The Art and Science of Narrative: strategic, weaponised and geopolitical satire

Note: These 2 articles link to my Linkedin Profile Send an invite to Pamela to connect.



21 January, 2020: Presidential Power Has Passed but Rebellion is in the United States’​ DNA

Pamela Williamson


30 October, 2020: Navigating the Choppy Covid US Election 2020 Seas: American crisis and resilience

Pamela Williamson

Narrative

“Playing with perception and ideology is at the heart of narrative”

Sky Canopy

Consulting

Pamela Williamson  LL.B MCTS

Law and Masters in Conflict and Terrorism Studies

Pamela’s Linkedin Profile: 

Narratives Consultant Analyst Research Synthesiser Mentor

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Scroll down for Anti-Disinformation Narrative MetaModel in Divergent Contexts (Terrorism and Great Power)

Origins of Satire, Strategic Narrative and Propaganda
Satire I: It is Hard not to Write Satire
“It is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant
of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself…”

Difficile est saturam nōn scrībere. nam quis inīquae
tam patiēns urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat sē…
(1.30–32)

– Juuvenal ( early 2nd century)

“Typical mental attitudes attacked and ridiculed by Menippean satires are “pedants, bigots, cranks, parvenus, virtuosi, enthusiasts, rapacious and incompetent professional men of all kinds,” which are treated as diseases of the intellect.[1][4] The term Menippean satire distinguishes it from the earlier satire pioneered by Aristophanes, which was based on personal attacks.[5]”:

https://lnkd.in/gSTWnsV

On Satire: Linkedin Article Pamela



Sky Canopy Consulting Owl of O.W.L. page: © All Rights Reserved




Narrative MetaModel

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i. Narrative Meta-Model DIAGRAM + TEXT ©

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ii. a. Strategic Narrative Design IElements of Narrative MetaModel, Effective YARNS and Counter-Narratives ©

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b. Narrative Design II: Narrative Theory, Structure, Analysis and Research, Weaponised, Resilience Narratives and YARNS  ©

This paper is excerpted (with amendments) from my Master of Conflict and Terrorism Studies Dissertation submitted to the University of Auckland in October 2018.

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iii. Narrative Meta-Model Divergent Contexts © : Terrorism & Great Power

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2018 Paper: Strategic Narrative Building

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The following paper was written in partial fulfillment of the Master of Conflict and Terrorism Studies degree programme at the University of Auckland over the period of 2017-2018 when Russian disinformation strategies in the 2016 US Election were coming to light……………………..

“Strategic Narratives and YARNS: the Effectiveness of Communication Strategies to Neutralise Russian Information Warfare and Influence Operations, Shift Perceptions in Adversary Populations & Immunise Domestic Populations

Pamela Williamson LL.B MCTS

26 October 2018

For an Example……..

click to read a strategic, geopolitical & satirical narrative for Our Times:

“The Classified Adventures of Owl: the Evolution, Anatomy & Deconstruction of a Strategic Narrative”

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July 23: A TALE OF THE OLD SOUTH -the History and Legend of the Lost Cause: a memetic ‘history lesson’ & narrative vaccine for fading grandeur and nostalgia

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/activity-6691749091132653568-a6w3



May 15, 2020 Owls Come Out at Night and in Daylight

This piece was written on my first day out of lock down in New Zealand.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/owls-come-out-night-daylight-pamela-williamson-llb-mcts-/


August 14, 2018: metaphors within Metaphors: a snake eats its own tail

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/metaphors-within-pamela-williamson-llb/



2018: Effects-Based Psychological Operations Measures of Effectiveness: Measuring Change and Impact (p. 25 – 37) in

“What Do Others Think and How Do We Know What They Are Thinking?” — A Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) Periodic Publication

Rafa Linera Rivera and Gregory Seese



January 13, 2017: SMA CENTCOM Reach-back Reports (Strategic Multi-layer Assessment)


Media and Cultural Studies,
Narrative,Human Terrain,Messaging,Strategy and Military Operations

At the request of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), the Joint Staff, Deputy Director for Global Operations (DDGO), jointly with other elements in the JS, Services, and U.S. Government (USG) Agencies, has established a SMA virtual reach-back cell. This initiative, based on the SMA global network of scholars and area experts, is providing USCENTCOM with population based and regional expertise in support of ongoing operations in the Iraq/Syria region.

This is Part 1 of a 9 part series of SMA Reach back responses to questions posed by USCENTCOM. Each report contains responses to multiple questions grouped by theme. The complete reports can be accessed at: http://nsiteam.com/sma-reachback-cell/



Pamela

March 15 2019 was a day of shock and terror for New Zealanders hitherto not scarred by terrorism in recent years. The Christchurch mosque shootings have left an indelible mark on New Zealand’s national identity and have raised New Zealand’s consciousness once again about endemic racism and extremism in its midst.

The following piece was written a fortnight later and was published in Stuff.co.nz, on the NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence Twitter, and in the US Homeland Security Today Journal Perspectives…….

“The End of the Golden Weather: Terrorism in New Zealand”

March 10, 2020:One Year After March 15 Attacks: what has changed in New Zealand?

Pamela’s Linkedin Profile:

Rating: 1 out of 5.
sky canopy consulting

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SEASON 9, Chapter 4, “The Classified Adventures of Owl: in which Owl Has A (Remote) Reccy Round the Palace of The Empress and Hoo Does He Find?

BBC Earth natural world Owl Head Swivel

For Zany Cast of Characters, Previous Chapters and Seasons Go to: Sky Canopy Consulting Owl of O.W,L. page: https://skycanopy.wordpress.com/owl-of-o-w-l/

No alt text provided for this image
New Zealand Southern Morepork Owl (ruru or boobook)

Story so far……Owl, our superhero and blatantly self-promoting covert operative and legend, is currently on the outer of O.W.L. (Owl Woo-Woo unLimited) due to his excessive success in bringing down the enemies of the World Wide Wood (www.). He has taken unowltherised leave (AW-OWL) from Brown Owl, Head of Troop of O.W.L. in the NZ Bush and gone on a noc mission with his Raiders of the Lost O.W.L., Brown Owl being preoccupied with a state visit from The Empress of the Middle Wood. He has gone looking for prejudicial information on her doings.

Owl obtained directions to the Palace of The Empress on the Silk Road from one of her vain dragon assets who was easy to fool. But he met up with Song Cixi (pron. Shong Shee Shee), the beauteous Guardian of the Garden of Delights of The Empress, who took him on a trip to the Garden which turned out to be a bird cage. Owl used his lateral supersonial and supernovial abilities to escape. Then The Owlettes, discards of O.W.L. , Owl’s baby-sitters, birdwatchers, nursemaids, and former Shooby- dooby wa wa ladies, opened their huge joint wingspan and enveloped the seductress Song Cixi.

