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MAY 2021

Mike Pezzullo And Giving War A Chance

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Mike Pezzullo And Giving War A Chance

One of Australia’s two Canberra Class LHDs conducting exercises with a U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke Class DDG and Nimitz Class CVN. Although possible, it is hard to image Australia committing significant naval assets to a U.S. strike against China. Australia has far too much to lose and little to gain from such a scenario.

Written by Dr. Binoy Kampmark.

Those madly titillated by conflict have become bolder of late in the corridors of the isolated Australian capital.  In such spaces, insanity can be nurtured with a sickening attention to detail, much of it fictitious.  One of the most powerful bureaucrats of the Australian Public Service has made a contribution to a war dance he regards as virtually unavoidable.  Mike Pezzullo, Home Affairs Secretary, is keen to shed some blood in combating the China Menace if needed.

The outcome of this wish is always vicarious: others die so that bureaucrats may shuffle papers, consult minutes and scoff the scotch.  This is then justified on the basis that sacrifices are necessary to defend that indefinable property called freedom.

The Secretary’s ANZAC Day message to his staff was stocked with the usual rhetorical trinkets of the barely closeted warmonger.  “Today, as free nations again hear the beating drums and watch worryingly the militarisation of issues that we had, until recent years, thought unlikely to be catalysts for war, let us continue to search unceasingly for the chance for peace while bracing again, yet again, for the curse of war”.

War is never caused by these “free nations”; it is provoked by those nasty unfree ones who go around stirring trouble.  Resorting to war “might well be folly, but the greater folly is to wish away the curse by refusing to give it thought and attention, as if in so doing, war might leave us be, forgetting us perhaps.”

In wishing to summon the dogs of war, Pezzullo drew upon a person who was, for all his faults, a formidable general who knew a thing or two about combat.  US Army General Douglas MacArthur, in his address to the West Point Military academy in 1962, explained to cadets that “their mission was to train to fight and, when called upon, to win their nation’s wars – all is entrusted to others”.  One imagines Pezzullo, flushed with pride in using lines best reserved for a military veteran rather than a fantasising civilian.

The bureaucrat’s poor use of history was much in evidence.  Having pinched from MacArthur, he duly did the same to US President Dwight D. Eisenhower who, in 1953, “rallied his fellow Americans to the danger posed by the amassing of Soviet military power, and the new risks of military aggression”.  (He forgets that the same president also warned of the paranoia and dangers associated with the Military-Industrial complex.)  Eisenhower was a good egg, having taken to instilling in “free nations the conviction that as long as there persists tyranny’s threat to freedom they must remain armed, strong and ready for war, even as they lament the course of war.”  The blood-readied formula for Pezzullo: “In a world of perpetual tension and dread, the drums of war beat – sometimes faintly and distantly, and at other times more loudly and ever closer.”

When MacArthur found himself relieved by US President Harry S. Truman, a statement of priorities was made.  The General had been keen to expand the Korean conflict with the use of atomic weaponry, there being no credible substitute for victory.  In fairness to him, Truman had also given him ideas, wishing to threaten the potential use of atomic-capable B-29s should the need arise.  MacArthur saw that need, claiming that 30 to 50 tactical atomic bombs would have done the trick; Truman did not, preferring the bluff.  Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison might do well to consider a similar option regarding Pezzullo, who is making his far from negligible contribution to incitement.

In the context of Australian history, few military engagements have been necessary for existentially sound reasons.  There have been no marauding armies of Huns, Mongols or Tartars to threaten the country, laying waste to villages and towns, and initiating hearty pogroms.  (The same cannot be said for the Indigenous populace, doomed the moment European settlement became a sanguinary reality of massacre, disease and dispossession.)

A pity it is that a more mature constellation of thinkers have not impressed themselves in the field of Australian strategic thinking.  Instead, Australian soldiers have been fighting and dying in a range of operations in profound ignorance of their geography and history.  These recruits supply the needless cannon fodder for empires not their own, placating the officialdom of foreign capitals.

The Australia-China policy, and the insistence on placing Australia on the warpath, is a suicidal wish linked to Washington and based on an alliance that is dangerously unconditional and misplaced.  Unfortunately for Australia’s military and defence establishment, all such alliances, however friendly, remain putatively conditional.  Matters of strategy, resources, and realities, will intrude.

