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FTR #1154 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 14: The Yellow Journalism Peril, Part 2

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FTR #1154 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Adri­an Zen­z’s polit­i­cal heritage–Celebration of the 75th Anniver­sary of the 14th Waf­fen SS Divi­sion in Lviv, Ukraine

Intro­duc­tion: Con­tin­u­ing analy­sis of the weaponized media cov­er­age of both the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic and Chi­na, this pro­gram begins with reprise of infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in our last broad­cast detail­ing the activ­i­ties of Adri­an Zenz, the Ger­man Nazi fel­low-trav­el­er and End Times Chris­t­ian who has become a “Go-To” source on Chi­na for West­ern media. 

In addi­tion to being cit­ed by the vaunt­ed New York Times as a source jus­ti­fy­ing boy­cott of the movie “Mulan,” Zenz is has been ele­vat­ed to the sta­tus of “anthro­pol­o­gist” by the British Guardian in its alle­ga­tions about Tibet being sub­ject to mass labor depor­ta­tions.

(We note in pass­ing that Zenz derives his polit­i­cal grav­i­tas from the milieu of the OUN/B and the SS Gali­cian Divi­sion, and the Dalai Lama him­self has exten­sive his­tor­i­cal and oper­a­tion links with the Nazi SS.)

Much of the pro­gram details the stark real­i­ty of the ASPI–the Aus­tralian Strat­e­gy Pol­i­cy Insti­tute.

Anoth­er “Go-To” source for reports on alleged Chi­nese human rights abus­es, the ASPI is a less-than-objec­tive jour­nal­is­tic source.

Key points of analy­sis and dis­cus­sion of the ASPI include:

  1. The ASPI ” . . . . was found­ed by the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment in 2001 and is fund­ed by the country’s Depart­ment of Defence. . . .”
  2. The ASPI ” . . . . is spon­sored by a host of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers, includ­ing Raytheon Aus­tralia, Lock­heed Mar­tin, Northrop Grum­man, MBDA Mis­sile Sys­tems, Saab AB, Thales, and Austalia. . . .”
  3. In addi­tion, the ASPI has ” . . . . exten­sive sources of for­eign fund­ing, includ­ing the US State Depart­ment, UK For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office (FCO), gov­ern­ment of Japan, and NATO. . . .”
  4. The above infor­ma­tion has been revealed by ” . . . . Australia’s For­eign Influ­ence Trans­paren­cy Scheme — enact­ed by the cen­ter-right Lib­er­al Par­ty to mon­i­tor alleged threat of ‘Chi­nese polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence’ in the coun­try  . . . .”
  5. ” . . . A recent pro­file of ASPI in the Aus­tralian Finan­cial Review notes that the orga­ni­za­tion has ‘been accused of foment­ing anti-Chi­na hys­te­ria, to the alleged ben­e­fit of its bene­fac­tors.’ . . .”
  6. ” . . . . ASPI has been so bel­li­cose it has come in for crit­i­cism from major fig­ures in Aus­tralian for­eign pol­i­cy cir­cles. . . .”
  7. ” . . . . For­mer Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Bob Carr has slammed ASPI for push­ing a ‘one-sided, pro-Amer­i­can view of the world’, while the for­mer Aus­tralian ambas­sador to Chi­na Geoff Raby added that ASPI is ‘the archi­tect of the Chi­na threat the­o­ry in Aus­tralia’. . . .”
  8. ” . . . . Aus­tralian Sen­a­tor Kim Carr of the Labour Par­ty has echoed the crit­i­cism of ASPI, con­demn­ing the think tank for seek­ing to “pro­mote a new cold war with Chi­na” in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the US. . . . high­light­ing ASPI’s exten­sive fund­ing from the US State Department’s Glob­al Engage­ment Cen­ter, head­ed by for­mer CIA offi­cer and Navy fight­er pilot Lea Gabrielle. . . .”
  9. ASPI sources alle­ga­tions from ” . . . . Bit­ter Win­ter . . . a project of the Cen­ter for Stud­ies on New Reli­gions (CESNUR) . . . .”
  10. Dis­cussed at length in FTR #521, CESNUR (through its Bit­ter Win­ter blog) ” . . . . have vig­or­ous­ly defend­ed fanat­i­cal Chi­nese reli­gious move­ments includ­ing Falun Gong and the Church of the Almighty God, or East­ern Light­ning. . . . East­ern Light­ning is noto­ri­ous for mass kid­nap­pings, assaults, and mur­der­ous vio­lence against per­ceived ‘demons’ or non-believ­ers, includ­ing blud­geon­ing a woman to death for refus­ing to give recruiters her phone num­ber in 2014 . . .”
  11. In addi­tion: ” . . . . CESNUR has also tak­en up the cause of the Japan­ese dooms­day cult, Aum Shin­rikyo which was respon­si­ble for the 1995 Tokyo sarin gas attack. . . .”

Passtime of Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne and J. Gor­don Melton of CESNUR

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The nation­al secu­ri­ty con­nec­tions–Amer­i­can and international–of the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies, anoth­er source for the Yel­low Jour­nal­ism Per­il; the fas­cist con­nec­tions of Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne of CESNUR, includ­ing his links with the P‑2 and Opus Dei milieux, as well as the Latin Amer­i­can fas­cist group Tra­di­tion, Fam­i­ly and Prop­er­ty; the affin­i­ty of Intro­vi­gne and fel­low CESNUR oper­a­tive J. Gor­don Melton for vampire cul­ture; advo­ca­cy in a U.S. Navy jour­nal for armed pira­cy against Chi­na.

1a. New York Times arti­cle that tout­ed calls to boy­cott the Dis­ney film “Mulan” failed to note how the Uyghur “inde­pen­dence” move­ment is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with ele­ments of U.S. intel­li­gence, as well as a pot­pour­ri of fas­cists of var­i­ous stripes.

(We detailed these links in FTR #‘s 11431144, and 1145. These pro­grams fea­tured two arti­cles from The Gray­zone.)

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion In Those Pro­grams:

  1. The Uyghur move­ment is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with U.S. regime change intel­li­gence fronts.
  2. The Uyghur move­ment is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the Pan-Turk­ist move­ment.
  3. The Uyghur move­ment is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with a con­stel­la­tion of fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions, past and present, includ­ing the nar­co-fas­cist regime of Chi­ang Kai-Shek, the Grey Wolves (ter­ror­ist wing of the Alparslan Turkes’s Nation­al Action Par­ty), Islam­ic ter­ror­ist off­shoots of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (Al-Qae­da and ISIS) and the milieu of the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations (a branch of the for­mer World Anti-Com­mu­nist League, orig­i­nal­ly formed by Adolf Hitler in 1943.)
  4. The Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers receives financ­ing from the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy. The Jamestown Foundation–another ele­ment in “Team Uighur” also has its gen­e­sis with William Casey and the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion. The wide­ly repeat­ed “study” gen­er­at­ed by the NCHRD is based on inter­views of eight individuals–this in an are with a pop­u­la­tion of 20 mil­lion. ” . . . . In a 2018 report sub­mit­ted to the UN Com­mit­tee on the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion – often mis­rep­re­sent­ed in West­ern media as a UN-authored report – CHRD ‘estimate[d] that rough­ly one mil­lion mem­bers of eth­nic Uyghurs have been sent to ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ deten­tion camps and rough­ly two mil­lion have been forced to attend ‘re-edu­ca­tion’ pro­grams in Xin­jiang.’ Accord­ing to CHRD, this fig­ure was ‘[b]ased on inter­views and lim­it­ed data.’ While CHRD states that it inter­viewed dozens of eth­nic Uyghurs in the course of its study, their enor­mous esti­mate was ulti­mate­ly based on inter­views with exact­ly eight Uyghur indi­vid­u­als. . . .”

Com­men­tary in the Times arti­cle came from, among oth­ers, Adri­an Zenz, a Ger­man-born End Times Chris­t­ian and doc­tri­naire anti-fem­i­nist, anti-gay ide­o­logue.

Zen­z’s promi­nence as an “expert” on the Uyghurs comes by virtue of his posi­tion with the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion, ” . . . . an out­growth of the Nation­al Cap­tive Nations Com­mit­tee, a group found­ed by Ukrain­ian nation­al­ist Lev Dobri­an­sky to lob­by against any effort for detente with the Sovi­et Union. Its co-chair­man, Yaroslav Stet­sko, was a top leader of the fas­cist OUN‑B mili­tia that fought along­side Nazi Ger­many dur­ing its occu­pa­tion of Ukraine in World War Two. . . .”

Zenz has also gen­er­at­ed his fig­ures from high­ly ques­tion­able sources. Just as the Net­work of Chi­nese Human Rights Defend­ers based their report on inter­views with eight indi­vid­u­als out of a pop­u­la­tion of 20 mil­lion, Zenz based his esti­mate on a sin­gle report by a TV sta­tion that broad­casts mate­r­i­al from Al-Qae­da and ISIS-linked ele­ments and indi­vid­u­als: ” . . . . Zenz arrived at his esti­mate ‘over 1 mil­lion’ in a dubi­ous man­ner. He based it on a sin­gle report by Istiqlal TV, a Uyghur exile media orga­ni­za­tion based in Turkey . . . . Far from an impar­tial jour­nal­is­tic orga­ni­za­tion, Istiqlal TV advances the sep­a­ratist cause while play­ing host to an assort­ment of extrem­ist fig­ures. One such char­ac­ter who often appears on Istiqlal TV is Abdulka­dir Yapuquan, a report­ed leader of the East Turkestan Islam­ic Move­ment (ETIM), a sep­a­ratist group that aims to estab­lish an inde­pen­dent home­land in Xin­jiang called East Turkestan. . . . ETIM has been des­ig­nat­ed as a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion with ties to al-Qae­da by the USEuro­pean Union, and UN Secu­ri­ty Council’s Al-Qai­da Sanc­tions Com­mit­teeThe Asso­ci­at­ed Press has report­ed that since ‘2013, thou­sands of Uighurs… have trav­eled to Syr­ia to train with the Uighur mil­i­tant group Turk­istan Islam­ic Par­ty and fight along­side al-Qai­da,’ with ‘sev­er­al hun­dred join[ing] the Islam­ic State.’ . . .”

The Times arti­cle also quotes Joshua Wong. Financed by the Nation­al Endow­ment for Democ­ra­cy, a U.S. intel­li­gence cut-out. Wong has helped to boost the pro­file of the OUN/B‑connected ele­ments that have decamped from Ukraine to Hong Kong, influ­enc­ing the course of the so-called pro-democ­ra­cy move­ment.