No alt text provided for this image
NZ Taniwha Postage Stamp

The Taniwha, a very real mythical creature brought along on the mission for its mystical powers, gift-wrapped her in a box with a bow and mailed her by Twitter Pacific Post (TPP) back to The Empress.

The Empress is still squawking loudly to Brown Owl on her diplo-perch in the NZ Bush!

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Hu Die, 1930’s,Shanghainese actress

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Brown Owl on her perch at the O.W.L. Circus

Owl (with asperity): They make a fine pair taking tea together!

Owl: Now, on with the mission, Raiders! We have to dig around for something or someone we can use as leverage on The Empress without being caught. I’m going to kill two birds with one stone – sabotage The Empress and put that Brown Owl back in her place!

Sniffles and snivels: I used to be appreciated by O.W.L. Now I’m just a retired hack hoo has to do his own thing. But I have IDEAS of my OWN!

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Red Owl (Tyto soumagnei)

Owl: Mmm, that Scarlett is a possibility for my palace reccy and shufti.

Our sleepy sleeper agent Scarlett Pimpern-Owl has not pulled her weight yet on this mission. She’s free-riding on me and didn’t even help with my rescue from the bird cage (her specialty!!). She’s getting lazy. She’s been living in the Middle Wood for a while now and has had too many treatos in the Garden of Delights.

(musing) After my great side-trip to the Pasha and the rescue of my Dear One Belle Epoque from the clutches of that Great Horny Owl Bodyguard (NOT THE OTHER ONE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS!), she exited Madagascar with her Karma Chameleons and came back to the NZ Bush to do some Mind-Tampering and Cognitive Cleaning and Refresher courses with ED, but has really free-loaded since.

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SurreyJohn – Own work; Chameleons tongue striking at food, Animated GIF

She’s certainly the right colour to blend in, but she needs to be “woke” to do her bit for O.W.L. Perfect for the job I have in mind…..it needs an owl up with the Modern Ideology of the Wood, but at the same time naturally subversive. She ticks all the boxes. She’s a wild thing AND on contract only, so can be cast off without a pellet to her name at any time! Plausible Deniability and Nuts – the motto of O.W.L. I’ll just have to make sure she isn’t turned by the Sleepy Delights of the Empress’s Garden.

The Owlettes: What about us!

We will not be replaced by that slacker Scarlett! If necessary we will go on our own sub-mission, Owl. Whaddaya say to that, you shmucking-feathered freak?

Owl: Mesdames, stop fluffing your feathers! You will of course supervise and will be responsible for EVERYTHING. I will stay back in safety and issue directives via my OTT (Owl Twitter Transmission). Have you got your devices synchronised?

The Owlettes (sniffily): Naturellement, you lazy drongo! We’re off! Come on, Scarlett, wake up! Get Penguino (why we don’t know!) and follow me. We need you alert to rescue us if required and help find some leverage on The Empress for Brown Owl to use to save the NZ Bush Branch of the Wood!

Scarlett Pimpern-Owl (snoring, twittering and opening one eye): (to self: What’s up? Oh, it’s those twins again) Well, what is it, I’m resting?

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Kwong Wah Sing Maidens C1 Firecracker Pack Label

The Owlettes: Get moving, or we’ll find you a permanent resting place!

Scarlett: Be careful, girlies, I may just decide to leave you behind if you need rescuing. My chameleons do my bidding and they might just feed you to the dragons. They do have some familial familiarity!

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Owl

Owl (sternly): Be off with all of you at once or I will apply a sanction of my own. It might just involve a hole in the ground and a drain cover.

The Raiders of the Lost O.W.L. take off for the palace leaving Owl to have 40 winks. They zoom through the draughty rooms looking for that something or someone for Brown Owl to hold over The Empress. Not a lot at first glance but as they skeeter around the floor on their tough little legs they spy a creature hoo looks like a femme formidable – one of The Empress’s Ladies of the Court.

The Owlettes (quickly shape-shifting into a guard): Stop! Hoo goes there?

W00Zee: It’s me, Woozy, second cousin of Sleepy Scarlett and sister by another mother of Song Cixi!

The Owlettes (to selves): We think we’ve found the very thing – a triple whammy! Something to leverage The Empress, Brown Owl AND Scarlett!!

Next Time: The Owlettes bring their ‘cache’ back to Owl and the team zooms back to the Bush to interrupt the Diplo-Squawk of Brown Owl and The Empress at O.W.L. HQ!

Erté art deco fashion illustration art print by Tina Lavoie fineartamerica.com
Erté art deco fashion illustration art print by Tina Lavoie fineartamerica.com

Pamela is a New Zealand consultant, founder of Sky Canopy Consulting, a writer, a geopolitical satirist, researcher, analyst and synthesiser, with a Masters in Conflict and Terrorism Studies from the University of Auckland.

She has been around long enough on this planet to be a former lawyer, psychotherapist and executive coach.

She loves owls, masks, ballet, black cats, hot air balloons, witches and wizards, Shakespeare, metaphors, memes, magical realism, hypnosis, reading, history, walking around lakes, living by the sea, carnivals, carousels, circuses, Fiat cars, surrealism, Mozart, opera, dragons, cheongsams, sky rockets, turkish delight, spider brooches, mosaics, museums, hot baths, beer, red wine, bedtime stories, Christmases, holidays, native birds and their habitats, riding on her broomstick and travelling in her imagination.

#theclassifiedadventuresofowl #greatowlcompetition #strategicnarrative #theempress #wuzetian #qipaolady #scarletpimperel #giantpenguin #narrativeinfluence #yarns #magicalrealism #worldwidewood #allegories #metaphors #espionage #intelligencecommunity #geopolitics #internationalrelations #foreignaffairs #brownowl #nzbush #military #strategicnarrative #narratives #bedtimestories4adults #influence #suntzu #humint #fubars #snafus #owngoals #strigidaeowls #fowlplay #weaponisednarrative #weaponizednarrative #narrativewarfare #smallpowerindependence#greatpowercompetition #owls #moreporkowls #newzealand 

Published by

Pamela Williamson LL.B MCTS 🦉Narrative Strategist, Analyst, Visionary, Word Wizard, Satirist, Narrative Magic; Founder and CEO Sky Canopy Consulting

Pamela Williamson  LL.B MCTS 🦉
Pamela Williamson

More from Pamela Williamson LL.B MCTS 🦉

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🦉😎🥝SEASON 9, Chapter 3: ‘The Classified Adventures of Owl – in which Owl is Captured by a Qipao Lady and Made To……’​

🔔 If you received an earlier email with an incomplete Owl story, all is now well.

