Subscribe to pearls and irritations
Most viewed recently
- JOHN MENADUE. The terrorists are over here because our troops are over there.
- GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Revising history 1914-2017
- JOHN MENADUE. John Menadue talks to John Faine about Rupert Murdoch, the great rentseeker
- JOHN MENADUE. The question Leigh Sales didn’t ask Senator John McCain.
- LYNDSAY CONNORS. Schools Funding: unearthing the facts
- MUNGO MacCALLUM. With his Gonski II win, Malcolm Turnbull has something to smile about at last. 28 June 2017
- JIM COOMBS. Three Government Ministers in Contempt 28 June 2017
- SPENCER ZIFCAK. Three Ministers vs. Three Judges: Executive Government gets Flattened 28 June 2017
- ALISON BROINOWSKI. Our mission creeps into Southeast Asia 28 June 2017
- STEVE DOVERS. Australia as world leader in conservation? 28 June 2017
- Current affairs (2,980)
- Arts (29)
- Reviews (19)
- Defence/Security (541)
- ANZAC (46)
- Democratic Renewal (120)
- Economy (786)
- Taxation (61)
- Education (142)
- Environment (173)
- Climate change (132)
- Foreign Affairs (932)
- Australia and Asia (291)
- Health (355)
- Human Rights (308)
- Immigration (453)
- Indigenous affairs (36)
- Industrial relations (28)
- Infrastructure (121)
- Media (409)
- NBN (57)
- Politics (1,861)
- Federal Election 2016 (106)
- Religion and Faith (349)
- Science (1)
- Sport (39)
- Tributes (31)
- Vested Interests (150)
- Arts (29)
- Foreign Policy (13)
- Freedom, opportunity and security series (57)
- Making housing affordable series (15)
- Uncategorized (48)
- Current affairs (2,980)
Category Archives: Foreign Affairs
We should not have to resort to speculation about what our troops are doing either in Syria or in the Philippines. But the mere mention of Islamist terrorism now generates an armed response.
Media coverage of the claimed IS connections of the jihadists in Marawi have highlighted their call for a “caliphate”. The intractable scene in Mindanao indeed is concerning but it is born out a much longer and different history than elsewhere … Continue reading
The recent Lowy poll that showed a decrease in support for Trump but not for the alliance should not come as a surprise. It is consistent with Australia’s long standing desire for a protector. We should not be naïve about … Continue reading
Malcolm Turnbull’s glib talk of ‘‘frenemies’’ does nothing to help the urgent debate over how we handle the rising power of China.
TONY KEVIN. Oliver Stone’s The Putin Interviews – reflections on the first half of this current SBS miniseries
Oliver Stone gives Vladimir Putin a comradely easy time, but elicits interesting insights into the man and his policy framework. The second half will be worth watching, as will the first half in replay for those who missed it.
When I am in Hong Kong, I normally stay at Causeway Bay. Evenings and weekends, I frequently take a stroll in Victoria Park where invariably I pass in front of the majestically imposing statue of Queen Victoria. This allows me … Continue reading
It has been stated that the Chinese are the “new kids on the block” and are getting a beating from the United States,because of China’s alleged behaviour in the South China seas.
The two architects of the post-World War 2 order were British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and America President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They met (for the first time) aboard the heavy cruiser USS Augusta in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland (Canada) and from … Continue reading
The F-35 was billed as a fighter jet that could do almost everything the U.S. military desired, serving the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy – and even Britain’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy – all in one aircraft … Continue reading
With its new citizenship rules requiring applicants to show proof of attachment to Australian culture and values, Canberra has triggered a national identity debate. It is accused of showing xenophobic tendencies. But national identity could be much more complex than … Continue reading
Following his presentation at the EU-Australia Senior and Emerging Leaders’ Forum last week, ANU Chancellor and former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans spoke with Melissa Conley Tyler, Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. Evans said that by withdrawing … Continue reading
The election of Donald Trump has unsettled the global order. He will be the first US president to have no experience of governmental or military leadership. In his campaign statements he challenged the Western consensus on international issues, ranging from … Continue reading
Jusuf Wanandi pays tribute to Dick Woolcott, former Ambassador to Indonesia and Secretary of the Department of FOreign Affairs and Trade, on his 90th birthday. Throughout his long career Woolcott has been a friend to Indonesia.
For octogenarians like me, the most astonishing development since the collapse of the Soviet Union is that so much of the West’s hopes for international sanity, civility and peace should now rest with, of all countries, Germany.
The 1987 nuclear-free act was a milestone in New Zealand’s development as a nation.
Nuclear weapons pose an existential threat to humanity and indeed to all forms of life on planet Earth. Serious threats persist from the use or misuse of weapons – whether by design, accident or system malfunction – by nuclear-armed … Continue reading
During more than a century, our Anglo-allies fought several highly-publicised wars, but also many secret ones, directly or through proxies. If we don’t know the details, people in whose countries the wars were fought certainly do, and those who survived … Continue reading
Trump’s presidency is in deep jeopardy. There is serious instability in the US polity. Political leaders of virtually all countries comparable to Australia are stepping back from, loosening, their relationship with the United States. Prime Minister Turnbull, alone, is not. … Continue reading
Mrs. May called the election ostensibly to strengthen her mandate in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. Although she failed to strengthen her majority, it is doubtful if the election result will have any impact on the Brexit negotiations.
Despite recent disruptions in the comfortable world of electoral punditry – Brexit, Trump, even Macron – when Theresa May called a British general election in April, the only question was how many additional seats the Conservatives would win.
The terrorist attacks in Manchester and London have received a deluge of media coverage. However, terrorism is much worse in the Middle East and other countries. Terrorism is a vivid political act, but deaths from gun violence, car accidents drugs, … Continue reading
Prime Minister Turnbull’s keynote speech last weekend at the Shangri-la security dialogue in Singapore contained many strong assertions, but also contradictions. It also raised, and left unanswered, some big questions.
I want to reflect on the unspeakably appalling terror events that have occurred recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, Manchester, London, Melbourne and Tehran in the light of monotheistic religion and the ethical requirements that flow from it.
Arriving in Israel on 22 May, Donald Trump told the Israeli President that he’d ‘just got back from the Middle East’. Not the most geographically informed start to the visit but from then on it was all schmooze, to the … Continue reading
In her “exclusive interview” with Senator John McCain on 7.30 Report last week, Leigh Sales was told: “The Russians tried to destroy the foundations of democracy and to change the outcome of the American election … and they have just … Continue reading
If energy and armaments are the agents behind America’s ‘empire of bases’ and its ‘empire of markets’, how influential are they? On security, barely; on terrorism, hugely.
Political leaders like John Howard, who lead us into the war in Iraq must shoulder most of the blame for the appalling world-wide consequences, particularly terrorism. Yet, conservative political leaders today – John Howard’s successors – seek every opportunity to … Continue reading
President Trump’s actions, and the international reactions to them, are so bad that the question naturally arises, “are we witnessing the beginning of the long-term decline of the West, and of the US in particular?”
For Palestinians, Nakbar Day means the day of catastrophe. It is commemorated on May 15, the day after the anniversary of Israel’s independence in 1948. It remembers the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were evicted from their homes and land … Continue reading
Electioneering in the UK was stopped in homage to the 22 people who died and the many people injured in the bomb attack on a pop concert in Manchester on May 22nd. It didn’t stop the xenophobic call for ending … Continue reading