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Hillary to Julia "You take India and I'll take Pakistan", while an ex-Aussie PM says "Enough is enough with the US" Hillary to Julia "You take India and I'll take Pakistan", while an ex-Aussie PM says "Enough is enough with the US"
by Murray Hunter
2012-11-22 10:01:31
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We are now into Hillary Clinton's 2nd day of "blitzkrieg"  in Australia where she is showing her potential presidential charm and vision of dividing up the world just like the "axis" powers tried to do during WWII.

Hillary now wants to "outsource" US cooperation with India to Australia so the US can work to clean up the mess in Pakistan created by clandestine missions and murder of innocent people with their drones. Hillary can't afford Pakistan asking why the US is giving assistance to its rival India, so she innovatively came out with the "outsourcing and encirclement of China" by proxy plan.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her Defense Minister Stephen Smith seemed thrilled to be called upon to play "deputy sheriff " again, and agreed to increase US marine numbers stationed in Australia from 400 to 2,500 by 2014. They also agreed to a spy satellite tracking station to be established in the North as well, but were hesitant about allowing more US ships into Australian ports, in the hope that holding out will get Australia service contracts for the Pacific Fleet in Adelaide. Watch this space!!! 

Defense Minister Stephen Smith is on such a "high" that in a press conference he claimed that the US had listened to his advice about the strategic importance of the Indian ocean.

Meanwhile all the backbiting and unhappiness about Australian defense budget cutbacks have been smoothed over by Defense Minister Smith and US Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich after this website and others reported US unease last Sunday.  Fortunately for all, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Asian Affairs Kurt Campbell had a bout of amnesia and suddenly recalled that the budget cuts were NOT on the agenda.

This is all going on while the Chinese leadership is in transition where Australia is acting like a school kid with the teacher out of the classroom. Last year's AUSMIN meeting riled China and Australia seems to be taking delight when the US is in town of 'rubbing salt on the wound' as far as China is concerned, which is not at ease with the Australia-India defense tie up-scaling. This is going to take a lot of explaining by Australian diplomatic officials to Chinese officials over the coming year to eliminate the tension Australia has caused with their rash behavior with the Hillary show this week.

The new leadership of China now has to deal with an Australia where another former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been "advising" the US to reserve the military option against them", according to Wikileaks cables.

It's just not China that is perturbed about all the childish behavior going on. Former Australian Prime Minister and the original visionary about Australia needing to stamp its place in Asia Paul Keating couldn't bear all the placating between Hillary and Julia and stepped in with some wise advice. Keating warned Julia that she is making the same mistake as conservative and self styled deputy sheriff, former Prime Minister John Howard in just falling over for the US without regard for the consequences throughout the region.

Australia's blind obedience to the US has compromised the region's perception of the country's independence. At the Keith Murdoch Lecture in Melbourne last night Keating said that Australia had been "traded down in the big stroke business" from the days it once played a key role in the creation of the APEC Forum. "Even states like Indonesia are dubious of us (Australia) because they do not see us making our way in the world or their world other than in a manner deferential to other powers, especially the US".

Meanwhile, Obama is getting ready for his Asian trip and ready to go all out for it. Expect a big pep-talk to Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra about boosting US-Thai military cooperation. Thailand is expected to join the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will fly in from Australia on Thursday to solve a few issues about Thailand's disappointment with lack of benefits arising non-NATO ally (MNNA) status before Obama arrives on Sunday. There are a number of covert matters which the US want such as access to the U-tapao airbase. Maybe a new initiative or two will be announced in the trade area to get trade relations back on track. 

On November 19 Obama will then travel onto Burma to meet President Thein Sein, who is perceived as a potential US ally with the country's yearn to become less dependent on China. Obama's last stop is on 20th November in Cambodia to attend the 7th East Asia Summit (EAS) where he will meet with ASEAN leaders and work on stemming the close Cambodia-China alliance, where China is now Cambodia's largest aid donor,  through the EAS platform.

Obama is in a region where China sees herself as a natural leader, and has earned this position through hard work. Obama is coming right up "nose to nose" against China which increases the stakes and risks the escalating into what could be metaphorically called a "cold war" without the political dogma. 

However the United States is no longer the incumbent in the region and cannot dominate the game through aid. in-fact Obama has many fiscal problems at home he has to face upon his return. The rules are different now, and second time round, the Asian region is much wiser. As a consequence his strategy is one of high risk.

What will are about to see is Obama at his best, just like an Olympic 100 meters gold medalist before the start of the final. Suave, focused and confident, and a powerful persuader.

However China is yet to play any cards in retaliation and people forget China is the home of Lao Tzu and Sun Tzu. China is good at their game now with their newly installed young technocrat generation, with a capable resources behind them. For the sake of the US, let's hope Obama has some contingencies up his sleeve.

