22 Jun. 2006

Save the whales, stuff the native from Reading the Maps

Absolute genius: we're beating the Pacific over the head with whale corpses. My (Mark's) editorial follows . . .

Australasia likes using the Pacific as its private fiefdom. Obviously the rest of the world doesn't care too much about a smattering of islands without many people, no industry, and a few natural resources. America cares for strategic reasons, which is why they made Australia deputy sheriff in the 1940s while Britain's back was turned. Indonesia cares because it's expansive, and Australia has to keep that in check, but otherwise the only reason anyone, even nearby nations like Japan and Taiwan pay any attention, is because these tiny nations have voting rights on international bodies incommensurate with their size. The Pacific island nations can sell postage stamps, internet domain names, and votes on international bodies to the likes of Israel, Japan and Taiwan, nations with money and unpopular causes. Australia generally doesn't mind that, because there's nothing Australia respects these days as much as money, but for some reason they're spoiling for a scrap with Japan. Reasons on the postcard below. Maybe Howard wants to appeal to the bleeding hearts out there to distract from his brutalisation of human beings, depradations in Melanesia, etc. Nothing like a bit of cheap jingoism—1914, etc. I don't really understand why Japan wants to whale so bad in the first instance, either. Enlighten me?