Search Results: terrorism

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Government's high fibre diet of legislation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 August 2014
    4 Comments

    Last week's legislative flurry was very messy, with few signs of reflection on what kind of a society we want to create, and how far particular legislation will help do so. The arguments for legislation are based on abstractions such as free speech and terrorism. They are not supported by sustained reflection on the way in which human beings interact.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Signs that East Ukraine has averted mass human tragedy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 10 August 2014
    12 Comments

    On Sunday morning Australian time, we learned that the destructive civil war raging in East Ukraine seemed to be drawing to a close, essentially on Kiev’s terms. It appears that the tense test of wills between Russia and the West generated by the crisis, which briefly last week risked a wider war, has ended in a tacit backdown by Moscow.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis and the power of tears

    • Michael Mullins
    • 01 June 2014
    4 Comments

    The Pope says we have 'forgotten how to weep'. The most potent moments in current affairs television occur when a person is shown to cry, yet we're taught to believe that 'breaking down' means that we're not in command of the argument. Julie Bishop could not have been unmoved if the jostling Sydney University students had instead wept over the lost educational opportunity in the Federal Budget.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Government blasé on Australian drone deaths

    • Justin Glyn
    • 26 May 2014
    13 Comments

    While recent weeks have been taken up with thinking about the Budget's disproportionate impact on poorer Australians, another, more spectacular, area of government disregard for the lives and rights of its citizens has gone relatively unremarked. It goes to the heart of democracy, revealing not only the distance between Western governments and their citizens, but also the acceptance of that gulf as a fact of modern political life.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Don't let plane panic paint all men as paedophiles

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 01 May 2014
    15 Comments

    For feminists who have fought for generations against sexism, the argument that men should be excised from children's orbit lest they commit the same atrocities of which a small percentage of other men are guilty is chilling. It rubber-stamps the notion that people's character and behavioural choices are determined by their gender, and presupposes that individuals can be judged on the basis of their group's collective history.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    A plague of killer robots

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 April 2014
    6 Comments

    Killer robots — drones in an advanced stage of development — are now a daytime reality. They will be autonomous in their operation, able to identify targets, track them down, work out the best way to destroy them, and learn from their failures, all without the need for human direction. These qualities raise serious ethical questions. Obama's use of just war theory to defend such drones was misguided at best, pernicious at worst.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bali fear beyond Rhonda and Ketut

    • Ali Winters
    • 16 March 2014
    14 Comments

    Insurer AAMI's 'Rhonda and Ketut' Balinese love story, teased out over four commercials and three years, has come to its soapy end. Whether you loved it or cringed, its camp, cocktail soaked tentacles have penetrated the Australian mainstream. But the knowledge Australians have for our closest Asian neighbour is poor. According to a DFAT report released last year, 30 per cent of respondents didn't know Bali was part of Indonesia.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    ASIO's economic espionage

    • Justin Glyn
    • 05 December 2013
    15 Comments

    The recent revelations that ASIO raided the offices of Timor Leste's lawyers and detained its star witness just before its case against Australia highlights, once again, the question of the linkage between national and commercial interests. ASIO's governing statute does not permit it to engage in economic espionage. Unfortunately, the distinction between government and commercial interests is growing increasingly hard to draw.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Spies like us

    • Bill Calcutt
    • 24 November 2013
    6 Comments

    The recent observation by a close Asian ally that 'spying on friends is amoral' belies an apparently growing gap between the illusion of civility and honesty and the reality of our suspicious relations with 'foreigners'. While the justification for the development of ubiquitous electronic surveillance capabilities is counter-terrorism, the greatest beneficiaries may be private business interests gaining a competitive advantage in a global free market.

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  • RELIGION

    Laughing at Islam

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 09 October 2013
    4 Comments

    Tax consultant turned satirist and comic Nazeem Hussain's SBS series Legally Brown does more than just poke fun. Perhaps the most effective and most difficult ways to tackle prejudice and fear is to laugh at it. Chris Kenny's objections in The Australian that Hussain's appearance on Q&A was 'highly disturbing and dangerous' and 'an apologia for terrorism' show that Hussain and his fans continue to have plenty to laugh about.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's mixed messages for Indonesia

    • Pat Walsh
    • 02 October 2013
    15 Comments

    I suspect that Abbott's visit has left Indonesians with a poor impression of Australia. Dewi Fortuna Anwar, political adviser to Indonesia's Vice President Boediono, described the Abbott asylum seeker policy as 'callous'. Abbott's heavy handedness also contrasts sharply with the sensitive way Jakarta's popular governor, Jokowi, is managing complex change, for which Indonesians feel genuine enthusiasm.

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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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