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What we learn from the Tkatchenko saga

Michael Tamty Pais  BenarNews
Port Moresby university students protest against foreign minister Tkatchenko, who called social media critics of his daughter “primitive animals” (Michael Tamty Pais |  Benar News)

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - Justin Tkatchenko has stepped aside as foreign affairs minister after sustained calls for him to resign.

This comes after he branded Papua New Guineans “primitive animals” for criticising his daughter’s TikTok videos showing a lavish trip to the United Kingdom funded by taxpayers’ money.

Continue reading "What we learn from the Tkatchenko saga" »


Tkatchenko goes after ‘primitive animals’ slur

Namah
‘Sack him!’ - how the PNG Post-Courier reported the furore (screenshot by Asia Pacific Report)

CALEB FOTHERINGHAM
| RNZ Pacific | Updated

This article was republished by Cafe Pacific under a community partnership agreement with Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea’s foreign minister Justin Tkatchenko has  stepped aside from his position after calling critics of  his daughter, ‘primitive animals’ and ‘useless individuals’.

Savannah Tkatchenko posted a video on TikTok after attending the Coronation of King Charles III in London last week.

Continue reading "Tkatchenko goes after ‘primitive animals’ slur" »


Are we humans failing to secure our survival?

Humanity
Microsoft Bing image creation

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – Having reached an age well past the Biblical allotment of threescore years and 10, I’ve noticed in the scriptures there could be more – although it comes with a menace.

‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away’ – Psalm 90:10

Continue reading "Are we humans failing to secure our survival?" »


31 at Coronation is an abuse of our people

(What's Good PNG)
Pacific Islands representation at the Coronation of King Charles III.  PNG really knows how to waste money (What's Good PNG)

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY – The Papua New Guinea government has just spent K6 million on events to mark King Charles III’s Coronation at London’s Westminster Abbey.

PNG is one of a diminishing number of Commonwealth countries that have the King of England as their head of state.

We are one of the poorer countries and this waste of money needs a response.

Continue reading "31 at Coronation is an abuse of our people" »


When the bigman arrived, so did capitalism

BigmanPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – When I first arrived in Papua New Guinea in the 1960s, the system of local government was not widespread, especially in remote areas.

Government reached the people in the form of interaction between Administration officers and clan leaders, officially appointed as luluais and tultuls in New Guinea and as village constables (mamusi) in Papua.

Continue reading "When the bigman arrived, so did capitalism" »


The diabolic forces who inhabit our politics

The corrupt and the goodPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – The cynics among us have always known that political ethics and personal ethics are not similar or indeed compatible.

It has been naively said that political ethics comes from the head while personal ethics comes from the heart.

By that is meant that political ethics are based on what seems practical while personal ethics are based on what is fair and right.

Continue reading "The diabolic forces who inhabit our politics" »


Robbing the people to boost the profiteers

Blackbirding in Melanesia State Library of Queensland)
'Blackbirding' in Melanesia in the late 19th century was an approved way of stealing people's liberty to profit business. Later governments became smarfter and sold the people's property instead (State Library of Queensland)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY, SA – In the world over, for many years now, both conservative and progressive governments have been privatising public services.

The argument runs that services like health, water, electricity, gas, transport and telecommunications can be operated much more efficiently, effectively and cheaply by business than government.

That this is a capitalist fallacy is now readily apparent.

Continue reading "Robbing the people to boost the profiteers" »


Marape v Lelang debate: a lost opportunity?

Debate
James Marape and Joseph Lelang at the debate: Soft questioning failed to call the two leaders to account

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad | Edited

PORT MORESBY - Was it a debate? Maybe a panel discussion? Or perhaps a church gathering?

Whatever it was, the debate between Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape and opposition leader Joseph Lelang was promoted with a massive fanfare and ended in a storm of criticism.

Continue reading "Marape v Lelang debate: a lost opportunity?" »


As storm clouds gather, are we prepared?

CrisisCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I have spent many decades studying the wise, wonderful, astonishing, strange and all too often terrible and cruel behaviours of human beings as, collectively, we have created what we call history.

