Category Archives: International Affairs

PATRICK BUCHANAN. Memo to Trump: Trade Bolton for Tulsi (The American Conservative)

“For too long our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War and arms race, costing us trillions of our hard-earned tax payer dollars and countless lives. … Continue reading

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MACK WILLIAMS. Iran : Coalition of the less than willing !

The spectacle of Prime Minister facing the “full court press” from President Trump and his team across the dinner table in Osaka starkly demonstrated how G20 Osaka was to be Morrison’s real initiation to the global arena. As the Iran … Continue reading

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PAUL BARRATT. Australia should not participate in conflict with Iran.

Australia should not participate in any military action against Iran. The current tensions have been created by the Trump Administration, and the ANZUS Alliance creates no obligation for us to assist. President Trump may think that a war against Iran … Continue reading

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JOHN KERIN. Trump’s latest Farm Bill and Implications for Australia’s Farm Exports.

Trump’s trade policies and reaction to the rebound of them has resulted in another increase of $23b subsidisation on top of the $12b supposedly one-off package last year for US farmers who are ‘collateral damage, as a result of his … Continue reading

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MAUREEN DOWD. Trump holds off his hawks — for now (New York Times, 26 June 2019)

As shocking as it is to write this sentence, it must be said: Donald Trump did something right.He finally noticed the abyss once he was right on top of it, calling off a retaliatory strike on Iran after belatedly learning, … Continue reading

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MARY-LOUISE O’CALLAGHAN. Stepping out – and up – in the hot mess of the Pacific (Lowy Institute)

Personal connections matter, and Scott Morrison’s ties to the Pacific run deeper than many realise.

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GEORGE BROWNING Former Middle East diplomats urge PM to reject Trump Middle East plan.

In response to the Kushner announcement about an economic plan for Palestine, 18 former Australian diplomats have written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling on him not to support the plan. The signatories include two former Australian Ambassadors to Israel … Continue reading

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SHIRO ARMSTRONG. The PM must step up if WTO is to return from the brink (Financial Review)

The G20 will meet in Osaka with world trade in crisis. The time has come to chose between our volatile ally and the multilateral trading system.

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GEOFF RABY. Hong Kong’s relationship with Beijing has been changed for ever

Hong Kong’s relationship with Beijing has been changed for ever Whatever the precise figure, the demonstrations in Hong Kong were the biggest ever in the city and possibly the biggest in Chinese history against a government.  Confident in the power … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. War games – more than burnt fingers

“Are policy makers driving policy or is it the country’s spooks and their ideological soulmates in the so-called security establishment whose views are amplified in the conservative media?” (Tony Walker, The Age)

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HUGH WHITE. We must not join Trump’s cold war (AFR 25.6.2019)

Scott Morrison should spell out Australia’s opposition to Washington’s futile attempts to contain China.  

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ANDREW BACEVICH. Bret Stephens, Warmonger (The American Conservative)

In fact, some people do want war, including a certain New York Times columnist.

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MICHAEL PASCOE. War with Iran could break the American alliance and force Australia to become independent (The New Daily, 23 June 2019)

I’m writing this at 10,000 metres, a dangerous place to write. There’s something about thin air on a plane and a couple of glasses of wine that moves the bladder closer to the eye.

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MAX HASTINGS. Boris Johnson: brilliant, warm, funny – and totally unfit to be PM (Daily Mail 11.10.2012)

For 20 years I have known London’s mayor as a god-medal egomaniac.  If he gets into No. 10, I’m on the first plane out. 

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. If the US treats China like an enemy, then it will become one.

 It is time for Australia to accept the reality of the rise of China and a resurgence of Russia.  

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MARK BEESON. The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy, Vince Scappatura, Monash Publishing (a review)

One of the most enduring features of Australia’s foreign and strategic policies is the close relationship between this country and the United States. A number of other countries such as Britain and Japan also claim to have a ‘special relationship’ … Continue reading

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CAMERON LECKIE. Here we go again! Yet another false flag incident?

Sun Tzu in the Art of War stated that ‘All war is based on deception.’ We should keep this in mind whenever a major international incident occurs. The application of Occam’s Razor, keeping an open mind and considering a range … Continue reading

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DENNIS ARGALL. Absenting Ourselves From the World.

This is mainly about China, but more. We have excluded ourselves in many ways from the engines of modernity in Asia and more widely by our recalcitrance on so many issues and our unwillingness to engage with the new. We … Continue reading

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J. BRADFORD DELONG. What to do about China? (Project Syndicate 5.6.2019)

By attempting to “get tough” with China, US President Donald Trump’s administration is highlighting the extent to which America’s star has fallen this century. If the US ever wants to reclaim the standing it once had in the world, it … Continue reading

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PATRICK WINTOUR.  US joins four rogue countries seen as likely forces for bad, poll finds (Guardian, 20 June 2019)

The United States has joined Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran in a rogue’s gallery of countries perceived as likely to use their influence for bad. All five countries are also seen as less likely to use their influence for … Continue reading

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ROBERT FISK. Trump’s evidence about Iran is ‘dodgy’ at best. (Counterpunch 18.6.2019)

The crackpot president of the United States of America has so snarled up the gangplank to truth these past 29 months that no matter how much “evidence” he and his crew produce to prove that the Iranians have been trying to … Continue reading

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CHAS FREEMAN. The Sino-American Split and its Consequences

To be able to compete effectively with rising powers like China and resurgent nations like Russia; to be able to do so with the confident optimism our country has always embodied, we must fix not only our diplomacy but the … Continue reading

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CAROL GIACOMO. A New Trump Battleground: Defining Human Rights (The New York Times)

After the horrors of World War II, the United States led in adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, recognizing the “inherent dignity” and “equal and inalienable rights” of all people to life and liberty. For three-quarters of … Continue reading

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CONOR FOWLER. Singapore and China Move to Enhance Defence Relations (Future Directions)

On 29 May, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe met with his Singaporean counterpart, Ng Eng Hen, and announced the revision of the Agreement on Defence Exchanges and Security Co-operation (ADESC), which was first signed in 2008. The revision is designed … Continue reading

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STEPHEN S. ROACH. Japan Then, China Now. (Project Syndicate 27.5.2019)

Back in the 1980s, Japan was portrayed as the greatest economic threat to the United States, and allegations of intellectual property theft were only part of Americans’ vilification. Thirty years later, Americans have made China the villain, when, just like … Continue reading

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TONY WALKER. Australia has a China problem and we can’t leave it to faceless spooks (Sydney Morning Herald, 16 June 2019)

Australia has a China problem. It’s not in Beijing. It’s not on the streets of Hong Kong. It’s in Canberra. China policy is in flux, under stress and confused. Australia’s meek response to the pro-democracy mass demonstrations in Hong Kong contrasts … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Inverting Reality in Persian Gulf

US assertions that Iran mined two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on 13 June is as unconvincing as blaming Iran for attacks on three tankers in the same area on 12 May. Iran has no apparent motive, but … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER The Espionage Olympiad and the Art of “Plausible Deniability”.

If there was a competition between the key ways in which international relations is conducted, aside from the use of military force, then the area of intelligence gathering and the covert pursuit of national objectives – all-round spookery – would … Continue reading

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TREVOR WATSON. Hong Kong and Beijing – two cities, one fearful regime.

Millions of students, blue collar workers and professionals poured into the streets of Hong Kong in protest over proposed legislation that would allow people to be extradited for trial in China.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS . North Korea : The tangled web becomes more so !

That the past few months have seen no real progress towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula is not all that surprising given the swirling global environment demanding priority attention for President Trump and other key stakeholders. Post mortems of … Continue reading

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