INTERNATIONAL


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Theresa May's disingenuous Saudi stance

7 Comments
11 December 2016 | Daniel Read

Theresa MayThe British Prime Minister is many things. Depending on which side of the political spectrum you're on, she's either a trailblazing female politician set on reclaiming Britain's independent role in Europe, or just another callous, career orientated Conservative ill-suited to the challenges at hand. One quality she does appear to possess, however, is a degree of honesty, particularly when it comes to Britain's controversial take on human rights and foreign trade. Or does she?


Behind Trump's 'Happy Gilmore' moment with Taiwan

2 Comments
08 December 2016 | Jeremy Clarke

xxxxxTrump's phone call with Tsai Ing-wen is to diplomacy what Happy Gilmore's slap shot was to the Pro Golf Tour. It defies all convention, is appallingly out of context, and should not even work, but it might just augur a new way of doing things. That conversation disrupted previous norms, some of which resulted from decades of delicate, often secret, negotiations. In the midst of the confected outrage it is worth considering the event within the context of contemporary US-China relations.


When we give ourselves permission

12 Comments
07 December 2016 | Fatima Measham

Racist posterIt is hard to overstate the sort of things that become permissible when the dominant political culture appeals to our darker nature. Take the cascade of brutality in the Philippines, or the stream of hateful incidents in the US. In Australia, white supremacist groups staged 'victory rallies' after the US election, and posters appeared last weekend at Melbourne University telling 'dunecoons, shitskins, niggers, chinks' to get out. This permissiveness isn't just about Trump, though he is a catalyst.


Khmer stories illuminate our world's present brutality

3 Comments
28 November 2016 | Andrew Hamilton

Writing for Raksmey by Joan HealyI spent some summers in the border camps around the same time as Healy. This was life-changing: it made me subsequently look at policies from the perspective of those affected by them. But on reading these stories told by from the perspective of the Khmer people I recognised how much of their life I had not noticed. This gap between perception and reality may be pertinent to reflection on how we are to respond to the startling recent shifts in our world and to the brutality that runs through them.


History comes to strife in Stratford-upon-Avon

3 Comments
28 November 2016 | Patrick McCabe

Stratford-upon-AvonSomeone I read in high school, so probably Shakespeare, once said 'The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.' Well, whoever it was clearly hadn't been to Stratford-upon-Avon (so maybe not Shakespeare then). Here, you truly can visit the past, without a passport. As one peruses the shops, houses, supermarkets and ATMs, one cannot help but speculate as to the links between Shakespeare's works and what must have been the commonplaces of his everyday life.


Marcos burial dents Duterte

5 Comments
23 November 2016 | Fatima Measham

Heroes' Cemetery, PhilippinesTechnicalities seldom withstand moral grievance. So it is with Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte's justification for allowing the remains of a reviled dictator to be buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani - the Heroes' Cemetery. Young Filipinos, observing recent political disorder, had begun wondering whether Marcos was really that bad. But the disgusted response of millenials and others to the sneaky burial suggests that the pushback against historical revisionism is paying off.


Left doesn't own the fight against racism

8 Comments
14 November 2016 | Irfan Yusuf

Islamic gathering, historic illustrationCultural totalitarianism, embodied in Trump in the US and Hanson in Australia, is a major injustice of our age. To fight it effectively, we have to enter into coalitions with those whose opinions we otherwise find distasteful. An anti-racism rally with only leftwing speakers is not going to make as big an impact as one with speakers across the spectrum. To insist the fight against racism is necessarily a leftwing issue is in some ways its own form of cultural bigotry.


Empathy for Russia after Trump's ascent

6 Comments
14 November 2016 | Justin Glyn

xxxxxIf a failure of empathy marks our understanding of internal politics, its effects are magnified, with even worse results, in the international arena. A classic example is Russia. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the west has failed to take Russian interests seriously. I endorse neither the present Russian government nor its point of view. However, knowing that the other side has a point of view and what it is is vital in avoiding miscalculations. You don't get a second chance with nuclear weapons.


A new generation of remembrance

8 Comments
09 November 2016 | Kate Mani

Group crossing no-man's landIt's 9pm but the setting sun shows no sign of repose as it beams down across the vast wheat fields of Fromelles. The line between land and sky blurs as yellowing crops align with the sun's reach. On the other side of no man's land, a pale moon is just visible. Straight ahead a rough path through the wheat leads to the German lines. It's down this path that I file with the Friends of the 15th Brigade, descendants of the soldiers who fought here 100 years ago in the 59th and 60th AIF battalions.


Progressives must stand firm in Trump's shadow

19 Comments
09 November 2016 | Fatima Measham

Donald TrumpIt didn't take long for me and other Filipino friends to be asked 'How do we Americans deal with this?' There is nothing soothing to say. Trump is not Duterte, of course, and there are differences in governance and law enforcement that (as yet) better protect Americans. But what I know is it is not the office that makes the person presidential. It is a waste of time to expect Trump to change. There will be no post-election unity, despite the conciliatory noises being made. And yet there is no choice but to endure.


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