Category Archives: International Affairs

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.

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

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

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.

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

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. 

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

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

Posted in International Affairs | Comments Off on ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit and Britain: A strange state of affairs indeed

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.

Posted in Asia, Defence/Security, International Affairs | Comments Off on RAMESH THAKUR. Japan’s least bad choice on North Korea (Japan Times 3-10-19)

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

TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. Australia, the US, the Yellow Peril, and the Baby-Strangling Chinese: A Cautionary Tale.

As the Morrison government moves ever closer to the Trump administration’s approach to our region and the world, it is time to look more closely at the ‘expertise’ that underlies Trump’s China policy. It draws on some very curious sources.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 5 Comments

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

LOUIS COOPER. It’s Monday, October 21 and Canadians are going to the polls and they are “highly likely” to elect a minority government.

The most recent poll, commissioned by Canada’s national broadcaster, the CBC, has the Conservatives, led by Andrew Scheer, at 31.7%. the Liberals, led by PrimeMinister, Justin Trudeau, are at 30.8%, the New Democratic Party, led by Jagmeet Singh is sitting … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | Comments Off on LOUIS COOPER. It’s Monday, October 21 and Canadians are going to the polls and they are “highly likely” to elect a minority government.

MELISSA CONLEY TYLER and MITCHELL VANDEWERDT-HOLMAN. Diplomacy Needed to Stop Australia’s Declining Power

We spend our days looking at short-term economic indicators, such as the Reserve Bank’s decision on the cash rate or whether Australia has entered a recession. This means we don’t pay enough attention to the longer-term trend: that Australia’s economy … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

BRUCE HAIGH. China on the move

Australia has to have a relationship with both China and America. Neither are perfect. China has a better idea of where it is going than America. Morrison is going all the way with Trump. That is not the answer.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 5 Comments

JAMES O’NEILL. Iran: Ancient History, New Modern Role

“Iran has an ancient history but a very modern present and future.  Despite the best (or worst)  of some European nations and others such as the United States and Australia, Iran has  powerful friends and bright prospects.”  

Posted in International Affairs | 7 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

Posted in International Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. If you break it, you own it.

A president owns his nation’s history and its honour …  the luxury of being able to make history, but not of repudiating it.

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

SETH FRANTZMAN. Smoke Signals in the Next Middle East War (7 October 2019, Tablet)

Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields was a warning to Israel in an escalating regional war A bit over two weeks before the cruise missiles and drones detonated in Saudi Arabia’s strategic oil fields, igniting massive explosions that would … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN BRADLEY. The alliance between America and Saudi Arabia is over (The Spectator 28-9-19)

We are witnessing the beginning of a new geopolitics in the Middle East

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

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

Posted in International Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in International Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

PATRICK COCKBURN. Iraq is in Revolt. (CounterPunch 7.10.2019)

Iraq is poised at a turning point in its modern history as its people wait to see if the government curfew and close down of the internet will end the ongoing demonstrations. 

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

BOB CARR. Abandoning the Kurds confirms Asia’s view that US power is waning (SMH 9.10.2019)

The Syrian Kurds were more than allies. They were a US client, recruited by the Obama administration for house-to-house combat against the Islamic State caliphate. This America, however, cares little for core relationships and sweeps them aside. The decision shatters … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

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

Posted in International Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

SCOTT BURCHILL. Decoding Australian foreign policy

Some assistance is required for those trying to understand contemporary Australian foreign policy these days, especially those looking for consistency, principles and ethics which seem all too illusive. Below is a brief guide, one that generally holds regardless of whether the LNP or … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 5 Comments

JONAH BEN AVRAHAM. Palestinians Could Have Historic Influence in Israel’s Next Government (Truthout 5-10-19)

The political climate in Israel following September’s snap elections is by no means favorable to Palestinians. However, there is reason to be hopeful for gains in Palestinian political power as the prospect of a unity government between the center-right Kahol … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | Comments Off on JONAH BEN AVRAHAM. Palestinians Could Have Historic Influence in Israel’s Next Government (Truthout 5-10-19)

JOHN MCCARTHY. The Morrison Doctrine.

Dear Prime Minister, I see you are developing a foreign policy doctrine of your own. Good. We haven’t had one for a while. Congratulations on taking this stuff seriously. The management of our external environment will be your toughest job … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

AMY GOODMAN and PATRICK COCKBURN. On the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish area in Syria. (Truthout 7.10.2109)

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s start with the surprise announcement, after the phone conversation between Erdogan and Trump, that the U.S. is pulling back its troops for Turkey to attack in northern Syria. Explain what you understand is happening and the significance of … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

WANG GUNWU. China’s rise this time is different (East Asia Forum, 29 September 2019)

On 1 October China will be celebrating the 70 years of unification that followed Mao Zedong’s victory over the Nationalist regime in 1949. Many thought that had brought about the rise that the Chinese peoples had been waiting for since … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

DUNCAN MACLAREN. Boris Johnson: the Embattled ‘Hammer of the Scots’

The Scots were largely ignored by English politicians during the Brexit negotiations but they now loom large in the fight to stop a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. Will this urge Boris Johnson to become the embattled ‘Hammer of the Scots’, the … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment