May 28, 2012

The politics of victimhood

When a group of gay activists engaged in an angry confrontation with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, who was having dinner with a major columnist in a Melbourne restaurant, the journalist noted how those demanding tolerance of diversity had shown an ugly face of extreme ...

May 21, 2012

Australia and the Security Council

This autumn in New York, Australia will be contesting for one of the elected seats on the U.N. Security Council. Some domestic critics ask why bother with the United Nations? Some international critics ask why waste a vote on Australia? Both are wrong. The ...

Apr 30, 2012

Possession underscores nuclear contradictions

Can the differing world reactions to India’s missile test and North Korea’s attempted “satellite launch” be explained by the familiar saying that success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan? The more likely explanation is that the two tests are forcing the ...

Apr 10, 2012

World Bank could use a competitive advantage

From a turn of phrase by Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs in 2001, a grouping was born in 2009. BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa) make up two-fifths of the world’s population, one-fifth of world gross domestic product and one-seventh of world ...

Apr 2, 2012

India and the Iran sanctions

Writing in The Diplomat on Feb. 20, R. Nicholas Burns, undersecretary of state in the Bush administration, lamented the fact that India was going to continue to purchase oil from Iran. He was reacting to reports that to circumvent Western sanctions on Iran’s central ...

Mar 17, 2012

Nuclear agenda after 3/11

A year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, all but two of the country’s 54 nuclear reactors are shut down. The Japanese people remain confused, apprehensive and distrustful of government statements and reassurances. The future of the ...

Mar 12, 2012

Foreign aid: sop to conscience and bad policy

When India selected 126 French Rafale fighter aircraft (£13 billion) over the U.K.-manufactured Typhoon involving a consortium of European countries, some British politicians and commentators demanded that aid to “ungrateful” India, a fast-rising economic power, be stopped. The press dredged up Finance Minister Pranab ...

Jan 31, 2012

To prepare for nuclear war is to seek the peace of death

The world faces two existential threats: climate change, and nuclear Armageddon. Action on both is required urgently. Tackling the first will impose significant economic costs and lifestyle adjustments, while tackling the second will bring economic benefits without any lifestyle implications. Those who reject the ...