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JAMES O’NEILL. Lessons from Mosul: Double Standards, War Crimes and Lack of Accountability

Lest week the Iraqi government announced that Mosul has been ‘liberated ‘ from the control of ISIS. The major campaign for Mosul’s liberation began in October 2016 when the US led coalition massively increased both bombing raids and artillery attacks that had in fact been going on since ISIS captured the city in 2014.   Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | Leave a comment

Aleppo and Fallujah. (Repost from 30 December 2016)

In light of the civilian disaster unfolding presently in Aleppo, it is timely to revisit the uncontradicted claims unwarranted action against civilians in Fallujah supervised by Australian military commander, Jim Molan. This piece was first published in 2008. If correct, the claims are an indictment on Australia’s military presence back then in Fallujah.  What now passes for legitimate military action when civilians are so exposed? John Menadue.

The report from On Line Opinion, 4 August 2008, follows:   Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

BRUCE DUNCAN. Curious Vatican article challenges right-wing US Catholics

Was Pope Francis aware that the Vatican newspaper was strongly attacking right-wing US Catholics for abandoning Church social teaching by political alliances with very fundamentalist Christian groups?   Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | Leave a comment

JIM COOMBS : Bean Counters Stand Up and Be Counted

Budget problems arise for governments who don”t control spending. Where are their financial advisers when gross overspending takes place. No business could survive the profligacy of our government’s spending. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

JOHN MENADUE. The litany of failed privatisations. (Repost from 20 March 2017)

Ideologues ,the self interested bankers and accountants and lawyers still persist with their fixation with privatisation despite the fact that it is failing in one area after another and the electorate shows very clearly that it does not want it.    Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

LOUIS COOPER. A Canadian’s mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay leads to a no-win for the Trudeau Government

Public debate over federal government’s $CA10.5 million payout to former “child terrorist” has tarnished Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Refugees and asylum seekers | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. Trust is falling in Western democratic institutions

One clue to understanding the loss of trust in the professional integrity of the Western media is their unrelenting efforts to demonize Russian President Vladimir Putin. Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. The Fall of Mosul and Raqqa opens the door for Australia’s exit from the Middle East

Now that ISIS has for all intents and purposes been driven out of Mosul and Raqqa the time has come for the Australian government to step back and review its diplomatic policies, and military commitments, in that region and focus back on the region of primary concern: East and Southeast Asia and the Southern Pacific. Whatever becomes of Trump himself there is little likelihood of the US reverting to the status quo ante as existing under the Bush and Obama administrations. Continue reading

Posted in Australia and Asia, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | 2 Comments

GEOFF DAVIES. The chasm between the society we are offered and the fair go we want

There is widely perceived to be a gap between our stumbling political system and the wishes of the Australian people. However those who look a little deeper into our Australian hearts see not just a gap but a yawning chasm. Continue reading

Posted in Current affairs, Economy | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Military/Security takeover of Australia’s foreign policy. (Repost from 2 February 2017)

The military and defence establishment and lobbies, both in Australia and the US are determining Australia’s foreign policy. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and her Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are being sidelined.  Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Beware, armed response.

If Turnbull’s plan becomes law – and the prospects of the Opposition stopping anything to do with ‘fighting terrorism’ are remote – we can expect a terrorist attack to trigger an emergency response from the Special Operations Command, whose officers will have to be trained to shoot to kill other Australians.   Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights | 3 Comments

IAN MCAULEY. The National Party’s Dämmerung – an awakening for representative democracy?

The National Party represents a declining demographic with values out of step with most Australians. In most democracies it would be sidelined as a fringe group. It holds disproportionate political influence only because we are not facing up to the need to break from our dysfunctional polarised political system. Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal | Leave a comment

LESLEY HUGHES. Solving the climate crisis: one city at a time

Although Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement, many cities in the US (and in Australia) are taking climate change matters into their own hands, thumbing their collective noses at ideological-driven policy paralysis at the federal level. Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Environment | Leave a comment

John Menadue. The Coalition, rural poverty and rural health. (Repost from 16 January 2016)

It is not surprising that independents are making headway in country electorates. But what is the ALP doing?   Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

GREG AUSTIN. Australians have little to fear from terrorism at home – here’s why. (Repost from 24 October 2016)

According to an ANU poll, more than half of the country’s adults are concerned Australia will be a target for terrorism at home and strongly believe the government needs to introduce greater preventive measures to combat it. But the reality is less alarming.

More Australians have died at the hands of police (lawfully or unlawfully) in ten years (50 at least from 2006 to 2015) or from domestic violence in just two years (more than 318 in 2014 and 2015) than from terrorist attacks in Australia in the last 20 years.

