Syria: The human rights industry in ‘humanitarian war’ (2018)

A proliferation of self-appointed watchdogs and ‘human rights’ agencies have helped market the idea of ‘humanitarian intervention’, in recent years. This can be seen most starkly in the long proxy war on Syria. These advocacy groups have argued the extreme pretexts thought necessary to ignore conventional international law against intervention and foreign support for armed groups. Yet most such groups are paid or co-opted by the same governments which back military intervention. Continue reading “Syria: The human rights industry in ‘humanitarian war’ (2018)”

Washington supports the Islamic State (2015)

Reports that US and British aircraft carrying arms to ISIS were shot down by Iraqi forces (Iraqi News 2015) were met with shock and denial in western countries. Yet few in the Middle East doubt that Washington is playing a ‘double game’ with its proxy armies in Syria. A Yemeni AnsarAllah leaders says ‘Wherever there is U.S. interference, there is al Qaeda and ISIS. It’s to their advantage‘ (al-Bukaiti 2015). However key myths remain important, especially to western audiences. Continue reading “Washington supports the Islamic State (2015)”

‘Humanitarian intervention’ in Libya (2011)

Compilation of imperial deceptions and ‘humanitarian intervention’ that led to the destruction of Libya, the country that once had the highest living standards in Africa. Continue reading “‘Humanitarian intervention’ in Libya (2011)”

RAMSI: Intervention, aid trauma and self governance (2008)

The Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands (RAMSI) was an intervention force requested by the Solomon Islands Government to help stabilise the country after a period of civil strife. It became an experiment in ‘cooperative intervention’ – at a time of uninvited intervention, elsewhere – and exercised the imagination of a number of ‘failed state’ theorists. After more than five years, and with the evaporation of initial rationales that instability in the Solomon Islands might pose a ‘terrorist’ threat, much uncertainty remains over its future. Continue reading “RAMSI: Intervention, aid trauma and self governance (2008)”

Timor Leste: The second Australian intervention (2006)

Two stories are in circulation over the second Australian intervention in Timor Leste (East Timor). The first has it that the small, newly independent country, beset with leadership and ethnic divisions, and led by an arrogant and even despotic Prime Minister, out of touch with the people, called once again on Australian assistance to avoid collapse into a ‘failed state’. Continue reading “Timor Leste: The second Australian intervention (2006)”

East Timor, Australia and regional order: Intervention and its aftermath in Southeast Asia by James Cotton (2006)

A book review of a collection of essays on the theme of Australian policy towards East Timor with specific reference to the “turnaround” of 1999. Continue reading “East Timor, Australia and regional order: Intervention and its aftermath in Southeast Asia by James Cotton (2006)”