It seems that this trip is also about Hillary, the statesperson and becoming the first woman president of the United States.
However Australia's persona to the region is in a total shambles. The art of diplomacy is totally missing from the Australian psych.

One must also ask: Did Hillary do "a sting" operation on Australia?

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Emanuel Paparella2012-11-22 14:06:21
“We are now into Hillary Clinton's 2nd day of "blitzkrieg" in Australia where she is showing her potential presidential charm and vision of dividing up the world just like the "axis" powers tried to do during WWII.”

The above is quite a mouthful of a statement and perhaps a few comments on it are necessary. In the first place there is the gratuitous implication that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already started her 2016 presidential campaign and she may be usurping some presidential and Congressional prerogatives to boot. It is after all the president, not the Secretary of State, who presents foreign treaties to Congress which then approves them or vetoes them.

In the second place there is what can be described as an indiscreet comparison with the Axis powers of World War II (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and imperial Japan) to divide the world between them. Really? The obvious insinuation is that some kind of conspiracy just took place in Australia to divide the world up and, most ominously, to contain the rising military might of China, meaning that another cold war is already afoot.

That actually remains to be seen but presently those words quoted above these comments are rather unwise speculations leading to alarmist conclusions contradicted by the plain facts on the ground and not supported by the same rationale for the summit proffered by Secretary Clinton on Wednesday at the AUSMIN communiqué; unless that is, one wants to brand her an outright liar and deceiver, a la Nazi or Fascist, and accord her the same treatment accorded to the US ambassador to the UN Rice by the Republican party.

Here are some relevant facts: the alliance between Australia and the US is decades old and among the strongest in the world. What took place a few days ago was in the context of a regular annual Security Summit, not a conspiracy against China behind closed doors. After Japan and China, the US is Australia’s largest trading partner with $136 billion worth of trading investments. It is interesting that Professor Hunter, a declared expert on trade and entrepreneurship, fails to mention that simple fact. Trade and economic strenght is just as important as military strenght as China has found out after Mao. The US like Australia is by its geographical location and historical role a Pacific power. Australia moreover, like the US, is the outcome of the colonization process initiated by the West in the 15th century and has close ties to the West.

Finally, here are the words of Secretary Clinton transcribed verbatim: "It is up to the US and Australia to lead the way in demonstrating that the strong relationship between us can also help foster strong, healthy relations with China...The entire region will benefit from a peaceful rise of China. We welcome a strong and prosperous China that plans a constructive and greater role in world affairs, but we also want to see China act in very transparent ways that respect international norms and standards (that) follows international law, protects the fundamental freedoms and human rights of its people, of all people. Closer co-operation with China would benefit the entire region so long as there is a level playing field, everybody knows what the rules are and everybody is held to the same standards. China needs to exhibit greater transparency in its ongoing military modernization."

I submit that those statements are perfectly reasonable for those who cherish democracy and democratic methods and, try as one may, they fail to reveal any bellicose intents against China, although it must also be said that China is urged thereby to be more transparent in her armament efforts and play by the same rules as the international community. It remains to be seen whether or not China takes the advice and how the whole Pacific scenario unfolds. I would further suggest that what can be gathered by the Summit that just took place in Australia is that the US, no longer distracted by Iraq, an unnecessary war against one dictator out of the dozens or so around in the world, is now focusing more sharply on a more pressing matter: the Pacific rim around China which is may be a prosperous country presently but has so far failed to democratize and become transparent politically and militarly. If that leads to the start of a new Cold War, it would be most unfortunate, but I would suggest that one cannot extrapolate such an interpretation from the words of Secretary Clinton as quoted above or that of President Barack Obama, for that matter, without revealing what can be characterized as a rather unfair and unbalanced bias toward the US and Australia too.

Murray Hunter2012-11-22 15:44:20
Dear Prof Paparella,
Im glad you appreciated my colourful langauge. It was completely intentional and represents what many people think in the part of the world I live in. Talk is espoused theory. I always prefer to look at the theory in action rather than rhetoric. Stationing US Marine, fighter planes, spy sattelite bases on Australian soil is a worry for a country like China that depends upon resources from that country. So Hillary can say what she likes, battle ready troops are on Australian soil. As an Australian Im put back by the presence of foreign troops on our soil, as I see it interferring with the independence of Australia as a mature nation. You may not accept that arguement but countries that have had foreign troops within their shores are compromised in some way, i.e, in Europe you would know more about this than I would. The view from China is one of encirclement. The US miltary budget is many more times that of China and US armed forces are so much more sophisticated. China's first aircraft carrier does not even have aircraft. Hardly a threat that the US feels must be balanced with the presence of their forces in the region. My metaphors were that of a person trying to warn of the consequences of following a country blindly that carries out acts of aggression on other countries, operates secret prisions, aducts people from the street, undertakes extra-judical killings of its own citizens, and supports Israel in its actions upon Gaza. And Im not alone in warning my compatrates in Australia of the dangers of sacrificing the independence of the coutnry we love. Ex prime minister paul keating and others share this view. So with respect to prof Paparella, maybe you missed the point and intention of this article as one of warning and concern about the independence of a country in the foreign policy they can pursue. For this reason I cannot apoligise for the analogy I ran, and your comments proved my decision right because it caught your attention to the plight of the independence of Australia.

