Category Archives: International Affairs

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.

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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

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

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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

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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.”  

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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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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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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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. 

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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

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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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