Covid-161

Dan O'Heirity

Have We Finally Seen the Last of Trump in This Election?

Today is Monday 14th December. It is the day, as reported by The Guardian, that the 538 members of the electoral college will cast their ballots meaning that Biden will have been formally recognized as the next president of the United States. However, Trump has done untold damage with is baseless claims of widespread electoral fraud and irregularities. First, there is the fact that he has undermined faith in democratic processes. The Guardian story reports that 77% of Republicans believe that there was wide spread voter fraud. Trump has filed over fifty legal challenges to the election result and all but one has been summarily thrown out of court. And yet over three quarters of Republicans believe Trump’s lies about the election process. Trump’s baseless claims about electoral fraud have also led to violence in the streets. The Guardian reports a number of clashes including a violent confrontation between far right groups and counter protesters. A second Guardian story reports in detail on clashes in Washington between groups of pro-Trump Proud Boys protesters and Antifa counter protesters. There were brawls in the street and four people were taken to hospital with life threatening stab wounds. Meanwhile SBS News reports that Black Lives Matter signs in front of churches were set on fire during the night. The Proud Boys may well be to blame. All of this is in stark contrast to a time when Al Gore graciously conceded an election to George Bush, telling voters that the country had to come first and that American needed to stand behind the new president.

Biden Will Try to Rally the Free World but Will It Work?

Everything is connected. I don’t mean this in conspiracy theorist terms. I meant that China deliberately infecting the world with Covid-19 started a chain of events that is extremely difficult to unravel. However, one fact is abundantly clear. The world order is changing, new strategic, political and economic relationships are being formed and China is now looked upon with distrust. As reported by The Guardian, Biden has been talking of unifying liberal democracies around the world with America, perhaps leading the way in the “restoration project”. I would suggest reading the ABC News story in full but the heart of it is that the world is now a complicated and messy place and the days when the United States could lead the way are long past. Just look at what has happened with their recent presidential election. The United States is hardly in a position to point to its own democratic processes as a beacon of what a liberal democracy can achieve. Furthermore, there are significant complications for Biden’s vision. For example, would the United States invite Taiwan into some newly formed group of “liberal democracies”. Such an act would “enrage China”. There is an article in ABC News that adds a number of other dimensions to the problem of establishing a “world order”. The main point made is that there has never been a “global liberal world order”. Rather, and this is a fine point, there has been an American led world order that suited the agendas of liberal democracies. Secondly, the world has changed. China is on the rise and it has become more authoritarian in the process to the point of demanding that countries do as Beijing says. This is the real problem that needs to be addressed by, for example, liberal democracies forming stronger alliances. However, I would say that this will lead to China and Russia on the one side and the United States, Australia, New Zealand and some European countries on the other side.

Sky News Is Slinging Mud at Democrats in the Hope That Some Will Stick

Sky News is unashamedly pro Trump but even Sky News seems to have given up on trying to peddle false claims about widespread electoral fraud. Instead, Sky News has, in this story, decided to try to link Democrat politicians with a Chinese spy. This is a horribly obvious tactic on the part of Sky News. Basically, sling mud and hope that some of it sticks.

The heart of the story is that a Chinese female spy known as “Fang Fang” insinuated herself into the life of Democrat Congressman Eric Smalwell. Without putting too fine a point on it, Sky News says that there may have been sexual relations between the two of them. There are further accusations about “Fang Fang” have sexual relations with other Democrat politicians and mayors. Now to the mud slinging. The report makes some vague and unsubstantiated claims that the the Democrat party has somehow been compromised by China and that there Chinese spies have “infiltrated” the Democrat party across different levels of the organization. The report concludes with some video footage of Professor Di Dongsheng speaking to an audience that could be anywhere. The message Sky News wants us to take away is that Beijing could not coerce Trump into doing its bidding but Biden is another story.

The Chinese Communist Party Has Infiltrated Companies and Governments Around the World

Sky News has reported on the leak of a Chinese database that contains detailed information about almost 2 million communist party members. Details include, name, party position and, in some cases, phone numbers. Sky News comes to the conclusion that Chinese Communist Part members have infiltrated governments and companies around the world. Sky News goes as far as too say that “party branches” are embedded in governments and companies. However, towards the end of the video Sky News is at pains to point out that they have no evidence of spying on the part of these party members.

The reason we should be concerned is that as members of the Chinese Communist Party, these individuals re directly accountable to Beijing. If called upon they would have to show their allegiance to the party through doing Beijing’s bidding .We saw this in the early days of Covid-19 when Chinese companies in Australia downed tools in order to pillage Australia of medical equipment and medical supplies to send back to China. The database itself has a bit of a long history, first being surfaced in 2016 by Chinese dissidents who “obtained it” from a Shanghai database. It was made available to the Inter-parliamentary alliance on China but they did not have the expertise to verify it and so it was handed on to journalists. The the dataset was made available to 4 members of a media consortium, “The Australian”, “The UK Sunday Mail”, “The Belgian Standard” and a Swedish Editor to analyse the data. Next, “The Australian” obtained a more complete version of the original dataset and they had a security firm run a comparison between the first dataset and the more complete dataset.

First Published 14th December, 2020

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