News flash; debating Israel and Islam is healthy sign of democracy

This Friday the Lebanese Muslim Association has organised an event titled, “From Iraq to Gaza: The Politics of Fear”. I’ll be speaking alongside many others. Daring to be critical of the dominant narrative over Palestine or terrorism has upset Rupert Murdoch’s resident race-baiter Andrew Bolt. There’s also a “story” in today’s Murdoch Australian that features…

Why it's time for UN sanctions against Australia

My weekly Guardian column is published today: This month, the United Nations accused Canberra of… potentially breaking international law… by forcibly repelling refugee boats back to Indonesia.… Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN high commissioner for refugees,… said… that the international body was “concerned by any policy or practice that involved pushing asylum-seeker boats back at sea without a proper…

Why the Wikileaks Party visit to Syria was so delusional

My weekly Guardian column is published below: The sight of Australian citizens associated with the WikiLeaks party… sitting and chatting… with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad… during their… recent… “solidarity… mission”, along with their comments about the regime, is a damning indictment on a party that ran a… dismal election campaign… in 2013 and has never bothered to explain… its subsequent collapse. For WikiLeaks supporters…

How Western-backed Saudi fundamentalism is causing chaos

One of the great unspoken truths of the 21st century. After this week’s shocking terrorist acts in Russia, it’s possible (though impossible to know) that Saudi Arabia may be behind the carnage (they threatened as much a few months ago). The venerable Patrick Cockburn, writing in the UK Independent, on the ominous signs of sectarian…

What robust journalism should look like in 2014

My weekly Guardian column is published today: 2013 was the year of Edward Snowden. The former NSA contractor, voted the Guardian’s… person of the year… (after Chelsea Manning the year before), unleashed a vital global debate on the extent of mass surveillance in the modern age. “Among the casualties”,… writes one reporter, “is the assumption that some of…

Why the mainstream media is broken part 9754322

The kind of debate that can prove either endlessly boring or vitally important for the health of democracy. Take your pick. The beautifully produced literary magazine Island asked me recently, after deep coverage of the new book by writer Tim Dunlop called The New Front Page, to write a few words about my vision for…

Global trends of fleeing asylum seekers

Desperate refugees looking for a new, safer life. The stories span the globe. This latest article in the New York Times highlights the ongoing suffering in Syria: Fifty miles off the southeastern coast of Sicily, the refugee boat first appeared as a gray spot on the horizon, rising up or dipping away with the churn…