Tony Abbott is Mad about Drones

September 25, 2012 by

Without imagination, predictability is bound to become a vice. Australia’s explosive, uncontainable opposition leader Tony Abbott has made his latest splash in policy waters by suggesting that his frightened country should propel itself into the twenty first century with drones. What sweet noble Uncle Sam can do, propelling his light from Winthrop’s “city upon a hill”, Australia can imitate “Down Under.”

A Fatuous Exercise: Australia and the Security Council

September 25, 2012 by

Why do countries bother? In a sense, a position as a temporary member on the UN Security Council is merely an award to the best and smoothest briber – such a country can claim some ceremonial status, not more. The gang of five retain their vice like grip on proceedings, allowing some faux respectability to be conferred on the other ten members who do the decent thing and innocuously rotate. Some commentators have been frank enough to identify the farce and call it as it is.

Failed legacies of Bush and Obama

September 25, 2012 by

The former first lady, Laura Bush, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed wrote of the harrowing and long drawn out ordeal of Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, who in 1989 was placed under house arrest by the ruling Junta. Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson of the NLD party, won a resounding victory in 1990, garnering 59 percent of the vote. She never wavered in her belief that the voices of Burmese are important and should be listened to. In 1991, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This past week, Aung San Suu Kyi was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal that she was awarded in 2008.

Japan-China Relations in Rough Waters

September 25, 2012 by

Could Japan and China—the number two and three largest economies in the world—really get into a punch-out over five tiny islands covering less than four square miles? According to the International Crisis Group, maybe: “All the trends are in the wrong direction, and prospects of resolution are diminishing.” That the two Asian superpowers could actually come to blows seems unthinkable, but a devil’s brew of suspicion, anger, ham-handed diplomacy, and a growing US military presence has escalated a minor dispute into something that could turn very ugly if someone makes a misstep.