Author Archives: Damien Kingsbury

About Damien Kingsbury

Politics in turmoil

Most Australians are right now fairly exasperated with what they reasonably regard as the infantile, ego-driven behavior of their political leaders. But, in many respects, what is happening is not confined to Australia and is, at base, a product of a shared set of political problems. In the United States, the election of President Donald […]

Proposed Afghanistan ceasefire a sign of a government in trouble

Afghanistan President, Ashraf Ghani’s proposed month-long ceasefire with the country’s Taliban insurgents to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha is looking like an act of desperation. Regardless of whether it is taken up, or not, the proposed ceasefire is a sign of a government in trouble and grasping at straws. The proposed ceasefire follows […]

Turnbull politically wounded, limping

Malcolm Turnbull has brought the question of his leadership to a head by calling for a party room vote which, as expected, he won, if narrowly. However, the vote has shown that there is open division within the Liberal Party’s parliamentary ranks. The PM has just been challenged by one of his most senior ministers, […]

Fraser Anning: text of an interview with CNBC

 CNBC: Does Mr Anning’s speech have any broader significance for Australian politics? DK: It is part of a debate being held by some politicians and individuals at the margins of Australian political thinking and, as with all such calls for bigotry, tries to capitalise on a sense of racial division among some of the most […]

Army wins Pakistan’s elections

Pakistan’s elections have been run and won … by the Pakistan Armed Forces. The adage that it takes more than elections to have  democracy is ringing true in what many are calling Pakistan’s ‘silent coup’. Former test cricketer and serial political candidate Imran Khan’s Pakistan Movement for Justice (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ,or PTI) was on track […]

Australia sends Tamil asylum seeker back to be arrested.

When it comes to asylum seeker policy in Australia, one of its biggest blind spots concerns Sri Lanka and the people, mostly ethnic Tamils, who have been fleeing there in fear of their lives. Sri Lanka continues to marginalize and persecute Tamils, continuing to chase the ghost of the long destroyed Tamil separatist organization the […]

Trump’s Helsinki coup de grace after disastrous European visit

A colleague tried to (seriously) explain Donald Trump’s behavior as possibly reflecting the onset of a serious brain disease. My take is that, while it is difficult to find a rational explanation for his behavior, that let’s him off far too lightly. Trump is emotionally undeveloped, hugely egocentric/narcissistic and a very long way from being […]

The beginning of the end of the Syrian civil war

The surrender of Daraa by Syrian rebels to Syrian government forces marks the beginning of the end of the Syrian civil war. Although the rebel forces remain concentrated in the north and east of the country, the Assad regime will now be able to concentrate its forces and those of its allies to defeat remaining […]

Mexico’s populist victory driven by crime and compensation

Following a global trend against the status quo, Mexicans have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a populist as their new president. The election of former Mexico City mayor, leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with 53% of vote in a five cornered contest, represents an overwhelming rejection of Mexico’s slide into profound violence and corruption. In […]

Turkey moves further away from the West

The election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Turkey’s new executive president marks a significant step towards Turkey becoming an autocracy, and further separates Turkey from the West as a strategic partner. Turkey has been an important member of NATO, but it is increasingly doubtful whether it would now act in concert with its alliance partners […]