Author: Tony Kevin

  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott ready to put G20 behind him

    • Tony Kevin
    • 18 November 2014
    4 Comments

    Abbott's best G20 moment was his closing media conference, where he gave an outlined the meeting's achievement of a 2.1 per cent global economic growth plan  over the next few years. But on two important matters – climate change and Ebola - the dynamic of the meeting got out of his control and produced outcomes clearly not to his liking. Abbott's counter-strategy – quite successful in retrospect – was to set media hounds running to the side-drama of Vladimir Putin. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hun Sen's Cambodia a mirage on the Mekong

    • Tony Kevin
    • 14 November 2014
    1 Comment

    Phnom Penh is a lively, bustling, often happy city of energetic and industrious people, with amazing growth statistics. In 2004 half of Cambodians lived in poverty, and by 2011 the figure had dropped to 20%. But this belies the terrible state of public health, the corruption in education, the abuse of human rights, and much more.

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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

    An elusive peace in Ukraine

    • Tony Kevin
    • 26 August 2014
    6 Comments

    My optimism in previous essays on Ukraine continues to be undermined by the remarkable capacity of all players in this tragic drama – the government in Kiev, the rebels in East Ukraine, and their respective backers in NATO and Moscow – to dig in stubbornly and refuse to compromise goals in this now very nasty civil war.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Flag-waving foolishness that divides

    • Tony Kevin
    • 25 August 2014
    18 Comments

    Team Australia postulates that the world is a competitive environment of nations that win or lose. You have to choose your primary loyalty or affiliation: 'He who is not with us is against us'. The more one unpacks the term Team Australia, the nastier it gets. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Signs that East Ukraine has averted mass human tragedy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 11 August 2014
    12 Comments

    On Sunday morning Australian time, we learned that the destructive civil war raging in East Ukraine seemed to be drawing to a close, essentially on Kiev’s terms. It appears that the tense test of wills between Russia and the West generated by the crisis, which briefly last week risked a wider war, has ended in a tacit backdown by Moscow.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine endgame?

    • Tony Kevin
    • 31 July 2014
    11 Comments

    The shooting down of MH17 by insurgent anti-aircraft missiles has now been swallowed up in the wider drama of the fierce civil war raging in Ukraine's pro-Russian eastern region. On 24 July, the International Committee of the Red Cross proclaimed Ukraine to be in a state of civil war, appealing to all those involved to respect the humanitarian rules of war or face later indictment as war criminals. The burning question now is, what will Putin's Russia do?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's diplomatic role amid MH17 fallout

    • Tony Kevin
    • 22 July 2014
    11 Comments

    Initially I was uneasy about Abbott's strong anti-Putin rhetoric. Why was Australia so upfront, so early? I thought he was jumping to conclusions too soon. It is clear now though that his response was based on the same satellite imagery intelligence that John Kerry and Hilary Clinton cite as evidence that it was a Russian missile fired from Russian-supported insurgent territory. He was right, and Bill Shorten is correct to support him.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border control shake-up takes us into dangerous waters

    • Tony Kevin
    • 13 May 2014
    46 Comments

    Scott Morrison has announced the formation of a powerful new paramilitary force with its own ideology, training and rank structure, answerable only to an immigration minister. There is a disturbing comparison that may be drawn between this new agency, apparently with no legal or constitutional checks and balances outside itself, and the Schutzstaffel security service established by Hitler and answerable only to him as leader.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine races towards civil war

    • Tony Kevin
    • 06 May 2014
    19 Comments

    Tim Judah, highly regarded historian of the post-Yugoslavia wars of secession, predicted things were about to go very badly in Ukraine. He wrote that in the east he witnessed 'the same brave talk, euphoria, and delusions' that beset Yugoslavs before they 'tipped their country into catastrophe in the 1990s'. Just two weeks later, Ukraine races towards civil war, prompted largely by the provocative clumsiness of Kiev and its Western cheerleaders.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's boat people psychopathy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 30 April 2014
    36 Comments

    Ministers and officials structured on Manus a sustained deterrence scenario intended to be so awful as to choke off the flow of boat people. The impeccable logic of the plan reflects the logic of psychopathy. Psychopaths are highly intelligent, good planners, manipulative, with expert knowledge of human nature, yet lacking in empathy. Whatever their motivation, the planning of the Australian ministers and officials ticks all these boxes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    West wasting breath huffing and puffing over Crimea

    • Tony Kevin
    • 05 March 2014
    18 Comments

    Tony Abbott's 'We warn the Czar' statements were ludicrously over-the-top, though clearly he was responding to a Washington appeal to friendly allies to say something. I hope Australia will not continue to overplay its hand in the Security Council. There is no point in gratuitously offending Moscow on an issue that is outside our strategic area of interest and raises no human rights concerns whatsoever.

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