Cast of Charactershttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cast-characters-classified-adventures-owl-williamson-llb-mcts-/

Story so far……Owl of O.W.L. (Owl Woo-Woo unLimited) has gone O-wol (Owl Without Limits) again, this time to the the Silk Road Palace of The Empress, now his main strategic adversary after P-Hootiy and Horny Owls were consigned by heroic Owl to perdition in Hell🔞.

Check out Owl in the right corner behind the chariot…..

Apollo in his Chariot Transforms Night into Day, Jean-Baptiste Marie Huet, (French, 1745–1811)
Apollo in his Chariot Transforms Night into Day, Jean-Baptiste Marie Huet, (French, 1745–1811), Oberkampf & Cie., (Jouy-en-Josas, France, 1759–1815), Pen and brown (bistre) ink, brush and gray wash, pale orange watercolor, black chalk [?] on cream laid paper, Apollo drives his chariot pulled by four horses across the sky. He is preceded by Dawn or Day holding torch and scattering flowers. Behind chariot are female attendants and three allegories of Night amidst stars, crowns, flying bats and owls. In lower left corner, Diana in front of a crescent moon, hovers above Endymion who sleeps. Public domain 

To continue…..since his famous exploits (winning the Battle of Owl Creek and capturing the enemies of the Wood), Owl was getting a bit bored with his calm and contented family life with his chouette, the petite French Owl Belle Epoque (athene noctua), his son Leafy Green and, err, umm, the other one(s). He developed ‘mental health issues’, like any proper covert operative should, and desired freedom on the open road. Then after Brown Owl fired him for continual successful insubordination (on successive successful missions), he absconded from the NZ Bush with his new crew on a noc mission to save the World Wide Wood (www.) from The Empress (hoo wants to lease back the NZ Bush to O.W.L. on severe and repressive terms).

Read on…..

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/season-9-chapter-3-classified-adventures-owl-which-pamela/?trackingId=0l%2FwJtDOR4GeyH1b7u4vwg%3D%3D

GO TO Sky Canopy Consulting Owl of O.W.L. page https://skycanopy.wordpress.com/owl-of-o-w-l/ for previous chapters and back story:

🦉😎🥝 Out Now! SEASON 9, Chapter 2, “The Classified Adventures of Owl”​: in which the Raiders of the Lost O.W.L. Meet a Dragon of The Empress on the Silk Road

Cast of Characters: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cast-characters-classified-adventures-owl-williamson-llb-mcts-/

NZ Morepork Owl (ruru) Ninox novaeseelandiae (Gmelin, 1788) 

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Owl: 你好 ( ni hao / nĭ hăo ), Gidday, Hello and Good Day to youse. I’m coming to you via OTT Comms (Owl Twitter Transmission) from the Silk Road.

I’ve got my Raiders with me. Sadly, a bunch of losers – many are untested owlets (junior recruits of O.W.L.) subverted by me and promised promotion by Brown Owl if we succeed in my latest A.W.O.L. (Owl Without Limits) mission.

Brown Owl of O.W.L. (Owl Woo-Woo unLimited) is currently engaged in diplomacy with The Empress, a cunning ploy to distract her from her plan to lease the NZ Bush back to O.W.L.

But I’m not so em-pressed. I know this dragon-lady from way back.

I have a plan, well, the makings of a plan, well, OK, I don’t have a plan. But I have my Raiders and my secret weapon – me! And the Taniwha will provide mystical invisible cover if we happen upon a dragon. 

Some of my Raiders are a bit past it, but they’re old friends like The Owlettes and Penguino.

The Owlettes (OWLUS INTERRUPTUS): We’re listening in, you, you klutzy-feathered flucker!.

No alt text provided for this image

Image: The taniwha Āraiteuru, on a New Zealand Post stamp

Owl (continuing imperviously): Others like Scarlett Pimpernowl and my Special Ops ‘weapon of mass disruption‘, the Taniwha are seasoned Owlperatives and highly reliable and fearsome.

I know, I’m a very bad Owl. But what can you do? I will train up their lateral supernovial and supersonial abilities so they can be fierce predators in the NZ Bush – if they survive the dragons of The Empress loose in the World Wide Wood (www.)

Speaking of which……

Owl: I will pretend to be alone while The Taniwha provides cover and hides my Raiders.

你好 ( ni hao / nĭ hăo), my fierce, Pretty One with the Red Scales (they like flattery!).

Dragon: Hoo goes there?

Owl: ‘Tis me, Owl, O Firebird. I’m a bit lost. Can you give me directions to the Silk Road? I wish to do an advantageous deal with your mistress. What is your name, O Gracious Sentry?

Dragon (preening)I am called 最美麗的龍 Zuì měilì de lóng (the Most Beauteous Dragon) of the Middle Kingdom because I win the Great Fire-breathing Competition every year.

Owl (smoozily)And what a fine figure of a dragon you are too! Take me to your mistress, The Empress!!

Dragon (preening more and complying immediately): I will take you to her palace, but she is busy with a bird called Brown Owl in the NZ Bush at the moment engaged in some delicate diplomacy from the highest branch of the Eastern Wood. You can wait there.

Owl: How charming and accommodating of you, Zuì měilì de lóng.

Owl to the Raiders (whispering): Stay under cover of Taniwha and follow!

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La Grande Pagode de l’oie sauvage a Chang-an (actualle Xi’an), construite en 652 et réparée par l’impératrice Wu Zetian en 704

Palace of The Empress

Owl and his Raiders of the Lost O.W.L. go to the Reception desk

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Statue de Xuanzang, située à l’intérieur de la Grande pagode

Guard: 你好 ( ni hao / nĭ hăo) May I help you?

Owl: 你好 ( ni hao / nĭ hăo) Greetings from the NZ Bush. I am HE Owl of O.W.L. My mistress Brown Owl is enjoying a diplomatic dance with your gracious mistress today. See to it that I have large and luxurious rooms. I am an emissary sent to wait for her return by her illustrious dragon 最美麗的龍 Zuì měilì de lóng.

Reception: At once, Your Excellency! (calls to staff for a buggy for Owl)

The chariot was used in Chinese warfare from around 1250 BCE but enjoyed its heyday between the 8th and 5th century BCE when various states were constantly battling for control of China.



