Tag Archives: ISIS

CAVAN HOGUE. Why do we hate President Assad of Syria?

The US opposes Assad because he is not their son of a bitch and so supports a motley bag of groups with little in common who are probably no better than Assad. The elimination of ISIS is certainly desirable but … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The US has ‘wasted $6 trillion’ in the Middle East without achieving any success.

In a statement on 27 February President Trump said that the United States had spent $ 6 trillion in the Middle East and had ” got nowhere “. It had produced  a “mess” and a ” hornet’s nest “. In … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH. The simplistic naivete of Donald Trump

 We certainly live in far more interesting, if not astonishing, news times now that a Manhattan real estate developer occupies the White House. We wake up each day wondering what was the latest personal whim Donald Trump chose to exercise … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Australian governments have made us more at risk from terrorism.

We should not refer to ISIS as a state. It Is not a state. It has no Air Force or navy. It has no fixed boundaries. It is really a series of militant groups. It behaves in a ruthless manner, as does Saudi … Continue reading

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What a godsend politicians and journalists are to ISIS.

In The Guardian, Simon Jenkins writes about the way that the ISIS recruiting officers will be thrilled at how things have gone since their atrocity in Belgium.  He points particularly to the ‘paranoid politicians and sensational journalists’ who have perhaps … Continue reading

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Magical thinking about ISIS.

Adam Shatz is the contributing editor at the London Review of Books. He lives in New York. In this article he says ‘The attacks in Paris don’t reflect a clash of civilisations, but rather the fact that we really do … Continue reading

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The Refugees and the New War.

In the New York Review of Books, Michael Ignatieff draws a link between failure of Western policy in the Middle East, it’s failure to counter ISIS and the resulting refugee flow into Europe. He says ‘ISIS wants to convince the … Continue reading

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Cavan Hogue. Turkey shoots down Russian aircraft.

Russia supports the (Shia) Assad regime backed by Iran and others while Turkey supports the Sunni backed bySaudi Arabia, the USA and others. The Turks claim the Shia are terrorists while Russia supports them as allies of the Shia, (i.e. … Continue reading

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Cavan Hogue. Russia in Syria and Australian implications.

What are Australia’s objectives in the Middle East imbroglio? The simple answer is that it is about the American Alliance. We see ourselves as part of a global alliance led by the USA and generally supported by European powers: countries … Continue reading

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Why fighters are quitting ISIS.

The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at Kings College London points to the ways that many thousands of recruits who journeyed to Iraq and Syria may now be regretting their decisions. The more defectors speak … Continue reading

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Ross Burns. Syria and Persecuted Minorities.

The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the international legal instrument to which Australia was an original signatory, contains a clause making clear that ‘The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to refugees without discrimination … Continue reading

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John Tulloh. Goodbye Syria.

 THE DEAD-END ROADS TO AND FROM DAMASCUS Fifteen years ago this month, Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father to become president of Syria. Having spent some years studying and living in France and England, he had hopes of a Western-style liberalisation … Continue reading

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ISIS and Vietnam.

In an op ed column in the New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman spoke of the parallels between the war in Vietnam and the conflict now in Iraq and Syria. He mentions how the executive of foreign journalists is designed … Continue reading

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Malcolm Fraser. Without a ground force and an end point, the war against ISIS will be a farce.

In The Guardian, Malcolm Fraser has said ‘Air power alone will not make a difference in Iraq. Barack Obama and his allies have the worst strategic understanding possible of what they claim is an existential threat ‘  See link to … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. ISIL. Ask the right questions.

Any assessment of what, if anything, countries outside the region should do about the seizure by ISIL of substantial portions of Syria and Iraq, should be based on the answers to three basic questions: what is the significance of this … Continue reading

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Tony Smith. The failure of imagination

Australia has rushed to despatch even more armaments into the already troubled areas contested by men of violence across Iraq and Syria. It is clear that once again, our national government has assumed that this action is necessary and unavoidable. … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Today’s Totalitarianism’s Powerful Forms.

Australian eyes are focused on the unspeakable brutality and pointlessness of the downing of MH 17. But alongside this event, Australian minds and hearts are assailed daily by barbarism across the Middle East and in different parts of Asia. It’s … Continue reading

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Richard Butler. The Dissolution of Iraq?

On June 10th, some 1,500 fighters from the Jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria) seized Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. Half a million citizens fled to the Kurdish areas. ISIS then moved further south, towards Baghdad, … Continue reading

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John Tulloh. Misery accomplished in Iraq as disintegration threatens.

Perhaps dictators have their place after all. Saddam Hussein presided over Iraq for 24 years. While he was cruel and vainglorious, he generally succeeded in ensuring Iraqis stayed in line and kept the peace. He was toppled in 2003 when … Continue reading

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