Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
It had been, from the start, a cruel wait and see game. Lacking logic and consistency, the Swedish effort to extradite Julian Assange from the United Kingdom, not for formal charges but the pretext of questioning him over sexual assault and rape, collapsed on Friday.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Marianne Ny and Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren, in a press conference in Stockholm, were... Read More
The Release of Chelsea Manning
It was one of the brighter acts in a darkening turmoil in the last parts of the Obama presidency, but the decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence added a zest of enlightenment. Manning had already found herself on the slippery slope to doom, having made two attempts at suicide the previous year, and facing the torment of incarceration in a men’s military prison at Fort Leavenworth,... Read More
Hyper-Normalising Lavrov: Russia’s Foreign Minister Meets Up with Trump in The White House
The Kremlin would have been thrilled with the happy snaps, but these were, in the end, purely that. History is an assemblage of misguided images and false assumptions. The pictures of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 remain rank, but brilliant for what modern gibberish-driven commentary terms “poor optics”. A pact featuring the signatures of Nazi … Read More
Chopping FBI Director James Comey
Trump is not a president who likes matters accountable and clear, except in a jaw jaw sort of a way, the brute who wants to avoid surprises while always keeping one in reserve. The language of the hectoring bully is never far, the turn that means genuine conversation is always going to be hard to have.
The language of dismissal regarding the FBI Director was that of an assassination. Comey,... Read More
Protecting Australia against Japan?
The Need for US Military Presence in the Asia-Pacific Region? The sea, and bodies of water, are as good as any in creating myths. Out of the water come creation myths: the heaving gorgeousness of Venus, emerging from raised foam, vitality captured in the enduring painting by Sandro Botticelli. The idea of Australia being the … Read More
Greater Albania and the Balkans
The Balkans has always been cursed by a recurring theme: that each entity within it can, at some point, become greater and more consuming in territory than the next neighbour. Each nation has, and in some instances continues, to nurse dreams of enlargement, pecking away at borders and assuming that few will notice.
Strategies of expansion tend to have one problem: they are hard to evaluate in... Read More
Days of Illusion: Donald Trump’s First 100 Days.
US Political System in Crisis The human capacity, notably in cultures where measurements are valued, places much stock in numbering deeds. In the case of the US presidency, power is supposedly meant to translate into something within the first hundred days, a ring fight between the president and other arms of government, a race to … Read More
Turkey’s Kurdish Agenda
Any doubts that Turkey’s involvement in the conflict against Islamic State is purely symbolic were dispelled by a latest round of air strikes against Kurdish positions in northeast Syria and Iraq’s Sinjar region, killing at least 20 fighters. (The number from Ankara is a more inflated 70). Iraqi government officials were flawed by the action, infuriated by its audacity; the US State... Read More
Trump, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Julian Assange
“I’m glad that the Justice Department has found a way to go after Assange. He’s gotten a free ride for too long.” –Rep. Peter King (R-New York), Apr 20, 2017 There had been some doubts from initial enthusiasts about WikiLeaks once information from leaks released on its site started puncturing holes in an already worn … Read More