The fall of Singapore to the forces of Imperial Japan in February 1942 was one such jarring reality.  The guarantees of security made by Britain to Australia, assumed since the late eighteenth century, were shredded by a stunningly bold campaign waged by soldiers who had been woefully underestimated.  British naval power was blunted as Japanese prowess grew.  The reassurances of the Empire were dashed by surrender.  “This was a quintessential failure of an alliance,” wrote academic strategist Hugh White in 2017, “and of a strategic policy based on alliances.”

White, far more sensible than Pezzullo on this score, speaks of the Singapore disaster as a telling lesson for Australian strategists.  It was a failure that revealed “an inability to recognise and accept fundamental shifts in the distribution of wealth and power which were transforming both the globe and the regional strategic orders, and undercutting Britain’s place in them.”

The parallels with the US are all too clear.  From 1996 to the mid-2000s, bipartisan politics seemed to accept that Australian security could well be left in the broad, clasping hands of Washington.  But be wary of the shifting patterns of power, warns White, for “America is weaker economically, diplomatically and military than it has been since World War Two, and yet we rely on it more.”

Another factor also lubricates such slavish refusals to accept the changed order of things.  Ignorance is the less than golden raw material that precedes misconceptions.  In time, these misconceptions become policy platforms.  The Australian Public Service (APS) is sorely lacking in much expertise that might sharpen a coherent focus towards the Indo-Pacific.  In 2019, an “independent review” of the APS characteristically tooted that, “The ongoing shift in global economic weight to Asia presents tremendous opportunities for Australia, along with risks and significant challenges.”

Tritely, the review, titled Public Service Our Future, notes that the APS needed to “deepen its experience in, and knowledge of, Asia.”  Those behind making policy required “a more sophisticated understanding of the region, as well as Asian language proficiency.”

For almost a decade now, there has been much chatter about needing to beef up the stock of knowledge of that most complex of continents.  The 2012 Asian Century White Paper was almost banal in stating that Australia was essentially flying blind in the region; there was a pressing need to “broaden and deepen our understanding of Asian cultures and language, to become more Asia literate.”  But the APS review found something quite different: “Coordinated and sustained action to deepen Asia-relevant capabilities was not taken then, and it remains a skills gap across the APS.”  Pezzullo’s barking remarks suggest that illiteracy regarding Asia has become intellectually fashionable and monumentally dangerous.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

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29 comments

  1. Albert Pike says:

    Chance for what (?) – ‘we want Moshiach now’. Fat chance…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnhMntRHqpo

      1. Albert Pike says:

        Yes ‘he’ saved ‘his’ father in law (two you know who’s):
        ‘The Rabbi Saved by Hitler’s Soldiers: Rebbe Joseph Isaac Schneersohn and his astonishing rescue’

        https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27799244-the-rabbi-saved-by-hitler-s-soldiers
        https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1447620734i/27799244._UY630_SR1200,630_.jpg

        The Nazi Who Saved the Lubavitcher Rebbe
        The surprising story of how the sixth Chabad rabbi made it out of Warsaw
        https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/arts-letters/articles/nazi-saved-lubavitcher-rebbe

      2. cechas vodobenikov says:

        nazi blayt exposing her rat like personality

        1. Supreme Blyat says:

          Butthurt moskal following me makes me happy :)

    1. Ulli says:

      Menachem Mendel Schneerson was a very nice person. What he has done for the Jews is unbelievable. I think in his effect you can only compare him with Luther, Calvin and Zwingli.

      1. cechas vodobenikov says:

        Luther?
        ” a true christian can never hate a Jew; this is one of the advantages of christianity”. Nickolai Berdayaev

  2. Ashok Varma says:

    The problem is that Australia is a insane poodle of the declining US with a very low intellectual grasp of global power shifts. Mike Pezzullo is just echoing his masters uneducated voice, the racist idiot Peter Dutton, crazy uneducated policeman from racist Queensland. Australia barks a lot and is nothing in Geo-strategic terms.

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      1. Ashok Varma says:

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    2. viktor ziv says:

      I had a dream. The dream where all warmongers take their guns, rifles and lead our sons, brothers, fathers, daughters, sisters and moms into the war. I had a dream where those warmongers are not sitting in a chairs far away from war but lead the war with example. Oh, I had a dream….

  3. Lone Ranger says:

    If the U.S. keeps pushing it will be the most humiliating defeat for them since Vietnam.

