sort of grouping for the Polynesian countries that are interested in establishing themselves as such.

“I think we have got to determine who the membership is but we consider New Zealand and Hawaii, for example, as being part of the Polynesian Triangle so they could very well be part of the members of this Polynesian Group. But it is not a breakaway from the forum.

“There are indications New Zealand may be interested to be part of it, as part of the Polynesian Triangle.
“There has always been an informal Polynesian group but it has never been formalised.”

Asked if the MSG people had been informed of the Polynesian Group plan, Talagi said: “Why would we? They never told us anything about their group, nor the Micronesians for that matter.”

Another event horizon - the Pacific common currency, is a seemingly brokered policy from Samoa, which had been actively researched and recommended by an Australia Senate Committee, according to a published Feasibility Study by two University of South  Pacific (USP) academics.


 




This timing of such a launch of a sub-grouping is quite interesting and comes in the wake of the recent APEC summit in Hawaii announcing the Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP) and the garrison of US troops in Darwin.

Dr. K R Bolton

"
When Kevin Rudd became Australian Prime Minister in 2008, he floated ideas for a Pacific regional bloc that are close to what is transpiring with the TPP[...]

In the speech he went beyond the usual call for a closer regional agreement between Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific island nations and advocated its broadening to include the USA and China. That is to say, the Pacific community idea which in many ways is desirable; especially if it could minimize the influence of China and the USA in the region, has been broadened to being exactly what was always intended: a step toward globalization at the behest of US-based plutocracy. What Rudd said a few years ago is instructive in providing background for the present TPP, which focuses on the USA and is broadened to Pacific Rim South American states
[...]
What Kevin Rudd proposed in 2008 was the agenda of the Trilateral Commission, created in 1973 by David Rockefeller. The Trilateral Commission was established as a think tank of globalist political and business leaders incorporating the USA, Europe and Japan.
"

In fact, the extended series of regional policy dictates, namely the new Polynesia sub-regional bloc, the PACER -Plus Trade Agreement and the common Pacific currency  respectively, are starting points to a proverbial slippery slope that also contain some sinister strategic implications, when placed in context with the observations of Dr. John Bolton, that was recently published in Foreign Policy Journal.




The excerpt of the Bolton's article:


Regional Globalization: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

by Dr. K R Bolton

November 19, 2011



The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an important part of the globalization process that has been decades in the making. The process was formalized on November 12, 2011. While a “Pacific community” similar to the “European Community,” has often been mooted by New Zealand and Australian politicians,[1] TPP creates the foundation for full-fledged regional governance. Presently the states that comprise this TPP are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States.[2]

The current format of this regional pact was announced by Ambassador Ron Kirk to the US Congress on December 14, 2009. As a free trade regional agreement, this means that each state will be obliged to open itself up to imports and a regional economic rationalization process that will Darwinistically eliminate those national industries that cannot compete. It means that once in, like other free trade agreements, extricating oneself becomes impossible. The much lauded prospects of increased employment and economic opportunities, by which such agreements are sold, such as that entered into by New Zealand with China does not – obviously – eventuate. “Partnership” and “competitiveness”[3] are used simultaneously, yet free trade intrinsically does not include “partnership”; it means driving the “weaker” to the wall on the pretext that the best survive and thereby the general economy is strengthened. It takes no account of national requirements, strategic needs, and ties each state to the rise or fall of the major players in a gamble with entire nations.

When Kevin Rudd became Australian Prime Minister in 2008, he floated ideas for a Pacific regional bloc that are close to what is transpiring with the TPP. What is significant, in identifying the globalist interests that are promoting this agenda, is that Rudd presented the idea to his countrymen via a speech to the Australian branch of the Asia Society, which will be considered below. In the speech he went beyond the usual call for a closer regional agreement between Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific island nations and advocated its broadening to include the USA and China. That is to say, the Pacific community idea which in many ways is desirable; especially if it could minimize the influence of China and the USA in the region, has been broadened to being exactly what was always intended: a step toward globalization at the behest of US-based plutocracy. What Rudd said a few years ago is instructive in providing background for the present TPP, which focuses on the USA and is broadened to Pacific Rim South American states.

