Author: Binoy Kampmark

  • AUSTRALIA

    Defending Gillian Triggs

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 18 February 2015
    22 Comments

    A group of 50 academics has pointed out that 'Independent public office holders are an important part of modern democratic societies.' The Australian Bar Association and the Law Council of Australia have similarly argued that the personal attacks on Triggs amounted to an undermining of justice and the protection of human rights. It is a point the Abbott Government neglects to its peril.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ABC is not a business

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 21 November 2014
    25 Comments

    Governments are  tempted to use budgetary accountability as a neat cover for corporatisation of public utilities. As public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS do not inhabit the same philosophical territory as Sky News or Channel 7. The ABC's cuts are based on an efficiency report prepared by a financial officer from the commercial media. It does not seem relevant that balanced budgets do not deliver educated audiences.

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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

    Bittersweet victory for the Mothers of Srebrenica

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 21 July 2014
    1 Comment

    Last week the Dutch Supreme Court found that the Netherlands was liable for the deaths of over 300 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in Bosnia-Hercegovina in July 1995. They had been part of a group of 5000 refugees, who had been sheltering with Dutch UN peacekeepers known as Dutchbat and were handed over to Serb forces in exchange for 14 Dutch peacekeepers. A historical arrangement had been writ in blood.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bikie laws sicken civil liberties

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 28 October 2013
    18 Comments

    Political commentator Malcolm Farr, a bike enthusiast, noted that many bikies are indeed 'frauds', 'thugs' and 'grubs'. The medicine on offer in Queensland and other states, however, is bound to kill that frail patient known as civil liberties. What is being touted is a police state response, rather than a measured, legal program. And broad brush strokes in legal responses tend to be disastrous.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Problems with jihadi tourism

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 26 September 2013
    1 Comment

    Jihadi tourism is big business, oiled by a global recruit base from which various diasporas can be tapped. The attackers on the shopping mall in Nairobi were linked to a Somali based outfit calling itself al-Shabaab, a standing affiliate of al-Qaeda operating in the Horn of Africa. But the Somali case is far from unique. The Afghanistan and Iraqi conflicts netted their fair share of foreign recruits in the fight against US-led forces.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we still need the Senate

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 11 September 2013
    6 Comments

    One of the neglected legacies of the Gillard Government was its ability to marshal views across the chamber and work with Independents on fundamental policies. It was to be a feature of so much during the tumultuous Gillard years: a political chamber of officials forced to negotiate their stances rather than bulldoze them through. That principle is under threat as the final votes in the Senate are counted.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Post 9-11 demon words too simple for Africa

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 30 January 2013
    3 Comments

    Behind the labels of undifferentiated militancy lie dangerous consequences. When it comes to the disturbances in Algeria and Mali the mistake has been to equate local troubles with international significance. Both al-Qaeda and Western powers are playing on this theme, and in doing so have created enormous suffering.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Broken shoes and dead ends in China's leadership transition

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 14 November 2012
    1 Comment

    Australia's unimaginative perspective on China's growing power accords with Washington's. In Obama's terms, China can be an adversary or a partner. China is a complex leviathan, and the great challenge is how to integrate it into the global system without conflict.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor excises its moral compass

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 31 October 2012
    12 Comments

    In politics, hypocrisy is a natural condition. On Tuesday, it became evident that refugee policy is the last thing that should be made by the Australian government. Gillard has now achieved something Howard could only dream of, and shown Labor can play the game of hypocrisy as well as any.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Anders Breivik and the insanity question

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 29 August 2012
    27 Comments

    Sanity assumes purpose and responsibility; insanity its absence. This is hardly applicable to Breivik. His critique of Islam suggests a radical and violent conservative response. Conservative, Christian radicalism, that is not anti-Semitic, is on the rise in Europe, and Breivik is its foremost proponent.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Robert Hughes, the Australian exile who never left

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 09 August 2012
    3 Comments

    Hughes was part of that movement of Australian artists and intellectuals — Germaine Greer and Clive James among them — who fled to Europe in the 1960s. Yet he was unable to escape the antipodean orbit he found arid and constricting. Australian reference points followed his pen with nagging persistence, a permanent shadowing.

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