A Compendium of Thoughts on Chaos and The Land Between Seas. That We Live On.
While you’re listening to the Royal Commission into Child Abuse currently running in NSW, spare a thought for people dealing with the images coming out of Syria.
Pretty gruesome although I do not necessarily agree with the axiom ‘you can’t say you didn’t know.’
Viewing images is one thing. Being certain of the perpetrator is quite another. Especially thousands of miles away.
The Balkan wars had their own agendas and necessary tragedies and I am not sure anyone well versed in international conflict is going to wade in other than to condemn – again – the endless suffering of innocent civilians.
The Fourth Estate has often used tragedy as a way to: inform others re: global conflict, depict suffering, or marshall support for a cause. The problem being that war images are rarely without inherent strategic ‘agendas’.
The UN is currently investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Russia disagrees.
Whether or not this is a ‘Western’ agenda or a human rights agenda isn’t exactly clear, as the war has been framed either as a war on extremists or a war between proxy powers. (The West v Russia/China. See Brzezinski.)
This strategic alignment might be clear vis a vis a the North Korean situation/South Korea’s THAAD deployment, but a little less so when determining the rationale for Trudeau’s/ASSK’s/Obama’s Chinese visits.
The point being: do journalists wish us to pressure the UN, boycott Russia, find ISIS, or launch an investigation into Western bombing thus pressuring US and aligned powers?
After all, I was under the assumption that that was precisely why we sent journalists to the Middle East.
Showing us images of carnage doesn’t inform us but often helps expedite already agreed upon foreign policy decisions. (See My Lai and the American withdrawal from Vietnam.)
Perhaps if the 4th Estate was a little more transparent about what they do know, we could both do their job for them and stop the conflict. Without the guilt trip.
It is war porn.
And don’t forget it.
Australia is currently in the midst of political debate regarding Chinese political donations to major parties and politicians, with a slew of reports detailing Chinese influence on our pollies. Alongside those reports, came more revelations on cyber hacking by foreign elements and a security conference in Canberra.
Large donations by US or Western companies haven’t had the same focus – but the EU has Apple in its sights, so perhaps Josh Earnest was only stating the obvious when he inadvertently referred to America’s economic interests in the Asia-Pacific.
(Perhaps real estate prices for Australia’s Y Gen are the real issue but there was a government inquiry into that.)
Meanwhile, there was a blast at the Chinese embassy in Tashkent (or was it Bishkek?) which might sort of be similar to the Chinese Serbia scenario years ago or maybe not.
And for those of you sick of ‘Chinese’ or ‘American’ interests – 18C is being debated in Parliament. As well as a plebiscite on gay marriage.
Perhaps the Donald Trump distraction tool has reached its used by date.
So OB is off to Laos and China. Kick arse temple decoration in the former. I hope he flies into Luang Prabang. Takes a trip down the Nam Ou. Sticky rices the hell up.
Anyway, Laos was the backdoor for American bombs in the Vietnam War, so the turn around in American policy continues apace.
I am allegedly meant to insert smarmy comments here but I’ll instead focus on the trends in APEC and ASEAN policy making and ask the question: is this unexpected? Does this accord with other decisions in these regional bodies?
Ah the bigger picture.