Nonsense about each state doing what one can do best has been used for several decades now to sell the idea of economic rationalization. Any state that embarks on such a course of reanimated 19th Century economics is left with a ravaged economy that has no chance of being self-supporting. Economic rationalization in the name of “efficiency” creates a permanent pool of the unemployable because the champions of free market economics believe, as economic reductionists, that humans are interchangeable economic units that are infinitely malleable and can fit into whatever new environment is contrived. When the theory does not accord with reality, the victims, the new pool of unemployed, are further victimized as “welfare bludgers.” Free Trade, and its method of economic rationalization, is a failed dogma. New Zealand began the process of rationalization decades ago by the start of a long process of opening up to imports, on the assumption that “inefficient” businesses would fall, and leave only the best and most suitable to fit into a regional and ultimately a world economy (the “New International Economic Order” as it was then called).

The result was the destruction of New Zealand manufacturing, which has resulted in a large pool of unemployables, because the politicians cannot or will not understand that not everyone of working age is capable of being an IT worker. New Zealand’s labor intensive economy was wrecked for the sake of a globalist agenda and we today see the consequences.
The great achievement that has been negotiated is therefore to extend failed economic dogma beyond national levels and to the regional, in order that a very small element of business can expand without national impediments.
 
Globalist interests in the USA have not been pushing this “economic integration” as a humanitarian gesture. It is an important exercise in international power-politics. The other member states will be prostrate before US plutocracy as their resources come under the domination of free trade investment clauses in the TPP agreement. TPP will be sold in the other states as a great opportunity to sell exports to a big market. Nonsense. We have seen how the FTA between China and New Zealand operates. The big dominants and, where necessary, eliminates the little under Free Trade. The US administration is selling TPP with national rather than globalist rhetoric: “Increasing American Exports, Supporting American Jobs.”[4] Under Free Trade, there are winners and losers, and even recourse to war when the losers are no longer sustainable and fight rather than roll over and die, or when one export power conflicts with the interests of another, as in the case of World War II resulting from the success of German trade expansion in Europe and its extension into South American markets.

Free Trade has been imposed upon the world as the economic foundation for a US-dominated order since Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points”. The policy was reiterated by Roosevelt in the “Atlantic Charter.” The rhetoric has not changed for decades. When Roosevelt was laying down the terms for the post-war world to Churchill he stated:
Of course, after the war, one of the preconditions of any lasting peace will have to be the greatest possible freedom of trade. No artificial barriers. As few favored economic agreements as possible. Opportunities for expansion. Markets open for healthy competition.[5]
…Will anyone suggest that Germany’s attempt to dominate trade in central Europe was not a major contributing factor to war?[6]
International trade brings war, not peace, as it is a fa├žade for domination by hegemonic interests. The terms of TPP are intended to benefit the USA, which means US-based globalist plutocrats, the Office of the US Trade Representative stating:
Cross-cutting issues not previously in trade agreements, such as making the regulatory systems of TPP countries more compatible so U.S. companies can operate more seamlessly in TPP markets, and helping innovative, job-creating small-and medium-sized enterprises participate more actively in international trade.[7]
Economic structures are therefore to be rationalized regionally to permit free entry for US encroachments. Reference to the benefits for small-and medium-sized enterprises is nonsense, as rationalization drives such enterprises to the wall. No state will be able to subsidize such enterprises, as it will be regarded as interfering in the free market and as unfair competition. State owned enterprises are also to be subjected to competition from the globalist corporations. As it is, many of the states involved, and in particular New Zealand, have been selling their state assets and enterprises, generally to make interest payments on debts to international finance.

What is left of state assets will be taken over by the major corporations, and national governments, such as they remain, will not be able to interfere because of regional regulations imposed by TPP and enforced by TPP laws and bureaucracies. Note that the above passage from the TPP principles states that regulations of each state will be altered to make national economies compatible with US corporate interests.  TPP terms will ensure, “state-owned enterprises compete fairly with private companies and do not distort competition in ways that put U.S. companies and workers at a disadvantage.”[8] This means pitting the state against private business in the free market, although state assets should be regarded as being of a strategic and not strictly an economic character. However, under Free Trade there is no such concept as a “strategic national interest.”
The nine founding states of TPP are intended as the beginning of a wider process, “and will begin bilateral processes with these interested countries to discuss their readiness and ambition to meet the standards and objectives of the TPP.”[9]
The ramifications of TPP will be known only as they take effect as – apart from the final declaration – the documents of the agreement are secret for four years from ratification.[10]

Globalists’ Pacific Agenda

What Kevin Rudd proposed in 2008 was the agenda of the Trilateral Commission, created in 1973 by David Rockefeller. The Trilateral Commission was established as a think tank of globalist political and business leaders incorporating the USA, Europe and Japan. The newly appointed Italian Prime Minster, Mario Monti, is the TC European chairman,[11] who also served with Goldman Sachs.