One thing is obvious. History does not follow a predictable and linear trajectory by which we collectively reach progressively higher levels of economic success and enlightened civilisation.

In fact, a feature of history is how good we are at engineering the collapse of elaborate, successful and productive civilisations.

Continue reading "As storm clouds gather, are we prepared?" »


Let’s address the future & not the past

OKCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The last 30 years or so have been dominated by the idea that the market is the infallible distributor of goods and services, with government's essentially reduced to the role of bystanders.

An entire generation of politicians has grown up with this idea firmly in their minds, especially amongst the conservatives.

Continue reading "Let’s address the future & not the past" »


The AUKUS mess & straight talk from Keating

Caricature
Caricature portrait of Paul Keating c 1984 by John Spooner (National Library of Australia)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Despite my increasing aversion to the 24 hour news cycle, and after the resultant negative pile-on by what passes for the media in Australia, I couldn’t help but be lured to view an interview with Paul Keating at the National Press Club on Wednesday.

Keating has an impressive intellect and an acerbic wit, which was fine-tuned even in his first days as a young Labor Party MP in the late 1960s and had become well-honed when he became Australia’s prime minister in 1991.

He also has always had his finger very firmly on the pulse of Australian and international politics.

Continue reading "The AUKUS mess & straight talk from Keating" »


People tuning out from bad news is a threat

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - A lot of my friends, most of whom are elderly, tell me they’ve given up watching, listening to or reading the news.

So too have some of my younger acquaintances, including my son and daughter in their early forties.

The general consensus is that it’s all too depressing.

Continue reading "People tuning out from bad news is a threat" »


PNG desperately needs a leader of vision

SIMON DAVIDSON

PORT MORESBY  - Great leaders have vision. They dream of a better future.

An Engan leader who had a great vision was the later Malipu Balakau. He has a grand vision to change Enga Province.

His vision of change was embedded in his captivating  political speeches. He is said to have uttered his spellbinding speeches during his numerous campaigns.

Poh mende ailyah lo epesamo ongo, namabame poh lo ono lo pena laro.” The wind that is blowing upwards, I will make the wind blow backwards.

Continue reading "PNG desperately needs a leader of vision" »


The rules that guide us were created by us

Religion-ethics-morality-lPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Michael Dom and Paul Oates took issue with a comment I made about ethics and religion following an article by Chris Overland about the inexorable rise of stupidity in the 21st century, ‘The inexorable rise of the 21st century stupid.

In my comment I wrote that you don’t “necessarily need religions to decide on what is right and what is wrong. All you need is a functioning brain."

Continue reading "The rules that guide us were created by us" »


Can the internet give us better government?

Capital-karl-marx-
Karl Marx and the title page from the first edition of Capital, 1867: "Capital is dead labour, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks"

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – As Phil Fitzpatrick has written (‘Has the internet brought out the worst in us?), the internet has indeed held up a mirror to us all.

It is hard to like much of what we see.

Greed, exploitation, lies and stupidity abound.

Neo-liberal capitalism is a system lurching into crisis.

Continue reading "Can the internet give us better government?" »


Colonial truth: Seldom pure & never simple

Cover The AnarchyCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I am sure Phil Fitzpatrick is correct when he writes that Australia could have been a better coloniser.

That said though, I am sure that Australia was very far from the worst colonial power in history.

In my estimation, Australia's colonial model was perhaps the most fundamentally benign version devised during the European imperial era.

Continue reading "Colonial truth: Seldom pure & never simple" »


Somehow our timid democracy trundles on

2015asiancup-final
Asian Cup football final at Stadium Australia, 2015 - sport is a great comforter for Australians who feel the world has gone awry (Austadiums)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Even though any objective survey of modern Australian politics leads to despondency, we should bear in mind that the two biggest spending political parties performed rather badly at the last election.

Also, perhaps we should bear in mind that spending by our political parties is dwarfed by the colossal sums spent in the USA, where money doesn't just talk, it positively shrieks.

Continue reading "Somehow our timid democracy trundles on" »


PNG’s fatberg politicians: Keeping the sunshine out

Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash
Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - My next door neighbours are quite elderly, more so than me even, and I occasionally help them with stuff that goes wrong in their house, leaking taps and suchlike.

A recent endeavour involved unblocking the drain beneath their kitchen sink.

Continue reading "PNG’s fatberg politicians: Keeping the sunshine out" »


Can onetime ‘greatest of friends’ restore relationship they both desperately need

(PNG Business News)
Papua New Guinea's prime minister James Marape greets his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese (PNG Business News)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – It’s always good to see Rowan Callick’s byline in The Australian or anywhere else, and the other day it was a delight to read the commentary that followed.

Callick’s an excellent journalist - a former Australian Journalist of the Year with a couple of Walkley Awards and three books to his credit.

Continue reading "Can onetime ‘greatest of friends’ restore relationship they both desperately need" »


Governor General election: Will parliament give meaning to PNG gender equality goals

Winnie_kiap.250x300
Winnie Kiap CBE, PNG’s ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011-22, and nominee for Governor-General

KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN

PORT MORESBY - The position of Governor General in Papua New Guinea becomes vacant in February as Grand Chief Bob Dadae’s six-year tenure comes to an end.

In the history books, Sir Bob will be remembered as the only PNG Governor-General who served under the reign of both Queen Elizabeth ꓲꓲ and King Charles ꓲꓲꓲ.

And on Thursday his successor will be elected by the PNG parliament.

There has been much discussion in PNG recently about which women would qualify to be the first to hold this high office. Winnie Kiap is a leading contender.

Continue reading "Governor General election: Will parliament give meaning to PNG gender equality goals" »


A virus of evil assisted by men of stupidity

KEITH JACKSON

“It’s almost like there’s a political will for Covid to go away, and it hasn’t gone away. So we’re just not going to really talk about it anymore” - Independent federal MP, Rebekha Sharkie

NOOSA - The pandemic has to be getting worse. It has to be getting worse because there are no serious public health steps being taken to halt its progress.

On the contrary, public health measures have been diminished. 'You Do You' is the new, trite, slogan of how our leaders see Australians' health being managed.

Even the much vaunted vaccines are waning in their ability to protect. If you can get them in the first place. The federal government seems to have lost interest.

Continue reading "A virus of evil assisted by men of stupidity" »


PNG youth is trapped in the web of modernity

PHILIP KAI MORRE

KUNDIAWA - Youth in Papua New Guinea is a time bomb that our country is adding in its drift towards anarchy.

Even as far back as the 2011 national census, 60% of PNG’s estimated population of 7.3 million was aged under 25.

It is clear that if the PNG government does not focus on the youth population now, the future prospects of the whole country will be saturated by failure.

Continue reading "PNG youth is trapped in the web of modernity" »


Reflections on 2022: another era of instability

BabyCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Across many parts of the world people are enjoying - or enduring - the Christmas season.

This Christian celebration has long been stripped of its religious meaning in most of the capitalist Western world.

At best, it is a time for people to get together and enjoy the company of their family and friends.

But mostly it is a time too often devoted to over indulgence and conspicuous consumption.

Continue reading "Reflections on 2022: another era of instability " »


Recognising the perils of war to avert war

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - We ought not to regard China as a direct military threat. It makes no strategic or practical sense to do so. After all, we willingly sell them the resources they need from us.

They have long ago worked out that, in our neo-liberal capitalist system, money speaks much more loudly than ethics, morality or patriotism.

I also agree that we should avoid being dragged into ugly regional wars, especially those premised upon the idea that democracy can be successfully exported.

Continue reading "Recognising the perils of war to avert war" »


Albo’s hidden menace: A sullied public service

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA –In an explosive article, a prominent Australian journalist has said the seven-month old Albanese Labor government is already “letting its moral mandate wither away”.

