Trump Won’t Be Impeached, So Now Anything Goes in American Politics
There’s no shortage of coverage for Trump’s second impeachment trial and ABC News is a good as source as any. A report from two days ago, 11th February 2021 covers day two of the trial. I’m not going to recount the details suffice to say that only a moron, or a spineless Republican Senator, would ever vote to acquit Trump. It is incontrovertibly true that Trump incite a riot in Washington that left five people dead, including a police officer. Indeed, the ABC news story makes the point that Trump “all but left ‘for dead’ members of congress, staff and law enforcement at the Capitol by doing little or nothing to call an end to the violence that day“. That is not an exaggeration. Take a look at this footage from ABC News with Mike Pence, amongst others, being led to safety as rioters chant “Kill Mike Pence”.
I’ve said that only a moron or a spineless Republican could possibly acquit Trump. However, Trump’s lawyers see it a different way. As reported by The Guardian Trump’s lawyers are arguing that, “No thinking person could seriously believe that the president’s January 6 speech on the Ellipse was in any way an incitement to violence or insurrection”. So, basically, a view completely contrary to my own. Make no mistake. Trump will be acquitted. As reported by the Huffington Post, this much is clear with 44 out of 50 Republican Senators making a failed attempt to have the trial declared unconstitutional. This means that there will not be enough Republican Senators voting for a conviction because 6 would Republicans “changing sides” would not be enough for a conviction. And so to my point. If Trump is not convicted for inciting a riot, then the whole idea of impeachment becomes a farce because, really, what would an American president have to do in order to be impeached and convicted.
The World Health Organization Inquiry Into the Origins and Spread of Covid-19 Is a Farce
There is an article from The Guardian providing a recent update on the progress of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) so called independent inquiry into the origins and spread of Covid-19. The upshot of the article is that right now we don’t really know very much more than we did before the team began their investigations. However, a careful reader will note reference to whether the virus might have been introduced to the Wuhan market through frozen food. This claim is an attempt to perpetuate the idea that, in fact, the virus was “imported” from another country in packages of frozen food. China has been attempting to peddle this lie since late last year. Whilst the Chinese have their own version of the facts, I’m going to go with Andrew Pekosz of Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health who has said that “I’ve seen no convincing data that SARS-CoV-2 on food packaging poses a significant risk for infection”. That said, and call me cynical, when did convincing data ever matter to Beijing? From the perspective of Beijing, this investigation is all about controlling the narrative. Witness China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian saying, before the investigation had even begun, that “The tracing of the virus origin will most likely involve multiple countries and localities“. Yep, we’re back in the land of frozen food theories. And then there’s Feng Duojia, president of the China Vaccine Industry Association who told the Global Times newspaper that, “Wuhan is just a stop for virus origin tracing, and those experts should not expect to find an answer here. It is scientifically impossible, as there were cases found in other countries even before the outbreak in Wuhan was reported“. Seriously, there’s no evidence to support this claim. The Chinese just lie but if the lies are presented often enough then maybe they will become truths.
Australia’s Defiance of China Is of Global Significance and Importance
Anyone who has followed my blog will know that I present a consistent argument that China is using multiple soft and hard power strategies to become the next global superpower. There was recently a story in the Australian News that provides a very comprehensive summary argument of how China is winning the war against democracy and democratic processes. It’s worth providing a full quote from the article, “While democracies dither, China is silently undermining the roots of democracy throughout the world like a river systematically erodes the bank – until even the mightiest tree must fall“. The news story is substantially based on a report from Freedom House entitled, “Out of Sight, Not Out of Reach: The Global Scale and Scope of Transnational Repression”. You can read the report for yourself. My point in this post is that Australia is not dithering. Australia has stood up to China throughout 2020 as China increasingly placed tarriffs and embargoes on Australian exports to China to the extent that Beijing is willing to endure a coal shortage rather than lose face by admitting that Australia has not backed down. After all, how embarrassing to have to admit that a tiny country of 25 million people refused to kowtow. But there is much more to the story than Australia not buckling under China’s attempt to coerce us economically. Australia fundamentally refuted a list of 14 grievances that Beijing had against Australia, grievances that included the Australia press reporting negatively on China. The significance of this point cannot be overstated. Australia refused to be censured by Beijing and so freedom of speech was defended in Australia. Australia stands as a beacon to the world in terms of how to deal with Chinese bullying and intimidation. Xi Jinping chose the wrong country to pick on and now he is paying the price in terms of a loss of face in China. What, you can’t even make Australia conform to Chinese will. How utterly embarrassing.
First Published 13th February, 2021