by Ross Meurant

Changing the focus from Destruction of Democracy by Jacinda Inc. to a wider international horizon – momentarily: Battleships or BOC (Bags of Cash)?

Not battleships, according to former Aussie Prime Minister, Paul Keating who once recounted describing to an American admiral the sound a U.S. aircraft carrier would make in a major fight: “Glug, glug, glug.” (1)

If Keating’s perspicacity provides a realistic guide to where today’s power is vested, perhaps it’s prudent to review the paradigm for world hegemony?

An American author of a book about his role of Economic Hit Man (EHM), describes his former peers as, “highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars”. (2)

John Perkins first assignment was Panama 1972 where he describes American political and economic interference but which culminated ultimately in military intervention to oust a “dictator” and install a president of their choice.

Panama was part of America’s geopolitical strategy to control the Canal, for the economic impact was massive and to help sustain the US the most powerful nation on the planet – at that time.  

Perkins describes a similar model later applied throughout South and Central America. 

This century, Egypt, Libya and Syria were invaded by variations of the EHM model and “Colour Revolutions” to “deliver democracy” to enable USA to get their hands on the oil. 

In the case of Iraq, blatant fabrication of evidence i.e., weapons of mass destruction were the ultimate petulance displayed by George W. Bush and Tony Blair (described by the Chilcott report as a war crime). (3)

Another US author, William Hartung’s book Prophets of War, focuses on the dubious deeds of the Military Industrial Complex, which by my analysis has been the driver of American foreign policy since WW2: i.e.  to deliver democracy via the barrel of a gun. (4)

Contemporaneously, an American economist Paul Craig Roberts, author and former civil servant, contributes to the theme:

“First a country is enticed with bribes to the leaders to take out loans that cannot be serviced or repaid.  Then in comes the IMF. Austerity is imposed on the population. Public services and employment are cut to free resources for debt service, and public assets are sold to repay the loan.” (5)

Commentators of this standing are difficult to discard.  Their message suggests that America interferes in the politics of almost every country where the leadership fails to pay adequate fealty to Uncle Sam, by introducing “democratic reform” in the form of “colour revolutions” to replace “dictators” (America’s preferred pseudonym).

However, as a matter of personal academic integrity, balance in commentary is important, and it is my assessment that China walks a similar pathway to that which America has trod in term of EHM.  

Example:  In 2007, the state-owned Chinese firm China Harbour Engineering built the port for $361 million. When the project began losing money Sri Lanka leased the project to state-owned China Merchants Port on a 99-year lease for $1.12 billion which was used by Sri Lanka to address balance-of-payment issues.

Today, commentators attribute two principal factors to Sri Lanka’s current economic crisis: (1) Internal corruption & (2) foreign debt.

Currently China appears to use the cheque book rather than the barrel of gun, to intrude into the South West Pacific: Fiji and Solomon Islands being two cases to come to mind.  However, whether China will resort to the barrel of gun when they take back Taiwan, as they promise to do and surely will, we are yet to learn.

Meanwhile, Russia has resorted to the barrel of a gun diplomacy to liberate parts of Ukraine which had been subject to relentless intermittent artillery shelling by Ukraine since the Minsk Agreement was signed (and largely ignored).

Unquestionably, Russia has exposed America and EU as militarily impotent.  Bluster by Boris and Biden replaced any inclination to risk being targeted by Russia’s hypersonic nuke missile delivery systems which the West acknowledge: they cannot stop.

Which perhaps begins to undermine Keating’s claim?  Maybe it is military might the rules?

However, there is a massive difference between a sitting duck aka aircraft carrier and hypersonic missiles launching systems constantly on the move across the vast expanse of Russia or lurking in the deepest blue. 

Cold War v. Hot War?

The high probability (in my view), is that the “Ukraine Incident” and the pending “Taiwan Incident” (6) (7), will not culminate in a nuke exchange.

Hong Kong exposed the resolve of UK and the Rest when it came to the test.  Just as Ukraine exposes the resolve of US and EU.    Ipso facto. 

These outcomes perhaps send a signal to others who have relied on support form from friends:  Beware of Greeks bearing Gifts – a aphorism which seems to have been ignored by the countries who suffered the consequences of EMH — i.e.  American Economic Hitmen.

The higher probability (in my view), is that as Russia and China proclaim the days of America Ruling the Waves, is over, their ultimate weapon will be BRICS.

Take the time to read on opinion other than the biased presentation of the NZ Herald and RNZ.  “The US dollar hegemony Russia and China and Brics nations plan to craft a new international reserve currency.” (8)

What further erodes the might of the Western Bloc, according to Aljazeera, 27 July 2022 is:

Russia doing better than expected despite sanctions: IMF

Russia’s economy appears to be weathering the storm of Western-imposed sanctions better than expected, as it benefits from high energy prices, the IMF has said.

The sanctions were meant to sever Russia from the global financial system and choke off funds available to Moscow to finance the war.

But the International Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic Outlook upgraded Russia’s GDP estimate for this year by a remarkable 2.5 percentage points, although its economy is still expected to contract by six percent.

“That’s still a fairly sizable recession in Russia in 2022,” IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas told the AFP news agency in an interview.

What rules the waves? Seems BOC prevails.


On reflection of New Zealand’s privatisation period which started under the regime of Rogernomics and was roundly condemned at the time by Bolger’s National Opposition as, “Selling the Silverware”, but nevertheless embraced by Ruthernomics when Sir Roger’s heretic polices saw Labour dumped in 1990 and National in.

How close was New Zealand to being caught in the net of debt reliance on America and concomitant political subservience? 

Note: At the time I was an MP (I am a staunch supporter of Rogernomics) and well I recall accusations from Rt Hon Winston Peters and various National MPs, that New Zealand was being used as a guinea pig to test the efficacy of Milton Friedman (9)

Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies & V.I.P. security; currently Honorary Consul for an African state, Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interest.

  2. John Perkins, Economic Hitman, Ebury Press,2016
  4. William D Hartung, Prophets of War, Nation Books, 2012.