Jack Waterford, a much admired former editor of The Canberra Times, now a regular contributor to the Pearls and Irritations website, says Albanese has been excessively slow in building momentum for change and seems oblivious of the urgent need for it.

Waterford observes that “administrative reform is in the doldrums and focused on rhetorical fluff” and “there is no talk about accountability, individual and collective responsibility, or about moral cowardice”.

Continue reading "Albo’s hidden menace: A sullied public service" »


China’s behaviour tells story of its ambitions

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Dennis Argall, Australia’s former ambassador to Beijing and Washington, has written recently on the breakdown of USA's power as the defining feature of our strategic environment. 

I agree with a great deal of what he has written, however, I think that has not demonstrated that China is not bent upon becoming the world’s most dominant and influential power.

He does not pay sufficient regard to the rhetoric coming from within the Chinese Communist Party about China’s destiny to resume its natural place as the world’s foremost power.

Continue reading "China’s behaviour tells story of its ambitions" »


W Papuans fear Indon-PNG defence pact

YAMIN KOGOYA

“We are part of them and they are part of us,” declared politician Augustine Rapa, founder and president of Papua New Guinea’s Liberal Democratic Party.

Rapa was speaking in Port Moresby on 1 December at the 61st anniversary of the struggle for independence in West Papua.

Rapa’s statement was in response to PNG police who arrived at the anniversary celebration and attempted to prevent Papuans from the other side of the colonial border from commemorating this significant national day.

Continue reading "W Papuans fear Indon-PNG defence pact" »


The unfortunate lesson of St Patrick the slave

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In the late 4th or early 5th century AD, in the dying days of the Roman Empire, some Irish raiders captured a young bloke called Patrick from his home in Britain and took him to Ireland as a slave.

It turned out to be a big mistake.

After six years as a slave, Patrick escaped and returned to Britain where he trained to be a Christian cleric.

Continue reading "The unfortunate lesson of St Patrick the slave" »


Julie Bishop delivers hard truths to PNG

JOHN KURI

PORT MORESBY - If Julie Bishop was from Papua New Guinea I reckon she would have started her opening address with, “Stay where you are, you have a lot going for you but you don’t seem to know it.”

But fortunately and unfortunately she did not.

Fortunately because the grand occasion of the investment conference at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney was probably geared to hear her telling PNG the truth. (Although a version of her comments which seems to be untrue went viral in PNG.)

Continue reading "Julie Bishop delivers hard truths to PNG" »


Share where you can & fight when you must

MICHAEL DOM

"Those who cling to perceptions and views wander the world offending people" - Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha (c 563-483 BCE)

"These ideals include the belief that security derives from respect for universal human rights, that wealth means well-being, that individual health corresponds to a healthy environment, that mental health is affected by experience of citizen interdependence and solidarity. Democracy depends on security derived from human rights-based policies to promote equality" – Stuart Rees in John Menadue Pearls & Irritations, quoted by Philip Fitzpatrick

LAE - Nope. Poor ideals to me.

Regardless of democracy I don't think life works that way in reality, and it's likely that Costa Rica would not work without the CIA and Uncle Sam up north.

Continue reading "Share where you can & fight when you must" »


For good or ill US is democracy’s torch bearer

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - It was Lord Palmerston who first said, in a speech to the British House of Commons on 1 March 1848, that Britain had ‘no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.’

This axiom ought to be the guiding principle for Australian diplomacy and, in fact, I think it has been since 14 March 1942, when prime minister John Curtin stated that Australia turned to America for support and advice in confronting the Japanese peril in the Pacific.

Our relationship with the US has endured since that time and, as Phil Fitzpatrick has rightly pointed out, we have usually acted loyally if sometimes unwisely to support our ‘great and powerful friend’.

Continue reading "For good or ill US is democracy’s torch bearer" »


A historian's view of the very near future....

MATHIAS KIN
| Facebook

KUNDIAWA - There was some doubt in the sixties about how a country of 800 different tribes speaking 800 languages would come together under one united government.

These feelings were expressed freely by Australians as well as New Guineans.