What is notable in the context of the TPP is that the Trilateral Commission (TC) a few years ago extended its agenda to include Mexico, and the “Japan Group” has now become the “Pacific Asian Group.” Japan has stated its interest in joining the TPP.[12] Although Mexico is not one of the founding member states of TPP, the extension of Trilateralism, which originally focused on North America, Europe and Japan, was extended to Latin America and to Asia as a whole. TC stated of this:

Two strong convictions guide our thinking for the 2006-2009 triennium. First, the Trilateral Commission remains as important as ever in helping our countries fulfill their shared leadership responsibilities in the wider international system and, second, its framework needs to be widened to reflect broader changes in the world. Thus, the Japan Group has become a Pacific Asian Group, and Mexican members have been added to the North American Group. The European Group continues to widen in line with the enlargement of the EU.[13]
Of the TC Pacific Asian Group, members are drawn from the following countries to reflect this aim of a Pacific-wide union.
In 2000, the Japanese group of 85 members expanded to become a Pacific Asian group of 96 members, and includes 57 members from Japan, 15 members from Korea, 8 from Australia and New Zealand, 16 from the original five ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand). The new Pacific Asian group also includes participants from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.[14]
The Commission also implies that these regional groupings are the prelude to a “new world order”:
The “growing interdependence” that so impressed the founders of the Trilateral Commission in the early 1970s is deepening into “globalization.” The need for shared thinking and leadership by the Trilateral countries, who (along with the principal international organizations) remain the primary anchors of the wider international system, has not diminished but, if anything, intensified. At the same time, their leadership must change to take into account the dramatic transformation of the international system. As relations with other countries become more mature—and power more diffuse—the leadership tasks of the original Trilateral countries need to be carried out with others to an increasing extent.[15]

This process of “interdependence” growing into “globalization” and a “dramatic transformation of the international system” has been deliberately pushed by the Trilateral Commission, and similar bodies such as the Bilderberg Group and the Council on Foreign Relations, all of which have significant interlocking memberships. It is not part of some organic historical process; it is a contrivance.
The Trilateralist statement above alludes to the broadening of the Trilateralist countries to “others”; again in this instance not just Japan, but the entirety of Asia and the Pacific. Although Trilateralists have dominated the Japanese business and political Establishments, they were hitherto restrained from entering into globalist agreements by the strength of the farming sector that feared American agricultural imports. The globalists have already stated that TPP means little until Japan is incorporated into it:

But if the TPP were to remain as it is presently constituted — without Japan’s inclusion — the agreement would not be the economic boon many hoped it would…. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said in Tokyo in October that the United States would “welcome Japan’s interest in the TPP, recognizing of course that Japan’s decision to pursue joining will be made based on its own careful considerations of its priorities and interests.” For its part, Tokyo seems ready to join the talks. Japanese entry has been on the table since October 2010, when then Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his foreign minister, Seiji Maehara, both endorsed it.[16]

However, as with other such regionalist groupings, such as the European Union, the catalyst is recognition of an outer threat; in this case, China, which has recently acted in typically belligerent and overbearing manner towards Japan over disputed territorial claims.[17] It was a similar threat supposedly posed by the USSR that drove Europe into a “union” under American auspices and on US terms. Just what type of protection from Chinese intransigence would be accorded TPP under US Big Brother is indicated by the close relationship that has long existed between China and the same globalists who have been promoting the Pacific union concept. China is represented on the boards of bodies such as TC and the Pacific Basin Economic Council, another long-running lobby that aims for “economic integration.” New Zealand’s FTA with China is pivotal to the village idiot vision of New Zealand’s economy, and any involvement with TPP is going to have to recognize China as a regional power in partnership with the USA, as not as a rival power in the region. The specter of China merely serves as a temporary scare tactic for the imposition of TPP.