Hong Kong activists have adopt­ed the OUN/B slo­gan, now the offi­cial salute of the Ukrain­ian police and mil­i­tary. ” . . . . The inter­est has been mutu­al, with Hong Kong’s ‘democ­rats’ draw­ing inspi­ra­tion from Ukraine’s pro-West­ern Euro­maid­an ‘rev­o­lu­tion’ that has empow­ered far-right, fascis­tic forces. Hong Kong pro­test­ers have embraced the slo­gan ‘Glo­ry to Hong Kong’, adapt­ed from ‘Sla­va Ukrayi­ni’ or ‘Glo­ry to Ukraine’, a slo­gan invent­ed by Ukrain­ian fas­cists and used by Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors dur­ing WWII that was re-pop­u­lar­ized by the Euro­maid­an move­ment. . . . ”

Joshua Wong–“boy won­der” and dar­ling of the Amer­i­can MSM–has dou­bled down on affin­i­ty with Ukraine: ” . . . . ‘No mat­ter the dif­fer­ences between Ukraine and Hong Kong, our fights for free­dom and democ­ra­cy are the same,’ Joshua Wong told The Kyiv Post in 2019. ‘[W]e have to learn from Ukraini­ans… and show sol­i­dar­i­ty. Ukraine con­front­ed the force of Rus­sia — we are fac­ing the force of Bei­jing.’ . . . .”

“Calls Grow to Boy­cott ‘Mulan’ Over Chi­na’s Treat­ment of Uighur Mus­lims” by Amy Qin and Edward Wong; The New York Times; 9/9/2020; p. A10 [West­ern Edi­tion].

. . . . The area sur­round­ing Tur­pan, known for its rugged land­scapes, is the site of a num­ber of deten­tion camps. That includes the ear­li­est doc­u­ment­ed case of what Chi­na has called “trans­for­ma­tion through edu­ca­tion” tar­get­ing Mus­lims from August 2013, said Adri­an Zenz a researcher at the Vic­tims of Com­mu­nism Memo­r­i­al Foun­da­tion in Wash­ing­ton, who has stud­ied Chi­nese poli­cies toward the Uighurs. . . .

. . . . On Mon­day, calls to boy­cott “Mulan” began grow­ing on social media. Among the crit­ics was Joshua Wong, a promi­nent Hong Kong pro-democ­ra­cy activist, who accused Dis­ney of bow­ing to pres­sure from Bei­jing. . . .

1b. Now, Adri­an Zenz is not only an expert on Xin­jiang, but on Tibet as well. He is also, an “anthro­pol­o­gist”!

“Report Charts China’s Mass Expan­sion of Labour Pro­gramme in Tibet” by Helen David­son and Agen­cies; The Guardian [UK]; 9/22/2020.

Chi­nese author­i­ties are dra­mat­i­cal­ly expand­ing a mass labour pro­gramme in Tibet, which ana­lysts have com­pared to alleged forced labour oper­a­tions in Xin­jiang, accord­ing to evi­dence com­piled by a Ger­man anthro­pol­o­gist and cor­rob­o­rat­ed by Reuters.

Chi­na has set quo­tas to move hun­dreds of thou­sands of Tibetan rur­al labour­ers off their land and into “mil­i­tary-style” facil­i­ties to train them as fac­to­ry work­ers, accord­ing to doc­u­ments analysed by researcher Adri­an Zenz for the Jamestown Foun­da­tion, a US research insti­tute. . . .

1c. The New York Times has fea­tured the Aus­tralian Strat­e­gy Pol­i­cy Insti­tute as an “expert” and osten­si­bly objec­tive source on alleged Chi­nese human rights abus­es. 

As will be seen below, The ASPI is any­thing but an objec­tive jour­nal­is­tic source.

“Night Images Show Chi­na Has Added Deten­tion Sites In Most­ly Mus­lim Xin­jiang” by Chris Buck­ley and Austin Ramzy; The New York Times; 9/25/2020; p. A9 [West­ern Edi­tion].

As Chi­na faced ris­ing inter­na­tion­al cen­sure last year over its mass intern­ment of Mus­lim minori­ties, offi­cials assert­ed that the indoc­tri­na­tion camps in the west­ern region of Xin­jiang had shrunk as for­mer camp inmates rejoined soci­ety as reformed soci­ety as reformed cit­i­zens.

Researchers at the Aus­tralian Strat­e­gy Pol­i­cy Insti­tute on Thurs­day chal­lenged those claims with an inves­ti­ga­tion that found that the Xin­jiang author­i­ties had been expand­ing a vari­ety of deten­tion sites since last year. . . .

1d. The ASPI was sourced yet again by The New York Times four days after the above sto­ry. This lat­est issue from ASPI alleges that Chi­na is destroy­ing thou­sands of mosques and reli­gious shrines in Xin­jiang province.

“Mak­ing Ruins of Mosques and Shrines” by Chris Buck­ley and Austin Ramzy; The New York Times; 9/29/2020.

. . . . A new report by the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute, a research group based in Can­ber­ra, sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly gauges the degree of destruc­tion and alter­ation to reli­gious sites in recent years. It esti­mat­ed that around 8,500 mosques across Xin­jiang have been com­plete­ly demol­ished since 2017–more than a third of the num­ber of mosques the gov­ern­ment says are in the region. . . . 

1e. An excel­lent expose by Ajit Singh details the gen­e­sis and sup­port for ASPI and The Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (anoth­er vehi­cle for “journalistic“coverage of Chi­na).