Many expressed that New Guineans themselves were not developed and that the economy and infrastructure were not ready for self-rule.

Continue reading "A historian's view of the very near future...." »


The lone and level sands stretch far away

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – It seems indisputable that the ruling and business elites have given up on climate change.

By their calculus, the potential cure (massive decarbonisation and an associated massive restructuring of the economy) is much worse than the disease because it will necessarily restrict their ability to make a great deal of money.

Also, to be brutally honest, citizens in the developed world are not going to accept a conscious decision to embrace a life in which there is much less ‘stuff’.

Continue reading "The lone and level sands stretch far away" »


Kiap nation builders do not need a memorial

BILL BROWN MBE

SYDNEY - I read ‘The Forgotten Australian Patrol Officers’ by Luke Gosling OAM MP and wondered who had misled him and who determined that the majority of kiaps supported a memorial for kiaps.

I am one of the former kiaps who think the memorial concept is a nonsense.

Distinguished former kiaps like Harry West and Fred Kaad have departed, but they did not support the push for either a medal or a memorial.

Continue reading "Kiap nation builders do not need a memorial" »


There are hidden traps in helping others

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - There are vast numbers of volunteers out there in the community. They are all doing good work and most will derive a lot of personal satisfaction from this.

Very few of them expect monetary recompense for what they do. Or even recognition.

These factors distinguish them from what we normally regard as the impulse that drives philanthropy.

Continue reading "There are hidden traps in helping others" »


Society & civilisation ruined before our eyes

PAUL OATES

CLEVELAND – It’s very clear that Australia’s political system is fractured and no one has any idea how to fix it.

We’ve been watching the watering down of a new Integrity Commission. Both sides of politics – Labor and Liberal National – conspired to do that. What have they got to hide?

A huge credibility gap seems to have silently snuck up on us old timers.

Continue reading "Society & civilisation ruined before our eyes" »


The puzzle of development: Is it good or bad?

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – This may surprise you, but it’s a statement of truth: Many countries we term ‘developing’ don’t need development to create democracy.

And this is because traditional societies in countries like Papua New Guinea were always democratic, possibly more so than countries like Australia and the USA which boast about their democracies.

What these former colonised countries now need are governments that uphold the democracies they once knew.

Continue reading "The puzzle of development: Is it good or bad?" »


Xi & Albanese: Can we seize the opportunity?

Whilst I hold Australia rather than China most responsible for the tension, our media has played a big part in promoting hostility. It has been a shameful performance from many ‘senior’ journalists and I don’t exclude ABC journalists with their attack dog style

Capture

JOHN MENADUE
| Pearls & Irritations

SYDNEY - The meeting between president Xi Jinping and prime minister Anthony Albanese could result in an overdue improvement in relations between China and Australia.

Real improvements will take time and a lot of goodwill. (But will deputy prime minister Richard Marles be a stumbling block?)

Continue reading "Xi & Albanese: Can we seize the opportunity?" »


Reluctant kiaps: 'We don't want hero status'

"The kiaps’ role in the bringing to independence of PNG was undoubtedly unique and important and that should bring with it a certain sense of pride, but that is as far as it goes"

Don Kennedy  with his wife Glen  of Mitchells Island  is presented the Australian Federal Police Overseas Service Medal by federal MP David Gillespie
Don Kennedy with his wife Glen is presented the Australian Police Overseas Service Medal by federal MP Dr David Gillespie, the National Party member for the seat of Lyne on the northern coast of New South Wales

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Early this month, the Australian Institute of International Affairs published an article, The Forgotten Australian Patrol Officers’, by Luke Gosling OAM, the Labor member for Solomon in the Northern Territory.

“What the kiaps did for Papua New Guinea is today called nation-building in official jargon,” Gosling wrote.

Continue reading "Reluctant kiaps: 'We don't want hero status'" »


Life itself is threatened by the profit motive

We have created a civilisation capable of destroying the environment on a global scale and that is exactly what is happening.  The warning bells from history are ringing loudly but our leaders and too many of the rest of us are not listening

Wafi-golpu-top

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – The proposal by Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold to dump plans to dump hundreds of millions of tonnes of mining waste into Huon Gulf shows why the people of Planet Earth are collectively doomed to disaster.

