Reasons matter

Nick Kaldas, the Arabic-speaking head of the NSW police gangs squad, has been appointed head of the counterterrorism command. He worked in Iraq in 2004 and helped rebuild the Iraqi police force. He clearly did a sterling job. This Kaldas comment is interesting: “Australia is very much part of the international community and if something…

The road to nowhere

International reaction to the Israeli election has been decidedly mixed. The UK Times hails the outcome as “extraordinary” – since when did unilateralism require anything other than contempt for the other side? – while Fairfax’s Michael Gawenda is more circumspect: In the foreseeable future, there will be no real steps taken towards unilateral withdrawal, there…

War me, please

The drum of war approaches: The five U.N. Security Council powers moved closer to an agreement on Wednesday on a statement that would call on Iran to suspend parts of its suspect nuclear program that could be used to build weapons. Not unlike Iraq, let’s be under no illusion that the US is only using…

Pull the other one

The Australian government may be pronouncing its new media rules will increase “diversity“, but that’s not how the US media sees it: Australia’s plans to overhaul its 20-year-old media laws may provide further opportunities for global media magnates looking to spread their influence. Multinational media moguls clearly deserve to acquire more assets in their ongoing…

The honeymoon period

Witness the beginnings of a sweet, new relationship in US politics: Hillary Clinton hasn’t had her Hayman Island moment. Yet. Hayman is a resort off Queensland, Australia, to which Rupert Murdoch flew Tony Blair in 1995 for the annual conference of his right-of-center media megalith, News Corp. It was a crucial step in the complex…

Master and servant

With Kadima looking like the winner in Israel’s elections – and record low turnout suggests a less than healthy democracy – the colonial mentality is still alive and well in the Jewish state: Three organizations are busy renovating, upgrading and improving roads in the West Bank in response to the transportation problems created by the…

Crash and burn

Eric Haney is a retired command sergeant major of the U.S. Army and a founding member of Delta Force, the military’s elite covert counter-terrorist unit. He tells the LA Daily News that the Iraq war has damaged the US for generations: Q: What’s your assessment of the war in Iraq? A: Utter debacle. But it…

Let me throw them out

While Israel’s mainstream is likely to vote for “racism” in today’s election, some Jews prefer to take the more obvious path: Several parties who maintain anti-Arab platforms are running for seats in the upcoming Israeli general elections, with at least one having previously called for “relentless terror” against Palestinians. The Jewish Front, headed by Baruch…

Speaking from the heart

Arguably Iraq’s best blogger is receiving her due recognition in the West: An anonymous Iraqi woman has become the first blog author to be in the running for a big literary prize for a book published between hard covers. Baghdad Burning, by a 26-year-old author who has won an international readership under the pen name…