Bomb’s eye view

In March the Defence Minister Marise Payne said in relation to a Mosul Jadida neighbourhood strike on 17 March 2017 being probed for civilian death claims, that Australian combat planes were ‘not involved in the airstrike in question’.  Carefully chosen words? Even if the Australian Defence Force were not involved in “the airstrike in question” […]

Pre-empting death

When an advocate for asylum seekers detained on Manus Island and Nauru suggested to me that asylum seekers only get air-lifted to Australia when they are going to die I thought it was hyperbole. Documents released under Freedom of Information legislation suggest otherwise, confirming that bureaucrats in Canberra had prepared media talking points in the […]

Assange: Principles -v- Foreign Policy

In February 2016 the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) found that Julian Assange was arbitrarily detained by the Governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom. The Working Group recognised that Mr. Assange is entitled to his freedom of movement and to compensation.  In November 2016 it rejected a challenge filed by the U.K. […]

How many Arabs have we killed?

It was a question put to me that neither I nor, it seems, any elected representative nor any member of the defence forces is accurately able to answer. Why? If we participate in illegal military incursions into sovereign nations what responsibilities do we have for documenting the loss of life? If we honour lives shouldn’t […]

Inglourious Basterds

In 2013, Professor Stuart Rees, Founder and Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, wrote in an article John Howard’s Iraq War Fantasy that, “The arrogance of western warmongers enables them to behave as though they are not accountable to international law. Not only that, they can also make small fortunes from writing books and giving lectures […]

FOI Syria

Documents produced under Freedom of Information laws by the Department of Defence confirm that Australia was caught off guard when the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic wrote to the United Nations Security Council on 17 September 2015 singling out Australia, the United Kingdom and France for taking military measures against the Syrian Arab […]