April 15th 2006

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Uranium export deal rewards China

EDITORIAL: Globalism: Australia at risk

SPECIAL FEATURE: Sujiatun Camp inmates murdered for their body parts

CANBERRA OBSERVED: What Labor will do about uranium mining

ECONOMICS: Should the Australian dollar fall below US 40 cents . . .

AFTER CYCLONE LARRY: Inadequate infrastructure and disaster insurance

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY: Bid to elevate status of same-sex unions

TAXATION: NSW Liberal MP calls for tax reform for families

FAMILY LAW: Divorcing dads let down again

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Count your fingers after you shake hands / Dragon's share / Moralists with ghoulish interests

REGIONAL ECONOMIC POLICY: A single currency for East Asia? (Part 1)

JAPAN: Quiet revolution in Japan's strategic thinking

SCIENCE: Scientist calls for death to humanity

Superior tradition of social democracy (letter)

Beazley's downside (letter)

BOOKS: DO NOT DISTURB: Is the media failing Australia?, edited by Robert Manne

BOOKS: SHENANIGANS on the Ovens goldfields: the 1859 election, by Antony O'Brien

Books promotion page

Count your fingers after you shake hands / Dragon's share / Moralists with ghoulish interests

by Max Teichmann

News Weekly, April 15, 2006
Count your fingers after you shake hands

This column put the finger on Russia, France, and Germany under Schroeder, as co-operating cheek by jowl with Saddam Hussein, not only before the US-led Coalition of the Willing eventually invaded Iraq, but, most likely, while the conflict has been underway. Needless to say, communist China approved of their various activities, and was doubtless apprised of much of the fine detail.

Now, some of that fine detail is emerging. The Pentagon announced that Moscow had a spy in the US military high command, who passed information to Saddam on the US war plan in the opening days of the invasion of Iraq. This revelation was based on Iraqi documents captured since Saddam's fall.

Said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "We would take very seriously any suggestion that was done, maybe to the detriment of American forces. Definitely we will raise it with the Russian Government" (The Australian, March 27, 2006). Naturally, the Russians denied all knowledge.

The Americans would have to verify the documents weren't forgeries - like the ones of Niger supplying uranium to Iraq, a forgery most likely planted by French intelligence, but one which Blair and the Americans ran with, to their subsequent embarrassment.

Also, we would hope they have, or soon will have, this spy - otherwise he could be a loaded dog, like Major Esterhazy in the Dreyfus case. And, if the US doesn't identify him, it will soon be accused of making the whole thing up. I think Dr Rice would be aware of all these hazards and not be as trusting as was poor Colin Powell.

But The Australian, which featured this report prominently on March 27, must have taken it seriously, for, right next to this item (which came from correspondents in Washington and Moscow), it ran what I'd call an exercise in damage control.

One Michael Evans - in an "analysis" by-line from the London Times - asserted that the tip-offs from the mole were little help to Saddam. Maybe. But that is not the point.

One accepts the Russians having a mole in the US high command - a great achievement, and a par for the course in the global espionage/counter-espionage game - but ... actively co-operating with an enemy of the US is a form of waging proxy war against the US-led Coalition. And, helping a country openly defy UN resolutions on these matters, as it is now trying to help Iran.

We were wrong when we thought the Cold War ended in 1989. Moscow is refusing to accept the result, and is working to reverse it. Putin is not Gorbachev. Moscow is revanchist - publicly deploring her "lost territories", and, while unable physically to reoccupy them, is striving to control them, or quarantine them from Western allegiances, by whatever means.

As previously, under Brezhnev and Khrushchev, Russia has re-entered the Middle East and Muslim affairs, bent upon driving out the Anglo-Americans. Like Brezhnev, etc, she is selling arms worldwide, irrespective of supposed embargoes, and is making special sweetheart deals with enemies of America - and of America's friends. She is forging a close alliance with China, including a military alliance - an alliance that is much closer than the one Russia achieved much earlier.

Russia has obviously reactivated her global espionage network; but, most importantly, she has been working closely with two of America's oldest allies, and NATO members, France and Germany, to, hopefully, destroy Anglo-American power and influence in the Middle East, and beyond. This was an achievement the pre-1989 communist Russia never brought off. With Iran now on the boil, we're going to need a lot of damage-control pieces from The Australian, to cover this most dramatic change in the Balance of Power ...

To turn to former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who is in a way part of the preceding narrative, we mentioned earlier his new job as chairman of a Russian-German consortium building a gas pipeline ("Tidbit", Straws in the Wind, News Weekly, March 4, 2006).

Now, after much delay, a German court is going to look at his new job with Gazprom. He accepted the new job in December, less than a month after the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)'s Angela Merkel replaced him as Chancellor. He had helped launch the Gazprom consortium, sending its pipeline under the Baltic sea: to cut out Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine - and he attended the signing ceremony 10 days before the German election.

In agreeing to put this pipeline through the Baltic, he, as German Chancellor, was helping Putin to bring pressure on some of these "lost territories" of Russia.

In office, he struck up a close alliance with Putin, who attended his birthday parties and helped him adopt a Russian girl. Now Schroeder works for the Russians officially.

One remembers his close co-operation with Chirac and Putin to see the UN Security Council did nothing about Iraq, and helped them stall proceedings for eight months, while Saddam made whatever arrangements he wished, e.g., with WMDs. The same strategy was set in place for Iran.

I should add that, since Schroeder and Greens leader and Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, were ejected from office, it seems as though they have never been in German politics. German voters and former colleagues don't want to think about them.

