Search Results: Syrian

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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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sowing dragon's teeth in Iraq

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 August 2014
    19 Comments

    The vagueness of what is envisaged in the call for military action against the Islamic State makes it difficult to establish whether the harm caused would be proportionate to the good achieved.The record is not good suggesting strongly that Western military intervention will make things worse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When legitimate criticism hurts

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Antisemitism and racism are rightly considered shameful. Those accused of these things usually deny the charges vehemently. Declaring critics of the actions or policies of, say, the Zimbabwe or the Israeli government, to be racist or antisemitic should be called for the bullying it is. Prejudice needs to be demonstrated, not asserted. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's eating Syria and Iraq

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 16 June 2014
    11 Comments

    In October 2013, Jesuit Fr Frans van der Lugt wrote about the suffering of the besieged people of Homs in Syria: 'Despite these difficulties, we keep grasping onto hope.' On 7 April 2014 he was executed outside his home. The rout of Iraqi forces in Mosul by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant must be a worry to the Iraqi authorities and the US and Western countries that have invested so much in the new post Saddam Iraq.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget makes asylum seeker vilification official

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 21 May 2014
    26 Comments

    The Government's vilification of people arriving by boat has reached the level where the term 'illegal' features in the Budget documents. Immigration Minister Morrison has insisted on referring to people arriving by boat as 'illegals' for some years, despite the Migration Act using the less pejorative term 'unlawful non-citizen'. This is not just a lawyer's linguistic debate; if it were not important, the Government would not insist on the term.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Count the cost of refugee legal aid 'savings'

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 01 April 2014
    8 Comments

    Despite presenting the end of taxpayer-funded immigration advice to 'illegal boat arrivals' as a cost-saving measure, Scott Morrison's announcement demonstrates once again the Government's policy of punishment for those who come on boats without a visa. As an immigration lawyer who does not do any cases that are government funded, in theory I should applaud this decision, as it means possibly more clients. Instead I am appalled.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: Another round of Ramadan lunar-cy

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 08 January 2014
    1 Comment

    Ramadan is supposed to fine tune your soul, weaken the ties binding you to your physical appetites and test your religiosity. This month unites Muslims around the globe in an envelope of piety and mercy. At least that's the theory. In reality, for most of us Muslims Ramadan is the month of massive weight gain.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Syrians counting on Australian aid

    • Mark Green
    • 29 September 2013
    2 Comments

    The conflict in Syria has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. And the need for a peaceful solution is great. I hope that Australia's successful aid program remains a priority for our Government. We must not ignore the needs of those lying at our gates simply because their communities do not hold trade or economic interests for us.

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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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Shaky grounds for just war in Syria

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 September 2013
    6 Comments

    The proposed military action against Syria lacks justification. Even if the cause for it were just, it would be vitiated by the lack of proportion between the limited good secured by it and the increased violence and sectarian division that will surely follow. That the strong should do what they can and the weak suffer what they must is real politik. But it should not be dignified with the name of justice.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Dissecting Syria turbulence

    • John Langmore
    • 18 September 2013
    8 Comments

    This has been a turbulent two weeks. One's attitudes have oscillated through anger and despair to a glimpse of hope and ended with renewed confidence in Obama's values and intentions. What a time for Australia to be chairing the Security Council! My impression is that our diplomats are working with professional skill, commitment to the rule of law and to peaceful conflict resolution.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    International law cannot justify attack on Syria

    • Justin Glyn
    • 29 August 2013
    7 Comments

    For the second time in a little over ten years, the US and its allies seem about to launch hostilities against an Arab country on the basis of the possession or use of chemical weapons. They have made clear that while they may seek a Security Council resolution, they do not consider themselves bound by it. This is worrying.

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