Unpacking the Propaganda: Why Australia is Sending Troops to the Middle East


On Sunday Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that 400 air personnel and 200 military personnel from Australia’s armed forces would be going to the Middle East to assist in the fight against ISIL in Iraq. The Labor opposition party supports the decision.  In his speech and the press conference that followed, Abbott tried to describe both the war he would ... Read More »

It’s Time for the Kurds to Set Up Their Own Nation


Before welcoming the emerging state of Kurdistan in northern Iraq, I confess to having opposed its independence in the past. In 1991, after the Kuwait War had ended and as Saddam Hussein attacked Iraq’s 6 million Kurds, I made three arguments against American intervention on their behalf, arguments still commonly heard today: First, Kurdish independence would spell the end of ... Read More »

How Isis became the wealthiest terror group in history

Fighters of the Islamic State wave the group's flag from a damaged display of a government fighter jet following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria

Islamic State militants are better resourced than any other terrorist group, according to intelligence officials Islamic State (Isis) militants are taking in more than $3m (£1.8m) a day through oil smuggling, extortion, theft and human trafficking, say intelligence officials and experts. Aid workers, researchers and intelligence agents say that as the group has taken over sections of Iraq and Syria ... Read More »

700 migrants feared dead as boats capsize in the Mediterranean


Nearly 700 migrants may have died after two ships carrying refugees sank in the Mediterranean last week. The International Organization for Migration holds traffickers responsible for the tragedy. Human traffickers may have rammed and sank two boats carrying nearly 700 refugees in separate incidents in the Mediterranean last week, according to the International Organization of Migration (IOM). “If this story ... Read More »

Assassinations in the Amazon: how will Peru respond?

JRP holding gun 1a LLLL

Indigenous leaders killed near Brazil border following logging and land title battle  Jump to comments “Martyrs”, “true guardians of the Amazon”, “defenders of the rainforest. . .” These are just some of the terms used to describe four Peruvian indigenous leaders who were assassinated earlier this month, but “Dead Friends of the Earth”, a term used by NGO Global Witness for people ... Read More »

Domestic violence is never acceptable

Ray Rice & wife 1a LLLLL

About a month ago I ranted about the horrifying actions of America’s mighty National Football League and their attitude about domestic abuse. This week it got a whole lot worse. Ray Rice was a running back for the Baltimore Ravens. He was suspended for the first two games of the new season for punching his fiancee unconscious in a casino ... Read More »

Should Oil Barons Like David Koch Be Funding our Museums?

The Natural History Museum van 1a LLLLL

What is the point of a science museum? If you’ve visited the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan recently, you might think it was designed to collect dust: moldy, ancient dioramas of cavemen stare out of lit-up boxes that don’t appear to have been entered by museum staff since the 1970s. But ask Brooklyn arts collective Not An Alternative, who ... Read More »