Ask questions, expect truthful answers

Much of the civilised word views former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as a war criminal. Some, of course, are more, er, forgiving: According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Pope Benedict XVI has invited the 83-year-old former adviser to Richard Nixon to be a political consultant, and Kissinger has accepted. Quoting an “authoritative”…

Human rights in jeopardy

Norman Finkelstein, November 29: How has Human Rights Watch responded to the [Gaza] challenge? It criticized Israel for destroying Gaza’s only electrical plant, and also called on Israel to “investigate” why its forces were targeting Palestinian medical personnel in Gaza and to “investigate” the Beit Hanoun massacre. On the other hand, it accused Palestinians of…

More research needed

The Australian’s media diarist has clearly done her research: A level of respect Melbourne writer Antony Loewenstein let fly after being described as an “anti-Zionist blogger” in an article by Rebecca Weisser in The Australian’s Higher Education Supplement that questioned his appointment to the board of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African…

The journalist, the spy and Vladimir Putin

My following article appears in today’s edition of Crikey: The recent London murder of former KGB and FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko has once again focused world attention on the increasingly authoritarian rule of Vladimir Putin. Russian authorities are determined to deny any responsibility for the targeting of a key Putin critic, but evidence already points…

Anti-Semitism, the reality

We are told that anti-Semitism is on the rise in Australia (even the Israeli press links to the same article.) The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) claim that attacks on Jews and “anti-Semitic incidents” were at a near-record high in the past year. The report’s author, Jeremy Jones, explains: “The most important thing is…

Iraq: the disintegration

US President George W. Bush still believes in democracy in Iraq and dismisses “pessimistic” readings of the country. One wonders what his advisers are telling him and how insulated from reality he has become. Patrick Cockburn is the Independent’s Middle East correspondent and author of the recently released, The Occupation. His newspaper published his special…