Author Archives: Richard Broinowski

Richard Broinowski

About Richard Broinowski

Richard Broinowski is a former diplomat. He was also manager of Radio Australia. After retirement he was an adjunct professor at University of Sydney in media studies. He has written four books, and is bringing a fifth out this year (2020), on the life and times of Melbourne book seller Edward William Cole.

Australian Soaps to the Pacific – Good Diplomacy?

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade launched an initiative to send commercial (soaps) Australian television programs to stations in the South Pacific. This will do little to enhance vigorous and discerning projection of Australian news and values in the … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. American delusions about the Philippines

When someone  pointed out that President Duterte had just abrogated the bilateral Visiting Forces Agreement, Admiral Davidson conceded the point, but said it was up to ‘agile Australian diplomats’ among others to get it re-instated.

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MARK DIESENDORF and RICHARD BROINOWSKI – A Push for Nuclear Weapons?

A recent push for nuclear power in Australia has been promoted by the usual public advocates and amplified by the Murdoch press.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Pernicious Secrets

Brian Toohey begins his new book Secret with a deliciously revealing quote from Harold Thorby, Australian Minister for Defence in 1938: ‘We the Government have vital information which we cannot disclose. It is upon this knowledge that we make decisions. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Can Australia Defend Itself?

Since the advent of Donald Trump as United States president, the certainties that are said to underpin Australia’s defence doctrine are less than ever convincing. Trump’s cynicism about alliances underlines the fact that ANZUS is no longer (if it ever … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 11 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Inverting Reality in Persian Gulf

US assertions that Iran mined two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on 13 June is as unconvincing as blaming Iran for attacks on three tankers in the same area on 12 May. Iran has no apparent motive, but … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 3 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. War Drums Over Iran

In a tweet to President Rouhani in July 2018, President Trump warned: Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. Similar threats to Kim Jong-un … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. The Competence of our Intelligence Agencies

On 6 April, the ABC’s Geraldine Doogue interviewed Nick Warner, head of the Office of National Intelligence (ONI), which coordinates the activities of Australia’s intelligence agencies. During the interview, Warner ventured the opinion that President Trump did the ‘right thing’ … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 6 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI Trump’s wall- bordering on chaos

Trump threat to cut off aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, will be counter-productive. The refugee ‘caravans’ will not stop, but increase. He will also further alienate the Mexicans, who refuse to pay for the wall along their border … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI The ADF in the Middle East

  President Trump wants to get US troops out of Syria, and probably out of Iraq as well, and soon. The Pentagon however has said US forces will be out of Afghanistan in five years, a period estimated to allow … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Growth of Tribal Hatred

Hotel Mumbai, currently screening in Australia, tells the harrowing story of attacks by the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba across the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008. Indoctrinated to believe that non-Muslims are not human, 10 young men armed with … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Ambiguity in Hanoi

The Trump-Kim summit began and  ended in Hanoi on 28 February with Donald Trump peremptorily terminating his discussions with Kim Jong-un. According to media reports, Trump claims Kim demanded the lifting of all US-imposed sanctions in exchange for closing the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Cognitive Dissonance in Canberra

At the annual conferences of the Australian Institute of International Affairs in 2017 and 2018, at least two retired senior public servants strongly asserted their faith in the United States as guarantor of Australia’s security. They did so with varying … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 4 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. The US-Mexican Border Paradox

President Trump’s characterisation of asylum seekers from Mexico as illegal criminals and rapists threatening American citizens is a cynical distortion of reality. Drug runners and criminals both from Mexico into the United States and vice versa represent a tiny fraction … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Trump and Syria

While Prime Minister Morrison was visiting Australian troops in Iraq this month (but not Afghanistan -‘ too dangerous’), President Trump was preparing to pull US ground forces out of Syria. Nothing Morrison said indicated that he or Joe Hockey, our … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Will Japan’s Love Affair with Nuclear Power be Resurrected?

On Friday 11 March 2011, a tsunami knocked out emergency generators at Fukushima Dai-Ichi, resulting in melt-downs in three of six reactors, covering the countryside in eastern Honshu with radiation. Some isotopes were short-lived, others will be around much longer. … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Defence Plan B.

Canberra’s foreign and defence bureaucracy is appalled by Donald Trump’s monstering of the Anglo allies and of NATO, his enthusiasm for Kim Jong-un and his appeasement of Vladimir Putin. Where to without the comfort of a great, powerful and reliable … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 7 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. North Korea and the Trump Bashers

President Trump declared at his post-Summit press conference in Singapore on 12 June  that US-ROK war games were expensive and provocative and he  would abolish them, starting with ‘Ulchi Freedom Guardian’ next August. His decision has drawn some surprising reactions.

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Demonising Iran.

It was the hope of all observers around the world wanting peace in the Middle East that President Donald Trump would revalidate the nuclear deal with Iran on 12 May. Not only did he not do so, but later that … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Iran on the ground

Iran continues to be stereotyped in western media as a rogue state full of corrupt mullahs ,an abuser of human rights, an exporter of  Islamic terrorism to Syria, Iraq, the Gaza Strip and Yemen, and an extremist  theocracy with territorial … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI- Trump and Turnbull – Shared Values?

Fantasy and emotion were in free play at the White House on Friday 23 February 2018 when President Trump received Prime Minister Turnbull. Trump was well scripted, even getting Turnbull’s name right. He added that Australia was the United States’ … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 5 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. A new Cold War arms race has begun

In the immediate post Cold War period, regular United States Nuclear Posture Reviews have been relatively restrained, emphasising no first use and no attacks against non nuclear weapons states which are signatories of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. With his … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 3 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Corruption in the Arms Trade

The Turnbull government is very excited about turning Australia into one of the world’s ten biggest arms traders. The announcement was prompted as much as anything else by President Trump’s announcement of a $US716 billion rise in the United States … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Korean Hot Line

Kim Jong-un’s offer to re-open the hotline with South Korea cannot be seen as merely a ploy to wedge ROK and the United States, as so readily claimed last Tuesday by Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations.  

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 1 Comment

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Trump’s foolishness over Iran

Those with short memories forget what a gem of non-proliferation the Iran Framework Agreement of July 2015 is. Trump wants to trash it. If he succeeds it will create regional uncertainty and the likelihood of nuclear proliferation that the Framework … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Sabre rattling off the Queensland coast.

Exercise Talisman Sabre does not address any of Australia’s main security concerns and sends the wrong messages to Australia’s neighbours. It contributes towards locking Australia into America’s wars, no matter how irrelevant to Australia’s own interests.

Posted in Defence/Security | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 3 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Still demonizing North Korea

Following recent North Korean missile tests and American declarations that they have run out of ‘strategic patience’, the Western media and the governments they serve, are busily repeating time-honoured myths about North Korea.  

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Series. We can say ‘no’ to the Americans

How Bill Hayden stood up to the Americans on Vietnam. 

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. The Battle of Long Tan turns Fifty

    Some excitement was generated in the Australian press around 15 August when it was reported that the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan would be commemorated by Australians at the site of the battle at a … Continue reading

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