Opinion

How Alliances Made Athens Great

The ancient Athenians manipulated their allies, spreading democracy and providing protection, always with their own interests first. Trump could learn something. Nikos Konstandaras The New York Times ATHENS — In his declared intention to “Make America Great Again,” President Trump appears set on destroying the foundations of American greatness. The multinational organizations and agreements that established peace and stability, and encouraged economic growth for some seven decades, were designed principally by Americans. They organized the world pretty much the way that ... Read More »

Why you need to delete your old social media accounts

Social media is the gift that keeps on giving. On the happy side, it’s a great way to stay in contact with friends, enjoy the delicious schadenfreude caused by seeing your high school bullies languish in the mediocre lives they swore you were doomed to have, and… Alice Clarke Brisbane Times Plus there are cats. On the darker side, if you ever become successful, things you said while testing out your voice and opinions as a teenager (or other breed ... Read More »

Why abortion should not be a crime

As a doctor who has worked in the field of reproductive healthcare for many years, I could list so many evidence-based and peer-researched studies and reasons on why abortion should be decriminalised. Philip Goldstone Brisbane Times But the most profound and overriding reason for me is to end the shame and stigma that we heap onto women accessing this health service each and every day. Shame and stigma is something that I am familiar with; I have worked in the ... Read More »

A Small Nation That Thinks It’s a World Power

Brexit emerged from its supporters’ nostalgia for a supposedly glorious past. Gary Younge The Nation “There are two kinds of European nations,” said Kristian Jensen, the Danish finance minister, last year. “There are small nations, and there are countries that have not yet realized they are small nations.” With Brexit, it’s become painfully obvious that the United Kingdom is among the latter. In their melancholic yearning for a time long past, those who ran the campaign to leave the European ... Read More »

Remarks by Donald Tusk to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The European Union is fighting intensely to preserve the rules-based international order, which is currently under great strain, in terms of trade, security, climate change or human rights. Donald Tusk Voltaire We say this not only as countries strongly supporting the United Nations, but as a continent that cares deeply about respect, mutual understanding and solidarity between nations. As leaders, we must equip the United Nations with the means to fulfil its mandate successfully. More unity and collective action are ... Read More »

Terrorists in Idlib Should not Hope on the Help of Foreign Sponsors

There are about 10,000 terrorists linked with al-Qaeda on the territory of the Syrian province of Idlib. Editor ISF This statement was unexpectedly widely quoted in the Western media, contrary to the established tradition of representing members of illegal armed groups as “rebels” and “fighters for freedom”. Perhaps the reason for the change in rhetoric was the fact that it came from the mouth of the special envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura. As the statement ... Read More »

If only we cared about refugees as much as strawberries!

If only the asylum seekers and their children on Nauru and Manus were strawberries. Perhaps they would have more of a chance of grabbing the attention of the Prime Minister. Perhaps they wouldn’t try to kill themselves, as a… Warwick McFadyen The Age If they were able to miraculously turn into strawberries, then it is more than likely they might see and hear this: Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaping to their aid. A press conference to the nation. A declaration, ... Read More »

The United Nations has entered its darkest hour

If the United Nations were a stock or an index fund, you might want to short it. Founded in 1945 to “maintain international peace and security,” the UN in recent years has been powerless to stop slaughter in Syria, Yemen and Myanmar. James Gibney Brisbane Times Bloomberg Civil conflicts are nearing post-Cold War highs. The number of displaced people has hit a new record. After decades of improvement, more of the… The gap between what the UN seeks and receives ... Read More »

Washington’s Farcical “Certifications” Enable the War Crimes of Allies

And violate U.S. law. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military coalition in the Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid inflicting civilian casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S. foreign-policy ethics. There is abundant evidence of multiple atrocities that Riyadh and its United Arab Emirates (UAE) junior partner have committed and continue to commit. The coalition’s war strategy has created a famine as well as a cholera ... Read More »

Behind the breakdown of political consensus

Across Western democracies, the social cohesion that once sustained political consensus has severely eroded. Nathan Gardels The Washington Post A new segregation is emerging as a combined result of the collapse of socializing institutions and the rise of polarizing practices. Mandatory military or civic service is gone in most liberal societies. Universal public education, in which all classes, races and ethnicities mingled, has been relegated to less well-off communities while those who can afford it receive a private education from ... Read More »

Europe’s two-faced migration reality

Migration — like globalization — creates winners and losers. By MIGUEL OTERO-IGLESIAS Politico As European countries grapple with the backlash to immigration, it’s become clear that there’s a growing cognitive dissonance between the global elite and ordinary voters. Immigration has major benefits for both migrants and the host countries, but it’s important to remember that not everybody gains from the phenomenon. Like free trade and finance, migration creates winners and losers. If Europe’s political elite doesn’t come up with ways to compensate low-skilled ... Read More »

A mogul and a PM’s fall

It took several days for Malcolm Turnbull and Rupert Murdoch to set up a phone call in the middle of the week that gave Australia a new prime minister. David Crowe The Age The News Corp executive chairman had been in the country since Friday, August 10, when he flew into Sydney on the company’s Gulfstream jet, diverted from Canberra by the morning fog in the capital. This put Turnbull and his government on alert to watch for any shift ... Read More »

‘Kill me, I can’t cope’: Refugee women on Nauru robbed of their dignity speak out

Women who have escaped oppression in Iran face similar intimidation in Australia, often by advocates claiming to help them. Saba Vasefi The Guardian Fascists kill. But for those damaged survivors who flee persecution, and face a new authoritarianism, sustaining themselves can be a monumental personal undertaking. Before I discuss four stages of redistributive justice, I’ll record examples of threat and intimidation which make the struggle for justice so necessary. “Kill me, I can’t cope anymore. Only death can rescue me” ... Read More »

Francis Fukuyama: Identity politics is undermining democracy

Francis Fukuyama is a political scientist at Stanford University. His latest book is “Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment,” which came out in September. He recently spoke with The WorldPost’s editor in chief, Nathan Gardels. Nathan Gardels The Washington Post WorldPost: Across Western democracies, the social cohesion that was once the foundation of political consensus has severely fragmented, giving way to a cultural and ideological diversity so robust that it thwarts a… That, in turn, leads to a ... Read More »

Liberalism needs to be rebuilt – just not by the Lib Dems

Insurgent forces of the far left and right have resulted in a hollowing-out of centre politics. But Vince Cable’s tribe is not up to filling the void. Rafael Behr The Guardian If it is true that failure makes a great teacher, the Liberal Democrats must know a lot about British politics. Currently they are learning about Brexit by failing to capitalise on the… In 2016 support for EU membership was 48%, yet the Lib Dems struggle to reach double digits in opinion ... Read More »

EU and UK need each other on post-Brexit security

Brexit will leave a gaping hole in Europe’s foreign policy. By JACEK CZAPUTOWICZ, LINAS LINKEVIČIUS AND TEODOR MELEȘCANU Politico The U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union poses a number of challenges on both sides of the Channel, but Brussels should be alive to one particularly important risk: Brexit’s effect on… The U.K. — in its capacity as a U.N. Security Council member, a nuclear power and a guarantor of approximately one-fourth of European defense capabilities — is one of the key pillars of the EU’s… ... Read More »