Search Results: Binoy Kampmark

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The violence in making America great again

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 02 October 2017
    11 Comments

    Terrorism has its loaded associations, a distinct demonology. To suggest that a US citizen might be a terrorist hardly accords with the project of Making America Great Again. Paddock was not a Muslim, which would have been a useful alibi for the restrictive policy on arrivals from specific Islamic countries.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Nuclear North Korea and the dangers of panic

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 03 September 2017
    8 Comments

    In Australia, the reactions have been far from mild. Malcolm Turnbull was less than reassuring, suggesting the un-testable notion that the Korean peninsula was closer to conflict than at any time since the Korean War. The converse, if counter-intuitive argument can be made: that the peninsula is being made safe from war through this aggressive pursuit of nuclear arms. This is not a view deemed acceptable to officials in Washington and Canberra but is entirely realistic given Pyongyang's aims.

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  • MEDIA

    Encryption and liberties on the 'ungovernable' internet

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 13 July 2017
    6 Comments

    Turnbull's attitude echoes the fear all autocracies have: that control is slipping away, and that citizens cannot be trusted to behave in a modern communications environment without government intrusions. Arguments are repeatedly made that such enlarged powers are never abused - a charmingly naive assumption - and that law enforcement authorities merely need the 'capacity' to have them. These can either abate, or be extended, after a review. The reality tends to be different.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    North Korea, Trump and war

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 09 July 2017
    6 Comments

    The DPRK's options in terms of defending itself against the US and its allies were always limited, leaving the way open for an assortment of pantomimes. The arsenal of the threat became normal: that, for instance, of incinerating Seoul, the possibility that Tokyo or Alaska might be targets. The show seems to be moving beyond the next boundary of what is deemed acceptable, largely because Trump deemed it impossible Pyongyang would have a viable ICBM option that could reach the US.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Assange detention is far from over

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 21 May 2017
    7 Comments

    The European Union, according to Assange, has been captivated by an unhealthy interest in indefinite detention: 'There is no time limit that someone can be detained without charge. That is not how we expect a civilised state to behave.' Prematurely, tabloid press and outlets were wondering if the latest developments meant the end of the drama. A statement from the Metropolitan Police dispelled any doubts about Assange's plight, should he wish to leave his narrow digs in Knightsbridge.

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  • EDUCATION

    A student's view of 'big business' universities

    • Francine Crimmins
    • 07 May 2017
    14 Comments

    'We won't have classes next Monday because of the public holiday on Tuesday.' My tutor tells us this cheerily, as if he has done us a favour. I'm studying a degree that costs $4000 each semester, about $60 per hour of actual teaching time. This includes a subject where instead of being able to meet with faculty members, we must skype them. If that's not the most expensive skype call ever, perhaps the critics are correct, and young people should stop complaining about the potential increase of fees.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Unis share blame for profit motive funding model

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 02 May 2017
    14 Comments

    For various reasons, 'free' education in Australia has been qualified by HECS, which actually serves to wedge the liquid incentive of government and educational institutions on the one hand with the need for students to obtain affordable education on the other. Even that balance is now under threat, with a pre-budget announcement suggesting cuts to university funding and increasing costs to student degrees are in the offing. Universities are far from blameless in the present distorted funding model.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Rogue relations: The US vs North Korea

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 18 April 2017
    6 Comments

    A truculent rogue in the White House fumes at an upstart rogue in Pyongyang, both fumbling away in the kindergarten of blunder and realpolitik. How do they measure up in the stakes of rogue behaviour? Even conservative commentators such as Samuel Huntington noted in 1999 that the US is 'in the eyes of many countries ... becoming a rogue superpower'. International law, for the bomb-heavy bully, is a convenient moral reference when needed, but is avoided like a leper when it becomes an impediment.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Striking Syria and the vagueness of humanitarian intervention

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 09 April 2017
    5 Comments

    Absent a Security Council resolution, the US had operated independently, adopting a policing and punitive stance against the Assad regime. 'This action,' House Speaker Paul Ryan insisted, 'was appropriate and just.' If humanitarian intervention is supposedly engineered to punish a regime in breach of obligations to protect the civilian population, it starts looking, all too often, like an act of regime change. At what point is the distinction on such matters as proportion or necessity even credible?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    US is no stranger to electoral meddling

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 09 March 2017
    4 Comments

    Each day is met by the same reports: electoral interference has supposedly taken place, instigated by Russian, or at the very least outsourced Russian entities, in the elections of Europe and the United States. Such claims assert, not merely the reality of these claims, but the nature of their influence. Such a stance detracts from one fundamental point: that the manipulation of electoral systems has been, and remains, common fare, irrespective of the finger pointing at Moscow.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Manning mercy belies double standard on whistleblowers

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 18 January 2017
    5 Comments

    Manning became the victim of an institutional drive to target whistleblowers, with the centrepiece of the prosecution focusing on computer crimes and the Espionage Act. Despite the eventual commutation of her 35 year sentence, the severity of that sentence demonstrated the gulf between the cosy, public relations air of an administration keen to project certain achievements and its stomping on those keen to disclose inappropriate and illegal conduct in the security and intelligence services.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The man who sank the myth of controlled nuclear warfare

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 17 October 2016
    2 Comments

    The late Professor Desmond Ball of the Australian National University's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre came as close as any on being a public intellectual on nuclear strategy. While some of his counterparts in the US felt that using nuclear weapons was feasible and sound, Ball issued his pieces with mighty caveats. 'Controlling escalation', Ball ventured, 'requires both adversaries to exercise restraint, and current US policy is to offer a ... mixture of self-interest and coercion.'

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