THE BRICS’ NATIONS’ STRANGE BEIJING DECLARATION FROM LAST ...
I have to say that this website's article contributors are some of the sharpest people on the planet, so much so that occasionally they send along articles with their own cursory analyses which I find to be so compelling that I simply put a bit of spit and polish on them, and write the blog. Such is the case today with this article and "scenario analysis" by an individual who prefers to remain so anonymous that he (ahhh.... the benefits of the traditional masculine pars pro toto usage of the English language!) doesn't even want his initials used as a means of thanking him for the article and observations!
So today's high octane speculation is really not my own.
With that, here's the article:
The declaration for the most part is, as one can tell from reading it, the usual and most-self-congratulatory boilerplate that such declarations coming out of international conferences tend to be. There are, however, a couple of intriguing "linguistic ambiguities" that make one wonder. The first of these (not pointed out by our anonymous article contributor) is the unusual language concerning the United Nations organization:
5. We reiterate our commitment to multilateralism through upholding international law, including the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations as its indispensable cornerstone, and to the central role of the United Nations in an international system in which sovereign states cooperate to maintain peace and security, advance sustainable development, ensure the promotion and protection of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and promoting cooperation based on the spirit of mutual respect, justice and equality.
6. Recalling the BRICS Joint Statement on Strengthening and Reforming the Multilateral System adopted by our Foreign Ministers in 2021 and the principles outlined therein, we agree that the task of strengthening and reforming multilateral system encompasses the following:
- Making instruments of global governance more inclusive, representative and participatory to facilitate greater and more meaningful participation of developing and least developed countries, especially in Africa, in global decision-making processes and structures and make it better attuned to contemporary realities;
Translation: no way in hell we're going to allow the United Nations organization to transmute into a global government and give up our national sovereignty, and any view of using it to impose the old Western imperialism on Africa in a new guise is not acceptable. This is hightlighted by the later statement that the BRICS nations agree that the UN Security Council has the sole authority to level sanctions... take that, USA...
Beyond the usual double-talk of such boilerplate, however, there are a number of very peculiar parts of this document that relate to space. Consider the following paragraphs (and I have reversed the order of their appearance):
58. We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation in line with the Agreement on Cooperation on BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation and the convening of the first joint committee meeting. We are satisfied with the formulation of working procedures for data exchange and joint observation of the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation and appreciate the commissioning of data sharing and exchange of the constellation. We encourage BRICS space authorities to continue to effectively utilize the capacity of the Constellation, and to widely promote application with data of the Constellation, aimed at facilitating the sustainable development of BRICS countries.
29. We call for strengthening the system of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, including the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BTWC) and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC), and for preserving their integrity and effectiveness to maintain global stability and international peace and security. We underline the need to comply with and strengthen the BTWC, including by adopting a legally binding Protocol to the Convention that provides for, inter alia, an efficient verification mechanism. We reassert our support for ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS) and of its weaponization, including through negotiations to adopt a relevant legally binding multilateral instrument. We recognize the value of the updated Draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT) submitted to the Conference on Disarmament in 2014. We stress that practical Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs), may also contribute to PAROS. (Emphasis added)
Now, as our anonymous contributor put it in the email accompanying the article, notice the reference to the use of force against "Outer Space Objects" and that the Brics nations are against this. As our anonymous contributor noted, one does not use force against certain types of objects, like sand, or water, or forests, or even, to use another example from the context of the declaration itself, "remote sensing satellite constellations", which could certainly qualify as "objects" against which one might under certain circumstances use force, which, again, the BRICS nations in this declaration are against.
So let's extend our anonymous contributor's high octane speculations: why even mention such a thing? One answer is that, in 2022 when this declaration was made, the USA had already begun its strange media campaign of releasing its films and videos of "objects" in space, films very obviously - if not doctored or made up in a Disney studio - the result of military aircraft gun camera footage. That idea alone implies military responses - "force" - perhaps being used against these things - or "objects". A further context to this potential "war in space against 'objects'" is the strange remarks of President Ronald Reagan that Mr. Gorbachev subsequently revealed that Mr. Reagan had made to him. Basically Mr. Reagan's question was, "If ET attacks us, will you help us?" to which Mr. Gorbachev informed us that he had responded to Mr. Reagan's strange inquiry with a resolute affirmative.
So the BRICS declaration of 2022 actually poses a huge change on the part of one of those parties to Mr. Reagan's query, and therefore on the part of the BRICS nations of which it is a part: Russia. If the USA is shooting at someone out there, the BRICS declaration to which Russia is signatory is tantamount to saying "You're on your own..."
So the questions are, what changed, and when did it change, and why? In answer to that question, join me in crawling even further out on the end of the high octane speculation twig, and recall for further potentially relevant context the strange remarks made by Russian leader Dmitri Medvedev a month before the Chelyabinsk meteor incident, calling for an international effort to construct an "asteroid defense system," and his additional statement that if no one joined Russia in the effort, Russia would just have to do so itself. Questioned as to how Russia would defend against asteroids, Mr. Medvedev stated that Russia could perhaps use its many strategic nuclear missiles, and then cryptically mentioned "other means" which were left conveniently unspecified. Or consider Mr. Trump's strange remarks during his administration about needing "another" space force, and his equally strange remarks about other types of weapons beyond nuclear that no one would believe.
In other words, the 2022 BRICS declaration shows us something that, unless you're paying close attention, you might miss: it's showing us a rift among the space powers of the world regarding "objects in space", one side apparently confronting them with force, and the other saying to the first "you're on your own," and kuddos to our anonymous article donor for spotting it. So, again the questions are, what changed, when did it change, and why?
And that, good readers, is not a rhetorical question. It may, indeed, be the most pressing geopolitical, and perhaps even spatiopolitical, question.
See you on the flip side...
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