Uyghurs for Sale Report: a hall of mirrors, but a propaganda triumph all the same.
The report by Jaq James of CO-WEST-PRO Consultancy https://www.cowestpro.co/ titled The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Uyghurs for Sale Report: Scholarly Analysis or Strategic Disinformation? is probably 12 months overdue, as a lot of disadvantaged young Uyghur men and women have already lost their livelihood, independence, and remittances they were sending back home as a result of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) Uyghurs for Sale Report. What we have here with Jaq’s report is a well-written, well-researched, in-depth, objective analysis of the Uyghurs for Sale Report from a legal perspective. Her analysis reveals that the ASPI report is baseless. Click here to read the full report.
Pictures of young Uyghurs engaged in after work activities in their host city that ASPI claims are working and living in slave like conditions.
A copy of Jaq’s report was sent to Senator Rex Patrick, who participated in the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee that enquired into the allegation of forced Uyghur labour. It appears that Senator Patrick is now trying to distance himself from the ASPI report saying that the committee didn’t rely solely on the ASPI report for its inquiry.
The challenge is that here in Australia we are dealing with the resurgence of the American style McCarthyism. Those who work close to the centre of power tell me that it’s more like McCarthyism on steroids. However described, Jaq’s report will certainly ruffle the feathers of some very powerful organisations with very deep pockets out to thwart China’s development. She has already paid a heavy price for daring to call-out Australia’s propaganda campaign against China for what it is, including a call for her execution. No doubt she will pay an even heavier price for daring to share her professional analysis of the Uyghurs for Sale Report with the general public. You know that ASPI is worried when a writer for the ASPI newsletter is publically claiming that Jaq may have simply put her name to a report that may have been written in Beijing.
After you have read her report, think about the following three questions. The answers to which will give you some idea of the dangerous road she is travelling.
Question 1: Who is funding ASPI?
Answer: Apart from the Australian Federal Government, including the Australian Department of Defence, ASPI is funded by American Lockheed Martin (the world’s largest weapons manufacturer which includes the manufacturer of the controversial F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft priced at $100 million each), American Raytheon Technologies (the world’s second largest weapons manufacture which includes the manufacturing of guided missiles and a major intelligence service provider), American Northrop-Grumman (the world’s fourth largest weapons manufacturer which includes the manufacturer of the B-21 nuclear bomber), British BAE Systems (the world’s sixth largest weapons manufacture), French Naval Group (a large warship manufacturer), Europe’s MDBA Missile Systems (a large missile manufacturer), Sweden SAAB (a large special military equipment manufacturer), French Thales Group (a large military equipment manufacturer). It is commonly known that no country spends more on its military and exports more weapons of mass destruction than America—more than the next eight or nine highest spending countries combined. The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen have all been fought using weapons manufactured by these American and European companies. These were wars where some of the worst human rights violations and war crimes were committed resulting in the world’s worst humanitarian crises since the Second World War.
Question 2: Who sits on ASPI’s governing council?
Answer: The chairperson of ASPI’s governing council is former chief of army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie (retired). He is also on the board of French Navel Group Australia and the global cybersecurity firm, Senetas Corporation. The current ASPI governing council includes former Howard government defence minister Robert Hill. He also sits on the supervisory board of German weapons manufacturer Rheinmetall’s Australian subsidiary which is supplying our Department of Defence with $5 billion of combat vehicles. He is also the chair of Viva Energy Group which is a major supplier of fuel to the Australian Defence Force. Another former Liberal defence minister, David Johnston, who famously said that the Australian Submarine Corporation couldn’t be trusted to build a canoe, is on the ASPI council. Soon after his appointment to the council he was appointed to the board of SAAB Technologies which supplies integrated combat systems for Australia’s submarines and warships.
Also on ASPI’s governing council is former liberal defence minister, Brendan Nelson, who is also the president of Boeing Australia. Boeing is the world’s third largest weapons manufacturer and the world’s largest military aerospace manufacturer. It supplies planes, drones and attack helicopters to the RAAF.
Jane Halton is on the ASPI council. She is also on the board of Naval Group Australia, and chairperson of Vault Cloud, a global cybersecurity firm. Gai Brodtmann, a former Labour MP, is on the council. She is also on the advisory board of Sapien Cyber, another cybersecurity company.
Then we have ABC media personality Stan Grant who was a senior fellow of ASPI during 2020. Gai Brodtmann, the partner of Channel Nine reporter Chris Uhlmann, is on the ASPI council. And the list of council members’ connection to the armaments industry and the media goes on and on, all of which is highly disconcerting and tells a story about what is going on here.
Question 3: What are these organisations receiving in return for their financial support of ASPI?
Answer: Since the Second World War the manufacturing and sale of military hardware (today this includes software) has been and remains an important part of the American (and European) economy. What we have here is called Military Keynesianism. There are many who believe that the purpose of this ASPI report is to fire up Anglo-Australian deep-seated fear of the Chinese that goes all the way back to the 1855 Chinese poll tax, whilst simultaneously promoting and strengthening our military alliance with the USA and to stimulate the purchase of more of their military hardware. Australia’s purchase of 12 nuclear attack submarines at the cost of $90 billion, 75 M1A1 Abrams tanks, 211 Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles, 450 Infantry fighting vehicles, 60 self-propelled howitzer cannons, all at the cost of an additional $40 billion, suggests mission accomplished—all of which is a massive misallocation of our national resources, and seriously out of sync to the needs of our people and our national development.