Category Archives: International Affairs

AVI SHLAIM. Benjamin Netanyahu and the death of the Zionist dream.

Israel’s founding fathers are turning in their graves.

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. The panda versus the grizzly bear.

Our actions and public statements on Huawei and other Chinese investments clearly identify China as a potential threat which logically makes it an enemy. We do not apply the same standards to other countries which have the same technical capability. … Continue reading

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SOPHIE HARDEFELDT. Political parties’ international trade policies

For the last 20 years the global trade and investment regime has been used to institutionalise neoliberalism, establishing international rules and norms through the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and bilateral trade and investment agreements that increase the power of global … Continue reading

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VACY VLAZNA. The Sarafand Massacre and Anzac Cover-up, Part 1

In the early winter of 1918, the wheat, barley and sesame fields of Sarafand al-Kharab lay fallow. Oranges, figs, almonds and olives had been harvested, the summer honey stored. At night the goats and sheep were  brought into the warmth … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

ANDREW FARRAN. ASPI – a house divided?

It is heartening to observe that the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a body heavily subsidised by the Commonwealth Government to provide objective strategic advice, is beginning to open itself up to contestable thinking on critical strategic issues. Perhaps the government, … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Australia could be the big loser in a US-China trade deal, not that Donald Trump seems to care (South China Morning Post)

Australia sticking its neck out for the US on the issue of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei will not stop America from striking a trade deal with China that could result in Australian exports suffering

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 7 Comments

FRIDAY FORUM. Easter Sunday’s suffering in Sri Lanka – seeking and finding answers

The Friday Forum,    Sri Lanka The Friday Forum is an informal and self-financed group dedicated to democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law. It has for over five years sought to alert the public on issues concerning the rights of the citizen. … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

BOB BIRRELL. Overseas Students. A labour market program?

As readers of Pearls and Irritations will be aware, Net Overseas Migration to Australia (NOM) in 2017-18 was 236,731. This is equivalent to 0.9 per cent of Australia’s population. NOM was the main source of Australia’s overall 1.6 per cent … Continue reading

Posted in Education, International Affairs | 1 Comment

DIRK DE BRUYN. Re-visiting Gallipoli

I am talking with Turkish filmmaker Köken Ergun at the Rotterdam International Film Festival about a documentary that all Australian and New Zealand audiences should see. Heroes is about the mythologizing of trauma, of the First World War campaign on … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. Understanding the battle for telecommunications supremacy.

Sam Byford’s article, on the Huawei chairman accusing American critics of hypocrisy over NSA hacks, represents the current battlefront in the US-China trade war over “telecommunications” (telecoms) and its battle plan objective.  This article takes a deeper dive into the … Continue reading

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TIM BEAL. The clash of diasporas.

On 11 April New Zealand’s ‘spy chiefs’, as the media labelled them, gave evidence to the Justice Select Committee of Parliament.  Rebecca Kitteridge, director-general of the Security Intelligence Service (SIS), and Andrew Hampton, director-general of the Government Security Communications Bureau … Continue reading

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BEVAN RAMSDEN. Do the US Marines in Darwin pose a risk to our peace and security?

A recent US war exercise involving US Marines landing, capturing and securing an island off the coast of Okinawa is touted as a new US military strategy to use in its challenge to China in the South China Sea.  Is … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 8 Comments

ANDREW CHUBB. China’s assertive maritime policy is older than Xi (East Asia Forum)

The toughening of China’s policies in the South and East China Seas is widely regarded as a defining characteristic of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy. But while it is true that the PRC has become more assertive in its maritime disputes … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. The next clash between India and Pakistan (Japan Times 2.4.2019)

For many years, I have argued in these pages that the Indian subcontinent and the Korean Peninsula are among the least unlikely theaters of a nuclear war. The known consequences of a nuclear war mean a deliberate policy decision to … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. A response from the Chinese Community Council of Australia (CCCA)

The Chinese Australian community warmly thanks Prof Bob Carr for speaking out for the Chinese Australians and giving a detailed analysis of China panic over a period of more than 2 years.  Prof Carr’s suggestion of  a community response based … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

TIM LINDSEY. Indonesia goes to the polls: rematch or replay? (University of Melbourne, 15 April 2019)

Indonesia goes to the polls on 17 April, with the same presidential candidates as five years ago: the incumbent, Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi), a self-made former furniture exporter and former governor of Jakarta, and Prabowo Subianto, a former general … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Australians with Chinese origins need to come together.

A new burst of messaging on China Panic has been unleashed by Four Corners and newspapers, again giving the impression that hostile forces are threatening Australia. Last month former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans noted  “a new form of Sinophobia … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM. Indonesia – after the count – chaos?

The alphabet of election campaign hyperbole runs from Absurd through Fatuous and Stupid to Zero (as in logic).  Most statements are ephemeral for the nonsense spruikers know little is taken seriously once the losers are trampled by the triumphant. But in Indonesia pledges … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Extending the way to a viable Brexit?

Is the path to Britain’s withdrawal from the EU now finally clear, some three years after the Referendum that decided it should leave – to regain national sovereignty, to control its borders, and to conclude its own trade agreements with … Continue reading

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GIDEON LEVY. Israel’s new wretched republic.

On Tuesday, the Second Republic of Israel was born. It will be different from its predecessor. The First Republic chalked up impressive achievements, accompanied by lies and deceptions. The Second Republic will dispense with any pretense. 

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MACK WILLIAMS. Australia and the United States more than joined at the hip?

The recent Morrison Budget and the subsequent public commentary had precious little new to add to policy debate about future foreign policy directions for Australia other than to cut again our overseas aid budget – to an accumulated 27% since … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH. The vanishing international interest in the Mideast

How curious that the US fought on the same side as Iran’s Revolutionary Guards last year to defeat ISIS in Syria and then, once the job was done, denounced them as a terrorist organisation and applied sanctions. How curious that … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. How long to extradition for Assange?

WikiLeaks watchers had been expecting it for weeks, but when news came on 11 April that Ecuador had revoked Julian Assange’s asylum, a collective shudder went around the extended community. Next day the pictures appeared, and they made it worse. … Continue reading

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RONNIE KASRILS. I fought South African apartheid. I see the same brutal policies in Israel.

As a Jewish South African anti-apartheid activist I look with horror on the far-right shift in Israel ahead of this month’s elections, and the impact in the Palestinian territories and worldwide.

Posted in International Affairs | 5 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. Brexit: Wilful Blindness

The manic pursuit of Brexit by PM May, against all the facts and reason, dismisses any clear sight or recollection of the relevant history of Europe. Her actions will determine the future of the UK as presently constituted and, have … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. China’s Efforts to Curb Australia’s Academic Freedom: What Universities Can Do.

There’s been a vigorous debate of late in Australia about the extent of Chinese government interference in domestic politics. Less has been said about what occurs on our university campuses. Pressure from the Chinese government comes in numerous ways, including … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Education, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. Uncertainty on the Bosphorous as Erdoğan deals with a humiliating setback.

These are interesting times for Turkey, particularly for its president, Recep Tayyap Erdoğan. For a man accustomed to a Winx-like winning run in elections, the recent municipal polls gave him a rare poke in the eye. His AKP coalition won … Continue reading

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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

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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 International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN TULLOH. Shalom! Farewell to the Palestinian state.

When it comes to audacious political chutzpah, few can match Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister, desperate for re-election this week and anything but assured in the polls, frantically tossed a grenade into the campaign at the last minute. If … Continue reading

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