keywords: President Obama

  • 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.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    What's eating Syria and Iraq

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 17 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.

    READ MORE
  • ENVIRONMENT

    Understanding the climate change battle of attitudes

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 June 2014
    20 Comments

    As Obama took steps to deal with carbon emissions, Abbott walked away from them. Beneath the complex political considerations in these responses stir deep passions. Human flourishing requires that we recognise the interdependence of human beings and our common interdependence with the environment. That recognition marks out the boundaries of the field within which our autonomy and initiative should play.

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kidnapped Nigerian girls put the lie to Western freedom

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 12 May 2014
    7 Comments

    It would be foolish to believe that female liberation can occur in a vacuum: as long as there are girls and women being brutalised in the DRC, schoolgirls being sold into slavery in Nigeria's border regions, girls around the world are being subjected to female genital mutilation and women being supressed by religious ideology, then the acquisition of our own freedoms — flawed as they are — is a hollow victory indeed.

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    A plague of killer robots

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 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.

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    US gun lobbyists miss the logic of feeling

    • Fatima Measham
    • 13 December 2013
    14 Comments

    I woke up to the news on a Saturday morning. One year ago tomorrow, a man walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and opened fire. In the aftermath, gun lobbyists seethed with high indignation that President Barack Obama was politicising a tragedy. It goes to show that the ones who complain about the politicisation of tragedy tend to be the ones who do not want to do anything about it.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    Who killed the car industry?

    • Ray Cassin
    • 13 December 2013
    33 Comments

    The immediate responsibility for this looming economic disaster rests with the Abbott Government, and not merely because of its use of a bullying speech in Parliament by the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, to goad Holden into announcing a decision that its masters in Detroit had probably already taken. In the longer term, this should be seen as a bipartisan disaster. What happened this week was the culmination of a process that began under Hawke.

    READ MORE
  • INTERNATIONAL

    Standing on Mandela's shoulders

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 12 December 2013
    6 Comments

    People respond well to heroes, especially those people who have had their rights subjugated by others. But Obama, with his swagger and rhetoric, was basking in the reflected glow of Mandela's hard-won glory. His address fulfilled the collective expectation that the almost-saint Mandela be eulogised by a man of comparable stature, but it also afforded him a global platform on which to polish his own ego, to reinforce his importance on the world stage. 

    READ MORE
  • 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.

    READ MORE
  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Making a mess of civil rights history

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 October 2013

    The idea of viewing the American civil rights movement through the eyes of an African-American butler, ensconced for decades at the White House in the service of eight different presidents, is tantalising. How disappointing then that The Butler is such a sloppy, soppy mess. And with all due respect to Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey is a big part of the problem.

    READ MORE
  • AUSTRALIA

    The Coalition and the mandate myth

    • Max Atkinson
    • 11 October 2013
    12 Comments

    Since the election there has been much discussion of the idea that, because democracy means respecting the will of the people, elected members have a duty to support the government's 'mandate'. Accordingly, they need not inform themselves and act on their own judgment because the people have spoken. Edmund Burke, the father of conservative political philosophy, would argue that this betrays, rather than serves, constituents.

    READ MORE
  • ECONOMICS

    Dollar bulletproofs US economy

    • David James
    • 04 October 2013
    1 Comment

    America is fond of claiming exceptionalism, which is usually little more than an indication of its attitude to moral accountability. But in one area America definitely is exceptional: the global currency markets. There is no risk of the market for American dollars drying up, which means that a default by the American government is, while significant, not especially relevant to what happens with the global trade in US dollars.

    READ MORE

x

Subscribe for more stories like this.

Free sign-up