John Pilger's new film foretolds armed conflict

CONTROVERSIAL: John Pilger is an Australian journalist who has been a strong critic of American, Australian and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda. He won the Sydney Peace Prize in 2009. This is a still from Pilger's documentary film The Coming War on China (2016).
CONTROVERSIAL: John Pilger is an Australian journalist who has been a strong critic of American, Australian and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda. He won the Sydney Peace Prize in 2009. This is a still from Pilger's documentary film The Coming War on China (2016).

THE Coming War on China is a documentary film by Australian journalist John Pilger.

The film premiered in the UK last December 2016.

In the documentary, according to Pilger, "the evidence and witnesses warn that nuclear war is no longer a shadow, but a contingency."

Pilger argues that the greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way.

To remind audiences of the horror of a nuclear conflict, Pilger explains the "unconscionable tale" of the Marshall Islanders since 1946, when the US first tested nuclear weapons on Bikini Atoll.

The islanders, Pilger claims, were effectively guinea pigs for the effects of radiation.

Pilger also claims that American military bases in the region are threatening China with a 'giant noose' around its territory.

Ahead of the film screening in Byron Bay, we asked John Pilger about his point of view on China and the USA.

Your film's premise is that we must fear both America and China in case of a war because both countries are nuclear superpowers. Am I reading this correctly?

The film's premise is spelt out at the beginning: that America and China may well be on the road to war, and that 'we' -that is, the public - should break a virtual silence on the prospect and consequences of what could develop into nuclear war.

The threat is principally from the United States which, in the 21st century, feels its dominance challenged and is reacting by rattling the sabres of its huge military. America is no long top dog, that's its problem; unfortunately the dangers belong to all of us.

Do you think Australia - given ANZUS and our commercial ties with Asia- is in a very uncomfortable position in the middle of this dispute? How do you rate the current Australian Government's handling of our foreign policy in Asia?

Yes, Australia faces a conundrum.

On the one hand, its political, military and intelligence establishment is integrated with US power - as well as much of its media.

On the other hand, China is Australia's biggest trader: the buyer of Australian resources, in large part the underwriter of the Australian economy.

We should not have to choose, of course; but pressure from Washington is intense.

New US bases have been established here; US generals and admirals visit frequently and try and re-awaken old fears that the 'yellow peril' is about to fall down us as if by the force of gravity.

In fact, Australia has no enemies, though its history suggests it willingly adopts those of distant imperial powers. Is this happening all over again?

What was the main obstacle to complete this film? Was it access to US official sources? Did you try to speak to official Chinese sources?

The main obstacle to completing the film was raising the necessary funds, and filming in extreme conditions in the Marshall Islands, where one of us went down with a dreadful mosquito-borne disease.

This was one of the hardest 'shoots' I've experienced.

Access to official - or in China's case, semi-official - sources wasn't difficult, but it required patience.

The only official source to turn us down was the Pentagon, with which we corresponded for more than six months. In the end, we secured interviews at a very high level in both the US and China.

As an international issue still developing, it is impossible to have all the pieces of the puzzle, but is there any piece of information you wish you could have unveiled for the completion of this film?

There is nothing significant that should have been in the film and isn't. The research was extraordinary; we gathered a wealth of material.

Do you think the premise of your film, that is the almost inevitable war on China, is mainly fuelled by the war industry or by the lack of accountability of the political class in countries like the US and Australia?

The film does not say war is inevitable; nothing is irreversible. And yes, lack of accountability is a major factor, especially the privilege, secrecy and power of the US armaments and 'security' industries.

President Obama initiated a $1 trillion program to increase America's nuclear arsenal.

Most of that will be unaccountable, yet it could be the reason nuclear war breaks out.

Topics:  byron bay documentary film john pilger northern rivers entertainment the coming war on china whatson

Delays as highway village moves into town

Milestones are being reached in the progress of the Pacific Highway upgrade.

There will be highway delays on the Pacific Highway this week

Lismore and the ongoing problem of water

EARLY HOUSING: The Spencer Cottee homestead. Mrs Mary Ann Cottee (wife of Spencer Cottee) owned the old Freemasons Hotel in Lismore.

Windmill at Freemasons Hotel first 'modern convenience' of its kind

Belly dancing for a cure to cancer

Stars of Lismore  Dance For Cancer event to be held in August, profiling radiation therapist Vanessa Knibbs from Northern NSW Cancer Institute, Lismore and Sasha Fox and Danielle Sansom from The Barefoot Gypsies Belly Dance Company.

Her teacher told her she had no rhythm ... she's proving her wrong

Local Partners

School bus seatbelt blitz

"THIS is something our communities have been crying out for and I'm committed to making sure kids across the state can travel to school safely.”

Horrorshow ready to eat cake in Byron Bay

VISITING: Horrorshow is an Australian hip hop duo from Sydney formed by Adit and Solo.

Hip hop duo will play their latest music in Byron Bay this weekend

REVEALED: Meet our five Ninja Warriors

TWEED HEADS: Upcoming TV Series Ninja Warrior contestant Jaymes Wright.

Australian TV series starts next month on Channel Nine

Ballina-born rugby star to rule The Block

THE son of former local pub owners is going as a 'rookie renovator' in the upcoming series.

Schapelle Corby's Bali boyfriend 'lonely' now she's free

“I really hope we can see each other again in the future."

‘One of the most ludicrous films ever made’

Optimus Prime in Transformers: The Last Knight.

Transformers: The Last Knight has been shredded by critics.

Transformers movie bombs to horror opening week

Optimus Prime in a scene from, "Transformers: The Last Knight."

Transformers 5 had the worst opening in the franchise’s history

How 9/11 helped make Waleed Aly a household name

Waleed Aly and Susan Carland at the 2016 Logie Awards

“It feels like there was a script written for me,” he said.

Pixar weighs in on viral Toy Story theory

Woody and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.

DID Andy’s dad tragically die just before the story took place?

Ocean views up for sale at Bargara Rise

LAND RELEASE: Rob Sergiacomi on site at the Bargara Rise development off Watsons Road Bargara.

More ocean-view land comes on the market at Bargara

Blueberries help property market boom

RURAL MARKET: Elders sale agent Terry Deefholts, Norman Arkan and rural sales agent Angus McDonald.

Growth in the rural property market

Gateway to $3 billion, 4800 home new Coast city opens

The start of Peter Crosby Way at Sippy Downs, the northern access into the Harmony master-planned community at Palmview.

Palmview's $3b master-planned community of Harmony

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!