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Erik is a public policy professional and owner of the online training course in democracy and civic action: www.3ptraining.com.au The Blog …explores ways to create a sustainable and just community. Explores how that community can be best protected at all levels including social policy/economics/ military. The Book Erik’s autobiography is a humorous read about serious things. It concerns living in the bush, wilderness, home education, spirituality, and activism. Finding Home is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble and all good e-book sellers.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Ferguson Shooting - what Russians and African Americans have in common

Ukrainian army advancing on rebel positions? No, US police advancing on unarmed protesters in Ferguson

Australia’s Prime Minister has said two things of significance in recent months. One, we can all expect less freedom. Two, we are at war with Russia. Meanwhile our closest ally appears to be at war with itself. Um…does anyone see a problem?

Let’s start with Russia. When a nation state seeks to force a change to the foreign policy of another nation state through sanctions this is a form of warfare. Australia has imposed $400 million worth of sanctions on Russia and appears eager to get involved in Ukraine. Abbott has been talking about giving them weapons. For Australia, a nation with 39 operational battle tanks, that’s pretty brave. As a Japanese defence official once commented “We have 500 tanks and call ourselves a peace keeping force. You have 50 tanks and call yourselves an army”. Translation: “shut up Australia you are not important”. It’s comical. Police forces in the US have more armour than the Australian army.

The crime of which Mr Abbott has, unilaterally and without parliamentary debate, convicted Russian eaters of Australian beef, is support for the Donetsk republic. Um…why does a small South Pacific country care about a small self-proclaimed East European/Russian/Eurasian republic? Perhaps Russia, the world’s second greatest nuclear power but deprived of Australian beef, will by these sanctions, be forced to disarm those naughty terrorists.

Now that my government is telling me who my enemies are I thought I should hear from them. Since I couldn’t find a reliable Western World news source I thought I would let them speak for themselves. This is a revealing interview.
You may need to expand the screen to get the subtitles http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/watershed-press-conference-by-top.html 
Turns out the Donetsk guys don’t want their country fracked for shale gas, want control of their economy and natural resources, and want the freedom to choose their own future. They don’t want to be in debt to the West. They just want to be left alone. No wonder they are being shelled.

When I studied political science I was in a conservative faculty headed by an expat American liberal and I didn’t learn much. However in the course of development studies they did let slip that Western banks extract orders of magnitude more money from developing countries through interest payments on loans to various regimes than Western countries contribute in foreign aid. They also mentioned that the loans mostly came from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and that the IMF always imposed “structural adjustment”. That sounded interesting so I wandered off the official reading list in pursuit of the truth. Too bad for Ukraine they are about to be structurally adjusted.

Structural adjustment IMF style requires that all subsidies and most public spending be cut, public utilities sold off, national assets handed over to multinational companies, and open slather foreign investment allowed. Having been plundered and privatised the economy typically struggles and countries can be forced into a debt/povery cycle unless granted debt relief. Furthermore, all loan repayments and all trade must be made in US dollars. This creates an indirect form of taxation because poor countries can’t readily buy US dollars and the exchange rate is poor.
This ‘structural adjustment’ pushed many Latin American countries into poverty and rebellion during the '70's and '80's. The US then provided military aid to quash public unrest including torture training the in ‘School of the America’s’ as it was then known. Governments that resisted external control and wished to retain control of their national resources or trade in their own currency tended to experience coups – Venezuela, Chile, Argentina; or destabilisation –  Nicaragua; or support for repressive regimes against social democratic movements – Honduras, Guatemala, et al. Other countries have experienced bombing/invasion – Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Iran, (threatened and intended) for seeking to control their own economies. If these measures don’t work US foreign policy prescribes containment, sanctions, and demonisation – Russia.

Libya was destroyed as a nation state after its leadership proposed a pan African currency and trade zone. Iraq was destroyed as a nation state after its leadership began selling oil in Euros. Russia also refuses to sell its oil and gas exclusively in US dollars. Suddenly there are destabilisation operations, nuclear missiles and NATO military bases on its door step, and sanctions. Donetsk meanwhile has committed two crimes unforgiveable to the US. First it refuses to hate Russia, and second it wants to control its own resources. Unsurprisingly it is at war.
For a primer on how this works see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC3tINgWfQE   

For some informed commentary on this from a former Reagan administration staffer see here: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/09/14/washingtons-war-russia-paul-craig-roberts-2/

Funny thing is, lots of towns in the US are being structuraly adjusted too; most notably Detroit.

Ukrainians meanwhile seem to have forgotten that IMF loans are not aid, they are loans. The really sinister aspect though to the IMF package in Ukraine is the insistence that Ukraine open its borders to GM crops. This lays bare the US foreign policy agenda. The Ukraine/Russian plains and the mountain grasses of the other nations of the 20/40 window are the genetic seed store of the world. It is from here that most of the world’s genetic diversity in grains comes from. The US wheat belt was first sown with Russian wheat. Ukraine was formerly the breadbasket of the Russian empire. It is one of the reasons Hitler was keen to conquer it. GM crops pose a direct threat to the food security of those countries within pollen blowing/bee flying distance of anywhere that has GM cereal crops. It is for that reason that Putin has banned them in Russia. Monsanto is more dangerous to Russia than any Ukrainian nationalist.

Russia has threatened nuclear war.

Can’t see the Donetsk boys accepting Monsanto and can’t help feeling that Australia is well out of its depth here. Which brings us back to the other thing our Prime Minister said; that we can all expect less freedom. Nice of him to at least let us know. If this has something to do with the USA we should have a look at the USA.

So what about our closest ally? Since 9/11 US police have become incresingly militarised. This has included handing over large volumes of ex Iraqi military equipment including heavy weapons, armoured vehicles, and resistant vehicles. In other words, stuff custom made to crush a violent insurgency/uprising by people armed with the stuff American citizens have at their disposal. Regular police are increasingly being trained and armed for full scale war on civilian populations with essentially all legal niceties removed. Coincidence?

So in what civilised not tin pot dictatorship/third world/Islamofascist state is it OK to shoot an unarmed teenager and leave his body to bleed on the street for four hours? Oh, that would be Ferguson USA, or pretty much any town with a significant non-white population.

For some commentary on this from a conservative Republican see here:http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/06/10/john-whitehead-guest-column-washington-arming-public/

US police are being trained and equipped to treat citizenry as insurgents. Meanwhile Abbott tells Australia to expect less freedom. Note the graffiti.
If Australia wants to support freedom we might usefully become an example of a civil society that does not live in fear of its own government. Like a friend who stops a friend getting into a car drunk, Australia can start talking truth to the American people. This does not mean breaking with the alliance (which we don’t actually have). It means actually caring enough to be authentic. While we are at it, let’s kick out Monsanto and share seeds with Russia.


This is a mine resistant vehicle of the Ukrainian army. Used for defeating the Russians.


This is a mine resistant vehicle of the local US Sheriff's Department. Used for defeating persons suspected of possessing marijuana and persons who object to being shot by their government.









  1. You are a nutter.

  2. You are my kind of nutter. Truth shall prevail. Love never fails. Be strengthened Erik