Key points of analy­sis and dis­cus­sion of the ASPI include:

  1. The ASPI ” . . . . was found­ed by the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment in 2001 and is fund­ed by the country’s Depart­ment of Defence. . . .”
  2. The ASPI ” . . . . is spon­sored by a host of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers, includ­ing Raytheon Aus­tralia, Lock­heed Mar­tin, Northrop Grum­man, MBDA Mis­sile Sys­tems, Saab AB, Thales, and Austalia. . . .”
  3. In addi­tion, the ASPI has ” . . . . exten­sive sources of for­eign fund­ing, includ­ing the US State Depart­ment, UK For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office (FCO), gov­ern­ment of Japan, and NATO. . . .”
  4. The above infor­ma­tion has been revealed by ” . . . . Australia’s For­eign Influ­ence Trans­paren­cy Scheme — enact­ed by the cen­ter-right Lib­er­al Par­ty to mon­i­tor alleged threat of ‘Chi­nese polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence’ in the coun­try  . . . .”
  5. ” . . . A recent pro­file of ASPI in the Aus­tralian Finan­cial Review notes that the orga­ni­za­tion has ‘been accused of foment­ing anti-Chi­na hys­te­ria, to the alleged ben­e­fit of its bene­fac­tors.’ . . .”
  6. ” . . . . ASPI has been so bel­li­cose it has come in for crit­i­cism from major fig­ures in Aus­tralian for­eign pol­i­cy cir­cles. . . .”
  7. ” . . . . For­mer Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Bob Carr has slammed ASPI for push­ing a ‘one-sided, pro-Amer­i­can view of the world’, while the for­mer Aus­tralian ambas­sador to Chi­na Geoff Raby added that ASPI is ‘the archi­tect of the Chi­na threat the­o­ry in Aus­tralia’. . . .”
  8. ” . . . . Aus­tralian Sen­a­tor Kim Carr of the Labour Par­ty has echoed the crit­i­cism of ASPI, con­demn­ing the think tank for seek­ing to “pro­mote a new cold war with Chi­na” in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the US. . . . high­light­ing ASPI’s exten­sive fund­ing from the US State Department’s Glob­al Engage­ment Cen­ter, head­ed by for­mer CIA offi­cer and Navy fight­er pilot Lea Gabrielle. . . .”
  9. ASPI sources alle­ga­tions from ” . . . . Bit­ter Win­ter . . . a project of the Cen­ter for Stud­ies on New Reli­gions (CESNUR) . . . .”
  10. Dis­cussed at length in FTR #521, CESNUR (through its Bit­ter Win­ter blog) ” . . . . have vig­or­ous­ly defend­ed fanat­i­cal Chi­nese reli­gious move­ments includ­ing Falun Gong and the Church of the Almighty God, or East­ern Light­ning. . . . East­ern Light­ning is noto­ri­ous for mass kid­nap­pings, assaults, and mur­der­ous vio­lence against per­ceived ‘demons’ or non-believ­ers, includ­ing blud­geon­ing a woman to death for refus­ing to give recruiters her phone num­ber in 2014 . . .”
  11. In addi­tion: ” . . . . CESNUR has also tak­en up the cause of the Japan­ese dooms­day cult, Aum Shin­rikyo which was respon­si­ble for the 1995 Tokyo sarin gas attack. . . .”

“ ‘Forced Labor’ Sto­ries on Chi­na Brought to You By US Gov, NATO, Arms Indus­try to Dri­ve Cold War PR Blitz” by Ajit Singh; The Gray­zone; 3/26/20.

. . . . The Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI) and Wash­ing­ton, DC-based Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (CSIS) are the main insti­tu­tions respon­si­ble for the forced labor stud­ies. The reports have also relied heav­i­ly on an evan­gel­i­cal reli­gious fanat­ic billed as the “lead­ing expert” on Xin­jiang, Adri­an Zenz, who has said he is “led by God” on a “mis­sion” against Chi­na.

A close look at the reports churned out by these bod­ies reveal seri­ous bias­es and cred­i­bil­i­ty gaps that West­ern media will­ful­ly ignores in its bid to paint Chi­na as the world’s worst human rights vio­la­tor.

Both ASPI and CSIS are right-wing, mil­i­taris­tic think tanks fund­ed by US and West­ern gov­ern­ments, mega-cor­po­ra­tions, and an eye-pop­ping array of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers. As pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed by The Gray­zone, Adri­an Zenz is a far-right fun­da­men­tal­ist Chris­t­ian whose ques­tion­able but incen­di­ary accu­sa­tions against Chi­na have led to the West­ern press crow­ing him as the lead­ing inter­na­tion­al “expert” on Xin­jiang. Zenz’s most recent claims of “forced labor” were pub­lished by a “jour­nal” found­ed and man­aged by US and NATO mil­i­tary oper­a­tives. . . .

. . . . The three reports relied upon in the recent “forced labor” media cov­er­age are authored by the Aus­tralian Strate­gic Pol­i­cy Insti­tute (ASPI), Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (CSIS), and Adri­an Zenz. While pre­sent­ed by the West­ern press as impar­tial, expert assess­ments, a clos­er look rais­es seri­ous con­cerns about the bias­es and cred­i­bil­i­ty of these “stud­ies.”

On March 1, ASPI pub­lished a pol­i­cy brief, titled “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-edu­ca­tion,’ forced labour and sur­veil­lance beyond Xin­jiang.” The paper trig­gered the renewed round of West­ern media accu­sa­tions against Chi­na.

