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Beazley, Richardson, Dibb are old men pushing sexy, ignorant group thinks.

Beazley, Richardson, Dibb are old men pushing sexy, ignorant group thinks.

On 28 May a Defending Australia Summit was held in Sydney by “The Australian Newspaper” which showcased 3 former Australian defence officials who seemed confused by their old age and indulged in ignorant and historically romantic group think.

 

Kim Beazley is a former Australian Minister of Defence and Ambassador to the US, Denis Richardson is a former head of the Department of Defence and Ambassador to the US, and Paul Dibb is a former Department of Defence official in charge of strategy.

 

All have spent nearly all their working lives in Canberra or Washington talking to people with similar ideas and sources of information. None of them have any significant economic, business or industry experience. Despite this, all extolled the virtues of building AUKUS submarines – which, magically, will now be newly designed 12000 ton behemoths compared with 7000 tons for present-day US nuclear submarines and about 3000 tones for present-day Collins class conventional subs — in the South Australia city of Adelaide.

 

It was strange that Richardson said that Australia should not buy foreign defence equipment and then try to modify the stuff to suit its own needs because of the past disasters in this area, but then enthusiastically endorsed AUKUS modified submarines saying that Australia is a “can do nation” and winning is “simply a question of will and perseverance” — as if it was a pep talk for a national football team!

 

All three agreed that Australia would need to join the US in any war with China over Taiwan. One reason seems to be that Australia needs to defend “freedom of navigation” and its international trade routes by fighting China, even though 40% of Australia’s exports go to China (12% to Japan, 7% to South Korea).

 

Another reason is that the Australia-US alliance would collapse if Australia did not join in fighting China, even though Beazley said that the US “has never been more dependent on Australia” than now.

 

It was strange that Dibb said that Japan would not join in the fight against China, and did not suggest that this would affect the US-Japan alliance .

 

Then there was the issue of skilled workers to construct the AUKUS submarines. Australian Submarine Agency director-general Jonathan Mead said his biggest concern over the AUKUS program was finding and training the people to deliver it. “Workforce has always been identified as the No. 1 issue.”

 

“The Australian” journalist Cameron Stewart – once again with no economic, business or industry experience – is an AUKUS enthusiast. The next day he wrote:

 

“South Australia’s Premier, Peter Malinauskas, has sent a timely message to both sides of politics in Canberra that the AUKUS plan to build nuclear submarines will succeed only if it is front of mind in every area of government policy. Malinauskas wants AUKUS to be a consideration in deliberations over the level of Australia’s skilled migration program. But more than that, he is urging the federal government to think bigger on AUKUS, beyond the defence portfolio, and to understand how an enterprise of this size and ambition will touch almost every major area of public policy. When we think about housing, what does it mean for AUKUS? When we think about infrastructure, what does that mean for AUKUS? When we think about education, health, or innovation policy: AUKUS has implications that reach into every portfolio.” The size and ambition of the plan to build five SSN AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines in Adelaide, and maintain three US Virginia-class submarines, is beyond anything attempted in Australia. Malinauskas warns now is not the time to cut migration levels when SA’s defence sector will need to more than double its workforce of 14,000 in defence and associated industries by the 2040s. Foreign nationals cannot work on the AUKUS project for reasons of national security, which means the submarine enterprise will recruit those extra 15,000.”

 

Given the time frames, why not just encourage Australians “to think about” having “big sex for big AUKUS” and put – a la Sparta – the children in special schools to became future AUKUS sex and construction workers?

Jewish women Yvonne Engelman and Nina Bassat are Russia-type PR pawns?

Jewish women Yvonne Engelman and Nina Bassat are Russia-type PR pawns?

President Putin banned the word “war” and insisted that Russians use the term “special military operation” to describe his February 2022 invasion of Ukraine because he wanted to manipulate the public’s thinking and divert it from reality. I lived in Russia until October 2022 – for eight months after the invasion – and can attest how manipulating speech facilitates manipulation of thinking. It works slowly and insidiously.

 

There is now widespread support for the war against Ukraine. Tatiana Stanovaya has written that “critiquing the war makes you an enemy of the state (and by extension, the public)” and liable to be branded a neo-Nazi or Fascist and be jailed.

 

Josh Frydenberg and several Australian Jewish organizations, such as the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), are grossly exaggerating Australian antisemitism – which is mostly the result of events in Gaza – to divert attention from Israeli brutality. They want Australians to feel un-Australian and akin to a Hitler admirer if they focus their minds on a government in Israel – and it seems a society — that wants to purge Gaza of Palestinians.