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Owl to Raiders: We’re in! Nice digs!

View of Pit 1, the largest excavation pit of the Terracotta Army

To work!!! But first a call to Reception for a Qipao Lady!

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25.media.tumblr.com
Grace Chang (born June 13, 1933), aka Gě Lán (葛蘭)

But suddenly, as Owl turns around, Song Cixi, his old adversary, the Keeper of the Garden of Delights of The Empress, appears:

Song Cixi (pron. Shong Shee Shee): You called, Owl?

Next Time: Owl and his Raiders of the Lost O.W.L. deal with Song Cixi and have a dig around the palace of The Empress to find something compromising.

穿旗袍的女人 (

Pamela is a New Zealand consultant, founder of Sky Canopy Consulting, a writer, a geopolitical satirist, researcher, analyst and synthesiser, with a Masters in Conflict and Terrorism Studies from the University of Auckland.

She has been around long enough on this planet to be a former lawyer, psychotherapist and executive coach.

She loves owls, masks, ballet, black cats, hot air balloons, witches and wizards, Shakespeare, metaphors, memes, magical realism, hypnosis, reading, history, walking around lakes, sailing, living by the sea, carnivals, carousels, circuses, Fiat cars, surrealism, Mozart, opera, dragons, cheongsams, sky rockets, turkish delight, spider brooches, mosaics, museums, hot baths, beer, red wine, bedtime stories, Christmases, holidays, native birds and their habitats, riding on her broomstick and travelling in her imagination.

No alt text provided for this image
Qipao Lady

Published by

Pamela Williamson LL.B MCTS 🦉Narrative Strategist, Narrative Magic, Visionary, Word Wizard, Founder and CEO Sky Canopy Consulting

Linkedin: 227 articles

🦉😎🥝 Out Now! SEASON 9, Chapter 2, “The Classified Adventures of Owl”​: in which the Raiders of the Lost O.W.L. Meet a Dragon of The Empress on the Silk Road

🦉For previous Owl narratives go to the Sky Canopy Consulting Owl of O.W.L. page: https://lnkd.in/gKMC4Qb

#theclassifiedadventuresofowl #greatowlcompetition #strategicnarrative #greatpowercompetition #owls #moreporkowls #newzealand #theworldwidewood #narrativeinfluence#yarns #magicalrealism #theempress #wuzetian #qipaolady #terracottaarmy #thesilkroad #allegories #metaphors #espionage #intelligencecommunity #geopolitics #internationalrelations #foreignaffairs #brownowl #nzbush #military #narratives #bedtimestories4adults #influence #suntzu #humint #fubars #snafus #owngoals #strigidaeowls #fowlplay #taniwha #weaponisednarrative #weaponizednarrative #narrativewarfare #smallpowerindependence #grandstrategy #diplomacy #dragons

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Pamela Williamson  LL.B MCTS 🦉

Pamela Williamson LL.B MCTS 🦉

Narrative Strategist, Narrative Magic, Visionary, Word Wizard, Founder and CEO Sky Canopy Consulting

More from Pamela Williamson LL.B MCTS 🦉

See all 227 articles

SEASON 9, CHAPTER 1: “The Classified Adventures of Owl of O.W.L. : in which the noc Renegade Raiders of O.W.L. Get Lost on the Silk Road in the World Wide Wood (www.)”

Cast of Characters: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/cast-characters-classified-adventures-owl-williamson-llb-mcts-/

New Zealand Morepork Owl (ruru) Ninox novaeseelandiae (Gmelin, 1788) 

Owl of O.W.L. (Owl Woo Woo unLimited)

Owl: Greetings, Owl lovers! It’s been a while. O.W.L. HQ has had a reboot and I’ve been given the boot by Brown Owl. She has finally sacked me for being too creative and independent-minded on missions and a loud hooter. She’s tired of having shade thrown on her and me getting all the credit.

My little noc team has walked in solidarity which is fairly gratifying, I must say! Brown Owl really must learn that renegade owls like me are the most effective but she does it by the boo-book so nuts to her!

To keep reading….

South China Sea military risks rising, APSI security summit officials warn

Military leaders say trade routes in the South China Sea face increased risk and New Zealand cannot be complacent about it.

A Chinese Navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military drills in the South China Sea on January 2, 2017.
A Chinese Navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military drills in the South China Sea on January 2, 2017. Photo: STR / AFP

Sky Canopy Consulting founder Pamela Williamson said the conflict could not be ignored by Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We are not so far away. Our supply chains are reliant on those trade routes being kept open through Asia to us. There is a real difficulty in assuming that because of our distance, we are somehow able to be immune or away from the global conflicts in that area,” Williamson said.

RNZ News, 7:40pm on 29 March 2021

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/439430/south-china-sea-military-risks-rising-apsi-security-summit-officials-warn

#southchinasea #newzealand #nztraderoutes #freedomofnavigation

Presidential Power Has Passed But Rebellion is in the United States’​ DNA

Image: A painting depicting president George Washington and his troops before their march to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.

The New American Dream, that newly-sworn-in President of the United States Joe Biden (just roll that around your tongue for a second!) expounded in his Inauguration Speech a few hours ago, checked many fine, noble goals and virtues – all relating to the renewal of democracy and the repudiation of authoritarianism both domestically and internationally.

He reiterated that there was “so much work to do” rolling back Donald Trump’s nightmare presidency via 15 immediate executive orders to combat COVID and climate change, and the neglect and sabotage of the needs and interests of the US People, including those even of his own supporters.

However, translating this laudable and inspirational speech, like all newly-inaugurated presidential speeches, into reality comes fraught with increasingly subtle challenges as well as known paths of negotiation and compromise.

Watching Democrats and Republicans come together in an effort to convey bi-partisanship and unity left a hollow feeling as if someone was missing at a wake – like a deceased who declined to attend his own funeral.

The Sourpuss-in-Chief waved as he got into an Air Force helicopter and disappeared – but not from the consciousness of 74 million Americans who voted for him, many of whom simmer with resentment still over their claim that the election was “stolen” by “voter fraud”.

The lack of a cheering crowd down the Capitol Mall due to COVID inevitably diminished proceedings, despite due solemnity enlivened by the familiar greetings of guests, celebrity performances and the startling brilliance of young inaugural poet Amanda Gorman.