While ASPI describes itself as a “an inde­pen­dent, non-par­ti­san think tank” — a char­ac­ter­i­za­tion that has been par­rot­ed by the West­ern press — it is, in fact, a right-wing, mil­i­taris­tic out­fit that was found­ed by the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment in 2001 and is fund­ed by the country’s Depart­ment of Defence.

ASPI is spon­sored by a host of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers, includ­ing Raytheon Aus­tralia, Lock­heed Mar­tin, Northrop Grum­man, MBDA Mis­sile Sys­tems, Saab AB, Thales, and Austalia.

Iron­i­cal­ly, Australia’s For­eign Influ­ence Trans­paren­cy Scheme — enact­ed by the cen­ter-right Lib­er­al Par­ty to mon­i­tor alleged threat of “Chi­nese polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence” in the coun­try — has revealed ASPI’s exten­sive sources of for­eign fund­ing, includ­ing the US State Depart­ment, UK For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office (FCO), gov­ern­ment of Japan, and NATO.

A recent pro­file of ASPI in the Aus­tralian Finan­cial Review notes that the orga­ni­za­tion has “been accused of foment­ing anti-Chi­na hys­te­ria, to the alleged ben­e­fit of its bene­fac­tors.” ASPI has been so bel­li­cose it has come in for crit­i­cism from major fig­ures in Aus­tralian for­eign pol­i­cy cir­cles.

For­mer Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Bob Carr has slammed ASPI for push­ing a “one-sided, pro-Amer­i­can view of the world”, while the for­mer Aus­tralian ambas­sador to Chi­na Geoff Raby added that ASPI is “the archi­tect of the Chi­na threat the­o­ry in Aus­tralia”.

Aus­tralian Sen­a­tor Kim Carr of the Labour Par­ty has echoed the crit­i­cism of ASPI, con­demn­ing the think tank for seek­ing to “pro­mote a new cold war with Chi­na” in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the US. In a Feb­ru­ary 2020 par­lia­men­tary ses­sion, Carr warned that “[i]n parts of the [Aus­tralian] defence and secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment, there are hawks intent on fight­ing a new cold war” with Chi­na, high­light­ing ASPI’s exten­sive fund­ing from the US State Department’s Glob­al Engage­ment Cen­ter, head­ed by for­mer CIA offi­cer and Navy fight­er pilot Lea Gabrielle.

Carr said ASPI has received near­ly $450,000 in fund­ing from the US State Depart­ment for the 2019 to 2020 finan­cial year. (ASPI claims that the amount is “less than half” of the fig­ure stat­ed by Carr.)

These crit­i­cisms of ASPI appear to be well found­ed. Since 2012, ASPI has been head­ed by Peter Jen­nings, a for­mer Aus­tralian Depart­ment of Defense offi­cial. Jen­nings is an ardent advo­cate of US impe­ri­al­ism who has staunch­ly defend­ed the Iraq Warsup­port­ed regime change in Syr­ia, and point­ed to Ukraine and Iraq to argue that “the West is set­ting the bar for a mil­i­tary response too high.”

Jen­nings believes that “the rise of Lenin­ist autoc­ra­cies” threat­en Aus­tralia and glob­al peace, apply­ing the label to Chi­na and North Korea, and, baf­fling­ly, Rus­sia and Iran. He is an ardent advo­cate of expand­ing and mak­ing “bul­let­proof” Australia’s mil­i­tary alliance with the US and “let­ting the Bei­jing Bul­ly know this is our neigh­bour­hood”, includ­ing expand­ing joint naval pres­ence in the Indi­an Ocean.

Jen­nings and ASPI have also pushed for Aus­tralia to join Washington’s glob­al cam­paign to ban Chi­nese tele­com giant Huawei from 5G net­works around the world. Aus­tralia banned China’s Huawei and ZTE from pro­vid­ing the coun­try with 5G tech­nol­o­gy in 2018.

On March 1, ASPI pub­lished a pol­i­cy brief titled “Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-edu­ca­tion,’ forced labour and sur­veil­lance beyond Xin­jiang.” The report was fund­ed by the UK For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Office (FCO), which over­sees Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Head­quar­ters (GCHQ) the UK equiv­a­lent to the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency, and the Secret Intel­li­gence Ser­vices (SIS) com­mon­ly known as MI6.

As Mohamed Elmaazi and Max Blu­men­thal pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed for The Gray­zone, the FCO backs the Integri­ty Ini­tia­tive, a pro­pa­gan­da mill which smears left-wing fig­ures across the West, includ­ing for­mer UK Labour Par­ty leader Jere­my Cor­byn. . . .

. . . . While Beijing’s pol­i­cy in Xin­jiang is indis­putably focused on com­bat­ing reli­gious extrem­ism, sep­a­ratism and polit­i­cal insta­bil­i­ty — the gov­ern­ment open­ly admits to this — the authors’ claims of a dystopi­an forced labor regime seem to rely more on sen­sa­tion­al­ism and spec­u­la­tion than con­crete evi­dence.

