Why Western leaders love dictatorships

My weekly Guardian column: Western-friendly dictators can die in peace, knowing they’ll be lauded as soon as they stop breathing. So it was for Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew, who recently passed away at the age of 91. Tributes poured in from across the globe. Barack Obama called him “visionary” while Australian prime minister…

Stop drinking the think-tank kool-aid

My weekly column for the Guardian appears today: The ABC TV Lateline interview with Kurt Campbell, former US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, was… cordial, even reverential. It was conducted in the middle of March this year, more than a month after Campbell had left the state department. Interviewer Emma Alberici…

Tony Abbott’s foreign policy would be as clueless as George W. Bush

My following article appears today in the Guardian: In April 2010, as the war in Afghanistan was raging and US president Barack Obama… “surged” 30,000 more troops… into the country, Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott suggested that under his leadership, a Coalition government would have considered increasing involvement. “The government should explain why it’s apparently right that…