Search Results: Assad

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border control shake-up takes us into dangerous waters

    • Tony Kevin
    • 13 May 2014
    46 Comments

    Scott Morrison has announced the formation of a powerful new paramilitary force with its own ideology, training and rank structure, answerable only to an immigration minister. There is a disturbing comparison that may be drawn between this new agency, apparently with no legal or constitutional checks and balances outside itself, and the Schutzstaffel security service established by Hitler and answerable only to him as leader.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine races towards civil war

    • Tony Kevin
    • 06 May 2014
    19 Comments

    Tim Judah, highly regarded historian of the post-Yugoslavia wars of secession, predicted things were about to go very badly in Ukraine. He wrote that in the east he witnessed 'the same brave talk, euphoria, and delusions' that beset Yugoslavs before they 'tipped their country into catastrophe in the 1990s'. Just two weeks later, Ukraine races towards civil war, prompted largely by the provocative clumsiness of Kiev and its Western cheerleaders.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's boat people psychopathy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 30 April 2014
    36 Comments

    Ministers and officials structured on Manus a sustained deterrence scenario intended to be so awful as to choke off the flow of boat people. The impeccable logic of the plan reflects the logic of psychopathy. Psychopaths are highly intelligent, good planners, manipulative, with expert knowledge of human nature, yet lacking in empathy. Whatever their motivation, the planning of the Australian ministers and officials ticks all these boxes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rhyme and ruin in Tony Abbott's court

    • Brian Matthews
    • 28 March 2014
    11 Comments

    Thomas Wyatt, poet and prominent figure in the court of Henry VIII, found life there not only perilous but repugnant and dreamed of escape. There is much that Wyatt would recognise in the court of Tony Abbott: the obsessive secrecy, the suspicion of foreigners, the cruelty, the ecclesiastical connections, the dames and knights, the aggressive Anglophilia. At least he wouldn't have had to encode his unease in poetry.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Time for Labor to disown PNG solution

    • Tony Kevin
    • 28 February 2014
    22 Comments

    Over the past week of Parliament, we have seen the strange and distressing spectacle of Labor timidly criticising the Government's handling of the events on Manus Island. If it were brave enough, Labor could use these events as a trigger for policy change. To call for the Manus centre to close, and for detention and processing centres in Australia to reopen, would be the moral policy for Labor at this point.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Morrison's law of intended consequences

    • Tony Kevin
    • 21 February 2014
    36 Comments

    Manus is not subject to Australian law and public accountability safeguards, or only very imperfectly. Cover-up of atrocity is a lot easier in Manus than it would be in an Australian detention centre. And this of course is what was intended. Manus is part of the asylum-seeker deterrent system. The fear of death at sea, and the fear of death by security force brutalisation at Manus, are intended to deter asylum-seeker voyages. To stop the boats.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: Another round of Ramadan lunar-cy

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 09 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

    Thailand tensions must rouse traumatised Coalition

    • Tony Kevin
    • 04 December 2013
    11 Comments

    We are witnessing a serious opposition-led threat to democratic process and respect for election results in Thailand. Possibly the Abbott Government is so traumatised as a result of its current tensions with Indonesia and China that it won't dare to open its mouth on Thailand. But this is a clear case where Australia should comment as a friend of Thailand and of its democratically elected government.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Colonial garden party

    • Barry Gittins, Michael Sharkey and Chris Wallace-Crabbe
    • 02 December 2013
    3 Comments

    The diggers' catchcry, liberty, saw fascism a'yawning/ enfranchisement followed suit, with racism adorning/ its streamlined passions for the cause — White Australia Policy a'borning.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    JFK and the myth of American innocence

    • Ray Cassin
    • 22 November 2013
    10 Comments

    The assassination of John F. Kennedy 50 years ago elicited a particular quality of grief. It was not only a matter of mourning the violent death of a world leader who, at the time, was much admired. The notion also stuck that something called innocence had been lost because of what had happened in Dallas. That sense has withered under reassessments of Kennedy's character and record in office but it has never been extinguished entirely.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's spy games

    • Tony Kevin
    • 20 November 2013
    36 Comments

    Tony Abbott's reply in Parliament to Adam Bandt may have seemed a balanced, well-crafted answer but it was way too clever. Indonesian anger against Australia continues to grow. These events will harden already strong views in Jakarta of Australia as a false friend to Indonesia, as a nation whose only true affinities are with its four fellow members of the five-power Anglo-Saxon club.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's night of the short knives

    • Tony Kevin
    • 20 September 2013
    6 Comments

    Under the US revolving door model, top public service jobs are held by staff who are openly politically affiliated. When government changes, they go back to their jobs as special interest Washington lobbyists. Australians have made clear we don't like that system. It is open to corruption, and when our governments flirt with it, they usually come to regret it.

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