Jake Lynch

Civilian Populations columnist

Australia’s ABC attempts to justify rise above inflation of military spending

News managers at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation fought against my complaint over their coverage of Australia’s Defence White Paper, which provides for a continuing rise in spending on the military at three percent above inflation’s rate.
As expected, they’ve come out fighting: none of my points has the slightest validity, ABC is fully satisfied with its reporting.


The Times of London was at it again this week. “Iran has perfected the technology to create and detonate a nuclear warhead”, the paper said, “and is merely awaiting the word from its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to produce its first bomb”.
A great deal of information, but which is the provenance of all these ‘facts’?

“Humanitarian Intervention”

What’s happened to the concepts of humanitarian military intervention and the responsibility to protect? How come no-one stepped in to prevent thousands of Sri Lankan Tamils being killed?

Outrage or Opposition?

Several important objections have come in, from knowledgeable and experienced observers, to my last column arguing that pronouncing oneself in favour of human rights should predicate opposition to war. One is from Professor George Kent of the University of Hawaii, who says:

*“I think it is important not to mix outrage at particular incidents within wars with opposition to war as such. The two call for quite different strategies.

Prospects for dealing with particular violations of humanitarian and human rights law seem better than prospects for banishing war altogether. New institutional arrangements are needed to ensure accountability for those violations. Having the perpetrators chant, ‘We are investigating’ is not good enough”*.