Old and worn out: Sheridan’s points against recognising a Palestinian state

On 4 July 2017 The Australian published an opinion piece by Greg Sheridan (Foreign Editor) “Labor’s Palestinian shift wrong and bad politics, too.”1 The article targeted the proposed resolution by New South Wales Labor demanding federal Labor recognise a Palestinian state. Sheridan puts forth the argument this move is politically and perhaps morally wrong, citing several reasons why, which are all familiar Zionist talking points. Below I will rebut the points Sheridan uses to support his argument, showing it is he who is wrong on both accounts.

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  1. Sheridan G, Labor’s Palestinian shift wrong and bad politics, The Australian, 4 July 2017, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/greg-sheridan/labors-palestinian-shift-wrong-and-bad-politics-too/news-story/c8ba0261e294bdef5a48f735d5369fb0

Arab nations to create joint military force: Audacity, irony, or sick joke?

Arab leaders at a summit in Egypt announced the formation of a unified military force to counter growing security threats from Yemen to Libya, and as regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Iran engage in sectarian proxy wars.1

Audacity: forming a unified military force involving 10 countries, 100 aircraft, and 150,000 soldiers to counter security threats when for years the same countries sat on their hands while fellow Arab nations Syria and Iraq were being destroyed by armed conflicts.

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  1. Georgy M 2015, ‘Arab summit agrees on unified military force for crises’, Reuters, 29 March 2015, http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/03/29/mideast-arabs-communique-idUKL6N0WV03T20150329

Australia’s incremental steps to war: Part 2

On 11 October 2014 I wrote an article ‘Australia’s Incremental Steps to War,’ which analysed the Australian government’s gradual escalation to committing troops to fight Daesh in Iraq. I concluded with this:

The government’s expansion of Australia’s involvement in Iraq from humanitarian aid drops to the spectre of sending in soldiers has occurred incrementally. At each stage the government has refused to rule out further involvement… With further incremental advances, and without clear and defined goals, it is inevitable that Australian will become more involved.

Less than five months later Prime Minster Abbott has indeed further involved Australia in Iraq, by confirming the deployment of another 300 troops, to help train the Iraqi forces.

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More evidence of why Iran’s nuclear program is not the problem

On 13 December 2014 I wrote an article explaining why Iran’s nuclear program is not the real point of conflict between Iran and the US.

“Contrary to what the media commonly reports, the US’ dispute with Iran does not stem from Iran’s nuclear activities. Rather it stems from the fact that Iran has never accepted a subdued position under US dominance, starting with the 1979 revolution.”

Last week Erin Banco published a similar article, ‘Middle East Countries Wary Of Iran Sanctions Easing, Not Possible Nuclear Weapons.’1

“Iran’s regional adversaries are concerned about something else: the power that Iran’s economy, unshackled from sanctions by a nuclear deal with the international community, would exert in the Middle East.”

Banco explains what will happen to Iran’s economy if sanctions are removed, and why the other Middle Eastern countries are wary.

Their concern regarding Iran’s economy if freed from sanctions explains why they prefer the sanctions to remain, and have used Iran’s nuclear activities as an excuse to prevent the country from developing.

It is more evidence of why Iran’s nuclear program is not the problem.

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  1. Banco E 2015, ‘Middle East Countries Wary Of Iran Sanctions Easing, Not Possible Nuclear Weapon’, International Business Times, 26 Feb 2015, http://www.ibtimes.com/middle-east-countries-wary-iran-sanctions-easing-not-possible-nuclear-weapons-1829762?ft=61pb1

Why the Ukrainian conflict is not all about Putin

Putin, World Economic Forum 2009On 15 February 2015 a ceasefire was to come into effect between the Ukrainian government and the rebels fighting for the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). Dr Matthew Davies believed the ceasefire would not last because it did not advantage Vladimir Putin.1 As President of Russia, Putin holds influence with the DPR, and indeed is perceived by many as being behind their rebellion. According to Davies, the Ukrainian conflict has ‘never been about Ukraine, or even about territory that Putin thinks should be integrated into Russia [but] about the hurt honour of a country and a leader who want to be considered important. The conflict has been about perception.’ The narrative that the Ukrainian conflict is all about Putin is a common one in Western media, and is repeatedly used to explain the conflict.

I disagree with the narrative that the Ukrainian conflict is all about Putin. Rather, I think his actions are in the interests of Russia and are a defensive strategy in the face of threatening actions from the United States and Europe. To put it simply, I believe Putin is acting in defence of Russia. Below I will explain why.

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  1. Davies M 2015, ‘The Ukraine ceasefire plan is a Russian victory’, ABC, 13 Feb 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-13/davies-the-ukraine-ceasefire-plan-is-a-russian-victory/6092270

Muslims should be doing more?

A trend following recent terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists is people demanding “moderate Muslims” speak out against the violent acts and “do more” to prevent future attacks. The people making these demands are often members of the public voicing their opinion on social media, but celebrities and media personnel have also made similar remarks.

Although most simply demand “moderate Muslims” speak out against these acts or wonder why they don’t, some go so far as to hold all Muslims responsible for the acts of a few.

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Iran’s nuclear program is not the problem

On 24 November 2014 the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (US, UK, France, Russia, China + Germany) around Iran’s nuclear activities ended in an extension of the interim agreement proposed in 2013. It was hoped by many a permanent agreement could be reached, resulting in the lifting of the sanctions inflicted upon Iran by the US and the reintegration of Iran into global trade and relations. However, even if an agreement can be found at the end of the extended interim agreement, it is unlikely to normalise relations between Iran and the West.

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