With the presence of all living presidents (except Jimmy Carter too ill to attend and Trump himself), there was a sense that the presidential White House lease had been returned to its rightful owners from its insurgent occupiers. In the aftermath of the insurrection attacking the Capitol on January 6, red and blue US lawmakers appeared to unite for the first time in 4 years in the face of an assault on their temple of democracy. That was one step too far for former Republican Senate Majority Leader McConnell (who graciously presented the presidential pair Biden and VP Harris with a gift), and former VP Mike Pence whose presence signified the legitimate and peaceful transfer of power in Trump’s absence, but was nevertheless a front and side-reminder of his former boss whose presence would have been akin to a bad smell at a wedding.

So, legitimacy restored, formal documents signed, a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to honour the fallen, events continue throughout the day. The most significant actions are the signing of 17 executive fiats to roll back some of the most destructive and disruptive actions of the Trump presidency:

Biden’s day one orders:

– Axios Inauguration Day Dashboard

Tick, tick, tick the boxes that will commence the “consequential presidency” of Joe Biden, and bring the United States back into the world as a good faith player ready to play fair and provide world leadership again by consent.

In the background for now, but hovering with intent, is disgraced former President Trump, who has already been quietly plotting his post-presidency course and come-back which will kick off in Florida at Mar-a-Lago, his fortress where, like a thinly-disguised William Randolph Hurst in ‘Citizen Kane’, he will mourn his *”Rosebud”, his lost opportunity to achieve greatness. In time we shall hear from Citizen Trump again – and his **militias – but for now the far-right and its enablers the Alt-Right of America have been silenced.

Pamela Williamson at Auckland, 11:51am NZT, Thursday, 21 January, 2021

Amendments: 5:43pm

*“Rosebud” reference: “Citizen Kane”, Orson Welles’ excoriating portrait of the decline of a thinly-disguised William Randolph Hurst the newspaper publisher and politician in his castle San Simeon.

** Trump is fielding the idea of forming the ‘Patriot Party‘, a nod and a wink to the Far Right which idolises the word which to them means something quite different and threatening from its usual meaning in American lore, and which has co-opted it in memes that extol insurrection.

Sky Canopy Consulting’s TOP Significant Geopolitical Events, Conflicts, Articles and Reports of 2020 (apart from Coronavirus and the US Presidential Election)

Addio a Berlino by Christopher Isherwood

It’s a wrap! Sky Canopy Consulting’s TOP Significant Geopolitical Events, Conflicts, Articles and Reports of 2020 (apart from coronavirus and the US presidential election)

There has been a lot of distracting noise this year surrounding the 2 events that trip-wired us all into the worst year in living memory – Coronavirus and the US Presidential Election being the low-hanging fruit. The impact of coronavirus on conflict zones has been severe.

Germany has sombre words for Geopolitik turmoil that have great gravitas: angst, Zeitgeist, Weltanshauung, and dekadenz. Much political commentary in 2020 (including mine) has harkened back to the vorgestellt Berlin of the 1930s when a fascist dictator rose to power and challenged the sleeping world order, despite the post-World War I Versailles Treaty and Churchill’s warnings.

Despite Mark Twain’s apocryphal quotation, History does not rhyme, it echoes. It reverberates in the collective unconscious we inherited from our parents and grand-parents and is amplified by our schooling and the media. But, as we lawyers like to say, it is sui generis, and it would be a great and lazy mistake to assume History will repeat itself or rhyme. The evolution of great powers tells us that a perfect storm of unique circumstances and events, and individuals, will give rise to a tectonic shift in the balance of power.

The real story of 2020 is China and the unveiling of the dark side of its ‘China Dream’  (zhōngguó mèng); repression at home (Uighur Muslims), regional repression (Hong Kong), regional existential threat (Taiwan) and world domination (via the BRI). The gloves have come off. That is not solely to do with President Trump’s clumsy mismanagement of the response of the United States which is primarily defensive ie lacking in a coherent national strategy beyond rhetoric and some scattered largely ineffectual fights he has picked (eg the trade war and the tech war). His main success has been in turning public opinion against China leaving incoming President-elect Biden a compromised legacy but with still some alternatives with which to create a new National Security Strategy in 2021: an Indo-Pacific Cooperation Agreement and reengagement with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (negotiated by Barack Obama and withdrawn from by President Trump).

In short, “An Indo-Pacific strategy composed of strong regional alliances, free trade agreements, and enhanced military air- and sea-power projection capability will best position the American government to maintain its competitive advantages over China and protect its national interests.”: The Strategy Bridge

CSIS: “Among other changes [to the CPTTP], you will want:

“Getting the United States into a transformed CPTPP—i.e., CAIP—framework is likely to involve US demands for significant changes. It would also require rebuilding congressional support and an extension of Trade Promotion Authority, which expires on July 1, 2021.”: PIIE

As for the allies and putative allies the United States wishes to cultivate, their interests are both short-term (economic survival post-Covid) and medium-term security interests. What “significant changes” the US may require for it to rejoin the agreement sabotaged by President Trump, is unclear. The interests of the Indo and Asia-Pacific nations may not always coincide with those of the United States. And given Trump’s alienation of almost every state (except fellow authoritarians), there is considerable diplomatic groundwork required to repair bridges and motivate/influence those with multi-lateral agendas. That may not be easy and may require the US to re-embrace its own multi-lateral roots itself in some form and re-invigorate its soft power strategies and narratives beyond those of dominance and control. This tension between national security, economics, and sovereign independence will likely see more friction in 2021.

Asia-Pacific

  • The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the RCEP: the CCTTP a free trade agreement between 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region (signed on March 8, 2018, it entered into force on December 30, 2018, after a majority of signatories ratified the agreement): Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam; the recent RCEP Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free trade pact among ASEAN, China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. These agreements more than anything have galvanised the United States left out of the biggest trade blocs in the world outside a disjointed EU.

Indo-Pacific

The Indo-Pacific countries are navigating (literally) a sensitive transition as regards China. They see China coming (and China sees them see it coming!). Arranging trade and military cooperation (rather than posturing and making inflammatory overt alliances) enables them to plausibly deny they are readying themselves to stand up to China with more horizontal reinforcements given they can no longer rely on the United States. The Malabar naval exercises for the first time involved Australia:

“The exercise comes less than a month after a highly symbolic Quad meeting in Tokyo of the top diplomats of four of the most powerful democratic countries in the Indo-Pacific region — Japan, Australia, India and the United States. Although few concrete takeaways emerged from those talks, they were widely interpreted as a message to China.

The exercises are not formally linked to the Quad forum, but observers say the participants hope to turn drill into a counterweight to Beijing’s increasingly potent military and political influence in the region.” – Japan Times

China

  • The CCP Fifth Plenum, October 2020: The next Five-Year Plan and Long-Range Objectives for 2030 of China will be released in March 2021.
  • Read here the Proposal of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party on Drawing Up the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and Long-Range Objectives for 2030.

