Search Results: Syrian

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The distraction of red lines in Syria

    • Evan Ellis
    • 26 August 2013
    5 Comments

    In some ways the intense focus on chemical weapons and red lines is diversionary. Enough blood has been spilt to paint a thousand red lines. 100,000+ people have been killed already. Is it somehow easier on the International Community’s conscience to think of families being ripped apart by artillery shells than dying from chemical warfare? 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's misplaced friendship with Turkey

    • Peter Stanley
    • 25 August 2013
    66 Comments

    The NSW Parliament recently passed a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide, conducted by Turkey in 1915. The Turkish Consul-General in Sydney, the foreign ministry in Ankara and even the city council in Gallipoli immediately responded. The resolution disrupts the astoundingly successful charm offensive Turkey has conducted in Australia for years, fostering a positive relationship with Australia through the shared ordeal of Gallipoli. 

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  • RELIGION

    Irrational fear of the Muslim Brotherhood

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 20 August 2013
    9 Comments

    It’s a crude and misleading line of reasoning to declare that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood can’t be committed to democracy because it is an Islamist organisation much like al-Qaida and Hezbollah. On what basis do we label individuals or groups 'Islamist'? Or 'fundamentalist'? Or 'extremist'? How can we have a monolith amongst a set of congregations making up almost one quarter of the world's human population? The history and politics of Islam is just as complex as that of Christianity.

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  • RELIGION

    Another round of Ramadan lunar-cy

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 08 July 2013
    17 Comments

    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

    Obama no 'wuss' but at what cost to Syria?

    • Evan Ellis
    • 17 June 2013
    4 Comments

    Alluding to his own military style intervention in Kosovo, Bill Clinton warned Obama not to look like a 'wuss' on Syria. Still, Obama's decision to start providing arms to Syrian rebels is an enormous risk. Australia's history of state interventions to tackle Indigenous disadvantage provide surprisingly apt criteria for evaluating the decision.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Post-Saddam Iraq defined by division

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 19 March 2013
    1 Comment

    One Christian engineer remembers celebrating religious festivals with his Muslim neighbours. They in turn would celebrate Christmas with him. Such interfaith experiences are almost unknown now. Iraqis tell me that at least under Saddam you knew where the boundaries were. Now there is uncertainty and indiscriminate violence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Israel's emotional pull on Australian Jews

    • Philip Mendes
    • 25 February 2013
    12 Comments

    Some Jewish Australians bring from their childhoods in tranquil Australia a special degree of idealism and innocence to their involvement in homeland conflicts. It may be this, rather than spy-catcher conspiracy theories, which best explains what happened to Ben Zygier and other young Australians who have died in conflicts in the Middle East.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seekers stiffed by election year spin

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 10 February 2013
    16 Comments

    The ad hoc nature of arrangements for asylum seekers in Nauru and PNG reveal that priorities are being determined by election dates rather than respect for human dignity and international human rights laws. The latest Coalition idea to interdict boats from Sri Lanka outside our territorial waters and send them back is particularly ill-considered.

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  • RELIGION

    Moving on from a soiled 2012

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 December 2012
    12 Comments

    We might associate the world events of 2012 with the worsening threat of global warming and continuing misery of Syria; Australian politics with the misery inflicted on asylum seekers; the Church through the lens of sex abuse. That is why in New Year celebrations the old year is ritually banished and the new welcomed. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's cluster munitions shame

    • Michael Mullins
    • 21 October 2012
    8 Comments

    As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Australia has the opportunity to make a substantial contribution to creating a better world. Foreign Minister Bob Carr declared Australia a 'fine global citizen'. Yet last Wednesday, we cynically ratified the international treaty to ban cluster munitions after legislating to create a loophole that will undermine the treaty's effectiveness. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rise of the Kurds in Syria

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 09 October 2012
    4 Comments

    It is not only Arabs that stand to benefit from the Arab Spring. Kurdish autonomy has long been a desire of the Kurds, who are spread through Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. In Syria, while the Assad regime is occupied by rebel groups in Aleppo and Damascus, the Kurds are establishing their own armed security in their areas.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How not to have a revolution

    • Justin Whelan
    • 22 August 2012
    6 Comments

    Syria was touted as an example of the limits of nonviolent struggle against a ruthless dictator. Now it is fast becoming a case study on the even greater strategic weaknesses of violence. As the nonviolent movement came under sustained repression, some people decided to take up arms, and opened a Pandora's Box.

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