Emanuel Paparella2012-11-22 16:32:46
Dear Professor Hunter,
I hear you, nor have I demanded any apologies for what you proffered. The attractiveness of a magazine like Ovi is that we are all allowed to freely express our opinion without censorship, without impugning the other’s intentions, while remaining at all times civil. Indeed, within free speech, an issue or a theory stands or falls on its own rational merits without consideration of the personal assets or talents of those who present it. As I have written, it remains to be seen whether or not Secretary Clinton’s words are a valid warning or a mere rhetorical ploy a la Nazi as you seem to maintain. As of now,I remain unconvinced however that her political global intentions and therefore that of Barack Obama and the US as a whole is to divide the world as the Nazis and Fascists wanted to do in former years, or for that matter to contain the expansion of China in the Pacific. Best regards.

Emanuel Paparella2012-11-22 17:57:05
A footnote to the above if I may: this may well deserve an in depth analysis with a future contribution but let me ask a pertinent question in any case: would you Professor Hunter consider soviet troops in Hungary and Poland within the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union right after World War II at the same exact level of American troops within the NATO alliance in Western Europe at the same time (and in fact still there)? Are you saying that both were harmful to the independence of the country where those troops were stationed? And if so, does the consent of an ally within an alliance to allow troops on its territory make any ethical and political difference, or is mere action of placing troop on a foreign territory always wrong in and by itself? I ask because in you argumentation such a distinction is nowhere to be seen; it is in fact ignored.

Emanuel Paparella2012-11-22 20:08:20
To put some flesh on the skeleton, so to speak, here are some relevant statistics on US troops on foreign soil: U.S. Armed Forces are stationed in 150 countries. Some of the largest contingents out of a total force of 1,137, 568 (including 84,461 afloat) are 103,700 in Afghanistan, 52,440 in Germany, 35,688 in Japan), the 28,500 in Korea, 9,660 in Italy, and 9,015 in the United Kingdom. Altogether, 77,917 military personnel are located in Europe, 141 in the former Soviet Union, 47,236 in East Asia and the Pacific, 3,362 in North Africa, the Near East, and South Asia, 1,355 in sub-Saharan Africa.

Now, were we to follow your line of argumentation, Professor Hunter, regarding troops on foreign soil being detrimental and even destructive of the national sovereignty of the host country, the US ought to be branded the most tyrannical, territory grabbing, imperialistic colonial power presently on earth. I remain unsure of whether or not you are making that case. But I would suggest that there is another side to this coin and I would also propose that it is slightly less biased and more reasonable and true to the empirical facts and it is this: the US may be there either invited by a host country or by treaty or alliance as a sort of police or guarantor of peace. To which one can legitimately rebut of course: and who appointed you policeman of the world? That is certainly a question around which a legitimate debate can be carried out. However, we don’t need a Machiavelli to tell us that it appears that political power throughout history simply abhors a vacuum and that when that happens a world power usually steps up to the plate, for it is not cheap to be policeman of the world and many lesser powers (those in the EU for example)after a history of colonialism and imperialism of their own do not much relish the task any longer. Be that as it may, let the debate go on.

Murray Hunter2012-11-23 02:06:02
Sadly Prof Paperella you have taken offence to the literal meaning of my metaphor and lost the intended meaning of my article, which tankfully many others did not.
If people dont stand up and point out the tyanny of the US and those that collaborate, freedom of policy will be lost, in this case. My indiscreet comparison to the Axis powers at stirred up emotion for people to think about what is really happening here.

Emanuel Paparella2012-11-23 12:48:28
As already mentioned Professor Hunter, I hear you but I remain unpersuaded about the comparison to the Nazi regime of the present role and intentions of Hillary Clinton and by implication of President Obama and the US while ignoring what is going on as we speak in China vis a vis democracy and transparency. No offence meant and no offence taken personally. Let us therefore agree to disagree. It would have been helpful, however, had you chosen to address the simple question I posed on troops on foreign soil within an alliance pact, thus clarifying your position which remains dubious in my mind at least. Too bad you chose not to.

