Author: Binoy Kampmark

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bittersweet victory for the Mothers of Srebrenica

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 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
    • 27 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
    • 25 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
    • 10 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
    • 29 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
    • 13 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
    • 30 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
    • 28 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
    • 08 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia and other arms rogues

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 05 August 2012
    4 Comments

    A long-standing principle of arms control is that some regimes deserve lethal weapons, and others do not. But who is or is not a desirable dealer is often an open question. Australia adds to the confusion: one Brisbane weapon-maker's claim to fame is the creation of an electronic gun capable of firing a million bullets a minute.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    International Criminal Court's African bias

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 12 July 2012
    3 Comments

    On Tuesday, the International Criminal Court sentenced Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo for his use of child soldiers. It is the first sentence handed down by an institution regarded by many as a political front. As one Congolese official noted, 'You'll never see an American pass before the ICC. All of the accused are Africans.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    To catch a despot

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 29 April 2012
    4 Comments

    Former Liberian president Charles Taylor's conviction by an international criminal court for crimes against humanity is the first conviction of a head of state since World War II. It does little to change the fact that it remains notoriously difficult to bring heads of state to trial for grave crimes.

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