Rudd’s 2008 Statement

What has transpired this month places the statements made by the then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (presently Foreign Minister) in context, especially in regard to his having delivered the speech before the Asia Society, a long-running Rockefeller think tank that predates the Trilateral Commission. Media reports at the time stated:

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called on Asian and Pacific nations to form a regional alliance similar to the European Union. Mr. Rudd says a strong multilateral body is needed to help the region maintain security, foster trade and respond to natural disasters and terrorism. He said Asia needs to react quickly to cope with changes brought about by rapid economic growth in the region.
“The European Union does not represent an identikit model of what we would seek to develop in the Asia-Pacific, but what we can learn from Europe is this – it is necessary to take the first step,” he said.  But he concedes getting Asian nations together will be much tougher than the task faced by the architects of the European Union last century.
“Our special challenge is that we face a region with a greater diversity in political systems and economic structures, levels of development, religious beliefs, languages and cultures than our counterparts in Europe,” he said. “But that should not stop us from thinking big.” The Government will appoint experienced diplomat Richard Woolcott as an envoy to discuss Mr. Rudd’s idea with other countries.
Mr. Rudd says the institution should span the entire Asian-Pacific region including the United States, Japan, China, India and Indonesia.” The danger in not acting is that we run the risk of succumbing to the perception that future conflict in our region may somehow be inevitable,” he said. Mr. Rudd will use his visit to Japan and Indonesia next week to lobby Asian nations on the proposal.[18]

Asia Society
 
Rudd’s speech was delivered to the Asia Society’s Australian branch, called Austral Asia Center, in Melbourne. Note that Australia is referred to as “Austral Asia” by the Society; a play on words of the term that is normally used to describe Australia and New Zealand. This reflects how the global plutocrats see the nations of Australia and New Zealand, and politicians such as New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Jim Bolger, have long been referring to New Zealand as “an Asian country.”  The “Austral Asian” branch was founded by veteran diplomat Richard Woolcott who was chosen by Rudd to initiate the “Asia Pacific community” with high-level meetings throughout Asia, as noted in the news media reports. Hence, the groundwork was further laid for TPP in 2008.

The head office of the Asia Center in New York states that the Society was founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III.[19] Trustees include: Charles P. Rockefeller and John D. Rockefeller IV. The 50th anniversary of the Asia Society in 2006 was a tribute to the “whole Rockefeller family” and its vision for Asia. The “keynote addresses” were given by Henry Kissinger, the omnipotent perennial government adviser; David Rockefeller,[20] head of the globalist dynasty; John D Rockefeller IV, Charles Percy Rockefeller; and Arthur Ross, a scholar and diplomat of varied experience, who sat on the Rockefeller University Council. The by-line on the Asia Society’s website is: “Preparing Asians and Americans for a shared future.” The “shared future” is that of unrestrained plutocracy, sold with sweeteners, maintained with debt, and enforced with bombs.

Notes

[1] For example former New Zealand Labour Minister Mike Moore is a long time enthusiast for a “Pacific community” and was rewarded for his conversion from “socialism” to free trade by being made head of the World Trade Organization. He is currently New Zealand Ambassador to the USA. His globalist credentials include membership of the Trilateral Commission.
[2] “Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Office of the US Trade Representative, http://www.ustr.gov/tpp
[3] “Outlines of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” ibid.
[4] “The United States in the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/fact-sheets/2011/november/united-states-trans-pacific-partnership
[5] E Roosevelt, As He Saw It (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946), p. 35.
[6] E Roosevelt, ibid.
[7] “The United States in the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” op. cit.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] TPP Watch, http://tppwatch.org/2011/10/16/trans-pacific-partnership-papers-remain-secret-for-four-years-after-deal/
[11] Trilateral Commission, http://www.trilateral.org/
[12] K Kim, “Obama: Outlines of TransPacific Partnership Reached,” Global Post, November 14, 2011, http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111114/obama-outlines-transpacific-partnership-trade-de
[13] The Trilateral Commission, “About the Organization,” http://www.trilateral.org/about.htm
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid..
[16] B K Gordon, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Rise of China: What Japan Joining the TPP Means for the Region,” Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs, November 7, 2011, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/136647/bernard-k-gordon/the-trans-pacific-partnership-and-the-rise-of-china
[17] Ibid.
[18] Rudd speaking to the Asia Society Austral Asia Centre, June 6, 2008; reported in The Australian, June 7, 08, et al. See the report on Rudd at the Asia Society Australasia Centre’s website: http://www.asiasociety.org.au/speeches/speeches_current/r155_PM_Rudd_AD2008.html
[19] Asia Society, “About,” http://www.asiasociety.org/about/mission.html
[20] In the course of his address David Rockefeller referred to Kissinger as his “dear friend” and Asia Society Chairman Richard Holbrooke as his “old friend”.