Although Australia’s terrorism threat level is set at probable, the likelihood of an individual being killed or wounded from a terrorist attack in this country is extremely low. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Malcolm gazes at broad church

Just about the last thing Malcolm Turnbull did before leaving Australia last week was to inveigh against his colleagues navel gazing. Continue reading

Posted in Current affairs | 1 Comment


When we examine the violations of law when the British took possession of eastern Australia in 1788, it’s little wonder that a growing number of people are seeking a date other than January 26 to celebrate Australia Day.
Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

LAURIE PATTON. NBN: How many more surveys before they get it? We are not impressed!

A raft of surveys have confirmed what everyone knows. We’re increasingly unhappy about the rollout of a technically inferior National Broadband Network. Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, NBN, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. How Murdoch got a foothold in Foxtel. (Repost from 1 February 2014)

At the last election Rupert Murdoch showed how ruthlessly he plays the political game-a game that has delivered great commercial benefits for his organisation, not just in Australia but particularly in the US and UK. One example of favours delivered by governments is the way the Australian Government in 1995 secured an invaluable foothold for News Ltd. In Foxtel.  Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Caught in the endless travails of his ungovernable party room, Frydenberg has procrastinated yet again.

The most remarkable thing our Prime Minister said last week was not his claim that the party founded by Sir Robert Menzies was not Conservative but Liberal – even liberal, a touch progressive.

This has furrowed brows and raised gorges, and not only from the right wing rump and their media claque. But it was at least a matter of debate, and so was duly debated.   Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. Why Blame Neo-Liberal Economics: A Response

My previous article on Why Blame Neo-Liberal Economics, which argued that neo-liberal economics was not a main cause of increasing inequality, drew an unusually large and mostly critical response. While it is not feasible to respond to all the detailed points that my many critics have raised, in this response I propose to focus on two big issues: (i) what is neo-liberal economics and how does it influence policy outcomes, and (ii) why has inequality increased since the 1980s. I will also briefly discuss the policy implications that flow from my analysis. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Taxation | 17 Comments

LUKE FRASER. Road reform, bureaucracy-style: no economic benefit, higher prices for users – and an easier ride for already-unaccountable agencies

From time to time our newspapers pen articles about road reform.  They raise the need for spending to be more efficient and less guided by the electoral pork-barrel and for more value to be visible to motorists.  The call for efficiency is particularly understandable as tax revenue become scarcer: the Westconnex motorway project in Sydney would almost fund the latest Gonski education reform package.  Westconnex would also fund almost half of Australia’s latest submarines purchase[i].   Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Transport | 4 Comments

PETER DAY. Show me the money!

Cricket’s two most powerful bodies have reached an impasse over pay. The enmity between the two runs deep – blinking first ain’t an option. Thus, all our elite players (230+) are currently unemployed. HOWZAT for a dilemma? Continue reading

Posted in Sport | 3 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. Fear, paranoia and anxiety in Turkey one year on from the failed coup attempt.

       As one opposition MP noted: ‘Turkey has been wrapped in a cloak of fear and anxiety’. Paranoia as well, he might have added.   Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Affairs | 1 Comment

IAN McAULEY. Australia’s economy: she’ll be right mate – or will she?

A few good economic indicators and Coalition disunity are distracting us from fundamental structural weaknesses in the Australian economy. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

DAVID MACILWAIN. Truth buried is truth denied.

Seymour Hersh’s latest revelations, that US intelligence knew Assad didn’t use chemical weapons in Khan Shaikoun in April are earth-shattering, and of crucial relevance to Australia and our military commitment in the war on Syria. We cannot allow them to be buried. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 6 Comments

KELLIE TRANTER. Different country, different rules

Leaked reports of clandestine operations by our elite special forces in Afghanistan have given us some insight of the way a protracted war affects all involved – soldiers and civilians. By keeping us in blissful ignorance of the cold hard facts about deaths and injuries in our  military campaigns our government avoids the soul searching  we should be going through.
Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 1 Comment

TONY KEVIN. Australia has been enlisted by Trump’s Washington opponents

Australia has now been enlisted in Trump’s war against the Washington elite. There are costs and risks to Australia in this development.   Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Affairs | 2 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. Apparently all not well among our elite Forces

It appears that all is not well between and among our elite military forces, and between them and their hierarchies above, possibly right up to the government itself. After all it is the government that has committed these elites into battle situations leading to allegations of unlawful killings of civilians, in this case in Afghanistan (vide: Continue reading

Posted in ANZAC, Defence/Security | 2 Comments

STEPHEN CORBETT After the Grenfell fire in London

The fire in the Grenfell tower in London has heightened awareness of fire risks in tall buildings in Australia. The pressure to increase height limits and urban density, and to create sustainable and efficient buildings, must not lose sight of the fundamental engineering and design requirements for fire safety, and of the need for robust regulatory oversight of these standards. Continue reading

Posted in Vested Interests | 1 Comment