China watcher CSIS: “the communiqué references a “profound adjustment in the international balance of power,” which, although not a new term, is making its in inaugural appearance in a document of this hierarchical importance. First used in 2017, the phrase has been explicitly linked to structural shifts accompanying the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Again, this is a reinforcement of a long-held narrative that China’s “composite national power” is rising, while United States continues on what Beijing sees as a long-term deterioration of power and standing.”

New Zealand

Despite its economic interests, New Zealand has stood up to China gamely in 2020, no doubt under pressure from the United States: NZ joins Five Eyes allies in condemning China for ‘concerted campaign to silence all critical voices’ in Hong Kong. PM Ardern has weathered China’s vituperative outbursts (several) with equanimity.

A leaked CCP list allegedly shows New Zealand-connected party members.

Australia

Australia is currently embattled with China. It is under persistent attack – threats, wolf-warrior diplomacy, trade sanctions and general hostility which has become mutual. Its Chinese-language media are under pressure and there are STILL converations as to whether Australia should be buying its border-security technology from China’s Nuctech?

Moves to reduce trade dependence are well underway but the trade imbalance is daunting:

“That means making new plans, with new partners that will drive our security and our prosperity, while also reducing China’s ability to use trade as a weapon. Iron ore and clean energy could well be at the heart of this for Australia.” – Michael Shoebridge for The Strategist

The Research Report of SAGE Australia, The Strategic Implications of Changing Dynamics & Regional Partnerships on Major Power Competition in the Indo-Pacific argues for the development of “the most inclusive and collaborative regional assemblage possible” (p.12) to balance China’s aggression.

EU and United Kingdom

  • Brexit: Were it were not for the South China Sea freedom of navigation issues, Brexit might remain as a spat between declining and fragmented powers of marginal interest. But the UK is expanding its horizons once more into the Indo-Pacific, cognisant that great power competition is a game the former colonial power must be involved in too if it wishes to preserve its economy post-Brexit. So must the fractious EU which is the world’s biggest trading bloc if it only realised it and pulled together.

Russia and Disinformation

  • Russia: remains the ‘star’ (or Tsar) of disinformation activities. They define Russia’s every move internationally from Ukraine, the Baltic States, the United Kingdom, and Europe to the United States. Kremlin Watch‘s empirical products on disinformation (tools, handbooks, research and policy reports) are valuable in their focus on Europe and Russia’s near abroad; and the Disinformation Review of the EU East StratCom Task Force keep us entertained daily with new iterations of Russia’s laughable absurd claims, believed of course by its domestic audience (no one else) and powered by the bored Tsar Putin who seemed disengaged and painting by numbers during his latest 41/2 hour Christmas rant (aka annual marathon press conference). In 2020 he has been subject to gossip (resignation due to alleged Parkinson’s Disease) but he introduced the Immunity Bill to allow him to continue uninterrupted as dictator until the Russian people have a change of heart. It passed on December 9. Mark Galeotti decodes Putin’s Christmas message here.
  • The Moscow-Beijing Rapprochment: there are voices implying appeasement is an effective strategy to deal with this growing competitive ‘friendship’, whilst at the same time acknowledging that China and Russia are unlikely to move apart from each other in an increasingly-likely escalation in 2021 and beyond of grayzone activities that benefit both Russia and China.

Hybrid Warfare

“All this means that cyber defense must include not just the better cybersecurity that businesses have for at least the past decade been told to focus on. Especially in the case of companies critical to the functioning of society—energy utilities, airports, water companies, grocery chains, internet providers—defense alone is clearly not enough. Some NATO member states already engage in offensive cyber, and last month the United States’ Cyber Command was joined by the United Kingdom’s new National Cyber Force. The question, as the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission noted in its final report, is how to build cyber-deterrence that credible, agile, and fast.” – Elizabeth Braw for FP

Transnational Extremism

In the wake of the New Zealand Royal Commission Report into the Christchurch mosque attacks in March 2019, a new study shows islamist violence remains the top terror threat.

Lawfare or International Law:

The United States and China are at loggerheads still over the minutiae of the East and South China Sea disputes. The various claims involve all nations along China’s “String of Pearls” as regards ownership of gas and oil fields undelying it, but the dispute has also brought in maritime nations all over the world due to its strategic significance for trade and freedom of navigation. Hybrid warfare (conflict below the threshold of outright war ) continues to be conducted in the ASEAN region.

Despite the fact that these [Spratly] islands are seemingly useless to most of the world’s unaware population, the reason behind such heated arguments for its ownership is in the humongous amounts of gas and oil deposits, rich marine ecosystem and having a strategically important location for military activities.”: Navigating the fault lines in the Indo-Pacific, Dibakar De, 14 December, 2020

The Belfer Center Guide to Freedom of Navigation

Finally, to keep hope alive…….

Liberalism

Dr Francis Fukuyama offered a defence of liberalism in theory and in practice. in his Lowy Institute November lecture which included his analysis of left-wing and right-wing identity politics, Trumpist politics outlasting Donald Trump’s presidency, and president-elect Joe Biden’s foreign policy. His lecture was followed by a conversation with Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Fullilove. 

🎄⭐🦉 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from me and my family to you and yours! And in the Rabelaisian words of New Zealand’s esteemed prime minister Jacinda Ardern,🤟……..to 2020!🥝😎🌊

Stay safe, live long and prosper 🖖

Pamela Williamson LL.B MCTS is the CEO and Founder of Sky Canopy Consulting, Auckland, New Zealand. Her Sky Canopy Blog will restart in the New Year.

Sky Canopy Consulting 2020 ©

Sky Canopy Consulting’s TOP Significant Geopolitical Events, Conflicts, Articles and Reports of 2020 (apart from Coronavirus and the US Presidential Election)

Addio a Berlino by Christopher Isherwood

There has been a lot of distracting noise this year surrounding the 2 events that trip-wired us all into the worst year in living memory – Coronavirus and the US Presidential Election being the low-hanging fruit. The impact of coronavirus on conflict zones has been severe.

Germany has sombre words for Geopolitik turmoil that have great gravitas: angst, Zeitgeist, Weltanshauung, and dekadenz. Much political commentary in 2020 (including mine) has harkened back to the vorgestellt Berlin of the 1930s when a fascist dictator rose to power and challenged the sleeping world order, despite the post-World War I Versailles Treaty and Churchill’s warnings.