K R Bolton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social and Political Research, and an assistant editor of the peer reviewed journal Ab Aeterno. Recent publications include 'Trotskyism and the Anti-Family Agenda,' CKR website, Sociology Dept., Moscow State University (October 2009); 'Rivalry over water resources as a potential cause of conflict in Asia,' Journal of Social Political and Economic Studies, and Russia and China: an approaching conflict?, Vol. 35, No. 1, Spring 2010; Vol. 34, no. 2, Summer 2009. Read more articles by .


Joan Veon: One World Government (video posted below).


Saturday, November 12, 2011

America's Pacific Century Pivot - A Pirouette In The Potomac Two-Step?

Following up to an earlier SiFM post titled: "The Re-adjustment Bureau 2.0", illustrated the aspect of Australia's self appointed role in the Pacific region.



A recent Bloomberg article covered the efforts of Russia, Georgia and Abkhazia's respective diplomatic outreach to sovereign South Pacific island nations, a source of chagrin to Australia's Pacific Parliamentary Secretary, Richard Marles, who exclaimed "What this boils down to is Russia taking advantage of very small, pretty vulnerable countries to pursue agendas which have very little to do with the Pacific".

One could much ask Richard Marles the same question, with regards to the reports of US marines that have been sanctioned for garrison in the Northern Territory of Australia, much to the displeasure of many Australians.


China is not a threat but US policy may well be
November 12, 2011

LETTERS
US Marines, perform a formal raising and lowering of the flag.

Lest more die ...US marines at the US embassy in Canberra. Photo: Marina Neil

Is it time to rethink the terms of our insurance policy with the US (''US Marine base for Darwin'', November 11)? Participating in US invasions of a number of countries in the past 50 years has not increased our security or won us friends. Allowing the setting up of an American base in Darwin aimed at China is putting at risk our future prosperity and friendship with that country. In the long term China is far more important to us economically than the US, a country which is now suffering the dire effects of its continuous commitments to overseas wars.

Increasing the number of American bases on Australian soil on the basis of a possible Chinese invasion seems to be driven by a totally wrong-headed fear.

In its entire history, China, unlike the US, has never launched attacks on far-away countries. They have rarely gone to war. Rather they have been carved up and suffered incursions by foreign powers. No wonder they feel they need a stronger army. China has more sense than to waste its national wealth on military excursions. Blind Freddy can see what war does to an economy.

Ironically China is inadvertently supporting the US war effort by propping up the ailing US economy with loans. China has no need to go to war as they have no problem extending their ownership of foreign resources by simply buying them in the market place.

Do we continue to participate in US wars, or do we concentrate on becoming a successful independent country, a country which has the capacity to develop a peace-loving culture based on higher values.

Curtis Levy Birchgrove


Troops in Darwin bad for stability

Not satisfied with Australian troops fighting and dying in US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and before that Vietnam, and having US spy bases on our shores making Australia a target for America's enemies, the US now wants to permanently base its troops in Darwin.

It may have escaped the notice of some in Washington that Australia is not yet a US state. This is a proposition that can only make our region less stable by heightening tensions with China, our major trading partner. For whose benefit? Not Australia's.

Paul Pearce Bronte

Hey, Mr Obama and Ms Gillard, please let us finish the present wars if we can, before we start the next one.

Richard Manuell Frenchs Forest

If Peter Garrett was the defence minister would US forces be given the nod?

Allan Gibson Cherrybrook

Remembrance Day was tarnished by the announcement that US marines are to be based in Darwin.

The government continues to slavishly support the US, by sending troops to the unwinnable war in Afghanistan, opposing Palestine becoming a member of the UN and UNESCO, and now sending a very unfriendly message to our Asia-Pacific neighbours by supporting this increased US military presence.

Michael Fox Pacific Palms

What an announcement on Armistice Day. Will it stop the boats?

Barry Hartshorn Wahroonga

We are in Afghanistan for one reason only and that is the American alliance. This is also why we went into Vietnam and Iraq, and has nothing to do with Afghanistan. If we want the US to help us in our hour of need, we must maintain a profile as a loyal ally deserving of protection. Both the government and the opposition support this approach.

