We attended this highly informative and sobering lecture which was hosted by the Pacific Institute of Resource Management at Victoria University of Wellington on Thursday 29 October at 5.30 pm. I highly recommend a listen to this lecture which is now posted at the Pacific Ecologist Website link here
The United States has been the dominant world power since World War II, even prior to USSR break-up, as indicated by more than 70 governments overthrown by the US in that period. The USSR collapse led to a complete reshaping of the European landscape, but at the same time China has emerged as a leading world power, as it had been before the 17th century. In recent years its growing financial and economic strength is transforming not only China, but also laying the foundations for a completely new economic order through a ‘new silk roads’ policy that is accompanied by a network of regional and world-wide agreements. Once again Eurasia is at the heart of what Sir Halford Mackinder in 1904 called the ‘world island’. For the west, these developments will shape the foreseeable future world-wide.
James writes on geopolitical issues with a legal and human rights perspective. He was educated at Canterbury, Victoria and Auckland Universities, and has practised as a barrister in Brisbane since 1984. He publishes in Counterpunch and New Eastern Outlook, and presents to organisations such as the Australian Institute for International Affairs.
The PM’s response to the revelations of the damning inquiry by SIS Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn, (which confirms much of what was in Dirty Politics) comes as no surprise. But while the battle is raging at parliament over the Prime Ministers lack of apology for this latest abuse of power, both sides of the house are busy supporting another spy bill.
A bill expanding the powers of security and intelligence services last night passed its first reading in Parliament just hours after an urgent debate was conducted on the former activities of the Security Intelligence Service (SIS). The Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill was introduced under urgency, and will allow the SIS to conduct surveillance on private properties without a warrant for up to 48 hours.
This Bill is yet another example of the type of legislation that the NZ Law Commissioner warned us against in 1991 (ten years before 9/11) when he said that, “The danger is that States will over-react… [I]t is possible to imagine government officials doing more to destroy democracy in the name of counter-terrorism than is presently likely to be achieved by terrorists themselves.” [NZLC R22 Wellington 1991].