Search Results: Syria

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What are we walking into in Iraq?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 September 2014
    7 Comments

    President Obama's decision to take military action against ISIL forces in Iraq and Syria has been applauded. But it should give us pause that this is the outcome desired and provoked by ISIL itself.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sovereign aspirations and political power games

    • Justin Glyn
    • 15 September 2014
    2 Comments

    The problem of who qualifies as a 'people' and what the content of the right is becomes particularly acute when the right to self-determination bumps up against that bedrock of international law, national sovereignty. In some cases, the problem goes away by agreement. The sad truth is that each side adopts the rhetoric that suits it and the result depends on the balance of political powers which each can muster. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High noon for Government refugee policy

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 12 September 2014
    12 Comments

    There may not be simple solutions to complex issues such as how to reduce the risk of travel by boat without punishing the refugees. However, the High Court's latest decision reminds us there are people involved and they are not ‘outlaws’.

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  • RELIGION

    Picking on Muslims is getting dull

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 12 September 2014
    22 Comments

    The readiness with which some westerners take the most violent and extreme groups as legitimate expressions of Islam betrays the racism that underpins perceptions of Muslims. Whether I like it or not, my religious background and my name tie me to these 'jihadists.' I feel the permanent weight of expectation to publicly apologise for their actions.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's foreign policy flops

    • Tony Kevin
    • 12 September 2014
    11 Comments

    Since Richard Casey was External Affairs Minister in the 1950s, the three pillars of Australian foreign policy have been: a genuine reaching out to our Asian neighbours, adherence to UN-based multilateral values and institutions, and a firm but self-respecting defence partnership with the United States. All those pillars look pretty shaken now.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Telling good Kurds from bad

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 05 September 2014
    4 Comments

    A debate about arming, and reinforcing the Kurds, is not an open and shut case. European powers and the United States draw the false distinction that there are good Islamic militants and bad ones, with the bad ones supposedly against the Western military program. The game of backing and supporting misunderstood – and dangerous – groups persists.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sowing dragon's teeth in Iraq

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 August 2014
    19 Comments

    The vagueness of what is envisaged in the call for military action against the Islamic State makes it difficult to establish whether the harm caused would be proportionate to the good achieved.The record is not good suggesting strongly that Western military intervention will make things worse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When legitimate criticism hurts

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Antisemitism and racism are rightly considered shameful. Those accused of these things usually deny the charges vehemently. Declaring critics of the actions or policies of, say, the Zimbabwe or the Israeli government, to be racist or antisemitic should be called for the bullying it is. Prejudice needs to be demonstrated, not asserted. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our Lady of the Trap Door Spider

    • Paul Scully
    • 19 August 2014
    2 Comments

    Outside rituals, the salvation of small actions behind closed doors like the spider, my childhood friend, the silence returns, the woods of earlier times thin around me, my own tree shrinks back to its roots.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Government's high fibre diet of legislation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 August 2014
    4 Comments

    Last week's legislative flurry was very messy, with few signs of reflection on what kind of a society we want to create, and how far particular legislation will help do so. The arguments for legislation are based on abstractions such as free speech and terrorism. They are not supported by sustained reflection on the way in which human beings interact.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The return of the Jesuits

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 August 2014
    31 Comments

    Everyone knows the Jesuits have had a rocky history. They were fabulously successful in educating the European elite for quite some time. But things went off the rails badly in the eighteenth century, and in 1773 Pope Clement XIV issued a decree to 'abolish and suppress the oft-mentioned Society'. Eventually his successor Pope Pius VII issued a papal bull restoring the Society, two hundred years ago this week.

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