Newsletter No. 30.

Paddle Now                       Newsletter  No.30.

Special forces soldier says China's fake photo is part of 'dirty game' -  Business Insider
Lord of all he surveys!

Leadership 3 minute read. Why are we surprised that the dogs of war, trained to commit acts of violence, having been unlashed, behaved like dogs. Though no doubt, the dogs will be duly punished, justice will not be done.  Their rampage is not the fault of the dogs themselves, but of their handlers and the politicians that told the handlers to unleash them. What else did they expect when they chose to let their dogs run riot alongside a foreign pack, renowned for its aggression and ferocity?

Of course the ultimate responsibility for Australian and New Zealand war crimes against Afghanistan lie with the apathy of their electorates. It was the electors that decided just who should have the responsibility of keeping the dogs and then failed to pay adequate attention to what those keepers were up to.

A month into the new government and not all its decisions are cause for jubilation. We have an interesting situation developing  with  moves to appease the farming community, reiteration of no wealth-tax policy, Nanaia Mahuta signing onto the Five Eye protest over Hong Kong and Jacinda protesting China’s justified (though crudely offensive) protests over Australian war crimes committed on its neighbour’s territory. The fact that Bridges has praised the government’s conformity with Five Eyes demands should raise Jacinda’s sense of alarm. On the other hand it might reassure her that she is on the right track in keeping National voters sympathetic to her government.  

The danger that I see (and the same dynamic will apply to the Democrats in the States) is that Labour, eager to lock its hold on power for eternity, will move too far to the ‘middle’ ground and thereby alienate its left & the Greens. Come the next election, sufficient of the disillusioned lefties will abandon Labour and thus ensure a National victory.

Global Governance.

Another economic bloc that MFAT should not ignore.

Peace & Conciliation.

Oz War Crimes reaction The Australian military (in contrast to New Zealand’s) is not attempting a cover up.  2 minute read.

Expansionist China ANU is the Australian National University that evidently was first to suggest forming the Quad to contain China. Here, an eye-witness lists China’s justification for being peeved by Five Eyes propaganda claims against its territory. 4 minute read

Human Rights & Justice

War in Horn  Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Somalia: what a mess! It started when the League of Nations decided to ignore Mussolini’s attempt to build a Roman empire in feudal Ethiopia. At the end of WWII, when Emperor Haile Selassie returned from his exile in England, he was wooed by the USA that wanted to build a listening station on Ethiopian territory to monitor the Soviet Union. Selassie’s price for the lease was  an army of 40,000 be given modern training and weaponry and a blind eye be turned as Ethiopia annexed Eritrea. In 1974 Selassie was ousted by his now well-armed soldiers and a nominally ‘Marxist’ dictatorship established. The USA had to leave and allied with Somalia. The USSR, believing the world revolution had arrived, poured billions of dollars in aid and weapons to the new (ghastly) model state. The relationship ended when a disillusioned and cash-strapped Gorbachev pulled out. However a super-abundance of US and Soviet weaponry remain and the chaos and the bloodshed has never ceased.

Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea

Location of the Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa.\ September 1961 – 29 May 1991 Eritrean War of Independence

12 September 1974 – 28 May 1991 Ethiopian Civil War

Provisional Military Government of Socialist Ethiopia

13 July 1977 – 15 March 1978 Ethio-Somali War

June 1982 – August 1982 Ethiopian–Somali Border War

Transitional Government of Ethiopia

1992 – Ongoing Oromo conflict

1995 – Ongoing Insurgency in Ogaden

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

6 May 1998 – 25 May 2000 Eritrean–Ethiopian War

7 October 2002 – Ongoing Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa

4 November 2020 – Ongoing Tigray conflict

3 minute read.  

Environment & Climate Change.

Guterres Guterres pleas for action on climate change do not fall entirely on deaf ears.  The full speech is also available from this site. 3 minute read.

National disgrace  A national disgrace. 4 minute read.

Costa Rica  Moves New Zealand conspicuously failed to make. The Costa Ricans, rather than cuddling up to a Great Power, have shown a remarkable independence of thought. 4 minute read.

2 thoughts on “Newsletter No. 30.

  1. Laurie Ross says:

    Thankyou for this excellent newsletter providing a valuable window on the world. The focus on ‘Climate Action: It’s Time to Make Peace with nature’ address by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivers the authoritative statement of the problem and solutions as ‘transformation of the world economy’ to renewable energy, green zero emissions’
    What I cannot understand is: ‘… that the G20 are planning to spend 50% more on sectors linked to fossil fuel production and consumption, than on low carbon energy.’

    The article on Costa Rica ‘…the greenest and happiest country in the world’ is particularly inspiring as a successful example of demilitarisation-actually abolishing the armed forces and redirecting military spending into education and culture. This is a model that New Zealand could easily emulate, as well as the ‘Payment for Environmental Services’ scheme to fund forestation and alleviate poverty, plus Income from tourism for protection and conservation of nature.
    ‘The Brereton Report: the Failure of political and military leadership’ by Michael McKinley courageously reveals false justifications for warfare and exposes the process of demoralisation, dehumanisation and unethical behaviour of the military. Perhaps most significant is the psychological insight that soldiers may ‘..become what they revile and their recourse and refuge is found in blood crazed, self-delighting violence which offends even the criminal essence or war in the first place.’ In addition to hypocrisy and horror, the political military establishment can absolve itself of responsibility for these crimes.

    Surely one way forward is to denounce the whole institution of international warfare and the military/industrial corporations which mass produce, promote, sell and profit from providing weaponry for all countries and non-state militants.
    New Zealand could be a leader like Costa Rica by withdrawing from the degrading culture of violence and warfare, by commitment to demilitarisation especially of the South Pacific which would also be a great boost to decarbonisation in the Climate Crisis. It is now clear for all to see that there are no military solutions to Pandemics or Climate Disaster. Taxpayer funds, employment and economic productivity must be redirected to alleviate poverty, protect the environment, health and social well-being of the people.

  2. Leslie Bravery says:

    Thank you Laurie Ross for a most inspiring summary of the newsletter. Amid the present gloom, doom and horror there is still reason optimism! A safer and more equitable future is possible but we must, without delay, follow the examples and advice of those who allow reason to prevail instead of greed. New Zealand should disarm, abandon violent ‘strategic interest’ alliances, and be intelligent enough to follow Costa Rica’s example.

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