keywords: President Obama

  • AUSTRALIA

    Disruption of government business as a good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 November 2014
    15 Comments

    President Obama stole the G20 show with his mesmerising Queensland University address, after having dominated APEC with Xi Jinping and their climate change agreement. Such unrelated events challenge the belief that agendas can be centrally controlled, and that good governance is constituted by discipline and sole ownership of the agenda. More recently, the Senate has managed to call the shots and give priority to human good over ideology.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott ready to put G20 behind him

    • Tony Kevin
    • 18 November 2014
    4 Comments

    Abbott's best G20 moment was his closing media conference, where he gave an outlined the meeting's achievement of a 2.1 per cent global economic growth plan  over the next few years. But on two important matters – climate change and Ebola - the dynamic of the meeting got out of his control and produced outcomes clearly not to his liking. Abbott's counter-strategy – quite successful in retrospect – was to set media hounds running to the side-drama of Vladimir Putin. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Putting Putin's record into perspective

    • Justin Glyn
    • 17 November 2014
    17 Comments

    Amid talk of whether Vladimir Putin would leave the G20 early and numerous reports of frosty encounters between him and other summit leaders, Western media coverage has portrayed him as an erratic and dangerous dictator whose rule damages the once-great country he leads. But it would be foolish to pretend that the West did not take advantage of the weakness of the former Soviet states in the 1990s. Russia was looted of its assets, many of which found their way abroad.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Red tape leaves Australia with compassion deficit

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 October 2014
    14 Comments

    Australia has been unable to secure an ‘ironclad’ guarantee from a closer country that it would treat an Australian worker who contracted the Ebola virus in West Africa. Why would they open their hearts to West African Ebola victims and not to Australians?  Thinking that imposes red tape on Australian humanitarian workers with demands of ironclad guarantees defies the logic of compassion.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Kurds: fighting the good fight?

    • William Gourlay
    • 23 September 2014
    6 Comments

    Turkey and Iran, the two major regional powers against whose borders ISIS jostles, have, each for their own reasons, declined to participate militarily in President Obama's action against ISIS. The likelihood or benefits of working in concert with Iran can be debated long and hard, but in the meantime the Kurds clearly emerge as the immediate go-to allies. Positioning them as such, and arming them, will change the dynamics of the region.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What are we walking into in Iraq?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 September 2014
    7 Comments

    President Obama's decision to take military action against ISIL forces in Iraq and Syria has been applauded. But it should give us pause that this is the outcome desired and provoked by ISIL itself.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Signs that East Ukraine has averted mass human tragedy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 11 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Mixed messages undermine western solidarity with Gaza

    • Raff Piccolo
    • 06 August 2014
    16 Comments

    There are messages of support for Palestinians suffering in Gaza. But for every 'condemnation' that is directed at Israel by the President of the United States, the same speech always refers to the 'inherent right of Israel to defend itself'. However well intentioned, the sentiments are being used by Israel to justify all its actions in Gaza.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine endgame?

    • Tony Kevin
    • 31 July 2014
    11 Comments

    The shooting down of MH17 by insurgent anti-aircraft missiles has now been swallowed up in the wider drama of the fierce civil war raging in Ukraine's pro-Russian eastern region. On 24 July, the International Committee of the Red Cross proclaimed Ukraine to be in a state of civil war, appealing to all those involved to respect the humanitarian rules of war or face later indictment as war criminals. The burning question now is, what will Putin's Russia do?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Two state solution does not depend on words

    • John Kilcullen
    • 08 July 2014
    8 Comments

    The recent controversy about whether the Australian government regards East Jerusalem as Occupied, occupied, or disputed, at least made it clear that the Australian government still supports the ‘two state solution’. Now is the time to do something positive to bring the second state into existence.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hillary Clinton's bloodless memoir

    • Barry Gittins
    • 04 July 2014
    2 Comments

    This was akin to reading a carefully vetted resume. An intelligent and formidable first lady, senator and Secretary of State, and no shrinking violet, the author presents a largely passionless, desiccated record. There's the odd poignant reflection. Absurd depictions of Mel Brooksian secure rooms (and the reading of documents with a blanket over her head in non-secure rooms). But, overall, Clinton draws pictures without drawing blood.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Iraq needs a local solution, not another intervention

    • Donna Mulhearn
    • 23 June 2014
    9 Comments

    Standing on an overhead bridge in Ramadi on Iraq's main highway to Baghdad just over a year ago, I witnessed the extraordinary sight of about half a million people gathered — as they did every Friday — to peacefully protest the sectarian policies of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. Understanding the context of today's turmoil is the key to any de-escalation of violence and a guide to the type of assistance foreign nations can bring.

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