Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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.

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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 … Continue reading

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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. 

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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 … Continue reading

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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.  

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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.  

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GEORGE YANCY AND NOAM CHOMSKY (INTERVIEW). On Trump and the State of the Union

Is Russian hacking really more significant than, for example, the Republican campaign to destroy the conditions for organized social existence, in defiance of the entire world?

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RAMESH THAKUR. Japan on the wrong side of nuclear weapons ban treaty

Many nations that previously championed their nuclear disarmament credentials have now been outed as part of the problem

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Matching Colonial Wars

The record of British colonial history proves that what occurred to Aboriginal Australian communities at the hands of white settlers and British military forces was not a unique event. The same thing occurred with as much inhumanity and ferocity in … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Modi’s actions fail to live up to his words

Three years on, it’s hard for even the most ardent Indophile to remain optimistic about the nation’s future.

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MACK WILLIAMS. North Korea ICBM threat to Australia.

The DPRK’s recent ICBM test raises some extremely serious concerns for Australia which will need to be carefully considered by the Australian Government before it rushes off into decision making on the run as has been the case in the … Continue reading

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TONY KEVIN. Hamburg G20 : Much was achieved

Angela Merkel’s firm and statesmanlike chairmanship steered the Hamburg G20 to a content-rich, global economics and climate change-dominated leaders’ declaration https://www.g20.org/gipfeldokumente/G20-leaders-declaration.pdf.  

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GEOFF MILLER. Kim Jong Un – Forcing the pace, or forging a peace?

Kim Jong Un’s continual provocation of the United States can probably be best explained as a considered strategy to bring about negotiations between the two.  

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RAMESH THAKUR. Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: The godfathers of the UN treaty to ban the bomb

With a protector-in-chief like Donald Trump, who needs enemies like Kim Jong-un? Clearly, history does irony: the president with the least previous foreign policy interest and experience could end up having the biggest impact on global affairs in a century.

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RICHARD TANTER. The global nuclear ban treaty: criminalising all nuclear weapons

Former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon got it right about the latest North Korean nuclear weapon outrage: neither Kim Jong-un nor Donald Trump are a safe pair of hands for nuclear weapons. A majority of the world’s governments agree with him, … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Chilcot – The Iraq war and Murdoch’s war on critics. (Repost)

On 1 July 2014, I posted a story about the role of News Corp and Rupert Murdoch in the Iraq disaster. The Chilcot Report confirms even more how News Corp publications misled readers and viciously attacked their opponents.  News Corp … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. I told you so: realists need to get real on nuclear policy choices

The DPRK is developing a nuclearised ICBM capability as fast as it possibly can because it fears a US attack and forcible regime change. And the dear leader fears the same fate as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.  So the … Continue reading

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DUNCAN MACLAREN. Scottish Independence: deferred not abandoned

Another referendum on Scottish independence has been deferred but not, to the chagrin of Scottish Unionists, abandoned. The shrieks and howls of protest from the three leaders of Scottish Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Parliament could be … Continue reading

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DENNIS ARGALL. Ignore Trump’s tweets about North Korea ; the diplomacy is being handled by adults

Since his election in May South Korea’s President Mon Jae-in has developed a productive relationship with US President Trump, particularly on the difficult issue of both countries’ dealings with North Korea. Regrettably Australian and other mainstream media is reporting Trump’s … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. How a regional nuclear-free-weapon zone can benefit Japan

More the half the word’s countries are parties to nuclear weapon-free zone treaties.  A regional Northeast Asian nuclear weapon-free zone would quarantine the region from the real risks of nuclear war. It would delink regional tensions, disputes and conflicts from … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. Crisis In Korea: can the irresistible force and the immovable object co-exist?

The launch of an ICBM by the DPRK may yet bring a positive result if it gets China, Russia and the USA all working together to find a solution involving carrot and stick. Any solution will need to make the … Continue reading

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LOUIS COOPER. Trump and Trudeau – the troubles at the 49th parallel deepen

Given the problems with the Trump White House, Trudeau gives every appearance of being a strong, smart leader on the Canadian and world stage.

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RICHARD BUTLER. Dangerous Dysfunction

US foreign policy is being conducted in an incoherent and dysfunctional manner and key military decisions have been delegated by the President to the Pentagon. Trump, however, is threatening further military action against Syria based on the charges that, in … Continue reading

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PETER RODGERS. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the US: the conniving and the confused

Saudi Arabia’s ultimatum to Qatar says much about the Kingdom’s dreams of regional hegemony, its proxy war with Iran, and its glaring double-standards over ‘interventionism’. It amounts to a demand for Qatar’s total surrender. Qatar faces meaningful pain from the … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Our mission creeps into Southeast Asia

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.

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MACK WILLIAMS. Mindanao call to the Caliphate !!

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

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CAVAN HOGUE. We always want an outside protector

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

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GEOFF RABY. Where have all the grown-ups gone on China policy?

Malcolm Turnbull’s glib talk of ‘‘frenemies’’ does nothing to help the urgent debate over how we handle the rising power of China.

Posted in Australia and Asia, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politics | 2 Comments