Where are we going? Australia in a post-IS Iraq & Syria

You can be excused for forgetting that Australia is waging war in Syria and Iraq, with national security and foreign affairs so far off the political radar this election. Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull’s failure to properly discuss our current and future military commitment in the Middle East is nonetheless inexcusable. The Islamic State is on the back foot, as the attacks on Fallujah, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria demonstrate. While their demise as a semi-conventional army and the loss of territorial control may still be many months away, the fact remains that mopping up IS was always going to be the easiest task.

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About Face: Who Speaks on Behalf of Australia’s Muslims?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosted an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan at Kirribilli House in Sydney on Thursday 16 June 2016. Guests included broadcaster Waleed Aly and his wife Susan Carland. Picture: Andrew Meares / Fairfax Media

The inclusion of prominent Australian Muslim clerics with reprehensible views in Malcolm Turnbull’s recent end of fasting celebration (Iftar) during Ramadan has the potential to precipitate a long-overdue conversation: what do mainstream Muslims in Australia really think?

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Want Fries With That PhD?

That Australia’s current system of higher education is unsustainable is a fact most are willing to concede. The latest evidence, revealed by the ABC, is of a $13.5 billion debt accrued over four years. This news adds another nail to the coffin of Entitlement Era higher ed and must surely accelerate a large-scale overhaul of the present—pun intended—arrangement.

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Missing in Action, the United States

obama baffled III

Whatever Barack Obama aimed to achieve in Syria with half measures and rhetoric, allowing he had any firm notion to begin with, must be deemed far from fruition. The contrast with Putin’s willingness to place military muscle at the service of strategy could not be more clear — or more damning

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Thinking About the West

Western civilization is adrift in the world of ideas. Uncoupled from religion for over a century, the Judeo-Christian ethical tradition which endured—albeit, once it had been absorbed into a secular, modernist rationale—is under existential threat from within. The Twitter-lynching of Chris Gayle, the asylum seeker crisis in Europe and connected sexual violence in Cologne and other cities on New Year’s Eve, and the increasing frequency of attacks by Islam-inspired jihadists are all in their own and disparate ways symptoms of the same ailment.

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