Analysis

Time to stop pretending: fascism is back

It is no use pretending. The signs are clear. Fascism is raising its poisonous, extremist head again. Paolo Totaro The Age To very old people like me, whose World War II experiences as children are still raw, fascism signifies many things but its essence still is intolerance of diversity. Fascism does not accept as equal, human beings of a diverse race, gender, faith, appearance, creativity, culture. WWII had its genesis in the Nazis (German fascists) rejecting as Germans, those German ... Read More »

Julian Assange Q+A: WikiLeaks founder arrested in London

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been arrested in London and charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion over his alleged role in the leaking of classified United States government documents. Gbenga Oduntan The Conversation Assange has already been found guilty of failing to surrender British police, who took him from the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been living for nearly seven years, having claimed asylum there. Here’s what we know so far. Why was Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy ... Read More »

Dog whistles, regional visas and wage theft – immigration policy is again an election issue

Immigration policy will be a major issue in the 2019 federal election. We know this because immigration has featured significantly at every Australian election since the 2001 “children overboard” election. Jock Collins The Conversation David Marr and Marian Wilkinson argued in their 2003 book, Dark Victory, that willingness to play the race card in relation to boat people was a decisive factor in John Howard’s election victory. For Tony Abbott, “Stop the boats” was a major campaign theme when the ... Read More »

Yemen Cannot Afford to Wait

The scars in the country run deep – and the U.S. shares responsibility. ICG For an American who had a hand in shaping U.S. Mideast policy during the Barack Obama years, coming to Yemen has the unpleasant feel of visiting the scene of a tragedy one helped co-write. It is a scene whose most heartrending aspects are not easily accessible to a visitor. It is still possible to travel north, to the war-battered capital, Sanaa, now controlled by the Houthi ... Read More »

The air disaster that haunts Polish politics

Political potency of a national tragedy is wearing out. Annabelle Chapman Politico WARSAW — Nine years ago, a plane crash that killed Poland’s president and 95 others created one of the most potent myths in the country’s history. A significant minority of Poles did not believe that it was a tragic accident, as detailed in an official report. Instead, they saw the crash at a military airfield near the Russian city of Smolensk as a plot involving Polish and Russian ... Read More »

Averting a Full-blown War in Libya

Fighting between forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and allies of the UN-backed government in Tripoli threatens a bloodbath and a regional proxy war. ICG Libya’s international partners should urgently take steps to avoid a major battle and get both sides back to the negotiating table under a new format. A dangerous military confrontation is underway in Libya between east-based forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and armed groups allied to the UN-backed government in Tripoli. So far, international ... Read More »

Government advertising may be legal, but it’s corrupting our electoral process

The Coalition government’s use of taxpayer money for political advertising – as much as A$136 million since January, according to Labor figures – is far from an aberration in Australia. Joo-Cheong Tham The Conversation It is part of a sordid history in which public resources have routinely been abused for electoral advantage. For example, the Coalition governments of Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull spent at least A$84.5 million on four major advertising campaigns to promote their policies and initiatives with ... Read More »

Will Pressure Bring Down Venezuela’s Government?

In Venezuela, the lights go off nearly every day, and there is little for most families to put on the dinner table. Ivan Briscoe ICG Amid the growing misery, will the government’s social base abandon it for the opposition challenger? And will the government itself crack under pressure? Ángela (not her real name) handles delivery of the state food rations known as CLAPs in her working-class neighbourhood in Caracas. She is a lifelong supporter of chavismo – the left-wing populist philosophy and ... Read More »

Politicians need to listen up before they speak up – and listen in the right places

Over the past month, Australians and many people around the world have been listening – really listening – to politicians, for a change. Some politicians, that is. Jacinda Ardern, for one. Jim Macnamara The Conversation People everywhere have been moved by her comments, often to tears. She has been lauded for her demonstration of empathy and understanding of complex, emotionally charged issues that some others reduce to glib slogans. How is it that the New Zealand prime minister is such ... Read More »

Six books that shock, delve deeply and destroy pieties: your guide to the 2019 Stella Prize shortlist

Young people – how they think and feel, how institutions (families, schools, clinics, courts) fail them – are a recurring theme in the books shortlisted for the 2019 Stella Prize. Camilla Nelson The Conversation These six surprising books – four novels, a memoir and a collection of essays – cover subject matter as diverse as grief, loss, history, childhood, and Indigenous resistance. They make risky aesthetic choices. Some feature dazzling experiments with language, structure and form. Despite, or, more likely, ... Read More »

‘A Convenient Life and a Good Life May Not Be the Same Thing’

Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s top antitrust regulator, hasn’t been able to take down Big Tech—but she has a theory of how to tame it. Franklin Foer The Atlantic The election of Donald Trump, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal that followed, set in motion what some have called the tech-lash—a bout of intense skepticism directed toward Silicon Valley. But long before it became fashionable to jeer Mark Zuckerberg, there was the Danish regulator, Margrethe Vestager. As the European commissioner of competition, a ... Read More »

Trump’s Republican Base Is Wary of India

Core Trump supporters view trade deals as benefiting other countries at the expense of the United States. Pratik Chougule The National Interest The U.S. decision to remove India from the Generalized System of Preferences program last month, citing its lack of “equitable and reasonable” market access, was the toughest action of the Trump presidency against the country. It may also be a sign that a decade of growing U.S.-India partnership is entering a new normal with lingering economic and trade disputes taking ... Read More »

It Is Time to Revise Russia–Turkey Relations for a More Stable Future

With ongoing debates on Russian-made S-400 deliveries to Turkey, fate of continuing cooperation of Russia, Turkey and Iran in Syria and future of Ankara’s relations with the European Union and NATO, it is high time to make an honest review of Russian-Turkish relations, define weaknesses of bilateral cooperation and try to sketch a framework for a… Timur Akhmetov ModernDiplomacy Inspection of historical legacy and nature of current ties may be of big value for those who want to grasp contours ... Read More »

The world’s left-wingers are feeling the Bern

Bernie Sanders is viewed abroad as a potential figurehead for a worldwide movement against right-wing populism. Holly Otterbein Politico Bernie Sanders has a base that no other 2020 U.S. presidential candidate can claim: left-wing politicians around the globe. From South America to Europe to the Middle East, leftist leaders are celebrating his candidacy, viewing him as an iconic democratic socialist with the potential to lead a worldwide progressive movement at a time when right-wing populism is on the rise across ... Read More »

The oil and gas of Lebanon tempts the appetite of its neighbours

With three fronts potentially encroaching on its oil and gas-rich waters, Lebanon has few options for international arbitration. TRTworld Lebanon has 95.9 trillion cubic feet of gas and 865 million barrels of oil in just 45 percent of its economic waters; enough to ignite the closed Mediterranean region. To the south, its neighbour Israel claims ownership of 860km of the exclusive economic zone of Lebanon, to the north Syria is drowning in war, then there is Cyprus, which is lost ... Read More »

Israel’s Upcoming Elections and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Israel’s parliamentary elections on 9 April seem set to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu return to lead a fragile, more right-wing coalition, an outcome unlikely to prompt a dramatic change in the country’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza. Ofer Zalzberg ICG Who will win the upcoming parliamentary election? Current polls project that the governing Likud party will secure enough seats in the Knesset for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put together a new right-wing governing coalition, similar to ... Read More »