There is no chance this side of hell that international capitalism will stop despoiling the planet as long as there is money to be made.

Continue reading "Life itself is threatened by the profit motive" »


Albanese mission to fix Morrison’s problems

Albanese recognises is Australia needs to embrace the reality of an aspiring China and also enter new arrangements with the USA that can better protect Australia

Capture
Illustration by Global Times

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese has articulated a view of Australia' long term defence requirements that is based upon a pragmatic and realistic assessment of history and current facts.

Albanese does not characterise China as an enemy, nor is he advocating that Australia become a humble supplicant to the USA.

Continue reading "Albanese mission to fix Morrison’s problems" »


How political decisions often don't work

When the Minister and CEO part company on what is desired, usually the minister will succeed – electoral success often depends on giving the people what they want

Paperwork

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When things don’t work in government we tend to blame politicians. Believe it or not, sometimes they’re not the ones at fault.

I’ve been writing a book about the chequered history of the government’s Aboriginal Heritage Branch in South Australia.

Continue reading "How political decisions often don't work" »


The blackout curse that magic cannot fix

I call it a curse for many reasons but I won't discuss them all. It's a curse because it really doesn't matter which government is in place or which CEO is appointed, no one - and I mean no one - has really addressed the blackout curse

Blackout

JOHN KURI

PORT MORESBY - What is it? Is it some kind of magic or witchcraft? Is it a spell or incantation?

This is Papua New Guinea - a place where black power still rules the lives of citizens in the urban centres and rural areas.

Continue reading "The blackout curse that magic cannot fix" »


Madness reigns supreme in US Pacific deal

Papua New Guineans have been grossly misled and opened wide our doors for large scale criminal gangsters and terrorists to come on to our turf. The Marape government is strongly urged to terminate this hollow and ridiculous agreement

Crimea bridge bombing
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of attacking the bridge to Russian-annexed Crimea, calling it an "act of terrorism". President Putin said Ukraine's intelligence forces had aimed to destroy a critically important piece of Russia's civil infrastructure (BBC)

CORNEY KOROKAN ALONE
| Twitter @CorneyKAlone

PORT MORESBY - Delusions reign supreme. It is disgusting to see naivety and short-sightedness reigning supreme in beloved Papua New Guinea.

We should and must know better. The Marape-Rosso government has been hoodwinked and misled.

Continue reading "Madness reigns supreme in US Pacific deal" »


Appeasers silent as Russia loses grip on war

If Putin sees his mighty army collapsing, his desperation to retain power may lead to more of the bad decision-making that has been the hallmark of the Russian conduct of the war so far. The use of tactical nuclear weapons may become his last resort

A troops
Ukraine troops advance on Kherson and other Russian-occupied areas

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Since I wrote this piece (Sachs’ & the New Appeasers have it wrong, 20 July 2022), the appeasers have become silent.

The appalling atrocities committed by the Russians in Ukraine have revealed the true nature of the Russian regime.

Vladimir Putin is not a wronged and misunderstood man.

He is an old school imperialist of the worst kind.

You do not do deals with such a man and expect them to be honoured.

At present, the Ukrainians continue to advance in the Donbas and near Kherson.

They appear to have mastered manoeuvre warfare, something the Russian army seems incapable of replicating.

Strategic and tactical ineptitude by the Russians, combined with severe logistical and personnel problems, renders the Russian army highly vulnerable to a fast-moving enemy force.

As of today, Ukrainian troops had retaken more territory in regions illegally annexed by Russia, and continue to advance near the southern city of Kherson.

They were also moving towards Russian-held Luhansk in the east.

"There are new liberated settlements in several regions," said president Volodymyr Zelensky.

While it is too early to be sure, there are clear signs the Russian army is crumbling in the face of the better led, better armed and better motivated Ukrainians.

