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News that the US was abandoning its Kurdish allies in Syria ahead of onslaught from Turkey (while unsurprising for many) didn’t bode well with Crikey readers. If this is how the Donald Trump and the US treat their allies, what does it mean for Australia? Elsewhere, readers pointed out the big flaw in conservative reactions to China’s rise, and questioned the Coalition’s Senate ambitions.

On the Kurds and the West

Frank Dee writes: If this is how the Trump administration treats the loyal allies that fought and died alongside its troops in Syria, then what are they going to do to us if China or Indonesia decide that Australia is an impediment to their security or their expansion?

On China’s economic rise

Neil Hauxwell writes: The CCP has facilitated a massive increase in productivity, influence and national confidence as western industrialists have sold out their workers to better feed the Walmart supply chain. If I was an old bloke in a village outside Xingtai, I’d be thinking I’d seen a lot of progress in my lifetime, even if my lungs were rooted. Compare this with Australia and the rest. Any notion of the government in the people’s interest has been stripped away by relentless neocon bullshit, a parasitic finance sector and the swarms of influence-peddlers laying siege to state and federal governments. It’s time for us to get nonaligned (particularly from nationalist looneys) and strike out for international cooperation in sustainable development.

Peter Schulz writes: Naomi Klein in her book The Shock Doctrine gives countless historical examples that completely debunk the neoliberalists’ ideological fantasy that “free-market” economies and democracy are necessarily codependent. Starting from Chile in the 1970s to present-day Anglo countries like Australia, the neoliberalists invariably move societies towards repression to make their economic theories work better. China just had a head start.

On the Coalition’s Senate ambitions

Steven Westbrook writes: If the Coalition had any any historical perspective they would not entertain fiddling with the Senate. Prior to PR, governments could more easily gain Senate landslides. Imagine the mental state of Coalition members if a future ALP government were to achieve what has eluded them since 1949. Also I’m no constitutional lawyer, but it has been argued that the relevant clause in the constitution states that geographic representation was only “until the Senate provides” and that the Senate can’t revert from election of Senators at large.

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Peter Fray

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