    1. Ashok Varma says:

      US is burning and like all destructive criminal thugs gang is stoking tensions around the globe. They think Russia is a softer target and can be pried from an alliance with China and Iran. I do not believe that Russia is that naive. US is run by absolutely demented crazies living in the past. The world is changing by the hour. Modi has brought disaster to India and will not last, so the puppet QUAD is also toothless and racist penal colony Australia with a population less than LA is just barking mad.

    2. Tommy Jensen says:

      We are not pushing it. Ukraine want it, Poland want it, Romania, Bulgaria, Japan, Taiwan and behind Europe also want it. We dont want it.
      So what can an innocent American do? We cant do nothing man, until the moment everybody on the globe are crying for our help.

      1. Lone Ranger says:

        Sarcasm detected…

      2. Steve Standley says:

        It is the favorite excuse of US Empire: Humanitarianism. The US fosters small disenfranchised factions in countries around the world, gives them arms and supports them with propaganda, so that they enter the fray with a cloak of humanitarianism. It’s being done in the far east right now in places like Myanmar and Thailand, and of course to China. The US is fighting a really creepy war on the down-low with the rest of the world, and it always calls it humanitarianism; it always calls it intervening with tyrants, but it’s the creepiest, most deceitful, underhanded, and evil methodology. That’s the nature of this globalist pursuit. It’s abject evil.

      3. cechas vodobenikov says:

        amerikan help=torture and genocide….who asks for this except the dictators you install?

  4. johnny rotten says:

    Australia will go everywhere the Americans and the British will fight, the only time he had a premier with autonomous ideas, who wanted to withdraw from Vietnam, the queen fired him and the CIA appropriated the Australian government forever.

  5. Roy Sonman says:

    Australia has for quite sometime been caught between their Jew masters and the Chinese. Proximity, geography, will win out, but before hand, the Jews will bleed Australians dry of wealth and more of the blood of their children in war–Iran, etc.

    Be reminded that the Jews, via their tool Churchill, sacrificed lakes of blood of Australian children in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey for the purpose of stealing and subjugating for the Jews Palestine.

    If I were Australian, I’d be working on my Mandarin.

  6. Veritas Vincit says:

    US-Australian coordination to engineer a Cold War against China (and Russia as part of containment efforts) is a more recent aspect of the sequential wars (conforming to aggression) of the US-NATO-allied bloc (of which Australia is a key participant). The hybrid warfare domain is active while preparations for a kinetic stage of conflict are accelerating.

    – “there is a warfighting domain in which there is already activity underway” (Major General Gus McLachlan in a statement to Australian media during the US-Australian Talisman-Sabre military exercises)

    – “The strategic objective is to go after China across the full spectrum. The tactical objective is to forge an anti-China front across the West: another instance of encirclement, hybrid war-style, focused on economic war. This will imply a concerted offensive, trying to enforce embargoes and trying to block regional markets to Chinese companies. Lawfare will be the norm. Even freezing Chinese assets in the US is not a far-fetched proposition anymore. Every possible Silk Road branch-out – on the energy front, ports, the Health Silk Road, digital interconnection – will be strategically targeted….. “Containment” will go into overdrive. (China updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’, by Pepe Escobar, May 19, 2020)

    – “The report [‘Australia-Japan-US Maritime Cooperation’ by Andrew Shearer (a senior figure in the Australian foreign policy and military establishment), Centre for Strategic and International Studies] makes clear [the] main “hard security” objective is to prepare for war with China. The Pentagon’s preoccupation with “freedom of navigation” and China’s A2/AD [Anti-Access/Area Denial] systems flows directly from its military strategy for war with China—Air Sea Battle..”(CSIS report argues for strong US-Japan-Australia alliance against China, WSWS, 9 April 2016), etc…….

    Relations between China and Australia will largely be determined by broader developments. US sponsored DPP moves towards separatism are moves towards war against the PRC (as defined by the Anti-Secession Law). Reports also indicate the Biden administration will escalate actions against the DPRK (US ‘denuclearisation’ demands being incompatible with the deterrent/security requirements of the DPRK. The US is also largely replicating the pre-Iraq war format of seeking to degrade retaliatory capabilities while engaging in economic strangulation towards a ‘regime change’ objective with a similar kinetic stage likely). As a result there is an increasing probability of war (that would involve China).

    If a US-led war at some stage occurs, as Australia will involve its military forces it will then suffer more than economic losses. Importantly, US military simulations establish an unfavourable outcome for the US and its allies in a war scenario against China.

