It’s December! You know what that means. No, it doesn’t mean it’s time to drown your sorrows in eggnog and shitty Hallmark movies, although both are on my to do list. What it does mean is we are officially entering the last month of this ATROCIOUS year. It feels like Americans are more divided now than at any time since the Civil War, but there is one thing I’m sure we can all agree on and that’s FUCK 2020!

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Australia v. China

We’ll start in the Pacific region with news surrounding Australia and New Zealand, who will get to 2021 a whole fucking day before America those vegemite sandwich eating BASTARDS.

New Zealand has joined Australia in condemning a truly wild tweet from China.

A spokesperson for China’s foreign minister tweeted the following picture of an Australian Special Forces soldier holding a knife to an apparent Afghan child.

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who btw… sup,

joined Australia in calling the image false.

While the image may be false, the horrors Australia are accused of are most certainly not.

Australian Defense Forces have fired 13 soldiers, and another 19 are accused of murder thanks to a report that they killed and tortured 39 Afghani civilians and prisoners. The report even alleges an almost frat-like culture where soldiers were forced to make their first kill on prisoners.

For those of you who know Australia as the land of Foster’s beer and fuzzy koalas, it may come as a surprise to you that their soldiers can compete with the U.S in the War Crimes Olympics. I, for one, am not shocked that the most elite members of a military that belongs to a penal colony which is chalk full of the deadliest creatures on earth also happen to be bloodthirsty savages.

Jk Australians, please don’t hurt me 🙂

Australia is indeed holding the soldiers who committed these atrocities accountable, and they’re hardly the only western country guilty of killing civilians or executing prisoners. Compared to the way China treats Uighurs, the Afghans had it easy. So really China is just stirring the pot, but why?

Well China has not been happy with Australia lately. The two sides are tangled in a pseudo-trade/cold war, weird little “are we flirting or are we fighting?” back and forth type deal. Aka they’re beefing hard.

This week China increased import taxes on Australian wine from 107% to 212%. China is Australia’s biggest trade partner by far, and the Chinese guzzle more Australian vino than wine from any other country.

This isn’t the first barb in what has become a bitter trade dispute between the two Pacific Nations, but this tax in particular has evoked international outcry.

A global initiative to support the budding Australian wine industry has led to over 200 lawmakers from countries around the world calling for people to buy Australian wine in the face of what is described as Chinese bullying.

The movement has even prompted an uncharacteristic showing of support from the White House National Security Council.

Imagine explaining to Harry S. Truman, who founded the National Security Council in 1947, that in 73 years his precious security apparatus would be tweeting #AussieAussieAussieOiOiOi!

China’s overall beef with Australia is complex, but it ultimately comes down to China wanting to get the entire region into lock step with it. As Chinese influence grows on a global scale, including in Australia where they own up to 2% of the country’s soil and infrastructure, they intend to slowly start exerting their power.

When Australia refused to stay silent on Chinese human rights abuses, Beijing was more pissed off than a Staten Island girlfriend who just got dumped. Hell hath no wrath like a communist dictatorship scorned.

It will be extremely interesting to see how this situation plays out in the new year. China is still locked into a dragged out trade war with the U.S, as well as minor trade disputes with Pacific countries like Japan and South Korea. It’s influence in Africa and Europe is growing thanks to the Belt and Road initiative. It is also strengthening ties to foreign powers like Iran Afghanistan and Russia. But the global outcry and support for Australia shows that Beijing’s mission for control won’t be a walk in the park.

#ProtestWatch

Dictionary.com has chosen pandemic as the word of the year, a solid choice no doubt. But take COVID-19 out of the equation and “protest” would have won in a landslide.

From citizens of Hong Kong protesting for their freedom to Black Lives Matter protests in countries throughout the globe, our world has become accustomed to seeing scenes like this:

Over the weekend we covered protests in London and Paris. This week we see similar protests in India and in Mexico, where murders hit an all time high in 2019.

Mexicans protested the murder of a French businessman and his Mexican associate. They also protested a broader trend of women, young girls in particular, being slaughtered at a very high rate.

An even bigger series of protests are currently taking place in India’s capital of New Delhi. Farmers from all over the country, but especially from agricultural state Punjab, have been marching by the thousands to the capital to protest agricultural reforms which will open up their sector to private investment.

Indian farmers fear the new laws will allow corporations to unfairly siphon profits from the industry which has long been government subsidized.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55152462With an estimated 50,000 farmers marching into Delhi from neighboring state Haryana alone, the protests have been described as (stop me if you’ve heard this before) mostly peaceful. Despite this, farmers were met with tear gas and water hoses in the capital city.

India has since moved the farmers to a “protest site” outside the capital where the demonstrations have been allowed to continue. Analysts expect the protests will only continue to grow in the coming days/

We’ll end it there today, keep it light to begin the month and leave you to digest today’s events. We’ll be keeping an eye on the China/Australia situation as well as further potential developments out of Iran later in the week. Let the countdown to 2021 BEGIN.

P.S Australians… I’m only messing. Aussie Rules fucking rocks. It’s all love.