Search Results: Middle East

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Red tape leaves Australia with compassion deficit

    • Michael Mullins
    • 19 October 2014
    14 Comments

    Australia has been unable to secure an ‘ironclad’ guarantee from a closer country that it would treat an Australian worker who contracted the Ebola virus in West Africa. Why would they open their hearts to West African Ebola victims and not to Australians?  Thinking that imposes red tape on Australian humanitarian workers with demands of ironclad guarantees defies the logic of compassion.

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  • RELIGION

    Iraq intervention meets just war conditions

    • Chris Middleton
    • 14 October 2014
    11 Comments

    The theory of just war has evolved as a way of laying out the conditions under which a war may be justified morally. The case against ISIS in terms of it being an aggressive force inflicting lasting, grave and certain damage is compelling. Millions of Iraqis and Syrians have been displaced and there is widespread hunger.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Where it all went wrong for Islam

    • Tim Mayfield
    • 14 October 2014
    11 Comments

    Actor Ben Affleck was only partly right in his recent take-down of conservative US pundits Bill Maher and Sam Harris for their perceived 'Islamaphobia'. The reality is that there is a battle for the heart and soul of Islam that has been playing out around the globe since the 60s and 70s. It is therefore only natural that an ideology that rejects the failed colonial paradigm of nation-states and instead promotes the grand vision of a resurrected caliphate is compelling to many.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What IS has to do with evil

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 October 2014
    27 Comments

    IS - the Islamic State - is getting a bad press. Deservedly so, for its brutality and totalitarian instincts. In the headlines, references to 'evil' and 'pure evil' have been dominant. This characterisation is unhelpful for a number of reasons. We must be careful not to empty the word 'evil' of any meaning.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Kurds as cannon fodder

    • Paul White
    • 25 September 2014
    1 Comment

    Once again the West has found a way to use the Kurds for its own purposes and the biggest losers will be the ordinary Kurdish people. The Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq comprises two rival armed groups. Their struggle to compete with each other for US patronage has left them open to manipulation by unscrupulous Western politicians.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Identifying the enemy in confused Iraq and Syria

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 22 September 2014
    4 Comments

    We have adopted the dictum that our enemy's enemy is our friend. But the situation changes so rapidly on the ground, and working out who our 'allies' are is a very difficult and high risk activity. We are not even clear on the Rumsfeldian known unknowns, let alone the unknown unknowns.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Kurds: fighting the good fight?

    • William Gourlay
    • 22 September 2014
    6 Comments

    Turkey and Iran, the two major regional powers against whose borders ISIS jostles, have, each for their own reasons, declined to participate militarily in President Obama's action against ISIS. The likelihood or benefits of working in concert with Iran can be debated long and hard, but in the meantime the Kurds clearly emerge as the immediate go-to allies. Positioning them as such, and arming them, will change the dynamics of the region.

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  • RELIGION

    Ian Paisley's no middle ground

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 21 September 2014
    6 Comments

    Somehow Paisley and McGuinness worked well together. The Chuckle Brothers they were called, an attempt to present them as two buffoons out of their depth. But for ordinary people, it was an endearing image, a tribute to a pair who had brought their respective sides with them in an unlikely peace. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What are we walking into in Iraq?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 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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  • RELIGION

    Picking on Muslims is getting dull

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 11 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

    Telling good Kurds from bad

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 04 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    His palm was her country

    • Anne Elvey
    • 01 September 2014
    5 Comments

    I woke in a strange dream of a priest who pitied the child born to the mother no longer a nun. From the pew behind, I was the I that spoke up to power.

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