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Politics abroad

Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on April 25, 2008 - 10:18pm.
Zimbabwe: Smashed dreams
Back in 1980, Zimbabwe was the bread-basket of eastern Africa. Blacks and whites were living in (relative) harmony, the economy was in good shape. … Now, 28 years on, millions of people have fled to neighbouring countries, inflation runs rampant, and starvation is rife.
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Submitted by Melody Kemp on April 17, 2008 - 3:51pm.
Lest we forget
It seems our ex Prime Miniature is now a cult hero amongst born again Aryans. Readers of Webdiary may be interested to see some of the interchange. ADDED: It should be noted that there is no evidence that ex-Prime Minister Howard actually said any of these things attributed to him, and some are clearly extracted from other sources.
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Submitted by Democratic Audit on April 16, 2008 - 12:49pm.
Democratic Audit Update - 16 April 2008
The latest update from the Democratic Audit program at Swinburne on how our democracy is working.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 12, 2008 - 5:28pm.
The Black Death of financial collapse
The financial and economic crisis now upon us is by far the most menacing of the past century - even more so than the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is not just a "subprime" crisis; it is systemic - affecting the entire financial system. (James Cumes)
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Submitted by PF Journey on April 10, 2008 - 12:32pm.
The gutsy Kevin Rudd
One thing you can't accuse of our Dear Leader is that he is lacking guts. Not only delivering his speech to students at Peking University in Mandarin, he again repeated his concern about Tibet.
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Submitted by Tony Eleninovski on April 9, 2008 - 12:12pm.
Australia Trade Blows with China
A news article on Australia-China Free Trade Agreement negotiations, emphasizing the broader ramifications of the Tibetan issue on economic policies. 
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Submitted by Basil J Smith on April 8, 2008 - 3:39pm.
Olympic Torch demonstrations
Demonstrations are a legitimate form of public dissatisfaction by those who feel their impotence to influence government action or non action – in the present instance e.g. a boycott of the torch relay in view of the situation in Tibet.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 4, 2008 - 9:00pm.
The Australia-US alliance: PM at the Brookings Institution
[The Australian-US] alliance is steeped in history. But it is also part of our framework for meeting the challenges of the future. The purpose of my remarks is to reflect on the continued importance of U.S. global leadership, to reflect on the new Australian government's foreign policy framework, and to make some observations on how we both might engage China in the future. (The Hon. Kevin Rudd)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 4, 2008 - 8:29pm.
Middle power diplomacy: Advancing Australia's interests
It is through this wider process of continuing regional and global engagement that the new Australian Government is now determined to make its contribution to the future development of a robust international rules-based order that enhances the security and economic wellbeing of us all. (The Hon. Kevin Rudd)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on April 4, 2008 - 8:09pm.
Rapid withdrawal is only solution
Last year ... I said [the troop surge] is a new tactic used to achieve the same old strategic aim, political stability. And I foresaw no serious prospects for success. I see no reason to change my judgment now. (William E. Odom, LT General, USA, Ret.)
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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on March 20, 2008 - 12:15pm.
Made of Ruin - Chapter the Second:The Ruin Ripens
It’s about time we met her. We are in a field, a cloth of gold, sun-drenched ripened wheat stretching as far as the eye can see in every direction. The field is in a small depression which limits visibility to about 5 metres. Jenny is listening.
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Submitted by Malcolm B Duncan on March 19, 2008 - 1:56pm.
Made of Ruin – Chapter the First
It is often said that I am mad, or sometimes, more kindly, that I am just eccentric, but let me tell you a tale of a young schizophrenic who, for a short time, brought the important part of the known world to its knees until she was burned to a crisp as a result of a quiet political deal.
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Submitted by John Pratt on March 16, 2008 - 11:17am.
Unrest in China
The world is relying on continued growth in China to protect the global economy from the recession in the US. Given the recent unrest in the world's most populous country, the big question is – can the hardliners continue to keep this very diverse country from breaking apart?
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Submitted by Bob Wall on March 3, 2008 - 7:28am.
The tortuous path from Kandahar to Guantanamo
The Afghanistan action is commonly viewed as a "clean" conflict ... that didn't bring the kind of international opprobrium onto the United States that the invasion of Iraq would lead to a year later. ...  But ... [e]verything that followed ... flowed inevitably from the failure to challenge Bush's claim that an act of terror required a military response.
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Submitted by Michael Park on February 15, 2008 - 8:08am.
US Primaries
In every American election there are two acts of choice, two periods of contest, the first is the selection of the candidate from within the party by the party; the other is the struggle between the parties for the post. (James Bryce, American Commonwealth)
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Submitted by Ken Westmoreland on February 14, 2008 - 6:22pm.
Time to become amigos
Many commentators in Australia have taken an even more negative and distorted view of Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries, simply because of East Timor. Unlike the Indonesians' colonial master, the Dutch, the Portuguese are, ahem, "wogs", but unlike the Italians and the Greeks, they are not as well represented in Australia, or have as high a profile.