    1. Tommy Jensen says:

      We are not engineering any war. We are just refusing to be China’s whipping boys and preserve our freedom!
      Every time they are trying to serve free noodles from Chinese Charity in my soup kitchen I refuse.
      I say NO, here is my limit. This is the way I am fighting for our country and our Constitution, and this is what all Americans also should do, the same thing.

      1. Veritas Vincit says:

        You are welcome to believe whatever makes you feel better. If I am wrong you have little cause for fear. If I am correct you will have cause for concern. You will not have too long to wait to find out.

      2. cechas vodobenikov says:

        LGBT amercan’t lose all wars–except vs black lies matter…your trash markets show China owns you—everything there says “made in China”
        LOL

    2. Veritas Vincit says:

      p2. In addition to clear US-allied preparations for a potential (arguably probable) war against China (that would involve Australia), it is worth noting other concurrent developing conflicts that have the potential to transition to broader conflagrations. The US-NATO-allied bloc is engaged in forms of warfare against the Russian Federation (the US-NATO expansion project to integrate a regime changed Ukraine into the bloc, involving offensive operations against ethnically Russian populations of the Donbass region with military exercises simulating offensive operations against Crimea). Importantly, Turkey (a NATO member) is involved in Ukrainian war preparations. Israeli military exercises indicate recognition their offensive actions have the potential to result in a multi-front regional conflict (the ‘axis of resistance’ also preparing for this potential scenario).

      There is also likely to be a broader religious component (Holy War) due to Israeli moves to change the status of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
      -“The gathering holy war. Slowly, Israel is transforming a settler-colonial project against the Palestinians into a battle with the wider Islamic world. It is turning a territorial conflict into a holy war.” (How the Rule of the Rabbis Is Fueling a Holy War in Israel, by Jonathan Cook, Antiwar, February 23, 2019)

      – ‘Hamas says Israeli violations at al-Aqsa will ignite all-out regional war’, PressTV, Oct 21, 2019;, etc……

      The foundations of another world war should be evident. Indeed, the many sequential US-led war (of aggression) are progressing towards becoming one. While the prevention of such a situation remains a priority, it is nonetheless becoming more probable (almost inevitable according to various assessments).

      Note: Many do not understand the horror of war they inflict on other nations until they experience it. It is likely the Australians who have embraced war will soon understand.

  7. Veritas Vincit says:

    US moves to enhance the offensive capabilities of Taiwan logically will progress to a situation of war against China (when limits of restraint are exceeded). Reports showing Taiwan seeks to act an allied force projection platform with the corresponding development of missile strike capabilities (against ‘mainland strategic targets’) will require an eventual response by the PLA. When this scenario occurs, the US (and its involved allies that would include Australia) will also logically experience the consequences of its actions.

  8. disTheeNot says:

    Australian thinking has always been done by the murikans and by queen betty’s court. The Aussies since their beginning have been cannon-fodder for the brits. They never gotten beyond their status as a penal colony. Nothing changes. Aussies vs CN—-a mouse trying to tackle a dragon. Good luck with that. CN, for its part, will brush them away like one brushes a fly away. Sooner or later the land of OZ will settle into today’s reality….or disappear.

  9. cechas vodobenikov says:

    now US coast guard in Black Sea guarding coast of Hawaii….
    “amerikans are the living refutation of the cartesian cogito ergo sum. amerikans do not think yet they are. the amerikan mind puerile, primitive lacks characteristic form and is therefore open to any standardization”. Julius Evola

  10. SnowCatzor says:

    The Aussies have nothing to gain from being adversarial with China, they do it because uncle Sam is doing it. Australians are a lot like the Poles, completely enamored with idea of America as a ‘beacon of virtue and freedoms’, or at least as a protector of the western world.

    These views are highly outdated for today’s America however, if they were ever really relevant to begin with. At least since the end of WWII anyway. Today’s America is a corrupt, dying empire desperately trying to avoid the fate of the British empire, and every other global superpower before it.

  11. chris chuba says:

    First you have to hate an entire group of people and then you can wage total war against them.
    What are these ‘war drums’ that this general is talking about?

    Prior to WW2, we had Germany occupy Austria and Czechoslovakia, boom-boom-boom – check.
    Japan had invaded and occupied Korea and the entire coast of China, boom-boom-boom – check.
    Italy invaded and occupied Albania, Libya, and Ethiopia.

    Those were war drums. What is China doing today that comes even remotely close to any of that?
    These people are deranged.

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