Despite Mark Twain’s apocryphal quotation, History does not rhyme, it echoes. It reverberates in the collective unconscious we inherited from our parents and grand-parents and is amplified by our schooling and the media. But, as we lawyers like to say, it is sui generis, and it would be a great and lazy mistake to assume History will repeat itself or rhyme. The evolution of great powers tells us that a perfect storm of unique circumstances and events, and individuals, will give rise to a tectonic shift in the balance of power.

The real story of 2020 is China and the unveiling of the dark side of its ‘China Dream’  (zhōngguó mèng); repression at home (Uighur Muslims), regional repression (Hong Kong), regional existential threat (Taiwan) and world domination (via the BRI). The gloves have come off. That is not solely to do with President Trump’s clumsy mismanagement of the response of the United States which is primarily defensive ie lacking in a coherent national strategy beyond rhetoric and some scattered largely ineffectual fights he has picked (eg the trade war and the tech war). His main success has been in turning public opinion against China leaving incoming President-elect Biden a compromised legacy but with still some alternatives with which to create a new National Security Strategy in 2021: an Indo-Pacific Cooperation Agreement and reengagement with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (negotiated by Barack Obama and withdrawn from by President Trump).

In short, “An Indo-Pacific strategy composed of strong regional alliances, free trade agreements, and enhanced military air- and sea-power projection capability will best position the American government to maintain its competitive advantages over China and protect its national interests.”: The Strategy Bridge

CSIS: “Among other changes [to the CPTTP], you will want:

“Getting the United States into a transformed CPTPP—i.e., CAIP—framework is likely to involve US demands for significant changes. It would also require rebuilding congressional support and an extension of Trade Promotion Authority, which expires on July 1, 2021.”: PIIE

As for the allies and putative allies the United States wishes to cultivate, their interests are both short-term (economic survival post-Covid) and medium-term security interests. What “significant changes” the US may require for it to rejoin the agreement sabotaged by President Trump, is unclear. The interests of the Indo and Asia-Pacific nations may not always coincide with those of the United States. And given Trump’s alienation of almost every state (except fellow authoritarians), there is considerable diplomatic groundwork required to repair bridges and motivate/influence those with multi-lateral agendas. That may not be easy and may require the US to re-embrace its multi-lateral roots itself in some form and re-invigorate its soft power strategies and narratives beyond those of dominance and control. This tension between national security, economics, and sovereign independence will likely see more friction in 2021.

Asia-Pacific

  • The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the RCEP: the CCTTP a free trade agreement between 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region (signed on March 8, 2018, it entered into force on December 30, 2018, after a majority of signatories ratified the agreement): Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam; the recent RCEP Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free trade pact among ASEAN, China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. These agreements more than anything have galvanised the United States left out of the biggest trade blocs in the world outside a disjointed EU.

The Indo-Pacific countries are navigating (literally) a sensitive transition as regards China. They see China coming (and China sees them seeing it coming!). Arranging trade and military cooperation (rather than posturing and making inflammatory overt alliances) enables them to plausibly deny they are readying themselves to stand up to China with more horizontal reinforcements given they can no longer rely on the United States. The Malabar naval exercises for the first time involved Australia:

“The exercise comes less than a month after a highly symbolic Quad meeting in Tokyo of the top diplomats of four of the most powerful democratic countries in the Indo-Pacific region — Japan, Australia, India and the United States. Although few concrete takeaways emerged from those talks, they were widely interpreted as a message to China.

The exercises are not formally linked to the Quad forum, but observers say the participants hope to turn drill into a counterweight to Beijing’s increasingly potent military and political influence in the region.” – Japan Times

China

  • The CCP Fifth Plenum, October 2020: The next Five-Year Plan and Long-Range Objectives for 2030 of China will be released in March 2021.
  • Read here the Proposal of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party on Drawing Up the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development and Long-Range Objectives for 2030.

China watcher CSIS: “the communiqué references a “profound adjustment in the international balance of power,” which, although not a new term, is making its in inaugural appearance in a document of this hierarchical importance. First used in 2017, the phrase has been explicitly linked to structural shifts accompanying the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Again, this is a reinforcement of a long-held narrative that China’s “composite national power” is rising, while United States continues on what Beijing sees as a long-term deterioration of power and standing.”

New Zealand

Despite its economic interests, New Zealand has stood up to China gamely in 2020, no doubt under pressure from the United States: NZ joins Five Eyes allies in condemning China for ‘concerted campaign to silence all critical voices’ in Hong Kong. PM Ardern has weathered China’s vituperative outbursts (several) with equanimity.

Australia

Australia is currently embattled with China. It is under persistent attack – threats, wolf-warrior diplomacy, trade sanctions and general hostility which has become mutual. Its Chinese-language media are under pressure and there are STILL converations as to whether Australia should be buying its border-security technology from China’s Nuctech?

Moves to reduce trade dependence are well underway but the trade imbalance is daunting:

“That means making new plans, with new partners that will drive our security and our prosperity, while also reducing China’s ability to use trade as a weapon. Iron ore and clean energy could well be at the heart of this for Australia.” – Michael Shoebridge for The Strategist

EU and United Kingdom

  • Brexit: Were it were not for the South China Sea freedom of navigation issues, Brexit might remain as a spat between declining and fragmented powers of marginal interest. But the UK is expanding its horizons once more into the Indo-Pacific, cognisant that great power competition is a game the former colonial power must be involved in too if it wishes to preserve its economy post-Brexit. So must the fractious EU which is the world’s biggest trading bloc if it only realised it and pulled together.

Disinformation

  • Russia: remains the ‘star’ (or Tsar) of disinformation activities. They define Russia’s every move internationally from Ukraine, the Baltic States, the United Kingdom, and Europe to the United States. Kremlin Watch and the Disinformation Review of the EU East StratCom Task Force keep us entertained daily with new iterations of Russia’s laughable absurd claims, believed of course by its domestic audience (no one else) and powered by the bored Tsar Putin who seemed disengaged and painting by numbers during his latest 41/2 hour Christmas rant. In 2020 he has been subject to gossip (resignation due to alleged Parkinson’s Disease) but he introduced the Immunity Bill to allow him to continue uninterrupted as dictator until the Russian people have a change of heart. It passed on December 9. Mark Galeotti decodes Putin’s Christmas message here.
  • The Moscow-Beijing Rapprochment: there are voices implying appeasement is an effective strategy to deal with this growing competitive ‘friendship’, whilst at the same time acknowledging that China and Russia are unlikely to move apart from each other in an increasingly-likely escalation in 2021 and beyond of grayzone activities that benefit both Russia and China.