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Submitted by Ian MacDougall on February 10, 2008 - 1:32pm.
Keating's eulogy for Suharto
If any continuous theme runs through [Paul Keating's] career, it is power: the acquisition of it, the exercise of it, the company of it, being on the side of it, loss of it, and now reminiscence of it. I cannot put it more appropriately, even though my grandmother once told me never to use language: power has been to Keating as shit to a blowfly.
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Submitted by Bob Wall on January 30, 2008 - 3:42pm.
Bush's Last Hurrah
"Not a good start for reality. And that's just the first paragraph. Starting there, there should be plenty of opportunities for 'Diarists to provide their views on the validity (or otherwise) of Bush's claims." 
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Submitted by PF Journey on January 29, 2008 - 5:35am.
The legacy of Suharto
Greg Sheridan, writing for the Oz, describes the Suharto as "an authentic giant of Asia, a nation-builder, a dictator, a changer of history" My own analysis is that he has done more harm to Indonesia than good. He did create short term stability for the country, but on the fundamental issues that are vital to the long term prosperity, democracy and survival of the country, he has come out short, very short.
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Submitted by Melody Kemp on January 29, 2008 - 5:21am.
A death in the family
Australians have a fear of Indonesia that is only equalled by Indonesian’s fear about Australia. The major difference is that Indonesians know far more about Australian politics than Australians know about Indonesia.
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Submitted by Craig Rowley on January 28, 2008 - 7:43am.
They make a grain into a kubba
Over the past two and a half years, researchers at the Fund for Independence in Journalism have sought to document every public statement made by eight top Bush administration officials from September 11, 2001, to September 11, 2003, regarding (1) Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction and (2) Iraq's links to Al Qaeda. Although both had been frequently cited as rationales for the U.S. war in Iraq, by 2005 it was known that these assertions had not, in fact, been true.(Center for Public Integrity)
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on January 17, 2008 - 5:24pm.
Empire versus Democracy: Why Nemesis is at the door of the USA
In Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic, Chalmers Johnson compares  the US’s present military behaviour with that of the Roman Empire, and warns that financial bankruptcy could herald the breakdown of constitutional government in America.
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Submitted by PF Journey on January 14, 2008 - 9:07am.
The SCG Cricket Match: The new Lagaan
Not much has been written, in fact nothing at all, about the geopolitical significance of that controversial New Year cricket match at the SCG. Yes, geopolitical. It was about the emergence of India as the next economic super power and manifesting itself as a cricket super power as well. This is the elephant in the room that everyone is still not seeing.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on January 6, 2008 - 1:54pm.
Leftie? Yeah, right...
Why is it that in Greece and other European countries, being on the Left or supportive of the Left is not met with ridicule, disdain or horror? Why is it that PASOK leader George Papandreou can say at the end of his election speech: ‘I ask all Greeks of democratic persuasion to vote against the Right’? And why didn’t every newspaper in the country attack him or laugh at him for saying it? (Jeana Vithoulkas)
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Submitted by Fiona Reynolds on December 28, 2007 - 8:35am.
Cowards afraid of democracy
She risked everything in her attempt to win democracy in Pakistan and she has been assassinated by cowards afraid of democracy. (Gordon Brown)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on December 3, 2007 - 7:49pm.
The Bali Communiqué
The business leaders of 150 global companies have today published a communiqué to world leaders calling for a comprehensive, legally binding United Nations framework to tackle climate change. The initiative represents an unprecedented coming together of the international business community and includes some of the biggest companies and brands from around the world. The leaders hope that the initiative is likely to have a significant impact on the UN climate negotiations starting next week in Bali, Indonesia.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on November 30, 2007 - 8:31pm.
Flying Blind: Rudd has to go in hard as nails to get answers now from Howard, Nelson and Hill
UPDATE NOVEMBER 30: When Brendan got elected, I thought the Hornet/F1-11 scandal could bring him down. I wonder if Labor will pursue this? See New Defence Minister questions jet fighter purchase and Labor promises air combat review. As I said in this piece, there should be a judicial inquiry into this scandal. But would Labor be game? I don't think so.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 22, 2007 - 4:33pm.
Review of Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine"
The main reason for the rise of democracy and social-welfare with its old age pensions, public hospitals, public housing, and universal education after the Great Depression of the 1930s was that the beneficiaries of the robber-baron culture which had dominated until then were aware that if people were kept sufficiently miserable, they would turn to communism and socialism. (Naomi Klein)
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Submitted by Sol Salbe on October 25, 2007 - 3:03pm.
Sol Salbe on the Israel, Palestine state of play
In a recent article in the Jerusalem Post David Kimche highlighted the rise of support for one-state among some Palestinians in the context of a possible failure of the Annapolis conference. He envisaged the following scenario.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on October 10, 2007 - 12:22pm.
Death politics
Hello. Here is the Australian Law Council's statement yesterday on the death penalty debate. The recent history of this issue is very interesting, as is its prominence now. I'll try to write something later. 
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