Category Archives: International Affairs

MELISSA CONLEY TYLER and MITCHELL VANDEWERDT-HOLMAN. Diplomacy Needed to Stop Australia’s Declining Power

We spend our days looking at short-term economic indicators, such as the Reserve Bank’s decision on the cash rate or whether Australia has entered a recession. This means we don’t pay enough attention to the longer-term trend: that Australia’s economy … Continue reading

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BRUCE HAIGH. China on the move

Australia has to have a relationship with both China and America. Neither are perfect. China has a better idea of where it is going than America. Morrison is going all the way with Trump. That is not the answer.

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JAMES O’NEILL. Iran: Ancient History, New Modern Role

“Iran has an ancient history but a very modern present and future.  Despite the best (or worst)  of some European nations and others such as the United States and Australia, Iran has  powerful friends and bright prospects.”  

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RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 4: Partisanship on steroids

The timing of the impeachment inquiry shows frustration. With uncharacteristic honesty, Democratic Representative Al Green confessed in May: ‘I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected’. A speeded-up removal of Trump could well prove cathartic … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. If you break it, you own it.

A president owns his nation’s history and its honour …  the luxury of being able to make history, but not of repudiating it.

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SETH FRANTZMAN. Smoke Signals in the Next Middle East War (7 October 2019, Tablet)

Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields was a warning to Israel in an escalating regional war A bit over two weeks before the cruise missiles and drones detonated in Saudi Arabia’s strategic oil fields, igniting massive explosions that would … Continue reading

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JOHN BRADLEY. The alliance between America and Saudi Arabia is over (The Spectator 28-9-19)

We are witnessing the beginning of a new geopolitics in the Middle East

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RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 3: Impeachment

The whistleblower’s complaint, made on 12 August, was based entirely on hearsay. The existing guidelines had said in bold, underlined, all-caps: ‘FIRST-HAND INFORMATION REQUIRED’. After receiving the complaint, the intelligence community inspector-general (ICIG) revised the internal guidance to permit evidence … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Relocating the United Nations (Valdai Discussion Club 10-10-19)

The United Nations is the world’s premier and its only universal international organization. It alone houses the divided fragments of humanity. But currently it faces a threat to the foundational principle of inclusivity. Its purpose-built headquarters was located in New … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 2: The Ukraine connection

We come back to the Russia collusion narrative. A lot of it seems to have had Ukraine connections, so much so that Ukraine was Ground Zero of that story. The primary motive of the Poroshenko administration would have been to … Continue reading

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PATRICK COCKBURN. Iraq is in Revolt. (CounterPunch 7.10.2019)

Iraq is poised at a turning point in its modern history as its people wait to see if the government curfew and close down of the internet will end the ongoing demonstrations. 

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BOB CARR. Abandoning the Kurds confirms Asia’s view that US power is waning (SMH 9.10.2019)

The Syrian Kurds were more than allies. They were a US client, recruited by the Obama administration for house-to-house combat against the Islamic State caliphate. This America, however, cares little for core relationships and sweeps them aside. The decision shatters … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. The establishment strikes back at the deplorables. Part 1: ‘Impeach the MF’

Fasten your seatbelts. With fresh revelations on almost a daily basis, we look set for convulsive politics over the coming weeks and months in the UK, the Mother of Parliaments, and in the US, the world’s most successful and powerful … Continue reading

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SCOTT BURCHILL. Decoding Australian foreign policy

Some assistance is required for those trying to understand contemporary Australian foreign policy these days, especially those looking for consistency, principles and ethics which seem all too illusive. Below is a brief guide, one that generally holds regardless of whether the LNP or … Continue reading

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JONAH BEN AVRAHAM. Palestinians Could Have Historic Influence in Israel’s Next Government (Truthout 5-10-19)

The political climate in Israel following September’s snap elections is by no means favorable to Palestinians. However, there is reason to be hopeful for gains in Palestinian political power as the prospect of a unity government between the center-right Kahol … Continue reading

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JOHN MCCARTHY. The Morrison Doctrine.