Hybrid Warfare

“All this means that cyber defense must include not just the better cybersecurity that businesses have for at least the past decade been told to focus on. Especially in the case of companies critical to the functioning of society—energy utilities, airports, water companies, grocery chains, internet providers—defense alone is clearly not enough. Some NATO member states already engage in offensive cyber, and last month the United States’ Cyber Command was joined by the United Kingdom’s new National Cyber Force. The question, as the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission noted in its final report, is how to build cyber-deterrence that credible, agile, and fast.” – Elizabeth Braw for FP

Transnational Extremism

In the wake of the New Zealand Royal Commission Report into the Christchurch mosque attacks in March 2019, a new study shows islamist violence remains the top terror threat.

Lawfare or International Law:

The United States and China are at loggerheads still over the minutiae of the East and South China Sea disputes. The various claims involve all nations along China’s “String of Pearls” as regards ownership of gas and oil fields undelying it, but the dispute has also brought in maritime nations all over the world due to its strategic significance for trade and freedom of navigation. Hybrid warfare (conflict below the threshold of outright war ) continues to be conducted in the ASEAN region.

Despite the fact that these [Spratley] islands are seemingly useless to most of the world’s unaware population, the reason behind such heated arguments for its ownership is in the humongous amounts of gas and oil deposits, rich marine ecosystem and having a strategically important location for military activities.”: Navigating the fault lines in the Indo-Pacific, Dibakar De, 14 December, 2020

The Belfer Center Guide to Freedom of Navigation

Finally, to keep hope alive…….

Liberalism

“we feel a big sense of anomie and discomfort when we are isolated from our fellow human beings”

Dr Francis Fukuyama offered a defence of liberalism in theory and in practice in his Lowy Institute November lecture which included his analysis of left-wing and right-wing identity politics, Trumpist politics outlasting Donald Trump’s presidency, and president-elect Joe Biden’s foreign policy. His lecture was followed by a conversation with Lowy Institute Executive Director Michael Fullilove. 

👁His lecture was rich in insights to take us into 2021, particularly his analysis of the #hyperpolarisation of the United States. He sees it arising from the search for #community by both the Left and the Right: the Right has a focus on #religion and #nation as a reaction to #globalisation#secularism and the dilution of #nationalidentity; the Left’s focus is on #inequality of #recognition and #rights.

What was most fascinating was his belief that hot war between the great powers is unlikely any time soon given that no power has the vast resources available to undertake one.

That view chimes with my own:

Hybrid warfare (highly damaging in any event witness the latest cyber attacks on the US), will be the likely modus operandi of strategic adversaries for the foreseeable future.

🎄⭐🦉 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from me and my family to you and yours! And in the Rabelaisian words of New Zealand’s esteemed prime minister Jacinda Ardern,🤟……..to 2020!🥝😎🌊

Stay safe, live long and prosper 🖖

Pamela Williamson LL.B MCTS is the CEO and Founder of Sky Canopy Consulting, Auckland, New Zealand. Her Sky Canopy Blog will restart in the New Year.

Sky Canopy Consulting 2020 ©

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, 3īd lmīlād / عيد الميلاد to You and your Family! Enjoy this Special Season and May Peace and Tranquility Reign in the Coming Year!

🔔🦉😎 Sky Canopy Geopolitical Blog is back in January 2021:

https://skycanopy.wordpress.com/blog/

Mt. Egmont New Zealand Retro Poster

I am temporarily suspending the Blog over the Holiday Season. It will resume again later in January 2021. 🎄 🕯 ⭐ 🏖

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, 3īd lmīlād / عيد الميلاد to You and your Family! Enjoy this Special Season and May Peace and Tranquility Reign in the Coming Year

After a chastening year of anxiety, lockdowns and uncertainty, that brought me back to what’s really important, this Christmas I intend to rely on my inner resources and wealth and focus on family, rather than on external displays.

We need some precious moments of carefree joy – reaching for the comfort of childhood memories or better times, escaping into fantasy, glamour, and treats as respite. Mt. Egmont (now Mt Taranaki/Egmont), and Taranaki and Coromandel beaches where I spent Christmas holidays in the 1950s and 60s, represents Christmas for me.

I remember the New Zealand polio epidemic in 1957 and having a Salk vaccine. My Dad, a young post-WWII doctor, took me to visit a man in an ‘iron lung’. It was scary and saddening to see this man struggling. By my Dad’s side I learned something about compassion, duty and social responsibility.

https://teara.govt.nz/en/epidemics/page-5


Covid-19 has revived our #socialconscience and #kindness and we must reduce the #inequality that #covid19 has highlighted. Neglected children, struggling families and abandoned animals must share in the season’s bounty.

Be safe, take care of others, and remember what turns your Christmas lights on!!💡🕯💖

See you in the New Year!

Pamela xx

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, 3īd lmīlād / عيد الميلاد to You and your Family! Enjoy this Special Season and May Peace and Tranquility Reign in the Coming Year!

🔔🦉😎 Sky Canopy Geopolitical Blog is back in January 2021:

https://skycanopy.wordpress.com/blog/

Mt. Egmont New Zealand Retro Poster

I am temporarily suspending the Blog over the Holiday Season. It will resume again later in January 2021. 🎄 🕯 ⭐ 🏖

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Chanukah, 3īd lmīlād / عيد الميلاد to You and your Family! Enjoy this Special Season and May Peace and Tranquility Reign in the Coming Year

After a chastening year of anxiety, lockdowns and uncertainty, that brought me back to what’s really important, this Christmas I intend to rely on my inner resources and wealth and focus on family, rather than on external displays.

We need some precious moments of carefree joy – reaching for the comfort of childhood memories or better times, escaping into fantasy, glamour, and treats as respite. Mt. Egmont (now Mt Taranaki/Egmont), and Taranaki and Coromandel beaches where I spent Christmas holidays in the 1950s and 60s, represents Christmas for me.

I remember the New Zealand polio epidemic in 1957 and having a Salk vaccine. My Dad, a young post-WWII doctor, took me to visit a man in an ‘iron lung’. It was scary and saddening to see this man struggling. By my Dad’s side I learned something about compassion, duty and social responsibility.

https://teara.govt.nz/en/epidemics/page-5


Covid-19 has revived our #socialconscience and #kindness and we must reduce the #inequality that #covid19 has highlighted. Neglected children, struggling families and abandoned animals must share in the season’s bounty.

Be safe, take care of others, and remember what turns your Christmas lights on!!💡🕯💖

See you in the New Year!

Pamela xx