Whether or not you agree with this policy, it is a serious one which should be argued on its merits instead of being obfuscated by pious rhetoric about bringing freedom and democracy to Afghanistan.

As with any other insurance policy, premiums must be paid regularly so we will follow the Americans into future ventures when they ask us to join them.

Cavan Hogue Umina Beach

Ask the people of Okinawa and other parts of Japan, and of any other Pacific country forced to put up with US troops, about their experience before we agree to accept any marines onto our soil (especially without a similar Aussie base being established on US mainland soil).

They will tell you about the arrogance, then about the prostitution and sleaze, and about the rape of civilian women and girls, and more.

Militarily, we do not need the US anywhere near our country. It attracts danger to us, rather than deter it.

Have some sense, please and allow us our national integrity.

Go home, US military.

Jim Kable Caves Beach

Will American marines based in Australia be subject to Australian laws or will they demand immunity from prosecution for all crimes, including rape and murder, as they have in other countries that they occupy?

John Weiley Broken Head

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/letters/china-is-not-a-threat-but-us-policy-may-well-be-20111111-1nc0k.html#ixzz1dUcrIxtS

The hardworking folk at the 'foggy bottom' are extensively
building on these existing color coordinated themes- as if perfecting a tricky and death defying dance maneuver with multiple diplomatic partners; the aims of re-calibrating, re-hashing and re-iterating the talking points of the "Pacific century", "pivots" in foreign policy which the U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had broadly outlined in her essay published in Novembers issue of Foreign Policy and subsequently expanded on her Nov. 10th 2011 speech at East-West center, the eve of the Asia Pacific Cooperation (APEC) summit, held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

It remains to be seen whether this episode of 'dancing with the stars' actually heralds in any concrete and promising results.

(Video of East-West speech posted below)







A columnist  in Strategic Culture online journal portrayed the current and unfolding APEC summit as 'power play'.

The full excerpt of the article:
Asia-Pacific: New Theatre of Power Play
Aurobinda MAHAPATRA (India) | 12.11.2011 | 08:18

The 19th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Hawaiian island of Oahu will certainly throw up new challenges as well as opportunities.

Aurobinda Mahapatra: Strategic Culture Columnist

"The contours of the emerging power play in Asia Pacific will be mainly threefold: trade, strategic alliances and clashes over the values governing nation states… Among the three, the urgent attention will be given to trade [...]
With the shifting of power centre from west to east, the coming years will also witness shifting of strategies and alliances. In this emerging matrix, besides the US, the other global players like Russia, India and China have to play greater roles towards maintaining the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region.
"

The global theatre of power play will shift to the region stretching from the land linking Indian subcontinent to the Pacific rim countries including the Americas with diverse economic potentials, political set ups and strategic ambitions. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s speech at East-West Center in Hawaii, on 10 November 2011, on the eve of the APEC summit serves a prelude to the forthcoming US strategies in the region, which will most likely be received with caution by other countries like India, Russia and China, as there are prospects of clash of interests among the members of the grouping and among other players in the region.

Hilary Clinton defined in very clear terms delineated the rising US interests in the Asia-Pacific region. She called the Asia-Pacific as the ‘pivot point’ and “the world’s strategic and economic centre of gravity will be the Asia-Pacific.” She pointed out, “One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will be to lock in a substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in this region.” She further argued, the US has mostly come out of the burdens imposed on its exchequer by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The international security assistance force is scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan within a few years. This leaves, as Clinton reasoned, the US enough leeway and resources to divert from these areas towards Asia-Pacific, which has not been drastically affected by ongoing global churning, caused by financial crises as clearly visible in Europe. The US will be interested to forge new partnership in this region towards strengthening its economy.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership with having few members of the region such as Chile, New Zealand, Brunei and Singapore will likely be further strengthened by the joining of the US, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Peru. During a visit to Tokyo last year in November, President Obama clearly delineated the US approach towards this power hub, and emphasized that his role as ‘the US’ first Pacific President’ will be multi-vectored in coming months. He declared, “The fortunes of America and the Asia-Pacific have become more closely linked than ever.” The last year has witnessed whirlwind tour of the US diplomats and leaders to this region, with the visits of President Obama, Hilary Clinton, and Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta. This time as well Clinton’s visit will cover a wide array of countries with vast and diverse political set ups in the region such as Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia, the last one hosting East Asian summit later this month.