But the interesting question for us is: how far was it possible for the Americans and British to conceal vital strategic and political information from their beloved NATO allies, Germany and France, who are also key actors in the EU, along with Britain? I hope, for all our sakes, they manage to hang on to a few secrets.

Dragon's share

On Saturday, March 25, a rally and march of Victoria's Falun Gong took place. The procession, quite a respectable size, was peaceful, wound its way around Melbourne's Swanston Street to the Parliament, where it held its rally. It was to celebrate nine million people leaving the Chinese Communist Party. On the Sunday, at the Cardinal Knox Centre in Albert Street, the group showed its documentary, Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.

The day for the demo was a good choice, for there were lots of tourists - from overseas, interstate and the country regions - at the Commonwealth Games who were walking around town.

But, I picked up no mention of this demo or of any of the activities of the Falun Gong, even though we were hearing and reading of nothing but China in the media, including the imminent visit of China's Premier Wen Jiabao.

But there was a close connection. The Chinese premier, in an important speech, reproduced in whole or in part by our papers, said that he hoped that a number of matters would not be raised during his visit: Taiwan, Tibet, human rights matters, and Falun Gong. Our media has been particularly sympathetic; the US or Britain should never expect such sensitivity.

The Falun Gong were speaking of a secret concentration camp in the Sujiatun district, Shenyang city, in north-east China, where over 6,000 practitioners have been detained. Practitioners have been moved from other camps, e.g., the Masanjia Labour Pamp and the Dabei Second Prison, and from north-eastern and central China ... to what is now the main camp.

Falun Gong is saying that the Sujiatun concentration camp has a crematorium to dispose of bodies, with many doctors on site. So far, they say, no detainee has managed to leave the camp alive. Before cremation, the internal organs are all removed and sold. (See News Weekly's special feature on pages 12-13).

Now this may be all be malarky, but the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture (and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment) - one Manfred Nowak - has launched an investigation.

China has denied everything - angrily. She could easily settle matters by inviting outsiders, including journalists, to visit these camps and sites. But, as with the Iranians, we are told we have to take their word for this. And we are expected to silence her critics, on her behalf.

Interestingly, China has at the same time announced a wholesale cleanup of the practice of organ transplants. Two million patients in China need organ transplants every year. But donated organs only provide for 20,000. For example, more than 90 per cent of the 7-8,000 kidneys transplanted each year in China come from executed persons.

Knowing how the Chinese (and the Russian) state is run, communist and post-communist party leaders and their relatives, leading bureaucrats and the rich, would be getting the dragon's share of these body parts. A black market might be expected, and exists, through most of Eurasia. In China, executions run at 10,000 a year, and I see no early end - I nearly said "therefore" - to capital punishment. People like the Falun Gong might appear as fair game.

Now, this story is still breaking - but, imagine if these speculations and reports, and expressions of UN interest were focussing on similar practices alleged to be operating in Iraq or Afghanistan, or anywhere the Americans were in charge! How many ABC Lateline or Foreign Correspondent programs would we now have? How many special BBC reports and "investigations" would we not possess, to guide our thinking?

But our poor Falun Gong people shouldn't think they are unnoticed and neither should Beijing.

There must be something I'm missing. I could not, and still cannot, see what was menacing about an indigenous lifestyle movement with quasi-religious attitudes: a permanent feature of Asian countries, and of others.

Now, Falun Gong people have been driven or entrapped into anti-communism. They could not be accused, as have Christians and Islamic people, of having been implanted and inspired by outside forces, e.g., the Vatican, Canterbury, Mecca.

It has been a desperately intolerant exercise by Beijing, and even at this late date, China should rethink and cut her losses.

Moralists with ghoulish interests

One doesn't have to waste too many words on Australia's multicultural broadcaster SBS; on its ever-more intrusive, ever-more adolescent and virtually ubiquitous smut and snigger; its gross propaganda; nor on its politicised documentaries, which ruin one interesting or important subject after another. One just has to attend to its often grotesque news programs. Melbourne Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt is tireless on these matters, though it is a bit like trying to repair a broken drain.

But an exposé on India and its number of unwanted girl children, and the frequency with which they are being aborted, with the illegal use of ultrasound scans to establish the gender of the foetus, got a long run recently and this activity is a scandal - as is the dowry system. The imbalance in births of male as against female children is starting to stand out in different areas of India. Practised nationwide, it could finish up creating severe social problems.

All that is true, but discussion here happens to coincide with our new closer relations with India. This flies in the face of SBS's long-term ideal, communist China - the Left's permanent love object, be it under Mao or whoever. As long as it is communist and opposes the West.

But China has always conducted such practices - by law - and there soon could be as many as 200 million surplus Chinese males. Beijing is just starting to worry about what those surplus males are going to get up to - politically and socially.

Abortion and infanticide

But abortion and infanticide have been the basis of China's population policies for decades, and still are, and SBS knows this full well. But there is not much electronic blubbering about the unwanted Chinese girls or the aborted female foetuses; or the embarrassment of the women who produce the wrong gender. China is different, apparently.

But the crowning hypocrisy! We abort one million babies/foetuses every decade, and SBS and their ilk clearly support the women's right to do this. The babies have no right to life; the fathers have no rights as potential fathers; and other citizens who object are dismissed as puritans, religious maniacs or sexists - whereas they are people simply sickened by the murder of the innocent, and the cruelty and callousness of the hypocrites on our Left.

But sorry - let's get back to the wickedness of the Indians and how they are using ultrasound to detect gender; and to the tragedy of their unwanted children (as against ours - and those countless others in this humane, prosperous West).

So ... ban uranium shipments to India.

  • Max Teichmann

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