The implications of this are profound, both for Ukraine and Russia as well as for the rest of the world.

If Putin sees his mighty army collapsing, his desperation to retain power may lead to even more of the very bad decision making that has been the hallmark of the Russian conduct of this war so far.

A reisner
Colonel Markus Reisner has emerged as one of the most credible experts analysing the Russia Ukraine War

The use of tactical nuclear weapons may become his last resort.

Consequently, whether we have fired a bullet or not, we are all invested in the outcome of this appalling conflict.

For readers interested in military matters who want an objective and dispassionate assessment of events in Ukraine, I recommend the commentaries posted on YouTube by Colonel Markus Reisner PhD, commander of the Austrian Army's principal staff training college and its elite Vienna Guards Regiment.


The nightmare of war that is with us forever

A critical precondition for peace is that people must desire it fiercely enough to argue, fight and even die for it. This is what we all may be doing soon enough if China uses force to conquer Taiwan and the United States intervenes

Image - Spiros Karkavela (Art of Future Warfare)
Art by Spiros Karkavela (Art of Future Warfare)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - One of the unfathomable mysteries of human nature is the instinct to pursue violence and war.

History is, in many respects, just one long and dismal story of seemingly endless warfare.

Continue reading "The nightmare of war that is with us forever" »


Sweeping reform is not on Albanese’s agenda

We must harden up and put our collective shoulders to the wheel to make our country more economically resilient and self-reliant, as well as to repair our much neglected and grossly inadequate defence forces

Anthony Albanese (The West Australian)Anthony Albanese has taken over a country in which laissez faire capitalism has wrought its magic, enriching the few at the expense of the many (Caricature from The West Australian)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Australia's 'timid' government (Keith Jackson’s descriptor) has sniffed the wind and knows that, while Australians were intensely unhappy with the previous government, they were not necessarily going to buy into demands for thoroughgoing reforms of the current system.

In particular, a large majority of voters still fondly imagine that the serious problems now manifest in the health system, aged care, disability services, public transport and housing can be magically fixed without, if not an increase in taxation, at least the abandonment of the unjustified and inequitable tax cuts which passed into law before the recent election.

Continue reading "Sweeping reform is not on Albanese’s agenda" »


Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders

A corrupt politician’s strong tribal identity can create an impossible situation for honest candidates to succeed, and so the corrupt are re-elected

Caricatures from Wantok newspaper
Caricatures from Wantok newspaper

SIMON DAVIDSON

PORT MORESBY - Despite colossal efforts by international partners, NGOs and other entities to rid us of corrupt leaders, we are again confronted by their resurgence after the just completed national elections.

As I see things, this is due to three cultural factors that are the salient catalysts that cause voters to install corrupt leaders election after election.

Continue reading "Bigmanship: the deliverer of corrupt leaders" »


Sachs’ & the New Appeasers have it wrong

Sachs appears to be one of the New Appeasers whose starting premise is that Putin is a rational actor, not an unrepentant neo-imperialist whose territorial aspirations cannot be satisfied through negotiation or by conceding land for peace

Putin and Macron
Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron - the table perhaps symbolic of the distance between Putin's goals of empire and the New Appeasers desire for peaceful resolution

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - In his recent speech, ‘The world imperilled at the end of US leadership, Jeffrey Sachs has advanced several propositions that are highly contestable.

Professor Sachs evidently believes that the underlying cause of the Russia-Ukraine War was the constant expansion of NATO – a military alliance of 28 European, Canada and the USA, which strongly supports NATO’s expansion.

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The US is sick: Time to think for ourselves

Australia should be encouraging Pacific Islands nations to join it in forming a regional bloc that thinks for itself, makes its own rules and sees to its own future

Wake-up-america
This World War I propaganda poster has new meaning as the US faces threats at home and abroad

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Jeffrey Sachs speaks a lot of sense but, as he says, no one wants to listen to him.

There are a lot of people like Sachs who people go out of their way to ignore. Among them are climate scientists and epidemiologists.

Continue reading "The US is sick: Time to think for ourselves" »