 

Frydenberg and Co. are happy to manipulate thinking in Australia because their true loyalties are to Israel. I have written about my personal experience of this with Colin Rubenstein of the AIJAC. See:  https://www.jeffschubert.com/me-and-colin-rubenstein-an-australian-traitor/

 

Frydenberg slickly uses the PR trick of getting a couple of vulnerable people who have genuinely suffered — in this case in the Holocaust – as pawns to try to focus attention on “bad Australia” and away from Gaza.

 

Yvonne Engelman said: “My message is: get involved. Stand up and say, ‘this is wrong. We don’t want this in our country’.” Nina Bassett says: “Open your eyes and open your mind and open your heart … speak out on the right side of history”.

 

If Engelman and Bassett really and honestly think there will be a Holocaust in Australia, they would be sensible to leave!

 

Finally, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Richard Marles, says he is “deeply uncomfortable” with the phrase “from the river to the sea” because it “is a phrase which calls for only one state” and it undermined bipartisan support for a two-state solution. Oh! So, now Australians will soon only support something other than a “two-state” solution at the risk of criminal prosecution?

 

In addition to living in Russia, I have lived and worked in China where my book on dictatorship is banned, and I would be happy to explain to Marles – if he has the guts — why he would be happy working in a dictatorship! See my book on Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Josef Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Kemal Ataturk: https://www.jeffschubert.com/

 

My other internet sites are: https://russianeconomicreform.ru/  and https://shanghai-ifc.org/

 

 Jeff Schubert

WhatsApp and Telegram:  +855 6157 6627

  

Bad News for Ukraine

Bad News for Ukraine!

Several interesting pieces of news about Russia have emerged in recent days which add to my view that Ukraine has little chance of a victory.

 

FIRSTLY, Tatiana Stanovaya, in “Russia’s Pro-Putin Elites”, Foreign Affairs, 9 May 2024 (see (https://www.foreignaffairs.com/russia/russias-pro-putin-elites ),

reports on the present elite mood in Moscow when it comes to Ukraine. I left Russia in October 2022, eight months after the invasion of Ukraine, to speak at an Indian Government seminar in New Delhi on Russia-China relations (see

https://russianeconomicreform.ru/2022/10/china-russia-in-era-of-xi-and-putin/ )

but the defiant and aggressive mood in Moscow does not surprise me.

 

Stanovaya writes: “Judging by off-the-record talks I had with contacts in Moscow, it became clear that nobody is looking for an exit strategy from the war or an opportunity to initiate dialogue with the West; nobody is concerned with persuading the West to ease sanctions; nobody is hungry for compromise with Ukraine, at least under its current leadership. There is no conjecture about what would constitute an acceptable deal to end this conflict. Instead, the Russian leadership and elites are proceeding on the basis that Russia cannot afford to lose the war, and to ensure it does not, the country must keep up the pressure on Ukraine, for no matter how long.”

 

“The exact nature of that victory remains vague in the minds of Russian elites, who instead seem to find more safety in Russia’s posture of aggression alone. The war has become a goal in and of itself, serving multiple purposes: it staves off defeat, creates new opportunities for career growth and business ventures, and boosts the economy. Critiquing the war makes you an enemy of the state (and by extension, the public) and hoping for its imminent end is too wishful; a Russian defeat, after all, could make many in the country vulnerable to being held accountable for complicity in war crimes perpetrated in Ukraine.”

 

“More than two years of war have made the Russian elites more anti-Western and anti-Ukrainian than ever, binding them to Putin as their sole assurance of survival. The anti-Western narrative is now pervasive across all segments of the elite, including the siloviki (members of the security services), technocrats within the administration, former liberals now serving Putin, and hawks. The very idea of compromise with the West is repellent to many in the elite. Putin’s re-election in March has reinforced among many the belief that change is impossible, fostering a sense of both powerlessness and dependence. In this situation, all one can do is accept reality: a Russia that is repressive, aggressive, jingoistic, and merciless. It’s not that elites trust Putin — it’s that to survive they have to reconcile themselves to the implacable, tightening grasp of the regime. Those who hoped to simply wait out this period of repression and zealotry now realize that there is no returning to the way things were. The only escape from despair and hopelessness that seems viable requires them to join the ranks of Putin’s devotees: becoming pro-war, radically anti-Western, and often gleeful about anything that hints at the crumbling of the U.S.-led international rules-based order.”

 

“The war and Putin’s escalating confrontation with the West are foreclosing the space for internal divisions and disagreements. In matters of national security and geopolitics, Putin has managed to forge an impressively homogenous political landscape where nothing can challenge the commitment to the war in Ukraine and hostility to the West. The regime has denied the dissenting segment of society—which accounts for approximately 25 percent of the population, a significant proportion, according to the surveys conducted by the Levada Center, Russia’s most reliable independent polling agency—any meaningful political infrastructure and the ability to express antiwar sentiment without risking imprisonment.”

