Opinion

Why America Shouldn’t Threaten Preemptive War

Continually pushing for dominance in the backyards of the world’s nuclear powers is madness. Doug Bandow The National Interest As a Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson was a moderate conservative. But as the current U.S. ambassador to NATO, Hutchinson seemed to lose her prior restraints. She appeared to threaten an attack on Russia. Moscow is developing a new cruise missile which Washington claims would violate the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty. If Russia proceeds, said Hutchinson, then the Putin government would be put ... Read More »

Why the West Should Care About the Turmoil in Armenia

Human rights and stability in Yerevan impact the whole region. Wes Martin The National Interest National Security Advisor John Bolton is planning to visit the South Caucasus, a strategic mountainous region sandwiched between Russia, Turkey and Iran, which changed hands repeatedly between these imperial masters for the last one thousand years. In Georgia, he will deal with a pro-western country still reeling from the war with Russia ten years ago. But a real challenge awaits Bolton in Armenia—a small mountainous country with ... Read More »

There’s a solution to the refugee crisis – but no one will like it

The Pacific Solution is septicaemic and threatening the political life of the Coalition Legitimate refugees and failed asylum seekers languish on Manus and Nauru desperately waiting for resettlement. Roman Quaedvlieg Brisbane Times The much-vaunted US deal is turning slowly with the anticipated uplift of 1250 refugees failing to reach even half of that target. The level of mental ill-health among both refugees and asylum seekers has reached an appalling state. It’s time to get them off Manus and Nauru. There ... Read More »

A Glimpse Into the Next Decade of Erdogan’s ‘New Turkey’

Upon winning his second term as president in June, and assuming the strong executive powers that had been approved by voters in a 2017 referendum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cemented what he had long been seeking: the creation of a… Sinan Ciddi Stratfor The “new Turkey,” as Erdogan calls it, is a country fast becoming insular and inward-looking. From Erdogan’s perspective, Turkey’s founding elite of the 1920s created a state, society and culture fashioned according to the preferences of ... Read More »

Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab world needs most is free expression

A note from Karen Attiah, Global Opinions editor… I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as “free.” That nation is Tunisia. Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of “partly free.” The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as “not free.” Jamal Khashoggi The Washington Post As a result, Arabs living in these ... Read More »

‘It’s OK to be white’ is not a joke, it’s careless politicians helping the far right

The far right lies, sows confusion, and hides its intentions in order to mainstream its messages Jason Wilson The Guardian The Australian Senate almost passed a motion affirming that “it’s OK to be white”. This probably sounds innocuous enough to the casual or incurious observer — and that’s exactly what the white supremacists who devised the slogan intended. To understand how and why the slogan came to be voted on by the Senate, you need first to engage with the ... Read More »

I have made no false promises on Brexit – I’m free to tell you the truth

Those who persuaded a deceived population to vote to be weaker and poorer will never be forgiven John Major The Guardian Until now, every US president I have known has considered [the UK’s] relevance to America to be enhanced by our membership of the European Union. Yet very soon – on our current course – we will no longer be able to argue from within the EU for Anglo-American beliefs in free trade, open markets and strong defence. Our friends, the ... Read More »

The Revenge of Hard Power Politics

The liberal world order was never an inevitability. Only five years ago, the world still looked like a liberal internationalist’s dream. Andrew A. Michta The American Interest Although jihadist terror periodically tested the resilience of governments and societies across the globe, open borders and free trade were widely touted as the way forward. In the context of post-Cold War unipolarity, many in academia, think tanks, and the media wanted to believe that the “first universal nation” could shape world politics ... Read More »

More than three million Australians living in poverty, Acoss report reveals

Peak welfare body calls for overhaul of employment services and at least two days a week of subsidised early childhood care Gareth Hutchens The Guardian Poverty has become a consistent feature of Australian life, with millions still living below the breadline despite 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth, the Australian Council of Social Service says. A vital circuit-breaker is needed, including a complete overhaul of Australia’s employment services, a commitment to “full employment” and a guarantee of at least two days ... Read More »

Stephen Hawking’s last warning from beyond the grave

Acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking’s last message to the universe is a plea for unity in the “isolated and insular” age of Brexit and Trump, and his fear that a “global revolt against experts” might get in the… Nick Miller msn Hawking’s family gathered at London’s Science Museum on Monday to launch his last book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, which he began but did not finish before his death in March, aged… With tears in her eyes, Lucy Hawking ... Read More »

Universities should tolerate ‘offensive’ ideas

It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many vice-chancellors (and a… Adrienne Stone Brisbane Times This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies on campus. Bettina Arndt’s university tour met with rowdy and obstructive demonstrations. Students have accused each other of bullying ... Read More »

Viral letter to PM shows the people are united

The Prime Minister’s rejection of the Australian Medical Association’s call for the transfer of the asylum seeker and refugee children and their families off Nauru has been swift but it hasn’t deterred us. Dr Sara Townend Brisbane Times Now, just over two weeks later, more than 5600 doctors and medical students from around the country say they agree. They’ve signed an open letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison. A letter we felt compelled to write because the situation on ... Read More »

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »

Turkey Is Not Exactly a Model Citizen, Either

Releasing one prisoner, and helping investigate the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, doesn’t excuse other Turkish transgressions. Eli Lake Bloomberg One irony of the crisis over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is the opportunity it has provided Turkey to polish its image. It’s not just that a Turkish court on Friday finally released the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who had been detained for nearly two years. The Turkish authorities have blown the whistle on the Saudis, leaking surveillance footage and dossiers of ... Read More »

In Defense Of Autonomous Weapons

The development of artificial intelligence and ethics for their use must go hand-in-hand. Otherwise, such weapons will be built without regard for morals or the laws of war. Ryan Khurana The National Interest In July 2018, the Future of Life Institute (FLI), an organization dedicated to mitigating existential risks from artificial intelligence (AI), published a pledge to ban the development of lethal autonomous weapons… FLI is one of the most respected institutions in the AI risk domain, having on its board such ... Read More »

My Fiancé Jamal Khashoggi Was a Lonely Patriot

His ideas will reverberate from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins. Hatice Cengiz The New York Times Jamal Khashoggi and I met at a conference in Istanbul in May. I was familiar with his work because I am interested in the Middle East and the Gulf region. We spoke for about half an hour about politics. Jamal talked about the extraordinary transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia, his native country, ... Read More »