Author Archives: Ramesh Thakur

RAMESH THAKUR. The risk of entrapment by self-fulfilling nuclear prophecy

As rising nuclear threats become harder to ignore, non-nuclear states have responded in one of two ways. The majority have sought to reduce the risks of deliberate or inadvertent nuclear war by doubling down on disarmament efforts, crystallised most eloquently … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. We Need to Stop Turning India into a Hindu Pakistan (The Wire 19-10-15)

This is the follow-up article promised yesterday. It was first published in October 2015 in The Wire, one of India’s premier online news and analysis site that has managed to remain independent and critical. I have added translations of common … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Human Rights, International Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. A hometown lynching

This gut-wrenching story is from and about my hometown where I was born and grew up. I wish I could say I’m surprised as well as horrified but that would be a lie. This is the reality I grew up … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Human Rights, International Affairs | 4 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Schadenfreude, thy name is Tony Abbott: No one is above the law

If a law can be abused, it will be. This is as true of laws enacted in the name of national security and anti-terrorism as any other law. Why is this simple reality so hard for politicians to grasp?

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The P5 must reaffirm that nuclear war can’t be won and mustn’t be fought (Strategist 15-10-19)

There are three sets of reasons for a palpable rise in nuclear anxieties around the world: growing nuclear arsenals and expanding roles for nuclear weapons, a crumbling arms-control architecture, and irresponsible statements from the leaders of some nuclear-armed states.

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The markets school Modi: India needs reform (Policy Forum 22-10-19)

The Indian government’s tinkering has not been enough to enact real change – Prime Minister Modi must listen to the market and undertake a serious structural transformation, Ramesh Thakur writes.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. Japan’s least bad choice on North Korea (Japan Times 3-10-19)

If Japanese officials have conducted any clear-eyed, hard-headed analysis of the government’s policy options on North Korea’s nuclear challenge, they have managed to keep it well hidden.

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RAMESH THAKUR. ‘It’s no crime to be a refugee’.

Review of Kavita Puri, Partition Voices: Untold British Stories (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 297 pp. This is an important, interesting and elegantly written book. ‘It is no crime to be a refugee’, says one of the persons interviewed for the book. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

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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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

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

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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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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STEPHEN DUCKETT. Time to kill the Private Health Insurance zombies

Two zombie policies stalk the Private Health Insurance (PHI) policy world: A ‘Hospital Benefits Schedule’ and ‘Medicare Select’. Here’s why both should have been put to rest long ago.

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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

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

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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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.

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

MARK BEESON. Morrison’s surprising character defects: faith and optimism

Being a leader, even of a lucky country like Australia, isn’t getting any easier. To be fair, these are difficult times for any leader, even the most competent ones. It’s worth asking how FDR, Churchill or even Bismarck would have … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

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

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

JAMES LAURENCESON. Morrison’s visit to the US shows his common ground with China (AFR 25-9-19)

Scan the headlines generated by Scott Morrison’s trip to the United States and you could get the impression that the Australian government is increasingly tilting towards supporting Washington in its economic war against Beijing.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 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

JACK WATERFORD. The judiciary is a part of government too (Canberra Times 27-9-19)

Australian politicians given to complaining that unelected judges are usurping the functions of ministers and of parliament would do very well to study this week’s British Supreme Court ruling holding the prorogation of the British Parliament by the Queen at … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM Bali alert! Busybodies at large

It was excruciatingly embarrassing. The hotel receptionist was adamant: We either proved our marriage or we left.  Voices were raised which drew more staff and onlookers to the foyer. Security guards appeared.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. What is new about drones?

The attack on Saudi oil wells has given rise to a debate about the effectiveness of drones in warfare. Some have argued that this heralds a whole new world in warfare while others see it as just another example of … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 1 Comment

ROBERT FISK. As Netanyahu’s Power in the Middle East Wanes, Trump Has to Find His Own Way to Deal with Iran (Counterpunch 24-9-19)

There is an extraordinary irony in the fate of both Benjamin Netanyahu and Iran. The first has been captaining the Titanic, in the words of one Israeli academic, through the past couple of days. The second – a rather better captain, it might be said – has … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

EDOARDO CAMPANELLA. Back to Little England? (Project Syndicate 17-9-19)

Future historians may come to describe Brexit as the defining moment of a nationalist wave that swept away the postwar liberal international order. Yet their task will be complicated by the fact that Brexit is not, in fact, a manifestation … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

WILLIAM LANGWIESCHE. What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max?

Malfunctions caused two deadly crashes. But an industry that puts unprepared pilots in the cockpit is just as guilty. The New York Times investigates.

Posted in Technology, start-ups and new media | 1 Comment

MARION BENNETT. Working together to end homelessness in Cairns

A new Mission Australia evaluation has highlighted that when people experiencing homelessness in Cairns have the support of strong, caring relationships and when services work collaboratively and seamlessly together, their standards of living and personal relationships improve, they feel safer … Continue reading

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KIM OATES. An insidious tragedy

Imagine what would happen if a fully laden 747 airliner crashed in Australia every week for a whole year. There would be public outcry, an outrage, swift political action and  an enquiry at the highest level, possibly a Royal Commission.

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

PATRICK COCKBURN. The Drone Strikes on the Saudi Oil Facilities Have Changed Global Warfare (Counterpunch 24-9-19)

The devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities by drones and missiles not only transforms the balance of military power in the Middle East, but marks a change in the nature of warfare globally.

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments