Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

GEOFF MILLER. Korea: Missiles or exercises or both?

  Despite President Trump’s latest supercilious Tweet, North Korea may still seek to make the cancellation of exercise Ulchi-Freedom Guardian the price of not firing its missiles into waters near Guam. 

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | 1 Comment

JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. Why the West and Japan should stop preaching to a rising China

Jean-Pierre Lehmann says the imperialist powers of old should acknowledge their own bloody history of plunder and exploitation, and work with Beijing to find a path to a peaceful rise, which so far is unprecedented.

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JOHN McCARTHY. The West needs to talk about Russia.

The place Russia occupies in the political maelstrom in Washington, the recent sanctions bills in Congress and Putin’s cuts to the American diplomatic presence in Russia are driving the US’s relationship—and hence the West’s relationship—with Russia from bad to worse.  … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy | 4 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Religious and ethnic persecution sours ASEAN’s birthday party

Against the backdrop of a rising China, positive news out of the region is being undermined by several major crises.

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JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. Aug 15: A day to mark Western imperialism

The date marks the 70th anniversary of the independence and partition of India, an event that has its roots in Western colonial conquest of the Indian sub-continent. It should also be remembered by the imperialists who plundered the planet.

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RICHARD BUTLER. Has Bishop’s time come?

The publication by a leading journalist of an extraordinary puff piece on Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her leadership skills, is bound to set political hares running. But, where to?

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Existential threats

In a sequence of events that recall the Cuban missile crisis, the world has again come within a brain-snap of nuclear destruction. This is the moment Australia should have been ready to deal with properly and democratically, by having a … Continue reading

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GREG LOCKHART. An old imperial reflex

Rawdon Dalrymple’s 4 August blog ‘A personal link to World War One’ presents us with an automatic defence of the old imperial order.  

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GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Malcolm Turnbull’s response to the Korean crisis has been contemptible. 

In his grovelling ‘hip to hip’ statement on 10 August, he served up to the Australian people an utterly false and misleading version of the ANZUS Treaty and its meaning. 

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | 17 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. Turnbull’s Appalling Statement

Australia is not compelled to accompany the US in a war on North Korea, as PM Turnbull has asserted. His recent statement would seem to reflect his need to distract attention from the serious disputes within his government. That it … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. The Empires continue to strike back as international order continues to collapse

…as the international order continues to collapse. The best check is a return to a liberal, rules-based, multilateral order.

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JIM COOMBS. “Just good business” or gun-running.

The “Neo-liberal” language speaks of arms sales as just good business, notwithstanding the concomitant death and destruction.

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Foreign Affairs | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. From the Nuclear Non-proliferation to the UN Prohibition Treaty

There are currently no negotiations or discussions on arms control being conducted at all between any of the countries that possess nuclear weapons (China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, UK, USA)

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Australia’s Desperate Refugee Obstinacy

[An article  by Roger Cohen reposted from the New York Times] BYRON BAY, Australia — Now we know how desperate Australia is to close the shameful chapter in its history that has seen about 2,000 asylum-seekers and refugees — some … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. The Case for Recognition of Palestine

A speech given by the Honourable Bob Carr at the NSW ALP Conference on 30 July 2017

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Human Rights | 1 Comment

RICHARD BUTLER. The Myths of Australian Foreign Policy. (Reposted from 31 March 2017)

The review of Australian foreign policy needs to be freed from the myths of our dependency and take serious account of the current and likely state of US foreign and military policy.  

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RICHARD BUTLER. Trump: A Sideshow? (This is a repost from 27 January 2017)

It is not only Trump that has assumed power in the US but also a set of deeply ideological and introverted Republicans. Both will shape US policy and actions. Australia should now review the conduct of its relationship with the … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Australian business in Asia – ‘pale, male and stale’. (Repost from 8 August 2016)

A recent report on ‘Australia’s Diaspora Advantage: Realising the potential for building transnational business networks with Asia’  reveals that social class and racism, either conscious or unconscious, still excludes many Australians of Asian origin from many Australian institutions and particularly … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Afghanistan in the wake of the Pakistan Prime Minister’s dismissal

President Trump must decide soon whether the US should remain in a holding pattern in Afghanistan. As Trump has little personal skin in the war to this point he may decide that enough is enough leaving everyone to ponder what … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Still losing the last Afghan war.

President Trump’s many current distractions did not prevent him telling his military advisers the simple truth about Afghanistan on 19 July: ‘We aren’t winning.  We are losing.’

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China’s Maritime Provocations Are Nothing Next To America’s Adventurism A Century Ago

The message from the U.S. is that China should be more like us. But Americans should be careful what they wish for.

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How Trump is trashing the US Department of State.

In the New York Times International Edition of 29 July 2017, Roger Cohen writes – Why is Trump hollowing out the State Department?  Is it punishment for Hillary Clinton’s department? Or an extreme iteration of the “deconstruction of the administrative state” … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. It’s high noon on the roof of the world

The territorial standoff in the Himalayas is a lose-lose proposition for both India and China.

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DOUGLAS NEWTON. The Centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres

On 31 July 1917, one hundred years ago, Britain launched the Third Battle of Ypres on the Western Front. It would climax in the Battle of Passchendaele in November. During this centenary, will the Australian people be showered with stories … Continue reading

Posted in ANZAC, Australia and Asia, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | 6 Comments

DUNCAN MACLAREN. The UK heads towards a cliff.

If Australia were the UK and heading for a suicidal plunge off an economic, social and cultural cliff-face, wouldn’t you be worried?

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Politics, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. “Hell on earth” lies just across the Indian Ocean

      If you travelled from Western Australia north-west across the Indian Ocean, the first country you would encounter has been described as ‘Hell on Earth’.  You will find there civil war, famine, drought, refugees, destruction and a blockade for starters. … Continue reading

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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 5 of 5)

Part 5: Narrative Overview and Conclusion  The emphasis in our military history and remembrance on asking how we fought does not inherently preclude an interest in what we were fighting for. The two narratives could co-exist and interact. But not … Continue reading

Posted in ANZAC, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Politics | 2 Comments

MAX HAYTON. New Zealand’s General Election, September 23 2017.

There’ll be no revolution this time.  Polls show New Zealand voters are as contented as a herd of freshly milked cows.  The election will produce a government that will be either centre-left or centre-right.  Either way, the winner will probably … Continue reading

Posted in Australia and Asia, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

TED TRAINER. Terrorism and Our Empire: Some Neglected Questions.

There is a very strong tendency to avoid asking some key questions about terrorism, thereby maintaining various myths and delusions that prevent a number of unpleasant realities from being faced up to.

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TIM LINDSEY. Jokowi’s dilemma: turning Islamists into civil rights heroes?

Indonesia’s emergency law, enacted in response to the growing disruptive influence of Islamist hard-liners, could be a blow to the open, liberal democracy that Indonesian reformers have been trying to build ever since the fall of Soeharto in 1998. And … Continue reading

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