Author Archives: Alison Broinowski

Alison Broinowski

About Alison Broinowski

Dr Alison Broinowski AM is Vice-President of Australians for War Powers Reform. She joined the Australian Foreign Service in 1963, lived in Japan for a total of six years, and for shorter periods in Burma, Iran, the Philippines, Jordan, South Korea, the United States of America and Mexico, working alternately as an author and Australian diplomat. Since leaving the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, she has received a PhD in Asian Studies from ANU, and has continued to lecture, write, and broadcast in Australia and abroad on Asian affairs and cultural and political issues.

Australia-‘The most oppressive of the Western Democracies’

When there’s a concerted attack on the interests of the Australian mainstream media they will rise in joint defence of journalists’ freedom. But they are slow to support five other Australians who have already lost their freedom.

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. The crisis is political too.

In his almost daily televised updates, Scott Morrison’s successive rescue packages turn conservative orthodoxy on its head, and without resorting to Trumpian monologues. Yet his response to the international questions shows no new thinking.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Outstaying our welcome in Iraq.

As US installations in Iraq come under increasing attack, the message that they are no longer needed is clear. Camp Taji near Baghdad, where a few hundred Australians are still based, has been hit by missiles in recent days. How … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Organised violence: the US and China compared

The world has seen the rise and fall of some 150 empires. That number doesn’t even include the United States, whose unacknowledged empire includes more than 800 military bases in some 70 countries.

Posted in World Affairs | 8 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Quiet Australians wait for the truth

Forty-four Australian servicemen have been killed in action or have died in accidents since our forces went to Afghanistan in 2001, and since the deployments to Iraq and Syria. But in that period, at least ten times that number of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 7 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Friends of Assange, at last.

Influential Australians are suddenly stirring in support of Julian Assange, who will face extradition to the US and several life sentences unless political intervention heads it off. Is it too late?

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. October and a discontented world

This is the October of our discontent. Suddenly, its manifestations are everywhere. Unless the few in power heed the shouts, slogans, and strikes of the many demanding change, worse may occur.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

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

Posted in World Affairs | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Julian Assange – ‘Find Justice and Make It Quick’ (American Herald Tribune 28-9-19)

With the US on the warpath and Australia sending military, air, and naval support for American activities in the Gulf, three Australian and British nationals are being made an example of in Iran, where they are in solitary confinement on charges of … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Media, Politics | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Julian Assange One case dismissed: one to go.

From the Australian mainstream media most readers won’t know it, but on 29 July a Federal Court in New York dismissed the Democratic National Committee’s case against Julian Assange for publishing leaked internal emails in 2016.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. ‘Australia agrees to everything’

Australia and the United States see the world through the same eyes, Scott Morrison told sailors on USS Ronald Reagan during the Talisman Sabre war games on 12 July.But after hearing what Mike Pompeo and John Joseph Mearsheimer had to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Who are the terrorists, Iran or the US?

In April 2014 John Howard surprised an audience in Sydney by saying that war with Iran would be next. He didn’t know then about Syria but his alarming prediction about Iran looks like coming true.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. How long to extradition for Assange?

WikiLeaks watchers had been expecting it for weeks, but when news came on 11 April that Ecuador had revoked Julian Assange’s asylum, a collective shudder went around the extended community. Next day the pictures appeared, and they made it worse. … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI Integrity ,initiative and imposed ignorance

  The US and UK are still fighting the cold war in new ways about which Australians know little.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI Beware the Ides of March in Christchurch

  It is better when a terrorist is not shot dead but arrested. So we eventually learn what is his – usually male – motivation, and governments and the courts are then able to respond rationally. But Brenton Tarrant made … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Australian values in free fall.

What Australians value and what they fear are not, apparently, clear to the latest Prime Minister. Scott Morrison’s election campaign, which began at the National Press Club on 11 February, failed to assure voters that his government understands either what … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Most favoured notions just take time.

There are said to be no votes in defence or foreign affairs in Australia. Years of bipartisanship on both, and an Alliance that is unquestionable, have disempowered debate. The time for change may be in 2019.  

Posted in World Affairs | 5 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. The latest hobgoblins.

On the eve of an APEC meeting, with impeccable timing, Australia’s lack of foreign policy independence was once again on display for our Asian neighbours: mimicry of US decisions, militarism abroad, securitised borders, containment of China, and fear of Islam. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 2 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Whose rules? What order?

As baby diplomats we learned always to vote in good company. Countries, we understood, were judged by the company they kept. Not any more. The countries Australia rubs shoulders with now, and the hips we are joined at, make people … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 6 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Afghanistan: Set And Forget.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. ‘Truth isn’t truth’

While Australia was transfixed by the events of 21-24 August, troubles for another leader were mounting in Washington. Turnbull lost the Lodge, and Trump has not yet lost the White House, but a common actor in both dramas remains the … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Many happy returns of al-Qaeda.

On 11 August 2018 the members of what became al-Qaeda met in Peshawar, Pakistan to form the movement which is now 30 years old. With Osama bin Laden’s money, political vision, religious fervour, and capacity as a modern communicator, it … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. A law to end all wars?

Hamlet was depressed about the law’s delay. To this day, legal processes take a notoriously long time, and international ones take even longer. International lawyers, and the world, have been waiting at least since 1998 for the crime of aggression … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. The conference season begins, in denial.

On the last weekend in June, the ALP will hold its NSW Conference. The agenda is packed with items including indigenous, community and country issues, education, health, and social justice. Right at the end is ‘Australia and the World.’ This … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Banks wake up to their responsibilities: will governments be next?

Australians are watching transfixed as the Financial Services Royal Commission gives a running report on a reactive, insular, complacent, greedy culture which has broken its own rules and failed its customers for years. With the people’s verdict looming at the … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Anzackery and the preening peloton.

When John Kenneth Galbraith was Kennedy’s Ambassador to India in the early 1960s, he reported that he had inspected a guard of honour and they seemed to him to be fine. His dry wit was lacking when the Murdoch media … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. War on demand

The UK and the US moved closer this week to enabling their governments to bypass legal and  democratic processes in committing forces to war, virtually anywhere, at any time and continuously. Australian politicians and the mainstream media seem to assume … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Happy Anniversary Iraq

If there are any Australians who think we have anything to celebrate on the 15th anniversary of our invasion of Iraq and the start of our longest war, they must know something the rest of us don’t. In fact, there’s … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 5 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. The trust deficit in Canberra.

When Marshall Green was sent by Richard Nixon as Ambassador to keep a close eye on Gough Whitlam, some said his was the first serious American appointment in our history. Harry Harris, for different reasons, may turn out to be … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Is militarism in Australia’s DNA?

Australians who don’t live in other countries don’t realise how our self-image differs from the perception, particularly in Asia, that we were militarists from the start. Australia’s tendency to resort to force is hard-wired, hard to eliminate, and goes back … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments