Three problems with the Fourth Estate

The blandness of the mainstream media, including public broadcasters, is all about the narrow level of “debate” allowed on issues of the day. Australian intellectual and academic Scott Burchill has written the following short essay on the problem and possible solutions: In what is misleadingly called the ”˜age of culture wars’ there are three aspects…

Remembering historical and present war wrongs

My weekly Guardian column: The Australian government recently… successfully blocked the release… of sensitive documents that would have revealed the complicity of Indonesian forces in massive abuses during their… occupation of East Timor. Canberra directed the National Archives to refuse the request of University of NSW associate professor Clinton Fernandes to see internal Australian files on Indonesian military…

The real significance of Bob Carr's comments on Israel lobby

Much of the media has dismissed former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s diaries as being obsessed with irrelevance, diets and exercise. In fact, the diaries are fascinating and focus on a range of international events (see my Guardian column this week on the Zionist lobby sections). I saw Carr last night at Sydney University and…

The ethics of the US alliance

The job of US State Department favourites (journalists, commentators and politicians who routinely rehash US government talking points over war, peace and the Middle East) must be exhausting. Defending the indefensible while still being on the information drip-feed. Welcome to the US embassy, the free champagne, caviar and PR tips are in the boardroom. I…

How conservatives view free speech when discussing Israel and war

Let’s not be under any illusion that conservatives who talk about a love of “freedom” (including… Rupert Murdoch, for that matter) mean nothing of the sort, but only views that push a pro-US, pro-Israel and pro-war agenda. The Zionist lobby, a long-time fan of bullying opponents, is on-board.… Here’s Murdoch’s Australian on the weekend: A Coalition government…

American hypocrisy on massive scale

Does anybody serious believe American officials when they talk about supporting human rights? Hillary Clinton recently said this… at a UN Secretary Council debate on the Arab Spring: … we reject any equivalence between premeditated murders by a government’s military machine and the actions of civilians under siege driven to self-defense. Such a statement requires a…

Book reviews can save lives

A fascinating piece of history written by Australian academic Scott Burchill: In August 2004 I was asked by The Age to review [Australian journalist] John Martinkus’ new book ‘Travels in American Iraq‘ (Black Inc, 2004). It was a very good account of life after the invasion and Martinkus was clearly more sympathetic to the occupied…

The current financial crisis is caused by the crack whores talking about it in our media

Leading Australian academic Scott Burchill offers thoughts on the current financial crisis: It is amazing that… S&P and Moody’s are still in business after their contribution to the GFC, let alone able to trigger GFC2 by downgrading the US’s credit rating. Ha-Joon Chang is absolutely right about the desperate need for structural reform in the financial…