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John Passant

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November 2013



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

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Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

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Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
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Australia’s focus sure is Jakarta

Whistle blowing hero, Edward Snowden

Whistleblowing hero, Edward Snowden, has revealed that Australia’s equivalent of the Stasi has been tracking the calls of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian President and a number of other powerful Indonesian politicians, including Ministers and potential candidates in next year’s presidential election. Not only that, on at least one occasion, according to the ABC, they tried to listen in.

These fools also decided to spy on the wife of the President. No doubt the Indonesian President and his wife are planning terrorist attacks on Australia, or perhaps organising people smuggling. [Sarcasm alert for those who might take this sentence seriously.]

The documents showing this spying occurred are from 2009 but nothing suggests this is a one off and is likely to have been an ongoing operation, possibly until recently when the Australian Embassy spy ring was revealed, again thanks to Edward Snowden. You’d hope the Australian Stasi would have enough sense to stop going through the underwear drawer of the Indonesian President and his wife once those revelations came out.

Our dear leader, Tony Abbott, the flushable turd, is in more trouble than Flash Gordon. This was the man who proclaimed that his foreign policy emphasis would be ‘Jakarta not Geneva’. Well, yes, now we know what he means.

There are a number of reasons why Australia’s focus was going to be Jakarta. First, predictions are that by 2050 it will be the fourth largest economy in the world after China, the US and India. It will want Australian minerals, food and other goods and services in large quantities.

Second, Indonesia is one of the keys to the nonsense of  ‘stopping the boats’ or at least the appearance of doing so. So Abbott’s focus was and is on it (along with the criminal regime running Sri Lanka) to help do that. It won’t and these new revelations could well scuttle any cooperation on asylum seekers for a while. In fact my guess is Indonesia might wreak some havoc on Australia by now facilitating boats leaving.

Third, Indonesia looks as if it might be moving towards China in terms of the imperialist battle in the Pacific between the US with its pivot to Asia against the growing power of China.

For example Indonesia is not one of the countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, an agreement among other things designed to be part of the US containment of China strategy in the region. Neither is China, nor given the extreme free market terms of entry, can it be.

Rather than the TPP, Indonesia is arguing for ASEAN to be the basis of regional trade agreements, including with China.

Australia spying on the Indonesian leadership and no doubt passing on what they learned to the US means that Indonesia might well decide to tilt more towards China as retribution.

International relations ‘cognoscenti’ claim that everyone spies on everyone else.  I doubt that is true for poor and developing countries since the technology involved is expensive if done properly, and counter espionage techniques available to rich countries like Australia and even more so the US would overwhelm, I would have thought, any puny clandestine effort Jakarta might undertake, if it were tempted to do so.

Imperialist nations like the US and Australia have  a much greater capacity to spy on their neighbours, and in the case of the US, the world, than developing countries like Indonesia. And because they are imperialist countries they have not only the wherewithal but also the will to do so to retain and expand their control.

When the working class took power for a short period in Russia in 1917 the Bolshevik government through Trotsky released the secret treaties and negotiations that had been going on between the major powers and Russia pre-October 1917. In doing that Trotsky said something very pertinent to today’s spying furore.  While he is talking about secret diplomacy, the analysis applies too to the spying of imperialist powers on other countries.  He said:

Secret diplomacy is a necessary tool for a propertied minority which is compelled to deceive the majority in order to subject it to its interests. Imperialism, with its dark plans of conquest and its robber alliances and deals, developed the system of secret diplomacy to the highest level. The struggle against the imperialism which is exhausting and destroying the peoples of Europe is at the same time a struggle against capitalist diplomacy, which has cause enough to fear the light of day. The Russian people, and the peoples of Europe and the whole world, should learn the documentary truth about the plans forged in secret by the financiers and industrialists together with their parliamentary and diplomatic agents. The peoples of Europe have paid for the right to this truth with countless sacrifices and universal economic desolation.

He went on to say:

The workers’ and peasants’ Government abolishes secret diplomacy and its intrigues, codes, and lies. We have nothing to hide. Our programme expresses the ardent wishes of millions of workers, soldiers, and peasants. We want the rule of capital to be overthrown as soon as possible. In exposing to the entire world the work of the ruling classes, as expressed in the secret diplomatic documents, we address the workers with the call which forms the unchangeable foundation of our foreign policy: ‘Proletarians of all countries, unite.’

Edward Snowden has exposed a small part of the intrigues and lies of the rulers of the major imperialist country, the US, and allies like Australia. For that he is a hero, showing us the reality of the dirty games imperialism plays with its friends, let alone its enemies.  Indeed, as the spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Parliament shows, imperialism trusts no-one but itself.  It will undermine, even destroy, its friends if they stand in the way of its goals.

It will take a real working class revolution to expose the lies of our rulers in full but Snowden’s brave actions in releasing what he has so far, itself just a small part of the intrigue and duplicity of  the representatives of the one percent, should be lauded throughout the globe by those of us fighting for freedom from the yoke of capital.

A question for you. If this is how Australia’s Stasi treat Indonesia’s President, how do you think they treat us?

The Indonesians now know the reality of Australian imperialism, or rather Snowden has exposed it to the Indonesian masses and to Australians. Tony Abbott’s Jakarta strategy is in tatters. Good.



Pingback from Australia’s focus sure is Jakarta | OzHouse
Time November 18, 2013 at 9:11 pm

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Comment from Ross
Time November 19, 2013 at 6:29 am

Indonesia has recalled its Ambassador to Aust. Really good for trade relations ?

We are too busy being toady boys to British/US Imperialism and not looking after our own interests. Julie Bishop was quite willing to follow the USA in an aggressive stance towards China last year and Abbott wants to sign off on this Trans Pacific Partnership which will make us slaves to multi-nationals.

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