 

“A centripetal force is bearing down on Russia, with the Kremlin exerting greater control over state and society. Both the Russian elite and the broader public desire peace, but strictly on terms favorable to Russia—ideally with the de facto capitulation of Ukraine. They want Russia at a minimum to evade suffering a strategic defeat in Ukraine, but what constitutes an acceptable victory remains a matter of debate. Even to that nebulous end, they appear ready to fight forever.”

 

“Some observers argue that Ukraine should acknowledge that it cannot retake all the territories conquered by Russia and that Kyiv should be willing to cede land to Moscow to pave the way to peace. But that may not be enough for the Kremlin and the elites that serve it. Putin’s dispute over territory is a strategy rather than a final objective; his ultimate goal is not the seizure of a few provinces but the disbanding of Ukraine as a state in its present political form.”

 

“As Russian leaders weigh which nuclear options might best deter the West from taking bolder steps in Ukraine, many within the Russian elite welcome the escalation. ‘How does Europe not understand this?’ one Moscow source in policymaking circles told me. There’s noticeable excitement among the elites and the military: the prospect of engaging NATO soldiers is far more motivating than confronting Ukrainians. For Putin, any form of intervention would be a welcome scenario.” “Many in Russia are in fact eagerly anticipating the further escalation of the conflict, confident in their country’s invincibility.”

 

“Among Russian elites, the prevailing belief is that only a military defeat or a prolonged, severe financial crisis could halt their country’s momentum. Many Russians see defeating Ukraine as a crucial step in the Kremlin’s anti-Western agenda. Forget territorial gains or even preventing NATO expansion—establishing a political regime in Ukraine that is friendly to Russia, thereby denying the West a beachhead on Ukrainian soil, would mark a significant defeat for the West.”

 

“Attempting to appease Putin is futile, and wishfully seeking for fragmentation within Russia is unlikely to be effective as long as the country remains financially robust, maintains the upper hand over Ukraine, and secures total domestic control. The authorities are rapidly becoming more hawkish, the elites are increasingly embracing Putin’s war agenda, and the broader society is unable (or indeed unwilling) to exert the kind of pressure that might push Russia in a different directions. Western leaders face the unenviable task of determining how to engage with a Russia that has grown increasingly self-confident, bold, and radical.”

 

SECONDLY, Prime Minister Mishustin has announced some new ministerial appointments. Acting Deputy PM and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov has been tapped to become First Deputy Prime Minister. “The upgraded status of the Deputy PM in charge of industry is due to the importance of ensuring technological leadership, as stated in the new May decree signed by President,” government spokesman Boris Belyakov explained. The new government will also see a new Deputy PM position created, with the official specifically tasked with the development of transport and logistics.

 

I have previously written about Russia’s new attempts at “technological leadership” under the heading “Russia’s Crazy New Religion of Economic Sovereignty”. See: https://www.etterretningen.no/2023/05/04/russias-crazy-new-religion-of-economic-sovereignty/

 

I argue that “at the present time Russian nationalism – and fears – are driving the ideas of technological and economic sovereignty. It may take a few years, but eventually the folly will become very clear.” In the short term, however, the focus on this will give some gains and provide the confidence building illusion that Russia is on the right track to greatness and “invincibility” – and so further boosting the unwillingness to compromise on Ukraine. 

 

The appointment of hard-line economist Andrey Belousov to replace Sergei Shoigu as Defence Minister fits in with this view, as the position is mainly concerned with ensuring that the military has the resources that it needs rather than with direct combat operations. An historical example may be the appointment of Albert Speer, who was Adolf Hitler’s architect, to the position of Germany’s Armaments Minister — which brought positive results for Germany.

 

Overall, I retain my view about Russia’s economic future which I wrote six months ago on https://russianeconomicreform.ru/

 

I wrote: “Since February 2022 Russia has increasingly turned inward in political, social and economic terms. At the same time, Russia’s top leaders – and some important supporters – seem to think that Russians have some unique characteristics and talents that will allow an extreme focus on self to thrive in a complex economic and technological world; and also both influence and attract others. While this may appear to be so in the short-term because of Russia’s generally successful efforts at macroeconomic control, rich natural resources, internal propaganda and implicit threats to use nuclear weapons, this thinking is delusional. The ideological corruption of the education system will reinforce the misguided notion of technological sovereignty; and social and economic life will in the medium-long term move toward stagnation. Moreover, Russia is a country with a declining population which is increasingly ignorant of the wider world, a deteriorating culture, and no solid friends. Little will change while Putin and his thinking hold sway in Russia and present an antagonistic face to the world, and most Ukraine related foreign sanctions remain in place. Russia’s economic and political future is not particularly rosy, but neither is it anything like the 1990’s because of a generally competent bureaucracy and little prospect of regional separation.”