Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

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

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MAY 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 | 2 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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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 4 of 5)

Part 4. A race strategy to save ‘White Australia’  Political manipulation of the society’s racially inflected anxieties was a major factor in the imperial ascendency over national defence policy in the Commonwealth in 1911. The secret implementation of a race … Continue reading

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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 3 of 5)

Part 3. Empire over nation.  In 1914-18, the fight for Empire against Asia minimised independent Australian national interests. Ambiguous, interchangeable use of the terms ‘empire’ and ‘nation’ also protected that ‘imperial’ bias in our political culture. 

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LOUIS COOPER. President Trump’s 17-page list of changes to the North American Free Trade agreement [NAFTA] are causing some political problems for Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

NAFTA came into force on January 1 1994. It replaced the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA’s basic premise was to ignore the international borders and reduce or eliminate tariffs for much of the trade between Canada, the United States … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. Germany’s Ostpolitik in the Modern Era

Germany recognises that there is a fundamental shift in the economic, political and military balance of power to the east.  It is now flexing its political muscle to match its economic might.

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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 2 of 5)

Part 2. Empire against Asia The ‘imperial’ nature of Australia’s involvement in the Great War was distinctively Australian and, it should be said, a sign of the doubt white settler society had about its survival as a remote outpost of … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Government policies have made us less safe.

The establishment of an enlarged Department of Home Affairs under the ministerial control of Peter Dutton is an unnecessary mistaken policy.  

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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? Part 1 of 5 part series.

To find out what we were fighting for in the Great War we must get past the usual fig-leaf explanation, which is as remarkably effective as it is short on cover in Australian culture.  

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CESAR JARAMILLO. Canada’s opposition to the nuclear weapons ban treaty has degraded its reputation on disarmament, at home and abroad. An open letter to Justin Trudeau on the banning of nuclear weapons

Dear Mr. Trudeau, You recently dismissed this year’s multilateral process to negotiate a legal prohibition of nuclear weapons as “useless.” I’m afraid you were misinformed: it was anything but.

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JAMES O’NEILL. Lessons from Mosul: Double Standards, War Crimes and Lack of Accountability

Lest week the Iraqi government announced that Mosul has been ‘liberated ‘ from the control of ISIS. The major campaign for Mosul’s liberation began in October 2016 when the US led coalition massively increased both bombing raids and artillery attacks … Continue reading

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Aleppo and Fallujah. (Repost from 30 December 2016)

In light of the civilian disaster unfolding presently in Aleppo, it is timely to revisit the uncontradicted claims unwarranted action against civilians in Fallujah supervised by Australian military commander, Jim Molan. This piece was first published in 2008. If correct, … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Trust is falling in Western democratic institutions

One clue to understanding the loss of trust in the professional integrity of the Western media is their unrelenting efforts to demonize Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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ANDREW FARRAN. The Fall of Mosul and Raqqa opens the door for Australia’s exit from the Middle East

Now that ISIS has for all intents and purposes been driven out of Mosul and Raqqa the time has come for the Australian government to step back and review its diplomatic policies, and military commitments, in that region and focus … Continue reading

Posted in Australia and Asia, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Military/Security takeover of Australia’s foreign policy. (Repost from 2 February 2017)

The military and defence establishment and lobbies, both in Australia and the US are determining Australia’s foreign policy. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and her Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are being sidelined. 

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GREG AUSTIN. Australians have little to fear from terrorism at home – here’s why. (Repost from 24 October 2016)

According to an ANU poll, more than half of the country’s adults are concerned Australia will be a target for terrorism at home and strongly believe the government needs to introduce greater preventive measures to combat it. But the reality … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH. Fear, paranoia and anxiety in Turkey one year on from the failed coup attempt.

       As one opposition MP noted: ‘Turkey has been wrapped in a cloak of fear and anxiety’. Paranoia as well, he might have added.  

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TONY KEVIN. Australia has been enlisted by Trump’s Washington opponents

Australia has now been enlisted in Trump’s war against the Washington elite. There are costs and risks to Australia in this development.  

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GEORGE YANCY AND NOAM CHOMSKY (INTERVIEW). On Trump and the State of the Union

Is Russian hacking really more significant than, for example, the Republican campaign to destroy the conditions for organized social existence, in defiance of the entire world?

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

RAMESH THAKUR. Japan on the wrong side of nuclear weapons ban treaty

Many nations that previously championed their nuclear disarmament credentials have now been outed as part of the problem

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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

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RAMESH THAKUR. Modi’s actions fail to live up to his words

Three years on, it’s hard for even the most ardent Indophile to remain optimistic about the nation’s future.

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MACK WILLIAMS. North Korea ICBM threat to Australia.

The DPRK’s recent ICBM test raises some extremely serious concerns for Australia which will need to be carefully considered by the Australian Government before it rushes off into decision making on the run as has been the case in the … Continue reading

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TONY KEVIN. Hamburg G20 : Much was achieved

Angela Merkel’s firm and statesmanlike chairmanship steered the Hamburg G20 to a content-rich, global economics and climate change-dominated leaders’ declaration https://www.g20.org/gipfeldokumente/G20-leaders-declaration.pdf.  

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GEOFF MILLER. Kim Jong Un – Forcing the pace, or forging a peace?

Kim Jong Un’s continual provocation of the United States can probably be best explained as a considered strategy to bring about negotiations between the two.  

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RAMESH THAKUR. Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump: The godfathers of the UN treaty to ban the bomb

With a protector-in-chief like Donald Trump, who needs enemies like Kim Jong-un? Clearly, history does irony: the president with the least previous foreign policy interest and experience could end up having the biggest impact on global affairs in a century.

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RICHARD TANTER. The global nuclear ban treaty: criminalising all nuclear weapons

Former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon got it right about the latest North Korean nuclear weapon outrage: neither Kim Jong-un nor Donald Trump are a safe pair of hands for nuclear weapons. A majority of the world’s governments agree with him, … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Chilcot – The Iraq war and Murdoch’s war on critics. (Repost)

On 1 July 2014, I posted a story about the role of News Corp and Rupert Murdoch in the Iraq disaster. The Chilcot Report confirms even more how News Corp publications misled readers and viciously attacked their opponents.  News Corp … Continue reading

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