For exam­ple:

The authors claim that work­ers are tight­ly con­trolled, with “lit­tle free­dom of move­ment” and “iso­lat­ed from their fam­i­lies.” As evi­dence, they cite a Chi­nese-lan­guage media report which fea­tures a sto­ry about a migrant work­er from Xin­jiang who obtained full-time indus­tri­al employ­ment in the urban province of Shan­dong through the government’s employ­ment pro­gram. The woman describes the chal­lenges of work­ing far away from her fam­i­ly in Xin­jiang but empha­sizes that she has used the pro­gram to earn more income and pay for house­hold ren­o­va­tions and new live­stock back home. What’s more, the woman states that while she ini­tial­ly want­ed work through the pro­gram for only one year, she now wants to work for at least three years giv­en the income it allows her to earn, indi­cat­ing that she is vol­un­tar­i­ly choos­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram for eco­nom­ic ben­e­fit.

Through­out the report, the authors refer to hous­ing pro­vid­ed for migrant work­ers as “seg­re­gat­ed dor­mi­to­ries.” On the one hand, the authors decry the “seg­re­ga­tion” and “iso­la­tion” of the Uyghur work­ers who “speak almost no Man­darin, so com­mu­ni­ca­tion with locals is large­ly non-exis­tent,” but denounce Man­darin lan­guage class­es offered to work­ers as insid­i­ous “polit­i­cal indoc­tri­na­tion.”

The authors claim that “work­ers’ ide­ol­o­gy and behav­iour are close­ly mon­i­tored,” cit­ing the exis­tence of a “psy­cho­log­i­cal con­sult­ing” ser­vice.

The authors searched for “a vari­ety of key­words relat­ing to Xin­jiang labour trans­fers” on the Chi­nese search engine Baidu and cite the increase in search results over time as indi­cat­ing the increas­ing impor­tance of the pro­gram to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment. This would be akin to ana­lyz­ing US pol­i­cy based on the vol­ume of Google search results.

Ulti­mate­ly, only two pages and a case study of a sin­gle fac­to­ry are devot­ed to estab­lish­ing the case of “forced labor”, with the vast major­i­ty of the 56-page report focused on con­nect­ing this alleged invol­un­tary pro­gram with the major West­ern cor­po­ra­tions and pres­sur­ing them to dis­en­gage with Chi­na.

The ASPI report presents no orig­i­nal evi­dence from work­ers who have been forced to work in this pro­gram, but cites anony­mous “tes­ti­monies” from an obscure, far-right online blog. Called Bit­ter Win­ter, the blog is a project of the Cen­ter for Stud­ies on New Reli­gions (CESNUR), an Italy-based orga­ni­za­tion that oppos­es what it calls “anti-cult ter­ror­ism”.

Bit­ter Win­ter and its par­ent orga­ni­za­tion have vig­or­ous­ly defend­ed fanat­i­cal Chi­nese reli­gious move­ments includ­ing Falun Gong and the Church of the Almighty God, or East­ern Light­ning. The lat­ter is a Chi­nese-Chris­t­ian sect which believes that Jesus Christ has been rein­car­nat­ed as a Chi­nese woman cur­rent­ly liv­ing in Queens, New York.

East­ern Light­ning is noto­ri­ous for mass kid­nap­pings, assaults, and mur­der­ous vio­lence against per­ceived “demons” or non-believ­ers, includ­ing blud­geon­ing a woman to death for refus­ing to give recruiters her phone num­ber in 2014. Dur­ing the 2019 Israeli elec­tions, Buz­zfeed report­ed that Twit­ter sus­pend­ed dozens of Hebrew-lan­guage accounts run by the cult for “ampli­fy­ing polit­i­cal mes­sages for right-wing [Israeli] politi­cians.”

CESNUR has also tak­en up the cause of the Japan­ese dooms­day cult, Aum Shin­rikyo which was respon­si­ble for the 1995 Tokyo sarin gas attack. CESNUR board mem­ber J. Gor­don Melton was paid by Aum Shin­rikyo to trav­el to Japan to doc­u­ment alleged human rights vio­la­tions against the group.

CESNUR founder, Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne, is the edi­tor-in-chief of Bit­ter Win­ter. Intro­vi­gne is an ultra-con­ser­v­a­tive reli­gious zealot who con­tends that Chris­tians are “the most per­se­cut­ed group in the world” due to abor­tion, gay mar­riage, and hate speech laws which he con­tends supress their reli­gious free­dom.

Intro­vi­gne con­sid­ers com­mu­nism to be an exis­ten­tial threat to reli­gion, writ­ing that “[n]egotiating with Bei­jing is like the prover­bial sup­ping with the Dev­il.” Intro­vi­gne reg­u­lar­ly appears in videos pro­duced by Church of the Almighty God/Eastern Light­ning advo­cat­ing on their behalf and claim­ing the cult is the vic­tim of “pro­pa­gan­da” and “fake news”.

Intro­vi­gne has deep roots in the reli­gious far-right, and was a long-time mem­ber and for­mer vice pres­i­dent of the Ital­ian orga­ni­za­tion Allean­za Cat­toli­ca, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the group from 1972 until 2016. Dur­ing his time with the orga­ni­za­tion, Allean­za Cat­toli­ca advo­cat­ed for Chilean mil­i­tary dic­ta­tor Augus­to Pinochet to be released fol­low­ing his arrest in the UK; denounced the pro­gres­sive World Social Forum as a “lab­o­ra­to­ry for sub­ver­sion”; and endorsed the North­ern League, a far-right, anti-immi­grant, Islam­o­pho­bic polit­i­cal par­ty, in Ital­ian elec­tions.

The “direc­tor-in-charge” of Bit­ter Win­ter is Mar­co Respin­ti, a far-right Chris­t­ian con­ser­v­a­tive who describes his work as “devot­ed to serve and pro­tect the West­ern her­itage of life, lib­er­ties, and prop­er­ty” and work­ing towards a soci­ety of “lim­it­ed gov­ern­ment, free enter­prise, nat­ur­al fam­i­ly, and tra­di­tion­al moral val­ues.” Respin­ti is a Senior fel­low at the Rus­sell Kirk Cen­ter for Cul­tur­al Renew­al and a found­ing mem­ber of the Cen­ter for Euro­pean Renew­al, two ardent­ly con­ser­v­a­tive orga­ni­za­tions, and edi­tor-in-chief of the anti-gay, anti-choice pub­li­ca­tion Inter­na­tion­al Fam­i­ly News.

As they push for­ward with their anti-Chi­na fren­zy, West­ern media out­lets are not con­cerned with the seri­ous issues relat­ed to the bias­es and cred­i­bil­i­ty of the ASPI report, in fact, they seem intent on sti­fling any crit­i­cism of their nar­ra­tive.

Short­ly fol­low­ing the release of the report, the state-run Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (ABC) aired a pro­file of lead author, Vicky Xiuzhong Xu, as part of their “Aus­tralian Sto­ry” doc­u­men­tary series. Accord­ing to Ye Xue, a Chi­nese-Aus­tralian PhD stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney, who was an inter­vie­wee on the pro­gram, the broad­cast­er pushed him to “praise Vicky’s research on Xin­jiang” and made it clear “that they [did] not need my neg­a­tive com­ments” or to hear that he dis­agreed with Xu.

The silenc­ing of alter­na­tive view­points on Chi­na appears to be part of a larg­er trend with­in Aus­tralian media. Michael, a Chi­nese Mus­lim who lives in Aus­tralia and request­ed anonymi­ty to pro­tect him­self from reprisal by his employ­er, told The Gray­zone that Aus­tralian media out­lets often attempt to manip­u­late Chi­nese-Aus­tralians into echo­ing the offi­cial nar­ra­tive on Chi­na.

“SBS, a tele­vi­sion net­work fund­ed by the [Aus­tralian] gov­ern­ment called me for an inter­view on Chi­nese Mus­lims in Aus­tralia,” Michael told The Gray­zone. “When I didn’t tell her what she want­ed, she asked me if my fam­i­ly was held hostage, in dan­ger or being coerced.”

“She want­ed me to con­firm her nar­ra­tive that the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment had oper­a­tives fol­low­ing me and were active­ly sup­press­ing me in Aus­tralia,” con­tin­ued Michael. “Any­way, she nev­er called back.”

“There are more Chi­nese-Aus­tralians who’ve had sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences. They seem to cast a wide net and hope to get some­one like Vicky Xu who will just con­firm all their nar­ra­tives.” . . .

. . . . Unsur­pris­ing­ly, Zenz’s flim­sy research on “forced labor” has not been pub­lished in a rep­utable aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nal, but rather “The Jour­nal of Polit­i­cal Risk,” a pub­li­ca­tion head­ed by for­mer NATO and US nation­al secu­ri­ty state oper­a­tives.

The pub­li­ca­tion was found­ed by Anders Corr, whose bio describes him as “hav­ing worked for sev­er­al con­sul­tan­cies and gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing Booz Allen Hamil­ton, Unit­ed States Army, Unit­ed States Pacif­ic Com­mand (USPACOM), Unit­ed States Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand Pacif­ic (USSOCPAC), Defense Intel­li­gence Agency (DIA), Defense Threat Reduc­tion Agency (DTRA), and the North Amer­i­can Treaty Orga­ni­za­tion (NATO).”

The edi­tor of the pub­li­ca­tion is Neil Siviter, who “pre­vi­ous­ly worked as a Junior Pro­fes­sion­al Fel­low at the NATO Asso­ci­a­tion of Cana­da,” and “has also held var­i­ous intern­ship posi­tions with the Cana­di­an Gov­ern­ment [and] U.S. Con­sulate Gen­er­al Toron­to.”

The final study accus­ing Chi­na of imple­ment­ing “forced labor” pro­grams against Uyghur Mus­lims was a report by the Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies (CSIS) enti­tled, “Con­nect­ing the Dots in Xin­jiang: Forced Labor, Forced Assim­i­la­tion, and West­ern Sup­ply Chains”.

Like ASPI, CSIS is a mil­i­taris­tic think tank fund­ed by the US gov­ern­ment and a host of mil­i­tary allies includ­ing the UK, Japan, Tai­wan, South Korea, Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates, Cana­da, Aus­tralia, South Korea, Turkey, Ger­many, Italy, and the EU. CSIS also receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from a num­ber of weapons man­u­fac­tur­ers, fos­sil fuel cor­po­ra­tions, and banks. . . .

1e. Next, the pro­gram reviews aspects of the activ­i­ties of Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne, Vat­i­can schol­ar, inter­na­tion­al fas­cist asso­ciate, cult “expert” and Vam­pire buff. Intro­vi­gne is a mem­ber of Allean­za Catholi­ca, an ultra-reac­tionary Ital­ian polit­i­cal orga­ni­za­tion that is allied with the Knights of Mal­ta, the P‑2 Lodge and Opus Dei, as well as the Latin Amer­i­can fas­cist group Tra­di­tion, Fam­i­ly and Prop­er­ty, a some time col­lab­o­ra­tor of the CIA. Note that Opus Dei, the P‑2 and the Knights of Mal­ta are inter­twined in the sub-Rosa pow­er pol­i­tics of the Vat­i­can. Evi­dence sug­gests that Introvigne’s sta­tus as a cult expert serves to jus­ti­fy and (per­haps) run PR inter­fer­ence for var­i­ous fas­cist cults. Intro­vi­gne appears to have done just that for a fas­cist sect called “New Acrop­o­lis.”

“Dis­rep­utable Forces at Work Among the Sect Researchers at CESNUR”), By Michiel Louter; 8/13/1997.

. . . Intro­vi­gne, by the way, is a mem­ber of the CCD, a right-extrem­ist fla­vor of the Ital­ian Chris­t­ian Democ­rats, who, in the past year, end­ed an alliance with the neo-fas­cist ‘Liga Nord,’ and who bare­ly lost the elec­tion to the ‘Forza Italia!’ with Berlus­coni, their strong leader. What do you real­ly think about fas­cism? “Haha­ha! In my own coun­try, I pre­fer to describe myself as mid­dle right. Look, our alliance could have won the elec­tion if they had tak­en the prop­er fas­cists of the MSI on board. But we did­n’t do that. And don’t for­get the rest of it, that the total­i­tar­i­an spir­its and the com­mu­nists with their glo­ri­fi­ca­tion of Stal­in and his gulags.” . . .

Passtime of Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne and J. Gor­don Melton of CESNUR

1f. Curi­ous­ly, Intro­vi­gne is also a vam­pire buff/promoter. In addi­tion to being fas­ci­nat­ed with vam­pires him­self, Intro­vi­gne is part of a vam­pire soci­ety that pro­motes var­i­ous social/professional events about vam­pires. Mr. Emory won­ders aloud about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Introvigne’s vam­pire tech­niques might well serve as a cov­er for var­i­ous types of unsa­vory activ­i­ty.

“Cof­fin Break To Vam­pires Every­where, Fangs For The Mem­o­ries” By Car­ol Bid­well; The Los Ange­les Dai­ly News; 7/23/1997; p. 1.

 . . . Cur­rent inter­est in things occult, mys­ti­cal or mys­te­ri­ous as evi­denced by the pop­u­lar­i­ty of shows such as ‘the X‑Files’ ‘can be attrib­uted to peo­ple’s con­fu­sion over reli­gion, intrigue with the dev­il, and uncer­tain­ty about the after­life’, said Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne, a teacher of soci­ol­o­gy reli­gion at one of the 13 Vat­i­can uni­ver­si­ties in Rome. It’s dur­ing peri­ods like this that the idea of vam­pires gains some cre­dence. . . .

. . .We’re talk­ing Drac­u­la ’97, the four-day gath­er­ing in cel­e­bra­tion of the cen­ten­ni­al of Bram Stok­er’s Goth­ic vam­pire nov­el, Drac­u­la. . . . “There are 100 schol­ars com­ing to present papers on vam­pires, but it’s real­ly a par­ty,” said J. Gor­don Melton, who is orga­niz­ing the event with Mas­si­mo Intro­vi­gne. “The major­i­ty of peo­ple com­ing are just like us–people who like vam­pire and hor­ror movies. It’s going to be fun–a bunch of sil­ly peo­ple dress­ing up and bit­ing each oth­er on the neck.” . . .

2. The pro­gram con­cludes with an exam­ple of the war-mon­ger­ing rhetoric that has become accept­able in US nation­al secu­ri­ty cir­cles. An arti­cle co-writ­ten by a for­mer Marine Corps Colonel espous­es the use of “privateers”–armed pirates on Chi­na’s large mer­chant fleet.

Hav­ing achieved the rank of colonel in the Marine Corps, Can­cian is obvi­ous­ly no fool. It is unthink­able that he does not know either the lyrics of, nor the mean­ing of the lyrics of, the Marine Corps Hymn. “From the Halls of Mon­tezu­ma to the Shores of Tripoli . . .” The lat­ter is a ref­er­ence to one of the first Marine Corps actions against the Bar­bary Pirates of North Africa in the first decade of the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry.

The actions espoused by Can­cian and Schwartz would be seen as an act of war.

Just imag­ine the reac­tion in this coun­try if a retired Chi­nese colonel wrote in a Chi­nese mil­i­tary jour­nal, espous­ing the use of armed pirates against U.S. mer­chant ship­ping!

“Unleash the Pri­va­teers!” by Colonel Mark Can­cian [USMC—Retired] and Bran­don Schwartz; Unit­ed States Naval Insti­tute; April 2020.

Naval strate­gists are strug­gling to find ways to counter a ris­ing Chi­nese Navy. The eas­i­est and most com­fort­able course is to ask for more ships and air­craft, but with a defense bud­get that may have reached its peak, that may not be a viable strat­e­gy. Pri­va­teer­ing, autho­rized by let­ters of mar­que, could offer a low-cost tool to enhance deter­rence in peace­time and gain advan­tage in wartime. It would attack an asym­met­ric vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of Chi­na, which has a much larg­er mer­chant fleet than the Unit­ed States. Indeed, an attack on Chi­nese glob­al trade would under­mine China’s entire econ­o­my and threat­en the regime’s sta­bil­i­ty. Final­ly, despite per­va­sive myths to the con­trary, U.S. pri­va­teer­ing is not pro­hib­it­ed by U.S. or inter­na­tion­al law. . . .

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