James ONeill

More Revelations on the Shooting Down of MH17

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On 17 July 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and traversing Ukrainian territory when it was shot down by a missile fired from within Ukraine. All 298 passengers and crew on board were killed. Dutch victims represented the largest single group, followed by Malaysians and Australian…

Some Reflections on the United States and China

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One of my favourite quotations is from the late former Prime Minister of China under Mao, Chou en Lai. He was interviewed by French television in the 1970s and was asked for his views on the effects of the French Revolution. Chou replied “too soon to tell.” That baffled his interviewer, but it points to an important difference…

OPCW, Douma and the Post Truth World

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The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) came into effect on 29 April 1997. 193 Member States of the United Nations have ratified it. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is the United Nations body charged with the task of monitoring compliance with the CWC…

BRI Forum Points to Tectonic Shift in Geopolitical Power

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The second BRI Forum was held in Beijing from 21st to 27th of April 2019. It was intended by 5000 delegates from 150 countries, including 40 heads of government and representatives of 90 international organisations. The forum followed a successful trip to Europe by China’s President…

The Persecution of Julian Assange Sends Some Alarming Signals

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The arrest of Julian Assange by British police on 11 April 2019 raises a number of troubling questions. It naturally enough provoked the outrage of Assange’s supporters; a blandly noncommittal comment by the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs (“appropriate consular assistance”)…

Golan Heights, Kosovo and Crimea: A Case Study in Hypocrisy and Double Standards

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The recent announcement by United States President Donald Trump that the US will recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights draws attention yet again to the double standards applied by NATO and its satraps including Australia to the issues of territorial…

Failure of DPRK-US Hanoi Talks Should be of No Surprise

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The first summit meeting between US president Donald Trump and North Korean president Kim Jong-Un was held in Singapore in June 2018. After the extraordinary speech by Trump at the United Nations in September 2017 when Trump said that if the United States was forced to defend…

Skripal: One Year Later Some Things are Clearer

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This past week (4 March 2019) saw the first anniversary of the incident in Salisbury England where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia became ill in a public space in the centre of town. Within a very short time (12th March) and before evidence…

US Already at War with China and Russia: The Rest of Us Are Collateral Damage

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At the end of World War 2 the United States was the strongest economy and military force on the planet. It used that position to impose itself upon the world for the next 60 years.  Potential threats to that hegemony were crushed, through persuasion, economic blackmail via…

US Withdrawal From INF Treaty Further Evidence of Delusion and Decline

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The intermediate range nuclear forces treaty (INF) was signed by the United States and Russia in December 1987 and ratified the following year. It was designed to limit the development of missiles with a range from 500 to 5500 kilometres. At the time, the treaty had a number…

More Ill-Informed Blundering by Australia in Foreign Policy

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If there were any lingering doubts that Australia actually followed its oft-repeated mantra of being a country that adheres to fundamental principles of law, they were surely dispelled this past week. The Foreign Minister Marise Payne released a statement on the attempted coup…

Australia’s Strategic Bubble: Denial in the Face of Changing Geopolitical Realities

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The next election in Australia is expected to be held on a date between March and May 2019. If two years of opinion polls are a reliable guide, the Opposition Labour party is expected to win comfortably. It should present an opportunity for a fresh start in Australia’s foreign and defence…


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