Category Archives: Foreign Affairs and Trade

JOHN MENADUE. Miners, taxation and donations. (Repost 17/10/2013)

In my blog of June 3 “the Miners Lament”, I pointed out that the large foreign owned  mining companies in Australia may yet regret that they rejected out of hand the Resources Super Profits Tax that the Rudd Government proposed. … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. Trump and the Wahhabis

President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia does not sit well with a demand to fight the Wahhabi inspired terrorists but support for a dictatorship that suits American commercial and strategic interests is a long standing US practice. We may wonder … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH.  Jockeying for the big prize in Iran

‘Trump’s rhetoric towards Iran is so harsh that to have someone on the other side who is equally harsh might provoke an unintentional confrontation’. 

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JULIAN CRIBB. The war drums are beating…

Australia risks being drawn into new US wars in Asia. Having been continually at war since 2001 at America’s behest, it is time the Australian people had their say about whether we should continue to engage in belligerent actions in … Continue reading

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 JEAN – PIERRE LEHMANN. Conspicuous Western & Japanese Absence from Belt & Road Initiative Summit is a Big Mistake

The conspicuous absence of the heads of state from the major Western economic powers and Japan at the 14/15 May Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) in Beijing is a big mistake and a missed opportunity for enhancing dynamic and cooperative … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. The Ongoing Disaster of Australia’s Policy in Afghanistan

According to a recent news report Australia is “open” to a request from the United States for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan.  According to the report, Australian troops “mostly work in a training and support role aimed at … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Honest History Book (UNSW Press 2017)

This is a book of singular importance. It provides the evidence and materials for the correction of the distortion of Australia’s history resulting from Anzackery and the continuing insistence that our national character was forged in and remains defined by … Continue reading

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LOUIS COOPER. Trump and Trudeau – Trouble at the border

The political, economic and social connections between Canada and the United States of America are being kicked and stomped on. 

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RAMESH THAKUR. Is the sun setting on the US imperium?

China is on the march to a dominant military footprint while American policy lacks strategic intent.

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JOHN MENADUE – Our derivative white man’s media

Politicians are continually blamed for their failures but our media is also responsible for the state of public discussion on important issues. This downward  media spiral has been led by the Murdoch media’s abuse of power  in the three major … Continue reading

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NICK DEANE. Keep Australia out of US wars

In the event of war between the USA and any other nation in our region, Australia could not avoid involvement, because of its alliance with the USA. That is the reality we need to address. To avoid the possibility of … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Turnbull and Trump: Everything Is Illuminated. 

In New York, for the Coral Sea commemoration, Turnbull pledged permanent Australian fealty to the US and expressed agreement to Trump’s concept of “fake news”. Rupert Murdoch presided over the ceremony. Greg Norman was present as a witness. Very illuminating. … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Trump’s ‘smart cookies’

President Trump’s characterisation of Kim Jong-un as a “smart cookie” illustrates the learning process he is undergoing about how to operate in Asia and who might be contributing to it. Learning how to manage President Duterte may be another challenge. 

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RICHARD BUTLER. Afghanistan: Early Warning.

The US is planning to increase its forces in Afghanistan. It is bound to ask us to do the same. In the light of his performance in New York, our Prime Minister seems certain to accede, and do so without … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Appeasement and learning the right lessons of history

The lesson of Munich for major powers Britain and France was that you do not buy peace with fellow major powers tomorrow by giving in to their demands today. But for smaller powers, the lesson was that faced with the … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. Australia Should Suspend Military Sales to Saudi Arabia

The Australian government should immediately halt military sales to Saudi Arabia following numerous unlawful Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Australia should also release details about military weapons and material it has sold to other … Continue reading

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MARK BEESON. ANZUS: Too obliging for our own good?

Malcolm Turnbull is dropping everything and travelling to America to meet a man that only recently subjected him to a very public humiliation. Although members of the Trump administration have tried to make amends for this initial snub to a … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Malcolm’s Anzac Day Gift. Australian troops will be in the Middle East for the ‘long term’.

The Prime Minister’s statement that Australian military forces will need to remain in Afghanistan and the “Middle East” indefinitely must be clarified as must be the powers under which such decisions are legitimately made. 

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JOHN TULLOH. Trump’s first 100 days – so what?

   The media have been besides themselves in anticipation of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in the White House this weekend. It’s as if this is some magic marker by which to judge his next 1359 days in the Oval … Continue reading

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GREGORY CLARK. Pingpong diplomacy and Whitlam’s first visit to China.

April 2017 is the 46 anniversary of the pingpong diplomacy – an event that changed the future of China. It also changed the direction of Australian politics, leading to the ALP Federal election victory in November 1972. But as I … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. What Australian Foreign Policy?

Insider, analyst and adviser Allan Gyngell finds that Australian defence and foreign policy are more bipartisan than ever. But even as Australia’s national security agenda metastesizes, we have more to fear from an unreliable ally and an increasingly lawless world. … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. It is becoming much easier to go to war.

We used to think that the gravest decision any government could make was to take its country to war. Not any more. Going to war for us has now become almost common place. We commit to war after war – … Continue reading

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John Menadue. The Anzac Myth.

Conservatives and militarists want us to cling to a disastrous imperial  war. They encourage us to focus on how our soldiers fought in order to avoid the central issue of why we fought.  

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CAVAN HOGUE. Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.

The USA is a complex place with its vices, virtues and differences. Despite its noble ideals and democratic institutions, it has a long history of aggression and of overthrowing democracies in the pursuit of American commercial or strategic interests. It … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Between tragedy and farce in the Korean peninsula

The world’s options on North Korea can be summarised as bad (strategic patience), worse (growing strategic impatience), and worst (military strikes).  

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JAMES O’NEILL. Just Who Does Pose the Greater Threat in Korea?

The election of Donald Trump as US President has seen the ramping up of US rhetoric about North Korea.  Trump recently demanded that China should use its influence with the North Koreans and if China did not intervene, then, according … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Korean Peninsula – just where are we right now?

So much is going on in the different channels between the US and China, China and the DPRK and by now maybe US and DPRK that reading the tea leaves is an almost impossible – if not frantic – task. … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. With talk of war, what should Australia do?

As the United States Trump administration now confronts North Korea, there is talk of war. Also confronted, but more indirectly, is China itself with President Donald Trump’s declaration that the US would go it alone to disarm North Korea if China … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Still demonizing North Korea

Following recent North Korean missile tests and American declarations that they have run out of ‘strategic patience’, the Western media and the governments they serve, are busily repeating time-honoured myths about North Korea.  

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DUNCAN MacLAREN. UK General Election: clever cunning or miscalculated folly?

Theresa May’s snap general election decision can be seen as hypocritical in that she ruled this out consistently (and as recently as 20th March) until, the Anglican vicar’s daughter hinted, God told her while hiking in Welsh Snowdonia over Easter … Continue reading

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