The contours of the emerging power play in Asia Pacific will be mainly threefold: trade, strategic alliances and clashes over the values governing nation states… Among the three, the urgent attention will be given to trade. As the global scenario witnessing scattering of old economic and power centres, with the shifting of economic base towards Asia Pacific, increasing attention will be given to this emerging region, which accounts for world’s 44 per cent of world trade, 40 per cent of global population and about 54 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product. The economic growth of the countries in the region has accounted for 70 per cent of global growth in the past decade. While the Euro zone and also the US are grappling with the financial crises, the Asia Pacific region has witnessed steady growth in all these years. Starting from China down to the countries of Australia, New Zealand, or other countries of southeast Asia like Singapore, and even the countries of South America such as Peru, and other countries of this region as well have not suffered as other parts of the globe particularly in Europe or the US. Hence, in the field of trade, the US objective will be to brace up its relations with the regional countries.
This summit will likely witness the strengthening of Trans-Pacific Partnership, with the US in the lead. The US trade objectives may clash with that of China, which has recently raised its tirade against the trade policies of the US. The Chinese official daily Xinhua of 11 November 2001 while analyzing the positives and negatives of the APEC summit urged the US to withdraw its protectionist policies. It quoted Assistant Commerce Minister Yu Jianhua who said, “China hopes the meeting will further promote the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, push forward economic and technology cooperation, oppose trade protectionism.” The US on the other hand has harped on the point that China must appreciate its currency Yuan in order to have fair trade. The emerging trade matrix will likely see increasing tussle between the US and China in the region.

Another important component of this emerging power play is forging or shaping of alliances. The region is full of diversities, with different powers having different strategic objectives. There are numerous fault lines among the players in the region. China has differences with India on issues of border as well as sea dealings. Few months back China sent an official protest to India in order to not to enter into negotiations with Vietnam to explore energy resources in South China Sea. Similarly, China has differences with other South China Sea littoral countries. India has also evinced a keen interest to play a significant role in the region. This month, Asia Young Leaders Summit is being held in New Delhi, where members from 30 countries of Asia-Pacific region will congregate. While India enjoys good relations with Russia, which in turn has good relations with China, it will be interesting to see how the emerging aspirations of the US will influence these alliances.
The regional alliances like Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Ganga-Mekong Cooperation Project (GMC), Bangladesh India Myanmar Sri Lanka Thailand Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) will unlikely remain untouched by the emerging power engagements in this region. Hence, when Clinton during her speech talked about the US interests in the region that spans from ‘the Indian subcontinent to western shores of the Americas,’ it is rather the assertion of emerging US approach in the region. The US has currently about 50,000 troops stationed in Japan and South Korea. There are various contentious issues in the region, ranging from South China Sea to North Korea and many others. China’s insistence on its ‘pacific rise,’ and its policy of ‘harmony and reconciliation,’ will have to go through increasing contestation and rising or breaking or moulding of alliances in the region.

However, the sore point in the emerging matrix will be interrogation of values practiced by nation states. Clinton during her speech said, “We have made very clear our serious concerns about China’s record on human rights.” The whole Asia Pacific region has sheltered different kinds of regimes, with having different kinds of political set ups, which will come under increasing questioning by the US and its allies in coming days. The countries like China, the second largest economy in the world, which has expressed its policy of ‘peaceful rise’ will likely take these statements and policies as unnecessary interference in their internal affairs, while the US will likely use this as a point for drumming support to strengthen and fulfill its objectives in the region. The point that needs emphasis is that the region that is so vast, so diverse, there will be bound to be subtleties in policies and diplomatic maneuvers to reshape the emerging contours of power balance in the region.

With the shifting of power centre from west to east, the coming years will also witness shifting of strategies and alliances. In this emerging matrix, besides the US, the other global players like Russia, India and China have to play greater roles towards maintaining the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region.


Friday, November 04, 2011

IMF Bi-lateral Discussions In Fiji.

Croz Walsh's blog post,  covered the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recent review of Commerce Commission of Fiji. Another component to the IMF consultations in Fiji was with other financial institutions, as outlined in a Fiji Village article.

Fiji TV news segment, highlighted the IMF team leader's (Mr. Koshy Mathai)  perspective of the current and future projections of Fiji's economy. (Video posted below)



The IMF team released a statement at the conclusion of their bi-lateral consultations, which is based on article 4 of the IMF articles of agreement.