Murray Hunter2012-11-23 16:42:04
Professor Paparella,

Im not interested in the levels of foreign troop occupying other lands, only those within Australia. Thats what the article is about.
The metaphor about dividing up countries is intended to focus on the policy of US outsourcing jobs in the Indian Ocean to the deputy sheriff - Australia.
Please understand this article is about the stupidity of Australian foreign policy not about foreign troops in far off lands. That is another concern for someone else to write about. The other subtle issue you havent picked up is the "job" Hillary Clinton did to sabotage Australia's Asian pivot. Not too many people can see between the lines to what Hillary actually did in Australia. And you are right the whole thing is about trade.

Emanuel Paparella2012-11-24 03:33:07
Indeed, Professor Hunter, we continue to disagree on the appropriateness of the use of the metaphor of dividing up the world a la Nazi, but I think we can safely say that we agree on one thing, namely that in a democracy the people have the last word and, aside from writing and rhetorical protest, neither I nor you can directly do anything about changing what we like or don’t like until the people have voted and have had their saying; the people can of course decide to keep a stupid government and its stupid treaties, or they may decide to remove it for a more intelligent one. They of course can also decide not to decide and not vote at all, and many do and that may be condidered stupid by some and intelligent by others; that too is part of the democratic process. For the moment, the government that represents them has forged an alliance and an agreement which does not remove its sovereignty in as much as between friends agreements can be changed by mutual consent as the situation changes and foreign troops can be removed if the majority of the people feel they should and vote to that effect.

In any case, you mention that while I failed to get the import of your article on the stupidity of the present Australian government, many got the message. That ought to be good news for you; next time around, having convinced the majority of the people there may well be in place in Australia be a different government more in tune with your views of the desirability or undesirability of an alliance with the US. Meanwhile, as the Romans used to quip: pacta servanta sunt: treaties must be honored. Obviously all of the above applies to democracies. Alas, it does not apply to non democratic countries like China. One may of course trade with China with mutual benefits, but one cannot assume that any treaty with it is the will of the Chinese people. I have a hunch that the majority of Australians know that quite well and may well keep it in mind at the next elections. Time will tell, I suppose.

Murray Hunter2012-11-24 11:29:30
Dear Professor Paparella,
Unfortunately in adversary (or westminter) political systems we have parties that have lost the political philosophies of right and left, capitalist or socilaist. They dont want to change the world just run it. So the electorates choice is tweedle dee and tweedle dumb. Unfortunately I dont have the privalege of voting personally as Im not a resident of the country of my citizenship, dont own property therefore dont have an adress and cant vote. Some people are lucky and can vote, I can only write.

Prof. With the time I have spent working for Government in Asia I dont see that one party systems like Singapore or CXhina are very much less democratic than countries like Australia or the US.
In fact I see some great advantages where one party systems scout around for leadership talent and recruit them. Therefore the quality of govt can be high in terms of people with business policy and technocrat experience, rather than a parliament full of teachers and lawyers, etc. If you are interested in politics you join the party and the one party has many factions just like separate parties in a multi party system. In the US system politics is a game for the rich, as you need money to run for any public office. its sort of democracy for the rich and famous. I guess democracy is something about degree rather than absolute.

At my brother's wedding in Phuket thailand last month there were a number of both Chinese and Australians present. One Australian told me he would die for the right of the two party system. One of the Chinese told me that its a waste of time to be involved in politics and leaves it for people who have the time to know. Some prqactical advice? And I would certainly not think its worth dying for some of the politicians around today.

Finally Professsor Paparella, I dont dissagree with you. The world is full of multiple realities, you are in one, Im sometimes in others. Trues wisdom is seeing and understanding these multiple realities.
Best regards for ThankGiving

Emanuel Paparella2012-11-24 22:08:15
Indeed Murray quite often people find themselves in different universes (e.g., that of the humanities and that of science) and that’s fine as long as they do not impugn each other’s intentions and good will or demonize the one who defends an opposite view, for that would be a sure sign that bias or ignorance may be involved. When I conduct a debate on a particular philosophical issue in one of my classes I assign competing roles by making sure that students defend the position they personally disagree with. When they protest that they cannot be passionate about a position they don’t support I rebut that at the end of the debate they may continue to disagree with the issue they have just defended but one would hope that now they understand it a bit better; and besides, most issues are not worth getting too emotional about or even dying for them. Indeed, I agree, Socrates who died for his ideas, would never have consented to die for the famous clever by half sophists of his time, now represented by our current crop of mediocre politicians. So, as mentioned, let’s agree to continue to disagree and let the debate continue. Emanuel

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