Category Archives: International Affairs

GARETH EVANS. How not to conduct Australian foreign Policy: Suez 1956

Dr Robert Bowker’s new monograph, Australia, Menzies and Suez: Australian Policy-making on the Middle East Before, During and After the Suez Crisis (Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, 2019), leaves me in awe of his stamina and capacity to absorb … Continue reading

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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

ASSAF SHARON. The Long Paralysis of the Israeli Left (New York Review of Books, 7 November 2019)

The Israeli political system is in a weird stalemate. Two general elections in under six months have so far failed to produce a governing coalition. The sticking point is entirely personal—the fate of Bejamin Netanyahu as he faces multiple criminal … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Erratic US Pacific policy is leaving Australia stranded (Australian Financial Review 8-11-19)

The Canberra hawks hope that our tough stance on China will encourage US resolve. But that underestimates the flightiness of Donald Trump.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS-Europe looking to China as global partner, shunning Donald Trump’s US ( 7 November 2019)

When France’s president wants to carry European concerns to the world stage to find solutions for climate change, trade tensions or Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he no longer calls Washington. He flies to Beijing.

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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

JAMES O’NEILL. The Rhetoric and the Reality: Australia, the United States and the World in the 21st Century.

Henry Wotton is perhaps best remembered as the author of the phrase that an ambassador was an honest gentleman sent abroad to lie for the good of his country.

Posted in International Affairs | 8 Comments

ALFRED M. WU. The failings of ‘one country, two systems’ (East Asia Forum, 29 October 2019)

The ‘one country, two systems’ framework is coming under increasing pressure as unprecedented protests and months of unrest rock Hong Kong. Sustaining local autonomy against the background of an increasingly assertive Chinese centre has become a progressively tricky issue.

Posted in Asia, 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

JOHN CARLIN. Aliens Out There

We humans have never been so determined as now to make contact with life somewhere else in the Universe. Most people surveyed support such contact. It may not be such a good idea. 

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MACK WILLIAMS. North Korea: the clock is ticking – but just?

There have been a few developments since the abortive Hanoi Summit but overall little of substance has changed.

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RAMZY BAROUD. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinian Christians that Nobody is Talking About (CounterPunch 31-10-19)

Palestine’s Christian population is dwindling at an alarming rate. The world’s most ancient Christian community is moving elsewhere. And the reason for this is Israel.

Posted in International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

GEOFF RABY. The lowest ebb – the decline and decline of Australia’s relationship with China

Today, the Australia-China relationship is at its lowest point since diplomatic relations began 46 years ago.  (This Annual La Trobe China Oration was delivered on 29 October 2019.  It is much longer than usual postings. The issues involved however are very … Continue reading

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UN expert: Israeli occupation ‘longest’ in modern world (Middle East Monitor 23-10-19)

A UN human rights investigator on Wednesday called the Israeli occupation in Palestine “the longest occupation” in the world, Anadolu reports.

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Christopher Findlay. Can cooperation prevent the descent of a digital Iron Curtain? (East Asia Forum, 27 October 2019)

Fifth-generation mobile network technology (5G) offers higher speeds and greater capacity. This is critical for cutting-edge technologies such as autonomous vehicles and applications of virtual reality. The development of 5G is also expected to drive innovation towards many things not … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Media | 2 Comments

RANDALL HEYN-LAMB. Episcopal Church officially bars investments in companies benefitting from the Israeli occupation (Mondoweiss 24-10-19)

This week, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church adopted a human rights investment screen related to Israel and Palestine and will sell its holdings in Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar, Inc., and the Israel Discount Bank.

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SADHBH WALSHE. How Brexit Put a United Ireland Back on the Map (The New York Review of Books 22-10-19)

The Irish have long been said to have a way with words—and there has been no shortage of them expended in the argument over the possibility of a Brexit-induced reinstatement of a border partitioning the island of Ireland. Since the … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. The China Threat leads to dead ends (Australian Financial Review, 29 October 2019)

The Australia-China relationship is at its lowest point since diplomatic relations began 46 years ago.  This is something the Australian Government doesn’t wish to discuss.  Its diplomats are paid to put a positive spin on things.  Elements of the conservative … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

PAUL MILLS. Australia: Aligned and Independent

Last week as American vehicles withdrew troops from Northern Syria they were pelted with potatoes and rocks by outraged and betrayed Kurds.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

ALI KAZAK. Hong Kong and Gaza: media dance to different tune

Compare the ABC’s and SBS’s coverage of the pro-democracy marches in Hong Kong and the “Marches of Return” in Gaza.

Posted in International Affairs | 7 Comments

WILLIAM ASTORE. Killing Me Softly With Militarism (Common Dreams 24-10-19)

The militarization and decay of democracy in America.

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LUCY ROBINSON. Climate protests have roots that go deep into the rich history of British social change (The Guardian 13-10-19)

Extinction Rebellion draws on a radical lineage that brings together a range of beliefs and ages.

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LOUIS COOPER – Canadian election washup.

Last week’s general elections in Canada ended in a minority government and the sense of an east-west divide to the nation. Canadians wanted to teach Trudeau a lesson but they also wanted him back.

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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.

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GEOFF MILLER. The Good American.

Even a “good American” uses language in regard to China that raises questions about America’s stance in its envisaged long existential struggle with China.

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PETER RODGERS. These days, who’ want to be a human right?

US and Australian responses to China’s maltreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and Israel’s blockade of Gaza reveal glaring double standards. But no worse perhaps than those of many Muslim states hungry for China’s largesse. 

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit and Britain: A strange state of affairs indeed

Brexit is again on the cusp. Boris Johnson’s lowest common denominator Withdrawal Agreement (WA2) is before the Parliament either for a ‘meaningful vote’ or for a Second Reading as a Bill. Whether passed as a meaningful vote, it cannot of … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER Spaghetti Americana: US Middle east Policy

Trump’s agreement on the telephone with Erdogan that Turkey could go ahead and invade Kurdish Syria was a disaster; local and, geo-political.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

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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JOHN CARLIN. The Catalan Argentinians

The treatment of the Catalans by the Spanish government over the last decade has meant that support for an independent Catalonia has tripled. If Madrid had agreed to a referendum years ago it is almost certain that the vote for … Continue reading

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