lord, even though my name isn’t mr percy, i’m asking for mercy

Pindo Sec Def & Australian PM threaten NK & China
Peter Symonds, WSWS, Jun 3 2017

Mad Dog Mattis and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull used the annual Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore to again demand that China compel NK to abandon its nuclear and missile programs. Both men insisted that the “international rules-based order” based on the hegemony of Pindo imperialism in Asia must be maintained and warned China not to try to assert its regional influence. The Dialogue, the premier Asian conference on strategic and defence issues, is taking place amid acute tensions on the Korean Peninsula as Pindostan threatens war against NK and continues a relentless military build-up in the area. The Pindosi navy began joint exercises with Japan in the Sea of Japan this week involving two aircraft carriers, the Vinson and the Reagan, together with their strike groups and Japanese warships, a helicopter carrier and a destroyer. While the Pentagon downplayed the drill as routine, it was the first involving two aircraft carriers off the Korean Peninsula for 20 years and the first ever involving Japanese naval vessels. A third aircraft carrier strike group led by the Nimitz is reportedly heading to the area. The Pindosi military also has been engaged in extensive war games with SK in recent months, involving naval and air forces and up to 300,000 troops.

In his speech today in Singapore, Mad Dog Mattis denounced NK’s long record of alleged criminal activity and “illegal” nuclear and missile tests. He declared that the Pyongyang regime was “a clear and present danger,” that is an imminent threat to “all of us.” In comments directed in particular at China, he added, “it is therefore imperative that we all do our part” to ensure the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. While noting China’s efforts to force NK to denuclearise, Mattis reiterated Trump’s remark that the policy of “strategic patience” was over. In other words, Pindostan will not wait indefinitely for NK to bow to its demands, but use military force to deal with the Pyongyang regime. In a warning directed as much at Beijing as Pyongyang, Trump tweeted earlier this year that if China did not deal with NK, then Pindostan would “solve the problem without them.” Mad Dog also warned Beijing that Pindostan would not tolerate China’s land reclamation activities in the South China Sea and was committed to “freedom of navigation” in the disputed waters. He bluntly accused China of having “disregard for international law” and “contempt for other nation’s interests.” His comments come less than a week after the Pindo navy provocatively sent a guided missile destroyer inside the 12-nautical-mile limit claimed by China around Mischief Reef in the South China Sea. Mad Dog accused China of “undermining the rules-based order that has benefited all countries represented here today including, and especially, China.”

His repeated reference to the post-WW2 “rules-based order” as the basis for “peace and prosperity” in the Asia Pacific is a complete fraud. After defeating Japan, Pindostan reinforced its dominance by fighting two brutal neocolonial wars that cost the lives of millions, in Korea and Vietnam, as well as carrying out coups and backing military dictatorships throughout the region. Pindo imperialism only finally stabilised its strategic position in Asia through its rapprochement with China in 1972. Amid the continuing economic breakdown following the 2008 global financial crisis, all the post-war structures, including in Asia, are rapidly disintegrating. Confronted with its historic decline, Pindo imperialism is resorting with increasing recklessness to military means to try to shore up its hegemony and undermine its rivals, especially China and Russia. The danger of a Pindo-led war on NK is driven not by the regime’s human rights abuses and the so-called threat posed by its limited nuclear arsenal, but by Washington’s determination to weaken Beijing’s strategic position by attacking its only formal ally. Mad Dog made clear that the US response to the “challenges” in the Asia Pacific was overwhelmingly a military one. He outlined the strengthening of Pindo alliances and strategic partnerships throughout the region, the boosting of the military capacities of its allies and partners, and, above all, the Pentagon’s own military build-up. Mad Dog boasted:

Currently, 60% of all US navy ships, 55% of army forces, and about two-thirds of fleet marine forces are assigned to PACOM AOR. Soon, 60% of overseas tactical aviation assets will be assigned to this theatre.

Australian PM Turnbull, who gave the opening keynote address to the Dialogue yesterday, set the stage for Mattis and echoed the central thrust of the defence secretary’s speech. A few days earlier, Turnbull had met with John McCain, who in an extraordinary speech in Sydney, heavily criticised Trump but insisted that Pindostan was “counting on Australia and our allies and our other allies to stick with us.” In what amounted to a menacing threat, McCain declared:

No-one has ever got rich betting against Pindostan, my friends, and now is not a good time to start.

Taking his cue from McCain, Turnbull warned China over NK and called on the assembled government representatives to stand by Pindosi imperialism as the guarantor of regional stability. In a rather blunt criticism, he implied that China was seeking to bring Asia under its thrall through a present-day version of the Monroe Doctrine, which brought Latin America under Pindosi domination in the nineteenth century. Turnbull warned Beijing:

A coercive China would find its neighbours resenting demands they cede their autonomy and strategic space and look to counterweight Beijing’s power by bolstering alliances and partnerships, between themselves and especially Pindostan.

He urged Beijing “to build trust and cooperation,” saying there was “no better or more urgent opportunity” than to “use its great leverage” to “curb the unlawful, reckless and dangerous conduct of NK.” Turnbull described as “disappointing” aspects of the Trump administration’s policies: its withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which many Asian countries regarded as an economic boon, and more recently from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. However, he added:

We should take care not to rush to interpret an intent to engage on different terms as one not to engage at all.

The Australian PM declared he was confident that “this administration and those that follow it” will recognise that Pindo interests in the Indo-Pacific “demand more Pindo engagement, not less.” McCain’s trip in Australia took place in the midst of a deep political crisis in Washington over foreign policy, reflected in the intensifying moves against the Trump administration over its alleged links to Russia. His message to look past the present Trump administration and “stick with us,” reflected in Turnbull’s remarks, was both an appeal and a warning. Within the Trump administration, the great danger is that it will resort to military provocations and conflict as a means of not only of bringing allies into line, but also of trying to extricate itself from the worsening political morass over domestic and foreign policy.

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