The Group of Seven Should Finally Be Shut Down
by Vijay Prashad
During the May 2023 Group of Seven (G7) summit, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, near where the meeting was held. Not doing so would have been an act of immense discourtesy. Despite many calls for an apology from the US for dropping an atomic bomb on a civilian population in 1945, US President Joe Biden has demurred. Instead, he wrote in the Peace Memorial guest book: ‘May the stories of this museum remind us all of our obligations to build a future of peace’.
Apologies, amplified by the tensions of our time, take on interesting sociological and political roles. An apology would suggest that the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wrong and that the US did not end their war against Japan by taking the moral high ground. An apology would also contradict the US’s decision, backed fully by other Western powers over 70 years later, to maintain a military presence along the Asian coastline of the Pacific Ocean (a presence built on the back of the 1945 atomic bombings) and to use that military force to threaten China with weapons of mass destruction amassed in bases and ships close to China’s territorial waters. It is impossible to imagine a ‘future of peace’ if the US continues to maintain its aggressive military structure that runs from Japan to Australia, with the express intent of disciplining China......
................. G7 leaders stand before the cameras pretending to be world representatives whose views are the views of all of humanity. Remarkably, G7 countries only contain 10 per cent of the world’s population while their combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is merely 27 per cent of global GDP. These are demographically and increasingly economically marginalised states that want to use their authority, partly derived from their military power, to control the world order. Such a small section of the human population should not be allowed to speak for all of us, since their experiences and interests are neither universal nor can they be trusted to set aside their own parochial goals in favour of humanity’s needs.............
Visits of Justice: Stella Assange’s Plea to Australia
It certainly got the tongues wagging, the keyboards pressed, and the intellectually dead aroused – at least for a time. Given how many of those in the Australian press and media stable have been, for the most part, unconcerned, and in some cases celebratory, regarding the prosecution of Julian Assange, it was strikingly poignant to have his wife, Stella, present at the centre of Australia’s press epicentre: the National Press Club in Canberra.
For those familiar with the ongoing prosecution of the WikiLeaks founder by the United States via the extradition processes of the United Kingdom, a brutal carnivalesque endeavour that continues to blight that legal system, there is not much to be said. Stella had to get her point across to a pack of the uninitiated – most of them, anyway – and state the obvious fact that her husband is facing gloomy prospects across the pond for spilling the beans on the US National Security State. Once the doors open to such a prosecution on US soil, bets are off on the subject of publishing national security information in the public interest. For the first time in US legal history, a journalist, defamed and harassed, will be conveyed into the bowels of a carceral state so revolting it makes Belmarsh look like a modest retreat.
The method, however, lay in the personal touch, one that draws out Assange as the dedicated, loving, and intellectually stimulated everyman. There is talk about the “fledging rainbow lorikeet” that her husband reared when he was on Magnetic Island off the coast of Townsville in Queensland. Remembering the “chestnut coated mare which he would ride when he stayed in the Northern Rivers.” There was also surfing in Byron Bay in his teens, and beekeeping in the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria..............