Dear Prime Minister, I see you are developing a foreign policy doctrine of your own. Good. We haven’t had one for a while. Congratulations on taking this stuff seriously. The management of our external environment will be your toughest job … Continue reading

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AMY GOODMAN and PATRICK COCKBURN. On the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish area in Syria. (Truthout 7.10.2109)

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s start with the surprise announcement, after the phone conversation between Erdogan and Trump, that the U.S. is pulling back its troops for Turkey to attack in northern Syria. Explain what you understand is happening and the significance of … Continue reading

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WANG GUNWU. China’s rise this time is different (East Asia Forum, 29 September 2019)

On 1 October China will be celebrating the 70 years of unification that followed Mao Zedong’s victory over the Nationalist regime in 1949. Many thought that had brought about the rise that the Chinese peoples had been waiting for since … Continue reading

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DUNCAN MACLAREN. Boris Johnson: the Embattled ‘Hammer of the Scots’

The Scots were largely ignored by English politicians during the Brexit negotiations but they now loom large in the fight to stop a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. Will this urge Boris Johnson to become the embattled ‘Hammer of the Scots’, the … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. PM Morrison tilts at UN windmill

During Scott Morrison’s recent trip to the US, did the PM absorb some of Donald Trump’s intellectual genius by a mysterious process of osmosis? How else are we to explain his incoherent, befuddled speech at the Lowy Institute on Thursday … Continue reading

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LOUIS COOPER. Trudeau heads for the polls

At eleven o’clock on Wednesday, September 11 this year, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, arrived at Rideau Hall, the official residence of Canada’s Governor-General, Julie Payette, and asked her to dissolve parliament, allowing a federal election to be called for … Continue reading

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PATRICK COCKBURN.  Just as Iraq begins to find Peace, it once again becomes the battleground for an American proxy war (Counterpunch, 30 September 2019)

People in Baghdad are fearful that the next war between the US and Iran will take place in Iraq, which is only just returning to peace after the defeat of Isis. Alarm that Iraq will be sucked into such a … Continue reading

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LAUREN RICHARDSON. Japan’s deepening diplomatic crisis with South Korea (East Asia Forum 15-9-19)

Japan’s relationship with South Korea is not amicable at the best of times. Yet in recent months it has entered a rapidly descending diplomatic spiral of unprecedented depth and scope. Mounting bilateral friction over the intractable ‘history problems’ is steadily … Continue reading

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ANU ANWAR. How China is using tourists to realise its geopolitical goals (East Asia Forum 19-9-19)

Decades of astonishing economic growth have given China new tools for extending its influence abroad and achieving its political goals. Some of these tools are inducements, including Belt and Road Initiative projects and new development financial institutions. But China has demonstrated that it … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. From a Long Term Permanent Resident of Hong Kong.

The following report is from a long term permanent resident of Hong Kong who along with the rest of Hong Kong has watched the long Summer of Discontent, with disbelief at how rapidly the city has fractured and deteriorated. It … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI Iran: Maximum Falsification

Step by predictable step, President Trump has been tempting Iran to come out and fight. Most of the mainstream Western media have obliged him by suggesting that every recent hostile event in the Gulf is Iran’s doing, and have dismissed … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY.  An Economic Giant With More Brittle Politics Than Ever. AFR 1 October 2019

China’s 70th Anniversary will be a razzle-dazzle extravaganza celebrating the achievements of the Communist Party of China since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.  The party-state’s propaganda machinery has already been in over-drive extolling the Party’s achievements over … Continue reading

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ROBERT REICH. Trump can do more damage than Nixon. His impeachment is imperative (Guardian 28-9-19)

Amid the impeachment furor, don’t lose sight of the renewed importance of protecting the integrity of the 2020 election.

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KISHORE MAHBUBANI. What China Threat? How the United States and China can avoid war (Harper Magazine 22-01-19) A Repost.

Quite remarkably ,of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council ,China is the only one among them that has not fired a single shot across its border in thirty years,since a brief naval battle between China and Vietnam … Continue reading

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DER SPIEGEL. Tension in the Middle East: The Groundwork Is Laid for a Vast New Conflict (25-9-19)

The attacks on the country’s two biggest oil facilities last month represent an unprecedented humiliation for the Saudis and The kingdom feels disgraced, angry and injured. It also became clear that the Saudis are certain who was behind the attack. … Continue reading

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